In the Bible it is written: “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” (Pr 23:23)
God has much to say about truth and the value of truth. What is truth, and how do we identify it? In the book of Proverbs He focuses particularly on the need to diligently search out wisdom — our apprehension and union with truth in practical experience — and how the enemy of our souls would keep us from obtaining this. God says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Pr 4:27) He is saying that obtaining wisdom is the main objective of life; it is to be our constant pursuit. Certainly then, the enemy will try to deter us in this pursuit; once we obtain some truth and start trying to live in it the enemy will pressure and tempt us by various means to let it go for something more appealing … offering us something false in its place.
When God says, “Buy the truth, and sell it not,” He seems to be hinting at this struggle. He is suggesting that wisdom is available … but not for free: there is a price to pay for wisdom, there is a struggle in finding truth; understanding doesn’t just fall into our lap all on its own.
God is also evidently saying that wisdom is priceless, that it cannot be valued, that it is infinitely precious. He says, “Sell it not” … not for any price, at any time, ever. Get all of the truth that you can, all of the wisdom, all of the understanding, all of the time, and never, ever let it go for anything else. Finding truth and living by it is very important, much more than we seem to know.
It is no surprise then that the enemy of our souls continually promotes lies and foolishness in every way that he can, and that one of the enemy’s primary devices in his warfare is the mouth of foolish men. God says, “The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.” God warns us that false reasoning will be positioned by fools to undermine truth and turn us from it. He says again, “As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.”
Evidently, a certain mentality exists in men which proposes error and falsehood in a subtle way, perhaps initially imperceptible but eventually causing great discomfort to the soul: a mentality which resists truth by means false reasoning and illustrations. This tendency is certainly something all men may be prone to at times, to some degree or other, and must be carefully resisted.
Such foolishness is so common today, especially in religious circles, and seems so confusing, intimidating and complicated that many of us give up trying to find the truth at all. We quickly grow weary of sorting through all of the lies and nonsense … and dealing with the contempt and hostility of those who either insist on imposing their own views on everyone else, or are busy contradicting and shutting down anyone who proposes to understand any truth at all. It is often very difficult in our day to even engage in friendly, conscientious debate with others in our pursuit of understanding without feeling abused and roughed up in the process.
Yet giving up in our search for truth is simply not an option, not once we understand how valuable it is. This is in reality the search for God Himself … a journey important enough for the enemy to relentlessly attack; we should not be surprised, we must find the patience to endure, and we must look for tools to help us on our way.
Here we propose to define certain principles to help us in our search for God’s truth, devices which help us identify and avoid various kinds of false reasoning in order to secure truth for ourselves and maintain it in our hearts. Establishing these principles in a sterile environment, outside the context of a particular discussion, enables us to apply them objectively in order to validate a concept and avoid the rather blinding effects of predisposition and internal bias which so often corrupt our reasoning. These principles are proposed as a standard by which any particular proposition may be objectively tested and evaluated.
Let us begin by considering the following facts, which we assume to be true.
1. God defines truth.
2. God is perfect.
Let us briefly consider each of these facts, and the principles implied in them, and then understand how to apply them in finding the truth and keeping it in our hearts.
Our foundation in seeking truth is laid primarily in the fact that God defines truth, which establishes a single ultimate, objective standard by which to evaluate any information we receive in our search for truth. By this we may define Truth itself as that entire body of ideas and concepts which are aligned with and consistent with God. In addition to Scripture, we assume that Creation (Science), Logic and History are also legitimate sources of information as we seek to know the truth, because God is the Author of Logic, the Designer of Creation, and the perfect Observer and Interpreter of historical events. Therefore all four of these sources of truth must be consistent, fully aligned with a single ultimate Source.
Secondly, since God is perfect there must not be any falsehood, no inconsistency in God or in anything that He establishes. He does not contradict Himself by claiming that some idea or concept is both true and false in the same way at the same time. Though many statements contain a measure of both truth and falsehood within them, reality itself cannot be inconsistent with itself. In other words, no concept or idea can be both aligned with God and at the same time and in the same manner not aligned with God. The appearance of contradiction must then be merely an indication of partial and incomplete understanding, not actual contradiction. This is vital for us in any pursuit of truth; without firmly establishing this concept there cannot be any real pursuit or apprehension of truth. To openly accept the possibility of real contradiction in our faith is to deny our faith from the very outset and to strip the concept of truth itself of any meaning. (What Is Truth)
Here then, as we acknowledge the nature of God and how this relates to truth in general, and as our present purpose is in seeking truth and wisdom, spiritual and moral understanding, we will focus our attention on Scripture and Logic and how to use these to “buy the truth and sell it not.”
Scripture is evidently provided by God as our primary source of information in establishing truth, particularly spiritual or moral truth. He has inspired the Bible and preserved it for us that we might be perfectly equipped unto all good works. (1 Tim 3:16-17) He intends that we search His Word, know the truth as He reveals it to us, and be set free by His truth. (John 8:32) We should memorize His Word, meditate on it day and night, and apply its principles by living our everyday lives according to the truth revealed therein.
Though Scripture is given to us as our primary source of truth, the enemy relentlessly twists and misrepresents it in order to deceive us. The Word is often misquoted, mistranslated, and taken out of context even by those who mean well. Quite often it is simply denied, even by those who claim it as their only rule of faith and practice. The only way one can consistently protect themselves from such deception is to consistently return to the Scripture itself to verify the referenced texts independently … with a willingness to humbly repent when we discover that we are ignorant or have misunderstood it, and also to humbly question and challenge those who differ with us, carefully evaluating their responses in order to ensure that we understand all aspects of a topic as well as we are able.
A common tactic of the enemy with Scripture is to discredit a principle of Scripture by challenging its authorship. This can be done explicitly and blatantly, or very covertly. Clearly, many openly reject the Bible as divinely inspired and mock those who trust in it. However, these folk are not so great a danger to those who believe in the Bible as those who also claim to believe it and yet undermine it more subtly by placing undue emphasis on the scribe who penned the words instead of the true Author. Paul, Moses, Solomon, Lemuel’s mother, etc., are not the true authors of the Bible. One should lose such phrases as, “Moses’ said,” “Paul wrote,” “Peter said,” etc. God is the Author of any and every Biblical text.
