Media Messages Matter – Introduction

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Provisional text in English

Media Messages Matter – Introduction

(no video has been included for this segment, but the transcription of the segment was provided to GlobaLink sites and is shared with you)

An overview of the subject and introduction are presented in this segment.

Continue reading

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Multiplex: Globalization

Globalization: the Big Picture

No transcripts have been posted as of yet. As soon as they arrive online, we will try to put them on this site. However, this document from the Global Conversation will provide a helpful summary: Global Gospel, Global Era_ Christian discipleship and mission in the age of Globalization.pdf 142,000 bytes.

Globalization: The Challenge
Globalization: The Challenge
By Cape Town 2010 | Cape Town 2010 Congress Video
South Africa
Topics: Globalization Continue reading
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Multiplex: A Fresh Approach to Witness in the 21st Century

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Provisional text in English

This post gives the big picture of the Lausanne III Multiplex on 18 October about witness in the 21st century, with links to the transcripts of the individual segments, downloadable documents (see bottom of this page), and video clips as far as they have been made available up until now. If you are limited in your English and desire to read the transcripts in Albanian, links to google translate are also included below.

Ky artikull jep tablone e madhe për Multiplex-in rreth ungjillizimit në shekullin 21 nga Kongresi III i Lozanës në Cape Town. Këtu gjenden dhe shkrime të shtypura nga segmentet e videove, dokumenta për shkarkim (shikoni poshtë), dhe videot, deri në këtë datë. (Nëse ke anglisht të kufizuar dhe mund të përfitosh nga Google Translate, lidhjet përkatëse janë më poshtë. Kjo faqe nuk përkthehet mirë, sidomos pjesët në Shqip!)

alt

Multiplex: A Fresh Approach to Witness in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective (see http://www.lausanne.org/cape-town-2010/schedule.html – opens in separate tab or window – Google Translate për kalendarin këtu)

(Full session video, or watch a specific section by clicking below – opens in separate tab or window – Google Translate për sesionin e plotë me video këtu

Transcripts of the segments to Download

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  2. M18A1-en-A-Fresh-Approach-to-Witness-in-the-21st-Century-A-Global-Perspective.pdf – 380982 bytes

Vazhdon- http://globalinkshqiperi.korcha.com/?p=347

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Bible Exposition Preaching Ephesians 1 – Ajith Fernando

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Bible Exposition – Ephesians 1

This is a very important passage that we have looked at today and it is impossible for me to really cover it all in one exposition. So what I want to do is to rush through the passage and stop off and on to highlight teams which I think are important for our gathering. That’s what I hope to do today. Verses 1 and 2 is the greeting that is found at the start of all of Paul’s letters and usually you get prayer for the people who receive the letter. But that’s very often an introduction to the book but what you find that in verses 15 to 20. What you have here is first a doxology or a statement that’s a praise to God. Continue reading

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Mesazh falenderimi!

Falenderojmë të gjithë pjesëmarrësit që morrën pjesë në zhvillimin e Panairit Lozanë III në Tiranë më dt 23 Nëntor. Faleminderit për vlerësimin tuaj dhe interesimin tuaj për gjithë temat dhe punën e bërë gjatë gjithë kohës të pregatitjes të materjaleve te kongresit. Besojmë dhe do të lutemi që gjithë ky materjal që dolën nga Lozanë III, të jenë një burim I pashtershëm për orjentimin e Kishave tona këtu në Shqipëri  dhe në mbarë botën për të gjetur rrugë të reja bashkëpunimi , strategjije, për tu përgjigjur sfidave të reja. Le të reflektojmë dhe të jemi të fortë  dhe të vendosur me rrënjë në shkrim dhe në dashuri ashtu si dëshiron Zoti jonë I përbashkët Jezu Krisht. Falenderojmë Shqiponjat e Paqes, të cilët u treguan të gatshëm dhe vunë në dispozicion për realizimin e këtij evenimenti të rëndësishëm, gjithçka që dispononin, material dhe njerëzor.

Falenderojmë drejtuesit e kishave që morrën materjalet e shumta dhe të tjerë vëllezër që interesohen për to, ne jemi gati të ndihmojmë për shkarkimin e materjaleve që disponojmë që ato të jenë një ushqim shpirtëror për besimtarët e tyre dhe të ndërgjegjësohen për misionin që Kisha ka, për plotesimin e Porosisë të Madhe, dhe bashkëpunimin për ungjillizimin e botës. Le të punojmë të gjithë së bashku për mbretërinë e Perëndisë. Le të kemi gjithmonë takime ku të mblidhemi të gjithë tok dhe të dalim me një mendje dhe të krijojmë entusiazëm në Kishat tona dhe të jemi në mision në shërbim të Krishtit. Ai është për tu nderuar në gjithçka. Faleminderit, Zoti ju Bekoftë!

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ETHICS, EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES, AND THE HUMAN FUTURE Technology at the beginning of life and eugenics.-II

