What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell (Reading Group & Discussion Guide)

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A reading group and discussion guide for What We Talk About When We Talk About God, by Rob Bell.
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  What We Talk About When We Talk About God  For more reading and discussion guides like this one, visit www.smallgroupguides.com. 1  What We Talk About When We Talk  About God  by Rob Bell CHAPTER 1 HUM  1. When you talk about God, what do you mean? Have you ever tried to put it into words?  2. Have you ever had an experience similar to what Rob Bell quotes rom Jane Fonda, “I could eel reverence humming in me” (p. 10)?  3. Rob asks: Is the concept o God like the Oldsmobile, belonging in the past? What do you think? Have you READING AND DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR  What We Talk About When We Talk About God  For more reading and discussion guides like this one, visit www.smallgroupguides.com. 2 ever thought about God being “ahead,” as Rob de scribes, “pulling us and calling us and drawing all o humanity orward—as God always has—into greater and greater peace, love, justice, connection, honesty, compassion, and joy” (p. 19)? What changes when we stop thinking about God as behind,  someone that we need to get back to, and instead think o God as ahead,  someone pulling us orward? CHAPTER 2 OPEN  1. What does quantum physics teach us about the kind o world we’re living in? How does this connect with the possibility that there’s a God?  2. Does the act that we’re made o “dust and stars”—the “paradox at the core o our humanity” (p. 55)—lead you to eel rustrated or inspired? Where do you see this paradox at work?  3. Rob compares our inability to locate the soul with our inability to locate God. And yet he talks about both soul and God existing. He calls this concept  grenzbeg-rifflich,  a German word that describes that which is  very real but is beyond analysis and description (p. 63). Can you recall a time when you “knew” something without using your intellect? I so, describe that experi-ence. Why can’t reason always be used to explain the world?  What We Talk About When We Talk About God  For more reading and discussion guides like this one, visit www.smallgroupguides.com. 3  4. Rob uses an involved exploration o science to show us how miraculous the world is. He uses the very thing many people employ as proo against God to open us up to the possibility o God’s existence and activity. Do you consider science a hurdle to belie? I so, or i you know someone who does, what do you think o Rob’s perspective that science can actually inorm our aith? CHAPTER 3 BOTH  1. What convictions do you hold most tightly? How might you loosen your grasp on them while continuing to believe them wholeheartedly? 2. Rob writes that how  you believe and what you believe are two different things. “Two people can believe the same thing but hold that belie in very different ways” (p. 93). Can you think o two people in your lie who believe the same thing but in different ways? Does how  they believe affect your attitude toward them? CHAPTER 4 WITH  1. Rob cites the phrase “and then God showed up” (p. 97). What are the limitations o this phrase?  2. How does seeing the ruach o God help us understand how God is with  us (p. 106)?  What We Talk About When We Talk About God  For more reading and discussion guides like this one, visit www.smallgroupguides.com. 4  3. Rob writes that to believe in anything   (or example, that we come rom the Big Bang or that God is unknowable) is a leap o aith. Have you ever consid-ered that we all choose what to have aith in? What things have you had aith in over the years? Have you ever had a moment in your lie when you knew or certain that there was something more? What prompted this eeling? CHAPTER 5 FOR  1. Do you believe that God is  for   you? Or have you been influenced by the belie that God is distant and detached, watching and waiting or you to mess up? What changes i God is actively  for   us?  2. How does admitting our downalls and short - comings, rather than posturing, allow us to let God in (pp. 138–39)?  3. Rob writes, “At the heart o Jesus’s message is the call to become the kind o person who is or everybody. Especially people who aren’t Christians.” (p. 150). How can we be or everybody?
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