One of the toughest questions Christians face today is, “Why are you a Christian?” Many of us struggle because most Christians today have grown up in church and many of us don’t know how to translate what we believe to people outside the church. Worse, many of us struggle to articulate the basics of our beliefs and face an increasingly hostile culture that seeks to challenge the basics of our faith. We’re challenged on everything from the reliability of the Bible to the existence of right and wrong.
Faith Beyond Belief’s Worldview Course equips Christians to engage in meaningful conversations that challenge others to think about the Christian worldview. It does this by explaining twelve core elements of the Christian worldview, starting with the question, “What is a worldview and why does it matter if I have the right one?” The course goes on to cover other essential topics, in sessions including “What is Truth?,” “Can we Trust the Bible?,” and “Which Jesus?” When Christians are able to understand their worldview, they are able to share the good news of Christ with confidence.
Session 1: What Is a Worldview?
Everyone from Charles Darwin to Mother Theresa has one and everyone needs one, but not everyone understands what it means to have a worldview. The most basic definition is that it is how each of us understands how the world works. But in a postmodern society, we need to answer an important question: does it matter if we have the right worldview? In our first session, we examine three basic facts about worldviews that we can’t ignore.
Session 2: What Is Truth?
In order to know which worldview is right, we need to define another word: truth. When we claim something is true, many assume we are being arrogant or dismissive of those who disagree with us. In this session, we’ll examine why truth matters, including moral and religious truths. We’ll also explain how there are only four possible sources for objective morals, and only one works.
Session 3: The Case for Design
Is the natural world all that there is or is there evidence for the supernatural? Does science contradict religion or can it point to something beyond the physical world? In this session, we’ll examine the physical universe and ask, “Where did the physical world come from?” We’ll explain why a Big Bang requires a Big Banger.
Session 4: Defining Evolution
The evolution debate is rife with personal attacks and hidden assumptions. In this session, we’ll examine why the first step in this debate should be to agree on a definition of the word “evolution”. From there, we can begin to look at what can and cannot be proven from the physical evidence.
Session 5: Which God?
In a multicultural society, there are many views of “God”, and many kinds of gods worshipped. In this session, we’ll explain why it’s crucial to test any claims about God just as we would any other kinds of claims. We’ll also look at which views of God match what we’ve already learned about the universe.
Session 6: Why Trust the Bible?
If God exists, has He ever tried to communicate with us? What are the reasons why the Bible stands out as a reliable source of information for God’s interactions with humankind? In this session, we’ll examine what the Bible claims to be and why it is still a reliable text today.
Session 7: The Problem of Evil
If God is all-powerful and all-good, then why is there evil? In this session we’ll examine why evil, whether caused by nature or by humanity or by other forces, actually gives us reasons to believe in God. We’ll look at eight reasons why the problem of evil is a problem for atheists, not believers.
Session 8: Who Is Jesus?
There are many historical figures who claim to speak for God. In this session we’ll examine what Jesus claimed to be and why it makes sense to accept that He was neither a liar, nor a lunatic, nor a legend–but the Lord God Himself.
Session 9: Salvation
Christians are often challenged by those who wonder how the Christian God can be a loving God and yet create Hell. Others wonder what happens to those who have never heard the gospel. In this session, we’ll examine how viewing salvation from God’s perspective reveals that God is not only just in creating Heaven and Hell, but loving also.
Session 10: Why Church?
One of the most important organizations today (if not most important) is the Christian church. But what do we mean by “church”? In this session, we’ll examine why the church is more than an institution and more than just a group of people coming together. We’ll look at how Christians can be the church in a hurting world.
Sessions 11: Why Us?
The word “Christian” has taken on a wide range of meanings, making it difficult to call yourself a Christian without also needing to clarify what you mean by that label. Yet in an increasingly fragmented culture, the need for Christian ambassadors becomes obvious. In this session, we’ll examine why Christians aren’t better than anyone else. Rather, through their actions, they can point to the best example anyone has, Jesus Christ.
Session 12: Practice Session
In this session, we examine issues presented during the previous sessions, and we practice responding to objections. We do this through a role-play format, giving participants a chance to respond to a scenario both as a Christian and as a non-Christian. This allows them to think through how they would handle a situation by seeing it from both sides. We explain how being a good ambassador for Christ requires practice and a willingness to be ready always to share the hope that we have in Christ.