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Le Cap 2010 - Thèses préliminaires

La vérité compte : défendez la vérité

Auteur: Carver T. Yu
Date: 19.06.2010
Category: Vérité et pluralisme

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L'original est en anglais

Note de l’éditeur : Cette communication préliminaire pour Le Cap 2010 a été écrite par Carver T.Yu pour servir de synthèse du sujet qui sera discuté lors de la session plénière du matin sur « Plaider en faveur de la vérité de Christ dans un monde pluraliste et globalisé ». Vos réponses à cette communication, par le biais du Forum mondial du mouvement de Lausanne, seront transmises à l’auteur et à d’autres pour les aider à peaufiner leur présentation finale pour le congrès. 

Ceux d’entre nous qui vivent en Asie sont depuis des siècles confrontés à la réalité de la pluralité culturelle de manière générale, et de la pluralité religieuse en particulier. Oui, nous connaissons la pluralité, mais pas le pluralisme. Le pluralisme n’a jamais été une option. Que vous soyez confucianiste, taoïste, bouddhiste, musulman ou hindou, vous avez la conviction inébranlable que ce que vous croyez et vivez est la vérité qui vous conduit à une authentique humanité ou au salut éternel, et que tous les autres chemins mènent au mieux à une vie d’insatisfaction, et au pire à la perversion et à la souffrance. La vérité compte, car elle a des conséquences à vie. Tout en respectant les autres, nous considérons néanmoins qu’il est de notre responsabilité de leur indiquer le bon chemin à suivre. 

De nos jours, le pluralisme en vogue est totalement différent. C’est une idéologie qui préconise que la vérité est une construction culturelle uniquement valable pour la culture qui l’élabore. Elle ne peut donc pas avoir d’incidence sur une autre culture ou un autre système de signification. Il n’y a pas de vérité qui puisse prétendre être vérité pour tous. Toutes ces vérités sont relatives les unes par rapport aux autres. Les pluralistes poussent cela au-delà des cultures et l’appliquent aussi aux individus. Désormais, l’individu est présumé être l’ultime base de la réalité, le fondement sur lequel toute signification et valeur sont basées. Le pluraliste postmoderne affirme que tout individu crée sa propre logique et établit ses propres règles pour construire son monde personnel de réalités et de valeurs. L’individu est « autonome » dans le sens où il représente sa propre loi. Si chaque individu construit son propre monde, il peut donc y avoir autant de mondes qu’il existe d’individus, et chacun de ces mondes n’est qu’une toile de croyances qui ne sont vraies que pour l’individu qui la tisse. Ces mondes individuellement élaborés étant tous uniques, ils sont donc incommensurables les uns pour les autres. Ainsi, malgré toute la rhétorique concernant le dialogue, le pluralisme a rendu tout dialogue inutile et futile. 

De même, si la vérité se fabrique, elle peut donc être recréée à souhait. Elle est donc provisoire et variable, et n’a pas d’incidence durable sur quoi que ce soit. En condamnant toutes les vérités à être totalement relatives et provisoires, le pluralisme a en effet réduit au silence toute proclamation de vérité supérieure qui serait vraie pour l’ensemble des êtres humains et des cultures. Au nom d’un dogmatisme condamnateur, il se trouve que le pluralisme est néanmoins la plus dogmatique de toutes les idéologies car elle qualifie sans hésitation tout concept anti-pluraliste de la vérité comme étant du dogmatisme et de l’exclusivisme, et ainsi le rejette en bloc. Ce genre de pluralisme est le monisme le plus virulent : c’est un monisme de l’indifférence. 

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PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas josermv (1)  
Porto Rico

Agreed with the importance of understanding and answering to pluralism in the proclamation of the Gospel.

My biggest concern, however, is that many Christians act as Pluralists. That is one important reason for the lack os sufficient human and financial resources to complete the Commission.

Back to the basics! If we are not convinced that humanity is lost and that Christ is the ONLY way, how can we commit ourselves to a task that requires sacrifices from us?

In this area we have to "preach to the choir" and help the Church see the inconsistencies of belief in Christ while, at the same time, consider as valid other ways to reconciliation with God.


08.08.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas KMathews (0)
États-Unis

I would echo Sharon’s comments below. While it is indeed important to understand the intellectual climate in which we find ourselves today and correspondingly the perspective of our non-Christian friends, I am particularly concerned about the way these ideas are infiltrating into the church itself.

