The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ligonier 2012 Conference Notes

Ligonier national conference 2012 Session 1: R.C. Sproul

Title: Have You Lost Your Mind?

We are living in the most anti intellectual time in our history particularly in Christian living. Look at relationship of mind to body, minds to wills, and mind to hearts.

 Mind to body: we hear a request to raise our hands and we do so. Thats mind to body. B.F. Skinner said that we are determined totally materialistically with no will or choice whatsoever in Beyond Freedom and Dignity. The brain is material and can be measured, but our mind, our thoughts, is not the same thing as the mass of tissue inside our skull.  The chief place where we live is in our minds, in our thoughts and thinking. We must not confuse the material and the mental.  How can a thought produce a physical reality, and vice versa. Descartes said "I think therefore I am." Descartes also said anything that is material has extension, it can be measured. Unlike the body, the mind is not extended, it cannot be weighed and measured with a ruler. This is the difference between mind and matter for Descartes. So how can the extended give rise to non extension, and vice versa. Descartes called this process interactionism. The connection between thinking and action. The connection and bridge between the two is at a point, taking place in the brain.

A point takes up space but has no dimension, but his followers abandoned this theory. Thy said God must be involved in our thinking.  In order for us to move, God must move. We are not independent from Gods eternal being. The primary cause to all things is God, we are but secondary causes.  David Hume made an assault on the law of causality.  Our actions are determined by how we think, and we are responsible for our thoughts and actions. As a man thinks, so he is. Our actions and words show our true hearts, who we really are. We must first consider how we think to adjust our lives.

 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MIND AND WILL:

Where is the will located? Three inches behind your liver? And what is the will, and how does it function and operate, what is its role in our lives? Jonathan Edwards answers this best in his Freedom of the Will. Its heavy stuff. Edwards defined the will as the mind choosing. In reality, the will is a particular function of the mind. Some may say that we make decisions because of physical needs like thirst and hunger, so we eat and drink. But if a choice is to be a moral choice, it has to be a voluntary, conscious choice. We will choose what our mind deems best for us at the particular moment.

Edwards defines choice as that which we are most inclined to choose at the given moment. We have never chosen to do something in our lives involuntarily, against our wills. But if we are determined by our strongest inclinations, we have no will, right? No because our strongest inclination is self inclination, self determinism. An inclination must change before a decision can. As unregenerate, we cannot make a decision for Christ because of our inclination. God must first regenerate us, He must first change our inclination.  Intention can be found only in the mind. Therefore if you want to change what you want to do, you must have a change in thought, a change in mind. Your actions are determined by your intentions, which are determined by the thoughts in your mind.

 MIND AND THE HEART:

There is a primacy of the heart and the mind. There cannot be anything that's in the heart that is not first in the mind. If you want to have your heart changed, you have to have your mind changed, your mind renewed by the Word of God. This is the point of this conference. This is how sanctification occurs for the Christian.

SESSION 2: We Dont Need No Education

SPEAKER: Robert Godfrey

Pink Floyd song was banned in South Africa. It wasn't anti intellectual, but anti educational.  Anti intellectualism has invaded the Christian world. It is a recurring problem in the Christian community and the history of Christianity. Why? In part because some believe the Bible teaches anti-intellectualism due to 1 Cor 8:1 saying that knowledge puffs up. But this is one of the most misused verses of the Bible. Some conclude that knowledge automatically makes you arrogant and not humble, therefore the antidote is to flee knowledge. Even Jerome toyed with this idea.  Augustine said you can have much wisdom with little knowledge, and vice versa. He illustrates that through his mother who was a very simple, uneducated women that nonetheless had great wisdom in the Lord and a strong faith in God. She was very pious. Therefore many conclude that you shouldn't bother with knowledge since you can be wise without it. But Paul in 1 Cor. 8:1 was referring to the misuse of knowledge, not repudiating knowledge altogether.  

Nonetheless, since the 19th century the church in America has become anti intellectual, but it wasn't always this way. The Puritans started a Calvinist college, Harvard, then after it drifted liberal they started Yale, then when it drifted they started Princeton. The church needs ministers who understand the philosophical arguments of the day and those who know Greek and Hebrew and can study scripture in depth. The church needed an educated clergy to understand the depths of the Scriptures. This is why Harvard, Yale, and Princeton were started. Educated leaders are needed in the church. That was the conviction of American Christianity but began to change in the 19th century.

