5. What type of character does Jesus admire? Does your reading of the Gospels incline you to agree with the writer? Is it the same type of character which is exalted by Christian piety, stained-glass windows, and the calendars of Saints?
1. “There is no escaping the issue of moral choice.” “One opinion is as good as another.” Discuss these two contradictory statements.
2. “Jesus says there is all the difference in the world between his own Gospel and the teaching of the Baptist.” What is John’s teaching on sin and righteousness (in the Synoptic Gospels), and in what ways does it differ (a) from the Pharisaic, and (b) from our Lord’s teaching?
3. What are the modern parallels to “the four outstanding classes whom Jesus warns of the danger of hell?”
4. Wherein does Jesus’ standard of sin differ from the standard of sin current to-day?
5. “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). What does “lost” mean?
1. What is the connection between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Cross in the teaching of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels?
2. How does Jesus conceive of salvation? Illustrate from the Gospels. Do you agree with the writer’s exposition?
3. Why should the salvation of the lost (i.e. redemption) mean the Cross for Jesus?
4. “In choosing the Cross, Christians have always felt, Jesus revealed God: and that is the centre of the great act of Redemption.” In what way?
5. Do you think the paragraph on p. 179 beginning: “In the third place . . .” does justice to the apocalyptic passages in the Gospels (Mark 13ff, Matt. 24, etc.), or to the interpretation of this teaching by scholars of the apocalyptic school? (It is no use discussing this question unless members of the circle have made some study of apocalyptic thought.)
1. “Into this world came the Church!” With what aspects of the religion and life of the early Roman Empire, as outlined in the chapter, would the Church find itself in conflict?
2. How would you introduce the Christian faith to one who believed and took part in the Eleusinian cult of Demeter? (Cf. 1 Corinthians and St Paul’s method of dealing with a similar situation, and notice the things he stresses—e.g. elementary morality.)
3. “Christ has conquered and all the gods are gone.” Why did they go?
4. But have they gone? What resemblances are there between the world to-day (in the West and in the East) and the problem of the Church to-day and the Roman world and the problem of the Church then?
5. It was often remarked in India that, point by point, the writer’s description of religion in the Roman world is true to the letter of Hinduism to-day. Work out this parallel. (See Dr J. N. Farquhar, Crown of Hinduism and Modern Religious Movements in India.)