Lk 19:1-10, Rom 1:16, Eph 5:15-17
Reviewing where we are in the world today
we go into this year we need to be aware:
of the state of the world,
of how we view it,
aware of the truth.
Schaeffer in his books mapped social changes by art.
we map by films, videos etc.
distinct trends as we have moved away as societies, from belief in
The Trend of the Supernatural
is the belief in the mystical, supernatural or just wierd and wonderful
Buffy Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, 'Demons' ITV, 'About being Human'
- BBC 3
The world is looking for more than the ordinary material world
The Trend of the Amoral
Guantanamo Bay syndrome
- provoked by terrorism to abandon morality
sex, temporary relationships, upheaval, soaps
killing - 'Dexter'
Clancy 'The Teeth of the Tiger' (2003) trained assassins end
approved violence good against evil
to Candleford' success ratings by a return to yesterday's values
The world has lost them eans to achieve fixed values but longs for
the day when we did have them.
The Trend of the Superhero
for someone to right wrongs
Bond old style hero Ian Flemming
Bourne new style super hero - Robert Ludlum
revival of Marvel Comic heroes
Superman, Spiderman, Catwoman, Daredevil, The Fantastic Four
These all say, will someone do something! Good v Evil
Where the Church is in all of this
Isolated & Marginalised (how viewed by the world)
powerless and denying the supernatural
speaking about standards
being there with power and word answers
Inadequate and ignored (how felt by us)
can we do in this world?
one listens or wants to know
So what is the Truth
Nothing has changed
sinful world has always wanted alternatives
needs of the world are exactly the same
answers to the world is exactly the same
God is exactly the same
is still speaking to people, getting them to face the truth of who
they are and their need
is still there reaching out in love to the unlovely.
is the ' supernatural ' that people are looking for.
The Gospel is still the same
is the power of God to save people
first of all reveals God's love to people.
came and loved people, accepting them as they are.
need to go and love people first, accepting them as they are.
love opened people to what he had to say.
love will open people's hearts.
spoke about God's love for them and then died for them
responded and had their lives transformed.
is about transforming lives and establishing new secure boundaries
Gospel of Jesus Christ is still the answer.
works! See below.
1: Extracts from an article in the Times
Effectiveness of the Gospel
a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution
that Christian evangelism makes in Africa:
. . In Africa
changes people's hearts.
It brings a
spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.
Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined
its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them.
There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world -
a directness in their dealings with others - that seemed to be missing
in traditional African life. They stood tall.
we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge
that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke
to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man,
without looking down or away. They had not become more deferential towards
strangers - in some ways less so - but more open.
Parris Dec 27th The Times
2: Quote from an historian
of the reason for Christianity's rapid spread, historians have remarked,
was simply that the early Christians were such nice people .
The very kindness of the Christians and their service to the poor and
downtrodden attracted new adherents. Christians astounded the ancients
with their charity, as one historian has put it.