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RZIM EUROPE’S MAGAZINE

ISSUE 13 | SPRING 2013

If there is a loving God, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? Students of the OCCA Objectification: Where is Society Heading? Youth Apologetics: Inspiring Young People to have Confidence in the Truth

Is Philosophy Dead? www.rzim.eu


HELPING THE THINKER BELIEVE AND THE BELIEVER THINK RZIM Europe is an evangelistic organisation that seeks to engage hearts and minds for Christ. Our speakers are trained to respond to the objections and questions that people have about faith, so that lives might be transformed by the gospel message. We also help to resource the church, through apologetics articles and talks, engagement with the media, training events and academic courses at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA). Furthermore, we run an Associates Programme for emerging evangelists around Europe and we contribute to the work of Wellspring International, RZIM’s humanitarian organisation.

our team includes: RAVI ZACHARIAS MICHAEL RAMSDEN

PRESIDENT OF RZIM AND SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW AT WYCLIFFE HALL

EUROPEAN DIRECTOR OF RZIM AND DIRECTOR OF THE OCCA

ALISTER MCGRATH

UK DIRECTOR OF RZIM AND CURRICULUM DIRECTOR OF THE OCCA

JOHN LENNOX

OS GUINNESS

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AT THE OCCA

SENIOR FELLOW AT THE OCCA

VINCE VITALE

TOM PRICE

SHARON DIRCKX

SENIOR TUTOR, OCCA AND RZIM ITINERANT SPEAKER

TUTOR, OCCA AND RZIM ITINERANT SPEAKER

TUTOR, OCCA AND RZIM ITINERANT SPEAKER

JO VITALE

MICHELLE TEPPER

TANYA WALKER

OCCA TUTOR

RZIM ITINERANT SPEAKER

RZIM ITINERANT SPEAKER

PRESIDENT OF THE OCCA

AMY ORR-EWING

CHRISTIAN HOFREITER VLAD CRIZNIC

DIRECTOR OF GERMANY, AUSTRIA AND SWITZERLAND

DIRECTOR OF RZIM ROMANIA

PRINTER | VERITÉ CM LTD DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION | KAREN SAWREY RZIM Europe is the working name of RZIM Zacharias Trust, a charitable company founded in 1997 that is limited by guarantee and registered in England. Company No. 3449676. Charity No. 1067314

The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) is a partnership between RZIM and Wycliffe Hall, a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford.

RZIM Europe, 76 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6JT

SPRING 2013 | PULSE ISSUE 13

T: +44 (0)1865 302900

PHOTOGRAPHY | JOHN CAIRNS & PAUL SAWREY STOCK IMAGES | COVER IMAGE: hikrcn@Shutterstock.com INSIDE PAGES: ISTOCKphoto & hikrcn@Shutterstock.com

F: +44 (0)1865 318451

www.rzim.eu


WELCOME TO THE THIRTEENTH EDITION OF

pulse magazine IN THIS ISSUE: IF THERE IS A LOVING GOD, WHY IS THERE SO MUCH EVIL AND SUFFERING IN THE WORLD? This is one of the most difficult questions for Christians to answer and it is also a subject that looks completely different from the perspective of someone who has experienced extreme personal anguish or pain. In her article on page 4, Sharon Dirckx introduces the topic which she has grappled with in her new book, Why? Looking at God, Evil and Personal Suffering.

IS PHILOSOPHY DEAD? In The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking famously declared that philosophy was dead, in the sense that science was now supposedly leading the way in furthering human knowledge. How would a philosopher respond to such a charge? Turn to page 20 to read why Vince Vitale believes that philosophy is not only alive and well, but belief in God is actually making a come-back.

OBJECTIFICATION: WHERE IS SOCIETY HEADING? The objectification of women is something feminists have fought against for many decades, but what happens when society starts to view everyone as a commodity, rather than as relational beings? On page 12 Michael Ramsden examines where our culture is heading and what ramifications this has for all of us.

YOUTH APOLOGETICS: INSPIRING YOUNG PEOPLE TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE TRUTH The best-known apologists are those who have been defending the gospel for many decades. But what impact might a new generation of young apologists make in the world today? Michelle Tepper argues that we should not only be investing in the younger generation, but we should be expecting great results from them (page 8).

STUDENTS OF THE OCCA We have reached the mid-way point of the OCCA academic year. Many of the students have travelled a long way to study at the centre and you can find out more about their stories on pages 16-19.

TRAINING EVENTS The first of the re-launched RZIM Training Weekends is about to be held in Cheltenham. Find out more about the next weekend, as well as the forthcoming RZIM training day in Sevenoaks, on page 10.

Simon Wenham

CONTENTS IF THERE IS A LOVING GOD, WHY IS THERE SO MUCH EVIL AND SUFFERING IN THE WORLD?

4

YOUTH APOLOGETICS: INSPIRING YOUNG PEOPLE TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE TRUTH

8

EVENTS

10

DIARY DATES

11

OBJECTIFICATION: WHERE IS SOCIETY HEADING?

12

STUDENTS OF THE OCCA

16

IS PHILOSOPHY DEAD?

20

RESEARCH CO-ORDINATOR

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If there is a loving God,

is there so much evil & suffering in the world?

BY SHARON DIRCK X

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OUR VERY NATURAL RESPONSE IS TO ASK THE QUESTION...

We only have to turn on the news for a few seconds to be bombarded with human suffering in all its forms. Natural disasters and famines strike down hundreds of thousands; wars tear apart families; suicide bombers wreak havoc in the Middle East, and now the West as well. Traffic accidents end life in an instant. Stabbings, burglaries, corruption and bribery are daily occurrences. We cannot be blamed for asking, ‘Why? Why do these things happen?’

