| Reality - 1
by Bruce Malone
Western civilization was founded on the realization that an infinite creator God exists. It was upon this
basis (that the universe was the orderly product of an intelligent being) that the founders of modern science
had the confidence to develop the scientific method and modern science. However, in the last 200 years,
the consensus has shifted away from the belief that ultimate reality is based on a personal creator God who
has clearly communicated with people. Many now believe that ultimate reality is based on matter and
energy which have always existed in some form. In essence, God has been replaced by science as the
source of ultimate reality. This shift of viewpoint is largely justified by the acceptance of evolution (both
biological and cosmic) as fact.
|Modern man uses science to understand all of reality based on natural processes of time, matter, and energy. However, science can never completely define reality because it is merely a tool which organizes observations in such a way as to help explain the physical world. Current observations are extrapolated to explain the past (which can no longer be observed) or predict the future (which also cannot be observed). As more observations are gathered, predictions of science (known as hypotheses, theories, and laws) often change.|
For example, the universal laws of motion developed by Newton in the 1600's gave way to the
expanded theory of relativity of Einstein in the 1900's. The realization that science is ever changing has
been incorrectly extended to all areas of life, leading to the conclusion that there is no absolute truth. The
scientific method cannot prove what has happened in the distant past or predict with absolute certainty what
will happen in the future. However, this does not mean that certain things are not true or have not
happened. Similarly, science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God, but this does not affect
the reality of His existence.
If ultimate truth and reality exist they must have some basis. There must be some starting point if any object is to have an absolute meaning. For instance; a book, a painting, or any other particular created object has no meaning outside of the creator or interpreter of that object. It has no meaning in and of itself. In a similar yet far more complicated way, humans, who are finite beings, can never create absolute truth. If there is absolute truth beyond our experience, it must come from a source other than a finite being or a group of finite beings. An enormous number of opinions can never add up to absolute truth. Only a source of truth which is outside of ourselves can provide a sufficient basis for ultimate reality and absolute truth. Thus, absolute truth can only exist if an ultimate being exists; i.e., God. As belief in a relevant God declines, belief in absolute truth also declines. Conversely, as belief in absolute truth declines belief in a relevant God (as described in the Bible) also declines. The two are irrevocably connected. Perhaps this is why Jesus repeatedly stated that He is "the Truth."1 Notice that the text does not say that He knew, told, or revealed the truth. Rather, it explicitly states or implies that He is the truth.
If God exists, if He created the universe, then He must know what works and what doesn't. He must know what is right and what is wrong. He must know what has happened in history and the motivations behind those historical events. Thus, the existence of a personal God necessitates the existence of ultimate truth. God's existence and character is the central question and starting point of all reality. The history of mankind is the history of how humans have dealt with this question of God's existence and character.
Is there sufficient evidence for the existence of a creator God? Much of the evidence supporting this possibility is presented in these Search for the Truth articles. Is this God a personal God who has interacted and communicated with the humans whom He created? Other articles will seek to clarify the answer to that question. The foundational assumption of every article will be that truth does exist. Either Jesus Christ was the creator of the universe or He was not. Either the Bible is God's chosen method of communicating with mankind (therefore, it can be clearly understood and cannot contradict itself) or it isn't. Either our forefathers correctly understood the basic nature of man when they built the checks and balances into our society or they were wrong and we do not need all of those checks and balances. These and many other subjects are examined in this column.
1. The Bible, John 14:6;John 18:37; John 5:33; John 1:14