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SERMON DATE AND TITLE:  2009-05-17 "The Philosopher's Question"

A CD copy of this sermon is available.  Specify date & title with your e-mail request, along with delivery information.




END OF BILL MOYERS INTERVIEW WITH WORLD MAGAZINE, March 14, 2009 – PBS Broadcaster and Journalist:


So would you say that the resurrection is a myth? What are the facts of Christianity?

When I was in seminary, these were big issues to me. They're not anymore, because I realized that if things were based on fact it would be a very disillusioning experience. You can't take the resurrection by fact— you have to take it on faith. You appropriate the story for what it means to you and what it says to you. ... If it means something to you, that's very important.

If you were a journalist employed by the Jerusalem Times sometime around A.D. 30, do you think you would actually be able to go out and see Jesus being crucified, or do you think that that's just a story that has spread without any factual basis?

I have a strong suspicion that He was crucified, but there's no empirical evidence about it.

Paul writing some 20 years after the resurrection said that it happened, and that this is the basis of our belief. Do you believe that the resurrection actually happened, and if you don't, what is the basis of your faith?

Well, I've come a long way and I have a long story behind me. Growing up in a Southern Baptist church, and all these years since—my faith is based on my experience. This includes being taught to learn, thinking, reading the Bible critically from a historical and journalistic standpoint—I, like you, spend a lot of time reading my Bible—and it can't be justified by any of those measures. It is part of my story and is therefore a necessary part of my faith, but I wouldn't dare suggest it is essential to anybody's faith who doesn't have my experience.

Someone recently asked me what the moment was when I became a Christian. And I told them, I never did become a Christian. I can't turn the other cheek. I can't sell all my pos­sessions and give them away. I can't love my enemy. I am not a Christian because I can't do what Jesus asks. But, I care deeply about that figure. He has instructed my faith; He looms large in my life. But I can't do what He asks me to do, so I can't legitimately claim to be a Christian. ®

“based on fact”


Mr. Moyers is dependent on Aristotelian empirical rationalism. Facts to him are only those perceived things that filter through his five senses: touch, taste, hearing, seeing, and feeling. Only human, rational deductive  logic is real, everything else does not exist. If Western World scientists cannot perceive it, it doesn’t exist.

“my faith is based on my experience”


For Mr. Moyers’ faith is purely a subjective experience. In simplest terms, being subjective means truth is determined by an individual’s opinion, feeling and experience.


Faith is relativism and up to the individual. There are no absolutes.


Ultimate truth is absolute truth. The Bible is ultimate truth.


“that figure”

Mr. Moyer’s cannot say Jesus is a person, thus for him, Jesus cannot be his personal Savior.


May 17, 2008

Sheepfold Ministries - Pastor Phil Roland


W h a t   I s   T r u t h ?

John 18:33-36

"Pursuing truth is the preoccupation of philosophers and scholars. Everywhere we turn people are insisting they have absolute truth. Historic Christians believe they have found truth in a person: Jesus Christ.  "                                     Pastor Phil


 “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6


GREEK LOGIC - Aristotelian empirical rationalism – Truth is only those perceived things that filter through his five senses: touch, taste, hearing, seeing, and feeling. Only human, rational deductive logic is real, everything else does not exist.

SUBJECTIVE - Truth is determined by an individual’s opinion.

RELATIVE – Truth is up to the individual. There are no absolutes.

ABSOLUTES – Philosophy says there are no absolutes. For we who believe, the Bible is ultimate truth.



          A. The Coherence Theory of Truth

                        1. Truth is the coherent system of ideas

                        2. Truth is all of humanity’s present system of ideas

        B. The Pragmatic Theory of Truth

                        1. Truth is whatever is workable

                        2. Truth is the satisfactory solution to a problem

        C. The Semantic Theory of Truth

                        1. Truth is bound and limited by language

                        2. Truth cannot be intelligently expressed in real language

                        3. Truth is an abstract intangible that cannot be verbalized

            D. The Performative Theory of Truth

                        1. Truth occurs whenever I agree with a given statement

                        2. Truth is whatever a person agrees with at a given moment

          E. The Correspondence Theory of Truth

                        1. Truth is that which corresponds to reality

                        2. Question: “Whose reality?”

                        3. All of the above theories are subjective

                        4. All are humanistic (man-centered)

                        5. All are rational, based of human logic


          A. There is no God, absolutes, nothing to whom we are accountable

                   1. Dr. Francis Schaeffer quote

                           “What is taught is that there is no final truth, no meaning, no

                             absolutes, that it is not only that we have not found truth and

                             meaning, but that they do not exist.”

                        2. Charles Darwin wrote in his autobiography

                          “With my mind I cannot believe that these things come by chance,“

                            he wrote in his autobiography. And in other places he wrote of his

                            own theories, “I know in my mind this can’t be true, but my mind

                            is only a monkey’s mind, and who can trust a mind like that?”

            B. Truth is found only in the Status Quo – Francis Schaeffer Quote:

                 “Truth is that which is.” (Summarizing Aristotle)



       “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires

         all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

            A. Knowing the truth sets us free – John 8:31,32

               “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My

                 word, you are My disciples indeed. "And you shall know the truth, and

                 the truth shall make you free."

                        1. The truth is knowable

                        2. Those who abide in God’s Word shall know the truth

                        3. The truth found in God’s word shall set men free

            B. Does your truth agree with Jesus’ words? – John 17:17

                 “"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”



“Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” 

            A. He is not “A Way,” He is “The Way”

                        1. Jesus does not allow us wiggle room

                        2. He does not accommodate “New Age” as ”A Way”

                        3. He does not allow Eastern or Third World religions as A Way

                        4. Can a Jewish person go to heaven?

                                    a. Only by the same way as anyone else

                                    b. Only by the grace of God and the One who is The Way

            B. He is not “A Life,” He is “The Life” – 1 John 1:1

                 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we

                   have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands

                   have handled, concerning the Word of life;”

                        1. He is the Source of Life – John 10:10b

                            “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it                                     more abundantly.”

                        2. Popular culture seeks the good life, it’s only found in Him

          C. He is not “A Truth, “He is “The Truth”

                   1. Truth is not found in economics, money or finances

                        2. Truth is not found in politics

                        3. Truth is not found in humanistic philosophies

                        4. Truth is not discovered in a geographic place

                        5. Truth is not found in heath and wellness