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What Is Truth?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
April 12, 2020 12:01 am

What Is Truth?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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April 12, 2020 12:01 am

It’s fashionable to believe that truth is based not on reality but on our personal preferences. Today, R.C. Sproul exposes the flaws in this argument, pointing us instead to the very incarnation of truth.

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Today on the Lord's. The addition of Renewing Your Mind. 97% of students who graduate from high school who enter the halls of learning, come to the University already persuaded the truth is relative, that there is no such thing as all objective reality that reveals a week to get about the spiritual state of our nation. It's hard to convince someone that they are sinners in need of a Savior. If they don't believe in any truth claims today on Renewing Your Mind.

We are pleased to present one of Dr. RC Sproles most popular messages. It's titled what is truth will never forget the first time I washed an actual broadcast television program when I was a teenager and saw the magic mirror the Dumont television network W DTV channel 2 in Pittsburgh showed people that were miles and miles away that I could actually see by looking at that magic screen and I didn't understand at that moment that all of civilization was going through a profound change that would affect life in ways that I could never anticipate with the advent of television. Right now I'm standing before this group and where you are doing. This lecture in the confines of a broadcast television studio in Orlando Florida. Channel 6 of the room drops right over here next to me. They're getting ready for the 6 o'clock news and there's a control booth in the next hall down that way.

A little peace and are all kinds of monitors and sophisticated equipment and I'm standing now and what looks like a lovely warm room.

It's all fake. These walls here aren't real wall so I could just push them hard and that fall over the clock over here. We have to make all kinds of gyrations to give you the image of reality and before I came in here a few moments ago, I had to go through the onerous process of having some very beautiful woman sit there and apply makeup. My face to hide the blemishes towards the moles the creases that come with age so that the RC Sproles what you're looking at now on television is someone who's been created by all of these technicians and after every lecture like a mentor demonstrate, not your sleep strike, not your talk seeks because with the advent of television. People are now responding to impressions and philosophers have said about this that were now living in an age of impressions where accurate perception of reality is not what is important. It's the impression that is communicated. It is the image that is presented that matters, and what this is done, ladies and gentlemen, has provoked a crisis of unprecedented magnitude regarding probably the most fundamental of all human intellectual questions. The question of the nature of truth itself. We remember the book that shook the academic world by Alan Bloom called the closing of the American mind, and as an analyst of culture Prof. Bloom opened this book by making the statement that 90 some percent of people who come in to college as entering freshman today that when they arrive on the campus they come to this initiation to higher education already convinced of and committed to the relativity of truth.

90 some percent of students who graduate from high school who enter the halls of learning, come to the University already persuaded the truth is relative, that there is no such thing as all objective reality that I would've hoped that Dr. Bloom would've gone on from there to say but the task of higher education.

Critical thinking equipping students with the tools of analysis philosophical inquiry scientific investigation would have opened their minds and directed them apart from this relativism, which makes science ultimately impossible, which makes truth ultimately meaningless that the tools of higher education would deliver these poor misguided freshman from this nave assumption of relative instead what Dr. Bloom announced was that four years of higher education today simply confirms in the minds of the freshman that there's no such thing as objective truth only impressions only images only preferences, no objective reality and so that he articulates the meaning of the book the closing of the American law that to which the American mind has become closed ladies and gentlemen is truth, truth in any objective sense. I remember during the life and ministry of Francis Schaeffer that Schaeffer made popular a phrase that he used frequently when he referred to what he called true truths. Isn't that the silliest thing you've ever heard. What is true truths true truths when someone speaks of true truth. It sounds like somebody talking about beautiful beauty or lovely loveliness or ugly ugliness true truth or false falsehood. That's what we call in language a redundancy a tautology where there's nothing added, no synthesis, no new knowledge added to the original turn by the modifiers or the qualifiers true truth. The man's daughter know what he was trying to do with it. On way of speaking was to say in our culture today. We have a war going on between two different views of truth, the majority view is that truth is what I wanted to be truth is relative truth is again a matter of image or of perception as opposed to those who believe no something is either real or it isn't. Schaeffer meant by true truth. Objective truth objective reality. He was trying to to resurrect if you will a classic concept of truth called the correspondence theory of truth. John Locke made this famous course in rise of British empiricism but is has its roots far earlier than Locke and his ideas. The correspondence theory of truth in its simplest expression simply says this and we can all understand it, the truth is that which corresponds to reality. Therefore, to tell the truth, would be to tell it like what it is that there is an is nice not just a scene that's not an is nice and to tell it like it is, is to tell it as reality determines it correspondence theory truth is that which corresponds to reality.

