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Volume 1 Number 8 December 20, 2006

MarketFaith Ministries is an equipping ministry which is focused on helping Christians become more effective
in living out their faith in the midst of the increasingly diverse worldview environment of modern society.
Introduction

Merry Christmas. As Christians it is a wonderful time of the year for us to focus on what God has done for us through Je-
sus Christ. It is also one of the greatest opportunities that we have to share a witness of how others can enter into a per-
sonal relationship with God.

Today’s topic delves into why the incarnation of Christ is so important. We are taking, though, a worldview perspective on
this so that we can delve deeper into the significance of the Christmas event. It is our prayer that you will come away with
a deeper understanding of Christ and a greater appreciation of the real meaning of Christmas.

Before we move to the article, though, let me share with you a free worldview training on CD that we are in the process of
developing. This should be ready shortly after the first of the year. The training will be a PowerPoint presentation that can
be run on any PC.

It is our desire to make this available in as many ways as possible. We will make CD copies to give away, and will also
put it on the website so that it can be run from the site or downloaded to your own computer. You will also be able to burn
it onto a CD yourself, if you like. At this point, I would like to ask if you would be willing to (Continued on page 2)

Where the Incarnation of Christ Fits into Worldview

It is that time of year when our attention is drawn to the in- The profound meaning of this act cannot be overestimated.
carnation of Christ - the act of God where he stepped out of In fact, if you don’t get the significance of the reality of this
glory and put on human skin. I think we are all pretty much event, your personal faith will end up being shallow and
aware of the of the story of the birth of Christ. But there is a your excitement about living out your faith in daily life will be
significance to this event that goes well beyond what we deficient. That is because people don’t put their whole effort
normally think about. Typically our focus is primarily on the into things that they don’t believe are real in an objective
events surrounding the birth of the baby Jesus. But there is sense. For instance, would you go on a worldwide search
a significance that goes well beyond the story - even be- for an actual unicorn? Of course not! You know it is an
yond the fact of its miraculous nature. imaginary creature and you would be wasting your time and
money. On the other hand, would you train to run a mara-
You see, when we speak of God stepping out of eternity thon if you were assured that you would receive one million
and into time, we are talking about an actual person who dollars just for completing it? Absolutely yes! In fact you
injected himself into our earthly physical reality. In that act, would likely put yourself thorough all kinds of strain and suf-
he did something that had, and continues to have, an actu- fering in order to condition yourself enough to run the re-
al, objective effect on the operation of the world. quired 26 miles, 385 yards. Why? Because one million
dollars is real and tangible to you. (Continued on page 2)

Contact MarketFaith Ministries


312 Anton Dr. Toll Free: 888-883-0656
Tallahassee, FL 32312 info@marketfaith.org Phone: 850-383-9756
http://www.marketfaith.org Fax: 850-514-4571

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(Introduction - Continued from page 1) participate in this with us. Your end of the year tax deductible contribution to Mar-
ketFaith Ministries will give us the resources we need to manufacture and distribute the CDs. Thank you so much for part-
nering with us to strengthen the Body of Christ.

We are continuing our work to put MarketFaith Ministries in a position to be as great a benefit to believers as possible.
To accomplish that, we are constantly increasing the number of resources which are available for people to use. Most of
these are free and available to you in the resources section of the ministry website. It is our hope that you are greatly ben-
efiting from this information. Would you please take a moment to forward this issue of Worldview Made Practical to all of
your Christian friends and encourage them to sign up. It is free, of course, and this will be a great gift to give. Subscription
information is found below, or people can go to http://www.marketfaith.org and sign up directly on the website.

(The Incarnation of Christ - Continued from page 1)


Our worldview is the belief foundation which gives us our conception of who God is and what he is like. Unfortunately,
there is a worldview which is very prominent in our society which asserts that the supernatural simply doesn’t exist. While
we, as Christians, don’t believe that assertion, elements of that worldview have become so pervasive that it affects even
our beliefs and actions. Intellectually we affirm the reality of God, but in life we often live as if he were not real. That is why
we tend to be reluctant to share our faith and directly confront those who oppose our point of view. That is why we don’t
expect to actually meet God in our quiet time. That is why we don’t expect God to actually work miracles in our daily lives.
That is why we don’t actively and often share our faith with other people. We simply don’t put a lot of energy into what we
don’t consider to be objectively real.

To get at how this plays out in life, we need to do a comparison. First, let’s become very clear about the beliefs that are
taught in the Bible concerning the incarnation, and the worldview implications of those beliefs. Following that, we will look
at the alternative beliefs of the other worldviews. Finally, we will make a brief comparison so that we can fully understand
how the implications play out in life and eternity.

The Biblical View of Jesus’ Incarnation


The first thing we need to understand relates to who Jesus is and what he is like according to the Bible. In a nutshell, Je-
sus is an actual, objective person. He was a historical human being who was born in the land of Israel during the time of
the Roman occupation. Beyond that, though, Jesus was the actual human incarnation of God himself. God took the form
of a human being in order to live life among his creation. He did this in order to reveal himself more fully, and through his
death and resurrection to fulfill the requirements for the salvation of mankind.

