Some Things are True

by Gregory Koukl

It is impossible to know the meaning of any written text. If this is true, log off the web now. If not, read this commentary to find out about self-refuting arguments.

I mentioned that I spent last evening and all of this morning with a very, very dear group of people–about 15 adult men and women–who are very committed to Jesus Christ and His gospel. I mentioned earlier that they were a strange group of people; I guess that’s the wrong way to put it. They’re not strange as a group of people but they come from a rather strange world. At least it was strange to me. The irony is that these folks actually, in a sense, probably saw my world as strange because it was very different from theirs.

Let me give you a picture of my world, by and large, at least as it touches this particular issue. My world is a world in which thinking matters, in which there is such a thing as truth, in which truth can be known and in which we use thinking to assess ideas to determine whether they are true or not. There’s really not much room in my thinking system for comments like, Well, that’s just your interpretation, or just your opinion, when the emphasis is on “just.” Of course it’s my interpretation. Of course it’s my opinion, but it’s not just those things in that I’m not simply sharing my point of view, I’m sharing my reasons why I have a point of view.

Now it could be that my opinion or my interpretation is mistaken, but the only way for me to find out whether it’s mistaken or not is to get at the reasons I draw the conclusions which form either my opinion or my interpretation. I don’t believe that all opinions are equal. I don’t believe that all interpretations are equal. I don’t believe that all cultures are equal, or all morals are equal. I think there are value differences and so do you, every single person who is listening to me, even if you deny such a thing. You’re not telling the truth.

So I believe in a world in which there are these distinctions, and these distinctions are possible to determine. We use a number of different tests, if you will, to determine this. I use the same tests everybody else does, I just do it a little more self-consciously than many.

I also come from a world in which there are a lot of people like me who believe in clear thinking and also believe in the orthodox doctrines of Christianity–the virgin birth, miracles, the resurrection of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of the work of the cross, Jesus as God, the revelation that God gives through nature and through the Scripture, the Trinity–all of these things that have been a part of Christianity from its beginning. I happen to believe those things and so do the people I hang out with. Beyond that, these are bright people that I hang out with. They do thinking quite well. You can know that by simply talking to them for a little while.

I come from a world that affirms Christianity and affirms clear thinking, and the two are not at odds with each other…


Stand to Reason: Some Things Are True

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