BAndy, one of the participants over at Napier Baptist: Topics for Young Adults was asking for discussion topics and ideas for a group of (young?) adults. If you have some, drop over and leave a comment.
A while back I read Stephen Hunt’s â€œAnyone for Alpha?â€, a sympathetic sociological engagement with the ubiquitous Alpha programme. At the end of the book, Hunt offers ‘a rather shortened version of an introduction to the faith’ for those who have never even heard of Christianity, as an ‘Alternative Alpha Course’. Hunt argues that Alpha tries to be both a beginning for both believers and non-believers alike and serves those in the first category better. Hence his complimentary scheme.
It’s a range of topics that might be useful for BAndy and others trying to think of material to stimulate discussion, though each would require a bit of preparation. I also like the challenge to the assumption that most people have some rudimentary knowledge of Christianity. Having been a youth group leader, house group leader and theological lecturer I’m no longer surprised by what people do or don’t know about their faith.
Stephen Hunt’s ‘The Alternative Alpha Course’Week 1 Christianity: boring, untrue and irrelevant?
What is the relevance of Christianity today?
Week 2 Who is God? Who is Jesus? What is the Bible all about?
The Word needs to be explained, mysteries explored. It is assumed that people have rudimentary knowledge. This ain’t necessarily so.
Week 3 Christianity and other religions
What do other faiths believe? What is special about Christianity?
Week 4 The Christian life
How should people lead their lives? How do they deal with ethical issues and moral dilemmas?
Week 5 Suffering and the lot of man (sic)
How did suffering get here and what can Christians do to ease suffering in the world?
Week 6 What do we make of Church history?
Why has the history of the Church been a bit of a mess? What are the lessons to learn?
Week 7 Why do Christians disagree?
Why do they bicker so much? Why do some think that they have got the truth while others have an incomplete bit of it?
Week 8 Christianity in the world today
Where does it all go from here? Where would you like to go?