Each week (usually Monday), I give a brief overview of a chapter from my book, followed by a series of questions. I invite you to respond to some or all of these questions, or give additional comments on the chapter that my questions don’t address.
My only rules are that you’ve actually read the chapter before you answer the questions, and that you state your comments briefly (as if you only had a small space to write in a workbook). I will number the questions so that you can simply use the numbers for reference. Our interaction with the comments will make for some good discussion! When I’m done, I will also make the finished manual available for download (PDF) free of charge.
So…here we go…chapter two!
Chapter Two: Father Shift
In this chapter I use the story of Pinocchio to start the discussion on understanding God as a Father. I talk about how a religious orphan views God as a Father (my view for many years as a Christian), I talk about my own personal encounter with the Father that changed everything!
“When God the Father reveals Himself to you in a personal way, not only do you see Him for who He really is, you begin to see yourself as who you really are in Him.” (p.50; Kindle loc. 688)
In the subsection, “What Would Jesus Do?” I outline Jesus’ final discourse in John’s gospel (John 13:31-17:26) and how I think it’s been misunderstood. What Jesus was talking about is giving us the Holy Spirit so that we could have the same relationship with His Father that He has had from eternity. God’s eternal purpose for us to be His adopted sons and daughters participating in the Trinitarian life of God is accomplished in Christ (John 17:21-26; Eph.1:4-7). This is what “Father Shift” is all about:
“This Father Shift deals with why the He made you and why His Eternal Son had to step into time and space and become human in order to accomplish His dream for us.” (p.60; Kindle loc. 898)
- When you close your eyes and try to picture your heavenly Father what do you see? Is it positive, negative, absent? Do you see Him smiling over you? Has this view changed? How did it change?
- Do you think your view of your biological father has affected your relationship with your heavenly Father? If so, how so?
- Can you relate to “dancing at the door with Jesus” but never going in? If so, please explain briefly.
- Can you relate to how the author views Jesus’ final discourse in John (13:31-17:26)? Is this different than what you were taught? Does it help to see the whole discourse in one context? Please explain briefly.
- The author states that Jesus’ ultimate purpose was not for forgiveness of sins but for divine fellowship (“Participating in the divine nature –2 Pet.1:4) How might this change your understanding of salvation? Of being “in Christ?”
- Does the concept of “eternal life” meaning entering into “God’s very own life” and having Jesus’ relationship with the Father make sense to you? How would you describe it?
If these questions didn’t address something you think is important, please add it in your comments. If you would like to make any comments offline, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Now, it’s your turn!