Summary: This sermon educates people on how to protect themselves against empty philosophies and remain in Christ.

The Supremacy of Christ is Defended Against

Empty Philosophies

Colossians 2:1-10

September 30, 2001


A. [Imponderable Questions, Citation: David Holdaway, Stonehaven, Scotland, United Kingdom]

Think on these things (but not for too long):

If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where’s the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

Is there another word for synonym?

Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all"?

What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?

Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Is it true that cannibals don’t eat clowns because they taste funny?

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

One nice thing about egotists: they don’t talk about other people.

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.

If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest have to drown too?

If you try to fail, but succeed, which have you done?

B. [Many Truths, Citation: Mary Lefkowitz, a professor of classical studies at Wellesley College, in N.Y.Times Book Review (1-23-00)]

The notion that there are many truths might seem well suited to a diverse society.

But when everyone is free to define truth as he or she prefers, as at present, the result is an intellectual and moral shouting match in which the people with the loudest voices are most likely to be heard.

C. [Beginning to Lose God, Citation: Ravi Zacharias, "If the Foundations Be Destroyed," Preaching Today, Tape No. 142.]

Listen to a secular thinker Peggy Noonan, one of the brightest journalistic minds around. She says this in an article entitled "You’d Cry Too If It Happened To You."

It came in Forbes magazine, September 14, 1992, in which 11 men and women were asked to answer the question "Why are we so unhappy?"

They all agreed we were unhappy because we had lost our moral and spiritual center.

Listen to what Peggy Noonan says:

"[Poet W. H.] Auden called his era ’the age of anxiety.’ I think what was at the heart of the dread in those days [just a few years into modern times] was that we could tell we were beginning to lose God--banishing him from the scene and from our own consciousness, losing the assumption that he was part of the daily drama or its maker. It is a terrible thing when people lose God. Life is difficult, and people are afraid, and to be without God is to lose man’s greatest source of consolation and coherence ..."

D. [Immersed in Humanism, Citation: Ravi Zacharias, "If the Foundations Be Destroyed," Preaching Today, Tape No. 142.]

A Chinese proverb says, "If you want to know what water is, don’t ask the fish."

Water is the sum and substance of the world in which the fish is immersed.

The fish may not reflect on its own environment until suddenly it is thrust onto dry land and struggles for its life.

Then it realizes water provided its sustenance.

Immersed in our environment for the last thirty years, we failed to take the ramifications seriously.

Suddenly we are thrust into this humanistic world view, and we wonder how it happened.

E. [What About the Foundation?, Citation: Ravi Zacharias, "If the Foundations Be Destroyed," Preaching Today, Tape No. 142.]

A few weeks ago, I did a lectureship at Ohio State University.

As I was being driven to the lecture, we passed the new Wexner Art Center.

The driver said, "This is a new art building for the university.

It is a fascinating building designed in the post-modernist view of reality."

The building has no pattern.

Staircases go nowhere.

Pillars support nothing.

The architect designed the building to reflect life.

It went nowhere and was mindless and senseless.

I turned to the man describing it and asked, "Did they do the same thing with the foundation?"

He laughed.

You can’t do that with a foundation.

You can get away with the infrastructure.

You can get away with random thoughts that sound good in defense of a world view that ultimately doesn’t make sense.

Once you start tampering with the foundations, you begin to see the serious effects.

Yet the foundations are in jeopardy; the foundations of our culture do not provide coherent sets of answers any more.

F. [Pluralism Is Not New, Citation: David Wells in No Place for Truth, or, Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? Christianity Today, Vol. 38, no. 8.]

While religious pluralism may be a novel experience for us, it is putting us in touch with the world that surrounded the biblical authors.

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