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Only Two Religions 10 - Articulating a Biblical Worldview

Heritage Presbyterian Church
Adult Sunday School

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Only Two Religions 10 - Articulating a Biblical Worldview

  1. 1. P e t e r J o n e s Director of truthXchange A Worldview & Culture Teaching Series by Ligonier Ministries Adult Sunday School Summer 2019
  2. 2. Lesson Slide 10 2 Articulating a Biblical Worldview The Big Question How can we make sense of the breakneck spiritual and social changes happening right now in our culture? and How should Christians respond?
  3. 3. Lesson Slide 10 3 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Lessons in the Series 1. Explaining Modern Culture 2. The Rise & Fall of Secular Humanism 3. Carl Jung’s Alternative Spirituality 4. Paganism in the Shadows 5. Paganism in the Spotlight 6. Pagan Sexuality 7. From Personal Spirituality to Worldview 8. Where Is Society Headed? 9. Unbiblical Responses 10.Articulating a Biblical Worldview 11.Living in Holiness 12.Thinking with a Discerning Mind
  4. 4. Lesson Slide 10 4 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Lesson Introduction • In the previous lesson, we looked at ways in which Christians should not react to the hostility of modern culture • In this lesson, we will see what Christians should do • They must first understand the opposition’s worldview (a major goal of this series), and then they must clearly affirm the superiority of the Christian worldview with its twoist view of reality
  5. 5. Lesson Slide 10 5 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Scripture Reading • Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:13-17 • Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6
  6. 6. Lesson Slide 10 6 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Teaching Objectives 1. To show how Christians must respond to the pagan worldview of modern culture 2. To explain the oneist and twoist views of humanity 3. To point out the fundamental areas where individuals can either worship the Creator or the creation
  7. 7. Lesson Slide 10 7 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Watch Lecture 10
  8. 8. Lesson Slide 10 8 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Rejecting Christianity for Oneism • The critique of Twoism • If God, in his mysterious eternal being, is so distinct from us, how can we hope to have any relationship with him? • Jung struggled to believe in a God we cannot understand, leading to psychological neurosis • The no-win situation of Oneism • Jung’s solution was to find the god within, eminently discoverable within the human psyche in an experience of the numinosum (i.e., arousing spiritual/religious emotion; mysterious or awe-inspiring) • But who really believes we can save ourselves? • But who can honestly say that he or she is worthy of divine worship? • The optimistic hope is to join the opposites of good and evil to eliminate guilt, but then the regretable fallout is everything is finally excused and relativized away
  9. 9. Lesson Slide 10 9 Articulating a Biblical Worldview The Gospel is Our Source of Power • For progressive spiritualists, power comes from transpersonal (occult) experiences with archetypal deities by recovering ancient pagan astrology • For Christians, power comes from outside the self and outside the created world into real history • Flowing through the Spirit-inspired Word of God • Bringing to the world the good news of Jesus’ triumphant victory over sin and death • Achieving salvation once for all at the cross of Christ • There is no other answer! If Twoism is true, we can’t abandon the struggle to hold up this truth • The only genuine help available to solve our sin problem must be a radical solution from God the Creator • Ultimate good news cannot come from mere creatures, however united and Oneist they might be (Ps 121:1-2)
  10. 10. Lesson Slide 10 10 Articulating a Biblical Worldview The Gospel is Our Source of Acceptance • Left to our own power, we cannot fulfill God’s requirement: “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet 1:16) • Twoists (Christian believers) are neither optimists nor pessimists, but realists • We long for purity and yearn for wisdom, but when we look inside we see not high, pure selves, but the filthy rags and mental folly of a desperately wicked heart (Jer 17:9) • The gospel gives clear, reality-based, self-knowledge that drives us to our only hope: Jesus Christ
  11. 11. Lesson Slide 10 11 Articulating a Biblical Worldview The Gospel Declares We Cannot Save Ourselves …all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." 13 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." 14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes.“ Romans 3:9b-18
