EXPLORING CHRISTIANITY

Where did I come from?
Where am I going?
If there is a God, why is there so much suffering?
What is Christianity?

There is a crisis of misunderstanding of the Christian faith. Many Christian beliefs are widely misunderstood and often intentionally misrepresented in public discussions. This site, taken from the entire series of the "Exploring faith today" booklets by Rev Dick Tripp is clear and informative. There are eighteen articles written to be easily understood by seekers and believers alike. They are non-agressive, thoughtful and well informed and will help readers understand more clearly the truth and relevance of Christian beliefs.

THE BIBLE
The massive early manuscript evidence showing that modern translations of the New Testament are at least 98% accurate.
EYEWITNESS
A look at the considerable eyewitness evidence that we have in the New Testament showing that, whenever the final books and letters were written, we can thoroughly trust the picture they give of Jesus.
JESUS AS GOD
A comprehensive list of the claims made by Jesus about himself - claims that are fully supported by his character, his teaching, his miracles and his influence for good in history.
RESURRECTION
Evidence supporting the resurrection from the transformation of disciples, the conversion of Paul, the content of the Christian message and the rapid growth of the church. The resurrection substantiates his claims and guarantees the effects of his death, the triumph of good over evil and our share in the final victory.
WHY CHRISTIANITY?
Six distinctive truths of Christianity: the character of its founder, its analysis of our real problems, the answer of the Cross, the means by which we receive forgiveness, the victory over evil already won and the kind of commitment required of its members. Without denigrating other religions the differences are noted.
SUFFERING
A balanced view of suffering requires an understanding of the realism of the Bible in its view of suffering, the relationship between love and freewill, the link between suffering and evil, God's attitude to suffering, how suffering can be transformed and its ultimate removal.
TRINITY
A summary of the New Testament teaching about the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the personal nature of the Holy Spirit and how he is distinct from the Father. Points clarified are: the unity of the Trinity, the submission of Jesus to the Father, the Spirit in the Old Testament and how this is not an invention of the fourth century church. Part II deals with how all this makes sense: the personality of God, the love of God and how the Trinity meets our basic needs.
SCIENCE
Covers the history of early technology and worldviews, the Christian foundations of modern science, the history of the debate on the age of the universe and evolution, seven ways in which Genesis 1 is interpreted by evangelicals, God's three greatest acts of creation, the place of humans in the universe, the need of science and Christianity for each other and the nature of God's creative activity. Suggestions for those still searching for God.
GUIDANCE
Five basic principles: follow what is clearly revealed; most guidance is unconscious; God expects us to use our intelligence; God doesn't reveal more than we need to know; don't tell God how he must guide. Four guidelines for specific decisions: use of the Bible; peace of mind; circumstances; the advice of others.

REPENTANCE
It's importance in the New Testament. It is more than being sorry. A change of attitude towards God's truth and God himself. The place of restitution. It is not something we can do unaided. Why we find it difficult.

FORGIVENESS
What forgiveness is not: forgetting, avoidance or excusing. What forgiveness is, its cost, and seven reasons why it matters.
BORN AGAIN
Conversion and being "born again" in the New Testament. It's necessity. How we are born again. Popular substitutes for spiritual rebirth. Sudden or gradual? The place of emotions. The results of being born again.
FAITH
The most common misconception. Why we can't earn a place in heaven. God's way of salvation. The choice we have to make. Saving faith is not just head belief or merely trusting God for life's needs. Do good works matter? Saving faith is exclusive, personal, receiving not giving. It is not anti-intellectual. It involves commitment.
ASSURANCE
The nature of our relationship with God. Christian certainty in the New Testament. Truths on which we base our certainty of heaven; the work of God the Son, the word of God the Father and the witness of God the Holy Spirit. Why it matters.
TRUTH
A comparison of four differing major worldviews; Atheism, Eastern Religions, Postmodernism and Christianity. The Biblical understanding of truth. The place of revelation and intelligence. The claim of Jesus to be ultimate reality. Why we resist truth and how we can find it.
MORALITY
The confused situation today. Can we have morality without God? the character of God. The importance of grace. Morality from the inside out. The place of conscience. Biblical guidelines from the Old and New Testaments. The centrality of love. Christian morality and future hope. Why it matters.
CHURCH
What is a Christian? What is the Church? The importance of Truth. The nature of the triune God. Old Testament background. Community in the New Testament. Emphasis on relationships. Importance of small groups. Function of leadership. Ministry of women. New Testament foundation of unity. Images of the church. What about denominations? The Church and Creation

PURPOSE
How can I find a great purpose for living?
Life with no meaning. Purposes that are too small. A purpose that fits with reality. A purpose that satisfies the deepest longings of the heart. A purpose that enable's us to face life's greatest difficulties. A purpose with lasting consequences. A purpose that involves a choice.

IDENTITY
Facing the problem of finding our true identity in today's world. The nature of humans as created in God's likeness but seriously flawed. Finding a new identity as children of God. Our identity in Christ. The choice we must make.
SELF-ESTEEM
Why the problem is so common in today's world. The results of low self esteem. Two kinds of self-love, negative and positive. The basis for a proper self-esteem. The creation of a loving God and the focus of divine love. Worth a good deal though unworthy.
LIFE AFTER DEATH
Christianity's hope and challenge. This article explores the difficult subject of what happens to us after we die. Why it matters what we believe? Resurrection and reincarnation; The nature of heaven; judgment of Christians and unbelievers. These and other topics are covered including poems and stories of faith.

THE CROSS
The cross foreshadowed through the Old Testament. The cross in the Gospels, the book of Acts, the letters of the New Testament and Revelation. The cross and related issues—the Trinity, the justice and love of God, suffering, Easter Saturday, the resurrection, history's values, discipleship, other religions, our response.

GRACE
The importance of grace in the New Testament. It’s source and meaning. Common grace. The place of grace in salvation, Christian growth, enduring trials, and our Christian service. Grace and community. Grace and other religions. Appropriating grace. The story of a hymn.

 
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