Our Catechism / Q2 / Students

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Our Catechism / Q2 / Students


Can we know God?


We believe that God reveals Himself through Creation and History, the Bible and Jesus; so that we can know Him.

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Psalm 19:1-14 summarizes what we learned in Lesson One, that God’s fingerprints are all over His Creation. How then should we respond to this?

  • Investigate, Explore, Discover. The Scientific impulse is at its heart the intuitive drive of human beings because we were created to know. Curiosity is a part of how we were designed. Curiosity is a part of how we were designed.

The idea found here in Psalm 19:1-14, that Creation reveals God to us, and in Psalm 103:7-13, that the History of Human Interactions & Culture also reveals God to us, are known as Natural or General Revelation. The premise is that God gave People the ability to use their minds to be reasonable and that as such, when His Creation is Investigated, Explored, and Discovered through the scientific method it will point us to Him and His Truth. How does this illuminate the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 1:16-32?

  • Truth always corresponds with Reality & Righteousness - the Hebrew word for the kind of Human Flourishing that comes from individuals interacting with God and others in relationships that reflect God’s design for spiritual, psychological, physiological, and social well-being - https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/justice/. So, when people who have thoughtfully considered the evidence reject God and His Ways, they do so knowing full well what they are doing.

According to Psalm 119:1-176, God has tried to tell us how to know and love Him, and how to live healthy and whole, since the beginning. What does this tell us about God and the Bible?

  • God isn’t playing a game with us. He wants us to have the answers to the most important questions in life.

According to Deuteronomy 29:29-30:32, this Special Revelation of God through His Prophets does not provide us with all knowledge of all things, but it does provide us with the knowledge we need for those things which God requires of us. In what ways does this provide us with an epistemology that is between absolute skepticism and absolute surety? In what ways is this epistemological framework necessary for grounding the Christian Faith?

  • A Biblical epistemology is a humble epistemology in that it recognizes that there are some spheres of knowledge about which the Bible does not speak. In some cases, these are things about which we may never know and in others, they are things which God has given us the privilege of searching out (cf. Proverbs 25:2). In either case, we must not project Biblical Authority onto our speculations. For instance, the bible has much to say about the way the Science of Physics impacts our lives, but it is descriptive, not explanative. So, in those places where the Bible does speak, we consider it to be authoritative on those matters when they are properly understood in their context; and where the Bible does not speak, we consider it to be a matter of mystery.
  • This humble epistemology is a necessary framework for grounding our shared Christian Faith in that while it allows for a measure of mystery, it also highlights the Integrity of the whole text of scripture as one undiluted & consistent meta-narrative, historically reliable & externally consistent when placed beside other writings. First, the Bible tells one story about God & His Work in Creation. This story runs through every book in the Bible, revealing God’s Character in ever-expanding, but never contradictory, ways. It is this consistency that births the historically accepted Canon, & primarily those writings which were rejected from the Canon were rejected because they lacked this consistency. Second, these writings have been handed down from generation to generation with relatively few textual variations, and none that impact any major thread of the meta-narrative. Third, these writings are similar to other sacred writings from around the world which postulate that Humanity’s path to Human flourishing is blazed by things such as love & kindness, but they are dissimilar in that where other sacred writings generally call for a universal embrace of all ideas or try to fold the meta-narrative of the Bible into their own systems, such as when Islam refers to Jesus as a Prophet of Allah. This dissimilarity is congruent with the Bible’s own meta-narrative however, in that the Bible affirms only itself as the Special Revelation of God for Humankind.

John 1:1-34 tells us that God the Father sent God the Son to help us understand how to relate to Him. This passage also tells us that when John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit (God the Spirit) identified Jesus as God the Son for John. But we learned in Lesson One that the is only One true God, so if God is One, how can He also be Three?

