Saturday, September 30, 2006

DG: Session #2 (Friday Morning - Voddie Bauchum)

We had a nice breakfast with Justin Taylor this morning. Well, it was hardly a breakfast as there was very little food involved, but the time with JT was a treat. Justin is a very humble and gracious man.

Psalm 43 was read to begin worship, then we sung. Come Now Almighty King, O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing, May the Mind of Christ My Saviour… and some other choruses of which I was unfamiliar.

Voddie Baucham

“The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World”

It is an honor to be here – but a little odd. There is Dr. Carson, and I quote him all the time. “Lord give me grace to stand up, speak up and shut up and do it quickly.”

If you know post-modern epistemology, you know that this idea of truth is a difficult thing. Post-modernism is not supreme in this world – Christ is. All day everyday and twice on Sunday, Christ wins – not post-modernism!

There is Christian theism on the one hand. Post-modern secular humanism is on the other side. I want to set these two world views up then examine them in light of the Scriptures.

I want to look at them categorically – how they answer questions of God, knowledge, ethics, etc

Theism says there is a God who is a necessary intelligent Being. Pomo secular humanism says there is no God – man is the starting point.

Theism – man is made in image of God. Humanism says man is an accident.

Truth is absolute. Truth is only known by knowing this closed system of nature (naturalistic materialism). Spong suggest we need to move toward a non-theistic view of God – we should evolve to this!

Ethics are absolute. Ethics are cultural and negotiable. To the point that some would suggest Hitler was not unethical!

How does this work out in real life. How do we address the issue of Truth?

Every human will ask these 4 basic questions:

1.Who am I?

2. Why am I here?

3. What is wrong with the world?

4. How can what is wrong be made right?

It is the soul of every man to wrestle with these questions. The idea of a world that cannot be made right is unthinkable.

Let me answer these questions from the perspective of pomo secular humanism.

  1. You are nothing – an accident – a glorified ape. No rhyme, reason or purpose.
  2. To consume and enjoy. Get all you can, can all you get and sit on the can.

If you put these two together, all that matters is if you are more powerful than me. I will take from you what I need for my own satisfaction. Social Darwinism. What the Nazi’s did with Jews is what we do with children in the womb – so don’t look down on them. This deformed child will hinder your ability to consume and enjoy. You are old and feeble – you have a duty to die.

  1. People are insufficiently educated or governed. They don’t know enough or they are not being watched enough.
  2. More education and more government.

Educate a sinner and they become a more sophisticated sinner. Who governs the governors? Secular humanism has no answers.

How do we respond? Colossians 1.

1. Col 1:15 – Who am I? The text does not start with “you are” but “He is.” This is because of the supremacy of Christ. He is the picture in human flesh of God – the Almighty. He is the creator of all things. This hearkens back to John 1:1, then Genesis 1:1. “I am the crowning glory of the creation of God.” Psalm 139 – I was knit together in my mother’s womb. I have inherent dignity and worth because I am made in the image of God. Christian theism cannot comprehend racism and eugenics. It’s okay you are not black like me – God loves you just as you are! [laugher and applause].

How do you respond to cultures that claim Christ and practice slavery? Narrative is not normative. It stopped! What drove this? The supremacy of Christ! Secular humanism cannot grasp this truth. But we cannot escape this Truth.

I spent much of life wondering why? My mom was 17 when she became pregnant with me. I was raised in the projects of south central of LA. 24 was the average life expectancy of a young, black male. But I am the crowning glory of the creation by virtue of the fact that He made me.

2. Why am I here? We have houses that are larger than ever before and families that are smaller than ever before. Children cost too much! That is secular humanism.

Col 1:16-18. I am here to bring glory and honour to the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we exist. He is to have supremacy and preeminence in all things. I am not here to consume and enjoy. God is not against you having things – He is against things having you. We need to have a keen eye toward seeing the way God has put us together – or how he has put our kids together – so that we can find how to squeeze out of us what brings the most glory to God. Why did you choose your last job? The supremacy of Christ or the paycheque? Pastor – how did you choose your current church?

3. What is wrong with the world? Col 1: “You” are what is wrong with the world! I mean, me too, but mostly you! If God is so good and powerful why does bad stuff happen?” This is not the proper way to ask the question. You need to say, “How on earth can a holy and righteous God know what I did and thought yesterday and not kill me in my sleep? You believe the problem is out there, but you have it wrong. Why does your judgment tarry God? Ask it the other way and you believe in the supremacy of man. The real problem is that I do not acknowledge the supremacy of Christ. I believe in the supremacy of me and truth. I want a God who is omnipotent but not sovereign. I want to wield His power.

4. How can what is wrong be made right? Col 1:22. “Yet” – what a wonderful word! “If” we continue steadfast in the faith. The penal substitutionary atonement of Christ can make things right. Second, this is the only thing that can make things right. There is no other way for men to be saved and justified. Every other religion says, have a religious experience then work really hard to do more good things than bad and hope for the best. Tehre is no certainty or security.

I never heard the Gospel until I went to college. My mom was a practicing Buddhist! But, I can’t be good – I am incapable of it. I am totally and radically depraved. Even the good things that I do come from wrong motives. Second problem – what about all the bad things I did before my religious ecperience? The only solution is Jesus and His atoning sacrifice.

How could God not crush the sinning Abraham or Moses or David? Because He crushed His own Son instead. Was Jesus’ work enough for the sin of these men? The sin of me? Nothing else could have been done that allowed God to be both just and the justifier. Nothing can wash me white as snow but the blood of Jesus. Sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. The spotless and sinless Lamb of God paid a debt He did not know for sinners who could never pay him back.

When you juxtapose these two worldviews and something happens.

On the one hand, man is worthless and pointless. On the other, you are precious, you have a purpose, but you are powerless, but its okay, because you were purchased! This is the supremacy of Christ in truth in a postmodern world.

We possess the answer and we are possessed by the answer. Christ! Our culture does not give answers that satisfy. Christ is the only thing that will satisfy. We preach Jesus and Him crucified. I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe. Let us embrace this and proclaim this – passionately.

[You need to download this message and listen to it!]

1 comment:

  1. Paul . . .

    From both yours and Challies' reports on this session, it looks like it might be (at least to this point, which is Sunday morning early) one of the most powerful messages of the Conference.

    I'm anxiously awaiting your thoughts on Driscoll's talk and hope you make some comments

    I also liked it that you added a little about the music.