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Choosing to Live God's Ways

Year 10-12 Introduction

During this stage, as maturity sets in, students form a personal identity (“I am who I choose to be”).  In terms of faith development, Westerhoff[1] describes the great illumination or enlightenment that can take place for students during these years as ...Read More

Course Modules

Choosing what to believe (Head)

Why choose religion?

Why do we believe? And, do we have to make a choice? Does it matter if we don’t?  
Students at this age are about to enter the final stages before becoming independent adults in their own right. Choosing what they believe and how they will live are no longer academic questions but determine all they will do with their life from this point forward. The call of the Gospel is not optional. Jesus, Mark 1:15, simply says, “Repent and believe the Gospel.” This is always true but takes on a special urgency at this time as students must now start making all their decisions for themselves.

Isms and ologies

Comparing religions, philosophies and worldviews and choosing between them
One of the defining characteristics of humanity is that we are religious by nature. Universally, whether in the form of organised religions, deep philosophical thought about ultimate meaning, or a personal way of looking at life, we do not live not live by instinct but think deeply about life and from this draw our values and make our most important decisions. However, our students are confronted with a bewildering array of options, all of which call to them to choose their way. How are they to choose between them? Are they all really the same? Does it matter? Is Jesus really different? What criteria can we possibly use to decide? Choosing, however, cannot be avoided, and the consequences could be eternal in nature, so being able to think through the options is essential.

Contemporary Issues in Religion - with scriptural grounding

 Current issues of importance, e.g. reproductive technology, abortion, self-image, mental health and emotional wellbeing, sexuality/same sex marriage/homosexuality, evolution/science and religion, Islam/terrorism/religion/violence, religion in society, Israel & the Middle East, Christian schools/independent schools **Poverty is covered elsewhere but is not inappropriate here. Neither are issues like slavery, the refugee crisis or modern day sex trafficking. They are, however, more social justice issues.

Essentials of Christianity

The essentials of Christianity including a reinforcement of the creation-fall-reconciliation-response-renewal narrative
Christians disagree on many issues, hence the formation of denominations large and small over the past few centuries. Yet there are certain fundamental truths which constitute what it means to be a Christian and outside of which you are not a Christian. In the early Church creeds like the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Creed of Chalcedon were attempts to define exactly what it meant to be a Christian in key areas in the face of attempts to lead the Church in other directions. For some, creeds, that is clear statements of what is believed, are unnecessary and even harmful......

 

Choosing how to live (Heart)

Who Am I?

What does the Bible teach us about our identity, including womanhood/manhood and vocation? What has this to do with being created in the image of God?
We live in a society which is consumed by the question of who we are? Life ,and education, is construed as the search to find the answer to this question, coupled with getting as much as you can along the way.
The Bible, however, takes another approach. It tells us not just about God but also about ourselves. It deals with the questions of who we are, why we were created, how we are to live, where we are going, what is right and wrong and so on as being the foundation of reality in which the question of who we are finds its answer....

Ethics, Morality and Values

How does Jesus relate to the great ethical and moral issues of our age?
We are finite beings and as such will never be in the position of knowing everything. This is in contrast to God who does not reason in the same way we do because he knows. We, however, must make use of certain assumptions, which we may not be able to prove absolutely but which we use to reason on as we investigate the world around us. These assumptions make up our worldview and are the lens or perspective each of us uses to make decisions about the world. They are, however, largely hidden or unconscious. ......Most of us are unaware that our ethics, morality and values are derived from these assumptions. Even more than this, often our values are simply those of our family or the group we are associated with and are in conflict with what we say we believe.....

Lifestyle and Behaviour Choices

How can a study of the Jesus’ life and the Apostle’s Letters help us determine how to make reasonable choices in behaviour and lifestyle? How can we reflect God’s grace and still give the right message about sin?
The Western world has been very heavily influenced by Christianity and so there is a traditional foundation concerning how life is to be lived. This foundation, however, has been greatly eroded in the last 50 years and for young people today there is no uniform conception of what is right or what is wrong or how we should live our lives.....

Relationship Choices

What does the Bible teach us about our key relationships; parents, siblings, friends and especially marriage?
As students finish High School and enter into the workforce or further study, including things like Gap years and travel, they will become fully immersed in a world of relationships of every kind. These have been developing for years at this stage, but now they will become central to their life journey. Of all their relationships, their relationship with the opposite sex, dating, marriage and so on is the most important and the most difficult. The world into which they enter will offer a myriad of alternatives, so a clear and solid foundation in the path God has for them is essential.....

Choosing to make a difference (Hands)

Mission

As Christ was sent by the Father, so he sends us into the world, John 20:19-23
In the beginning God saw all that he had made and saw that it was good, indeed, very good. Though the world was created good, when sin came into the world, with it came death and all the evils related to it. Through Christ, there will be a new heaven and a new earth but at this present time is a time pain and suffering, sometimes great pain and suffering, because of sin...
This provides the context for what may be called Mission, the going into the world by the Christian in imitation of Christ and in obedience to the two great commands or commissions of the Bible..
The relationship between these two commissions is sometimes debated but if both are seen as expressions of love then their unity becomes evident. We reach out to help others in need of any kind kind because we love them, and we proclaim the Gospel, the good news concerning Jesus, also because we love them....

Service

A practical project in the community, focusing on: action, reflection, humility, following the example of Jesus..... 

Christian Leadership

What does the Bible teach us about leadership, responsibility and initiative, and how does it compare and contrast with leadership in the world today?
Leaders exert an enormous influence. One way history can be studied is by purely looking at leaders, the famous and infamous. Unfortunately the examples of poor, corrupt or even evil leadership are too numerous to number. Nations which have a concept of leadership at all levels which rejects corruption and sees it as a role of service to the community are blessed and their nation prospers...
The Bible, especially Jesus, has a great deal to say about leadership, both by example and by precept, and about related attitudes towards both God and others. Jesus stands out as our prime example and teacher but there are many examples, both good and bad, in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

Social Justice Themes

The call to Social Justice is a call to not only be concerned about our own pain but the pain of others, especially those suffering injustice
 Beyond our own personal experience, are those larger Social Justice issues which involve not just a few people, but in some cases millions of people and which call us to stand up and be Christ's agents in the world. In Christ dying on the cross, God has not a philosophical answer to pain and suffering but he took action to set all people free......