Panel discussion SBTS – Helpful question & answer session on marriage and ministry

A great session at the end of a one day conference at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, geared towards pastors and ministry leaders, however every couple (even the one not in active ministry) can learn and apply most of the answers given  in this very candid conversation.

See previous messages on marriage and ministry at SBTS by-

  1. After Russell’s message this morning, just talking about something as serious as pornography, having a discussion- husband and wife- about that, CJ (Mahaney) had some things to add from his years of shepherding, where something like this has to occur, (what is) the process…?
  2. What if you have a pastor who is leading the church, pronounced leadership, but, he’s not leading in the home? How is the wife to respond. We say ‘love covers a multitude of sins’, it doesn’t cover all sins, here’s a wife who sees inconsistency, she’s hearing him preach, but at home he is not a good leader. What would you recommend?
  3. How do we deal with the inconsistency that we experience? We preach a better message at times. So, we have the standards and we can’t lower the Scriptures to our lifestyle. How do we work through that? That can be a challenge at times. I mean, you’re going to church and a fight breaks out and you’re gonna stand before the people of God… and that’s tough.
  4. Where do we go for help, as pastors in the local church?
  5. What are some of the early warning signs in a Gospel ministry couple of indications where they need to get help? There’s obviously some sins that we handle through grace induced progressive sanctification, others you need to get intensive, you need to nip it in the bud. What are these early warning signs?
  6. How do you work through a dry season? ( a dry, flat [or too busy] time in your marriage)
  7. Sometimes, in your church you come across a couple who says they never fought. What do you think about them?
  8. (Give) some principles, real practical, of how to fight fair. What does a good fight look like in your home?

Panel Discussion from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

 

The mind and heart in search of answers

Ravi Zacharias

Here’s a sample quote Ravi gives in this discussion- „for the scientist who has lived by his faith only in the system, it is going to end like a bad dream. He is going to climb higher and higher and scale the mountains of knowledge and when he reaches the top he will find that he will be greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” (from Robert Jastrow– an American astronomer, physicist and cosmologist. He was a leading NASA scientist, populist author and futurist and author of God and the Astronomers)

Dr Louw Alberts: There is a term coined in Dutch philosophy called evolutionism, where you strip the model of all its problems, you just jump over difficulties. You start out with nothing, nothing goes to life and life ultimately ends up with man. That is not science, that is a worldview called evolutionism. That is the problem Christianity will always have with evolutionism, I don’t think it lies with the origin; it lies with the fall because in evolutionism man is the ultimate product of a climbing  curve. According to the Bible man is fallen and needs a Redeemer. In evolutionism you have no room or need for a Redeemer. That’s why it can never come to terms with the Christian Gospel.

Moderator Ellis Andre – Questions about the Christian faith from the perspective of the thinking person:

  • What were Paul’s views on ethnicity?
  • In Hawkings book „A brief history of time” he concludes with a question: What then, place for a Creator? Your comments please?
  • A question on the fall of man; man today is not how he was originally created in the beginning of Genesis
  • The ultimate question: What is the meaning of life?
  • It is often said of the Bible that there was an element of socialism. Did free enterprise coupled with capitalism really work in the Christian congregation in Jerusalem, especially because the church in Jerusalem became really poor (min 26)
  • If the arguments for the faith are so strong why is it that so many people, who are intelligent don’t actually come to God?
  • If there is such demonstrable fine tuning in the universe, is it not reasonable to assume that there could be some validity in  astrology linking our fate in some way to the stars and to the movements of heavenly bodies? (min. 35)
  • On the New Age movement, is it wrong as a Christian to use the techniques of eastern origin religions (two in specific- reflexology and acupuncture)? min 36
  • Justin Martyr said he had tried various systems of philosophy… and ultimately discovered Christianity, what he called the chief, the supreme philosophy. He found the answer, as far as he was concerned. Someone may be in that position today (having heard all the evidences in the day long conference Ravi Z. was part of) wanting to know the ultimate meaning. If there was actually someone like that and they wanted to be a Christian, where would he have to start? How does one actually become a Christian?

