Notes From The Pepperdine Lectures – Monte Cox

Notes taken during Monte Cox’s presentation at The 2009 Pepperdine Lectures – “Christ, the Mystery of God” – Tuesday, May 5, 2009 – 7PM. Based on Colossians 2:1-7.

To download Dr. Cox’s PowerPoint presentation used during this lecture, go to www.harding.edu/cwm and look under the heading “Dr. Monte Cox’s ’09 Pepperdine presentation,” or click here.

  • “Pluralism drives the relativism that makes evangelism a four letter word.”
  • The book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a good example of how people view spirituality today (pluralistically – just make sure you get a little bit of every religion and you’ll be ok).
  • Ministry in the North American context means you will encounter 1) postmodernism, 2) individualism, and 3) skepticism.
  • “Does the concept of ‘God’ belong in a religion class? Can a Christian teach a world religion class at a secular university? Some would say ‘no’ because of their Christian bias. We do, however, need to critique that question. How is a believer’s bias less valid than an unbeliever’s? The underlying assumption of that question is a biased one.”
  • Colossians 2:9 – “Son of God – fully human and fully divine?” Rejected by postmodern thinkers because that sounds too exclusive.
  • People today aren’t looking for a Savior – they’re looking for a spiritual life coach. They’re looking for a therapist. For many, that’s what Jesus is reduced to.
  • Jesus is seen by many as a highly evolved spiritual coach who can help … if you want Him to.
  • Colossians 2:2,3 – “All mysteries” are hidden in Christ. Not Christ plus something else!
  • Paints a picture of two people. One is a girl who gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and sees nothing but ugly. Another is a young man that gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and sees a suave ladykiller. Dr. Cox says both of them have a self-esteem problem – not just the girl. The problem is they get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see themselves instead of seeing Christ.
  • Recommends Christless Christianity by Michael Horton as a book we all should read. Read the first chapter of this book by clicking here.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:14 – “If Christ isn’t the Son of God and raised from the dead, we have nothing to say! Apart from Christ – the center of our faith and identity – we have nothing to say!”
  • “I do not want to be guilty of drawing lines [in terms of fellowship] where God hasn’t clearly drawn them Himself because I’m too conservative for that!” (Amen to that!)
  • Christ-centric theology is the key to the future of the Churches of Christ. (Amen to that too!)

Other good stuff from Dr. Cox concerning Church of Christ world missions (PowerPoint presentations):

  1. Around the World in 60 Minutes
  2. Missions and Money
  3. What the World Needs Now
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