Yet suffering is not just out there in the form of news headlines; it is also very personal. Perhaps you are reading this, knowing all too well the pain of losing a loved one, or the pain of divorce, or the pain of infertility, or the pain of mental illness, or of physical sickness, or the pain of struggling with an eating disorder, or with sexual identity, or the pain of being relentlessly bullied. Suffering is not just something we hear about on the news, but something that is woven into everyday life. In writing a book on suffering, there is certainly no shortage of material. Our very natural response is to ask the question: ‘Why is this happening to me?’ ‘Why?’ is one of the very first questions a child asks, and there seems to be something intrinsically human about asking it. But if you have asked ‘Why?’, surely this raises an interesting thought: to whom are you addressing the question? Do you know? Does it matter? Our society tells us that there is a variety of different options out there. In situations of suffering, some would turn to Eastern meditation as a source of strength, some to nature itself, others to the Allah of Islam, others to the God of Judaism or Christianity, and still others would say they are not appealing to anyone or anything, but merely letting off steam into the unknown. An indicator of whether a belief system is true or not lies in its ability to make sense of the real world. In other words, true beliefs can be lived out practically and offer explanations that help us make sense of life, rather than throwing us into further confusion. So in the case of pain and suffering, are all the religious options equally valid crutches pulled out to get us through the tough times, and then binned once we are back on our feet? Or do some seem to ring true more than others? Where do the most satisfying answers come from? There are two purposes to my book. The first is to respond to some of the

questions people ask about suffering. If God is real, then there must be persuasive reasons as to why evil exists and why suffering (the impact of evil on a person’s life) is allowed. The second purpose of my book is to share with you the stories of normal people who have suffered (and still do) in many different ways, and whose practical experience is that one particular faith does indeed stand out amongst the rest. These people are Christians, and their stories will unwrap their experience of God in their suffering. I interviewed each person, and the words you will read are very much their own. In some cases, names have been changed, but the stories are authentic. Let me also say what my book is not. It is not attempting to say that Christians have all the answers. Sometimes eager Christians can stray into arrogance or insensitivity by giving the impression that we know the reason and purpose behind all suffering and every tragic event. As you will see, many of those who have shared their stories are yet to receive answers to the ‘why?’ of their suffering, and indeed may never do so. Christians do not have all the answers. But does this mean there are no answers at all? When faced with suffering, people often respond with: ‘Surely a loving God would not have allowed this to happen!’ or ‘Does God care about this?’ or ‘Why doesn’t he do something?’ In other words, people assume that, given the presence of evil in our world, God either does not exist or else he is weak, malicious or indifferent to our suffering. I would like to show you that, even though we don’t understand everything, it is still possible to believe in a God who is completely loving, completely in control of events and intimately concerned with the details of our lives, and yet also acknowledge the reality of evil and suffering. Not only that, but I would like to show you that seeing life from this perspective helps us make more, not less, sense of our hurting world.1

1. Excerpt taken from S. Dirckx, Why? Looking at God, Evil and Personal Suffering (Nottingham, 2013), pp. 15-7 (introduction).

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Why? is a book aimed at weaving together hard questions with real life in a style that is accessible to all, whether you believe in God or not. The book begins this journey with Frances’s story, whose daughter Millie was diagnosed with a rare and severe condition. Millie was not expected to survive the womb and yet lived for 22 months. Frances describes how she and her husband navigated the pregnancy, cared for Millie after she was born, and grieved after her death. Chapter 1 then addresses the question, ‘If God exists, then why is there so much evil and suffering in the world?’ The world in which we live is a smorgasbord of different religious options. What answers do they offer about the existence of God and the existence of evil? Chapter 2 then asks, ‘If God knew the world would be a place of suffering, then why did he create it?’ In other words, given suffering, surely it would have been better to not exist at all? The book then moves onto Will’s Story. Will’s wife and two year-old son were killed in a car crash. His three year-old daughter was pulled from the wreckage with minor injuries. Through this tragedy, Will finds his way to a strong faith in God but faces tough questions from his daughter a few years later, ‘…if God can do anything and he loves us a huge, huge, huge amount, then why did he let Mummy’s car hit the lorry? Why didn’t he just reach down and stop the accident happening?’ Chapter 3 addresses this very question, ‘If God is so powerful, then why doesn’t he stop evil before it happens?’ In other words, why couldn’t God have created a better world than the one we have now; in which lorries do not crash into cars containing precious people? Any answers given need to be sufficient for Will’s daughter in the grief and loss of her own mother. We then examine, in Chapter 4, a key question for many, ‘Surely religion is the cause of so much suffering?’ Perhaps religion is at the

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TRUE BELIEFS CAN BE LIVED OUT PRACTICALLY AND OFFER EXPLANATIONS THAT HELP US MAKE SENSE OF LIFE, RATHER THAN THROWING US INTO FURTHER CONFUSION

root of the problem and therefore to minimize suffering we need to eradicate religion? We then read Grace’s story and her journey through issues of self-image, self-harm and an eating disorder. ‘The difference today is that I’m whole. I’m not broken anymore. Jesus Christ has made me whole. I know who I am because I know who he is’. Chapter 5 then looks at the question, ‘If God exists, then does he care about my suffering?’, which is followed immediately by the question that, in my experience, no one asks and yet we need to address in order to make some sense of suffering, ‘Am I responsible for anyone else’s suffering?’. Must God shoulder all of the blame or do we have a role to play as well? Charles’s story gives us a window into the extreme, large-scale suffering he saw as an aid worker in Somalia. ‘The older I grow, the harder it becomes to put suffering into tidy boxes’. This precedes a chapter on, ’Why does God allow natural disasters and diseases?’ in which the different explanations for tsunamis and earthquakes as well as disease and sickness are examined. Rachel’s story of an ongoing struggle with Multiple Sclerosis precedes the penultimate chapter, ‘Can a broken story be fixed?’ Our stories are broken. For some the suffering doesn’t get easier, but worse. Is there ever any hope of

relief? How do you fix a broken story? By embedding our story in a much bigger story ‘… that wraps around all of our individual stories, in which good will triumph, evil will be destroyed, [and] justice will be done…’ The final chapter asks, ‘How do I move forward from here?’ and invites the reader to take things further whether they currently believe or not. We did not know at the outset that a sixth story would be included. My husband, Conrad, has struggled with a recurring yet poorly diagnosed condition since childhood, which recurred during the writing of the manuscript. We found ourselves asking some of those very ‘Why?’ questions ourselves. This we believe was not coincidence and has added a ‘tone’ to the book that may appeal to readers currently experiencing suffering, as well as to the interested enquirer. Writing from a place of struggle created in me a dissatisfaction with overly tidy answers, the cold comfort that they sometimes offer, and a greater realization of the mystery and depth of suffering. This book has been written with tears. Tears of my own, tears for those I have journeyed with, and tears for the distant suffering that we hear through the media. I hope you will find it of some help with your own ‘Why?’ questions.

