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Only Two Religions 12 - Thinking with a Discerning Mind

Heritage Presbyterian Church
Adult Sunday School

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Only Two Religions 12 - Thinking with a Discerning Mind

  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 12 2 Thinking with a Discerning Mind 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 12 3 Thinking with a Discerning Mind 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 12 4 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Lesson Introduction • Unbelieving thought is based on a worldview that is completely antithetical to the Christian faith • The previous lessons have sought to articulate some of the core beliefs of this pagan worldview • This lecture aims to look specifically at pagan, oneist thinking, and to contrast it with Christian twoism
  5. 5. Lesson Slide 12 5 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Scripture Reading • Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 • For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
  6. 6. Lesson Slide 12 6 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Teaching Objectives 1. To demonstrate the need for Christians to have a transformed, discerning mind 2. To show the difference between a discerning and undiscerning mind 3. To explain how twoism affects one’s thinking in many different ways
  7. 7. Lesson Slide 12 7 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Watch Lecture 12
  8. 8. Lesson Slide 12 8 Thinking with a Discerning Mind A Quote from John Calvin “Mingled vanity and pride appear in this, that when miserable men do seek after God, instead of ascending higher than themselves as they ought to do, they measure him by their own carnal stupidity, and, neglecting solid inquiry, fly off to indulge their curiosity in vain speculation. Hence, they do not conceive of him in the character in which he is manifested, but imagine him to be whatever their own rashness has devised. This abyss standing open, they cannot move one footstep without rushing headlong to destruction. With such an idea of God, nothing which they may attempt to offer in the way of worship or obedience can have any value in his sight, because it is not him they worship, but, instead of him, the dream and figment of their own heart.”
  9. 9. Lesson Slide 12 9 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Two Views of God: Creator or Created • Our cosmology flows from our view of the divine • Only two gods are possible: creation or the Creator Romans 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. • Both starting points are in essence religious, describing the character of the divine as: • either ontologically transcendent and separate from nature • Or ontologically immanent within nature • These two options are mutually exclusive • There is no hope of bringing them together in some kind of hybrid system • The struggle will go on until the end of history, when the Truth will be finally and fully revealed
  10. 10. Lesson Slide 12 10 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Carl Jung vs Apostle Paul • Jung • The gnostic god within is the only one worth worshiping • “Abraxas, half man, half beast, as a God higher than both the Christian God and the Devil, which combines all opposites” • Dismissed the biblical God, the transcendent Creator “outside of man,” viscerally describing such belief as “systematic blindness” • Paul • Blindness goes in the opposite direction of Jung’s claim • Seeing creation as God is blindness • People see evidence of the true God in creation, but then choose to become blind
  11. 11. Lesson Slide 12 11 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Two Possible Conclusions: Truth or Lie • The human mind, even in its fallen state, is capable of amazing intellectual constructions but also of irrational, inconsistent, and dishonest conclusions that dehumanize culture • The Lie will always contradict itself, forever teetering on the brink of irrationality because it finally abhors the Truth • Pro-choice people speak of the activities of an abortionist as his “abortion ministry” or of abortion as “a gift of God”; yet refuse to show any graphic pictures of the violence done to the child • Heinrich Himmler. Raised in a pious, Roman Catholic, middle class family, he was described as rational, intelligent, jovial, and friendly; yet he was also head of the brutal SS corps under Hitler in the 1940s. He considered the Holocaust personally sickening but also decent and glorious for humankind • Pontius Pilate declared Jesus innocent three times before having him flogged and crucified
  12. 12. Lesson Slide 12 12 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Two Possible Minds: Undiscerning or Discerning • Now is a time for clear speech, not for conformist confusion • What human beings need is a transformed mind, able to discern the will of God the Creator who is blessed forever • Genuine human discernment and ultimate human flourishing depends on this • The Bible teaches there are only two kinds of minds • The undiscerning, debased mind (Rom 1:28) that elevates the creature (or all of nature) into god by worshiping and serving the creation of God. It builds a worldview on the Lie. • The transformed, discerning mind (Rom 12:2), freed from the blindness of sin, which understands God as separate from the creation, and worships and serves him alone as the only object worthy of reverence. It builds a worldview on the Truth.