The election in 1828 of Andrew Jackson epitomized this. He wasnt an educated man or from the important places. He was from Tennessee. One commentator said that the power passed from the snobs to the mobs. This was a dramatic change of mood, culture, and attitude in American society. Democracy became a by word not just for our politics but for our way of life. Our whole culture began to think that we are all equal. Now our founding fathers said that we were all created equal, but until then we haven't believed that we are all equal exactly the same as we are now.  But three positions of experts got booted during this time. Doctors/physicians, replaced by whole medicine and snake oil salesman, great health food craze such as graham cracker and post cereal, then the revolt against lawyers, people said they could do that on their own, which lead to the revolt against ministers/preachers. They said they didn't need expert preachers since we are all the same and can study and learn and know the Bible just as well all by ourselves. We didn't need experts because we are all equal.  So as Americans headed out west, the landscape changed dramatically. By 1840 though the dominate denominations had become Methodist and Baptist, frontier religions equipped to move quickly with people and didn't require much education. And those ministers became equal with the people. People thought this was a good thing because they began claiming experience is the essence of Christianity, not knowledge. If you have been saved and born again, having that experience, they said that's all you really need. Knowledge didn't really matter. Godfrey says there is a degree of truth to that.

This belief began to affect eschatology as well. Before this thought most people were postmillenialists, but after this change in thought many became dispensationalsits. Postmill has an optimistic viewpoint of the end times, that God will bring triumph in this world, that many will become believers at the end and society will become more Christianized. Thus since God would accomplish most of this, postmill helped develop a simplistic mindset. But then a more pessimistic viewpoint developed as the 19th century wore on. Roman catholic immigrants came over and other people from less well to do places, like Ireland.  In 1840 roman catholic was fifth largest denomination behind presbyterians baptists, etc., but moved up to first by 1850.  In 1960 JFK became first president to be elected that was roman catholic. He had to go around to baptists to convince people that Rome wouldnt rule him and make decisions. Now our three leading presidential candidates, none of them are Christians/protestants.  With rise of Darwinism ppl began to feel that things in the world were not so wonderful after all, and things are going from bad to worse. Thus a new eschatology arose, a pessimistic one that said things are going downhill but it doesnt' matter because Jesus is coming. This is dispensationalism. Both postmill and dispensationalsim thus allowed for a retreatist, anti intellectual mindset that many Christians embraced.  Godfrey says that mindset is dangerous and unnecessary. Christianity can and should be defended intellectually. We are not embracing a religion born out of a myth.

Harvard's motto is now veritas, "truth." It used to be veritas christus, "the truth of Christ."   This has happened because American Christians for a long time gave up on an intellectual defense of the faith. Such a defense will not save anyone itself, but it will challenge non Christians to think and pause and reflect and can make them more receptive to the gospel. It can make Christianity respectable rather than an absurd, crazy, superstition.  But Christianity is capable of reasonable defense. Intellectual defense. And we have seen a revival of that to some extent in the last fifty years, such as Francis Schaeffer and even R.C. Sproul. David Wells has done so as well and asked if there is a place for truth even amongst Christians in his book No Place For Truth.

 In the 20th century and today, religion prospers but theology is dying. Personalities are strong and institutions are weak. Many institutions have little knowledge and are built on personalities. They are personality driven institutions so that when the personality dies, the institution dies. Thus religion thrives with the personality while theology and thus the true faith dies.  While trying to make religion relevant, we have trivialized Christianity. This anti intellectualism has even spilled over to the secular university. Now days almost every student says that truth is relative and they don't even think that there is an alternative. Thus the Bible is just taught as literature, but no one ever asks if it is true. But if it is true, it changes everything. Thus it is just discussed as literature.  Calvin said Christians waver between thinking we know more than we do and thinking we do not need to know. Commenting on 1 cor 8:1 he said that nothing is more arrogant than ignorance, except being puffed up by knowledge. So there is a balance between the two that the Bible must teach us to find. And Scripture says to know God, to know truth, with all your mind.  The truth that is in Christ sets us free. The way to get this isn't to be anti intellectual but to think Gods thoughts after him, to think carefully and deep,y after Him. We want theology to prosper out of a deep knowledge of Gods word so many can be drawn to a true saving knowledge of Christ and know Him truly so we can worship and live for Him truly and rightly.

