Aug/Sept 2009 — created to connect

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Discussion questions by Joanna Felts

Questions are available for the following articles:

When Gooey Meets Flakey by Ronald Pratt

Loving the Annoying by Jan Johnson

Created for Connecting by Lynnette Friesen, David Bruce Rose and Brooke Denni

Atonement by Tim Geddert

When Gooey Meets Flakey by Ronald Pratt

1. The author makes the statement, “A marriage will stand or fall independent of…” and in this case he is speaking of the two different cultures represented in the marriage. What are the some biblical mandates for marriage regardless of cultural differences?

 

2. The author asks, “Doesn’t God have a sense of humor?” What are some instances in creation where you see God’s sense of humor at work?

 

3. How can embracing another culture enrich our lives? Give examples of cross cultural friendships, relationships or marriages personal to those in your small group.

4. How can one person reach out to a person of a different race and culture but see personality instead of race or culture? What is the importance of seeing personality more than race or culture?

5. The author closed his article with the scripture from Malachi 2:10.

  • Discuss the diversity among people that God created.
  • Find the positives in that diversity and spend some time thanking God for his creativity as manifested in his creation.

 

Loving the Annoying by Jan Johnson

1. Look up and discuss the following verses that speak about how the heart attitude influences our actions. What does this lead us to do about our heart attitude towards those who annoy us?

a. Psalm 5:9

b. Psalm 13:5

c. Psalm 37:31

d. Psalm 58:1-2

e. Proverbs 23:6-7

f. Matthew 5:28
 

2. When we pray for someone else, what happens to our attitude about that person? What happens to the other person’s actions?

3. The author mentions that there are many ways to practice silence.

  • Talk about the need to practice silence and how it can be done.
  • What kind of attitude does it take to practice silence?

4. Think about a difficult person in your life. What service can you provide that person that will help you learn to deal with them in a Christ-like manner?

5. The author suggests four ways to learn to deal with the difficult people in our lives: prayer, confession, silence and service.

  • Has the Lord revealed another method that you have used in dealing with people around you that has been successful in changing your heart or the actions of a difficult person?
  •  Is there some part of that method that you feel comfortable sharing with the group?

 

Created for Connecting by Lynnette Friesen, David Bruce Rose and Brooke Denni

1. What are some ways that American society implies that fulfillment for the single adult will only be found in love and marriage?

2. Most people think of intimacy as a sexual term. However, Genesis 2:18 does not suggest sexual intimacy but the intimacy of friendship and/or relationship. We are created with the need for intimacy with each other and with the creator. Why is this such a difficult concept to understand in today’s society? 

3. Faithfulness to Christ is the most important relationship in a person’s life, whether a person is single or married. How can we encourage each other to an intimate walk with Christ?

4. Examine the mystery of love and intimacy with others. Many people think that love for another is possessive and allows for no other relationships. One of the authors makes the statement, “…as we come to know and love the other, we find room to include more ‘others’ in our lives.” Examine and discuss times in your life when you found this to be amazingly true.

5. How can your church or small group take steps to affirm those who are single within the community of faith?

 

Atonement by Tim Geddert

1. What does the word atonement mean? What does atonement ‘look like’ in your relationship with God; in other words, how has your relationship to God been healed through atonement?

2. Look up the scriptures given for Ransom theories, Combat theories, and Penal satisfaction theories.

  • Using the Scriptures and the author’s discussion, come up with a one sentence description for each type of theory.
  •  Do these compete with or complement the other theories?

3. The author states, “…God accomplished the atonement through the death and resurrection of Jesus” and indicates that the metaphors and images used to describe the theories are not exclusive but encompassing. How does knowing that God accomplished the work and that he shows us how he did it through various pictures and metaphors allow us to discuss this concept “charitably” with each other?

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