In the final session of Christianity Revisited, we’ll be asking perhaps the most important question so far: who is Jesus Christ, and what does that have to do with me? This is significant especially during this festive season, which derives its namesake from this very person.
To help in this task, we’ll be using a familiar framework – C.S. Lewis’s trilemma – with an additional section on the historicity of the Gospel accounts. What were Jesus’ claims are why are they so important? How do they measure up against his life, death and resurrection, and can we even believe that these accounts were historically accurate?
If you’re interested in examining these questions in a warm and non-threatening environment, do come and join us. Also, you can definitely look forward to our LWMC custom of friendship, fun & games and food – and this being the last week, we’re serving up a Christmas-themed feast, prepared totally free-of-charge.
So, if you’re seeking the true meaning of Christmas this year, or simply keen on seeing what a Christian community of young adults is like, do consider joining us. We’d be happy to have you. In any case –
Merry Christmas and have blessed new year ahead!
The Christianity Revisited Team
This week we examined one of most difficult topics in philosophy and religion: time and its implications for our existence. Given our limited life-spans, can our lives really have any valuable meaning at all?
We looked at common philosophical problems such as Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus and our response towards it, as well as the existential futility of the evolutionary process. Interestingly, we noted how these ideas were very similar to Solomon’s in the book of Ecclesiastes, a nihilist way before his time.
Finally, we rounded off the session with a discussion of basic Christian eschatology (the theology of the Second Coming). For example, we clarified Christian eschatology as a process of renewing as opposed to the popular notion of restarting, in the sense that God has no intentions to make a new heaven and earth from scratch, but healing and consummating the one we live in now. We also briefly looked at the idea of angelic bodies discussed in Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians, a subject of much mystery and intrigue.
In Billy Joel’s hit Only The Good Die Young, there’s a stanza which goes like this:
They say there’s a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it’s better but I say it ain’t
I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun
Many Christians, if asked for their honest opinions, would find it hard not to agree with Billy Joel here. To those outside and inside the Church, the Christian faith is often perceived as an intellectual and moral straitjacket. Apparently, in the spirit of the Ten Commandments, the Christian is forced to contend with numerous “Thou shall nots” to live a life that is holy to God, but utterly boring to self.
Last week, we looked at the Christian doctrine of pleasure, exploring how pleasure actually play a central role in the faith. God is a God who delights in His creation — and contrary to philosophies like Gnosticism or Buddhism, which argue that matter and body are ultimately bad things, the Christian faith actually celebrates the physical world and all the good things in it: friendship, music, food, sexual union and so on. However, all these things must be enjoyed in accordance to God’s plan and glory for us to enjoy them fully.
Following which, we wrapped out by examining a very contentious issue – the Christian take on the entertainment industry. While outwardly denying that many influences are harmful to the faith, such as Hollywood’s casual view towards sex, many Christians continue to patronize the entertainment industry. Thus, we discussed what kind of moral compass Christians should use when making decisions in this area.
Next week, we’ll be looking at a more philosophical but equally vital topic — the issue of Time and Mortality — so if you’re interested, do come down and join us!
Ever wondered why the God of the Bible, a supposed Being of love and goodness, seems so obsessed with blood sacrifice and judgement? To many people, Christianity’s emphasis on these two themes make it seem like a religion of contradictions, no different from the pagan religions of the ancient world. Two UK students put it succinctly (taken from The Reason for God by Timothy Keller):
“I doubt the existence of a judgmental God who requires blood to pacify his wrath. Someone had to die before the Christian God would pardon us. But why can’t he just forgive? And then there’s all those places in the Old Testament that God commands that people be slaughtered.”
“All that is troubling, but I have even more of a problem with the doctrine of hell. The only God that is believable to me is a God of love. The Bible’s God is no more than a primitive deity who must be appeased with pain and suffering.”
This week, we explored two crucial questions concerning the topic: firstly, how can a God of love be a God of wrath at the same time, and secondly, why did Jesus have to die for God to forgive us?
In response, we covered two key doctrines of the Christian faith, the doctrine of judgement and atonement. Using the Analogy of the Unfaithful Spouse, we examined how love and wrath aren’t necessarily at conflict with each other; and using the ending of Clint Eastwood’s movie, Gran Torino, we discussed the mechanic behind how innocent blood sacrificed can bring healing to lives.
Next week, we’ll be covering a topic as essential and provocative as the previous one — the Christian perspective on pleasure – so if you’re looking for basic, contemporary and propositional look on these religious themes, do come and join us!
Christianity Revisited is now open for anybody to join.
We’ll be starting our first session on Sunday, 15th November. After that, its entirely up to you whether you’d like to come for the following five weeks.
Alternatively, if you can’t make the 15th, feel free to join us any session after that. Here are the details:
Time: 12 pm – 1.30 pm
Date: Sunday, 15th November (and five Sundays after that)
Venue: Boarding School Staff Lounge, Anglo-Chinese School (Indep) [directions]
Remarks: Lunch is provided. No registration fee or form required. Just join us!
For more information about the course, please continue to explore our blog. Also, feel free to email us using the address provided on the right.
We hope to see you there!
The Christianity Revisited Team
Living Waters Methodist Church