Sharon Dirckx TUTOR AT THE OCCA AND SPEAKER FOR RZIM


‘Sharon’s book puts words and reason to what I instinctively knew in my heart the day I became an amputee: God loves me, God is good, God is all powerful, and God was mourning the loss of my leg alongside me. I flipped between anger and thankfulness that my life was spared, but the experience of God’s peace was constant. Sharon does a brilliant and honest job of explaining this paradox.‘ STEF REID, ATHLETE AND BRITISH PARALYMPIC MEDALIST

‘Written with the heart of a mother as well as the mind of a scientist, Why? is not only profound, but also tender and comforting. This book is not just about suffering; it is written by one who knows suffering, for others who are suffering themselves’ OS GUINNESS, SENIOR FELLOW OF THE OCCA

‘Lucid, emphatic and biblical, this engaging treatment of the enigma of human suffering speaks to both the confused mind and the aching heart, with wisdom, logic and grace. I warmly commend it’ DAVID JACKMAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE PROCLAMATION TRUST

‘I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone asking the deep questions of life’

PHOTOGRAPHS FOR ARTICLE BY JOHN CAIRNS

AMY ORR-EWING, UK DIRECTOR OF RZIM

SHARON DIRCKX AT THE BOOK LAUNCH.

Looking at God, evil & personal suffering can be purchased from RZIM Call Liz on 01865 203900 to order.

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PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL SAWREY

YOUTH APOLOGETICS: INSPIRING YOUNG PEOPLE TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE TRUTH BY MICHELLE TEPPER

‘Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity’ (1TIMOTHY 4:12-13) The majority of us, regardless of our age, are probably familiar with these words of encouragement that Paul gives to a young Timothy who was taking over the leadership of the growing church in Ephesus. We have often heard these words used at youth conferences and camps when young people are told they are the ‘future of our church’, or in those rare occasions when a promising young

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person is given the chance to give a talk or lead a small group. We tend to reserve the application of Paul’s instruction to ‘not despise youth’ for the ‘exceptional’ ones who take us by surprise with their intellectual aptitude or overwhelming charisma. Yet the Bible is full of examples of young people setting not only an example, but ‘the bar’ very high in

‘speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.’ David was a boy when he was anointed as King, and Josiah was only eight. The latter was eighteen when he led a reformation calling the entire kingdom to return to the Book of the Covenant. Daniel and his three friends were young adults when they stood out as beacons of truth and light in secular government, whilst Esther was probably no older that 20 when she


helped save the Jewish people. There were countless Judges and Prophets in the Old Testament who were made spiritual or political leaders of God’s people in their youth. Jesus himself first made his debut among the leading rabbis of his time when he was around 12. What should all of these examples and Paul’s words to Timothy tell us? They show that we should not only expect but also welcome and encourage young people into leadership in ministry, evangelism, preaching, teaching and even apologetics! If you put Paul’s exhortation into context with the verses that precede and follow it, you will see that the high proportion of young leaders in the Bible doesn’t happen by coincidence or simply because of natural talent. In 1 Timothy 4:7 Paul says ‘train yourself for godliness’ and he goes on to say ‘devote yourselves to public reading, exhortation and teaching…PRACTICE these things, immerse yourself in them…Persist in this’ [emphasis added]. Perhaps the reason why we do not see more young people leading the way in the church is because we have not taken the time to train them the way Paul seems to suggest. Have we created a safe place where youth can voice their concerns if they feel, as Paul says early in verse 7, that their faith is nothing more than a silly myth? How do we handle their questions? Are we training them to be able to confidently engage with not only their own but the most difficult questions they will face? Will we give them the room to publicly ‘practice’ doing so? It takes time and confidence on our own part to allow our children and youth to press into the real questions and assumptions about God that lie behind their most innocent (or seemingly irreverent) questions without either patronizing them with our set answers or getting embarrassed by the fact we may not

have a perfect answer to give.

I had the privilege of serving as the University Student Pastor at St Aldate’s Church (Oxford) for six years before I joined the RZIM team. The thing that struck me again and again was that the students who had the hardest questions and the biggest struggles with God were often those who came from Christian backgrounds. They arrived at university and had to make their minds up about morality, purpose, meaning and our origin. They often realized that theirs was an inherited faith instead of one they had accepted as their own. Subsequently their basis for just about everything – identity, decision-making, behaviour and purpose – would start to crumble. The same exact evangelism and apologetics that was needed to engage the atheist students’ hearts and minds was needed to engage the ‘Christian’ students who had become immune to their inherited faith. There is more and more on offer for students these days when it comes to apologetics. Most Christian Unions run regular apologetic talks and many churches in university towns hold events for students, but maybe waiting to introduce our Christian young people to apologetics right before or as they enter higher education is too late. After all, many of the prominent new atheists rejected God before they had even reached university age. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes ‘The fact that what you are thinking about is God Himself does not mean that you can be content with the same babyish ideas which you had when you were a five-year-old. It is, of course, quite true that God will not love you any the less or have less use for you…He has room for people with very little sense, but he wants everyone to use what sense they

have.’ Of course, God can raise up not only young people, but Christian leaders of any age who do not have degrees in apologetics, or any formal theological training – the Bible and church history are full of people who fit that description – but imagine the possibilities, if we took the time to help our Christian youth develop their genuine and precious childhood faith into an unshakeable confidence through coming to know Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation. Is it possible to raise up a generation of 12-18 year olds who could shake up politics like Daniel, rule countries like Esther, or lead amazing churches like Timothy? This doesn’t have to be just a dream. What will keep our young people from losing their faith in university? Confidence.

CONFIDENCE THAT: the Church is a place where they can ask their biggest questions and still be accepted and loved. the Bible and Jesus can stand up intellectually, emotionally and practically to life’s biggest questions. we not only believe in them, but need them and will train them to stand up and pass on this confidence to the world.

