What does it mean to be a unified church? Does it mean that everyone believes in the same things or looks the same way? For nearly the entire history of Christianity, the church has struggled with this problem. The over 41,000 different Christian denominations attest to this. In one of the earliest works of the New Testament, 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul sought to address this problem to this young, Greco-Roman congregation. Paul also faced dissension and hostility for being an “apostle to the gentiles.” Where he sought to bring a message of reconciliation, he found strife and disunity.
If it is so ingrained in our makeup not to stay together, then is there any hope for the church? Author and social psychologist, Christena Cleveland, shares from her own experiences in the church, as well as her research, in order for us to understand the roots of what causes strife and disunity. How do we relate to those who are not like us? How do we become the representative to the world of Christ’s work of reconciliation?
This interview is an invaluable tool for discussion in any church setting. Depending on the situation, you can watch the film in parts over a few weeks or may choose to watch the film in its entirety in one sitting and discuss afterward. The guide not only contains questions, but a discussion of various topics that Cleveland raises, and a guide for further reading. We hope that the Spirit stirs you to move toward wholeness and unity with others, in order that we might be one.
The curriculum includes one full length film version, the film in nine parts, and accompanying discussion guide.
Discussion written by Phuc Luu, theological and philosophical writer for TWOTP. He is a professor of theology and philosophy in Houston, Texas.
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