What is Truth? Part Three

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In this “What is Truth?” series, we have seen how vital it is to know sufficient information about the identity and history of Yahweh in order for a person (or ourselves!) to have confidence in God and his Word.

Many presentations of the gospel focus mainly on Jesus’ work on the cross. But then comes the question, “Who is Jesus?” It is not sufficient to say, “He is God,” because then you must explain what God is like. In this series, we’ve seen that it is vital to explain God’s identity and history if we expect people to trust him.

The same principle extends to trusting Jesus for our personal salvation. We need to know the identity and history of Jesus before we will trust him. We sort of intuitively know this but we often skip to the story of the cross without really nailing down the identity of Jesus. The identity of Jesus is that he is the Creator God. We simply cannot assume a person knows or believes that to be the case.

It is no coincidence that the identity of Jesus is the one area that cults and other religions most commonly assault.

It is no coincidence that the identity of Jesus is the one area that cults and other religions most commonly assault. They make Jesus out to be a lesser god, a prophet or maybe a good man, but not the Creator God of the Bible. It is also no coincidence that the Apostle John began his gospel with the clear statement that Jesus was the Creator God. He then reinforces that identity with eight miracles that confirm his deity. Only once that is nailed down can we really explain the historical reality of Christ.

The history of Jesus Christ centres around the events of the cross and tomb, but here, too, we benefit immensely from having a little background. Many ask, “Why did Jesus need to die on the cross? Why didn’t he just pronounce forgiveness on our sins? Did he have to die the way he did?” Those kinds of questions, gone unanswered, have been often cited as reasons why people leave the faith. They simply didn’t understand the identity and history of Christ and so begin to question their own faith. Clearly it is vital that we have a firm grip on the identity and history of Christ.

Those kinds of questions, gone unanswered, have been often cited as reasons why people have left the faith.

Dr. Andy Woods, author and teacher, says the whole reason for the necessity of the cross and tomb can be found in Genesis 3, where God gives his first promise of a Messiah to the newly fallen Adam and Eve. Dr. Woods quotes W.H. Griffith Thomas when he says, “[Genesis 3] is the pivot on which the whole Bible turns.” (1)

“[Genesis 3] is the pivot on which the whole Bible turns.”

W.H. Griffith Thomas

There in Genesis 3, we read of the sad history of mankind. We learn of the choice to trust Satan instead of God, the first human sin. We also learn about the shared identity of all humanity – our sin nature – and the consequence of that sin – eternal death. In Genesis 3, we also learn the early history of the Promised Messiah when God says to Satan, “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring [the Messiah]. He [the Messiah] will strike your head [a fatal blow], and you will strike his heel [a temporary wound].” (2) This then becomes the first of many prophecies pointing to a coming Saviour.

“If you don’t understand what happened in Genesis 3, you have no idea what the rest of the Bible is really talking about.”

Dr. Andy Woods

Dr. Woods goes on to say, “If you don’t understand what happened in Genesis 3, you have no idea what the rest of the Bible is really talking about. You have no idea why Jesus had to come into this world to die on a cross if you don’t understand Genesis chapter 3.” (1)

Let’s be sure we take sufficient time and care in our gospel presentations to ensure our listeners grasp the identity and history of their Saviour. Doing so can make all the difference in the faith walk of a believer.

  1. “Revelation 072-Identification Through Omission,” last modified February 23, 2020, accessed June 22, 2020, https://slbc.org/sermon/revelation-072-identification-through-absence/#transcriptlink.
  1. Genesis 3:15.

No Ordinary Story now available

Over the course of three years, GoodSeed has developed a new series of booklets adapted for the Secular Worldview—the “No Ordinary Story” series. Maintaining a Creation-to-Christ approach, the Bible’s core message has been divided into eight small booklets. Chapters are short, taking 3 to 5 minutes to read. Sprinkled throughout the series are video clips that enhance the written content. This basic 8-booklet set can be rounded out with additional books that include a pre-evangelism booklet and two follow-up booklets for those desiring to go deeper.

The “No Ordinary Story” series has been wrung out across a spectrum of audiences, with many people coming to the Lord even during the trial stage. We trust the Lord will use this little tool in a mighty way to bring many to Him.

In the coming weeks we will be sharing multiple ways to use this new tool.

No Ordinary Story

Created for the Secular Worldview

“I’m a ‘None.’” Had I heard him right? Had he said he was a “nun”?

I was taking a taxi across a large city, giving me time to engage the driver in conversation. Soon we were talking about the Bible. “I’m a ‘None,’” he repeated. I was puzzled. “N-O-N-E,” he spelled for me, and then went on to explain that it was his way of saying he wasn’t into religion and stuff like that. It took up too much headspace and besides, it just didn’t interest him.

The truth is, “Nones” have become a recognized norm, and are now very common. The “None” worldview is really a popularized version of the Secular Worldview.

This is the group for whom “No Ordinary Series” was written.

