Four Other Sources To Consider

Mar 13

Four Other Sources To Consider

Enough about what I have to say about all these subjects I’ve been blogging about lately…it’s good to hear from other people, who often say it better than I ever could:

Out of all the well-known Christian pastors/speakers out there today, I connect with and respect Francis’ message over and over. This video is Francis’ message from last Sunday. The video is 50 minutes long, so move on to the next source and plan to watch it later if you don’t have the time right now. It’s excellent, of course. It deals quite a bit with specific disagreements over Scripture (Old Testament and New) that I heard while at my former church. About halfway through the video and on is what I’m referring to, but the first part of the video should not be skipped, because it is the foundation for the second part. By the end of the video, if you think the point of the message was about condemning a pastor’s wife–you couldn’t be more wrong and need to re-watch the video. It was totally all about me. And I’ve gotta believe it’s all about you, too. If you need to, watch it again. Here are my notes I took from the video, and the video is found below my notes:

Scripture teaches that God doesn’t listen to everyone’s prayers.

Don’t Expect God to Answer Your Prayers If:
1. you don’t honor your wife (1 Peter)
2. you have unconfessed sin (James)
3. you’re asking for things to fulfill your own passions/desires (James)
4. you are doubting the whole time (James)
5. you’re not taking care of the poor and needy (Isaiah)

Uh…I fail majorly at all 5 of those. This explains a lot…

My sin doesn’t only affect me; it affects the body of Christ with whom I’m in fellowship.Same is true of your sin.

God’s view of sin and punishment is radically different from mine.

We have a choice to make: adopt God’s view of sin or suffer the consequences of our refusal to do so.

Sometimes the consequences are carried out by God himself, but He also can call the church to participate in carrying this out.

Jesus answers the question himself if only a few people will be saved or not in Luke 13:22-30.

He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Perhaps you can consider the opinion of a celebrity who happens to be an atheist. I find that he understands better than many Christians today why it’s not judgmental or arrogant to share your faith, even when you believe that people are headed for hell. The video only lasts 5 minutes. The first two minutes are a little slow, but hang on! Here’s the video.

Below you’ll find excerpts defending faith in Jesus as the only way to God from a recent article in Christianity Today magazine. The article can be found here:

Some Christian thinkers have jettisoned the uniqueness of Christ and embraced pluralism. They maintain that all religions are equally valid paths to God or an ultimate divine reality, and that no single religion can claim to have the final word on truth. They move beyond a descriptive and social pluralism, which allows for a diversity of religious expressions, to a metaphysical pluralism.

To postmodern pluralists, to assert that Jesus is Truth Incarnate may well be a front for colonial imperialism, cultural chauvinism, or religious intolerance.

Postmodernism not only tribalizes truth, it privatizes it as well. We see this, for instance, in the way sexual behavior is considered a private matter, left for the individual to decide.

The same suspicion applies to morality. Questions of right and wrong are attempts by others to impose their will on us. Why should one accept other people’s definitions of right and wrong? Postmodern thinking soon leads to the kind of moral relativism where judging between right and wrong is a matter of private interpretation.

Such freedom is attractive. Adding to its appeal is the oft-repeated contention that exclusivists are naëve, arrogant, disrespectful of other cultures, and intolerant of other faiths. Their absolutist views serve only to heighten interreligious tension, exacerbate intercommunal conflict, and in some cases, even incite violence. To avoid further polarizing our badly fragmented world, one must, some argue, adopt a pluralistic approach to religions and a relativistic stance on truth.

To begin with, the belief that knowledge of the truth necessarily translates into arrogant intolerance confuses conviction with condescension and rational disagreement with disagreeable behavior.

The Christian faith condemns arrogance and an attitude of superiority toward people of other faiths and, for that matter, people of no faith.

Given the relativistic temper of our times, it’s easy for the church to lose confidence in the gospel as “the power of God unto salvation” and to back off from proclaiming Christ as the only way to God. To guard against this loss of nerve, Christians need to be seriously grounded in the truth of Scripture and the knowledge of Christ. The work of commending truth in our world must therefore begin at home—in the life, worship, and disciple-making catechesis of our churches.

To believe in absolute truth is to run counter to the spirit of the age. We can expect to be ridiculed, ostracized, and opposed. We need to be reminded that the one who was Truth Incarnate, the one John describes as “full of grace and truth,” became Truth Crucified at the hands of those bent on snuffing out the light of truth. Darkness did not have the last word. Light pierced the tomb of Jesus, and in the resurrection of Christ, we have Truth Vindicated.

Anyone have any thoughts what these sources have to say?

P.S. For those who like to go the extra mile, or always do your extra credit at school: I encourage you to listen to the sermon given by Dr. Peter Jones at Francis Chan’s church on February 7, 2010. You can find it here. That message gets to the very heart of the difference between the philosophy Scripture teaches about God and this world versus the philosophy of today’s worldview. It cuts through how today’s culture (and many churches who follow that culture) like to frame the issues and label people who follow the whole of Scripture. But be prepared to put your thinking cap on–they don’t call him Dr. Jones for kicks. (That’s my attempt to be just as dry in humor as he is.)


  1. avatar

    I listened to Dr. Jones’ sermon the other day when working out. I liked that he didn’t avoid Avatar because he knew it wasn’t going to have Christian values but instead went and let her daughter have her take. She ended up expressing the same “How totally pagan is that” thought that he had.

    I think that’s how to properly deal with our culture. To not avoid it but see it for what it is.

    • avatar

      Most Christians unfortunately either avoid culture or embrace it. Neither of these camps sees culture for what it is. (One refuses to look squarely at culture, the other is blinded by culture.) They are both equally ignorant of the messages/values of the culture, and how they are contradictory to Scripture.

      Those Christians who avoid culture (ignorant of it) usually aren’t ignorant of Scripture, to their credit. However, those who embrace culture, and are thereby ignorant of culture’s worldview, are usually ignorant of Scripture on top of this. Both camps are not being responsible Christians, nor are they able to do much Kingdom work for Christ.

      I think a responsible, discerning Christian is neither ignorant of culture or Scripture, but sees both of these clearly for what they are.

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