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June 20, 2020 1:00 am
How do you think globalization and the increase of technology has affected evangelism? What does a globalized society mean for the spreading of the Gospel? On this week's Let My People Think, Ravi Zacharias dives into what evangelism looks like in light of globalization.
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I know more about running the horizon having a party and the marketing of ideas the marketing of products and all that takes place in the commercialization of merchandise has given us the illusion that we live on the one canopy of hail fellow well met wonderful family getting along together, Lee has not one… Wait, ubiquity and brand preference doesn't include unity among the nation in a globalized society does mean you do what you mean for spreading the gospel.
I let my people think with golden apologists Bobby Ryan 50 years ago, the wealthy saw Jack today what should be populated by kid from here at the feet of the case from the Philippines to technology training, small well off comes Darius this week about the act of globalization on evangelism that's doing him as he begins. So somebody sent me this from India while I was writing in Thailand before I headed back to my home in the United States, and this Indian gentleman sends me this senses.
What is globalization Diana's death as an illustration of an English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend in a German car driven by a Dutch driver crushes on the French tunnel while being chased by Italian paparazzi on Japanese bikes by Portuguese Dr. Wood, Brazilian medicine. This mail was written by an individual in Indian in Thailand was using a Chinese laptop smuggled by a Pakistani via Nepal and young me and Mark to Bangkok in the mail is sent by an Indian living buddy in India to somebody living in Atlanta. Please continue the story.
Pretty interesting in that one little historical narrative. How many countries and their products and their ideas really came to play and brought in the background to this story. It was Peter Wegner. I remember once she was talking on this whole issue of America being a melting pot, and especially talking about the phenomenon that they called the Los Angeles nation of the West. He said where else but in Los Angeles you see a fast food outlet where a Korean is selling kosher tacos pretty good culinary illustration of how the cultural mix them about but you know, long before all of this happened. I remember when I grew up in India. I spent the first 20 years of my life and India born in Chennai in the South.
My madrasa was to my mother was from a draw smell called Chennai.
She was 2 million. My father is from Canada. Speaking one Ellum and we moved to Delhi where I slowed to speak candy but I was just about five or six years old. So in my home, my mother was to Millie and my father was like speaking my alum I grew up speaking in the and I remember going to the Hindi movies and that was a Indian comedian by the name of Johnny Walker who used to sing a song that I drew the hegemony but little in English sunny South allowed Toby Lucy to be built. Hindustani what does it mean my Judah hegemony me as my shoes are Japanese but fluent English. Sunny my trousers are English something allowed Toby Lucy. My hat is Russian could be the Hindustani but my heart is still in shoes the Japanese trousers English is Russian but my heart is Indian so in this mix of all that was going on in global branding and global commerce when now you can walk into a mall anywhere in the world and if you are inside the mall you will not know which country you are in because the brand names are all the same. It all looks the same, the marketing of ideas the marketing of products and all that takes place in the commercialization of merchandise has given us the illusion that we live on the one canopy of hail fellow well met wonderful family getting along together.
It simply has not worked out that way.
That attention sometime actually run much deeper than you realize.
And when push comes to shove the old idea what's the blood that runs within your veins emerges very very readily at the at the press or the no no I live not only for 20 years inmate my homeland of India, the last 40+ years lived between Toronto Canada and Atlanta Georgia. Atlanta has been our home and it is fascinating. I'm married to a Canadian gal and we've been married 41 years, have three children and Margie has often said to me she says you know the old are you getting the more I find you keep going back to India more often and I say to her. How often do you go to Canada and the joke continues out there. She said no I don't mean that as a criticism she said is fascinating to me how much you go back to your roots. As the years are going by in your hearts out of talks to words.
The place from whence you came, breeds there a man who sold so dad who never to himself and said this is my home, my native land. And so while globalization may take place in terms of the way we function commercially and the way we function in our communication channels and the way we interact with each other with phraseology that has been co-opted from this social media, and so on. The question remains, what is the kind of heart that beats within us.