But the problem with that theory is this. Not everybody agrees what reality is, I want saw program where Ashley Bailey had a television show and he was demonstrating some of the problems that courtroom lawyers have in determining the truth of one's guilt or innocence in a trial and he talked about the way evidence is presented in the courtroom and how important in the American jurisprudence has been eyewitness testimony and Ashley Bailey was standing in the middle of the stage giving a lecture about the value of eyewitness testimony when in the midst of his lecture. Some guy ran across the stage, interrupted his speech yelled at him, flailed his arms and then ran off the stage as suddenly as he had come on the state and Ashley Bailey was startled me step back from the podium and he stopped and he said, let me forget my speech for a moment took a microphone and began to interview people in the audience and so did you see what happened where we were watching the whole thing and he began to interview and he interviewed like five people in all five of them said that this man came in and hit Ashley Bailey and ran off and then to make his point. Ashley Bailey had the programmers show the video tape and rerun of what actually had happened in the man never came within 2 feet of slapping Ashley Bailey. He waved his arms but he didn't hit him but eyewitnesses right there at the very moment, not after their memories were dammed or influenced by the passing of time. At that very moment, all five of the eyewitness testimonies were raw. What they perceived did not really have so their testimony did not correspond to reality. So the crisis of the correspondence theory became truth is that which corresponds to reality as perceived by whom. From your viewpoint from your viewpoint from your viewpoint.

We don't always have the same perspective we don't always look at things from the same bank. So ultimately from a Christian perspective, the correspondence theory of truth was modified to say this.

The truth is that which corresponds to reality as it is perceived by God because God sees reality in its fullest measure from the perfect perspective, the depth dimension as well as the surface, all things are known to him, but the point I come to is this that from the perspective of one who is omniscient.

There is such a thing as objective reality, and in fact our eternal destinies will be determined by God's perception of reality.

The reality and the truth about me and the reality and the truth about you.

I can do everything I want to to hide my blemishes when I stand before Almighty God. But there's nothing that I can do to present an image that will stop the penetrating glance of his analysis.

He will see past the image he will see past the impression and get to the truth of the matter of me as a person and also of you is when Jesus warns that in the final analysis, all truths, reality that which is hidden, that which is done in secret, that which is distorted everything that is now hidden and concealed will be made manifest as frightening is purchasing a pilot and trying to get at the question of reality. I'm not interested in impressions here. I'm interested in preferences. I want to get to the truth is there a God resident there. God cannot be not be at the same time and at the same relationship talking the truth, my preference talking about reality is that some strange if you're one of those 90 some percent who are already convinced the truth is relative, let me say to you, you don't believe that blooms wrong blows dealing with an impression here Bloom is say what I quiz the students and why examine the students there telling me that they believe in the relativity trip Not now. Dr. bloke saying that they believe in a relatively truth when it suits them to believe in the relativity of truth.

A person can't survive on this planet believe in the relativity of truth.

A person can live for 15 minutes and is planning related in a relatively truth that kind of a person is a person would lock up for their own safety in an insane asylum because I blocked them just confused in their mind that lost their mind their stark raving mad.

You believe in the correspondence theory of truth every time you drive up to a traffic light look at the intersection and you see this great big semi coming down the highway 75 miles an new saying I'm having an impression of fast moving truck, a bottle in front of it. I'm to be obliterated. Unlock this better rate, but I prefer not to lose all relative all just proceed on all of a sudden your time added to objective truth because your life depends on minimum we only embrace relativism when objective truth is a threat to us and there's no objective truth more threatening to us in the truth of the holiness of God.

