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Jesus Skeptic - Jesus and Freedom for the People You Love, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 20, 2022 6:00 am

Jesus Skeptic - Jesus and Freedom for the People You Love, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 20, 2022 6:00 am

Christianity’s under a lot of criticism lately, because we’ve failed to act like Jesus. In this program, our guest teacher John Dickerson suggests that ignoring our Christian values, is far more dangerous. As he concludes his series "Jesus Skeptic", John encourages us to get back to our faith-based roots, which inspired those who came before us, to change the world.

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Christianity and Christians are taking a lot of criticism in our day. Something sure is deserved. We failed to live out our faith but our ignorance concerning the bedrock values and the impact of faithful Christians is far more dangerous. We have to go back to our roots, we have to know what we believe and help those who came before us have lived out that they changed the world yesterday stick around. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with shipping. Chip survival teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christian today will wrap up our new series Jesus skeptic taught by our guest teacher John Jones. The lead pastor of connection point Christian church is also an award-winning investigative journalist.

This is been a very thought-provoking, so if you would take a minute after the message and shirt with a friend that your finger map or by downloading the free MP3s at Living on the Edge.for well with all that said, let's join John now for the second half of this message, Jesus and freedom for the people you love. Just imagine if right now. There were no universities in the United States. The road that you drove on today to get here wouldn't be like that because there wouldn't be engineers trained to grade and design the road like that the vehicle you have wouldn't exist.

The electricity you had that you can turn on the lights. It wouldn't be there without the University remove that one thing from the last 1000 years and were back in the dark ages. So where did the University system come from what we don't have to have an opinion about this or gas because it's documented the University system as we know it started about 1000 years ago in Europe and it started in Christian cathedrals show you here the crest of Oxford University which is still ranked the number one university in the world. Oxford was founded in 1096 A.D. so it is almost a thousand years old. This crest has three crowns on it which are symbolic of the father the son and the Holy Spirit is present in the middle has some Latin words, what are those Latin words say.

They say that the Lord is my light education was called the light of learning and the whole idea was that the light of learning would enlighten societies of the people could treat each other the way Jesus said now the church that Oxford drew out it wasn't a perfect church no churches tend to get corrupted throughout history. They get a lot of power and money and they tend to get corrupted.

But every time that happens there's a band of sincere followers of Jesus who say this isn't about Jesus anymore were to break off and get back to following Jesus happens all throughout history.

Oxford is not unique in being founded as a Christian University that the word universe that she comes from a Latin word for all things University. These were cathedral schools were the largest Christian cathedrals throughout Europe and they said were to start to teach all things University.

So if you trace the first scene universities like Oxford will find about a dozen of them throughout Europe.

All of them grew out of Christian cathedrals.

All of them have Christian overtly Christian founding's like this.

Those universities would then train up people like Isaac Newton. Now if you were to ask who was the most influential scientist in all of history who has transformed society so that we now live in the modern era you know who I'd like to ask that question two. Albert Einstein Albert Einstein, who would you say is the most influential scientist ever and he answered that question and he said it. Isaac Newton you know you were taught about them with the Apple and gravity that guy Isaac Newton unlocked the cabinets of science for all of humanity, and soon after that would be the industrial revolution in the modern era because of Isaac Newton's warnings behind. Here is a picture of one of the pages of Isaac Newton's journals.

He was prolific. There are tens of thousands of pages out if you know anything about ancient languages, you see at the top there Hebrew on the third line. That's the Hebrew language the Jewish language is what the Old Testament is written, the Isaac Newton started as a theology student team he learned ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek and ancient Aramaic. He would go into the libraries at Cambridge and Oxford and he would pull out ancient manuscripts of the Bible and all of this is documented, she would do these mathematical calculations from the Old Testament. He made predictions based on those and for Isaac Newton if you read his works like Principia. One of his most seminal works, you'll find that his theology in his science were hand in hand. He was a devoted follower of Jesus, and we don't know that from people's opinions. We know that because we can read his own writings. You might think well is Isaac Newton some weird anomaly or exception. Here's the bottom line, Johannes Kepler, who gave you your eyeglasses.

Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, who gave us Boyles law, the father of modern chemistry and the list goes on. If you take a secular atheist lists of the most influential scientists in the scientific revolution and then you look at their own primary writings. You'll find that over 90% of them were Christians and that over 70% of them wrote passionate things like Kepler and Pascal, and Isaac Newton about their faith in God. Here's an excerpt from one of those journals of Isaac Newton.

He wrote this is life eternal, that they might know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

Now here's my point. I'm not saying that Isaac Newton was perfect or that any Christian was perfect. The only perfect person is Jesus. But when people form the whole group and say were going to try to obey the word of God. It leads the people around them and the more freedom, more dignity for the people around them and this would be my assessment based on the hundreds of ancient documents that I compile in the book Jesus skeptic that we live in a society that is the result of a pursuit of truth. It's almost like climbing a mountain, graduates of Cambridge would cross the Atlantic and start Harvard University started by the Rev. John harbored a pastor and seminary graduates to go start Galen Princeton. There graduates would start the University of Michigan and I you and Butler and literally the entire university system that we know today can all be traced back here in the US to Harvard which traces back to Cambridge and Oxford and all of them were overtly founded to teach the Bible clearly that's not their main thing anymore, but they and their graduates have brought more light to the world than perhaps any other movement in history know if you want to get nerdy like me in the late 1800s. If you wonder what you why doesn't Harvard and Yale.

Why don't they teach all about Jesus anymore in the late 1800s, as many of those nations that had been predominantly Christian experience, prosperity and wealth and freedom unlike any other in the world any other in history people thought were smart enough we don't need God anymore.

This God stuff kinda antiquated because a guy really raised people from the dead, you're telling me that God came to earth and died on the cross and rose from the dead, and the smartest people, the smartest universities decided we could build a better society without God. Why we need God. And this is very clearly traced through academia and philosophy in the late 1800s. You get at German universities that had been founded by Martin Luther, a Protestant Christian you get this philosophic turn that says we don't need God anymore prep you heard of Frederick Nietzsche who said around that time, God is dead. We can build a better society without God. Let's let's keep the progress and the success in the technology but get rid of the Bible.

It wasn't long after that that the world started to spin in the chaos. Two world wars would follow. We now live in a time where there's still a lot of Christian values in our land assumed, but the overtness of Christianity is pretty much not allowed to the point that in 2016. Oxford University. They pick a word of the year every year to describe society said the word to describe society now is post truth. Academics used to be about what's the truth, but we've moved beyond truth and it's from that movie on truth that some of the greatest atrocities in human history have happened. For example, if you think of the Soviet Union. We all know that tens of millions of people starve to death that many educated people were arrested and thrown into prison camps called Gulag's often up in the Siberian wilderness in the snow.

I want to show you to paintings that demonstrate this, not from my opinion, but from the Russian people. This is a painting by a famous Russian artist named Mickael Nestor, Rob, this was before the Bolshevik revolution or before communism took over what was communism. It was the philosophy of Frederick Nietzsche and his peers.

Karl Marx and others who said we don't need God we can make a better society without God and in this painting. What you see is Jesus on the left and you can see all the different classes of Russian people looking to Jesus. That was the Russian norm. Was it a perfect church. It was the Orthodox Church. It was far from perfect.

It was pretty corrupt. It was pretty broken and yet people of every class knew about Jesus and worship him, to some degree. Russia was known in the late 1800s as the holy Roos or the land of a thousand domes because the Orthodox churches would have these domes on will is Lennon and other young Russian revolutionaries read the post God ideas from the German seminaries. They led the country to completely turn away clergy would be arrested. Church bells would be melted down and at that time.

This same artist Mickael Nestor painted a second painting.