What is it that we ultimately look for as a context within which we cradle foods that are given to us.
It's a fascinating question to try and wrestle through what is the cradling of the message that really comes to us because I'm quite fluent in Hindi.
I many times will talk to my friends and they'll say something in the Hindi language and start laughing in my Bible said don't bother. I know it loses something in the translation because I don't how many times I would say to her. I tell this to you but did lose something in the translation. One day some fella said something that he went somewhere in India and they were so mean to him and he said in Hindi is that Scott followed up Nadia. Not if you don't know Hindi, it's very difficult to translate what it literally means is my respect and made vermicelli out of it.is vermicelli you know is that his self-respect is followed up on the ideal flayed my self-respect, not to the Indian is a very descriptive phrase, you have basically just shredded my self-respect was in language therefore carries with it cultural memory and the context from which you make connections when I listen to Hindi bludgeons are Hindi hymns.
I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes because suddenly I see the word and I'll say wow so much deeper than it actually sounded when it was put into another language and so there is a soul within you and me, that is framed and cradled within the context in which we are raised linguistically in memory in the cultural context and often times when we tried to communicate something that comes from all over and above all from foreign, distant. The listener may be risk funding, but not often identically with the capacity with which you want to actually communicate as an evangelist. I noticed this as an apologist.
I have to be very careful what kind of illustrations I give in one particular country so that you do not run the risk of offenders in the way you are even phrasing what it is you've said.
Now I want to talk to you tonight, particularly about the Western idea of what is happened in the control context. I'm doing this, even though we are talking global. The reason is tomorrow's going to be the Asian and so I think a balance would be set between the two, and sometimes I will just cross the ideas both back and forth tween the two in the 1980s there was a series of articles on Atlantic monthly, and there was an article written by Daniel Young to leverage talking about changes in America and he quoted Daniel Bell, the sociologist, and he gave these two paragraphs, which were really quite prophetic in what was happening in the West. Here's what he says culture is an effort to provide coherence of monsters to the existing social situations that confront all human beings in the passage of their lives immediately.
You take a note of what that first line says it is an effort to produce a coherent service to the exit still questions. The questions of the questions of longing the questions of meaning the questions of destiny there is an effort to bring together a coherent set of monsters to these existential questions that confront all of us in the passage of our lives. Then he said in the West we are witnessing a genuine cultural revolution is what he says a genuine cultural revolution, then, is one that makes this size break from the shared meanings of the boss. But lately, those which relate to the deepest questions of the purpose and nature of human life counsel revolution is underway.
When you make a disk nice break from the shared meanings of the possible business severance that takes place from the things that brought the culture together, you are breaking that cohesiveness apart especially with the questions of what life actually means, and our destiny. I moved to the west in the mid-60s the America of this time is so radically different America of the mid 60s in the 20th century, and it is changing almost by the minute. Even in the last year or two the way issues are being redefined, and the collective consciousness is being reconfigured and reached so that I want things that Once upon a time, which will come with value are now passé. It's what we become accustomed to hearing or seeing and I'll tell you what for a generation boss the mid-50s.
Also, particularly it's pretty traumatic pretty traumatic for them to see what exactly is happening and I don't just mean what's happening socially out in ideas of moral reasoning. For some it is difficult to even understand when they walk into a church and say my goodness, what was that all about, they cannot really connect and we are making some huge strides and only time will tell whether these strides were wise all catastrophic in the process.