A second common maneuver of the enemy is to leverage corrupt translations of the Bible. When one wishes to reject a particular truth, they may simply locate a translation which obscures it. The very existence of multiple translations of the Bible implies to many that a principle of truth cannot be established for certain from the Scripture unless it is evidently present in every translation of the Bible, or at least most of them. In other words, if a particular truth is evident in the Bible and one is not conveniently disposed to obey it, a natural strategy is to question the validity of the translation. If ANY translation of the Bible can be located which obscures or omits the principle in question, then the challenger feels the freedom to pick the translation he likes best for that particular topic, and for no other reason, presuming that there is some genuine confusion concerning how the text should be translated and understood.
On the other hand, if there is some behavior that one wishes to justify, most will generally find it sufficient to find only one translation which appears to commend it. Folk tend to believe what they would like to believe and will seldom pursue a topic further once they have found some convenient justification for their particular way. Further pursuit of the truth at that point, to completely verify that it is indeed truth, has little reward for the dishonest soul. Since there are so very many translations of the Bible, especially in English, it is quite likely that a translation can be found that suits one’s purpose to excuse or encourage nearly any behavior or belief. In doing this both the deceiver and the deceived find convenient encouragement while turning away their ears from the truth, waxing “worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2Ti 3:13) In the extreme case, folk find cause to entirely reject the Scripture as authoritative, claiming the very presence of contradictory translations implies that none are trustworthy.
Rather than challenging such translations themselves (The Syrian Recension), which on the surface seems to require several decades of study in the original languages with no real guarantee of success (when in reality the pertinent facts can be realized in a few moments by studying the nature of God, as in Given By Inspiration) most folk simply retire from a genuine pursuit of truth and do as they please.
The ease with which this tactic finds success tends to discourage concerned believers from presenting truth that might be objectionable to others for any reason. Especially when it comes to exhorting or reprimanding others in the church, nearly every saint finds themselves terribly ill-equipped, preferring to stick to principles that are not too inconvenient or unacceptable in the surrounding culture, or which can be proven by other means. Thus, as our present culture deteriorates further and further into darkness it is naturally carrying the churches right along with it.
Finally, and perhaps this is the most common sort of error made with the Scripture itself, most of us go astray in our pursuit of truth by failing to consider the Word in its entirety when validating a particular idea. This problem stems from our internal biases and predispositions which cause us to resist the truth ourselves, and from our ignorance of language and the meanings of words, and from the inherent frailty and imprecision of language itself. Words often have multiple shades of meanings, and sometimes distinctly different meanings depending on context. It is easy then to come to the Scripture with a false idea already in mind that we wish to justify, and then find an isolated verse or two that can easily be superficially understood to teach what we want … and be done with it. However, there may be several verses in the Bible directly contradicting our views, and if we fail to also consider these particular verses we will continue in bondage to our cherished lies.
Acknowledging Scripture as the ultimate source of truth requires that we must not accept any concept as true unless it is consistent with all of Scripture: if any verse of Scripture directly contradicts a concept then that concept must be false to the degree that it contradicts or is not aligned with the entirety of God’s Word. Therefore, while it is certainly necessary to find a scriptural context in support of a moral or spiritual concept in order to accept it as true, this step in itself is generally insufficient. In order to be complete in verifying and establishing the truth of a concept we must ensure that no verse of Scripture contradicts this concept — and this is often a much greater challenge. Yet it is in such labor that we find our greatest reward — truth itself in its purest and strongest forms.
Pursuing truth at this level requires us to humbly acknowledge our own predispositions and shortsightedness, even as we pursue the truth. It requires us to remain vulnerably open to legitimate challenges from others who disagree with us, and should even encourage us to meekly seek out such opportunities in order to validate and establish our faith. Carefully considering the beliefs and opinions of those who disagree with us, and trying to understand their reasoning in the most accurate and compelling form possible, is essential if we are to be fully informed and honest in pursuing truth ourselves. Doing this enables us to further verify that we have not overlooked any particular scripture which provides us the needed balance and precision in our beliefs. Incorporating this perspective will even help expose corrupt translations of the Bible, which will tend to openly contradict themselves in places (His Virgin), and find a significant amount of truth within them in spite of their inaccuracies.
Logic is also provided to us by God in our search for truth. He created Logic for Himself, along with all other created things, (Co 1:16) and He certainly did so for a purpose. Logic is a language common to all men that enables every person to discern certain particular truths based upon more general truths (deduction), to discern general principles from specific particular truths (induction), and to compare complimentary and related truths for verification by requiring overall consistency and harmony in our beliefs. Logic is a language that permeates every facet of every civilized culture on the face of the earth, and it is a language that does not change with time. No sane person rejects this language … by definition, for we call people insane when they do so consistently. God gives us many examples in His Word of how logic enables us in our search for truth, how truth is found, and how a successful search for truth is done. He clearly assumes that we understand this language and He communicates to Mankind consistently in it.
The very concepts of Truth and Falsehood, and how truth statements are formed and evaluated, need no proof: general agreement with these concepts may be assumed. However, understanding the principles certainly does not guarantee that one will walk free from error; when we are careless, drawn to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, we are often deceived into accepting logical errors. We might accept a falsehood as truth and not even notice that we are doing so. When we do make the effort to think in this logical language in our evaluation of a concept, perhaps as enlightened by the Holy Spirit through His Word or the admonishment of a friend, we are able to discern truth from error. When we are unwilling to do so, we evidence unwarranted prejudice, irrational bias, and a lying spirit.
The fact that we are all fallen, biased, sinful human beings implies we must constantly guard ourselves against self-deception and deception from others. Logic is one of our primary means of doing this. When we learn some new principle or truth, we are obligated to try it, challenge it, test it, and evaluate it based upon other truth that we have already received. Logic is the tool set by which this is done.
Logic itself can be validated by applying its principles in neutral or sterile environments, such as mathematics, and verifying them for consistency with empirical experience. In fact, human relations cannot be stabilized apart from this language. The fact that we are made in the image of God apparently makes this language an intuitively common one for us and for God. The concept of Logic, the nature of this divine language and how the spiritual mind will discern truth through logic, deserves our special attention.
