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In His Service
   A Newsletter from the teaching ministry of
          Dr. Daniel M. Sweger
7991 Port Republic Road, Port Republic, VA 24471 USA
    Phone: (540) 249-4833
IHS Ministries

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations ... teaching them ... Matthew 28:19-20

What is Reality?

       In the last newsletter I discussed the possible origins of the book of Genesis. (You can find the article Origins of Genesis on the website.) Next to the Gospels themselves, this is the most important book in the Bible because Genesis lays the foundation for the entire Bible.

      For many years there has been an attack on Genesis in Western culture. During the 16-, 17- and 1800s there was a growing questioning of the Bible among some intellectuals, and this doubt became focused when Darwin published The Origin of the Species. The theory of evolution quickly became popular and directly challenged the Biblical account of creation.

      For the last forty years or so Christians have made a head-on assault on the theory of evolution by citing many scientific evidences that Darwinism cannot possibly work. In recent years the principle of irreducible complexity has brought a new perspective and good ammunition into the battle.

      The issue, however, is much more than a scientific one. It goes to the very heart of how we view reality. What we consider as being real determines how we live. In this newsletter I want to briefly look at three things that shape our view of reality.

       Truth. Evolution and the Biblical account of creation are at complete odds with one another. The two are contradictory and cannot be reconciled. To state it simply, one is true, and the other is not. In order to conclude which is true we need to understand the very nature of truth.

      In the philosophy which has dominated our culture over the last 200 years, truth is defined purely empirically. That is, we cannot know anything outside of our intellect applied to information collected by our five senses. If that is the case, then there is nothing that can be known outside of the material universe, and truth changes as our knowledge of the universe changes.

      The Bible, however, takes a completely different perspective. Truth is not a thing. Jesus said, I am the way, and the truth, (John 14:6) Truth is embodied in the person of Jesus, and since Jesus is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever, (Heb. 13:8) truth is both unchanging and eternal. Truth must be totally consistent with the person and nature of Jesus. Anything contradictory to the nature of Jesus cannot be true. 


December 2004

      Just as the truth is totally embodied in Jesus, so also is knowledge.

       Knowledge. In the same manner, knowledge is popularly considered to be information that is collected and organized. Intelligence is thus measured by how one can deal with knowledge; that is, how a person solves a problem by applying systematic logic to an array of related facts.

      When God created man and woman and placed them in the garden, His one command was that they should not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Gods design was that He would reveal to man that which he needed to know in order to avoid mistakes.

      Knowledge comes from revelation, and there is nothing we know or can know except that God has revealed it to us. Consider the words of Moses:

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. (Deut. 29:29)

I believe this extends to all knowledge. In the history of science, for example, virtually every new concept, from gravity to quantum mechanics, seemed to come out of the blue. Not one thing has been discovered that God meant to keep secret.

      This is especially true of Himself. We can only know God to the extent that He has chosen to reveal Himself. God has revealed Himself in many ways, including His creation and the Bible.

      Although we can know something of God in many ways and from different sources, He has chosen to make the most complete revelation of Himself in Jesus. The highest level of the knowledge of God is to walk in intimate fellowship with Him as one would a father. It is to converse with Him, revealing our thoughts and feelings to Him, and having Him reveal His thoughts and feelings to us.

      This type of the knowledge of God can only happen through Jesus. At one point Jesus said to the Pharisees, I and the Father are one. (John 10:30) Later He said to the disciples, no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6) Notice that Jesus refers not simply to God, but to God as Father. When one is in Jesus, he goes from being a son of disobedience to adoption as the son of God.