Have you ever experienced a moment in life where you wondered, is this all a dream? Have you asked the question What is real?
Roger Olson defines reality as being true always, everywhere, for everyone regardless of time or space. Many people seek to define their own reality in the bubble of their individual life, saying what is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me is true for me. But if we each have our own little bubbles of self defined reality are they real at all or just self-delusions?
Christianity offers an unchanging view of reality with God at the centre as the Ultimate Reality, who has created all that is real. Gregory Koukl brings an interesting challenge to our view of reality: If God is the ultimate reality creating us and the world we live in, then to deny God is to deny reality and to live in tension with the reality we encounter in our lives. Denial of reality is like the blindness God spoke of through the prophet Isaiah, “They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.” (Isaiah 44:18)
We cannot get a real life if we are not real about God. God offers life and said to the people of Israel, “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19) In Jesus, God again offers life … “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24) Real life is eternal life. It is not just life lived for a moment in the moment. It is so immeasurably different from ordinary life that Jesus stresses it is like crossing over from death to life. Jesus also spoke about the fullness and richness of such a life when he said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Some versions speak of this as abundant life, the fullest possible life … life, more and better than was ever dreamed of. Today is Pentecost – the day we remember the Holy Spirit being given to the first disciples. The Apostle Paul said this is the Spirit who gives life. The bible gives us a reality check, pointing to God as the Ultimate Reality, who offers us a real life. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are givers of life, real life, eternal life!
I encourage you to consider your view of reality and to honestly consider the biblical view of reality. Roger Olson says about reality of the Christian world view, “In fact, once revealed and grasped by faith, it is the most reasonable of all beliefs about ultimate reality because it has greater explanatory power than alternatives insofar as it provides satisfying answers to life’s ultimate questions.”
On what foundation have you built your view of reality?
Is it a view of reality that is limited only to you, or is it true always, everywhere, for everyone regardless of time or space?
Rev John Malcolm
(Explore further: Gregory Koukl - The Story of reality, how the world began, how it ends and everything important that happens in between; Roger Olson - The essentials of Christian thought – Seeing reality through the Biblical Story)