The Nebulous Jesus


by Mike Ratliff

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:31-33 ESV)

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
neb·u·lous
–adjective
1. hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused: a nebulous recollection of the meeting; a nebulous distinction between pride and conceit.
2. cloudy or cloudlike.
3. of or resembling a nebula or nebulae; nebular.
[Origin: 1375–1425; late ME < L nebulōsus full of mist, foggy, cloudy. See nebula, -ous]

—Related forms
neb·u·lous·ly, adverb
neb·u·lous·ness, noun

cer·tain·ty
–noun, plural -ties.
1. the state of being certain.
2. something certain; an assured fact.
—Idiom
3. for or of a certainty, certainly; without a doubt: I suspect it, but I don’t know it for a certainty.
[Origin: 1250–1300; ME certeinte < AF, equiv. to certein certain + -te -ty2]

—Synonyms 1. certitude, assurance, confidence. See belief. 2. truth.

truth
–noun, plural truths
1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
4. the state or character of being true.
5. actuality or actual existence.
6. an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.
7. honesty; integrity; truthfulness.
8. (often initial capital letter) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.
9. agreement with a standard or original.
10. accuracy, as of position or adjustment.
11. Archaic. fidelity or constancy.
—Idiom
12. in truth, in reality; in fact; actually: In truth, moral decay hastened the decline of the Roman Empire.
[Origin: bef. 900; ME treuthe, OE tréowth (c. ON tryggth faith). See true, -th1]

—Related forms
truthless, adjective
truth·less·ness, noun

—Synonyms 1. fact. 2. veracity. 7. sincerity, candor, frankness. 10. precision, exactness.
—Antonyms 1. falsehood. 2, 4, 7. falsity.

Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

I have always loved Astronomy. Looking into the sky at night in Oklahoma back in the mid to late 1950’s we could clearly see the Milky Way and planets and the constellations. This was before light pollution washed out the night sky. I remember seeing pictures in the library books I checked out on astronomy back then. I had no problem understanding the differences between stars, planets, comets, asteroids, meteors and meteorites. However, at that time, it seemed that there was still a great deal of conjecture about the nature of nebulas. Their explanations left me confused.

When people like Galileo looked through their telescopes they could easily make out the rings of Saturn and even see its moons. However, when they looked at the constellations they often found points of light within and around them that would never tighten down into a precise visible form. Even as their telescopes became more powerful these “nebulas” seemed to be splotches of light with no definite shape. Therefore, they were called nebulas because that word seems to define their indefiniteness. In our time scientists have determined that some nebulas are other galaxies while others are gigantic clouds of gas.

We use the term “nebulous” to refer to things that are mercurial or indefinite. Genuine Christianity says that God’s Word is truth. Jesus says that He is the truth. Truth is definite. Truth is knowable. However, if you have the “opportunity” to debate Liberal Christians or Emergents or even Atheists, you will find that they will deny all of these things. They will claim that absolute truth is unknowable. In their “religion” if anyone claims to know the truth then they are branded as being full of pride while the humble are those who refuse to admit that anything is ever certain. Continue reading