May 14, 2007
The Master's Program
The Point of View - A Weekly Commentary by Bob Shank


Dear Marketplace Friend,

    Television has become a fixture in American life because of its episodic construction. People do not experience television as a "discover it, as if for the first time" every night. Each week is not the "season opener," intent on introducing the viewer to the cast and the story line.
    Instead, the creators of the programs that will be hits are capable of creating interest in a regular visit with an increasingly familiar bunch of regulars, set in a story that captures engagement. One of the best examples of that has been the 21st Century, addictive production of 24. Jack Bauer could run for president - in the real world - and probably draw a respectable showing. He's the kick-butt, don't wait for the bureaucracy to respond, protector of all things American, against this season's terrorists. What's unique about 24? Each week builds another layer on the plot... and you cannot experience it out-of-order.
    Our development of our Christian/Biblical Worldview (C/BWV) is something like that. You wouldn't think of trying to comprehend 10:00am-11:00am with Jack Bauer if you missed 7:00am-8:00am; the potential for plot anomalies and character surprises would derail your dramatic train. In the same way, each of our 10 Statements naturally builds on the foundation laid before. What have we considered already?

1. Absolute Moral Truth Exists.
Negate that bedrock concept, and concrete turns to jello.
2. The Bible is Absolutely True.
If absolute truth is assumed, where is it found? Agreement on a solid, reliable source upon which you can build your understanding is essential.
3. God is the Creator of the Universe.
Who are we dealing with, here? If there is no Creator, we are left in the lab, with science as our only solution. Insert God, and it changes everything.
4. God is All-Knowing and All-Powerful.
Is God a sidebar... or the main theme? He is self-disclosed as Supreme; if that is true, he demands priority billing... and cannot be outmaneuvered.
5. God is Still Sovereign Over All.
Must you deal with God, in the modern era? Hasn't he been upstaged, in an enlightened world? If he is still sovereign, loyalty or rebellion are the choices.
6. Jesus is the Son of God. Who is this God, anyhow? There are various religions that would join in the prior statements, but would part company here. Is Jesus the Son of God?

    Who is Jesus, anyway? In The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel writes from his own journey, from skeptic and journalist to now-convinced advocate regarding this powerful point of departure. What are the options?
    Some deny the historical reality of Jesus. If you can take him off the stage of history, you don't have to deal with what he said while he was here. Others cast him as a hero, but leave him in simply-human form. Good guy; good teacher; humanitarian before it was tax-deductible: they'll give him that much... but they won't make the leap to his claim that "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30), and, "... before Abraham was born, I AM!" (John 8:58). Even Muslims will accept Jesus as a prophet (below the level of Mohammed), but will violently oppose the proposal that God, the All-Knowing and All-Powerful, Sovereign Creator exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
    The progressive conclusions of the Christian/Biblical Worldview allow us access to the Bible - which we've agreed is Absolutely True - to construct these remaining conclusions. What would we conclude about Jesus, from his own statements, recorded in the Bible? Does it really claim that he is God?
    "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known." (John 1:18)
    You can reject the Bible as authoritative, but if it's true, you're left with no wiggle-room in the matter of Jesus as the Son of God. He said, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me" (John 5:39)
    Will you oppose him? Resist him? Remain passive? Believe him? Or, will you rise to the level of advocate... and stand for the One who died for you?

Bob Shank


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