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Provisional text in English

Christlike mind,Christlike obedience. A Christlike character. Its one thing to know what the right thing to do. It is quite enough sometimes to have the patience, grace and character to be able to do it but as we have been reminded this morning, we are called to be imitators of God, to have his character of compassion and to bear the fruit of the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol. And then finally we are called to be Christlike cross bearers in John 8, Jesus was confronted with a woman caught in adultery. He had a choice. That of wrath or mercy, either he stoned her to death or he let her off. And he would have been criticized for each direction. He took a third way, which was to forgive her and then to go to the cross to pay the price for her sins. And so many of these ethical problems it seems we are choosing between stark alternatives. Either I have an abortion or my mother or father kills me. Either this person dies in pain or they have a lethal injection. But in actual fact in all of these areas there is a third way that is costly with euthanasia, the hospice movement in about care. Unplanned pregnancy its good antenatal care and so on. And cross bearing involves two things. First involves us being willing as a church and we cant do it as individuals, we need to respond corporately, to find and provide the compassionate third way whatever it costs us to do as a loving, compassionate community. And then secondly it requires us to stand for justice, to be advocates, and willing to stand up for Christian values  despite a society which is increasingly hostile to them. Whatever that costs us in terms of our reputations or perhaps even in the future, our lives. And we have this responsibility to each other within our families, within our churches, and of course in the world because the great commission is not just a commission to evangelize, but a commission to make disciples teaching them everything that Christ commanded his disciples as we await his return. Now, just a few resources. Im in a position where I can recommend Johns book, it really is a brilliant on this, if you cant get it in the book shelf, I think there was some it will be available on the Internet. matters of life and death by John Wyatt, get it through Amazon. And if you want a copy of this power point presentation to use you are most welcome, just email me and if you want a copy of the longer paper, it is on the Lausanne conversation website. Its called exact human technology at the beginning of life, research on Peter Saunders you should be able to find it there as well. Right. Now, some time for you to do some work, and we have got about 10 minutes now and what I would like you to do is just form groups where you are, perhaps of four and five, you can turn the chairs around and spend 10 minutes or so speaking through these questions. Now, youll see we are not asking you to get deeply into the issues here, but what I want you to concentrate on is to think about what the issues are in your particular culture or national context, or perhaps even for you pastorally or personally. And what ways are we failing to demonstrate a Christlike response in terms of having a Christian mind, obeying Christs commands, and being cross bearers and having his character, and then how in the context in which Gods placed us we can encourage evangelicals to be able to think and act biblically.One of the things which hurts those of us in the medical world sometimes is that its very hard to get Christian people, church leaders and so on to engage with these issues. Sometimes they are too painful, too difficult, too complicated, much safer to stay with our traditional approaches, but these are the issues. Reached so many people in our church communities are struggling with, and they are issues which we have a chance to be, to stand up as a community that is behaving in a completely different way. And is demonstrating the reality of the Christian faith in a way which makes a difference. So Im going to carry on some of the themes which Peter has raised. And just some brief mentions about some issues of the end of life. We wont be able to discuss issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide with any great detail, but if we would be happy to discuss those in the questions later on. But its helpful to see that Christian thinking about death is always fundamentally ambiguous about human death. On the one hand, human death is a great enemy. Its not part of the original plan for human beings. Its the consequence of evil and rebellion. And so death is the final enemy. And health care professionals fight against death with all of their ability, with conviction. We are called to try and hold back to keep death at bay. But, there are situations where death changes from being the great enemy. And where it can actually become in a strange way a mercy, a form of grace. If you remember in the garden of Eden when the first human beings are driven out of the garden of Eden, theres an angel and a flashing sword that is there to prevent them from getting back into the garden of Eden. And the reason is to prevent them from eating from the tree of the fruit of life and living forever. Because to live forever in a fallen state is not a blessing, its a curse. And so the angel and the sword is kept there to prevent the fallen human beings living forever. Part of Gods grace. So death can become a severe mercy, it can become a healing, it can become a gateway to a new kind of reality. And, therefore, the challenge which faces Christian health professionals is to try to fight against death while trying to recognize the point at which death changes from an enemy to being a severe mercy. And at that point the right thing to do is to stop the fight, to allow death to occur, and to allow the ultimate healing to occur. Beyond, through the gateway of death to a new reality. And its thinking like this is why Christian people were the ones who invented palliative care as a way to helping people to die well. So, our calling is not to introduce death into a situation, we dont have that right, so euthanasia and assisted suicide is to introduce death into a situation where it isnt. But there are, it is right sometimes for us to allow death that is already there to take our hands away, to allow death to occur. And so good medicine must know its limits, it must know when to say enough is enough. When death changes from an enemy to be resisted, into a gateway to a new existence, a strange form of healing. And thats something that we need to discuss and learn together, and to teach one another the point at which we say enough is enough. Sometimes Christian people feel that they must fight against death and use all the technology in a way which is unhelpful, and sometimes it is right to say enough is enough. And allow death to occur because we have a hope which goes beyond the grave. The great preacher, Martin Lloyd Jones, was being kept alive at the end of his life by medical technology. And he has said to have complained to his doctors caring for him, he said you are keeping me from the glory. And so there is a time to say enough is enough. And our calling is to be with those who are suffering. I love this anonymous quotation, suffering is not a question which demands an answer. Its not a problem which demands a solution. Its a mystery which demands a presence. The calling which God has given us is to be a presence to people who are suffering. It is to be Gods love mediated in physical form with those who are suffering. The challenges which are facing us are extraordinary because of the new science, now, this is the science which is coming in the future. But as we look into the future it seems inevitable that this new science is going to transform and change the nature of humanity.So there is science working on genetics, on the understanding of the human D. N. A. code, a huge amount of effort is now available, has been performed to analyze human D. N. A. , and in future it would be possible for the entire genetic code to be obtained from a baby before birth, to allow parents to make decisions about whether or not to have an abortion, and to be obtained at all stages through life. There is new forms of technology which is changing, making artificial kinds of body parts, and restoring where the body has become worn out. There is synthetic biology, where human beings are able now to create living cells, and in the future its thought that this kind of synthetic biology will be used for manufacturing, so rather than have machines which are doing our manufacturing, much more powerful to have living cells designed and created by human beings which will then be making the manufacturing processes. There is new understandings of neuroscience, looking into the brain. New kinds of medicines, pharmacology, not just used for treating disease but used for giving us greater intellectual ability, used for suppressing memories, bad memories, used for changing our emotions, used for increasing our ability to stay awake, all these are sounds like some of you need it at the moment. So new forms of nanotechnology, using the incredibly small, and new kinds of robotics where all of these technologies are converging together and they are driven by the power of the digital revolution. And because digital power increases exponentially every two years, the power doubles, it means, therefore, that the power of this technology is almost without limit. The economist magazine had a section on this, they called it biology 2. 0. A completely new kind of biology. They said it will lead to better medical diagnosis and treatment, explain the history of life, reveal in detail what it is to be human. You notice that? Modern human beings want to understand what it means to be human. And they hope that the technology, the science will reveal exactly what it is to be human. So, one way in which human beings are trying to understand this is to compare their D. N. A. with a chimpanzee D. N. A. People are matching by single base by base, because if we can understand the difference between a chimpanzee and then a human being then we will really understand what it means to be human. The economist magazine said there will be mistakes on the way and suffering too, but technology once invented cannot be unlearned. We are as Gods, and might as well get good at it. Now if that doesnt frighten you, I dont know what does. But you can see here the hubris, the we have become the Gods, and so we might as well get good at it. I think one of the both very interesting and powerful but quite threatening areas is the area of neuroscience, because sophisticated brain scans are being performed to look at every aspect of mental functioning. And that includes religious belief. So, brain scans are being performed of people while they are praying, they are looking to see what happens in our brains, how are the brains of religious people different from nonreligious people. And, of course, there are, is the belief that religion is the greatest threat to modern civilization. There are many people who now believe like the old enlightenment view, it is religion that will destroy us, and so we have to understand why these crazy religious beliefs come from, we have to understand the brain mechanisms, and then we are going to use this understanding in order to try to prevent religion from becoming the threat. So you can see a potential risks and damages in this area. And thats why we need people. I dont have any easy answers in this area, but I think we can see that we need people to engage with these issues in order to develop Christian responses. This is an American company called no lie MRI. And the idea is you can stick somebody in the magnetic scanner and test whether they are telling the truth or not by seeing the responses in the brain scans. And its being suggested that brain scans will be used for employment testing to see whether people are suitable for different kinds of employment, they are going to be used in law courts, and they are going to be used in scientific research and so on.Behind all this is the idea that human beings are just determined, we are play things of other forces and historically there has always been the attempt to believe that human beings are just determined so astrology, particularly determinism, psychological determinism, which is Freud, social determinism, economic determinism, and then the new versions of determinism are genetic determinism and neurological determinism. But it seems to me that biblical Christianity stands out against all of these and says no, we are not just the play things. We are not just puppets determined by other forces. God has given us the freedom to be independent choosing agents and we are accountable for the choices that we make. So yes, we are influenced by many things because of our humanity, because of the way we are created, but ultimately we have the freedom to choose and we will be held accountable for the choices we make. The idea that if human beings are merely machines then we can exploit them for our own purposes and so some human beings become the raw material on which other human beings can operate. Do you know where the greatest research into human enhancement is going on? Well, its the U. S. military which is investing millions of dollars in trying to find ways of machine brain interfaces, so the fighter pilot can control the plane or the gun without actually using arms at all, simply by thinking. By developing new ways, if soldiers can be made smarter then they can be more effective in warfare. So again, you see the potential for this kind of technology. And the philosophy of transhumanism says human nature is just work in progress. A half baked beginning that can be molded in desirable ways through the intelligent use of enhancement technologies. So again, just some Christian responses. In biblical thinking, biblical ethics the way we treat one another comes from biblical anthropology, the way we are made. And therefore, we need to develop a more profound understanding of biblical and theological understanding of our creation, of what it means to be an embodied human being made in Gods image. And what the Genesis narrative teaches us is that human beings are not selfexplanatory. We derive our meaning from outside ourselves, because God said let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness, human beings are Godlike beings and therefore our meaning comes from a Godlikeness. Each human life is not only a gift from God, it is a reflection of his being, of his character. And so you will never understand what it means to be a human being unless you understand that. But then most amazingly and wonderfully, when God breaks into human history he doesnt come in some totally new kind of being, humanity 2. 0. No, he comes as an original model human being. He makes himself utterly and totally defensiveless and vulnerable and goes through the narrative of a human life and ultimately in the physical resurrection of Jesus as he is raised, as Jesus, the new Adam, as hes raised as a physical, tangible recognizable human being we see Gods final and eternal vote of confidence in the original human model. In other words, we dont need to have a new enhanced kind of humanity, because in the person of Jesus, this kind of humanity, this kind of flesh is, is not abandoned, despised or marginalized. It is affirmed and fulfilled. And that is, I think, the unique message which we have as Christians have to  tell me when to stop confronted by the challenges of the technology. If original model humanity was good enough for Jesus, then perhaps its good enough for us, too. That we dont need to have this desperate desire to have a better kind of humanity. We accept the way that we are being made because thats the one that God has chosen to vindicate and fulfill in the person of Jesus Christ. So what are some practical responses? Well, you know, whenever we say that something is wrong, we must immediately say and here is a better way. Its not good enough just to say its wrong, its wrong, its wrong. We must say here is a better way. So, there have been some wonderful Christian initiatives in a number of countries around the world. But in the area of the beginning of life, its particularly that Christian crisis pregnancy center, a wonderful movement of God in country, support for couples facing an unwanted pregnancy and providing counseling for men and women who suffer from post abortion distress.Many men are affected by the issues, not just women. Sex and relationship education for school children. And then at the end of life, as Christians who have been at the forefront of the development and provision of skills palliative care for the terminally ill and who have opposed the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Practical is responses in which Christian people have made a difference. So now, time for some small group questions and then we are going to have a chance for some question and answer session as a group as a whole. But the questions which I would like you then to turn into your groups is to say what practical steps in my context can the Christian community take to defend and protect the most vulnerable human lives? And how can emerging technologies with their extraordinary power be used not to manipulate, distort and destroy, but to preserve and better fulfill our humanness in line with Gods purposes for humankind. The question is some people have the view that human life begins only after the first neural connection takes place. What we think of this view? Of course there are a variety of views about when human life begins. I think that biologically and scientifically it is quite clear that human life begins at the time of fertilization, thats when the unique human life begins. The key question is what value we apportion that human life. And I believe that, and scripture tells us that all human life is precious, made in the image of God and that we should not be discriminating against any human beings on the basis of any biological characteristic, be it race, gender, degree of disability, or age. And that therefore, we should be treating even the human embryo with the utmost respect, wonder, empathy, and also protection. Thank you. Another question. Thank you very much for your explanation. I have kind of two questions. One is beside the biblical world view, the ethics that implies the issues that you present, do you have any practical case in the western state lets say in the U. K. or the U. S. that you are putting in practice beyond the biblical world view, lets say training in world view, systematic theology, and all this. And my second question is how you can as a western society help to build the gaps between the third world country, lets say, Latin America, Africa, because I think we as in Latin America and Africa, we are most exposed to this kind of problems, lets say, technological issues, and aids in Africa, and I think its a big, big issue, I want to know what can we do together and I think my sisters and brothers in Africa and Latin America want to know technology, in terms of water and all these things. What is your prospective about that? The first question was about the, what practical difference is it making. I think in there have been a number of examples where Christian people have been able to initiate practical engagement which is really making a difference outside the Christian community. So, the work of the crisis pregnancy centers has started as a Christian initiative is making a huge difference. They make their services available to everybody in the community, from whatever religious background or from none, and theres no doubt that that demonstration of practical Christian compassion and of showing dignity and respect for both for the unwanted baby, but also for the woman who is often been abused or maltreated, that that is changing the whole atmosphere in the country. So, I think that we we can, as a Christian community, have an influence which is much wider than just within the churches themselves. The second question was about the gulf between the poorer countries and the rich countries and how the richer countries maybe can help poorer countries in this area. Of course, I understand that many of these issues are not yet penetrated to poor countries, and yet because of globalization, it is remarkable how this kind of technology is spreading across the world, and even in some of the poorest countries there is now reproductive technology clinics, there is sperm donation going on, there is a phrase now we use which is called reproductive tourism, where rich westerners go to poor countries in order to get egg donation or sperm donation or a surrogate womb, and to pay money.So, I think these issues are affecting us all because we are a globalized community and the real challenge for us, therefore, as a global Christian community is how we can help one another in the worldwide body of Christ as these new challenges come to find practical solutions, and we are just starting. I think this multiplex is maybe an initiator. I hope it will, out of this meeting will come further initiatives of ways in which we can help one another to tackle these issues, and particularly to find practical solutions. Not much to add, just that globalization and particularly media technology, television, radio and all the new media, mean that nothing that happens in a corner of the world wont be broadcast everywhere. And there is pressure in all the countries in which we live, either not now or will be shortly to change the law to embrace laws which we believe are unjust and ungodly. So we are all fighting the same battles, we need to think through them personally, we need to think how we are going to respond practically as a church and finding the compassionate third way that we have talked about. And also in being advocates for the weak and vulnerable and seeking to ensure that laws which are just and fair stay or get onto the statute books in the countries in which Gods placed us. Ok. Thanks very much. Another question, please. Peter, wonder if we could ask you to talk a little bit about cloning, which is a subject which regularly hits the headlines. More in January when a new film comes out about it. And you mentioned about therapeutic and reproductive cloning doesnt work in humans. I wonder if you could just highlight the difference between those and is it that it doesnt work and it never will work or doesnt work yet, and if it does work, what would be a distinctively biblical Christian response to it? A little cluster of questions there for you, Peter. Indeed. The question was to talk about reproductive and therapeutic cloning from a Christian perspective, and of course in a 20minute talk it was difficult to do justice to that, along with everything else. Cloning is time lapse twinning, if you like. To another existing individual by using technology and the way its done is by a process called cell nuclear replacement, which involves taking the nucleus of a cell of an existing individual and putting it into an egg from which the nucleus has been removed, and electric current then causes the elements to fuse and you get a new being, which is identical genetically from the one from which the D. N. A. came. Reproductive cloning is when you do that in order to produce an adult individual. It works well in frogs, not particularly well in mammals. Its been done in monkeys but no one has managed to do it in humans and seems like its quite technically impossible because they will all die. They Therapeutic cloning is where you do the same thing, but you take the embryo, pull it apart, harvest the stem cells and then use that to treat diseases like diabetes, Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers, and so on. It also seems thats fraught with all sorts of problems, and even if it did work couldnt be done on a big scale because of the limited availability of human eggs, which is why they tried animal eggs to produce animal human hybrids that you thats largely been abandoned. So, I think its unlikely to provide any therapies in the future. I think the whole process is, of course, unethical because its crossing a Rubicon into creating life in a very different way than God did it, but also the process involves the destruction and cannibalization of that life and the end does not justify the means. I do understand there is a great deal of fear, and I think we need to have an appropriate caution and we need to act with wisdom and sometimes that means we need to have eyes to see what the future will hold. But the aim is not to live lives of fear. The aim is to be able to understand how the hope of Christ, the hope of the new heaven and the new earth can be lived out now, how we can I love the statement that says hope is to hear the melody of the future, and faith is to dance in it in the present. So thats what we are called to do, to hear the melody of the future, and to dance in it to the present.My question is about emerging technologies, about we know now, we now know there is artificial heart, that there are some artificial hands, legs, which can be attached to the human body, and my question is from your Christian medical perspective, where is the final, like infinite border between the human and machine? For example, when the individual will stop being a human, is it related only to brains, or what would be your opinion? The question is when can we know if technology is right and when does it go beyond what God would have us do. I think a very useful model here is one that John uses in his book. If we think of human beings as masterpieces that are flawed, flawed masterpieces, then there is a difference between doing art restoration to bring the masterpiece back to what it was on the one hand, and recreating the masterpiece in the other. And I think that the kind of technology that helps us to restore lost function, lost anatomy or whatever, Im using technology here to read, the glasses, artificial heart transplants and so on, these sorts of things are much more in the field of restoration. But, when we cross a boundary and try to make human beings something new that they are not, then we are moving beyond what we should be doing as good stewards of Gods creation.

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ETHICS, EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES, AND THE HUMAN FUTURE Technology at the beginning of life and eugenics.-I

