Ask Jose Philip (October 14-18, 2019)

Hello, friends! (@Interested_In_Ask_RZIM)
I’m always excited to have a member of the RZIM Asia-Pacific speaking team join us here on the forum, and this week we’re thrilled to have Jose Philip back with us to answer our faith and life questions! If you are unfamiliar with his ministry and story, I encourage you to watch this short video, where he shares a bit about how he met Christ and decided to enter into full-time speaking ministry.

Jose’s bio

Jose Philip was born in Kerala and grew up in Chennai, India. He graduated from Loyola College in 1992 and went on to complete his master’s degree in zoology from the same institute in 1994. He was the first student from Loyola to be awarded the Tamil Nadu State Science Council Scholarship for his master’s research in prawn biology. Jose worked as a prawn biologist in India before going to the Middle East to join a software firm in 2001.

Jose became a follower of Jesus Christ when he was fourteen years old. However, it was only after moving to Dubai that he discovered nothing satisfied him more than “teaching and preaching the Word.” In 2005, he resigned from his position as Head of Operations and left to pursue his theological studies in Singapore. During his studies at the Singapore Bible College, Jose distinguished himself by becoming the first student in the history of the institution to have secured two master’s simultaneously. He completed both his master of divinity in Biblical studies and his master of theology from Singapore Bible College in May 2008.

Jose is currently serving as an evangelist and apologist with the Asia-Pacific team. He also lectures on apologetics, Christian ethics, and gospel and culture at Singapore Bible College, Baptist Theological Seminary, and Bible College Malaysia. Jose is married to Cinu who is a special educator by training, and they are blessed with two children, Jayden and Yaira. They are currently based in Singapore.

3 Likes

Good evening Jose and greetings from Australia! :):smiley: Hope you are having a lovely day. It’s nice to meet you :):smiley: Being a lecturer and speaker, you must have come across some good resources to help you get to where you are today in your Christian journey. Would you care to share some of those resources here, and who has been a big influence in your life? Thanks for your time :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Hello Jose,

How can I know Gods will and plan for my life?

Regards,
Diego Ramirez.

1 Like

Hi Jose,

Did you enjoy being the main character of the video ? :grin:

Adriel B

Hi Gayle,
Thank you for your question. I love the way you just drove right in.:+1:

I have found, over the years, that reading widely to be extremely helpful. Here’s a list of some of the authors I have read have had a huge (life shaping) impact on me.

Dallas Willard, Ravi Zacharias, Os Guinness, Esther Meek, Karen Swallow, Parag Khanna, NT Wright, Kevin Vanhoozer, Kai-Wan Kwan, and of course C.S Lewis. I could add a second list, but would stop for now!:smiley:

every blessing,
jose

1 Like

Hello Diego,
Thank you for your question. Let me answer the question in two parts. First, what might God’s will be, and second, how can we know that.

For the first part, I would say that God’s will for you in your life is for you to enjoy living your life to the full - in his grace and for his glory, with gratitude. This is at the heart of the apostle Paul’s instruction to the Churches in Colosse & Thessalonica.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col 3:17)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thess 5:16-18)

For the second part, I would say ‘talk to Jesus about your life’. Have a conversational relationship with him. The more you are open to speaking to Jesus about the way you live your life (in all things), the clearer his voice in your life will be. Trust his leading and step forward, and continue doing the same ‘one step at a time’. And if things fall out of gear, pause, recalibrate, and resume your journey with Jesus!

hope this helps.

every blessing,
jose

2 Likes

ahhh no, Adriel! I most certainly did not. And I don’t think our videographer did either. It was a nightmare for him to make me look presentable :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Jose,

Thank you for taking your time to answer my question. This was very helpful. I’ve been struggling with this question for sometime, but I am glad I was able to ask the question at the right time. May God continue to bless you richly in all that you do!

Diego Ramirez.

1 Like

Thank you Jose :slight_smile: I know of some of these authors. Will have to check the others out :slight_smile: God’s grace and peace be with you today and always, as you advance His Kingdom in Jesus’ name.

1 Like

Hi Jose. Thanks for being on the hot seat this week.
I have been a Christian for a long time, but have recently started studying with the RZIM Academy and sharing on Connect. Currently, I am taking the class, Why Suffering. Since we are only in the first week, my question might be addressed in it, but pondering The Problem of Evil, I find myself going beyond questioning why evil exists. It is because of sin’s effect at the fall, I know. But, I’m wondering where evil was sourced in the first place? Evil did exist prior to Adam and Eve because Satan’s reasoning with Eve was that God knew if she touched or ate of the tree in the center of the garden she and Adam would become like God, knowing good and evil. Later, God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden stating that they had become like “one of us” (meaning the Trinity), knowing good and evil.
Satan and his angels were cast from heaven because of Satan’s desire to be God. They were given that choice to rebel. So, it was evil that made Satan and his angels rebel. That brings me back to "Where did evil come from since it already had potential in heaven before Satan rebelled? We can’t say God created evil because God can only be Holy. Any thoughts?

