The Light of Truth

CS Lewis famously told an audience at Oxford University, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

Lewis here points to the power of Christianity to explain things in our experience. What is this world we live in? Where did it come from? Why are physics and astronomy so precisely suited to the existence of human life? Why did a handful of social nothings in first century Judea spend their lives proclaiming a crucified Nazarene as savior? Many philosophies and religious systems of the world offer ways of explaining such things. CS Lewis affirmed that it is Christianity that offers the best explanations of these things.

Isn't this a way of saying that he knows Christianity is true because of how livable it is? That is, Christianity doesn't just provide strong, clear explanations for much that we experience in life. Christianity provides a way to live this life that makes for a truly satisfying, purposeful life. This is true even when following the Christian way leads to great suffering.

This is what Jesus meant when he taught, "If you abide in my word, then you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free," (The Bible, John 8:31, 32, English Standard Version).

On another occasion Jesus made a similar promise. On a mountain in Galilee a large crowd gathered to hear Jesus teach about how to live God's way. He taught them many things about having the right habits of character (peacemaking, humility, gentleness, mercy, and especially a hunger for righteousness). He taught them how to pray. He taught them how to be faithful to their spouses and how to get along with enemies. He taught many things of practical value to daily life.

He concluded this teaching session with a parable to show how important it is to take his teachings seriously and to actually practice them. He said that practicing his teachings is like building a house on the firm foundation of bedrock. Storms will not be able to destroy it. On the other hand, disregarding Jesus's teachings is like building your house right on the sand. Storms will have no trouble tearing it down.

So, following the teachings of Jesus is like respecting the laws of nature. Airplanes can fly because engineers respect laws of gravity and aerodynamics.

That is to say, in many ways, Jesus's teachings prove that they are true. They help us to know and to live according to what is real about being human and living in this world.

Of course, in order to live by them we must learn them. That means we need to study the Bible to know these truths. See our Know the Truth page for help and resources to study the Bible. 

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