To begin a general review of the fundamental principles of Logic, we make a simple statement: “It is raining.” This is a simple statement of fact and is either true or false (so long as we have some objective criterion by which to identify this “raining” state): either it is raining or it is not raining. One tells the truth by making true statements, and one lies by making false statements … statements which contradict reality.
We may combine simple statements by assuming the truth of one simple statement and forming a condition from it that implies the truth of another statement: “If it is raining at 10 am then we will go to the store.” This is a statement that links two simple statements on the condition that the first simple statement is true. Like a simple statement, this type of conditional statement is also either true or it is false by definition.
In this type of statement there are two components: there is an hypothesis A, the first statement, and a conclusion B, the second statement that is true when both the first statement and the compound statement are true. If our hypothesis A, “it is raining at 10 am,” is true, and if our conditional statement itself is also true, then our conclusion B , “We will go to the store,” must also be true. If the conclusion B is ever false when the hypothesis A is true, then our conditional statement is a false statement: that is, if it is raining at 10 and we do not go to the store then our conditional statement is false. These general concepts are evident to any sane mature human being … it is our common adult language. We do well to ponder this language and ensure that we are fluent in it.
Evidently, a conditional statement by itself does not imply anything about what will happen if the hypothesis is false — what we do if it is not raining at 10. In our conditional statement we did not say anything about what we would do if it is not raining at 10, we stated what we will do if it is raining at 10. If it is not raining at 10 and we do happen to go to the store, this does not imply that our original conditional statement was false.
If the hypothesis of a conditional statement If A then B is false, as when hypothesis A does not apply or is incorrect (when not A is true), then the conditional statement is considered true by default since it is not false. For example, both going to the store and not going to the store is not inconsistent — and is therefore consistent — with our initial condition, “if it is not raining at 10.” This condition of a false hypothesis is termed vacuous (empty) hypothesis.
The not A concept implies a second logical construction that can be made from any conditional statement: the inverse. The inverse of a conditional statement, “If A then B” is, “If not A then not B.” This is a negation of both the hypothesis and conclusion of the original conditional statement. “If it is not raining at 10 am then we will not go to the store.” is the inverse of our original conditional statement.
The inverse of a statement does not represent the same concept as the original statement; the inverse represents a different complimentary concept. While both a statement and its inverse can certainly be true, the one can be true without the other, and vice versa. Given our original conditional statement it certainly might be true that we go to the store all the time, both when it raining at 10 and when it is not … but this would be inconsistent with the inverse, that we will not go to the store if it is not raining at 10. Again, a statement and its inverse are not equivalent statements.
A common logical fallacy used in deception is to claim a truth from the inverse of another truth. Consider 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is a logical conditional statement. The conditional hypothesis A is, “If we confess our sins,” and the conclusion B is, “He is faithful and just to (1) forgive us our sins and (2) to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Since God said this, we know that it is true: if we confess our sins, we know that God will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness since He is faithful and just.
However, many claim the following from this text: “If we do not confess our sins, then we will not be forgiven.” This is the inverse of 1 John 1:9, and it represents a completely different concept. God did not actually say anything here about what He would do if we do not confess our sins. He did not say here that we must confess our sins in order to be forgiven, as many incorrectly deduce from the text (by claiming the inverse). It is certainly possible, in light of this text, that God will forgive unconfessed sins … it is illogical to conclude that confession of sin is a requirement for forgiveness based solely upon this text. In, fact such a conclusion violates the text itself … the last part of the text indicates that God forgives and cleanses of ALL sin, not just the sins that are confessed.
This false use of the inverse leads folk to conclude that the sin of suicide cannot be forgiven since it cannot be confessed properly, implying that anyone who commits suicide must go to Hell. This error in logic also leads one to reject the gospel itself, encouraging one to focus on confession of sin as an ongoing work needed to maintain salvation instead of resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
If a statement and its inverse are both true, one has a definition, a “must,” if you will. If we say, “If it is raining at 10 then we will go to the store,” and we also say, “If it is not raining at 10 then we will not go to the store,” then and only then may one logically conclude whether we will go to the store or not based only on whether or not it is raining at 10, and visa versa. If either the hypothesis or conclusion are true in such a scenario, the other part of the compound statement is necessarily true.
Another possible logical construction one can make is the converse of a conditional statement: interchanging the hypothesis and conclusion. The converse of, “If A then B,” is, “If B then A.” Like the inverse, the converse is not logically equivalent to the original statement. The converse of, “If it is raining at 10 then we will go to the store” is not the same as saying, “If we are going to the store at 10 then it is raining.” As before, these two statements can certainly both be true, however one might be true when the other is false … showing that they do not represent the same concept. In other words, it may be true that we go to the store when it rains, but we could certainly also go to the store when it does not rain without being inconsistent. In this sense, as with the inverse, one cannot legitimately claim the converse of 1 John 1:9, that if God forgives a sin then the sin was confessed, unless God explicitly says this elsewhere … 1 John 1: 9 does not support this statement.
A third construction one could make from a conditional statement, in addition to the inverse and converse, is the contrapositive, which combines both the inverse and converse into one. The contrapositive of a statement, “If A then B,” is, “If not B then not A.” The contrapositive is in fact logically equivalent to the original statement: if a statement is true then its contrapositive must also be true, and if a statement is false then its contrapositive must also be false — the two statements represent the same truth and are equivalent. This can easily be demonstrated using a truth table (a chart showing all of the possible values of the hypothesis and conclusion and the resulting validity of the statement), revealing that a statement and its contrapositive are exactly equivalent. Saying, “If it is raining at 10 then we will go to the store at 10,” and “If we do not go to the store at 10 then it is not raining at 10,” is saying exactly the same thing. Similarly, one can legitimately claim, based on 1 John 1:9, that an unforgiven sin has not been confessed by anyone included in the “we” of 1 John 1:9 … whoever that might be.
When one observes that a conditional statement and its contrapositive are equivalent, and that both the inverse and converse of a conditional statement are not equivalent to the original statement, it is not merely coincidental that the inverse and converse are each the contrapositive of the other and are therefore equivalent to each other (the inverse, “If not A then not B,” is the logical contrapositive of the converse, “If B then A,” and visa versa), and that taking the contrapositive of a contrapositive statement gives the original statement back. This is not coincidence; it is inherent in the purity of Logic.
