Posts Tagged ‘Truth’
“Adolescent killed by elephant in tragic misunderstanding”, claims newpaper, The Christian Appropriator
A tragic death occurred yesterday, when young Johnny C. Liche was trampled by an elephant during a circus performance. Upon questioning, his teacher, Mrs. Rela T. Vism, stated that she was shocked that it happened. “We teach the children about great beasts,” said 4th grade teacher, Vism. “He was such a bright boy and always knew all the answers – especially in zoology lessons,” she continued. This is no unique occurrence, though. It seems that many students from After-Modernity Elementary School of Subjectivity have been suffering these “accidents”, due to a lack of LIVING WHAT THEY LEARN . . .
The article went on to explain that some methods of education lack the ability to appropriate what has been learned. Appropriation could be defined as,
from L. appropriationem (nom. appropriatio) “a making one’s own,”specifically regarding education – to take knowledge and apply it to actual living.
Some children know about fire, yet think they won’t get burned; know about ethics, but cheat without remorse; learn about the size and nature of elephants, yet stand below a bull during a dangerous performance – these are the results of taking things that are true and treating them as mere possibility. It is the motto of the After-Modernity Elementary School of Subjectivity, or (AMESS), to imbue such compartmentalization:
Learning that Truth is what You make it
The Christian Appropriator continues,
This is an issue on all fronts of life, Christianity not being immune. It is not uncommon for people to “know” something as true, yet not live it out. In fact, the knowledge, for some, proves to most often be empty at best and false at worst. The Fathers understood the difference between Knowledge, Understanding and Belief (latin, notitia, assensus, fidicia). It is only when one believes (fiducia) a something as True (a capital “T” being Objective Truth), will one apply it to their lives. Many would deny the existence of such objective truth, yet ironically “believe” that statement to be absolutely true. Everyone believes, it’s just some believe the elephant is a fact only in the story and others find the truth in the sound of his trumpet and the pound of his footstep. They need not be mutually exclusive, the information and the thing. It is just that the information must always point to the thing – AND THE THING IS THE POINT, NOT THE SOUNDS AND SYMBOLS ABOUT THE THING . . . NOT JUST THE LANGUAGE. This is where Anselm, Descartes and even Aquinas helped us a bit in their discussions of ontology – namely that something can be shown to exists because we can conceive of it in our minds. They apply this mainly to God and His existence. One might argue that could mean that because a little girl could draw a pink, panda with purple polka dots, dancing with monkey on a high-wire made of noodles, over a sea filled with mermaids that such things exist. This takes the argument further than it intends. It would merely prove that pandas, monkeys, colors, fishtails, women, oceans, dance positions and noodles exist. The unusual and unrealistic in the painting is just a combination of reality, otherwise the child could not conceive of them in their mind.
Truth is definitive, not relative. We are not to define it, rather discover it before “the shoe drops.”
By the way, the article above is not actual, but the point is.
Below is a copy of a method of apologetics (giving a defense for your faith) that I have come to hone and highly recommend – even as a better form of evangelism. The current approach was to a Roman Catholic and I left that in there to show a more specific side of it, but it could be applied to anything – keeping 2 Cor. 11:4 in mind. Check it out:
On a practical note, I do not think that you have to become completely versed in the Catholic Doctrine or apologetics to talk with them. When you get to talk to one (or two), the main point is to ask questions and evaluate THEIR answers, THEIR words – do not debate them/him. So,you can start the conversation down the right path by asking questions. You could say, help me understand . . . and pay close attention to his answers. Pick key words and phrases out of those answers and probe deeper. The point is that you are trying to understand exactly what he believes and ask questions that direct an evaluation of those beliefs. So, if you believed that the moon was made of cheese, I might first ask you to define “moon” and “cheese” just so I am sure what you are talking about. Once I got terms right, I might ask you what you mean by “made of.” Do you mean completely, or just the outside? [as ludicrous as this sounds, my point is that you continue to ask questions so you know exactly what you are talking about from THEIR point of view. Before you can show someone the way to truth, you have to know from where they are coming.] . . .
SEE BOTTOM FOR A SLIDESHOW OF THIS METHOD
The next step is to find out where they learned this from. ”Wow, I had not heard that before, where did you learn that?” You can use ambiguous language so that you are truly listening, but not necessarily agreeing. Then you can also find out in this step how versed they really are in their research on this topic. In this stage you might find out that they actually know very little about it. So, we have learned what they believe, where it came from and now, it is good to find out why they have come to believe that. You can even say here, “Now, how long have you been a member of the Catholic Church?” This is crucial.It is very common, not guaranteed, that something happened. Likely, people abandon what they held true and quickly follow a movement because of a single experience and an emotional response. If this is not the case, so be it – but it usually is unless you are in Utah and talking to a Mormon, or in the case with Catholicism they might too have grown up in it.
