Problems Sharing the Gospel in a Post-Christian - Dr. David by wuxiangyu

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									      Truth@Life:
Conversational Evangelism




www.MeeknessAndTruth.org
Colossians 4: 4~6




               PRAY for yourself
               Pray for God to give you the Wisdom and Strength
               to be good witness

               PRAY for the Opportunity
               Pray for open door to share the gospel with other as you
               approach work and spend the day there.

              PRAY for your co-workers
              Pray for your Boss, clients, customer, friends,
              colleagues, family members – asking God to move
              in their lives
                                 Problems In Witnessing
                                In A Post-Christian World
                                               (An Overview)
Intro: Witnessing today is more difficult…

I.         Our Changing World and Its Impact on Christians

II.        Understanding Post-Modern Influences and Why Our Christian Foundations Are Being Eroded Away.

III.       The Implications of Post-Modern Thought On Our Witness to Others

IV.        Things to keep in mind in our witness to post-moderns
The Challenges of Evangelism Today
Problems Doing Evangelism in the World
We Live in


 “It is hard to proclaim the forgiveness of
 sins to people who believe that, since
 morality is relative, they have no sins to
 forgive.”
 Gene Veith, Postmodern Times, p.16
There is an intolerance towards
those who say there is a bridge
they must cross!
Problems in Witnessing Today?




Challenges in Evangelism Today!
Video Clip
Obstacles to Evangelism Today
The World we Live In
• Rejection of moral absolutes
• The skepticism of our society
• An indifference towards
  truth or rejection of truth


Signs of Trouble Have
Surfaced Even In The
          East
       Signs of Trouble Have
     Surfaced Even In The East
“ Many students don't think that there is a
standard of right and wrong. Rather, they
believe that this is up to the individual. This
means they do hold a standard of right and
wrong themselves, but they feel that each
person's standard of right and wrong differs
from the other.”

“Personally, I feel stuck as to how to proceed
on with the conversation. It's like saying that
this food is nice for me but may not be nice for
you. They relegate the standard of right and
wrong to personal preference.”
 Signs of Trouble Have Surfaced
         Even In The East


“I find that I'm shaken. Not in terms of my faith
but in terms of how to answer such questions.”


        - Former Student, East Asia School of Theology
 Our Problems In Evangelism
Are Just the Tip Of the Iceberg
             Our Problems in Evangelism Are
          Symptoms…Of An Even Greater Problem!

“As we approach the twenty-first century, It doesn’t take a rocket
scientist to recognize that our entire culture is in trouble. We are
staring down the barrel of a loaded gun and we can no longer afford to
act like it is loaded with blanks.”

J. P. Moreland, Love Your God with All Your Mind, p.21
     A.      Evidence of the World’s
            Impact On Christians
1.   Some Christians are losing their moral compass and
     embracing moral relativism

     “53% of those who call themselves evangelical
     Christians believe that there are no absolutes.”

     Yet 88% of evangelicals believe that “The Bible is the
     written word of God and it totally accurate in all it
     teaches.”


     George Barna, The Barna Report: What Americans
     Believe (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1991), pp. 83-85
                Evidence of the World’s
                 Impact On Christians
1.       Some Christians are losing their moral compass and embracing moral
         relativism.

2.       Some of our leaders struggle with establishing a
         biblical worldview framework in their teaching

     –      Just half of all Protestant Senior Pastors (51%) meet the criteria for
            having a biblical worldview (2004).

         “The  criteria are believing that God is the all-knowing and all-
         powerful creator of the universe who still rules it today; that Jesus
         Christ never sinned; that Satan is real; that salvation is received
         through faith in Christ, not by good deeds; that every follower of
         Christ has a responsibility to share their faith with non-believers;
         that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches; that absolute moral
         truth exists; and that absolute moral truth is described in the Bible.”

         http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrow&BarnaUpdateID=
         177
            Evidence of the World’s
             Impact On Christians
1.   Christian lay people are losing their moral compass.
2.   Some Christian leaders themselves struggle with establishing a biblical
     Worldview.
3.   For some the content of their Christian faith is losing
     its structure

•    72% of born again Christians believe they “personally have a
     responsibility to tell other people their religious beliefs”

     Born Again Christians, 2000, George Barna, Barna Web-site

     Yet only 2 out of every 10 born again Christians (19 percent) knew
     the meaning of the Great Commission.
     Half correctly described the content of John 3:16, and 6 out of 10
     knew the meaning of the term “the gospel.”
     George Barna, Evangelism that Works, 1995, p.37
              A Misunderstanding Of
           What is Involved in Biblical Faith


“About one out of four (26%)
born again Christians believe
that it doesn’t matter what
faith you follow because they
all teach the same lessons.”