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Provisional text in English

Well, brothers and sisters, its a great privilege for me to be helping to lead this session on ethics, emerging technologies and the human future. My background is as a pediatrician, a baby doctor. Im based in central London and have spent most of my time working in the care of the newborn in a very sophisticated technological kind of medicine. And as a Christian believer I have had the challenge of trying to build a bridge between the very technological and sophisticated world of medicine where I have been and the relating that to the unchanging gospel. Increasingly now my work has been in the area of ethics. And we are going to be looking at some challenging and difficult issues today, so this is a complex and difficult area. And its challenging for all of us as we face these problems. Its challenging technically to understand what is going on in a very complex and rapidly changing world, its challenging personally as we deal often with issues of personal pain, we are going to be tackling some painful issues this afternoon. Issues such as infertility, abortion, genetic diseases, suffering, and death. And you know, these are often issues which touch many people. I can guarantee there are many people in this room who are touched by these issues. Just as we can guarantee there are many people who will be watching these videos who have been touched. And yet these issues are often rarely discussed among Christian people and yet issues which touch us in the core of our humanity. Theres going to be time for interaction and discussion and small groups after our various short presentations, and also there will be a time for more general feedback and questions. So if there are particular questions or issues which occur to you, there will be a time at the end of the session for us to have a question and answer and debate session. And so my fellow presenter is Dr. Peter Saunders who is the chief executive officer of the Christian medical fellowship. He comes from New Zealand and is a surgeon by background and working with the Christian medical fellowship in the U. K. So, a few words of introduction. The traditionally the world has been divided into the natural and the artificial. The natural is that which is given to us which comes as we Christians understand from the creator. The artificial is what we make, what we produce. And of course right from the beginning of mankind, the history of mankind, human beings have been makers, creators. And so the natural is the way things are, what we have to accept. And the artificial is what we make, the possibilities that we create, what we can choose. As we all know, the environment has been completely transformed by technology, which is on the righthand side of this diagram. But until very recently the human body was very clearly on the lefthand side. Humanity was part of the natural order, given to us. Its what we had to accept. What is changing is that for the first time the human body is seen increasingly as now a product of technology, that we can actually start to change the nature off our humanity and humanity instead of being something that is just given to us becomes part of the artificial world. In traditional thinking there are three different types of beings. The whole animal world, there is the world of humans, of us, of beings made in Gods image, and then there is the world of the machine, that which we have made. Things created by human beings, for human purpose. And traditionally these three types of things were always seen as quite distinct, separate kinds of beings. But what is happening is that the boundaries between these ways of beings are starting to merge. What is a human being, says the secular biologist? A human being is simply a kind of chimpanzee with a bit of extra brain. There is no real difference. We are just animals like other animals. And then increasingly scientists are starting to understand the way the human body works, as being like a machine. The brain is really just like a computer, only its not made out of silicone, its made out of flesh. So, the distinction between the animal, the human and the machine is collapsing, and the danger is that the distinctively human is actually disappearing and we are simply a kind of animalmachine hybrid. What does it mean to be human in this new world? When the human genome project, a massive laboratory project to in investigate the human D. N. A., when the first results were announced there was a huge media splash and what was very striking was the religious language used by the scientists. Talked about opening the book of life, the times of London, a newspaper. And the times have this phrase, a new beginning in which we finally accept that we are our own creators and that we alone have the power to make a better world so we are our own creators. We have the power to make a better world. And a number of thinkers have said this is what is sometimes called the enlightenment project. When the European enlightenment first started in the 18th century the essential goal of the enlightenment was to create a better world through a combination of human ingenuity, science and reason. In fact, this is a kind of secular eschatology, a way, a future hope based not on the work of God, but is can instead on human reason. We ourselves are creating a brave new world, a new heaven and a new earth created by technology, and by science. This is the front cover of the economist magazine and I love the humor in this. Its, of course, a parody of the famous painting where, of the creation of Adam by God. But here its Adam who has become the creator, and the lightning bolt is now going in the opposite direction. And man is now making life. Man is the creator. Human beings have replaced the creator. So the new technology has enormous therapeutic potential, enormous potential for good. This technology can do great good, in terms of combating disease. But it always carries within it a potential for evil, for manipulation, for instrumentalization, and its particularly the vulnerable, the weak, those who have no power who are most at risk from this technology. The words of C. S. Lewis in an essay called the abolition of man he wrote in the time of the second world war, but its a very forward thinking essay as he saw the potential of power, of technology, he wrote these words. Mans power over nature turns out to be power exerted by some men over other men. And so the great dream of the new technology is that all the things which we have learned to accept as part of the human condition, all of these are part of what human beings have experienced for thousands of years. Infertility, the unwanted baby, disability, incurable genetic diseases, mental fatigue, and decline, depression and despair, aging and degenerative conditions. What is new is the idea that we dont have to accept these anymore. We can use technology to improve on our humanity. And thats the challenge, sisters and brothers, which we face as we move forward. Im Peter Saunders, chief executive of Christian medical fellowship in the U. K. and was previously a general surgeon. I want to speak about what technology has made possible in the last 50 years or so in the areas mentioned in this slide. And then Im going to, after giving an overview, look at the secular mindset which has in large part driven that, and then to look at some Christian responses in the time that we have got. The presentation is part of a much larger and longer paper which you can find in the Lausanne conversation website under the same name. Abortion is not new, but technology has made legalized abortion on a massive scale possible. There are now 14 million abortions a year in the world. Thats against 50 million deaths from all other causes. There is nothing more innocent, more vulnerable and killed in greater numbers with more violence than the child in the womb. And this is having huge demographic effects by the abortion of girl babies producing gender imbalance, particularly in China and India, and through wiping out the younger population in western and former Soviet countries, so that theres now such a preponderance of elderly people that euthanasia is more attractive, being said the generation that killed its children will be,  in order killed by its children. And we are seeing the huge legacy now of damage also to women through premature births, resulting mental health problems and growing evidence for the link with breast cancer. Infertility has also been around for a long time. But theres been a huge increase, particularly in the western world in recent years because of the growth of sexually transmitted infections, and women delaying having their families for career and other reasons.Combined with the fact that many single mothers are keeping babies or having abortions so that there are not babies available for adoption anymore, 4 million babies produced in the world, at least 4 million babies produced so far using artificial reproduction, and at least four or five times that number which havent made it and we can now use sperm and egg donation, a whole variety technologies, including I. V. F. , surrogacy, and so on. There are 8,000 genetic diseases. We now know what causes most of them. We can identify them. And prenatal selection diagnosis of conditions like downs syndrome, spina bifida, and cystic fibrosis, we can do it at the embryo stage using different technologies or ultrasound. In practice, its very difficult to treat these disorders, and so whats happening is almost entirely selective abortion or destruction. 95% of all downs syndrome babies diagnosed in the womb, in the west these days, are aborted. This is technology that Hitler would have dreamed of having. We can also design babies, we can do some genetic manipulation to improve conditions or change the nature of human beings, and we can now choose the sex, usually by deciding which embryos are female and which are male, and implanting the ones we want and discarding those we dont, or some illnesses in childhood can be treated by bone marrow or other transfusions or transplants from babies produced to save your siblings. Reproductive cloning we now know does not work in humans. Producing embryos to produce stem cells by the cloning method also appears that it will not work, and neither will animalhuman hybrids to produce embryos, stem cells but the first experiments have begun in the U. S. in the last two weeks using embryonic cells to treat spinal injury. Looks as though the way technology is going most of the future advances will come from the use of adult stem cells and their derivatives which dont require the destruction of embryos. Contraception by an increasing variety of means is now available, it raises ethical problems in that some contraceptives act after the fertilization of egg by sperm and so result in the destruction of an early embryo, and we are now seeing at international level groups like the United Nations through organizations like it. P. P. N. and U. N. F. P. A. , proliferating contraception strategies worldwide. Thats the  overall perspective but the way this I am us as pastors, as Christians, as people in families is through these sorts of really difficult cases where we are asking the question about what we can do and what we cant. Fueling the fire is the fact that there is much more technology available now. Rise of patient autonomy, people know from the media whats available and we want it but we are having to make decisions  despite economic constraints and at a time when there is a loss of a moral consensus and whats happening in the west, in the former Soviet union, is that a new liberal philosophy, what we are called secular fundamentalism is increasingly driving the whole technological process. This grew out of the enlightenment project, fueled in the 19th century by Darwins explanation of biological complexity without God and doubt in scripture as a result of higher criticism, and now predominantly in the west, in particular, there was a secular world view which sees human beings as the product of matter, chance and time in a Godless universe, humans are just animals, redemption lying in what science and technology can do for us, and the hope of longer life if we can reverse the aging process or even possibly the mortality, the secular world view. And with that view come values, in the early 20th century, two Germans coined the term life unworthy of life to describe certain people. The idea was picked up by Hitler and others and put to practical use. Of course defined the underlying structure of D. N. A. You may not know they were also advocates for infanticide of disabled children in the first few days of life. Peter Stringer said we need to get rid of the religious  Nonsense surrounding the term sanctity of life and not on the base basis of what it is, but what it can do, rationality, communication, feeling and so on. Also coined the term specieism to describe the Christian attitude to human beings as being precious in the sight of God.Secular values working themselves out and in particular, through these three principles, autonomy, the rights of the individual, autonomy says I want it. Technology says we can do it. And relativism, moral relativism says why not. Secularism provides the fire. We look at our source of values, not to revelation but to personal choice, that we are far more concerned about rights than we are about responsibilities. We talk now about personhood, being a quality that some human beings have and that others dont, on the basis of their capacity for communication or rationality, and sanctity of life is increasing in the past. And reproduction is commodified, children are not as gifts but possessions, perhaps even be chosen, and the whole process driven by technology. And its this world view working itself out that has led us to the situation at the moment of embryo manipulation, massive legalized abortion on a huge scale and now countries and U. S. states legalizing suicide and euthanasia, the fruit of secularism. And there are two contrasting approaches here to understand and look at. We have on the one hand the secular or materialist ethic, which sees human beings as just one of many species. And values human life on the basis of its quality. What it can do, whether it is life worthy of life or not. And the ethic which is driving it is that the weak can be, in fact, perhaps even a moral duty that they should be sacrificed for the strong in order that the population will be strong. And then on the other hand the Christian ethic which was also embodied in the Hippocratic oath, the oath of Hippocrates, the oath all doctors used to take, which sees human beings in Gods image and all human life in infinite value, and in addition, because God himself chose to become a human being, and so gave even added nobility to the human form. And the ethic there, exactly the opposite, that the strong should make sacrifices for the weak, or lay down their lives for the weak, as Jesus Christ himself did. Galatians 6:2 talks about bearing one anothers burdens and so fulfilling Christ, and the way God made things for us to be relying on one another, to be mutually burdensome, if you like. If you are a burden, part of being human, something to rejoice in. And by contrast we have the Christian approach. Im not going to try and answer all the individual issues here, but just to lay out a series of principles. First of all, that we need to have a Christlike mind. So rather than thinking from a secular world view, the way Ive just described, instead we see human beings as image bearers, created in Gods likeness, and infinitely precious because of that. And yet we are subject to the effects of the fall, masterpieces but we are flawed and thats affected every part of our being. We do see that science and technology are good gifts to be used according to Gods principles but we look to do in in accordance with Gods wisdom and we look to a future world resurrection in a new creation. Thats where Im looking to for perfect health, not in this life. And then after the Christian mind this Christlike obedience, principles here that were made, first of all, in Gods image. And, therefore, we are worthy, every human being is worthy of respect, wonder, protection and empathy. We are made stewards of the planet, not a license to exploit it, but to care for it in the way that God himself would care. That human life is sacred, hence the sixth commandment, you shall not take the life of an innocent human being. That the marriage bond is to be kept pure. That children are a gift, not a commodity, that information about people should be used to serve them and not to harm them, that we must treat all human beings equally, and that the end does not justify the means. We must do Gods work, Gods way. Its not just the outcome thats important. If we look in scripture to inform this, we see a huge number of references to life before birth. Over 60 biblical references to the time of conception, which seems to have real significance. References to life before birth and the prophets, from the servant songs and so on. We know from Lukes gospel that Jesus was present and prophesied over in the first month and that Jesus became flesh, and the writer uses the tense to suggest it was not a process but happened in a moment of time and know he was made like list brothers in every way so that he could pay the price for our sins properly.Strong evidence for life before birth. When you are looking at the embryo, there are arguments which are brought forward to devalue it. Only potential human beings. I would put it to you that they are human beings with potential. They are not capable of independent existence, well neither are babies or elderly people or most husbands. That they are not rational, that woke you up, didnt it. Not rational or communicative, neither are young babies or elderly people with dementia. That they have high mortality, well, so did children in Rwanda in 1994. We dont say that devalues their status as human beings. The conception is a process that isnt complete until implantation. Well, life is a process thats not complete until death, but we dont say, therefore, that you can interrupt it, and so on. So I personally find these arguments not convincing.

Vazhdon – http://globalinkshqiperi.korcha.com/?p=1032

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Connecting the threads – Chris Wright

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How can we draw together some of the threads what we have been thinking about and what you have been discussing the last few minutes? Again and again this week it seems to us the message has been heard that our mission demands that the church itself must be an authentic model of what it preaches, that the church must demonstrate a community of reconciled love and unity. And thats not surprising, is it? Because after all, thats what Jesus told us repeatedly, four times in his last great conversation with the disciples before his death in Johns gospel, love one another, he said, thats my last command to you, and we have been hearing it again from Paul in Ephesians. But, all three of these idolatries that we have been thinking about this morning operate to destroy that unity. In fact, I would suggest the primary cause of our disunity and fragmentation is obsession with these three things. People who build and defend their own status and power are not going to unite in humility with others. And people who have no integrity in what they do or say cant be trusted to do the costly work of transparency, and selfishness will see other ministries as competition. Humility, integrity and simplicity are also sign posts to unity. The unity that is a precommission of our mission according to Jesus, in both his command and his prayer. Again and then this week we have been hearing discerning, this double challenge coming through of the need for radical obedient discipleship, leading to maturity, growth and depth and in numbers. And radical cross centered reconciliation leading to unity to growth in love as well as in faith and hope. And both of these things, with the command of Jesus and his Apostles, and both of them are in dispensable to our mission. There is no biblical mission without biblical living. And so we are going to have just a moment or two of quietness and silence, my colleagues will join me on here and then we will lead us all in prayers of repentance. At the middle of which will come the cross of Christ because we need to come to the Christ, to the words of gospel, so that we can both repent and renew our commitment for the living God. In the middle of that, there will be a song, a song written and composed for this occasion by Leonardo Alvarez, a singer from Chile. Lets first of all have a moment of silence as my colleagues join me. Oh Lord, your word warns us to reject all false Gods and idols. We confess before you that we have instead gone after them in disobedience, ignoring your warnings and appeals. Have mercy on us, gracious Lord. And turn our hearts away from all false Gods. Hear the word of the Lord. Watch yourselves very carefully so you do not become corrupt. Do not follow other God, the Gods of the peoples around you. Do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshipping them. You cannot serve God and mammon. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. Have mercy on us gracious Lord and turn our hearts away from all false Gods. Oh Lord, your word warns us of the idolatry of pride and power. Have mercy on us, gracious Lord, and turn our hearts away from this false God. We feel the strong temptation to exalt ourselves, to insist on our status, and to consider our own culture and ways superior to others. To impose our will by exploiting money, position or gender, to abuse power and demand authority in ways that contradict the teaching and example of Jesus. Oh Lord, we repent. Have mercy on us, gracious Lord. As we resist these temptations and renounce these evil ways. Oh, Lord, your word warns us against the idolatry of popularity and success. Have mercy on us, gracious Lord, and turn our hearts away from this false God. We feel the strong temptation to be dishonest in our ministry and mission, to exaggerate statistics, to twist the truth for the sake of gain. To equate our own boasted success with the growth of your kingdom. Oh Lord, we repent. Have mercy on us, gracious Lord, as we resist these temptations and renounce these evil ways. Oh Lord, against the idolatry of wealth and greed. Have mercy on us, gracious Lord, and turn our hearts away from this false God. We feel the strong temptation to distort the promises of your word into guarantees of health, prosperity and success. To seek a wealthy lifestyle from ministry in your name, to ignore your teaching about suffering, selfdenial and the cross. Oh, Lord, we repent.Have mercy on us, gracious Lord, as we resist these temptations and renounce these evil ways. Hear the word of the Lord, repent, turn away from your offenses and sin will not be your down fall. Get a new heart and new spirit. Why will you die, oh house of Israel, repent and live. Oh Lord, we do repent. Forgive us, we pray. Give us a new heart and a new spirit that we may live and walk in your ways. Hear the word of the Lord. If a wicked person turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live. None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him. If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, cleanses us from all sin. Thank you, Lord, for the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. All our idolatries, sins and temptations we lay at the foot of the cross. Hear the word of the Lord, turn back faithless people, and I will cure you of your backsliding. Yes, Lord, we will come to you for you are the Lord our God. If you will return, oh Israel, return to me, declares the Lord, remove your detestable idols from my sight and no longer go astray, and the nations will be blessed by God and in him they will glory. Turn our hearts back to you, living God, and strengthen us to walk in these your ways so that the nations may know your blessing. Lord Jesus Christ, you call us to follow you in the path of humility saying that whoever would be great must be the servant of all. And that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Do nothing out of selfish ambition but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Turn our hearts back to you, living God, and strengthen us to walk in these your ways, so that the nations may know your blessing. Lord Jesus Christ, you call us to follow you in the path of integrity. You said let your yes be yes and your no be no. Anything beyond this comes from the evil one. We know our God that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. Lead us in the paths of truth and honesty. Turn our hearts back to you, living God, and strengthen us to walk in these your ways so that the nations may know your blessing. Lord Jesus Christ, you call us to follow you in the path of simplicity. Be on your guard, you said, against all kinds of greed. A persons life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions, and never believe us who are rich in the present world to be rich in good deeds, generous and willing to share. Remind us all that Godliness with contentment is great gain, but the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Turn our hearts back to you, living God, and strengthen us to walk in these your ways, so that the nations may know your blessing. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. With the Lords help we will. Live a life worthy of the calling you have received, be completely humble, be patient, bearing with one another in love. With the Lords help we will. So may our God count you worthy of his calling so by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours, every act prompted by your faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in him. Glorify your name in us, Lord Jesus Christ. And may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our father who loved us, and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. Agree. And  Agree.

