Wednesday, July 21, 2010

july discussion preview.

Here are some questions to ponder before next Tuesday's chat, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. EST.  Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments!

-Acts 4: 32-35: The passage about the believers being together and having everything in common, being of one heart and soul. What do you think that means?

-Where did the idea of community come from? Is that word even mentioned in Scripture? Is it the same as Christian brotherhood? Fellowship?

-In living in community with other Christians, we must be mindful of things that might cause our brothers to stumble (1 Co. 8:13, Romans 14). How was this played out in your lives?

-We are all a part of the body of Christ, each of us with a part that is a "manifestation of the Spirit for the common good," acc. to 1 Co. 12. Have you ever struggled to feel a part of the body? Do you feel confident in what role you play?

- Monastic/convent life versus what Bonhoeffer calls a "life not in the seclusion of a cloistered life, but in the thick of foes."

- Do you think often about how visible fellowship is a grace not enjoyed by believers everywhere? Does that change the way you think of it?

-Have you ever lived apart from Christian community? What was it like? Did you long for other believers the way that Paul did in his letters from prison (1 Thess. 3:10)?

- What do you think about Bonhoeffer's statement that "God has put His Word into the mouths of men in order that it may be communicated to other men"? Or the Rob Bell idea that worship is simply a place to gather and remind each other of the truth?

-What's the difference between Christian brotherhood and the extraordinary social experience that some perceive as being it?

- Despite the fact that “fellowship” has long been a mantra sung by churches across the country, the concept of “community” seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon touted in Christian circles. Why the recent increase in attention?

- How do our ideas of Christian community mesh with the ideas in Scripture of living in the world, yet not of the world?

- Does modern Christian community look anything like the Acts church? Can it?

- In what way does where we attend church impact our definitions of community? For example, is a “home church” a more accurate representation of the first century model, or can a mega church promote ideas of community as well?

- Is the blessing of community attractive to nonbelievers? Why or why not?