Atheism and the goodness of God 09: what is truth?

I’ve been enjoying this book and have mostly posted on the earlier philosophical chapters engaging with the new atheism of Richard Dawkins et al.

I think a book like this is helpful and important because it deals head on with popular beliefs that assume faith in God is some sort of intellectual suicide. It also exposes how weak those beliefs are when examined closely.

One thing has struck me though – however interesting and persuasive the philosophical arguments for the existence of God have been so far [and that is up to you to decide], these sorts of arguments are pretty alien to the Bible.

The biblical authors don’t generally engage in abstract philosphical arguments that we have been describing, however useful they can be:-

A. if this is true

B. then this follows

C. if B is true, then God exists

Yes there is profound wisdom literature. Yes, Scripture grapples with deep issues of meaning, evil, goodness, purpose, ethics, our ultimate destiny and so on.

But not in philoshopical categories. Paul of course asks ‘where is the wise man [philosopher] and the scholar? – before the wisdom of God they are foolish. Human reason will never capture God in its embrace.

‘Truth’ it seems to me, in biblical terms is told in story form: a narrative about who God is, how creation came to be, who we are, why the world is as broken as it is, how God has responded by starting a new story – a story of a particular people, Israel. And this story climaxes in the coming of Israel’s saviour and Messiah, who is also the world’s saviour and Messiah. His story revolves around the cross and continues with the resurrection, ascension and arrival of the Spirit, who forms a reconstituted Israel – the church.  And this new community, empowered by the Spirit, is to live in the here and now as ‘people of the future’ – witnesses and followers of their living Lord and King, awaiting with hope his return and the final coming of his kingdom when all will be made new and all that opposes his utterly good purposes for his world is utterly vanquished.

Where is truth found? Truth is found in knowing and following the King and joining the unfolding story of the Triune God.

So where do you fit in with this story? Is thinking of truth in this way helpful to you?

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