Sunday, November 30, 2008

Characteristics of Someone Who Desires Truth

Handling truth in a community of believers means that individuals who earnestly desire to know God share certain characteristics.

1. The person who desires to know the truth believes that what he believes to be true is actually true. As I have covered in a previous post, many people often argue for what they believe with a contrived set of presuppositions. They believe what they believe for a different set of reasons than they say they believe it. The reason is because down deep, they realize that the real reason they believe it isn’t good enough. This means that they know that what they believe isn’t trustworthy. They know that it’s not true.

When someone who desires to know the truth and offers a different argument at some point from the real reason he believes it to be true, then if his belief is indeed true, the two reasons for believing will be validated and compliment one another. Both can be argued.

Therefore, if someone desires to know the truth and discovers it, he will contend for it with certainty.

2. Despite the fact that someone who desires to know the truth can believe his beliefs to be true, he understands that his beliefs may be erroneous.

3. If the first two characteristics are true, then he will desire to have his beliefs challenged. To be certain of the truth is imperative to the believer. If what he believes to be true can be contended, then he will make the best argument he can for it. However, he always hopes to have a stronger argument and desires his beliefs to be challenged. If his arguments fail, then either his arguments weren’t good enough or his belief is in error. Since truth comes from the Creator, then even the simplest believer has arguments accessible to him that cannot be refuted. What good is a revelation otherwise?

4. If the first three characteristics are true, then he will be willing to change his beliefs when he discovers that they are in error. If we continue to grow, then we grow through refinement or correction. An investigation of the difference is perhaps fodder for some future article, but the point is that we grow spiritually because we currently lack understanding in some area. If we are to grow, then we must be willing to give up a false or less-refined understanding for a better one.

These characteristics define a process through which beliefs are refined and the truth made more certain. If this happens, then we continue to grow in truth. Therefore, earnestly seek to know the truth.

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