The fact that the contrapositive is equivalent to its original conditional statement can be very enlightening. God revealed to me that I was not a Christian using the contrapositive of 1 Peter 2:7a, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” This is a simple statement of logical truth: “Jesus Christ is precious to you believers.” From this simple statement a conditional statement can be formed: “If you are a believer then Jesus Christ is precious to you.” The contrapositive of this is, “If Jesus Christ is not precious to you, then you do not believe.” The two conditional statements are each exactly equivalent to the initial concept expressed in the simple statement in 1 Peter 2:7a.
This “revelation” from Logic was quite powerful for me at one point in my life when I was examining myself, whether I was in the faith or not. If you claim to be a believer and find that God is not precious to you then something is wrong … either the Bible is lying or you are not a believer. I sincerely propose the latter: this is Logic, and it is truth. This step removed all of my doubt about whether I was a genuine believer in Jesus Christ or not … and I was not … and very thankful at the time to know where I stood. God used this to prepare me for conversion to Christ, which happened in me several weeks later.
To illustrate further, we find a statement similar to the contrapositive of 1 Peter 2:7a in 1 Corinthians 16:22, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha (condemned).” This statement, “If a man does not love Jesus Christ (then) let him be… (condemned),” is similar to the contrapositive of 1 Peter 2:7a and would have had the same affect upon me as a lost sinner had I meditated sincerely upon it. The contrapositive of 1 Corinthians 16:22, “If a man is not condemned then he loves Jesus Christ,” is likewise similar to 1 Peter 2:7a. We find both truths to be in harmony, being also consistent with Logic itself. This is no surprise since God is the Author of both of these scriptures and also of the logic that inherently links them closely together.
When we look at these texts more closely however, though they express very similar truths, we note that they have different hypotheses and different conclusions; the conclusion of the 1st text (1 Pet 2:7a) is actually the negation of the hypothesis of the 2nd text (1 Cor 16:22). The hypothesis of text 1 assumes a believer in Jesus Christ (A) and concludes with affection towards God (B). The hypothesis of text 2 assumes the inverse of affection towards God (not B) and concludes with condemnation (C). To put the statements in parallel, we take the contrapositive of 2, giving us:
- 1: If A then B: “If one believes then he loves God.”
- 2: If not C then B: “If a man is not condemned then he loves God.”
To find these statements linked together tightly, logically, we need to find a relationship between A and C, believing in Jesus Christ and condemnation. If this relationship exists we may employ another logical principle: transitivity, to fully relate these truths.
Transitivity is a logical structure that extends equivalence: If we know that the statement If A then B is a true statement, and we also know that If B then C is true, then we may also conclude that the statement If A then C is a true statement. This conclusion is valid because it is based upon a logical law, often referred to in mathematics as The Transitive Law. The law is often stated using the concept of equality rather than simply conditional statements: If A=B and B=C then A=C.
A transitive structure contains a compound hypothesis with two logical components: A=B and B=C. If both component hypotheses are true and the entire conditional statement is valid and true then the conclusion is also true. If either component is false, then the statement is true by vacuous hypothesis just as in a simple conditional statement. This law holds true in logic just as it holds true in mathematics (being a pure application of logic).
What we need in order to establish a logical relationship between the two statements above is equality: A = not C. We need to find that the concepts A and not C are equal, that they have exactly the same truth values: that A is true if and only if not C is true. This is the same as saying that A is false when and only when not C is false. We can obtain an equivalence relation by expressing both a conditional statement involving both concepts and also either its converse or inverse. We could say both If A then not C and If not A then C (inverse). If both are true, then this is sufficient to conclude equality. Further, it is also necessary that both be true to conclude equality; if exactly one of the statements is untrue we may not conclude equality (since, as we may observe, if both statements are false … then we can take the inverse of each and obtain equivalence).
In our work with the two biblical texts above the statement of equality would be as follows: “A man is a believer in Jesus Christ (A) if and only if (=) he is not condemned (not C).” It is not sufficient to have just “If not A then C,” we actually need not A=C: when A is true C must be false, and when A is false C must be true. We need a statement and its converse or inverse in order to obtain equivalence. In other words, we need both “If A then not C” and “If not A then C.” Is there such a text in the Bible?
Consider John 3:18a: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already.” Here, God makes a simple statement: “If a man believes on Christ (A) then he is not condemned (not C).” God then immediately also states the inverse: “If a man does not believe on Christ (not A) then he is condemned (C).” We now have what we sought: and God has conveniently placed both pieces together for completeness … Logic is His language, and those who know this language will see Him using it consistently and repeatedly.
In making both statements God links them together as a definition: if one condition is true then the other condition must be true, and if one condition is false, the other condition must be false. Since we have both a statement and its inverse as true, and since we know that the contrapositive of any true statement is true, then all four logical constructions of these simple statements are all true. This is an “If-and-Only-If” relationship: “A man is condemned if and only if he does not believe on Jesus Christ.” Also, “A man is a believer in Christ if and only if he is not condemned.”
Now we have equivalence between 1 Peter 2:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:22: these statements are now seen to be tightly linked, formally — mathematically: we find them to be one and the same in their affect upon us. “If a man is not condemned then he is a believer in Jesus Christ. If a man is a believer in Jesus Christ then he loves Jesus Christ. If a man does not love Jesus Christ then he is condemned and is not a believer.” When I saw the contrapositive of 1 Peter 2:7a, it had the exact same affect upon me as 1 Cor 16:22 since I already knew John 3:18. In this manner we may use the principles of logic to deduce truth and fearlessly find that all truth is in complete and perfect harmony with all other truth. We compare Scripture with Scripture, as in this small step, and accept nothing less than perfect harmony among all the words and works of God. This is possible, if we are simply willing to do it, and it is a very good thing for us to do.
Logical errors can certainly appear in many forms. Treating the converse or inverse as logically equivalent to the original conditional statement results in error. Similarly, abuse of transitivity, attempting to claim the transitive law without having both conditions in the compound conditional hypotheses as true, results in logical error. This is equivalent to applying a biblical principle outside of its immediate context or misrepresenting it in some way.