 SESSION 3: I'VE GOT HALF A MIND TOO

SPEAKER: AL MOHLER

14 different affects of the noetic fall:
1. Our thinking is crippled and darkened.

2. Satan goes after our thinking.

3. God has hidden certain things from us and gives us over to certain sinful passions in our minds.

4. The will is fallen and produces a fallen reason.

5. We are irrationally given over to sin.

6. The unregenerate mind cannot reason itself to the cross and regeneration.

1. Ignorance

2. Distractedness.

3. Forgetfulness

4. Prejudice

5. Faulty perspective.

6. Intellectual fatigue

7. Failure to draw right conclusion

8. Intellectual apathy

9. Dogmatism and closemindedness

10. Intellectual pride

11. Warped creativity

12. Miscommunication

13. We know something in part but not wholly.

5 precepts of the modern mind:

1. Anti realism. All truth is negotiated and socially constructed.
2.
3. Therapeutic universalism

4. Radical pluralism. Many different religions and beliefs and worldviews.

5. managerial pragmatism.


3 Different Beliefs of America from oldest to most recent:

1. Impossible not to believe (in God).

2. Possible not to believe.

3. Impossible to believe. Impossible to believe is where Western Europe is already and America is approaching this. Most irreligious people is the Swedes.  America is ruled over by a league of swedes. Eventually the swedes will evangelize.  We care about how the unregenerate think because we live with them. The glory of God demands an intellectual faithfulness.

 SESSION 4: RC. Sproul, Jr.

TITLE: The (True) Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

 1 Cor 1:18 to end of chapter.

What makes us all one in Christ is that we affirm the gospel and cling to it. But to those outside the faith the gospel is a scandal, a stumbling block. We need to think about what we are to them because of the story of the gospel. They think we are stupid, foolish, and ignorant. They wont take us seriously and think we are blind, stupid fools that are easily lead.  In the evangelical church, when we receive the displeasure of the world, the greatest scandal isn't that they think we are stupid but that this truth of the gospel scandalizes us. We are offended that they are offended about us, so we establish barriers and various anti Christian defamation leagues. We complain about how the world portrays us on television. We insist that they consider us wise, reasonable and sensible. We insist that Paul be wrong, that the Holy Spirit according to Scriptures be wrong. Because this is how Scripture says we will be seen. The worst part of it all, is that we begin to reshape ourselves and the gospel to diminish the stumbling block of the gospel and to be more accepted and establish our credibility. This is how postmodernism and emergent influences have infiltrated the church. We begin to make the gospel just one story and not THE story. If we are seeker sensitive we remove the sharp edges of sin and judgment and wrath.

The polls say people leave the church because it is too narrow minded and judgmental. But of course that is what the pagan will say. But the seeker sensitive churches set the wrath of God aside and tries to become relational and friends with the world, never getting around to judgment for sin, in hopes that the people will accept Christ without fear of wrath and judgment.  Theological liberalism doesnt even believe the gospel.  It can be fun to rail against the emergent and seeker sensitive and attack theological liberals. But we need to focus on our own problems for this session.  We think because we are evangelical and reformed and confessional and theologically and gospel driven that we do not have any problems. We think as reformed we are the smart ones that read fat, whole books, or at least display them on our shelves. We think we are the ones that can break down the gospel and dish it out to the world.  But the truth is, we are still fools, we are still fools and blind guides, because as smart as we are we still have these massive logs stuck in our heart.

