Tag Archives: understanding

91: Kids and Church | Belief vs Understanding

In this episode John and Gregg resume their discussion about church attendance, this time regarding children. John starts by wondering about Gregg’s process in allowing his children to make choices about where to attend church, and also about the difference between teaching our children to believe Christianity, versus to understand (life, and so Christianity).

Gregg explains that it would have seemed deceptive (to his children) if he and his spouse tried to force their children to approach Christianity in a way different from how the two of them were approaching it (i.e., by not allowing them to make at least some of their own decisions, such as where they wanted to attend). Gregg see this as allowing the children to have some information (about Christianity) yet also standing back a bit and allowing Christian experience (and particularly the experience of God) to “unfold” in his children’s lives.

So Gregg hunches that a big reason for the children wanting to come to the church that he and his spouse play is that large role that they saw this church (and especially, Christianity) playing in their parents coming back together after many months of marital separation.

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80: How to Listen and Disagree

In this episode John and Gregg discuss how one can or should disagree, in situations where others raise viewpoints that one thinks are questionable or does not believe.   John gives the example of being at a party and someone making an offhand comment about the human soul after death. Several people added supporting comments and John observed a number of “courtesy nods.”

John thought something seemed amiss in the comment but didn’t think that he could unpack all his thoughts (or perhaps even be as clear about them as he wanted to be) and so chose to remain silent. Yet he raises the idea that having integrity can also mean being honest about the fact that one doesn’t agree with something. So John wonders: How can we be constructive while disagreeing?
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7: Responding to God–Guilt, Experience, or Understanding?

Today we talk about love and being loved by God.  Should we think that “Jesus died for me, so the least I can do for Jesus is love and obey him”?  Gregg suggests that we compare this view with someone what might be a realistic response if you believed that someone had saved your life or the life of your child: Would you respond by loving and obeying that person?  John proposes something different.

The discussion moves on to consider the goodness of God relative to the typical Christian understanding that those who reject God merit eternal punishment.  How can we see God as good if we embrace this view?

Next, with reference to Francis Chan’s Crazy Love,  Gregg focuses on the nature of love. What does it mean to ‘understand’ love?  Gregg suggests that love is foremost a relational reality to be experienced versus an idea to be grasped.

We end by considering why John does not experience God’s love.