This device generally employs a common or subtle error to obtain another error using transitivity. The deceiver wishes to prove something false, “If A then C,” and so starts with something we will likely accept, If A then B , since he suspects we will accept a related error, If B then C. If he is correct about our acceptance of If A then B, and we do happen to be deceived by error If B then C, we also end up with another error, If A then C, due to the transitive law … and it is very difficult for us to resist this. The only correct way out of this trap is to question our error, If B then C, admit we were wrong about it, and reject both errors, If B then C and If A then C. This is much more difficult to do than merely rejecting If A then C, especially if If B then C is a widely held or deeply held belief, or a very subtle point that we have overlooked.
Rather than dealing with such a difficulty honestly, and to avoid being convinced by the second lie being offered, most people will actually reject the concept of Logic altogether. This is certainly dishonest, yet much more convenient than humbling ourselves … and thus the frequent choice to avoid the enemy’s attempt to deceive. However, this step gives the enemy an even greater victory in our lives: if we elect to make this move toward pride and dishonesty, we open wide the door of our lives to satanic invasion, and a lying spirit will certainly find welcome in our midst to infest our hearts, deepen our deception, and corrupt and molest all those with whom we interact. This is actually quite a triumph for our enemy, must more devastating than the initially attempted deception.
However, if we are willing to be honest, and find ourselves reluctant to accept the second error, If A then C, because it plainly violates known truth, and we also are humble during this encounter, we can turn the trap against our enemy. We merely recognize the fact that two truths cannot produce an error with the transitive law, so if the transitive law produced an error, one of the hypotheses is necessarily false. We inspect both of these conditional hypotheses carefully, figure out which one is false, and proceed to reject both If B then C and If A then C. This delivers us from a lie that held us captive, we both grow from this… and confound our enemy: he came to bind us further but set us free instead.
Let us take our example in 1 John 1:9, where a deceived one says, “If I confess all my sin then I will go to heaven … I don’t need to be “saved” like you say … the Bible even says so!” What have we here?
First, we go back the text and read it very carefully. What John wrote is this (emphasis mine): “if we confess our sins…” Who is this “we?” We is evidently a group of people that included John. Which group is this? Clearly, John was a sinful person. He was also a believer in Jesus Christ. He was also an Apostle. This special “we” group could therefore be all sinful people, it could be all believers in Jesus Christ, it could be restricted only to the Apostles … for that matter, it could be restricted to Jewish men whose first name starts with “J” and who lived between 3211 BC and 1321 AD … it could be ANY group of people that includes John the Apostle. Regardless, the statement “If I confess my sins, God is faithful and just to forgive me” will be true for anyone included in this ” we” group.
In making his claim, our deceived friend has made subtle use of the transitive law: he has claimed that he is included in the “we.” This is one of the two hypotheses in his transitive statement: “If I am in we and I confess my sins then I will be forgiven.” Both conditional hypotheses must be true for the entire statement to be true. Evidently, the second hypothesis and the conclusion are solid, taken directly from the text of 1 John 1:9; we can only find hope of reconciliation with the rest of God’s word in rejecting the first hypothesis, which is indeed extremely subtle — we would not likely have noticed this in a casual reading of the text. Now, we must show that I is not equivalent to we … and we will likely be accused of splitting hairs when we do…
We know from other portions of God’s Word that a believer can be assured of the fact that God has graciously forgiven them of all sin. Such passages as Acts 13:39, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses,” make this quite clear. It is also evidently true that a believer will tend to confess his sin, rather than hide it and go on in rebellion. We initially conclude that the “we” in 1st John is believers. We are challenged whether it is necessarily true that ANYONE who confesses their sin is immediately forgiven, even an unbeliever, as our deceived friend would have us believe?
If truth is consistent then we only need one counterexample to show that this conclusion is false: Judas Iscariot confessed his sin and was apparently not forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. The wicked often confess their sin and call out to God when things get rough for them, but God will not always hear them: “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.” (Pr 1:28) Also, “They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.” (Ps 18:41)
Finally, to be conclusive we return to John 3:18. Those who do not believe on the Son are condemned whether they confess their sin or not. Since it is evidently possible to confess sin without believing on Jesus Christ … as an atheist caught in adultery might in order to win her husband back. We clearly have our proof: not everyone who confesses sin is forgiven of their sin, confession does not necessarily cause forgiveness. John’s “we” is restricted to believers in Jesus Christ and does not apply to our deceived friend who wishes to work his way to heaven: this principle of forgiveness applies only to believers in Jesus Christ. What (God through) John is doing is encouraging the saint burdened with the guilt of sin, not offering a formula for one to be forgiven apart from faith in Christ. The deception came very subtly, assuming that the “we” includes all people … evidently, it does not.
Notice further in valid logical development, as in the above example, that a conditional statement need not necessarily convey a cause-and-effect relationship between an hypothesis and a conclusion. Assuming that a simple conditional If-Then statement implies a cause-and-effect relationship is a third type of logical error. Conditional statements do not imply such causal relationships. Saying, “If it rains then we go to the store” does not necessarily imply that the raining causes us to go to the store, it merely establishes the fact of our going, the consistent relationship between the first condition being true and the second.
If we wish to convey a causal relationship we must go beyond a simple conditional If-Then statement and explicitly state a causal relationship, “We go to the store because it rains… the rain makes us go shopping.” For instance, one cannot claim that the act of a believer confessing a sin causes God to forgive that sin based on 1 John 1:9 since a causal relationship between confession and forgiveness is not explicitly stated there.
Notice however in John 3:18b that God does not merely create a definition for us, a strict relationship between eternal life and believing on Jesus Christ; in this text God also explicitly defines a cause and effect relationship: unbelief in Jesus Christ causes condemnation… unbelief results in condemnation. “…he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18b) Since faith is the absence or negation of unbelief, and since salvation is the absence or negation of condemnation, then we also have (by inversion of John 3:18b), “faith in Jesus Christ causes salvation,” … a logically equivalent statement due to the fact that we have a definition in John 3:18, and a truth that is also clearly stated by God elsewhere in the Bible: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Roans 5:1)
Another type of logical error lies in the use of Illustration. One wishes to show, “If A then B” and so creates an illustration in order to persuade another that the principle is valid. While an illustration can be very effective in clarifying a concept, one cannot validate a concept merely by illustrating it.
