Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Veritology: What is Truth?

I had heard about The Truth Project several months ago. After viewing the introductory video, I was instantly interested in attending. At the time (back in March), the closest presentation was about a three hour drive away. I noticed that there would be a training session much closer to my home in September. However, my dear Christian friend, Dran, sent me an email last week and invited me to a training session at her home! Praise God!

Here is what she shared:



“In a recent study, the Barna Research Group revealed a stunning statistic that continues to reverberate throughout the evangelical world. Only 9 percent of professing Christians have a biblical worldview.



Because of this, today's believers live very similarly to non-believers. A personal sense of significance is rarely experienced, we spend our money and time on things that fail to satisfy and we begin to wonder what life's ultimate purpose really is. We are, in short, losing our bearings as a people and a nation.



To counter this slide within the body of Christ, we are launching one of the most ambitious and powerful projects in the history of our ministry—Focus on the Family's "The Truth Project.”

The primary purpose of this study…is to facilitate transformation among those who are exposed to it. That inevitably occurs when a person comes face-to-face with God Himself. It happened to Isaiah when he had such an encounter. The prophet described it this way:

"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. . . . 'Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.' Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, 'See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.' Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'" (Isaiah 6:1; 5-8; NIV)

I am afraid that the vast majority of God's people in our culture today are unaware of our enemy's schemes. That is why we are not faring well in the battle.

There is one central theme running through The Truth Project: the Truth that we seek — and the Truth that stands directly opposed to the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil — is found ultimately in the character and being of God Himself. That is why, over and over again, the DVD curriculum begins and ends with Him.


The Truth Project sounded very similar to several books that I had recently read; including John MacArthur's "The Truth War," and "The Truth About Tolerance: Pluralism, Diversity and the Culture Wars," by Brad Stetson and Joseph G. Conti. Much of Greg Koukl's great apologetics resources at Stand to Reason.org also have provided information regarding the question, "what is truth?" and how we should share it.

Well, after attending just the first installment, I can already state that The Truth Project is absolutely awesome! What an extremely valuable resource it will be for you in your walk with Christ and evangelism experiences!

The truth is desperately needed during these times of lies, confusion, and moral relativism.

Lesson One is called, "Veritology: What is Truth?"

People...the answer is that the TRUTH is, and lives, in Jesus Christ! God's Word reveals the absolute truth of this fact!

I will be discussing my notes and personal reactions to the first lesson over the course of this week. For now, I will simply share the lesson guide information to whet your appetites for more!

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you seek out this study (or start one yourself!!) at your church and/or with your own home Bible study group. It is THAT GOOD!!

You will notice some questions at the bottom of this post. Any Christian believer who knows Jesus Christ and has studied the "meat" of the Bible could probably answer some, if not all of the questions. Feel free to post your answers in the comment section.

I plan to go into much more detail about the first lesson, as well as share my own personal answers to those questions here at Talk Wisdom.

This study WILL CHALLENGE YOU! The last question is one that every Christian needs to answer:



"Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?" How can we know what we really believe?


In Jesus,
Christine

*******

In this initial episode, students receive a general introduction to the overall scope and purpose of The Truth Project. This series is designed to take participants on a guided worldview tour, following the points of the worldview compass, a tool designed to direct our thinking with regard to four fundamental issues: Truth, God, Man, and the Social Order. Along the way, we will attempt to build a logical, systematic framework of ideas by which to organize and evaluate the various truth claims to be encountered during the course of our tour. Our ultimate goal is not simply to gain knowledge, but to look upon the face of God – and to be transformed in the process.



Themes
Our destination in Lesson 1 lies due North. The focal point for this first hour of discussion is the concept of Truth itself.

What is truth?

Why is it important?

What role does it play in the biblical view of the world, God's purpose for the cosmos, His will for mankind, His plan of salvation, and the way we live our personal lives?

In his comments on this subject, Dr. Del Tackett will demonstrate how truth was fundamental to the mission of Jesus Christ in the world; how it forms the heart of the Cosmic Battle that has been raging since the beginning; how this battle has divided the world into two opposing camps or sides; how lies, the antithesis of Truth, take human hearts and minds captive by the power of deception; and how every man and woman now stands in the position of having to choose between God's truth claims and the opposing perspective of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

To answer the question "what is truth?" Dr. Tackett consults the 1828 edition of Webster's Dictionary which defines truth "Conformity to fact or reality ..." We will also see how popular notions of truth (represented by man on the street interviews) contrast sharply with the biblical concept (as articulated by Ravi Zacharias, Os Guinness, and R. C. Sproul).



