For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19:10

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Viewpoints Lectures for the Unfamiliar in Ottawa

The post below was submitted by Ken Kember and Vince Kember in Canada's capital, Ottawa, Ontario.

The Viewpoints Lectures were designed as a tool to present the gospel to an audience unfamiliar with its message and with the Christian worldview that underlies it. 

We had already been working with the Chinese community in Ottawa for a few years through a language/Bible study group called the English Bible Circle. Viewpoints 09 was an opportunity to bring newer students up to date with a solid base in Christian concepts, and also a chance to introduce to secular Canadians – friends from school or work – the truth presented in the Bible. 

This work involved a series of 4 lectures over 4 evenings held at a community centre next to the University of Ottawa. Shortly before the event, we held a booth at the University where we invited students to attend the lectures while also distributing tracts, Seed Sowers, Bibles....and the ever-popular cookies. We distributed invitations for our students to take home and share with their friends and created a website to introduce ourselves, give time/place details, and provide the outlines for each night.

The lectures were held in an informal fashion outside of the assembly meeting context, much in the style of a classroom lecture. The outlines were distributed on paper, and each lecture was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation that went through the material more completely. This helped to structure the material and allowed for the incorporation of helpful images and diagrams.

These presentations, along with an audio recording of the lecture, were posted on the website after each session in case some could not attend each night. Each of the four lectures were written and presented by a different brother from our assembly. We worked together in designing the overall structure of the content, but were at liberty to take our subject in the direction we felt would be most helpful.

The series revolved around the idea of “viewpoints” or “worldviews” – the set of beliefs and assumptions that we all have and that defines our attitudes and our choices. We wanted to present the idea that everyone has a worldview, whether they are aware of it or not. We then sought to introduce, as clearly as possible, the Christian worldview. The focus of this series was not so much the defence of Christianity (apologetics) as a clear presentation of its truths.

The title for the first night was “Man's Views”. We defined worldviews and asked the audience to define and assess their own. We talked about the questions a worldview must address, and the tests to which it can be subjected. We asked the audience to consider how any given worldview would answer questions about authority, worship, meaning, morality, and life after death. 

In the second night we moved specifically into the Christian worldview with a message entitled “God's View”. This was an introduction to God as he is described in the Bible, as well as His assessment of fallen mankind. 

The third night, “View on Christ” focused on the person of Christ, his purpose for coming into the world, and the impact of his resurrection. 

The last night of the series, “Future Views”, spoke of the Bible's relevance to the individual. We discussed death and the afterlife – Heaven and Hell – and explained the need of personal salvation.We concluded the lectures with Christ's invitation to all.

If you would like to receive more information or make further inquiries about the above approach you can email Vince Kember or Ken Kember, both in fellowship at the River Road Assembly in Ottawa, Canada. 

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