Towards belief

Towards belief
Karl Faase, Olive Tree Media, 2013

£24.99 (Approx)
3.6
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Towards Belief follows Australian pastor and host, Karl Faase as he travels to the UK, USA and Australia to interview more than thirty leading authors, speakers and apologists as they seek to defuse the top belief blockers to Christian faith of our time.

What do you get?

DVD case containing two DVDs and one copy of discussion guide. 10 topics. Allow an hour/hour and a quarter to introduce topic, watch DVD (30 minutes) and discuss.

Contact www.authenticmedia.co.uk (in Australia: www.towardsbelief.org.au. Rent or buy episodes online available here too)

Who is it for?

Aimed at Enquirers, but would be great for Beginners and Growing Christians too.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Good. Videos nicely shot considering they are mostly talking heads, with Australia, UK and USA locations.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Clear – exploring some ‘vital questions' that are blocks to belief, taken from research in Australia which was conducted in response to Richard Dawkins' declaration on Australian TV in 2011 that Christianity is not true.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Straight-forward introduction to the material, which is set out clearly with introduction, more information on the topic, and questions. The information section ‘Unpacking the issue' is barely necessary after the DVD, so skipping to the questions would work fine. The questions pick up on the issues from the DVD, though I could imagine that most topics would need little leading to get discussion going. These are all ‘belief blockers' which would be familiar to most people. Honesty, open questioning and wrestling with the issues are encouraged.

    Who could lead it?

    A Christian with some experience – who has thought through to some extent the topics covered.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    No separate member's resource. Might be helpful to copy and print out some of the questions and quotes, with space for notes.

    How good is any digital material?

    See above. Varied background locations help to keep the videos from being entirely static, plus the question-and-answer style with Karl Faase interviewing, and a mixture of contributors for each topic. Street interviews kick off each topic. But this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking resource which is aimed at accessible, but still intellectual (Radio 4-style), discussions of some vital topics.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    The resource recommends familiarisation with the topic beforehand, so this would mean at least reading the couple of pages per topic and watching the video. Might be helpful to copy and print out some of the questions and quotes, with space for notes.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Australian-based website with limited availability for outside-Australia users.

    Is it dated?

    No. Topics very relevant currently.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Discussion based with relevant questions. Though the material will provoke reaction, even without questions.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Directed to those who find listening and discussion a helpful learning style.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The speakers are engaging in style so don't be put off by the demanding topics, and the interview style. These are some very intelligent and motivated people saying some very complex things in very understandable ways. Suitable for those inside and outside the Church, though some topics would need sensitive handling.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Working together is not a focus but discussion should give people a chance to engage with big issues for themselves, in a group setting.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    One topic focuses on how to approach the Bible, but this resource is focused on discussion of belief-blockers.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    N/A

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    N/A

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Speakers represent a broad spectrum of church background. Evangelical understanding of Scripture.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    These are all important topics to engage with, no matter where we begin. The quality of careful, thought-through input from some very intelligent contributors makes this a rich and valuable resource. Engaging with these questions will strengthen and build faith at foundational and crucial levels.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Head-on engagement with the chosen blocks to belief.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    For an enquirer, this resource should give thought-through challenges to previous assumptions, and indeed lead ‘towards belief'. For believers, it should help them to make progress with any troubling questions and stretch their thinking too.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    All topics were carefully chosen as the things that get in the way of belief, in real life. Theory is illustrated with personal stories from the speakers, so their humanity is very evident. Some topics are more emotive than others – all are dealt with in honest, compassionate and unflinching authenticity.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Firstly, this is an evangelistic resource for Christians to use, and secondly, engaging with these challenging issues would equip Christians for talking to others.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    From spiritual and conceptual points of view, these topics connect well with global considerations.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    In terms of engagement with worldwide questions about faith, very well.

Join the discussion

2 comments on “Towards belief
  1. Graham

    I love the concept behind this resource and think that they have done a good job of addressing in a serious-minded way these huge issues that prevent people from being open to faith. Visually it is a bit static and communicates a solid academic approach. The group leader will need to use it quite carefully with groups of people with lower literary confidence, but it is worth the work. The issues aren’t just academic.