The following is a study guide I composed in ministry at South City Church for John Stott’s Basic Christianity.
Download Study Guide for Basic Christianity by John Stott.
John Stott, Basic Christianity – Details the essential claims of Christianity and the salvation we as Christians claim we both need and can find in Christ; a valuable resource for those exploring Christianity to use alongside reading through one of the Biblical gospel accounts, such as Mark.
In The Prophet and the Messiah: An Arab Christian’s Perspective on Islam & Christianity Chawkat Moucarry seeks to present a comparative examination of Christianity and Islam’s major claims and differences. He organizes his presentation according to four topics, which focus on both religions’ major truth-claims and illuminate the fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam. These topics are (1) the sacred scriptures, (2) key doctrines, (3) Jesus, his person and his work, and (4) Muhammad’s prophethood. Moucarry begins his work by presenting some introductory remarks about engaging in mutual dialogue. And finally, he closes by addressing some contemporary concerns.
As Moucarry begins his comparative presentation, he begins where both religions do—their sacred scriptures. Both religions claim to have received special revelation from God. However, regarding the nature, content, and method of that revelation, Islam and Christianity differ.
There are several areas of theology about which I find myself thinking on a consistent basis. One of those topics is the integration and relationship between the Christian worldview and political-economic science. (This probably isn’t terribly surprising given the fact that I entered college as a social studies major.) Lately, I have found myself thinking about these issues again… and on a frequent basis as well. This has much to do with some recent studying I’ve been doing on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His views on government and the Christian’s relationship to government has sparked this internal conversation ablaze within me once again. …Well, some of these thoughts will now be spilling out in this post.
On January 13th I published a post analyzing and critiquing the viral video by Jefferson Bethke entitled, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” (see my earlier post here). This post got lit up with lots of attention and traffic–far more than I expected. I got plenty of feedback from plenty of people, some positive, so not so positive. Among those who responded more negatively, some seemed to have the impression that I did not see any value or benefits in the video (on the contrary, I was simply presenting a caution). Due to this, I’ve decided to write a “part 2” on the strengths/benefits of Bethke’s “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” By doing so, I want it to be clear that I am not attempting to retract my initial criticisms/cautions. However, I am presenting a balanced perspective that probably should be taken.
This week I saw my Facebook flooded with a certain video, so I watched it. I knew where Jefferson Bethke (the author of the poem and individual in the video) was coming from and what he meant by his words, yet I was a little unsettled by this video.
Many individuals, evangelical in disposition, seem to be rejoicing in this video (even “The Resurgence” posted it on their site, see here). On the other hand, I’ve noticed a much different reaction from the Catholic crowd (i.e., various Catholic facebook friends of mine as well as various Catholic blogs that have written critiques, such as what I am now doing), as one might expect. And to be honest, in many regards, I agree with these Catholics in their criticisms. Allow me to share some of my brief thoughts on the video.