November 2017

January 16, 2018

Thoughts From The Cottage

Dear Friends

In the new year we will be starting to use the Life Explored course so I thought I would tell you about it now so we can all begin to pray for it.

Life Explored is a seven session series featuring a combination of short films – shot around the world – and Bible interaction. We all want to be happy. Why is lasting happiness so hard to find? Life Explored is an exposé of the little gods that promise us so much happiness, yet deliver so little. As it explores the Bible story (creation, fall, redemption, new creation), Life Explored shows how our deepest desires for happiness can only be satisfied in one person, Jesus Christ. The best gift God can give us is himself.

At a time in the Western world when basic knowledge of the Bible is increasingly rare, it is a pleasure to recommend Life Explored. Here is an introduction to the good news found in Jesus Christ, sweeping through some of the “big pictures” in the Bible. As far as a short series can, Life Explored outlines what the Bible is about, exposes our idolatry, and makes clear where forgiveness and hope lie. This is one of the best of the rising number of evangelistic tools addressing men and women in the twenty-first century.” (D. A. Carson)

LE has been designed to speak powerfully to those who don’t consider themselves to be religious and have never read the Bible. But it will also provoke good discussions among followers of Christ, too.

LE is distinctive
  • Because in the West, particularly among the millennial generation, we can no longer take any level of biblical literacy for granted, LE gives people the context they need to be able to understand who Jesus is and why he came. A panoramic view of the Bible is given – creation, fall, redemption and new creation – rather than just a narrow slice of the picture.

    • Because we can no longer assume that the God many have rejected is actually the triune God revealed in Scripture, each session emphasises a different aspect of God’s wondrous character and work.

    • Because it’s more readily acknowledged among postmoderns than the concept of law-breaking, LE explains sin as idolatry. People begin to see that they are worshipers of something, whatever that may be, and if it is not the living God who made them and gives them every good thing they enjoy, their chosen god will (to use David Foster Wallace’s phrase) “eat them alive”.

    • Because of the way Nathan brings David to repentance in 2 Samuel 12 – telling him a story which “catches the conscience of the King” – LE includes a series of short films which help people to grasp biblical truth in a deeper, more convicting way.

A typical LE session works like this:
  • Film 1 (10 minutes)
    • Discussion 1 (5 minutes)
    • Bible Reading (2 minutes)
    • Film 2 (15 minutes)
    • Bible Reading (3 minutes)
    • Discussion 2 (25 minutes)

Session 1: The Good God
Overture part 1: A preview of the six stories to come on Life Explored, and an introduction to the opening question: what’s the best gift God could give you?
Overture part 2: Explores Genesis 1.

Session 2: The Trustworthy God.
Hotel part 1: Colonial India. A girl’s view of her best friend is changed unexpectedly, and forever. Have we been deceived into believing lies about God?
Hotel part 2: Explores Genesis 3.

Session 3: The Generous God.
Gold part 1: The Californian gold rush. A prospector risks his life in the quest for gold. How far would you go for what you love most?
Gold part 2: Explores Genesis 12.

Session 4: The Liberating God.
Lawn part 1: Suburbia. A man is hooked by a late night infomercial and feels his life would be complete if only he could have the perfect garden. Have your desires ever left you feeling trapped?
Lawn part 2: Explores Exodus 12.

Session 5: The Fulfilling God.
Geisha part 1: Edo-Period Japan. A woman is drawn away from her husband and family in pursuit of what she hopes will be a more exciting life. What are you hoping will bring you fulfilment in life?
Geisha part 2: Explores John 4.

Session 6. The Life-Giving God. 
Celebrity part 1: Los Angeles. A Hollywood actress has everything, but something isn’t right. What, if you lost it, would make you feel that life wasn’t worth living?
Celebrity part 2: Explores 1 Corinthians 15.

Session 7: The Joyful God.
Space part 1: In orbit above the earth. As his space station disintegrates around him, an astronaut reflects on those he loves. What’s the best gift God could give you?
Space part 2: Explores Revelation 21.
The success of the course depends upon us coming along and bringing friends, family and neighbours with us. Watch out for details in the new year but pray about it now.