Many young Christians find themselves ill-equipped to respond to the challenges to truth in our current environment; to the contrary, surveys show Christians themselves can be confused about absolute truth and the basic tenets of the Christian faith.


28.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas johnfranklin (1)  
Canada

I would like to offer a brief response to Carver Yu’s call to stand up for truth.   I am wondering about how he uses the phrase "postmodern pluralist".  This is he says, someone who creates her own logic and sets her own rules in constructing her own world of reality and value.  There are people who think this way - but to tie the viewpoint to postmodernism - gives a wrong impression.  The autonomous world making individual is very much the hero of modernity.  Postmodernism does not require such a view.

I am not sure either the pluralism has silenced "proclamation of transcendent truth for all human persons and cultures" as you suggest.  The pluralism you speak of is not self - contradictory as you suggest.  The claims of pluralism are rooted in mondernity and so can have their ’foundation" the pointis that religious viewpoints are seen an non-rational and hence not decidable in objective terms.  So not everything is thrown into the pluralist bag only some things.

Postmodernism does not ask that we give up our commitments (even those to absolute truth) but only that we acknowledge them as commitments.  This is just what modernity fails to do.  It seeks to justify itself and deny any "faith" commitment on its part.  In some respects postmodernism seems a friend to religious belief - opening the way to accept that at heart we all begin with beliefs.  The athiests are unhappy because of what they see in religous extremism and tend to paint all religion with the same brush.  But Dawkins fails to get the respect of many of his athiest and scientific friends because his reasoning about religion is so obviously flawed.  His popularity can perhaps be explained in part by the words of Francais Bacon - "a man is inclined to belief that which he wishes to be true". 

Let me say finally that I think you are quite right to point out the need for a transcendent source for our understanding of morality - and I might add the need for a fresh perspective on how the Christian belief in a triune God - has implication for our moral understanding. 

John Franklin

Toronto Canada 


24.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas John-Hutchinson (0)
Canada

Dear Mr. Carver Yu:

I wish to raise a point concerning Cody Lorance’s communication on July 15, 2009...

"Second, we must have a related but nevertheless distinct strategy to win the hearts and minds of the masses of unintentional postmodern pluralists who are especially plentiful in Western society today."

... to which you responded...

"this is perhaps more urgent. The mass of unintentional or unthinking pluralists are expanding. A new breed of evangelists has to be nurtured to understand the heart and mind of this group. How do we do it? I need help here."

I think that it is mistake to concentrate on postmodernism as the be all and end all of influences that govern the mind of modern mankind.  Postmodernism is only one ’theme and variation’ of philosophic and ethical nihilism that stems back to the Greeks.  I don’t think it has much play beyond the university/college set although some of its corollaries (non-judgmental Tolerance and pluralism) pervade the larger populace.

Most persons who are relativists do not perceive that relativism infers a total absence of objective truth.  Unlike the situation with Ravi, whenever challenged with extreme scenarios of evil which place them into inconsistency between their theoretical worldview and their actual/practical beliefs and ethics, they are not going to respond like an ideologue.   Talking to them as if they were unwitting Postmodernists or consistent rationalists is barking up the wrong tree

I would suggest that the so-called “mass of unintentional or unthinking pluralists” have always been with us.  Certainly the Hellenistic empires of Greece and Rome (after the fall of the Republic) are our predecessors.  Indeed, amongst Western Empires, the Persians are probably the first to pursue it as public policy. 

Pluralism feeds on the ignorance that ideas matter; that there is no cause and objective effect to ideas.  Thus the best way to dissuade such thinking is to demonstrate otherwise with clear cut examples.  This is not as easy as it seems because of the complexity of human existence.  An idea may not lead to specific consequence because of context or countervailing forces/influences.  If I drop a steel ball from a building, gravity may not appear to work as theorized if there is an enormously powerful magnet hanging overhead the building. 

As to those persons who exclaim “I have to follow my heart,” why do we intellectualize this and place them under philosophical categories?  Is this not just raw-interest desired to be pursued without social censure?  The best one is going to do is kindly and without censor, show and predict that the person’s path will result harmful effects to themselves; material and psychic.  A person who lives by self-interest may only be reached through the appeal to their self-interest.