And the truth is, we often are not very evangelical because we do to have enough passion for proclaiming the gospel. We watch people on their soap boxes out in the streets preaching and we mock them. We complain about how others do evangelism while we do not evangelize at all. We are concerned with grumbling against unbelievers and affirming our dependence on the grace of God but we also want to think we cooperate with the grace of God and contribute something.  But ultimately our job is to make war on the world for the glory of Jesus Christ. Thats what Bible college and Christian education is for.  Aquinas is widely read for fulfilling an intellectual challenge that everyone was wrestling with in his day. He combined wisdom of Aristotle with wisdom of the Bible, and integrated the two. If you are thinking in your mind "cool," you need to repent. Who would want to add the wisdom of Aristotle to the Word of God?? But thats what we do and thats how we treat God's word to this day. And that is incipient semi pelagianism. The Bible does not need anything added to it. Boethius tried to combine wisdom of Plato with the Word of God. Same problem. The mystics, who then and now, wanted to combine wisdom of eastern thought with wisdom of the Bible. Now they want to integrate wisdom of psychology with wisdom of Bible. And now from B.B. Warfield we want to mix science with the Bible. We should study these men and what they said because they were submissive to the Word of God and where they were right we should by all means hear them. But beware and watch out. The devil doesn't run away from you when you become reformed. He seeks to make you prideful. But we are meant to rest in His provision. And in our sanctification all part of us must rest in His wisdom. We must learn to trust in and believe what God tells us.

When my wife got cancer I told my wife "Dear, now is the time to believe what we believe," that God is sovereign over all and does all for our sanctification. Of course before we got cancer we believed this but we had a nice home plenty of land and a wonderful family. Our circumstances made it easy to believe what God tells us then. But God put that to the test. The scandal of the evangelical mind isn't that we are not smart enough but that we are not good enough. We try to figure out Scripture from intellectual pride and do not trust it and try to be changed by it. We are being changed when we no longer panic if someone thinks we are stupid.

 We have the Truth, and the Truth tears down the world's strongholds. If you take each ism of the world and set it against itself, it collapses on itself. If our environment is what determines what we do and who we are, don't try to change me with a rational, coherent argument, change my environment! The truth is these isms are foolish because they are foolish. The fool says in his heart the is no God. But we can be foolish too and forget that we have been saved by the grace of God and that all the knowledge we have is by His grace. The fact that we are right and they are wrong doesn't make us better because such were we before, and that changed only by Gods grace. We cannot pat ourselves on the back.  Are you willing to be thought a fool for Christ's sake? We do not need to improve our reputation, because when we do that we don't do it for the sake of the kingdom but for the sake of our reputation. Our scandal as evangelicals is that we are not repentant about our minds.  When the students at RBC go to the abortion mill they are preaching the gospel not arguing over supra or infralapsarianism, or debating Aquinas. They are preaching the gospel and seeing lives changed because there is power in the Word. We don't bring in the elect by mixing our dross with his gold.  We are here to preach that wisdom begins with the fear of God. We need to ask God's grace to give us a fear of Him, rather than a fear of the Greeks and the intellectuals of the world.

 SESSION 5: Sinclair Ferguson

TITLE: Losing My Religion

 Psalm 119:97-100 Purpose of session is to encourage you to dig into Scriptures and dig into good Christian books.  We need to take a serious and hard look at ourselves as conservative Christians to do our job as believers and part of the Church. Our church today is a mile wide and possibly less than an inch deep. We are good at blaming others for this and not doing a good job ourselves taking the gospel and truth to the people. You see so many people with various Bibles and they sit in their laps but do not even know what it teaches.  We think if we read a few books and listen to a reformed pastor that we are reformed. But you are not reformed till you are praying regularly and living holy lives and passionate about the gospel. We must be doing the real work of the church and having our lives shaped by the message we believe. Holiness and a reformed life comes from devotion to prayer and reading the Word of the God.

We need to recommit to being Bible people. Hebrews 5:  We have become dull of hearing. We need milk and not solid food. This isn't a contemporary problem of Gods people, its a perennial problem. We need to be so focused on the law and His glory that evil would be seen in its own irrelevant light. In our thinking we must be mature, and the characteristic of mature thinking as a Christian is characterized in Scripture as a passion for the knowledge of God. Gods great concern is that we know Him and are known by Him, not so much what we do. This is why the epicenter of the New covenant is the knowledge of the Lord.

3 reasons to pursue a deeper knowledge of God:

1. This is the reason that God regenerated us. ( Romans 6) Regeneration doesn't mean that we know it all but that we have our eyes open so that we can begin to know Him and begin to understand the Christian life.

