New Question - How do you determine religious truth?

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xnman | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jun 9 2022 8:34 AM

I asked a question recently: Do you study material outside your denomination or ideology?

I appreciate everyone that answered in that thread. 

And now... I'd like to follow up on that question....

How do you determine religious truth?  And: Is that (religious truth) important or not important...

Thanks again!

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

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David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 9 2022 8:38 AM

xnman:
How do you determine religious truth? 

starting point for determining "what is truth"

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xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 9 2022 8:43 AM

Love it David Thomas.... Geeked

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 9 2022 9:03 AM

You first need to define what you mean by truth see Truth (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Then you need to read broadly (inter-faith) on religious experience to understand how knowledge/experience of religious truth changes people. I hold to the proof is in the pudding method of judging religious truths. Then you need to read a bit on metaphysics. one of my contemporary favorites is A Philosophy of the Unsayable by William Franke but the apophatic theology appeals to me. Then toss in your epistemology and hermeneutics.

The philosophical approach has no appeal? My second choice would be to study the history of dogma and Biblical interpretation so you really understand the how and why a particular belief or practice arose. Don't confuse apologetics/polemics for history. Don't confuse cultural adaptations for dogma. Logos does not cover the topics well but History of Dogma (7 vols.) | Logos Bible Software and The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church (7 vols.) | Logos Bible Software will get you started. Then the McGinn The Presence of God series will help round it out.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 9 2022 7:06 PM

xnman:

How do you determine religious truth?  And: Is that (religious truth) important or not important...

Humility is at the heart of discovering truth. God is true, but my perception of that truth is fragmentary, mixed with beliefs and I need to shed, limited by a small faith that never perceives the extent of God’s majesty.

God is known in people. We were created to image him. God made himself known through Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, and ultimately in Jesus his anointed ruler whom we recognize as Lord.

God is revealed in the inspired narrative of the people he revealed himself to. Scripture is the story of people encountering God, perceiving him as he revealed himself, establishing his people and his reign over us, responding to God’s revelation of himself, communicating what God spoke to us, with the living Word at the heart of history.

God is revealed by his Spirit: through the prophets, the Anointed (Christ) who anointed his servants as his first act when he took the throne at the right hand of the majesty on high, and who continues to govern the earth as the Head operating through his body through the Spirit.

So we listen to the God revealed in Scripture, in history, in Christ, in the Spirit, in each other. Truth is revealed in relationship, because God is love. Truth is important so we can love in truth like our Heavenly Father.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 9 2022 11:21 PM

As long as the "strong delusion" is active, you don't.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 10 2022 12:23 AM

xnman:
How do you determine religious truth?  And: Is that (religious truth) important or not important...

I'll quote my summary of Wolfhart Pannenberg's essay "What Is Truth?" which I wrote for a class in seminary. It changed my thinking on truth. It made relational truth much more important to me than propositional truth.

Wolfhart Pannenberg, Chapter #1: “What is Truth?” in Basic Questions in Theology (Vol. 2) (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971): 1-27.

Christianity would be irrelevant if it didn’t claim absolute truth.  We face the question: can the Christian message still be considered true in light of the modern Western understanding of truth?  There is a tension between the Greek and Hebrew views of truth, which is resolved in Jesus Christ.  Hebrew truth (emeth) is the reliability of a word or person.  This truth is historical and proves itself in the future.  The truth of God is personal, only known through faith in him, based on his historical faithfulness.  Greek truth (alētheia) is the timeless essence of reality, hidden by appearances and known only through reason (logos).  Later in Western history, the experience of truth became subjective.  This change was rooted in the biblical message of transcendent truth revealed to man.  For subjective truth to agree with reality depends on the presupposition of God’s truth.  But subjective truth changes over time, so the unity of truth can only be seen from the end of history, which we are in the middle of.  This requires a view of truth which leaves the future open, which is precisely what the eschatology revealed in Christ gives us.

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GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2022 5:41 AM

All the resources above look great, and I have some of them--until now, unread. Thanks to you all.

I like Rosie's thoughts about truth. 

Consider this:

  1. Truth can reliably be propositional: "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." (Jn 17:17)
  2. Truth can be relational: "Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. [To know and love Him is to acquire truth]" (Jn 14:6)
  3. The Holy Spirit guides us to truth: Thinking rightly is necessary. Knowing God and having the guidance of the Holy Spirit is necessary: "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth."  (Jn 16:13)
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xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2022 7:40 AM

Lots of great ideas here!  I appreciate them all ...  and thanks for sharing!

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

Posts 291
Gary Osborne | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 14 2022 1:06 PM

I like this definition of truth as well as any other I’ve read. It’s simple and straight to the point: Truth is that which agrees with final reality.

As a Christian, I determine religious truth exclusively from the Scriptures. Yes, I understand the whole bit about interpretation, different sets of eyes, different sets of experiences that may determine how you view things, etc. But at the end of the day I believe the only way to determine truth is by careful study of the full Word of God. From Genesis to Revelation. Everything in context. The Creator, who knows all things, revealing that which He wants us to know through His written word. I can know some things about God, in general, by observing creation and understanding conscience. That’s per Romans chapter 1. But the specifics about religious truth I can only know by revelation. And God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through His word. There is no other sure foundation.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 14 2022 6:30 PM

“Ravi Zacharias posits three tests that any statement or belief system must pass: (1) logical consistency (Are there contradictions?), (2) empirical adequacy (Is there any proof?), and (3) experiential relevance (Does it work in real life?). 

[Concerning Truth:]

So what is truth?
Simply put, truth is telling it like it is. That is, truth corresponds with the way things really are. This acrostic will help you remember what is TRUE about truth:

Transcendent: Truth comes from God, and he has revealed it to his creation. Take gravity, for example. Newton didn’t determine gravity; he merely discovered its existence. In the same way, humans know truth because God reveals it in his creation and in his Word, the Bible.
Real: Truth matches (corresponds to) the facts in the real world. Two opposing things can’t be true at the same time and in the same sense. That would be a contradiction.
Universal: Truth applies to all people, at all times, and in all locations. For example, 1 + 1 = 2 is a universal truth that is not challenged or denied.
Exclusive: Truth is absolute. Though opinions about truth change, truth, on the other hand, remains the truth and therefore cannot change. Beliefs change but not truth.”

All of the above was taken from this book: https://www.logos.com/product/166407/the-bibles-answers-to-100-of-lifes-biggest-questions the first section titled: Questions About God and Truth — What Is Truth?


DAL

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 14 2022 7:25 PM

Rather an odd description of the holographic universe by Ravi. NB. at age nine I discovered that if one were to make a model of an atom with actual proportions, using a dried pea as the nucleus and a sprinkle as the electron, the first electron would be further away than the moon ... or something like that. So I began my lifelong quest to understand why a step supports me as both myself and the staircase are primarily empty space. Mind you, the view of the structure of an atom has evolved substantially since the understanding when I was nine.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Arlene | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 14 2022 11:08 PM

Have you studied the words of Yeshua as found in the Hebrew Gospels from Sepharad?

www.HebrewGospels.com

Posts 5594
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 16 2022 12:06 PM

DAL:

“Ravi Zacharias posits three tests that any statement or belief system must pass: (1) logical consistency (Are there contradictions?), (2) empirical adequacy (Is there any proof?), and (3) experiential relevance (Does it work in real life?). 

[Concerning Truth:]

So what is truth?
Simply put, truth is telling it like it is. That is, truth corresponds with the way things really are. This acrostic will help you remember what is TRUE about truth:

Transcendent: Truth comes from God, and he has revealed it to his creation. Take gravity, for example. Newton didn’t determine gravity; he merely discovered its existence. In the same way, humans know truth because God reveals it in his creation and in his Word, the Bible.
Real: Truth matches (corresponds to) the facts in the real world. Two opposing things can’t be true at the same time and in the same sense. That would be a contradiction.
Universal: Truth applies to all people, at all times, and in all locations. For example, 1 + 1 = 2 is a universal truth that is not challenged or denied.
Exclusive: Truth is absolute. Though opinions about truth change, truth, on the other hand, remains the truth and therefore cannot change. Beliefs change but not truth.”

All of the above was taken from this book: https://www.logos.com/product/166407/the-bibles-answers-to-100-of-lifes-biggest-questions the first section titled: Questions About God and Truth — What Is Truth?


DAL

So, given this "definition", are paradoxes true? They seem to run counter to this definition, but the Bible is loaded with them.

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