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Belief and the Resurrection Part 3: Call

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Is the fundamental problem of our culture meaninglessness? Or is it anxiety? Are they connected? In this presentation we look at anxiety and the gospel category of Call as its solution.

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Belief and the Resurrection Part 3: Call

  1. 1. What Does it Mean to Believe in the Resurrection? Part 3: Call You can read an article based on this presentation here John 21:15-18, 19b-20a, 21-22
  2. 2. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep…. After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them… When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!’
  3. 3. What Does it Say? • Emotional reaction • What’s the setting? • Who are the characters? • How would you summarize it? • What happened before/after? • What scriptural references do you pick up?
  4. 4. What Does it Mean?
  5. 5. Previously • It is possible to believe in the fact of the Resurrection without naivety, bad faith, or fideism • It depends on your parti pris • Resurrection as transformational / existential knowledge
  6. 6. Suffering and Meaninglessness • Suffering “reveals” the meaninglessness of life • In the crucifixion, God experienced the meaninglessness of life from the inside. • The paradox of the Cross • Resurrection and vindication
  7. 7. What is the Meaning of the “Meaning of Life”? What levels of experience and reality would “meaning” have to tap to be adequate?
  8. 8. The Nature of Justification • Knowledge = justified true belief • Deductive and inductive proof • Adequacy • What would constitute adequacy in the context of a belief system?
  9. 9. Anxiety • In April a joint report by Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute found nearly one in four Australian teenagers met the criteria for having a "probable serious mental illness" — a 20 per cent increase from five years ago. • https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11- 27/schools-at-crisis-point-mental-health- concerns-among-students/9192386 • Is anxiety the same thing as, or related to, the sense of meaninglessness?
  10. 10. The Influence of Anxiety • Do you think we live in an anxious culture? • What makes it seem anxious? • Why is it anxious?
  11. 11. The Death of the Gods? • Does the collapse in meta- narratives (e.g. progress, communism) lead to greater anxiety? • Does it have something to do with greater consumer choice? • Public / curated nature of life in the age of social media? • Too much exposure to bad news?
  12. 12. Am I Going To Be OK? • How do you answer this – given that on average you’re no more than 5 years away from something terrible happening to you or someone you love. • What does it mean to be “OK” in that context?
  13. 13. Victor Frankl • Neurologist & psychologist • Holocaust survivor • Man’s Search for Meaning • Existentialist psychology, focussed on the centrality of finding meaning in one’s life.
  14. 14. Striving What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him - Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
  15. 15. Limitation of Existentialism • It doesn’t seem to have an ethical framework built in • Could you find meaning in doing bad things just as much as good things? • Too human centred? Meaning is something we defiantly wave at the univers
  16. 16. “Ultimate meaning necessarily exceeds and surpasses the finite intellectual capacities of man... What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. Logos is deeper than logic.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
  17. 17. Trust and Resurrection • The Resurrection enacts God’s ultimate trust- worthiness • Everything is, fundamentally, going to be OK • But not in a way that doesn’t involve us
  18. 18. Call .’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep…. After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ John 20:17,19b
  19. 19. Call – Joining the Dots • Life calls you to adventure • Not just to any old meaning, but to realise the meaning held by the universe as a whole • There is one who means something by the universe, and part of that meaning is our participation
  20. 20. What Does it Mean to Me?
  21. 21. Reflective Questions about the Resurrection • Does life have a meaning? • Are you ready for the adventure of trusting yourself to that meaning?
  22. 22. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
  23. 23. Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the faint-hearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honour all people; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit And the blessing of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be amongst us and remain with us ever more. Amen

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