About this Study Kit

Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity – are these religions just different paths to the same destination? What right do you have to claim your beliefs are true but mine are not? Don’t absolute truth claims lead to violence and religious extremism? Questions like these are common in our “coexist” culture. When Christians try to share their faith they are sometimes accused of being narrow-minded or prejudiced. In the Western world much is made of tolerance and peace, but it doesn’t always feel as if Christians are the beneficiaries of such attitudes. Do Christians have to jettison the Bible’s claims of exclusivity in order to be taken seriously by unbelievers today? What sort of truth claims does the Bible make about God? How should we defend the God of the Bible and distinguish him from the false gods of other religious? These questions have been asked since the time of the apostles. Throughout church history Christians have had their beliefs challenged and have been persecuted for spreading “intolerance.”

One specific belief that has been particularly debated is the identity of God. Who is God and what is he like? The Bible, of course, provides the answer, but other religions make contradictory claims. What is distinct about the Christian view of God? The doctrine of the triune nature of God is one of the central teachings of Christianity, and yet there is widespread ignorance of it. One important way to defend the claims of Christianity is by understanding and defending the Trinity. The history of this doctrine and the many debates concerning it provide a guide for how Christians should interact in pluralistic cultures and present the claims of the gospel. This study kit will explore the claims of prominent world religions, compare them with Christianity, and discuss how Christians should respond to them. Finally it will also examine the history of the doctrine of the Trinity, its biblical basis, and its importance for Christian life. This study will help Christians better understand and defend their faith in an increasingly pluralistic and hostile world.

This six-part study is composed of four sections. Lesson 1 provides an introduction to the challenges facing Christianity today. Lessons 2 – 3 focus on specific challenges facing Christianity today (other religions secularism) and how to respond to them. Lesson 4 discusses how the church has responded historically to doctrinal error and the role that creeds and confessions play in safeguarding the truth. Finally, Lessons 5 – 6 examine the doctrine of the Trinity and its significance for the Christian life.

This study does not require that each member listen to the program and answer the questions beforehand, but it would serve to move the discussion along and have more lively conversation if members have thought about the material beforehand.

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