A Truth for All Time
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A Truth for All Time

While browsing the musty stacks of a used book store my eye stopped on the spine of a book entitled, Truth for Our Time.   Upon opening it I saw it was published in 1888.  “Could it be,” I thought, “that the truth for 1888 is different than the truth for 2008?”   I knew that John Dewey, the first great American philosopher, believed truth is simply what works best in a time.  Could this author be taking the same position as Dewey?  Is something moral in one age and immoral in another?   The State of Texas recently seriously disrupted the lives of over 400 children because of a position of modern morality.  Yet those same moral leaders most likely go to church and hear sermons about God’s men Abraham, Isaac, David and Solomon; all of them polygamists.  The Ten Commandments clearly tell us not to kill yet some of our government’s most ardent supporters of war are conservative Christians.

Clearly morality is not so clear, which raises the question, “Are there immutable principles for all places and all times?”  It’s a serious question for serious times.  Jesus reduced the Ten Commandments to two laws.  We must love God and love our neighbors.  But how do I show my love for God?  In Matthew 25:45 Jesus said, “If you have done it unto the least of them you have done it unto me.”  So there is really only one law.  Paul seems to agree.  In Galatians 5:14 he tells us the sum of the whole law is our care for each other.  This is a truth for our time; a truth for all time.

Written by Roger Bothwell on June 10, 2008

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