Archives For apologetics

2 John 1:7-13 ESV (Bold Added)

[7] For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. [8] Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. [9] Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. [10] If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, [11] for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

[12] Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

[13] The children of your elect sister greet you.

As I have meditated on this and some of the other scriptures I have been reading in my devotional times, I have seen how important it is for believers to have a very proactive faith. I know that just about everyone who is a committed church attender will say “yes that’s true” or “I believe that.” After all most church going Christians have heard this message every Sunday as long as they have attended church.
 

So my question then becomes, why don’t we act on it more often?
 

I believe that sometimes this is credited to laziness but other times, it is simply because we don’t know where to start. Which is why I added an excerpt from the devotional below. Here the author outlines some great insight for people of all spiritual depths to get involved in God’s plan.
 

Connecting the Testaments Devotional (June 28th) Excerpt

John wanted the community to be aware of false teaching so they wouldn’t become confused or weakened in their faith. We, too, need to be intentional about the teaching we adhere to. If we are weak and troubled in our faith, we should seek out mature believers who can teach and minister to us. However, if we are confident in our faith, we should be ready and willing to share the message of salvation with those who need to hear it- both inside and outside our communities.

 

  • Be intentional about knowing what you believe and how to articulate it.
  • If you are going through a hard situation, seek solid Christian counsel from those around you and God the Father in prayer.
  • If you are solid in your understanding and okay, seek others to minister to through sharing the Gospel or discipling a person younger in the faith. There are many out there who need help and we must step up to meet the need.

 

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Why don’t we evangelize? What is the gospel? Who should evangelize? What is evangelism? Why should we evangelize? Mark Dever’s book, The Gospel And Personal Evangelism, seeks to answer all of these basic questions about evangelism for the common Christian. In today’s Christian culture, evangelism has fallen by the wayside in terms of priority and is often seen as the one thing that the church always has on their to-do list but never gets around to actually accomplishing it. In The Gospel And Personal Evangelism, Mark Dever desires to answer some of the questions that people have about evangelism, clarify some of the terms that the church uses in evangelism, instruct his readers on how to do evangelism, and challenge all Christians to practice evangelism. Over all, this book aims to discuss the best news there has ever been given and how we should share that news with others.[1]

In order to accomplish this task, Dever’s book consists of answering the common questions by first asking them, and then answering them based on his own, personal experience. Dever also includes quotes from current and past theologians and helpful illustrations. Each chapter is titled as a common question that is asked by many within the Christian church. Then, the content of each chapter discusses the common answers with Dever’s refutations, illustrations, and comments based on the question being discussed. For example, Chapter Two is titled “What is the Gospel?”[2]. In the contents of this chapter, the author explains that there is some confusion among Christians about what constitutes the Gospel message and that a large amount of Christians do not explain clearly what the Gospel is when sharing with others. After this, Dever dives into the common answers or implied answers that non-believers receive when they are witnessed to and what implications those answer have. For this chapter, those assumptions would include; The Good News Is Not Simply That We Are Okay (the gospel is not simply a feel good message)[3], The Good News Is Not Simply That God is Love (the gospel declares that God is more than just love and has many other attributes)[4], The Good New Is Not Simply That Jesus Wants to Be Our Friend (the gospel is more than a relationship that needs to be cultivated)[5], and The Good News Is Not That We Should Live Rightly (the gospel is more than corrective action from sin)[6]. At the end of each chapter Dever concludes by answering the question proposed in the chapter’s title from his own opinion and view on theology. In Chapter Two, Dever writes the following.

