Sunday, 14 May 2017

i) Lesson 6 HUMANISM’S METASTORY – The Story that is Shaping Western Cultures

Session 6
HUMANISM’S METASTORY – The Story that is Shaping Western Cultures 
                      Read pages 132 - 151,  Appendix B pages 261 - 274.

1) Is there validity to the way I have presented this meta-story or is it a caricature?
       Are these as significant / as “imposible” an event as the Big Bang itself?
               The Big Bang - the expanding cosmos - formed out of ???
               The Biological Big Bang - Life
               The Anthropological - Homo Sapiens
               The Psychological - Search for meaning / purpose / truth / justice etc
               The Bio-technological - human partnership with evolution
               "Deification" - Mankind perfected
2) Discuss the two key assumptions that this story makes?  Does our culture recognize / acknowledge these assumptions? How can we create awareness of these assumptions?
           - It’s all by chance (by implication - no god)
           - Truth is only through reason working through the scientific method.
                  What other assumptions need to be made as the story moves along?
3) How is this meta-story shaping western culture and its soul?
        Think through these institutions:
             - education, health care, judicial system, politics (the progressive agenda), etc
        Think through these life issues:
              - Life meaning / purpose, what is a human, our sexuality, ethics - right or wrong,
         Think through these rites of passage rituals
              - birth, adolescence, marriage, retirement, death, birthdays,
        The story suggests the possibility of extinction (page 145 - 6).
                        How does this impact our lives?

4) Examine each of the strongholds (page 261 ff).
                     To what degree have we personally bought into them? 
          a) Interpretation of History
                 - The church’s struggle is primarily with history rather than science.
                 - How has atheism reshaped our understanding of history?  
               What is the key that unlocks the correct understanding of history
                 - from Atheism’s perspective,
                 - from Christianity’s perspective?
                        * What  makes a specific interpretation legitimate / acceptable?
                                 (just a preliminary thought - more next session)
        b) Scientism - What is the difference between science and scientism?
                      How can the church make peace with true science?
        c) Separation of Church and State
                  - Process the observations and questions on Page 273 - 274
                  - Are there other strongholds, myths that have caused Christianity to retreat?                                  Consider the lure of materialism, the entertainment ethos,
                        the "life is fun" / “it’s all about today” focus, cultural heroes, etc.

5) Wrap up         Romans 1:18-32        Atheism and Cultural Genocide - 10 Steps
         Do we see this moral slide in our “god - less” culture?
                Identify the stages of this slide as described in this passage.
                     A possible commentary on this passage.

         1) Not responding to the whispers of our conscience

         2) Not acknowledging / affirming God’s existence – Hebrews 11:6

         3) Not giving thanks, not worshipping

         4) Pride – intellectual “games” to rationalize our “god-less” perspectives

         5) Elevating created things / ideologies to be the primary focal points of our lives

         6) Crossing Sexual boundaries. Cheapening sex.
               - using it to manipulate others rather than to celebrate covenant relationship.

         7) Men slide first / women fall next - the last vanguard to protect
            cultural purity / integrity / moral strength.

         8) Increasing sexual perversion

         9) Complete breakdown of family and society - loss of civility

        10) Wholesale approval of evil, wholesale disapproval of the good

Understanding Sexual perversion from a Biblical Perspective.   Please read page 195 last paragraph (and following) to understand how I am using the term idol in these next four points for discussion.

         • Satanic attack on the Image Bearer, the idol - Genesis 1:27

         • Not merely destroying the temple.       Destroying the idol itself

         • The ultimate assault on the One who is represented by that Image / idol

         • Our sexuality / marriage is the best illustration we have of what God is like.
             True love, covenant faithfulness, intimate knowing, unconditional acceptance
                  unlimited joy in, and passion for the other, etc.

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