Perhaps one wishes to teach that salvation depends entirely upon the free will of the sinner, and that God has already done everything He can to save the sinner. One may illustrate the point by considering a man offering someone else a free gift. The gift is paid for and presented freely. Yet, if the intended recipient rejects the gift and walks away, the gift does not benefit them since they never receive it. The gift is then wasted.
The illustration is used to attempt to convince us of a falsehood: that salvation depends upon the free will of the sinner to receive it. Since God evidently offers salvation as a gift, and since we have an illustration of someone rejecting a gift that can be rejected in the context of free will, it is evidently “demonstrated” that salvation is entirely dependent on the free will of the sinner. In effect we have three statements, supposedly linked by transitivity, “If salvation is a gift, then it is freely offered. If a gift is freely offered, then it depends upon the free will of the soul to receive it. Thus if salvation is a gift, then it depends entirely upon the free will of the soul to receive it.” This is an, “If A then B, and If B then C, so If A then C,” construction.
The problem with such illustrations is that they assume the truthfulness of what they are illustrating, they cannot demonstrate this truthfulness. The illustration above assumes the second statement, the “If B then C,” and gives a real-life example to illustrate it. However, no proof is offered that this second statement is true … its validity is merely assumed. We typically do not notice this type of deception because our attention is artificially focused by the presenter on the conditions where the statement happens to be true … we are not encouraged to evaluate the statement fully but we are encouraged to accept it simply because it may be true: perhaps in this case we do not notice that there are indeed gifts which cannot be rejected … as when one cancels a debt.
One can illustrate most anything and create an evidently compelling case for most any concept using Deceptive Illustration, especially if one appeals to deep cultural norms or cherished sentiments. Those who are disposed to accept certain concepts as true for whatever reason will find it VERY difficult to sort through such illustrations and will often be further convinced and deceived by them.
One must carefully distinguish between the use of an illustration to clarify a concept, and the use of an illustration to validate or prove a concept. The former is a correct, logical and legitimate use of an illustration; the latter is not. It is in this sense that a parable in the mouth of a fool is very dangerous. Such parables do not generally “walk on all fours…” there is something twisted about them that is not necessarily always apparent.
Christ Jesus certainly uses illustrations. He uses them to clarify concepts, not to validate concepts. He illustrates salvation using the concept of human birth (in John 3… flatly contradicting the “free-will” notion “proved” in the “free-gift” illustration), not to prove a point … that salvation is independent of the will, but to clarify a concept … that salvation, like the birth process, is an entry into an entirely new existence that cannot be understood or appreciated in merely the natural realm.
Another common type of deception that violates Logic is to attack truth using Guilt By Association or personal attack: ad hominem. One says of polygamy, “That’s what Mormons believe!” implying that if a Mormon believes something, then it must be false, dangerous, or incorrect … an illogical deduction. Another says, “Well, even the Pharisees had the Bible memorized, and they are the ones that killed Jesus!” implying that memorizing the Bible is not a valuable thing to do. Still another says, “Satan is the accuser of the brethren, and we certainly don’t want to be anything like him!” implying that it is always unrighteous to bring attention to the fact that a brother or a sister is walking in sin. One wishes to reject the authority of the husband and so will inevitably relate some heinous domestic crime, or attempt to link the concept with a terribly wicked practice or person. One wishes to invalidate both Logic and the Bible as valid tools in the quest for truth … and says with disdain, “You can prove anything from the Bible!” implying that false teachers who wrest the Word of God are using Logic in a legitimate and consistent manner to do so and thus discrediting those who appeal to Logic and Scripture as a basis of reason.
The fact that wicked men leverage a particular truth for evil purposes is irrelevant in evaluating that truth. Likewise, associating a truth with some wicked behavior or a belief system is deceptive, unless this truth necessarily implies such wickedness. Further, one cannot prove non-truth from truth … though one can certainly deceive with false reasoning and twist the truth into a lie. The apparent intended effect in such a maneuver is simply embarrassment or intimidation rather than genuine persuasion. Similarly, subjecting another to open blatant scorn, mockery or anger due to their position has a similar intended effect, tending to intimidate one into stepping down from a position by means of abuse or the threat of abuse. Guilt by Association and/or ad hominem is fundamentally then a tactic of intimidation. Perceiving this move on the part of our enemy should alarm and sober us. We should be prepared to handle this maneuver without compromising the truth … and never, ever use such a device ourselves.
Further, besides appealing to, “who believes what,” another twist to the Guilt by Association tactic is pointing out some sin in the life of a person proclaiming the truth. This is likewise deceptive … for while a person’s sinful life can legitimately bring a question as to the person’s moral integrity, sin in the preacher — or holiness for that matter — has no bearing whatsoever upon the truth that is proclaimed. Unless a particular behavior or concept cannot be legitimately detached from wickedness by definition (e.g. adultery, blasphemy, fornication), then not making the attempt to consider the presented concept in an objective and reasonable manner is dishonest.
Likewise, we should evaluate truth independently of the supposed holiness of the one that brings it to our attention, never taking any mortal as the final authority on any matter of truth regardless of how holy they appear to be, and never rejecting a concept they hold merely due to how unholy they appear to be. Concepts must be evaluated upon the standard and definition of Truth itself, and not upon the general beliefs and practices of those who promote them. The tendency of all men to make this logical error implies that it is critical for those who proclaim truth to live godly lives, and likewise motivates Satan to both tempt God’s servants to wickedness, to proclaim truth through those who are openly ungodly, and to spread lies by ministers who appear to be righteous and holy … Satan himself even poses as an “angel of light” when this suits his sinister purpose. (2 Cor 11:14-15)
Guilt by Association is also intrinsic to the use of extreme illustrations that hide the underlying principles involved, confusing the relevant topic with other similar topics, mixing and confounding principles with possible underlying motives and desires and appealing to strong cultural norms. The feminist, to validate abortion, describes a pregnancy from incest, a seriously handicapped baby, and appeals to common compassion in the context of consequences far beyond the victim’s control. A humanist wishes to propose a calibration of human life and asks a young child who they would save if they could only save one member of their family. Such illustrations often depend upon extreme situations where following relevant godly principles imply great inconvenience, or are not even offered as possible alternatives, and where accepting falsehood generates convenience, pleasure or gain. This device preys upon our inability to discern between good and evil in the midst of sentiment and prejudice apart from God’s revelation. Such “parables” can powerfully direct us into ways that are contrary to God’s Law.
