Join an investigation into "The Case for Faith"

Can I doubt and still be a Christian?

Doubt is familiar territory for Lee Strohel, the former atheist and New York TImes best selling author of books for skeptics and Christians.  Be he believes that faith and reason go hand in hand.  And, that Christianity is a defensible religion.

In this six session revised small group study, Strobel explores the most common emotional obstacles to faith in Christ.  These include the natural inclination to wrestle with faith and doubt, the troubling presence of evil and suffering in the world, and the exclusivity of the Christian gospel.  They also include this compelling question:  Can I doubt and be a Christian?

Through compelling and personal stories and expert testimony combined with reflection and interaction, you will learn how to overcome these obstacles, deepen your spiritual convictions, and find new confidence that Christianity is a reasonable faith. You will also gain a foundational knowledge that you can use to help people you know deal with their doubts and faith.

Multi Session Series 

Each session will include a video, informative quotes, group discussion of questions brought by the video, and in-between session questions to contemplate.

Weekly Sessions starting

 

Wednesday, March 18th at 12 Noon

Hope Lutheran Church

8570 Philips Hwy, Suite 104

Jacksonville, Florida  32256

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Session Titles

The Challenge of Faith      May 18, 12 Noon

We all want our faith to be in something that is consistent with reason, not contradictory to it. We want beliefs that are grounded in reality, not detached from it.  In short, can the Christian faith stand up to scrutiny?

Dealing with Doubts

Scholars have wrestled with these issues for years, but we need to get answers from someone who has personally known the confusion, the guilt, the maddening ambiguity of uncertainty.  We'll hear from a Christian leader whose faith journey has repeatedly taken him on torturous detours through the valley of the shadow of doubt.

Evil and Suffering, Part 1

Hardships, suffering, heartbreak, man's inhumanity to man - those seem to be our daily diet.  This isn't from looking at what's happening in faraway places; this is the grit and pain of life, up close and personal.  From the young mother who was just told her only daughter had been molested, mutilated, and murdered; low-buget nursing homes where the elderly languish after being abandoned by their loved ones; pediatric hospital wards where emaciated children fight vainly against the inexorable advance of cancer; and crime-addled inner cities where drug trafficking and drive-by shootings are all too common.  Where is God in all of this?  If He loved these people, why doesn't he show it by rescuing them?  Does the very presence of such awful heart-wrenching suffering actually disprove the existence of a good and loving Father? 

Evil and Suffering, Part 2

Jesus acknowledges that because of the acts of humanity that opened the door to evil in this world, we have pain, we have suffereing.  He doesn't try to cover it up.  It's an inevitable part of life.  And he tells us something else that even more important:  "I have overcome the world"  We have real hope.  Hope that's based upon the central doctrine of Christianity - God became man and entered directly in the suffering of the world.

Why is Jesus the Only Way to God?

"Fighting words" arouse a visceral response in people, making their guts churn and their hands ball into fists.  This offensive language strikes deep inside by attacking their most cherished beliefs, virtually taunting them to lash out in retaliation.  To some people, such are the outrageous words of Jesus Christ:  "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  Many people consider it arrogant, narrow-minded and bigoted for Christians to contend that the only path to God must go through Jesus of Nazareth.  In a day of religious pluralism and tolerance, this exclusivity claim is politically incorrect, a verbal slap in the face of other belief systems.

The Power of Faith

It is striking how clearly the Bible defines the spiritual condition of the human race.  We're all separated from God by our sin, because he's perfect and pure and holy and we're not.  None of us have lived up to our own standard of morality, much less to God's, which is infinitely higher.  And because the justice of God is also perfect, our sin should sperate us from him for eternity.  Among the world's religions, the Christian doctrine of grace is absolutely unique.  Grace means that there's nothing we can do ourselves that qualifies us for salvation.  Outstanding moral behavior or a lifetime of good works - they're not going to get the job done.  That's because God's forgiveness is a gift of that we can never deserve and can never earn.

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