Ask Andy Moore (August 27-31, 2018)


(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends,

@AndyMoore, an RZIM apologist based in the UK, is available to answer your questions! Andy also directs the Business Programme for the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics and co-leads our Festival of Thought initiative.

You’ll want to avoid being tackled by him, as he’s quite the athlete. But I can assure you that in this forum you’ll find nothing but kindness and respect from him.

So - please, ask your question now! It will be beneficial not only to you but also to everyone else who has the opportunity to follow along with the conversation.

Andy is on holiday on August 27, but will be available starting the 28th

Andy Moore’s bio:

Andy Moore is a speaker for the Zacharias Trust and co-leads Festival of Thought, which focuses on apologetics for the corporate world. Andy has a background in business having previously worked as an advisor to private equity houses in London and in financial operations for a NASDAQ-listed multinational. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for several charities in London.

Andy’s passion is for the gospel and seeing people turn to Jesus Christ; he has lead missions on a number of university campuses across the UK. Andy is a Chartered Accountant in England and Wales and the holder of Certificates in Christian Apologetics and Theological Studies from the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and University of Oxford respectively. He is nearing completion of his master’s degree study in the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at the University of Birmingham and hopes to progress to further studies in the area of bioethics. Andy is also an avid sportsman and has played rugby to a representative level within Ireland.

(Bill Brander) #2


Thank you for the ‘festival of thought’ link Carson.

There’s a mine to mine there.

Phew this will take some time.

Thanks again

(Carson Weitnauer) #3

Hi Andy,

I find that many Christians find the idea of discussing their faith at work to be particularly challenging. One reason is the power dynamics of the workplace. For instance, there’s a fear of being discriminated against - or - of creating the perception that someone else needs to take an interest in the gospel for the sake of their career. Can you speak to how you think Christians can best approach evangelism in the workplace?

(Brent Brown) #4

How tall was Goliath really and does it really matter? I just watched this TED Talk by Malcom Gladwell that a friend told me about and I wanted your opinon on it.

(Matthew Mittelberg) #5

How would you say doing evangelism is different in a business context versus a university context?

(Megan Lykke) #6

Hello Andy, thanks for being here. I wonder how you would address issues of morality in the work place. for example, my office manager told me that “people should leave their morals at the door when they come to work” (I wondered what she would think if I left my moral of do not steal at the door and swiped $15,000!) But how do I address this in the workplace in a gentle and respectful manner? Also, what do you do when your morals conflict with another’s morals. for example, I am asked to prescribe sex change hormones to people if they ask me to, now my moral is this is wrong, but there moral is it is wrong not to treat them…so how do we reconcile our differences in a peaceful manner? Thank you! Megan Lykke MD

(Andy Moore) #7

Thank you Carson, it’s so great to have the opportunity to interact with everyone on RZIM Connect! Really looking forward to looking at some interesting questions together!

(Andy Moore) #8

Megan – this is such a great question and I really commend you for asking it. There must be many others out there in the RZIM Connect family who can relate to the issue you have raised one way or another. From my former career in business I too can recall very clearly some of the pressures which present themselves in the area of moral integrity – and this is something we get asked to speak on quite a bit as a team, especially during weeks such as Festival of Thought. So a great question!

The comment that your office manager made about “leaving your morals at the door” is, I think, right in line with the crux of the debate about hope for our economies and the societies driven by them. The origins of this view are complex but perhaps the most famous statement of such a position came from American economist Milton Friedmann. In a 1970 New York Times Magazine article, Milton claimed (and I paraphrase) that “the only purpose of business is to generate profit no matter what.” The flaws of this position seem obvious, as you rightly hint through your example of stealing $15,000. Doesn’t more integrity in business seem desirable? Yet many have and continue to go about their careers with an ethic which calls for deep moral inconsistency. Where has it got us?

I am moved to mention Stephen Green, former Chairman of the HSBC banking group. Green wrote a set of reflections on the financial crisis of 2007-11 which was very insightful – sharing his views on why it occurred, what the moral failures leading up to it were etc. etc. One the issues he picked up on was this theme of disconnectedness which your question is addressing – espousing one set of values in one context and another set in another context – whether voluntarily or by enforcement. His expression for it was the “compartmentalization of life” – the dividing up of life into different realms, with different ends and subject to different rules.

If the lessons of 2007 are an indication that integrity is desirable we arrive at the question of which form of integrity is best. Consistent adherence to any set of moral values doesn’t necessarily lead to things worth celebrating, but as Christians this is an area we can take great encouragement about having Good News to share! That said, as you suggest, we can have significant disagreement about which “integrating factors” are the right ones to align our lives to and seek to live consistently by. I have found that this can often be a window through which we can discern the relevance of the Gospel – help in understanding why it is that we are “disconnected” as people. Disconnections within our own thoughts and feelings at times, disconnections between our private and public lives all can all be explained through our natural state of disconnection with God. But remedy is offered to us at the cross.

