Presentation on theme: "The Substance of Faith An Evidence and Foundational Christian Curriculum Truth Part 1b."— Presentation transcript:
The Substance of Faith An Evidence and Foundational Christian Curriculum Truth Part 1b
Part 1b: Can Humans Know Truth?
Science and Truth Does science disprove Christianity? PPRUM PPRUM
What is the Biblical view on our ability to know truth? Jesus said that we can know the truth and that by knowing the truth we will be set free (John 8:32). Both knowledge and the application of knowledge bring freedom in Christ (James 1:25).
John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32 NKJV)
James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:25 NKJV)
What is knowledge? The definition of knowledge is debated, but the dictionary definition is “acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation.” (Dictionary.com) The 1828 Websters dictionary defines knowledge as “A clear and certain perception of that which exists, or of truth and fact; the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of our ideas.”
What are misconceptions about knowledge? Is knowledge only explicit as in the form of words? – No, consider street signs, stop lights, body language, photographs, etc. Are things that we see with our eyes more real than things we don’t see? – Not necessarily; consider radio waves, historical knowledge, gravity, heat, etc.
How do humans know? Humans have two basic components for acquiring knowledge: (1) sense organs to acquire information about reality and (2) a brain to process that information.
How Humans Obtain Knowledge SensesThought Philosophy Science Media Relational Knowledge
How do humans know? Much knowledge is learned through a relational process as opposed to direct experience. – Young children learn from their parents without ever experiencing directly much of what is taught and exemplified. – Society places people as authorities on certain domains of knowledge. The authority of professors of knowledge is respected even if we do not have direct experience in the domain.
How important is science for verifying knowledge today? While science is useful for discovering reliable knowledge, it is important to understand the limitations of science.
Limitations of science First, since science should rely on data from experiments and observations, it can only provide information on things that are testable or can be observed. Not all questions can be tested or observed scientifically; namely, moral and theological questions cannot be directly answered by science. We cannot prove scientifically that something is morally wrong or right; we can only show the effects.
Limitations of science Second, it is impossible for science to perform all possible experiments and make all possible observations. As a result, science uses principles of statistics to develop probabilities that an outcome will occur. Yet these statistics cannot prove that anything is absolutely true, since an exception is always possible.
How can humans know absolute truth? The voice or Word of God is absolute truth. If God exists and if God can speak in a relational way to humans, this knowledge is knowledge of absolute truth. It is not all the absolute truth, but it is the truth that God has given to us.
The voice of God is absolute truth Ummm… maybe God is right! “The truth is...”
How can humans know when God is speaking? We must explain that we are not using circular reasoning as in using the Bible to prove the Bible. It is like teaching a young child to read; we cannot teach her to read by telling her to read a book about reading. As with a child, let us develop the concept of words with a picture book first—that is the picture of creation that speaks words day after day and night after night.
Psalms 19:1-2 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. (Psalms 19:1-2 NKJV)
How can humans know when God is speaking? According to Psalm 19:1-2, God speaks through the creation. “Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.” Although this speech and knowledge may not take the form of explicit words, it still forms a clear, discernible message. The message declares the glory of God. This is often referred to as general revelation.
How can humans know when God is speaking? We know that the declaration of God’s glory in creation is from God and not from another. We know this because the creation has distinctive qualities that only the Almighty One could create. It is similar to a distinctive signature or fingerprint used to verify ownership. God’s distinctive fingerprints are all over creation.
Conclusion In conclusion, knowledge of absolute truth is possible, because humans have the ability to recognize the distinctive voice of God which speaks absolute truth. Again, it is impossible to disprove the existence of God, so we must admit that God could exist and if He exists, He could—in His absolute power—reveal truth to humans.