2. We need to seek a deeper knowledge of God because of the teaching of Jesus Christ. Christ adds that we should love God with all our mind not just heart. He tells us to love the Lord with our minds. There is no root to the affections without passing through the mind. Even the immediate affections must pass through the mind. Until we discover a love for the Lord our God in our minds we will not have a love for God in our hearts and lives. But today love is based on a feeling and affection rather than rationality. We can't grow in love for the Lord without growing in an intellectual, mental, thinking love for the Lord. Otherwise our love is pure emotion.

John 13-17. There God gives lecture on the trinity in the hour of the disciples deepest need. And Jesus says there are so many things that He would have said to them but they were not able to bear it.  The reason the early Christians spent so much time thinking through issues of trinity was because they had a passionate love with their minds for God and they wanted to describe Him biblically and rightly. Today the trinity is the most obscure and irrelevant doctrine but for Christ it was of the most important and relevant. We are to spend the whole of our Christian lives so that we can know Him better and serve Him more fruitfully.

3. Because this is what has life transforming power. Romans 12:2 We need to give our whole beings as sacrifices to God. We cannot let the world squeeze us into its mold but instead must by the renewing of our minds have our lives transformed. John Stott said the secret of holy living lies in the mind.  Col. 3:21 set your affections and minds on the things of above.  What do you think about when you have nothing else to think about? What fills your mind when you have nothing to fill your mind? For Ferguson it tends to be the blessed trinity. If you asked Jesus what you have to think about when you have nothing else to think about, what else would he say but the blessed trinity? Rather than drifting off to march madness or family economic problems, it needs to be on Christ. We need more and more to be filled with the Word or God so that He can be on our minds when we have nothing else to think about. We need to fill our minds with things that are lovely and beautiful.

 3 strategies for seeking a deeper knowledge of God:

1. To place our lives under a living ministry for the Word of God. It is the central instrument God uses to shape our thinking and living. Devotionals and Bible studies aren't the same as coming over a powerful passionate preaching of the Word. There is a difference between the exposition of Scripture and any other way the Word is given to you. We think church the way it is now is the way its always been because we have been ignorant of the Church for the last 1900 years. Expositional preaching shows that Scripture does it's own work we don't need to be pragmatic. Acts 6:7. When is the last time you have heard someone say, "is the Word of God increasing?"

Bible says sanctify us by your truth, your word is truth. We don't get this because all we get is half a hour of preaching once a week. They've never experienced it. Calvin preached every single day of the week because he wanted to pour the word of God into the people of God. We aren't sure people want the word of God, that's why many churches do not even have evening service. John Stott said sermonettes produce Christianettes

 2. We dig deeply into the Word of God ourselves. It is not enough to go to four Bible studies a week. That can mask the fact that you are not digging into the Word yourself. Pray that God would awaken your mind and quicken your heart to desire and understand the Word of God. We need to be mastered by the key books of Scriptures.

 3.  Learn to gather with all the saints.  Ferguson made a vow never to be ashamed to discuss the greatest current Christian books as long as he knew and could discuss the greatest Christian books of the Bible.  Read The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin. They teach you how to think in a trinitarian way.  Read John Owens "On Communion With God." Owen taught Godfrey how to live in a trinitarian way. Each member of the trinity has a specific appropriation in our redemption.  At the end of the day all that matters is that we know God and know Him more, and we will know Him more in all eternity.

 SESSION 6: Stephen Meyer

Title: Rock of Ages and The Age of Rocks

 What we can know and not know through the earth about the things of God.

The four horseman of the new atheism. Dawkins believes that life merely has the appearance of being designed. There is an unguided, undirected evolutionary process that creates the illusion of design. The belief in God is delusional. Science they believe undercuts belief in God.  Obviously this contradicts the biblical view. This also contradicts the views of those who established modern science. Most were devout men of Christian faith. They believed nature was intelligible because God is intelligible and we were made in His image.  Isaac Newton made arguments for Intelligent Design. He said the universe had to be ordered by Intelligent Being.

 So how did we get from Newton to Dawkins?  Around 1800 laPlass (?) thought he could explain origin of universe without God hypothesis. Further, Darwin's mechanism of natural selection could produce appearance of design without designer. You could string stories together and get God out of science. And the science of 19th century gave birth to worldview of scientific materialism. The prime reality in 19th century was "in the beginning were the particles." Particles evolved until human beings invented God. Particles are the eternal and self existent thing. Leading intellectuals were coming around to this position because they believed that science agreed with them with all these origin theories. Thus, the new atheism is really not very new.

