Category Archives: Illuminating Faith – Theology

Illuminating Faith – The Church: Towards A Common Vision (WCC Study Document)

The Church: Towards A Common Vision is a study document of the World Council of Churches in 2013. The document is available here (in English), with versions in other languages accessible here.

A study guide to assist small groups in reading and considering the document was produced by the Uniting Church’s Christian Unity Working Group, and is available from the UCA Assembly web site, here.

Illuminating Faith: Advent Studies on the Song of Songs

What has this surprising biblical book got to do with the idea of God’s coming-to (‘ad-vent-ing’) us? The central themes of longing and desire in the Song of Solomon which connect the book with Advent.

It has been said that the Psalms are God’s Word to us in our words to God – our own songs and poems and prayers given back to us as God’s revelation of Godself. In thinking about Songs we ask after something comparable: in what way might our words to each other – for that is what love poetry is – become God’s Word to us?

The studies are concerned with what it is we desire, and how that desire works in us – in, for and against others and God. The issue is not whether we do or should desire, or not. Longing and desire – the beautiful and possessing it – are at the heart of Solomon’s Songs and at the heart of all that we do and say, whether or not we are conscious of it. We cannot but desire; the question is simply one of pressing towards the ‘appropriate’ object of desire, longing, yearning. Advent is a season for the training of desire.

The studies are designed for small group use in a ‘read and discuss’ format. Though originally conceived as a series for Advent, they could be used at any time.

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

Illuminating Faith: The Apostles’ Creed – A lively text in a world made strange

 

Bruce Barber’s The Apostles’ Creed is a reading of the Creed for today, with particular focus on the assumptions the modern mind brings to the Creed and how the Creed, and the faith it symbolises challenge those assumptions.

The study is supported by guiding questions and is suitable for personal or small group use; it could be comfortably be covered in a 7 week study series, although groups may find they want to move more slowly through the material.

 

 

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

Illuminating Faith: Is God among us or not?

Howard Wallace’s studies on the Exodus trace the interactions of Moses and the Israelites with their liberating God as they make their way through the desert to the Promised Land. These four studies are based on 4 central texts in the Exodus narrative, addressing themes of worship, mission and identity; promise and trust; leadership; and coming face to face with God

 

 

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

 

Illuminating Faith: Reading the Creed Backwards

The Nicene and Apostles’ Creed are important elements of Christian tradition, appearing regularly in the worship of some churches, although also sharply repudiated in the worship of others. These studies are intended as something of a ‘prelude’ to saying the Creed. The studies do not deal with the detail of the credal statements but consider the structure of the Creed as a whole. The emphasis is more on the manner of Christian faith, considering Christian confession as less a matter of content than as a matter of ‘style.’

 

 

 

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

 

Illuminating Faith – DocBytes

“Docbytes” are short, 2-page discussion pieces for church councils and small groups, produced by the Uniting Church Assembly’s National Working Group on Doctrine. They have a Uniting Church feel about them but would likely be of use to many others. The all Docbytes presently available can be found on the UCA Assembly web site, here.

Topics covered include:

Apologetics

Doctrine

Marriage

Ordination

Baptism

Peacemaking

Evangelism

Christian

Life

Lord’s Supper

Conversion

Worship

Lord’s Prayer

Reading the Scriptures

Funerals

Science & Faith

 

Illuminating Faith: The Lord’s Prayer – Prayer for those who can no longer pray

Bruce Barber’s The Lord’s Prayer is an introduction to this Prayer – and to Christian prayer generally – as specifically Christian prayer. After framing the problem of prayer for the modern mind – believers and non-believers alike – Barber unpacks the Prayer line by line, drawing out its specifically Christian nuances. The study is supported by guiding questions and is suitable for personal or small group use; it could be comfortably be covered in a 4 to 6 week study series, although returning to the material again and again will be rewarding.

 

 

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!