I decided it would be profitable to write down some of the excerpts from some of the messages given at the “Together For the Gospel” conference last week. The first one that I’m going to share was from Al Mohler’s message. Now Mohler in the last two years has become one of my heroes of the modern faith. Like Dever has said multiple times, “I’m glad he’s on our side. We usually don’t get guys like him.” He is very adept at discerning where the culture is and what we are to make of it. While he doesn’t exactly study the culture, he’s excellent at applying biblical principles in deciding how we are to react to movements and shifting thoughts.
He gave a message on how to preach to our culture and was saying it is difficult to define because it is always changing and forming into something else at a great pace. He ended his message with a list of ‘self-isms’ that people in our culture deal with and hold to and we should have in mind when we are preaching the gospel. here they are:
1. Self-Fulfillment- this is a radical individualism and a quest for the true self. Everything is viewed as it affects the self. It is normal to think that self is the center to everything. This really affects the logic of the cross because people don’t see that the problem lies within themselves. They see the problem as being an alien problem calling for an internal solution. The reality is that it is an internal problem calling for an alien solution. People see the problem are things that have happened to them, not things that they have done.
2. Self-Sufficiency- man possesses everything within him that is necessary. But the gospel isn’t about depending on one’s self, but realizing that self can’t get you anywhere.
3. Self-Definition- we have teh ability to define ourselves, how we are man and woman, what marriage is, gender, sexuality, authority, etc. Man is controlling his own evolution and can redefine what it means to be human.
4. Self-Enhancement- extending life as long as possible, making the human body into art. man is coming up with so many ways to reach the perfect state of looks and condition, and that is where their concentration is.
5. Self-Transcendence- hearing our presentation of the gospel as another spirituality. That it is just another belief that will do well for us to believe, but not the only ‘truth’. The emphasis is on beliefs rather than truth. Mohler said that it is here that we need to be clear about the mono in monotheism. And I don’t know he transitioned into it, but it is here that he stated what may have been the line of the conference: “in the Bible, “When you see an angel, you wet your pants! They say, “don’t die! We bring good tidings.”
6. Self-Security- we believe that we are safe because of a military or hospitals, financially, spiritually. This makes the gospel difficult to understand because there is no impending danger that they can see.
Thought that these might be of interest to you all. I know they were very insightful for me.