How Can The Bible Be Used? - RR&R
1) Parables & The Gospels - Guiding people in how they should behave
2) God communicating with followers
3) Gives people moral guidance
4) Giving hope in times of trouble
5) Set up rules for people to follow the religion
Definitions - RR&R
Conversion Usually someone who afterwards changes their beliefs or behaviour due to a religious experience
Convenant A special promise of agreement between God and humans
Mysticism A form of religious experience where the believer appears unaware of anything except their experience, feelings of unity and peace usually attributed to God
Numinous Having a sense of being in the presence of the divine
Revelation Describes how religious believers come to a deeper understanding of God through personal experience
How is God Revealed Through the Person of Jesus? -
1) Jesus is believed to be part of the Trinity. The Trinity is the idea that God is made up of three parts and these parts make up the Trinty, so Jesus is the human representation of God
2) Jesus is a role model to people, and God shows, through Jesus, how people should behave
The Inconsistent Triad - RE&S
This is saying that God can't exist because this triangle can't work if all three aspects exist. However, if you take one out it can work.
Eg. if you take out 'God is omnipotent' the triad works because God is omnibenevolent so doesn't want people to suffer but he isn't powerful so he can't stop it.
Iraneus'/Iranean Theodicy - RE&S
Iraneus believed that the reason there is suffering is to allow humans the opportunity to develop qualities to become perfect.
He believed that God created a world with both good and evil.
He then gave humans freewill, so that they could choose between good and evil.
By experiencing good & evil we can develop qualities to become more like God.
Augustine's Theodicy - RE&S
Augustine believed that the reason there is suffering in the world is because of HUMAN SIN
He believed that Adam and Eve were given freewill and because they abused this gift all humans are born with original sin
Our destiny is set depending on whether we choose / reject God
Abraham & Isaac - RE&S
God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and just before he did God stopped him because Abraham had proved that he feared God
Therefore, the reason that there is suffering is that:
GOD IS TESTING OUR FAITH IN HIM
The Fall - RE&S
A serpent in the Garden of Eden tempted Eve to eat fruit off the forbidden tree and she did, giving some to Adam as well. God was angry about this and so punished them by giving Eve painful childbirth. He also made them embarrassed by their nakedness and made them have to work for their food.
This is the classic explanation for the existence of evil.
Humans have freewill and they choose to exercise it for the use of evil.
All human beings have the capacity to be evil. The story is a metaphor - all humans have this nature.
The explanation is logical but not necessarily credible.
The Story of Job - RE&S
Job was very successful. He had 10 children, a healthy body, and plenty of friends, land and livestock. He worshipped God everyday. The Devil told God that the only reason Job loved him was because of his success and if he took everything away from Job he would no longer worship him. So God killed Jobs children and turned his friends againist him. But Job still worshipped him. So he burnt all his land and livestock and put him in constant pain. But he still worshipped God.
The explanation for this is that we can't understand Gods decisions and we are nowhere near wise enough to be able to understand his choices.
This is a bad explanation because it avoids a proper explanation.
Lisbon - RE&S
In the 17th century there was a lot of sin in Lisbon and then there was a massive earthquake. A similar thing happened in 2004 with the tsunami. There was loads of sin in Indonesia and Thailand, such as prostitution, and these countries were the worst hit.
The explanation for evil is that God is punishing people for doing wrong.
This doesn't work because lots of people are suffering who don't sin.
How Christians Deal With Suffering - RE&S
1) Focus on faith and use it to pull through
2) Help people involved (eg. Christian Aid helped the victims of the 2004 tsunami, even teaming up with Islamic Relief to help even more people)
3) Forgive, like Jesus did
4) God is testing our faith and belief in him
5) God is shaping us
6) We can't understand God's actions and we should accept this