What is the nature of reality?
What is ultimately real? Is it God, gods or the material cosmos?
In his book The Universe Next Door, James Sire points out that the answer provided here affects every other question or area of concern.
The Christian believes that ultimate reality is a personal, spiritual and moral being (God), not some mindless force or abstract principle. This being is personal – He is self-conscious and he has self-determination (he thinks and acts).
He exists as a being in three persons who are coequal and co-eternal. This is the Christian belief that God is a Trinity. This understanding of God provides a basis for love and community at the highest possible level. God has eternally existed as a tripersonal being, a community of three eternal persons, bound together by love. Thus when we love and relate with others, we reflect God’s own nature.
Gen. 1:1 affirms that God has always been. At some point, he created the universe. And he established it as a rational system operating on the principle of cause and effect. It is an open system because God is free to interfere in its operations as he wills.
How can we know anything at all?
God alone has absolute and comprehensive knowledge. However, we also know, though in a limited sense , because he created us as rational intelligent beings. We know because we are made in God’s own image – the image of an all-knowing God.
Thus, we are realists in our epistemology. We have real, though finite, knowledge of the external world.
How do we know what is right or wrong?
Ethics is anchored in the reality of a personal and moral God. He is the source of all moral principles and values for they are a reflection of his character.
Each person has a moral monitor – the conscience. We have an inbuilt system of moral knowledge which guides us in right conduct. God has also revealed his character in the various laws and principles contained in the scriptures. We find these in the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and the various ethical teachings scattered throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
Moral principles therefore are absolute. They are not relative to culture or situation.