Messiah Happenings

2 minutes reading time (426 words)

"51% Christian" – Tuesday Morning Small Group begins study of highly acclaimed book on March 13. Led by Intern Ryan.

The Tuesday Morning Prayer Breakfast Small Group will begin an 11-week study of Mark Stenberg's new book "51% Christian: Finding Faith after Certainty." It's a perfect time to jump in, try it on, discover how once-a-week Bible study can enhance your spiritual health.

The Tuesday morning small group meets at 6:00am at Panera Bread on Highway 99 in Hazel Dell. Facilitated by Intern Pr. Ryan and Pr. Peter, each session begins with prayer and ends when the first participant has to leave for work, usually around 7:05-7:10am. Newcomers and guests may pop in any week. For first-time guests, your breakfast is on Pr. Peter!

Synopsis of "51% Christian"
God is not an idea. Christian faith is not a set of propositions you either believe or reject. According to a proper Trinitarian understanding, God is essentially relationship, a relationship of sheer, active, ecstatic, self-giving love. If we truly are encountered by this magnificent love of the Trinity, then faith becomes a living and active daily practice. Just like a healthy marriage or a close and loyal friendship, it becomes something you choose every day.

This "51% Christian" moniker is a ridiculous label with a deadly serious point. You now have permission to doubt, to question, to get angry at God. But, in the end, it's not about you. Faith is about relationship: a living, daily relationship, based on trust, and active in concrete, daily practices.

With this sort of freedom in grace, Stenberg takes a fresh new look at theology, thirteen topics that, one by one, examine the best of what the Bible and the history of Christian practitioners have to say. Looking through this grace-based, radically relational lens, the author offers a lively and engaging discussion of topics such as creation, violence, love, death, heaven, and hell. You might not always agree. But you will not be bored.

About the author of the book
Mark Stenberg is the founding pastor of two innovative and emerging churches in the Twin Cities of MN: House of Mercy and Mercy Seat Lutheran Churches. He holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and is teaches preaching practicums at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Reading for March 13
Introduction & Chapter 1 – pgs. 1-19

Reading for March 20
Chapters 2-3 – pgs. 21-40

Reading for March 27
Chapters 4-5 – pgs. 41-59

Reading for April 3
Chapter 6 – pgs. 61-73

Reading for April 10
Chapter 7 – pgs. 75-88

Reading for April 17
Chapter 8 – pgs. 89-97

Reading for April 24
Chapter 9 – pgs. 99-113

Reading for May 1
Chapter 10 – pgs. 115-127

Reading for May 8
Chapter 11 – pgs. 129-139

Reading for May 15
Chapter 12 – pgs. 141-157

Reading for May 22
Chapter 13 & Conclusion – pgs. 159-171

Julie Backous hired as Messiah's North County Camp...
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