The Nature Of Truth -- By: John V. Dahms
JETS 28:4 (December 1985) p. 455
The Nature Of Truth
In evangelical circles truth is commonly understood to be solely a matter of true propositions. The following may be taken as statements with which many would agree: According to Gordon H. Clark, “truth is a characteristic of propositions only. Nothing can be called true in the literal sense of the term except the attribution of a predicate to a subject.”1 C. F. H. Henry has affirmed: “Nothing can be literally true but a propositional statement.”2 N. Geisler has stated: “One can safely say that the normal and consistent New Testament usage of ‘truth’ is of truth in the cognitive, propositional sense.”3
The simple propositional view of truth is not universal among evangelicals, however. A. F. Holmes affirms that truth is both propositional and personal4 and contends for the unity thereof on the basis that “truth is first a matter of inner character and only derivatively of words and deeds.”5 He states that “the ultimate locus of truth is… in the utter reliability of the true God.”6
E. J. Carnell advanced the view that there are “three kinds of truth: onto-logical truth, truth as propositional correspondence to reality, and truth as
*John Dahms is professor of New Testament at Canadian Theological College in Regina, Saskatchewan.
JETS 28:4 (December 1985) p. 456
It appears, however, that the majority view of truth in evangelical circles is the simple propositional or correspondence view. As we sketch briefly the results of our own examination of Scriptural usage and add some theological reflections, we shall have this view primarily in mind.12 It should, perhaps, be added that what we consider to be the ...
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