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The truth and Anamgol UBF 
17th-Jul-2006 11:49 pm
I found a Sunday message on the website of Anamgol UBF which is considered most elite UBF chapter in the UBF world. Anamgol UBF focuses on recruiting students in Korea University, one of the top five universities in Korea. Mark Yang used to be the director. I don’t know who the current director is and who wrote the message. I wanted to discuss problems of this message because it is based on John 8:31-32 and they happen to be my favorite key verses in the Bible. I want to discuss them in the comment section with the following topics:

I. Some comments on my English translation
II. Issues related to the author’s presentation of Kant and Critique of Pure Reason
III. Issues on the author’s interpretation of ‘truth’ in John 8:32
IV. Concluding remarks
18th-Jul-2006 05:05 am (UTC) - English translation of the above excerpt
English translation of the above excerpt

"...However the blessing of ‘holding to’ Jesus’ teaching does not stop here. Let’s read verse 32 together. “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It means that ‘then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Some people think that they can find truth by Zen meditation and practicing ascetic life style as Buddhist monks do. Others think that they can find truth by studying hard many different subjects. While Pastor Kim Jin Hong was studying philosophy at the graduate college of Geimyung University, he also taught introductory philosophy to students as a teaching assistant. One day during the lecture, a student whose major was English asked him “Teacher, what is truth?” He answered “When this object called a desk in front of me agrees with my understanding of the desk, then we call it truth.” Pastor Kim was quoting Immanuel Kant from his book “Critique of Pure Reason.” But the student asked him again. “Ok. Let’s say that the desk in front of me agrees with the desk in my understanding. So what? What does its being truth have to do with me? I am not asking about that kind of truth. I am asking about the truth that is second to none in all truths; that I can truly give my whole life for it.” But Pastor Kim at that time was also looking for the same kind of truth that the student was looking for. So he said to the student honestly, “My friend, actually I am looking for the same truth you are looking for.” Then the student said, “Teacher, you said in the first lecture that philosophy is a study of pursuing and discovering truth. But since you do not know truth, how can I discover truth? Why don’t we just end our study here?” The last remark by the student was a shocking blow to Pastor Kim. When the student said ‘why don’t we just end our study here?’, it meant that there was nothing he could learn from his teacher. It also meant that he did not have any meaning in his existence as a teacher. So Pastor Kim finally decided to quit his job as a teaching assistant and his graduate study. He left the school and began to wonder about the world. He tried many things in the world. Sometimes he picked up junks on streets to sell them. He also sold ice cream on a street. Finally he ended himself up in a seminary to study theology.

It is very important for us to ask “what does truth have to do with me?” as the English major student did in the episode of Pastor Kim’s life. Truth must have something to do with my life. It must be truly worthwhile to me, satisfying to me and true fruit to me. It must become the motivation for my life, joy and purpose. It must hold the absolute value that is truly worth my life. Kierkegaard’s earnest desire for truth was the desire to know the truth for which he could give up his life with no hesitation. Then where can we find such truth? Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” When we live the life of holding to Jesus’ teaching, we finally learn what truth is. Truth cannot be discovered through practicing Zen meditation. It is not a matter of pursuing academic discipline. Truth is discovered in Jesus’ word. Jesus is the Son of God send by God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word that was with God in the beginning is Jesus and Jesus is truth. Jesus created every thing in the world and he is God who rules everything according to his will. Jesus is truth who came to this world in human form. This is called incarnation. Jesus came to this world as truth incarnate. Jesus loved so much that he died on the cross for me and became the Lord of my life. I receive life in Jesus. We can come to God through Jesus. That is why Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We put our faith in Jesus who is truth. We thank him and we praise him..."
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