  12. 12. Lesson Slide 10 12 Articulating a Biblical Worldview The Gospel is God’s Solution • The Christian gospel is not called the gospel of Paul or the gospel of the Church, but “the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1) • The gospel is God’s solution, not a human theory • The gospel is a news item, a formal announcement of an event that took place in history for our redemption • No other religion in the entire history of the world has a comparable statement that “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor 5:19) • Summarized in the Nicene Creed, confessed and believed by all branches of the historic, orthodox, evangelical faith
  13. 13. Lesson Slide 10 13 Articulating a Biblical Worldview The Gospel Reconciles the Twoist’s Problem • The foundational truth of Twoism emphasizes the clear separation of the Creator and the creature • But the church’s gospel message seems to undermine the very notion of Twoism • The Creator became a creator in the Son of God’s incarnation! • A growing Oneist heresy emerged in the early church called monophysitism (“One Nature-ism”) that viewed Christ’s humanity and deity as a single entity—ultimately denying the Twoist reality • The Council of Chalcedon formulated a careful statement on the nature of Christ to safeguard Twoist truth
  14. 14. Lesson Slide 10 14 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Chalcedon’s Christological Formula • Chalcedon’s goal was to unpack what the Apostle Paul says about the mystery of Christ, that “in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col 2:9) • “The Son is…co-essential with the Father according to the Godhead…co-essential with us according to the Manhood…before the ages begotten of the Father as to the Godhead, but in the last days…for us and for our salvation [born] of Mary the Virgin.” • By definition, the God of Twoism is indescribably larger that created life • Bigger than anything we can imagine • In Jesus he made himself visible and accessible to us, sharing our human body with its pains and trials • This is a God who can be known, trusted, and worshiped
  15. 15. Lesson Slide 10 15 Articulating a Biblical Worldview The Power of the Gospel • The gospel depends on bad news • God is holy and transcendent • Human beings are by nature sinners and need to be made aware of the depth of their moral and spiritual depravity • “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Rom 1:18) • In his wrath, God gives over sinners to the effects of their sin within history as an anticipation of his final judgment—when it will be too late for mercy • The gospel is therefore powerful news for sinners • God’s love will powerfully move our sinful souls as we understand both God’s genuine personhood and his condescension (self-abasement) to reach sinners through Christ
  16. 16. Lesson Slide 10 16 Articulating a Biblical Worldview The Message We Must Proclaim • God is for us! • In the NT, “for us” almost always has to do with God’s act of redemption and actions related to his love • Sometimes God is the subject of the act, giving his Son for us; other times Christ is sacrificially giving himself for us • Jesus was given over for us! • God has acted objectively for us in our sinful state by taking on the problem of our evil and dealing with it, in one place at one time, in the vicarious work of the Son • God punishes sin as it is borne by Jesus; God justifies the believer by granting Christ’s righteousness to us • Jesus is for us by dying for us! • Christ’s death for us demonstrates that God is for us because Jesus is the divine Son. Jesus is God in the flesh.
  17. 17. Lesson Slide 10 17 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Given Over but Not Giving Up • Our culture is beginning to put pressure on Christian pastors to avoid preaching the full extent of Romans 1 • Covering up sin and denying the fall by failing to reflect the Bible’s position on homosexuality and other sins will only conceal and silence the liberating, glorious power of the gospel • Christians must not give up preaching the gospel, otherwise we will no longer hear testimonies like this from a former lesbian: • “In October 2008…I was convicted of my sin in a way that made me consider everything I loved, and its consequences…My eyes were opened, and I began to believe everything God says in his word. I began to believe that what he says about sin, death, and hell were completely true. And amazingly, at the same time that the penalty of my sin became true to me, so did the preciousness of the cross. A vision of God’s Son crucified, bearing the wrath I deserved, and an empty tomb displaying his power over death—all things I had heard before without any interest had become the most glorious revelation of love imaginable.” ~ Jackie Hill Perry
  18. 18. Lesson Slide 10 18 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Our Calling: A Different Giving Over • Giving over our bodies to holiness and self-sacrifice • Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. • Giving over our bodies following the example of Jesus • Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