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DOGMA AND DIVERSITY CAN EVANGELICAL TRUTH EFFECTIVELY FACE UP TO SECULARITY IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD

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I work with Canadian Baptist Ministries as the director of International Partnerships. I also teach at Tyndale College and Seminary. Prior to living in Toronto, my family and I lived in the city of Paris, France where I was a pastor and an evangelist, a church planter, and a professor. I suppose that when the organizers of the Third Lausanne Congress wanted someone to lead a team on secularization, they thought perhaps 20 years of missionary work in Paris might lend something to the debate. The title of this session contains the theme in a couple of strong nouns, truth and secularity; a couple of poignant adjectives, evangelical and pluralistic; and this apparent dichotomy, dogma and diversity. Our desire this afternoon as leaders of this multiplex is to help you, the physical attendees here in Cape Town at the Lausanne 3 Conference and other friends who are participants through the virtual means of the Internet and who are following our discussions, to consider the challenges that we face in affirming and integrating our faith into a very complex world. A world marked by growing spirituality, but a world where in many places, although certainly not all, the resistance to exclusive truth claims exists. There is no one way. Or the relatively of religious convictions. Its fine for you to believe that you want, but just keep it to yourself. And certainly the exclusion of religion from the public forum, dont try to force your religious beliefs on others. Today youre going to hear four Christian leaders interact on the theme of Christian witness within a secular and pluralistic world. Two come from Western Europe, the greenhouse of values, ideas and philosophies which have shaped secularity. They are Robert Calvert, pastor of Scotts International Church in Rotterdam, Netherlands and a regent of the Bakke Graduate University. And by the way, Robert is the colleague who posted on the Lausanne website a very extensive paper with which many of you dialogued and for which we are grateful. Stefan Gustavsson will be our second presenter. Stefan is the general secretary of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance and the director of Credo Academy, an institute for the promotion of Christian Apologetics. Our other two invitees this afternoon are Paul Augustine. Paul is the pastor of Union Chapel in Vishakhapatnam, India. Hes also a professor in communications and in  care that was personal. And finally, Nabiel Kosta, the executive director of the Lebanese Society for educational and social development, as well as a vice president of the Baptist World Alliance. Youre going to hear different understandings of the process of secularization and the result which we call secularity. Some people view it positively. Authors such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Harvey Cox talked about it as adult Christianity. Others view it negatively, the loss of religious meaning. In the Anglophone world, the term secularization usually refers to the process of rationalist thought, the fruit of the enlightenment and medurnity. In the Francophone world, we use the term (speaking in another language). We also have the English word laity, which you can hear in that word. But it connotes who the many concentric fears of our life find the autonomy. As well, they place human kind at the very center of the world thank you human life at the center of the world, freed up from the ideologies and the rules which religion had previously offered. You know, our point of view, where we stand, will condition our attitude towards the topic of secularity. An American pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan will undoubtedly have a different and likely more antagonistic view of secularity than, say, a Turkish evangelist in the city of Ismer. For the one, secularity is a real threat; for the other, its an open door. We have different positions and different attitudes towards secularity largely because of our different contexts and cultures. We have intentionally designed this multiplex in order to express the fact there isnt just one model of secularization and there isnt just one attitude with which we can embrace or resist it. We want to assist you, as Richard pointed out, to comprehend, to contemptualize, to commit yourself to Christian witness in a world of increasing secularity. So were going to begin with a short group discussion, a short group exercise to get our minds working on this subject.Im going to show you a series of images on the screens, and for those of you who are here in this room at the table, Im going to ask you to just interact with what you see on the screen. If youre following this via the Internet, we trust the images will come through and you can perhaps share your comments with people in the same room. Id like to put a picture up for you, it could be a picture, it could be a photograph, sculptures, it could be signage. Id like one person at your table to very quickly share a reaction with the other people at your table. Just a quick thought, something that comes to your mind at the sight of this image. Let me say the lens with which we are looking through the question of the images is through the lens of secularity. Ill show the images rather quickly, allowing enough time for just one person to share a comment, an observation, or some insight on the image. Please be quick in your reaction, one person per image. Are you ready to go? Turn towards your table. The first image is from Hans Holby and its called The Ambassadors, a painting that was done in 1533. Were going to move on to the second image. Look in the very top left corner of this painting, and peering behind the curtain is a crucifix. Move on. Moving on to our third image from Latin America. On the left of your screen you have the very earliest conceptualization of the urban layout of the city of Brazilia, the capital of Brazil. On the right a picture of Brazilias cathedral. Our fourth image, from the city of Rotterdam, by the RussianFrench sculpture Zadkine, the destroyed city done after the second world war in front of the Maritime Museum. Again from Latin America, a photograph taken several years ago. Oh, Im sorry. Thats the next one. I jumped ahead to that one. When the Protesian Indians protested on the site of the first cross erected in Brazil. If youve joined us just recently, were asking that around your tables one person comment or make an observation on the images that youre seeing on the screen. And our final image from the city where I worked for 20 years, during a manifestation of Muslim women in Paris, France, a picture that perhaps requires some censoring. What does this picture tell you about living and serving and witnessing for Christ in a pluralistic world? So I trust that these images have helped  Gain your interest for our discussion on dogma and diversity and how evangelical truth can lead up to secularity in a secular world. A warm welcome to all of you who are attending our multiplex this afternoon. We will be hearing from four different speakers. First will be Robert Calvert from Rotterdam; secondly we will be listening to Paul Augustine, a pastor in Vishakhapatnam, India; we will be listening to Stefan Gustavsson from Sweden; and our fourth presenter will be Nabiel Kosta from Beirut, Lebanon. After the four brothers have shared their experiences and understanding of Christian witness in a pluralistic and a secular world, were going to have a little panel discussion among ourselves and we invite you to listen in and glean from our experiences. We begin with Robert. Brothers and sisters, good afternoon. I also say to those who are listening in and watching in from global centers from around the world, Christian greetings, but I dont know what time it is when youre watching in. I wonder, you know, why weve chosen 2 white European teachers to discuss secularity. I came to the conclusion that Lausanne 3 needed someone to hold accountable the effects of the enlightenment. I want to thank you sincerely for your many good responses and reflections on my original essay which was posted, as Terry said, in April on the Lausanne website. For that reason, I dont propose to represent the essay as it was then. Youve stimulated me with so many good reflections and thoughts and challenges, and this really response to a further response. In terms of context, Ive spent my entire pastoral ministry in two cities with a similar industrial past, Glascow and Rotterdam. Already, weve reckoned remembering that Im not Dutch. I say that the Netherlands, until I open my mouth, nobody knows Im not a migrant. Im really a networker, a trainer, and a researcher of urban ministries in Europe. And over the last 12 years, Ive organized and attended many consultations with Christian leaders in a variety of cities.So the context from which I speak is Europe, a continent of 50 countries, most of which are sovereign Democratic republics. There are big differences for evangelical Christians in this patchwork quilt of different historical stories. For example, in Barcelona, the Catholic government is becoming more affirming of other Christians who are not Roman Catholics. But in Athens, evangelical Christians are still distrusted as neither being good orthodox or good Greeks. So I put it to you, can we talk about a soul of Europe? Take Greek mythology where Zeus, the chief of the gods kidnapped Europa, the daughter of the king of Phoenician. He did so by approaching her in disguise in the shape of a bull. And when she sat upon the bull, it took her to the island of Crete where Zeus revealed his true self to her. Now is this a story, a parable of Europe? Has Europes soul been stolen in a similar way? Affected by pagan, Celtic, Jewish and Muslim spirituality, is there any sense of the soul of Europe, of a Christian soul, of the living God alive and well in our cultures? The number of Christians in Europe has declined as has the percentage of world Christians. When I research these numbers, we find that in 1900, 71% declined to 65% in 1910, the time of the mission conference. To 1960, 50 years later to 40%. 30% in 1990, 26% in 2000. 25% this year, and its projected to go down to 15% in 2000 50. This afternoon were speaking about secularity. I describe that as the framework in which weve chosen to locate our discussion about truth and dogma. It shouldnt be confused with words like secularism, which is an ideology, or secularization, which is a process. Secularisation is the process that describes the gradual withdrawal of religion and its values in the public realm. It also includes the decline of church attendance. Secularism is the committed philosophy. Its an ideology that seeks to explain all of life without reference to God or the divine. So we come to the world secularity. A framework upon which we exercise belief or unbelief today. Its just a way of understanding the stage or the part of the planet that were living on. The context of understanding our age where Christian faith is one option among many. Now Charles Taylor, the author of that mammoth text. It traces secularity from deism that was so influential in the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain and France as well as America. Our age is underguarded by assumptions of secularity, where he says, the presumption of unbelief what become dominant and belief in God isnt quite the same as it was in 1500 or 2000. Let me put it differently to you. Religion is not banished, but its relativized. A Christian was once discussing his beliefs with an editor of a Christian magazine. He was trying to explain how were limited by our prospectives on life. He said I have a point of view, he told the interviewer, you have a point of view, but God, God has a view. When the article appeared in print, a diligent copy editor had changed it to I have a point of view, you have a point of view, and God has a point of view. In other words, the revelation of God is relativized and just another perspective. Another illustration of this secularity comes in this months research newsletter Vista from the Nova Research Center linked with Red Cliff College in England. This survey of 44 European nations, you can look for the mention of God, church, or religion in their constitutions, in their national constitutions. Theres a chart contained in that newsletter. And what do we find? We find that the name of God, interestingly, is mentioned in 13 of the national constitutions. Church is mentioned in 24 of them, and religion is mentioned in 42. Not bad you think. But then you look a little closer and you see that church is mentioned mostly with regard to the separation of church and state. And where religion is mentioned, its with regard to the freedom of religion. Were living our faith in a secular? in a midsecularity. Were living our faith in a condition of doubt and uncertainty. Id like to illustrate this with a bronze monument, not the other one you saw just now from Rotterdam, but this one of Rotterdams famous son, one of the great reformers. His fashion was to education the church leaders and this shows him holding the bible aloft and studying it.Today in Rotterdam, weve given his name to a big bridge, a university, and to countless educational programs. But I want to tell you since this statute was put up in the city, it has been moved to no less than nine different locations. It seems that were not comfortable with him, as long as hes holding a bible in his hands. Well use his name, but please dont hold the bible aloft. We dont know what to do with him. I wonder if this is not a picture of Europe today. Our citys context for understanding secularity are very complex and very mixed. I want you to quickly look at the foreignborn populations in here. Look at how mixed they are ethnically, but also religiously. While I get you to see the cake of Amsterdam, let me say in Rotterdam most babies are born to couples where at least one was not born in the Netherlands. In Lester, in England, where UCCF has its headquarters or had its headquarters when I was a student, 36% are ethnic minorities and 24% of residents are of Indian origin. The highest in the UK. Go back to London and you find that 50% of the UKs Hindu and Jewish population are there and 40% of the Muslim population is in London. Centers are cities and cities are centers of cultural ethnic and religious pluralism. One sociologist has recently described the challenges not as ethnic diversity but of super diversity. Charles Taylor himself describes it as a galloping pluralism on the spiritual plain. Religious pluralism can mean one of two things. It can describe the variety of religious groups and expressions where we are now dealing with increasing numbers of nonChristian faiths. When we head to other faiths, religious pluralism becomes something different and can lead to the break up of our expression and understanding of evangelical faith and Christian doctrine. Two scenarios have been suggested by Grace Davia, a sociologist of secularization. One she says that followers of secularization suggest that growing religious pluralism necessarily undermine the plausibility of all forms of religious belief. However, rational choice theororists argue the reverse. They look at religious pluralism as enabling the religious needs of diverse populations to be more adequately met. Alternatives present themselves in new age and even witchcraft which is significant, because it even points us back to a reality in the world view that we thought had died out. The enlightenment told us died out many years ago. Theres a new thirst for something more than selfsufficiency and reason which is leading many to communal worship. And the question is now how are evangelical Christians to relate to religious pluralism thats about different options, lifestyles, preferences or the promotion of religious diversity? Let me say in the shadow of Richard Nibers Christ in culture gives us a handle on this subject. He outlined 5 responses that Protestant churches make to the prevailing culture around them. Now you have to decide which of these are appropriate to yourself. The first is to reaffirm tradition. Thats simply to preserve existing Ecclesiastical identities. The second is to structure, to streamline our organization to become more effective. The third is to replicate as far as possible the original pattern of the apostles. I want to suggest, and maybe well do this in conversation later, that this often amounts to little more than withdrawal from secularity and the culture that were in. On the other hand, mainstreaming takes us in the opposite direction. To mainstream is to participate in the culture and to take on its very shape. So we have a final preferred option of missionary engagement. Critical engagement and witness to kingdom values. Missionary engagement involves presence, preparation, and participation. What does this mean? Well, weve been talking a lot about the whole church, taking the whole gospel to the whole world and a holistic approach and practice. I find as a pastor we often tend to emphasize other making you Christians or making you churches or wanting to make you cities. We talk about making you Christians. Better discipleship programs, mentoring relationships, recognizing that our cities are not just, not peaceful places.So how do we engage in social action and civic witness and perhaps I might suggest that many of our discipleship programs, including alpha, make take on this to heart as we construct a discipleship training to enable Christians to be active in the marketplace. Churches. The development, the renewal of merging and immigrant Christian communities. The setting up of mission agencies. In Rotterdam West, they develop gifts and programs to engage with these multicultural communities. And in Rotterdam East, they visit 25 immigrant churches and sets up spiritual programs. As I share one or two stories, I dont want to say theyre the best examples but I find out fairly outstanding. Thirdly sitters. Developing urban centers that engage people 7 days out of 7, whether they be Atheists or people of other states. Could you take me to a ministry like that in your place where you live? I want to tell you about a story of Lisdon. A mission of compassion, a mission of Christian holism, in a city on the north side of Lisdon, the newly elected mayor bypassed the traditional Roman Catholic priest to seek a blessing from the new pastor of a Pentecostal church that had just grown from 30 people to 300. But the real reason that the mayor wanted to be there was that he knew that this church cared for drug addicts and the elderly. And today if you go there, youll find that 75% who are rehabilitated go back into society and 50% join a church and 25% get employment. Thats pretty good. Another model is that of coalitions. Coalitions in the public arena, coalitions around vision, around belligerence. In Berlin, when the wall came down in 1990, ministers on the two sides of the wall came together. The city mission on the east side that cared for the elderly, united with the city mission on the west side of the wall that cared for addicts. Today more than 500 employees make up the largest city mission in Europe. Even though I have to say that Glascow is the oldest one. I could tell you more stories, but my time is going. I want to say to you that today the challenge of secularity is a challenging one for us all. Europes church history of violence should not be forgotten, as evangelical Christians seek to call the church back to humility, integrity and simplicity. The challenge of secularity is to make the case for the truth of Christ in societies that are pluralistic and globalized. On the other side of the challenge is to make the peace of Christ in societies that are broken and divided. Evangelical Christians who need to critically engage rather than escape the challenge of this secular age are empowered to do this by the astonishing announcement that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Agree. Greetings to you in the name of the Lord and safer, Jesus Christ and I also bring greetings to you from India and our church, Union Chapel, and my wife Ronnie. I thank God for the great opportunity and privilege he has given me to stand before this gathering in Cape Town and I also greet the many who are watching over the Internet. I stand here as to testify as to what God has been doing in our country in India in again and in our city in particular. And my sincere thanks to the Lausanne Congress who has been so gracious in writing me and also my sincere thanks to Reverend Terry Smith for including me in this multiplex. I want us to know that India is a country that takes pride in the fact that it is a secular nation. And that means that it is one country which says that you can have any kind of religion and we will not try to force you to follow particular religion. And its the policy matter and they have assured the citizens that they will not be sidelined on the basis of religion. And thats a secular nation. Having said that, I also should mention that India is a very religious country, as well. Many great religions have come out of this country and Hinduism and also have Muslims and Janes and six and Christians who are in the minority and also many gurus have come out of India. In such a context of the church that India exists and how can the Christian community live out their Christian faith in a secular society? And thats the challenge youre facing. The church where I serve, commonly known as Union Chapel, and we have many members who work in government organizations and private sectors. And the challenge for them is to how to live out their life in their workplace.It is sad that we have divided work and worship. That work is secular and worship is something spiritual. Spiritual living God out of the context. And therefore the challenge whether we work, whatever the present, we need to present Christ or live out our Christian faith. I know a Christian woman who worked in a very big government organization and she retired in a particular post only because she would not compromise the secular world. Had she given bribe or taken bribes, she would be elevated in her office. Because of her faith she retired in that post. But the amazing thing that happened was that her life had been a challenge to the nonchristians in her office and some of them were transformed. And today in our country, I want us to know that people are responsive to the message of the gospel. I must say that there are some pockets where it is very difficult to share the gospel back in the southern part. And in some parts it is really, really challenging. And I understood that God has been opening doors. And recently we had visited a place, at least some of the places the district, and as a church we were able to reach out to the people that were affected during the rains recently. And one of the things we had to face as should we minister to those who are not Christians. Thats what we did actually. The church was not happy that we should give the relief material to those that are not Christians, but then I understood that Christian faith is all about sharing the good news with those who are unlovable. This is a village in the outer valley where we have a ministry and it is amazing as to how people have been responding to the gospel in the tribal religions. They are very open and this is one of the baptism services we had. And for the couple of months, almost a year from now, we had a ministry of the juvenile home and this is our youth team trying to do some ministering among them. Predominantly Hindus, Muslims and nonchristians and the people have welcomed us have also asked