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THE WAR ON BELIEFS

 

 Combined (Teens-Adults) Sun 9am Class
Mar, Apr, May 2016
(Page updated 04-Jun-2016)

 

 

 

Title: "The War on Beliefs"

Summary: Dealing with growing claims that our beliefs are blind.

Objective: To equip and encourage us to counter the world's increasing "Christianity delusion" propaganda, with at least as much truth of reason to believe.

Premise:
We are under attack! Our casualties are increasing - casualties of the organized barrage of messages that our beliefs are just plain dumb. Without hearing our reasons to believe, with at least as much clarity and frequency, many more will succumb to that propaganda.

In this War on Beliefs, we're overdue to launch a counter-offensive, but with as much love as we can muster (to not give offense, despite that it will offend some regardless). Not from pulpits and podiums alone, but especially in our homes, schools, and offices, from family, friends, and peers - people in the world and among us need to hear that we certainly do have reason, and can reason, to believe!

As heartless belief is dead, so mindless faith is blind, and neither proclaims the gospel. The gospel relies on informed belief as much as heartfelt faith!

Some Sources:
Please note: These and many other resources are excellent means of beginning to equip Christians on these subjects. However, it would be the exceedingly rare individual who is wrestling with, much less objecting to faith, who would respond well to being referred to a book or a website (no matter how good) instead of being engaged in personal discussion about it. In other words, expect to use these to inform personal discussion, not substitute for it. Also, don't be surprised if these simply lead to further inquiry by honest seekers. Not one is proof-positive, without challengers.
The following 3 books mostly formed the basis for this study:

"The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask" by Mark Mittelberg
"I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist" by Norman Geisler, Frank Turek
"The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict" by Josh McDowell
Also, an excellent categorized list of other resources
   (including
other websites as well as books) - TruthFaithAndReason.com
Additionally, there are many links to relevant webpages throughout the session (notes) linked in the schedule section below.

Schedule:
Please note: Session (notes) linked below contain links to external pages. While we may not agree with everything on those pages, they do contain significant information and insight which proved valuable for this study. Further, please understand that they are condensed notes originally used for oral presentation, not proffesionally developed outlines designed to be read. Still, they're offered here in hope they may be useful for independent study.
Mar
6 - "War" (notes)
(Why study evidence in the first place? Isn't faith enough?)
 - We are under attack!
 - What's our part?
 - Which beliefs?
 - Approach to this series.
13 - "Truth" (notes)
(What makes you think you know, or can know, the truth?)
 - Relativism
 - Self-Defeating Claims
 - Vs. Emotions
 - Exclusive Religions
20 - "Historical Bible" (notes)
(Why trust the Bible at all? Isn't it wrong and inconsistent?)
 - Uniqueness
 - Transmission
 - NT Reliability
 - OT Reliability
27 -  "Jesus" (notes)
(What makes you think Jesus was really like the Bible describes him?)
 - Influence (Sudden Reverence)
 - Bible Says
 - Prophecy
 - Resurrection
Apr
3 - "God" (notes)
(Why believe God, or any god, even exists?)
 - The Invisible (e.g. Air, Love)
 - Cause of Everything
 - Fine Tuner
 - Moral Standard
10 - "Design" (notes)
(How can you believe everything was just created? Doesn't evolution discredit even design?)
 - First Life (e.g. Complexity, Interdependency)
 - Big Bang Cause
 - Science AND God (Puzzle, Mutually Informed)
 - Science OR God (e.g. Naturalism)
17 - "Holy Bible"
(Why would you believe the Bible is really from God?) 
 - Bible Says
 - Miracles
 - Prophecies
 - Contradictions
24 - "Christianity" (notes)
(What makes Christianity so much better than any other religion?)
 - Truth and Hypocrisy
 - Pantheism (Zen, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.)
 - Monotheism (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, etc.)
 - One Way
May
1 - "Evil" (notes)
(How could a good God allow, and even cause, so much suffering?)
 - Suffering Warned (even Jesus)
 - Good and Great, yet Evil (Callous/Genocidal)
 - Preference vs. Truth
 - Free Choice
8 - "Afterlife" (notes)
(How can you believe heaven and hell really exist?)
 - Universal Belief
 - Jesus Says
 - Good God? (Hell)
 - “No Pleasure”
15 - "Homosexuality" (notes)
(Why would God make people homosexual if it's wrong?)
 - LOVE First
 - Bible Says
 - “Just How I Am”
 - Temptation vs. Sin
22 - "Abortion" (notes)
(What makes Christians so zealous and even violent about abortion?)
 - Possible Life
 - Unique Life
 - “Least of These”
 - Trauma (Both Parties) and Forgiveness
29 - "Commitment" (notes)
(Aren't Christians just a bunch of hypocrites?)
 - All Sin
 - Many Don’t (Really) Resist (Jesus Agrees!)
 - Struggle vs. Hypocrisy
 - Confidence, Judgment, & Condemnation