1. Do you think the world is basically good or evil? Which is “winning” today? Why?

  2. What is the purpose of religion?

  3. What beliefs do you regard as essential to Christian faith? Which of these beliefs do you find hardest to understand or to accept?

  4. What behaviors do you regard as essential to a Christian life?

  5. Do people really want justice? Why or why not? Judaism and Christianity teach that religion and morality are inseparable, a connection not made by all religious systems. Is belief in God and a desire for justice related? What happens when they are unconnected?

  6. What is “spirituality?” Is it different from religion? What are the benefits and perils of a personal spiritual quest?

  7. What do you think we are looking for when we yearn for relationship? Does being “ made in the image of God” (Genesis 1: 26) include being hard-wired for relationships? What does your answer imply about the purpose of religion?

  8. Have encounters with beauty made you feel more alive? Closer to God? In what ways might our desire for beauty be an expression of our longing for God?

  9. Are knowing about God and knowing God different things? If so, which is easier? Many people today consider truth to be a relative based on a person’s experience and perception. Is it possible to have absolute truth about anything? How are knowledge and faith related?

  10. What is the difference between simple and simplistic Christianity?

  11. Imagine that you have been asked to explain Christianity briefly to someone who knows almost nothing about it. For example, the conversation could start: “I understand that you are a Christian… I really don’t understand Christianity, and would like to know more about it. What does it mean to be a Christian?” How would you respond? In other words, what is your own account of “simple Christianity” ?

    Prayer

    O God, we come to our faith with our own particular mixture of opinion, doubt, awareness, certainty and ignorance. We come to You humbly, not sure of what we ought to learn, but also expectantly, trusting that You will teach us what we need to know.

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