Do we sin because we are sinners, or are we sinners because we sin?
Christian theology affirms that redemption is wrapped up in the historical event of the life, execution, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Does a historical redemption require a historical “fall”?
In your experience, are the traditional categories of “fallenness” and “sin” the best ways to describe the human problem? If not, what is?
- What have you learned about the nature of God that makes sense of your experience of God’s creation? Or, what would you expect to learn is true about creation because of what you know about the nature of God?
- Why did God create?—Why is there something rather than nothing?
- To what extent is God involved in the day-to-day processes of creation? And, to what degree is God to blame when those processes “go wrong” (earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.)?
- Do you think of God as more transcendent/holy (set apart)/mysterious/ ineffable or as immanent/near/relatable? What passages of scripture, teachings, or experiences have contributed to this conception of God?
- What is God’s most essential attribute? What has shaped your view of this?
- Is there any part of human experience that you think is best explained by your view of God?
- Brainstorm: What comes to mind when you hear the word theology?
- In your opinion, what is the point in Christian theology at which we just have to throw up our hands and say “it’s a mystery”?
- What are the sources you have used to develop your theology?