First Congregational Church
(United Church of Christ)
Rev. Toby Jones, Pastor

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Lent Book Study- Week Four Study Guide

       Week 4 – Faith After Doubt Study Guide for Wednesday, 3/10/21


What were your overall takeaways from this week’s reading? What from these pages really stayed with you and why?


What were the most compelling passages for you in pages 131-158?


Did you relate to Brian’s friend Charis? (see pages 132-137)

            –    What seem to be her chief concerns?

  • Do you share any of her concerns/desires? Which ones?


Which of McLaren’s responses to Charis resonated most for you? (see 133-144)


The Crux of McLaren’s argument seems to be articulated on pages 153-155. On the top of 154 he writes, “the only thing that matters is faith expressing itself in love.”
    * Scour these pages – and others – to try to discern what he means by “faith expressing itself in love.”


Last week, particularly in Chapter 10 pages 123-27, we talked a lot about the distinction between faith and beliefs. According to pages 156-57, what happens to our beliefs as we enter Stage 4 of faith?


  • Are there any beliefs you’d like to add to his list on 156-57 for reinterpretation?


Conduct a sort of summary of Stage 4 faith that includes the following:


  • What are its hallmarks, its characteristics?
  • Why do you think McLaren calls it “Harmony?”
  • What do people most need to get from Stage 3 to Stage 4?
  • What are the losses or sacrifices one needs to make to enter and abide in Stage 4?


Here is my BIG question that I’d really like your input on: How might a pastor shepherd his/her congregation toward or into Stage 4 faith?