Culture therefore is an effort to find us coherent set of on cistern existential questions of confront all of us and I want to give to you the process by which all of this came about and what it is that the lead in the west to where it is today and you can make your extensions because this is happening globally. This is coming true into your culture to and you're well aware of it as moral frameworks and moral decisions are being made and the winds are blowing from the west as it were, to change the values even in the East you know if you went back to the 19 century the hypercritical theories and all the newfangled philosophies were coming from Europe and 50 years later they would be sentenced in America. Whether you talked about the German theologians and all of their unorthodox views and then you moved into secular philosophy in the existentialist worldviews. Starting of quotes from Nietzsche than moving to Sgt. Campbell and so on. Coming into the West. All of this game is kind of a delayed impact and then finally postmodern philosophy which came also from Europe, to cold into North America and postmodernism may be just completely reduced to three phrases no truth, no meaning, no certainty, that was the end result carried on the backs of deconstruction in the literature and so on, is an incredible wave that came from Europe affected North Americans much of theological education in the middle of the 1900s was actually generated by what they were risk funding to in terms of ideas that were coming in from European theologians how the whole gamut in the whole mix which so many of Asian theologians being trained in the West, bringing some of it and moving into the Asian culture and so on. The globalization of this is taking place very very steadily. How did this happen. What brought all of this about there were three moods that I think the place starting in the early part of the 1900s. You could see it coming. You could not see the unintended consequences of whether this was headed.
So the three ideas that shape the middle of the 20th century, and it brought us in now and you as young men and women's putting in the academic world will understand very readily when I bring to you the logical outworking of all of this so please bear with me, but sounds a bit academic you will bring it down to ask you where you are and you'll understand how it brought about this kind of an impact secularization is the process by which religious ideas, institutions and interpretations have lost that social significance that me redefined it because every word matters. Secularization is a process by which religious ideas, institutions and interpretations have lost this social significance. If in the 1970s or so, when people like Francis Schaeffer and all-around writing.
Whatever happened to the human race. If you look at a television program then went in the 70s. The issue of abortion was so front-end enter in North America. The Roe V Wade thing was all in news then if you remember what happened, then you would see all kinds of discussions going on and if you picture in your mind a panel discussion on this subject of whether abortion was legitimate or illegitimate ultimately was legalized and I'm not trying to deliberately raise something controversial. I'm just trying to tell you how secularization tickets will hear if you were discussing something like the abortion issue and other issues in our day now have the same application and you had a platform full of experts you had a lawyer you had a medical doctor you had a psychiatrist you had a university president you had philosopher you had an emphasis you had a genetics expert and that you had a minute for all discussing the same thing. Who do you think would be considered by the audience to be the most prejudiced of that group, the minister would be considered this a very predictable he knows that we know exactly what is going to say because you know he comes from the Judeo-Christian worldview here and he's going to tell us. Life is sacred and on and on and off the fascinating thing is what happens softly here, they assume that the ethicist is very objective the lawyer has no self-serving motive here neither.
There's a medical practitioner two years really seeing it as chemistry and genetics that the minister has got a vested interest on this prejudiced in this ideas, institutions and interpretations had lost that social significance you could not ideation the lead defendant something if it was religiously laden. I told this afternoon at a luncheon. One of the young women who works in our office is a recent addition to our stuff, she's our media specialist.
She graduated from a very prestigious institution in the United States are leaving unnamed and she came to see me in my office for the first day I was back just to meet with me and greet me and so on and she said to me she said you know my whole college days were very turbulent and all of that. She said I went through a tremendous court case in my university and would you like me to tell you about it. A city I'd like to hear well about it.
She said well every lecture class. One particular professor was mocking Christianity. Shock value can connect just constantly berating it and insulting the Christian faith, mocking anybody was a Christian. She said I put my hand up and I said excuse me sir, I am a Christian and you are mocking my faith and what is sacred to me. I don't appreciate this you been doing it day after day after day.
I just think I have to tell you I don't appreciate what you're doing is going nothing to do with the subject matter on hand. He sent her to the Dean so she goes to see the Dean and she says to the Dean I don't know I'm here. He said because you're being very disruptive in the classroom. She said disruptive in the classroom. She said I just raised the question of the professors constantly marking something that's very sacred to me.interestingly enough, this gal happens to be an Indian who is living the United States and graduated from the Sunnis University. He says well you know what I want to tell you you are here for an education.
