What Was Wrong?

Weekly Meeting VIII

Genesis 3:1-14

All that God has created is good, and He created human beings as the top of His creation. Adam was the first human. But out of all of God’s creation, Adam could not find a helper fit for him. Then the Lord created Eve, who became to Adam the “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh”. In God’s design, man and woman are created equal in value, dignity and reflection of the image of God. However, each have different roles. The man, who was the first to be created, is to be the one bearing primary responsibility in a marriage, while the woman is a helper fit for the man. That is why after they fell into sin, God confronted Adam before He confronted Eve.

Why was there the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden? It was created so that man would learn to fully depend on God. Satan used the crafty serpent to tempt Eve and focus her thoughts on the only fruit forbidden by God. She forgot all of God’s blessings and grace for them. The serpent compelled Adam and Eve to choose between God and Satan. How could they tell which choice is right and which one is wrong? This brings us to Epistemology (the study of what knowledge is and how it can be acquired). God is ultimately the Truth. But Adam and Eve decided to disobey the Truth by eating the forbidden fruit. When they fell into sin, they destroyed themselves and their relation with God. The damage done was not only in their relation with God, but also in their relation with each other. When God asked them what they had done, they started blaming each other for the wrong that each committed.

As a consequence of their sin, Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden and had to suffer the effects of the Fall, which is death (both physical and spiritual). But our God is so great that He didn’t leave the problem unsolved. He has a perfect plan for humanity in Redemption, an agenda for reversing the Fall of Man, and in setting the world right once again.

Who Am I?

Weekly Meeting VI

Christian life doesn’t begin with the news that Jesus was crucified for our sins. But it begins with the creation of heaven and earth, as written in Genesis 1:1.

How did God create this world?

®    ‘creatio ex nihilo’: from nothing to something

®    ‘creatio per verbum’: creation through words

In Jeremiah 10:1-7, God and idols are contrasted. Idols are depicted as scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they can do nothing. Meanwhile, God is omnipotent and deservedly worshipped.

Not only is He the Creator of this world, but He is also a God who takes care of and nourishes His creations. It is different from Deism, which believes that after God created this world, he let it be. They see God like a watchmaker who lets his creation (i.e. watch) be destroyed by time.

All beings are dependent on God. However, at the top of all creation is the human, a special being made by God from a godly conversation, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Then, they were given dominion over all other creations. So, they are God’s representatives in this world, the only image of God (Figure 1).

God commanded humans to fill the earth and subdue it. In regard to this matter, there are at least three things we need to remember:

1)    All beings in this earth belong to God.

3)    Humans need to do this together as a whole community in Christ.2)    Humans have a responsibility to God. They are not the true king, their duty of care is to develop and preserve the nature.

Biblical worldview of Creation:

1)    Wholeness of all aspects of life.

God is the Creator of everything. None of the creation is against Him.

2)    Dynamic; going somewhere.

There is a built-in escatology. Men were put in the Garden of Eden to take care of all creations with a consciousness to be responsible to God. And this will lead to the end of the day where God will judge our work.

h

Figure 1. Hierarchy of the Creator and Creations

KKR Natal 2013

20131113-140826.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pdt. Dr. Stephen Tong
KIN 8 Nov 2013

Apa definisi kekristenan? 1 petrus 1:2 mendefinisikan yaitu orang2x yang dipilih, sesuai dengan rencana Allah, Bapa kita dan yang dikuduskan oleh Roh, supaya taat kepada Yesus Kristus dan menerima percikan darah-Nya. Kiranya kasih karunia dan damai sejahtera makin melimpah atas kamu

Orang kristen adalah karya Allah sebelum dunia dijadikan. Ada 3 pribadi yang bekerja sehingga menjadi orang Kristen. Allah bapa memilih, Allah roh kudus menggerakan dan Yesus menggenapi. Manusia diciptakan dengan hak istimewa untuk boleh mengerti Allah, kesempatan karena Allah menginginkan kita mengerti DIA

Apa dasar Allah memilih? unconditional election , anugerah DIA dan Yesus adalah satu2xnya jalan dan tujuan kita. Mari kita semua sekali lagi boleh diingatkan, datang ke KKR Natal ini mendengar berita Natal bagaimana Allah boleh beranugerah dan mengasihi kita dengan mengirimkan anakNYA yang tunggal untuk lahir bagi manusia berdosa dan boleh mengajak orang2x yang belum mendengar Injil itu. Mari kita tidak menjadi egois dan penuh kasih dan rendah hati mengingat dan mengajak orang2x itu. Sudahkan kamu kenal Yesus? mengenal berbeda dari tau!

Bergabunglah bersama kami di dalam KKR Natal “The Reason Jesus Came”.
Minggu 24 November, jam 5 sore

Public Lecture: Why Reformed Theology?

Theology is the study of God. In Christianity there are many different denominations, each with their own theology, and each claiming that their theology is based on the Bible. But if this is true, then why do different people meditating on the same Bible produce different types of theologies? In this public lecture, we will examine what Reformed theology is, the methods used by the early reformers in developing it, and how this differs from other Christian theologies. So, Please com and join us.

