Amar, Akbar, Anthony_Understanding Religious Worlviews


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This session was conducted at the PROFIT conference in Bangalore on the 5th Nov 2011. If you are a Christian professional, then PROFIT is for you. To know more about PROFIT visit or write to PROFIT or PROfessionals Fellowship of International Talents is a mission initiative of GEMS - Gospel Echoing Missionary Society, for professionals. PROFIT is a network of Christians who intentionally and actively use their professional identity to do-the-ACT of passing THE TRUTH in the workplace.

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Amar, Akbar, Anthony_Understanding Religious Worlviews

  1. 1. Amar, Akbar, AnthonyBimla, Banu, Beulah Understanding Religious Worldviews By Mariyosh J, GEMS Bihar
  2. 2. Listen to the Audio • Who is he? • Write down the words that he uses to describe God • What is/are the basis of his beliefs?
  3. 3. • Who is he?• Write down the words that he uses to describe God• What is/are the basis of his beliefs?
  4. 4. Components of Gandhi’s speech • mysterious power • unseen power • It transcends the senses • I do not realize the presence of God - the King of Kings • Sir J. C. Bose proved that even matter is life • Law and the law-giver are one • a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and recreates
  5. 5. “in the midst of death life persists, in themidst of untruth truth persists, in the midst ofdarkness light persists. Hence I gather thatGod is life, truth, light. He is love. He is thesupreme Good. But He is no God who merelysatisfies the intellect, if He ever does. God tobe God must rule the heart and transform it.”
  6. 6. Listen to the Audio • Who is he? • What is it that he claims? • What is the word that he frequently uses? • What is/are the basis of his beliefs?
  7. 7. • Who is he?• What is it that he claims?• What is the word that he frequently uses?• What is/are the basis of his beliefs?
  8. 8. Components of King’s speech • All men are created equal • Table of brotherhood • Freedom and justice • Abraham Lincolns Gettysburg Address by saying "Five score years ago..." • "It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.” Psalm 30:5 • "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Amos 5:24. • "I have a dream that every valley shall be exalted...” Isaiah 40:4-5 • opening lines of Shakespeares "Richard III”, "this sweltering summer of the Negros legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn..."
  9. 9. • Abandoned by parents• Left to be adopted• Working at apple farm• Selling used Coco-Cola bottles• Ate meals provided by “ISKCON” (Hare Krishnas)• Usage of Psychedelic drugs• Trip to India• Conversion to Zen Buddhism• Fan of Beatles
  10. 10. • ISKCON – Vegetarianism – PFA – TM (emptying the mind)• Christian – Non vegetarianism – Meditating the Bible• Vivekananda defines education as ‘the manifestation of the perfection already in man.’• CS Lewis – Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
  11. 11. What is it that influences their thoughts & decisions?
  12. 12. Their“Worldviews”
  13. 13. What is a Worldview? A worldview is "an interpretive framework”- much like a pair of glasses-through which you view everything. Everyone bases his or her decisions and actions on a worldview. A worldview is a set of beliefs that underlie and shape all human thought and action.
  14. 14. “Worldview” The term “Worldview” was first used by Immanuel Kant in the 18th century; he used a German term “Weltanschauung” which means “a way of looking at the world.”
  15. 15. Our worldview determines our –Decisions –Our life goals –What we think will make us happy –How we spend our money –How we treat others Adapted from Colson & Warren’s Wide Angle: Framing Your Worldview
  16. 16. Hidden Worldviews • All around us: – Canon: “Image is everything.” • Image is more important than substance – Sprite: “Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst” • Follow after your desires. – Volkswagen: “Jaded is overrated. Dare to be happy.” • Material possessions can bring happiness
  17. 17. • All Worldviews are not equalThere are: – Good Worldview vs. Bad Worldview – Accurate Worldview vs. Inaccurate Worldview
  18. 18. “I am absolutely convinced that the gaschambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, andMaidanek were ultimately prepared not insome ministry or other in Berlin, but rather atthe desks and in lecture halls of nihilisticscientists and philosophers.”[Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live without God?, p.25]
  19. 19. The questions that form a worldview • Where did I come from? (Origin) • How do I separate good from bad? (Morality) • What is my life’s meaning? (Purpose) • What’s going to happen to me when I die? (Destiny) Christianity satisfactorily answers all 4 of the “Big” questions of life!
