Being people of truth, proclaiming the truth, and practicing the truth. That is our offensive weaponry which we need to fully utilize. In these very dark days this is all the more important to understand and to implement.
Let me begin by mentioning a dream I had last night. It seems I and a few others were under attack by some bad guys. They were seeking to break into our property, and we were trying to defend it. The problem was, the bad guys had weapons, but we did not. It was not a fair fight I said.
Two thoughts popped into my head upon awakening. One, this is getting to be the case in the US where lefties and Democrats are pushing to disband the police, defund the police, or disarm the police. That sure ain’t gonna work well. See more on that here: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/06/10/the-radical-left-and-the-war-on-police/
Two – and as is often the case – I thought about any spiritual application that might be found. So I thought of the Christian’s arsenal. The obvious passage on this is Ephesians 6:10-20 which speaks of the whole armour of God. As is well known, all the armour is defensive in nature, with just one offensive weapon: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Of course Jesus made it clear that the Word of God is truth. As we read in John 17:17, “your word is truth”. So our primary offensive weapon is truth. While biblical truth is the main example of this, the Christian believes that all truth is God’s truth. So whether we talk about mathematical truth or Scriptural truth, we need to make use of it.
And – to revert to my dream – if we are under attack, we must have the truth and we must use it. Great Christians have always known this. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn said in 1970 in his Nobel Prize in Literature lecture, quoting an old Russian proverb: “One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.”
Os Guinness On Truth
Many more quotes from many more individuals could be offered here, but let me deal with just one important Christian author. He is a prolific writer and has often centred his thoughts on the issue of truth. I refer to the great Christian apologist and thinker Os Guinness.
The 79-year-old English writer and commentator has penned dozens of very important volumes over the past half century. Many of us first became aware of him in his association with Francis Schaeffer, and the publication of his superb 1973 book, The Dust of Death.
Here I want to draw upon just one of his key works. Twenty years ago he released Time for Truth (Baker, 2000). Although rather brief (just 125 pages), it is packed with powerful commentary and terrific insights. He especially takes on the postmodern war on truth, and lays out the vital importance of Christian truth.
In his introduction he reminds us of the practical relevance of truth: “Truth matters supremely because in the end, without truth there is no freedom. Truth, in fact, is not only essential to freedom; it is freedom, and the only way to a free life lies in becoming a person of truth and learning to live in truth. Living in truth is the secret of living free.”
In Ch. 4 he spends some time in defining the biblical notion of truth. He writes: “In the biblical view, truth is that which is ultimately, finally, and absolutely real, or the ‘way it is,’ and therefore is utterly trustworthy and dependable, being grounded in God’s own reality and truthfulness. . . . Belief in something doesn’t make it true; only truth makes a belief true. But without truth, a belief may be only speculation plus sincerity.”
He goes on to say this:
The Christian faith is not true because it works; it works because it is true. It is not true because we experience it; we experience it – deeply and gloriously – because it is true. It is not simply ‘true for us’; it is true for any who seek in order to find, because truth is true even if nobody believes it and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it. That is why truth does not yield to opinion, fashion, numbers, office, or sincerity – it is simply true and that’s the end of it.
In stark contrast is the postmodern take on things. Power relationships are the focus there.