Once you have listened well, not debated and learned where they are, you can begin evaluating their words more. [For me, that means that I have to write stuff down while they are saying it so I do not forget] It is here that you could say, “Now, earlier you said A equals B. But, what about when C is involved, does A still equal B?” This process is an exercise in how much water a conclusion/belief will hold. If you believe that you have to be baptized to be saved and I can show you that the thief on the cross was promised paradise and then died before ”leaving the wood” AND that Cornelius’ house began to speak in tongues [a sign of the presence of the Spirit in believers in that time], you might have to conclude with me that there are cases where people were saved and had not yet been baptizes, therefore baptism may not be (is not) required for salvation. See what I mean? The process is to Start the conversation with questions and interest, Listen to their words and answers, Evaluate to yourself what they say, Question their words to a directed end. I call it the SLEQ (bad acronym for “slick”) method. You are merely helping them evaluate out loud their beliefs. No conflict, no arguments, more listening then speaking. In this process you are looking for what I call a “hiccup.” This is where they, because of your questions, say something like, ”Well, . . I never thought of it that way” or “I don’t know” or ”Hmmm, yeah, I don’t know.” This is when you have finally got them to stop their regurgitation of learned info and now they are really thinking about it. It is usually at this point that they are very willing to listen to you. I would stay very non-combative still by saying something like, “I only ask because some would say, ‘[a doctrine based on the truth of Scripture]‘ and I wonder how that works with what you have said.” Now they are still the main one’s talking,but at this point you have led them to compare their views with the Scriptures.
1. It is helpful to know about others beliefs, but way more important to know the Scriptures to use as the Rule to evaluate all other views by.
2. To talk with someone and be heard – YOU MUST LISTEN. Why would anyone listen to you about eternal things if you have not even taken the time to get to know them to understand what the mean by what they say. This isn’t Amway.
3. Start a dialog with him in the spirit of “help me understand more what you believe, where you learned it and why you came to this point and conclusion?”
4. Listen well, and then gently ask directed, evaluative questions.
5. If you get to that “hiccup”, be willing to let the conversation go for a couple of days or so. You have just gently unnerved a large portion of their worldview and they might need to digest that. Guaranteed, they will listen to you from now on. They might want to talk more then, and if so – by all means! However, you might need to say something like, “I am so glad you were willing to share with me today and have this dialog. I really want to think more about what you said. Could we pick this up over tea at “such-&-such” on “such-&-such” day and talk some more? They will likely say yes and now you have an established date with the intention of talking to them about this and only this subject AND they are coming to listen.
Click on slideshow below and once downloaded and open, click the slideshow/play function and it will auto-run.
It must be said that there is an attribute, both eternal and uniquely divine, about God’s will so as to say that it is immovable, immutable and the only reality there will ever be. (Job 42:2)
This is coupled with the fact that He provides some freedom to those who have been reborn and can thus be alive and make choices. It CANNOT be said that man ever has freewill, as a “free-will” would be able to do anything it wants to do anytime it wants to do it – only God can do that. Rather, we live within the realm of responsibility and Divine Sovereignty, as D.A. Carson writes. Yet, how if God’s WILL is sovereign over all can we ever make a choice. Well . . . we can and we cannot.
This is where the principle of complexity needs to replace ideas of contradiction. Two items may only seem to contradict, unless they are elementally opposed – then they contradict. Otherwise, they may be two corollary attributes of a thoroughly complex system. Here that applies to the reality that the tension between say, the imperatives (commands) in Scripture and the fact that God has no thing outside of His WILL, is no tension at all – it only seems to be. This applies to sin and the Sovereignty of God as well. His Will is complex enough to contain His will (providence with man) and it is neither a contradiction, nor a diluting of the integrity of God.
See the illustration below:
God’s providential will (the filial application of God’s Sovereign WILL to His relationship with mankind) lies always within His Sovereign will, namely because it is born out of it – as all things are. Yet, it is within the complexity of His will a real realm of [limited] choice – namely to please or not to please Father. These two categories are essential to even begin a dialog on the Will/will of God. For truly, no thing can ever thwart the WILL of God.
Make the Date; Save the Date; Date the Date . . . whatever it takes – Friday Night Real dates are set. Are You Coming?
The Dates are set for Friday Night Real and we are very excited. Plan on it starting at 7:30 and going as late as 9:30 on
Be there! Spread the Word. Pick one or all, but get ready to be real!
FYI- These events are restricted to ages 14 and up. Please check out www.sovereignchristchurch.org for more details.
(Reposting for my Apologetics Class)
I call this the Abimelech principle, because this is a situation that we are faced with too often as Christians – namely, a non-believer providing a better example of commitment to Christ or to the Gospel than us; or in the case of Abraham (Genesis 20), being rebuked by a non-believer over ethical issues. The truth is that I do not share Christ with others enough; I do not bear witness to the truth enough; I say that I cherish Him, but clearly don’t act as if I want enough others to cherish Him.
According to this video, that might mean that I am hating people. I am not trying to be melodramatic here. I know he, like Abimelech, is an unbeliever – but, maybe he’s right.
I do not share Christ with others enough. Of that I repent.