Reflection on The Discovery of God

There nothing like teaching difficult material to help you learn it.

So here is the scenario: A leader of your community of faith — either the one you wrote about earlier, or a different one — turns out to be a closet websurfer. Somehow he or she has stumbled onto your crazy teacher's website and seen me saying wonderful things about de Lubac's The Discovery of God. Intrigued (and a little cruel), your leader sends you the following message:

That de Lubac book sounds just right for one of our church groups. I hear some of the people there making the most outrageous statements about God, while others just shrug and say "God is just a mystery we can't understand." Some of them are offended by what is said, while others just say "I'm glad that works for you," as if agreement and disagreement aren't important. Many of them are getting fed up with each other, and some of them are getting cynical about the Christian faith. Some aren't even sure they believe at all: "What am I supposed to believe in? Just other people's unprovable opinions?"

It sounds like those are the issues your book is talking about. I got onto amazon.com to read a passage, but I couldn't make heads or tails of it! You understand it, right? Could you draw up a lesson plan and teach them what de Lubac says about how to think about the knowledge of God? You can have as many weeks as you need, as long as we don't have to pay you.

I know, I know. It would never happen, except for the nonpaying part. Instead, you would be conscripted to teach The Purpose-Driven Whatever. Just suspend your disbelief and go on to the assignment:

Draw up a lesson plan for teaching the main claims of de Lubac's The Discovery of God to a specific audience in your community. You will want to specify the nature of that audience, e.g., junior-high students. Anticipate and respond to the questions, objections, and misunderstandings you are likely to get in the course of your teaching. Make sure your curriculum goes beyond merely presenting the information to helping your audience understand why it is important (one producer of film adaptations of novels called this "the good news of the book").

The exercise will be graded according to the quality of the teaching, so to speak.

Please keep your paper 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers. Even if you use an outline, put everything in complete sentences. Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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