ALL TRUTH IS GOD’S TRUTH
“All truth is God’s truth.” This phrase has often been applied whenever
Christian writers seek to justify an idea that cannot be founded squarely on
the Scriptures. ‘Christian’ psychologists appeal to it to justify their
application or adaptation of secular psychology into Christian counselling.
‘Christian’ scientists appeal to it when propounding theistic evolution.
But is all truth really God’s truth? In other words, is all truth sanctioned
and approved by God? Objectively, the answer would be “yes.” God is a “God of
truth” (Deut 32:4; Ps 31:5; Isa 65:16). And truth cannot contradict truth or
one is a falsehood. However, it is a known fact that not everyone understands
the meaning of “truth” in the same way. Pilate’s question: “What is truth?” (Jn
18:38) well illustrates this point. So before we agree with anyone who says,
“All truth is God’s truth.” we must find out what exactly he means by “truth.”
If what is meant by “truth” is what is revealed in the Word of God, then we
have no quarrels with the assertion that all truth is God’s truth. The Lord
Jesus says: “Thy word is truth” (Jn 17:17). Without a shadow of doubt,
everything in the Word of God, and all logical and necessary consequences are true.
Now, the same cannot be said for the interpretation of the Scripture. Two
contradictory interpretations of the same passage in Scripture cannot be both
right. One or both of them must be wrong and therefore false. But I believe
that if the Scripture is interpreted faithfully according to the Analogy of the
Faith and the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the interpretation will be
according to the truth.
What about empirical scientific facts involving nature, mathematics and
physical sciences? 1 + 1 = 2; Force = Mass x Acceleration; and H2O is water are
mathematical and scientific truths. That normally a bullfrog tadpole will
develop into a bullfrog, and a monarch caterpillar will develop into a monarch
butterfly (if they do not die before time) are biological truths. These are
undeniable laws of nature that in fact form the basis of the cosmological
argument for the existence of God (Rom 1:20). Yes, we can accept these as
truths; and can study and apply these knowledge with a clear conscience,
knowing that we have the approval of God.
What about the theories of the origin of the universe and of the species, such
as the Big Bang Theory, or Evolutionism? Are these not established and proven
scientific facts and so are God’s truths? Most assuredly no! However
fascinating these theories may be, they remain theories that can neither be
undeniably proven nor verified. No matter how certain a scientist may be of the
veracity of his theory of the origin of the universe, he should bear in mind
the LORD’s admonition to Job:
Who is this that
darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man;
for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the
foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding (Job 38:2–4).
When a crime is discovered, a team of investigators, forensic scientists or
pathologists might be able to reconstruct the events surrounding the crime.
However, the accuracy of their theory or theories will depend very much on
whether there are witnesses available and how long ago the crime had happened.
If there are no witnesses, and the crime happened a long time ago, the
possibility of solving the crime becomes practically impossible. Sometimes
there are apparent evidences to support a particular reconstruction, and these
evidences can seem very compelling in supporting the proposed theory. However,
should an eye-witness appear eventually and relate what actually happened, it
may be found that the theory is way off what actually happened. In a simplistic
way, we may say the same for all theories of the origin of the universe and of
It has been said that “When the evidence contradicts the theory, the scientist
rejects the theory, while the theologian rejects the evidence.” I do not think
this should be the case. I do not think any objective, verifiable evidence that
involves no speculation at all will contradict the Bible.
It would be foolish to conclude from Psalm 113:3 that the sun revolves around
the earth; or from Revelation 7:1 that the earth is a rectangular flat piece of
land; or from Genesis 1:14–16 that the moon produces its own light. There are
concrete, irrefutable, empirical evidence to prove those assertions to be wrong.
This does not mean that the Scripture is wrong. What it means is that our
interpretation is wrong. All those passages make use of a genre of expressions
known as phenomenological language which should not have been interpreted
However, I cannot say that the evidences in support of evolutionism are beyond
any doubt. Neither do I see any compelling reason why the creation account
should not be interpreted literally.
There is a world of a difference between the hypotheses in this category of
ideas and the empirical facts in the realms of mathematics and science. One is
verifiable and provable beyond doubt, the other is not. We therefore cannot
accept any idea in this category and label them as truth, not to mention the
fact that they contradict the Scripture which declares that the world was
created by God in six days. Now, in saying this, we are not saying that there
are no apparent evidences which appear to point to evolution as there are also
evidences that appear to point to creationism (see for example, John C.
Whitcomb, The Early Earth: An Introduction to Biblical Creationism [Baker,
1992]). We are saying that none of these evidences are verifiable beyond doubt.
This being the case, we should rather believe only in the Word of God. The Word
is true regardless of whether the evidences found by creation scientist are
accurate. We rejoice that there is concurrence with the Word, but we must not
think that the Word is true only because there are evidences. This is
especially so when the interpretation of the evidences does involve a certain
amount of speculation. Having said this, we must reassert that: No true science
will contradict the Bible and conversely, the Bible does not contradict true
And what about the theories of psychology? Have not Freud’s pronouncements of
obsessive neurosis; or Jung’s structure of arch-types; or Roger’s ideas of
human love and B.F. Skinner’s behaviourism been proven and verified? Should we
not apply all these truths to understand the human nature? Should not Christian
counsellors apply these truths? Should not the church apply the tools that have
been developed out of these and related studies—tools such as personality
profile tests—so that members can learn to relate to one another better?
