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Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

Summit: Session 6

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from Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2008: Session 5, Chuck Colsen, BreakpointDefending The Faith We have bought into a lie:  we've transferred our allegience from truth to therapy.

Leadership lessons from the marines:

  • The test of leadership is to serve your troops.
  • Then you give them the bigger vision.
  • Follow me.

If you are a shepherd, your job is not to pander to your people, it is to lead them.

Don't be ashamed of truth.  Defend the law of non-contradiction.

Stop blaming the culture for everything that's going wrong in the world today.

God's judgement comes first on the people of God.

In our country we are in Babalyonian Captivity.

Defend the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

What is Christianity? 

  • It is a worldview, a system, a way of seeing all of life through Jesus Christ. 
  • Abraham Kuyper:  "There is not a square inch on the whole plain of human existence over which Christ, who is Lord over all, does not proclaim: 'This is mine.'" [Souvereiniteit in Eigen Kring, 1180, p. 32.]
  • It rests on basic truth claims.  1)  It starts with a very simple declaration, "God is."  It is the most rational choice.  Alvin Plantinga: "The first presupposition about reality is that God is."  2) God speaks.  The bible is authoritative and inerrant.  3) The fall.  When asked the question, "What's wrong with the world today," GK Chesterton said, "I am."  4) The incarnation.  5) Conversion/ transformation is essential.  6) The Trinity. 7) Unity - we are reconciled to one another. 8) Judgement
  • The Christian view must propose rather than impose. [axiom}

Comments:  I get what Colsen is doing, and I think defending the faith is important.  However, as you can see in previous posts, introducing people to a system or converting them to a system or a set of propositions as our manner of apologetics or evangelism is not my preferred modus operandi and I don't think it speaks to a postmodern culture.  He's not wrong, by any means.  I just think the strong emphasis on this type of apologetics and propositional truth defense isn't so helpful these days, but rather something that makes us feel pretty good because we're defending the faith, which is important, but we aren't necessarily reaching people through it.  He quoted a lot of people I love (Alvin Plantinga, GK Chesterton, Cornelius Van Til), but we take different approaches to these things.  I also am a huge fan of both cultural engagement, of Christians living as a peculiar people in the culture, and of people understanding a Christian world and life view, especially being able to articulate how the Lordship of Christ makes my life different because of the commitments I have.  However, I still think that spending the bulk of our time defending propositions and a system to our current culture creates a barrier of entry for those outside.  Our time should be spent introducing people to the Lord Jesus, allowing the Spirit to work in their hearts, and then helping them to understand what a commitment to Jesus and a transformed life requires.  I would say that we pretty much agree on foundational elements, but we probably disagree on where to place emphasis in our current postmodern culture.  To put is succinctly, I'm less interested in contending for propositions or even for Christianity than I am for Jesus Christ.


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