Faith: abandoned or pursued?
At Restoration this fall we are talking about the questions that trip us up as we walk towards Jesus and his church. We want to deliberately consider the good and challenging questions that ultimately form the basis for this question:
“Does faith in God make sense for thinking people today?”
Every person currently has an operating answer to that question.
For a lot of people, the answer is ‘no.’ The subtext for that no can be things like: ‘I am doing fine and I never think about God.” “I can’t imagine wanting to be a part of something that believes this about this.” “Um, I’ve met Christians and… no thanks.” The no can be active opposition or tacit disinterest.
For a lot of people, the answer is ‘yes’. But every ‘yes’ is on the other side of processing lots of ‘Nos’ and ‘What about this(es)…’
So we are trying to create opportunities for that question, ‘Does faith in God make sense?’ to keep coming to the surface. We want you to have strong convictions about your answer- to have thought it out. To that end, we are asking 5 difficult questions in our fall sermon series. These are questions that sometimes make us end up saying, ‘I can’t see how faith in God makes sense. This question is too hard.’ I am making no promises that we will settle these questions for you, but I am promising that Restoration is a place where you can ask them honestly and without varnish.
I invite you to come each Sunday with your head, heart, maybe a journal, and maybe a friend.
I invite you to actively participate in a small group this fall. Registration is open and you can sign up here. The people in your small group will listen to the way you are wrestling with this question. They will laugh and pray with you. They will join you in your journey as we walk towards Jesus who is walking towards us.
Here are the questions:
September 8: Can people really change? You can hear the audio of this sermon, here.
September 15: Why does the Bible say different things about men and women? Why does Christianity seem to give women such a bad deal? Who needs that?
September 22: Is Christianity irrational? Is it reasonable to have faith in God? Isn’t ‘god’ just a lame way to explain away the things we can’t understand? “I would rather trust science and stuff I can see than a God whom I can’t.”
September 29: Is the Bible pro-slavery? Why has the Bible been used to prop up institutions of evil and to promote division between ethnicities?
October 6: Why is Christianity so intolerant? Aren’t all religions the same? Why does Christianity think it is uniquely right? Why is Christianity so judgy of other people’s behavior? I should be able to do whatever I want as long as I don’t hurt anyone else.
It will be an interesting few weeks! I hope you can join us in person on Quincy Street or catch us on the podcast during the week. Do you have a question that makes you wonder if faith in God makes sense for thinking people today? I’d love to hear it. Feel free to comment below.
-David Hanke, Rector