I am currently working on a new book entitled “Defensible Truth.” I am including a short segment here. Feel free to give me your feedback.
“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Some people view truth as subjective. That is to say, truth is based on a person’s perspective, feelings, and opinions. This philosophical idea certainly gives one pause to think. For example, if truth is entirely subjective there can be no right or wrong outside of one’s own self-interest. More broadly, the idea of right vs. wrong can be put to the test only by the opinions of those in the majority; or worse, only by those in power regardless of their majority status. This viewpoint of truth seems outrageous on the surface. Think about it for a moment; what if the mathematical equation 2 + 2 = 4 was subject to one’s own personal view of life and its constitution. Countless arguments, both supporting and dissenting, could be debated infinitely without any solid basis for a truthful solution.
Consequently, the idea of subjective truth has morphed into an applied ideology. There are objective truths that merit certainty; the sky is blue, water is wet, the earth is round, 2 + 2 still equals 4, and if you fail to pay your taxes there are stiff penalties. Yes, these are objective truths that defy opposition. Yet, the subjective mind is left to apply situational merit to truths considered to be supple.
While I am no philosopher, I feel that it is vitally important to make a distinction between truth and situational opinion, or as some would prefer, the idiomatic terminology of objective and subjective truth. Simply put, truth is truth, and subjective truth is a person’s effort to blend truth with their own perception. That statement is not intended to denigrate the merit of perspective, feelings, and opinion, but to separate matters of importance categorically. For example, I think Brussel Sprouts are the worst tasting veggie ever grown. The truth is, Brussel Sprouts have a “taste” and are good for consumption, just not my consumption. My opinion is an effort to blend my perception about Brussel Sprouts with the immutable truth that they are a, quite healthy, food source. The same opinion does not apply to the nature of their existence. They grow from a seed, end of story. To debate this truth would be futile.
Some truths are not open to opinion. Even if we would prefer that they were, or insist that they are. These are the truths that I want to focus on, Biblical truths, that while highly debated, withstand the scrutiny of what some would call subjective truth. These truths, whether believed or not, are not subject to personal perspective or how we feel about them at the time. And yes, for the record, the choice not to believe a truth does not make a truth less truthful. I Just wanted to throw that in for posterity.
The Bible is full of truth, absolute truth. These truths define the existence of creation and the necessity of salvation. Now, I am fully aware that some would argue the validity of the Bible. I am also aware that others, while maintaining the Bible’s cogency, privately interpret its contents in error. Let me interject, “no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (II Peter 1:20 NASB). Thus, to render an interpretation of the Bible outside of its express meaning is to make its truth subjective and therefore make the interpreter’s argument invalid. This truth applies regardless of how many people believe the erroneous interpretation set forth. The truths of the Bible are not predicated on what I think, but only on the absolutes that were set forth by its writers as the Holy Ghost inspired them. “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (I Peter 1:21 NIV).