Last night we watched our first episode of Gospel Journey Maui!
The first question for the series was, "Is There a Higher Power?" It was a basic question for the cast, and everyone had answers that were very similar to one another, and also very different from one another. Priscilla, A-Rae, Zane and Pastor Grieg all professed a belief that Jesus is intimately connected to creation and that He is their personal savior. Jasser said he believed that Allah created everything and is a compassionate and merciful God. Emma said she believed there is energy in the world we can tap into, and Jonathan said he believed there is a higher power but no one will ever be able to figure out what it is and that evolution is the engine of creation.
Some of the questions we talked about in small group were: what are the 'big' questions of life? Why do they cause so much fear and controversy? And, do you ever doubt that God exists?
It seemed like most everyone agreed in some kind of higher power. The big questions that most groups talked about were: why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Why do bad things happen to good people? What happens after we die? And why is it so hard to know God?; All really good questions.
There was some frustration that Pastor Grieg wasn't giving the cast any answers, and I have to say I'm not sure that is what he should be doing, at least not yet. Right now it is important to let everyone express their views before he comes in and corrects them with the Christian worldview. In any event, you guys really took the time to reflect on these questions critically, and put into words your fundamental beliefs about life, God, and your own place in all of it; perhaps for the first time.
There was also some discussion about creationism, intelligent design and evolution. This is very interesting topic, especially for those of you who will learn about evolution in science classes and in college classes some day. I would encourage you to watch Ben Stein’s movie “EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed.” Or, Google some Christian authors who address the subject within its historical and political context. Believe me, it is always a good idea to know why you believe what you do about this topic, because otherwise people who are passionate about this will bite your head off for not knowing!
Other good references for some of these questions include:
The Reason for God - Timothy Keller
The Problem of Pain - CS Lewis
Mere Christianity - CS Lewis
Surprised by Hope – NT Wright
Evil and the Justice of God – NT Wright
God in Search of Man - Abraham Joshua Heschel