What is Truth? Postmodern Reasoning and the Church

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
– Genesis 3:1

When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, the governor asked our Christ this extraordinary question: “What is truth?” The Roman, a product of a culture so overflowing with “truths,” was asking this messiah what his “truth” was. The Roman empire worshiped a multiplicity of gods, and was so overrun with the philosophies of Rome, Greece, and various other sources throughout the empire that any person inevitably formulated their own religion unto themselves. In today’s society, we find much the same. The entire philosophy of postmodernity is that there is no absolute truth. Absolute truth cannot be known, and so we have our individual “truths.” What is “true” to you may not be “true” to me. The postmodern has his or her own set of truths, that are true as long as they “work” for that person. You don’t believe that? It’s okay. You have your own “truth.” Now, in the areas of the arts and expression, we expect such relative thought. However, when it comes to worldviews, the idea of truth being so entirely relative leads to some very peculiar ends. I mean, would one seriously want a postmodern banker or for his or her house to be built by a postmodern architect? Of course not. The problem about postmodernism is that the concept is flawed from the root… truth itself is not relative. If it is, I have a piece of beach-front property in Arizona to sell you (really, in my truth, it’s on a beach. I mean, what is a beach, anyhow? I know what it is to me.)

So if there is absolute truth, Pilate’s question beckons an answer. What is truth?

Jesus gave a very solid answer when he said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). That’s a pretty bold statement. Jesus is the truth. So, from him all that is true stems.

The premises of postmodern thought has invaded the church as well, though. As detailed in a recent issue of Christianity Today, Rob Bell (founder of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the author of the bestselling book Velvet Elvis) and his wife Kristen
“found themselves increasingly uncomfortable with church. ‘Life in the church had become so small,’ Kristen says. ‘It had worked for me for a long time. Then it stopped working.’ The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself–’discovering the Bible as a human product,’ as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. ‘The Bible is still in the center for us,’ Rob says, ‘but it’s a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it.'”

So, Rev. and Mrs. Bell no longer think of the Bible as divine, but as a “human product.” They now prefer to “embrace mystery,” evidently even on what the Bible had shed much light on. The Bible itself testifies to itself as being ultimate truth and the product of no-one less than God himself, contrary to the Bells’ statement, for “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Satan, from the serpent’s first words to Eve, “Did God actually say…” has been trying to convince mankind to second-guess what God has spoken and revealed of himself and his ultimate Truth to us. Do not fall into the temptation. Do not let a world that claims billions of different truths and tells you that your own, personal, special “truth” is all that matters convince you to deny what the scriptures stand for and make clear.