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[email protected]: Conversational Evangelism. www.MeeknessAndTruth.org. Colossians 4: 4~6. Colossians 4: 4~6. 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

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[email protected]:

Conversational Evangelism

www.MeeknessAndTruth.org


Colossians 4: 4~6

Colossians 4: 4~6


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

  • Things to keep in mind in our witness to post-moderns



Problems doing evangelism in the world we live in
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



Problems in witnessing today

Problems in Witnessing Today? bridge they must cross!

Challenges in Evangelism Today!

Video Clip


Obstacles to evangelism today
Obstacles to Evangelism Today bridge they must cross!

  • 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
Signs of Trouble Have bridge they must cross!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 east1
Signs of Trouble Have Surfaced Even In The East bridge they must cross!

“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 bridge they must cross!Are Just the Tip Of the Iceberg


Our problems in evangelism are symptoms of an even greater problem
Our Problems in Evangelism Are bridge they must cross!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
A. Evidence of the World bridge they must cross!’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
Evidence of the World bridge they must cross!’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 christians1
Evidence of the World bridge they must cross!’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
A Misunderstanding Of bridge they must cross!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 bridge they must cross!

What is her misunderstanding concerning Biblical Faith?


Christianity is based on a historical event
Christianity is Based on a Historical Event bridge they must cross!

“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 christians2
Evidence of the World bridge they must cross!’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

  • 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
B. Negative repercussions on church growth bridge they must cross!

“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
Implications For The Church bridge they must cross!

"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



  “ bridge they must cross!When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do.”

Psalm 11:3


A world view shift
A World View Shift bridge they must cross!

“…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 bridge they must cross!


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)


Changing beliefs concerning god
Changing Beliefs Concerning God Christian Foundations Are Being Eroded Away.

Historical Development of Western World Views

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 period we need to understand the pre-modern period.

To understand the post-modern period we need to understand the modern period.


Changing beliefs theism
Changing Beliefs - Theism Christian Foundations Are Being Eroded Away.

Historical Development of Western World Views

1st Century 17th Century 19th Century 19th-20th Century 20th Century Late 21st Century

Pre-modern

Modern

Postmodern

THEISM

THEISM

GOD

COSMOS


Changing beliefs deism
Changing Beliefs - Deism Christian Foundations Are Being Eroded Away.

Historical Development of Western World Views

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


Changing beliefs atheism
Changing Beliefs - Atheism Christian Foundations Are Being Eroded Away.

Historical Development of Western World Views

1st Century 17th Century 19th Century 19th-20th Century 20th Century Late 21st Century

Pre-modern

Modern

Postmodern

SOCIETY

THEISM

ATHEISM

THEISM DeismNATURALISM

GOD

GOD

GOD

COSMOS

COSMOS

COSMOS

.


Changing beliefs atheism1
Changing Beliefs - Atheism Christian Foundations Are Being Eroded Away.

1st Century 17th Century 19th Century 19th-20th Century 20th Century Late 21st Century

Pre-modern

Modern

Postmodern

SOCIETY

THEISM

ATHEISM

THEISM DeismNATURALISM Nihilism

GOD

GOD

GOD

COSMOS

COSMOS

COSMOS


Changing beliefs atheism2
Changing Beliefs - Atheism Christian Foundations Are Being Eroded Away.

Historical Development of Western World Views

1st Century 17th Century 19th Century 19th-20th Century 20th Century Late 21st Century

Pre-modern

Modern

Postmodern

SOCIETY

THEISM

ATHEISM

THEISM DeismNATURALISM Nihilism EXISTENTIALISM

GOD

GOD

GOD

COSMOS

COSMOS

COSMOS


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.


Changing beliefs pluralism

Historical Development of Western World Views some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

Changing Beliefs - Pluralism

Pre-modern

Modern

Postmodern

THEISM

ATHEISM

PLURALISM

Theism Deism Naturalism Nihilism Existentialism Fill in the blank

  • PostmodernismWeak Theism

  • New Age: Pantheism, Monism

  • Bottom line: “What works for you.”

GOD

GOD

GOD

COSMOS

COSMOS

COSMOS

SOCIETY

1st Century 17th Century 19th Century 19th-20th Century 20th Century Late 21st Century


II. Understanding Post-Modern Influences… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

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

  • Understanding the Post-Modern Period

  • * Two Main Characteristics

  • 1. Pluralism

  • 2. Post-Modernism


Religious pluralism
Religious Pluralism some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

Is the belief that all religions are true.

(They all have a part of the truth)


RELIGIONS some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

JUDAISM

HINDUISM

ISLAM

TAOISM

CHRISTIANITY

BUDDHISM


C. Understanding Post-Modernism and its impact some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

“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 )

* What is Postmodernism?


III. The Implications of Post-Modern some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant). Thought On Our Witness to Others

  • 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
This Explains Why some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).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 some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).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 some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).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 of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

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 of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

Some Important Key?

Remember that…

  • Our convictions about Christ can come across as arrogant to some.

    • * Speak to them like one beggar to another…


Remember that… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

  • 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… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

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
The Importance of Questions and Stories some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

“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… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

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
We Are To Love God With All Of Our Mind some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

“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
A Caution In Using Reason And Evidence some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

“…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… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

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
Head Bridge Questions some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).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 lite1
Head Bridge Questions some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).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
Remember that… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

“People are more

creatures than

creatures.”

heart

head

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


Remember that1
Remember that… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

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


Remember that… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

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… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

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
Remember we are just the instrument! some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

“God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

1Corinthians 1:27b (NIV)


Remember that… some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

G. Don’t forget to rely on the power of prayer! (Js. 5:16)) .


Challenges to Evangelism In a some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).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

  • Things to keep in mind in our witness to post-moderns


Evangelism in a postmodern world
Evangelism in a Postmodern World some of the philosophical ideas from Europe (Hume and Kant).

www.meeknessandtruth.org


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