Welcome to the last week of our series, What’s the Difference. This week, we discuss ways that people tend to question and respond to Christianity and Jesus.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What are some of your favorite summer childhood memories?
Who can the group be praying for you to be able to respectfully engage with on the topic of religion and Jesus?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have a couple of people take turns reading Acts 17:16-34. What are some of the major points Paul is making? What do you think he is trying to do with his speech?
John Dickson said there is a universal religious impulse in all of us. Why do you think this is? How have you experienced it in your life and those around you?
Religion is everywhere but religious conversations can seem daunting. Why do you think that people tend to avoid talking about religion? What are some ways we can be respectful of others and still engage without fearing this topic?
John Dickson said there are two common responses to religious thought: atheism and religious pluralism. Why does religion exist according to atheism? What does religious pluralism say about religion?
How does Christianity critique both atheism and religious pluralism? How do these two viewpoints help us understand the people around us better?
An obvious question that we can ask is, “Why should anyone choose Christianity over the other options?” Have you ever had anyone ask you this question, or have you ever asked this question yourself? Discuss together as a group the various ways that people answer this big question. What are some harmful ways or really positive ways that you’ve heard people respond to this?
John Dickson said two great distinctives of Christianity are intellectual and spiritual. What do you think John Dickson meant when he said that “at the heart of the Christian faith is a series of historical events?”
The unique teaching of the Christian faith is that you cannot save yourself, but that God can save you freely by his grace. How does primarily focusing on “grace through Jesus” in a conversation on religion impact the tone of the discussion? How could you practice that?
Over the past three weeks, we have looked at several different faiths and considered how they think of Christianity. What are some key takeaways you have learned from this series? What do you think about the idea of the art gallery—where we don’t need to worry so much about only shining the light on our “favorite art?” If someone from the group hasn’t heard this idea, have someone explain it.
How has this series challenged the way you think about others and engage them? How can you take a next step in your own faith after this series?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Keep the conversation going about inviting someone to meet you at church who may be interested in learning more about Christianity or faith. What would it look like for the group to extend an invitation to come join and experience a safe place to explore these topics?
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