Home > Bible, Christianity, dumcMy > APQ21C 3: Reaching the New Generation in an Era of Postmodenism, Pluralism and Globalization #dumcMY #sermon

APQ21C 3: Reaching the New Generation in an Era of Postmodenism, Pluralism and Globalization #dumcMY #sermon

Dr. Ravi Zacharias, 12/05/2012

Postmodenism assumes there is no such things as truth, certainty and meaning.

No everything that is said is heard. Not everything that is heard is believed. Not everything that is believed is lived. The gap between the uttering of a word and living it is so great and full of obstacles.

Consider the Garden of Eden. Has God really spoken? Has God really said? Has God really defined things for us? When the serpent said they would be like God and know good and evil after taking the fruit, it was suggesting we could define things ourselves. This happens everyday.

Postmodenism is neither post nor modern. It started in the Garden of Eden. It doesn’t really matter what the author said, it’s up to how the listener define it. The listener overwrites the authority of the author. He de-constructs and redefines. When we change the terminology, we are defining it on our own terms. It’s fascinating that in all the creation, there is only one prohibition. When we do that, we have to redefine ecerything.

In law, we need to be very specific. E.g. we cannot be “alone” with somebody.

A true scientist cannot be a postmodenist. He can be postmodenism philosophically but pragmatically. Imagine a doctor said he was supposed to operate on a kidney and decided he’d want to name the heart the kidney and operate on that instead. Or a pilot decided the plane was not at 10,000 feet but 2,000 feet.

In Acts, we read how Paul approached Felix with theological integrity (no compromises) and methodological genius. Sometimes, there are diversty in forms. Some prefer to worship in silence to get away from the noise of the world. Others prefer celebratory expression. Never let the form corrupts the substance. God has given us the privilege in forms but not the freedom in the substance.

Paul was effective in words and concept. Paul used righteousness as a point of reference. Philosophers have debated the existence of God. We have rationalism (Descarte) holding sway. There is also empiricism (David Hume.) Immanual Kant was skeptical. In the 1900s saw the rise of the existentialism. They were not arguing from reason. They entered the backdoor of the mind through arts. The movie industry is not neutral to the truth. They go to the backdoor through soundbites and imagery. Postmodenism came around and debunked all of that – suggesting to redefine everything.

When we turn to the Word of God, we have all of these in balance. There are story, experience, music, etc.

In the earlier days, we argued the existence of God by causal argument. When something happens, it’s because of God. Then came design. There must be a creator. Then came the moral argument. There must be a God who set the moral codes.

There is always a struggle with morality. We see something wrong and we think it is not right. Cultures and time varies morality. The Apostle Paul knew how to approach it. He was  Jew, a citizen of Rome and trained in the Greek way of thinking. He understood the Hebrew morals (light), the Roman law (glory) and the Greek philosophy (knowledge).

Paul preached to Felix that Chris as the only righteousness.

Dr. Ravi grew up in Chennai. He knew both Tamil and Hindi. They have a man called Arumugam (an divine name meaning six faces) who worked for them. He never saw a movie. Dr. Ravi’s mom gave him money to see movie. He arrived late and there was no light. He was a wall with beams of light. Someone turned him around and he saw the movie. Jesus is the one we preach. It is he who is supreme. When we just preach righteousness people cannot connect but when we preach Jesus, people can relate.

Paul preached about righteousness and the ultimate reference of righteousness who is Jesus.

Secondly, the point of relevance (compassion, love.) He moves from righteousness to self-control. If we have a pill that gives ourselves self-control, we will make lots of money. Here we have a young and powerful man and Paul was talking to him about self-control. Truth is the most inconvenient thing to those drowned in lies.

“To give truth to him who loves it not is to only give him more multiplied reasons for misinterpretation.” ~George McDonald

New Delhi was Dr. Ravi’s home for 20 years. Even now that he is staying in Atlanta, he goes back a few times a year.

When he was young, there was a cinema. One day, he saw a man lying. He has a missing leg. His hands are gnarled. Dr. Ravi has a 100 rupee note (about USD2.) He gave it to the man. The man saw it and told him, “May God richly bless you, Sir.” One beggar recognized that the money did not come from the man but from God. Dr. Ravi told him Jesus loved him.

The language of love speaks the loudest to those from a wounded and broken background.

Lastly, Paul spoke about the point of disturbance. When we think about judgement, we realize that there is a omniscient God who know more about us that we know ourselves. He is to judge. But he is also our advocate. It is not the judge who draws us to the judgement day but the compassionate advocate.

Paul presented all three, points of righteousness, relevance and disturbance. Felix kept him in prison, hoping Paul would offer him a bribe, then the point of righteousness would go. It’s the same today, when people cannot destroy the the message, they destroy the messenger. In a culture where bribery is so prevalent, Paul could have convince himself that if he bribed himself out, he could preach to many others. He didn’t.

Dr. Ravi was on the way to the the airport. The driver told him he invited a neighbour who was a medical doctor to his meeting. The neighbour became silent on the way home. When asked, she asked how was Dr. Ravi in his private life. What she heard is persuasive.

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