What is Truth?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 21, 2014 0 comments

Here is Part 3 of my series on developing a Biblical Worldview. Two weeks ago, I addressed what a worldview is. It the set of filters and convictions that you have that you use to make all your decisions in every area of life. Last week, I described what knowledge is and two primary methods we have of acquiring it: Empirical (or Scientific) and Revelation knowledge. Today, I will talk truth and how we determine truth. And I will specify two different methods that are used today.

There are two fancy terms I want to introduce to you: Didactic and Dialectic. These are two words that describe the passing on of knowledge and truth to the next generation. One was the method that the Hebrews used to pass on the truth of the Old Testament to the time of Christ. The other is about hearing both sides and coming to a consensus. One is found predominately in Eastern civilization societies, from the Middle East to China and Japan. The other is found predominately in Western civilizations including Europe and the Americas. But once you see what each does, it may open your eyes to why we have so many battles over Biblical doctrine and foundational issues.

The Didactic method is very similar to dictation. The didactic will tell the next generation that “x” is the truth regardless of time, location, culture, etc. Children in didactic cultures learn what is considered to be true by rote and memorization and they do not deviate from the set standards. Now someone may say that is rather closed-minded. What if there was something else that needs to be considered? What if there are other options? Then you have to answer the question: is truth absolute, independent of time and culture? If the answer to this question is “yes” then you cannot consider other options. If the Bible is the truth, you cannot embrace “another truth” because that would be embracing a false truth. Paul warned Timothy more than anything else to be wary of false teachers and false doctrines. Let us be didactic in passing the truth of the authority of Scripture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Dialectic is what our modern society uses more than anything else. It has the same root as “dialogue”. There is a process to the dialectic way of thinking. The currently accepted standard is called a “Thesis”. The next idea to come along is called an “Antithesis”. After both sides discuss and talk about it, the two merge and form a “Synthesis” which then becomes the “Thesis” for the next round. This sounds at first like a great idea. It takes two different ideas and merges them together in love and peace. It is not close-minded and open to hear all the variety of different options. However, when it comes to truth, about origins and about worldviews, the dialectic is an ever worsening poison. Why? Why is it bad to be open-minded? The open-minded person, the dialectic, is open to consider all options, both good and bad. It has to consider even bad options as potentially viable. It gets worse. While it is open to all options, it cannot be closed to any option...except that which picks a side and stands for it, namely the Biblical Truth.

The best illustration I ever saw about this came from Eric Ludy’s book, The Bravehearted Gospel. In there, Ludy describes how an open-minded person will consider both options that the earth is round and that the earth is flat. However in all practical situations, said open-minded person will always side with the flat-earthers, with the side that is false. They will never go building a ship and go sailing with a round-earther, the side that is true, because they have to consider the idea that the earth is flat.

We see this all around us with dialectic thinking. They are open to all positions but they will not make a stand or support the one actual true side. The dialectic method is a gradual pull away from the truth and it eventually removes the objectivity of truth. In modern day America, the Bible has no authority anymore and it is because of this dialectic thinking. This is what we at Worldview Warriors have to face. A society that is open-minded to anything except the one true side. This is why we have to develop what Eric Ludy calls the “Canon” mind. The Canon mind is one that is open to only the truth but closed to anything that is false. It accepts pure water but rejects oil in any amounts.

We at Worldview Warriors must come from a didactic approach because we believe the Bible is indeed the inspired word of God. God is the Truth. Jesus said so himself. He does not bend to someone’s ideals. He does not compromise with that which is contrary to his character. If it goes against God’s word, against his character, it is sin. And God cannot dwell in the presence of sin. Why? Because his holiness and purity is so great that all sin in his presence will be totally destroyed. Where are we compromising with the worldly way of thinking? Where are we compromising with our own sin, forming a new Synthesis? We need to recognize where and when we have done this, reject that Synthesis, reject that Antithesis, and stand by the one True God. How do we do this? See my post for next week. Next week, I will put all this together to show how we can build and live a Biblical Worldview.