Thursday, May 08, 2008

Living with Questions 2

Living with Questions: What Is Truth?

I. Introduction: Think throughout history and answer this question – When have ideas every changed the course of history?

A. On a piece of paper everyone take a stab at defining the word “truth” and “religion”.

B. Show “Matrix” clip

1. Is there some parallels to Orpheus’ view of reality and the Christian belief? What kind of commitment is Orpheus asking of Neo?

2. Is committing your life to Christ just as serious of a commitment or is it just an

3. Religion says a certain set of claims are true, and that if you live according to those claims, you’ll find your purpose. And every religion has a different set of claims.

4. Cough syrup analogy
a. If a belief system is true for me, it assumes that it is true for everyone
b. If a belief system is not true, then it is not true for everyone
c. Truth is not invented – it is discovered

C. Where has truth gone?
1. Russia Illustration
2. Without truth, we cannot know things. Without the ability to know things, we cannot use things properly. If we cannot use things properly, we cannot take care of things properly. (example: a car)
3. Relativism says we can not know truth so we are free to invent what we believe
4. Absolute truth only means that there is such a thing as truth and justice.
5. In a national survey students were asked, “Do you believe in absolute truth?” What percentage do you think said they believe in such a thing as absolute truth? Answer: 9% (Only a small percentage denied it too; majority was on the fence which leads to our question for today . . .)

II. Living with Questions: What Is Truth?

A. Defining truth:
1. an idea or a belief about something that shows up in the real world
2. when an idea reflects the way the world really is
3. truth is an idea or a belief that is a fact
4. is a proposition that corresponds to reality

B. Truth examples
1. Not putting my cell phone where it belongs
2. Getting my car repaired
3. Truth in romance

C. But How Do We KNOW?
1. TRUTH is when an idea about something links with the real world
2. KNOWLEDGE comes when we have REASONS for believing an idea links with the real world.
3. Therefore, KNOWLEDGE is dependant upon REASON

D. Five Tools for Knowledge
1. Perception – It is FREAKING cold outside! How do I know that?
2. Reason – Can you put a square peg into a round hole? How do you know that?
3. Introspection – How much do you enjoy Skyline chili? How do you know that?
4. Testimony – Why is Epiphany Sunday so important to our church? How do we know?
5. Memory – Where did you go for vacation this past Summer? How do you know that?

E. So Where Does Faith Come In?
1. The Chair Illustration: state the facts, then how do I put my trust in those facts?
2. Faith is believing in the facts to the point of entering into relationship of trust with the facts
3. Jesus said that he was “the truth”, not “the faith”. Faith is when we enter into relationship with Jesus trusting that what he said is true.
4. Faith is NOT the opposite of evidence or reason or truth.
5. Faith IS what happens when I choose to follow the evidence to its proper conclusion.
6. Faith is the OPPOSITE of pride, distrust and fear.

III. Conclusion:

How would you define truth now? Would you change anything in how you defined it at the beginning of class? Where do you see yourself in relationship to God? Have you entered into a relationship with God by having faith in the evidence of truth revealed to you through your perception, reason, introspection, testimony and memory?

John 8: 31-32 – To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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