As America and the world approach the 2,000-year anniversary of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus, it’s a good time to take a fresh look at Christianity, the Bible, and the story of our faith for the 21st Century.
Join prize-winning poet and author Robert Alden Rubin in exploring how our ancient faith remains important in these tumultuous, troubling times, when doubt shadows beliefs and traditions that have guided people for two milennia, and everyone seems to be “spinning” or selling us something. By contributing to the discussion, you will also serve as a “focus group,” helping Dr. Rubin test ideas for his book-in- progress, Living Christianity: A User’s Manual for the 21st Century.
At a time when American church membership is plummeting, and when Christianity as we know it seems to have been taken over by ideologies and political factions that pit neighbor against neighbor and demand that believers deny science, common sense, and age-old wisdom, is it still possible for people of good will to follow the teachings of Jesus with love and integrity? Are Christian faith communities still relevant?
Can Christians answer atheists, skeptics, and cynics without shutting their eyes and denying the realities of a modern, technological, multicultural society?
Yes! Dr. Rubin replies. What do you say? Come read and discuss the ideas he’s developing. Each month the group will read and explore a different chapter (see reverse) from the book and talk about how faith remains relevant to our lives today.
LIVING CHRISTIANITY: A User’s Manual for the 21st Century
Robert Alden Rubin, Ph.D.
PART I . Stuff That Might Trip You Up
The first part (9 chapters) of the book-in-progress looks at some reasons people today hesitate about exploring the Bible and the Christian message. What might keep contemporary Americans from going to church for answers?
Introduction: Walking the Walk
Exploring how it’s possible in our time for Christians not just to “talk the talk” of Jesus and the Bible, but to also “walk the walk,” and do more than simply show up at church on Sunday.
Chapter 1. “Who Would Jesus Vote For”? Problems of Political Christianity
Do you have to be a conservative White Republican to be Christian in America these days?
Chapter 2. Doing Christianity “Right”: Seven Burning Issues
How can Christians in our time reconcile the urge to faith with common-sense questions about
1) God’s omnipotence, 2) why God allows human suffering, 3) biblical literalism, 4) the Trinity,
5) what “sin” means, 6) Jesus’s humanity, and 7) whether miracles are real?
Chapter 3. “The Bible Tells Me So”: Printed Words and Graven Images
Does the Bible allow us room for interpretation, or do we have to take it at face value?
Chapter 4. One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church: Orthodoxy and Un-Orthodoxy Today
Who decides the doctrines and dogmas of Christianity, and who accepts them?
Chapter 5. “We Believe . . .”: Creeds, Salvation, Heaven, and Hell
When we join a church community, how bound are we by its rules about big questions of belief?
Chapter 6. In Jesus’s Name: Forgiving Christianity Its Historical Sins
Knowing that a lot of bad things have been done in the Lord’s name, how can we still remain members of an often flawed and broken church?
Chapter 7. “The Church I Used to Belong To”: Challenges of Consumerism and Tribalism
What happens when we go “church shopping” for a church community that reinforces our own beliefs and surrounds us with people “like us”?
Chapter 8. “Prove God to Me”: Atheism and Scientific Materialism
How should we answer ongoing critiques by atheists and scientific materialists?
Chapter 9. “‘What is Truth?’ Pilate Said”: Cynicism and Creativity
In a society that teaches us that money’s what matters, all truth is relative, and that we should be cynical about it all, how do we discover God’s purposes?
Sat. July 16
Sat. Aug 20
Sat. Sept 17
Sat. Oct 15
Sat. Nov 19
Sat. Dec 17
Sat. Jan 21
Sat. Feb 18
Sat. Mar 18
Participating in the series is FREE, but please register so that you can receive, and read, each chapter in advance of the monthly discussion.
Dr. Rubin will lead the discussion group once a month,
Saturdays at 10 a.m.
at Trinity Episcopal Church,
1128 South Main Street,
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526.
Coffee, fruit, and pastries will be served at 9:30 a.m. before the program. The sessions are open to anyone interested in discussing and exploring these issues. (Note: this will not be a forum for testifying about your existing faith convictions, or preaching about them to others! It’s for questions, ideas, reactions, and discussions—not angry arguments.)
Questions? — call or text Dr. Rubin at (919) 433-7322.