Christianity is often discussed in American popular culture. We hear about Christianity on the news, on social media, at the movie theater, while listening to the radio, and in many other ways as well. However, the religion is rarely portrayed in a positive light. For example, in popular books, television shows, and movies, Christians are often old fashioned and dimwitted people who are obviously “behind the times.”
Famous members of society are also weighing in about religion.
“From my point of view I would ban religion completely… But the reality is that organized religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.”
– Elton John
“I regard the brain as a computer that will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
– Stephen Hawking
“I didn’t understand this idea of a God who says, ‘You have to acknowledge me. You have to say that I’m the best, and then I’ll give you eternal happiness. If you won’t, then you don’t get it!’ It seemed to be about ego. I can’t see God operating from ego, so it made no sense to me.”
– Brad Pitt
Because of all of the messages people here about Christianity, it is no wonder that many college students have questions about the Bible. Some of the most common questions I have heard include…
– Does God think that women are inferior to men?
– Would God actually send a “good” person to Hell? If he would, how is that fair?
– Should the teachings in the Bible be applied to a twenty-first century life?
– Isn’t the Bible full of inconsistencies?
– Are Old Testament books, such as Leviticus, irrelevant now that we have the New Testament?
– Does God hate gay people?
– Does the Bible support polygamy and incest?
Unfortunately, people are unable to find answers to these questions and turn away from God. However, I am happy to let you know that you can find answers to all of these questions by carefully studying your Bible. Many Christians do not actually understand what the Bible says. This makes them vulnerable to false teaching and erroneous messages provided by popular culture. Instead of accepting everything you hear about Christianity, why not read the Bible with us!
Grace Bible Study will provide you with the resources you need to understand the teachings of the Bible. Many Christians struggle with keeping on top of their bible study. Joining this group can help you by providing accountability so that you stay on track. Meetings will be led by a seminary graduate who can answer your questions with wisdom. We will be studying one book at a time and discussing how each book fits into the greater Bible narrative. This will provide you with context and lead to a greater understanding of the Bible. In addition to this, we will not shy away from discussing controversial and uncomfortable topics as they present themselves. Through Grace Bible Study, new Christians will learn about fundamental biblical principles and older Christians will be challenged to delve deeper into the Bible. There is something for everyone.
I sincerely hope that you choose to join us this year at Penn.