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Carelinks Missionary Training Program. Teaching About the Nature of Christ. - Avoid “Theological gladiatorship ” - Build flash moments - Paradigm shifting. Types of people. 1. Curious / unbeliever 2. Cultural Christians 3. Committed Christians who know the Bible.

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Carelinks missionary training program

Carelinks Missionary Training Program

Teaching About

the Nature of Christ

Carelinks missionary training program

  • - Avoid “Theological gladiatorship”

  • - Build flash moments

  • - Paradigm shifting

Types of people
Types of people

  • 1. Curious / unbeliever

  • 2. Cultural Christians

  • 3. Committed Christians who know the Bible

Types of people curious unbelieving
Types of People: Curious / Unbelieving

  • Give them positive Bible teaching, clearly pointing out the error of popular views; consider taking a historical approach

  • Practical meaning for you

Types of people cultural christians
Types of People: Cultural Christians

  • Make some allusion to common errors, but more gently than to unbelievers

  • Present our understandings with fairly specific Bible references

  • Practical meaning for you

Types of people committed christians
Types of People: Committed Christians

  • Speak of “As I understand it…”

  • Take the approach of “I’ve got a problem understanding this, can you help me?”. Use adjectives- Not “I don’t understand how…” but “I honestly / genuinely / have considerable difficulty / sincerely / really have a problem… understanding how…”

  • Show the meaning in practice of our understanding

  • Show your knowledge of the Bible in a humble way- e.g. instead of “John 14:28…”, “There’s a verse in John somewhere, chapter 14 I think, somewhere near the end of the chapter”

  • Go to the difficult passages before they do- go for a flash moment

  • Stress Jesus not a “mere man”; nor a puppet nor Divine comet… terms they will agree aren’t appropriate

Maybe mention ridiculous positions of the church fathers and trinitarian theologians
Maybe mention ridiculous positions of the church “fathers” and Trinitarian theologians

  • Ignatius at the start of the 2nd century A.D.: "Our God, Jesus the Christ, was carried in Mary's womb" (Ephesians 18.2).

  • “There was [not] even an infinitely small element of struggle involved when the Lord faced temptation” F.D.E. Schliermacher, The Christian Faith (Edinburgh: T& T Clark, 1928) p. 414.

  • Clement of Alexandria, “Jesus, being divine, did not need to eat or drink, but merely did so to keep up appearances" (as quoted in N.T. Wright, Who Was Jesus? (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993) p. 69). Cp. "I thirst!"

  • Thomas Hart, To Know And Follow Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1984) p. 44 : "He had a human nature but was not a human person. The person in Him was the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.”

Hard questions
Hard Questions “fathers” and Trinitarian theologians

  • Jesus died, God can’t

  • Jesus was tempted, God can’t be

  • Temptation to be genuine means He could’ve sinned and had human nature

  • Jesus was touched and seen, God can’t be

  • The cross- Mt. 27:46; Jn. 20:17

  • Was Mary the mother of God?

  • The Father is the only one God.

Strings of verses close to each other
Strings of verses close to each other “fathers” and Trinitarian theologians

  • John 5:19,30; 13:20 [cp. 16]; 14:16,28; 20:17

  • Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked

  • Stress the simple implications of words and phrases

  • Underline

Practical meaning for you
Practical Meaning for You “fathers” and Trinitarian theologians

  • Hebrews so often uses the word " therefore" ; because of the facts of the atonement, we can therefore come boldly before God's throne in prayer, with a true heart and clear conscience (Heb. 4:15,16).

  • …had all the pre-history of Mary in his genes. He had a genetic structure. He had a unique fingerprint, just as I have. He must have been either left-hand or right-handed (or ambidextrous!). Belonged to a particular blood group. Fitted into one psychological type more than another. He forgot things at times, didn't understand absolutely everything (e.g. the date of His return, or the mystery of spiritual growth, Mk. 4:27), made a mistake when working as a carpenter, cut His finger. Why did He look on the ground when the woman [presumably naked] caught in the act of adultery was brought before Him? Was it not perhaps from sheer embarrassment and male awkwardness? Did He… ever know sexual arousal? Why not ask these questions? If He was truly human, sexuality is at the core of personhood. He would have known sexuality, responding to stimuli in a natural heterosexual manner, “yet without sin”. He was not a cardboard Christ, a sexless Jesus. He shared the same unconscious drives and libido which we do, with a temper, anxiety and ‘anxious fear of death’ (Heb. 5:7) as strong as ours.

  • Our representative. Man is not alone.

Suggested teaching approach
Suggested Teaching Approach “fathers” and Trinitarian theologians

  • Start in Genesis

  • The promises imply no pre-existence and that Jesus was human

  • No mention of Christ’s existence in the O.T. Debunk Gen. 1:26- “You remember it says in Genesis 1 “Let us make man…?”

  • Birth of Jesus- future tenses Lk. 1:31-35; debunk Jn. 1:1-14; get a flash moment out of Jn. 1

  • John 5:19,30; 13:20 [cp. 16]; 14:16,28; 20:17

  • Heb. 2:14-18 and expand from there

Difficult passages
Difficult Passages “fathers” and Trinitarian theologians

  • Always admit you can’t answer if you can’t

  • Don’t answer by saying “that can’t mean what you say it does because another verse in the Bible says something different”- explain the actual passage

  • Try to answer the passage within its context and draw attention to nearby verses which teach otherwise- e.g. Jn. 10:30 cp. 34-36