Category Archives: e-Booklets

Booklets of short stories written by Chaplain Tom Kendall and used in his ministry.

Defining Absolute Truth

Defining Absolute Truth

An Analysis of “Truth”
By Tom Kendall

An Introduction to “Truth”

The word “truth” is often mislabeled and misused. One man’s “truth” is often another man’s folly.   Therefore, we must put the term “truth” in perspective. Webster defines “truth” as:

truth (trōōth) n. pl. truths (trōōthz, trōōths)
1. Conformity to fact or actuality.
2. A statement proven to be or accepted as true.
3. Sincerity; integrity.
4. Fidelity to an original or standard.
5. Reality; actuality.
often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.

Because most people accept the term “truth” at this level, let’s examine these definitions to see if they hold up in all cases.

Conformity to fact or actuality.

This definition is acceptable in what I will refer to as “relative truth”. That is, it is “true” in relation to a set of facts or circumstances, but not the type of “truth”, “absolute truth” that we will seek in this article. It is “true”, and thus “truth”, that the sun is shining where I am today, but that is not necessarily the “truth” if you aren’t where I am today. Therefore, it is an example of how the truth is “conformed” to fit the circumstances, or what is “actually” perceived by the person espousing the “truth”, but the truth is only “relative” to the person who fits the circumstances, and can not be considered and “absolute” truth.

A statement proven to be or accepted as true

At one time, scientists “proved” that the world was flat and it was accepted as “truth”. Therefore, just because it was “proven” and “accepted” as truth, didn’t actually make it true. This is what I will refer to as “perceived truth”; that is, it is true because it is perceived, and generally accepted as “true”, but the element of time eventually uncovers the fallacy and replaces it with a new perception of “truth”. Continue reading Defining Absolute Truth

Is the Bible True?

Is the Bible TrueIs The Bible True?
By
Tom Kendall

BIBLICAL CONTRADICTIONS

One question, and often a criticism of Christianity, is the true believer’s total belief in every word in the Bible being the absolute truth, inspired only by God Himself.   When referring to the Bible, many non-believers will immediately disregard it as being a “myth”; so full of contradictions that it can not be believed.

The prevalence of secular humanist and pantheistic views, although around for hundreds and even thousands of year, have flourished in the last hundred or so years. Such views have underscored this point with millions of people that the Bible can’t be believed because it is so full of contradictions. They have heard it so many times, that they believe it is true, that the Bible is full of contradictions, by the mere fact that so many OTHER people believe in the contradictions. That would be like saying that just because most people believed the world was flat before Christopher Columbus set out on his journey to the new world, that it was indeed flat.

When confronted with such a comment, or ascertain by a non-believer, the simplest thing to do, in most cases is simply ask them a question, such as:

“I understand that many people believe the Bible is full of contradictions. Can you name me one?”

If they can not, and most generally can not even make a feeble attempt to quote any perceived contradictions, the illustration of most people believing the world was flat didn’t make it flat. Truth is NOT determined by democracy. Perhaps they will at least be willing to listen to what the Bible has to say at that point.

Your word is truth.” – spoken by Jesus in John 17:17John 17:17
English: World English Bible - WEB

17 Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.

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“The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” Psalm 119:160Psalm 119:160
English: World English Bible - WEB

160 All of your words are truth. Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.

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“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6:17-18Hebrews 6:17-18
English: World English Bible - WEB

17 In this way God, being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us.

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Above all, remember the words of Paul in his letter to Timothy:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-172 Timothy 3:16-17
English: World English Bible - WEB

16 Every writing inspired by God literally, God-breathed is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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Indeed, there are people who are aware of what appears to be contradictions in the Bible and can name some, however, the references they’ve probably picked up from non-believers are not contradictions at all. Instead, they are most often the result of someone either not reading, or not studying the Bible sufficiently and assumes because something appears to be saying something different, it is in fact a contradiction. Once a contradiction is established, the logic generally goes: “If there is one contradiction, there are no doubt many. If the Bible HAS contradictions, both versions can not be true. If one is not true, then one can’t say the ‘Bible is true’, and thus it can’t be relied on as the absolute truth or Word of God.” Continue reading Is the Bible True?

What is the Trinity, Who am I and Why Do I have To Be Born Again?

What is the Trinity Book CoverWhat is the Trinity,
Who am I, and Why Do
I Have to be Born Again?

By
Tom Kendall

These are some of the most common questions, next to “what is the meaning of life?” that people often ask.  They are questions that often drive people either deeper toward faith in God, or completely away from Him particularly when they can’t seem to find a good answer.  So, in this document, we will begin to explore these questions and seek Biblical answers in order to try and understand them in the context of the “big picture”, which is God’s Plan for His creation.

In this document, I will try to help paint a word picture made up of smaller pictures of these key elements.  Often, when we visualize something, it seems to be easier to remember and perhaps seems to make more sense when it all  “fits”.

THE TRINITY

The word Trinity, simply stated, means “tri-unity”.  This is why we often refer to God as a “triune” God.  There is only one God, but it is perhaps somewhat misleading to propagate the old description of “three Persons”.  The reason I believe this can be misleading is because when we think of the word “person”, we think of an entire and complete human being.  This is where it seems much confusion comes from in that people often say how can three Persons be one God?

Islam, for example, distinguishes their God “Allah”, from the Judeo-Christian God because they say we have three Gods, and they only believe in one.  For centuries, Christians have insisted we only believe in one God as well, but when we bring in the “three Persons” analogy, they will say “see, you have three Gods.”

Personally, I prefer to think of our one God as having three distinct “properties” that can be observed in scripture and in the real world.  To begin this part of the investigation, we should start by examining what God Himself said when He was busy creating us.  Look at Genesis 1:26-27Genesis 1:26-27
English: World English Bible - WEB

26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.

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26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Considering at the time of verse 26, no human had been created yet, as God was in the process of making man.  So, who was He talking to in the quotes?  I believe the answer is He was speaking everything into existence (not evolving it into existence).  Then the next question we must ask is why does He say “Our”?  That is plural, so was there more than one God?  No.  We confirm that in verse 27 where it says “So God created man in His own image”.  Now, it’s singular in the next verse.  I believe Verse 26 is our first glimpse of God referring to His triune nature; that is three properties of the “Father”, the “Son” and the “Holy Spirit”.

The natural question then is “who are these three people or ‘properties’ of God?”  Here is where some think this is a paradox, but in reality it may appear to go beyond our ability to reason, but not against reason itself.  So, let us use a bit of logic using God’s own Words to try and understand it better.

God spoke: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”   In the world, when we think of our own image in our likeness, we often think of our reflection in a mirror.  When I look in a mirror, the reflection looks like me, but it is not me.  In other words, it appears to have the same properties I have, but it cannot function as an independent being, as in this example, it is merely a reflection. Continue reading What is the Trinity, Who am I and Why Do I have To Be Born Again?