Rob Bell introduces a metaphor in a picture of a Velvet Elvis. How does this metaphor relate to our relationship with God?
August 17, 2008
How and why did Martin Luther 'repaint the church'?
Do you think our modern concept of Christianity needs to be "repainted?" What dangers are there in repainting?
Bell says that "Everybody has faith in something and somebody." What do you think he means by this?
What is the meaning of "jumping" in the metaphor about the trampoline?
How would you explain the metaphor of a trampoline as compared to a brick wall? What is the difference between a doctrine and scripture? Why is this distinction important?
Why do you think some Christians are afraid of questions? What can questions do for us? Why would an absence of questions be a cause of concern? What kinds of questions would be wrong to ask?
How do we find joy in God? How is joy different from happiness?
When you read the Bible, what kinds of things seem difficult to you? What questions do these difficulties raise for you? Who had you talked to about these?
A lot of people have used the Bible to justify a number of things that are not justified. What do you think he's saying here? How do we keep from making the Bible say what we want it to say?
What is the concept of "yoke?" Why is such a thing important to understand? What was Jesus' yoke, and how would you go about using it?
What is binding and loosing? How is it related to a rabbi's yoke? Who do you think, in your local church, has the authority to bind and loose? What would you base this on?
Do you agree that the Bible can't be read without individual perspectives or agendas?
Why is it important to see the bible as real people in real places at real times and not just a collection of sayings? Why shouldn't we just look at the Bible as data or an owners manual?
Have you ever had one of those profound moments where you were speechless with awe? Or, how about a time of tragedy where you felt in awe of God?
Bell quotes Arthur Holmes, "All truth is God's truth". How might this be hard to digest for some Christians?
How would you answer the dilemma of the young women Bell describes? How is (or isn't) her dilemma "intellectual honesty or Jesus?"
"Christian" is a great noun and a poor adjective". What do you thin about this statement? How might it apply to you?
What do you think he means by saying Paul was a spiritual tour guide? How is this different that "taking Jesus to someone?
Bell tells about a girl named Yvette who was in to witchcraft. How did this strike you? How is her story your story?
How can we recognize 'Holy ground'? How do we miss it?
Have you ever had the feeling that there was something you had to try-even if you failed-because if you didn't, it would feel 'wrong'-or that you would always wonder 'What if...?'
Have you ever had an experience where you felt overwhelmed and ready to quit or escape from your life?
Can you describe a time in your life where you hit bottom and because of the pain you experienced, you sought to change your habits or some aspect of your life? What did you do? How did it work?
If salvation is more than just forgiveness, but living in complete harmony with God-heart, soul, mind and body-being completely restored to Him, what does it mean to you to be 'saved'?
What is the danger of only seeing salvation as something eternal, ignoring its temporal, earthly meaning? What the dangers of the opposite?
Bell says, "I couldn't go on. Usually, we can go on. And that's the problem." What do you think he means by this? How can the inability to go on lead to our healing?
What's your "superwhatever"? Do you have one? If so, have you 'killed it'? If so , how did you do this? If not, how does it currently affect you?
Bell talks about the need to institute Sabbath into your life. What would Sabbath look like to you? What kinds of things would you do and what kind of things would you avoid doing for it to be a day of rest and a time of renewal?
What was Jesus' religion? How would you know what his religion taught?
How did education fit into the Jewish culture? What textbook(s) did they use? How did they know what was in their textbook? Do you think the printing press was a boon or a curse for this type of learning?
Why were oral traditions important to these students? Why were questions deemed most important to learning?
What was meant to be covered in the dust of a rabbi's feet?
August 16, 2008
Have you ever used the excuse "I'm just a sinner"? When, if ever, have you felt like you had to keep doing more and more for God to be happy with you?
When you become a Christian, how is it that your identity changes? Is this a change a present one, future one, or both? Why?
When does "eternal life" start? How might this challenge you to live differently if you had only thought of "eternal life" as something out in the future?
What should a Christian's response be to sin in their lives? What lesson can we learn about this from the younger son in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-31)? What about the older son?
How might your view of the two realms (present, future) impact the way you live your life?
Bell tells a story of eating at a dinner in Grand Rapids as an example of grace. Can you think of similar examples in your life? How is this like the grace we receive from God?
All of things God created, God called "good"-not perfect or complete. What does He expect from us, in terms of responsibility & stewardship?
Is it God intention that His creation will always remain fractured?
Without violence, the early Christians were able to transform their culture. What similar challenges do we face today? How are these similar or different than the ones faced by early Christians?
Who is Lord in our World? Is it Jesus, or have we let someone or something take his place? Where is the church in all of this? Where are you in all of this?
What is the purpose of the church? Why did God bless Abraham? Why does God bless the church?
How can the gospels be good news to those who do not accept its message?
Who are our neighbors and how do we love them unconditionally?