I am excited. Our Fall quarter of small groups is starting October 26th. In the fall, we get the whole church body engaged in a common study. This way, even if families gather into different groups – say dad needs to hit an early morning group before work while mom connects with a women’s group that offers babysitting – both can be blessed with an opportunity to talk about the subject when they have time together.
And, oh, what a subject! We will be utilizing Tim Keller’s terrific material titled “The Reason for God”. In this study, Tim Keller does a brave thing. He invites very intelligent people who object to Christianity on intellectual ground to have a discussion. Keller then starts each conversation by introducing an objection to the faith and listening, deeply, to the thoughtful responses each skeptic presents.
Intermixed in the discussion Keller presents his biblical take on how and why he believes, even in the face of such objection or problem.
The study is great for several reasons. First it is deeply faithful to scripture. Never does Keller look to avoid a hard issue by skirting the question or by demeaning the inspiration and authority of the text.
And at the same time, Keller is very sympathetic to the concerns expressed by those who don’t (yet?) believe. He listens well. Sometimes he even re-states the objection better than the skeptic first presented it.
Indeed, this is a third reason why this particular study is so very engaging: it isn’t filled with trite answers to difficult questions. As a matter of fact, what becomes quickly evident, is that Christian believers often wrestle with similar matters. How great that Keller gives permission to ask about the more difficult subjects, such as the subject of his final study, “How can God be both full of love and wrath at the same time?”
More information on this quarter’s small groups will be coming shortly. It’s sure to be one you don’t want to miss.
And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. Acts 5:42 (ESV)
This article originally appeared in the September 2014 edition of the FBC newsletter. Click here to view the rest of this newsletter.