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Probe Ministries

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Title: Probe Ministries


1
Probe Ministries
  • Mind Games Conference
  • Australia
  • November 5, 2005

2
First - Think Biblically
  • All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for
    teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in
    righteousness, so that the man of God may be
    thoroughly equipped for every good work (2
    Timothy 316-17).

3
First - Think Biblically
  • Jesus answered, The foremost is, Hear, O
    Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord and you
    shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
    and with all your soul, and with all your mind,
    and with all your strength. (Mark
    1229-30)

4
First - Think Biblically
  • See to it that no one takes you captive through
    philosophy and empty deception, according to the
    tradition of men, according to the elementary
    principles of the world, rather than according to
    Christ. (Colossians 28)

5
Second - Communicate Effectively
  • Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone
    who asks you to give the reason for the hope that
    you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
    (1 Peter 315).
  • We demolish arguments and every pretension that
    sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and
    we take captive every thought to make it obedient
    to Christ (2 Corinthians 105).

6
Third - Learn Continually
  • Do your best to present yourself to God as one
    approved, a workman who does not need to be
    ashamed and who correctly handles the word of
    truth. (2 Timothy 215)

7
Third - Learn Continually
  • To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If
    you hold to my teaching, you are really my
    disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the
    truth will set you free. (John 832)

8
Logic
  • Logic may not lead us to the truth, but it is
    indispensable to understanding error. All
    apologetics does is clear the way so that a
    seeker can take a direct look at the cross (Ravi
    Zacharias).

9
What Not To Expect
  • Debating tactics.
  • Reasons to mock other peoples beliefs.
  • Silver-bullet evidence.

10
What To Expect
  • ...to prepare God's people for works of service,
    so that the body of Christ may be built up until
    we all reach unity in the faith and in the
    knowledge of the Son of God and become mature,
    attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of
    Christ. (Eph. 412-13)

11
The Result
  • Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back
    and forth by the waves, and blown here and there
    by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and
    craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
    Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in
    all things grow up into him who is the Head, that
    is, Christ. (Eph. 415-16)

12
Our Prayer for You
  • Eph.118 I pray that the eyes of your heart may
    be enlightened, so that you will know what is the
    hope of His calling, what are the riches of the
    glory of His inheritance in the saints,
  • Eph 119 and what is the surpassing greatness of
    His power toward us who believe. These are in
    accordance with the working of the strength of
    His might

13
Worldviews What is True?
  • Probe Ministries

14
Why Is It Important to Study Worldviews?
15
Christian African Voices
  • My father (who is illiterate) is still a
    full-blooded traditional African. I smile into my
    beard about his primitive superstitions. My
    mother belongs to the ---------- ------- Church
    of Zimbabwe. If you ask me, the church is more
    pagan than Christian. Friends at ------- -------
    have guided me to Christ. I have now been an
    active member of the Methodist Church for two
    years.

16
Christian African Voices
  • Why do I still doubt who I am? Am I still a true
    African if I do not believe in traditional
    culture and religion any longer? Have I perhaps
    become a Black Westerner or a westernized black
    man? Is my identity determined by my Christian
    faith? Or am I perhaps not any of these three?
  • A final year student at Oxford University

17
Christian Voices from Africa
  • I teach at a secular state institution. There are
    many para-church organizations spreading the
    gospel among the students on campus. I have the
    feeling, however, that the students need
    something more, something like a Christian
    intellectual framework, vision, or perspective on
    life.

18
Christian Voices from Africa
  • The students seem to me to be directionless how
    would they one day be able to help schoolchildren
    to keep to the right (Christian) way? I do not
    really know what the solution is. I do hope that
    you understand my problem and that you will be
    able to give me the right advice.
  • A female lecturer at a teachers training
    college, Botswana

19
Christian Voices from Africa
  • The Lord Jesus has commanded us to love him not
    only with our hearts but also with our minds. I
    would like to do this because the Lord has
    blessed me with a good brain. (I usually get the
    highest marks in the class.) In my Biology
    handbook, however, I read nothing about the Lord.
    Is He then not also the Creator and the Upholder
    of life? Will I be able to serve Him as a
    biologist one day, or would it be better for me
    to become a minister?
  • A high school student from Zaire

20
Christian Voices from Africa
  • The basic need emerging from these ten cases is
    for an integral encompassing and powerful
    Christian worldview, a Christian perspective on
    all the faces of mans life. Without such a
    vision Africa will perish. Because without it we
    will not be able to offer really sound responses
    to these voices calling out from Africa, or to
    all the hundreds of others who have not been
    mentioned.
  • BJ van der Walt, The Liberating Message A
    Christian Worldview for Africa, p. 4.

