February 25, 2009

Following Jesus-Part I

Monday I got the chance to attend a really good session at Dallas Theological Seminary hosted by the Center for Christian Leadership. It was entitled Following Jesus In a World Like Ours. I will attempt a couple of blog posts to cover the information discussed. Four main speakers, all on faculty at DTS: Darrell Bock, Jeff Bingham, Barry Jones and Mark Young. All did a great job presenting and were very accessible to participants after presentations and on breaks throughout the day.

Dr Bock opened things up with a session entitled Assessing Ourselves in Our Cultural Climate. He laid out a road map of the issues facing the church today, that the follow on presenters would address. Dr. Bock noted 5 main issues from his perspective:

  • Post-modern relativism: an entitlement culture that extends all the way to things of God. Will come up against the concept of grace, which would define us as not entitled. No revelation from above, the creator-creature interaction is obliterated.
  • Pluralism: there are no valid exclusivity claims by any religion. Bock saw people moving down one of two tracks here; either towards more fundamentalism within their respective religion or more secularism, with both blocs trying to impose their worldview on others. Bock saw three potential reactions: 1)Dig in-and hold your line, 2)Withdraw-and step out of the culture or 3)Engage-both to understand other viewpoints and explain yours.
  • Personalized Globalism: distance between people is shrinking, more diverse people moving into our culture generating fear and uncertainty in how to engage. We have mor epersonal knowledge of cultural differences than before.
  • Materialism: An oldie but a goodie. it has been around a long, long time. Keads to life being defined by possessions and an excessive individualism. Religion is reduced to a transaction or consumer product-what can God do for me?
  • Omnipresent Technology: open and instant access to information at an emotive level with much multiprocessing.
Bock gave a brief idea on how to tackle these issues which he would sum up as engage, engage, engage. Don't shrink away, understand the person before you explain your position, look for a Gospel message that is trans-national to fit a globalizing culture, use technology and use God's gifts to serve.

That is a mouthful, I hope I got it right. More tomorrow, but you can see the issues to be addressed in following Jesus today are not insignificant.

2 comments:

David Porter said...

Andy,

I am looking forward to more on this. Any video on the Internet of this?

Andy C said...

If you go on http://cclstore.dts.edu/
I know you can order the CD set of the lectures for $40.

I do not think they made a video, but if they did, it would be posted somewhere on:
http://www.dts.edu/departments/campus/ccl/