  20. 20. Many Worldviews • Atheism • Pantheism • Existentialism • Polytheism • Hedonism • Postmodernism • Humanism • Pragmatism • Materialism • Socialism • Nihilism • Theism
  21. 21. All worldviews might seem to say the samething Christianity All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. JESUS, Matthew 7:12 Bahai Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. BAHAULLAH, Tablets of Bahaullah, 71 Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. UDANA-VARGA, 5:18 Confucianism Do unto other what you would have them do unto you. Analects 15:23
  22. 22. Hinduism This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. Mahabharata 5:1517 IslamNo one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. SUNNAH Jainism In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self. LORD MAHAVIRA, 24th Tirthankara
  23. 23. JudaismWhat is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman. That is the law: all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 31a Native American Respect for all life is the foundation. The Great Law of Peace SikhismDont create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone. Guru Arjan Devji 259, Guru Granth Sahib Zoroastrianism That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self. Dadistan-i-Dinik, 94:5
  24. 24. Worldview of major religions • Islam - the five pillars • Buddhism - the four noble truths • Atheism - all that is, is natural and nothing supernatural • Christianity - is built on the existence of the Triune God who has created us and from whom all our imperatives of belief and practice emerge.
  25. 25. Religious Views of Jesus Resurrection God or Man? Who Jesus Was Jesus Purpose Happened?Traditional (Nicene) Second person of the Trinity, incarnation Both: "fully God and fully man." Die for the sins of humanity. YesChristianity of God, Son of God, Savior. A divine being, but created by God andArianism A created divine being. inferior to Father. Son of God. Savior. To save humanity from sin. Yes A "manifestation of God" and prophet. To reveal Gods will as part of progressiveBahai Faith Man Since superseded by Muhammad and revelation to humanity. Only spiritually. Bahaullah. Wise and enlightened man who taught To teach humanity wisdom and the way toBuddhism Man similar things to the Buddha. enlightenment. Not addressed Wise man especially attuned to the divine To teach humanity, heal, and overcomeChristian Science Man Christ. death. Yes Son of God but human, because mother To show Gods love for humanity andChristadelphians Man (or half-man, half-God). was human Mary. Lived a sinless life and redeem humanity from sin. Yes died sacrificial death. Most Gnostics reject that Christ died at To rescue humanity from the materialGnosticism God Divine being sent from the supreme God. world by revealing true knowledge. all. The human Jesus was ordinary and did not resurrect. Incarnation of God akin to Krishna, orHinduism Views vary wise man. Not addressed Not addressed True prophet sent by God, but To reveal Gods will in a progressiveIslam Man superseded by Muhammad. revelation that ended with Muhammad. No Son of God, Word of God, Gods first Teach about God, provide a model forJehovahs Witnesses An archangel creation, Archangel Michael. right living, die sacrificially for human sin. Yes Son of God, Savior, originally one of the To teach about God, provide a model forMormonism (LDS) Man spirit beings that all humans used to be. living, die sacrificially for sin. Yes Has a physical body.Theosophy Man Great teacher. No Great teacher, faith-healer, "incarnation of To demonstrate Gods love for humanity No official teaching; most do not believeUnitarian Universalism Man Gods love." and teach about justice and compassion. physical resurrection.
  26. 26. Why to know a person’s worldview? Acts 17:16-28 “.... I see/perceive that in all things you are very religious.....” – I see what it is that you actually believe “one of your poets…..” The goal for us in understanding the other person’s worldview is to get the other person to the Triune God. To communicate the Truth.
  27. 27. What stops people from becomingChristians? 1. Intellectual Barriers to Faith 2. The historical associations of Christianity 3. The problem of Relevance 4. Misunderstanding the nature of Christianity 5. The hunger for absolute certainty 6. Prior commitment to another belief system 7. The problem of personal integrity 8. A sense of guilt or inadequacy - “Bridge Building” by Alister McGrath
  28. 28. Hindu Worldview • Hinduism is diverse; no single doctrine (or set of beliefs) • Spirit is understood within two main categories – the individual self, or soul (the atman) – the Supreme Self, or God (the paramatman). • Three main truths which form the basis for theological discussion – matter, soul, God
  29. 29. • Almost all Hindus believe that the real self (atman) is distinct from the temporary body made of matter (prakriti)• The eternal soul identifies with matter and is entrapped by maya (illusion)• Impelled by lust, greed, anger, etc., he undergoes samsara (the cycle of repeated birth and death)• Each soul creates its unique destiny according to the law of karma (the universal law of action and reaction)
  30. 30. • Under the influence of eternal time and the three gunas (material qualities) he moves throughout the creation, sometimes going to higher planets, sometimes moving in human society, and at other times entering the lower species.• The goal of most Hindus is moksha, liberation from this perpetual cycle, through re- identification with the eternal brahman (Supreme)
  31. 31. • Hinduism accepts different paths towards this common goal (union with God).• It stresses strict adherence to universal principles through the practice of ones dharma (ordained duty) as revealed through authorised holy books and usually received through the guru (spiritual mentor).
  32. 32. Speaking Tree: This morning (5th Nov 2011)
  33. 33. Key Concept Key Questions1. The Atman (the Soul) Who are we? What is the real self?2. Reincarnation and Samsara What happens after death, before birth?3.The Law of Karma Why is there suffering?4. Prakriti (Matter) and Guna How does the world work?5. Maya (Illusion) Why do we get into difficulty in this world?6. moksha (Liberation) What is the goal of life?7. God (Brahman/Ishvara) Is there a God? If so, what is He/She like?8. Dharma (religious duties) Which is the right way to act?9. One Goal, Different Paths How can we explain Hindu diversity?10. Scripture and Guru (Authority) How are the teachings preserved?11 .Time When did it all start and when will it finish?12. Creation How and why was this world made?
  34. 34. Witnessing to Hindus • Treat Hindus with respect by asking and patiently listening as they explain their religion • Care for them • Have a humble spirit • Use stories to explain Jesus forgiveness • Keep the personhood of God in mind • Carefully emphasize the exclusivity of Jesus • Be patient, Be prayerful
  35. 35. Paul’s style of evangelism @workplace among Hindus Upanishad Prayer Based on Gayatri Mantra Asatho Maa Sad Gamaya Thamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya Mrithyor Maa Amritham Gamaya Lead me from untruth to truth; Lead me from darkness to light; Lead me from death to immortality.
  36. 36. The Muslim WorldviewThe Quran and the Sunnah - Islamic guidance. The Sunnah records the sayings and doings of Muhammad. The seven fundamental beliefs of every Muslim in the world:1. God - Muslims lay great stress on the unity of God. “He is singular – without anything like him: Separate – having no equal.”2. Angels (and other spiritual beings – Jinn and Demons)3. Holy Books (Revealed books of God) - There are hundreds of these – “the Books of the Prophets”. The four major Holy Books are The Torah – the books of Moses; The Zabur – the Psalms of David; The Injil – given to Jesus; and The Quran – given to Muhammad .4. Prophets - 25 are mentioned in the Quran. There are six Major Prophets: Adam, Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad.5. The resurrection and the last day - The resurrection of the body followed by judgement based on the concept of balance of good versus bad deeds.6. They believe in life after death7. They believe in predestination i.e. divine measurement & control of human affairs
  37. 37. Witnessing to Muslims - Some practical tips • Depend on Gods Word and Gods Spirit • Use Your Mind and Heart to know them I. Their book. Become familiar with the Quran. II. Their culture. Study their way of life and try to understand it. III. Their religion. Acquaint yourself with Islam. IV. Their history. They boast in their history. It is a part of them.
  38. 38. Witnessing to Muslims - Some practical tips • Be a Credible Messenger • Never belittle Muhammad or the Quran • Use familiar forms of worship • Speak their language. To help Muslims hear the gospel and understand it, we must speak their language. This language is Allah for ‘God’, Isa for ‘Jesus’, AlMasih for ‘Christ’, masjed for ‘place of worship’, subhan Allah for ‘praise be to God’, bismellah for ‘in the name of God’, and other similar expressions.
  39. 39. Witnessing to Muslims - Some practical tips • Give your personal testimony • Talk about the “forgiveness” of sins • Jesus coming as the final judge • Encourage them to study the Bible (Quran: bits & pieces) • Play the role of a supporting friend & give a supportive community I–I S – Should L – Love A – All M – Muslims
  40. 40. Communicating the Truth • Identification —How can you identify with your listener? • Translation —How can you translate your message into their idiom? • Persuasion —What about your story is persuasive? • Justification —Why do you believe what you believe?
  41. 41. Why do people still reject the gospel? The human problem is not finiteness or smallness, but fallenness and sinfulness Sin involves an evasion of the truth Sin has ultimately contributed to intellectual confusion and moral evil - Ravi Zacharias, Establishing a worldview
  42. 42. Understanding – Effect• 1 Peter 3:15 Read – P.R.O.F.I.T-Mantra for Workplace Evangelism• Revelation 3:14-18• Deonicious Areopagatos If you understand the worldview of the person you are speaking to, you will have an effect.