Postmodernism may be important in terms that it affects whose manning the commanding heights of society.  But among the rest, most of mankind falls into the age-old false belief that mankind has an innately endowed sense of right and wrong.  Christianity itself is guilty on this count; subscribing to a doctrine that Moral Law was written into the hearts of men from Adam on (as noted in the Westminster Confession of Faith).  Furthermore, I suspect that re-resurrection of Gnosticism may have a more prefound influence upon the minds of men than Postmodernism; whether in the form of New Age spirit guides or amongst ‘Christians’ who fail to test what their infused mind is telling them against the objective written Word.

We Christians ought not to fit all the present state of humanity into singular categories.


22.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Carver_Yu (9)   
Chine
@ John-Hutchinson:

Mr. John-Hutchison,


I really appreciate your response. There are much to talk about.


The label "postmodernism" is not important, but the phenomena usually associated with ideas disseminated from so-called postmodernist thinkers should be our concern. As you have said, ideas matter, whether they come from philosophical discourses, or from popular commentators in magazine or news paper or TV soap opera scripts. These ideas may not come with philosophical trappings, but they certainly have philosophical sources or origins. Whether we like it or not, Isaiah Berlin’s "Two Concepts of Liberty" (1958) has had tremendous influence on the way we understand freedom. When John Rawls developed his idea, John Rawls’ idea of liberty as radical autonomy with "fairness" as the only boundary in his monumental work Theory of Justice has become common currency in the American society. There is no need to go into philsophical debates now because for many the philosophical battle has been won and settled and the idea has now become common knowledge.


In my Asian context, New Age is not a problem for many many New Age cliche have come from Asia, but postmodernist ideas have made quite an impact, e.g., Pluralism has changed rather fundamentally. Before the Chinese had been pluralists in the sense that they acknowledge Confucian truth as truth for all, not truth merely for some who happened to like it. Likewise, Taoism is also truth for all. The two were not in conflict with each other. They were held to be affirming each other with different emphases. Both of them were not complete. But now, the postmodernist type of pluralism would see truth as a matter of interpretation, and worst, hermeneutical suspicion is thick in the air. With westernization uprooting our Asian tradition, popular postmodernist perspective are much more devastating in Asia than it is in say, America.  The sense of right and wrong, as you pointed out, which had been so strong in my area, is very much gone now in the new generation.


I wish we can talk more, but I need to go now as I need to get back to the grinding mill with loads of administrative chores waiting.


All the best,


Carver 


22.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas John-Hutchinson (0)
Canada
@ Carver_Yu:

Dear Mr. Carver Yu:


I guess what I was trying to draw on with regard to the first communication was two points.  First, Christians must avoid simplism and reductionism.  Postmodernism is not the only influence in the world.  What I find more prevalent in my circles is gnosis (not Gnosticism - I misquoted in the first message).  It is not only contained within New Age (which seems be on the wane at present).  I find it in strains of the Christian Charismatic-type movements which take gnosis-type experiences and don’t verify them against Scriptures or loosely interpret Scriptures in the light of their ‘revelations’ or ‘prophets of these revelations’.  If you think reasoning with a Postmodernist is difficult; imagine trying to reason with a person who abjures reason and an honest handling of Scripture. 


Secondly, in pointing out that ‘Postmodernism is only one theme and variation of philosophic and ethical nihilism’, I was trying to point out that the ancients and many a person since, have found responses to this nihilist challenge.  Personally, I am quite surprised that the absurdity of Postmodernism as an intellectually respectable movement, endures.  It seems to be such an easy ‘philosophy’ to demolish.  However, there exists a politically-maintained institutional hegemony (i.e universities, media) in the West which allows it to persist.  I don’t think that the issue is that Postmodernism has any rational foundation.  It is a matter of heart desires.  It is instructive that Christ often responded to intellectual inquiries with inquires of His own that involved heart motivation.  Even Nietzsche critiqued classical philosophy as a rationalization of the philosopher’s (and their adherents) own vices.  I very much believe that Postmodernism is merely a silk screen of intellectual respectability to justify the pursuit of license without censure. 


However, I don’t where to begin on arguing against it while remaining succinct. 


In ethics, and someone has already alluded to it, relativistic morality really becomes atomistic morality.  If Person A subscribes to relativism/nihilism, Person A has no basis to expect Person B to come to their aid in times of their distress.  For, to be faithful to their mindset, they must grant Person B the right to their own atomistic ethic; which may exclude placing any value on Person A’s life or welfare.  This is a formula for the destruction of social cohesion.  The ideologue at Oxford, which Ravi speaks of, may posit to accept those terms.  However, when that chap is actually being mugged in some back alley, I wonder how faithful to that mindset would he really be. 


