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Christians & Culture

Addressing Conflict; Finding Consensus
Mondays, 6:45 - 8pm

In person or Zoom, Starting September 12

Details

Followers of Jesus have always wrestled seriously with the cultural questions of the day—from “should Christians eat food offered to pagan idols” (St. Paul) to “can Christians be soldiers” (Martin Luther) to current questions like “can Christians support abortion rights” and “should Christians support the death penalty or trans-gender inclusion".
 
Plenty of people will tell you that their way is the only way for Christians to believe. Or that the culture of America is in spiritual and moral decline based on selected news headlines. But what would Jesus say about these issues and questions?  What parts of contemporary American culture would Jesus celebrate and which would he reject or seek to transform? 
 
In this eight-week class Rev. Bruce Humphrey, Ph. D., Rev. David Wright (recently retired from Gettysburg Presbyterian Church) and Pastor Jeff will equip you with theological tools and biblical references to help you understand others’ positions and draw your own faithful conclusions.  In a time when Christians are as deeply conflicted as the rest of America, this class will help you to become a bridge-builder.
 
The first weeks will draw on the writings of H. Richard Niebuhr (Christ and Culture); then we will discuss the contemporary relevance of the Barmen Declaration,  issued by confessing Christians confronting the nationalism of Adolf Hitler. Finally we will explore differing modern Christian perspectives on issues such as immigration, abortion, and gender identity.
 
Bring a friend, even one you disagree with.

Outcomes Anticipated

This is not a class in telling Christian people what to think; we are equipping participants for faithful thinking and faithful action based on their own conclusions. 

 

  • Participants will be introduced to ways to think Biblically and theologically as Christians about ethical questions drawing on the work of H. Richard Niebuhr.  

 

  • They will use the Barmen Declaration and the Civil Rights movement as a case study in recognizing idolatry among Christians on a national level.  

 

  • They will hear opposing Christian perspectives on issues of the day, and test them against Scripture, so they may draw their own conclusions.  

Schedule:

9/12 – Bruce Humphrey– Intro Week – H. Richard Niebuhr. 

 

9/19 – Bruce Humphrey–  how German Christians divided regarding Hitler with confessing Christians issuing the Theological Declaration of Barmen; Civil Rights and American Christians’ division over Martin Luther King in the ‘60s.

 

9/26 – Topic – Sexuality and Gender – Rev. Dr. Bruce Humphrey, Ph. D. 

10/3  – Topic – Immigration/Border Control – Pastor Jeff 

10/10 – Topic – “Taking Back our Schools” CRT, School Prayer, Book Bans, School Board Battles – Jeff Gibelius. 

10/17 – Bonus Week Topic #1. 

10/24 – Topic – Abortion – Rev. David Wright, H.R. 

10/31 – Bonus Week Topic #2 

Bonus week topic ideas – How can faithful groups of people can be for or against

  • Death penalty, law and order

  • Gun freedom

 

  • Support for the State of Israel/People of Palestine

 

  • The idea of “American Exceptionalism”