Small Group Book Study - What did you do? How did it go?


(Mike) #1

First - keep up the great work BioLogos, you guys are awesome!

Second - if I’m in the wrong forum group, please bump me.

Third…

Earlier this year my church did some group stuff where we tried to identify where our calling might be and mine apparently focuses down the path of the science and faith relationship. In a follow up session I floated the idea of a book study using “Origins” by the Haarsmas which the pastor thought would be a great idea. I learned he and another member did a small class about a decade earlier.

In a conversation with him last week he asked me about my small group idea so I’m probably committed. It didn’t help that he knows my daughter and I went the conference in Houston in March. And I feel like I need to act on Dr Collins’ charge to go back home and make safe opportunities for people to ask questions.

My background is in software engineering by day and amateur astronomy by night, I’m great on the science front, no so great on the theology stuff. The church is Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, but it’s not hard core. The pastor is a science nut and when they did an origins topic class last it looks like he used a lot material from RTB. This was before BioLogos I’m quite certain. There are four pastors now and of the other three one probably leans OE/RTB, the other maybe more YEC, and I’m not sure on the fourth.

When I saw on FB the other day a post about the “Genesis” movie coming out in November I felt like I was being poked again.

Anybody out there done an origins small group book study (and used the “Origins” book)? Any tips, suggestions or comments on how it went? I like the “Origins” book because it takes a look at all the perspectives and doesn’t explicitly push one - although its pretty obvious that certain ones have a lot of issues.

I know I need to sit down with each of the pastors and see where they are at. I’d also like to re-read the book again (may twice) and I’d like to finish up Dennis Lamoureux’s Science and Religion online course that started awhile back. So I’m likely looking at a small group starting in the middle of January (winter here in WI is a good time to read a book).

Thanks!!


(Phil) #2

I have not done one, but have offered to do so, with lukewarm response, so you are in a good place, it seems. My wife, who is not very sciency, just finished the book. Think she read it just for my sake, as it is not an issue for her either way, as I am sure it is not for a lot of people.
Let us know how it goes!


(Christy Hemphill) #3

Hi Mike, welcome to the forum.

BioLogos hosted an online book club for Origins and all the accompanying blog posts/discussion questions are still accessible if you are interested. Plus there are great discussion questions right in the book and there is supplemental material on the publisher’s website. (For example, you can now watch all the small group DVD sessions online here)

Here is the link to what BioLogos has: http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/series/origins-book-club

@Lstrite did a small group study with the Origins book over the summer with homeschool parents and students. I think she posted some stuff about what she did here.


(Lisa) #4

Yes, I did a seminar using Origins for middle-high school students and some parents. Because it was homeschoolers steeped in YEC, what I wanted to do was present different views and talk about how they differ from YEC but not strongly push one view over another. We were constrained to only 3 sessions due other activities being offered for the families’ younger children, but I’d definitely recommend it being more like 6+ weeks. We skipped the last few chapters about human evolution because there was just too much material and I felt like all the possible understandings of that question (even among ECs) was too complicated given the age of my group. With middle schoolers, they haven’t even taken earth science or bio, so they needed a lot of explanation to understand some of the concepts. Some people liked the book and others thought that even though it presented different views, it leaned too strongly towards the EC view. LMK if you have any questions!


#5

I don’t know if I have anything to add of benefit you, but I can say thank you for opening this thread and for @Christy for providing those links.
And think it is great you are embarking in this endeavor and wish you the blessings of God for you and your study group.


(Mike) #6

Thanks for the all information!

Phil - If by chance you remember, my daughter and I were at the same table as you on the first night of the BioLogos conference in Houston.

Christy - I did know about some of the additional resources online, the blog posts I did not though - those look great.

Lisa - Thanks for sharing your experience! I was learning towards the six week plan with an additional meeting to get things going. I would expect most would be adults.


(Phil) #7

When you mentioned your daughter attending with you, I wondered if that were you! So good to here from you!


(Mike) #8

Lisa,

I was wondering if you had put together a discussion guide for sessions 2 and 3 like you did for session 1?

I’m going to be doing a study starting in February and I’m starting to put together a plan. I’ve got 3 sessions to work with for right now and I like what you pulled from the book so I will probably follow that and pull in some material from other sources. I expect my audience will be more mixed - I’ve had some conversations with several people already and their views are not all YEC.

Thanks!


(Lisa) #9

Hi Mike,
I just added those for you at https://perspectivesoncreation.blogspot.com/. Hope your group goes well and look forward to hearing what you learn about leading a group through these topics!


(Mike) #10

Thanks!!!

I’ll post a follow up on how the study worked out.

Merry Christmas!


(Mike) #11

Thought I’d post a follow up on how my small group discussion on origins using the Origin’s book material.

I basically only used the videos and related questions from the Origins’ book’s website (http://origins.faithaliveresources.org/) - some people purchased the book but it wasn’t required reading. I did three sessions and viewed two videos each night. I also used JD Geear’s sermon snippet that I think did a good job at setting the tone of the discussions. I had 30 sign-ups and about 40 that showed up (our church has Sunday attendance that runs about 1000 each week). I was told to expect about 20. I only received one negative feedback, and several positive comments that people hadn’t realized how too often science and philosophy were conflated to promote an atheistic worldview, and many didn’t realize there was more than one Christian worldview on origins. So I think it’s mission accomplished.