Points to Watch for
Dr. Tackett concludes that, in almost every case, the perspective of contemporary culture stands in direct opposition to the Truth-centered worldview presented in the Bible. In the process of making this case, he advances the bold claim that our culture is not only filled with lies but is actually heading in the direction of social insanity. As a result, he proposes that Pilate's query – "What is truth?"– is the most important question facing our society today. He ends Lesson 1 by challenging his audience with this all-important question: "Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?"



Discussion Questions


What did you see on this tour?

Jesus stated plainly that He had come into the world "to testify to the truth" (John 18:37). Exactly what did He mean by this, and how is this claim connected with those other aspects of Jesus’ mission – for example, forgiveness, salvation, redemption, and healing – that we more naturally associate with the ultimate purpose of His advent?

How does one’s concept of truth affect or determine one's concept of faith?

What is the key point of distinction between the biblical concept of truth and popular cultural ideas about truth? How is this point related to the concept of insanity?

Read 2 Timothy 2:24, 26 and Colossians 4:5, 6. Why does Paul advise believers to be "gentle" rather than "quarrelsome" in their dealings with outsiders? How does our understanding of the Cosmic Battle affect the way we relate to non-believers?

Dr. Tackett poses the question, "Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?" How can we know what we really believe?

HT: The Truth Project.org
Go to site to view a video trailer.

With special thanks to my friend Dran!

6 comments:

AtTheWaterCooler said...

It is an awesome series, the Church, I am going to, is now on 8th DVD.

I added a link to it in the Jeremiah Films site http://www.jeremiahfilms.com/iBuzz/Apologetics/

Susan Smith said...

Dear Christine—

God is the only one who has the authority to define what is real and what is not. Praise the Name of Jesus. Amen. I am thankful those who believe God’s written Word know Jesus is the truth (JOH 14:6).

I look forward to hearing more. Love to the West coast... (ss)

Christinewjc said...

Hi At the Water Cooler -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Thanks for the link! I need to get my copy of the DVD's. There is so much information jam packed in each session! I look forward to sharing it with a small group at the church or at home.

Christinewjc said...

Dear Susan,

There is a segment during the lesson where a cameraman goes out on the street and asks random people, "What is truth?"

The way that MOST of the respondents stumbled through that question was astonishing! One woman, who thought she was being quite dramatic and "religious" mentioned something about light coming through different windows into a cathedral and made the analogy (false, of course) that people holding to different religions all get their differing ideas of "truth" from the same "god." She was a Unitarian Universalist. The last thing she said was, "truth is relative." Spoken like a true postmodernist!

I am still shocked that a recent survey claims that only 9% of Christians hold to a biblical worldview anymore.

No wonder Jesus told us that "the way is narrow that leads to life" and "there are few that find it!"

It isn't because the truth isn't out there...it's because so many people follow the "broad path to destruction." Why? Because they have "exchanged the truth for a lie" and have chosen to outrightly reject Jesus Christ as the Truth!

IMHO, this life-changing event, "The Truth Project" series, is badly needed in Christian churches today! So many churches, these days, have slipped away from teaching Jesus as the way, the truth and the life! They are (sadly) involved with "preaching another gospel."

Those who are in direct opposition to the Truth-centered worldview presented in the Bible are (unfortunately) heading towards spiritual oblivion!

Susan Smith said...

Christine said: “So many churches, these days, have slipped away from teaching Jesus as the way, the truth and the life! They are (sadly) involved with "preaching another gospel."

My soul (mind, will and emotions) has often struggled over this fact. The Bible tells us we are to avoid foolish controversies and arguments and quarrels about the law (TIT 3:9). God’s Word tells us we are not to have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments (2TI 2:23).

There is one Church body and Jesus Christ is the head. No denomination has a lock on truth. We are to set our hearts and minds on Christ and things about, not on earthly things (COL 3:1-2) including man’s doctrines.

In His presence is fullness of joy. He restores our souls (PSA 23:3). As we seek the kingdom of God first (MAT 6:23), then we realize everything will be alright. His kingdom is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (ROM 14:17).

We can all teach and demonstrate the truth, the answer...Jesus of Nazareth by our lives every day. Praise God we are free to hear about Jesus on blogs such as Talk Wisdom. Keep us looking in the right direction, Christine. God bless you this day. (ss)

Duane said...

I have a sample DVD for the Truth Project and am impressed! I can't wait to buy it and watch it during my extended holidays later this year.