Ethics & Issues
Good Call: Ethics for Churches in the 21st Century
We make decisions all the time – often under pressure because of time constraints, or the expectations of people around us. How can we be sure that the decisions that matter are good decisions? How can we be sure that these decisions are made well, that good outcomes are sought, and that the decision-making process honours God and respects those around us?
This course explores ethics for the local church and aims to equip individuals and churches to make good choices. It outlines some of the key ethical principles relating to making moral (good/bad) choices, and the riches that the Christian church brings to the task of doing ethics.
A 5-week topical course which can easily be expanded to include additional topics.
Format Available On-site; Online (zoom); or Gateway Online (by summer 2022)
- Session 1 Principles and Resources – making ethical decisions
- Session 2 Caring for the Environment
- Session 3 Medical Dilemmas
- Session 4 Sex & Marriage
- Session 5 Ethical Talk – and Listening
- Session 6 Reproductive Technologies
- Session 7 Computing and Artificial Intelligence
- Session 8 Just War Theory
- And others…
Format On Site & Online
Facilitator Dr Ian Donald
Ageing Gracefully: A Practical Theology of later life
We all like to pretend that ageing only happens to others and not us. “Ageing gracefully” is a course for those who are ready to face up to this reality. Through biblical themes we will try to understand God’s purposes in a long life.
Together we will explore how Christians might respond to the challenges we often face towards the end of our earthly life – both in ourselves and in caring for those we love. What might it mean to remain fresh and green still bearing fruit into old age?
And two things the course is NOT about: it is not top tips for retirement; secondly, although it will include medical perspectives on the issues raised, it is not primarily a guide on how to stay healthy in old age.
A six week course for Christians who wish to explore some of the theological issues raised by an ageing society.
- Session 1: What do I mean by ageing?
- Session 2: God’s purpose on ageing – biblical themes
- Session 3: Finding Healing in the Fourth Age
- Session 4: Giving and receiving Care
- Session 5: Dementia and personhood
- Session 6: Dying well
Format: On-site or Online interactive
Facilitator Daniel Button
Creation, Climate and Christianity
Climate change is an issue that has become front and centre in the world today, in the news, politics, finance, and international relations. Scientists have been sounding the warnings for decades, and year by year the situation for humanity and the earth seems more dire. Yet the Church has been slow to respond. Is this really an issue that Christians should be concerned about? Doesn’t God have a plan for the future, and shouldn’t we trust him to bring it about? Should we really be trying to take matters into our own hands?
Or rather, should Christians be leading the way? After all, God is the Creator of this incredible planet with all its life and diversity! He’s the sustainer and redeemer of ALL creation, not just human beings – and he’s given us a key role to play in that future plan. The growing movement of ‘Creation Care’ amongst Christians around the world recognises this reality and sees our relationship to creation as a vital and neglected aspect of our Christian faith. It sees humanity as unique yet intrinsically part of creation. Creation care is therefore a gospel issue! It’s different from the secular cry to ‘save the planet’ yet there’s also common ground. But what is the theological justification for such a radically different perspective on our faith and mission?
- Climate Change – exploring the Science
- God, Creation, Humanity – exploring a relational theology of Creation
- Creation care – exploring our biblical and theological justification for Christian action
- The Future – exploring perspectives on God’s future plan for humanity and the earth
- Our Response – exploring how we might think and what we can do
Format On Site
Facilitator Daniel Button
Contemporary Issues in Christian Perspective
Most people today feel overwhelmed by the rapid pace of social and cultural change – and how to respond to it all. Governments, scientists and policy-makers all struggle to keep up, so what hope is there for the Church? And yet as Christians we are called to be ‘salt and light’, to speak truth to power, to be a prophetic voice in our own culture and society. What resources can we draw from theologically and biblically to respond to new and unprecedented challenges like climate change, same-sex marriage, gender dysphoria, and artificial intelligence? How can we become more confident in responding to the pervasive challenges and the inexorable shifts in culture, morality, and society? This course provides a forum for a deeper engagement with today’s challenges from a Christian perspective.
- Introduction to Contemporary Issues
- Exploring a Christian Response to:
- Same Sex Relationships
- Artificial Intelligence and Bio-tech
- Digital Technology and Social-Media
- Gender Issues & Dysforia
- Climate Change and Environmental Issues
- Refugees, Migration and Immigration
- Wealth, Inequality, Poverty & Justice
Format On Site
Facilitator Rev Dr Daniel Button
Issues in Science and Faith
This course explores the dynamic and fascinating relationship between science and faith. Despite the common perception that science and faith are in conflict, this is a very misleading view – science and faith are in fact two unique perspectives on God’s reality, and there is so much interaction between them that it actually boggles the mind – if only we stop to look, instead of focusing on the cultural and media portrayal of conflict, where the aim is to defeat the other. Conflict makes the news, but the reality is an extraordinarily fruitful – yet challenging – relationship. In fact there’s far more conflict within science and within religion than there is between the two. This course takes the ‘Two Books’ view: The book of God’s works (accessible through science), and the book of God’s words (the revelation of Scripture). Both are complementary, valuable and unique perspectives on reality – a reality which includes both the physical and spiritual realm, and demands a fuller interpretation than either can achieve alone.
This course explores several aspects of science and faith:
- Their inter-relationship (historically and today)
- Historical examples of conflict and resolution
- A pathway to positive interaction
- Our Christian perception and response to issues today