This materialistic worldview has had the support of modern science until recently. But the testimony of science has turned from this worldview. In recent science a theistic worldview is supported. Hubble came into astronomy in 1920's. There was debate at this time whether our galaxy is the only one or not. Looking through the telescope, Hubble saw many other galaxies and settled the debate. He also discovered that the galaxies were receding from us. This was an important discovery because every galaxy was moving away from us. Thus the universe is expanding spherically, and thus an expanding universe implied a finite universe, a universe that had a beginning time.  Einstein came to the same conclusion at the same time on the other side of the world based on the theory of relativity. It said that the universe must be expanding outward and decelerating. He introduced an arbitrary factor to eliminate the idea of a finite universe that would keep the universe at a constant size called the cosmological constant. This is because he had a preconceived notion that the universe must be eternal too due to the prevailing materialistic worldview.

Hubble invites Einstein to look through telescope and Einstein then saw that it was necessary that there was a beginning to the universe. He then said the cosmological constant was the greatest mistake of his scientific career.  In 1968 Stephen Hawking and others found that there had to be a beginning to space as well as time. Because an infinite curvature equates to zero space, which is what happens as you wind the expansion of the universe backwards. So the universe comes out of literally nothing physical.  Thus if the universe came out of no matter, energy, time, or space then the cosmological argument is back in vogue and only a transcendent cause, like God, could account for the universe.  

Design in physics: anthropic fine tuning. Biological form requires input of information. Crick- Double Helix. Digital information being used to do mechanical tasks. Information runs the show in our bodies, in our cells.  The question is, where did this information come from? You've got to have info to construct cells. It takes intelligence to produce information. It takes a mind to produce information.  This leads to a return of the God hypothesis when all this info is pulled together. The idea that God created the universe is more respectable today than it has been in 100 years.

 SESSION 7: Michael Horton

Title: The Fear Factor

Secularism: secularization is not a bad thing. The church can not rule over the secular culture. Secularization creates a pluralism, I have a truth and you have your truth. The third stage is relativism.  The biblical worldview gets heavy criticism not just from atheists but pantheists. If the transcendent is completely immanent what is the difference in that and atheism? Nothing hardly. Neither have a transcendent being.  Reason is totally unbiased. Kant said we have to believe in a god because if we do not have that then we dont have morality. We also need a hereafter and immortality to help morality. We need God for morality. Then Nietsche came along and said you can't have fruit without the tree, you can't have morality without God, the lawgiver.  Then they began to say that all we need is the moral law within and there is no need to get into the particulars.

But Kant didn't think of himself as a sinner nor did he believe in original sin. He just believed we need to follow our own inner light.  Schleirmacher agreed with Kant that we cannot know God intellectually, but disagreed with Kant that we must create God for a moral need anyways. He said we do have direct experience of God in our hearts. He is the father of modern liberalism.  They missed the point that at its heart Christianity is about the gospel. Each (Schleiremacher and Kant) in his own way drove God indoors. God is both transcendent and involved in history. Many leaders of the enlightenment were reared in evangelical homes. But there was a severing of the heart and the head. The pietists had the heart and the orthodox took the mind. Those reared in evangelical churches today are as biblically illiterate as the unchurched.

Today's churches can be called moralistic therapeutic deism. The religion today is deistic because people do not view God as acting in everyday life.  As Western Europe crumbles churches are being turned into mosques. Islam teaches that we were all born Muslim but all apostasized.  The only hope for Christians is to know what we believe and why we believe it. Back in the day Christians didnt divvy up spiritual and temporal affairs, they realized the whole world was our father's world.  We cannot separate thinking, feeling, and acting. We need Christians to take both God and His world seriously. But much of evangelicalism today is selling itself to popular culture to remain relevant. Its not because we are thinking too hard but too lightly. The first sign of fear is to reach for Ceasar's garment for help.

 WHY WE SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID:

1. This is our Fathers world. This is a great opportunity to defend the faith. All our unbelieving friends live in our Father's world. We can know God because God has revealed himself to us. We can only know God if God decides to stoop down to us and speak to us. God does not seem as interesting as ourselves. In America God isn't worshiped, He is used.