1 Timothy 4 ends with these words: ‘Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.’ This type of training and equipping takes persistence, but it yields great reward. If we help our young people gain confidence in their faith sooner, we will be equipping them to stand firm when they face the hardest challenges to their own faith. By doing so, we could also help them to become powerful evangelists to those in the world around them.

Michelle Tepper RZIM SPEAKER

YOUNG PEOPLE

• Have an instinctive knowledge & understanding of contemporary culture • Actively engage in current communication platforms e.g. Twitter, Facebook

SAVE THE DATE:

RZIM will be running its first Youth Apologetics Day on 14 September 2013. Further information about this will be forthcoming soon.

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conversational evangelism Sharing and Defending THE CHRISTIAN FAITH RZIM Training Day, Sevenoaks, 27th April 2013 RZIM Training Days are designed to give you a greater confidence in being able to communicate what you believe, as you endeavour to share your faith with seekers and sceptics alike.

In a world of questions and uncertainties, many of us want to communicate the gospel effectively but feel ill-equipped to do so. Can we really share our faith in a credible, relevant and meaningful way in our workplace, to our neighbours and with our family? And how can we really help people with their heartfelt concerns and intellectual objections to the Christian faith? Michael Ramsden will explore the whole area of ‘Conversational evangelism' – how we can best share and defend our faith in society today, why the gospel really makes a difference, and how we can turn objections to the faith into opportunities to help people see the cross more clearly.

For further information and to book online please visit www.rzim.eu/what-we-do/day-training

Comments from our last Training Day Extremely powerful. A HUGE blessing! Hugely thought-provoking and encouraging. Love the intelligence with heart. Keep up the good work!

# Beautiful example of faith filled intelligence at its best # Fascinating day on Christian apologetics, learnt so much that my brain hurts

# Great day in Oxford at RZIM Training Day # Great to be equipped, refreshed and inspired

NEXT TRAINING WEEKEND: 11 – 14 APRIL (see back page for further details) SPRING 2013 | PULSE ISSUE 13

PHOTOGRAPHS FOR ARTICLE BY JOHN CAIRNS

# Amazing example of head and heart. Epic


THE DIARY SELECTED EUROPEAN HIGHLIGHTS

MARCH

2

CHRISTIANS IN SCIENCE STUDENT CONFERENCE, BIRMINGHAM (Sharon Dirckx)

3 5 5-6

WYCOMBE ABBEY SCHOOL

(Vince Vitale)

OXFORD UNIVERSITY CHRISTIAN UNION EVENT, OXFORD

(Vince Vitale)

EVANGELICAL MISSIONS ANNUAL CONFERENCE, REHE, GERMANY (Michael Ramsden and Christian Hofreiter)

APRIL

MAY

JUNE JULY

17 20 23-26

MORNINGSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH, EDINBURGH

11 11-14 13 20 22 24-25 27 29 30

NEW WORLD ALIVE, PRESTATYN

1

EVENING TALK AND BOOK SIGNING, KING’S COLLEGE, LONDON (Alister McGrath)

2-3 3-5 9-12 25 25-30

BRISTOL EVENTS

15 25

FOCUSFEST 2013, BELFAST

31JUN - 5 8 21-26 27 27 – 2AUG

RZIM OXFORD SUMMER SCHOOL

OPEN DOORS DEVOTIONAL, WITNEY

DANISH CHRISTIAN STUDENTS MOVEMENT

RZIM TRAINING WEEKEND

(Amy and Frog Orr-Ewing)

(Michael Ramsden) (Michael Ramsden)

(John Lennox)

(Team)

CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, LONDON HEARTHEADHANDS DAY 2013, CHELTENHAM BOOK LAUNCH, LICC, LONDON OPEN FORUMS, BELGIUM

(Sharon Dirckx)

(Amy Orr-Ewing)

(Alister McGrath)

(Team)

RZIM TRAINING DAY, SEVENOAKS

(Michael Ramsden)

HARRIS MANCHESTER LECTURE, OXFORD

(Alister McGrath)

EVENING TALK AND BOOK SIGNING, CAMBRIDGE

(Alister McGrath)

(John Lennox)

CROSSROADS CHURCH, GENEVA EURECA, NETHERLAND

(Sharon Dirckx)

(John Lennox)

UNBELIEVABLE CONFERENCE, LONDON

(Amy Orr-Ewing)

EUROPEAN LEADERSHIP FORUM, WISLA, POLAND

(Amy Orr-Ewing)

NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST, LONDON

HTB FOCUS, LONDON

(John Lennox)

(Team)

APOLOGETICS SUMMER CAMP, ROMANIA KESWICK CONVENTION

(Team)

(Michelle Tepper and Vlad Criznic)

(John Lennox) (Michelle Tepper)

HTB FOCUS WEEK, MABLETHORPE

(Michael Ramsden)

THIS LIST DOES NOT INCLUDE ALL OF THE EVENTS THAT OUR SPEAKERS ARE INVOLVED WITH, AND SOME MAYBE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. IF YOU WANT FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT ANY OF THE ABOVE PLEASE CONTACT OUR OXFORD OFFICE

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OBJECTIFICATION: WHERE IS SOCIETY HEADING? BY SIMON W ENHA M A DAPTED FROM A TA LK BY MICHA EL R A MSDEN

You may have heard it said that Christianity is something that causes the death of its believers (in a metaphorical sense), because it stops them enjoying life

