Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sermon Discussion: Maker of Heaven and Earth

Study Notes and Questions for 08 October 4
Title: Creation - Stage Prop or Vital Player

Text: Genesis 1/ Psalm 89:1-11

This phrase was one of the last ones added to the Apostle's Creed and some believe that it was added in order to combat the encroachment of gnosticism into the church. Gnostic teaching, though offered in many forms and complexities, had the net effect of negating both the goodness and value of the physical world. The world was divided into two parts: physical and spiritual, or visible and invisible. Value, for the gnostic, always resided in the spiritual and the invisible. No wonder the dark ages happened!

These texts restore our understanding, both of the goodness of the created world, and of our calling in it.

1. Churches often fall out of balance with respect to their relationship with the physical and spiritual realms. It's easy to emphasize one at the expense of the other. What is most tempting for you to emphasize, body or spirit? Why?

2. Share a time when you encountered God's revelation through creation (music, art, nature)?

3. The global church is divided about the subject of 'the image of God' in fallen people. Some think that our image bearing capacity was completely lost through the fall in Genesis 3, basing their conviction on passages such as Psalm 51:5, and Romans 3:11-13. Others believe that image of God was marred through the fall but not lost completely based on passages like Psalm 8 and Genesis 9:6. What do you think? Why? What implications does this have on your life?

4. Holding the tension of living a glorious, yet fallen world can be difficult. Some of us live in denial of the fall by turning up the music, and medicating the pain, while others wallow in the fall, becoming dark and cynical. Talk about this tension in your life, and how you deal with it.

5. Our calling as 'joint heirs' with Christ (see last week, or listen to the podcast) means that we have responsibilities as stewards of the earth. What should be our goal as stewards? How do stewardship issues compare in importance with evangelism?


At 3/10/08 13:31, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Native for me it is the Spirit b/c most people don't understand what the Spirit is. Why is that ? in Native Country we believe that it surrounds our bodies and it helps us see,hear,feel the way nature has intended for us to be one in the Spirit. i love it when we do have both the body & spirit b/c for me it is a blessing that the Creator blesses those who are one in the spirit. As a Christian i am trying to see & hear the Spirit of Christ,humbling accepting his Spirit as a Servant for him and i am still trying to learn all i can from the body & spirit of God.
As a Native American i must be one with the Spirit of Nature, Places and things that are surrounding Motherearth but be mindful that we are just Vistors.
Thank you and i hope that you will understand where i am coming from as i see,feel,hear the Spirit.
Michael H


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