Proof #1-Truth About Reality is Knowable

Posted by Scott Palmer on 20 May 2015 | Comments


The place to begin the search for truth should be the real world because ultimate truth is what corresponds to reality.  Therefore to know a statement is true there must be a real object about which that statement is being made.  The statement, “I am writing with a pencil” is only true if there is really a pencil with which I am writing.  So the search for truth is in the real world.   Ultimately truth tells it like it is, corresponds to the facts and matches its object. 

You might ask “What does truth about reality being knowable have anything to do with Christianity?”  It is because the Christian faith is a truth claim.  For instance, Christians believe that Jesus was born, lived a sinless and miraculous life, was crucified on a Roman cross, was buried and on the third day rose from the dead.  So if we say that “Jesus rose from the dead” we must back that up with facts in the real world.  So while, the Christian faith is just that, “faith in” Jesus as the Messiah, it is backed with reasonable evidence in the real world that it is true.  That is why I say that the Christian faith is a factual faith.  Therefore, it is true.


There are many in our world today who question truth.  Norman Geisler put it concisely,   “Relativism—denies absolute truth, Agnosticism—denies all truth, Skepticism—doubts all truth, Post-Modernism—affirms no truth, Pluralism—affirms opposite `truths.’”

Some people today would say, “Truth is what works.”  If it works then it must be true.  The problem with that idea is that it confuses what truth does with what truth is.  For example, lying may work for us but that does not make the lie true (or right). 

Some people would say, “Truth is found in good intentions.”  The idea is that if you are sincere then that makes it right.  It does not matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.  If I told you to get to Olivet Baptist Church you needed to get off Hwy 412 and go south—I might have intended to tell you to go north so according to the good intentionists, it would be correct.  This is illogical.  If truth is found in good intentions then well-meaning atheists would be telling the truth about God’s non-existence and well-meaning Christians would be telling the truth about God’s existence.  Obviously, opposites cannot both be true just because they are sincere.

Some would say “Truth is a matter of perspective.”  Truth is decided by the individual.  You hear this all the time, “What is true for me, is true for me and what is true for you is true for you.”  Frank Turek says try this next time you go to the bank.  Say to the bank teller, “I would like to withdraw $50,000 from my checking account.” When the teller says to you, “I am sorry you only have $50 in your checking account.”  Say to them, “That might be true for you but that is not true for me.  I want my $50,000.” If that works, let me know.   If something is true, it is true for all people, at all times, and in all places.  Norman Geisler in his book Reasons for Belief points out that some cultures used to believe a dragon living under the earth (not the movement of tectonic plates) caused earthquakes—that the earth moved when the dragon moved.  It is true that they believed this, but that didn’t make it true. If something is true, it is true whether you believe it or not.  If George Washington was the first president of the United States then it would be true for everyone in all places at all times. 

Some would say “No one can discover truth.”  That is a self-defeating statement.  The statement “No one can discover truth” is in itself a truth statement.  That whole idea is illogical and self-defeating.

Some would say “Truth is what feels right.”  The problem with that idea is that feelings and emotions change.  If that were truth then there would never been any bad news.  I mean bad news never feels right so that would mean that bad news could never be true. 


So what is truth?  Truth is what matches reality, truth corresponds to the facts, truth tells it like it is and matches its object.  This is important to understand because the bible makes truth claims.

 "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." John 18: 37 (NIV)

“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14: 6 (NIV)

"…If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8: 31 (NIV)

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1: 17 (NIV)

Over 78 times Jesus claimed to be speaking the truth.  The Holy Spirit is called “The Spirit of Truth”.  The Bible says the Good News about Jesus is true. 

Understanding that the truth about reality is knowable is important because the Gospel is not based on myth, legend, fairy tale or even blind faith but it is a reasonable faith based on truth.  The Gospel is life-changing, eternity altering because it is based on TRUTH.  It is THE TRUTH about God.

Next time we will look at proof #2:  The opposite of true is false.

Pastor Scott


Frank Turek and Norman Geisler.  I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. Crossways Books 2004.

Norman Geisler. Twelve Points That Show Christianity Is True.

Norman Geisler and Patty Tunnicliffe.  Reasons For Belief.  Bethany House 2013.

Norman Geisler and Joseph Holden.  Living Loud Defending Your Faith. B&H Publishing Group 2003