Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Group Notes on Foundtions by Peter Mead

Foundations: Four Big Questions We Should Be Asking But Typically Don’t

By Peter Mead

(Christian Focus, 2015)

Book Group Questions and Notes

What did you make of the book?

Do you agree that there are big questions which we should ask ourselves which perhaps typically we don’t?

What do you make of the big questions Mead suggests?

Would you suggest other questions?

(What questions, if any, do you think the non-Christians you know typically ask themselves?)

(Identity – who am I?

Purpose – why am I here?

Destiny – where am I going?)

(How might a non-Christian typically answer these questions?)


We all have some kind of ultimate allegiance – a God (p7)

Contrast other religions and Christianity (p8) – They offer some ways in which human beings can solve their problems. Christians believe that our situation is hopeless unless God, in his love, comes to our rescue.


Do you agree that in a sense everyone is a believer? (p12)

Part 1 – The Four Questions

1: Which god is God? (p17ff)

Lystra – Acts 14:8-20 (p19ff)

Athens – Acts 17:16-34 (p20ff)

Do you agree that it is dangerous to assume that we know what we mean by “God”? (p21)

Do you think that when people say they don’t believe in God, we might not believe in quite the God they are rejecting either? (That is, they might very well misconceive the God they reject – perhaps they think of him as a cosmic kill-joy or a kindly old grandfather in the sky, or some kind of force) (p17)

How does Mead particularly think people might often misconceive God?

Single solitary monad, not Trinity

Glory-hungry law-giver (not the whole story, a distortion on its own)

According to Mead, how can we know what God is like? (p25)

Do you agree?

Questions on p26

2: What is a Human? (p27ff)

(How would a non-Christian in Britain today typically answer that question?)

We are God’s offspring – Acts 17:28f

Humanity made in the image of God, not vice versa


Equal but different

1.      A CV World (p33ff)

i.e. concerned about our performance / achievements / what we know / can do / status / success

2.      Life measured by the Family Portrait (p34ff)

Life defined in part by relationships as people made for relationship with God and with others in the image of God

“in him we live and move and have our being” (p35)

Reflection questions (p39)

3: What is Sin? (p41ff) [What is wrong with our world / what’s our big problem?]

A deeper account of sin than sometimes doing wrong things

Paul on sin (p42ff)

Acts 26:18-20

Repentance is not primarily about behaviour but about relationship – turning to Christ (p43)

Back to the beginning – Genesis 3 (p44ff)

Great question: will we trust the Word of God or the devil’s lies? (p45)

Sin is basically relational rebellion (p48) – the heart

The Sin Story – Lk 15 (p48ff)

Sin could take a respectable religious form as in the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son – both are alienated from the Father although one doesn’t go far from home

The Good News for Us All (p52ff)

Reflection questions p55ff

4: What is Salvation? (p57ff) [What is the answer / solution to our big problem?]

The problem summarized (p58ff)

Legal guilt & broken relationship, dead hearts, the absence of the Holy Spirit. Not only forgiveness but also friendship and a changed heart.

Good news worth guarding (p61ff) – Acts 15

Defending the Gospel of Grace (p66ff)

God’s Grace Really Is Good News (p67ff)

Reflection questions (p70ff)

Part 2: Building on the Four Questions (p71ff)

5: Christian Life & Growth (p73ff)

Is the way on in the Christian life the same as the way into the Christian life, i.e. response to Christ by the grace of God in the power of the Spirit?

At the beginning of the journeys: instruction for new believers (p73ff)

Acts 13 esp v49ff – filled with joy and the Holy Spirit

Do you think it’s tricky to fit together deliberate purposeful effort to be godly and the grace and power of the Spirit?

How do they fit together?

(Fixing our gaze on Christ and living in response to him) – p76

At the end of the Missionary Journeys: Instructions for Established Christian Leaders (p76ff)

Acts 20 esp 22-24, 32 – grace to build you up etc.

Reflection questions (p80)

6: The Four Questions Applied (p81ff)

The Four Questions and You (p82ff)

The Four Questions and Evangelism (p88ff)

The Four Questions and Church (p90ff)

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