Astonishing as it was when I realized this; the nihilist is likely to be guiltier of hypocrisy than the most exacting moralist.  To be a true nihilist, that person cannot, ever drive in a car or any transport, WITHOUT ANXIETY.  For, by his criteria, he can never know with any regularity, that when the steering wheel is turned right, that the vehicle won’t steer into oncoming traffic instead etc.  That person cannot visit of dwell in tall buildings.  He cannot even stand on his two feet or sit in a chair.  And so on.  All these actions and activities, without harm coming to the person, are predicated upon objective, absolute and unflinching laws and principles.  The psychological logic of this is that that person should live in terror, his will becoming completely paralyzed.  The fact that such persons don’t actually behave in such fashion belies the fact that these persons don’t really believe what they purport to believe.


Postmodernism or nihilism is ultimately predicated on the lack of human omniscience.  (i.e. That the last fact that man may not know may completely change the metanarrative).  However, is it necessary to know everything in order to know anything?  Can certainty not be satisfactorily defined as acquiring “such a great cloud of witnesses,” that denying knowability on a given subject is an overwhelmingly unreasonable option.


If Postmodernism or nihilism is predicted on the absence of any objective truth; its disproof rests on falsification.  It should easily be falsified.  For instance, I would ask Postmodernism’s adherents, “Is man omniscient?”  Obviously, if he answers in any absolute; he defeats his ‘philosophy’.  If he pleads ignorance, he looks ridiculous.  And maybe ridicule is the proper tactic to defeat this mindset.


I can go and on.  But one other thing I want to point out and which I have heard those from the China and Japan correctly elucidate; modern secular Western thought is atomistic.  Being so, it leads to moral and legal chaos and social dissolution.  I attest that beneath this peace and prosperity, forces of social and political dissolution are afoot.  Some external manifestations occasionally crop up (i.e. Financial Panic of 2008).  However, a good indication of this is the fact that the political elite have found it necessary, particularly in the last 80 years, to become ever more statist and increasingly regulate every minutiae of human endeavour in order to stave off the agents of social and political dissolution.  (A similar story can be found in the decline of the Roman Empire.)


I am surprised by the extent that you suggest that the Postmodernist perspective is uprooting Eastern cultures; for which you evidently show greatly distressed sentiments.  I have had vague premonitions of this reality.  I remember hearing 25 years ago that theft had been unknown in Japan up until that time.  I am not sure that the assertion was strictly true.  I know it is not true now.  Another indication is the shockingly low birth rate in places like Japan and South Korea (I have always found in my study of history that population decline is a useful leading indicator of civilization decline and fall.) 


I acknowledge that there is some remaining virtue in some Western ideas.  However, at an ideological and ethical level, I think the West is just on this side of bankrupt.  When I knap-sacked through Europe 30 years ago, I concluded then that it was a spiritual wasteland and a cultural desolation.  However, I believe that there still exists some moral strength in America.  So, I am surprised that Western ideas are given the undue respect that they seem to yet have.


I think that Postmodernism is intellectual barbarism which will logically lead to the real thing.  The only way to combat it, I can think of is, like a great general, to know your enemy through and through.  I don’t think that it is very hard to disprove the intellectual foundations of the mindset.  But I don’t think that Postmodernist’s adherents really have ears that want to hear. 


24.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas Swells_in_the_Middle (15)  
Chine

This article is an excellent statement of our current condition.  Truth is increasingly marginalized and, as the many passionate comments to this article clearly demonstrate, not just in academic or elite circles.

For myself, I think the diagnosis is clear and recognized by most.  I am much more interested in how to treat the problem.  In particular, I think it might be helpful to spend more time during this session discussing different ways to confront the displacement of truth.  It seems to me that much evangelical "apologetics" are still centered on presenting absolutist truth claims to the very people who are committed to denying any kinds of absolutes.  Is there another way?  At what point does our search for another way tacitly accept the very relativism we are seeking to deny?  As an example, I have always found  presenting truths validated by my own personal experience to be an effective way of slipping in under the postmodernist’s armor.  But by using this style of argument have I already given up too much?

Less theory and discussion of how we got into this condition (I think these questions have been answered quite well) with more reflection on these kind of "how to" questions would be helpful.

Thank you.