  19. 19. Lesson Slide 10 19 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Given Over in All Things • There is a deep relationship between what Jesus did and what believers must do • The “given-over” Christ is our constant model, “who loved me and gave himself over for me” (Gal 2:20) • Jesus predicts that his disciples will be “given over” and “hated …for my name’s sake” (Mt 24:9) • 2 Corinthians 4:11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. • Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her • As we are “given over” for the sake of others, people might hear the truth of the gospel, see our good works, and turn to our Father in heaven
  20. 20. Lesson Slide 10 20 Articulating a Biblical Worldview The Blessing of the Gospel • So we live given over but not giving up, because we’re assured that God will: • “surely bless [us], and…surely multiply [our] offspring (Gen 22:16- 17) • “freely give us all things (Rom 8:32) • vindicate us, even in the face of persecution, because if God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31) • transform this wonderful but fallen cursed creation by his incredible resurrecting, life-giving power, into the new heaven and earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Pet 3:13) • In this day of small things, we need to be big thinkers about a big God—the Creator and Lord of the heavens and the earth • The big picture is not pie-in-the-sky, but it includes the sky as the only vision that makes final sense • In this fallen world, great obedience and gutsy self-sacrifice are the order of the day • One day, having been faithful, we will reign with Jesus, our example, leader, and savior, over a new heavens and earth
  21. 21. Lesson Slide 10 21 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Our Challenge Must Embrace Two Realities 1. Witnessing before the world to the Twoist, Trinitarian character of God and how it looks in everyday living. We are called to understand the Lie in order better to articulate the Truth. 2. Asking God to show us how to speak the truth faithfully and courageously in the difficult days ahead • Without the transformative power of the gospel, we will lack courage, and our efforts will be in vain • But difficult days are the most revealing • “Brokenness is somehow key to transformation in this broken world. Grace is often more evident on the heels of disgrace, and truth is often more evident on the heels of falsehood.” ~ Pastor Mark Foreman
  22. 22. Lesson Slide 10 22 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Our Goal: Eyeing Heaven and Earth • Keep one eye on the coming marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9) • Keep the other eye on our calling to cover the earth with the knowledge of the truth (Hab 2:14) • Keep both eyes on the power of the gospel: • with holy living [see lesson 11] • with transformed thinking [see lesson 12] • with the clear message of Romans 1 • with the simple arithmetic of Oneism and Twoism as the only options: one the Lie, the other the Truth • This is the only hope for a planet drowning in pagan fantasy and a Church wandering in deep confusion, seriously conformed to the world • May the Lord grant us the strength and faith to witness to the Truth (Rom 16:25-27)
  23. 23. Lesson Slide 10 23 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Study Question Answers 1. The only system that oneism cannot dominate is twoism. True 2. Peter Jones relies on Romans 1when contrasting the Christian and pagan views of God. 3. If people do not understand the relationship of “creation” and “the fall,” they will never understand redemption. True 4. Paul points out three fundamental areas where one can serve either the Creator or the creation. These are spirituality, sexuality, and theology. 5. The real struggle of the modern age is the identity of humanity. True
  24. 24. Lesson Slide 10 24 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Discussion Questions 1. Why is it necessary that a Christian have a clear understanding of his or her opponent’s worldview? 2. Peter Jones notes that the confrontation between oneism and twoism is not simply between thinkers, but between passionate worshipers. How does a recognition of this fact inform disagreements between the differing views? 3. Paganism has neither a personal God nor an ethical universe. How can you use these facts to challenge someone who holds a pagan viewpoint? 4. Explain the different views of humanity espoused by oneism and twoism.
  25. 25. Lesson Slide 10 25 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Next Lesson Twoism isn’t just descriptive of the structure of biblical cosmology; it’s a worldview that flows out of a way of life, the way of holiness. Believers today—tempted to conform to the Oneist world all around them—fail to see that holiness is a way to speak of the cosmological binary of twoness, which maintains natural, created distinctions in order to bear witness to the Twoist Creator God.
  26. 26. Lesson Slide 10 26 Articulating a Biblical Worldview Resources by Peter Jones • Only Two Religions (study guide) • Only Two Religions (evangelism tool) • (website) • (website) • The Other Worldview (book) • The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture (booklet)