  13. 13. Lesson Slide 12 13 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Oneism in Today’s World • Jung and others affected by an undiscerning mind • Globalist politicians • United Nations documents defining the planet’s future • Hollywood spiritualists • Leaders of all the world’s religions • Self-proclaimed progressive liberals (both “Christian” and non- Christian) • These have no place for God the Creator and celebrate the Oneism of universal justice, pansexuality, and interfaith religion • Modern Oneism claims we can create a paradise of human flourishing where all people will get along • The vision seems good and beautiful • But it is based on the delusional fantasy of the Lie and will become a worldwide nightmare
  14. 14. Lesson Slide 12 14 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Transformation of the Mind • A massive transformation of the mind • Worldview transformation, brought about by the glory of God, revealed in a sinful world, changing people from top to bottom, and preparing them for the coming transformed physical cosmos • Not heeding the world’s “cleverly devised myths (2 Pet 1:16) based on the god within, but by wisely listening to the teaching of eyewitnesses confronted by the objective act of God the Creator, the God who acted in history to save us • A work of the Holy Spirit and includes one’s entire being, both spiritual and rational, but it is neither mystical (self- referential) or irrational (a denial of the faculty of intelligence, one of the greatest of God’s creative acts)
  15. 15. Lesson Slide 12 15 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Making Distinctions with a Transformed Mind • Do you want to discern God’s good will for your life? Then put the world together based on the fundamental principle of the Creator as separate from the creation. • This is how you make sense of a world in the grip of Satan’s lies in order to bring your thoughts into conformity to the mind of Christ
  16. 16. Lesson Slide 12 16 Thinking with a Discerning Mind You Will Necessarily Either Embrace Oneism or Twoism • Homocosmology or Heterocosmology • A homocosmology of union and synthesis (i.e., Oneism; homo implies singularity) • A heterocosmology, whose key is difference (i.e., Twoism; hetero means “different”) • Homotheology or Heterotheology • Any existent god is the same as us, so that all things are divine • God is the divine Other and we are created • Homospirituality or Heterospirituality • We worship nature and ourselves • We worship and serve the Creator and celebrate God’s otherness • Homosexuality or Heterosexuality • We embody the Oneist spiritual notion of sameness • We embody the God-inspired notion of a union that includes difference
  17. 17. Lesson Slide 12 17 Thinking with a Discerning Mind The Final Wall of Truth • We are now up against our final wall in our defense of Truth, with only a definition of God on which to base our arguments for human life • But what better basis, since everyone knows God and is without excuse? • It is a comfort to know that the Bible was written as an apologetic cosmology to the pagan worldview • The stark choice between Oneism and Twoism has been presented throughout biblical history • Moses vs. Egyptian and Canaanite worldview • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego vs. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian worldview • Paul vs. Greco-Roman worldview
  18. 18. Lesson Slide 12 18 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Twoist Cosmology • Theology: the nature of God • Other, Personal, Triune • Anthropology: the nature of humanity • Individuals, created male or female in God’s image • Dignified, vice-stewards of creation • Fitted for heterosexuality and genuine love in lifelong monogamy • Logic: the nature of rationality • The mind comprehends the world as a distinction-producing, sense-making, order-discerning factory
  19. 19. Lesson Slide 12 19 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Twoist Cosmology (cont’d) • Revelation: knowledge of God • Rationality and logic cannot get perspective on creation without a sure word of divine relation from outside human experience • Story: knowledge of history • History presupposes a beginning, middle, and end as elements of God’s true story of reality, but Oneism affirms the eternity of matter in the cyclical view of time • Morality: the nature of right and wrong • Explains the sense of right and wrong that everyone knows— God created us moral beings and wrote his law on our hearts • Humans are just as incapable of fusing right and wrong and remaining moral as they are of affirming both A and non-A while remaining logical