  • The teaching that God is Three in One, or One God in the Persons, is called the teaching of the Trinity. This teaching is very hard to understand, and while there are many ways that people have tried to make sense of it, all of them fall a little short. The key is that God wanted us to understand Him and the way He choose to do that was by revealing Himself to us through the familiar ancient near-eastern relationships of Father, Eldest Brother, and Youngest Brother. The Father of the household would lead his home by making plans and then place the authority to accomplish those plans into the hands of his Eldest Son. Then, the Father and the Eldest Son would ensure that everything needed to accomplish those plans was in place by sending the Youngest Son as a kind of messenger to coordinate between those members of the household who were responsible for accomplishing the will of the Father and the Eldest Son (see John 14:1-31).

According to John 1:1-34, no one fully understands who God is, so the Father sent the Son to show us in the clearest way possible. What does this tell us about Jesus?

  • While God, throughout the Bible, has revealed Himself alternately as Father, Elder-Brother, & Holy Spirit; John 1 clearly asserts that it is only through Jesus that the fullness of God’s will and ways can be known or understood. In Jesus, we see every aspect of God’s character as He interacts with His Creation (see Colossians 1:15-20). As such Jesus is the ultimate expression of Special Revelation because He is God in flesh – what is historically referred to as the Incarnation of God (see Philippians 2:5-8).

According to John 1:1-18, Matthew 5:17-18 & John 5:39-47, Jesus’ life helps us understand Exodus 34:1-10. How?

  • Jesus’ life illuminates God’s faithfulness at every turn. He is loving & full of joy, bringing peace & showing patience, kindness, gentleness towards everyone who comes to Him humbly, while also acting with meekness & self-control in the face of those who despised Him.

How does the concept of Special Revelation in Psalm 119:1-176, Deuteronomy 29:29-30:32, John 1:1-34, Matthew 5:17-18 & John 5:39-47 help us understand 2 Timothy 3:10-17, 2 Peter 1:16-21, & Hebrews 1:1-3a with regard to the development of a Biblical Hermeneutic?

  • If all of Scripture comes from God & it is internally consistent, and if Jesus is both the fulfillment of that scripture as well as the ultimate explanation of what it all means, then the only way we can understand the Bible is by studying all of it and allowing that study to slowly form our method of interpretation. This means that we must study the Bible in its Historic & Cultural context as well as its Literary & Grammatic context. Furthermore, the study of it must become our Way of Life because it will take our entire lives to understand it as we should. Finally, we must remember that while a Biblical Hermeneutic does not primarily rely on historical creeds or contemporary insights, it is formed in tandem with both.
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Sing-Along: Sing & Discuss the Song “Jesus Loves Me”.

Play an Escape Room: Complete the challenge & then discuss the processes of Investigation that you had to go through to “Escape”.

The Story of the Blind Men and the Elephant: Discuss how each man feels a different part of the elephant and therefore describes the object differently. Based on their knowledge, each is describing reality truthfully, but because of their limitation, they are incorrect in their assertions. Similarly, Humans cannot understand Supernatural phenomena or even Natural phenomena which are outside of their personal experience. Instead, they must rely on the experiences of others whom they trust. This is what the bible is, the Divine-Human record of God’s story of life. A primary source of knowledge guided in its composition by the Holy Spirit.

Watch these Videos: View this series of videos from the Bible Project on how to understand the God of the Bible https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/god-video/

Role Play: Trust Falls. What would happen if someone dropped you?

Art Project: Take a picture, describe it to the kids, and see if they can draw/color what you described. Show them the picture and see how close they got to your description. Was this hard? Why?

Role Play: Pretend you are a Hebrew Scribe. Copy passages out of the Bible exactly as they appear in your Bible - this is how it was done in ancient times. If you mess up at all, throw out your work and start over. How hard is it? How much effort does it take to do this precisely?

Watch these Videos: View this series of videos from the Bible Project on how to read the Bible. https://bibleproject.com/explore/how-to-read-the-bible/

Logic exercise: What happens when someone’s actions are not aligned with their stated values?

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As Christians, we believe that it is in Jesus — and only in Jesus — that the fullness of God’s will and ways can be known and understood. In Jesus, we see every aspect of God’s character as He interacts with His Creation because, in Jesus, God came and lived among us. If you would like to explore in more depth, the ways in which this impacts how we share the Faith, you should check out Lesson Two of the Adults’ Catechism.


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Why did God create everything?


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