 

“Here is what I understand the good news (the gospel) to be: the good news is that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from him. In his great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law in himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever trust in him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us had been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and to trust in Christ alone for forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.”[7]

 

Overall, the author answers his thesis in a clear and consistent manner throughout the book.  Dever tackles all of the questions which he sets out to address in each chapter. However, because the author holds a reformed view of theology, some of his answers to the basic questions may cause some readers to have further questions about his interpretation of evangelism. This specifically plays out when Dever begins to address his application and methodology of evangelism in chapters four, five, and seven. (Ch. 4 – How Should We Evangelize?, Ch. 5 – What Isn’t Evangelism?, Ch. 7 – Closing The Sale) For example, because of Dever’s belief in reform theology, he holds the view that God’s regeneration precedes a person’s profession of faith and therefore presents a weak set of instructions for giving a call for those who are being witnessed to, to accept Christ. We see this in the way that he confirms the statement that accepting the gospel is a “journey” and further explaining that Christians should “Let people find the truth themselves. These days of simple tracts and surefire, sales-presentation evangelism is over.” [8]As a result of statements like this, the reader walks away with the impression that they are to politely talk through a gospel presentation without pleading the urgency of the matter with the receiver of the message and then simply rely on God’s sovereignty to redeem those who are unregenerate.

I find this troubling because, first and foremost, it is not consistent with Scripture. Jesus did not simply have a conversation with Nicodemus[9] or the Woman at the Well[10] and send them on their way to process the message. He challenged them on what they believed and then called them to repent and be born again or to drink of the living water. Jesus presented the message and called the hearers to make a decision. It also does not portray the urgency of the gospel which we see the Apostles use when witnessing to those who formed the early church in Acts. Secondly, these statements disqualify several forms of evangelism that are very effective such as preaching and door to door evangelism. Dever attempts to justify his position in Chapter Seven by explaining that his desire is to avoid any false professions of faith because of the emotional pressure of the moment. However, I would then desire to ask him how many people has he witnessed to that would have made the decision to accept Christ but did not, because he did not ask them to.

It is imperative that we call people to make a decision to accept Christ when sharing the gospel for two reasons. First, that they may have the opportunity to profess their belief in Christ and receive the forgiveness of their sins[11]. Second, if they do or do not profess salvation they are without excuse on the Day of Judgment when asked if they have heard the gospel message[12]. Aside from Dever’s theological position and the implications it has on his evangelism tactics, it should be noted that he did an excellent job of tackling some of the culture’s questions when it comes to evangelism and I would encourage others to read this book.



[1] Mark Dever, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2007). Page 16-17

[2] Ibid. Page 31

[3] Ibid. Page 32-35

[4] Ibid. Page 36-37

[5] Ibid. Page 37-39

[6] Ibid. Page 40-42

[7] Ibid. Page 43, Italics added.

[8] Ibid. Page 64-65

[9] Crossway Bibles., Esv Study Bible : English Standard Version, ESV text ed. (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Bibles, 2008).  John 3

[10] Ibid. John 4

[11] Ibid. Romans 10:9-10

[12] Ibid. John 9:39-41

I am in no way affiliated with the publisher or writer of this book. But I endorse this because it impacted my life and I would like that same blessing for you. Click Here for Other Recommended Reading!If the Author or Publisher has an issue with this post, please let me know and I will remove it.

Click to Find How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth on Amazon.com

Do you read the Bible sometimes and wonder what you were supposed to get out of it?

Do you know the differences between all the different Bible translations?
Do you know how the books of the Bible are different from one another and how to read them?

 

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!

 

In this book Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart will equip you to find the tools you need to interpret Scripture, to find the best Bible translation for your needs and go through the books of the Bible based on their context and history. Through this book Fee and Stuart have equipped the common person to handle the Scriptures in the way they need to be handled for a sound interpretation. I would encourage everyone who is a believer to read and understand the content of this book.

 

Here is a copy of the table  of Contents for you to get a grasp of all the subjects that are covered.

