curriculas

The Journey

The Journey: Our Quest for Faith and Meaning As the seasons of our individual lives intersect with the mounting problems in Western societies, many leaders are approaching the wisdom of Socrates—“An unexamined life is not worth living”—with new seriousness.

The Journey offers a series of readings that chart a thinking person’s road to faith. It has been prepared for two kinds of people—those who do not view themselves as people of faith, but who are serious about the big questions on the journey of life; and those who are at some stage along the journey of faith, but have not had occasion to reflect deeply on why they believe what they believe.

The four units of this curriculum are based on four stages that are integral to the quest for spiritual meaning—and therefore to a thinking person’s journey toward faith. The first stage of the journey is when we become aware of a sense of questioning or need that forces us to consider where we are in life. The second stage is when we actively seek answers to the specific questions and crises raised at the first stage—and are drawn toward the one we believe is the answer. The third stage begins when we ask whether the answer we found at the second stage is in fact true. The fourth stage is when we begin to reach conclusions that culminate in a step of commitment.

Edited by Os Guinness with Ginger Koloszyc; Study Guide by Karen Lee-Thorp. NavPress 2001, ISBN 1576831604

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The Great Experiment

Can human beings establish good government simply through reflection and choice? Can a free people govern itself? Can a self-governing people sustain its freedom?

These questions, central to the thoughts of the framers of the American republic, are now somewhat unfashionable. But the framers knew that they were embarking on an experiment that would not sustain itself. They saw that the greatest danger the republic would face would be its own success. Additionally, they would be surprised at the current perception of religion in public life as irrational, reactionary, divisive to society, and best quarantined from public life. The framers clearly gave as their best advice for sustaining liberty the maintenance of a socially constructive religion among the citizens. If they are correct, it is freedom itself at stake.

This curriculum is written, first, for all who seek to understand the genius of the American experiment and the framers’ understanding of how it may be sustained. Second, it is for all who have an interest in the continuing vitality of American leadership in the world, including citizens of other countries who realize that the experience of the world’s “first new nation” has lessons, for better or for worse, for all the nations of the modern world. Third, it is for everyone who wants to address the role of faith in public life—who wants to know how we can live with our deepest differences.

The Great Experiment provides a series of readings through which we can explore these issues, looking at the experiences of the first immigrants (winning freedom), the historical and intellectual roots of the Constitution (ordering freedom), the results of the experiment, and the challenges for the current generation (sustaining freedom).

Edited by Os Guinness with Ginger Koloszyc; Study Guide by Karen Lee-Thorp. NavPress 2001, ISBN 1576831620

Doing Well & Doing Good

It might be said that never in the entire field of human need has so much been asked so often of so few. And at a time when more and more is being asked of the willing volunteer and the generous giver, public debate is strong on the nuts and bolts of philanthropy—especially taxes and laws—but weak on this unique Western tradition’s roots and great ideals, especially the decisive contribution of faith.

The readings in Doing Well and Doing Good are rich in insight and application and help us explore the questions that surround giving today.

What is the meaning of money? Of giving? Of voluntary associations? Of doing well and doing good? What are the most effective ways of giving that are not damaging to one’s heirs and cannot be sidetracked by foundation professionals after one’s death? The readings address these and similar topics. The curriculum also touches on many of the big questions in public life today—government downsizing, the renewal of voluntarism in a free society, the importance of “social capital” and “social entrepreneurialism,” and so on.

Doing Well and Doing Good is designed for those thinking through the issues of giving in their own lives as well as for those wishing to contribute constructively to today’s great debates on the issue.

Edited by Os Guinness with Ginger Koloszyc; Study Guide by Karen Lee-Thorp. NavPress 2001, ISBN 1576831612

Steering Through Chaos

Steering Through Chaos brings back the classical tradition of the virtues and vices to modern discussions of ethics. In an age that whitewashes evil and ridicules “sin,” this tradition suggests that before asking “What sort of action should I take?” the proper question is “What sort of person should I be?”

The readings in this curriculum reintroduce the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, lust, and gluttony) and contrast them with their opposites, the beatitudes of Jesus. Using sources ranging from the Bible and Aristotle to the New York Times, the texts raise questions about the consequences of the deadly sins for a generation that has come to minimize any notion of sin. The vices and virtues, they suggest, offer us a true moral compass by which we can steer through the chaos of modern society.

The goal of the readings is to help us recover a more realistic view of the human inclination to evil—both as individuals and in societies—which is the urgent precursor to the necessity and wonder of redemption.

Edited by Os Guinness with Virginia Mooney; Study Guide by Karen Lee-Thorp. NavPress 2000, ISBN 1576831582. Reprint edition, The Trinity Forum, 2007. Pagination and contents unchanged