Summary: In this series, we attempt to build a worldview from scratch to arrive at Christianity. First question, is truth true?
INTRO: WHAT’S A WORLDVIEW?
We’re building a Christian worldview from scratch this month. (SLIDE) So first let’s ask, what is a “WORLDVIEW”? (SLIDE) A worldview is a set of assumptions we hold about the basic makeup of the world. Such as
- (SLIDE) What is the nature of reality?
o Some worldviews will assume reality is fundamentally material
o Other worldviews assume reality is fundamentally spiritual.
- (SLIDE) What is the nature of people?
o Are we electrochemical machines?
o Are we sleeping gods?
o Do we have free will? Is all predestined?
- (SLIDE) What happens to us at death?
o Do we terminate?
o Are we held in spiritual stasis?
- (SLIDE) What is the basis of value or morals?
o Is it the character of God?
o Is it instinct for survival?
Now, having a worldview is like having a heart. You can go your whole life not ever talking about your heart, or seeing it operate, but everyone has one, and it is operating in you and on you ALL THE TIME. In the same way, you could hold your assumptions about the world for years, and
- never question them,
- never even give them any thought.
For most of history, this is the way it was. Why? Well, most people would live their whole life and not travel more than 20 miles from their hometown. Which means you could live cradle to grave and never meet anyone who disagreed with your assumptions about the world. So you’d just take your worldview for granted.
Ah, but today, thanks to technology and travel, other worldviews have been brought right next door. So where your Christian grandparents didn’t have to think about Islam or Secular Humanism or Zen Buddhism, or Oprah Winfrey-ism, these days you can’t go a day without an alien worldview being thrown in your face, on TV, Facebook.
Well, if you’re a rational and humble person, all this exposure to other worldviews leads to questions. Like:
- (SLIDE) Are my assumptions about the world right just because they’re MY assumptions?
- Just because they’re the answers that I absorbed from my family, or culture, does that make them RIGHT? Truthful?
So today, Christianity is not the only worldview option available to a humble rational person. We live in a world where Christianity, has to compete in a marketplace of worldviews. The question is, can it compete?
- For those of you in investigation mode, that’s the money question, right? Does Christianity have a rational basis? Are its assumptions warranted based on the evidence in the world? Does it do the best job of collecting all the available data about the world into an operating theory that A) works, B) is logically consistent and C) corresponds to reality?
o In short, IS IT TRUE?
- For those of you who are Christians, this series will challenge you. “I already assume a Christian worldview, so how will it challenge me?” Because every reason we present this month to believe it’s true, is a reason to live more boldly following Jesus and less ashamed or cowed by other views.
o (SLIDE) To both believers and seekers I say this: for a person to be intellectually honest you should not only be able to detect the worldview of other people, you should know exactly why, in light of so many options available, you think yours is true.
WHAT IS TRUTH?
Now that one word “TRUE” leads us to our topic today. WHAT IS TRUTH? When on trial, Jesus stood before governor Pilate and said:
- (SLIDE) John 18:37-38 …for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
o So it seems that the question, what is TRUE was of paramount importance to Jesus. He unambiguously claimed to be in possession of TRUTH. Then, He draws a line through the human race and says, if you want truth, you need to be on MY side of the line!
o (SLIDE) But I want you to notice what Pilates response to him was?
"What is truth?" Pilate asked.
That right there sums up a tension in our day about truth. Is truth TRUE?
VERSIONS OF TRUTH
See, I know that already some of you have a problem. Because you don’t think we should talk about TRUTH and RELIGION in the same sentence. There’s too much disagreement/conflict. So we kind of side with Pilate a bit: “What is TRUTH?” after all?
(SLIDE) When faced with that question people answer in different ways. I’ve come up with different animal metaphors to describe the different TRUTH camps we fall into:
- FIRST IS THE OSTRICH CAMP. Their answer, “TRUTH IS WHAT’S INTERNALLY CONSISTENT FOR YOU.” An Ostrich when faced with danger or threat will stick it’s head in the sand (myth). Inside its own head, the Ostrich has no problems, it’s view of the world is consistent and logical. It might not match the world outside, but it doesn’t matter as long as the TRUTH is internally coherent.