The foundation of God’s election is an anonymity that is known to God only. We as human beings may not realize that God is capable of choosing some people while at the same time passing others. Everything that God has chosen to do is wonderful and righteous. God does not make errors. Some people argue that this portrays the picture of God as impulsive and unjust.
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This opinion, however, ignores the fact that if all humanity obtained what is fair from God, then they would all be rejected to everlasting death in anguish. God is not under any responsibility to rescue anyone. His election is essential due to the total wickedness of the nature of humans. None of us has the aspiration to choose what is right and condemn evil. We all stand remorseful before God waiting to have His wrath5.
This paper will discuss a theological topic that is related to theological issues of the contemporary society. The topic deals with the ministry and Christian development in the concept of the church. The topic also entails chronological documents of the church, involving many of the archetypal creeds and church confessions.
It also includes modern faith articles and situation statements. The theological topic to be discussed in this paper is the second coming of Christ.
This will involve an evaluation of the second coming of Jesus Christ, which is quite opposite to several notions of the rapture6. It will discuss how this topic can answer questions or issues of the contemporary society. These include post modernism, Neo- paganism and shamanistic culture.
Post modernism refers to that which succeeds or develops from futuristic thoughts. In a post modernism society, the world is understood as complicated and uncertain. Truth is no longer permanent or determined. All reality within a postmodern concept is relative to one’s opinion or stance.
The world is an image. This means that it is a fantasy generated from a particular point of view and not a final reality. Postmodernism is still in its early years. It is an attempt to reason behind the restrains of the ancient times.
The topic of the second coming of Jesus Christ is a philosophical technique of looking for ineffectual points in contemporary thinking and developing ways of assessment.
In post modernism, there is an intensity of disintegration and discontinuity in addition to ambiguity. It concentrates on a de- structured society that is decanted. Postmodernisms rejoice is in the disintegrated view of human life.
Post modernism is, therefore, an effort to question the world around us and particularly not to take others opinions as the final reality. It is an attempt to seek new and more honest versions of the world.
Modern western society finds itself in the middle of a scholarly mood with a related cultural manifestation. Its intellectual component has philosophical connections being expected in the 19th century. The intellectual significance of postmodernism is the fact that it has victoriously transcended the domain of academia to which it was highly restrained during the 1970s. This was to help locate expressions in modern architecture and fiction.7
As an intellectual perception with a powerful philosophical base, postmodernism has become an observable fact which has notable implications for the subject of theology. It is real in the account of Christian theology. Theologians carry out their tasks within the intellectual concept of theology.
Postmodernism experiences the illustration of theology, mostly in the Christian world. A cursory approach to the productivity of evangelical theological actions discloses the earnestness with which the postmodern problem is solved. This, therefore, reveals the divergent positions on the comparative value of the postmodern position for evangelical theology.
There is a need for a significant evaluation of postmodernism. The theological topic of the second coming of Christ expounds this. This is no less vital in consideration to Adventist theology. This evaluation of postmodernism entails the following rational moves.
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A formal plan of postmodernism from the viewpoint of its idealistic foundation ought to be adhered to, by an overall theological assessment of its implications, to be concluded by specific application to Adventist theology. The significance of carrying out a philosophical evaluation is that it offers a structural component which assists in clearly outlining the basic issues at stake8.
Postmodernism involves several viewpoints. In spite of these viewpoints, there appears to be a settlement on the fact that basically, the postmodern viewpoint is anti modern, especially on its denial of Enlightenment rationality. This makes scientists to categorize varieties of post modernism based on their level of going away from modernism.
A tactical technique to examine the repercussions of postmodernism for theology is through the theological topic of the second coming of Christ. In epistemology, postmodernism involves a band of issues around the notions of revelation, culture, reason and expertise.
Theological topic discussed in this paper will put into consideration the Bible, the Christian legacy and the modern culture in theological reflection. In a rather inquisitive twist of fortunes, modern theology defies an awakening from modernity release of power and scripture in the course of the progressive period.
This has led to the extent of rethinking power, including biblical power, during the present perceived predicament and melancholy of post modernity. The chance to rethink biblical power in post modernity, however, is not precisely a return to a conventional propositional principle of scripture.
