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The Power of Proper Thinking (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
August 13, 2020 4:00 am

The Power of Proper Thinking (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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August 13, 2020 4:00 am

Today’s culture increasingly embraces the notion that there’s no such thing as right or wrong—only what’s “right for you.” Does this philosophy actually hold up to scrutiny, though? Find out when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Our culture has become consumed with the idea relativity that there's no such thing as absolute truth. Everybody can decide his or her own reality. On the surface that might sound like a reasonable philosophy, but today on Truth for Life.

Alastair beg explains why relativity doesn't work.

He's teaching from Philippians chapter 4 verses one through nine Christians preoccupation is to be with that which is virtuous, which calls down the approval of God and which desirous the praise of men.

I notice also that the call of any issues is a call to think as a viewer. Schoolteachers know just what a challenge that is not you're not at the point of getting them to think about certain things you just at the point of getting them to actually think because let's try and use our minds this morning. Let's do something radically different. The same is true again. I suggest to you in a Christian church that has grown very fond of clichs and very fond of talking about how it feels about everything the call. Here is a call in the word that he uses is a very important word will get to my which means to bring your faculties to bear upon these things were going to see. Not today, but we will see the Bible causes in verse eight, not only to think, but again in verse nine also to do. The Bible never introduces us to mental reflection for its own sake. It is always thinking, doing, Romans 12 to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.

The renewed mind reveals itself in transformed activity so he saying is true that in bring all of your mental faculties to bear upon these things. I want you to think about these things in such a way that you grew into the thought processes of your life. The very channels which will be approved by God and which will be praiseworthy by man and by when I'm this thinking activity is not a moment's thought in passing, but it is continual it is habitual because the human mind will always attach itself to something and it is therefore imperative that we focus our minds on the right thing. Now if we were in a dialogue. We could stop for a moment and talk about their place of secular literature in the place of the contemporary music again and art and so on were not dialoguing and so we can but I should let you know that I do not subscribe to the notion that we need to remove from the minds of our children.

All books which are not. Quote Christian books in the fear that when they read Daniel Defoe when they read Swift or when they read Lewis Carroll are when the reader whatever it is they read that somehow or another they will be violating Philippians 48 because it mentions and there's something that isn't true or something that is honorable, etc. that means you can never read any book at all, you never even read the newspaper is a classic illustration which we need to be in the world but not all the world.

In other words, as our minds pass through that information. We do not bring our faculties to bear upon its error taking into ourselves imbibing it and grooving it in assess somebody but there is the risk there that you might yes there is.

That is why it is imperative that from infancy.

Deuteronomy 6 we train up our children.

We talked with these things. As we walk along the road and when we lie down and when we get up we bind them on the tablets of our hearts and we make sure that it is moved into their thinking so that when they encounter some evolutionary perspective. The antenna goes up and they come home and they say mom what a strange thing. Mrs. also told me I came from a monkey and the mother says well sometimes you act like a little monkey but you didn't come from among your dad sometimes act like an eight but you didn't come from among Alexa kind of thing we're talking about.

The first thing on the list is truth.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, think about that and that immediately poses a problem doesn't in an earlier generation. At another point in history, at least in America.

The notion of whatever is true, could have been stated, acknowledged, and we might move on.

But at this point in a postmodern culture.

The fact of the matter is if we say, whatever is true, we hear the voice of Pilate from the first century saying I am a what is truth, and the cumulative cacophony of sound down through the ages has reached epidemic proportions. Now in our universities and colleges may recall me mentioning being with my family in a Johnny Rockets in the Santa Barbara and the waitress being from UCSB and she telling is that she was philosophy major at the University of California Santa Barbara and I just said to her in passing as he was giving is the catch of I said and what you think about true truth in their rejoinder was I don't think about true truth because I don't believe there is such a thing as I dialogue with her. She could think of only one person in the context of her philosophical studies and she was now in her third year who had given any indication that he believed in such a thing so that when somebody said whatever is true thing about that they would go gotcha will do everyone sediments remain by two see relativism, which is what were dealing with claims that what we think is knowledge what we think is a firm grasp of truth and reality is really only an opinion you can say is true for you but it sure isn't true for me, unless I'm living in a bubble.

My experience is that this is one of the great conversation finisher's the things that people say to us that end up being a term and as far as we don't know where to go next. We done our best week. We shared a little bit about our experience, we mention something from the Gospels and then all of a sudden their rejoinder is well that may be true for you but it's not true for me what he do that because you see relativism claims that objective universal truth just does not exist. So please don't get off on this. Alister, this is this is this is a sideline no.

