The problem is, there is a culture battle on, and we face those who despise -- and wish to anger people against and alienate them from -- the God of the Bible, the Scriptures and Christians who take such things seriously, and they wish to impose an increasingly obviously radical and destructive, foolish cultural agenda. Where, we are in their way and they want us to shut up, or get fired, or worse.
And, they want to poison minds, harden hearts and deafen ears to the gospel.
Including, our children.
If you doubt me, look all around.
As I have so often charted it, here's what we are up against -- ready or not, here they come:
So, I think I need to draw attention to a comment I found here, which remarks in part:
I have in fact reached the point where I want to go up to pastors and say to them “Please tell me why I should believe that Jesus rose from the dead.” There are two answers that are unacceptable for this one. Now there could be variants on how these answers are said but the answers are still the same.Yes, again and again, I have embedded Lee Strobel's video on The Case For Christ (and it is displayed in the RH column of this blog):
“The Holy Spirit tells me that Jesus rose from the dead.”
“The Inerrant Word of God says Jesus rose from the dead.”
What’s the problem with both of these? In the long run, they both beg the question. You say the Holy Spirit tells you this? Fine. The Holy Spirit also apparently tells Mormons that the Book of Mormon is from God and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. Do you believe that? Why should I think what you’re experiencing is the Holy Spirit and not something else? You could say “Well if you experience it, you know who it is.” Don’t you think the Mormons would say the exact same thing?
What about the latter? Now I do hold to inerrancy, but I hold to inerrancy as a conclusion and not a presupposition. You want to claim your holy book is the final authority. Fine. Muslims do the exact same thing. Why is it that I should believe what you say about your holy book but I should not believe what the Muslims say about theirs?
If all you have is your own subjective viewpoint for defending the resurrection, you will not last when opposition comes your way . . . [much more, painful but important]
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel from Slaves4Christ on Vimeo.
Yes, I do so as it is a very useful good first exposure in a bit over an hour.
We need it.
As we are so prone to forget, let me note from the Apostle Paul what he taught first and foremost as of first importance, the pivot of Christian discipleship:
1 Cor 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope[b] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27 For “God[c] has put all things in subjection under his feet.” . . . [ESV]And, like unto it,
1 Cor 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. [ESV]And, yet again:
Yes, we need discipleship stuff, evangelism stuff, missions stuff, stuff on dealing with spiritual entanglements like porn ( cf here, just now), stuff on reformation through the fullness of Christ transforming all things from the inside out, and so forth.Eph 4: 9 (In saying, “He [Christ] ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?[b] 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[c] and teachers,[d] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[e] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[f] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. [ESV]
This is not either or, it is all of the above, adequately, in balance. END
PS: Discipleship and reformation stuff from the RH col KF blog:
- KF Resources for discipleship, reformation & issues:
- KF Resources and References page (includes contact us)
- ABCD -- A Basic Course in Discipleship for new believers
- Why Not Now? -- a course in spiritual renewal for churches
- Cell (Small) Group/Team Leader's Manual
- The MVAT Missionary Vision Kit
- Ethical principles for Christian service and leadership
- Principles of financial stewardship for Christian Ministries
- Ethics and Development -- a regional reformation strategy
- Clarifying SD (Sustainable Development) & Putting it to work
- John Boyd's OODA strategic desision-making loop for "fighter pilot" management
- J I Packer on the Spirit's guidance and godly decision-making
- Answering the Marlboro Man -- image over substance -- mentality
- On the idolatry of political messianism
- Responding to media packaging of political "messiahs"
- On Government & Nationhood under God
- Gospel, Culture and Reformation briefing -- issues & responses C1 - 21
- On Selective Hyperskepticism -- the key hyper-skeptical fallacy
- The Apologetics Primer --how to deal with "faith vs reason" and how to respond to six key issues
- The two tidal waves challenge further plays out (c. 2012)
- The vultures gather -- geostrategic implications of forgetting God in light of global choke-points
- Learning a geostrategic lesson from D-Day, June 6th 1944