Lakeside Fellowship Blog

Theology 1 Session 5: Categories of Theology

by Administrator 21. February 2017 07:24
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength  ~Mark 12:30Writing about Session: 5 Christian Epistemology, Adam McClain shares his thoughts on one of the discussion questions. Discussion question #2: Reread the postmodernist objections to Christianity. Which objections have you heard the most? Which objections do you find the most difficult? Why? I like this question because it makes me think about the tools I need to develop and keep in order to be a good ambassador for Christ. These questions are not comfortable to think about, but they are good practice for the real world discussions that will indeed happen as we spread the Gospel. There was also a question about modernist objections to Christianity, but the postmodernist view is more prevalent in today’s society so I thought it more relevant. Through our studies, we have learned that postmodernist society focuses on fairness, relationships, and emotion. It stresses “feeling” and can often be identified by the “I feel like…” statement to try to validate that everyone’s truth is subjective to them. Our lesson had a list of 10 postmodernist objections to Christianity. Of those ten, I have heard these the most: “If God exists, why is there evil?” I have also heard this worded as “If God is all good and all powerful, why would he let there be evil?” My best response to this is that God is also all-knowing and ever-present. Only He can know how everything will work out, and it is impossible for us to understand. I am especially interested to hear others’ comments on this one. “Christianity is a way to God, but not the only way.”This one is a really good example of the postmodernist view that truth is relative. The belief is that what may be true for you may not be true for me. While this may the case with some things, like the ideal temperature of a room, those are not really absolute truths. It would be comforting to think that everyone could get to God in their own way as long as they are good people. But it is a dangerous way to believe because there is only one true way to God. The Word of God in Scripture is truth. In John 14:6 Jesus tells us “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”Ok, I have to admit that this is one I have really struggled with. Who hasn’t asked “why me?” at one point or another in their lives? The important thing to remember is that God has a plan for everyone, and we cannot always understand how it will play out. Personally, I went through a lot of struggles in the last 5-10 years and asked “why me?” or a version of that many, many times. At the time, it seemed impossible that there could be some master plan in motion. But now, looking back, I realize that God was challenging me and giving me the experience necessary to help others in my life who now face similar challenges. Without His guidance and pushing me in the right direction, I would not be where I am today in my relationship with Jesus and would not be saved. Of the list of 10 postmodernist objections, this is the one I find the most difficult: “What about those who have never heard?”This one really tugs at my heartstrings and I it challenges my sense of fairness and justice. I mean, how could it be right that an otherwise innocent person, through no fault or action of their own, would be condemned to an eternity in Hell? Do they deserve the same eternal fate as someone who was consciously evil, like Adolph Hitler and the perpetrators of the Holocaust? In my eyes, of course, they don’t deserve it (and I am aware that is my “postmodernist” view). However, I have to remember that the Bible is the Word of God and the ultimate truth, and according to that truth the only way to be saved is through Jesus Christ. There are some things we as humans cannot understand, and this is one that I am sure I will continue to struggle with. But I do believe in the Word, so I know it to be true.

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Theology 1 Session 4: Categories of Theology

by Administrator 21. February 2017 07:11
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength  ~Mark 12:30Writing about Session: 4 Postmodern Epistemology, Dan Jones shares his thoughts on one of the discussion questions. Discussion question #9: Explain how was your thinking most challenged by the lesson. I will focus this blog on postmodernism as it pertains to the United States. I believe this will provide a current example of the degradation of the Church, as postmodern thinking has had a very visible effect on Christianity in the West. The best and most relevant definition of postmodern thinking is this: feelings, fairness, and subjectivity replace fact, logic, and objectivity. In other words, postmodern thinking suggests that truth can be anything you wish it to be; therefore, there are no absolute, objective truths. Recent examples of this line of thinking have made rounds on the news cycle multiple times. A male, wishing himself to be female, declares to the world that he now “identifies” as a female, and demands to be treated as such. A large number of people reason that a “fetus” is not a life, but a bundle of cells that can be disposed of at leisure at any time in the pregnancy. Postmodern fairness couples with relative truth to attempt to force these examples to be acceptable to our society. It would not be uncommon to be branded with an undesirable moniker if one spoke contrary to these positions. These are just two examples of societal moral decay brought about by postmodern ideology. What is the Church supposed to do in a society that currently demonizes any opinion that is contrary to postmodern ideals of fairness and feelings? Now enters the decay of the Church brought about by moral decay of society. In recent years there have been some denominations and congregations that wholeheartedly embrace a “change with the times” type of message. Some embrace and permit homosexual relationships, transgenderism, abortion, and preach a social justice “gospel”, with no attempt to declare the sinful and unbiblical nature of these activities. Instead, they are presented with a false gospel that falls far short of salvation. These types of congregations provide for a “feel-good” church experience. For the postmodern, there can be no judgment, no objectively right or wrong action (sin), and no prospect of punishment. These things are all relative to the individual. This leaves sin open to interpretation. They are presented with all of the good things of Christianity, but none of the “bad things”. The wrath of God is overlooked, as that implies that there are objective truths about sin and morality. The postmodern idea that man is generally good (not fully depraved) provides an element of universalism to the issue of salvation. There are many that follow this goodness-based system, which doesn’t necessarily stress faith in God, but rather, faith in self. This problem is perpetuated by congregations that wish everyone to feel welcome and included, but err by promoting falsehoods and overlooking the truth of Scripture. In essence, they are enabling the situation that 2 Timothy 4:3-4 warns us about: For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. Again, how does the Church react to such societal changes? By enduring the change and upholding the truths of Scripture without compromise. Congregations should welcome all who come through the doors but must, without exception, vigorously preach biblical truths that are only found in God’s word. The ideology of the postmodern age is not the first stumbling block the Church has had to deal with, and certainly won’t be the last. Christ’s true Church will always endure any persecution or societal paradigm shift.

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