First, How knowledgeable were you about Christianity before this lesson. Were you mostly ignorant of Christianity? Were you fairly knowledgeable? (You do not need to disclose your current belief or practice, though you are welcome to do so.) As Huston Smith indicates, both Judaism and Christianity have their roots in concrete historical events, but most contemporary Christians have modest understanding of the controversies and groups who interacted in Jesus’ surroundings. What did you learn that you did not already know about the historical and social background provided by Smith? How has this this knowledge affect your your understanding of Christianity? What did you learn after reading Smith that you did not already know?
This portrait of Martin Luther captures the initiator of the Reformation in a moment of calm reflection. Virtually all Protestants owe a debt to Luther’s criticisms of Catholic teachings of the early 16th century.
Handel’s “Messiah” is one of the most famous compositions telling the Christian story in music. Many listeners are familiar with the “Hallelujah Chorus,” which comes toward the end of the work. The Messiah is an “oratorio,” an opera without actors, and recapitulates the story of the life of Jesus, from birth to resurrection.
Second, How “Christian” do you think our society is? Distinguish between ideas (belief in God) andpractices (turning the other cheek). How easily or with how much difficulty would one live out Christian commitment in our society? Link your comments to a discussion of specific passages in Van Voorst.
This symbolic image of the Trinity comes from Russia. The Trinity was by far the most divisive issue addressed by early Christianity. This image depicts the three persons of the Trinity as distinct beings, an idea that Christian tradition generally rejects.
Jewish and Islamic tradition forbid the creation of religious images for devotional use out of fear of devotion becoming idolatry. Christian tradition (at least its Catholic and Orthodox branches) have been more tolerant of religious art.
I tend to think that the primary religion of our society is materialistic consumerism, as evident in the images we see in advertising of all forms.
Third, Describe at least two of the web sites you visited: when you compare the distinct Christian traditions to the other traditions we have studied; do the websites suggest variety around a common core of belief and practice, or do the websites suggest a great diversity of groups with little evident in common?
Finally, have you explored what financial aid might be available to help you meet your educational goals? Community college students take less advantage of financial aid than students at four-year colleges, and the number of hours most community college students work at jobs unrelated to their education is often a distraction from their studies and impedes their ability to progress toward their academic goals. Do you feel you are making the progress you could make toward meeting your academic goals or is cost slowing you down?
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