What Is Truth?

“Whatever happened to truth?” Look at him there, standing in front of Pilate, bearing witness to the truth, calmly stating that his kingdom is not of this world. “Behold, the man!” Here is the Truth, beaten and bruised for our sins, hung on a tree-look at him now, crucified.

Who would have thought? Truth is a person. What is more, truth is a crucified person, Jesus the Messiah, the one-of-a-kind, sent Son from the Father. Three days later, that Truth rose from the grave. Death could not keep him. He showed himself to many and is now exalted with God.

“Whatever happened to truth?” In one sense, the answer is, “The truth is just fine, thank you.” Jesus, the Word, continues to speak to those with ears to hear in his word, the Scriptures. He has returned to his glory with the Father and awaits his return from there at the Father’s appointed time.

In another sense, however, truth is languishing in a state of crisis in our day. In much of contemporary culture, truth has been supplanted by a kind of paranoia that is so skeptical toward any finality of knowing that it is prone to believe conspiracy theories, no matter how far-fetched (witness the Da Vinci Code pehnomenon). All of this contributes to a sense of uncertainty that holds that all knowledge is provisional and subject to constant revision as new facts surface that need to be considered. In this context, can truth, “true truth,” to quote Francis Schaeffer once again, long survive? Or is it time to declare the death of truth just as some declared (prematurely, one might add) the death of God in a previous generation?

The preceding selection is excerpted from the epilogue of Whatever Happened to Truth? (Crossway, 2005). You are encouraged to read the excellent contributions by Albert Mohler, J. P. Moreland, and Kevin Vanhoozer in this volume.

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