Saturday, January 13, 2007

How Would Jesus Think?

Took leave today to present a message on "How Would Jesus Think"? to the Christian Fellowship in Universiti Malaya... Here's the long version:


What is WWJD? Wikipedia: “A personal motto for thousands of Christians who used the phrase as a reminder of their belief that Jesus is the supreme model for morality, and to act in a manner of which Jesus would approve”.

Today, I’d like us to consider a new question: “What Would Jesus Think?” (WWJT)

He is Lord of our hearts, minds and strength, the supreme model for our thinking habits. Look at examples of how Jesus used His mind in the Gospels and see how that is relevant to our own questions.

Why is it important?

When was the last time you were encouraged to think Christianly as a student of law, business, information technology or education? Demonstrate the Lordship of Christ in all things.

If we don’t think after biblical perspective in our areas of study, two results happen

1) “Faith is believing what you know ain’t true?” (Oscar Wilde) If there are reasons or proofs, where is the room for faith? If got faith, why need reasons?

Biblical faith is beyond reason, but not against reason. It is not blind faith or intellectual suicide. Faith involves knowledge, agreement and personal trust/commitment.

2) No Impact On World Outside: “Christian on Sunday, Functional Atheist on Monday”

”God defines worship as the offering of one's total life to Him, a commitment to obey Him in every sphere of life including formal public worship. Elaborate formal worship without the worship of one's total life was not acceptable.” - Tan Soo Inn

Is the gospel just otherworldly? Or Is it also relevant to every dimension of human existence – spirit, mind, body, economics, politics etc in THIS world?


How Did Jesus Do It?

Look at how Jesus used His mind in conversations with those who ask. Don’t be just an answering machine. Be a good listener. Ask good questions like Jesus to open up assumptions, clarify information, and make people think. Thinking is not our enemy.

Jesus’ purpose of using logic is not to win debates but to open up minds, not force conclusions down hearer’s throats but to let them discover the truth themselves!

Some Examples

1) The Loaded Question in Luke 20: “Should Christians pay taxes or not?” Giving the right answer to the wrong question (loaded with wrong assumptions) is always wrong.

Application: Is abortion wrong? What are the cultural assumptions behind it?

2) The False Dilemma in Matthew 22:37: “Women With 7 Husbands In Heaven?”
What are the possible answers Jesus could have given? (offer a third way) Why didn’t Jesus quote Daniel 12:2 to show the resurrection of the dead?

Application: Do you believe in science or God? Why not both?

3) Take a wrong idea and bring it to its absurd or undesirable conclusion in
Matthew 22:41 “If King David calls the Messiah “Lord”, how can He be just his son?”

Application: There is no absolute right or wrong so you shouldn’t force your views on me? How do we do a 'reductio ad absurdum' on it?

4) Appeal to Evidence in Matthew 11:4-6
John Baptist asks, “Are You the one who was to come or should we expect someone else?”

Did Jesus scold Him for doubting? “You must believe, suppress your unbelief else you’d go to hell?” No! He says, “Look at the evidence!” (Isaiah 61)

Conclusion:

Jesus is Lord of the church. He is also Lord of our universities, campuses, research institutions, science laboratory, computer labs, hospitals and lecture halls.

"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!

By seeing how Jesus Himself uses reason, let us follow His example in thinking properly and integrate our faith in each area of study and research and work to the glory of God. God is with us.

5 comments:

Mejlina Tjoa said...

Very good message, Dave! Summarizes well the aspects of apologetics & culture mandate. Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

Lets join the Second Anti toll-hike rally in Gombak this Sunday!

Date: January 14, 2007 (Sunday)
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: Gombak toll plaza of the Kuala Lumpur-Karak highway (park at the slip-road near the toll plaza heading towards International Islamic University)
Organizer: Protes Kenaikan Tol (a coalition of opposition parties, civil society groups, trade unions and student groups)

People's Demand:
1) Urge the government to reveal all highway concession agreements
2) Urge the government to withdraw the decision to raise toll charges at five major highways throughout the Klang Valley
3) Urge the government to set up an independent body to audit the conssessionaires's profits

If you were thinking that you are not affected because of not using the road, then you are wrong! The government will still pay the conssessionaires with the taxpayers's money, which is also your money!

If you have any questions, you may call or sms to Dr Hatta Ramli (019-3398659), the Secretary of Protes.

alwyn said...

Good post. I've always been fascinated with the way God created our brains/minds (with networks, triggers, etc.)

One of my personal favourites (highlighted by R.Zacharias but applies quite well for Derridean analysis, IMO) is John 18:33-34, in reply to Pilate asking Him if He was the king of the jews, "Is that your own idea or did others talk to you about me?" which i read as cutting straight to the heart of Pilate *motives* and deepest intentions.

Kinda like, "do YOU care about it yourself or are you just being a busybody about what OTHERS think?"

quite relevant today, huh? :)

daud said...

Check out the sequel to WWJT here:
http://theagora.blogspot.com/2007/01/renewing-our-minds-redeeming-our.html

daud said...

Check out the sequel to WWJT here:
http://theagora.blogspot.com/2007/01/renewing-our-minds-redeeming-our.html