If you look closely at the middle of this painting to the right you'll see clergy and others holding what looks like a portrait and if you study it closely, as the face of Jesus and the Nestor painted over the face of Jesus with dark paint and the whole point is he's symbolizing that my nation has said were no longer going to follow Jesus were in a following new young ideal and if you study it closely like to see kind of John the Baptist profit looks half naked. He's trying to warn them, don't do this, don't try to make a better society without God will work will we know from the last 100 years how it worked.

Massive decreases in human rights, starvation, loss of private property. If you want to know well.

John was was it getting rid of God.

That really made all this happen.

How about instead of me answering that about we ask the best one of the top academics from the USSR, who once he disagreed with the government got arrested and taken to a prison camp in the snow survived James Alexander Solzhenitsyn and after the fall of the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn went around the world trying to warn people. Here's what he said if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible. The main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people. I could not put it more accurately than to repeat. Men have forgotten God.

That's why all this happened. That's the opinion of an academic who survived the gulags.

You can read more about in the book Jesus skeptic.

I'm not going to unpack it anymore today, but my point is this what people believe affects the way they treat the people around them. You multiply that out by millions of people you get radically different societies. Jesus said if you hold to my teachings what'd he say love your neighbor as yourself.

If you give a cup of cold water to someone who's thirsty. You've done it as on the Almighty God. When societies follow the words of Jesus, those societies lead the way in freedom and when societies discard the words of Jesus. They lose those freedoms.

Now we can't control entire societies, but we can control ourselves and our families and our movement we can be people who say we will hold to the teachings of Jesus.

No matter the cost.

Because that's the best way to guarantee freedom and prosperity for our kids as the best way to guarantee for ourselves. Freedom from addiction, freedom from greed, freedom from unforgiveness. If you hold my teachings are really my disciples then you'll know the truth and the truth will set you free.

I'm actually a pastor's kid semi-bright and know that pushed away from it for a season and then God brought me full circle partner how God brought me full circle is that when I pushed away and I was skeptical and I was working as a journalist and reporter with the values of I want to speak the truth. I want to expose corruption, I want to help the week I want to bring justice and accountability. I realize as I looked around the world. Those are actually Christian values, and even if I think I'm too smart to be a Christian when I go out and do work along those lines. I'm actually doing work along the lines of Christian values and then as I look more into my family of origin. I'm one of four boys by statistics in the US if all four of us are married to should be divorced right is about the divorce rate. All four of us are happily married. All four of us are free from addictions. All four of us are excelling in our respective fields ones and educator ones a businessman once a varsity basketball coach and I look back through my family and this wasn't always the case for my family. It was when my grandpa trusted in Jesus in the 1940s that he had a radical conversion and he broke the patterns of the Dickerson family going back hundreds of years. He broke patterns of abuse and of depression. That all changed when my grandpa was transformed by Jesus and then he passed that freedom on to my dad and my dad wasn't perfect but he raised me with one thing he said, John. I don't care much money you make. I don't have any money for you for college. I don't care if you're successful in this world, but you have to know the word of God and he has filled my mind with the word of God to the point that even when I pushed away from it and went off and made the money and got successful.

The word of God was still in there. The greatest inheritance that any child can in the word of God continue to speak to me and then as I did the research saw that this claim if you hold to my teachings.

The truth will set you free. That it's proven families and individuals, even in societies.

God's truth obeyed sets families free. I wonder day.

What if the best thing that you could do for your family is to believe Jesus more and obey a more I found that to be true for me.

What if the best gift that you could give to your family is to make sure that every week there gathered with other believers so that their minds are being filled with God's truth on a show you the story of a mom here in our church family who in some way similar to me was raised into a branch of Christianity, but kind of turned away.

Go ahead and have a look. All I loved growing up in the church. They we had that faith my parents instilled that faith in it when change that.

I just for my family. I wanted I wanted something a little bit different.

