Saturday, October 27, 2007

True Discernment isn't Rethinking

True Discernment is concerned:

Here is a quote...

"Rethink is a convergence of thinkers, innovators and leaders from the Christian and global arenas.

"We’re purposely gathering a group of speakers you wouldn’t necessarily expect to hear at a Christian conference. Our aim is to be immersed in the latest thoughts and perspectives of these respected cultural icons to tap into what’s happening in our world today and to grapple with how we respond.

"What have these top influencers been thinking about in the last year? What keeps them up at night? What are they rethinking? And how does it all apply to you – your work, your ministry, your life? Find out at Rethink."

Did you see the word "convergence" underlined? That is the big buzz word in our Post-Modern world. This word is being used in Technology, Religion, Materialist Science. Geo-Politics, commerce etc etc.

The main thrust behind it is that the world is shrinking, i.e. technology is making the world smaller by bringing cultures and countries closer to each other....[S]ince the World Wide Web is based on the TCP IP protocol, the next step is to integrate all computer networks into the World Wide Web, hence the buzzword: CONVERGENCE. Everything is converng onto the World Wide Web.

And a funny thing about this convergence, its ideology has become a philosophy that has spread to all spheres of Society even religion. No longer are we as Christians supposed to be in the world but not of it. But we are through the philosophy of convergence supposed to bring together what are considered to be the best of all the spheres of “the world” including influences from other [religions] in order to “enhance” our Christian Life.

Note that True Discernment is not concerned with the mechanism by which the message is delivered. Instead, the concern is with the message itself.

So is Rethink adulterating the message of Christ? Here's what they say:

This January, Rethink will orchestrate an unprecedented convergence of some of the most influential Christian and global thinkers, innovators, and leaders at the famed Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. Rethink is hosted by the internationally renowned Dr. Robert Schuller (Hour of Power), and thought provoking cultural architect Erwin McManus....

For three days, you'll be immersed in the latest thoughts of respected icons in media, politics, faith, science, business and technology. Utilizing the latest media technology, each speaker will reveal their perspectives, discoveries, strategies and action plans in 20 riveting minutes. Challenged to deliver an information packed presentation, the speakers will weigh in on everything from life-changing world issues to surprising cultural trends to Christian outreach to secrets of success to the dynamics of relationships....

Why Rethink?

Because you'll be better equipped to make a difference in your life and the lives of the people you lead and influence.

There's more information, or perhaps less, on the details page.

Who is this event designed for?

Anyone who wants insight into the thoughts and perspectives of today’s top thinkers, innovators and leaders – and who wants to apply it to their own lives. Pastors, leaders, business people, teachers, parents, students, influencers, etc....

Why are non-Christian speakers being featured at a Christian-oriented conference?

Rethink is a convergence of thinkers, innovators and leaders from the Christian and global arenas. We’re purposely gathered a group of speakers you wouldn’t necessarily expect to hear at a Christian conference. Our aim is to be immersed in the latest thoughts and perspectives of these respected cultural icons to tap into what’s happening in our world today and to grapple with how we respond.

I'm a pastor of a theologically- conservative church. Will I feel comfortable at the conference?

The Rethink conference aims to cut across denominational and cultural lines. Consider the line-up of speakers. The focus of the conference is to hear speakers at the forefront of culture.

This still leaves an unanswered question. While I don't see a problem with knowing how the world thinks - Paul was a master at learning how particular cultures think, speaking to Jews as Jews, Athenians as Athenians, etc. - I'm still not sure how the conference will help its attendees "grapple with how we respond" to cultural change.

And if you question whether Focus on the Family is a Christian organization, the Fundamental Baptists have no doubt that it isn't:

H.B. London of Focus on the Family is scheduled to join hands with heretic Robert Schuller in a “Rethink” conference at the Crystal Cathedral in January 2008. The conference will bring together “30 influential thinkers” to “deliver cutting edge ideas about the ever-changing world.” The 2,500 conference attendees are expected to be joined by tens of thousands of simulcast viewers. Speakers include Robert Schuller; who has redefined the gospel according to his heretical self-esteem theology; Chuck Colson one of the founders of Evangelicals and Catholics Together; Dan Kimball and Erwin McManus of the deeply unscriptural Emerging Church movement; H.B. London, Jr. of Focus on the Family; Kay Warren, wife the Purpose Driven Life guru; Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation and purveyor of pornography; Larry King, an agnostic; Lee Strobel, George Barna, John Townsend, Gary Smalley, Jay Sekulow, and Henry Cloud.

A Spacious Place also contrasts Paul with the Rethinkers:

I am all about ideas and thinking critically, but I couldn't help but contrast Rethinks focus with the apostle Paul's words....He, being highly educated and culturally savvy had "influencers" in the palm of his hands...take a look at how he re-thought his approach. Hmmm...rethink that.

Here's part of a Spacious Place's version of Paul's reply to the Rethinkers:

You'll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God's master stroke, I didn't try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did--Jesus crucified. I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate--I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it-- and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God's Spirit and God's power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God's power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else. We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it's not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God's wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don't find it lying around on the surface. It's not the latest message, but more like the oldest--what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven't a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn't have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That's why we have this Scripture text: No one's ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it-- What God has arranged for those who love him. But you've seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you're thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God--except that he not only knows what he's thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don't have to rely on the world's guesses and opinions. We didn't learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we're passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.

"The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can't receive the gifts of God's Spirit. There's no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit--God's Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God's Spirit is doing, and can't be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah's question, 'Is there anyone around who knows God's Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?' has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ's Spirit."

If the words seem kind of familiar, check out 1 Corinthians 2 (NIV, ESV, NKJV, SWAH).

[mrontemp business] | [mrontemp politics] | [mrontemp technology] | [mrontemp tags]

Sphere: Related Content


John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Hope all of you, please, will visit

Ontario Emperor said...

This Constitution Party-supporting website proves that the binary Republican-Democratic presentation used by most American media is woefully inadequate to describe the complexity of American politics.