 

Ch. 1 – Introduction: The Need to Interpret
Ch.2 – The Basic Tool: A Good Translation
Ch. 3 – The Epistles: Learning to think Contextually
Ch. 4 – The Epistles: The Hermeneutical Questions
Ch. 5 – The Old Testament Narratives: Their Proper Use
Ch. 6 – Acts: The Question of Historical Precedent
Ch. 7 – The Gospels: One Story, Many Demensions
Ch. 8 – The Parables: Do you get the point?
Ch. 9 – The Law(s): Covenant Stipulations for Israel
Ch. 10 – The Prophets: Enforcing the Covenant in Israel
Ch. 11 – The Psalms: Israel’s Prayers and Ours
Ch. 12 – Wisdom: Then and Now
Ch. 13 – The Revelation: Images of Judgement and Hope

 

I am in no way affiliated with the publisher or writer of this book. But I endorse this because it impacted my life and I would like that same blessing for you. Click Here for Other Recommended Reading!If the Author or Publisher has an issue with this post, please let me know and I will remove it.

Exodus 3: The Burning Bush

1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

 

That day was as normal as any other. Moses was just going through his normal routine of taking care of the flock.  But on that particular day, something out of the ordinary caught Moses’ attention.  And instead of just carrying on, or simply turning back to the flock – which certainly demanded some part of Moses’ immediate attention.  Moses turned aside to see what was really going on here.  After he turned aside, God spoke.  Did you catch that? After, not before.  God waited to speak to Moses until he had his undivided attention.  Then, God spoke such profound words that Moses’ life would never be the same again. Never ever.  God revealed His true character, and Moses was transformed.

 

Have you been longing to hear from God?

 You may not even be aware that there exists in your heart an unwillingness to turn your full, entire, complete, undivided attention to your Lord and Savior.  Maybe God has been trying to get your attention for quite sometime now.  If you’re anything like me, then there may be some crazy things going on in and around your life.  God will use our circumstances and people to get us to stop and think, “What in the world is going on here?!”  I have definitely found myself saying exactly that these past few weeks.

 

Are you ready to hear the voice of God?

 Turn your full attention to your God and Savior. Give Him your undivided attention, totally focused on who He is.  He will speak to you words so profound! Words of wisdom and truth – and He will speak them right into your very heart.  Right into the very core, the very midst of wherever you need Him most.  His words will sustain you, and stabilize you. He will fill you with understanding and give you insight into whatever you are facing.
I think that we can both agree that receiving all of that – ooh! Don’t we want that!! – is worth stopping, pausing, and turning to see…to take a closer look at the bush that has just caught fire.

 

Dig deep into the Word this week! That is where you will find Him!!

Book Review : The Prodigal God

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Just when I thought I know it all about the story of the prodigal son, Timothy Keller comes and ruins that for me. 🙂

In his book The Prodigal God, Keller outlines the parable told by Jesus in the Gospels in an engaging and informative way. This book was not a hard read but a worthwhile read for any Christian. Whether a new Christian or experienced, Keller will grab your attention and put the parable into perspective.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is searching for a deeper relationship with God or would like to know more about how their relationship with God works.

 I am in no way affiliated with the publisher or writer of this book. But I endorse this because it impacted my life and I would like that same blessing for you. Click Here for Other Recommended Reading!

If the Author or Publisher has an issue with this post, please let me know and I will remove it.

Book Review/Notes : Evangelism Handbook by Alvin Reid

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You know the books that impact your life in a good way through informing you and giving you practical application on how to get it done? Well, this was one of those books for me.

If you would like to have a run down on everything evangelism in an engaging way, then pick up this book!

I have included some notes from my reading below for your enjoyment. But I caution you, DO NOT think that my notes from reading cover even half of the contents of this book. Just think of my notes as an appetizer for what you will get in the book.

