Our Current Times...

As I was reading the news this morning I was suddenly struck with the feeling; "Will this ever get better?" I found myself despairing for the state of our world. It struck my heart and moved me to fear. Upon this I was awoken out of my sorrow to a deep comfort that warmed body, I had been cold to the touch for the past three days or so and had not realized it till now. For several moments I could not figure out where this warmth came from; then recognized it as the Peace of God.

I felt impressed to share this with you; Christ is our comforter.

In this world that is constantly being filled with foul deeds; (since the dawn of time) which is nothing new, it has just arrived to us in different packages different from the wrappings and mailing addresses of the past.

The thing that has been--it is what will be again, and that which has been done is that which will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 AMP

-Our focus must be on Calvary, at the Cross of Christ we will find peace in a tumultuous world. Some times it is hard to tune out the corruption of the world, because we are also warned to be watchmen and to stay informed;
"Be very watchful of yourselves, therefore, to love the Lord your God." Joshua 23:11-AMP,

"And as to ourselves indeed, in under- taking this work of abridging, we have taken in hand no easy task, yea rather a business full of watching and sweat." 2 Maccabees 2:27 DRA

"He setteth his mind to finish his work, and his watching to polish them, to perfection." Sirach 38:31 DRA

"I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved." Habakkuk 2:1 KJV

"Jesus said, "Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, 'I am Christ, the Messiah.' They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don't panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming." Matthew 24:4 MSG

And of course we all know the following
"vigilate ergo quia nescitis qua hora Dominus vester venturus sit"
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." Matthew 24:42 KJV

This is not to say we should pull our hair out worrying about the state of the world but to watch or keep watch of current events and with Gods help to defend our faith (watching where we draw the line), recognizing that the God who created this world is most Sovereign Lord and will keep you in your stead.

We live in a country that has become (in the past 60 years) a bully and justified it's actions in the name of freedom and national defence; and are very likely to invade yet another sovereign country, namely Iran, under the guise of terrorism. The Russian government has vowed to "Neutralize" any missile defence by the USA placed in the Ukraine or Czech Republic. Tuberculosis and Malaria are the worlds top killers and are preventable. A new form of Dengue Fever has been found in Italy. AIDS. There are revolutions or conflicts in Sri Lanka, Sumatra, Chad & Sudan are facing off, Lebanon fights Hezbollah, Zimbabwe, Turkey and the PKK, Columbia and FARC.....

As I was reading all of these events I was overwhelmed but soon realized that God is in control and that these things may be new developments to us but it is really just a replay...

EV- 500 Apologetics- Notes

EV-500 Apologetics

-5 views on apologetics-

1) Classical Method
Builds from Creation, natural revelation, to prove Theism. Uses historical evidence to build a case for Christ/refute other regions or views- It is usually argued that the order of the two phases in classical apologetics is essential. That is, before one can meaningfully discuss historical evidences, one has to have established God's existence because one's worldview is a framework through which miracles, historical facts, and other empirical data are interpreted. Without a theistic context, no historical event could ever be shown to be a divine miracle. The flipside of this claim is that one cannot appeal to alleged miracles in order to prove God's existence.- RC Sproul

2) Evidential Method
Same as above but includes Miracles, The Supernatural, and Focuses on the Resurrection- an approach to Christian apologetics emphasizing the use of evidence to demonstrate that God probably exists. The evidence is supposed to be, evidence both the believer and nonbeliever share, that is to say you need not presuppose God's existence- Evidentialism as an apologetic method may be characterized as the ''one-step'' approach. Miracles do not presuppose God's existence (as most contemporary classical apologists assert) but can serve as one sort of evidence for God. This method is fairly eclectic in its use of various positive evidences and negative critiques, utilizing both philosophical and historical arguments. Yet it tends to focus chiefly on the legitimacy of accumulating various historical and other inductive arguments for the truth of Christianity. Josh McDowell

3) Cumulative Method or the Cumulative Case Method
Builds an overwhelming case like a lawyer, uses massive amounts of factual data to overwhelm subject with the evidence for Christ- It is an informed argument that pieces together several lines or types of data into a sort of hypothesis or theory that comprehensively explains that data. The data that the cumulative case seeks to explain include the existence and nature of the cosmos, the reality of religious experience, the objectivity of morality, and certain other historical facts, such as the resurrection of Jesus.- Basil Mitchell, C.S. Lewis and C. Stephen Evans.

