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Contemporary Christianity

Facilitating discussion among Christians on critical topics that we prefer to ignore.

Last modified Nov. 2, 2016


Take me back to the Contemporary Christianity Main Page  
Class Schedule and Notes
Fairlawn Mennonite Church, Sept. 11 - Nov. 13
The seemingly precarious world that we live in can be a tool that God uses to awaken us to the need to take more seriously what it means to be a follower of Jesus. My hope is that we will all search our hearts as we do this study together, and that in the end we will have turned to more directly face Jesus and will have more fully surrendered to His rule as Lord of our life. That will benefit us greatly regardless of what the future holds for us in America.
  Nov. 6 - Upcoming
I plan to work on these questions on the 6th.

21) Do you think that the Christian community is prepared for a day when it will cost us something in order to be faithful to Christ and to each other? Are you prepared? If not, what needs to change in order for us to be prepared?

I encourage you to consider the "Practical Action Steps" on this site, and the ICF concept might become important in the future.

22) Some churches today put a lot of emphasis on signs and wonders, miracles, dreams and visions. Is that a good thing?

        Please see "The Fork in the Road" and "Greater Works Than These."

23) What are the most important things that would help us be prepared for difficult times?


31) What action could we reasonably take in response to the day we live in, that would be different from what it has always meant to be an authentic follower of Jesus?

Part VI, "The New Look" in "The Cosmic Battle and the American Christian" has some ideas on what the Church will look like as we prepare for the days ahead. You might enjoy reading it.
  Oct. 30 - Report
We invested all of our time on Q4, "Does the church in America look like any of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3? If so, which one/s?" You can also read/print/download the Rev. 2 & 3 messages to the seven churches as a PDF or WORD document.
Distributed some thoughts on Q14 but didn't have time to discuss it. It's "food for thought" but we'll move on now. See my notes as a PDF or WORD document.
  Oct. 23 - Report
Distributed copies of Q12 and went over it together.
Q13 is not a happy topic and we didn't spend much time on it. I'm working on another article which hasn't quite come together for me yet , "Loyalty, a Deterrent to Betrayal."
  Oct. 16 - Report
We worked on Q9, Q10 and Q11 and you can see thoughts that I posted on them.
I distributed "Jesus is Calling" which is relevant to this study but is not one of our questions. Also material for Q13, and copies of a recent article in WORLD magazine which helps us understand what we're up against.
We closed with the reading of II Cor. 6:14 - 7:1, which so beautifully expresses God's call to "come out from" and "com into." Both parts of that are necessary for authentic followers of Jesus.
  Oct. 9 - Report
    Completed a survey on Q1 and the results are here.
We worked on Q18, including discussing Kevin Kotewa's testimony which you can read as a PDF or WORD document.
"Where are the men?" In a discussion on gender-related roles it was asked why there are more women than men in missions. Dan and Susan Gingerich said that there are more gals then guys in REACH. I checked that out and there are 24 gals to 15 guys this year, and it was 19 to 14 last year. The Rosedale student body is typically about 60/40 gals/guys. Roger Yoder told me that it's hard to get men to join the Ecuador missions teams. Why is this?
Discussed the influence that feminism has had in moving America toward same-sex "marriage," and distributed "The Emergence and Rise of Mennonite Feminism."
  Oct. 2 - Report
We discussed a class member's question about how the U.S. Supreme Court could come to the place where it would affirm same-sex "marriage." One participant said it was because the Church has not been effective in helping preserve our nation. I added that the feminist movement and it's anti-authority spirit had contributed a lot as well, and recommended the article "The Emergence and Rise of Mennonite Feminism."
We discussed Q3 on deception. The more our identity is found in Christ, the less vulnerable we are to being deceived by the spirit of our day and the allurement of life in America. Satan is the greatest deceiver of all time and his goal is to convince us that his way is best - - that is, that it fulfills the craving of the human heart, better than God's way does. Liar!!
And then we dug into Q6. America is a land of opportunity, but opportunity is to the soul what wine is to the body, that is, potentially addictive, intoxicating, and offering a false sense of well-being. God has given us great opportunity in America, but have we used it for personal comfort and pleasure, or to help fulfill His purposes through us?
  Sept. 25 - Report
    Good discussion - - thanks for your participation!
Finished Q5 with discussion on equating democracy and Christianity.
Invested most of our time on Q7. See my report as a PDF or WORD document. One issue I hadn't listed as potentially leading to chaos in our nation is, "Significantly more restrictive gun-control laws."
Discussed Q19, and our sense is that change is happening very quickly and the rate of change has accelerated over the past five years.
    "You can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality" – Ayn Rand
  Sept. 18 - Report
    Had a lapel mike which helped a lot, and next time someone will take the hand-held and come to folks with questions and comments when needed.
Reviewed the light green paper on "Assumptions and Culture of the Class."
Finished TWO KINGDOMS, starting at paragraph beginning with "But Beware."
    Started on question 5 in our "31 Proposed Discussion Topics." Please (please-please) think about them and come with your thoughts and questions.
Re the orange paper with numbers 1 - 31, which is for you to indicate which topics you are most interested in. You can mark the topic number with a 1, 2, and/or 3 beside it, for example, indicating the order of priority for you. You can give them to Elaine or me any time, or put it in our church mail box, or email me at, or text me at 330-464-5817 - - or whatever works for you. You can't do it wrong.
  Sept. 11 - Report
    Started into the article TWO KINGDOMS.
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