  20. 20. Lesson Slide 12 20 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Divine Redemption: The Only Solution • If Twoism is true in describing two kinds of existence, then the disruption that separates God and creation is not a minor dysfunction but a fundamental dislocation of reality • Nothing more catastrophic could be envisioned! • The reconciliation of God and creation requires an unimaginable, divinely conceived solution that goes beyond anything human beings could devise • God’s solution is the only answer to our constant human problems • The gospel of the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ is God’s solution • The incarnation, life, crucifixion, death, bodily resurrection, and ascension of the God’s Son Jesus Christ for our salvation • God’s love is poured out on his creatures, even in their sin
  21. 21. Lesson Slide 12 21 Thinking with a Discerning Mind True Spirituality • Meditation • No: Oneist, eastern meditation that involves focusing on one’s inner divinity to develop ecstatic trances or out-of- body experiences • Yes: Biblical meditation that consciously thinks about the person and works of God, the Twoist Creator and Savior • Prayer • Communion with the transcendent Creator in the immense beauty of his person, the justice of his laws, and the kindness of his deeds • Praise • Expressions of thanks, love, worship, and sacrifice turned outside ourselves toward God in all his glory
  22. 22. Lesson Slide 12 22 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Twoism Summarized • The transformed mind that Scripture describes and offers enables us to know the essence of God’s revelation of the truth of existence • We are called to think and to worship God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength • All of this, God’s truth, can be simply called “Twoism”
  23. 23. Lesson Slide 12 23 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Far-Reaching Elements of Twoism • Ontology • We glorify the person of God by recognizing his holiness as a radically distinct being, expressed as the essence of Twoist truth • Theology • We recognize in God’s self-disclosure the personhood of God in the Twoist character of the Trinity—three distinct persons joined in the perfect unity of the godhead • Cosmology • Because of the being of God as Creator and everything else as creature, the nature of existence is two • Anthropology • We know who we are as intended created beings, not the results of chance, made for God’s glory
  24. 24. Lesson Slide 12 24 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Far-Reaching Elements of Twoism (cont’d) • Morality • Because God creates everything in its place, creation is holy, and from this we derive notions of right and wrong • Soteriology • Because God is Trinity,, and thus upholds a Twoist cosmology, he can be the effective Redeemer • Eschatology • This salvation has a final, cosmos-transforming moment
  25. 25. Lesson Slide 12 25 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Final Goal of Twoism • Twoism is not about knowing an intellectual system • Goal is to know the personal God behind it and be saved • Two reveals the most incredible compliments that humanity can ever be given • The human creature, both man and woman, and only the human creature, is made in God’s image • God becomes man. God the eternal Son takes on human flesh, the Creator becomes a creature to atone for the sins of the world
  26. 26. Lesson Slide 12 26 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Study Question Answers 1. The undiscerning mind makes nature god, serves the creation, and builds a worldview of oneism, which will eventually collapse because it is not based on the truth. True 2. Peter Jones notes that praise is only possible within a twoist worldview.. 3. The only question one can fundamentally ask about origins is, “Does the world create itself, or does a Creator make it?” True 4. All of the following except “perfectly mixed” apply to the union of the divine and human natures of the Son of God in His incarnation. 5. When people reject God as Creator, they cannot properly understand who they are as humans. True
  27. 27. Lesson Slide 12 27 Thinking with a Discerning Mind Discussion Questions 1. Explain how only twoism allows for genuine salvation. 2. What are some ways that you could convince someone who doesn’t believe in right and wrong that their position is untenable? 3. Explain how the Christian faith, with its uniquely twoist worldview, is the only way that one can experience relief of guilt. 4. How does the incarnation, as the union of God and man, preserve twoism?
  28. 28. Lesson Slide 12 28 Thinking with a Discerning Mind 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)