Reasonable Questions

Reasonable Questions Lecture Series

For People Who Are Curious About Christian Faith

Taught by the Rev. Canon Christoph Keller, Th.D.

November/December 2011

Week 1. Is it reasonable to believe in God?

This class is meant for people who are curious about Christian faith. For the curious, a reasonable first question might well be: Is it reasonable to believe in God? The answer will be “Yes.”

Week 2. Are science and religion enemies, or allies?

This class takes up an issue that tends to generate more heat than light in popular discussions. To lower the heat and turn up the light, we will look carefully at science and religion: what they are, how they are both similar and different, and at what points they may overlap.

Week 3. Christians say that Jesus is the Son of God. What does that mean, and is it true?

At the center of the Christian faith, one finds powerful claims concerning Jesus’ unique intimacy—and his identity— with God. We will explore the meaning of these claims, and our meaning in affirming that they are true.

Week 4. Christians say the Bible is the Word of God. What does that mean, and is it true?

Modern Christianity has divided over Scripture. The Fundamentalist theological tradition has continued to affirm the Bible’s unique authority as the Word of God. The Liberal tradition has stressed the Bible’s historical character and human fallibility. We will consider how each of the sides in this debate has a finger on an important aspect of the truth about the Scripture, and how each aspect of the truth requires the other.

Week 5. Should we interpret Jesus’ Virgin Birth and Resurrection literally, or not?

In theology, people sometimes use the same words while giving them entirely different meanings. In the Nicene Creed, Christians affirm of Jesus, that he “became incarnate from the Virgin Mary;” and that, after his death, “on the third day he rose again.” How might these statements be differently interpreted, and what is at stake between the different interpretations?

Week 6. What happens when we die?

When we die, what happens? We will consider answers from Scripture and the classical theological tradition. The lecture will also include a discussion of purgatory, and of experiences reported near death.

Week 7. What do Christians believe about the souls of Buddhists, Muslims, Atheists and Jews?

Ask this question of several different Christians, and expect several different answers. We will press to better understand the range of Christian responses to this question, and to see which answers in that range may be more faithful, reasonable, and compelling.