Foundationalism and propositional are associates that cannot thrive postmodernism in the absence of reconstruction9.
The theological topic of the second coming of Christ deals with the post conservative and post liberal theology. In Post liberal theology, scripture is involved. This simply works to initiate the rules involved in enhancing the faith of a postmodern community.
This does not necessarily involve the freelance of truth claims. In this case, the scriptures are understood as a tradition which disposes postmodernism via genealogy to reconstruction. Post conservative theology encompasses the scripture policy in a manner that is different from the former evangelical approach.
This makes clear the nature of the originality of the word of God. This topic talks about biblical exposure in a manner that goes beyond the older propositional model. It emphasizes on incorporation of creation and redemption drama. In this case, Gods creation is not merely giving suggestions or a way of disclosing himself in a demoralizing nature. God is somewhat fretful in an unrestrained feat where His word does great acts and his actions correspond.
Postmodernism has a relationship with the nature of truth. Postmodernisms skepticism in meta narratives and its predilection for contextual ordinary narratives essentially translate into efficient, holistic and practical truth notions. It should, however, be noted that all epistemologists who are holistic experience the same test, the challenge of fighting evenly reliable schemes.
It should be brought to mind that the force towards a practical and functional idea of truth in post modernism is directly associated with its metaphysical suggestions which predispose it towards a constructionist opinion of actuality. The truth is that Jesus Christ will come back for his people again10.
The topic has helped answer issues of postmodernism. The sincerity reference of the scriptures should not be done in a manner to make ambiguous the actual issue of the stories which is to describe the literary personality of Jesus and not to refer to real historic incidents.
For instance, in the resurrection case, the resurrection position should not be that of recommendation to an event but merely the assertion that Jesus’ self-presentation is in reality God’s self-manifestation.
Contemporary postmodern society needs to be familiar with how the biblical biographers thought about God, the earth and themselves. This should not necessarily be how they used their perceptions in their situations but to transmit the knowledge behind their judgment to the society’s position.
Postmodernism may be shown to be primarily inconsistent with Adventists religion. This is due to the fact that it is contradictory with bible readings from a formal point of view. The inconsistency of post modernism with the theology of Adventists is apparent in its opinion of reality.
Postmodernism exhibits a naturalistic reductionism since it prolongs modernity’s credence in a universe that is self contained. Post modernity’s commitment to a self-reliant universe is a rational effect of the modern linguistic feature that is potently linked with the movement. Scripture, however, lacks this element of a self-sufficient universe and Adventist theology, therefore, makes no meaning with this belief.
Principles such as Jesus factual second coming and the millennium need Adventist theology to presume the truth of an open universe where nature commingles with super nature. Scripture, therefore, presumes the probability of this interaction of nature and super nature and hence makes possible a policy of revelation that is not bound by naturalistic presumptions11.
Neo paganism is a term used to refer to a wide range of modern spiritual movements, specifically those inspired by Pre-Christian pagan convictions. Modern Pagan Christian associations are highly diverse with a broad spectrum of beliefs such as polytheism, pantheism and animism.
Many pagans put into practice a religion that is utterly modern in origin, while others try to precisely reconstruct native, ethnic religions exhibited in chronological and folkloric sources. Issues involved in a Neo- pagan society include the fact they identify a plurality of heavenly beings. This may be avatars or other features of a fundamental unity.
They understand the nature as a demonstration of spirituality and not as a fallen world. They acknowledge the female godly principle known as the Goddess instead of the male godly principle that is God12.
The topic of the second coming of Christ provides a solution to the issues involved in this Neo- pagan society. It makes these pagan communities to stop encompassing the use of supernatural powers into their ceremonial activities. It also discourages practices dealing with the enclosure and celebration of homosexuality. Belief in the second coming of Christ helps pagans to appreciate Christianity as a place to be and a way of communal recognition. It also helps them to associate with the greater society.
It makes Neo pageants to abandon their religious festivals. It is also through this that Neo paganism is able to resist witchcraft. The issue of Neo paganism encompassing old religious customs in the way of life is discouraged, and they are able to adapt the bible teaching and become followers of God.
Shamanism is an anthropological idiom referring to a variety of beliefs and activities regarding exchange of ideas with the spiritual world. In areas where indigenous shamanism still exists, there is an apparent divide between those who take part in and put into practice shamanic credence’s and traditions and the specialists themselves. A lay participant of shamanism is not bestowed any special identity.
This is the custom within indigenous societies. It is, therefore, clear that taking part in shamanic rituals cannot simply make one a shaman as compared to participation in the catholic religion whereby one is likely to be given an identity of being a bishop. A shamanic specialist who is extremely trained and frequently spiritually chosen individual is given the title Shaman13.
When the theological topic of the second coming of Christ is discussed or passed to the shamanists, then they drop their weird practices and turn to God. For instance, they put down the belief that they are the mediators between the human and the spirit world.
They also drop the practice of treating sicknesses by mending the soul. Their practice of working with magic domains to obtain solutions to issues affecting their members stop. They instead realize that there is only one God who is able to solve all their problems.
Significance of the Theological Topic
The significance of the second coming of Christ for a post modernism society is that it makes this society believe that there is only one God and hence one World and one certainty about that world. “The story of the preexistence of Jesus, his personification and virgin birth, his demise and revivification, is implicitly affirmed with a distinct view of historical understanding”14.
The topic of the second coming of Jesus Christ was founded on reason, and presupposed the existence of unanimous point of view that the reasonable person could arrive at and from there convey universal truth. Postmodernism rightly disapproves this opinion. It fails to put into consideration that reason does not deplete the probable bases for the articulation of meta narratives.
Failure to regard this probability makes postmodernism to be vulnerable to a charge. The charge is that it is merely a variation of a one time secularist doctrine, one in which unlimited autonomy is an unconditional good and in which the probability of God is strongly barred.
Shedding the dedication to a self-sufficient universe will represent a significant situation of probability. This theological topic enables postmodernism to regard meta narratives of the form of Christianity15.
The significance of this topic to a Neo -pagan society is that it makes them drop their unidiomatic religious positions. This is where they do not consider anyone as having power. Through belief on the second coming of Christ, Neo pagans realize that power exists and deem it necessary.
The topic of the second coming of Christ makes shamans belief that God is a divine being and truly exists. They belief that He is the one who gives guidance to weak souls and improves sicknesses of the human soul resulting from foreign elements.
Impact of the Doctrine on the Worship Practices of the Contemporary Church
The rapid adoption of post modernism, Neo paganism and shamanistic culture both traditionally and rationally speaks to some apparent positive meanings in the contemporary church. These practices oblige us to identify the role of assumptions in all our interpretive actions. Rationale is no longer judged to be as impartial and Omni competent.
This creates room for other fields of knowledge. the proclivity of scriptures for unbolt mindedness and completeness, in adding up to disdain of domination, and its doubt of the scheming use of know how as authority, commends it to modern western society.
Positive knowledge in the second coming of Christ cannot have reminiscence in Adventist theology. Tolerance, sympathy, and community are highly biblical themes that can and should be revealed in Adventist theology both realistically and intellectually16.
This doctrine also affects the practice of the contemporary church. Since these cultures are similar to those of the early church, then the contemporary church can look at the criteria of ministering the church and make it a model of how they operate today. It is necessary for the contemporary church to reconstruct its dependence on marketing and go back to the true life of the early church community and the New Testament. Historical worship was founded on cause and verbal communication.
People in the contemporary church are now worshipping God with their whole bodies. The contemporary church argues that worship that is only verbal does not involve the whole individual. This doctrine has also led to improved sense that the church is a manifestation of the existence of Jesus Christ in the world. The barriers within all Christians are, therefore, being broken down.
This doctrine has an impact on the practices of the contemporary church. The instant problem that faces the church by adopting this doctrine is that it ignores believers’ capabilities to make first and second order priority assertions with regard to god. The church, therefore, is in a situation in which fact and efficacy of Gods presence in the community are established by the attitudes and ways of living of the community itself.
