DEALING WITH HARD QUESTIONS IN MINISTRY (TRUTH)
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Rob Lamont started paid youth Ministry in 1978 and is evangelical, reformed, (That means Bible believing) and has written these resources from a Biblically conservative position.

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Rob currently is the Scripture teacher and chaplain at Kellyville High School ( A state High School in Sydney , Au)
where he teaches Christian Education, runs 3 Bible studies and 6 prayer groups) He also coordinates Scripture teaching for Rouse Hill High School. He has preached for over 20 different denominations
and lectured at numerous Bible Colleges.


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DEALING WITH HARD QUESTIONS IN MINISTRY
(TRUTH)
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HOW DO PEOPLE WORK OUT WHAT IS TRUE?
1. REASON
* Think things through without referring to the senses.

2. EXPERIMENTAL
* Investigation - organisation of data - a hypothesis - confirmation of the hypothesis.
* It only describes parts of the truth but not able to give the whole truth or a framework for truth.

3. FEELINGS OR INSTINCT
* Flashes of insight.

4. DIALECTICAL
* Make a statement (thesis) will lead to another statement (antithesis) then join together for harmony (synthesis).

5.  MYSTICAL
* Prophecy or vision
* Meditation

6. REVELATION
* The Word of God or Scriptures.
* Church Canon

7. SYNOPTIC
* Truth about reality can only be found by looking at the whole and taking all the above methods together.


TRUTH

Hypothesis Groundless assumption, opinion.
Theory Proposition not proven, An interpretation of facts.
Fact  Proven to be true.

PROBLEMS IN FINDING THE TRUTH
1. People are not 100% objective and have bias in opinions.
2. Does reason involve faith? Does faith involve reason?
3. Experience is subject to reality, not reality subject to experience.
4. People are flawed in their thoughts and are influenced by both known and unknown sources from both nurture and nature.
5. Many investigators work off unproven assumptions eg. there is no God, UFO's are false therefore I will always find an alternative reason for what has happened. Consider this attitude to prayer, speaking in tongues, conversion, miracles.
6. Investigators regularly work from what they don't believe.
7. There is a supernatural world revealed by Jesus in a unique way.
8. "Historical"  truth and "scientific" truth are both valid.
9. Truth is transcendent. It is revealed by God to mankind through the Scriptures.
10. Investigation of events doesn't actually provide an understanding of the whole, science normally describes, not explains.
 

Other:__________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________


HOW THEN, DO PEOPLE KNOW ANYTHING?
DIRECT
1. INSTINCT     Inborn patterns of activity common to a biological group.
2. FEELING     Appealing to emotions (hutch, in my bones).
3. SENSE EXPERIENCE   I saw it. However, all experiences are also subject to "common"       sense.
4. INTUITION    Knowledge based on reason eg. flashes.

SOCIAL
1. CUSTOM or habit   "this is the way we do it here."
2. TRADITION   "this is the way we have always done it here."
3. UNIVERSAL AGREEMENT  "Everybody knows that."

PHILOSOPHICAL
1. CORRESPONDENCE  An idea corresponds with reality but how do we know what is real.
2. PRAGMATISM   truth is what works.
 3. COHERENCE   Consistent with itself, All facts considered, analysed, Hypothesis
     and verification But are all facts considered?
4. REVELATION   There is a God who has communicated to Mankind through creation,      the prophets and ultimately his Son Jesus who is God in human form.



BIBLE INPUT
GOD IS TRANSCENDENT
1 Cor 1:25 "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. "

GOD IN CREATION
Psalm 19:1-6 "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
19:2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
19:3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
19:4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
19:5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
19:6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.

Acts 14:15-17 "Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. 14:16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 14:17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."

Romans 1:18-25 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen."

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

JESUS IS GOD
Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" - which means, "God with us."

John 20:28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

John 1:1-3"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2 He was with God in the beginning. 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."

CREATION AND GOD
Hebrews 11:1,3 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."

Genesis 1:1-3 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  1:3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light."

TRUTH
Psalm 31:5 "Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth."

John 14:6-11 "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves."

Hebrews 1:1-3 "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

PRACTICAL RAMIFICATIONS
 1.  What is true when discussing  theology?
 2.  What makes a work of art good?
 3.  What makes a work of art true?
 4.  Can two things be true but not agree with each other?