StoneBridge Community Church
How To Talk About Your Faith
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 12:00 PM

Online "Connection Card"

Thanks for joining us today! Follow this link to our online "Connection Card" where you can let us know you were here and share any prayer concerns.
1. The art and power of…
1. The art and power of unexpected surprise.
"I have been asked to tell you what Christians believe, and I am going to begin by telling you one thing that Christians do not need to believe. If you are a Christian you do not have to believe that all the other religions are simply wrong all through. If you are an atheist you do have to believe that the main point in all the religions of the whole world is simply one huge mistake. If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all these religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of the truth. When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most; when I became a Christian I was able to take a more liberal view…" —C.S. Lewis, "The Rival Conceptions of God," Mere Christianity, p. 35. (emphases added)
"As in arithmetic— there is only one right answer to a sum, and all other answers are wrong; but some of the wrong answers are much nearer being right than others." Mere Christianity, p. 36.
For Reflection/Discussion: Matthew says that the crowds were amazed at Jesus's teaching. (Matthew 7.28) What about Jesus's teaching was surprising? Identify examples. How does C.S. Lewis address the issue of other religions in his book Mere Christianity? In what way is his approach unexpected? Identify some of the things he says that may have surprised his audience. What can we learn about sharing our faith from Lewis's discussion of other religions? What are some things that might surprise people about Christianity if they were open to seriously exploring it?
If God is good and all-powerful, why is there evil in the world?
2. The art and power of…
2. The art and power of logic and reason.
"If a good God made the world why has it gone wrong? For many years I simply refused to listen to the Christian answers to this question, because I kept on feeling whatever you say, and however clever your arguments are, isn't it much simpler and easier to say that the world was not made by any intelligent power? Aren't all your arguments simply a complicated attempt to avoid the obvious?' But then that threw me back into another difficulty. My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A [person] does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line." —C.S. Lewis, "The Rival Conceptions of God," Mere Christianity, p. 38.

The Roles of Faith and Reason in Christianity

Bill Pratt, "The Roles of Faith and Reason in Christianity (part 1)," Tough Questions Answered, November 28, 2012. Includes link to "The Roles of Faith and Reason in Christianity (part 2)"
For Reflection/Discussion: Are faith and reason compatible? Can you think of examples in which Jesus, Paul, or other biblical authors or figures used logic and reason to make a point? What point is Paul making when he writes in 1 Corinthians 13.11, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me"? What are some childish ideas that believers and unbelievers have about God?
3. The art and power of…
3. The art and power of apt illustrations.

Illustration for John Milton’s "Paradise Lost“ by Gustave Doré (1832–1883)

"Enemy-occupied territory— that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery. I know someone will ask me, 'Do you really mean, at this time of day, to reintroduce our old friend the devil—hoofs and horns and all?' Well, what the time of day has to do with it I do not know. And I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects my answer is 'Yes, I do.'" —C.S. Lewis, "The Invasion" Mere Christianity, p. 46.

The Problem of Evil

"Every worldview or philosophy has to try and deal with the problem of evil. In atheism, Hinduism, and Buddhism there is no clear basis to call anything evil, and that is an immense problem, particularly because we inherently know better." —Art Lindsley, Ph.D., "The Problem of Evil: C.S. Lewis Speaks to Life’s Most Difficult Questions, " Knowing & Doing, Winter 2003.
For Reflection/Discussion: Which of Jesus's parables do you find most memorable? Why? Why did Jesus seem to prefer using parables over other forms of teaching? How do stories, illustrations, and parables reach us in ways that simple statements do not? In what ways would Lewis's illustrations of the world as "Enemy-occupied territory" and going to church as "listening in to secret wireless broadcasts from our friends" have spoken to his original British radio audience? What stories, quotes, or illustrations have helped you better understand and/or share Christian truth?
4. The art and power of…
4. The art and power of thoughtful explanation.
“Ever since I became a Christian I have thought that the best, perhaps the only, service I could do for my unbelieving neighbours was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.” —C.S. Lewis, Preface, Mere Christianity.
What God Has Done in a World Gone Wrong
1. God has given us all a conscience.
2. God has given people "good dreams" (stories scattered throughout cultures and religions about a god who dies, comes back from death, and by his death brings us new life).
3. God has given humankind the gift of a special people, whom God set apart to show what kind of God He is.
4. God has given us, through His chosen people, a Person who speaks and acts as if he were God with us.

“Baldur’s Death” by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1817).

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic— on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg— or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse…" —C.S. Lewis, "The Shocking Alternative" Mere Christianity, p. 52.
For Reflection/Discussion: How does Lewis make his case for Jesus being Lord and God? Do you find his argument convincing? Why or why not? Lewis, recognizing that his audience included many unbelievers, chose not to quote scripture verses to make his case for Jesus Christ. What are the possible strengths and weaknesses of this approach?

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