 

 

  • What is Evangelism?
    • What is Evangelism NOT? (17)
      • A Numbers Game – Adding to the church role (18)
      • A Cop Out- Just talking about evangelism doesn’t work, Evangelism doesn’t just happen (20)
      • A Professional Sport – Not done only by professional clergy (18)
      • A Mute Approach – Only spread through actions without words (17)
    • Evangelism Is…
      •  to share the good news of Christ to a lost person (6)
      • The communication of the gospel by a saved person to a lost person (21)
    • Motives For Evangelism
      • From the Perspective of God
        • God’s Character – As responsible handlers of the Truth we need to tell others about the truth. God did NOT hold out on us. (35)
        • God’s Love- God Loves All People and as imitators of God, we should Love All People (36)
      • From the Perspective of a Believer
        • Obedience – God expects us to fulfill His purposes
          • Deontological Motivation – motivation placed by duty, when rightly placed underneath the worship of God. (38)
          • Spiritual Growth
            • When we witness, we take giant steps toward spiritual maturity. Christian growth is linked to discipline and surrender. (40)
            • Evangelism is important to those of us who follow Jesus because of the critical role that obedience plays in our spiritual growth. (39)
            • Sharing Christ motivates a person to study scripture because of the issues raised by the lost.
            • Sharing Christ gives believers a burden for people blinded by the gods of this world, eliciting a desire to pray for them.
            • Eternal Rewards
              • Christians will be rewarded at judgment based on their service to God. (41) (1Cor3:11-15)
            • Evangelism and Unbelievers
              • Outside of Christ we have no hope for salvation. Certain judgment should move believers to share the Gospel that they know.
              • Are the lost valuable enough for us not to be afraid of sharing the gospel? (42)
            • Future Joy or Future Judgment
              • Only God knows the impact of our witness. (43)
              • Never underestimate the impact a person will make for Christ. Everyone was created for a purpose – a purpose that will never be realized apart from a relationship with Christ.
  • Facing our fears (248)
    • Failure
      • Fear exists when we misunderstand our task. (248)
      • God holds us accountable for our obedience. Not our perfection.
        • We must focus on telling the good news, not our success.
      • Persistence is Key! Don’t Quit!
    • Rejection
      • Rejection is inevitable. (249) we need to face it and move forward.
      • Principle of Transference – positive and negative feelings are a result of past experiences
      • The Role of Rejection (250)
        • We are never more like Christ and the Apostles than when we are being rejected.
        • A true prophet will always be rejected
      • We need to replace the fear of man with the Fear of God! (252)
        • Gain the greater reward!
  • Dealing with those who make excuses (396)
    • The reason most are not saved is because they have not taken the time to see why and how salvation can change their life.
    • Are they not accepting Christ based on a clear understanding of the gospel or are they misinformed about Christianity?
    • Do not get bogged down in the excuses.
      • Try to find the real excuse through open ended questions
      • Always direct the conversation back to the gospel
  • Personal Testimony
    • We Must believe in what we are sharing for it to become effective for those we share it with
    • Confidence in one’s conversion brings enthusiasm in evangelism
    • 8 Keys to the assurance of Salvation (183)
      • Memory of one’s conversion
      • Promises of Scripture: Acts16:31, John 3:16,18 & Romans 5:9-10
      • The Spirit’s Presence : Romans 8:9,16
      • Answered Prayers: John 5:14-15
      • God’s Discipline: Hebrews 12:8
      • Righteous Living
      • Sound Doctrine – A recognition of truth
      • Love for other Christians
    • Important of a testimony (185)
      • People are interested in learning about other people
      • You are an authority on your testimony. You know what has happened to you.
      • Your testimony gives people something they can compare their lives to and focus on the changes Christ has made
