How do you determine religious truth?

How do you decide what you believe? Is it a gut feeling, what sits right with you or a witness of the Spirit? Do you trust your friends, believing as they do? Do you follow a tradition developed over 2000 years? Or do you need to prove it from the Bible as the only inspired revelation?

The way you determine truth reveals a great deal about you and the kind of church you’re likely to belong to. Christians divide over the basis of truth when we consider our way the only way.

Truth is more than I perceive, stretching beyond the horizon I see.

So here’s how I answered this question in another forum this week.

My response

Humility is at the heart of discovering truth. God is true, but my perception of his truth is fragmentary, mixed with beliefs I need to shed, limited by a small faith that never perceives the extent of God’s majesty.

God is known in people. We were created to image him. God made himself known through Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, and ultimately in Jesus his anointed ruler whom we recognize as Lord.

God is revealed in the inspired narrative of the people he revealed himself to. Scripture is the story of people encountering God, perceiving him as he revealed himself, establishing his people and his reign over us, responding to God’s revelation of himself, communicating what God spoke to us, with the living Word at the heart of history.

God is revealed by his Spirit: through the prophets, the Anointed (Christ) who anointed his servants as his first act when he took the throne at the right hand of the majesty on high, and who continues to govern the earth as the Head operating through his body through the Spirit.

So, we listen to the God revealed in Scripture, in history, in Christ, in the Spirit, in each other. Truth is revealed in relationship, because God is love. Truth is important so we can love in truth like our Heavenly Father.

Your response

Does this shock you, or expand your horizon? Post a comment below.

Truth is found in Scripture, but the book was never God’s goal.

Truth is found in Christian tradition, but God is still forming (and reforming) us.

Truth is rooted in God’s character, and his Spirit is forming his true character in us as we recognize his Son as our Lord.

Truth is not for fighting each other. It’s the one who is Faithful and True, something we know as we live together in him.

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Author: Allen Browne

Seeking to understand Jesus in the terms he chose to describe himself: son of man (his identity), and kingdom of God (his mission). Riverview Church, Perth, Western Australia

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