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Since Daniel says Darius "was made ruler" we can assume he was a viceroy serving under Xerxes, the new Persian ruler. Look in a Bible dictionary and find out when Xerxes conquered Babylon. Daniel says his reflection began when he read in Jeremiah the number of years for the Jewish exile in Babylon. As Daniel prays and confesses the sins of the people, he also mentions the curse that Moses warned them about. Their unfaithfulness had resulted in their exile, but somehow the "sabbatical year" was involved as well see chapter This link is important, because the Sabbaths of years in the last part of the chapter have this as their context.

Read also II Chronicles Here again, we see reference to the Jeremiah prediction, to Xerxes, and to the sabbatical years, of which 70 had apparently been ignored. Now you can see why the context dictates that these be Sabbaths of years, not of days. Now read the list of things the Jewish people must do to complete their commission. For each item, write one or more possibilities for what it might refer to. Anointing the "most holy" verse 24, NIV could be a reference to the Messiah as well. We will not attempt to dissect the chronology of years here, although this has already been done in fms.

Go over that section again, including the footnotes to make sure you understand it. Without going into detail, this alone should make it clear that the fulfillment falls in the early first century. See the works referenced in the notes for more detail on the two main ways to interpret the passage. Chapter 5 Isaiah's Remarkable Predictions Does it seem odd that God would fail to name the annonymous servant as the Messiah?

What do you think of McCallum's suggestion that this was on purpose in order to conceal Jesus' mission at the cross? Have the group read Isaiah See how many features they can discern about the servant of the Lord. While you have Isaiah open, Jewish interpreters claim the servant in this passage refers to the Jewish people. Can you see any evidence in the text that this is not possible? Considering 1 Corinthians 8ff, do you think Satan knew these servant songs were about Jesus? Can you see any possible weaknesses in this predictive scenario?

What do you think of the possibility that the Jews made this prediction come true on purpose? What do you think of McCallum's 5 observations at the end of the chapter? Chapter 7 The Biblical Message How would you define grace? Do you agree that grace is the heart of the biblical message, or do you see something different? What evidence can you think of for, or against, the biblical view on the nature of man?

Think of history, children, your own life etc. What sins are most characteristic of fallen humans? Why does the author think that the idea of works salvation implies that God is unloving or unwelcoming? Can you think of any religious system other than Christianity that does not teach salvation by works? McCallum cites Romans 3 and the phrase "the just and the justifier. How could you explain it to a non Christian? Some Christian teachers and Christian-based cults mistakenly teach that works are either the main key, or an essential part of salvation.


Growing in Grace with Study Guide

Who do you know that argues works salvation for Christians, and how would you counter such claims? Read the citations from Islamic, Jewish, and Catholic religious texts in the footnotes. All three of these religions are very important because all are theistic, just like biblical Christianity.

Interestingly, all three come from a biblical tradition.

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Do you agree that the passages cited show that these religions teach salvation by works? Are you aware of any claims to the contrary? What, then is the usefulness of this material? McCallum argues that any series, or arangement that can be shown to refer to something outside itself like the language on the rock face, or any language or code must be the product of design. What do you think of this claim? McCallum tries to argue that natural selection cannot be invoked to explain the information needed to produce biologically useful molecules like RNA or proteins.

Why did he argue this, and do you agree? Do you think the fine-tuning of the universe demonstrates design? Considering that improbable things happen all the time like your mom meeting your dad and having you why would this be different? What is another good illustration besides the Taj Mahal for the argument from design? Chapter 9 God Evident Through Consciousness Why is the idea of a conscious mind with freedom of thought, creativity, etc.

How could this be useful for witnessing Christians? Postmodernists also claim that consistency is nothing but a western test unknown in other cultures. Give some examples of inconsistency between truth claims and actions or views.

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Why, in your own words, is it impossible to devise moral norms based only on a material world with material creatures? Is there a difference between relative morality morals relative to the individual or group and no morality at all? As the author points out, the arguments in this chapter point to the existence of God, not exclusively to the Bible or to Jesus Christ.

At the same time, we could argue that they to not point at all to eastern mystical, or pantheistic concepts of God. Why is this true? Chapter 10 Becoming Involved in Christianity This chapter is intended mainly as an invitation to receive Christ and a basic orientation for those who may have responded to Jesus while reading the book.

