The Case for Faith Study Guide Revised Edition: Investigating the Toughest Objections to Christianity

Overview

Does believing in Christ mean refusing to ask hard questions in the midst of doubt?
Doubt is familiar territory for Lee Strobel, the former atheist and award-winning author of books for skeptics and Christians. But he believes that faith and reason go hand in hand, and that Christianity is a defensible religion.
In this six-session revised small group Bible study, Strobel explores the most common emotional obstacles to faith in Christ. These ...
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Overview

Does believing in Christ mean refusing to ask hard questions in the midst of doubt?
Doubt is familiar territory for Lee Strobel, the former atheist and award-winning author of books for skeptics and Christians. But he believes that faith and reason go hand in hand, and that Christianity is a defensible religion.
In this six-session revised small group Bible study, Strobel explores the most common emotional obstacles to faith in Christ. These include the natural inclination to wrestle with faith and doubt, the troubling presence of evil and suffering in the world, and the exclusivity of the Christian gospel. They also include this compelling question: Can I doubt and be a Christian?
Through compelling personal stories and experts testimony combined with reflection and interaction, Christians and spiritual seekers will learn how to overcome these obstacles, deepen their spiritual convictions, and find new confidence that Christianity is a reasonable faith. Designed for use with The Case for Faith Revised: A DVD Study (sold separately).
Sessions include:

The Challenge of Faith
Dealing with Doubt
Evil and Suffering, Part 1
Evil and Suffering, Part 2
Why Is Jesus the Only Way to God?
The Power of Faith

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310698807
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 12/23/2013
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 531,176
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is the best-selling author of The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ, and The Case for a Creator, all of which have been made into documentaries by Lionsgate. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee wrote 3 Gold Medallion winners and the 2005 Book of the Year with Gary Poole. He and his wife live in Colorado. Visit Lee's website at: www.leestrobel.com.

As Willow Creek Community Church's key evangelism leader for over sixteen years, Garry Poole is the innovator of seeker small groups and a strategist of creative outreach initiatives. Passionate about reaching people for Christ, Garry and his team have trained thousands of leaders to launch seeker small groups in their own settings. His award-winning book, Seeker Small Groups, provides a detailed blueprint for facilitating small group discussions that assist spiritual seekers with investigating Christianity. He also wrote The Complete Book of Questions, a collection of 1001 conversation starters and numerous group study guides including The Three Habits of Highly Contagious Christians; The Tough Questions Series, and Experiencing the Passion of Jesus (with Lee Strobel) to accompany Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ. In 2005, it became the first discussion guide ever to receive the prestigious Charles “Kip” Jordon Christian Book of the Year award. Garry lives in suburban Chicago.

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Read an Excerpt

The Case for Faith Study Guide Revised Edition


By Lee Strobel, Garry Poole

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2013 Lee Strobel and Garry Poole
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-69880-7



CHAPTER 1

The Challenge of Faith


For me, having lived much of my life as an atheist, the last thing I want is a naive faith built on a paper-thin foundation of wishful thinking or make-believe. I need a faith that's consistent with reason, not contradictory to it; I want beliefs that are grounded in reality, not detached from it. I need to find out once and for all whether the Christian faith can stand up to scrutiny. It was time for me to talk face to face with Charles Templeton.

Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith


Read This!

If possible, read the introduction ("The Challenge of Faith") and "On the Road to Answers" in The Case for Faith book in preparation for your group meeting. Otherwise, read it as follow-up.


Watch This!

Video Teaching Segment

Space is provided to take notes on anything that stands out to you.


Discuss This!

1. What are your greatest doubts in life? What spiritual doubts do you carry around with you?


2. How do you define doubt? Where do doubts come from? What effect do they have on people when they hit? What are the pros and cons of a healthy dose of doubt?


3. Briefly describe your faith journey. When have you been closest to God on your journey in life and at what points have you felt furthest away from him? Explain.


4. To what extent are questions and doubts regarding spiritual matters inevitable? Why? Is faith a simple process of belief or does it require a certain degree of thought and struggle or a combination of both? Explain.


5. Why do you think Charles Templeton abandoned the faith that had once been the cornerstone of his life?


6. Does the process of asking tough spiritual questions ruin or strengthen one's faith? Why? If you could ask God one question and you knew he would answer you right away, what would it be?


7. How does society define faith? According to the preceding Bible verses (see the "Think About This!" box), how does the Bible define it? Why does God place so much emphasis on faith?


8. Lee suggests that the process of asking tough spiritual questions is crucial because the answers we find inevitably influence our perceptions of God. Do you agree or disagree with Lee's reasoning? In what ways do the answers we obtain shape, and even distort, our perceptions of the truth?


9. Is it unfair of God to require faith of us when there are so many obstacles to overcome in order to have it? Is God too demanding? Does he require "blind faith"? Give reasons for your responses.


Between Sessions

Personal Reflection

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

(Mark 10:13–15)


1. What is it about little children that makes them so absolutely trusting? How often do you long for the faith of a child when it comes to spiritual matters and life in general? Aren't things just simpler for those who believe things easily and never second-guess what they've been told?


2. Then again, isn't it those who trust easily who get taken advantage of? What is it about giving away trust that makes you vulnerable to disappointment, rejection, and hurt? How many times have you been let down by the very ones you thought would be there for you, the very ones who promised to take care of you? How many times have you said, "Never again"?


3. Little children flocked to Jesus, and he welcomed them and loved each one unconditionally. What did Jesus demonstrate to his followers about his trustworthiness when he welcomed and embraced the little children? What is it about Jesus that makes him so different and so completely worthy of such unabashed faith? And what is it about faith in God that is so alluring and yet at times so difficult?


4. The Bible tells us that Jesus was also completely pure and innocent—completely sinless—making him the only one absolutely worthy of our complete trust. Do you believe this? How might your life be different if you were able to begin to trust God with renewed faith?


Personal Reading

Please read the following book content in preparation for session two:

The Case for Faith, Objection #8: I Still Have Doubts, So I Can't Be a Christian
(Continues...)


Excerpted from The Case for Faith Study Guide Revised Edition by Lee Strobel, Garry Poole. Copyright © 2013 Lee Strobel and Garry Poole. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Session 1 The Challenge of Faith....................     7     

Session 2 Dealing with Doubts....................     19     

Session 3 Evil and Suffering, Part 1....................     33     

Session 4 Evil and Suffering, Part 2....................     47     

Session 5 Why Is Jesus the Only Way to God?....................     61     

Session 6 The Power of Faith....................     79     

Small Group Leader Helps....................     93     


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