Bottom Line on Ultimate Truth: The Apostle John in I John
You must be able to get out of the theoretical on truth to the concrete in order to realize the bottom line of ultimate truth. You must even go more practical than the philosophical of Elton Trueblood in THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION and YOUR OTHER VOCATION, even the parts on “intellectual honesty”, and more practical than the scientific approach of R. A. Millikan in “Evolution in Science and Religion.” You go far beyond the thoughts for discussion only, with justification and rationalizations of life as it has been lived, like Pilate said to Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38) And right now, before we get into the bottom line of the Bible on all Bible, focusing on the bottom line of the Bible on truth, we must note how in the previous verse to 18:38 usage of truth by Jesus Himself, and the philosophical usage of truth by Pilate as an common intellectual excuse, is the exact difference we will seek from the Bible in I John as the bottom line of real, ultimate, practical, and bottom line truth. What did Jesus say about truth before Pilate said, “What is truth?”
4-1: “What Is Truth?”
“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36)
“Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are you a king then?” (18:37a)
“Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” (18:37b)
While we could bog down with many pages right here on all these kingdom and king aspects of truth from Jesus, also dwelling a long time on the fact that the very mission of Jesus to earth from heaven and God the Father was to “bear witness to the truth”--so full of implications to be the supreme witness from God of truth itself--in order to focus on this bottom practical line of truth before diving into I John, we concentrate on the aspect of truth from Jesus of “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”.
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