 2. This is our Father's Story. I believe in God because I believe in the gospel, not vice versa. We have no incarnate revelation of God other than Jesus of Nazareth. Faith in Scripture rises and falls with faith in Christ. it's the gospel that flips us from being self-centered to God centered. We don't find God He has found us. We cannot become divine but He can and did become human without losing His divinity.  We dont want to know God apart from Jesus because we are sinners and to know God outside of salvation is deadly.

 3. This is our fathers work trinitarily.  Today when we share our testimony we share our experiences, but when the apostles testified it was about the gospel, what Jesus did to save sinners. But salvation isn't about what happened in you but what happened outside of us, at calvary on the cross.

 4. This is our Father's Kingdom. It will last because we cannot build it. We have nothing to fear. It is the Fathers good pleasure to give us the kingdom. So live and proclaim the gospel boldly.

 SESSION 8: Del Tackett

TITLE: When Worlds Collide

 Tackett is not here to move us emotionally. Then Tackett began reading Schaeffer and it shaped his worldview. He saw that truth shaped every area of life. He said when he saw the church's plight he wept over the state of the body of Christ. We have lost the grandness of the truth of God in all aspects of life, and have shrunk Christianity down to a small slice of life, and acted if God were irrelevant in the other 359 degrees of life. We are no longer salt and light and have conformed to the pattern of the world. Romans 12:2 became a key verse for him.  We need a metamorphisis, a deep transformation, not a little change. That's what happens when we are truly changed and gripped by God and the purpose of our life. But we haven't been changed and haven't been impacting the culture like we need to be. That must change.

 In our culture, it is easy to fall into a passive mode. We must desire that He do something mighty in us. Something like when the frail human being comes in the presence of God, like in Isaiah 6. The truth of God is not some kind of mystical thing but it is the reality of who God is.  And the reality of who God is exposes us. But if we draw near to Him He will expose those things in us. We live in a culture that bombards us with lies constantly. He will help us to see and understand that all the cheap paint and loud music that the world uses to cover us is useless.

We need to be moved like Jeremiah. We need the Word of God to move in us like a fire in our bones.  Physical worlds aren't really colliding. What is conflicting and contradicting is truth claims. Different religions and atheism and all worldviews are truth claims that try to tell us what the world is. But the biggest conflict is the metanarrative.

REJECTING THE METANARRATIVE: Jean francious lyotard- postmodernism is incredulity to metanarratives. It is a scoffing rejection to metanarratives, to the big picture story. It says there is no big story. But this and postmodernism really isn't new.

God had already told Adam and Eve the big story but the devil told them that metanarrative wasn't good enough. Satan offered another. The metanarrative is- "any large story that pretends to give an explanation of anything, especially one that claims to be overarching truth," according to postmodernism. Is. 46:9 is a great passage of Scripture.  There is a grand, overarching story. Satan told Eve that it is not a good plan. You can buy fame and fortune but it doesn't work out in the end.

Jer. 29:11, God says to His people He has a plan and purpose for them, a good one. But do we really believe that the metanarrative of God is really the best plan and that His purposes are good?   The cosmic battle between truth and lie began in the garden for man, and it continues to be the battle today. The battle of the truth of God and the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

3 things to answer Pilates question "what is truth?"

1. Jesus said that He is the Truth. It goes to the transcendent nature to God Himself. It is exclusive, immutable, eternal. Jesus also said He is the only way. There is not contradiction in the character and nature of God.  when you lose the metanarrative you begin to think that its all about you. Jesus says "I tell you the truth" 75 times. That means truth is propositional.

Truth is consequential, too. Uzziah tried to do things God's way and he got leprosy. David lost his son. Moses struck the rock twice, and he didnt get to go to the Promised Land.  Our young people have been raised in a world that says it's all about you. If you begin to believe that, then everyone's got a shirt that says it's all about me. And we live in a world filled with manipulators. Everyone is a salesman and is trying to manipulate you to advance their story. But if I know you think it's all about you, then you are just using me to make it more about you, and I'm doing the same. Facebook is all about the self. Its saying look at me, to advance your own story.  You are the most connected generation in all of human history. But you are also the loneliest generation in all of human history.  The sign that says 'it's all about you' is the broad gate. The narrow gate is the one that says 'you must die to yourself.' Its all about Him.

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