Four-session DVD small group curriculum based on Lee Strobel's popular PAX-TV program. Using video clips from the popular PAX-TV program Faith Under Fire, this cutting-edge curriculum features spirited discussions between well-respected Christians, people of other faiths, or people with no faith at all on important spiritual and social issues. Host Lee Strobel, best-selling author of The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith, provides additional comments to guide small group discussion. Guests include: Rick Warren, Joni Eareckson Tada, Randy Alcorn, William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, Hugh Hewitt, David Limbaugh, Tony Campolo, Richard Land, and more. Each volume contains a four-session DVD and leader's guide, and is intended to be used in conjunction with a corresponding participant's guide (sold separately). Faith Under Fire 1: Faith andamp; Jesus Four sessions on Jesus, the resurrection, universalism, and the supernatural Faith Under Fire 2: Faith andamp; Facts Four sessions on the Bible, heaven, hell, and science Faith Under Fire 3: Tough Faith Questions Four sessions on forgiveness, pain and suffering, the Trinity, and Islam Faith Under Fire 4: A New Kind of Faith Four sessions on the relevance of Christianity Faith Under Fire, hosted by Lee Strobel, airs every Saturday at 10pm EST on PAX.
About 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. SPANISH BIO: Lee Strobel tiene una licenciatura en periodismo de la Universidad de Missouri y una maestria en estudio de leyes de la Universidad Yale. Fue el galardonado editor legal del periodico Chicago Tribune y esceptico espiritual hasta el ano 1981. Es autor de exitos de ventas del New York Times de casi veinte libros y ha sido entrevistado por numerosos programas nacionales de television, incluyendo 20/20 de la cadena ABC, Fox News y CNN. Cuatro de sus libros han ganado el premio Medalla de oro y uno de ellos fue el ganador del premio Libro cristiano del ano 2005 (el cual escribio junto a Garry Poole). Lee sirvio como pastor de ensenanza en las Iglesias Willow Creek y Saddleback. Ademas, contribuye como editor y columnista de la revista 'Outreach'. el y su esposa, Leslie, residen en Colorado. Para mas informacion, visite: 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 Chi? SPANISH BIO: Garry Poole es director de evangelismo en Willow Creek Community Church en South Barrington, Illinois y tambien es el autor de Seeker Small Groups, The Complete Book of Questions y The Three Habits of Highly Contagious Christians.
Read an Excerpt
Faith Under Fire 3 Tough Faith Questions Participant's Guide
By Lee Strobel Garry Poole
ZondervanCopyright © 2006 Lee Strobel and Rocket Pictures
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSESSION 1
Is Anything Beyond Forgiveness?
I wonder if God bothers to keep track of how well human beings perform here on earth. If he does, it seems like he would need a massive computer with sophisticated software to help him remember how we're doing. Maybe he uses a point system to track sins. If that's the case, he's probably got a complex mathematical formula to calculate all the trouble we cause.
So what's God's scheme? Maybe something like this: There are little sins - can they even be counted as real sins? - like telling a white lie to make someone feel better about her bad hair day or sharing a bit of gossip picked up at the water cooler to satisfy someone's curiosity. No one seems too alarmed by these indiscretions - there's no harm done here. The tracking system might assign only a few points to those "mistakes." Let's say they get a 1 or 2. You're only in trouble when you get a lot of them piled up over time.
The points start to add up more quickly with weightier sins. Think back to when you lied to your seventh-grade teacher to get out of detention, peeked at Sally Goodman's test answers during Chemistry, or stole a candy bar from the soccer snack bar. Those should get more points than a white lie. Let's say you earn 10, 12, or 14 points for those.
Then there are those arguable sins, the things that one person sees as a sin and another person laughs about as nothing. What about eating ten more crab legs at the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, even though you weren't hungry: One person calls it gluttony - 35 points? - while someone else calls it a great deal for the money - no points, only calories!
You called someone a name that shouldn't be repeated in mixed company. You noticed that the person felt wounded. What do you think, maybe a 56? But then if you were to actually hit or punch a person, how much worse would that be? 62 points? Unless you're boxing, of course - that's zero.
Then there are the big ones. How about stealing stuff worth over a thousand dollars? What about sleeping with someone else's husband? Are those in the upper 90s? They'd better be!
What about murder? How many points represent a life? Nothing less than a thousand points in my book.
Then again, maybe God should add another scale to track all the good things we do to bring our points down. It would be only fair - just like our court system, where we pay our debt to society by reimbursing for damages or doing time according to the enormity of our crime. Maybe if we sing Christmas carols at the nursing home, we bring our total down 10 points. Volunteer at a soup kitchen and watch the number drop 20 points. Smile at someone for 2, maybe 3 if that person smiles back. Move to Africa and work for a volunteer relief organization for a whopping 90 points per year.
It would be cool if we could simply do some kind of penance for our wrongdoings and hopefully bring those points down low enough to earn our way back into God's favor. How low do our points have to be to be good enough? Wow, if it has to be zero, we should really get busy.
Of course, as convenient as a point system would be, maybe it doesn't work like that at all. Maybe we have to feel really, really sorry, then beg and plead for God's forgiveness, all the while hoping that he's in a really, really good mood when we ask.
Or, wouldn't it be nice if God just completely forgave us, once and for all, whether we asked him to or not? That would be great, for me. I mean, I hope it doesn't work that way for Hitler, or my high school English teacher who gave me a D on my paper just because I was a week late - after all, creativity takes time. Maybe some people should have to work a little harder at earning forgiveness, but I like that system for me.
I wonder if God would ever be so loving, so kind, to offer us forgiveness with no strings attached, no points to redeem? Yep, now that would be real good.
Use the following space to take notes as you view the video in which Lee Strobel interviews Dr. Henry Cloud, clinical psychologist and bestselling author of Boundaries, Changes That Heal, and Nine Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life, and Father Frank Pavone, a prominent Roman Catholic priest, head of Priests for Life, and coauthor of Rachel, Weep No More: How Divine Mercy Heals the Effects of Abortion.
1 Which is more difficult: to unconditionally forgive or to humbly ask for forgiveness? Why is forgiveness sometimes so hard for people to extend or receive?
2 What is your reaction to the idea that God forgives what human beings find unforgivable? Why is this concept hard to grasp or accept?
3 Father Pavone believes that God's forgiveness is not automatic, but rather it comes to those who repent and once true repentance is in place, there is no sin that God is unwilling to forgive. Do you believe people need to ask God for forgiveness in order to be forgiven or are they forgiven whether they ask for it or not? Explain your response.
4 Why would God refuse to forgive someone with an unrepentant heart? How is this similar or dissimilar to human forgiveness?
5 Both Father Pavone and Dr. Cloud believe that if Adolf Hitler were to have confessed his sins and asked God for forgiveness for the Holocaust, God would have wiped his slate clean. What is your reaction to that claim? Is God's mercy too great? Why or why not?
Excerpted from Faith Under Fire 3 Tough Faith Questions Participant's Guide by Lee Strobel Garry Poole Copyright © 2006 by Lee Strobel and Rocket Pictures. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Contents Preface 7
Session 1: Is Anything Beyond Forgiveness? 9
Session 2: Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering? 23
Session 3: The Mystery of the Trinity? 39
Session 4: Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? 55