Born Again Christians, 2000, George
Barna, Barna Web-site
 Student, University of
Texas at Austin

      What is her
   misunderstanding
concerning Biblical Faith?
Christianity is Based on a Historical Event


  “And if Christ has not been raised, our
  preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
  I Corinthians 15:14 (NIV)



   * Biblical faith must have an object to
     be valid.
          Evidence of the World’s
           Impact On Christians
1.   Christian lay people are losing their moral compass.
2.   Some Christian leaders themselves struggle with
     establishing a biblical Worldview.
3.   For some the content of their Christian faith is losing its
     structure

4.   Some Christians are becoming less certain of their
     beliefs and more reluctant to share the good news.

B. Negative repercussions on church
   growth
B.          Negative repercussions on                     church growth

     “How is it possible for a person to be an active member of an
     evangelical church for twenty or thirty years and still know next to
     nothing about the history and theology of the Christian religion, the
     methods and tools required for serious Bible study, and the skills and
     information necessary to preach and defend Christianity in a post-
     Christian, neopagan culture?”

     J.P. Moreland, Love Your God With All Your Mind, p.188
                      Implications For The Church
"When a majority of Christian adults…as well as three out of four born again
teens proudly cast their vote for moral relativism, the Church is in trouble.

Continuing to preach more sermons, teach more Sunday school classes and
enroll more people in Bible study groups won't solve the problem since most
of these people don't accept the basis of the principles being taught in those
venues. The failure to address this issue at its root, and to do so quickly and
persuasively, will undermine the strength of the church for at least another
generation, and probably longer."
George Barna, The Barna Update: "Americans Are Most Likely to Base Truth on Feelings" from Feb 12,
2002
How Did the Church Fall Into This Crisis?
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous
do.”

Psalm 11:3
A World View Shift

“…a major cause of our current crisis
consists of a world view shift from a
Judeo-Christian     understanding   of
reality to a post-Christian one.”

- J. P. Moreland, Love Your God with All Your Mind,
  p.21
The Tsunami of Post-Modernism
II. Understanding Post-Modern Influences…and Why Our Christian
      Foundations Are Being Eroded Away.




  A.   Understanding the three main periods of the history of western
       thought (Pre-Modern, Modern, and Post-Modern)
              Historical Development of Western World Views
                   Changing Beliefs Concerning God
1st Century       17th Century   19th Century      19th-20th Century    20th Century        Late 21st Century



       Pre-modern                               Modern                            Postmodern

                                 Thomas Oden first suggested
                                 that the modern age lasted 200
                                 years < 1789- 1989 >

                                            To understand the modern             To understand the post-
                                            period we need to                    modern period we need to
                                            understand the pre-modern            understand the modern
                                            period.                              period.
              Historical Development of Western World Views
          Changing Beliefs - Theism
1st Century       17th Century   19th Century    19th-20th Century   20th Century   Late 21st Century



       Pre-modern                               Modern                         Postmodern
       THEISM
         THEISM




        GOD


      COSMOS
               Historical Development of Western World Views
              Changing Beliefs - Deism
1st Century          17th Century   19th Century    19th-20th Century   20th Century   Late 21st Century



       Pre-modern                                  Modern                         Postmodern
       THEISM
  THEISM                Deism




    GOD             GOD


  COSMOS
                  COSMOS
               Historical Development of Western World Views
              Changing Beliefs - Atheism
1st Century          17th Century     19th Century     19th-20th Century   20th Century   Late 21st Century



       Pre-modern                                    Modern                          Postmodern
       THEISM                                        ATHEISM
  THEISM                Deism       NATURALISM




