Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week 15: Can You Trust What the New Testament Says About Jesus?

We're starting a new series of conversations. We will focus on questions surrounding the origin and history of the Bible. This week we're focusing on the question, "Can you trust what the New Testament says about Jesus?" 


Key Themes:
  • Introduction to the doctrine of the Bible
  • Critical concept: relationship between theology and history
  • Argument #1: The Gospels preserve eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus.
  • Argument #2: External sources corroborate the accuracy of the Gospels and Acts.


Digging Deeper: 
  • Chapter: “Are the Gospels Trustworthy Account of Jesus’ Life?” Without a Doubt, chapter 7
  • Book: Cold Case Christianity, by J Warner Wallace (This is a great resource to help Christians get started in the conversation about defending the faith. It's also appropriate to share with a high school or college student who needs reasons for their faith. If you're wanting a resource for an unbeliever, I'd recommend something more technical.)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week 14: Was Jesus a Real Historical Person?

We're wrapping up our series of conversations about questions our culture is asking about Jesus. This week we're focusing on the question, "Was Jesus a Real Historical Person?"





Key Themes: 
  • Contemporary assertions about Jesus
  • Sources behind the New Testament were eyewitnesses of Jesus
  • Sources outside of Christianity provide compelling information about the origins of Christianity
  • What are the minimal facts about Jesus that (almost all) scholars agree on?


Digging Deeper:

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Week 13: Ask Me Anything

Question #1: My friend says she is Coptic. What's that? Are they Christians? How are they different than evangelicals?



Question #2: Does Matthew 24:36 teach that Jesus didn't know the future?



Question #3: What's the role of parents in their children's faith?

VIDEO COMING SOON!


Question #4: Does the concept of "blessings" and "curses" apply to New Covenant Christians?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Week 12: How Can Jesus be Both God and Human?

We're continuing our series of conversations about what our culture is asking about Jesus. In this lesson, we focused on the question, "How Can Jesus be Both God and Human?"


Key Themes:
  •  4 Arguments for the Incarnation:
    • The Bible teaches that Jesus is God.
    • The Bible teaches that Jesus was human. 
    • The apostles taught that Jesus was God in human flesh.
      • Col. 1:15–18
    • The early church taught that Jesus was God in human flesh.
  • Three options to account for this data:
    • Arianism: Jesus was a created being; not deity.
    • Docetism: Jesus deity, not truly human
  • The real meaning of Christmas
    • Col. 1:1529


Digging Deeper:
  • Video: I interviewed my friend, Fr. Daniel Habib (who is a priest at St. John Coptic Church) about how he would respond to some of Bart Ehrman’s ideas about the deity of Christ from an ancient faith perspective. I'd like to invite you to watch some highlights from our conversation.
Part 1

Part 2


  • Book chapter: "How Can Jesus Christ be Both God and Man?" Without a Doubt, by Kenneth Samples
  • Worship: If Jesus is who He claimed to be, then He's not merely an idea to be apprehended, but a person to be worshiped. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Week 11: Did Jesus Claim to be God?

This week we started a new series of conversations about Jesus. People make all kinds of assumptions and assertions about who Jesus is, so we want to take the time to get some clarity on the issue. We started by discussing the question, "Did Jesus claim to be God?"


Key Themes:
  • Setting the context: What are others saying about Jesus?
    • Bart Ehrman (liberal scholars' POV)
  • Summary: What Christians believe about Jesus 
    • Nicene Creed
  •  4 Arguments that Jesus Considered Himself to be God
    • Jesus equated Himself to be God.
    • Jesus made claims that the Jewish leaders considered blasphemous.
    • Jesus engaged in activities that only God can do.
    • The major controversy in the early church was that Jesus wasn't human.


Digging Deeper:
  • Book chapter: "Is Jesus a Man, Myth, Madman, Menace, Mystic, Martian or Messiah?" Without a Doubt, by Kenneth Samples


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Week 10: How Can I Talk to My OIKOS About Faith Issues? (part 3)

This week we continued our short series on how to navigate conversations with people who hold worldview perspectives that differ from our own. This included watching a discussion with a gay man.



Key Themes:
  • Review: 
    • Faith conversations need to be based on love, not "winning" arguments.
  • Case study: conversation with "Randy"


Digging Deeper:
A few weeks ago, we introduced the value of historical theology, as it pertains to the codification of the doctrine of the Trinity.

This is a follow up discussion in which I use a current event to further illustrate the importance of this key concept. While conservative Protestants do not hold history as infallible or inspired, that's not to say that Protestants interpret the Bible in isolation from history either. Protestants generally give some amount of weight to the universal teaching of the church where we see it as agreeing with Scripture. This video explores that concept a little more.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Week 9: How Can I Talk to My OIKOS About Faith Issues? (part 2)

This week we continued our short series on how to navigate conversations with people who hold worldview perspectives that differ from our own. This included watching a discussion with a friendly Muslim.


Key Themes:
  • Review: 
    • Faith conversations need to be based on love, not "winning" arguments.
    • Learn the other person's viewpoint.
    • Begin offensive tactics.

  • Lead the person into one insight
  • Invite feedback
  • Case study: conversation with Mahamad
   
Digging Deeper: