Saturday, April 04, 2009

Truth Means Nothing Apart From God

I have started reading John MacArthur's book "The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception" again. I read it back in 2007 when it first came out. It is such a great book that holds the kind of information that is most valuable to Christians everywhere. This is true no matter where you happen to be in your Christian walk. "Baby" Christians (who may not necessarily have read the Bible nor understand what their decision for Jesus Christ means just yet) will find themselves avoiding the pitfalls of heresy and apostasy which can often snatch them up because of their current lack of knowledge of God's Eternal Word. "Nominal" Christians (can be described briefly as those with one foot in the Word and the other in the world) can find much value in this book to get back on track following Jesus and obeying His Word. The book is valuable to learned believers who have studied the Bible for many years. It can help remind us of the traps, tribulation, errors, rebellion, and sins that often overtake the unregenerate non-believers. I'm sure that pastors, Bible scholars, and commentary writers would benefit as well. For example. I watch Dr. David Jeremiah's sermons on T.V. each week and I have heard him mention John MacArthur's books occasionally and share snippets of information from them.

Chapter one gets right down to the nitty-gritty. The title of the chapter asks the question, "Can Truth Survive in a Postmodern Society?"

The corruption going on in government circles today is a great example that makes us question if truth is really relevant anymore. Don't you feel the same way? The upcoming TEA parties that are scheduled to be held across the nation on April 15th will be a testament AGAINST the corruption in government. You will probably see signs that make statements of protest and truth:

"No Taxation Without Representation"
"Taxed Enough Already"
"We're TEAed Off"
"Get the Government Out of My Child's Piggy Bank"

People today often think that truth is relative. They assume the "my truth isn't your truth but it's just as valid." Well - is it? Can there be many "truths" out there? People like Deepak Chopra seem to believe so. He has made hundreds of thousands (if not millions?) of dollars telling people what they should or should not believe in his books. But we must ask the question, "where does he get his brand of truth from?"

In the past, I shared an exchange between Chopra and Christian Apologist, Greg Koukl that occurred on Lee Strobel's former T.V. show, "Faith Under Fire".

The following are some opinions of individuals who watched the show:

Messengers of an Impersonal God?
I watched Greg Koukl and Deepak Chopra discuss the future of faith on Lee Strobel's Faith Under Fire last night. Dr. Chopra has written numerous books on New Age spirituality that have sold millions of copies. Greg did a superb job of representing the gospel in content and character, modeling the qualities of an ambassador that he and the folks at Stand to Reason seek to instill in others. He repeatedly demonstrated the problems with religious relativism and exposed the fact that, contrary to his denial that he is dogmatic, Dr. Chopra adheres to a theological position of which he seeks to persuade others.

As a sign of respect for Jesus, Dr. Chopra said that his teaching in the Sermon on the Mount is among his favorites and that he carries a copy of it with him. However, he considers Jesus only one among a number of God's messengers. Not only is this a contradiction of the biblical witness to Jesus' uniqueness, it's also unintelligible given Dr. Chopra's own concept of the nature of God. You see, Dr. Chopra emphatically denies that God is a personal being.

The concept of messenger presupposes two activities, both of which can only be performed by persons. The first is that of sending or commissioning. The summer before I went to college I worked as a messenger for a law firm in Manhattan. They sent me and my co-workers on various assignments to deliver important documents to other firms and businesses. I didn't decide what my destination was to be. Nor did I decide at what times I would go on these errands. All of that was dictated to me by my employer. A messenger is one who is sent by someone not something.

The second activity presupposed by the concept of messenger is communication. A messenger is one who conveys a what? That's right - a message. The task of a messenger is to convey some kind of communication from the one who sent him or her to the recipient. If I were to tell you that my toaster wanted me to tell you something, you'd think that I was either joking or something was seriously wrong with me. That's because we know that toasters and other impersonal entities don't communicate. So, how Dr. Chopra explains the concept of an impersonal God having messengers, I don't know. I don't think he can.

I wouldn't be surprised if Greg offers some more detailed analysis of the exchange at STR's blog so keep an eye out for it.