I wanted them to have the faith but I wanted there to be a better understanding of validity is what it means and why it's important anything. That's why stepped away for as long as I did know what I wanted that to look like I grew up in the Catholic Church and the family of five. So very faithfully went to church every Sunday was a little kid. You don't really understand anything that's happening. He just listening to the priest talking. You don't really know. And that means so in college, I started questioning what I personally believed like the Catholic faith was my family's faith and again I love that I was raised in the church just wanted to try to better understand what my own faith was his and I got married he is not great. He was not raised in the church and so didn't really have that interest or desire and then the kids came along and I really had a strong desire to get back into the church based on that no what turns what kind of church no charge something with the kids and then come for your major holidays. It was that was a great family photo opportunity is not really thinking for him and the Easter before the greater seeing campaign on his own came down to started the message with John just writes and he started attending with me coming consistently.

The kids coming in getting more involved in their baptism as a young adult I really had a firm belief that light was already baptized. My parents did that for me. I don't need to do that again. I was really out of it that I need to do it again. But then, after seeing everything the kids being baptized may has been coming to church, which is something I prayed about for about 14 years and really never thought it would happen pages.

I made that decision for myself so I did a believers baptism. January and then the August came up and he is like a think I'm ready to do this okay and then it was also really funny because we had a lot of conversations about who was going to do the baptism and I told him it's usually whoever brings you to the church what that looks like a sense of it. Something I can do he feel more comfortable with some of the other guys that you've got to know is of any frontages of him and let whoever is there to. Then he filled out the registration and read more into it in the night before the registration status so that should be you.

So actually I actually got baptism which was amazing don't even know how to put it into words. It was just the most amazing joyful exhilarating make a really never ever imagined that someday he would choose to do, let alone being the one to get to do it for him. The kids were watching so that was really cool to what family doesn't pay the type of music that we listen to both of the blaze have been praying before like there before their performances a couple years ago really enters the connection between Bangor's little she wanted to be calm and you just reservist feel really big and belittling. Again and the smallest church in the world. The great story of seeing God set people free God's truth is always available to set you free in your life. But whether it will or not depends on will you obey, and I hope you heard from me, you don't have to obey it perfectly. You just have to obey it willfully and intentionally, with some consistency.

We all still stumble and fall down were a group of imperfect people. But what we have in common is when we fall down we got people around us who pick us up and just as often say keep following Jesus. He's the path to freedom. Listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, John Dickerson just teacher.

This program Jesus and freedom for the people you love, which is from a series Jesus skeptic chip and John will join us in just a minute to share some application for this message. If someone were to ask you how you know Jesus actually lived or can we really trust the Bible, what would you say in this new series pastor and journalist John Dickerson answers those questions using evidence from multiple reliable sources in the well documented impact of Jesus followers throughout history jungles are credible case for the Christian faith or hope is that this series will help you confidently say Jesus is real. The Bible is true and I can prove it.

For more information about Jesus skeptic go to LivingontheEdge.org or the chip Ingram or call AAA 333-6003 ships join me in studio now in triple wrapping up the series from your friend John Dickerson. But before we do, would you talk to the people rethinking is all this history.

Jones been talking about that important.

I mean, what can we really learn from what I be glad to Dave, and I think some of our listeners might say oh gosh, there isn't a lot of actual Bible verses in teaching right now and what I would remind them is much of the entire Old Testament is history and history matters. The book of acts is basically history and the facts that John is digging in talk about how we got our biblical worldview. Why we can trust the Scriptures.

What foundational things have happened. You know we live in a culture where people talk about how prejudiced is wrong, and social justice is important and we want you know medical coverage and opportunity for all people everywhere.

What many of them don't understand all those grew out of a history of Christians that were faithful to the text faithful to God and use their gifts because they had a worldview that said, Jesus cares all people matter infects social justice racially quality education for all medicine that's available scientific discovery and literacy for the masses have all grown because of a Christian worldview in context and I will tell you what. It's just so encouraging to me for someone who's an academic but speaks her language to set the record straight. This book will help parents, grandparents, and young people that have really big questions about their faith to know that is on solid ground and they need to check this out for themselves. I was a skeptic myself and I so appreciate John's work because I went through the same process.

