Embraced  by  Truth . . .
                                    reflections on theology and life

THEOLOGY > Bible > Truth > Characteristics of Truth > Truth is Adequate 


Whereas humanism is without substance, Theism is totally adequate. Once Theism is postulated, or assumed as a starting point (and some starting point must be assumed; every position has one or more presuppositions), then many nagging questions can be answered in a satisfying and reasonable manner. Acceptance of the self-revealing God and His self-authenticating Revelation provides a foundation for giving meaning to every facet of existence. Apart from God and His Word, there is no meaning, absolutely no meaning to anything. The final authority is God and His Revelation, and man cannot be understood apart from them. God must explain man (see: Foundations, Significance of Truth, and The Starting Point).

From the Word it is revealed that man was made by God and has value because he was made by God and in God’s image, and man’s purpose is to fulfill God’s purpose. Absolute right and wrong exist because God exists, and man’s conduct is regulated by Law, which is a reflection of God’s character. Evil exists because of man’s rebellion against God, and hope exists because God is the Redeeming God. Without God man has no value and has no purpose; without God there is no morality and no hope. Without God all that exists is absurd.

Of the two foundational positions, humanism and Theism, the Scriptures, and only the Scriptures, reveal the position of Theism. Biblical Truth provides for man a view that is comprehensive, a worldview that is sufficient to embrace all that is and to explain it adequately. Truth informs man that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Chance does not govern; God rules. Man’s freedom is not absolute, but is subservient to God’s purpose. Man’s pronouncements are not reliable, whereas God’s Word is infallible. Evil is a reality, and redemption is historical. Evolution does not produce the future; it is God who determines destinies. Fundamental questions are answered by the revealed Truth, in which God explains man and all that is. For thinking to be proper and productive it must originate here. Philosophy must be taught by theology. Devoid of Truth humanistic philosophy leads logically and ultimately to anarchy and annihilation, with each man doing what is right in his own eyes. It is an old story (Jud. 17:6; 21:25). Only Theism is adequate for thinking and living—there is no substitute for Truth (see: Theism or Humanism).

In the fact of the adequacy of Truth the believer has the one compelling point that can be pressed upon the non-believer. Assuming God and His Truth as a valid starting point, the Christian faith is seen to be the only system that is adequate to explain reality. Once God and His Truth are accepted then the proper interpretation of the universe is available, and the interpretation is consistent and unified. Apart from Christian Truth there is no basis for understanding any aspect of existence. All that exists is without meaning.

Humanistic thinking has an impossible difficulty: the need to establish order and normative value in a world that originated and is evolving by chance. Is humanism adequate? How can predictability be predicated upon chance, when chance produces randomness and disorder? Possibility, or chance, cannot assure probability much less predictability; chance does not create a cosmos. Yet there is an obvious order in creation, from the molecules to the planets; the cosmos exists. What is the explanation? Modern man has none. Beginning with his own mind which is the product of chance, he cannot establish absolute purpose and value for even himself, much less the rest of creation. Intellectually, Nietzsche’s option is compelling. But if God is, then all that exists is the way it is because He so created it. God provides an adequate base for order, purpose, and value. You begin with God and then you can understand creation. God is necessary and adequate.

The fact of adequacy brings into focus the question of epistemology. How do we know? Knowledge is of two types: natural (material) and supernatural (non-material), that which man can discover and that which is not discoverable by man. By reason (rationalism), the senses (empiricism), and intuition man can come to know some things, that is, natural or material knowledge (truth); but this knowledge cannot be finally trusted or properly interpreted because reason, the senses, and intuition, the sources of this knowledge, are all tainted by sin. Their conclusions are suspect, for man’s cognitive abilities are depraved. Nor can this knowledge ever arise to the level of attributing ultimate purpose and value to anything; natural knowledge cannot assess significance. Only supernatural knowledge (Truth) gained by Revelation is adequate, for only it has integrity because its source is God not man. Natural knowledge must be subsumed under the Truth gained by Revelation. Non-revelational knowledge can only be accepted when it is validated by the Divine Revelation and can only be comprehended when it is interpreted by the Revealed-Truth. Creation cannot be understood without the Creator, and only revealed Truth is adequate to provide such an understanding. (For additional discussion, see: Significance of Truth)

Return to: Characteristics of Truth; Next Article: Truth is Reasonable

For Scriptures related to Truth, see: Scriptures - Truth

For overview of THEOLOGY, see: Site Map - Theology
Copyright © Embraced by Truth
All rights reserved.
Materials may be freely copied for personal and academic use;
appropriate reference must be made to this site.
Links are invited.