Posted by KP

Greg Koukl r0x0rz da hizzy
I only got to see from about 20 minutes after the hour, but Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason graciously, fairly, kindly, steamrolled Deepak Chopra on Faith Under Fire last night. I mean, it wasn't even fair. Wasn't even close. TKO first round, except the fight kept going. I have no idea how Greg managed to wrangle the whole hour---the biggest draw-back to Faith Under Fire has been that you have to address big issues in picoseconds, and sometimes you just can't do that very well. So, to get the whole hour with a single "opponent" was quite the coup, and resulted in a much better encounter with a much clearer result.

I've heard from Faith Under Fire three times on three different topics. First program crashed and burned when my opponent backed out. Nothing came of the second two. Haven't heard anything in months now. I don't expect to, honestly (if you go over the guest list you'll see a few names that would explain my non-expectation), but as long as they get folks like Greg on there, they'll be doing well.

Posted by James R. White

My take on the debate:

This broadcast was absolutely fabulous! Greg Koukl pointed out the fact that people can have differing beliefs regarding faith, but that it is logically impossible for them all to be true at the same time. His trust in Jesus Christ and God's Word stood in direct contrast to Deepak Chopra who admitted "embracing his uncertainty." Koukl's view demonstrates a steadfast and true faith where Chopra's view can only lead to theological oblivion.



Love this quote from John MacArthur:

"The moment you begin to ponder the essence of truth, you are brought face-to-face with the requirement of a universal absolute - The eternal reality of God."

This is why Mr. Chopra didn't have a chance negating what Mr. Koukl was claiming. The truth is the truth! And, there is such a thing as absolute truth. Mr. Chopra demonstrated, and was made an example of this concept: "The Inadequacy of All Other Definitions." That is a sub-title in chapter one. However, before we get to that, I will share the biblical definition of truth:

"Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Even more to the point: Truth is the self-expression of God."

Please see the following Bible verses that back up this claim:

Deuteronomy 32:4
Psalm 31:5
Isaiah 65:16
John 14:6
Hebrews 1:3
John 10:35
John 17:17
1 Peter 1:23

MacArthur writes:

In other words, the truth of Christ and the truth of the Bible are of the very same character. They are in perfect agreement in every respect. Both are equally true. God has revealed Himself to humanity through Scripture and through His Son. Both perfectly embody the essence of what truth is.

[S]ince Scripture is also the one place where we are given the way of salvation, entrance into the kingdom of God, and an infallible account of Christ, the Bible is the touchstone to which all truth claims should be brought and by which all other truth must finally be measured.

Now we can move on to the explanation of why there is inadequacy of all other definitions.


An obvious corollary of what I am saying is that truth means nothing apart from God. Truth cannot be adequately explained, recognized, understood, or defined without God as the source. Since He alone is eternal and self-existent and He alone is the Creator of all else, He is the fountain of all truth.

If you don't believe that, try defining truth without reference to God, and see how quickly all such definitions fail. The moment you begin to ponder the essence of truth, you are brought face-to-face with the requirement of a universal absolute - the eternal reality of God. conversely, the whole concept of truth instantly becomes nonsense (and every imagination of the human heart therefore turns to sheer foolishness) as soon as people attempt to remove the thought of God from their minds.

I think that this is EXACTLY what happened to the minds of Christians and Catholics who voted for Obama. They had to have "removed the thought of God from their minds" to vote for someone who has such insane pro-death-to-babies-in-the-womb policies (not to mention all of the other corruption he was involved in) in order to cast that vote. I recently heard that 51% of Catholics voted for Obama! The Pope is one of the most outspoken of people for defense of the right to life for the unborn. How could so many people ignore their consciences and God's moral standards which are stamped on their hearts?


Knowledge of Him (God) is inborn in the human heart (Romans 1:19), and a sense of the moral character and loftiness of His law is implicit in every human conscience (Romans 2:15). Those things are universally self-evident truths. According to Romans 1:20, denial of the spiritual truths we know innately always involves a deliberate and culpable unbelief. And for those who wonder whether basic truths about God and His moral standards really are stamped on the human heart, ample proof can be found in the long history of human law and religion. To suppress this truth is to dishonor God, displace His glory, and incur His wrath (vv. 19-20).

Do you see what some Christians and Catholics had to do in order to vote for Obama? No wonder I am seeing many Christian bloggers, commentators, and website forum articles comparing America today to the relentless decline of human ideas written in Romans 1:11-22:

"Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools."