Big Ideas in Bite-Sized Books

The core message is presented in eight booklets :
No Ordinary God: Who is the God of the Bible? What is he like? (introduction to God’s character as revealed through the creation account)
No Ordinary Evil: Why is there so much evil in the world? Where does it come from? (the fall of man, sin and its consequences)
No Ordinary Faith: Why is faith so important? What’s the big deal about trust?
No Ordinary Rules: Does God keep his word? What is the right way to live? (Abraham and Isaac, Moses and Exodus, the giving and purpose of the Ten Commandments)
No Ordinary House: Is there a way out of this mess? What’s with the tent? (sin, works won’t do it, the sacrificial system, the Tabernacle, the Prophets)
No Ordinary Birth: Who was Jesus anyway? How can we be sure? (birth of Jesus, start of his ministry)
No Ordinary Death: Why a cross? Can a dead man live again? (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus)
No Ordinary Plan: Why the lamb? Is it really that simple? (putting it all together)

Background booklet:
No Ordinary Book: What’s the big deal about the Bible? A pre-evangelism booklet building the case for the Bible.

Going Deeper booklets:
No Ordinary Verdict: Am I still guilty? What about shame?
No Ordinary Return: Where is Jesus now? Is he coming back to earth again?

Over 1000 attend “No Ordinary Story” production

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No Ordinary Story Easter 2016The lights dim, train cars rumble, followed by the sound of a whistle blowing. Then the shout of “All aboard!” calls out and a performance of No Ordinary Story is underway.

The auditorium is packed out as 35 choir members find their places on the stage. From the beginning songs, “Train Ride” and “Let Me Tell You What the Bible Says,” to the climax of “Praise the Risen Lord” and “Trust Him,” the audience remains engaged. As the final notes fade away, they break into applause and some are soon on their feet in a standing ovation.

For the choir, director, cast and church leadership, this doesn’t just mean a successful performance. What is far more important is that the gospel has gone forth in clarity, to many people who have never heard it before.

Continue reading “Over 1000 attend “No Ordinary Story” production”

Altos to the left, sops on the right! Gearing up for Easter performances of “No Ordinary Story”

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Monday evening. Seven o’clock. The sanctuary of First Baptist Church is a lively place. Almost 40 people are trying to position themselves on four levels of risers on the stage. The choir director is waving her arms at her singers.

“Altos to the left, sopranos to the right, and tenors and basses in the middle. No… everyone move over a few feet to the left. The screen needs to be visible behind you. There… that looks right. Can everyone see me? Hmm… Allan can’t see from where he sits at the piano. Let’s adjust a few more things.”

Then Allan gives a thumbs up. It looks like everyone is ready to sing. Continue reading “Altos to the left, sops on the right! Gearing up for Easter performances of “No Ordinary Story””

Video: The production of “No Ordinary Story”

Music resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. No Ordinary Story is the gospel message, told through music and drama in a fresh, compelling and objective way. The vision for this musical is to share the gospel message with music lovers and those who prefer not to read. We are excited at how far we have come in this project: the script, the scores and the backing music tracks have all been completed.

Continue reading “Video: The production of “No Ordinary Story””

Recording the music for “No Ordinary Story”

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recording No Ordinary StoryIn late October, GoodSeed’s songwriter Allan Ellingsgaard and special project consultant James Janzen, along with our video team, made a trip to Surrey, British Columbia, to record all the instrument tracks for No Ordinary Story. With the invaluable help of a professional recording studio and quality musicians, this goal was achieved over a span of nine days.

When asked about how he felt about the whole experience, Allan says that he entered this phase with a lot of nervousness. “Having just the piano until this point had made me feel sort of boxed in,” he recalls. “I knew I wanted something but I didn’t know exactly what.” The idea of working with professional musicians was a little intimidating. Would they appreciate the musical for what it was?

Continue reading “Recording the music for “No Ordinary Story””

“No Ordinary Story”: You have to perform this again!

No Ordinary Story - First Public Performance

The lady on the phone said in a firm voice:

You need to understand, the musical was incredible. I’ve people I want to bring to this. They need to hear this message. I’ve a list of elderly people who go to church but I know they’re not believers. Even for me, there are a few things that I’ve never understood even though I’ve been going to church most of my life.”

Continue reading ““No Ordinary Story”: You have to perform this again!”

Can you help? Journey with us to complete “No Ordinary Story”

No Ordinary Story dress rehearsalWe’ve been working hard on a musical that shares the message of the gospel. Some of you have heard songs from it. Others are joining us for the first public performance.

We invite you to journey with us in prayer and support as we move into our next phase of production.

When completed, this 90-minute musical will be released in two formats:

Continue reading “Can you help? Journey with us to complete “No Ordinary Story””

Getting ready for our first public performance of “No Ordinary Story”

No Ordinary Story choir presentation

We are grateful for the partnership of a local church in presenting two performances of No Ordinary Story in the coming weeks. While the choir, soloists and actors are excited to share the gospel message in song and story, we are excited about the possibility of performing the musical in front of the public for the first time.

The creative team has poured hours into the music, lyrics and scores. They’ve also spent time crafting of the story that ties all the songs together. They’ve prepared the slides, the sound effects and are working on the staging. We’re praying it all works out well. The aim is to have a package that churches of all sizes can take and perform anywhere in the world.

Continue reading “Getting ready for our first public performance of “No Ordinary Story””

“No Ordinary Story” in no ordinary church

Train arriving

The musical committee at GoodSeed has been working on No Ordinary Story for more than four years. Today, the scores have been written, the script is ready and a demo CD has been produced. We are now at the live testing stage.

A church that has been wanting to share the gospel message with its congregation in a fresh way has pulled together a group of singers and actors for two performances aimed for this summer. We are excited to be able to gain more valuable feedback as we refine the musical for release.

Continue reading ““No Ordinary Story” in no ordinary church”