OPIN­ION

‘Ev­ery­one who is of the truth lis­tens to my voice’

The Covington News - - Religion -

Pos­si­bly one of the most mis­ap­plied por­tions of scrip­ture is found in Je­sus’ in­ter­view be­fore Pi­late. Most may not be familiar with the en­tire set­ting of that in­ter­view, but al­most ev­ery­one is familiar with Pi­late’s in­fa­mous re­sponse to Je­sus’s state­ment, “ Ev­ery­one who is of the truth lis­tens to my voice” ( John 18: 37). Pi­late’s of­ten quoted and familiar re­sponse was “ What is truth?” ( John 18: 38).

Most seem to think that this was some philo­soph­i­cal in­quiry by Pi­late. Per­son­ally, I don’t see it that way. I don’t see it as a gen­uine ques­tion, be­cause if it were a ques­tion, I be­lieve Je­sus would have re­sponded to it. I don’t think it is the ex­pres­sion of a man who is search­ing for truth rather I see it as the re­sponse of a man who has been jaded by life; a man who has ex­pe­ri­enced the twist­ing of truth and a man who now re­flects a skep­ti­cism born out of de­spair.

Many to­day are like Pi­late. Peo­ple ask me all the time to give them ev­i­dence for God’s ex­is­tence, and while I am pre­pared to do that, I have learned that at­tempt­ing any such dis­cus­sion on my part is fu­tile un­less first they an­swer me as to what ev­i­dence they are pre­pared to ac­cept. For cen­turies the classical ar­gu­ments for God’s ex­is­tence were seen as pow­er­ful and rea­son­able. To­day they are by and large com­pletely re­jected.

Th­ese classical ar­gu­ments are the cos­mo­log­i­cal ar­gu­ment which is sim­ply the ar­gu­ment that ev­ery ef­fect must have an ad­e­quate cause. To­day that ar­gu­ment is re­jected out­right. We are told that what we see in the uni­verse is a mere re­sult of time and chance ( which frankly is a cos­mo­log­i­cal ar­gu­ment in and of it­self since it ar­gues that what we see had the ad­e­quate cause of time plus chance). But let a per­son sug­gest that the cos­mos points to an allpow­er­ful cre­ator, and you are ei­ther laughed at as if you were a fool or pitied as if you are an im­be­cile.

The sec­ond ar­gu­ment, the tele­o­log­i­cal ar­gu­ment, is the ar­gu­ment from de­sign. While hard science dem- on­strates con­clu­sively the cru­cial bal­ance and laws that had to be in play for life as we know it to ex­ist, and while sta­tis­tics prove the ut­ter im­pos­si­bil­ity of all th­ese fac­tors com­ing about by chance, there are still those who an­grily de­nounce any need for a grand de­signer and hold tena­ciously to a the­ory that has proven it­self to be wrong again and again.

The sad thing is th­ese same peo­ple would mock me if I were to sug­gest to them that the com­puter upon which I am typ­ing this ar­ti­cle was not the in­ven­tion of any man, but rather the ac­ci­den­tal prod­uct of chance. They un­der­stand the fool­ish­ness of such an ar­gu­ment on this very small scale yet can­not seem to com­pre­hend the ne­ces­sity of a de­signer on the uni­ver­sal scale. I can only say, this is a de­cided prej­u­dice. Like Dar­win they “ have no use for any the­ory of ori­gins which re­quire a God.” That is not rea­son. That is a moral bent that has made up their own minds not to be con­vinced by the ev­i­dence around them. The Greek Philoso­pher Plato said, “Athe­ism is a dis­ease of the soul be­fore it be­comes an er­ror of un­der­stand­ing.” The great an­tag­o­nist of Chris­tian­ity, Voltaire, ob­served “Athe­ists are for the most part mis­guided schol­ars who rea­son badly, and who, not be­ing able to un­der­stand the Cre­ation, the ori­gin of evil, and other dif­fi­cul­ties have re­course to the hy­poth­e­sis of the eter­nity of things and of in­evitabil­ity.”

The third ar­gu­ment is an­thro­po­log­i­cal ar­gu­ment which ba­si­cally says that the fact that we can think and are moral be­ings points to­ward a stan­dard, a cre­ator, who placed th­ese abil­i­ties in us.

The fi­nal ar­gu­ment is the on­to­log­i­cal ar­gu­ment which was ad­vanced by Plato who ar­gued that, “ be­cause I can con­ceive in my mind a per­fect be­ing he must ex­ist.”

Back to my premise: Pi­late dis­missed Christ’s claim to truth by scoff­ing at the con­cept of truth. To­day many fol­low in his steps. The ev­i­dence is clear and com­pelling, but they are blinded by their de­sire to have things their own way, so they sim­ply dis­miss truth with a wave of their hands and hand it over for cru­ci­fix­ion.

John Pear­rell

Colum­nist

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