Thank you also for raising the particular example of being asked to set aside moral objection to the prescription of drugs whose effect you are not in agreement with. I am unsure if you are a practicing medic or nurse, whether this is a live issue for you, or whether you raise it more so as a thought experiment. Clearly the response and its practical dimensions would sound different – but in any case, this is an extremely challenging area and one which has not just moral, but legal ramifications. Employment law contains the concept of “reasonable accommodation” for various forms of conscientious objection which may become increasingly relevant as this issue and other related medical issues evolve but I shall have to restrict my remarks to that pending further understanding!

Megan – I hope you found this response helpful overall, thank you again for such a great question to get our discussion started this week!

(Megan Lykke) #9

Andy, Thank you so much, this is very helpful. I like the reference to Stephen Green as living one morality in once place and another morality in another place is not a consistent or advisable lifestyle. This is a useful example.
As far as my particular case I am a family medicine physician who teaches as a family medicine residency program. I do have the right in my personal practice to contentiously object, but I am also educating residents who ask me really good questions all the time. I can see that it is very important for me to have valid medical reasons for what I do, but in addition I get the question of “Why would you impose your morality on someone else who does not believe what you do?” So I need to have an answer ready for that. Certainly discussing respectful disagreement and a consistent life is important.

(Andy Moore) #10

Hey Brent – hope all good with you today! Thanks so much for posting this video, so interesting, I really enjoyed watching it and the opportunity to consider this amazing account in 1 Samuel 17 about David and Goliath. Malcolm Gladwell makes some cool points and I particularly appreciated some of the insights he gave into the reasons for the standoff between the Israelite army and the Philistines due to the Valley in between. Regarding Goliath’s height, 1 Samuel 17: 4 tells us that this was a huge man standing at “six cubits and a span” which may equate to 2.5 meters or more. Even bigger than some of the biggest rugby players I’ve ever seen!

Scholarship is unsure who exactly might have been the author of the books of Samuel. It is thought unlikely to be Samuel himself since his death is recorded towards the end of the first book. Death would definitely be an impediment to a writing project! Whoever it was, I don’t think we are to imagine that that individual was given permission to measure Goliath for himself immediately before the battle or that the Philistine army kept detailed records of the weights and heights and physical attributes of their troops which could have been consulted as an external source. Unavoidably then, there is inherent ambiguity about Goliath’s exact height which, as you right anticipate in your question, would indicate the significance of these observations and of the event overall lying further beyond these details.

Goliath’s height is mentioned to draw attention to the fact that this was a HUGE guy and the extent of intimidation that would have been felt at the prospect of taking him on in a duel – as indeed seemed widespread to be the case among Israel’s army before David’s arrival on the scene. So, does it matter what height Goliath was? Yes it does – in this sense of supporting our understanding of the context of the scene and the magnitude of David’s courage. However, in another sense, it does not matter what Goliath’s height was, especially if it were to cause us to wonder off into speculation about the whys and wherefores of why he might have been whatever height he was. Gladwell’s speculation about this or that medical explanation is incredibly interesting, but unfortunately, can only ever be speculation!

If this is not about Goliath’s height and interpreting the story through exploring why he might have been that height and the rest of what that may mean, we are left with the fundamental question of why this account is in the Bible at all. Gladwell’s conclusion is that it helps us see that “giants aren’t as powerful as they seem and sometimes the shepherd boy has a sling in his pocket.” That’s a cool application and something which may encourage us at times – but Gladwell misses the even greater encouragement which David the Victor offers to us himself. David’s confidence did not come from his own strength, or from his ability with the sling. We are told that David’s confidence was in the God of Israel who had delivered him in the past and would deliver him again (17:37).

David begins an incredible statement to Goliath “You come to me with a sword and javelin but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (17:45) and he concludes “For the battle is the Lord and he will give you into our hand” (17:47). Gladwell’s video is great – but his conclusion that this is about us being able to defeat giants in our lives in our own strength is wide of the mark – this is primarily a story about God defeating giants for his people, something we see ultimately at the cross where Jesus defeats the only giant which could ever kill us. Amazing!

(Joel Vaughn) #11

Hi Andy,
My question is about Paul’s admonition about women in 1 Timothy 2. Apologists often bring in the cultural context of the time and place, which is important. But on its own it doesn’t explain the relevance of Paul’s appeal to Adam and Eve. The reference to childbearing also seems like a nod to Eve. (This is not to say that such a superficial reading of this passage does not also pose problems.) The Adam and Eve reference seems a little more relevant to the situation in 2 Tim. 3:6 than to anything in 1 Timothy; it begs the question of why it is important to remember that Eve was deceived. And then there’s the fact that immediately after this part about women, the 3rd chapter goes into describing potential overseers and deacons as married men, and seems like it is only talking about the wives of these men in 1 Tim. 3:11. How does an egalitarian and contextual reading of 1 Tim. 2 make sense of the Genesis story and the subsequent qualifications for church office?

