An Interview with a GP

An Evening With Dr. Christoph Steurer
Christoph remembers meeting CityGate’s director, Marsh Moyle, more than twenty years ago, over coffee in the twenty second district of Vienna. Marsh and Tuula were still working with Operation Mobilisation. All of them were excited about the work of L’Abri and how the Bible should influence our society. As part of the Gospel in Society Summer Session, participants are exposed to Christians working in different professions. Christoph joined us for an evening and answered our questions.

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How Do We Know God

Lost in Space.
>One of the first Soviet cosmonauts to orbit Earth exclaimed at a press conference upon his return, “I have circled the planet and looked out into space. I must tell you, I saw neither angels nor God!” One wonders what the relevance of this statement was in terms of the space race.

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1 Corinthians

The culture of the city was thoroughly anti-Christian. It was marked by the cult of personality and celebrity. The leading figures did all they could to attract followers and their money. The cult of the body beautiful and the sporting image was prominent. How a person looked was critical.

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A Biblical View of the World

Every country has its landmarks of geography and history that give its culture shape and direction and are essential for understanding its story. Our questions of the Bible need to be asked in the context of its big landmarks, its big story or meta-narrative. A lot of devotional reading concentrates on the mini-stories, and misses the panorama of salvation history in which they should be understood. As we seek a Biblical view of ‘the world’ we need to set our question in the meta-narrative context of the whole of Scripture.

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A Hook to Hang Your World On

From early childhood on we strive to understand the world around us. Birth brought us out of security into a situation that needs to be discovered, to be made secure. We try to make sense of all experiences, impressions and insights. Being on our own, we try to make the place inhabitable. We want to gain power over it, understand it and control it to some extent. We want to see whether the multiple experiences, sounds ands sights are part of a coherent grid. Their repetition, from the familiar faces and objects to specific sounds and words attached to things and even facial expressions, seem to indicate an order.

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The Authority of Scripture

Introduction - I once had a student in one of my philosophy classes that I could tell didn’t seem to particularly care for me. There were clearly felt negative feelings coming from her. When she responded to a question I asked, or when I called on her, she tended to answer with an angry tone in her voice. This went on for a few weeks until I had had my fill of her “attitude,” as it is referred to in the U.S.

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Ethics in the Circle of Life

Introduction – We do not know how much time Paul spent in Thessalonica. Possibly he was there only for a few days when a mob of jealous people drove him out of town. He had pointed out that the Bible everyone read in the synagogue spoke of the Messiah coming in history. The person Jesus, who had lived, taught, was crucified and raised from the dead in Israel during their own lifetime, was that Messiah. He had drawn for them a whole picture of understanding to explain what was the truth about Jesus. He used their prophecies as well as events in their own historic time to make his case.

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Every Knee Shall Bow

Everything in the universe is either orbited or orbits something else. The moons orbit the planets, the planets central stars, central stars whole galaxies and everything in orbit around a spot assumed to be the centre of the universe. Only this Centre orbits nothing else. All of us have a centre to our own personal universe. Here we find authority for what to think, what to believe and how to live. Whatever we identify as the plumb line in our lives—whether it is a personal deity, science or philosophy, our lusts or ambitions, our fears or our conquests, our knowledge, personal morality, our mood—whatever it is that we consider the ultimate authority in our lives, that thing is our god. I have never met an atheist.

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Expectations and Dreams

There are many who would say that Christianity itself is a denial of reality. To them I would ask, “How are you doing?” Does your life have meaning, value and significance, does your description of reality take into account all the facts and or are you alone in a universe of fragmented things. Christianity has had a bad press, for much of this Christians are to blame; but it has also had an ignorant press and the non-Christian’s understanding of it may well be woefully incomplete.

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History Does Not Alter

When your revolution is over

When your revolution is over

Will you rebuild the city?

Will you rebuild the city?

Will you drain away the tears?

Will you retouch every scar?

Will you mend the broken hearts?

Will you find the stolen years?

Will you light up the blind eye?

Will you raise up the dead?

Ah.

Then I do not want

I do not want

Your revolution.

— “When Your Revolution Is Over,” Steve Turner

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Hope and the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven

Our Christian hope is based on the purpose and character of God and the demonstrated faithfulness of Christ in His death and resurrection. Our ultimate hope is eternal life in restored relationship with Him in His kingdom, which we will experience as reality finally in the restoration and redemption of all things. We understand this will be a physical reality in the new creation. Until then we live in the tension of the now and the not yet.

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Horizons and Perspectives

Christianity does not start with Christ, at least not in the way we often think of him, that perfect Galilean, the human whose example of perfection was limited only by the fallen people and the cursed world around him.

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Individualism, Uniqueness, Community and Intimacy

In Eastern and Central Europe they say that it is the tall grass that gets the scythe. One mustn’t stand out. Throughout the history of the East the common people survived by blending into the landscape, by not sticking out, and by holding together. Community is all.

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Is Art a Commodity or a Relationship?

The first and most basic word to understand together is, of course, "ART". The English word comes from Greek and Latin words meaning "arm, skill, tool, to fit or join". I would like to limit the meaning to "DELIBERATE HUMAN ACTION". Some people think this definition is too large, but consider what it leaves out: accident or chance is eliminated by the word "deliberate", all the creative activity of God in nature is left out by the word "human", and invisible thoughts, ideas and pure imagination is left out by the word "action". Art must be speaking, writing, singing, playing, painting, moving - something manifesting choice and commitment. Moving on this basis to the word "music", we would say that music is "sound organised by human beings."

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Looking up and out towards the heavens

Many years ago a dear friend of mine struggled with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was overwhelmingly inviting. It was also challenging. In exasperation one evening, he told me he was going to go out and walk along the lakeshore and look up into the star-lit night. He was going to ask God to do something spectacular in the sky to confirm the gospel.

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Notice the Sunrise…

Have you ever noticed how the sun rises? A thin line of light separates the darkness above from the darkness below, it comes like a yawn, stretching in the morning. It comes slowly, a large ball on the red horizon and slowly, it starts to focus and to pierce with its intensity. It does not rush, its pace is steady, its coming is inevitable. It eases us into the day. It allows us time to get use to it. It doesn't blind us with light.

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Reading Film

This spring, we are holding a series of film discussions in co-operation with Cliff Foreman of Covenant College, Tennessee, USA. The purpose of the film series is to “read” the media of cinema in terms of both its art and in what it might say in dialogue with the Christian worldview. The series started off with four movies in a weekend festival, March 14-16th, titled “Show Me a Story”. Other films will be shown over five Monday evenings through to the end of April.

The following excerpts are from a field study being written on film and discernment.

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Reality

Reality is large, at once so obvious and yet so difficult to grasp. “Reality” said Hans Rookmaaker, ”is facts plus meaning.”

This is beautiful. Just after reading those words I walked out into the garden here at the CityGate house in Bratislava. Tuula, my wife, was arranging some flowers in the bright sunshine, the house was full of people thinking about the meaning and purpose of their lives, and she was giving meaning to the life around her in the creative way she does, nurturing beauty with tenderness. This was reality and I had deeper appreciation for her. Meaning comes out of the relationship of people and things to each other. The facts are what we arrange.

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Recovering Goodness, Beauty and Truth

Goodness, Beauty and Truth, I call this the ancient triad. The classical culture of Greek civilisation called this the triumvirate. It’s interesting to see this triad existed in other civilisations. There is something Trinitarian in the function of these three, existing together as one. They seem to belong together, just like an American BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) sandwich.

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