I just really wondered can I really believe any of this.

In fact, I rejected it early and it was my firsthand journey in some books like John's that help me come to realize I can trust the Bible. I can trust the claims of Christ. The impact of Christianity. Despite our flaws has shaped the world for good books.

Chip will to order your copy of Jesus skeptic visit LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003.

Through this book. John reveals the convincing evidence for Jesus and opens our eyes to the tremendous influence Christianity as head on history so the get your hands on Jesus skeptic by John Dickerson go to LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003 hapless nurse Special offers or that here's chip and Joan to share some final thoughts.

Thanks, Dave will John, this is our last opportunity to talk together in the series and I just want to say I really appreciate your perspective and the blend that you brought of historical narratives your research and actually tied it into what were experiencing today. I really hope our listeners will go back and catch up. This whole series or share with friends and family, especially the next generation who I think we got so much information actually miss information about our past about our history and about what Christianity is and what it is not his John as we kinda wrap up our whole time together. Could you address what you really hit on this idea of legacy you shared the biblical foundations that were laid in your family what he is sated that mom or dad or you know grandparent who says I really want to see a biblical legacy in our family home and chip.

You know the first thing I'd say is I'm so proud of you.

Way to go for wanting to leave that kind of legacy and I just cannot encourage you enough to poor fuel on that fire of the desire to leave a godly legacy you know God says that as we commit our desires to him.

He makes our paths straight. So I would encourage you if that's a desire of yours is apparent grandparent and aunt and uncle.

Pray that to God regularly let them know you want a godly legacy and you know the next thing I'd say is this the word of God has a power to speak to your kids to your grandkids and this might sound a little silly but chip all share with you one of the ways that I encourage my 12-year-old son to read the word of God. Maybe solicitors will take this. I actually pay a bit.

I know that sounds really unspiritual but he loves reading, and I started him when he was about nine the proverb for the day and now he also reads a New Testament chapter and the way this works is every night before bed. He reads now to chapters of the Bible. He's got a journal. He writes down his favorite verse and a prayer, and that it's true. If he gets 30 days in a row I actually pay them a little bit for that.

I think it's one of the greatest investments I can make itself whether you're bribing your kids and grandkids are not. I would say getting the word of God into their minds and then equally important is making sure they're part of a body of believers you know that nationwide right now. Two out of three young people raised in Christian homes will reject or drift away from Christianity between their 18th birthday in their 20 nights of two out of three is the national average. Right now, what one of the biggest consistencies of those one out of three who stay they had parents who were in church every weekend. They didn't. They were missing church for sporting events.

They weren't in and out of church and by the way, those one out of three typically had parents or a grandparent taking them to church who is active not only attending but serving and giving parents and grandparents who then behind the scenes when no one else is looking when they're driving in the car they're talking positively about the church and how God is at work when a son or a daughter, a grandson or granddaughter grows up in that kind of home and environment and when the reading the Bible for themselves. They are far more likely to be that one out of three, who also really absorbs Christianity and then passes it on to the next generation. So if you're listening and that's on your heart. I cannot cheer you on enough that is a godly desire. Pray that desire to God, get the word of God into the heart and mind of your kids and your grandkids taken to church speak positively about church, let them see how God is transforming your life and then pray that God will do the same and there's Greek word John thinks well before we go.

I wanted to thank those of you who regularly give to this ministry you're making a big difference in helping Christians live like Christians if you're enjoying the benefits of Living on the Edge, but aren't yet on the team would you do that today.

You can set up a recurring donation by calling us at AAA 333-6003 or by visiting us@livingontheedge.org app listener stepped on it. Thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do well for all of us here, this is Dave Drewry saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge


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