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None of us like the idea of having our freedom restricted or being forced to go in a direction we don’t want to go and this is why most people try to structure their lives in a way that will ultimately lead to greater happiness and fulfilment. Nevertheless, we don’t always necessarily know how to get to where we want to go G. K. Chesterton observed that commentators often describe society as being ‘sick’, which enables them to suggest ways to make it better. This is why John Stuart Mill wrote about ‘happiness’, which was then enshrined in the American constitution. He was not referring to a fleeting emotion, but was trying to examine how society could be structured for the greatest good of its citizens. Yet Chesterton suggests that it is wrong to use medical language, because doctors know what a healthy body looks like, even if they sometimes disagree about what caused a person to be ill. By contrast, in politics, it is the opposite; we know something is wrong, but we can’t agree on what a healthy society looks like. Where is it that we are heading, as a society? This is where it gets difficult! We all desire and value emancipation and freedom, but what we don’t realise is that sometimes our actions have the opposite effect. In a book called Female Chauvinist Pigs, for example, feminist author Ariel Levy examines the trend amongst young women of dressing in revealing clothing as a form of self-expression.1 She describes becoming more aware of this societal shift when she attended a party claiming to show 'feminism in action', which involved scantily clad girls doing provocative dancing for the entertainment of those present. This, Levy explains,

is ‘raunch feminism’, which is supposedly part of the same project as women marching on Washington for their rights. Yet she suggests that this should not be considered ‘liberation’, because women seem to have lost consciousness of how society is treating them. Levy recalls her own education at the height of the politically correct 1990s, when there were no required courses in her college and when gender specific terms were banned. Even teaching classical literature was frowned upon, because it was deemed to be suggesting that dead white men were more important than female or non-white writers. Instead, courses were all about constructions of gender, race and class; there was even one on pornography. Yet why is this latest movement considered the ‘new feminism’, she asks, as opposed to what it looks like: the old objectification? By ushering in feminism, men and women were supposed to be treated the same, but by removing some of the boundaries it wasn’t just men who were treating women as objects, but now women were doing it too and in the name of liberation!2 It is inevitable that the more we move away from how God wants us to live, the more we end up chasing different goals and objectives. Yet however attractive these may seem, the result is that we find ourselves with less freedom, rather than more.

The objectification of humankind lies behind many of the crimes we see today. Slavery, for example, treats people as possessions to be bought and sold, whilst prostitution is all about consumption. These may seem like extreme examples, but the effects of objectification run much deeper in society than perhaps we realise. People everywhere are beginning to see themselves and others as objects and it is becoming a universal problem. Our fascination with beauty is mind-boggling, for example, and it is no surprise that there are increasing numbers of people who hate their bodies. Many people are in the throes of negative self-image and cannot accept themselves, because they are unable to live up to the airbrushed images that portray an impossible ideal. It is not even uncommon to hear people saying they feel unworthy to step into a church. Yet there is a beauty that comes from within that is far more compelling, wonderful and fantastic to behold than outward appearance and this is something that springs from inside of us, from who we are. The problem is that we no longer know who we should be or what the ultimate goal of life is. In the process, we have come to think of ourselves as beings that are bought or sold. Have you noticed the ways we do this? Writing a CV is all about marketing ourselves, for example, as if we were a commodity.

IT IS INEVITABLE THAT THE MORE WE MOVE AWAY FROM HOW GOD WANTS US TO LIVE, THE MORE WE END UP CHASING DIFFERENT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES. 1 The right to do so has recently been asserted more widely in a number of high-profile marches that have been held worldwide. 2 A. Levy, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture (New York, 2005), pp. 70-81

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The problem with this is that you don’t have relationships with commodities, because they are things that are designed to be used or consumed. But we’re people, not commodities, because we are personal beings that have the mutual experience of relationship.

HE EXPLAINS THAT YOU (THE PEOPLE) ARE HIS SHEEP, THE SHEPHERDS ARE THE LEADERS OF ISRAEL AND THE GOOD SHEPHERD IS GOD.

Here’s where things get even more complicated. Let’s spend a few moments delving into Ezekiel 34, which explains the phenomenon that has been outlined above. We would like to think that the church is unaffected by this, but this passage is a hard one, because it suggests otherwise:

The word of the Lord came to me: 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays

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or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. 7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9  therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the

Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

In case you’re not getting the imagery, God spells it out for us. He explains that you (the people) are his sheep, the shepherds are the leaders of Israel and the good shepherd is God. The accusation God is bringing against the leaders of his church is that they are consuming the flock. They’re not interested in looking after it, but they want to use the flock to make themselves richer, which is why the


sheep have been scattered. There are lots of people today who have experienced bad shepherds treating them for what they can provide, whether it be their money or simply their presence to occupy a seat. The very people who are supposed to be looking after them are using them for their own ends and many people have been driven away from the church because of it. If this has happened to you, then this passage should be an encouragement, because it says this is not what God intends for the church. This can be very subtle sometimes, as we may be helping the poor and the sick, but we may be doing it to make ourselves feel better, rather than actually wanting to care for the people. Yet the more objectification takes hold in a culture, the more we think about people as objects upon which we exercise our compassion and our generosity. We end up, therefore, treating them as if they were objects. This demeaning of the human race is endemic and we need to be clear that God is against it. Yet the passage goes on to say (verses 17-22) that the sheep are also responsible for abusing themselves. They push each other out of the way and after eating their food they trample it under their feet preventing others from consuming it. So just as the leaders abuse the flock, the sheep are abusing themselves. But then God makes an amazing promise: he will rescue the sheep and give them justice. So we have come full circle. In John 10 Christ says

‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep’. ‘You are bad shepherds of Israel', he says to the religious leaders, 'because you have not tended the flock.’ ‘You have driven them away and have not fed

them. I am the good shepherd and I go after the lost sheep and I lay down my life and I will bring them all home.’ The Israelites response is to say, ‘Let’s kill him – who does he think he is, God?! ‘Yes’, Jesus replies! ‘I am the good shepherd. I love my flock because of who they are.’ In Revelation (4:11) it says

‘by your [God’s] will they were created and have their being’. In other words, God wants you and I to be here, because he values us as people, by his will. He values you and he created the world in which you are here. In fact, he has gone to extraordinary lengths so that you are here. It was no accident, it was God's will. Couldn’t God just have created a better world without all of the abuse we see around us? Yes, he could have, but it would have been one where we weren’t in it, because we’re very good at messing things up. This is the world he created for us to be here, but instead of understanding who we are, in him, we have set up our own goals and we are now running in the wrong direction. We may well think we are running in the right direction and yet we are creating more bondage for us. Like the feminist, we might ask, ‘Why are we doing this?!’, because it is destroying us and the consequences are terrifying. You hear of young boys beating up small boys and it is justified as a form of entertainment – their prey was seen as an object by which to achieve this. Yet God speaks into this situation when he says that we were created in his image and he wants to be in

relationship with us. He points out, as clearly as possible, the consequences of living without him and going our own way, although sadly the church has sometimes gone down this route too (see 'questions to think about' below). But God came into the world to save us. Jesus says ‘I am the good shepherd. I lay down my life for my sheep’. In other words, God has a rescue plan. He paid the most incredible price and the amazing thing is that he’s not just saving the good sheep, but he’s rescuing the bad sheep too. In fact, they’re all bad sheep, but he’s the good shepherd who makes it all possible. He does the search and he pays the price to bring them back. That is the message of the cross! All of the punishment and the consequences of our actions are taken on himself and he conquers this and now offers us a new life. It is only at the cross that we can truly find the freedom and fulfilment that we need to flourish, as we are made to be in relationship, not only with other human beings, but with a God who loves us and created us for this very purpose.

