Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Defeating Human Viewpoints with Truth

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Cor 10:4-5 ESV)
I am leading a Sunday School class at Browns Creek Church of God on counteracting the prevailing worldview of postmodernism. Let me oversimplify by saying that postmodern thought teaches that there is no such thing as objective moral truth—or, if there is, we can't know for sure because the very process of conveying truth to others is hopelessly bound-up with the limitations of human language and our inability to express ourselves because we are hopelessly trapped in our own subjectivity. Postmodernism answers the questions of epistemology, "What do we know and how do we know it?" by stating, "We don't and we can't."

Postmodernism worships doubt.

That's why many postmodern folks today are adamant that they know they can't know so if you claim to know they think you are intolerant, bigoted and uneducated. (Yes, that is illogical.)

We spent the first few weeks looking generally into postmodernism and how it is at odds with propositional Christianity. But it begs the question: how do we as a Christian community confront the lost culture of postmodernism (or modernism...or any currently prevailing philosophy or any "ism")?

I quickly reply that without the convicting work of the Holy Spirit we can't win anyone to the Truth; without his quickening ability we, ourselves, never would've been won to the Truth.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:7-11 ESV)
That's key. That's where we start our discussion. We admit that, humanly speaking, it's hopeless. Because of the hardness/depravity/evil of the human heart we Christians really do depend on the power of God to show sinners the true nature of things.

Second, we plunge right in with the Truth. And a good place to start is the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5.1—7.29). This is where we began last Sunday morning.

I'm not saying sinners can follow the Lord's sermon; unaided by the Holy Spirit no one can. However, it's a great place to tackle many social issues and show God's take on them. It certainly reveals the disparity between the Truth and current popular opinion.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

John Piper and Bethlehem Baptist Sometimes Cast Lots

I confess I've thought very little about this topic over the years!

John Wesley drew lots to determine if he should marry a woman. He relates:
'... both of us sought God by deep consideration, fasting and prayer...but could not come to any decision. At length we agreed to appeal to the Searcher of Hearts. I accordingly made three lots. In one was writ, "Marry;" in the second "Think not of it this year." After we prayed to God to give us a "perfect lot", Mr. Delamotte drew the third, in which were the words, "Think of it no more." Instead of the agony I had reason to expect, I was enabled to say cheerfully, "Thy will be done." We cast lots again to know whether I ought to converse with her anymore, and the direction I received from God was "Only in the presence of Mr. Delamotte".' (Wesley 4 March 1737, cited in David 1962)