    • Guidelines for Sharing a Conversion Testimony (186)
      • Guidelines on pg 186
      • Remember to adapt your testimony to those you are speaking to
      • Do NOT add anything. God can work in the actual way it happened
    • Spiritual Autobiography (188)
      • Includes the following features
        • Exalts God above all
        • Includes intimate knowledge of God & personal religious experience
        • Can be distributed through different media
      • Should take 15-20min to share & be about 10pg written out
  • Personal Character (197)
    • Our culture is sick of phonies. The outing of ministers guilty of everything from immorality to greed has become commonplace. The world is not looking for Christians who a perfect: they are looking for Christians who are real, who demonstrate a changed life, whose lives give to honor Christ. (198)
    • Integrity (199)
      • Acts 20 – Paul’s Character
      • “Character is what you are in the dark” – DL Moody > If our motives are impure, they will eventually be discovered.
    • Humility (200)
      • Acts 20:19
      • In ministry, the greatest temptation is to desire status. It is one of the major hindrances to evangelism.
      • Humility helps us finish well
      • If you find yourself constantly talking about your achievements more than your need for Jesus, you live in great danger. Humility recognizes that we cannot live without Christ.
    • Passion (201)
      • You will never overcome the rejection that comes with evangelism apart from a passion from God.
      • We are all passionate. The question is, what are you passionate about?
        • What do you think about?
        • What makes you mad?
      • All people who are successful in ministry have and unending passion for God.
      • The main reason most Christians do not evangelize is because they have gotten over God
    • Purity (204)
      • Acts 20:26-34
      • 4 Pitfalls to Purity
        • Sex
        • Money
        • Discouragement
        • Ambition
      • You can be gifted as a preacher, organizer and leader but there is no substitute for godliness.
    • Conviction (205)
      • What is our Conviction?
        • We need to be about truth to a world hungry for truth
      • How will you Sheppard to protect those you lead from lies?
      • We must align our convictions and our lives
        • We cannot be convicted about evangelism and do nothing about it
      • Principles of conviction (206)
        • Live by principle, not feelings
        • Listen to God, not popular opinion
        • Prioritize sacrifice, not comfort
        • Consider the long term consequences of your decisions
      • Priorities (207)
        • God, Family, Ministry
        • Intentionally invest in the important things
      • Attitude (209)
        • Attitude is one of our greatest hindrances
        • Don’t be entitled to anything – We deserve Hell!
        • Be grateful for everything!
        • Things to remember about attitude
          • I am responsible for my attitude
          • My attitude affects those around me
          • I must constantly correct my attitude
          • My assumptions affect my attitude
          • My attitude affects my walk with God
  • What is the Gospel? ( 1 Cor 15:1-4)
    • Pete Schemm notes Jesus is the Gospel
      • The Gospel is Not so much an Idea or thing as much as it is a person (136)
        • Acts15:21, Col 1:28, 1Peter2:9,
      • The Gospel is the Good News (137)
      • The Gospel is a Canonical theme and not just a New Testament theme>In accordance with the scriptures
    • Ken Keathley relates the Gospel to the Kingdom of God (138)
      • The Gospel is the good news of the Kingdom
      • The Gospel is the good news of Victory
      • The Gospel is the good news of forgiveness of sins
      • The Gospel is the good news of reconciliation
    • Ericson’s Implications of the substitutionary death of Christ (139) Romans 3:21-26
      • It confirms the biblical teaching of the depravity of Humans
      • It demonstrates both the love and justice of God in perfect unity
      • Salvation comes from the pure sovereign grace of God
      • The believer can be secure in the grace of God
      • We are motivated not to neglect so great a salvation that came at such a great cost
      • The Gospel Produces Repentance of the sinner from Sin

