By Michael E. Brooks
“Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together” (Acts 19:32 NKJV).
This week there was a tragic accident in Khulna in which three members of a family were killed. The motorcycle on which they were riding was struck by a speeding truck and none survived. One interesting aspect of this incident is that I have already heard four versions of the accident, all of them significantly different.
Accounts vary as to where exactly the accident occurred, whether the motorcycle was struck from the front or rear, which driver was at fault, and in other details. Each account is told by someone who was supposedly either present, or heard it from a witness.
Legal experts sometimes state that the worst form of evidence is the testimony of eye-witnesses. People are notorious for memory failure, poor perception, and free interpretation of their experiences. It is true that many times one can interview several different people at a specific event and get different accounts of what actually happened.
In such circumstances, how does one arrive at truth? Can we ever know exactly what is true? In the case of a traffic accident, perhaps not. But in more important affairs the answer is an emphatic yes. Jesus promised, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).
Truth is the nature and the prerogative of God. He is true (John 3:33). He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). His judgments and actions are always true (Psalm 19:9, Deuteronomy 32:4). This has obvious implications for his revelations as well.
If the Bible is inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16) and is comprised of his word (Hebrews 4:12), then it follows necessarily that it is true in every respect.
We often hear that there is no absolute truth. We also hear that all men cannot possibly understand the Bible alike. Such assertions have no basis in reason or in fact.
God has spoken, in common language used by ordinary people. Is the all-wise God not capable of expressing himself accurately and effectively? Certainly he is. It is not that we are incapable of understanding him (and that is the issue; not whether we can agree with each other, but whether we can understand what God wishes to tell us), but rather that we are too often unwilling to understand (Romans 1:28-32; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11).
There is truth. It is available to us. We can grasp it and be informed and transformed by it. It is a gift of God’s grace, sent from his own nature. Let us listen, and let us learn.
By Michael E. Brooks