WHO IS GOD? Part 1 (Introduction)
Christianity makes sense only if it teaches us about, and puts us into contact with, God, the ruler of the universe. Christianity claims to give us truths about the universe. But are the claims of Christianity true? And who is God? This series will explore these questions, looking at them from various angles.
As we get started, we should address what has become a popular pose in academic circles, namely, the idea that nothing is really true or false, that things are at best “true for you” or “true for me.” This idea was considered and discarded by the ancient Greeks and it falls apart at the slightest touch of reality. Think about your daily life. Concrete is hard, whipped cream is soft, the number 19 bus runs downtown, the computer won’t work unless it is turned on, and it takes many hours to drive from Seattle to Los Angeles. These things are really true, not just “true for me” or “true for you.”
Aha, say the academics, we don’t deny that statements about whipped cream and computers are really true, but we insist that statements about religion are not really true. Religious statements are at best “true for you” or “true for me.” But why should this be so? Religious people deny it. Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists say that their core beliefs are true. Of course, religious beliefs are not all compatible, so not all of them can be true, but religious people claim the same kind of truth that applies to concrete and bus routes.
When pushed, the academics may retreat to saying, “well, religious statements cannot be proved.” We will evaluate this claim later, but notice for now that being true and being proved are not the same thing. One of the following statements is true: (1) Cicero’s feet were bigger than Caesar’s feet, (2) Cicero’s feet were not bigger than Caesar’s feet. We can’t prove either statement, but this does not diminish our certainty that one of them is true.
At Saint Barnabas, we are persuaded that the claims of Christianity are true. In future posts we will explore some of those claims.