You will post your 3-4 paragraph response (minimum of 300-350 words per post) to at least 3 of the questions listed below. Please create a new “section” for each question you complete. Label the section with the Question #. Please include some direct reference to the assigned readings, including direct quotes and page numbers. Connection to your personal experience should also be included.
1. Some of this week’s readings focus on the nature of God and God’s attributes. List 3-4 of these attributes and identify what is of interest to you personally. What insights about God did you gain from the assigned readings? How do you envision God? What is the role of personal faith in your life at this time?
2. Thomas Aquinas’ 5 proofs for the existence of God can be somewhat difficult to understand. What is your insight? Which of these proofs do you find to have meaning? And why?
3. Karl Rahner believes that we can find proof for the existence of God in the objective reality of our ordinary, daily life experiences. Identify some of these human experiences that Rahner lists. Have you personally experienced God’s Revelation in some way in your daily experiences? How?
4. The story of God’s actions and people’s response over many centuries is called “Salvation History.” The story of the Israelites begins with the covenant God made with Abraham to reveal the one God to the world (monotheism). Comment on how Abraham responded to God’s call and direction in his life. How is he important to Judaism?
5. What is the connection between the Jewish Feast of Passover and the 10th plague in Exodus Chapter 10 (the killing of the first born)? How is the Catholic Mass connected to this Jewish Passover?
6. A “covenant” is a two-way promise. God established a covenant with Moses and the Israelite people on Mt. Sinai. God promised to be their God and they would be his people. The Israelites promised to obey the 10 Commandments given by God, and to be faithful to God alone (monotheism). Comment on this concept of covenant. Are those 10 Commandments still of significance in our modern society? In your life?
7. What do the Jewish people believe about God? Which Jewish beliefs are similar to what Christians believe about God? Do any of the beliefs of the Jews impress you?
8. Do you feel that King David and King Solomon served God well as kings of Israel? Support your answer with references to Scripture and with your opinion too.
9. The article by Daniel Harrington describes a variety of literary tools that scholars use to study and interpret the Bible. Which of these methods of biblical criticism was interesting or valuable for you? Also, share your response to Documentary Hypothesis, which are the 4 sources from which the beginning books of the Bible were written.
10. Here are three charts which compare Judaism, Christianity and Islam . . . basic statistics, origin and beliefs. Often the more we are able to see the similarities of various faith traditions, the better able we are to accept the differences. What do you see as the similarities? Differences? How can understanding other faith traditions and the culture of other traditions help us as individuals and as a community?
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