Just to drive this point home a little more clearly, Jesus was not a “mere mortal,” he was not a phantom, he was not
merely a prophet or some great religious teacher. He was also not simply one of a series of incarnations who each pro-
vided a greater revelation of God. Nor was he some kind of “not completely human” manifestation of God. He was, literal-
ly, God who chose to enter the world by the same means that all of the rest of us entered the world, and who lived life on
earth as an actual human being.

This is important because the teachings of Christ, along with his death and resurrection, actually accomplished results
that have eternal effects. But the effects are based entirely on whether or not individuals receive it that way. If God did not
literally become a man and do what he the Bible says he did, then the salvation that is taught in the Bible is not true and is
not available. And if he literally did do what is asserted in the Bible, the person who does not accept it as truth is not in a
position to apply God’s salvation to his life.

Other Views of Jesus’ Incarnation


There are some other views of who Jesus is. Every worldview has a tendency to treat him in a particular way, though
there are variations within them, as well. Let’s look at some of the possibilities and their implications.

Theism
Of course, Biblical Christianity is a form of Theism, and the above view is its specific expression. But there are other forms
of Theism, as well. In general, Theistic belief systems do acknowledge that Jesus was an actual historical figure. There
are differences beyond that, though, as to who they believe he was. Just to give a few examples, Islam considers that he
was merely a prophet. Mormonism considers him to have been a man who became a God after his death on earth.
Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t acknowledge him as the incarnation of God, but teach that he was an angel before he came to
earth, and that he returned to that form after physical death.

While it is plain to see that there are various approaches to who he was, the tendency of Theism is to see Jesus as an
especially holy man, but not God. As a result, he is not acknowledged to provide the means of salvation. He only pointed
mankind towards it.
(Continued on page 3)
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(The Incarnation of Christ - Continued from page 2)
Naturalism
Naturalism has two different ways that its adherents tend to address Jesus. Some consider that he was nothing more
than a mythical figure who never really existed in history. Others acknowledge his historical existence, but since the su-
pernatural is not acknowledged to exist, Jesus is viewed as a mere mortal - perhaps an extraordinary man, but a mortal
none the less.

The implication, here, is plain. If there is no God, and if Jesus was merely a regular human being, he has nothing to do
with the salvation of humanity. He may have left humanity a good legacy for doing good, but that is about as far as it can
go.

Find these books along


with other great world-
view resources at
www.marketfaith.org

Animism
Animistic thought basically considers Jesus to be in the
same category as any of their religious leaders. He is
looked upon as a shaman or witch doctor. He was, obvi- Subscription Information
ously, one who had a special connection to the spiritual
part of reality, but Animism does not acknowledge a spe- If you would like to receive Worldview Made Practical as a
cial need for a Savior. Whenever a person dies, they auto- free email subscription, simply go to www.marketfaith.org
matically enter the spiritual world as a spiritual being. and click on the sign up link.

The result is fairly obvious. He was not a savior, only an Past Issues of Worldview Made Practical are available
especially gifted shaman who was able to help people free of charge in .pdf (Acrobat) format in the archives at
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Far Eastern Thought


Far Eastern Thought looks at Jesus as one of the many PERMISSION TO REPRINT: If you wish to reprint this
incarnations of God who came to earth to point people in month’s article in your own print or electronic newsletter,
the right direction. Some even go so far as to assert that please include the following paragraph:
his silent years, between age twelve and the beginning of
his public ministry, was spent in India learning the “Truth” Reprinted from Worldview Made Practical; a free e-zine
based on Hindu beliefs. produced by MarketFaith Ministries featuring practical
teaching and life tools to help Christians become more ef-
Under Far Eastern Thought, Jesus is not seen as a savior, fective in their faith life. Discover MarketFaith Ministries at
as a savior is not needed in this system. Jesus was merely www.marketfaith.org.
a human who was at his last material incarnation before
merging with the impersonal “Cosmos.”

How The Incarnation and Worldview Fit Together


As can be seen by these brief descriptions, who a person Support MarketFaith Ministries
considers Jesus to be is not some mere abstract, philo-
sophical point. It actually determines how we live and what The purpose of MarketFaith Ministries is to equip the Body
kind of purpose and meaning we experience in life. It deter- of Christ to become more effective by sharing the practical
mines, or at least influences, who, or what, we turn to in applications of worldview. We are involved in developing
order to find meaning for our lives and salvation for our training and resource materials for that very purpose. If
souls. If Jesus truly is God who provided salvation through you would like to partner with us in this effort, you may
an actual incarnational existence, (Continued on page 4) send your tax deductible contribution to MarketFaith Minis-
tries, 321 Anton Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32312.

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(The Incarnation of Christ - Continued from page 3)
we must respond by entering into a relationship with him based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If he is
believed to be something else, then the response toward him will be different.

As a bottom line assertion, Jesus Christ is God. And it was the work he did during his incarnation, as an actual human
being, which supplied humanity with the means to enter into a personal relationship with God. By understanding and act-
ing on this knowledge, we are able to actually take hold of salvation and live out its implications for our lives.

Coming in January - What is Animism?