It's tangential to our study. But I want to stay with her for a moment or two. The extent to which this is the case is borne out in every research study at the moment in this country in 1991 the Barna research group found that 66% of American adults didn't believe that absolute truth exists. Specifically, these individuals when interviewed agreed that quotes there is no such thing as absolute truth and to people. They said could define truth in a totally conflicting ways and still both be correct when relativism is the standard by which everything is gauged, then there is no objective standard by which things may be ratified to see how difficult it is to be an attorney in these things.

How in the wide world you get a verdict in a court of law with a jury of 12 people, three out of four who believe in relativism and judge sitting behind the bench who himself has concluded there is no such thing as truth. Most disturbing of all is the fact that the researchers discovered that 53% of those who declare themselves to be born-again Christians also maintained a relativistic view now to the degree that we are simply representative of evangelicalism. That means the part of my task, our task as pastors is to help a congregation that is increasingly buying the notion of relativism to the degree that more than 50% of the people there at least one and two of the group to whom you are speaking when you mentioned.

Truth are replying from the perspective of a relativist there saying not. I have to believe this Bible there say I don't have to do that.

There say I don't have to apply this in relationship to my marriage. That doesn't mean what it says about morality. That's not what it means about premarital sex. That's why you have to exercise discipline all know not why not like Judy you but it is in truth for me. So is not like out there with a big bowl it is.

If the statistics are accurate and tall right and he do before you are ever able to go out and declare true truth to a relativistic culture have to first declare true truth to a relativistic church.

We conducted a poll three years later in 1994. Barna discovered that the statistic was getting worse not better.

And that 72% of American adults declared their conviction regarding relativist usually doesn't really matter to me doesn't affect the way you live your life, you bet your life.

It affects everything you do in your life. You are what you think our friends are, what they think the law of non-contradiction is shot. That's why a person can say one thing and do another thing is that I consider two things are not mutually exclusive. G invites in his book postmodern times gives up pathetic indication of the implications of relativism laying hold of the heart of a generation as he quotes the words of a young lady she says I belong to the blank generation what race I belong to the blank generation. I have no beliefs. I belong to no community tradition or anything like that. I'm lost in this vast, vast world I belong nowhere I have absolutely no identity. You can tell me that relativism is something to be debated in the ivory towers of the University of the Western world and that it has no impact on the grassroots. Listen as you drive away from here today you are driving in a context in which virtually three out of four people who are driving alongside you about no real reason as to why they shouldn't take a baseball bat and smash it right through your windscreen, except pragmatism except the last vestiges of normalcy except that's not what nice people do, but not because it was wrong is no wrong is where we live. I can remember the group and I can remember the song that I have two lines in my mind and every road that leads me there is waning and every light that guides my way is blamed you not some in every road that leads me there is winding in and relay the gaze. My way is blind, but I understand that you know what I'm glad of their honesty. I can talk to those kids.

It's the smarty-pants businessman who's not prepared to face up to every road you take winds. There is no direct point between a and B for you and every light towards which you move blamed you in its iridescent glow is in vain.

It's empty it's futility. That's why you feel how you feel.

That's why nothing tastes as minor is not paying any extra zero at the end of the paycheck and leads nowhere. We say okay you made the point very good doing things should start now.

Yeah, probably I should stop but what you say to these people. That's the quest or you know you have to say let's get another coffee because it's probably going to be quite a long discussion. I don't is a good idea to say when they say well you know that may be true for you but is not true for me really is a good idea's day to say, you know, you're a real Don Don self contradicting the nincompoop you know that I had on him as a sort of endearing qualities to it that you might want to use, but any be good to say with some reserve. I may be true for you but is not true for me to say you know I'm hearing you, but there's something that just seems self-contradictory about that statement person will remain self-contradictory by the state so I don't think the statement works. You see, when the relativist says everyone's beliefs are true or false only relative to himself. The relativist means everybody except him. The music while I believe in the Bible is what I've said is is true for you ministers relative to you and to yourself, but his statement that is just relative is an absolute statements if he is going to be true about relativism he has to say. Nothing is objectively true, including my own relativistic position. So you're free to accept my position on your free to reject my position by the relativist is unwilling to relative eyes is relativism and that's what we have to get them to do. We have to say your relativism is relative. You can take the high ground, you can say that mine is a truth claim which is relative, and yours is a true truth, which of course exists in your own little island. Geisler is very helpful in this.

He says if truth can only be relative, and it must only be relatively true for the relativist but when you think about it that can be claimed in any absolute sense either. She can see the relativist well that's only relatively true for you because his Geisler. It can only be relatively true, then it is relatively true that it is relatively true and where you want to stop but no place to start is. It just goes to it's futility. I belong to the blank generation. She thought it through either the claimant according Geisler again either the claimant truth is relative is an absolute claim which would falsify the relativist position or it is an assertion that can never be made because every time you make it.

