Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Topics to Study Someday...

Here is a list of topics I find fascinating, pieces of knowledge that I'd like to explore to gain more understanding.

Soren Kierkegaard: a theologian from 1850 who has become surprisingly relevant to the religious, cultural, and ideological issues of our post-modern life.

Predestination, Determinism, Foreknowledge and Freewill, Openness: I just haven't heard/read enough material that I "get". For me, this philosophical issue is a regular topic I ponder. Some people think about grocery lists, DVRing their next show, or planning out their summer vacation; I muddle through issues of how much God knows. Why? I don't know...

Conversion Theory: what happens in people that they have religious conversion experiences. Why do some children and youth convert, and others with similar experiences don't? What is it about adult conversions that makes them so different than that of kids? What sociological, psychological, and cultural issues shape spiritual conversion? Why are some people more effective at helping others convert than others?

Christ and Culture: Did Christ come to transform culture? Subvert it? Reclaim it? Abolish It? Would Jesus use Guns and Roses lyrics to reach out to alienated and angry youth? Would the Spirit speak to ancient Jews through the inspiring stories of gladiators? Would God care about the justice system of the Empire and seek His People to reform it?

Church Health and Community Revitalization: can a church be considered healthy apart from the conditions of the neighborhood or community of which it is apart? What role does the church have in participating in the health of the local region? Do the Kingdom Values of the church have potential impact for Neighborhood Improvements that really matter? What is the connection between discipleship and involvement in local economics, politics, agriculture, urban planning, and education?

What is the core beliefs of Christianity: with the mind-boggling plethora of denominations, cults, and divisions within Christianity, what is the beliefs/practices that tie us together? What then of those beliefs/practices that are not shared? Do they matter? How closely should we hold to them? If they are not true, what should be our attitude towards them?

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