It must be admitted that most, who insist that we should answer in the
affirmative to these questions, are careful to select only those ideas that are
not directly contradicted, or at least not obviously contradicted by God’s
Word. In fact, many also attempt to prove that the ideas are consistent with
the Scriptures. Lawrence Crabb, for example, applies Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy
of needs to his counselling model, and uses Matthew 6:33–34 to prove that it is
biblical. According to him, the Christian cannot have a genuine interest in
expressing himself for the good of others until his egocentric needs are met
(Lawrence Crabb, Effective Biblical Counselling, [Zondervan, 1977],
What do we say to these claims?
Firstly, it is true that psychological statements, which describe human
behaviour or which report results of research, can be scientific. However, when
psychology moves from describing human behaviour to explaining it, it moves
from science to opinion (See Martin & Deidre Bobgan, Psycho Heresy,
[East Gate Publishers, 1987], 29). Certainly, we cannot take as fact Crabb’s
explanation of a certain Mrs B’s adulterous tendencies as arising because her
need for security is not met (Biblical Counselling, 62). Sin and lust
are reduced to needs. Certainly then, we cannot treat psychology as “truth” as
we did the basic sciences.
Secondly, and more importantly, psychology attempts to study human behaviour
with the aim of changing it when necessary. Therefore ‘Christian’ psychologists
use the models they developed to try to make better Christians. However, we
must realise that God has already claimed as His exclusive domain all truth
relating to the soul and nature of man, and how he should live and how he can
According as his divine power hath
given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue (2 Pet
1:3; italics mine).
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are
able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ
Jesus. Allscripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished
unto all good works (2 Tim 3:15–17;italics mine).
In so far as the human soul is concern, there can be no other truths except
that which can be derived from the Scripture. The Bible declares itself and has
proven itself sufficient. How dare we take the opinions of unbelieving men and
place them alongside the Word of God as truth?
Psychiatry and Brain
What about advances in neurological research? Has it not already been proven
scientifically that homosexuality and alcoholism are due to genetic
predisposition, and therefore the church should not condemn them as sin?
Homosexuality had been called sin until the beginning of the 20th century when,
largely due to the writings of Sigmund Freud, it has been reclassified as
abnormal behaviour; and then within the last twenty years, due to social
pressures as well as research works, such as by Simon LeVay and Dean H. Hamer,
the classification of homosexuality has been changed to that of natural
brain-based or genetic variation of sexual expression. Similarly alcoholism was
regarded as sin or at least as a moral weakness leading to sin, but today, it
is regarded as a disease not only by the public, but by the American Medical
Are these “truths” also God’s truth? How can they be, seeing they contradict
God’s Word blatantly. The Scripture is unambiguous that homosexuality is indeed
a sin (cf. Lev 18:22, 20:13; Rom 1:26–27; 1 Cor 6:9–10; Jude 7), and so is
drunkenness (cf. Prov 23:29–35; Rom 13:13; Gal 5:21).
But moral definition aside, should not we at least take heed to these
researches so that when we counsel a homosexual and alcoholic, we may say to
him: “I know you can’t help it, you will always think about it and want it.
Your desire will always be there because this is the way you are, but you can
certainly control yourself just as any other persons can and must control their
lusts”? The problem with such a counselling approach is that it contradicts the
Scripture which teaches us that sin begins with desire:
Let no man say when he is tempted, I
am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any
man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and
enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it
is finished, bringeth forth death (Jas 1:13–15).
What is a sin in act is already sin when there is a desire (cf. Mt 5:28). It is
no sin to be tempted, but when temptation bears fruit in the form of desire,
sin is already present. Thus, if an act is prohibited in the Scriptures, the
desire is also prohibited, and must be repented of.
Therefore any approach that attempts to justify desire or orientation, while
condemning sinful behaviour falls short of what the Scripture teaches. And we
agree with Edward T. Welch, that
The victim of such counsel will
never have the privilege of battling and rooting out sin at the level of the
imagination. And eventually they will feel justified in being angry at God for
giving them an orientation that they may not live out (Blame it on the Brain [P&R,
Our final section on neurological research well illustrates how ready many
Christians are to take all purported ‘truths’ to be God’s truth, or truths
which are on par with the Word of God. The fact is that none of the researches
on homosexuality and alcoholism or any other so-called disorders have been
conclusive, verifiable, and undeniable (see ibid., 165–71; 196–7).
All truths are indeed God’s truth, but not all purported truths
are God’s truth.
In view of the current explosion of information,—most of which claiming to be
true,—through the media and internet, the Christian would do well to be very
well acquainted with the Word of God so that he may have a yard stick to
measure all other purported truths. Is there something presented as truth which
contradicts the Scriptures? Let us be very suspicious of it even if it is
supposedly supported by evidence and research. I believe that no objective,
verifiable, empirical data that involve no speculation or human bias can
contradict the Bible. The history of scientific and pseudo-scientific
discoveries has, to my knowledge, yet to yield any such data as would
irrefutably contradict the Scripture. I do not believe there will ever surface
such data, for the Word of God is true and all truth is God’s truth.