Today's sermon at church was fascinating. It was on a topic I wholeheartedly agree with, had read about in certain books, but NEVER preached from the front of a service. And I appreciated it very much.
The gist of the service was this: There is truth outside the walls of the church and the covers of the Bible. The guy who preached- Matt Carder, the young adult pastor at the church- made the case that truth about God, and 'life, the universe, and everything' can be found anywhere. He cited places in the scripture where Paul quoted false prophets or Peter quoted Pagan poets and affirmed what they said as true. Matt then said this implies that they read and took seriously secular sources. I'm not sure I've ever been encouraged to do that from a Christian source.
I touched on this topic in a previous blog, but Matt expanded on it and made the point that we should not immediately discount anything that is not labelled 'Christian' - nor take as truth all things that are. "Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." Paul says in 1st Thessalonians. We must do both sides of this- test what is labelled 'Christian' for its truth value, and in the same way, don't discount automatically what is secular, test it similarly.
The last point in the sermon was that, since all truth is from God (Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth..."), we need not fear or deny any truth. Again, I wholeheartedly agree. Sometimes I feel like Christians around me will ignore the bits of truth that hard to take and fit into their narrow worldview. As Matt said, when we see a new truth, our faith gets bigger. We learn of a new aspect about God, his creation, or his people. I think this is why I like school- the whole 'faith & learning' bit that Taylor expounds. It's also why I like talking to people with different ideas than those I hear all the time-they have different truths in their worldview than I have considered, and I am able to see the world in a little bit different way, or at least have something to chew on and incorporate into my worldview, if it holds.
One thing Matt didn't say, but I wish he did, was, although truth can be found all around, that is not the equivelant of everything being truth. Obviously, all ideas are not true- there are ideas that blatantly conflict, and logically, one must be false. It is then that we go back to the character of God and undisputed facts to see which idea holds. That's another thing I'm pretty adamant about- discerning truth from falsity. And so I try, and learn as much as I can, as I have time.
A thought I had while listening to this sermon: how would a presentation of this idea- that there is truth that can be found outside of the covers of a Bible and church walls- be received if it was given, in, say, chapel at Taylor? What would the response be? I can imagine different scenarios. What do you think?