Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Dignity of Work

Key Themes 
  • Creation: Work is part of what it means to be human.
  • Fall: Work has been complicated due to sin.
  • Redemption: Work is an extension of loving our neighbor.
  • Glorification: We will likely be working in the new heaven and new earth.
  • Avoiding vices: laziness and workaholism
  • How do we we raise children to have a good work ethic?
  • How do we affirm human dignity when we help the poor?

Digging Deeper

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Should Christians Protect the Rights of Minority Religions?

One of the most foundational doctrines of Christianity involves a proper understanding of what it means to be human and how that sets us apart from the rest of God's creation. In this lesson, we explore the biblical, theological and legal foundation for the idea of religious freedom.

Key Themes:
  • Why should we care about minority religions?
    • Banning JWs in Russia
    • Why do we consider the ten Boom family to be noble?
  • Biblical foundation for religious freedom
  • Theological foundation for religious freedom 
    • common grace vs. saving grace 
  • Legal foundation for religious freedom
    • First Amendment
  • Reflections about loving our enemies (Matt. 5:44–48; Matt. 8:18–22)

Digging Deeper:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Are Humans More Valuable Than Animals?

One of the most foundational doctrines of Christianity involves a proper understanding of what it means to be human and how that sets us apart from the rest of God's creation. In this lesson, we explore the historic Christian idea of humans being created in the image of God.

Key Themes:
  • Discussion: Who would you save first in an emergency: your pet or a stranger?
  • "image of God"
    • Genesis 1:26–28
    • Genesis 5:1–2
    • Genesis 2:7, 19
  • The concept of human rights
  • The concept of animal rights
    • Clip from the documentary, Blackfish
    • Genesis 1:20, 21, 24
  • Are humans advanced animals?
  • Is it ok to eat animals?

Digging Deeper:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Class Overview and Fall Preview

We're kicking off our fall teaching series: Christian Values in Changing Times.

Key Themes:
  • Meet the teacher
  • Overview of the purpose of the class:
    • OIKOS evangelism
    • 8–15
    • Divine Opportunity
  • Preview of fall teaching series

Digging Deeper:
  • Video: "OIKOS," with Pastor Tom Mercer (overview of the OIKOS evangelism strategy)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fall Theme

Class resumes September 10.

Description for the Fall Theme: Do you struggle to answer tough questions from unbelievers about your faith? How can Christian parents help their children navigate a world of SnapChat, same-sex marriage, #BlackLivesMatter, and evolution? Come get equipped to engage your OIKOS and your kids in culturally relevant conversations. High school students welcome.  

Selected Topics for Fall 2017:
  • Where does the concept of human rights come from? 
  • What rights should animals have? What, if anything, makes humans "special"?
  • What does the Bible teach about helping the poor?
  • How can we advocate for the rights of the unborn?
  • How can Christians think about their participation in social media?
  • How can Christians support social justice issues, such as racial equality and human trafficking? What about gender equality?
Whether you've been a Christian 20 days or 20 years, this class will give you tools to help you experience new growth in your walk with God and release your God-given potential to make a difference in the lives of others.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Weeks 7, 8 and 9: Is It a Sin to Be Gay?

We are wrapping up our teaching series called, "BIG Questions Unbelievers Ask." There is a lot of conversation happening right now in our culture about LGBT issues and whether the church should reconsider the traditional interpretation of Scripture. So this week, we are exploring the question, "Is it a sin to be gay?"

Part 1 – Introduction to the Controversy

Key Themes:
  • Does God hate me because I'm LGBT?
    • Thoughts on the Christian's struggle with sins of the flesh
  • How do I follow Jesus as a same sex attracted person?
    • Survey of the 2 major evangelical approaches to the LGBT question
    • Key "Progressive Evangelical" figures (Matthew Vines, Jen Hatmaker)
  • Can a someone be a Christian and gay?

Digging Deeper:
  • Book chapter: "Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own body?" Without a Doubt, by Kenneth Samples

Part 2 – What does the Old Testament teach about homosexuality?

Key Themes:
  • Brief review of lesson 1
  • Genesis 1–2
  • Genesis 19 (Sodom)
    • Ezek. 16:48–50
  • Lev. 18:22 and 20:13
  • Mark 10:17–31

Digging Deeper:
  • Video: "Homosexuality & the Bible," with Robert Gagnon (good discussion of the Christian's relationship with the Mosaic law)

Part 3 – What does the New Testament teach about homosexuality?

Key Themes:
  • Brief review of previous lessons
  • Teachings of Jesus
  • Romans 1
  • 1 Cor. 6:9–11; 1 Tim. 1:8–11
  • Common informal fallacies:
    • ad hominem
    • appeal to pity
    • appeal to personal spiritual experience

Digging Deeper:

Part 4 – What causes homosexuality?

Key Themes:
  • Complex web of issues:
    • Sexual experimentation
    • Cultural persuasion; gay propaganda
    • Perceptions
    • Thoughts/Meditations
    • Choices 
  • Is there a gay gene?

Digging Deeper:

Part 5 – What does it mean to be transgender?

Key Themes:
  • Definitions of key terms 
  • Progressive vs. Traditional paradigm
  • Quick responses to transgender people

Digging Deeper:

Part 6 – How do we love?

Interviews on Practical Loving

Digging Deeper:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weeks 5 and 6: How Can God Exist? Look at All the Pain, Evil and Suffering in the World!

We are continuing our teaching series called, "BIG Questions Unbelievers Ask." This week, we are exploring the question, "How can the existence of an all-loving and all-powerful God compatible with the existence of evil?" This is a common point of confusion for many outsiders to our faith, as well as some Christians.

Part 1: Moral Evil

Key Themes:
  • Understanding the difference between answering the logical problem of evil vs. people's personal pain and suffering
  • The philosophical problem of evil
  • Addressing the "moral" problem of evil
  • Considering how the existence of evil reveals good
  • Christians as part of the solution to the problem of evil

Digging Deeper:
  • Book: "How Can a Good and All-Powerful God Allow Evil?" Without a Doubt, by Kenneth Samples 

Part 2: Natural Evil

Key Themes:
  • Brief review of part 1
  • Overview of the old-earth creation approach to "natural evil"
  • Overview of the two creation model of Scripture

Digging Deeper: