Surviving Christianity

Speaker: Categories: Aug 13, 2005

 

[57min, 29sec / 47min, 13sec]

ABOUT THE TOPIC:

Surviving Christianity- That title for this month's presentation seems rather disconcerting. Haven't SDAs always contended that becoming a Christian, being a Christian, makes one a part of God's family and, therefore, under his loving care? Would not such loving care also bring comfort, protection, and consolation when needed?

Dr. Steenberg, who will make is SDAF speaking debut on August 13, notes, however,"Eschatology is clear. The time will come when you will be attacked because you are a true Christian. The purpose of this attack is equally clear. Satan wants you to give up your faith. How are you going to survive Christianity when being a Christian becomes synonymous with a death warrant?"

"The book of first Peter,"Pastor Steen berg continues,"deals with exactly this issue during the New Testament time of persecution. A study of this book provides remarkable advice on survival techniques for Christians in the face of attack."

Does the admonition from Peter's letter apply to us nearly two millennia later? If so, how? If not, why not? Is our political/ governmental environment comparable? How? How not?

"In order to understand Peter's message, a deeper understanding of the New Testament context is required,"advises our August speaker."Hence, we will examine New Testament society, how they thought, their value system, and what role the government played [in their culture] religiously."

"Using this knowledge, Peter turns their entire world of understanding upside down. Armed with a totally new way of thinking, Christians become empowered to survive the attack on Christianity. Examples of such new understandings are: a new honor system, a new value system, Godly replacement of earthly loss, and a new system of ambition. These new concepts make persecution inconsequential and help the Christian keep the faith."

Does the above paragraph, as submitted by Dr. Steen berg, help provide some degree of comfort, even reassurance, for those forecastedtroubling times ahead?

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:

Dr. Pierre Steenberg earned his BA in Theology from Andrews University; a BA with Honors in Biblical Studies from the University of Pretoria in South Africa; an MA in Biblical Studies with Distinction, again from the University of Pretoria where he also earned his PhD in New Testament Studies, with Distinction. His dissertation researched theThe Reversal of Roles as the Reasoning for Remaining Christian in the Face of Hardship in the First Epistle of Peter. So this new voice at SDAF comes with an academic background of excellence.

He has published:

·        Christ: a Solution to Suffering in First Peter. Verbum et Ecclesia, 22(2), 392-400, 2001.

·         Verbum et Ecclesia, 22(2), 392-400, 2001

·        “U"are the Church, and"I"am gifted, Pacific Union Recorder, June, 2002.

He has served as a pastor since 1993 and was ordained to the gospel ministry in April,1998.

He has been a part time lecturer at the University of Pretoria (Witbank Campus), Biblical Studies, 1996-1998; a mentor for the Christian Reformed Theological Seminary, Benoni, South Africa, 1999-2001, and a mentor for M.Div. cohort, Fuller Theological Seminary, California, 2002.

He has been a speaker at various camp meetings and a regular speaker for Adventist World Radio - Johannesburg, 1999-2001.

He was chosen as president of his Senior Class, Helderberg College, 1991, and president Mpumalanga Regional Council of Seventh-day Adventists (state wide), 1998. .

He has been a member of the Paterson Park School Board, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1999, 2000, 2001, and is currently a member of the Hollister S.D.A. Christian School Board, Hollister, California.

Dr. Steen berg comes to us at the recommendation of one of his parishioners who is also a member of SDAF.

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