1 Like

Owh I thought both of you did a great job. :grin: I’m looking forward to Episode 2 when that’s released.

1 Like

Hi Jose. I was researching my own question to you and believe I have come up with a possible answer. I’m sure it is a lot more complicated than I have reduced it to. But I would like to see what you think.
Satan and the angels are created beings just as man is. If man is created in God’s image, than we carry characteristics that God has. Ps. 8:5 declares that man has been made a little lower than the angels. I am surmising, therefore, that implies that the angels also have been given characteristics of God. One of those characteristics is jealousy. Also, both the angels and man were given free will.
Ezekiel 28 describes the perfection and beauty of Satan who became proud of his beauty and position. Isaiah 14:13-14 describes Satan’s aspiring to be above God. He used his free will to make that decision and war between God and Satan began and is still continuing. (Eph.6:12)
One of the sources I was researching stated that Satan was jealous of God and wanted to usurp God’s position.
That is what clicked with me. If one of God’s characteristics is jealousy, then the angels, specifically Satan, and we humans have that same characteristic. Satan took his jealousy and let it control him through his exercise of free will, thus birthing all the evil that he now is and freely distributes. Whereas, God, while having a jealous nature, controls that nature, but warns man of the consequences of provoking that jealousy. (Ex. 20:5; Deut. 32:16, 21; 1Cor.10:22, etc…
Satan, most likely, used the same tactics on the 1/3rd of the angels that he used on Eve. He created doubt concerning the truthfulness of God and His goodness, accusing God of holding back from them and Eve all of God’s essence, which they could possess .
So, while we know Satan is the father of lies and all that is evil, I believe it was birthed in heaven out of the portion of the character of God given to the angels as well as to man. Satan twisted it for evil. God withholds and controls His jealousy for good.

Hello Sharon,
Thank you for your question and the diligence with which you search the scriptures. Awesome!

Just a couple of things here, one a corrective and the second some pointers.

First, the English translations of Ps 8:5 renders the Hebrew loosely as a little lower than ‘angels’ or heavenly beings. However, in the Hebrew it is is a little lower than ‘Elohim’ - God himself. To be clear, the biblical worldview holds to the notion that only humans are created in the image of God. In other words, humans are uniquely like God, a privilege no other creature is given.

Second, when we look at the sources of evil we are compelled to consider the fact, that, given that only God is uncreated and self-existent and everything else is created, then in one sense God is the ultimate source of all things. Now, before we conclude that he, therefore, is the author of evil, we must remember that Evil, in the biblical worldview, is not presented as something that has an independent existence. It is seen as a perversion or absence of good. In other words, this is a good world gone bad. If that is is the case, then, it is reasonable to conclude that intrinsic in what makes good possible is also what makes evil possible. One more point. While the bible uses ‘rebellion’ to describe the fall of Satan (and the Angels) and human beings, we should be careful not to equate the two as they are not described as the same. In human beings case it is a severing of a love relational. In Satan’s case it is a functional breakdown, and the bible does not elaborate on this any further. It focuses on human rebellion and the evil, pain and suffering we experience as a consequence of that. And restoration in Jesus Christ.

I have found John Feinberg’s book ‘Many Faces of Evil’ and OS Guinness’ ‘Unspeakable’ helpful in appreciating the sources of evil, and the uniqueness relationship between evil and humanity.

Hope this helps.
every blessing,
Jose

1 Like

Good Morning Jose,

Thank you for taking the time to consider questions this week. I was wondering if you have a rubric in your mind when you engage with atheists that helps you discern how to approach the gospel? I am meeting weekly with a Jewish gentleman in his early 90’s who professes to be an atheist. He reports being satisfied with a full life, and believes life will just stop when he dies. He says he is open to some religious discussion, as long as no one “tries to force their beliefs on him”. We have had many wonderful conversations about his life and various passions (art, running, firefighting, movies), but I am having a hard time thinking of how to approach the gospel, or what doors to test to see if it might lead to fruitful conversation. Do you have any recommendations?

Thanks for your time and consideration,

Nathan

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.