* Reservation not required

Image

Weekly Meeting

Christian Worldview – Introductory Lecture: Thursday 1st August, 5-7pm @ Old Arts Lecture Th. C

Subsequent weekly meetings are held on Tuesdays, 12.30 – 1.30pm at Cussonia Court Room 2

Week 2-3: The Significance of Worldview

Week 4-5: Is There an Absolute Truth?

Week 6-7: Who am I?

Week 8-9: What’s Wrong?

Week 10-11: What is The Solution?

Week 12: Concluding Lecture

The Significance of Worldview

Weekly Meetings I & II (Weeks 2-3), The Significance of Worldview 

“Why do we do the things that we do?”

For most of us, when we are pressed to search deep within ourselves, the answer ultimately goes something like this, “Because that’s just the way the world is!”

The idea that behind a person’s every action and behaviour is a worldview is made strikingly clear in a recent article by The Age newspaper (4/8/13) entitled, “You gotta have faith: the rise of the church of non-believers”. In this simultaneously comical and bewildering article, we are told that in Melbourne a group of self-proclaimed atheists gather together every Sunday for church. Yes, you read that correctly: it’s an atheist church. But this is hardly surprising for Monash emeritus professor Gary Bouma, who says that the new trend is “finally an acceptance that atheism is a belief system, a world view”.

Francis Schaeffer once said, “I do what I think, and I think what I believe.” At the very top of the pyramid (Fig. 1), shaping every theory and philosophy we have about the world, and determining our actions from day to day, is our worldview. And it is our worldview which accurately reflects the disposition of our hearts, which can either be directed towards (i) obedience to Christ as Lord of all, or (ii) disobedience and rebelliousness towards God.

Untitled

Figure 1. What governs our life.

The Christian’s theory of the world and an atheist’s theory can sometimes overlap, but the underlying beliefs guiding both will be different. For example, both Christians and many atheists alike consider that helping others is good, but what is behind this commonly held theory? The world may think that it’s necessary to help others so that others can help us when we are in need. For Christians, we help others as a heartfelt expression of gratitude for God’s grace in our life. And as we will see in successive weeks, this difference will have far-reaching implications for the way we live from day to day.

Is There an Absolute Truth?

Weekly Meeting III (Week 4, 20th August 2013)

Today, it is all too common for Christians not to be equipped with a complete Christian worldview. This results in a situation where Biblical beliefs and values are confined to a small portion of their lives (only at church for example), without affecting or influencing the far greater part of life, which includes when we are at work, school/university or leisure (the ‘secular realms’). For this reason, many gradually consider Christianity to be altogether irrelevant to their daily life.

However, as Christians we need to fully realise and appreciate the supremacy of God in all things, including in the secular realms of our lives. As Zwemer once said, “If Christ is not the Lord of all, He is not the Lord at all.” Therefore, we are required to seek to understand the spirit of our age and to remain firm in our faiths, equipped with a Christian worldview.

Before we start to properly discuss Christian worldview, it is necessary to understand the prevailing philosophies and worldviews of contemporary society.

Up until a few decades ago, the reigning worldview was a Modernist one. Modernistic thinking is characterised by two departures from the past, and optimism in the idea of ‘progress’.

1. It no longer yields to the authority of the Church.

People begin to lose confidence in the Church following the error in interpreting the orbital centre of all the celestial bodies (the Church thought that the earth is the centre of everything).

2. It no longer believes in the supernatural.

Scriptural references to supernatural events (such as Jesus walking on water) are deemed to be impossible.

3. It believes in progress in the three pillars of society: science, technology and economy.

The more developed the pillars are, the better the quality of life will be. The ultimate goal is to achieve the ‘happy life’ – which is a utopia.

However, Modernism’s belief in progress was soon crushed as a result of significant problems during the twentieth century, including the incidence of the two World Wars, the prevalence of poverty, environmental degradation, proliferation of weapons, psychological problems, and many other social and economic problems. In response to these problems, Modernism was replaced by Postmodernism, a philosophy that is held by many today.

Postmodernist thinking can perhaps be best explained through an illustration of three statements made by different baseball umpires, reflecting the major ways that people view truth:

  1. There’s balls and there’s strikes and I call them the way they are.
  2. There’s balls and there’s strikes and I call them the way I see it.
  3. There’s balls and there’s strikes and they are nothing until I call them.

The different philosophies behind each of the three ways of umpiring can be described as follows:

The first umpire represents the traditional view of truth – objective, independent of the mind of the knower, and there to be discovered.  The second umpire speaks for moderate relativism – truth ‘as each person sees it’ according to his or her perspective and interpretation.  And the third umpire blatantly expresses the radically relativist, or postmodern, position – ‘truth’ is not there to be discovered; it is for each of us to create for ourselves.”[1]

So which view do you think is correct? Which philosophy do you hold?

Keep in mind, when the radical relativist or postmodernist says, “There is no absolute truth,” is this statement itself absolute?


[1] Os Guinness, Time for Truth (p 13, emphases added)