When defending a proposition it is also common for folk to use the Bandwagon technique: to appeal to certain others who believe a certain way or to a large group which believes a certain way. This is the opposite of guilt by association — claiming that no one else believes a certain thing, or that only a very few do, or that everyone else believes a certain way; such conditions have little or no bearing upon the truth itself. As Napoleon said so eloquently, “If a million people do a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.”
However, in the context of discerning spiritual truth, it is reasonable to consider that Christians will generally agree on principles of righteousness because of the nature of spiritual life and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as their Teacher. God has told us that His church is “the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Tim 3:15) If we propose a truth that has no foundation or acceptance with other Christians, particularly with very mature believers, it is likely that we have made an error. Standing alone should cause us to reconsider our position very soberly.
Even so, there will be times when one must stand entirely alone. Paul did so at times. (2 Tim 4:16) The church is quite imperfect and is easily misled by false teachers. It is also true that the enemy has sown tares among the wheat in abundance; false brethren in the church may easily outnumber the true, especially when the church is weak and corrupt. Identifying the Church of living God has not generally been very easy. When God raises up someone to bring her back into His light, He will often use an Elijah, one standing entirely alone against his opposition. So when we find ourselves standing alone, this does not mean that we are necessarily wrong (Ga 2:11-21), but we should be humble enough to verify and establish our position most thoroughly, as well as we are able, and remain even more open to legitimate correction from others than we might be otherwise.
History and Science are also both valid sources of truth. The validity of both forms of information is presented in the Bible: rejection of established historical witness and compellingly miraculous events (which appeal to us based on scientific norms) is legitimate grounds for condemnation. Further, if a significant body of informed righteous people believe some fact is true, this can be taken as reasonable historical evidence (so long as it is consistent with other forms of revealed Truth). This fact forms the basis of our judicial system when determining guilt in a crime. However, these sources of truth are most often of a secondary legitimacy in establishing spiritual truth since it is generally difficult to obtain this type of scientific and historical data first hand, making one generally dependent on other sinners to provide this information in hopes that they will provide it fully and accurately.
Clearly, all secondhand data are subject to human interpretation, filtering, and even blatant deception and must therefore be verified by multiple, independent, objective (unbiased) sources in order to weigh heavily in determining Truth. Failure to observe this weakness in both historical and scientific data is cause for much deception since such data is most vulnerable to subtle abuse. Especially when there is an ulterior motive involved, much scientific and historical data is filtered and corrupted by those who represent it to others; therefore the veracity of such a witness cannot generally be trusted intrinsically.
Even so, those who want to believe something will generally find rich comfort in such filtered and twisted data and draw great confidence and consolation in it — even if they are aware of the deception involved in obtaining it! Like the Pharisees of old who paid for the soldiers’ silence, quieting those trembling warriors who were guarding the tomb of Jesus on the resurrection dawn, such men simply deceive themselves. We find this principle at work in evolution, humanism, materialism and feminism. Such tendencies to both offer and accept false data do not excuse or protect those that do so, but are wicked in and of themselves, indicating an unwillingness to receive and obey the truth.
God is not only the Author of all truth, the perfection of God says something about the nature of Truth itself.
First, we see that Truth is perfect because God is perfect by definition. He is The Truth (John 14:6) and He came to earth for the express purpose of bearing witness to the truth. (John 18:37) If Truth may in fact not be consistent with itself, if some truth may be contradictory with other truth, then it is impossible to define the concept of Truth in any meaningful way, or to be “of the truth.” (John 18:37).
God defines Truth in His very nature: He cannot become better or worse, implying He cannot change over time. That which motivates, pleases, and angers Him at any one time will always do so. What He says in one era will be perfectly consistent with what He says in any other. This implies a general consistency of Truth over time. What was once true will always be true, and what was once false will always be false. What was once inherently good will always be inherently good, and that which is evil always will be.
Since God is uncreated and eternal and perfect He retains integrity and is perfectly consistent. If He were subject to change, evolution, or even growth there would be no valid standard upon which to establish truth and we could never know truth. The fact that God commands us to seek and know truth is rooted in His own nature. Contradictions and inconsistencies between the Bible, mathematics, logic, history and creation (nature) are therefore intolerable since God is the consistent Author of all of these sources of truth.
The definition of truth implies that any logical deduction from any truth must also be true, any valid induction from truth will also be valid, any historical fact must be consistent with Scripture and science, and all scientific data must be consistent with both history and Scripture. If a particular biblical text is used to present a truth which implies a contradiction with any other truth in any realm, one may be sure that the text is misunderstood. Similarly, if any historical or scientific data are proposed which clearly contradicts the written Word of God, one may be certain that there is some error in its content and/or in the conclusions drawn from it. Further, concerning reason itself, whenever one constructs an argument or uses a logical approach to validate or establish any point of truth, one must ensure that the same reasoning may not be consistently applied to deduce or induce from known truth something else known to be false. Any reasoning that ever implies contradiction between two known truths is illogical by definition.
We will often hear, “You can prove anything with the Bible!” implying that it is pointless to try to use the Bible to discern truth. The fact that the Bible is often twisted and misapplied by false teachers does not imply that they have proved anything from the Bible. The basic premise in such a statement is that God has not provided us a means of establishing truth using Scripture … that He arbitrarily contradicts Himself and that our fallen notion of Logic cannot be used to protect one’s self from any proposed deception. These assumptions violate both the nature of God and the examples and pattern He has given us in His Word.
