Study Questions on The Beatitudes and Proofs for the Existence of God (470 words)

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1. Describe some of the values Jesus had in mind when he used the phrase "Kingdom of God." One scholar has called Jesus's message "ethical apocalypticism." What do you think this means in light of our discussion of apocalypticism in the text? (You might want to relate this to the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12.)

2. Do any Proofs for the Existence of God convince you? If the answer is no (and it usually is), then what purpose do you think those proofs serve? Would it make a difference to you if the proofs were somehow made better? How would Jesus have responded to attempts to prove the existence of God?

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1. Ethical apocalyptism is a hope for a future where human suffering and death will come to an end. This idea of the end times is in short contrast with the alternative view that the end of the world will be the destruction of the world. Ethical apocalyptism is all about the consummation of a better world. Notice the Beatitudes are future oriented. Jesus says they "will be comforted" and "they will inherit the earth" (Mt 5:4-5). Jesus speaks to the people on a hill in Galilee, announcing that their reward will be great in heaven....
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