21
What is a worldview?
  • A worldview is a set of presuppositions . . .
    which we hold (consciously or subconsciously)
    about the basic makeup of our world.
  • -- James Sire

22
What is a worldview?
  • A worldview is an integrated, interpretive, set
    of confessional perspectives on reality which
    underlies, shapes, motivates, and gives direction
    and meaning to human activity.
  • BJ van der Walt, The Liberating Message A
    Christian Worldview for Africa, p. 39.

23
What is a worldview?
  • Everyone has a worldview whether one can explain
    it or not. It can be likened to a pair of
    glasses through which one views the world. It is
    important to have the right prescription or
    reality will be distorted. Modern man is faced
    with a supermarket of world views all of them
    claiming to be true.

24
Questions which reveal ones worldview
  • Why is there something rather than nothing?
  • How do you explain human nature?
  • How do you know that you know?
  • What happens to a person at death?
  • How do you determine what is right or wrong?
  • What is the meaning of history?

25
Inescapable Truths
  • Something exists.
  • All people have absolutes.
  • Something cant be true and false at the same
    time.
  • All people exercise faith.

26
What Are the Three Major Worldviews?
  • Three Worldviews Theism, Naturalism, and
    Pantheism
  • It is important to understand the worldviews
    because they are the foundation of all religions
    and philosophies.

27
Important Points!
  • Rival worldviews cannot be true at the same time.
    If one is true, the other two must be false.
  • If your foundational premises are false, the
    conclusions you come to are going to be false.

28
The Major Worldviews Christian Theism
GOD
MAN
29
The Major Worldviews Naturalism
MAN
30
The Major Worldviews Postmodernism
Whatever
31
The Major Worldviews Pantheism
god
32
The Major Worldviews Christian Theism
GOD
MAN
33
What Are the Tenets of Christian Theism?
  • God - Monotheistic/ Supernaturalistic
  • The World - Creation ex nihilo ( Gen.
    11 Col. 113-17)
  • Human Nature - Made in Gods image but fallen
    (Gen. 126-27)

GOD
MAN
34
What Are the Tenets of Christian Theism?
  • Knowledge - Reason/ Experience/ Authority/
    Revelation (Dt. 2929 I Cor. 26-11)
  • Mans Destiny - Separation from God or life with
    God (Heb. 927-28 I Cor. 1550-58)

GOD
MAN
35
What Are the Tenets of Christian Theism?
  • Ethics - Nature/ Conscience/ Scripture revealed
    absolutes (Rom. 214-15 Ex. 202-17)
  • History - Linear/ Beginning and end defined by
    the center (Gen. 11 Rev. 21-22)

GOD
MAN
36
A Personal Beginning
  • Isa. 455a
  • One God . . .
  • Genesis 11
  • Who created the world . . .
  • Colossians 113-17
  • Through Christ who sustains all things.

37
Revelation
  • Deut. 2929
  • I Cor. 26-11
  • I Pet. 110-12
  • II Timothy 316

38
Created Image-Bearer with a Fallen Nature
  • Genesis 126-27
  • James 39
  • Psalm. 84-8
  • Romans 310-18, 23

39
Revealed Absolutes
  • Rom. 214-16
  • Psalm 328,9
  • Ex. 202-17
  • Matt. 5-7
  • I Pet. 114-16

40
History is Linear and Meaningful
  • Rev. 18 2213
  • Gen. 11
  • Rev. 21-22
  • Rev. 14-8

41
Separation from God or Life with God
  • Hebrews 927-28
  • I Corinthians 1550-58
  • Rev. 79
  • II Thess. 19

42
The Major Worldviews Naturalism
MAN
43
  • God
  • World
  • Human Nature
  • Human Destiny
  • Knowledge
  • Ethics
  • History