You have to add another relatively it's the beginning of an infinite regress that will never pay off in a real statement. The Christian conviction the biblical worldview says that truth is discovered not as a result of human speculation, but that truth is discovered as a result of Revelation so that when the book Bible begins in the beginning God is making a statement true statement about the nature of the universe and that when a man or woman chooses to think logically from what is and traces it back. It is not an illogical progression to arrive at an unmoved mover to arrive at that which has itself no. To arrive at a creator God, but even then, with all of the best of our searching. It doesn't bring. Is there it is only as God has disclosed himself. Therefore the Christian conviction is that God has made himself known in the world in which he is made he has made himself known in the word that he is given to us that takes us into the realm of textual criticism digs into the matter. The historicity of the Bible and makes us fight and think all those things through. Because of her going to make the assertion sound therapy three for the word of the Lord is right and true. We have to know something about the evidence of the New Testament document if were going to declare the psalmist words with conviction, Sam hundred 1951 you are near the Lord in all your commands are true hundred and 60 all your words are true all your righteous laws are eternal. Then we are challenging the blank generation that surrounds us. And here's the thing that were going to see. I hope that is that just in the same way as we cannot think of knowing the peace of God in abstraction from these virtues. We cannot ultimately understand truth except as it then is extrapolated for us because I think that nobility rightness, purity, loveliness, habitability, excellence and praise worthiness are all ultimately characteristics of true that when you take up truth like a prison or a diet diamond and you hold it one PC nobility UCI durability. You see, rightness, and so on.

And as you examine it in that way so the Christian does overview on contemporary art. There is a reason as to why it would be possible for us to argue that the work of Salvador Downing is in many cases ugly because it is an expression of a worldview that is not ordered by truth and here is the means. Incidentally, young people, as will see of how to choose your albums sacred and secular. Here is a way to determine what pieces of art you want to have in your home. Here is the plumb line against which we can discover how to build a library because a Christian way of thinking is not just thinking Christian thoughts singing Christian songs reading Christian books going to Christian schools. It is learned to think about the whole spectrum of life, scientific, and sexual material and return from the perspective of a money that is being trained in truth and until we get it. There is no hope in the world of our secular neighbors and friends coming close to getting our proper thinking.

That's the title of our message today from Alistair Begg listening to Truth for Life. Alastair will return in just a minute to close with prayer. But before he does. I want to tell you about a compelling book that were highlighting this month. You have probably heard the name Eric little Alastair mentions him from time to time.

He was also the subject of an Oscar-winning movie called chariots of fire, but though you may be familiar with Eric little athletic accomplishments. There is so much more to his story. If you're looking for an enjoyable and spiritually enriching book to read the summer. This is an excellent choice will send you a copy to express our thanks when you support this ministry with the donation. There are a couple ways you can do that you can give online a Truth for or you can call 888-588-7884 if you'd prefer to write us. You can also mail your donation with your request for the book right to Truth for Life at PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, OH 44139. Your donation isn't just a gift to Truth for Life in a very real sense, this is a gift to your fellow blisters because it's true. Blisters like you that God provides the financial support that makes this ministry possible.

Every time someone stumbles on this program while listening to the radio or downloads a message from the truth for like mobile app there. Thanks for this ministry belongs to you and we are so grateful in case you missed it, here's the contact information one more time.

Visit Truth for or call 88858878849 to close with prayer. Here's Alastair father out of an abundance of all these words that send our minds in multiple directions. We pray that you will help us at least to determine on the strength of what we thought about this morning to get serious about reading our Bibles about reading books on apologetics about searching out the thought forms of our day. We recognize it is very easy for us to climb into our little citadels say our songs to one another.

Proof text each other and get be pretty hopeless when it comes to standing in the lab on late Monday afternoon or standing over technical drawing store examining samples of DNA are thinking about English literature or drama I was to seal God that you are vaster than all these things that you are great and greatly to be praise. We want you to send is out in the power of your spirit so that those who, as yet have never heard might come to hear the saving news that there is in the Lord Jesus, help us today in our conversations not to be content with simply passing people off with a couple of clichs and how do you do give us a strong reminder as to why it is you've given us two years and only one time for Jesus sake, we ask Bob Lapine.

Our culture often portrays personal indulgences.

The path to the good life.

But tomorrow Alastair challenges that few truly join us. This daily program features the Bible teaching of Alistair Begg furnished by Truth for Life with the learning is prolific

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