Is there any truth that is secular or is all truth sacred? As a person engages philosophy, this a question that continually encroaches into the conversation. Can we see truth in the natural world? Can we hear truth in the words of those who have not encountered spiritual truth? Can we understand the deeper truth from the world that surrounds us or are we only able to encounter this depth of truth in the sacred? Can we find truth that brings true meaning in the secular?
I once heard a speaker describe the search for truth in culture as a guy stranded on an Island in the middle of the ocean. The guy is searching for answers to life and why his world is as it is. He finds a cache of bottles and begins to write his questions, answers and impressions on little pieces of paper. Sticks them in the bottle, seals the top and sets them out to sea. Bottle after bottle, impression after impression, question after question, some in pain, loneliness and some in joy and celebration he exhausts the amount of bottles he has but not the questions. A week or so goes by and the man sees on the horizon a bottle making its way on the surf towards his little Island. He sits and waits, and follows the progress of the little bottle. With excitement and anticipation for answers he wades out, and swims against the currents to reach out for the little bottle. Then battles back to his little island with a great deal of effort and with the promise of hope breaks the seal on the bottle. He dumps out the little note inside. With his hands shaking he reads the writing on the paper only to realize that it is his own question, his own answer.
Generation after generation seeks to know the answers to life or at the very least to describe those elements of life that give deeper meaning to one’s existence. The 21st century is no exception.
“All the creatures, on the beaches
Secular poet after secular poet; Secular prophet after secular prophet (don’t get me started on quoting Matrix type movies); secular priest after secular priest (from Sophists, New Agers, to effeminate metro-sexual politically correct postmodern spin doctors) each tell us there is a way to discover true happiness, and world contentment, that is uniquely satisfying to each individual. Through love songs, social restructure, getting in touch with our inner child, seeking for the greater essence of global harmony, and complete tolerance of everybody’s embodiment of ‘truth’ we can find the answers. Or are we just writing questions and impressions to ourselves with little hope of discovering the greater irreducible truths? The truth that humanity can only find its true dignity, value and worth from out of the foundations of Imago Dei, having been created in the image of God.