Summary of Michael Ramsden’s talk by Simon Wenham RESEARCH COORDINATOR The talk ‘Objects or Persons’ can be listened to on the website of the Jubilee Community Church: www.jubilee.org.za

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT: • In what ways does society make people into objects (think of the mainstream media, for example)? • In what ways do you objectify people (or yourself ) and what effect does this have? • Do you see God as an object that you either try to consume or turn to only when you need something?

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MEET the OCCA STUDENTS For those with a passion to make Christ known, studying at OCCA is a life changing experience, combining effective evangelism with academic rigour. 28 students from 11 countries across the world are currently enrolled across two courses.

9

5

1 LONNIE FULLER

SANTO MILITELLO

CHAD BARLOW

USA

USA

USA

2

(Masters student)

6

CALLOM HARKRADER

TAMARA SANCHEZ-KAPOSTASY

USA

USA

1 5 7

6 11

3 8

3 MICHAEL SUDERMAN

USA

(Masters student)

7

KRIN BAER

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ALYCIA WOOD USA

LUKE SANDERS USA

4

10

11

8 CARMEN PEREZ USA

12

ANDREW SEATON

RACHEL WALLICK

USA

USA

10 9 12 4 2


13

25

19

16

CLAIRE BROWN

DAVID LEWIS

DAVID HAMAR

LAITH MARDINI

UK

UK

Hungary

Jordan

ID E N T IT

I H Y W IT

HELD

17

14

20

26

AUGUSTUS KENNEDY

BEN THOMAS

FEMALE STUDENT

SUI LUNG STEPHEN LAM

UK

UK

Middle East

Hong Kong

15

18

LUKE CAWLEY

JESSIE WALROND

UK

UK

15 14 13 18 17 16

21

27 DANIEL PATERSON

FRANCESCO SCHIANO LOMORIELLO

Australia

Italy

19 21

20 25 22

26

28 23

JORDAN THYER

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS FOR ARTICLE BY JOHN CAIRNS

Australia

22

24

23

24

28

YOUSSEF YACOUB SAEED

GIDEON ODOMA

MAHLATSE WINSTON MASHUA

Egypt

Nigeria

South Africa

27

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ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE – EFFEC TIVE EVANGELISM – SPIRITUAL FORMATION

STUDENT FOCUS: GIDEON ODOMA

Nigeria Gideon is an itinerant preacher, evangelist and church planter, and has travelled extensively across Nigeria and the West-African Sub-region preaching the gospel. He preaches in youth conferences, on University campuses, in open-air evangelistic missions and in different church denominations. In 2006, he founded Fortress Ministry, a non-denominational Ministry committed to evangelism, apologetics and leadership development. During his time studying at the University of Jos, he served as President of the largest campus Christian fellowship. He has also led a number of church planting and short-term outreaches to different parts of West Africa since 2005.

A personal word from Gideon Coming to OCCA is a dream I nursed for 3 years before finally applying last year. I would not have been able to study at OCCA without the wonderful prayer support of people in Nigeria and Oxford, and the generous scholarship I have received from OCCA, for which I am deeply thankful. I expect my time at OCCA to be a season of immense sharpening, equipping, and preparation for a lifetime in God’s service. I want to grow as a Christian and become a more effective evangelist and minister. So far, OCCA has surpassed my expectations in its uncommon ability to combine practical evangelistic opportunities, spiritual disciplines, and academic teaching far beyond my experience as a graduate student at university. After OCCA, I intend to return to Nigeria and continue my evangelistic ministry across the country and wider West-African region. I also plan to become more active in engaging with government and policy makers on issues of social, interfaith and policy issues in Nigeria, to ensure that the Christian voice is heard in these debates. It is also important to continue to equip and raise up other Christian leaders in my country, and the academic knowledge and spiritual development gained at OCCA will help me to upgrade the scope and content of the quarterly leadership training run by Fortress Ministry in the nation’s capital of Abuja. I will also use my itinerant speaking platform to encourage and help the

are inspired by these stories, it is now even easier to support SUPPORT IftheyouOCCA and our students through our online giving page – THE OCCA www.theocca.org/donate

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ALL PHOTOGRAPHS FOR ARTICLE BY JOHN CAIRNS

Church to engage more intentionally in apologetics as a tool for evangelism.


EVANGELISM PLACEMENTS Alongside their academic study, students are given practical training and ‘hands on’ experience in evangelism. From the start of the course, students are involved in a weekly evangelistic placement at a church or parachurch organisation in Oxford, giving them to chance to sharpen their effectiveness in evangelism. Placement opportunities are numerous and give students the opportunity to put theory into practice. This year, we have seen God work through them in exciting ways in a variety of settings.

UNIVERSITY EVENTS E

ALPHA COURSE 'Today, I talked to a young man who had stepped away from faith as the result of a really tough situation in his life. We had a fantastic conversation and it was wonderful to get an insight into they way the Lord is working in his life. It reminded me that our God is a God of redemption who loves to turn even the darkest areas of our lives into good!'

Please join us in praying for the various mission opportunities this year.

Q&A AT AN OXFORD COLLEGE 'The night was filled with great conversations! I had three extremely

DISCUSSION GROUP 'Today we welcomed a new

encouraging and

person to the group – she

meaningful conversations,

comes from a Christian

and one student said

background but has never

he had never heard

studied the Bible before.