(Samuel Biswas) #12

Hello Andy,
In a Christian worldview we refer God as triune ( the father , son and holyspirit ). So my question is when the Bible says in Old Testament that God spoke to Moses and God spoke to Noah and so on, who was speaking actually. Was it God the father, God the son or God the Holy Spirit? Could you please help me out with this.

(Sven Janssens) #13

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

When listening to preachings or attending Bible studies, this verse will always be used to say that every word in the Bible is God breathed and for that reason we have to believe it.
I am not questioning the credibility of the Bible at all, but how can that Paul write this about the Bible when there wasn’t a Bible, as we know it, at that time?

I can imagine that Paul was referring to what we know as the Old Testament scriptures.

Introduction: Sven :-)
Does 2 Timothy 3:16 apply to the whole Bible?
(Andy Moore) #14

Hey Sam – cool question. Understanding the doctrine of the Trinity certainly has its challenges, all the moreso in the Old Testament when God is primarily referred to in terms from the Hebrew language and pre-Jesus’ coming as opposed to the Greek terms we are more familiar with in the New Testament and can understand with the help of things Jesus himself said and taught. Yet we know that there is only one God and He is the same God in both the Old and New Testaments.

At its most basic level, the doctrine of the Trinity means to say that God is one in being but three in persons. Being refers to what a thing is at its essence and personhood refers to a particular form of expression of that essence. So, within the Trinity the different persons, no matter what they say or do, are only ever expressing something of the singular essence of God. In the Old Testament there is a wide range of Hebrew words used for God, each of which contain something of the essence of God which any of the persons are free to express.

Yahweh, Adonai and Elohim are some of the most common Hebrew words God is called in the Old Testament – these all carry amazing depth and profundity in what they tell us about Him. Yahweh, “I AM” refers to God’s amazing and assuring presence with us, his relationality, underlining to us that he is a God who can be known. Elohim is interesting because alongside its emphasis on the power and sovereignty of God, it denotes a meaning of plurality within singularity. Sometimes people say the Trinity is only something you find a basis for in the New Testament but that’s not the case.

So back to your question. I mention everything above to make the point that the emphases in the Old Testament texts where Hebrew text is in use and God speaks to Noah, Moses, whoever it might be, point us towards an understanding of God in terms of his being and essence moreso than towards a bulletproof way of discerning the activities of one of the particular persons in the Godhead at a given time. Since all three persons are in perfect harmony, we could say that all three might have been speaking jointly and at the same time – or we might consider arguments as to it being this or that person.

More broadly, because the Hebrew text is silent on the issue and does not map directly on to the Greek terms we use in other areas, this is a pickle which we can ask Noah or Moses, or God himself about when we get to Heaven! Next time you come across a text where God is speaking to someone in the Old Testament, I think the greatest learning opportunity exists in exploring what is being revealed about the essence of God – which floods through all three persons and about whose particular roles we learn in much clearer terms in the New Testament. Hope this helps to bring forward your thinking on this one, Sam, thanks so much for putting up the question!

(Samuel Biswas) #15

Thank you so so much Andy. Eye opening and I got my answer to it’s core. A big thank you from deep within me.

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #16

What are the top ten Christian theology/ apologetics books in your opinion? Which authors should I check out and which ones should I avoid (either too confusing, misleading, or easily misunderstood)?

I love to read theology books and have read a number of great ones, but I would like some guidance in what read, whether it’s trustworthy or misleading false prophets.

(joyce haiko) #17

My son is on the pysch ward at a hospital and has struggled with mental illness for years. At this point he is telling me that one of the recurring questions in his mind is what he heard in Philosophy class at university some 10 years ago. I know that he has other co-occurring struggles, but I would like some help in answering him and showing him what God’s words are in this area. He is open at this point to God and is wanting to know truth. The statement that he keeps hearing is
" How do we know life is real and not just a dream?"
I remember there were many more confusing things from that class that really affected him back then. He actually quit university after pulling out of that class. Thankyou for your help!

(Samuel Biswas) #18

Hi Andy,
I have 2 questions.
1.In the Bible I see in the book of John 7:53 - 8:11and Mark 16: 9-20 (NIV) , it says, that the most earliest and reliable manuscripts and eyewitness accounts do not have the above mentioned srciptue passage. Then why is it included in the Bible and taught as well if the reliable sources itself don’t have it. Isnt that a false thing to do? And in case it’s reliable document then why does the print say that it isn’t and asserting a false statement.
2. How to defend when people talk about the book Da Vinci Code?

Could you please help.

(Carson Weitnauer) #19

2 posts were split to a new topic: What are good resources for responding to The Da Vinci Code?

(Jana Lyons) #20

Hello Andy! So nice to be able to chat with you here. I work for a large, global technology organization. Over the life of my career, I have met many people of different faiths. Some I can speak with, some seem so far away. Lately I have been pondering on how world views collide in business. It seems that at some level, people from works based religions excel especially in technology. What are your thoughts on this challenge I have before me to share the grace of Jesus to co-workers whose performance matters not only at work but for life (and maybe the next life). How can I add sparks of the Living God during virtual conversations I have with co-workers around the world? Thanks for your perspective! Jana