What is ‘Explore God’ and why should I care?
We all have questions. I do. Don’t you?
Exploration is at the core of the human condition. God is a creative God and as beings made in his likeness, we share in that personality trait. The wonder is that God even delegates creativity to us. He gave Adam authority to name animals, and we have been creating inventions, art and culture ever since.
We are made to be curious, but we are also made to connect in some way with the creator of all this. Questions which almost all humanity wrestles with - Why are we here? Is there a God? - are core to our very being and hidden in our heart. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask these questions. Instead, they should burn within us, spurring us on to dig deeper, ask questions, and explore.
Such is the essence behind the black and blue Explore God signs you may have seen around the county. Beginning on September 24 and running through October, five churches in the county are exploring six core questions related to life and faith. Although each of the churches involved have their own distinct culture, flavor, and, no doubt, approach as to how to answer the questions, each will be wrestling through those burning questions that so many of us have.
Explore God isn’t something we created. It is an organization that exists to create credible, creative content to help people wrestle with these difficult questions. This fall, we have chosen to utilize some of Explore God’s resources and to bring them to Cape May County. We want you to benefit from their expertise.
So, what questions will we be wrestling with from September 24 through the end of October?
On September 24, the churches involved will be responding to the question, “Does Life Have a Purpose?” This is a biggie, and it’s a question everyone asks and many try and ignore. What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? Why is there everything instead of nothing? Is it all an accident or is it by design?
On October 1, we will be wrestling with the question, “Why Does a Good God Allow Pain and Suffering?” The nature of evil, why bad things happen, is an age old question. When travesty strikes, all of us wrestle with the reality that the world is not as it should be!
On October 8, “How Bad is Too Bad? How Good is Good Enough?” For those who grew up in a religious environment and think that God is weighing all of their good deeds and bad mistakes on a giant scale, you will want to make sure to come on out this week!
On October 15, we will talk about “Who is Jesus? Lunatic, Moral Example, or God?” Jesus claimed to be God - this is historically indisputable. The question, then, is was he God or not? He can’t be a good moral teacher while lying about being God. He can’t be a good teacher and also be a megalomaniac who actually believed that he was God. So, either he is God or he’s crazy. I don’t want to follow a crazy person. Do you?
On October 22, we will respond to the common question, “Is Christianity Too Narrow?” Phrased another way, does Christianity claim to be exclusive - to be the only way to heaven and God? If it does, isn’t that arrogant and presumptuous? Come on the 22nd of October and find out!
Finally, on October 29, we will respond to, “Is the Bible reliable?” If the Bible is the Word of God, it should be read and studied! If it is littered with errors, contradictions and mistakes, however, why bother at all? Is there historical, empirical evidence to verify the Bible or are we just basing all of this on a few enormous assumptions?
During the week prior to each of these messages, I will be writing my Ask Pastor Bill column to briefly answer the question. Although I will not be able to satisfy everyone in 800 words, my hope is to wet your appetite so that you go out and engage with one of the five churches participating in the county.
We will be going through this sermon series, beginning 9/24/2017 at Revolve during our 9 and 11am services, as will four other churches in the county. For a complete list of the churches and to explore some of the content that has been created, check out ExploreGod.com and search for a discussion group. My advice is to go to the church closest to your home.