Discussion Questions: ★★★☆☆
Application Ability: ★★★★☆
Recommendation Likelihood: ★★★☆☆
We live in a skeptical age. People—especially young people—express doubts about the Christian faith. In this thoughtful eight-week study Bishop Scott Jones, author of The Wesleyan Way, partners with his son Rev. Arthur Jones, to address hard questions that all of us face when considering faith, religion, and the church. The questions (chapters) include:
- Can only one religion be true?
- Why is there suffering and evil?
- How can I believe in science and creation?
- How can I believe in a God I can’t prove?
- Can I trust the Old Testament?
- Are marriage, sex, and family life religious issues?
- Was Jesus' resurrection real?
- Why do Christians disagree about so many things?
The message is strong and clear: Don't let your questions stop you from accepting God's invitation to faith. Engage your doubt, and you may find you are closer to God on the other side.
The Ask series by father and son team Scott J. Jones by Arthur D. Jones comes with a book, leader's guide, and DVD. The book is the most important aspect of this series I would say. I would consider the DVD the least necessary. The people speaking in the DVD are all pastors, so it is not a conversation that you would hear in a coffee shop. The book, however, created some real conversations in our group.
I found the questions to be very revelation and to be things that all of our group members enjoyed talking about, no matter how many years they had been in the church. I can imagine that people outside the church would enjoy looking into these topics as well. However, some alternative discussion questions with people who are unchurched would have been helpful.
I was very happy to find a study that did not stray from core Wesleyan beliefs or traditions. Nothing in this book contradicts Wesleyan core theology. Jones and Jones are known for writing core Wesleyan study materials, and that did not change with this study. On that front, I would highly recommend that study.
The leaders guide could have been more substantial. I was able to answer all the questions my group members asked, based upon my seminary training, but I am leery of passing this study on to one of my lay leaders without the answers to the discussion questions. The lack of information in the leader's guide is why I would be unlikely to recommend this study.