INTRO: What Is The Alpha Course?
I’m sure that most of you will have come across an advertisement for the Alpha Course at one time or another. They can usually be found plastered on the back of public transport, on the occasional billboard, and on banners attached to churches, which run the headline “The Alpha Course. Come and explore the meaning of life”.
The adverts do grab ones attention and they are thought provoking but it isn’t obvious, from a first glance at least, that they are religiously affiliated (unless you’re reading one that is attached to a church, of course!) In fact some people who take a look at the ones on buses and billboards may be surprised to learn that they are the product of Christian think tanks. But, one may ask, what has kick-started the church into such a move? Why are they clamouring for us to take an interest in what they have to say? Why now?
The answer is simple.
With church attendances dwindling ever closer to non-existence, as more and more of the British populace look upon organised religion with dissatisfaction, distrust and in some cases disdain, the church has been forced to act. Keen to bring ‘lost souls’ back into the fold, a Christian apologetics program was formulated back in the early 1990’s designed to entice sceptical and/or undecided people into attending weekly meetings with Christians, where they could learn about core Christian beliefs and, more importantly, learn how it is of great importance that they adopt such beliefs themselves!
Their website states that the Alpha Course is “an opportunity for anyone to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thought-provoking weekly sessions, with a day or weekend away”.
Having been raised as a Christian, only later to drift away from the faith, I thought I’d give the Alpha Course a go. What did I have to lose? Maybe I’d get some questions (that had troubled me for a while) answered? What did the Christian faith have to offer in terms of evidence and fact? Would their arguments stand up to examination? I was looking forward to discovering the answers.
After finding a course in my local area, and after swapping a few emails with the gentleman who was running the course, I was all set to go. What follows is a week-by-week, blow-by-blow account of my time spent on the Alpha Course….
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- WEEK 11: “How Can I Make The Most Of The Rest Of My Life?”
- WEEK 10: “What About The Church?”
- WEEK 9: “Does God Heal Today?”
- WEEK 8: “How Can I Resist Evil?”
- WEEK 7: Weekend Talks 1 & 2
- WEEK 6: “How Does God Guide Us?”
- WEEK 5: “Why And How Should I Read The Bible?”
- WEEK 4: “Why And How Do I pray?”
- WEEK 3: “How Can I Be Sure Of My Faith?”
- WEEK 2: “Why Did Jesus Die?”
- WEEK 1b: “Who Is Jesus?”
- WEEK 1a: “Christianity: Boring, Untrue and Irrelevant?”
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