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Living the Questions 2014 Term 2: Challenge, Freedom, and Reconciliation

News St Martin – Talking Points

Monday 12 May 2014

The poet Rilke speaks of ‘loving the questions themselves’ as a key part of our spiritual journey.

Living the Questions is a DVD-based educational series at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. It brings tough questions to the Christian tradition, and explores how to live faithfully into the answers.

Join a community of seekers, pilgrims, and skeptics as we come to terms with Christianity in the 21st Century. Dig into ethics, politics, the Bible, and belief from a progressive and challenging point of view. Share in the insights of leading theologians, pastors, philosophers, and scholars. 

Each Sunday session meets after our 10.00am service, from 12.15-1.45pm, and comprises a 20 minute video followed by discussion and sharing in groups. Try out individual sessions, or join us for the entire series. You are also welcome to eat with us after the meeting.

Second Term (2014): Challenge, Freedom, and Reconciliation

18 May: Biblical Models for Restoring Relationships

Explore the three great Biblical narratives that shape our Christian perspective: Bondage and Liberation, Exile and Return, Sin and Forgiveness. Each representing a different facet of the human condition, they illuminate what is necessary for the restoration of relationships on the different levels of our lives.

1 June: The Prophetic Jesus vs. The Status Quo

Jesus was a troublemaker, like the prophets of old. He said and did things that were upsetting to agents of the political and religious domination systems that oppressed the weak and downtrodden. In this way, Jesus stood firmly in the tradition of the prophets of Hebrew Scripture – those who offered a clear and challenging “alternative script” to the status quo.  How can churches today practice Jesus’ brand of humility, kindness, and justice?

15 June: Evil, Suffering, and a God of Love?

If God is all-powerful, all-loving, and all-good, how do we explain the existence of so much suffering and evil in the world?  How are we supposed to respond to evil? Who is ‘Satan’ and what is evil all about?

29 June: The Myth of Redemptive Violence

The most potent religion in Western culture is not Christianity, but a belief in the redemptive power of violence. Jesus inaugurated a new order based on partnership, equality, compassion and nonviolence; but his example and his teachings have been eclipsed by an emphasis on human unworthiness.  This religion demands and defends the need for Jesus’ violent, suffering, atoning death.  Is it really Christian? How does redemption ‘work’?  What is the relationship between original sin and our original blessing?

13 July: Practicing Resurrection Today

Much has been made of Jesus’ literal and physical resurrection being the core historical event of Christianity.  The Biblical texts themselves present moving, passionate, and deeply conflicting (perhaps even irreconcilable) evidence. For many today, the resuscitation of Jesus’ body is less important than the idea of resurrection as a credible and meaningful principle for life. What would it mean to live a ‘risen’ life in our own day and age?

27 July: So-Called End Times: Decoding Apocalypse

The Book of Revelation was written to offer a message of hope. But many Christians today understand it as a message of doom.  Have they been misled by 19th century doomsayers and modern-day apocalyptic preachers, who proclaim the impending extermination of the apostate masses at the hands of a vengeful god?  Isn’t this the same God who told us to “love our enemies”? What could a theology and practice of real Christian hope actually look like?

10 August: Honouring Creation: A Type of Conversion

Human beings have been given a wonderful gift: a beautiful and complex world in which to live.  But our behaviours, our lifestyles, and our arrogance are stressing the planet’s systems and resources to the breaking point. Care for the environment is not only deeply biblical and practical, but increasingly critical – for both our present spiritual life, and our collective future as a species.