I am in no way affiliated with the publisher or writer of this book. But I endorse this because it impacted my life and I would like that same blessing for you. Click Here for Other Recommended Reading!

If the Author or Publisher has an issue with this post, please let me know and I will remove it.

Today was the end of the Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura Conference at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Overall the conference was very informative and a good time. I have included the rest of my notes below. Although I must confess that I could not get all of the information that was spoken about. Some of the presenters were moving through their material at light speed in order to fit the time frame allotted. (maybe next year they could make it longer :P)

Notes Pt1: Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura Conference @SWBTS can be found here!

Session 3 _ Dr. Terry Wilder
Only Scripture or Only Culture? Is that a trick question? The answer is obvious to those of the faith but to the secular world this question is far more debatable.
Looking at the Biblical text to examine that contextualization of the Gospel into missions.

MATT 28:19-20

  • Our Vision, The Churches Vision For Reaching People
  • Christ’s authority is displayed at the Sermon on the Mount (v7 – the crowds were amazed because He taught with authority)
  • Paul declares Him as the Messiah delivered with Power (Romans )
  • Christ commands the church to GO & MAKE DISCIPLES!
  • Go – Not as you go, But GO NOW! a prerequisite before you can “make disciples”
  • Every Nation – All of them
  • Involves evangelism and making disciples
    • But what is a disciple? A follower of Christ and seeks to spread His teachings
  • Baptize Them – to make new in Christ
    • dead to sin and alive to Christ
    • immersed in the name of the trinity
  • Teaching them – teach them to obey and keep all things in which Jesus commands
  • I am with you always to the end of the age
    • Jesus is referred to as Immanuel “God with us”
    • We have Jesus with us at all times

Application

  • We are commanded to make disciples of all nations
  • We are to teach and baptize them
  • God is with us in this effort

Acts 17
Purpose of Acts can be found in Luke 1:1-4 = “So that you may know the promise about the things which you have been taught”

  • The certainty that the Gospel will spread through out the Earth
  • Themes of promises made in Luke’s Gospel and then fulfilled in Acts
  • Bold proclamation of the Gospel by the early church in the book of Acts
  • Persecution will come for proclaiming the good news
    • (v3-9) The Gospel is proclaimed in Thessalonica and persecution comes. Paul goes to Berea before trouble hits.
    • (v10-15) The Gospel is proclaimed in Berea and the persecutors come after him. Paul goes to Athens before trouble hits.
    • (v16-21) Paul is grieved by the amount of idols in the city.
    • (v17) Paul preaches to the people
    • (v18) Epicurean and Stoic Philosophers come to question Paul
  • They thought that Paul was introducing a new male and female god and they had interest of adding them to their many gods
  • Paul knew what they were thinking and did NOT let them synchronize Jesus into their many gods
    • (v19-21) Philosophers request more teaching from Paul
    • (v22-34) Paul’s Response
  • (v22-24) The Unknown God
    • Paul uses the unknown god to bring attention to the culture
    • Paul was NOT saying that Jesus was this unknown god but was using this as a in road to bring truth to their life
  • (v24) God does not dwell among the people like what you believe about your idols
  • (v25) God sustains all things
    • Man is Not self sufficient
  • (v26) God created all things and is sovereign
    • Man is Not in control of his destiny
  • (v27) That man should seek Him
  • (v28-29) Paul takes a small amount of truth from their pagan philosophy and proclaims the truth of the Gospel
  • (v30) Paul calls them to repent of their evil ways
  • (v31) Because God will judge at the coming of the age through His appointed Judge (Jesus)
Application of Acts 17

  • We must be burdened for the ones who do not know God.
  • We must develop our skills in presenting the Gospel
  • We must learn to expose false ideas that are in contrary to the truth of the Gospel
  • We must learn   the cultures we are trying to reach.

1Corinthians 9:19-23

  • Written to unify the church by informing them that they are Christ’s and belong to Him through the blood on the cross
  • All things are lawful for us in Christ. However Not all things are profitable for progressing the message of truth. (1Corinthians 8)
  • Do Not do anything that will cause another brother to stumble or to fall into sin but do everything to build and unify the church and the message of Christ.
  • I will do all things in the name and support of the Gospel even if it costs me my rights as a person or believer in Christ.

