Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chapter 8: "What If Salvation is Not Standardized"

Greetings All,

I have been asked by several people about the possibility of using What If God Is Like This? as material for a small group study. To assist with that, I have decided to come up with a series of discussion questions for each chapter. That way, if you decide to use the book in a small group setting you can either come up with your own questions or use some of these that I provide. Remember one of the purposes of this book is not just to provide possible answers for questions but to generate new ones as well. This is the journey not the destination :)

Chapter 8 Questions:

1. What do you think about the idea that most churches say to be "saved" you must accept Jesus into your heart, yet that is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible?

2. What do you think about the idea that Jesus gave different answers to different people in regards to salvation?

3. Is it manipulative to try to get people to believe the way you believe about Jesus?

4. Is it terribly wrong not to try to get people to believe the way you believe about Jesus?

5. What are your thoughts on "altar calls" where churches encourage people to come down to the front of the service and "accept Christ?"

6. Are your relationships different with non-christian friends than they are with Christian friends?

7. Do you feel pressure to "convert" your friends? If so, how does that pressure affect your friendships?

8. As a Christian, is it hard to have non-Christian friends due to the pressure to "convert" them?

9. Is it okay not to try to convert your friends?

10. Are there different ways to come to Christ?


As always, these questions are here to spark small group discussion. Feel free to add your own or email me with more.

Have fun!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chapter 7 Questions

Greetings All,

I have been asked by several people about the possibility of using What If God Is Like This? as material for a small group study. To assist with that, I have decided to come up with a series of discussion questions for each chapter. That way, if you decide to use the book in a small group setting you can either come up with your own questions or use some of these that I provide. Remember one of the purposes of this book is not just to provide possible answers for questions but to generate new ones as well. This is the journey not the destination :)

Chapter 6 Questions:

1. Has there ever been a time where you felt abandoned by God?

2. If so, what got you through those times?

3. Have circumstances in this world caused you to stop believing in God all together?

4. Have circumstances in this world caused you to have a stronger faith in God?

5. Why do you think God requires "faith" of us rather than fully revealing Himself and removing all doubt?

6. What provides you the greatest amount of comfort in life?

7. If God really loves us more than anything else, then is the fact that He can be hard to see, be what's best for us? If so how? If not how?

As always, these questions are here to spark small group discussion. Feel free to add your own or email me with more.

Have fun!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What If Jesus Wasn't Really God?

One of the biggest hang ups that people have about Jesus is the idea that He was God. This can be difficult for many to believe considering some of the history of his followers.  Unfortunately, somewhere in history it became more important to believe Jesus was God that it came to try to live like Him. Ask yourself what would change the world faster, for everyone to believe Jesus was God or for everybody to love the way He did?  

How different are we all really?  Take the rival gang members, they both joined their gang for community, they both probably come from broken and dysfunctional homes, and if you remove the label of which gang they are in they are almost the exact same person.  Yet they hate each other and are even willing to kill each other. Why?  Because they are supposed to. Now, lets expand on this, instead of crips and bloods now it's republican and democrat, Catholic and Protestant, white and black, Ohio State and Michigan, Arab and Jew, Christian and Muslim.  Most people groups are enemies with each other because they are supposed to be. Yet at the core we are all the same. We all crave love and acceptance, we all desire to fit in somewhere. For example, all men and women in every culture relate to the basic differences between the sexes in marriage. There are certain things we all can relate to that are the same no matter who we are or where we come from. At some point we need to ask ourselves what would I be like if I were raised in the same situation my enemy was raised with?  If I was raised in a Taliban house hold, would I think differently than any of these "enemies?" 

What if we all found a way to peer into every person we come across and find how we are alike and learn to love that person?  How might that change the world?  Instead of focusing so much on the deity of this mysterious, homeless man of so long ago, what if we tried to look at Him as just a man long enough to appreciate the love He taught?  I promise that if we did that, if we would see how remarkable it was that this guy who was raised in a culture of bigotry and hate somehow was not affected by it and found a way to love like no one else did.  Even Jesus himself didn't go around telling people he was God. In fact, most of the time He even discouraged others from doing so.  No, it was His love more than anything else that proclaimed to people who He was. Perhaps we should do the same. I'm convinced that if we study Him as a regular man it will be impossible to remain at that conclusion. The fact that He was God is a personal discovery rather than a proclamation.  Perhaps if I can just try to love like Him I won't have to convince myself or anyone else of His deity.  We can just let Him do that.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Speaking Engagements

Greetings all!

First off, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has responded with feedback to "What If God Is Like This?" I've had a number of people express how the book has really helped to reconcile how God interacts with this broken world.

I have put together a freedom seminar built around the concepts of the book, so as we head into spring and summer if you have a camp, retreat, or just an in house class at church you would like to have this shared at, there is no cost just shoot me an email!

Monday, February 6, 2012

To Be a VIP

After spending a week at the Phoenix Open, I've developed some interesting theories about the desire of a certain percentage of society to feel important.  I discovered that people will pay a large amount of money simply to be called a VIP and get to go to a different section of an event that is "off limits" to the regular attenders.  I also watched that VIP still isn't enough, that the throwers of this party have their own special area that is coveted by those who attend.  People scramble to enter into the "exclusive" area available to only those who know someone.

What is it about our need to feel more important than other people?  It seems that many feel unimportant and want greatly to be treated as if they were.  Others feel as if they are important and they crave for others to recognize it.  Either way, it is a sad sight to see people walk all over people just to receive the admiration of other people.  We live in an America today that claims it champions rights and equality for all, but do we really believe that?  Sure we all like the idea of it, we like the theory, but for us to really buy into it, we have to come to the conclusion that none of us are more important than anyone else.  We also need to resist the temptation to desire to be more important than others.  In order for "Very Important People" to exist, we have to acknowledge that there must be other less important people.  The very concept of VIP is contrary to the idea that we are all equal.  Once again, it is a wandering, homeless, sage of 2,000 years ago who got it right when he said, "But the greatest among you shall be your servant.  Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted."  The true VIP is the one who treats everyone around them as such, not exclusively, but inclusively.