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More help with talks please

Last time I asked for help I got some real pearls. Here are some more talks I'm giving in the next few weeks. Any help with passages and points?

* Who is Jesus - Liar, Lunatic or Lord?

* What would Jesus say about homosexuality?

* Do Christians believe in three gods? (Inviting the Islamic society to this one)

* A short talk in the middle of a pub quiz.

8 thoughts on “More help with talks please

  1. jeremy clark

    lord/liar/lunatic: a well-read atheist will object to this trilemma, finding it meaningless because, they say, there's a 4th option - myth. not in that Jesus didn't exist, but in that the gospel accounts are the result of the natural human enterprise of story-telling and are effectively myths that have added to/subtracted from/distorted the real Jesus. C.S. Lewis was not ignorant of this objection and as an expert in mythological writings was well qualified to answer it, but I find it's often missed out of contemporary apologetics.

  2. Hin-Tai

    Agreed with Jeremy - one of the best evangelistic talks I've heard was on 'liar, lunatic or Lord', and it had the entire first half discussing the reliability and genre of the New Testament Gospels, before then going onto the extraordinary person of Christ - and it was an extraordinary talk as a result!

  3. Josh VB

    "Liar, Lunatic or Lord" sounds like three pre-existent categories that we fit Jesus into. Can it be turned into three ways we can approach him? So it says more about us than about him?
    One step further: maybe something like: we're a liar if we call him a liar - we're a lunatic if we call him a lunatic - we become lords over creation if we call him LORD.

    Pub quiz: Talk about knowledge - John 17:3 maybe? Knowledge is great, knowledge is personal... Or talk about the goodness of creation, it's great that we know things about the world - we can know our creator as well - Col 1:15?

    Homosexuality: talk about identity? If someone's identity is their sexuality then that is the bigger issue to look at. Need to be clear it is wrong, but it's a symptom of something greater.

    Three gods? John 5? That's your territory. You tell us what you'll do!

    Can you return a favour? I'll be attending a muslim/christian debate on "is God a trinity" (organised by the Islamic society; I'll be a member of the audience). What would be your top three questions to ask the muslim speaker?

  4. John B

    I appreciate the comments made here on "Liar, Lunatic or Lord". I don't think that an atheist would or should find this line to be at all persuasive. It seems to be an argument in support of orthodox Christology, rather than a theistic proof.

    What is meant by "A short talk in the middle of a pub quiz"?

  5. Glen

    Thanks Jeremy and Hin Tai - is there any way I could get hold o the notes.

    I like that idea Josh - what you say of Christ is your own verdict.

    John - all of these are scenarios that have been given to me. One evening will be a quiz night and I will get up and say a few words halfway through.

  6. John B

    Thanks Glen. I just found the "Pub quiz" article on Wikipedia. Now I understand! The bars where I drink have never held any of these events, so far as I know.

  7. Hin-Tai

    You can download it here, though the quality isn't great

    http://www.oiccu.org.uk/podcast.xml?listcat=Pursuit%20of%20Happiness%20%28with%20thanks%20to%20Oxford%20City%20Council%20and%20the%20Town%20Hall%29&ref=web

    Vaughan Roberts - 'Jesus: Mad, Bad or God?'

    outline of the talk -
    intro: 'how do we find out what's outside the room?' analogy + explanation - Jesus is the man from 'outside the room'

    - different explanations + rejections of the alternative ways of knowing - e.g. rationalism, mysticism - and the necessity of revelation

    - some of the claims of Jesus - He makes God known, He is from another world, John 14:6 - what do you make of Him? Christianity is all about Christ - what do you make of him? He's remarkable, even from a secular viewpoint

    - But Jesus is a historical figure, not a myth. Consider the NT gospels seriously - they are eyewitness reports; Luke writes as a historian; they're written in the lifetimes of witnesses of Jesus; the writers had no motives to lie; secular contemporary historians refer to Jesus; manuscript integrity for the NT is overwhelming (esp. compared to other ancient works);

    - So, Jesus - He did remarkable things; He spoke remarkably about being the way truth and life of God; so was Jesus egocentric?

    - no - for His death is central - we are in desperate need of propitiation of God, but God is a God of amazing love - hence, Jesus' death on the cross.

    - the evidence for the resurrection

    - illustration of the extraordinary nature of Jesus' claims - Jesus was not _nice_

    - so was he a liar? if so why die for a lie?

    - so was he mad? read his teaching.

    - if he's God, take him very seriously!!! He is a loving authority inviting us to be forgiven and know him.

    - think about it, you've got nothing to lose.

    then Q&A

    :)

  8. Fearghal K

    Love talking about the 'one God or three?' question!

    Recently watched a debate between Dr. Shabir Ally and Dr. Nabeel Qureshi Debate on 'What is God Really Like: Tawhid or Trinity?'. A few points I picked up were:

    - Saying the word 'Trinity' isn't in the Bible goes the other way too because 'Tawhid' isn't in the Qu'ran or Hadith either.

    - Surat Al-Ma'idah [5:116] says:
    And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'"
    Christians would recognise this as polytheism just as Muslims would, it's blasphemy to say 'two deities besides God' in Christianity just as it's shirk is Islam.

    - Dr. Shabir Ally responded asking, "Why stop at three persons? What if there are more yet to be revealed?" I think the New Testament's emphatically clear that you cannot get a clearer picture of who God is than in Jesus. In him we see the Father and showed us the work of the Spirit.

    - Dr. Shabir Ally kept asking, "Is the Trinity Yahweh, or is Jesus Yahweh?" It's a point of confusion over what's meant by 'Jesus is God'. Sometimes it's heard as 'Jesus is the Father', 'Jesus is the Three Persons', 'Jesus is another God', etc. Being clear by what you mean by 'God' in each sense is vital. The quote by Michael Martin in this I think is a good example of the misunderstanding in atheism ('Christ must be his own father and his own son'): http://www.bethinking.org/god/understanding-the-trinity

    What came to mind in during the debate was the comparison of 'revelation' in Islam and Christianity. Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm still learning), most of Islam is based on a private experience of a prophet. Christianity is based on a public life, death and resurrection of one man, which the public then went and spread the news about. Secondly, most of the disagreements come from different starting points of 'what' a divine being is. In Islam, Allah cannot be incarnate nor exist in more than one person - he is Tawhid. It's a preconception of what 'God' means'. But the historical resurrection of Jesus shows us that he really is the Christ, the Son of God. If that's true, then God is not like Allah, but the Father, Son and Spirit. Just as the Greeks had to abandon their false views of the gods, just as Paul had to rethink his monotheism as he came to know that Jesus is Lord.

    So I think the key points are: clear the fog of 'defeater' arguments (Surat Al-Ma'idah [5:116], 'Trinity' in the Bible, more than three persons?), showing the differences between the Muslim and Christian concept of God, looking at who Jesus reveals God to be (and comparing private experience and public ministry).

    C Michael Patton wrote a good article on the public vs private revelation stuff:
    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/07/christianity-the-worlds-most-falsifiable-religion/?nabe=6241452902318080:0

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