4) Presuppositional Method
The mind is fallen, “The Noetic Effects of Sin” - is a school of Christian apologetics, a field of Christian theology that aims to (1) present a rational basis for the Christian faith, (2) defend the faith against objections, and (3) expose the perceived flaws of other worldviews. Due to the Noetic effects of sin, presuppositionalists usually hold that there is not enough common ground between believers and unbelievers that would allow followers of the prior three methods to accomplish their goals. The apologist must simply presuppose the truth of Christianity as the proper starting point in apologetics. Here the Christian revelation in the Scriptures is the framework through which all experience is interpreted and all truth is known. Various evidences and arguments can be advanced for the truth of Christianity, but these at least implicitly presuppose premises that can be true only if Christianity is true. Presuppositionalist attempt, then, to argue transcendentally. That is, they argue that all meaning and thought - indeed, every fact - logically presupposes the God of the Scriptures.- Francis Shaffer

5) Reformed Epistemology
People come to Christ without logic or reason- the focus will tend to be on negative or defensive apologetics as challenges to one's theistic belief are encountered. To encourage unbelievers to put themselves in situations where people are typically taken with belief in God attempting to awaken in them their latent sense of the divine. It is perfectly reasonable for a person to believe many things without evidence. Most strikingly, they argue that belief in God does not require the support of evidence or argument in order for it to be rational. The Reformed epistemology apologist will not necessarily eschew making positive arguments in defense of Christianity, but will argue that such arguments are not necessary for rational faith. If Calvin is right that human beings are born with an innate sensus divinitatis, then people may rightly and rationally come to have a belief in God immediately without the aid of evidence.

1st Peter 3:15-
vs. 15- Christ is in control, see if our hearts are right- why are you living the life you are? Treat others with respect when responding to the question. Give an intellectual reason why you follow Christ-

…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;…NASB

2nd Corinthians 10:1-
vs 1- Paul being sarcastic
vs 2- states that you may think I am timid but I will confront you
vs 3- we are two in hearts yet different in the world
vs 4- our weapons are prayer, fasting, kindness, compassion
vs 5- this Stronghold is anything that keeps us from coming to Christ, we come against the arrogance/pretention of this world and we take captive ALL thought (false views) to the obedience of Christ.

…Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ--I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…

Is it arrogant to say that Christ is the only way?

-Modern concepts-

1) Relativism-
All points of truth are and all truth is relative to the individual.
No absolute truth exists. (when you make such a claim you are also making an absolute claim that everything is relative)
It is self contradictory.
Whatever you feel is right to you- just follow your heart.
You cannot say that there is no god then make moral claims…
If Stalin felt is was right to purge Russia then it was right for him to do so, he just followed his heart.

1) Pluralism-
Sees all religions or faiths as legitimate and valid within their cultural background and tradition.
All religions say the same thing.

Differences in the major world religions/faiths-

Hinduism- god is everywhere and in everything.- Sects: Vaishnavas, Shaivites, Shaktism, Smartism, Ganapatya, Saura, Arya Samaj,The Tantric traditions. Tenets: Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha, Karma, Samsara, Yoga, Bhakti, Maya, Puja, Mandir.- Writings: Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Purana.

Buddhism- there is no god.- Sects: Theravāda, Mahāyāna, Vajrayāna (Early and Pre-sectarian). Tenets: Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami, Arahant.- Writings: Pali Canon, Mahayana Sutras, Tibetan Canon.

Islam- monotheistic.- Sects: Suni, Shia, and other mystic diversions. Tenets: five pillars (Shahadah, Salah, Zakah, Sawm, Hajj)- Writings: Qur'an, Sunnah, Hadith, Fiqh, Sharia, Kalam, Tasawwuf.

Judaism- monotheistic.- Sects: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Haredi, Hasidic, Modern Orthodox, Reconstroctionist, Renewal, Rabbinic, Humanistic, Karaite, Samaritanism.- Tenets: Brit-Milah, Shabbat, Torah, Temple, Feasts, Kashrut.- Writings: Torah, Tanakh, Mesorah, Targum, Midrash, Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud, Mishneh, Tur, Kabbalah, Siddur, Piyyut.

Christianity- Trinitarian.- Sects: Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant (this sect has thousands of local and cultural diversions) Tenets: Ressurection, Forgiveness, Rebirth Grace. Writings: The Bible, Apocrypha, Gnostic writings.

3) Tolerance-
Behavior- Peacfully co-exsist with people who maintain other “worldviews”.
Belief- All “worldviews” and religions are equally valid or true.
There is no tolerance for prostylization; it is viewed as an infringement on others rights to believe as they wish if you were to prostylitize another to your set of beliefs or views.

(Worldview-was coined by the Third Reich, it came to designate the instinctive understanding of complex geo-political problems by the Nazis, which allowed them to openly begin invasions, twist facts or violate human rights, in the name of a higher ideal and in accordance to their theory of the world)

How do we respond to this world?

1) as a friend thru our behavior
2) as a servant in our lifestyle
3) to proclaim by persuasion not intimidation- sharing with words.

-How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?-Romans 10