Reason Submits to Truth, Truth does not Submit to reason.

By jreighley - Last updated: Friday, May 27, 2011 - Save & Share - 5 Comments

My post from yesterday ruffled a feather or two..

To be clear, I don’t have a problem with “The Case for Christ”,  apologetics, or reason.

The problem I see is this:

In America we have a real problem with submission to authority.  (Especially those of us out west)  The younger generations have a real problem with accepting truth at all.  They do not want to be oppressed by truth, they want truth to be submissive to the individual will. “Oh it’s so nice that you have discovered YOUR truth”

When we try to explain how God fits nicely under somebody’s idol (In this case reason and individualism)  We mis-portray God.  Even if we describe his characteristics perfectly accurately, and nothing we say is false, we are omitting something that is so critical to the nature of God that what we are describing winds up not really being God.

Reason submits to Truth, Truth does not submit to reason.   And God is Truth.

If you speak  Truth, reason will come around.  If you start from reason, and attempt to construct Truth from reason, you will only get the postmodern truth, not the real truth, and those can be very different things..

A scientist who holds his hypothesis more dearly than his data, is not a scientist at all.    If we give the person holding the postmodern hypothesis only data that appeases them, we are not leading them to the Truth, we are only leading them to believe a less-wrong lie.  In order for them to get to the Truth the wrong hypothesis must die.

A seeker who is not willing to have their hypothesis defeated isn’t really a seeker yet.  It is actually condescending and disrespectful to spin your truth in a way that it is unoffensive to the person who really needs to be offended.  If they continue on the road of their hypothesis, it is invariably going to go where that road leads.    I have always thought that it is best to tell them where that road leads, so that when they arrive, they will say “Gee, he was right. Perhaps I ought to go back and  look at the rest of what he had to say a bit more carefully”

Like I said yesterday,  God overcomes all of this bad methodology and changes hearts in spite of our inadequate methods.



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  • Matt

    I read that post of yours and I was chewing on it thoughtfully.  It did sound a bit anti-apologetics, but I have been following your blog for while, and that didn’t sound like you.  This post today clears it up.

    To add to the discussion, I was just thinking this morning how we won’t even talk about authority in the church. We allow ourselves to say, “leadership” and various versions of that.  (Servant Leadership, Biblical Leadership, etc.)  Those are all good concepts from the leader’s viewpoint, but the Bible also has much to say of authority and our response to that authority.

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  • Monica

    I, too, have been thinking about this alot.  Truth just IS.  Truth is reality.  An individual’s truth can not be different than anothers and still be true, because it doesn’t belong to an individual subjectively.  It is what it is.  Our subjective interpretation of the truth is just that – an interpretation.  It has no bearing whatsoever on the actuality of the TRUTH. 
    And I agree about the fear of authority in our society.  But really, everything is subservient to the Truth, because it is unchanging, and it just IS.  I always liken it to gravity.  You can believe what you want about gravity, but it’s still going to hold you to the ground, even if a group of people get together and vote that it doesn’t exist, or that it exists differently than it does.  Truth isn’t subject to a democracy.

  • Josh Reighley

    Good analogy.   I often liken sin to a steep cliff..   If somebody doesn’t believe that something is a sin, and they proceed to do it anyway, They are still met with the sharp stop of the consequences.  

    Most all of our sin is caused by rejecting the reality that God has made, and constructing our own.  We build one that makes us less afraid, and more justified  to do whatever it is that we want to do.  When God’s reality and our own conflict, it turns out that his always wins.

  • Josh Reighley

    I agree wholeheartedly. There are a lot of pieces of pop-psychology that get enshrined into the evangelical sermon so often that it would seem sinful not to follow them.   (Love Languages for example)  

    But you are still called to submit to the authority even if they don’t cajole you in the politically correct and popular manner.