us to take over the girls juvenile home. And this is the third or the most interesting ministry which we just started. The children standing at the background are gypsies and their parents have just one business to have babies and as they grow, theyre sent out for begging. But recently, when they came to our church premises, I wanted to go see them at their home. Had we visited them, it was so amazing that they were amazed we could come to them and that was a time when they responded to the gospel. And weve been trying to share the good news with them and theyve been listening and we are challenged. In conclusion, I would like to say that the Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted us with the great response to prepare gods people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up. And also that we all may attend to the fullness of Christ. We are here, I believe, as Christian leaders, as pastors, as evangelists, as people in ministry, were preparing Gods people and to buildup the body of Christ. And its of prime importance that we let go of all the bad years we have created and together build the body of Christ. And as I close, I would like to remind you that India is a country which has a beautiful symbol which has the three faced lion, at the bottom of it you have this phrase known as (speaking foreign words), which simply means truth alone triumphs. Its Jesus Christ who said in Johns gospel, Chapter 8:3132. If you hold on to my teaching, you are really my disciples, then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. God has given us the truth in the Lord Jesus Christ, the person and hes given us the truth in 1 John 5:6, The spirit is the truth and hes also given us the written world which is the truth. And I believe that it is this truth which you and I possess which is a gift from God. We know that truth alone triumphs. So God be the glory. Agree. At the Lausanne Congress the first Lausanne Congress in 1974, Francis Schaffer gave a talk, later published under the title two contents, two realities. Let me quote from what Shaffer called the two contents. The first content is sound doctrine, Shaffer said, Christianity is a specific body of truth. It is a system and we must not be ashamed of the world system. There is truth and we must hold that truth. The second content is honest answer to honest questions.Shaffer said, Christianity is truth, truth that God has told us and if it is truth, it can answer questions. Truth and answers, thats the focus of this presentation. Half a year ago it was the first of April, a day when we at least in Europe have official permission to fool people. This years best prank came from an on line gaming store called Game Station. In the sites terms and conditions which you have to understand that you have read and confirmed before you place an order they had buried an he mortal soul close it read like this: by placing an order via this website on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010, you agree to grant us a nontransferable option to claim now and forever more your immortal soul. Should we wish to exercise this option you agree to surrender your immortal soul and any claim you may have on it within five working days of receiving written notification from Game Station. The company even included a hyper linked option, which said click here to nullify your soul transfer and they rewarded astute shoppers with a coupon worth 5 British pounds. But only 12% of the buyers noticed this, 88% of that days transaction included human souls, 7,500 human souls. We Europeans, it seems to me, have in a similar careless way sold our souls and dispersed our rich inheritance. Europe has become the  excessively extravagant person. In North Africa, parts of the world with thriving truths, Europe has denied the gospel. I have four main points; the first is the European lesson. Of course theres many different kinds of Europe. The Roman Catholic south, the Greek Orthodox east, the Protestant north, you have the east and west with the form of Communist countries, but theres still enough things to bind us together to make it meaningful of talking about one continent Europe. And in order to understand a dramatic change for the church in Europe, we need to understand some of the historical background. There is cause and effect. The secularization of Europe has not come just  unexpectedly.. Simply we find to the extreme there are two root systems of ideas in Europe with both goes back to antiquity. Humanism with its roots in Atheist; and Christianity with its roots in Jesus. Lets win with Christianity. Starting with Jesus of Nazareth where God is gloriously revealed. The belief in Jesus spread throughout the Roman Empire and became the dominant faith from the fourth century onward. And then the church grew but gradually also much of the gospel was lost or at least confused with other ideas and rediscovered. And we had times of reformation. And a hundred years ago we had a seemingly strong church in Europe. And yet, at the beginning of this century, the Christian faith has so to speak lost in Europe. Why is that? Why with this history are we struggling on my continent? The answer is to a large degree to be found in the other root system of Europe. That is humanism. Putting man at the center of everything and making him the measure of all things. An idea that was promoted by Greek philosophers. It was discovered during the Renaissance and became the central idea during the enlightenment in the 18th century and onwards. The enlightenment was at the start mainly a prospective represented by artists. It affected science and academia which at that time affected just a few or a small portion of the people. But gradually the enlightenment prospective has taken over much of our culture and today both science and academia affect everyone. And Europe has become a secular culture. One very interesting thing here is science. Of course science in one sense has its roots amongst the Greek philosophers but modern science with its empirical investigation into the actual state of he fares has mainly Christian roots. When modern science grew in the 15th century it has basically Christian motivation. Were to think about gods world. But as time went by and more and more in nature were understood, which of course its not the problem for Christianity; science was hijacked and turned against its mother. And today it? its often looked upon science as if it has established the enlightenment perspective. The resulting situation at the beginning of the 21st century is that Europe is a cut flower who has lost its root in the truth. Europe has become a deeply secular culture where God is absent in the public domain and where the underlying world view very often is naturalism.Please note that secularism in Europe is not a skepticism of a few individuals who challenge the norm. Rather, it has become the norm. Its viewed as a positive liberation from superstition and from religion power play which held people in bondage in previous generations. Most importantly, secularism is not seen as a world view in itself on the same level as Christianity and therefore a competitor but as the natural and neutral starting point which should be shared by all reasonable persons. And then of course after that you are free to add certain subjective things like Jesus or Buddha or something else to your life. This is what Philosopher Charles Taylor has called exclusive secularism. To exclude all transreference points to cultural, social and political life. The lesson for the global church is learning is this, do not ignore the secular outlook at the state when it only affects a small portion of the population. And everything still seems all right for the church. Today secularism dominates science, academia and media which in so many ways influences the whole world. How could this happen? Part of the answer is the faulty responses given by the church. One response was compromise. Many Christian theologians and leader felt compelled to adjust it. They seemed to think that the scientific method demanded the acceptance of enlightenment as if it meant God was out of the picture. So in order to be seen as intellectually honest, they started to deny miracles and revelation and the supernatural. This is of course the liberal theology that has intoxicated the European churches so deeply. An example, a hundred years ago one of the most influential thinkers was a German theologist. He said this, We are no longer in the business of fixing permanent dogmas from an inspired bible. Instead we formulate teaching which express the essence of Christian piety. In other words, he goes not from theology to practice, but he goes from Christian piety and practice and from that he formulates what is theology. By becoming infected with enlightenment thinking, the church has become our own grave digger. Or to change the met for, the church has been hijacked by secular philosophies and historical theology. The other response, the other faulty response was with withdrawal. It came from more bible believing people who did not want to accept the even light ebb meant challenge. They wanted to hold onto the gospel but they wanted to do it withdrawal from culture. They the later charismatic attitude. Dont misunderstand me, theres so much to welcome in this theology, but there has been a dangerous weakness in its isolation from culture and in the negotiate of the intellectual challenges. Theres been too little teaching on the worldly level of Christianity. Theres too often been a separation between mind and heart and the mind and the Holy Spirit and the result is that the church is failed the intellectual challenge. Europe has a long history based on the Christian faith. But claiming its not possible to believe that Christianitys true, Europe has turned away. Europe was first lost for the gospel in the areas of ideas. If Europe is going to be one for the gospel once again, it must be one also but not only but only in the area of ideas, because thats the point of departure. Thirdly, the enlightenment challenge is not over. A new global inquiry showing peoples beliefs and values was recently published. Question number 42 in that inquiry was how important is religion? And people who checked the box it is very important in my life. The statistic is like this, in many countries you will find extremely high figures, Africa at 98%, Brazil at 78, India at 74, go over to the US its lower but 57 percent think religion is very important in my life. If you move over to Europe, the picture drastically changes. The highest figures are in Poland 33%, Germany 25%, Britain 15%, and in my country 8%. Now its a world of difference, if 98% of the population thinks religion is very important or 8% thinks religion is very important. In the latter case, religion is seen as having nothing to do with [TRAOUPBL/] and reality any longer and it creates a strong attitude of dismissal and sin I six so people can say like this about theology and talk about God, theology is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isnt there.Now some people dont say this is enlightenment in modern thinking, what about post modern thinking and culture, havent we passed that area and moved beyond it to the post modern area where people dont believe in truth any longer and that could open some doors for us? Many think that a change from modern to post modern thinking will somehow solve our problem and open the door for gospel again. And they think that Christian has been made obsolete. I think this is wrong. First, even though post modern thinking is influential in some areas, western cultures is far from post modern. Let me give you some examples. Take science as one example. It operates on the general assumption that there is an external reality about which we can have true knowledge. This reality is the same for everybody around the globe. The debate on global warming is a current example. It presupposes from all sides there are universal truths. Take ethics, and the discussion about homosexuality. The new view on homosexuality which should be affirmed and embraced which is now the dominant view in my country is not seen as context dependent. Its viewed as the right view that should be accepted by other cultures. Or take the debate about new religion Atheists who are making absolute claims about religion. Now Im not denying the decision of post modern thinking. What I am denying is that the modern perspective has been replaced by the post modern. It has not. Along similar lines we need to think right about post modern spirituality. The post modern is born out of the modern which is not realistic and that naturalism has never been challenged. In post modern spirituality, therefore, there is no real transcendence, only imminence. There is no real God outside the human experience. Even though words like God or prayers are used, theyre used within a different framework, a different world view without real transcendence. As Christians living in a secular culture, we now have a double challenge. The concept of truth is challenged from the post modern philosophers and the content of truth is challenged by the enlightenment perspective. The lesson to learn is this: dont underestimate the enemy. Secularity goes together with the modern and post modern perspective and can affirm a dose of spirituality as long as its grounded in man only. At the same time, it has devastating hole in his armor. The project of liberating man from God, simultaneously undermines man. Without God the worth of an individual is evaporating. Our aspirations and longing ends nothing in human existence in the final analysis is without meaning. We also affirm that it is essential for effective witness in the modern world. Paul reasoned with people out of scriptures with a view to persuading them of the truth of the gospel. So must we. In fact, all Christians should be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them. I will end by just referring to what could be called the worlds first Christian sermon in Acts 2. In Acts Chapter 2, Peter is? the context of Peters sermon is a context of bewilderment and ridicule in relationship to what God is doing to this new community in Jerusalem. And Peter had to respond to two different questions, where the first question is what does this mean, the things that is happening in Jerusalem and the things that the first Christian believed, what does it mean? And you can find five very different aspects in Peters response to that question. Later he had to answer the question what shall we do. Peter presents the gospel firstly as responsible. Its responsible truth. He begins by saying: Let me explain this to you, listen carefully to what I say. So he has a message that can be explained in words and rationally understood. He invites them to listen carefully and there by asking them to analyze and probe his message. Its public truth. Peter refers to an underlines that it is about a shared reality and he appeals to the knowledge of his hearers. He points to their knowledge three times. He says Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs which God did among you through him as you yourself know, it was public truth. Thirdly, it was historical truth. The gospel is good news about what has happened in history. And this has been theres witness to that, up to 600 people who saw Jesus alive after his resurrection. Fourthly, the message is a biblical truth.Peter quotes Joel once and David twice. There is coherence in the unfolding of Gods revelation in the Old and New Testament. And finally the gospel is convincing. Peter says: Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this, God has made this Jesus whom youve crucified both Lord and Christ and thousands of people came to faith. We may have some different situations than Peter had in Jerusalem, but I think we should share his attitude of presenting a reasonable public, historical, biblical and convincing truth. Therefore, we have an urgent need to upgrade and reaffirm its importance. We need to equip Christians so they can stand firm in the faith, and we need to challenge to grow the impact of secularism and secularity with the wonderful truth and wonderful life of the gospel. Well, the news from the Middle East always alerts everybody. I hope I alert you and you dont feel sleepy anymore. I come from Lebanon, from Middle East region. And we come from a region which is getting to be more religious or more fanatic in certain cases. In our region, theres no separation between church and state. And listening now to Stefan, my friend, he said in his country, Sweden, people are 7% only who are interested in religion. If you do the statistics of the Middle East, you will get 99. 99 people who are interested in religion. We live in a region 350? surrounded by 350 million Arabs. Christians are less than 5% among only those 350 million Arabs. However I come to you this afternoon to share with you a message of hope that God is at work in that region, too. And that God is for all nations and there is no minorities or majorities in Gods language. So were happy and privileged and blessed to live in that region of the world. Evangelicals, they have a major role in peace making in the Middle East. Specifically in my country where I come from where it still has a Christian faith country. We dont have anymore the luxury to escape or to say we are the minorities; we need to be the minorities with his help, with the effect of the majorities. Its our responsibility to be proactive. And although we are minorities, but in many cases we get to be the solution for the people who are fighting amongst each other. We ask ourselves today, dogma or diversity. I will share with you whats happening in Lebanon very briefly. In our seminary, we do have the Middle East conference and the Middle East conference is a platform where we get Muslim scholars to and Christian scholars to sit together and discuss issues between them. Usually we hate what we ignore. And the more we learn about other religions, the better we are. And more we talk to them, the better we are. Dogma or diversity, we cannot look to all Middle East to all the people to the 350 million to be terrorists. We cannot look to the 350 million people for the reason of any trouble in the whole world. Many of those people, they are very sincere people, they are? they have a sincere need to know more about our religion, about Jesus Christ, and about Christianity. We cannot take all of them, we cannot look at all of them the same way at all times. Im sure you have heard about the common Word document that has been done in Jordan and evangelicals had a minor part to do with it, we have seen that we have no choice; we want to coexist all together in the Middle East. We have no other choice. And I have some good news for you this afternoon, it depends how you look to other people. To Muslims or to other religions. Whatever we look to them. If we look to them we have two choices only. If we look to them as enemies, our bible teaches us to love them. And if we look to them as brothers and sisters, we have to love them. So basically, we have no other choice. Those are some pictures that will show you how we talk to each other, how we open this platform, and now we dont have plenty of time, but in many certain cases we see diversity is the solution. We talk, go and visit, we give them the chance you will be surprised how many people are hungry to hear the word of God. Beirut Baptist School is one of the platforms. We have 1300 students. 1200 of them are from nonChristian background. From Muslim background and they gladly listen to the bible every week and they attend chapel, attend bible classes. The mow to of this school is that the truth will set you free.And the truth we provide it very clearly and we do not compromise. We provide it with dignity and honor and respecting all other religions and God is using this platform for his glory. I tell you that education is a platform that we should put all our efforts into it. This is the platform which is the  feeling comfortable of evangelicals and we can earn the trust of them, they come to our school because we provide excellence in education and our responsibility as Christians to provide the firstclass quality in everything we do to earn the respect of the others. During the war? since three years, Im sure you heard about the war in the Middle East, one of the wars you always hear about it, and we had opportunity for a social ministry. We found it difficult to witness to people who are hungry and scared and bummed. We opened our institutions and onethird of Lebanon was displaced and we opened for all those people who can  upset you greatly we opened our institutions to feed them and to help them and to shelter them. And it was a very good opportunity to show them? to witness for them without opening our mouth. Evangelicals were working day and night. I will finish my brief word to tell you do not forget the Middle East and be sure that God has a lot to do more and more in the Middle East and keep us in your prayers. Thank you. Well, thank you, Robert and Paul, Stefan and Nabiel. Where I work, and I mentioned I work in Toronto at Canadian Baptist Ministries, we have a little trick that we play on our staff when we have a meeting in the afternoon. And that is that we put at the middle of the table a dish with chocolate covered coffee beans. And theyre so good, because they just manage to wake people up. We had asked the organizers to provide that for you and I think the budget was running a little tight, so you will see theres no coffee beans. The second thing we said is, well, we dont expect this subject to attract? a lot of interest. Its a complex issue. Perhaps with an appeal only in certain parts of the world. How about if you just give us a big table and well around that table and discuss informally. I dont think that would have worked with our group here. So what I am going to ask you to do is raise your left hand, wow, what a reluctant crowd you are. Raise your left hand and try to touch your ear, see if it works still. The hand hasnt fallen asleep. Lets go the other way, get the blood flowing out of your hand back into your body. You know, it is a challenge in a room pull of perhaps 1200 people to try to engage the group in a way that allows the participation that we believe is so important in the learning process of adults. We feel engaged, we hope that youre engaged by the subject. As a matter of fact, what were going to do is were going to invite you, first of all, stay, were not done, but were also going to invite you to come back tomorrow afternoon again entitled dogma and diversity. During that session were going to boldly put the Mike out in the room and were going to ask you to share your observations, comments, critiques of some of the things youve heard, as well as share some of our stories. But before we do that, I just want to ask you,  feel like there is absolutely no problem to leave questions up here on the table at the end of our session this afternoon that we can be thinking about and we can try to orient the discussion. You may also leave them to the stewards as you exit this room in about 15 minutes. Now I want to engage a wee bit of a conversation with our participants. I think that weve understood that secularity is seen as a threat to the church in some places, and probably a gift in other places, particularly where Christians are a religious minority. We heard of the stories from around Europe, as well as in the Middle East particularly. Let me ask you folks here, what would be the predominant view of the churches in your culture? Just in a sentence or two. Well go down the line, Paul, Robert, Stefan. Would they hold a hostile view or would they rather see it as an opportunity? I know its a horribly general question, but its one we can begin with.

