Ask Daniel Rangel (April 1-5, 2019)

danielrangel
(Kathleen) #1

Hi friends, @Interested_In_Ask_RZIM @ApologistasHispanos

Daniel Rangel, an RZIM itinerant in the United States, is available to answer your questions about evangelism and apologetics! Daniel is fluent in both English and Spanish and has experience doing business across Latin America. He’s also a graduate of RZIM’s Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics! It’s a privilege for us to have access to his heart and his schedule for this week - please take full advantage of this opportunity to grow as a Christian evangelist!

Kathleen

Daniel Rangel’s bio

Daniel is an Itinerant Speaker with RZIM and focuses primarily speaking at universities and in the corporate world. Daniel worked as an engineer designing offshore drilling platforms for various projects in the Gulf of Mexico and in the North Sea. He then became an international sales representative overseeing clientele across Latin America while living in Quito, Ecuador. He received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University before graduating from the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics. Daniel is fluent in both English and Spanish and has a passion for people to understand and believe the Christian faith.

Talk Titles (in English):

The Gospel and the Self
Conversational Apologetics
Understanding Our Times
Is There a Place for Faith at Work?
Is Christianity Exclusive?
Is True Love Possible?
We Long For Justice
What is Truth?
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Sex and Relationships
Sexuality and Humanity
What is Success?
What is the Meaning of Life?
The Problem of Evil/Suffering and the Goodness of God
Why Trust the Bible?

Talk Titles (en Español):

Por qué murió Jesús?
Quién es Jesús?
Hay Conflicto Entre la Ciencia y el Cristianismo?
Hay Mas en la Vida?

5 Likes
(Mitchell A Strickling) #2

Daniel,

We are truly grateful for your commitment to spend time here on RZIM Connect this week.

I, similarly, studied in universities throughout Texas and found myself in the oil and gas business early on in my career. First off, I am intrigued by your passion and ability to speak into the idea of faith in the workplace (something that I have struggled with). Secondly, I am also interested and have thought deeply about the idea of “success” in light of my Christian faith, especially within a Western, capitalistic context.

If you would be willing, could you talk about your spiritual formation regarding work, relationships, and, ultimately, success in a storied format (describing your progress through experience)? Lastly, tell us how you landed at the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics and how that has influenced your story?

Thanks!
-Mitch

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(Moses) #3

Hello Daniel, what are some of the reasons for you to believe that truth is exclusive in a multicultural world as today where ethics and morale are all different in each place. Do you think the bible is applicable to every culture and why?

Thank you

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(Daniel Rangel) #4

Mitch, thanks for your question brother. Also, I noticed you recently joined RZIM Connect. Welcome!

I think you and I have a lot in common. Young Life played a big role in my life as a teenager and I also went to Wilderness Ranch as a backpacker and Frontier Ranch. Good times!

I’m glad you asked about the connection between faith and the workplace. There is a lot of exciting conversation about this currently amongst Christians probably because it’s been a neglected topic amongst Christian discipleship for quite some time.

Dorothy Sayers has a very interesting quote on this matter. She was a brilliant British writer and was a Christian as well:

“In nothing has the church so lost her hold on reality as in to respect and understand the secular vocation. The church has allowed faith and work to become separate departments and then is astonished to see the world turn away from faith in God. How can anyone remain interested in a faith that seems to have no concern for 9/10ths of his/her life?”

When it comes to the issue of faith and work most people assume you are talking about evangelism. In fact, some people will come to me in tears saying “I’m a lousy Christian” and I’ll say “what do you mean?” and they’ll say “Well, I don’t know how to share my faith at work, I’m embarrassed, I’m a lousy Christian.” Well, I don’t know if you are a lousy Christian, you might be, but I think we need to get a much broader perspective on this topic of faith and work. I see 3 broad categories, borrowing from David Miller. They all begin with the letter ‘E’.

  1. Expression: Some people might like to use the word evangelism instead. I think expression has two sub categories. One is verbal and the other is non-verbal. Christians ought to learn how to become comfortable sharing their faith in words but sometimes we need to share our faith non-verbally first through our actions. Non-verbal expression of your faith often is the contact work (to borrow a YL term!) in building a relationship with a co-worker, like genuine a sacrifice for another, giving up your time repeatedly for someone, remember birthdays, asking intentional questions about their life, etc.

