Our church has begun the series of lessons from The Truth Project. This is a 12-week course that Focus on the Family has produced, and we are providing it for study on Wednesday evenings for adults and youth. Mr. Darrell Smith, friend of the pastor and member of a church in Yucaipa, is leading our study.
We have completed the first three lessons.
Lesson One was designed to direct our thinking with regard to four fundamental issues: Truth, God, Man, and the Social Order. The question, the deep question Pilate asked Jesus, was, "What is truth?" Jesus made the claim that all truth is embodied in him (as he is God incarnate). All truth, with Jesus as central to it, divides the world into two opposing sides. Contemporary culture stands in direct opposition to the Truth-centered worldview presented in the Bible. The end of Lesson One came with a challenge: "Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?"
Lesson Two was the introduction to Philosophy and Ethics as pillars to the foundation of Truth. Webster stated in his 1828 edition dictionary: "True religion and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same principle." The definition of the word philosophy asserts that philosophy aims "to enlarge our understanding of God." Opposed to that is Carl Sagan's assertion that "the cosmos is all there is or ever was or ever will be." The problem with that is the exclusion of God which therefore leads to an understanding that is deprived of a universal reference point. And thus, the scientific quest cannot answer the most basic questions about right and wrong behavior. This lesson concludes with the words found in Romans chapter 12, verse 2: What does it mean to be "transformed by the renewing of the mind?"
Lesson Three engages us in an in-depth examination of biblical and contemporary ideas about the nature of the human race. What is man? Where did he come from? What is the meaning and purpose of his existence? And, finally, why is there evil in this world? The Bible teaches that man consists of both body and spirit and is created in the image of God. Our culture assumes that man is purely material, the product of mindless and purposeless forces. Scripture says man is fallen from the original state of innocence through rebellion against God. The culture of godless philosophy and psychology asserts that man is "basically good" and needs to throw off the restraints of superimposed social conventions and institutions (moral standards) to pursue self-fulfillment. The Bible reminds us that man must find redemption in God through faith and repentance. This lesson has a question at the end: "Why do non-believers and evolutionists find evil so troubling if man is allowed to pursue their base desires?"
Lesson Four, which we will study this coming Wednesday, is about: "Who is God?"