the Powerpoint - Newstart Church of Christ

Report
OUR MISSION:
To guide those far from God into the
new start found in Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:1-10
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are
from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how
you can recognise the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ
has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus
is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming
and even now is already in the world.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is
in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and
therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We
are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God
does not listen to us. This is how we recognise the Spirit of truth and the spirit of
falsehood.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves
has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God,
because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and
only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we
loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
Is scepticism or faith on the ascendancy in the world today?
The problem is how can we claim that Christianity is the
only way and the only truth?
50 years ago the main barrier to world peace was political
ideologies
Today the main barrier to world peace is religious exclusivity
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
Two strategies that won’t work…
First strategy
The Call for Religion to Weaken
Africa = has risen from 9% - 50% Christian in almost 100 years
Korea = has risen for 1% - 50% Christian in almost 100 years
China = will be similar to Africa & Korea in the next 100 years
Source: Peter Berger – “Religion in a Globalizing World” (December 2006)
1 John 4:1
“…do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are
from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
Two strategies that won’t work…
First strategy
The Call for Religion to Weaken
“...we mustn't make the mistake of thinking that religious diversity and
religious views are merely intellectual or cognitive phenomena like political
views. Behind the range of religious views there's a range of real spiritual
influences. There's a spiritual and transcendent realm. Human beings sense
it and want to connect to it. Everyone of us will worship something.”
“The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary” – John R. W. Stott
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
Two strategies that won’t work…
Second strategy
Confine Religion to the Private Realm
For this to happen two things must be agreed on…
1. All religions are equally valid paths to God
2. Never argue for values (in society) that are based on your
particular religious view
Who are
“they”?
1 John 4:5
“They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the
world, and the world listens to them.”
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
The story of the six blind men and
the elephant
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
“The only way you could know that none of the blind men had a grip on the
entire reality of the elephant was if you could see the whole elephant. The
only way you could tell the "story" is if you saw the whole picture. To take it a
step further, the only way you could possibly know that every religion sees
part of the truth is if you assume to see all of the truth... which is very thing
you say no one has.”
“It's incredibly arrogant and imperialistic to say that all religions are equal.
There's an appearance of humility in saying that the truth is greater than
anyone of us can grasp. It's an arrogant claim to a kind of knowledge which is
superior to all others. The person must be asked, "What is this absolute
vantage point from which you claim to be able to relativise all the claims
these different scriptures and religions made?" When you say no one has a
superior take on spirituality that in itself is a take on a spiritual reality which
you say is superior to everyone else's!”
“The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society” - Lesslie Newbigin
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
Keep your religion private!
“… I am just telling you this… you have got to leave your religion at the door
when you come into the public square. You’ve got to leave your views of truth
and morality and right and wrong and religion at the door when you come
into the public square. Because these things are based on faith and no one
can ever adjudicate them and therefore you’re controversial and we will fight
forever. No, let us all leave our religion in the private world and when we
come into the public realm lets simply look for strategies that work. Let’s look
at the problems that face us like education and poverty and these issues, and
let’s just simply not look for strategies and policies that are in line with your
view of religion or your view of truth or your view of right or wrong but let’s
just find the ones that work.”
“Religion as a Conversation – Stopper” - Richard Rorty
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
Keep your religion private!
“To say religious reasoning must be kept out of the public square because its
faith based and it’s controversial, is itself a faith based statement and
controversial. Therefore on its own terms ought to be thrown out.”
“Under God? Religious Faith and Liberal Democracy” – Michael Perry
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
Third strategy
The Uniqueness of Christianity
1. The Origin of Jesus’ Salvation
2. The Purpose of Jesus’ Salvation
3. The Method of Jesus’ Salvation
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
Third strategy
The Uniqueness of Christianity
1. The Origin of Jesus’ Salvation
1 John 4:2
“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that
acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.”
2. The Purpose of Jesus Salvation
“Biblical salvation lies not in an escape from this world but in the transformation of this world...
You will not find hope for the world in any of the religious systems or philosophies of humankind...
The Biblical vision is unique. That is why if someone says there is salvation in other faiths too; I ask
them — ‘What salvation are you talking about?’ No faith holds out a promise of eternal salvation
for the world — the ordinary world — that the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ do.”
Dr. Vinoth Ramachandra
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
Third strategy
The Uniqueness of Christianity
3. The Method of Grace
1 John 4:10
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son
as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
These are the three things that are unique about Biblical Christianity
EXCLUSIVITY
1 John 4:1-10
How can these three distinctions change us into agents of peace and reconciliation?
1. The Method of Grace
2. The Resurrection
Jeremiah 29:5-7
"Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and
have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in
marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do
not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you
into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
3. Jesus is God
In Jesus Christ ultimate reality has become visible
OUR MISSION:
To guide those far from God into the
new start found in Jesus Christ.

similar documents