As I sit in here and listen to the thunder shake the building - it just goes to show the glory of God - the clouds that are declaring His reign in a postmodern world.
Tonight is RC Sproul.
Can't say that the worship was all that. One song. Couldn't hear the worship pastor. At times like this I am thankful, yes, for old hymns that are good sound theology. But, I am also thankful for churches like Anastasia and the Summit that have great contemporary worship leaders.
Piper is talking about the Misplaced Locus of Amazement.
1. Unlike so many today, when Sproul comes to a text, there is an expectancy about seeing something majestic about God in the text. Most pastors do the opposite because it won't connect with the people. Sproul brings it up.
2. He has a gift (Sproul) of bringing the great down to even where a teenager will sit and listen to it: surprise, unexpected.
Sproul talks about The Task of Apologetics:
Moses, in Exodus, brings up apologetics. "suppose they will not believe me?" Miracles don't prove the existence of God - they are God's proof His agents of revelation. Its not how am I going to convince Pharoah - but more surprisingly - how am I going to convince your people? God answers (and He still does today). He answers a question with a question (why not?) I would be scared to death to pick up that serpant - was Moses? Was he scared to put his hand back in his shirt (to infect his whole body with leprosy)? Am I always scared with God's message that He intends for His people? Pastors, teachers, worship leaders, youth pastors - never be scared or timid to bring to your people (youth, college age, etc) the Word of God that He has given you to bring them.
What is the task? It is not to tell the world we are sorry to be believers in Christ. It is to give a reply (from the Latin). Paul went and replied to the claims against Christ - Acts. Did Paul have to become emergent to defend the gospel on Mars Hill - no, he didn't back down. apologia Justin Martyr. He defended Christian Theism. We are not to overthrow the gov't - pray for the gov't and its leaders. We are model citizens. Show the world what obedience looks like. However - we will not go against Scripture - he is not kyrios. Jesus is kyrios - sola! Every generation has its own philosophical question to handle and contend against...we are no different. Apologetics can never get you to trusting faith - they can dispense data that you can understand. Arguments can never change the human heart - that is a work of the Spirit. It can never prove the sweetness of Christ to a pagan - but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be involved in it. Pre-evangelism (clarify the data and give rational data - then get out of the way).
Indespensables of the Saving Faith
The notitia (notae) - data of Christianity, the kerygma, we are justified by faith (in what?)
Assensus - intellectual assent to certain data and propositions (faith vs credulity - belief in the absurd) David Hume - nature of belief - faith can never be a matter of the will. Choice? Leap of faith? Satan never goes through a period of doubt in who Jesus is (James 2)
Fiducia - Trust, faith, to His finished work. Religious affection is essential to salvation. Do you love Jesus perfectly? No! Do you love Jesus as much as you ought to love Him? No! Do you love Him at all? Yes! Well, the only way to have any affection for the Biblical Christ is for the Holy Spirit to change your cold heart of stone.
Calvin's defence of Sacred Scripture
1. Proof - objective, lay out case, marshall evidence, give reason for proposition.
2. Persuasion - subjective, changing convictions (King Agrippa - almost)
2. Unmask the False Idols
The two most important things for modern Christian apologists to prove is:
Existence of God (point of attack is creation/evolution). Is there compelling evidence that God exists. Kant, French Encyclopedias. Why do we play dead to Kant?
Authority of the Bible (if 1 isn't true, who cares about this one) This book has its origin in God - all the rest is footnotes that can be solved by the Word. These two are the twin towers of Christian Apologetics. This is a desparate generation. Let us not grow weary - in seeking to defend those two things - that means preaching/teaching these two things.
The rest is exegesis.