Session 4 _ Dr. Keith Eitel

Is there an “Only” in Only Scripture or Only Culture? Or is it Scripture and Culture?
-Somehow there should be a lead into the culture with the text

Text and Context Tensions in Doing Theology
-We must love people more than escorting them straight to hell by not sharing the Gospel
-Salvation is the transformation of social structures
-Every culture is tainted by sin, yours mine and ours
-The only standard is God’s standard, not the white man, the black man or any other man

Session 5 _ Dr. Malcolm Yarnell _ Globalized Theological Choices for the 21st Century

Understanding our Choices depends upon a Proper Terminology

1-Scripture

  • Reveals the principles by which God judges us and therefore remains the center standard for all human contact (BFM)
  • Scripture is the Judge (Romans 10:17)
  • The Dynamic, Sufficient Word of God = Isaiah 55:10-11; Romans 10:5-10; 1 Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 4:12-13
  • The Word of Christ generates personal faith in the hearer (the preacher is merely a tool of God to speak the word of God)
  • The Word of God does NOT need to be made relevant to the masses in order to save the lost
  • The Word is sufficiently powerful. The preacher is instrumentally dependent. The Word works through the preacher, not because of the preacher.

2-Culture

  • The distinctive ideas, customs, social behavior, products or way of life of a particular society, people or period.
  • This in reality is NOT a Biblical term. However, it is a term we can use in a Biblical way.
  • ”He who can read the style of a culture can interpret and insert a religious style”
  • Is Culture a Scriptural Term? NO but there are 2 Near terms in Scripture
    • ”Ethnos” – People Group (more about the people and not culture)
    • ”World” or “Age” -Doesn’t discuss ways or thoughts but time period
  • All Nature/Culture is under Divine condemnation and judgement  because of universal sin
    • God has wrath for ALL NATIONS
  • All Nature/Culture has the grace of God for restoration available for them from their universal sin
    • Christians should have concern for the culture
    • Christians should engage the culture (Do Not remain separate, even though we are resident aliens)
    • Christians should be intent about evangelizing the culture
  • Syncretism is a constant threat to the Christian that is engaged in sharing the Gospel

3-Christ & Culture

  •  H.Richard Neibuhr
  •  Craig Carter, Rethinking Christ and Culture
    • Both liberals and evangelicals agree with the Neibuhr paradigm
  • Yoder, A Free Church Response
    • God works through the Culture more than the church – God working through cultural heroes
    • Celebrity being an ambassador for Church
  • The Church finds it relevance in the Culture – meaning of God is found in the cultural setting
    • Army commander claiming a sign from God to support a campaign (Divine approval wrapped up in the culture)
      • You would not want to baptise an entire nation because of victory
  • Yoder finds the way to impact culture is to be outside the power structure of the culture. However, the only way to impact the culture is to preach the Gospel.

4-Relevance

  • Relevance is a temporary phenomenon. Because information, society and culture are always changing.
  • Should we synchronize with the culture? No we must hold to the scripture that never changes
  • Bonhoeffer “the way the church speaks to the world must..form a profound knowledge of the world, be relevant to its present day reality”
  • For Bonhoeffer, speaking to the relevant word to the world required hearing the words “against us” demanding repentance to receive forgiveness of sins

5-The Cultural Mandate

6-The Great Commission

  • There is NO command for us to over take the culture
  • The Great Commission is our mandate => To hear the Word and be the agent by the Word. Not the Culture!

7-The Global Options Before Us: The Cultural Comprehension

  • We are Not to go out an transform the culture
  • We are to go out and speak the Word
  • Holiness must be preserved in the church while engaging the culture

If you are interested these Professors and Theologians have several books out on the market right now and can be purchased at your local Lifeway store.

I just got out of the first day of the Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura conference at SWBTS and it was a great time discussing how scripture and culture collide.

I have attached my notes for those of you who could not go. I hope they are clear enough to get the main points. [Dr.Geisler was going so fast with so much good info. that I could not get it all down. A very brilliant man for sure.]

