We cannot know truth absolutely as only God can. But we can trust God who does know truth absolutely. We can receive from him. We can stand on the only solid rock we have since only God knows all and infinitely.
People seek “the truth.” Religions claim to know it. Philosophies seek it. Spiritual persons think they have reached it or will reach it. Some people of course think truth in this absolute way is impossible to find. Even so, the average person assumes we can comprehend truth. They trust doctors to know the brain; engineers to build a safe building; and against the narrative of a post-truth age, people frequently affirm they can know the truth—even if they call it “my truth.”
But we cannot comprehend truth. No one can. More specifically, no human can comprehend truth, but we can apprehend the truth when we receive it as a gift.
We Cannot Comprehend Truth
We cannot construct, discover, or formulate total truth. We would have to know everything about everything. We cannot. I know only a sliver of life. You know only a tiny instance of life in this massive cosmos. I can barely know the depths of my spouse! She tells me how she feels. I see her face. I can barely scratch the surface of her inner-life—her unconscious thoughts and feelings and movements as well as her conscious ones.
When I speak with a friend, I cannot fully grasp what he thinks and feels. I do not directly experience their day, their well-being, their slight muscle soreness, their previous conversations, their sleep level, and their past experiences. I cannot fathom someone’s daily experience of work, family, friends, medicine, pain, happiness, and much more besides.
I do not know how he cares for his sister and regrets treating his father unkindly. I do not know the thousand experiences that made him what he is today. He cannot either. Our limits are such that we cannot even know ourselves fully. In other words, we are often not conscious of many basic things about ourselves.
I cannot comprehend myself if that means knowing every fact of myself, how each fact relates to another, and the depths of what it is to be a human being. We are a fathomless mystery of experience, a world of wonder.
We Can Apprehend Truth
For the most part, we however overestimate our abilities. We think we can use reason or evidence to understand everything. We can barely know how reality works (quantum physics). We can barely know anything in our tiny experience of the cosmos.
We are emotionally broken people—our feelings often vie against reason. We are willfully errant, choosing what we know is wrong. We are intellectually finite, but think we can create and shape reality around us.
At this level, we should be radically skeptical about human nature and our ability to know truth. Yet experience shows us that people do know truth. A farmer knows how to work the land and harvest fruit from it. A society orders itself around justice and peace (at least many attempt to). People can share in the grief of another person, and we have no deep reason to deny that some sense of real sharing happens here.