Christianity explained in

As we looked at gospel

that way before. We must

stories together, I was

share the gospel whenever

amazed at the truths

and however we can!

she was able to recognize

I know I cannot answer

about Jesus’ character,

their questions without the

grace and love.

Father, and my own prayer

Our God is living and

life has flourished and

always hoping to reveal

blossomed as a result

himself to those who are

of this placement too!'

seeking him!'

OCCA staff members will lead students on week-long university outreach events in York, Bath, Liverpool and Aberystwyth in February. Students will be involved in lunch bar talks, dinners hosted by the Christian Union members for their non-Christian friends, Q&A sessions, discussion groups, seeker bible studies and much more. We have already seen people commit their lives to Christ in evangelistic carol services, and during the preliminary mission week in Bath, so please join us in praying for a great harvest during these missions.

@theocca

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IS PHILOSOPHY DEAD? BY M A RTIN SMITH A DAPTED FROM A TA LK BY V I NCE V ITA LE

‘Philosophy is dead.’ That’s the news Stephen Hawking dropped a little over a year ago and it’s caused Vince Vitale some complications. He is, after all, employed by RZIM to teach the stuff and when your subject no longer exists, questions arise as to why your salary should feature in the budget over, well, anything else.

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Mercifully, Vince was given permission to make a case for philosophy and his job in several lectures. The core of his defence we repeat below for all who feel they need convincing: Hawking’s timing is off. Philosophy was dead – at least as far as Christian engagement with it was concerned. The first half of the 20th century witnessed arguably the greatest dearth of Christian scholarship since the Dark Ages. In this bleak period of academic withdrawal, the claim ‘God exists’ wasn’t even afforded the dignity of being false. Thanks to the philosophy of logical positivism – all the rage at the time – the claim was thought literally nonsense. It was gobbledegook that could no more be true or false than the sentence ‘gnawing hat neck left.’ Genuinely meaningful sentences, it was believed, were those that were true by definition of the words used or those that could be scientifically tested. You could properly say something like ‘all bachelors are married’ or ‘Hawaii is moving towards Japan at the speed of 10cm a year’, but something like ‘God exists’ was more suspect. As you could not test Jesus’ walking-on-water in a laboratory, and God’s existence was not evident by definition alone, religious claims fell on hard times. A. J. Ayer, prominent chief of the positivists, declared with confidence, ‘all utterances about the nature of God are nonsensical.’ So much for God in philosophy! Things weren’t much better elsewhere. Theology had stopped contending for the rationality of religious belief and the existence/ character of God. It turned instead to

critiquing the Bible and describing religion merely as a cultural phenomenon. Rudolf Bultmann, perhaps the most influential German theologian and biblical scholar of his day, demanded an almost complete split between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith. He called this process ‘demythology’, and argued that only the bare fact of Christ crucified was necessary for Christian faith – no resurrection, no Pentecost, no miracles, no afterlife. Christianity was a culturally important myth, nothing more. Sociology, likewise, took a radically atheistic turn. It was the mantra of the field that modernisation would go hand in hand with secularisation, i.e. that as people become more educated and scientifically advanced, religion would wither away and die. Such an attitude was understandable at the time given that philosophy claimed the idea of God’s existence was gibberish and theology thought that didn’t much matter, because religion was just about culture. Sociology, then, had every reason to think churches would be empty by the year 2000.

But something, obviously, didn’t go quite as expected. It’s 2013 and there are, to understate the case, still a few churches kicking around. So what happened?

There was a rupture in the cosy atheism of academia. Firstly, in philosophy, logical positivism underwent a complete collapse by the 60s. There were a number of reasons for this, but the most embarrassing discovery was that there wasn’t a way to state the theory while satisfying its own conditions. The theory was that ‘all meaningful claims are either true by definition or scientifically verifiable.’ But that claim itself isn’t true by definition the way a mathematical truth like 2+2=4 is. Nor is there any obvious way to scientifically test it. So if we accept the logical positivists’ theory, then by its own standard we should believe the theory is nonsense! The theory was shown to be self-defeating.

At the same time this ship sank, a handful of Christians who happened also to be fantastic philosophers began doing academic apologetics at such a high level that secular philosophers were forced to take notice. Alvin Plantinga led this resurgence and in 1978, he along with several others established the Society of Christian Philosophers, which has grown to be the largest special interest group in academic philosophy. Their journal, Faith and Philosophy, is the preeminent journal in the philosophy of religion and it is the hardest to get published in. Today perhaps one quarter to a third of philosophy professors in the Englishspeaking world are theists, with most of those being orthodox Christians. This revival of Christian thought emerged through many key ideas and arguments questioning whether an atheistic worldview is the supremely rational one it was once assumed to be. Here are just a couple of reasons for thinking it’s not: There is often an assumption at the outset of discussions about God that the burden of proof for belief in God is higher because it is such an incredible option. Richard Dawkins puts it this way, ‘if you want to believe in… unicorns, or tooth fairies, Thor or Yahweh – the onus is on you to say why you believe in it. The onus is not on the rest of us to say why we do not.’ The idea seems to be that God is too extraordinary to believe. But this implies that there is some non-incredible option – some less surprising and perhaps purely scientific option – that fares better than God in this respect. After all, a given hypothesis is only probable or improbable relative to the alternative hypotheses out there. Is there really a non-incredible alternative? Imagine Michael Ramsden gets stuck on a deserted island with John Lennox, Amy Orr-Ewing and Alister McGrath. He’s certain they’re the only four people on the island (it’s a very small island.) And say his signed copy of The God Delusion goes missing and

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in its place he finds an anonymous note that says, ‘I’m sorry my friend; I couldn’t resist.’ Given the character of these three, it may initially seem very unlikely that John, Amy or Alister would steal the book. But given that Michael can be very confident that they are the only three people who could have taken it – the only three options – the probability that any one of them did it is now quite significant. Something similar is true when we consider big picture explanations of the universe. There are only three primary competitors.

NUMBER ONE: God created the universe. Admittedly, this is a pretty incredible claim, but wait for the other options…

NUMBER TWO: The universe just popped into existence from nothing. This is a very strange idea. The physical stuff in our everyday lives doesn’t generally pop in and out of existence with no explanation. If not now, why think it did at the beginning?

