I’m joking about the title – the series is actually provisionally called “Volatile.” But my pastor, Tom Bartley, is seriously planning to preach about controversial topics, and why church is precisely where you ought to be able to talk about them openly, throughout the month of August. If you are in Indianapolis or its vicinity, this would be an interesting time to pay us a visit at Crooked Creek Baptist Church!
Here’s what pastor Tom wrote on the church blog:
Coming in August: topics and discussion about topics that are often avoided in the life of the church due to their polarizing nature.
What would you consider to be such topics? There are still times to make suggestions. Our plan is to carefully and respectfully respond to some of the great challenges that are facing our contemporary society and how the church can help:
First: to have a voice in the discussion and
Second: to work for peace and reconciliation among our differences so that we can
Third: present an honest and effective witness to God’s ministry in the world
The focus will be on disagreeing without ceasing to be friends and treating one another with respect, with the possibility for ongoing conversation and mutual growth that that entails. Possible topics include human sexuality (not just homosexuality), creation and science (not just evolution but also climate change), the nature of Scripture, and prayer. The reason I jokingly called it “bad theology” month is that Tom mentioned wanting to tackle some viewpoints that are theologically problematic – such as the notion that, if someone had just managed to find one more person to pray, perhaps then their loved one would have been healed of a deadly illness.
Of related interest, for those who want to incorporate appreciation of science into their services, Test of Faith has resources for churches, as does Trevor Thorn’s The Cross and the Cosmos blog, and Author of Life, which has videos like the one below.