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Questions and Answers | Is Biblical Truth Disputable?

Is biblical truth disputable or indisputable?

When we say “biblical truth” we mean everything that God has revealed in Scripture. Paul taught that “all Scripture is God breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16), meaning that God is the source of the affirmations of Scripture. We are also told that the affirmations of Scripture are “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness” (v. 16). The Bible says this because God, being perfectly good and all-knowing, can neither lie nor be mistaken.

We are able to understand biblical truth by the teaching of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:6–13). And we know other truths by other means. For example, we learn philosophical truths by rational reflection; scientific truths by empirical (or sense-based) investigation; and historical truths by testimony and artifact evidence.

In one sense, all truths are indisputable. It is foolish, even irrational or immoral, to deny something that one knows is true. After all, “facts don’t lie,” according to the old adage. The Holy Spirit has taught us to recognize truth, so we cannot deny it. Every Easter, Christians around the world proclaim, “He is risen indeed!” This affirmation, that God raised Jesus from the dead, is biblical truth. And among those to whom “God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Gal. 4:6) the resurrection of Jesus is indisputable. We say, “He is risen indeed!” because of the sure teaching of the Holy Spirit. Skeptics of the gospel will contend that Christians are deluded, but their simple doubts cannot dissuade us from knowing spiritual truths by spiritual means.

However, as thinking beings, we do have the ability to question (or dispute) everything. As Christians, we may find ourselves on the receiving end of these questions concerning our faith. Peter taught that the believer must “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).

Skeptics who doubt that we know spiritual truths are invited to question us, and we must respond “with gentleness and respect” (v. 15) because “the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace- loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17). We are not expected to know the answer to every question, but we can direct those asking difficult questions to biblical resources or experts who are able to answer their inquiries better than we can.

BY Sanjay Merchant

Sanjay Merchant is Professor of Theology at Moody Bible Institute and a teaching pastor at Northshore Christian Church in Everett, Washington. He earned his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University School of Religion, and Master’s degrees from Biola University. He enjoys helping his students wrestle with hard questions of the faith, teaching courses on philosophy, theology, and apologetics. Sanjay and his wife, Erin, have four children and reside in Roselle, Illinois.

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