Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Great New Way To Study Bible and Theology

This is straight from the Presbyterian Church's news service...

Presbyterian officials have launched a Web site they describe as the "next generation" in adult Christian study resources. offers lessons in theology and the Bible, popular culture, spirituality, Christian living and contemporary issues that can be downloaded (for a fee), printed, photocopied and emailed for use in classes and retreats and for personal study and devotion.

The new site - officially called The Thoughtful Christian: Faithful Living in a Complex World - is an imprint of the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC), the trade-publishing arm of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The online resource "represents the most exciting and innovative publishing initiative PPC has undertaken in recent times," said David Perkins, PPC's president and publisher. "I believe it will prove to be one of the most creative programs in all religious publishing."

The studies consist of one to four sessions each. Every session is designed to take 45 minutes to an hour. Each includes a three- to four-page handout and a two- to five-page leader's guide with lesson plans and resources. The site is meant to be ecumenical.

It already has more than 50 units on topics ranging from same-sex marriage and the war in Iraq to a study of the popular book, The DaVinci Code. Additional studies will be added each month, including "rapid-response" sessions on news events.

The Thoughtful Christian was officially launched on Feb. 1 during the annual meeting of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE), which opened on the same day in St. Louis, MO.

The site has a fan in the Rev. Barbara Tesorero, of Sycamore Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, OH.

"Adult-education ... classes have always been a difficult animal to corral," she said. "The Thoughtful Christian site offers the variety and depth that our adult learners often seek. From stem-cell research to Reformed spirituality, our class facilitators are sure to discover material that will enable our adult learners to explore their faith on a variety of levels."

Individuals, churches and other organizations have three options for buying materials:

For subscribers who sign up by Sept. 30, 2006, the first-year cost will be $250 and annual renewals will be $225. After Sept. 30, the cost will increase.

Individual studies can be downloaded at a cost of $5 for one session, $9 for two and $12 for three. Each additional session beyond three costs $3.

For information log on to to sign up for updates and for a chance to win free downloads.


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