There are serious moral implications, too, whenever someone tries to disassociate truth from the knowledge of God. Paul went on to write, "Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting" (Romans 1:28). Abandon a biblical definition of truth, and unrighteousness is the inescapable result. We see it happening before our eyes in every corner of contemporary society. In fact, the widespread acceptance of homosexuality, rebellion, [abortion], and all forms of iniquity that we see in our society today is a verbatim fulfillment of what Romans 1 says always happens when a society denies and suppresses the essential connection between God and truth.

If you reflect on the subject with any degree of sobriety, you will soon see that even the most fundamental moral distinctions - good and evil, right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, or honor and dishonor - cannot possibly have any true or constant meaning apart from God. That is because truth and knowledge themselves simply have no coherent significance apart from a fixed source, namely, God. How could they? God embodies the very definition of truth. Every truth claim apart from Him is preposterous.


Reference source:

"The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception" by John MacArthur. Published in Nashville, TN, by Thomas Nelson Inc. 2007, pp. 3-5


Susan Smith said...

Hi Christine—

I enjoyed reading all of this post. It is a joy when I see your words pointing to the truth.

Jesus, the Son of God, delivered me from the bondage of the sin of homosexuality after more than 20 years. Jesus delivered me from the sin of drunkenness after more than 30 years.

Jesus also delivered me from the sin of heterosexual immorality as well as the unhealthy habit of smoking cigarettes for more than 40 years.

Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). Shabbat Shalom. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

I'm so glad that you liked this post, Susan. I always appreciate your kind words towards me.

John MacArthur's words in his book have helped me tremendously. He utilizes Scripture in such a keen way that it is an inevitable thing to know and really grasp the absolute truth in Jesus Christ. I find myself drawn to those Christian writers who are similar in style in their own writings.

In this day and age, we must be on guard to avoid the blackness of heresy and lies. They exist all around us.

You have been delivered from much bondage. All of us are (were) in bondage to sin until Christ entered our lives to indwell us with the Holy Spirit of God.

We will soon celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday. Prior to that, we sorrow for what our Savior had to endure on the cross at Calvary for the forgiveness of our many iniquities.

But the joy of salvation through the promises of Christ that were witnessed on that first Easter morning still thrills me! How awesome is our Savior, Jesus Christ! We can trust in Him because as you wrote - Jesus is the truth!

I love when you share wisdom that you have gleaned from the Bible and the experiences you have shared about your own life. Therefore, I have a question for you. Would you trade the release from bondage to sin that you have experienced through Christ our Lord and Savior for anything in this world? Why or why not?

God bless you this day and always, Susan.

Much love -
In Christ,

Susan Smith said...

Christine asked: “Would you trade the release from bondage to sin that you have experienced through Christ our Lord and Savior for anything in this world? Why or why not?”

No. This world has nothing to compare to the freedom we have in Christ. Jesus is the truth, and he is also the Son of God. We accept by faith that we have been crucified on the cross. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me and the life I live today in the body is by faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me (Galatians 2:20).

Jesus is the faithful one. He is faithful even when I am not (2 Timothy 2:13). There is abundant life in Jesus the Messiah. He is the way I choose this day, because he is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Amen.

Thursday is the first day of Passover, a national holiday in Israel. Enjoy the Passover season as we remember the death and resurrection of the Lord, Christine. Much love to you and your family during this most holy celebration. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

Thank you so much Susan! All who come here to read will benefit from your valuable insights, wisdom, and the sharing of Truth!

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. Recall how the crowds cheered as Jesus road into Jerusalem riding on a donkey (See Matthew 21). Six days later, the crowds were calling for him to be crucified.

Look at what they missed from the Old Testament Scriptures that would have helped to inform them who He is:

Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Mat 21:5 "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' "

Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies!

How unfaithful people can be. How they can turn from the truth so easily when they are not anchored in God's Word and Truth. Just as you stated:

Jesus is the faithful one. He is faithful even when I am not (2 Timothy 2:13).

That is the crux of the matter. Even when we aren't faithful, Jesus ALWAYS IS!! That is why we can trust Him with our very lives -now and for all eternity. How great is our God! He is the TRUE hope for our lives.

As you had written:

I no longer live, but Christ lives in me and the life I live today in the body is by faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me (Galatians 2:20).


God bless you during this Holy Season and always!