Session 4: Is Christianity Too Narrow?

Watch the video above then discuss as a group:

1. How have people used religion for good? For bad?

2. Read John 14:6. Does this statement sound too narrow? What do you think Jesus is saying in this verse?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

3. Read Acts 17:22-31. How does the writer Paul describe God? How is God different from the many idols they were worshipping?

Watch the video above then discuss as a group:

4. Does the media represent Christianity accurately? Do Christians represent Christianity accurately?

5. Read John 15:5-8. What strong statements does Jesus make in this passage?

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

6. What exclusive claims do you hold? Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable when discussing your views with others?

Many people would insist that it’s intolerant or “ignorant to say that Christianity is the only right religion.” But, in the end, it might be best to admit that we’re all exclusivists. All of us make exclusive claims about most things—religion included. Yet the challenge seems to be finding a tone of gentleness in the midst of conversation and even disagreement.

In Jeremiah 29:4–11, God calls his people to be present in their city in a way that enables it to flourish, while remaining focused on God. “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7). In other words, the God of the Bible commands his people to be gracious and charitable toward all people—including those who do not share the same faith.

Is it possible to have an honest yet graceful dialog about important matters like faith? What are some practical ways you can seek the peace and prosperity of your city? How might these actions contribute to the common good in the world?

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