I was a member of a panel answering questions from our Lent Course participants last night. It was a fun evening although a little short of controversy and broken furniture.
One thing that struck me was that, with the exception of the question about social networking which I suggested someone might like to ask, how little the questions had changed from those one might thave expected fifty years ago (for Dawkins read Russell).
These were the questions. I'll happily blog my answers to those that anyone wants to discuss:
Why do you believe in God?
How can we encourage young people to worship / feel wanted in our churches?
What can we learn from the Muslim world?
With the growth of space travel, and our continued scientific understanding of the cosmos, we may well one day discover another world and another race of people. If this happened, how would we rationalise this with our understanding of ‘God’s World’?
Where do the dinosaurs fit into creation?
Do you think there is a tendency to try to explain away difficult questions such as – why doesn’t God heal? Why is there suffering? Why do things go wrong? Where is God? When we are called to try to believe in the mess, live with the unanswered questions and hang in there when the going is tough, despite all. Any views?
If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would you do?
If God is in control do we really have free will?
Are social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter beneficial or harmful to society and how do you think Christians should engage with them?
How does Jesus dying enable us to have a relationship with God?
In Exodus we are told that God hardened Pharoah’s heart. Does he still do that now for those who are married to non believers?
Jesus healed in various ways – by touch, by word, by command, by ‘remote control’ (centurions servant), also unconsciously (lady with the issue of blood). What lessons can we learn from this?
Often we are reassured in prayer and teaching by random words like 'God will never leave us or forsake us' or 'God will forgive our sins.' The first promise was give by God to the Israelites during their 40 year trek to the Promised Land. The second promise is surely only appropriate if supported by the words 'when we confess and repent of our sins.' Am I being petty or is this false teaching?
John’s Gospel 14: 1-7 Good News Bible – This is the hope that when we die we will go to heaven and be with all our loved ones who have gone before us. However, in verse 3, “I will come back and take you to myself so that you will be where I am.” Does this mean that we will not go to heaven until Jesus comes again. If so, where are all our loved ones now?
What is your view of the idea of ‘the Big Society’?
If you were stuck in a lift with Richard Dawkins what would you say to him (apart from “why isn’t this lift working?)?