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Scripture in Mission Presenter 1 – Dr. Fergus Macdonald

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Scripture in Mission – Presenter 1

Author: Fergus Macdonald
Date: 03.11.2010
Category: Scripture in Mission

After an introduction to the session by the moderator, Fergus MacDonald of the United Kingdom explores why the Scriptures are not transforming lives in regions where they are abundantly available. He looks briefly at our approach to Bible reading.

Provisional text in English

I would like to introduce John Watters, who will be our emcee for this session. John Watters. I hope you will enjoy this multiplex session.

Good afternoon. On your table you should find a set of handouts and I would like to go through the handouts numbered one to four. Theyre stapled together, have us go together through those as part of our introduction to scripture in mission, eradicating Bible poverty. The first question we may ask ourselves is what is Bible poverty and there is some text here to give some beginning discussion to that. It is present where people are hindered by barriers from having access to the scriptures in a language they understand well and engaging with them in ways that transform their lives. It cuts across economic levels, social status, religious identity, ethnic groups and languages. Bible poverty affects regions of religious persecution. It affects the nonliteral, the deaf and the blind. Some people simply do not have any scripture in their language. Others such as a host of professionals and cities from Shanghai to Munich to Bogota to New York and Paris have multiple translations of the scripture in their language but they have no confidence in any truth by their own experience. Barriers to engaging meaningfully with the scriptures show up everywhere in urban context in rural context, if regions where other major religions dominate and in the postmodern West, Africa, North and South America, Asia, the Pacific and Europe. But once we identify these barriers we can also work to build bridges that enable people to overcome these barriers and so make steps in eradicating Bible poverty.

Your second handout gives an overview of what will be the major concentrations of our time here together during the next hour and a half. Basically were looking at the three major priorities in eradicating Bible poverty. Youll see on handout number two that they’re relating to three different questions. Three priority questions.

The first question is why are scriptures not transforming lives where they are abundantly available? About five billion people speak languages where the entire Bible is available. There is sufficient scripture available to do extraordinary mission. The question is, why is that not happening and why are they not being used in ways that could make? take that effect? Now, there will be a slice of that question being answered today. We dont have time to answer it all. But hopefully it will provoke those of you interested in that topic to think about it.

The second question, why do more than one billion people [not] have adequate scriptures in their language? There are thousands, a couple thousand languages where scripture likely is needed and nothing is being translated yet at this point. And mostly these people are in minority communities.

Second, the third question is why are the scriptures only for those that can read? Its a tradition for us to be able to hold up a Bible thats printed and say this is the Word of God, which we will continue to do but there are many other means to make the scriptures available. In other words, does a person have to be literal [literate?] to engage with scripture? So we will be hearing from Dr. Fergus being Macdonald on the first question, Dr. Michelle on the second and Dr. Harriet Hill on the third.

Lets go to handout number three. Handout number three is more than we will do during our time here to try to take into consideration the time we have. After each presentation, what we will do is break into small groups of two or three people, no more than two or three, and we will after each presentation just ask the question, what was the one thing that stood out to me and you will share that with your partners in that small group. After weve gone through all three presentations, asking that question, then we will go into small groups and ask about imagine applying this one thing that caught my attention in my context. What would I do about this? You would have to pick one of those three as being the most important for you. And then question three, what do you think your next step should be when you return to your place of service? So we’ll be doing that at the? after the three presentations. Also on the second page there of that handout are additional questions, if you want to go further in depth on those matters that these are questions that the presenters have provided us.

Handout number four has to do with the evaluation of the session. And we would really benefit from your participation in giving us that evaluation so that we could be aware and alert to various concerns and interests that you may have. Also on your table after you filled out your evaluation form youre welcome to take a copy of this text of the holy Bible. It is set out in a narrative form in paragraphs with speakers T various speakers in different color so that you can engage? in printed form in this case but with it in a more narrative natural form of a text from? at least from Western society.

So well begin with that first question. The first question about where scriptures are so abundantly available why dont we see the kind of change we expect and Dr. Fergus McDonald will be speaking to us.

Good afternoon. A unique form of Bible poverty afflicts Christians who have the scriptures but engage with them only occasionally or not at all. This Bible poverty is caused not by a physical famine but by spiritual amnesia. Research in Western churches reveals that the majority of Christians are simply not engaging with scriptures. In the U. K. , one in six church attenders have never read anything in the Bible in their entire church going life. In New Zealand three out of four church attenders read the Bible only occasionally or hardly ever. In the USA, regular scripture engagement is more common but over half of all Americans read the Bible less frequently than once a week or not at all. I dont have figures for churches in the global south but friends tell me that while the incidence of personal Bible reading may be higher there than in the West it may well be declining. Obviously churches in the West have a problem, a big problem. They are overrun by biblical anorexia. This has seen implications for Christian discipleship. In 2007 Willow Creek research involving 200 churches and 80,000 people concluded that the Bible is the most powerful catalyst for spiritual growth. In the table discussion to follow, you will be invited to consider how we might set about curing this biblical anorexia which is sapping the churches of spiritual power and evangelistic fervor. The focus will be on how to move Christians from occasional engagement with the Bible along a continuum towards regular and transformative interaction with the Word of God.

In order to frame the discussion, I want now to pose four questions relating to scripture engagement.

  1. Is scripture engagement science or art?
  2. Is it sound byte or story?
  3. Is it information or transformation?
  4. Is it hobby or habitat?

Having asked these questions, I suggest we avoid seeking either/or answers and instead focus on both responses. Lets now take a closer look at each. Science or art. Scripture engagement is indeed a science. Scientific aids come in various forms. They can be a series of questions to put to the text or guidance on recognizing the literary genre of a passage or brief explanation of biblical culture and history. All of these things help but it appears they are not enough. There has never been available a greater number of study Bibles. The scriptures can be readily accessed online by computer and cell phone and an abundance of material exists to participate group Bible engagement nevertheless were facing a wave of functional biblical illiteracy in our churches. Churches are discovering the hard way that scripture engagement is more than a science or technique. It is also an art that engages the intuitive imagination part of our brain. If the biblical text is to impact us at the deepest level, we need to absorb it through meditation and contemplation. But art appreciation takes time. Meditation takes time. Contemplation takes time. There is no  complete solution. that will effect in depth scripture engagement. And surely one of our priorities as Christian leaders must be to help the people we lead give quality time to in depth engagement with the scriptures.