44
What Are the Tenets of Naturalism?
  • God - Atheistic
  • The World - Evolution (Materialism)
  • Human Nature Evolved Social Animal/Autonomy
  • Knowledge - Human reason/ Scientific method
  • Mans Destiny - Death brings extinction
  • Ethics Whatever works
  • History - Linear history no goal

MAN
45
The Major Worldviews Postmodernism
Whatever
46
What is Postmodernism?
Whatever
  • The last gasp of modernism
  • God and the World same as naturalism
  • Human Nature Culturally determined
  • Knowledge - confidence in the knowledge of truth
    is lost -- truth is true for me (or us)
    Truth is what works.
  • Ethics Culturally determined
  • History Meaningless and unknowable except as a
    study of power by one group over another

47
What is Postmodernism?
Whatever
  • Thus,
  • There is no transcultural objectivity.
  • We cant think independently because we are
    defined by our culture.
  • Truth is what works.
  • Ethics is whatever the social group decides.
  • Power is a key issue.

48
What is Postmodernism?
Whatever
It has deconstructed its entire universe. So all
that are left are pieces. All that remains to be
done is to play with the pieces. Playing with the
piecesthat is postmodern. --Jean Baudrillard
49
The Major Worldviews Pantheism
god
50
What Are the Tenets of Pantheism?
  • God Monism All is one, Pantheism - all is god
  • World - Evolution
  • Human Nature - Human divinity
  • Knowledge - Intuition cosmic consciousness
  • Mans Destiny Reincarnation/Absorption
  • Ethics - Moral relativism/Karma
  • History - History is cyclical

god
51
Traditional Religions
  • God one creator with many lower gods and
    spirits
  • World nature (life force) is an integrated
    unity/harmony
  • Human Nature community of eternal souls seeking
    to survive by seeking spiritual harmony, life is
    religious
  • Knowledge Experience, accumulated through ages
    or from spirits and ancestors
  • Destiny live for today but eternal existence
    with ancestors/no heaven or hell
  • Ethics Communally derived, live in harmony with
    spirits
  • History Repetitive and cyclical

52
Evaluating Worldviews Which One Is True?
  • Although our faith is based upon the
    authoritative Word of God, it doesnt rest on
    authority alone. There are certain things we
    would expect from a worldview. In these matters
    Christianity doesnt disappoint.

53
What are some worldview tests?
  • Reason A worldview should be consistent and
    coherent
  • Experience A worldview should match the facts
    of our experience
  • Explanation A worldview should be comprehensive
    in scope and be able to explain the world around
    us.
  • Practice A worldview should be livable.

54
The test of explanatory power
The explanatory power of theism is based . . .
on the cumulative case one gets by reflecting on
the existence of the universe, the order of the
universe, and the facts of human rationality,
moral consciousness, and religious
experience. -- Ronald Nash
55
Comparison of Worldviews
56
What are some worldview tests?
  • Reason consistent and coherent
  • Experience match the facts of our experience
  • Explanation - should be comprehensive and explain
    the world around us
  • Practice - should be livable

57
A Quiz
  • Name that worldview!

58
Why is there something rather than nothing?
  • Everything had an impersonal beginning (spirit or
    energy).
  • Matter has always existed.
  • Everything had a personal beginning.

59
What is the ultimate source of knowledge?
  • Reason -- (Rationalism)
  • Experience -- (Empiricism)
  • Intuition -- (Mysticism)
  • Revelation

60
How do you explain human nature?
  • Blank slate
  • Inherently good
  • Socially constructed
  • Manifestation of God
  • Created image-bearer with a fallen nature

61
How do you determine what is right or wrong?
  • Everything is relative
  • Everything is determined
  • An is is an ought
  • Might makes right
  • Revealed absolutes

62
What is the meaning of history?
  • History is determined as part of a mechanistic
    universe.
  • History is cyclical.
  • History is going forward, and it is meaningful.
  • History is decided by the historian.

63
What happens to a person at death?
  • People merely cease to exist.
  • People are reincarnated
  • Death is the gate to life with God or separation
    from God.
  • Whatever a person believes will happen is what
    matters.
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