Because of that truth is real. We are in trouble deep trouble and we know that. I think one of the most important and fascinating discussions. Truth ever happened took place in a trial. The courtroom were the question truth was the order of the day where a Jewish rabbi was on trial for his life before a Roman provincial governor in this Jewish rabbi had been teaching concepts truths, as it were. Some people didn't like and they accuse this man of teaching things that were seditious and could ultimately be destructive to the Roman Empire itself.

And so this teacher was arrested and placed on trial for his life in the record of that is found in the Gospel according to St. John verse 33 of the 18th chapter of John's Gospel reread this summation of matters during the trial pilot therefore entered again into the praetorian and he summoned Jesus and he said to him you are the king of the Jews.

Now let's stop right there pilot as it were, saying I'm getting this impression from the charges that are brought against you in the scuttlebutt. I'm picking up from the multitudes in the crowds here that have been screaming your name for awake that you're some kind of King is some kind of monarch you know how we Romans who are occupying this land take a dim view of few self-appointed tanks here, there's no ruler over you. You understand, except seizure you're the king of the Jews. It's a question Jesus is Jewish. He knew from the time he was a child. The Jewish people answer questions with questions. So he answered. Are you saying this on their own initiative or did others tell you about me as if to say, Jesus, and who wants to know is this an honest question you're asking. Paulette answered I'm not a Jew, am I your own nation. The chief priests to deliver you up to me what have you done uses ignores that question goes back to the original question. This question about kingship and he said to him, my kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then my servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not of this rental play when a provocative thing to say to the emissary of the Roman Emperor. I governor's like Jesus says to him, my kingdom is not of this world and bore you lucky chess if it were of this world and it be the envy you, Jack and the end of the Roman Empire because I got enough strength in my kingdom. That's of another world. I could call on angels. I can call in the heavenly host and you guys would be history and no time and imagine a prisoner standing there and change talking like that to the power of Rome Imperial room, but Jesus obviously doesn't say that in an arrogant fashion, speaking the truth. The unvarnished truth said, my kingdom.

He acknowledges that he has a king recent take it easy.

Pilot my kingdom is not like ordinary kingdoms. My kingdom is not involved with the political machinations in the Machiavellian power plays and coup d'tat's that are such a normal part of the politics of this world on my kingdom is not like my kingdom were like that. A takeover servants would've been fighting and I wouldn't even been delivered up to the Jews, let alone to you so politics up on this and says back to Jesus so so you are a king have established where this kingdom is not of this world is not of Palestine. Maybe it's east of the sun and west of the moon, but at least I can understand what you're saying Jews as you say your king try to trick me. You may say that it's different world you just admitted to being a caring you are okay. Jesus answered you say correctly that I'm okay. Here Jesus is saying do you hear what Jesus is saying, Jesus is saying in this trial for his life under oath.

This man who would be the last person in human history to commit perjury. He is saying to Rome. I that's the truth I am, that's the watershed truth of human history that is the reality upon which the entire Christian faith is established, the affirmation that Jesus Christ is King and he's not just king for a day and he's not just made up to look like a king to give the impression of the cane to have an image of kingship. He's not just a king that reigns in people's hearts. He's not a king simply for those who prefer to believe that he is paying he is the cane the cosmic king. The king and truth flows from the author. Truth the King of Kings.

Thanks for listening to Renewing Your Mind on the Sunday I believe Webb Dr. RC Sproul's message today is titled what is truth is a question that's being asked more and more as our society drifts away from a biblical foundation. Are you equipped to answer the skeptics who say there is no truth. Let me recommend this entire series to you. It's 10 of Dr. Sproles most popular messages compiled and what were calling the classic collection and we invite you to request this to an audio CD set when you give a donation of any amount to leader ministries. Contact us today online at Renewing Your the messages in this series are a quite a bit longer that were able to present here on Renewing Your Mind.

So when you request the CDs you'll have access to the full-length recordings. Other messages in the series include there's a God, why are there atheists and if God is good. Why do I suffer. Our offices are closed on this Lord's day, but you can still make your request to the series and give your gift when you go online to Renewing Your like something we will bring you another Dr. Sproles most popular messages and issue all believers face is how to balance man's responsibility and God's sovereignty.

RC's message. Next week is called nothing left to chance.

That's right here on Renewing Your Mind

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