20.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas Carver_Yu (9)   
Chine
@ Swells_in_the_Middle:

I think you have hit on the heart of the matter. My paper is only the first half of the session. My colleague Michael Herbst will deal with the question you have raised. I am just a herald setting the stage for a frontal response to the problem by my colleague. However, my paper is not quite finished, yes, it is not quite complete. I am in the process of adding a three-minute-apology for Jesus Christ as the Way by trimming my present paper. The present paper was written in a haste to meet the deadline of May 31. I hope by the middle of August, I would be able to overhaul the whole paper.


If I had more time, I would make a distinction between relativity and relativism. I affirm relativity but reject relativitism. The truth of Jesus Christ is the Invariant Truth, but there can be Covariance in different frame of reference, and Equivalence can be established. But of course, we have to establish the Invariance of God’s truth.


Thanks. 


20.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Angela_De_Lange (0)  
États-Unis

Thank you, Mr. Yu, for your paper.

My thoughts on this topic are similar to Sharon’s. She said that she couldn’t "help but wonder whether this spirit of indifference [referring to your statement about the "monism of indifference tightening its grip on our lives"] is also creeping into the church." I have heard many church-goers justify their actions by saying that God wants them to be happy, and what they mean is that they believe God wants them to be happy according to their definition of happiness. One woman I know, a Sunday school teacher and long-time member of her church, used the "God wants me to be happy" phrase to argue why leaving her husband and children for another man would be a good thing.

The Church needs to proclaim truth to its children if we expect its children to stand up for truth in the world. Making a conscious effort to boldly proclaim truth in our churches, even if it means making some people uncomfortable or seeing some of them leave, will fulfill what Cody mentioned needs to happen, which is an equipping of "the whole Church to effectively join the battle for truth in our day." We need to place more effort on teaching and proclaiming truth than on being seeker friendly and filling seats.

John 6 tells of how many of Jesus’ disciples left Him after He taught a hard lesson about His flesh and blood. If the Author of truth lost followers because of His words, we should not be afraid of losing Church members or offending those with whom we speak the truth. As Peter said when Jesus asked the twelve if they wanted to leave too, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." 


19.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas ChristineDillon (11)  
Taïwan (RDC)

Thank-you for your article. I was particularly struck by Ravi Z’s experience in Oxford with the person who claimed that it would be okay to carve up a baby into 3 pieces if we felt like it! I was not surprised by his answer when Ravi challenged him. He was hardly likely to strongly state a position and then back down publicly, but I do believe that God could have revealed the flaws in his own position to him.

I once had a similar experience with a Jew on a beach in Thailand, who claimed to believe in "cause and effect". I challenged him by saying, "So you’re saying that your relatives who died in Nazi concentration camps deserved it because of their previous bad deeds?" He said, "Yes" but I doubt he really believed it in his heart. It is easy to say you believe that bad deeds lead to bad results and good to good but not so easy to work the other way round and look at someone we know personally who has suffered and ask, "did they deserve it?"

I am excited about the huge opportunities to share the gospel at the present time. We have huge gifts given to us by people like Dawkins, Da Vinci Code, The Secret, The London athiest bus campaign ...to start gospel conversations. It has never been easier!

May we seize the day!

Christine D.


08.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Carver_Yu (9)   
Chine
@ ChristineDillon:

Wow, I like your positive attitude very much. This is the sort of attitude we should have in the face of challenge. We have to give thanks for them. They can indeed open up opportunities for conversation. the church needs evangelists like you. thanks. 


19.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Carlos-Sosa (0)  
Guatemala

Many thanks for this interesting paper.

I would like to add that may be pluralism is the reaction against hegemonies. People who in the past claimed that they have the true revealed by God made horrendous things against humanity – e.g. Christian crusades in s. XI-XIII. or Deutsche Christen in s. XX.

Modern and postmodern people react against Christian institutionalism. Probably, they are not interested in formal and dogmatic religion. Several decades ago there was an attempt to formulate a “secular theology” (F. Gogarten, A.T. Robinson, Paul van Buren, Harvey Cox). I think this attempt failed since they were not enough radical.

First century Christianity born and expanded in the middle of a pluralistic society, the Roman Empire. The way they use to fulfill their mission in that particular time was radicalism. They did not present gospel as a personal truth but they presented gospel as God’s truth.