>Daniel 1-3 = Nebuchadnezzar takes Judah captive and removes the Hebrews that were gifted to become skillful leaders of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom
>Daniel 1:7-8 = Their names are changed

+All their Hebrew names are the names of their God
+All their new names are names of Babylonian deity’s
+Most likely they are made eunuchs when placed in the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar

>How The 4 Captive Hebrews Respond

1- They Appropriated the Wisdom of the Host Culture (Daniel 1:4; 1:17)

+Ability to interpret visions and dreams was most important in the Chaldean empire
+WE MUST NOT AVOID THE CULTURE! But must appropriate the wisdom of the host culture.

2- They avoided moral compromise in the Host Culture (Daniel 1:8)

+ Daniel knew that it would require a purpose of heart to avoid spiritual compromise

+WE MUST SET OUR HEARTS ON THE MORAL PRECEPTS OF GOD!

3- They understand that they cannot do this without the intervention of God (Daniel 2:17-18)

+The Hebrew children understand that they cannot get through this without seeking God’s provision.

+WE CANNOT STAND ON OUR OWN PROVISION BUT MUST COME TO GOD FOR EQUIPPING!

4- They Praised God for His provision (Daniel 2:19-23)

+ WE MUST APPROPRIATE THE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM OF THE HOST CULTURE THROUGH GOD’S PROVISION TO SPEAK TO THE PEOPLE!

5- They intercede for the people who are involved in the deception (Daniel 2:24)

+WE MUST INTERCEDE FOR THE CULTURE WE ARE MINISTERING TO!

-For Protection of the people

-For the limitations of the culture (if they do not understand the ways of God, how can they be faithful or true to God?)

6- They Boldly Affirmed the Adequacy of God in Faith (Daniel 2:28 – “There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets” Daniel 3:16-17)

+WE MUST BE WILLING TO STAND AGAINST WHAT IS UNHOLY AND UNGODLY!

+The Bible alone in Faith and Practice!

Session 2_Dr.Norman Geisler_Defending unchanging truth in changing times>The Problem– The Church the truth is not relative while culture says that truth is relative>The Solutions– Defend the truth

=Phil 1:16; Col 4:6; 1Peter 3:15; Jude 3

=We cannot effectively evangelize in our day without first pre -evangelize

-Our message does not make any sense unless there is a God
=How can we evangelize a world who is Non-Theistic?
-Almost half of the world is Non-Theists
>Relativism – Conversational Evangelism
=You cannot talk about truth without having an understanding of what truth is
=Process Theology – we are all in process and there is nothing stable, including truth
=Truth is/does…
– tells it like it is
– corresponds to reality
=Common arguments for relative truth
-”Truth is relevant” > Arn’t you proclaiming truth?
-”there is no truth” > is that absolutely true
-”maybe its true for you and not for me” > is that true for everyone?
=Everything demands absolute truth > If you demand absolute truth for everything, then why would you leave eternity up to relative truth
-your bank balance does not depend on how you feel about it
-a doctor cannot poison you just because you feel good about it
=The Law of NON-CONTRADICTION – you cannot have a contradicting reality > the Earth is round or is not
-you can have contradicting beliefs but no contradicting truth
>Pluralism
=Just as you wouldn’t argue with someone that is trying to save you from a burning building, you shouldn’t argue with God who is trying to save you
-Jesus Claimed it – John 14:6
-Jesus Proved it – No other religious leaders have done this!
1-Fulfilling Prophecies
2-Lived a sinless and Miraculous life
3-His Death and Resurrection
>Naturalism
=Objection =
1- Natural law is by definition a description of regular occurrence
2-Miracle by definition is a rare occurrence
3-Evidence for the regular is always greater than that for the rare
=Problem = Big bang theory
1-How many times did it bang? ONLY ONCE
2-Origin of Life? ONLY ONCE
3-Macro Evolution? NEVER
=If this were correct, and he was standing in front of the resurrection he could not believe it because it has not occurred more than once

Dr.Geisler has several new books out on Amazon and I am going to pick a few up once I have some time to read them. You can see them HERE.

Notes Pt2: Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura Conference @SWBTS