      GOD           GOD                                              GOD


  COSMOS
                                                     COSMOS
                  COSMOS

  .
                                               SOCIETY
              Changing Beliefs - Atheism
1st Century          17th Century     19th Century      19th-20th Century   20th Century   Late 21st Century



       Pre-modern                                    Modern                           Postmodern
       THEISM                                        ATHEISM
  THEISM                Deism       NATURALISM        Nihilism




    GOD             GOD                                               GOD


  COSMOS
                                                     COSMOS
                  COSMOS



                                               SOCIETY
              Historical Development of Western World Views
          Changing Beliefs - Atheism
1st Century       17th Century     19th Century      19th-20th Century    20th Century   Late 21st Century



       Pre-modern                                 Modern                            Postmodern
       THEISM                                     ATHEISM
  THEISM             Deism       NATURALISM        Nihilism     EXISTENTIALISM




    GOD          GOD                                               GOD


  COSMOS
                                                  COSMOS
                COSMOS



                                            SOCIETY
1).        Modernism developed the way it did partly    because of some of
the philosophical ideas      from Europe (Hume and Kant).



       „ If what we can know comes only from our sense, and God is
         outside our senses, we cannot know God.

       „ The Bible became merely a guide for ethical and spiritual growth.
              Historical Development of Western World Views
                                 Changing Beliefs - Pluralism
1st Century       17th Century    19th Century     19th-20th Century      20th Century       Late 21st Century


     Pre-modern                                  Modern                            Postmodern
         THEISM                                  ATHEISM                             PLURALISM
  Theism             Deism       Naturalism      Nihilism      Existentialism       Fill in the blank

                                                                                    Postmodernism Weak
    GOD          GOD                              GOD                                     Theism
                                                                                     New Age: Pantheism,
                                                                                          Monism
                                                                                   Bottom line: “What
                                                                                    works for you.”
    COSMOS       COSMOS                            COSMOS




                                           SOCIETY
II. Understanding Post-Modern Influences…

A.   Understanding the three main periods of the history of western thought (Pre-Modern, Modern,
     and Post-Modern)

B. Understanding the Post-Modern Period
     * Two Main Characteristics
     1.    Pluralism

     2.             Post-Modernism
Religious Pluralism



    Is the belief that all religions are true.

    (They all have a part of the truth)
C. Understanding Post-Modernism and
   its impact
         *            What is Postmodernism?

   “Postmodernism is thus an eclectic construct, shrouded in deconstructionalistic and post-structuralistic
   verbiage, based on the hermeneutics of suspicion and an epistemology of uncertainty that leads to the
   three defining features of postmodernity as a cultural mood--ie. The incredulity of meta-narratives, the
   propagation of reality as a social construct and the emergence of hyper-reality as a postmodern
   phenomenon.”
   As such, postmodernism is a sad commentary of man’s desperate search for meaning; a vain
   championing of an ideological abstraction which promotes an ideological arbitrariness ‟ a reasoning
   without reason in the face of human arrogance and absurdity, which ultimately ushers one towards
   fideism at best and nihilism at worst.”

   (Rev. Edmund Chan )
          III. The Implications of Post-Modern
               Thought On Our Witness to Others

A.    How it impacts others:

      They feel free to create or construct “knowledge's” and “realities.”
   This Explains Why
Many Are Questioning The
 Biblical Story of Jesus
          The Da Vinci Code
        The Lost Gospel of Judas
        The Lost Tomb of Christ
                    The Implications of Post-Modern
                   Thought On Our Witness to Others

*    How it impacts others:

     They believe that our belief that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life is
      just one of the narratives among other narratives in the world that are
      equally as valid.
     Their pluralistic mindset gives them no internal motivation to hear about
      Jesus.
     They don’t think through their beliefs very carefully.

              *   Beliefs are separated from Truth
                          Challenges to Evangelism In a
                               Post-Modern World

I.     Our Changing World and Its Impact on Christians

II.    Understanding Post-Modern Influences and Why Our Christian Foundations Are Being Eroded Away.

III.   The Implications of Post-Modern Thought On Our Witness to Others

IV. Things To Keep In Mind In Our Witness To Post-Moderns?
IV.   Things To Keep In Mind In Our Witness
      To Post-Moderns


      Some Important Keys?