14.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas Carver_Yu (9)   
Chine
@ Carlos-Sosa:

You are right. The reaction against dogmatism and hegemony is certainly there. When Isaiah Berlin wrote his monumental paper "Two Concepts of Liberty" seeking to define liberty as negative freedom, i.e., freedom as freedom without external constraint of any kind, he had the communist states in mind. The church has certainly contributed to some of the extreme reactions to any claim of truth. We therefore have to be very humble when we preach the gospel. Any form of triumphalism is to be avoided. Thanks for your comment.


19.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas John_Raines (3)
États-Unis

Thanks for this paper. I feel like it is a lament that we are confessing over the postmodern world of pluralism, and it is indeed a situation which only the gospel can fix.

To add some thoughts about the relationship between postmodern pluralism and the new atheists: I think the link between these two groups exists, but I’m not sure how clearly it was spelled out in the paper. Here’s my suggestion for where it’s found. At first glance they appear to be fairly distinct groups. Pluralists are the children of postmodernity and therefore do have a "that’s cool for you to believe" sort of attitude, whereas the new athiests are decidedly the children of modernity, very [overly] positivistic in their approach to discovering truth through pure rationality and empiricism. Where do the two meet?

The link, I think, is in the underlying naturalistic framework which many postmoderns continue to accept. It is, uncritically and unintentionally for most, what makes up their concept of objective reality. They simply have a tendency to be more concerned with the subjective nature of experience. Thus, their search for the spiritual is more or less Schleirmacher’s religious phenomenalism. They are open ground for all sorts of missional activity, but the missionary movement that has the most in common with their unspoken presuppositions is this version of Naturalism called the New Atheists. That is why the new atheism is making waves in postmodernity. That is the link, I think.

What do you think?


17.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas Carver_Yu (9)   
Chine
@ John_Raines:

John, I totally agree with you. Postmodernism, if we follow Heidegger’s understanding of modernity, is nothing but modernism pushed to its logical conclusion. Heidegger sees subjectivism to be the heart of modernity. Of course modernity has different strands, and naturalism is definitely one of its distinctive characteristics. Atheists of our days would use any belief system that undermines the belief in God. Thus we have to fight in different fronts, and naturalism is indeed a challenge we cannot ignore. thanks.


19.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Sharon_Simmonds (0)  
Canada

Thanks for this thought-provoking article. I am struck by the phrase "the monism of indifference is tightening its grip on our lives." Although this is referring to our culture and the trend for parents to raise their kids to be neutral about faith, I can’t help but wonder whether this spirit of indifference is also creeping into the church. Is the truth of the gospel something that is consistently understood, communicated and lived out by believers? Is the church conscious about living in a way that is both relevant to the culture (contextual) and true to the gospel? When it comes to tough issues, where the culture emphasizes and embraces the right for people to live according to what’s true to them, is the church any different? Jesus was able to relate and teach with grace and truth and lives were transformed. What will it take for the church to wake up from indifference and truly be alive in Christ within our culture?


13.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Awe_Oluyemisi_Abiola (0)  
Nigéria

HAVING GONE THROUGH THE MATERIAL I FEEL ENRICHED AND I WILL ALSO       LIKE TO SAY IN ASIMPLE LANGUAGE THAT AS CHRISTIANS, THERE  IS NOTHING   LIKE  SPEAKING THE TRUTH AT ALL TIMES EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT AN   EASY THING TO ACHIEVE ESPECIALLY IN THIS    KIND OF  WORLD WE ARE NOW. WE SHOULLD   ALWAYS STAND FIRM  BASED ON OUR BELIEF AND LET PEOPLE AROUND US ESPECIALLY OOOUR CHILDREN BE INGRAINED IN THE TRUTH  AND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD


03.07.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas Gottfried_Osei_Mensa (1)  
Royaume-Uni

I found this paper both illuminating and thought-provoking. I was particularly struck by the statement that, "A society without the illumination of transcendent truth will sink into the darkness of its own corruption." (End of 2nd main paragraph on page 2).

Sections of European society which no longer "think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God" are fast sinking into this moral darkness - as clearly described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1.21-32. I have a responsibility as a Christian to submit to the transforming power of God’s word and God’s Spirit in my life so that the light of Christ can shine through me in the darkness. Christ seen as Lord in my life may prompt a question by a seeker or someone just out of curiosity to which I may have the privilege to answer (see 1Peter 3.15).


01.07.2010
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Chine

PhContributeBy Carver Yu  
 
Lieu: Hong Kong
Pays: Chine

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