Friday, February 11, 2011

"What's the Least I Can Believe?" — First Class

This Sunday, Feb. 13, we'll open our study of the new book, "What's the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian: A Guide to What Matters Most." The book study begins at 9:30; musicians will rehearse at 9.

We'll be discussing the Preface and Chapters 1 and 2. Here are a few questions to get us started:

Last week we discussed some of the ideas *we* find hard to believe about Christianity. Among those mentioned were the virgin birth, the resurrection of the body, and the idea that God cares about us personally. What do you think are some of the ideas that non-Christians think we believe that we actually may not?

Chapter 1 disputes the notion that God causes bad things to happen. A corollary is that by creating free will, God *allows* bad things to happen. William Sloane Coffin, who lost his son Alex in a car accident, preached a sermon about this topic. I'll bring copies to the class, but two things he said spring immediately to mind:

The first is from Coffin himself: "My own consolation lies in knowing that it was not the will of God that Alex die; that when the waves closed over the sinking car, God's heart was the first of all our hearts to break."

The other is from Ernest Hemingway's, "A Farewell to Arms": "The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places." Can we believe that the world breaks us and that God heals us and makes us stronger?

The second chapter refutes the idea that good Christians don't doubt. God made us human and doubt is human, but can we think of tools that God has given us to help deal with it?

Feel free to use the comment function to chime in with other questions for discussion.