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Worldview Made Practical Issue 1-8

Worldview Made Practical Issue 1-8

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Published by Freddy Davis
Where the Incarnation of Christ Fits into Worldview
Where the Incarnation of Christ Fits into Worldview

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Published by: Freddy Davis on Feb 17, 2008
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Merry Christmas. As Christians it is a wonderful time of the year for us to focus on what God has done for us through Je-sus Christ. It is also one of the greatest opportunities that we have to share a witness of how others can enter into a per-sonal relationship with God.Today’s topic delves into why the incarnation of Christ is so important. We are taking, though, a worldview perspective onthis so that we can delve deeper into the significance of the Christmas event. It is our prayer that you will come away witha deeper understanding of Christ and a greater appreciation of the real meaning of Christmas.Before we move to the article, though, let me share with you a free worldview training on CD that we are in the process ofdeveloping. This should be ready shortly after the first of the year. The training will be a PowerPoint presentation that canbe run on any PC.It is our desire to make this available in as many ways as possible. We will make CD copies to give away, and will alsoput it on the website so that it can be run from the site or downloaded to your own computer. You will also be able to burnit onto a CD yourself, if you like. At this point, I would like to ask if you would be willing to
(Continued on page 2)
It is that time of year when our attention is drawn to the in-carnation of Christ - the act of God where he stepped out ofglory and put on human skin. I think we are all pretty muchaware of the of the story of the birth of Christ. But there is asignificance to this event that goes well beyond what wenormally think about. Typically our focus is primarily on theevents surrounding the birth of the baby Jesus. But there isa significance that goes well beyond the story - even be-yond the fact of its miraculous nature.You see, when we speak of God stepping out of eternityand into time, we are talking about an actual person whoinjected himself into our earthly physical reality. In that act,he did something that had, and continues to have, an actu-al, objective effect on the operation of the world.The profound meaning of this act cannot be overestimated.In fact, if you don’t get the significance of the reality of thisevent, your personal faith will end up being shallow andyour excitement about living out your faith in daily life will bedeficient. That is because people don’t put their whole effortinto things that they don’t believe are real in an objectivesense. For instance, would you go on a worldwide searchfor an actual unicorn? Of course not! You know it is animaginary creature and you would be wasting your time andmoney. On the other hand, would you train to run a mara-thon if you were assured that you would receive one milliondollars just for completing it? Absolutely yes! In fact youwould likely put yourself thorough all kinds of strain and suf-fering in order to condition yourself enough to run the re-quired 26 miles, 385 yards. Why? Because one milliondollars is real and tangible to you.
(Continued on page 2)
MarketFaith Ministries is an equipping ministry which is focused on helping Christians become more effectivein living out their faith in the midst of the increasingly diverse worldview environment of modern society.
Contact MarketFaith Ministries
312 Anton Dr.Tallahassee, FL 32312info@marketfaith.orghttp://www.marketfaith.orgToll Free: 888-883-0656Phone: 850-383-9756Fax: 850-514-4571
Volume 1 Number 8 December 20, 2006
Where the Incarnation of Christ Fits into Worldview
(Introduction - Continued from page 1)
participate in this with us. Your end of the year tax deductible contribution to Mar-ketFaith Ministries will give us the resources we need to manufacture and distribute the CDs. Thank you so much for part-nering with us to strengthen the Body of Christ.We are continuing our work to put
MarketFaith Ministries
in a position to be as great a benefit to believers as possible.To accomplish that, we are constantly increasing the number of resources which are available for people to use. Most ofthese are free and available to you in the resources section of the ministry website. It is our hope that you are greatly ben-efiting from this information. Would you please take a moment to forward this issue of
Worldview Made Practical
to all ofyour Christian friends and encourage them to sign up. It is free, of course, and this will be a great gift to give. Subscriptioninformation is found below, or people can go tohttp://www.marketfaith.organd sign up directly on the website.
The Incarnation of Christ
- Continued from page 1)
Our worldview is the belief foundation which gives us our conception of who God is and what he is like. Unfortunately,there is a worldview which is very prominent in our society which asserts that the supernatural simply doesn’t exist. Whilewe, as Christians, don’t believe that assertion, elements of that worldview have become so pervasive that it affects evenour beliefs and actions. Intellectually we affirm the reality of God, but in life we often live as if he were not real. That is whywe tend to be reluctant to share our faith and directly confront those who oppose our point of view. That is why we don’texpect to actually meet God in our quiet time. That is why we don’t expect God to actually work miracles in our daily lives.That is why we don’t actively and often share our faith with other people. We simply don’t put a lot of energy into what wedon’t consider to be objectively real.To get at how this plays out in life, we need to do a comparison. First, let’s become very clear about the beliefs that aretaught in the Bible concerning the incarnation, and the worldview implications of those beliefs. Following that, we will lookat the alternative beliefs of the other worldviews. Finally, we will make a brief comparison so that we can fully understandhow the implications play out in life and eternity.
The Biblical View of Jesus’ Incarnation
The first thing we need to understand relates to who Jesus is and what he is like according to the Bible. In a nutshell, Je-sus is an actual, objective person. He was a historical human being who was born in the land of Israel during the time ofthe Roman occupation. Beyond that, though, Jesus was the actual human incarnation of God himself. God took the formof a human being in order to live life among his creation. He did this in order to reveal himself more fully, and through hisdeath and resurrection to fulfill the requirements for the salvation of mankind.Just to drive this point home a little more clearly, Jesus was not a “mere mortal,” he was not a phantom, he was notmerely a prophet or some great religious teacher. He was also not simply one of a series of incarnations who each pro-vided a greater revelation of God. Nor was he some kind of “not completely human” manifestation of God. He was, literal-ly, God who chose to enter the world by the same means that all of the rest of us entered the world, and who lived life onearth as an actual human being.This is important because the teachings of Christ, along with his death and resurrection, actually accomplished resultsthat have eternal effects. But the effects are based entirely on whether or not individuals receive it that way. If God did notliterally become a man and do what he the Bible says he did, then the salvation that is taught in the Bible is not true and isnot available. And if he literally did do what is asserted in the Bible, the person who does not accept it as truth is not in aposition to apply God’s salvation to his life.
Other Views of Jesus’ Incarnation
There are some other views of who Jesus is. Every worldview has a tendency to treat him in a particular way, thoughthere are variations within them, as well. Let’s look at some of the possibilities and their implications.
Of course, Biblical Christianity is a form of Theism, and the above view is its specific expression. But there are other formsof Theism, as well. In general, Theistic belief systems do acknowledge that Jesus was an actual historical figure. Thereare differences beyond that, though, as to who they believe he was. Just to give a few examples, Islam considers that hewas merely a prophet. Mormonism considers him to have been a man who became a God after his death on earth.Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t acknowledge him as the incarnation of God, but teach that he was an angel before he came toearth, and that he returned to that form after physical death.While it is plain to see that there are various approaches to who he was, the tendency of Theism is to see Jesus as anespecially holy man, but not God. As a result, he is not acknowledged to provide the means of salvation. He only pointedmankind towards it.
(Continued on page 3)
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Worldview Made Practical
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Worldview Made Practical
are availablefree of charge in .pdf (Acrobat) format in the archives athttp://www.marketfaith.org.PERMISSION TO REPRINT: If you wish to reprint thismonth’s article in your own print or electronic newsletter,please include the following paragraph:Reprinted from
Worldview Made Practical
; a free e-zineproduced by MarketFaith Ministries featuring practicalteaching and life tools to help Christians become more ef-fective in their faith life. Discover MarketFaith Ministries atwww.marketfaith.org.
The Incarnation of Christ
- Continued from page 2)
Naturalism has two different ways that its adherents tend to address Jesus. Some consider that he was nothing morethan a mythical figure who never really existed in history. Others acknowledge his historical existence, but since the su-pernatural is not acknowledged to exist, Jesus is viewed as a mere mortal - perhaps an extraordinary man, but a mortalnone the less.The implication, here, is plain. If there is no God, and if Jesus was merely a regular human being, he has nothing to dowith the salvation of humanity. He may have left humanity a good legacy for doing good, but that is about as far as it cango.
Animistic thought basically considers Jesus to be in thesame category as any of their religious leaders. He islooked upon as a shaman or witch doctor. He was, obvi-ously, one who had a special connection to the spiritualpart of reality, but Animism does not acknowledge a spe-cial need for a Savior. Whenever a person dies, they auto-matically enter the spiritual world as a spiritual being.The result is fairly obvious. He was not a savior, only anespecially gifted shaman who was able to help peoplehave a more effective interaction with the spiritual world.
Far Eastern Thought
Far Eastern Thought looks at Jesus as one of the manyincarnations of God who came to earth to point people inthe right direction. Some even go so far as to assert thathis silent years, between age twelve and the beginning ofhis public ministry, was spent in India learning the “Truth”based on Hindu beliefs.Under Far Eastern Thought, Jesus is not seen as a savior,as a savior is not needed in this system. Jesus was merelya human who was at his last material incarnation beforemerging with the impersonal “Cosmos.”
How The Incarnation and Worldview Fit Together
As can be seen by these brief descriptions, who a personconsiders Jesus to be is not some mere abstract, philo-sophical point. It actually determines how we live and whatkind of purpose and meaning we experience in life. It deter-mines, or at least influences, who, or what, we turn to inorder to find meaning for our lives and salvation for oursouls. If Jesus truly is God who provided salvation throughan actual incarnational existence,
(Continued on page 4)
Support MarketFaith Ministries
The purpose of MarketFaith Ministries is to equip the Bodyof Christ to become more effective by sharing the practicalapplications of worldview. We are involved in developingtraining and resource materials for that very purpose. Ifyou would like to partner with us in this effort, you maysend your tax deductible contribution to MarketFaith Minis-tries, 321 Anton Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32312.
Find these books alongwith other great world-view resources atwww.marketfaith.org

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