In search of the truth

Andrew Foster / Gary Powell
We all believe something. To be human is to hold some sort of system of belief. We may be largely unaware of the beliefs that are at the root of much of our thinking, but they are there just the same. We know we have convictions on particular issues, some we are prepared to talk about others we are not.

Most of us are prepared to discuss our thoughts on some of the great institutions of society, such as marriage, education, law and order etc. But such views are not held within a vacuum. Each of them is an element in the total pattern of our system of belief - what we hold to be of greatest value, whether we believe that life is basically purposeful or meaningless, and so on.

People have always asked the same basic question. What is the meaning of the world and our lives in it? Why is there suffering and evil? Are there a purpose to our existence and a meaning to history? What are right and wrong? What is human nature? For some the Biblical faith fits like a glove on the hands of the way things are, while others seek to reason out their existence in a number of ways and reasoning.

How do we come to the beliefs we hold? Are they the products of our own individual thinking? Few would deny a real personal factor, but all of us are shaped to a greater or lesser extent by the whole wide context of people and events that surrounds us from birth.

"Forget all the worldly know/edge that thou hast acquired and become as ignorant as a child and then wilt thou get the divine wisdom."

"I'll believe it when I see it" / "I believe it, therefore I will see it"

How do we know? How can we be sure that what we think we know is accurate?

In the absence of truth do we live a lie? Can I trust your Word? Will you keep your word? Will it keep me?

Keep it to yourself

Thinking of God
Is God real? That basic question is intended to open up some of the immense implications of the question of God's reality, how we understand not only God but also ourselves, reality in general, and human understanding.

Did God create Man or did Man create God?

That God created mankind, male and female, in his own image is a matter of faith. That our forebears strove for centuries to perfect themselves in the image of their God is a matter of historical fact. Imitatio Dei, the imitation of God, the imitation of Christ.


"There is no final resolution for the tensions of the human soul - all one can do is try to illumine human existence - but this illumination is a tiny flickering light set against the emcompassing darkness of night."

Karl Jaspers

We have found an interest in the debate of what we, or other people believe. In satisfying this curiosity stimulated by reasoning of the mind, heart and spirit we are helping each other investigate the different paths that men take in their search for truth and how that relates to our own viewpoints, experience and inner beliefs.
The 'Debate' like a good conversation at a dinner party, or honesty between friends may offer opinions, points worthy of discussion without offering definitive outcomes or reveal the answers to all the subject discussed (that this view is more valid than that view).

We embark on a journey of discovery, debate illuminated with visual reasoning inspired of God or man. "lhe word is a lamp onto my feet and a light onto my path." Our audience will be of people inside and outside the churches who hope or even trust that there is a God and who feels the power of Jesus, or those that find too much in the traditional interpretations of the Bible to which they cannot, in all good conscience subscribe.


"Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving... his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms... no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave... and the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath debris of a universe in ruins."

Bertrand Russell
At its crudest, the humanist and secular thought is tied up in a single parcel with the theory of evolution, that the belief that all of the things we see in the world around us has developed by chance - that there is no God who created the world?

Others believe 'reason' when it stands under God's revelation becomes a servant of great value, which can be used to explore and reflect on the world in which we live. It is only when reason is made master that it becomes a tyrant leading us into ignorance and confusion.

It is our opinion that the expression of faith and the investigation of the acknowledgement of 'doubts' can stimulate the individual and churches to develop their faith with still deeper insights into its truth. For lots of religious talk is analogical, poetic, expressionist, and open-ended, subject to interpretation and correction.

"Let there be light"
Reality is often constructed around what can be measured and calculated. - What is termed 'hard facts'. In this 'real world' the realm outside that of hard facts is merely that of the emotion and conviction - perfectly fine to indulge in but equally debatable, unprovable and in real world terms, personal and confined to the individual. Faith in God brings a perception of reality overarched by a transcendent purpose; an understanding in which the complex and the mysterious have quite as much place as the two-dimensionally limited realm of'hard facts'. This is a view of life in which learning to live with, and learn from, not knowing is as important as knowing, for in this struggle lies the essence of being human (rather than just an animal or some sort of complex mechanical being - a complex flesh and blood computer).
However strongly we are affected by our experience we remain essentially individuals with the 'power' to choose in what or whom to believe. Is this a right given by God?
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".

"There will be no major solution to the suffering of mankind until we reach some understanding of who we are, what the purpose of creation was, what happens after death. Until these questions are resolved we are caught."

Woody Allen

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