Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Abstraction Of Truth

A Devotion By Dan Guinn

As we look around, we can see some good in the world. Yet if we are really watching and listening, there is also a whole lot of hurt. People are hurting and we can site anything from problems at home to the economy and much, much worse. Very often people are searching for answers, everyday answers, pragmatic answers, and they often can’t see beyond the boundaries of their latest frustration. So when one talks of “truth,” a topic I write quite often on in my blog post here, people think you are just speaking in the abstract. After all, maybe they can only think about how to get their kid to stop throwing things at the table. How do you bring something which people see as so abstract down to everyday life?

Well, the problem actually starts with our reasoning. We have so alienated the concept of truth from our everyday existence in our culture that we have forgotten how to even consider it. For most, it is like that special box of keep-sakes up in the top of one’s closet that is only brought out for sentimental times. It’s like grandma’s broach, a relic that only looks right when on public display as an antique. We have “abstracted” (removed) truth and made it “abstract” (theoretical).

Is truth really abstract? Consider these definitions of the word “abstract:”

* “Considered apart from concrete existence”
* “Not applied or practical; theoretical”
* “Impersonal, as in attitude or views”

If truth were really abstract, then how can one reason anyway? If truth is abstract, why do we need laws in our society? If truth is abstract, what does the word “good” mean? If we think as though truth is abstract and fail to reason, is it any wonder we are drowning in pragmatic concerns?

Whose Truth?
Well, I know what you are thinking... whose truth? Whose truth do I choose? Now here, if I say “God’s truth,” you will probably accuse me of talking in the abstract again. “Who is God?,” you say. I get that, maybe you don’t know Him, and if you don’t know Him you might think He is also abstract. So are we at an impasse then? Certainly not.

The Truth Life Map
Truth is rooted in real life, it is not some far off concept out of touch with reality. What if truth were a map, to make sense of your terrain, would truth be practical then? For the Christian, the Bible is a life-truth-map, a rule, given to us by God, to guide us in how to glorify (please Him) and enjoy (celebrate Him). Through this process, guess what? Since He made us, through following Him we find out about our purpose... and it’s not some ethereal day dream, He gives us purpose. When we look at it this way, we are in a much different area of discussion.

Maybe you don’t believe in the Christian God, yet how does your belief system answer the questions of life? Are they consistent answers? Let’s face it, if you are reading the wrong map, you are going to be lost in the course of life, what is more, you may end up over a cliff!

Since people are finite, we cannot truly understand truth as God sees it, but we can understand it substantially given what God has explained in the Bible and the truth that is visible in His creation. The Bible answers the questions of life and explains what is revealed in nature about God. Questions like: "Where did I come from? Where am I going? How do I explain man’s dilemma?"

God’s Truth Is Personal
Yet more than this, if God has given truth for life, then maybe He intends well for you, maybe He cares what is going on with mankind. Maybe He is personal and communicates. According to the Bible, God has a purpose in creating us. He also has a plan for each of us and since He made you, He made you personal, so that you could know Him.

Beginning Truthful Communication With God
One need merely start communicating with God by praying to begin truthful communication. Yet God requires something of you, that you accept His Son for your forgiveness. Why would you need forgiveness? We’ve actually been talking about it. Forgiveness for not following the truth about God and what He has made. Many people are confused about truth. On one hand people will say things like, “Man is basically good!,” and that they don't believe we need forgiveness. Yet on the other hand people will object to Christianity because they believe there is too much evil in the world. Saying, “Why would God allow that?” These two thoughts are contradictory.

The fact is, God has provided a solution for evil in the world, and man has proven himself not to be basically good. God decided that He would take care of it in His own way. He would send His Son for us to be a willing sacrifice, and His Son, Jesus, would by this act conquer over death and sin and gain a people for Himself. He would be our King and Redeemer. If you have never prayed, one simply needs to talk and God will hear you. Pray and ask him for forgiveness of abstracting the truth, and tell Him that you accept His Son. Then read the Bible and seek a Christian church that both teaches Biblical truth and practices genuine love.

1 comment:

  1. If anyone doubts this, read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). In them you'll meet the Antithesis of abstraction: Jesus Christ, Who was true God and true man and true Truth.