H2O Church
Knowing God, part 8
This is the eight talk in this series, and perhaps, the most important. Today we will examine the Truth of God, given by Jesus in a post-modern, post-Christian, post-truth world, where we must INCARNATE the truth for it to be believable. Everything hinges on this. Is God a God of Truth?
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  • H2O Church
    100 S Eola Dr, Orlando, FL 32801, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM
The Battle for Truth
Jesus before Pilate, "I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. ”This means=Knowledge. Certainty. Clarity. Assurance. Pilate’s answer, “What is truth?” is the rhetorical, cynical response that dominates our culture today. Truth is regarded as a power-play, a made up meta-narrative to control the ignorant masses; a mere opinion, a preference; truth is relative. We live in a post-modern, post-Christian, post-truth world, and so, we must have discernment to follow Jesus.

So, what is truth?
Truth is the self-expression of God. It’s like God saying, “Let me tell you about Me, about YOU, about WORLD.” Scripture says…
“God who never lies…” Titus 1:2
“it is impossible for God to lie…” Hebr. 6:18
“the God of truth…” Isaiah 65:16
Round 1: the Reliability of the Gospels.
When you read John, you’re reading someone who was an eyewitness, not a “powerplay” not a meta-narrative so he could be boiled in oil. “I believe those witnesses who get their throats cut” (Pascal). One aspect of reliability has to do with how many manuscripts we have.The more copies we have, the more reliable it becomes because we can compare copy to copy.
For Sophocles, a playwrights of Athens, 200 manuscripts.
For Plato’s200 manuscripts.
For Homer’s The Iliad, less than 2,000.
For the New Testament, we have 5,800, three times as many, and with more than 2.6 million pages! Point=we can trust the New Testament.

Round 2: the battle over the truthfulness of Genesis.
"Most remarkable of all, astronomers have found proof that the universe sprang into existence abruptly, in a sudden moment of creation, as the Bible said it did." Robert Jastrow

"I think, however, that we must go further than this and admit that the only accepted explanation is Creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it." physicist H.J. Lipson

“The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms and the Bible as a whole.” Arno Penzias, the Nobel Prize winner for his discovery of the Cosmic Background Radiation

"For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries." -Robert Jastrow

Round 3 wasn’t with the gospels or Genesis or any other part of the Bible but with SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE

What helped me most was I learned the history of the church. Darwin produced Christians who were afraid, who were insecure that people would abandon faith. This produced Fundamentalism, Christians who were ANTI-INTELLECTUAL, ANTI-SCIENTIFIC AND ANTI-DISCUSSION with non-Christians.

I learned that the TRUTH, if held poorly, can be REALLY UGLY.
What this says is TRUTH INCARNATED, TRUTH LIVED OUT SHOWS THAT WE HAVE HOPE AND THAT’S ATTRACTIVE. Just defending the Bible or God or Christianity, without being a person of hope isn’t even obeying the Bible.

HERE’S WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
There has been a cultural shift when it comes to how we understand and talk about Truth. Christian Theism was the DOMINANT WORLDVIEW of Europe and served as the FOUNDATION FOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION. This worldview taught that the:
(1) Universe was created by A GOD OF LAW AND ORDER, such that scientists uniformly believed that creation would reveal this law and order, and thus, the SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION was born.
(2) God clearly revealed his will for humanity in the scriptures; that there was a STANDARD OF RIGHT AND WRONG, by way of REVELATION NOT REASON, which was OBJECTIVE AND UNIVERSAL TRUTH.

THE ENLIGHTENMENT=trust yourself, not scripture
Darwin=We don’t really need God around.
But if God didn’t make the world, if there is no God, then there are NO TRUTH, NO MORALS, NO HOPE; LIFE BECOMES MEANINGLESS.
Bertrand Russell said-“Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.”

SO REASON LED US TO THE LINE OF DESPAIR…
This is the line of despair, A WORLD WITHOUT GOD, A WORLD WITHOUT MEANING.

“For several Decades, psychologists have looked on the whole matter of sin and moral accountability as a great demon, and we’ve claimed our liberation from it as historic. But at length we’ve discovered that to be free in this sense, that is to have the excuse of being sick rather than sinful is to court the danger of also becoming lost. That in becoming amoral and ethically neutral and free, we have cut the very roots of our being, lost our deepest sense of self and identity and found ourselves asking, ‘Who am I? What is my destiny? What does living mean?” Orval Hobart Mowrer

SO WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH KNOWING GOD?
1.Understand the world we’re in. Our culture has been trained to be cynics. They have breathed in the air of Pontius Pilot, when he asked, “What is truth?”
2. How we hold truth is extremely important. We MUST incarnate truth for it to be believable.
3. One aspect of truth being incarnated is allowing us to authentically struggle with it.
4. Truth struggled with, then believed, will last a lifetime and that’s what I believe we all want.