Taking up the second question, we all rejoice that technology has enormously increased our capacity to communicate scripture and sound bytes which can penetrate busy lives and capture human imagination despite limited attention spans. But if scripture engagement is an art, sound bytes can only be the beginning. After all, the Bible is more than a series of memorable maxims and pithy parables. It is a story, a big story which God invites us to enter.Today we have the responsibility of helping Christians all over the world to move from sound byte to story. Urging them to resist the silent message that feelings should determine our decisions and that the  overall perspective of context doesnt matter. Our task as Christian leaders is to facilitate others to move beyond the sound byte, beyond the promise box, beyond the proof text and embrace the big story of the Bible.

Moving to the third question, information or transformation. The Bible is indeed a mine of important information. In the scriptures we discover vital truths about God, about humanity, about the destiny of the universe and much more. But the Bible is more than a repository of information. The primary purpose of the Bible is to testify to Jesus and help us to follow him. John Calvin spoke of the Bible as the scepter of Christ because it is through daily submission to the scriptures that we serve under his Lordship. It is as we follow Jesus that we experience this life transforming power and become like him. Perhaps the greatest responsibility of Christian leaders today is to demonstrate in our witness how to move on from scripture information to scripture transformation.

Coming to my fourth and final question, research suggestions that many Christians interact with scriptures as if they were fulfilling a hobby. A hobby is something you do or dont do depending on time an inclination. If scripture engagement is a hobby it becomes segregated from the rest of our everyday lives. God wants our interaction to the Bible to become our habitat, our natural home, the place where we recharge our batteries, where we renew our perspective and develop our worldview. The place where the Lord renews our soul. A primary task of Christian leaders in an age of confusion is to help others inhabit the scriptures daily and so gain a panorama of life from Gods point of view. The first of this presentation is that the prevailing occasional and superficial interaction with the Bible is presenting churches with a challenge to help Christians increase the incidence and the depth of their scripture engagement. If with the help of the Holy Spirit we succeed then the minority of Bible users will become a powerful band of scripture engagement advocates and ambassadors that will attract and inspire the majority of nonengagers to discover the Word that is better than gold. Agree.

I hope youre having a profitable time in your small groups. It seems like you are. I thought I would bring your attention to one piece that we really didnt say too much about. That is, one of those? as Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ as Michel said, the extraordinary thing about our God is a God who incarnated himself and lived among us, walked among us, lived among us. We are concerned about the least, arent we? The smallest and the greatest. We know there will be a great multitude before the throne, before the lamb but also the quality of that great crowd will be people from every tribe, language, people and nation. Extraordinary.

One group of people probably the most marginalized, perhaps the most mistreated in a general sense around the world are the deaf. We think there are anywhere from 200 to 400 deaf languages. Gladys from South Africa I think is the only deaf person here. Gladys, would you stand up? This is the way you clap. She doesnt hear. Thank you. That was a thank you. We forget that theyre not dumb, theyre just deaf. And they? we need to pay attention to their need. Some people said theyre the most ignorant of God of all peoples because very few people have concerned themselves with trying to communicate with them. We have a number of translation projects around the world, Bible agencies do in sign language. But with 200 to 400 possible sign languages around the world there is much to be done. Here in South Africa Ill give you an example of good intentions but poorly informed intentions. There is a simple English Bible for the deaf so they can read it. The trouble is, the deaf dont speak English. Thats one of the things we have a hard time getting through our head. They speak a different language, a sign language. Its not English, it is not French or German. There is one form of English they try to sign the letters with but thats hardly anyone speaks that.Sign languages are signed on a very different language than the language that is spoken around them because they cant hear the language spoken around them. People are experimenting with different kind of Bibles that are visual. You look at videos, people signing, telling the story. There is a lot to still be learned. Some of you may consider in your area of the world there may be hundreds or thousands of deaf people in your city or in the context in which you work. Dont forget their need and the situation they find themselves in.

As we draw to a close, I would ask you to fill out that evaluation form. Wed appreciate that. As much information as you can give us. And at your table are those Bibles that you are free to take, free to take one, take two for a friend back home or take three for a friend back home. Theyre laid out in a narrative style with different speakers in red and blue and green and so forth. So that you can share them and follow the text in a more? its written text now, this is not for the deaf, this is for those who are literate and it is not for those who need audio and so forth but take it and experiment with the text yourself. Thats its intention.

Okay. Lets just close in prayer. Lord, we want to thank you for the fact that you work in our hearts and minds. That you are the one who opens our eyes and helps us see. You are the one who opens our ears and helps us hear. You are the one who brings us signs as we need them to understand your presence. Father, we thank you that you are the guardian of the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts and we pray as we leave today that these will be ones that honor and glorify you, that seek your glory and that are submitted to you for your Spirit to work in our heart and mind as we go about our life in the coming weeks, months and years. We pray this because Jesus is Lord,  Agree.

It would be easiest if you leave the evaluations on the table and well come and pick them up. Thank you very much.

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Interview Anatoly Glukhovski and Sergey Rakhuba

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Provisional text in English

Well, Antoly, its wonderful to have together at this third Lausanne Congress in Cape Town. In many ways this is a truly historic event since the last Lausanne Congress in June of 1989, the world has changed in many ways. One of the ways it has changed is that there has been an emergence of a new region of the world we now call Eurasia. In 1989 at Lausanne 2, the delegates from that region of the world represented a single country, the Soviet Union, and here in Cape Town at this third Congress we have over 120 delegates from 12 nations of that region. Im from a different part of the world and I would like to know, Antoly, what is it like to be a follower a Jesus, a Christian in Eurasia today? Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity on behalf of participants from Eurasia just to say thank you to God, to his church, to Lausanne International Committee team and to Cape Town people for making possible for our group to come and celebrate the whole week what God is doing all over the world. You can imagine 1989, just a small group came from the Soviet Union to the second Congress. But after second Lausanne Congress, God has done something miraculous and it was collapse of the Soviet Union, it was the end of the Soviet empire, it was no more power of atheism over so many people who lived under persecution behind the Iron Curtain. You know, I am very excited because today God is building his church and on one side it is popular to be a believer in our part of the world. But at the same time, many people are paying a big price. We have countries where pastors today are still in prison. We have families that are persecuted. We have churches that are being burned. But at the same time what God has done in the Soviet union after the second Lausanne Congress, we believe God can do the same in China, Middle East and many other parts of the world by building his church. Antoly youre a deputy director of Lausanne for Eurasia and part of your responsibilities is to encourage and mobilize the church across Eurasia, I suspect this has not been an easy task for you. What are some of the issues and challenges that youve encountered in your responsibilities in Eurasia? I wish to say that it was very easy. It was not easy because geo graphically even though were only 12 countries but we are working together in Russia and you can imagine 19 years ago Siberia was a prison, but today Siberia is a mission field where the churches are planted and people go for a mission. So thats what motivates us and Im very grateful to God that our people, they see other people saved coming to the Lord, filled with the Holy Spirit, filled with joy and thats what motivates us so much. Sergey, you are from Moscow and our theme tonight is God is on the move. How has God been on the move in that great land of Russia? If you would allow I would like first to bring greetings on behalf of the entire evangelical family from Russia and the former Soviet Union and I would like to do it in Russian. In English it would sound like peace to you, dear brother and sisters in the name of our Lord Jesus. Now back to your question. How has God been on the move in Russia? By carefully observing what has taken place in the evangelical movement in the former Soviet block, especially the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet union in Eurasian territory have been directly involved in active, strategic developments in terms of mission ministries, I can say that the evangelical church in the former Soviet Union block is still on its way out of Soviet oppression, which tremendously impacted its mindset and culture. However, in the last 20 years, and especially today, we see that there is a new generation coming on the scene who are on fire for Christ, who are addressing new challenges in a contemporary society on behalf of the evangelical church and who are continuing to spread the Gospel and expand Gods kingdom all over the former Soviet union. God is raising up the next generation of missionaries for contemporary society in Eurasia, sending them to the most difficult areas, including where Islam is on the rise and creating strong base of resistance. Where moral challenges, new moral challenges such as HIV/AIDS and drugs and human trafficking are new threats to the foundations of society.Despite of all those challenges, the next generation of national missionaries and leaders who represent the faithful evangelical movement are taking the baton of faithfulness from their fathers, taking it in a new initiative and creating new resources to expand the influence of the evangelical church. Just like many years ago the Israelites, who reached the promised land after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, this next generation of leaders are now coming out of the wilderness of the Soviet regime and reaching beyond the horizon in taking the church to get to society in the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in a new and powerful way reaching those countries with the Gospel. Sergey, it is wonderful to hear how God has been on the move across Russia. Im sure there are things that make you rejoice in a very special way. What are some of those things? I rejoice that despite all those false predictions of failure given by the nominal church that is playing all those political power games with the government seeking the religious monopoly in Russia and other Soviet Union countries and Eastern Europe, the evangelical church has been led by the new generation of young leaders who are trained and equipped to take the bat on of faithfulness from their forefathers and develop new strategies which can meet the challenges of a contemporary society today. I rejoice that this young leaders, young pastors, young evangelists, and mission leaders are ready to serve and as an influential minority in the fallen and immoral culture and can regard threats from radical Islam and moral challenges such as HIV/AIDS, drugs and human trafficking as well take this challenges as new opportunities for evangelism or to transform the evangelical movement, reigniting its passion for the Gospel despite any of those internal or external challenges. I rejoice that the future of Russia today does not belong in the hands of KGB anymore or a new president or prime minister former KGB Officer Putin. But the future of Russia and the future of the former Soviet Union is in the hands of young and potential Christian leaders who will take the baton of faithfulness and lead the church into the glorious future in a powerful way in the Soviet Union. Thank you very much. How can we pray for you? God is on the move in Eastern Europe, Eurasia and please pray for us that we would stay faithful and follow him. Lets pray. Father, we thank you for the way you have moved across this vast area of the world. We now call Eurasia. Thank you for your faithfulness to the Gospel that you have given to us. Thank you for your people, the men and women whom you have raised up to provide leadership for the church across these nations, we commend them to you, we lift them up, Lord, and pray in the name of your son, Jesus, that you will support them, encourage them, be with them. Grant them courage and peace and grant them faithfulness to the Gospel we pray in the name of Jesus,  Agree.

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How to do evangelism in the 21st Century – Nicky Gumbel

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Provisional text in English

I was not brought up as a Christian. My father was Jewish, he was a secular Jew. He escaped from the Nazis and was a refugee in England. He met my mother and she was a nonpracticing Anglican, as many Anglicans are. And so I was not brought up as a Christian. And actually I was quite hostile to the Christian faith growing up. I would describe myself as an atheist but when I was at university, my best friend became a Christian and as a result, really in order to help him and to try and warn him I thought I should do some research and I read the New Testament. I read it in three days and when I got to the end of it I came to the conclusion it was true. And I understood that Jesus had died for me. And I put my faith in him and I experienced the love of God being poured into my heart by the Holy Spirit. And immediately I became excited about Jesus and I wanted to tell everybody about Jesus. But I wasnt very good at it and most of my attempts to tell people were pretty unsuccessful. And then I stumbled on Alpha. Its an amazing thing to be at this conference. I have found being here so humbling. When I see what all of you are doing in your different countries and your different ministries. It is so humbling. It is also so encouraging and inspiring to see what all of you are doing. Alpha is just one way, but this is my testimony and it started off, really, in a verse which I love, which Paul wrote this. He said, I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who has faith. And I want to just make one or two points about it. First of all, what hes saying is that the Gospel is true and reasonable. He says I am not ashamed. One of the inspiring things about this conference is to hear the stories from parts of the church where you are persecuted for your faith but you know, we in the west who have much less to fear than you have, are often tempted to be ashamed just because of the ridicule and the criticism that the Christianity is in some way irrational but when St. Paul was on trial before fest us the he said this, what I am saying to you is true and reasonable and I myself could not be a Christian if it were not for the fact that I believe there is good evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because I was a lawyer by background my father was a lawyer, my mother was a lawyer, my grandfather was a lawyer on one side. My grandfather on the other side was a lawyer. My son is a lawyer, my daughter is a lawyer, my uncle was a lawyer. If we had a cat he would have been a lawyer. When I looked at the evidence as a lawyer, I came to the conclusion its true, the Gospel is true and it is reasonable. Second thing from this verse is that the Gospel is powerful and life changing. So Paul writes that the Gospel is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes. The Gospel is so powerful and I experienced that in my own life. Jesus changed my life. And Ive had the privilege in the last few years of meeting, hearing the stories of some of the now 15 million people in 169 countries who have done the Alpha course right across all the different parts of the church and all the different denominations. And when I hear that testimonies about the power of God to change lives, I am always so moved. Just this Thursday, we went into a prison. A prison just 20 minutes away from here where theyve been running an Alpha course, and we heard the testimonies of the people on that course whose lives had been transformed by Jesus Christ. One of them was a guy whose name was Aubrey and he told us he was known as Mr. Crime. And his nickname was King. And he told us how he was abused as a child, how he got into drugs and sex and violence. He had become a very successful gang leader. He had made a lot of money. He had everything he wanted but he was in and out of prison. And he said all of my life I was looking for love but I couldnt find it. And then he told us how a friend invited him on the Alpha course and during the Holy Spirit day that they had in the prison, he experienced the love of God. He gave his life to Jesus Christ. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and he had this hardened this hardened gang leader had tears pouring down his face as he told us about the difference Jesus had made in his life. Jesus transformed his life. And the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.Thats the second thing. The third thing is that the Gospel is both words and actions. Later on in the book of Romans, St. Paul writes that he has fully proclaimed the Gospel by what he has said and done. Let me give you one example in our experience. What happens to a guy like Aubrey? His testimony was this. He said now, he said, I hate the name King. That nickname king because there is only one king, Jesus Christ. Whats going to happen to that man when he comes out of prison and wants to follow Jesus? Well, what weve done, because now there are thousands hundred thousand in the U. K. alone who have done it in the prison, we meet them at the prison gates. We help to find them a place to live and a job. And the churches welcome them with open arms into their communities. We placed 1,000 already. 34 in our own church. And since 1994, only two out of those 34 have reoffended, and that is way down on the reoffending rate generally. Because Jesus transforms peoples lives and Jesus said that the kingdom of God Jesus came proclaiming and demonstrating the kingdom of God. It is both words and actions. And thats why were concerned not just about the conversion of individuals, important though that is, but were concerned about the transformation of our society. Fourth point from this verse. So the Gospel is true and its reasonable. The Gospel is powerful and life changing. Its words and actions, but the fourth point is this. The Gospel is vital and it is urgent. Because St. Paul wrote the Gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. First of all, you have to believe it so its urgent that we get the message out to people so that they can believe. But then also it is salvation. Its not just some nice thing that were giving people. This is Jesus Christ giving people salvation. John Stoddard said the best word to describe salvation is freedom. Its freedom from sin, freedom from addiction, freedom from guilt, freedom from death and the fear of death that goes with it. Freedom to know God, freedom to love. Freedom to be the kind of people that deep down we long to be. This is the most important message in the world and it is urgent that we get this out to our society. A woman who came on our morning Alpha course, my wife runs the course and this woman said to my wife, this woman had been a prostitute. She had actually run a brothel. She had been a heroin addict. She said, if it wasnt for the church, I would be dead. Now, shes talking about physical death but thats true of everyone spiritually. If we dont get the message to them, they wont have life. The life which Jesus offers. Thats why its so urgent. All Christians believe in the Gospel but not all Christians believe in the urgency of the Gospel. And the Gospel is urgent. Martin Luther king spoke of the fierce urgency of now. And we have the hope for the world. Jesus is the hope for the world. And you know were living at a hinge moment. Were living at a hinge moment because what we have seen is the virtual collapse of communism. But weve also seen the failure of capitalism to meet the deepest human needs. And only Jesus can meet the deepest human needs in every human being. He met my deepest human need, he met yours and he wants to meet the needs of everyone out there. And he has entrusted us, the church, with the responsibility of taking that message out to the world. And it is an awesome and an amazing responsibility. This is an exciting time to be a Christian. This is an amazing time to be a Christian at this hinge moment in history. And my appeal is this. That we as Christians, we as the church of Jesus Christ, entrusted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, should stop fighting one another and unite together to take this message to the world. Because, St. Paul wrote, Im not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who has faith.

