By Philip Tallon
Illustrations by Andrew Chandler
Like a tattoo, the fundamental truths of the faith are supposed to be permanently etched into us. However, a lifetime of learning, loving, and living the scriptures requires that at some point, we really begin to understand where they come from and what they mean.
The Absolute Basics of the Christian Faith is a visual introduction to the core beliefs of the Christian faith. While it assumes no background knowledge of the scriptures or church teachings, this eight-week study is stocked with rich explanation and engaging videos that bring catechesis to life for people of all ages, backgrounds, and stops along their spiritual journey. Like all books, it is possible to read this one alone, but it is designed specifically to be studied in community—to lead small and large groups through the big ideas of the faith. The memory verses, catechism, text, and videos in each lesson work together seamlessly to provide a clear, compelling introduction to Christian belief.
In working through this study, you’ll be binding the truth about God on your head, hands, and house through scripture memorization and by learning the answers to important questions about God. Obeying Jesus takes a lifetime of learning. As you enter this study, let God’s grace shape and change you. This is what it means to be a disciple.
We wanted to keep your leader's guides as affordable and flexible as possible, so rather than inking them into the student guide or charging you for a separate product, Dr. Tallon assembled these digital guides, downloadable in both PDF and Word document form (so you can edit it to suit your specific ministry needs). It comes in two versions—one for youth ministry and one for college ministry.
The book has three main elements:
1. A basic catechesis with theological questions and answers, along with supporting Bible verses. These are intended to lay out the most basic elements of Christian theology in plain language.
2. Units that comment on the catechesis and explain the central ideas using clear analogies. A free downloadable leaders guide includes questions to accompany each unit.
3. Notes for those who want to dive deeper into the key ideas.
To get a feel for how these look, as well as some tips from the author on how to structure the study, download the free preview of the first two sessions below.
In addition to the workbook, the study includes fun, illustrated videos of the text, which are sold separately. The study is designed such that when a class gathers together, the leader might show the videos and then break the class into groups to discuss some of the discussion questions. The class can then gather back together to talk about the key ideas and make sure everyone understands them.
Catechesis Questions and Memory Verses covered by The Absolute Basics
Q1. Who is God?
A. God is the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three persons in one God. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Q2. What is God like?
A. God is perfect in power, knowledge, and in His holy love. (Psalm 147:5)
Q3. What did God make?
A. God spoke everything into being, of His own free choice, and it was very good. (Hebrews 11:3)
Q4. Why is there evil?
A. God gave us free will to obey and we did not. (Romans 5:12)
Q5. Who is Jesus Christ?
A. The eternally begotten Son of God and the son of Mary. Fully Divine. Fully Human. (John 1:14)
Q6. Why did the Son of God become human?
A. Because God loves us and wanted to make us true children of God. (Galatians 4:4–5)
Q7. What is salvation?
A. Through Jesus’ sacrificial death and victorious resurrection, we are reconciled with God and rescued from destruction. (1 Timothy 2:5–6)
Q8. What is required for salvation?
A. We must repent and believe in Jesus Christ. (Mark 1:15)
Q9. What are the benefits of salvation?
A. We are pardoned by God, made part of God’s family again, and given resurrection life and power. (Romans 5:1)
Q10. What happens as we live out our salvation in Christ?
A. God continues to work in us to make us holy and blameless. (Colossians 1:22)
Q11. Who is the Holy Spirit?
A. The eternal Spirit of God, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. (John 14:26)
Q12. What does the Holy Spirit do?
A. The Spirit leads us to repentance, gives us new life, and empowers us to follow Jesus. (Titus 3:5–6)
Q13. What is the church?
A. The church is the community of all true believers, who are Christ’s body in the world, continuing the work of the apostles. (Ephesians 4:4–5)
Q14. What are the church’s sacraments?
A. Baptism is the holy covenant by which we join the church, and Holy Communion is the church’s ongoing act of thanksgiving. Both are means of participating in Jesus’ death and resurrection. (Matthew 28:19–20)
Q15. What is the world’s great hope?
A. Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again to redeem all things and reign as King forever. (Revelation 22:20)
Q16. What is our future?
A. Like Jesus, we will be raised from the dead, either to worship God forever or to be forever separated from Him. (1 Corinthians 6:14)
"Great study! Would be perfect for confirmation, but I'm using it now for an 8 week adult class. They are loving it!" - Aaron Atchley
"This is an excellent study! We are using the videos with a mixed generational small group from 4th grade up to 60 years old. The videos grab everyone's attention and generate lots of discussion. My 4th grader missed the last session and has been asking me to show him the videos he missed." - Nathan D.
"I've been in student ministry for 19 years and this is the best I've seen. Thank you!!!" - Jenny Davidson
"I just watched and read the first lesson of The Absolute Basics of the Christian Faith and I am ecstatic! This is exactly what I have been looking for since first teaching Confirmation Class two years ago." - Jill Croushore
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