         We need to better understand the
         times or culture in which we live.
         (1 Chron 12:32).
IV.      Things To Keep In Mind In Our Witness
         To Post-Moderns

Some Important Key?
         Remember that…


              A. Our convictions about Christ can come across as arrogant to
                 some.
                      *   Speak to them like one beggar to another…
          Remember that…

B. Our belief in truth and absolutes goes against
   the post-modern grain.
     *     Work out issues with people on their
           own time table.


     *     Don’t be afraid to admit when you
           don’t know the answer to question your
           friends raise.
 Remember that…




C.     In order to speak to this
       postmodern generation we need
       to intentionally communicate by
       the appropriate use of questions,
       illustrations, and stories.
The Importance of Questions and Stories


    “Two major characteristics of postmodernism are of particular importance to
    us in evangelism: (1) the emphasis on questioning and (2) the displacement
    of propositional truth in favor of stories. If we are to be effective within this
    postmodern culture, then, our evangelism must involve the appropriate use
    of questions and stories.”

    Nick Pollard’s book, Evangelism Made Slightly Less Difficult, p. 70
 Remember that…




D.    Helping people to think through their beliefs
      critically has limitations in the culture in
      which we live.


      *      Therefore we cannot give an
             overdose of argumentation in
             explaining the Christian faith.
 We Are To Love God With All Of Our Mind


“Love The Lord Your God With All Your Heart
and With All Your Soul and With All Your Mind.”
Matt. 22:37
               A Caution In Using Reason And Evidence


“…there is just enough of the modern worldview left so that
reason still has a point of entry. But we have to use this knowledge
wisely. We cannot give an overdose of argumentation.”

Ravi Zacharias, “An Ancient Message, Through Modern Means To the Postmodern Mind” in Telling the
Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns, p. 27
 Remember that…




D.    Helping people to think through their beliefs
      critically has limitations in the culture in
      which we live.


      *      We must be careful how
             we build head bridges with others.
        Head Bridge Questions
       That Are Apologetic Lite!
If you were coming to the end of your
life, and you met Jesus and other great
religious leaders, and each suggested a
different path, who’s advice should you
take.

Wouldn’t you take the advice of
someone who’s been to the other side
and come back to tell us about it?
                  Head Bridge Questions
                 That Are Apologetic Lite!
Has anyone ever explained to you the difference between Christianity and all other religions?
I can explain the difference using two words, Do versus Done!


All the religions in the world say you have to
do something (Do)
Christianity says, there is nothing you can do to
earn your salvation, it has already been done.
All you have to do is accept the gift that God
has proved and invite Christ to some into your
life, forgive you of your sins, and change you
from the inside out (Phil. 2:13)
                          Remember that…


                  “People are more
                     heart
                        creatures than
                                 head
                          creatures.”

M&T Trainer, Rev. Dave Montoya, “Dealing With Both Minds and Hearts: Answering the
Questions Behind the Questions,” located on Meekness web-site
Remember that…


   “People care how little you know until they know how much you care.”
  Remember that…

E.       To have a greater impact on others       don’t underestimate
the witness of the        Christian community and the     emphasis
on the spiritual.
  Remember that…

F.      Don’t forget to witness to others in the   power of the of the
Holy Spirit (Acts        1:8; Jn. 6:65) .
       Remember we are just the instrument!



“God chose the weak things of the world
to shame the strong.”
1Corinthians 1:27b (NIV)
 Remember that…

G.    Don’t forget to rely on the power of   prayer! (Js. 5:16)) .
                             Challenges to Evangelism In a
                                  Post-Modern World
                                               (An Overview)

Intro: Witnessing today is more difficult…

I.         Our Changing World and Its Impact on Christians

II.        Understanding Post-Modern Influences and Why Our Christian Foundations Are Being Eroded Away

III.       The Implications of Post-Modern Thought On Our Witness to Others

IV.        Things to keep in mind in our witness to post-moderns
Evangelism in a Postmodern World




   www.meeknessandtruth.org

								
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