Thursday, 18 May 2017

e) Session 2 RELIGION PROVIDES THE AGENDA FOR ALL CULTURE-SHAPING


Session 2
RELIGION PROVIDES THE AGENDA FOR ALL CULTURE-SHAPING – Read pages 33 - 54.
            Read pages 262 – 266        Interpretation of History

Any comments / discussion with respect to the video talk.


Considering pages 34 – 38   Confronting a Cultural Taboo – “Religion”

1) Analyse our culture’s understandings and attitudes towards religion.

* To what degree have Christians bought into this same negative mind and heart-set?   
** What may have caused this negative attitude towards religion?   
*** How do you personally feel about the topic religion?

Romans 12:1-2:  Not being conformed to culture around

2) The video talk provided a new spectrum of religions, a spectrum with no bias towards atheism. The academic elite of the Enlightenment era (150 years ago) also developed a new perspective of history. This new perspective placed the church and the Bible in the waste bin of history. Review this perspective which you find in the appendix (pages 262 - 266). Clearly identify the bias in favour of atheism.

3) Reread the last paragraph of this section (page 38, The ultimate challenge we all face…)
Our collective human history is best described as a life-long struggle for meaning and then with 100% certainty, defeat, ie. death.    In one sense so much promise, in another such a tragedy.
* Talk about the mystery of life.   What might that refer to?
**  Why do we keep pushing the reality of “mystery” to the background all the time, content with living the mundane?

Considering pages 39 – 54 Religion is best understood as a Cosmic Story

4)  What is religion (see list on page 39)?  
*  What is spirituality? How are they related?  For a simple definition see page 2-3 again.  
**  What is all included for a complete understanding of a religion? Begin with the three items from the talk. - God / What is - Slice of Ultimate reality / Cosmic Story

5)  Is every person religious at the core?  Does every person have a religion, a cosmic story? 
*   How did we develop our personal cosmic story, the story that shapes our understanding of the world, of self and life?  What has shaped your heart’s Cosmic Story?

6) Wrapping up: Proverbs 4:23   Guarding our hearts
The Story that I have embraced resides in my heart subconsciously.  Out of it flow all my dreams, passions, values, my attitudes, my choices, my responses to life’s ups and downs, my emotional compass, etc.  ie. the answers to the questions on page 44.

Exploring the Story that is rooted in your heart.
  1. Given your responses to the challenges of life – how relevant / big / close is the God in your Heart – Story?  
  2. Given your behavioural / attitudinal responses to the problems that you are facing – how loving / faithful / good is the God in your Heart Story?  Reflect on Ephesians 3:14-19
  3. Given the dreams that you are pursuing for your life – how relevant is the God of your Heart – Story?   Are you the hero of your story or is God? Reflect on Colossians 3:1-4
  4. Given how you feel about yourself and your life - what does it mean to be a human being in your Heart - Story?  
  5. Can you create more questions like this that probe the inner dynamics of your Heart - Story?
What are the heart - truths that make me tick? What are the contours of my religion?  How Biblical is it really?

7) How do we correct the untruths that our embedded in our hearts?

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