Written by Gabriel N.E. Fluhrer |
Monday, November 6, 2023
The Bible is not a textbook of science, math, physics, or art. However, it gives us the only worldview that ultimately makes all those things possible. In other words, the Bible not only teaches us ultimate truths about man, the world, salvation, the future, and a host of other subjects that make up a worldview, it also gives us the very principles by which we can know what’s true. One more caveat. We will never believe the Bible is true unless we are born again.
“How can I know what’s true?” It seems like a simple question. But with the advent of social media, “fake news,” and a multitude of competing voices, it can be hard to discern the truth. But there is good news. The Bible tells us that we can and must know what’s true.
Looking to the Scriptures, theologians have discerned two different ways we can know what’s true. First, we know what’s true through general revelation. This term refers to what God has revealed in His world and in us (Gen. 1:1, 28; Ps. 19:1–6; Ps. 139:13–14; Rom. 1:18–21). Interestingly, this conviction about general revelation led to the scientific revolution. Biblical Christianity provided a worldview that encouraged mankind to investigate the world around us with the firm assurance that because the God who made it and upheld it is true, we could discover what’s true.
But we do not learn what’s true just from investigating the world around us. We also learn the truth by using our minds. This is another aspect of general revelation. Since man is made in God’s image, we can, as one theologian put it, think His thoughts after Him. So, we use the laws of logic, mathematical laws, laws of physics, and so on to discover truth.
Second, we know what’s true through special revelation (Ps. 19:7–11; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16). This refers to the way in which God has revealed Himself in His Word. Of course, God spoke other words to His prophets and Apostles that were not recorded in His Word. But the special revelation He wanted us to have, He has preserved for us in the Bible.