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When Pilate is questioning Jesus at his trial, he asks: What is truth? Previously Jesus had said ‘I am the truth.’ Was Jesus just being deep and mystical or is there a truth in there?
We live in confusing times, overwhelmed by conflicting news, views, and ideas. It has become increasingly difficult to know what is true and what is false: so, what is truth?
There are two types of truth: objective truth or subjective truth.
Objective truth is something that is true for everyone at all times, and in all situations no matter their personal position on it.
Pure science and math define what is objectively true by explaining how the earth is in orbit around the sun or that one plus one equals two. Some people have claimed otherwise, but whether you believe it or not, it remains true, it just is.
Subjective truths are the truths you hear when someone says ‘what is true for you isn’t necessarily true for me,’ or ‘know YOUR own truth.’ In other words, subjective truth is really just an opinion. It’s not objective truth at all.
If you say Chocolate Ice Cream is the best flavour that is a subjective truth. I can respect that Chocolate Ice Cream is the best flavour to you, but I personally think Goody Gumdrops is better – is either of us wrong? No! because it is subjectively true for each of us.
Our culture today tells us that ALL truth is subjective and there is no objective truth. But this goes against reality.
Why is truth important?
Truth is important to us as Christians because living in a world where truth is objective, we can know where we stand, we can trust what we see, because we don’t decide what is real, it just is.
And ultimately, we can connect with and trust the source of all Truth, Jesus.
I’m Michelle Englehardt from Thinking Matters; visit us at www.thinkingmatters.org.nz