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Stoll 2010 A Culturally Appropriate Gospel Message (Part 3)

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1 Stoll 2010 A Culturally Appropriate Gospel Message (Part 3)

2 5 Minute Review

3 A.W. Tozer, a great conservative theologian in the last century, said that “what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” What is our knee jerk reaction, our default mode? Within a culture we are shaped to think of God and our position before God in a certain way. We have a predisposition, based on our worldview, to see God and our position before Him in a certain way.

4 Muller suggests that there are 3 main global worldviews that are each based on 3 results or responses to man’s rebellion in Genesis 3: Eyes opened – Guilt – Broken law Hid – Shame – Broken relationship Afraid –Fear – Broken trust

5 Last session: Fear-based worldviews Hallmarks: 1.Reality of the Supernatural 2.Fear of Unseen Powers 3.Superstitions Survival strategies: 1.Appease the Offended 2.Seek alliances to gain power 3.Live quietly; in harmony with spirits

6 Scripture Relevant to Fear-based worldviews Peter in Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst…” Ephesians 1:18-19 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”

7 Ephesians 1:20-23 “These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.”

8 Greeks at Mars Hill - Acts 17:16-34 “…beholding a city full of idols…preaching Jesus and the resurrection…the God who make the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all love and breath and all things; … that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him…

9 Greeks at Mars Hill - Acts 17:16-34 “…offspring of God… God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by ____?____ raising Him from the dead.”

10 Part 3 Guilt-based Worldviews

11 North America (quintessential) English speaking world Europe before 1990s Modern Guilt–based Cultures

12 “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked…” Gen 3:7a Knowledge of sin is nothing more than our conscience – a feeling of guilt. They were keenly aware of right from wrong. Origins of the Guilt–based Worldview

13 What might I long for? innocence; or at least freedom from guilt How might I see God? judge; king; Christians from a guilt-based worldview might be stuck on what attributes of God? “righteousness”, “holiness”, “forgiveness” Guilt–based Worldview

14 1. Right vs. Wrong Basic underlying belief in Western society and religion – good vs. bad Everything is measured as right vs. wrong Obsessed with knowing our rights and exercising them We define boundaries within which we can be “OK” and not feel guilty Examples: swimming pool; car horns; principal’s call Hallmarks

15 2. Right and Wrong justify action Example: WMD 3.Rational/logical thought - Knowledge Linear thought – sequential, chronological thought All mapped on a continuum: Guilt Innocence Boundaries - Dichotomies, categories Discomfort with ambiguity or gray areas Interpretation of scripture; salvation process Knowledge of the right answer is sometimes seen as arrogance. Our Western fixation on right and wrong, has resulted in our belief that R vs. W is not only normal, but the only correct way to think…. the ONLY way to think.

16 Strategy to deal with a guilt-based position before God? redefine lines of law; legalism, license “What can I DO to make it ______?” When did the first act of making things right happen? What to Do?

17 Where did this all come from? Greek and ROMAN Legal system Is this the only valid pattern of thinking? Does the Bible address other views? 4 gospels; inscription on the cross; Colossians Questions

18 How do we usually present Jesus to those from a guilt-based worldview? Sin problem + Jesus’ death (died for penalty of sin) _________________ = problem solved Buzz words: atonement, forgiveness, redeem, justification, condemnation; heaven vs. hell Presenting Jesus

19 Why do you think the gospel has been so “successful” in Western cultures? Question

20 What are appropriate Bible stories to segue to the gospel message? Explain which 2 Bible stories might be best for you to share the gospel to guilt-based worldviews. Job Mary and Martha Prodigal Son Abraham’s sacrifice Woman touching Jesus’ hem Good Samaritan

21 Homework Look at Peter’s sermon in Acts 2: Color code which parts address those from a fear- based worldview. What buzz words alert you to this? Color code verses addressing relationships (for next week’s shame-based discussion). Which verses specifically appeal to guilt based worldview holders? Why are there so few?

22 The information in this presentation is taken from: The Messenger, The Message, The Community by Roland Muller 2006 Publisher: CanBooks; ISBN:

23 Next Session Detailed look at the shame-based worldview How the gospel addresses this condition Discuss “best practices” for this worldview


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