Objective truth exists. Objective good and evil exist. But can a mortal man know that truth? Can he recognize real good and discern real evil? The answer is a certain yes. However, some adopt an agnostic view of truth and declare that men are so limited that they cannot know the truth. The consequence is an inability to identify error and, at the most extreme, an inability to evangelize.
Truth is Known
The classic text is John 8:32: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Here Jesus comforted believers by confirming that that they were his disciples and added the certainty of knowing the truth. Prophet Daniel desired to know the truth about the visions he saw. He received the truth of the fourth great beast he witnessed (Daniel 7:19 ff). In Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, our Lord declared that his apostles had come to know the truth (John 17:8). John wrote to believers who knew the truth (1 John 2:21). In 2 John 1, he addressed his letter to all those who “know the truth.”
If one declares that he cannot know the truth, or argues that we do not know enough to discern truth, he ignores clear Bible teaching. There are some things reserved unto God’s divine knowledge (Deuteronomy 29:29), but among those things revealed, we can know them with certainty. There are some things reserved unto God’s divine knowledge but among those things revealed, we… Click To Tweet
Faith Depends on Knowing Truth
How miserable is the man whose agnosticism causes him to doubt! Abraham was not agnostic about God’s promises (Genesis 15:13), but fully expected the Lord to deliver (Hebrews 11:8-13). David did not doubt when God promised victory over the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:19).
We believe that Jesus is the Son of God but if truth cannot be known, how can we be certain? We believe that Jesus will come again (John 14:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11) but if truth is unknowable, we have no basis for our belief. The entire 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians was written to combat doubt. Paul asserts the truth of the resurrection and the assurance of our heavenly destiny. Hebrews declares that we have confidence to enter into the holy place through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19). How can we have any confidence if we cannot know that God’s promises are true?
Why Question Truth?
If truth exists, and it does, and if truth can be known, and it can, why are some agnostic? It could be that some have never studied the subject and never considered the ramifications of agnosticism. While it is difficult to distinguish the motives of others, we may observe that an agnostic view of truth is comfortable and less confrontational. If one allows for a more malleable kind of truth, then he will not feel compelled to confront others about untruth in their lives and worship. He can simply declare that he cannot know if they are right or wrong. Then he is free to continue in a comfortable relationship.
Truth can be hard. We must never be harsh in our approach to sin, nor can we compromise that which we know. Truth can be hard. We must never be harsh in our approach to sin, nor can we compromise that… Click To Tweet As the apostle wrote, we must speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).