Saturday, 20 June 2009

Evangelists Summit: Michael Ramsden

Michael Ramsden is the real deal. I am always stirred up and provoked by what he says, even though there are definite similarities between different messages I have heard because, simply, that is what he believes.

The strongest apologetic we have is God in us.
  • In us
  • In our marriage (if we are)
  • In our family
  • In our friendships
How "attractive" is our life? Is our testimony proved true in how we live, no matter what we face? This is not presenting a saccharin sweet view of a "perfect" life, but showing faith in action.

In Leviticus the calling to the priesthood was a gift.

Calling to serve God is God's gift to us, not ours to Him. Do we allow ourselves to feel we are somehow "doing God a favour" by serving Him in this way. Does the "gift" start to feel more like a burden, like a curse?

He then went on to discuss 1 Corinthians 1: 17-31

The irony of the verses which start with a warning about using words of human wisdom, then breaking into poetry. More so breaking into Hebrew poetry but in Greek, in a passage warning about the dangers of eloquence and pride.

Perecles Funeral Oration
regarded a victory, but they were later defeated. In context of that defeat, even the great oratory loses its significance.

Paul's verses here have 71 points of similarity with Pericles' poem: but the significance does not come from the words.

The power of the events is what gives the words power. The significance of the message is what gives the words significance.

So the question for us is do we rely on God and use our gifts,
or do we rely on our gifts and use God?

Are we in danger of allowing our "gift" to replace the "giver"?

Just because we are gifted does not make our life OK or a good witness.

When we meet people are we "tired" and "busy" so we can somehow be congratulated for the way we are serving God?

Then came a very familiar encouragement from 1 Peter 3: 15 & 16

Essentially the point was to see apologetics, giving an answer, as a spiritual act alongside prayer, fasting, theology etc. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 show apologetics is a spiritual act above an intellectual one.

In order to provide answers we need to know their questions. That requires knowing what they read, watch and think about things. But our response needs to be "our" response: not someone else's neatly packaged into pithy sayings. We need to make it our own and express it our way.

Not only is it expressing the truth, but also being an effective witness to the truth as we answer.

My highlight:
"Apologetics is theology with legs that can walk into a pub and impart wisdom"

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