by Chris Banescu –
“God and truth are inseparable. Every thought about the essence of truth — what it is, what makes it ‘true,’ and how we can possibly know anything for sure, quickly moves us back to God. That is why God incarnate — Jesus Christ — is called the truth (John 14:6),” reminds us John MacArthur. His book, The Truth War, is full of timeless wisdom from Scriptures applicable to our day and age.
MacArthur does a wonderful job explaining why truth forms the foundation of the Christian faith and why it should play a critical role in the lives of all Christians. He reminds us that we all bear a responsibility to defend and preach the truth. He also cautions us that throughout history some of the most dangerous assaults on truth and the Christian faith come from within the church.
Here are a few memorable quotes from his book (from just the first few pages):
“The idea that the Christian message should be kept pliable and ambiguous seems especially attractive to young people who are in tune with the culture and in love with the spirit of the age and can’t stand to have authoritative biblical truth applied with precision as a corrective to worldly lifestyles, unholy minds, and ungodly behavior. And the poison of this perspective is being increasingly injected into the evangelical church body.
But that is not authentic Christianity. Not knowing what you believe (especially on a matter as essential to Christianity as the gospel) is by definition a kind of unbelief. Refusing to acknowledge and defend the revealed truth of God is a particularly stubborn and pernicious kind of unbelief. Advocating ambiguity, exalting uncertainty, or otherwise deliberately clouding the truth is a sinful way of nurturing unbelief.
In an age when the very idea of truth is being scorned and attacked (even within the church, where people ought to revere the truth most highly), Solomon’s wise advice has never been more timely: “Buy the truth, and do not sell it” (Proverbs 23:23)” (Introduction, p. xi).
“Much of the visible church nowadays seems to think Christians are supposed to be at play rather than at war. The idea of actually fighting for doctrinal truth is the furthest thing from most churchgoers’ thoughts. Contemporary Christians are determined to get the world to like them — and of course in the process they also want to have as much fun as possible. They are so obsessed with making the church seem “cool” to unbelievers that they can’t be bothered with questions about whether another person’s doctrine is sound or not. In a climate like that, the thought of even identifying someone else’s teaching as false (much less “contending earnestly” for the faith) is a distasteful and dangerously countercultural suggestion. Christians have bought into the notion that almost nothing is more “uncool” in the world’s eyes than when someone shows a sincere concern about the danger of heresy. After all, the world simply doesn’t take spiritual truth that seriously, so they cannot fathom why anyone would.
But Christians, of all people, ought to be most willing to live and die for the truth. Remember, we know the truth, and the truth has set us free (John 8:32). We should not be ashamed to say so boldly (Psalm 107:2). And if called upon to sacrifice for the truth’s sake, we need to be willing and prepared to give our lives. Again, that is exactly what Jesus was speaking about when He called His disciples to take up a cross (Matthew 16:24). Cowardice and authentic faith are antithetical” (Introduction, p. xiv).
“God and truth are inseparable. Every thought about the essence of truth — what it is, what makes it ‘true,’ and how we can possibly know anything for sure, quickly moves us back to God. That is why God incarnate — Jesus Christ — is called the truth (John 14:6).
That is also why it is not particularly surprising when someone who repudiates God rejects His truth as well. If a person can’t tolerate the thought of God, there is simply no comfortable place for the concept of truth in that person’s worldview, either. So the consistent atheist, agnostic, or idolater might as well hate the very idea of truth. After all, to reject God is to reject the Giver of all truth, the final Judge of what really is true, and the very essence and embodiment of truth itself.
As we will observe shortly, that is precisely the conclusion at which many in the academic and philosophical realms have now arrived. They no longer believe in truth as a sure and knowable reality. Make no mistake: unbelief is the seed of that opinion. The contemporary aversion to truth is simply a natural expression of fallen humanity’s innate hostility toward God (Romans 8:7)” (Introduction, p. xvi).
“According to Scripture, the ages-old conflict over the truth is spiritual warfare — a cosmic battle between God and the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). And one of our enemies’ favorite tactics is to disguise themselves as angels of light and infiltrate the community of believers (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). This is nothing new either, but I’m convinced it has become a very serious problem in the current generation. Unfortunately, precious few Christians seem willing to take the threat seriously. The church has grown lazy, worldly, and self-satisfied. Church leaders are obsessed with style and methodology, losing interest in the glory of God and becoming grossly apathetic about truth and sound doctrine” (Introduction, p. xvii).