Published on Jun 25, 2012 by 

Quotes by Ravi Zacharias from panel discussion

  1. Ravi: „Faith and reason interplay. God has put enough in this world to make faith in Him a reasonable thing, but left enough out to make it impossible to live by sheer reason alone. There is an interplay: It is not faith in nothing or subjectivity; it is the systematic reasoning that God gives to us that says, ‘You’re the one whom I want to lean on’
  2. Ravi: *Robert Jastro in his book „God and the astronomers” says that „for the scientist who has lived by his faith only in the system, it is going to end like a bad dream. He is going to climb higher and higher and scale the mountains of knowledge and when he reaches the top he will find that he will be greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
  3. Dr. Louw Alberts: The essence of life is to discover the fullness of God and His interest in me as a person and how that ultimately relates to my family and my fellow man. If someone could convince me there is no God, life would lose all meaning for me immediately.
  4. Dr. David Block: The meaning of life is the yearning to know Him.
  5. Ravi: What I think it takes to find meaning. Every person who says they have meaning has these 4 components- (1)You must have a sense of wonder (2) You need to have the knowledge of truth…just because I find meaning it does not mean it is meaning. It should be within the confines of truth, otherwise LSD in my veins could give me meaning too (3) You have to have the experience of love and (4) The confidence of security. The older you get the more it takes to fill your heart with wonder and only God is big enough to fill that heart with wonder and meaning. God, the perpetual novelty who is the truth, who shares His love and gives you the confidence and victory of hope beyond the grave
  6. Ravi: Who is the God that you are going to in theism? The struggle comes, I think with the multiplicity of options that are both intellectual and emotional. There are millions of people who believe different things. How do we just brush it aside and say it’s wrongheaded? There are 2 or 3 things that need to be interjected here- (1)You can be sure that if God had given 10 different ways to choose, we would have wanted 11. Like the student at Cal Tech who said, „I prefer reincarnation because it gives you a million opportunities against Christianity which gives you one. (2) Second, man does not want to surrender his autonomy. The moment you realize this is the truth, you need to give it (autonomy) up- to give up your own autonomy and self centeredness. The task of the evangelist and the apologist is then is to go proclaim the Gospel and to remove the intellectual obstacles and they can see the problem as being moral and not intellectual. By patience and love we continue to do that.
  7. The tremendous harmony that occurs in this universe, you just can’t conceive of an accident when you hear and see the design that there is.
  8. Ravi Zacharias on astrology: To go to an astral object as somehow controlling my destiny  is to attribute rational thought or a sovereignty of will or power independent of you in your own destiny of spiritual progress. There are aspects of eastern thought that are good and true, but they are not true and good because they are eastern, they are true and good because they come from God. That’s the epistemological base of how you arrive at truth, now applying it to things like yoga and so on… If you go to things like yoga, the discipline of quiet and solitude and reflection are very important, but yoga a la hinduism is assuming your identity with the divine and the chanting of the mantras are an instrumentally efficacious way of bringing you to that point. So the yoga that is eastern in its presuppositions of who you are IS dangerous to dabble with. In fact, they will tell you to start by emptying the mind. There is nothing worse that you can do to start off with your own spiritual journey. Meditation is important: „Upon Thy law will I meditate, o Lord, all day and night I will meditate upon His word”. Things like acupuncture, reflexology, going to the marshall arts and so on, be sure in your mind as you talk to the one giving the treatment, „What is the basis of the healing that he is giving?” If it is just the massage aspect of a muscle in reflexology, then sure there is something innocuous about it. But, if it is built upon the fact that parts of your body are reflective of the parts of the essential divine being and there this communication established in that, then that is false. It is important to establish the rationale for the treatment. And, let us never forget that Saul was staggered to his socks, as was the witch herself, when she was able to retrieve Samuel from the dead. She herself wasn’t expecting it. The Bible is moot on that point, how she was able to bring Samuel back from the dead. I encourage people, stay away from anything that has a hint of a danger intermixed with a lie. The Bible reminds us that we are fulfilled in Christ and satisfied in Him and I believe He has ways of keeping you cleared and to use methods that are biblically sound.
  9. To become a Christian- The first step is honesty. If you’re not ruthlessly honest with your search, you will become smothered with your own deceit. Second step is to take to the Bible and study the Gospel of John. The third encouragement I give you: Each one of us comes with our own baggage. I encourage you along with reading the bible to find a book that will answer these questions for you.

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