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Focusing on Myanmar, Caribbean, Jesus House, Karsten Huettmann

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Provisional text in English

Even though we in the church generally believe that we understand the problems confronting youth, it is essential to be consistently reminded of the condition and needs of our youth. Some have needs that are unique to where they live but the majority have needs that are threats that characterize youth worldwide. If we dont reach them now when theyre young theyre not likely to ever respond to the Gospel. If they leave their teenage years without Christ, they will most likely live without Christ, die without Christ and spend eternity without Christ. The majority of the world is young. One half of the world is under 25. And onethird of the world is under 15. And most who come to Christ will do so by age 18. Now globalization and technology have propelled a worldwide youth culture. Youth today are shaping the world, government, institutions, corporations and the church and young people are open and thirsty for God. But still they are a generation at risk. Like sheep without a shepherd as it says in Matthew 9:36, they are harassed, helpless, abandoned, disconnected, Biblically illiterate, spiritually hungry, lost, confused, undervalued. And yet throughout the world there are so many stories of the church rising up to support youth and youth ministry. The emerging and increasing stories of transformed youth give us faith and hope to believe that they are beginning to transform the world in playing a vital role in evangelization. There is much evidence of Gods work through young people so lets go on a journey around the world and see for yourself. Lets start in Myanmar. The Korean Christian Endeavor Youth has 110,000 members in more than 1,200 local societies. Over 220,000 youth attend their meetings. They are confined to the KORAN people, one of the Myanmar tribes. 20 percent of that group are Christians and they are reaching tens of thousands especially by providing evangelistic language programs for young people moving from the villages to the cities in search for work and future. Read, a magazine reaching and training youth workers in all South Korea and other countries in southern Asia. Another story of transformation with change that only comes through Jesus. Jacob, tell us about your friend. Did you know that 60 percent of India is below the age of 25? Really. As I traveled around in my work with the youth commission I notice that there are issues like rural issues that are related to unemployment and poverty but when it comes to the urban centers you have issues like abortion, addiction and issues related to the media. And there is one story. There was a young man who came to my coffee house and when he came, he had an issue of addiction. He was in deep debt, he was involved in gang fights and that evening for some strange reason he told me his whole story. And interestingly that night I had just returned from a very busy schedule and looked unshaven and with ruffled hair and he probably thought I was an addict like himself. But at the end of it the Lord prompted me to pray for him. As I prayed with him, he said thank you and left the place and the next day he comes back, clean shaven, totally transformed man. He said Jake, Ive decided to give up my drug habit and that was the story of transformation and later on he continued with our fellowship and grew up to be a strong Christian. Thanks for telling me that, thank you. Thank you. Youth are experiencing God and starting to follow Jesus everywhere be it in India or as were going to see somewhere else around the globe. The challenges our youth face are sometimes inconceivable until we see them with our own eyes or feel them with our own experiences but God has been faithful to his people. Listen to this young girl from a country in southern southeast Europe. We all work together to make disciples to make disciples. Were talking about a selfreplicating cycle of teenagers on every high school and middle school in America because they can do it. A student can reach their friends for Jesus more effectively than me as a youth pastor or parent can. Were seeing people in the classroom and how they struggle. Its easier to be open with someone if you can understand them and what theyre going through. Were talking about every person who passes through the high school, which is almost everybody. That would mean that almost every person in the world would be in arms reach of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.They would be in arms reach of the kingdom of God. Now lets go to YouTube for a record on a very exciting outreach. A combination of life and sunlight evangelism. I just came from one of these events which are taking place between September and November in Germany and over 220 cities in Germany alone with more than 1,200 churches partnering to reach out to youth. As a result, we see many youth coming to Christ. What does Jesus plus house make? Right, Jesus House. Jesus House is your chance to organize an evangelistic youth week of high quality with relatively little effort and you take part in a Europewide movement of various Christian churches and congregations. Jesus House is about inviting young people to investigate questions of faith and meaning. In doing so Jesus House connects party with profoundness. Youth sign up as an official organizer, get prepared in workshops and seminars and we provide you with attractive advertising material, ideas for decoration and everything else you need for a Jesus House. You pick a suitable location and invite plenty of young people. For every Jesus House evening you create a supporting program just as you like. Then you receive the broadcast, this time live from institute guard, via satellite to all participating venues. After the broadcast you can get into conversation with your guests and enjoy the rest of the evening. Jesus House central, satellite transmissions to your location. The best thing that ever happened to me to talk about Jesus. It was it was yeah, a really important thing in my life. Hes my Savior. Hes my hero. I have a friend from South Africa I would like you to meet. Hello, Natalie. Hi, how are you? Hi. Natalie, I know that you are a part of iThemba for quite some years now and its the group that weve seen at the beginning. Please tell us how did how or why did the ministry of iThemba become a mission sending ministry sending out young people every year especially to the Western world to reach out to other young people? It is under Youth for Christ and I know for a fact that Youth for Christ has been one of the organizations that has been sending teams all over the world. Over the last couple of decades one of our top  the best there is is we send young people either nationally in South Africa or internationally. Part of this is obviously young people go out, theyre passionate about Jesus, they love the arts. I know something we always say in our offices about gear to the times and gear to the rock, our rock being Jesus Christ. I know for a fact we cant just go out there Bible bashing each and every young person with come in contact with so we use the dance and dam yeah to attract the young people in. I must say, part of the programs that we have developed within the organization is focused on young people and that these are the issues that are relevant to young people, as I said earlier. Give us a short example of what do you experience when you come to other countries and serve there? Well, obviously I know Jesus, they know Jesus and the base part we can start. One thing I must say that Ive experienced in Germany is my oneonone time I have with my hosts or young people we come in contact with and when you see the young people dancing who previously they were so active and theyre jumpy and everything. Every young person wants to talk to another young person. Thats been a great opportunity for us just to share about God in a different way and not just come and say this is the right way to do it. You have to go to church, you have to do this but you basically share from a point of experience. Thank you very much, Natalie. Please dont stop sending young people to our countries, we really need them. Thank you. Thank you. Now the Bible tells us that prayer is the key to effective evangelism. Young people around the world are praying fervently for world evangelization. For 24 7 prayer movement comprised mainly of youth started a couple of years ago in England with a bunch of guys seeking to go deeper in their faith. This movement has currently spread to over 50 countries among many denominations rebirthing the idea of prayer chains and nonstop prayer meetings. See you at the pole is a global movement of youth gathering at their flagpole to pray for their friends and their schools. These movements among many others have led young people to committed praying and serving.So now that you have heard and seen all of this, it is your opportunity to respond. But first please think for a moment about this one question. What specific action did your ministry take to reach more youth in your country or somewhere else? Please think about that for one moment. Now we would like you to respond with your feet. Would you please stand up in oneness, agreeing about the tremendous need and opportunity we have to reach youth. I would like to invite you to pray this prayer of commitment with me. Father, as I stand here with my brothers and sisters from around the world, God help me to help you to stand firm in their faith and to use their feet for telling others about you. Agree.

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Panel with rep of each language group Africa

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Provisional text in English

The hosting of Lausanne on the African continent is recognition of the glorious work God is doing, not only to rapidly give the church in Africa a leadership mantel, but also to show the world that Christianity in Africa is vibrant, influential and is positioned for leadership. The African church has grown amid remarkable hardships and these will not end today. Journey with us, then, through the depth and unfailing power of Gods grace and blessings to and through his church in Africa. See the future of Christianity unfold before your eyes. Become part of his history on the African continent. Jose, how has the African church participated in social political and economic transformation? I am Jose Ablas. Well, one day when politicians when our country was still at war a cabinet minister said to me, we politicians are lucky because you Christians have no weapons. He said that to challenge me because he noted our divisions that make us ineffective in our witness. But our political leaders were helped by Christian missionaries. However, when they got into government they forgot that it is the church that played the key role to the liberation of the country and needed to be reminded. In addition to that, the Gospel was preached beyond the transformation of personal life through the building of schools and health facilities and rural development taken to remote villages. The church continued to develop a holistic, biblical theology as well as radical, responsible and intentional discipleship. Thank you. Rene, what do Christians in Africa need to do to be faithful to the Saviors mandate among Muslims? I am Rene Daidanso. One day I went to witness to a Muslim with a toothache. He grabbed me by the collar. I was tempted to hit back, but realized that I was there to share the Gospel and I restrained myself. Though he released me and went away, I took food to him to eat. Ten years later, when he was a civil servant, he came back to me and apologized. Another time judging the situation that faced us in a Muslim community, we decided to show the Christian film which gave us a wonderful opportunity to witness and talk to people. Jesus prayed in John 17, I am not asking you to take out of the world but to protect them from the evil one. He used the image of sending Christians out as lambs among wolves. As a Christian, we should banish hatred, aggression and hostility. We should in certain friendship, cordially, relationship and promote peaceful coexistence with others in the community. Our challenge is to extend the love to all, including Muslims. Christian love rightly demonstrated not only to friends, but even to enemies, attracts and impacts deeply those around. To love enemies is difficult. But by the Lord of grace and help of the Holy Spirit, we shall do it. Thank you. Zalelem, how can the African younger generation contribute to a future of hope? I am Zalelem Abebe from Ethiopia. Africa is a continent with vibrant younger generation leaders in the country. The second most populous 68 percent of the population are young, less than 24 years of age. And most of African countries share similar statistics. This huge human resource and potential is hope for bright Africa. The challenges that young Africans face today is a lot. In spite of all those challenges, the African youths  come to realize beyond the darkness. And also the Christian you strive to give direction and sense of hope for the young generation in Africa have developed a strong sense of African identity, develop attitude of thinking globally and acting locally which some call it localization, and develop disciples of hard work with all its ethical implications. The millions of younger Christians all over Africa will be agents of transformation as this great continent seeks to take its rightful place in the global arena. To achieve this dream the youths in the church of Jesus Christ fortified by the grace of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit can take the lead for holistic transformation. Thank you. Finally, Margaret, what challenges do Christians in secular jobs face in their faith and witness? I am Margaret Translation services supplied by ?eed Him. For more information contacts us as www.needhimabby.com Mathiang from Southern Sudan. Our country, like all other African countries, struggled with all wounds of tribal and religious conflicts. Besides factionalism, corruption, violation of human rights and elections of many to embrace the truth of God.I face the challenges in the public sector dealing with the above aspects as well as how to maintain my Christian identity and integrity. Some people for example have come to me promising to make me a millionaire overnight. If I cooperate by giving them contracts without due process or accepting their immoral advances. I have made it clear to them that I am a Christian and have distinct values than theirs. True promotion and riches come from God. I trust that Christians working in the public sector can contribute to the kingdom of God by working faithfully and practicing integrity, humility and love. Presently the leadership of the government of Southern Sudan, thats my government, has started engaging in dialogue between the church and the state which is a positive indication of Gods work amidst challenges and to have a better future. Praise be to God. Thank you. Agree. Friends, lets remember to pray for South Sudan because they have a referendum on January 9th to decide the future of that country. And also remember to pray for the Democratic Republic of Congo, because theyre in a situation of war where women are raped and a lot of ravaging is happening. Thank you very much.

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