  2. Ethics: In Scripture there is certainly a high call for Christians to be people of integrity (a rare commodity today). Some people might be still learning how to best talk about their faith but their personal probity causes others to question their own inability to have integrity in tough situations. There is a lot of pressure for profitability when a company is facing hard times. Unless you have a grounded moral compass that is objective and can guide you, you’re going to have a lot of trouble saying, “No, I’m not going to do that and no I can’t make this deal under the table.” I remember meeting with a company who’s board couldn’t decide on the company values and morals. Business ethics is like trying to nail jello to a wall and if you’re a Christian you have a moral compass that guides you, not simply for the purpose of clean profit, but completely outside of that guiding you in your whole life.

  3. Experience: How do you experience your work? Do you view it as a job to pay the rent, nothing more? Is it a means to an end or is it an end in itself? Are you ok with that? I think the most common conversation I have about work with the younger generation is work is a means to an end and it leaves them with a sense of boredom and purposelessness. There are those on the flip side, who use work as an end in itself to get their identity but this also eventually leaves them bored. You might be familiar with Ken Melrose, the retired CEO of the Toro Company, the lawn mower and golf equipment company. He had a sign above his telephone that read “God has you here for a purpose.” He wasn’t there just to make lawn mowers and irrigation equipment for golf courses but to truly shape people’s lives. But callings don’t have to be glamorous, sometimes we need help in re-framing our view of work. Christianity gives you an identity that is external to your career. It doesn’t depend on your successes of your failures. Tim Keller, a pastor in New York wrote a book called Every Good Endeavor and he says, “If work is your identity and you’re successful, it will go to your head. But, if your work is your identity and you’re a failure, it will go to your heart and crush you.” I’ve met countless people who work minimum wage who are far more joyful and content with their lives than I have rich people who travel the world.

Success is a very tricky thing. Everybody wants it but it never gives what we think it promises. It only leaves you searching. In Christianity you see the pinnacle of success through an apparent failure. You have a God who became weak and died for us so we can be saved by grace and have victory over life – a free gift of God’s love toward us. And that’s the reason why the first step to success is to admit you’re failure. The first step to faith is to admit you have none. The first step to security is to admit that you are insecure. That’s the way in.

Your greatest success in life isn’t being the best career man, father, husband, golfer, etc. Your greatest success in life is to worship God with all your faculties and allow it then to overflow into every area of your life as you pursue the highest excellence for a God who knows you and loves you fully.

5 Likes
(Bill Brander) #5

Good day Daniel, where may one listen to your talks which are listed above? I would really be interested in the top three on the list?
Thanks
Bill

(Bill Brander) #6

Wow!
Thank you

(Daniel Rangel) #7

Hi Bill, thanks for being interested in my talks. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of my material recorded. Some of my talks are floating around on the internet but I don’t believe any of those three.

But, as far as Conversational Apologetics goes, Michael Ramsden really is the creator behind that talk and it’s become foundational to the ministry as a whole. It explains the core vision of RZIM. You can find his original talk on this here:

I can point you to another resource I used for the Gospel and the Self talk. Tim Keller has a talk titled “Gospel and YOUR Self”. He takes it in a bit of a different direction than I do but nonetheless, incredibly helpful and interesting. I hope you enjoy it. You can find his talk here:

God bless you Bill!

2 Likes
( KIRAN KUMAR) #8

Hi Daniel

I am feeling so alone within my heart.
The devil is bringing so much of fear into my heart. I am in tears. I feel all others around me are happy.
After giving my life to Christ also, I am not completely committed to Christ.
I would stand for few months or weeks.
When the temptation rushes into my mind like a hurricane again I am committing that same rotten past sin to which once I have been captive.
Now again when repentance spirit comes into my heart I would cry at the feet of Christ.
But again a doubt, I feel the devil is laughing at me that again I will fall after few weeks or months.

I am in a situation that I cannot explain on my own. Always depressed…
I have hunger for Christ but I am not upto that stand. I fail utterly short to be a true Christian.
How to overcome this depression and loneliness.
I want to serve Jesus. But I am not worthy, I am crying, please pray for me…

SeanO here on rzim connect has helped me
By so many comforting verses.

Please pray for me, I don’t know when I would be free from this condition.

Before when I used to live in sin and world .
There was no worries and no loneliness.

But when I am willing to commit my life to Christ, all this is happening.
I can’t explain my situation.

Please guide me in this daniel and please pray for me, who ever sees this message please pray for me I will be so thankful to you guys.

Regards
Kiran

3 Likes
(Daniel Rangel) #9

Hi Kiran, I’m sorry to read this brother. I’m glad SeanO has been helpful with your journey. I want to just ask you a couple of questions and suggest a couple of things:

  1. You aren’t alone. You might think it’s odd you’re hurting as a Christian but becoming a Christian doesn’t exempt us from these trials of life. You’re on a journey figuring out what sanctification is all about. I have thought similar thoughts and had seasons of pain. God loves you and is with you through it all.