Reconciling Christian’s disbelief with the biblical opinion of reality is a major problem. The bible makes unanimous claims about God, Jesus and deliverance. This may not be severely understood in post modernism, Neo paganism and shamanistic culture.
Their refutation of the awakening meta narrative is a welcome growth in demonstrating that independent reason and the science founded on it are not a goal as it used to be. The movement from the disbelief of Enlightenment meta narratives to meta narratives of any form is challenging.
This is because post modernism, Neo paganism and shamanistic are meta narratives and run in an opposite way to the scriptural stance.
The theological topic of the second coming of Christ should always be communicated to the contemporary world. Adventists theologies devotion to biblical-historical pragmatism means that it adopts doctrinally actual notions that do not vary with time, such as the bodily revivification of the dead during Christ’s second coming.
While communicating this message, the church should use customary Adventist terminological classifications while offering post modernists with an extra content beyond their traditional connotation. For instance, the contemporary church should use concepts such as those of revivification in an actual sense. They should portray this, not as something that occurs to dead bodies physically, but to psyches17.
Postmodernisms, Neo paganism and shamanism rejection of rationale create room for the notion that human beings may be conducted in other ways other than reason. The probabilities of theology achieving a favorable hearing may be promoted not only by making it plausibly compelling but also by putting efforts to make it psychologically attractive.
Their predilection for individual knowledge may mean that in passing the Adventist information, a one size matches all evangelistic techniques may not be the best criteria of going forward. In addition, embodying the reality in their lives may increase the apologetic force of the method. All this, however, succeeds on imagination and originality. The substance of the media in releasing the Adventist point should, thus not be undermined.
What the Doctrine says about the contemporary people outside the church.
The doctrine of the second coming of Jesus Christ reconstructs the dependence of evangelicalism on modernism, particularly the empirical technique. It also reconstructs the reliance on customs particularly its anti historical approach, its pragmatism and selfishness.
Contemporary people outside the church are according to this doctrine supposed to go back to Christian faith, exceptionally in the ancient church. Contemporary people outside the church are also supposed to recover their prehistoric and future faith18.
They should resist temptations to become accustomed by faith and activities in the contemporary, postmodern, Neo pagan and shamanistic societies. This doctrine also adds that people should not stay disconnected from God19.
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Migliore, Daniel. Faith seeking understanding: an introduction to Christian theology. Mich: Eerdmans, 2004.
Riggs, Wheelan John. Postmodern Christianity. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2003.
5 Migliore, Daniel. Faith seeking understanding: an introduction to Christian theology. Mich: Eerdmans, 2004.
6 Larkin, Clarence. The Second Coming of Christ. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2010.
7 Han, Winifred Wing. Postmodernism and theology. Hind marsh: Australian Theological Forum Inc, 1999.
8 Larkin, Clarence. The Second Coming of Christ. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2010.
9 Riggs, Wheelan John. Postmodern Christianity. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2003.
10 Riggs, Wheelan John. Postmodern Christianity. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2003.
11 Fridman, Neumann Jane. Shamanism: an encyclopedia of world beliefs, practices, and culture. Calif: ABC-Clio, 2004.
12 Hawkins, Craig. Goddess Worship, Witchcraft, and Neo-Paganism. Mich: Zondervan Press, 1988.
13 Fridman, Neumann Jane. Shamanism: an encyclopedia of world beliefs, practices, and culture. Calif: ABC-Clio, 2004.
14 Larkin, Clarence. The Second Coming of Christ. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2010.
15 Hawkins, Craig. Goddess Worship, Witchcraft, and Neo-Paganism. Mich: Zondervan Press, 1988.
16 Larkin, Clarence. The Second Coming of Christ. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2010.
17 Han, Winifred Wing. Postmodernism and theology. Hind marsh: Australian Theological Forum Inc, 1999.
18 Fridman, Neumann Jane. Shamanism: an encyclopedia of world beliefs, practices, and culture. Calif: ABC-Clio, 2004.
19 Fridman, Neumann Jane. Shamanism: an encyclopedia of world beliefs, practices, and culture. Calif: ABC-Clio, 2004.