04 Jul 2010

God and Truth

Religious 8 Comments

One of the things I love about Christianity is the identification of Jesus with truth itself. For example, the gospel of John opens like this:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood[a] it.

In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

Continuing with the imagery that the word of God is itself a weapon, in Revelation 19 we read:

11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.

And in one of the most gorgeous passages ever penned, Ephesians 6:10-17 instructs us:

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

I simply adore this aspect of Christianity. Arrayed against the physical might of Satan and his earthly armies, what does God do?

He writes a book.

And because it contains the truth, the people who believe in this book will eventually be victorious.

8 Responses to “God and Truth”

  1. hrg says:

    Actually, Bob, He created a Church that developed a canon through which many disparate writings were judged to be divinely inspired. These writings would eventually become known, collectively, as the Bible. During the vast majority of Christian history, most people were not literate enough to read it, which should cause some caution about the Sola Scriptura doctrine you are promoting.

    Also, there is nothing in the Bible that says that people who believe in it should be victorious, eventually or otherwise. If it did, that would be circular reasoning. (“I’m Bob, and I’m a great guy. Why? Because I say so.”) It does discuss the creation of a Church with authority to interpret sacred writings, baptize, and evangelize. What is it about John 6 that makes you think that all you need is the Bible?

    • Pope, the says:

      Hi! I’m the Pope! And I have the divine authority to interpret sacred writings, baptize, and evangelize.

      How can you be sure I’m telling you the truth? Because I say so! And so do my wealthy Cardinals! And my Bishops! And my staff of child-beating nuns! And my priests, too – and not just the pedophiles!

      Now, I realize that the Queen of England does not believe me, nor did Billy Graham, nor Martin Luther, nor Joseph Smith, nor L. Ron Hubbard, nor any of their millions of pious followers, but you must not believe them. You must believe ME!

      Why? Because I’m the Pope! And I say so!

      • fundamentalist says:

        I am not a Catholic and don’t consider the Pope infallible, but even I can see how stupid your statement is. It only advertises your ignorance of church history, church doctrine and simple logic.

        • bobmurphy says:

          I could be wrong, but I think “Pope, the” was saying that “hrg” was the kettle calling the pot black. Not that I endorse his sarcasm or tone, of course.

          (In other words, hrg was saying it would be a circular argument for me to rest my belief in the Bible, since the only evidence I have of its authenticity [he claimed] was from the Bible itself. So I believe “Pope, the” was pointing out that any authority the Church has ultimately derives from the events recorded in the Bible.)

          • fundamentalist says:

            If that’s the case, I apologize to “Pope, the”. My sarcasm detector isn’t calibrated for blogs.

    • fundamentalist says:

      hrg, actually, the council that determined which books belong in the Bible came late in Christian history. Individual churches had for centuries determined for themselves which books should be considered inspired or not. Their criteria were things like 1) was the author an apostle or one who knew the apostles well, like Luke and 2) how well did the writing agree with the teaching of the apostles. By the time the church decided to make the Bible official, it had already been decided for over a century. The official church council merely put its stamp of approval on what churches had known.

      The Bible declares that Christians will achieve victory over falsehoods, which enslave them. And that victory will lead to personal victories over moral weaknesses. In the end of time, Christians will join Christ in a victorious government over the whole earth, but until then we will suffer a lot of persecution by atheists and believers in false religions.

  2. Roger Ritthaler says:

    “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,” Get real! Of course it is: that is what the struggle for freedom is all about. Why else should you promote Austian Economics?

    • bobmurphy says:

      Even on your own terms, I’m not sure you’re right. Plenty of Austrians say things like, “It’s not the specific Keynesians we’re battling, but their pernicious ideas. And there’s no point in fighting the government with weapons, when we are in a battle of ideas.” So even an atheist libertarian/Austrian might endorse something close to what the epistle says.