  2. I will pray for you.

  3. Do you have a local pastor/friend who can help personally guide you in your journey. We all need ‘relief valves’. You know what happens when a relief valve on a tank is missing or broken? It blows up. Your life, my life, blows up when we don’t have outlets to simply talk about our struggles and receive the personal godly guidance from a pastor/friend.

  4. You say you are unworthy and fall so short of being a true Christian. A question to think about is are you truly amazed by grace? It seems as though you are very disturbed you are still a sinner post your conversion. You have a great desire is to be a more holy man, which is beautiful, right, and wise. The pathway to holiness is becoming more amazed by grace. Receive his forgiveness and love when you repent. Repentance is essentially worship because it leads you back to the loving arms of a forgiving God. I hope your heart begins to explode with gratitude more and more.

God bless you brother Kiran,
Daniel

5 Likes
(Sarah) #10

Hi! My question is: how do you distinguish between brokenness and evil, because it seems our responses should be different depending on which of those we’re dealing with? I know that we are never going to know another’s heart and true intent, but from an intellectual standpoint it is important for me to have an answer to this question because there are situations in my life that I need to figure out how to respond to based on the answer. I don’t want to respond to evil gently because I think that someone is just hurt and/or acting out of what they’ve learned from their environment; but I also don’t want to hurt someone who is already hurting by treating them as if their behavior is just willful sinning. My assumption was originally that we, as humans, do willfully engage in sinful/evil behavior from time to time; however, after writing this, I’m questioning if that is even an accurate assumption? Any way you can shed some light on this conundrum would be greatly appreciated.

2 Likes
(Daniel Rangel) #11

Hi Sarah, great question! I’ve thought about this as well. Sometimes when people talk about brokenness and evil it can sound like the same thing and our responses aren’t guided correctly. The topic of evil/suffering/pain/sin/brokenness is one of the biggest, if not biggest, topics talked about in Christianity and outside of Christianity.

But for the sake of this response I’ll try to stay relevant to your question. Philosophers will differentiate between ‘natural’ evil and ‘moral’ evil. Natural evil being the suffering caused by natural disasters towards humans and moral evil being the suffering caused by human behavior towards other humans. Your question obviously is in regards to moral evil. I believe the core essence of moral evil is fundamentally preferring anything more than God. You could call this sin, as well. Moral evil is an act of the will. Where there is no will, there is no evil. It is not a function of natural disasters or random things, it is a function of willing and evil is always defined in the Bible in reference to willing anything other than God as more valuable.

We all commit this. We all sin. We’re all broken. Evil shows us we are not in full control of ourselves and we can’t figure out how to gain control on our own no matter what we try to do. The sinful condition of humanity blinds in acknowledging our dependence upon God and in turn, we create and manufacture our own independent identity outside of God. We don’t even see that our virtues are as sinful as our sin. So, yes, we do engage in sinful/evil behavior as humans. More so than we are willing to admit.

The only response to evil that has ever worked is the response of Jesus and that is to lead a life of sacrificial love. When God saves us, he does the unthinkable. Through his powerful grace he makes that which is intrinsically evil good, that which is broken whole, that which is dead alive.

That doesn’t mean we become perfect sinless beings. But it does mean we’ve been given new lenses in which to see God. It means we’ve been given a new heart that now wills to make God more valuable, honorable, treasurable than anything else. We will continue to fall. That’s not to be a surprise. Martin Luther once said, “the life of a Christian is one of repentance.” That can seem dismal and depressing almost sounding like Christians never make any progress or are ever happy. That’s not what he was saying at all. He was saying that pervasive, all of life repentance is the way we make progress in our Christian life. ‘Religious’ repentance is basically a way that has been used to try to keep God happy with you so he’ll keep giving you blessings. That’s selfish, dry, and not life giving at all. In the gospel, repentance is always meant to remind us of the joy we have in our union with Christ in order to weaken our dependence on anything contrary to God’s heart.

A truly broken and repentant person understands their need for God. They understand they have the ability to do evil things. God has taken the blindfold off of them. I’m not entirely sure about your current situation but I hope that’s at least a helpful start in thinking about the difference between brokenness and evil.

God bless,
Daniel Rangel

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(Danny McWhorter) #12

Hi Daniel,

You spoke at Westminster in Amarillo on the topic What is Success. Where can I watch or read the message you gave.

Thank you!
Danny McWhorter

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(Carson Weitnauer) closed #13

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