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  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 18-04-13 17:17
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  • God
    • Knowledge,  Faith and Belief
    • Does God Exist?
      • Cosmological
        • Everything has to come from something. You cannot make something out of nothing.
        • Therefore there must have been a ‘First Cause’ that created the ‘something’ (the universe). That First Cause is God.
      • Teleological (or design)
        • If you were walking on a heath and saw a watch on the ground you would assume that its parts had not come together by chance because it is too ordered and complicated. Therefore someone must have designed it or it would not work.
        • Because the universe is also ordered and complicated, someone must have designed that too. That 'someone' is God.
      • Religious experience
        • Some people claim that they have had a religious experience eg, a miracle (a fortuitous event believed to have been caused by divine intervention), a vision, or a particular prayer to God answered.
        • Therefor God exists
      • Morality
        • Some people say that everyone knows the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. They describe this as having a sense of morality.
        • This sense of morality has to come from somewhere, and the only possible source is God. Therefore God exists.
    • Beliefs about God
      • Christians believe in one God but that God is not ordinary.
      • God is 'holy', meaning special, separate and different.
      • The God of the Jews found in the Jewish Scriptures (eg, the Torah) and the God of the Christian Old Testament is one God.
      • Jesus
        • Jesus came to teach people God’s will for them, and to show them what life would be like in the Kingdom of God
        • The cross is an important symbol for Christians. Christianity says that because Jesus (who was God) chose to die because he loved humanity and wanted to save them, all people were forgiven their sins and so had a chance to go to heaven.
        • Christianity teaches that death was not the end for Jesus. They believe that he rose from the dead on the third day, after being placed in the tomb. This is the resurrection. Christians believe that Jesus was not just a man in the past, but is a living saviour, relevant to their lives today.
    • Good and Evil
      • The two types of evil
        • Natural Evil
          • suffering caused by events that have nothing to do with humans, and which are to do with the way the world is, eg, natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, floods or earthquakes
        • Moral/Human Evil
          • suffering caused by humans acting in a way that is considered morally wrong eg, bullying, murder, rape, theft or terrorism
        • Remember that: 'evil' is a cause of suffering; 'suffering' is a result of evil.
      • Christian Teachings on Good and Evil
        • God has given people free will – the ability to choose between right and wrong for themselves. God has shown people how they should live (eg the Ten Commandments (a list of religious and moral rules that were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai); Jesus’ life and teaching), but it is up to them to decide whether or not to follow God’s instructions.
        • The story of humanity’s battle with good and evil is told in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Adam and Eve chose to disobey God by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is called the Fall.
        • Some people believe that as a result of Adam and Eve’s first sins, each human is born with a tendency towards evil. This is called Original Sin.
        • As well as a power for good there is also a power for evil. Traditionally this is said to be Satan, one of the archangels who disobeyed God and was thrown out of heaven (Luke 10:18). In the form of a serpent, Satan tempted Eve to eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Satan tempted Job, and also tempted Jesus to give up his ministry.
        • Some people say that they have been possessed by demons and people try to ‘exorcise’ these demons. There are examples in the New Testament of occasions when Jesus drove out demons.
        • Some people no longer see evil as a ‘person’ or ‘being’. St Augustine in the fourth century suggested that evil is ‘an absence of good’. Therefore, if enough people do good, evil would be removed. Some people think of evil as a psychological or emotional problem, that no one is inherently evil, but circumstances can lead them to become so.
        • Jesus died on the cross (the Crucifixion) and in this way the broken relationship between God and humanity caused by sin was restored. This is called the Atonement.
        • When Jesus came to earth (the Incarnation), human beings were given a chance to escape everlasting punishment after death by following the teachings of Jesus and asking God’s forgiveness for their sins.
        • Jesus rose from the dead three days after he had been crucified. This is called the Resurrection. From that time onwards people who follow his teachings will go to heaven. Jesus explained this to his disciples at the Last Supper
          • While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’Matthew 26:26-28
        • When the Eucharist is celebrated, Christians remind themselves of Jesus’ actions and the fact that because of his sacrifice they are forgiven by God.
    • Revelation
      • General and special revelation
        • General revelation is indirect, and available to everyone. Some truths about God can be revealed through reason, conscience, the natural world, or moral sense.
        • Special revelation is direct revelation to an individual or a group. This sort of revelation includes dreams, visions, experience and prophecy.
      • Christian scripture
        • The Bible is a very old document written by humans. It contains some good teachings about God but it needs to be reinterpreted for today. Some Christians say that this is putting human beings above God.
        • The Bible is literally the direct Word of God. The writers were more like secretaries, faithfully writing down what God told them. Everything in the Bible is true, and most things should be taken word for word. There are no errors in the Bible.
        • The Bible is the Word of God revealed to humans. It was written down by them, and their own personalities and writing styles were included. The writers interpreted the Word that came to them; they were not just secretaries. Over many centuries the Bible was copied, so you would expect there to be some mistakes in it.
        • Some people look at the Bible as simply a very interesting piece of literature and try to work out how it was written and put together.
      • The Bible
        • Christians would say that the Bible has moral and spiritual truth.
        • Some stories in the Bible obviously have aesthetic truth - they are true to how people live and behave.
        • It is hard to show that there is a great deal of historic truth in the Bible because archaeology has not yet shown that much of it can be proved.
      • Church teaching and miracles
        • Many Christians are members of a particular branch of the worldwide church. The different Christian churches have different ways of understanding and expressing their beliefs.
        • Many people believe that God is a personal being, therefore it is to be expected that God would want to be involved in human affairs. However this can't happen too often, as this would jeopardise people's free will (the ability to choose for oneself). Therefore people believe that God is revealed occasionally and privately in some people's lives eg, miracles (a fortuitous event believed to have been caused by divine intervention), prayer (communicating with God) and worship.
      • Explain: What Christians mean when they say that the Bible is 'revealed' and the different ways people think about the Bible.
        • Need to include
          • what 'revelation' means
          • the different views which some people have about the Bible, the reasons for these and the difficulties which may be associated with them
          • that some people do not consider the Bible to be revealed and why this is the case

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