What do you think of the sinner's prayer? Is it necessary, and if so, why isn't it mentioned in scripture? What do new Christians need to know immediately? What did the author think they needed? Did he miss anything? Do you think giving this book to a non-Christian would be effective? What else might be needed? Chapter 11 For Further Reading: Objections to the Biblical Worldview This chapter is easily the longest in the book, so if you are using this guide for group study, consider dividing this chapter into more than one week, or be selective about which questions you cover.

What about other religions? Your non Christian friend at work says, "It really kills me that you Christians think you are right and everyone else in the world is wrong. A friend of yours is about to walk off the top floor of a 10 story building because he thinks he can fly. Would it be arrogant of you to intervene to try to prevent him from walking off?

If I claim to have knowledge, am I being arrogant? What about Jesus, Paul, or Moses? While you may not think you are being arrogant when you claim to know universal truths, you may be perceived that way by postmodern hearers. What do you plan to do to minimize this problem? Again, when your postmodern friend hears you point out that Christianity and other religions contradict one another, she suggests that such contradiction is only on the rational level—the level of dogma. What really matters is an experience of the divine or a sense of the sacred.

How would you respond? McCallum says, "Once we are prepared to say any religion is wrong and should be rejected, we must be prepared to reject all religion if necessary. Otherwise, why would we reject some but not others? If true, it means that once our hearers denounce any religion as false, they have crossed a threshold where critical issues matter. We can now call on them to be consistent by going the next step and re-assessing all religion.

How does McCallum attempt to bring people this threshold? How will you do so? What about science and Christianity? Some people today view science as very authoritative, while others are skeptical of many findings in science. How can you find out what view your friend has? Devise some questions to ask regarding science.

If we identify our person as one who views science as authoritative, what areas are most likely to be sticking points preventing them from coming to faith? McCallum says, "We should note first of all that the Bible's world-view is in harmony with the first principles of science in that both believe in the uniformity of cause and effect in a real material world. Is it right, and, if so, what is its significance?

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  4. Consider this statement by postmodern educator, Roberta Barba: The basic assumptions of science, as it is taught to American children in textbooks, focus on male as opposed to female and on European as opposed to Eastern or African or South American ways of viewing the world. A Guide to Teaching and Learning. Allyn and Bacon, , p. On the left is a description of the world view known as modernism.

    Growing in Grace with Study Guide by Bob George

    On the right is a description of a world view known as postmodernism. For modernists, there is only cause and effect operating in the machine of nature. There is no room for the supernatural. For postmodernists anything goes, whether there is an adequate explanation or not. Postmodernists deny our ability to discern cause and effect, saying we really read our own interpretations into the picture. In the center is Theism the biblical view. How does theism stand apart From Modernism: How much do you think Christains can agree with evolutionary processes in natural history?

    Devise two short, general statements you would feel comfortable making to a non Christian in the course of a conversation about science and Scripture. What about the existence of evil? Until recently, the problem of evil has been the number one avenue of attack against the biblical view of God. This argument still has great influence with some people, though more and more people are employing more relativistic defenses.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with their walk these days. Anyone who feels disheartened and discouraged and spiritually stunted is the perfect audience for "Growing in Grace" but honestly, I can't imagine anyone who couldn't gain wisdom and understanding from this excellent book. May 04, Jonathan rated it really liked it. What a great account of grace in the life of the Christian. That we all would approach the gift we have been granted in Christ in the way suggested here. Freedom, maturity and more of Jesus. This was my first Bob George book and his gift for illustrations was helpful and the book is overall an encouragement.

    In the age of "One Way Love" and other books for grace junkies, Growing in Grace proves that grace was understood and embraced in too! Sep 16, Tina rated it liked it Recommended to Tina by: One of those that I didn't really want to read, but needed to read. Ended up being a good thing for me to read. Apr 25, Marsha rated it it was amazing Shelves: Follow up Bible study to Classic Christianity. Enjoyed the study guide as well. Aug 12, Nancy added it.

    Chapter 2 Ways of Knowing

    Mar 28, Dorothea Schott rated it really liked it. We can only give when we receive first. Thanks for the fullness of your goodness Heavenly Father.

    The Holy Spirit is our Personal Guide - God's Law of Grace - The Trinity - Jesus Christ

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