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THE SHACK: CLASS 5

COMMON TOPIC FOR DISCUSSION: (Mt. 28:18-20) Does God expect you to do something? If not why not? Is there a difference between God expecting you to do something and God leading you to do something? Do you have expectations of God and how is that working for you? If you have expectations of the “I am” God does that mean you do not really know, trust and love him? (201, 204)


GROUP 1

CHAPTER 13, A MEETING OF HEARTS. (183-193)

*Would you like knowing when you’ll die? Why or why not? How might this make a difference in how you live your life today? (184)

What does grace in suffering mean? Is this the same as all things working together for good to those that love the Lord? Explain. (185)

Does the Bible and religious biases make Jesus appear to be more like a forgiving friend and God the Father more stern and judgmental? Are these views warranted and if not why not? Do these views effect how you relate to God? When you pray do you talk to Jesus to get to Papa or talk more in prayer to Papa who in someway is fully human because of Jesus? (186)

Why or why not does guilt work in helping a person to change on the inside? Does religion produce guilt and if so why? (187)

How do you convince others and perhaps yourself that honesty is the best policy? Are there still some exceptions to being honest like in the Hiding Place where the Ten Boom family lied to the Germans to save the lives of Jews they hid or to protect yourself? (187)

How did Mack justify telling a lie to Nan? What was his fear? How did Papa view his justification? (187)

Why is lying and living inside of lies hard to give up? What’s necessary to transform into a truth teller? (187-189)

Why did Mack treasure his imaginary independence and why didn’t he succeed? Could he unlock the door to his heart himself? (189)

*Since independence makes evil possible, would you be better off if God took some or all of it away? Why or why not? (190-191)

Does God view the world like your soul as a fractal? From your vantage point does one seem like more of a mess than the other? If God sees everything as a fractal, does that mean everything will unfold according to his loving purpose? (191)

How does God’s love open the way to reconciliation and is that the same as being saved? Can you become unreconciled? (192)

What did Jesus accomplish in his dying for you and for the world? (191) What does it mean that Papa is reconciled to the world? (192)

Explain how God did or did not change in the incarnation by becoming fully human in one aspect and linking your destinies? (192)

*Could a God that did not become fully human do you much good? Could you have become fully human without such a God and without the incarnation could God sympathize with you in your weakness? (He. 4:15-16) (192)

GROUP 2

CHAPTER 14, VERBS AND OTHER FREEDOMS. (194-208)

*How do you know the Holy Spirit is present and speaking and not just self talk or someone with a word from God for you? (195)

Is making mistakes hearing the Holy Spirit a normal part of the process of hearing God? What does God do with our mistakes?(196)

Where do emotions come from and do they help or hinder relationships? To what extent should you trust your emotions? (197)

How are expectations and responsibilities working for you when it comes to your relationship with God, church and family? Can you live just out of relationship with people or is this only possible with God? (197)

Is all scripture about Jesus or just some parts like his red letter words? Why and why not? Does culture play a role in scripture? (197)

*Are right answers and rules needed as well as the living answer to live in the truth or do right answers and rules kill the process of changing from the inside? (2 Co. 3:6) (198)

Why didn’t God wait for Mack before starting to eat? Why didn’t Mack say grace this time when he came to the table? (199)

What is the problem with independent living and some seeming control? Do the Ten Commandments in this culture serve to reveal independent living? If not is a different mirror needed to reveal independent living and if so what do you think would work? (202)

What is the difference in expectations and expectancy? Which best characterizes your relationship with God and why? (205)

*Do you encounter God’s presence more when ascribed expectations are met in worship or just worshiping in an attitude of expectancy? If a relationship is all expectancy would it last any more than one just of expectations and no expectancy? Do you claim God’s promises more out of expectancy in your relationship or out of expectations of how God will meet your earthly desires? (206)

Is God more a priority or center of everything in your life? If God is center of everything do you live without any priorities? (206-207)

GROUP 3

CHAPTER 15, A FESTIVAL OF FRIENDS. (209-217)

Do you feel more or less important looking into the vastness of space? Is God more or less real for you? Why or why not? (209)

*Is it necessary to be born again or to be saved to have a concept of heaven to go to and/or hell to escape? Is that relevant today? (209)

Is Mack’s vision of the celebration or Paul’s vision of the third heaven normal for Christians or just normally not discussed? (211)

*Is there an outer outer ring or perhaps a hell for the adults that reject Jesus? Do sheep and goats mix in the celebration? Did Jesus and Paul have different views about who would not be in heaven? (Mt. 18: 21-35, 25:31-46, Jo. 8:1-11, Gl. 5:19-21, Ep. 5:5) (213)

How would you feel seeing Hitler or someone that wronged you at the celebration or seeing someone that you have wronged? (215)

Is reconciliation possible in the afterlife or has everything been set for either heaven or hell for eternity based on accepting or rejecting Jesus? (215) If things are set for eternity, why did early Christians baptize for the dead? (1 Co. 15:29)

If you do not reconcile with someone even if they have died will it hurt your communion with Jesus in this life and the afterlife? (216)

*Why was the universe as intended at the celebration? How can you experience at times the universe as intended in this life? (216-217)

Does real celebration of Jesus in worship require an emotional response? Is that part of your normal worship experience? If not are you encountering Jesus when you worship or just turning your thoughts toward him? (216)

Is being saved the same as knowing the love and tenderness of Jesus or can you be saved and not know his love and tenderness? (216)


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