PHILOSOPHY WAS DEAD. BUT WE HAVE A GOD WHO SPECIALIZES IN RESURRECTION AND NEW BEGINNINGS there is a universe at all. This too is very weird, not to mention contrary to the science which strongly suggests that the universe did in fact have a beginning.

These three options exhaust the relevant alternatives – no others have been suggested – and all three of them are very odd. In which case there’s no getting around the fact that you have to deal with the extraordinary. Whether you’re a theist, atheist or agnostic, you’re faced with a miraculous world. The idea that nontheists have a less odd, more purely scientific explanation that they can appeal to is simply wishful thinking. This ‘normalcy of the supernatural’ undercuts the assumption that the burden of proof rests more heavily on the theist than the atheist. (See Vince’s Slice of Infinity article on

NUMBER THREE: The universe has always existed, extending infinitely back in time.

this line of reasoning http://www.rzim.

This just pushes the weirdness a further step back. Perhaps each part of the universe can be explained by some other part of the universe that came before it, but we still have absolutely no explanation for why

But the current academic revival has not just levelled the field, it has also featured arguments that go on the offense for God. One of these – entirely new rather than simply revived – is the fine-tuning argument.

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org/a-slice-of-infinity/which-virgin-birth/)

You play a friend at poker and they get twelve straight royal flushes – what should you think? Naturally, that they are fixing their hand. Why? Because it’s far more likely that these royal flushes are the result of deliberate intent rather than the random luck of the draw. The fine-tuning argument uses similar reasoning. The universe we live in could have taken many different forms, and scientists are approaching a consensus – not Christian scientists but just scientists in general – that there are at least 25 different fundamental features of the universe that need to be fine-tuned precisely as they are for life to be possible. That is, any form of life anywhere in the universe. The precision required, however, is truly staggering. It can be compared, for some of these conditions, to firing a bullet at a one-inch target the other side of the observable universe, fortyseven billion light years away, and hitting it. Just one bulls-eye would be marvellous enough, let alone the 25 or so our universe exhibits. So how are we to explain these amazing ‘coincidences?’ How are we to explain


these royal flushes turning up hand after hand? We should come to the only rational conclusion; someone got their hands on the cards and tinkered with the system. In other words, there is a deliberate intent behind the universe. There is a rational creator God. Yes, academia now looks quite different. Alongside the turnaround in philosophy, in theology and biblical studies, traditional Christian claims are once more being defended, including sophisticated arguments for the historical demonstrability of the resurrection. As many as half of New Testament scholars with university posts believe Jesus was miraculously raised from the dead. In sociology, the idea that modernization leads to secularization is widely recognised to be hopelessly simplistic and against the evidence. But most of us are not professional academics. Neither are the friends and family we want to share our Christian faith with. So what does this matter? It matters because ideas have consequences:

is today a matter of academic speculation begins tomorrow to move armies and pull down empires.’

The best academic scholarship eventually filters down into education, into the media, into popular literature, and ultimately into public opinion. The books of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and Dennett are the filtered down results of those anti-religious philosophies that dominated the scholarship 75 years ago. The new atheism at the popular level can be traced directly back to the old scholarship at the academic level. I do academic philosophy, then, because I am an evangelist. I long to see people know the peace and purpose I found in Jesus Christ. I am committed to the best-selling books being more favourably disposed to Christian faith when my grandchildren and great grandchildren are perusing the shelves. God ultimately intends Christian scholarship to be about people, not ideas. But it takes collaborative effort for the best of Christian scholarship to make an impact on our culture and our loved ones. Professional philosophers are hardly renowned for their ability to to communicate with normal people. It takes nonacademics who work hard to understand the arguments, and then add to them a colour and humanity that people can connect with.

‘What

(J. GRESHAM MACHEN)

So God blesses Alvin Plantinga with an incredible mind and gives him arguments to put Christianity back on the table in academic philosophy. God then, later, gives some young men such as Ravi Zacharias and Os Guinness a vision for connecting the

best of Christian scholarship with those seeking God all around the world, and gives them the ability communicate those ideas with a human touch. Later still some young undergraduate reads one of their books, is gripped by the truth and beauty in it, and gives his life to Christ. This young Christian then builds a relationship with a friend struggling with addiction or the death of his father – a friend who has no direct connection to academia – and does his best to answer his questions and introduce him to the only one who can see him through the toughest time in his life. Philosophy was dead. But we have a God who specializes in resurrection and new beginnings. Can you pray, then, for those academic subjects that still await a Christian resurgence? Can you find ways to tap into the work of Christian scholars and use their material to address questions and concerns of your friends and family? Be assured that if God can bring the entire disciplines of philosophy, theology and sociology back to life when they were dead, he can reach whoever it is that you are hoping for, praying for, and speaking to. Amen?

Summary of Vince Vitale’s talk by Martin Smith OCCA TUTORS’ ASSISTANT This talk can be heard at www.rzim.eu

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TRAINING 11th – 14th April 2013, Cheltenham THIS EVENT IS OPEN TO BOTH NEW A N D R E T U R N I N G D E L E G AT E S ( A S P H A S E 1 A N D P H A S E 2 W I L L B E TA U G H T S I M U LTA N E O U S LY )

COURSE CONTENT INCLUDES: Phase 1 (Apr and Sept)

Phase 2 (11 - 14 Apr)

Phase 3 (Sept)

• Conversational Apologetics

• New Atheism

• Eastern Spirituality

• Spiritual Disciplines

• Postmodernism

• Islam

• Logical Fallacies

• The Problem of Pain

• Ethics and Judgment

• The Cross

• The Origin of the Universe

• The reliability of the Bible

SPEAKERS FOR THE COURSE INCLUDE MICHAEL RAMSDEN, AMY ORR-EWING, JOHN LENNOX, TANYA WALKER, TOM PRICE, MICHELLE TEPPER, VINCE VITALE, SHARON DIRCKX AND CHRISTIAN HOFREITER.

To register your interest and for further details, please email

office@rzim.eu

Pulse Magazine – Issue 13  

In this issue we will be asking, “Is Philosophy dead?” and “If there is a loving God, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world?...

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