Thursday, June 22, 2006

Is there a Right Way?

I have been reading so much lately. One thought that I keep coming to is this idea of truth. C.S. Lewis says that when you have a math problem, there is an absolutely true answer. Anyone who arrives at the right answer is telling the truth. Those nearer to the right answer are nearer to the truth.

Ravi Zacharias explains that truth in itself is an exclusive term. In fact, Jesus made the most known exclusive statement ever, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6).

When I read the Bible, I feel that I am gaining wisdom that leads me to truth. Of course I must be careful to properly study and pray to arrive at good interpretations, etc., but I do believe that we can arrive at principles and theology that is true.

Here's the thing. It just seems arrogant for anyone to claim they have the absolute truth on anything. It makes them look self-righteous and self-serving. But, here's the question: Is anyone really open to everything?

Is is true that most people who call for openness are really saying, "You must be open to everything that I am open to, and anything that I disagree with, you must disagree with too?"

That's why I use the Bible as a measuring tool. It allows me to see that truth is beyond me. I do not create it. I needn't be loyal to any man's philosophy, including my own.


Shieldsy said...

High JimmyBob. I'm with you ... there's seems very little point to me in searching, questioning, learning seeking etc if we are never to arrive at an answer. We've got to be on our guard against dogma and always be willing to hear new arguments and opinions. But ultimately I think there are some core theological truths. C.S. Lewis makes the case for it pretty well in Mere Christianity.

JimmyBob said...

Shieldsy, thanks for posting. I also recommend Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias. It's a slow and careful read, but a good one. He is an amazing thinker.

Did you say, "High JimmyBob?" Nice typo. LOL. I've never been high, I can tell you that. Just natural highs.

SocietyVs said...

JimmyBob, good post and I agree with the assertion of Lewis, there is an answer to a math problem and those who come close, well they get close to the truth.
That being said I have read you and the many other bloggers on here, a lot of them you argue with and don't see eye to eye. I think you are towing a line they aren't as revealed by one comment of yours 'you are part of the church structure - they pay you' (not an exact quote).
I agree with you that the bible is important, mainly in relation to Christ and what He did for humanity. I see the gospel as a literal 'follow me' as said by Christ to his first disciples. Lots of people may not see what that even means but I think I have some insight into truth.
Lewis is right and the bible is like math. Each writing has a reason to be written (in the gospels), what is that reason? That is what we search out and try to find. Some get close, some even get the answer. Some make rules out of the man missing the whole point for Jesus, who oddly enough, challenged any notion of a rules based system.
The gospel is simple and things begin at a point (follow me) and end at a point (resurrection), it is what is in between that doesn't exactly 'add up' when being interpretated.

DCMetalJr said...

I have read a few books in my time, and I really like the way LeHay and Jenkins interpreted scripture for the Left Behind series. They approached it in this fashion: if the vere(s) can be interpreted literally, even if unlikely, then they accept it as being literal. If it cannot be taken literally (the beast with seven heads, etc...) then it is not taken literally. In both cases they use context and other scriptural references to understand the truth of the passage (but ultimately they first pray that the Holy Spirit opens their hearts' eyes).

This is exactly how I feel about scripture. If the bible says that Samson used a donkey's jawbone to kill 1,000 men, then it is exactly so. Why argue? Many people think I am uncaring, insensitive, or ungracious. Feel free to ask JB if any of this is true. I just think we should show some accountability.

There is truth but it won't change. Facts change. Today is sunday. Tomorrow, if I say "today is sunday" that will no longer be a fact. Truth, on the other hand, will not change. Jesus is Lord is truth, and nothing can change that truth.

JimmyBob said...

There are so many interpreters out there. Some are better at it than others. But, I have found that the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. If we study the Scriptures on a whole and do not have a lick of hermeneutics training (not that I'm advocating this), the Holy Spirit will still guide us to truth. Scripture is very balanced. I think what is very important is that we find a few translations we can understand. Then, read them!!! Most errors occur because we don't read at all. We hear a few verses and maybe look at them, but we do not read the Bible in any great way.

Sometimes our errors are because we listen to interpreters and follow their theology because we haven't "heard of that before."

Like a child it would be great to have no preconceived ideas and only wonder. We could read the Bible and gather insight. We could learn about God and receive instruction. We could meditate on the meanings and let the Holy Spirit explain things to us.

This is not as hard as some make it out to be. There have been millions of Christians who have no Bible teachers and theologians to instruct them. They believe and God teaches them.

When a teacher does come, it is all the more exciting, because now we see God using humanity to explain Him. But, He is indescribable! So, we preach the Scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to make them come alive in people's hearts.

Anyway, I get excited thinking of it. I want to WORSHIP Jesus. He is Lord indeed!!!

Nellie Bellie said...

"Sometimes our errors are because we listen to interpreters and follow their theology because we haven't "heard of that before."
Always check what man says with the word...My husband is always telling me this when I am listening to pastors on the radio.