God rests His case before us based on formal proof: “To whom also He shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3) Paul, once he was converted, “increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.” (Acts 9:22) Paul used the Word of God and logic to prove the divinity and reality of Jesus Christ. God helped him to do so. God tells us that science never opposes Truth: “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” (1 Timothy 6:20) The text of 1 Corinthians 15 is a masterful argument for the resurrection of the dead based on simple deductive logic. God uses inductive logic to show that ministers of the Word of God should reap material benefit for their service using an obscure point in the levitical law: “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.” In John 8 we see how Jesus Christ used simple deductive logic to prove to the Pharisees that they were children of the devil. God’s Word is filled with logic and with His encouragements to us to use it … we have never seen Him violate basic principles of Logic, nor does He ever commend anyone for doing so.
God appeals to reason and logic throughout His Word, and always encourages the believer to test any spiritual influence that presents a revelation or a directive using every means at his disposal. He says, “Come now and let us reason together.” (Is 1:18) He questions us, “Doth not even nature itself teach you?” (1 Cor 11:14) He commands us, “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.” (1 Corinthians 14:20) He says to the lost, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.” (Acts 17:27) Even Peter, correctly challenged the Holy Spirit when directed by Him against his own misapprehension of truth. (Acts 10) Peter was not reprimanded for his response … he was rather gently corrected and comforted by the Holy Spirit and taught additional truth based clearly on the Scripture and its logical implications. When enlightened by the Spirit of God, the truth made perfect sense to Peter and he promptly obeyed what he had been taught.
Logic and reason are not the problem with error abounding in the Church and in the world. Fallen Man cannot discern truth because he will not do so, not because the Scripture and Logic are imperfect or incomplete in themselves to lead Man to truth.
In addition to the fact that the nature of God implies that there are no contradictions in His revelation, the fact that God is perfect implies that God is also good. This implies something about the nature of all truth and reveals much to us of our true beliefs as we react to it.
Often, one dismisses truth with Lying: claiming that the truth is false or evil. One generally makes this claim simply because one thinks a particular concept is bad … doesn’t like it, conveniently assuming that following a truth will harm people and therefore casting it aside. Instead of acknowledging our own sinfulness as the cause of our distaste for truth, instead we claim that truth itself is evil. This is an attack upon the God that proclaimed truth as much as it is an attack upon truth itself.
The first deception recorded in the Bible relates to this principle. Satan’s claim to Eve in the Garden of Eden was not that God had not really said what He did, but that He could not be trusted … that He was imperfect. Eve had personally experienced the witness of Adam concerning what God had actually said concerning the forbidden fruit, and for Satan to challenge this would likely have angered Eve rather than entice her. Instead, Satan challenged the basic character of God, appealing to Eve’s innate sense of perfection and implying that God fell short of it. What Satan did was to state that there was something good that God was withholding from Eve and that He was less than perfect in doing so. Satan effectively stated that God was selfish, stingy, and fearful, blatantly lying about His character and disposition. Eve believed that lie and experienced the fatal consequences.
This type of deception surfaces more often than we would like to admit. Certain principles are simply avoided because one finds them distasteful and predicts that they will bring great harm if followed. Principles of giving to others generously, turning the other cheek when we have wronged someone, wifely subjection in the home, womanly subjection in the church, spiritual community, fasting, mourning over sin, “Davidic worship,” and deliberate spiritual self-affliction are commonly viewed in this way. Many may acknowledge that these things are in the Bible but simply ignore them and go on their way. This behavior implies a belief that God is not good, and that He intends to harm us in giving us these principles.
For example, one very conservative evangelical minister proposed during a marriage conference that the “Old Testament” concept of a wife being subject to her husband’s authority … like a good soldier is subject to proper military rank … “just won’t work today.” He flatly stated that he did not like the concept, found it distasteful, publicly scorned anyone that accepted such a notion, and went on his way. He gave no other justification for his position other than that he did not like the concept and did not expect it to work. Evidently, he had never actually tried to live by this concept and had never met any godly couple who had done so. No one challenged him, apparently, and his message is being disseminated rather widely with unqualified support from very earnest marital counselors to assist those seeking to improve their marriages.
Does the fact that proclaiming such a principle to an adulterous, ignorant, wicked generation will likely bring great distress and trouble to us mean that it is wrong? Do we simply discard a principle merely because we do not LIKE it?? Apparently so.
Further, certain falsehoods are accepted via Pragmatism simply due to the fact that they achieve a desired result: they do work. Faith-Promise giving programs raise money for the church … enabling the church staff to live according to a comfortable budget while members pray in their daily bread over a budget that cannot work by definition. Taking regular public offerings from the church increases income for church staff and promotes ever-hungry ministries … even though there is NO evidence in the New Testament that such a thing was EVER done on a regular basis in the church. Praying to Mary evidently works as well (though, I admit, I have never tried it and do not intend to) and is practiced by many for this reason alone. For that matter, it is certainly also obvious that the occult “works.” Clearly, the fact that a certain behavior achieves a desirable result does not make it according to truth, any more than a behavior that brings an undesirable result is necessarily false.
“ A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Pr 25:11) The truth is valuable. It is valuable enough to secure with utmost diligence. When Truth is apprehended and expressed in words or in deeds, it is indeed a beautiful thing.
There is a common sense of the dignity of a thought well posed, of an argument well-constructed. This is a thing of beauty, a thing of wisdom, a thing of elegance. Seek to follow the principles of wisdom, speaking according to wisdom and listening according to truth.
Most about us do not value truth and will not share in any love of it. Become familiar with the enemy’s tactics and arm yourself against them. Be diligent that you do not serve the enemy by promoting falsehood and error yourself, or even by promoting truth in an unreasonable or illogical manner. Refuse to accept contradiction in your faith, and seek the face of God for consistency and harmony in all that you believe and teach.
God’s Word is provided for us to search out truth and actually find it. Logic is our language of interpretation … and it is a language of the Holy Spirit — created by God for us and for God. The fundamental nature of God is what gives truth its value, and Logic its timeless precision.
In our quest for truth we will certainly find that most everyone will violate the principles given here … even including ourselves from time to time. God is certainly gracious, in spite of our ignorance, to work in and with any of us who are seeking truth, and even with those who resist the fundamental tools He has given us, though it is clear that such ignorance stifles and undermines the health of our entire spiritual experience.
Let us seek the truth with all diligence, and keep our hearts accordingly, adding knowledge to virtue, walking in the light as He is in the light, in the course to which He has called us all. May you find rich fellowship in Him Who is truth, as you seek the truth in Him.