Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 8, 2011

What is Reality?

The dictionary defines reality as “the quality or state of being real: something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily.” Could it be that reality is vastly different from what is generally believed and if so then what is it like?

All of us have heard the expression “get real” which usually means to deal with life as it really is and stop dreaming. That is good advice as reality is the ultimate judge of the value of all of our actions and decisions.

The idea to “get real” would refer to the reality as expressed by the world in which we live but the so-called reality of our world is, I believe, both derivative and dependent. I suggest to you that this is not true reality at all but little more than a facade, more similar to a stage setting one would find on a movie set.

It is admittedly a complex and involved stage setting and has the appearance of permanence; permanence, however, from a finite point of view. The tragedy is that most people devote their entire lives to responding to the stage setting and ignore the true realities of life.

If the world and all we see is nothing more than a stage setting then what is reality? The answer is both simple and yet complex beyond our ability to understand. As always the only source of truth about anything ultimate is the Bible.

Although the beauty, intricacy and harmony of creation demands a Creator, it is only in the Bible we discover the existence of the triune God; an eternal, unchanging God that is one in essence yet composed of three persons. That basic revelation already moves us to a point beyond our understanding.

Ultimate reality then is the Trinity; everything else is both derivative and dependent!

The Trinity is the absolute uncaused cause and present before time was created by the Trinity. It is impossible for us to imagine what the Trinity’s existence was like before the decision was made to create; it is equally impossible for us to imagine a timeless eternity that has no beginning and no end.

We know from the Bible a decision was made to create therefore the heavens and the earth came into being. The Bible also reveals that the Second Person of the Trinity was the instrument of creation and actually continues to sustain the existence of creation by the exercise of His power.

All creation therefore derives from and is dependent upon the Creator.

In other words all of creation, most specifically including you and me are sustained from moment to moment by an exercise of the will and power of the Second Person of the Trinity; the Bible identifies the Second Person of the Trinity in His incarnate humanity as the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Triune God, in His grace, uses terms that have some familiarity to mankind to identify the three Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit. I doubt that these terms even begin to describe the complex relationship that has always existed between the three persons of the Triune God.

Considering the true nature of our being it should be obvious that the focus of our attention should be on the Triune God, not the creation as altered by man into the stage setting in which we now live. To only respond to the stage setting and not to the Creator is most seriously delusional and potentially catastrophic.

I’m reminded of a science fiction series written by Arthur C. Clarke referred to as the Rama series in which a gigantic spacecraft is sent to earth to provide a galactic civilization an opportunity to evaluate earth people for inclusion in a galactic empire. A cross section of humanity moves to an earth-like environment in the spacecraft and immediately reverts to type, completely forgetting or ignoring the fact they are being judged for membership in the galactic empire.

We too are being individually judged by God for inclusion in His eternal family. The only truly significant decision with intrinsic value we can make in life is our membership in God’s family; all other decisions are insanely trivial by comparison.

God has made that decision as easy for us as He can; just believe on His Son, the Second Person of the Trinity as one’s personal savior and membership in God’s eternal family is secured.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will have effectually and successfully responded to true reality; your life will have been a success regardless of whatever else may happen.


Responses

  1. This reminds me of the C. S. Lewis book, “The Great Divorce,” where Lewis paints a picture of dreary people in a dreary town, thinking of themselves and the town as what is real, and heaven is what is illusory. The people get on a bus that heads to heaven, and the closer they get to heaven, the more they realize that heaven is what is real, and the town is more illusory. God is ultimate reality, the only self-existent being, the ground and basis for all created things. Both our observation of the world and Colossians 1:17 tells us that God upholds all things by His power. So in this sense you are correct; God is what is real, and everything else is derivative and dependent…..including us, by the way. However, we must be careful to separate ourselves from those in the world who claim that reality is either non-existent or at unknowable. I would deny this, and hold that the world is indeed real, and exists separate and apart from our observation of it. As long as God upholds it, it is very much real.

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    • Glenn:

      Thank you for your comment, I appreciate your thoughts on reality and also appreciate your blog.

      I agree that our world exists separate and apart from our observation of it but believe it to not be quite as real as we, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, have become. Having been indwelt by the Holy Spirit when we were saved, we, who were created in the image of God, have become an inseparable part of the Eternal God, ultimate reality, and will continue to enjoy our union with God long after this present heaven and earth have been dissolved by the Lord Jesus Christ. In the meantime it most certainly exists separate and apart from our observation of it and will continue after our deaths, should the Lord tarry.

      Even so, come Lord Jesus.

      David

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  2. REALLY, REALLY, REALLY liked this one, especially as I’ve been caught up in the insanely trivial (well put, my friend).

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    • Anne:
      Thank you for your encouragement; it is very much appreciated as it helps me to know if my writings are serving any useful purpose.
      David

      Like


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