Skeptics Welcome (part 1): Who Needs God?

TO START

A skeptic is “a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual or a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans,statements, or the character of others.”

Have members share whether they’re skeptical of the following polarizing statements by a show of hands. Raise your hand if you’re skeptical:

  • Aliens exist.
  • University of Texas football is poised to make a big turn around.
  • Forgiveness is always the right choice.
  • Miracles happen today.
  • Most politicians are genuine, honest, and have dignity.
  • You could win a car if you’d take the flyer you got in the mail saying you’d won a car to the local dealership. 
  • Essential Oils actually cure ailments.
  • Fracking pollutes water supplies. 
  • Modern societies will never engage in nuclear warfare.
  • Doing flashcards with your baby will make her smarter. 
  • Ice cream is bad for you.

In general, why are we skeptical of some things and not so skeptical about others? 

Would you say you’re naturally skeptical, gullible, or somewhere in the middle?

 

TO DISCUSS

On Sunday we said culture teaches us, “Christians are people living by blind faith, while secular individuals or those who don’t believe in God are grounding their position in evidence and reason.” 

  • Have you heard that before? Share an encounter.
  • Has that been your experience? Would you say you have blind faith? Have you had blind faith at any point?
  • What would you say your faith is built on?

Are you personally experiencing a season of skepticism when it comes to your faith? What are you questioning? Where do you find doubts creeping in? (As a group, try not to dismiss anyone’s doubts. Seek to first understand and empathize.)

In this first installment of the Skeptics Welcome series we considered the oft repeated statement: “You don’t need God to have a full life of meaning, hope, and satisfaction.” 

  • Is that true? Why or why not?
  • What would you say to someone who believed it? 
  • How does this perspective differ from the way a Christian understands meaning and satisfaction?

On Sunday we contrasted “Discovered Meaning” and “Created Meaning.”

  • What’s the difference?
  • Why is one better than the other?  

Have you ever created meaning? Tell the group about it. 

Have you ever discovered meaning? What was that like? 

What does a life of meaning, hope and satisfaction look like for the Christian? 

  • How does a Christian pursue it? 
  • What does he do, say, invest in, seek? 
  • How does she spend her time and money? 

 

TO PRAY & READ

Tonight, pray Psalm 27. As you read, change the text from talking about God to talking to God. 

 

TO WATCH

Consider this 10 minute interview between renowned atheist Richard Dawkins and comedian Ricky Gervais on the meaning of life.

  • What do you think about this perspective? 
  • What do you find compelling?
  • Where do you see inconsistencies?
  • Where do you have questions or opposition?