Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Furniture is heavy. Conversations while moving furniture can also be heavy.

I did a day's temp work yesterday shifting furniture at a local furniture shop - double beds, sofa beds, bookcases, wardrobes, that sort of thing. Turns out that a) they don't sell cheap and nasty mdf furniture, and b) real wood is really heavy.

I also spent a fair chunk of the afternoon debating belief in God with one of the other temps who was there that day. I used to do it loads at school in philosophy lessons, but I've been learning recently about the distinction between simply arguing generically for the existence of 'god', and actually pointing someone to Jesus. The problem with arguing in the abstract is that I'm not really trying to defend belief in 'a god', only belief in the one true God of the Bible. I'm not trying to say 'religion is good' - false religion isn't good - I'm actually kinda with Richard Dawkins on that much.
Ultimately the reason I believe in God, and think Him worth following, isn't because of the Design Argument or the Cosmological Argument (or even the Ontological Argument), it's because I believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus - who was God and man and died to take away my sin, rising again to prove that He had succeeded.

These are the most important questions to answer: who is Jesus? Was He really God? What did He do when He died? Did He rise again? And therefore - can I have a relationship with a God who loves me?
The Death and Resurrection of Jesus is the thing that the whole Bible hinges on - the Old Testament points towards it, and the New Testament exists because of it. All other apologetics are to some extent secondary, they are bridges to these questions - the identity and work of Jesus is of first importance. It is the proof of the validity of the whole Bible and it is the revelation of the character of the God of love and it is the way we can be reconciled to God. (For more on the love of God, check out the latest post on Denise's blog.)

How people respond to Jesus will govern how they respond to God ('if you've seen me you've seen the Father'). I still think apologetics questions are worth answering - but if you never come to the question of Jesus and the Gospel, you won't be coming to the true God.

I'm still learning how to effectively move a conversation from abstract intellectual stuff onto the Gospel - any thoughts? How would you go about that kind of conversation?

And what do you think of Jesus? Is He who He said He is - and why?

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