She said I realize I'm here for an education but was going on in the classroom is an indoctrination.
He said no you got this all wrong. Let me tell you something for 18 years you have been indoctrinated by your parents. We are not here to educate you on one maybe it is said that to a 6 foot five guys sitting in front of him. Blood would've started to boil and saying what you are telling me what my parents have taught me about life's values are's skewed and you will want to set me straight. Secularization religious ideas, institutions and interpretations have lost their social significance. Now what happens to the gospel full when something like this has taken hold. I want to give you a little illustration here and that is the fact that in Atlanta Georgia where I live in the 1980s there was quite a trial that took place.
It was a renowned pornographer by the name of Larry Flynt will produce such horrific stuff that the witnesses at the trial said it made Playboy magazine look like a child's magazine.
So I guess it was pretty perverted stuff, but Larry Flynt found one of the best lawyers to defend him and the lawyer took a particular track in defending the right of his client to produce this pornography and so he started interviewing prospective jurors and if an insurer belonged to a church he didn't want them on the jury because he said if you're a churchgoing person you're prejudiced on this kind of subject and in the South.
It was very difficult to find somebody who didn't go to church. It took them days to find what they were really looking forward moral zombies, not anybody who had any idea on these things. People are no ideal on who had no idea on pornography when the trial began. He would look at the witnesses testifying against his client and that the lawyer would say this.
Have you ever gone into an art gallery. Yes, I give up beta going to an art gallery. Yes, I give up beta going to an art gallery whether paintings of unclothed people notice you. You have beta going to an art gallery when the gallery there were paintings of disrobed people you would you please tell the jury why you called that art and call my client stuff pornography.
What you say what you say suddenly you're not going to get into a philosophical discussion on art or ethics with the lawyer. But if you're sitting across the table from the lawyer.
What would you say and I came to the conclusion. This is such a difficult subject just two thoughts raced through my mind when I talk about it at first I was fairly young, just starting out in the one thought that came to my mind when I read the biography of Michelangelo and nag the agony and the ecstasy how and Michael Michelangelo started painting unclothed people. His teacher called him aside one day and said why are you doing this he said to his teacher because I want to see men as God sees men and the teacher said that Michael hearing on God prompted Justin off of a thought to getting this brilliant young artist to start thinking about the role as an artist he could play the move to a more secular society has cost us some of my sacred belief if they bring conclusion to Robbie's methods you can listen to this episode of that my people think again by visiting our website at ancien.I Lodge C and clicking on the listen tab. If you listing in Canada that web address is Z Diane.ca you can also practice this entire message by calling us at 1-800-448-6766 and asking for the title. Globalization's impact on evangelism. We see it everywhere for musicians and movie stars to neighbors and friends at work people are interested in having a spiritual life but treat faith more like an à la carte menu at a restaurant choosing what they like and dismissing the rest Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, by the cheerleaders calling on Western culture, to embrace a spirituality devoid of the Christ cutting through the hype seduction is the clear voice of author and apologist Robbie Zechariah's in his book why Jesus rediscovering his truth in an age of massmarketed spirituality. Robbie answers the attraction known as the new spirituality they have sort of hijacked everything under the nomenclature of Eastern spirituality is valued this value in silence. This valued reflection is value in solitude and something that I win the West have forgotten. So I think they harnessed something of value and made it exclusively their own. As of the Christian faith, never talks about it to spirituality in the Christian tradition due has had a lot of these ideas. The only differences they don't gaze inward. They have to gaze outward towards God. God is the ultimate vision, not yourself. Billy Graham calls why Jesus a powerful defense of how Jesus Christ brings meaning and hope to an individual control swindle says I am not acquainted with a brighter mind or a more relevant and devoted defendant of the faith in Christ. Why Jesus available online at RC. I am.org. Another great way to connect with us to visit our website where you can find a variety of content to help unseal questions and to see some of the important ECGs discussed in today's cult sat. If you interested in a specific subject.
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