Summary: All scripture is inspired by God and is useful...
Title: Truthiness (Part 1)
Text: II Timothy 3:14-16
Thesis: All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful…”
Series: Belonging, Believing and Becoming
I invite you to journey with us as people who value:
• Belonging to a caring faith community.
• Believing the truth of God’s Word.
• Becoming more like Jesus Christ.
I’ve been following the 9 News Truth Tests in which 9 News staff research the claims of the campaign ads bombarding us of late. We hear from the Hickenlooper people and the Beauprez people and the Udall people and the Gardner people… every candidate spins the facts as they see them and wish for us to see them.
The researchers break the ads down in two ways:
• The Claim – the researchers state the claim
• The Verdict – the researchers assess the degree of truth or truthiness in the claim
There were some claims that are true. If you know the candidates at all you know where they land on the political spectrum. However while some ads were said to be true in some ways, almost all of those verdicts are softened by words like: Fair. Needs Context. Glossing Over the Facts. Opinion. Debatable. Deceptive. Unfair. Generally there seems to be more truthiness than truth being bantered about.,
The word “truthiness” was chosen as the “Word of the Year” in 2006.
Stephen Colbert coined the word “truthiness” to describe the intuitive, not always rational feeing we get that something is just right.”
The Dialect Society defined truthiness like this: Truthiness is “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.”
Just as there are elements of truthiness in politics, truthiness also describes the current way many Christians regard their faith. It seems most Americans do not feel their religion is the only way to eternal life… even if their faith tradition teaches otherwise.
Here are some facts:
• 92% of Americans believe in God.
• 74% of Americans believe in life after death.
• 63% of Americans say their scriptures are the word of God.
• 57% of evangelical church attenders believe many religions can lead to eternal life.
• 70% of all who have a religious affiliation share that belief.
Imagine that… 70% of all Americans believe there are multiple paths to eternal life.
The people who interpret surveys suggest that there is either:
1. A growing religious tolerance of pluralism
2. Evidence that Americans either dismiss or do not know the fundamental teachings of their faith
This is where truthiness weighs in. As I said earlier, it seems most Americans do not feel their religion is the only way to eternal life… even if their faith tradition teaches otherwise. The key word there is the word “feel.” That kind of whimsical approach to faith based more on beliefs reinforced by feelings rather than facts tends more toward truthiness than truth.
Here at Heritage one of the things we value is “believing the truth of God’s word.” We believe the Bible is the written Word of God and we believe Jesus is the Living Word of God.
Next week we will focus on Jesus as the Living Word of God but today we are focusing on the Written Word of God.
I. The Written Word of God
A. The Written Word of God is Purposeful
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. II Timothy 3:16
God makes himself and his will known in Scripture. Our text states all scripture is inspired by God, or as theologians put it, God-breathed and useful.
When we say:
1. Inspired. We believe the fact that the Bible is inspired by God which gives it a unique authority.
When we say:
2. Useful. We believe the fact that the Bible is useful in giving a unique and God-given purpose.
Something is useful when it has practical worth. It is useful if it has applicability. For example you may still have one or two of those big, fat, clunky old telephone directories that seem to have outlived their usefulness… but if you have a young child sitting at your dinner table who needs a booster seat… that telephone directory becomes useful. News is useful if it’s news you can use. Information is useful if it is helpful.
When we break down the implications of the usefulness of Scripture we see it is useful for:
a. Teaching and rebuking are about what we believe.
• To teach what is true, i.e., teaches us truth
• Make us aware of what is wrong in our lives, i.e., rebukes us when we are wrong