Saturday, March 17, 2007

Contending for the Truth - 3.3 - RC Sproul

The last session in a long, but good weekend. I've gotta stay after to pack up the bookstore, but what else have I got to do this afternoon? I know after this I will miss the community and teaching again for a while. That is what the good of CDs do, right?
Got to talk with Kristin during the break (thank you for finding me). Missing community. Will I find it? Glad to be going to FBCOC tomorrow.
How do we end "Were You There?" - not many people acting like it - I feel like shouting glory! But, heaven forbid we clap in this place or SHOUT or raise our hands. I love coming from a church that people do stand and shout when the words of the resurrection are sung about -that Jesus lives - that is something to LIVE for! We end it solemnly - it should be shouted gloriously. Just opinion.

Apologetics and the Resurrection

One of the oldest questions of theology - "if a man dies, shall he live again?" (Job in the OT)
The answer is set forth by the greatest Christian apologist known to history (Paul)

Europe: Immanuel Kant (God unknown to us) Prussia, professor of Astrophysics. Essays in the 18th century to do that discipline. Real claim to fame (never traveled) was classical arguments, The Critique of Pure Reason . Not to save theology, but to save science (from Hume). From then on a rift between science and theology. He ushered God out of the front door and in the back door (through practical thinking). He was concerned with ethics and morality. The argument TO design was most compelling to him. Universally present sense of duty or "oughtness' - the categorical imperative. What would the necessary conditions be to make this sense of oughtness which provokes the pangs of conscience in human beings, for this sense of duty to be meaningful (transcendentally)? W/o ethics, race cannot survive very long.
1. There has to be justice. But, I notice that justice does not always prevail (just like in the OT times). For justice to be true, we must survive the grace.
2. There must be beyond the grave a JUDGE who would dispense true justice. That Judge would have to be perfectly righteous and above reproach. If that judge were unjust - then we would have no guarantee of justice or foundation for a sensible ethic. That judge would also have to be omniscient. He would have to be free from being misinformed. One that doesn't err in his understanding of the case. That judge would also have to be all-powerful and all authority (within himself). Without God, life is meaningless.

1 Cor 15.12f (Paul's ad hominum form of argumentation) - not abusive, arguing to the man,
They are denying the resurrection because it is a universal negative. No one escapes death.
If A is true (no resurrection), then not even Christ has been raised. (necessity - not even one positive)
If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
Face facts: (not like Alice in Wonderland) Our preaching is an exercise of futility - if Christ has not been raised. My faith also is useless and worthless, as is yours. We are in turn misrepresenting God, because it is God who has raised Him from the grave. Jehovah's False Witnesses - that attribution is false.
Therefore - you are still in your sins, contained in it, meshed in it, in jail to sin, without bail. Our justification does NOT end in the cross b/c Jesus was raised for our justification. The empty grave is God's apology - but if not, you are still in your sins.
Other world religions do not have an atonement - therefore they do not have a resurrection or a justification.
Christianity stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus. That is what Paul is saying. Those who have died in Christ - have perished. Grim reality if there is no resurrection from the dead. If in this life only have hoped in Christ - we are most to be pitied. If you don't like what we preach, don't be mad at us, pity us. If you are without CHRIST, you are without HOPE.
Picture of the consequences of life without the resurrection: meaningless and preference.
Some look at what Paul has done here and what Kant did in the 1700s as the same thing: an exercise of futility. Paul doesn't do so from the hopelessness of life without it (the resurrection).
That's not his basis. Paul now appeals to the Scriptures. He died, was buried, and raised on the 3rd day based on the Scriptures. Appeal to Sacred Scripture - the Word of God proclaims it. (That's why we already talked about the trustworthiness of Scripture). He appeared to Peter, then the 12, more than 500 (go and ask them), then to ME (Paul).
But, since dead people don't rise - it has to by a myth. (Assumption made by our p-m understanding of biology). Myth is kind, it could be an outright lie. IF it is impossible for the dead to rise?
In the NT, the impossibility would be for him not to rise. It is impossible for death to hold Him. When you have non-sinful people (Jesus), why would anyone expect him to stay dead (much less to die). He took our imputation of sin, and then he accepted the human mortality. He paid that price and finished the work - bringing the resurrection for our justification. This was God's proof of the personhood of Jesus. God is the author of life and death. If God can have Jesus raise Laz from the dead(dying, rotting, corpse) - then can't He raise HIS OWN PERFECT SON?
Now God commands everyone to repent...He has fixed a day when He will judge the world by JESUS - and He has given assurance by raising Him from the Dead. His patience is not eternal. He doesn't offer an invitation - he gives a COMMAND. (we offer the invitation). He does it ONCE FOR ALL. And He will judge according to the resurrection fact. ye steadfast. Immovable. Always abounding in the work of the Lord (not in vain).

But, go back to my original statement on worship and singing. Shouldn't our singing not reflect the futility of life? We don't live a futile life so why do many of our churches sing like it is? Shouldn't our worship of the true and living God be (in happy, joyous song) happy and joyous, not standing there with our hands folded? Edwards spoke of the Religious Affections. Where are they? In contemplative songs -there is room for contemplation, but in resurrection, PTL songs - shouldn't we affirm that with our outward displays of worship. Truth and Spirit.

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