In "Suspicions of Conspiracy," Tom Sine examines
some of the similarities and differences between certain strands
of Christian apocalyptic thought and global conspiracy theories
propagated by some political extremists. How do you interpret
biblical passages that allude to Jesus' return or the end of the
world? How does your denomination or tradition interpret such
passages? Does your church or group ever examine and discuss the
beliefs and doctrines of other Christian traditions?
To offer pastoral support and deep companionship to people
who have been victims of sexual abuse is a challenge for any faith
community. The essays "'Where Was God?'" by Jamie Howison,
and "Companions of Comfort," by Linda Crockett, wrestle
with the issues involved in such healing work from the perspectives
of both those giving pastoral care and those who suffered the
abuse. What pastoral resources are available to victims of sexual
abuse in your area? Is it a topic that can be discussed freely
in your community? Would you characterize your church or group
as more prophetic/activist or therapeutic/reflective?
The commentary "Keeping the Promise," by David Wade,
examines the Promise Keepers movement. What is your opinion of
the goals of the Promise Keepers? Does your church or community
have groups or settings in which men can explore spiritual and
emotional intimacy with one another?