Preliminary HSC Christianity Notes

September 9, 2017 | Author: ddyball2105 | Category: Jesus, Salvation, Anglicanism, Catholic Church, Trinity
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Concise notes covering all aspects of the Preliminary HSC Christianity syllabus....


[CHRISTIANITY] Origins Outline the historical and cultural context in which Christianity began         

Born during a time where Judaism was at the forefront of religious tradition The Roman Empire held great power, controlling land surrounding the Mediterranean, including Judea It was because of the lack of Jewish authority and the fact that the Romans had power over religious practice that instability rose within the Jewish religion Because of this, the Jews had organized themselves into several groups; the Pharisees, Saducees, Essenes and Zealots It was in these circumstances when there was much tension and a sense of disunity within the Jewish tradition that Jesus was born into the world Jesus sought to renew the Jewish religion but had not intended to lead a breakaway from Judaism The early followers of Christianity saw Jesus as being the Jewish Messiah, sent to the people of Israel by God, to bring salvation and hope Broke away from Judaism and gradually spread throughout the Roman Empire to establish a separate tradition To begin with, this community of followers just a sect within Judaism, but at the end of the first century CE it had become the separate religion, known today as Christianity

Examine the principal events of Jesus’ life

Principal event


The birth of Jesus The beginning of Jesus’ ministry Days in the wilderness

Born in Bethlehem, to his mother Mary and father Joseph as a Jew.

The parables/miracl es of Jesus Ministry in Jerusalem (Holy Week)

The passion, arrest and death of Jesus Resurrection and ascension

Spent most of his life in Nazareth as a carpenter. When Jesus was 30, he was baptised by John the Baptist, in the Jordan River. This is when he began his ministry that lasted for 3 years. Withdrew to the desert of Judea for 40 days after his baptism, where he reflected on his options. He chose to accept his role as Saviour of Humanity. Met 1st disciples – fisherman Simon, Peter, Andre, James and John. Was a strong speaker who often used various forms of oratory to catch the attention of his audience. Parables are short symbolic stories. Gospels report Jesus performing numerous miracles, such as changing water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana. Jesus gained a huge following through the simplicity and effectiveness of his message and healings. Religious and political opposition increased as his popularity grew. First Sunday is Palm Sunday, when Jesus enters Jerusalem. On Passover evening, Jesus and disciples celebrated the Last Supper where the Eucharist was begun, and asked to be carried on by his followers. When leaving the garden of Gethsemane, after praying, Jesus is arrested and sentenced to death on the cross by Pontius Pilate. He is later nailed to the cross and crucified on the Hill of Calvary. When Jesus’ tomb was found empty, an angel appeared and explained Jesus had risen from the dead. All 4 gospels report him rising and speaking to his


disciples. For 40 days, Jesus continued to appear and teach his disciples about the kingdom of god. He then finally ascended into heaven. 10 days after ascension, the disciples, and Mary (Jesus’ mother) experienced the Holy Spirit in form of tongues and fire. It was at this moment they realised Jesus had overcome death.

Explain why Jesus is the model for Christian life        

Embodiment of his Christian teachings Practiced what he taught – the love commandment (love yourself, others and your enemies) Is the ‘perfect human’ Christian model from his attitudes towards God and others Actions in social justice and admirable characteristics and personal qualities Never sinned and had the ability to forgive Was an average person meaning Christians can relate to him – socioeconomic status and humanity Developed a genuine relationship with people had had concern for the poor and needs of others Jesus: o lives a life of prayer o lives a life of service to others o acts as an advocate for the poor o loves and forgives others

Describe the early development of Christian communities after the death of Jesus 

     

Initially Jesus' disciples were confused but knew what they were to do after Pentecost: spread the good news of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, preaching and healing in his name Peter and James, two of Jesus' disciples (Palestine) and Paul of Tarsus (Hellenic world), led the Jesus movement. The letters of Paul to communities were the first Christian writings - helped assist their understanding of beliefs and practises of Christianity 49 CE: Council of Jerusalem to settle differences in what it meant to be a Christian between Hellenic and Palestinian Christianity Persecution of Christians by the Romans until 313 CE when Emperor Constantine legalised Christianity Councils of Nicea and Ephesus clarified teachings on issues such as the humanity and divinity of Jesus 1054 CE: East-West Schism. Split of the Christian Church with the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church due to disputes over the authority of the pope in Rome and the relationship between the persons of the Trinity

Outline the unique features of:  Anglicanism  Catholicism  Orthodoxy  Pentecostalism  Protestantism


Beginnin gs

Head or authority

Differential key beliefs

Anglicanis m

1534 – 1535

Archbishop of Canterbury


1052 with the Great Schism

The Pope


1054 with the Great Schism

Patriarchs of the 15 patriarchates that make of the church

Low or Evangelic Anglicans: stress the importance of the Word and its significance; less emphasis on ritual; related in custom to Protestantism High or Anglo-Catholic Anglicans: stress the ritual or sacred dimension; linked to Catholicism in beliefs Emphasis on Mary as mother of God; Eucharist as central act of worship; strong belief in heaven, hell and purgatory; penance or confession; observance of the 7 sacraments; ‘good works’ as an exhibition of faith and salvation Use of icons in services; long, elaborate liturgies using incense, song, rich vestment and ceremonial acts; observance of the 7 sacraments; rich symbolism and emphasis on ceremony

Principal Beliefs Outline the principal beliefs regarding the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ     

God is fully divine and fully man He has two distinct natures: both a human and divine nature – both God and man Each nature is full and complete – he is fully God and fully man Only one person Without Jesus becoming fully human he could not have been the perfect sacrifice for our salvation  Without being fully divine, we could not be saved through faith in him  Therefore if neither were present, Jesus would just be a character in a book Explain the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for Christians  Resurrection gives evidence to the immense power of God himself  It proves to Christians that there is life after death  Jesus’ death was important to destroy sin and give humanity the opportunity for eternal life  The initial belief at this time for the Jewish people was that resurrection would not happen for an individual like Jesus so when it did happen it was an unforeseen event for the apostles  Christians believe in justification by faith, that through their belief in Jesus and his death and resurrection, they can have a right relationship with God whose forgiveness was made once and for all through the death of Jesus Christ

[CHRISTIANITY] Outline the beliefs about the nature of God and of the Trinity

 God exists as three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit  The Trinity is a mystery in the sense it is the deepest reality which is beyond human 

   

understanding or experience Three key functions: o Bringing God’s new life to creation – creating (Father) o Turning creation from sin and darkness – redeeming (Son) o Blessing all creation – sanctifying (Holy Spirit) There is only one God The Trinity helps us to understand the nature of God All trinity is eternal The Father is transcendent (not confined to the material world), the Son is immanent (God is involved in the world) and the Spirit is both

Examine the Christian understanding of revelation  Defined as: the message of God to all humanity, fully expressed in the person of Christ  Simply means the transmission of knowledge from the divine to the human  A loving and free invitation to join in friendship with God  Calling us to respond in action, accepting beliefs and doctrines  God’s fullest revelation takes place through the actions of Jesus Christ; his words, deeds and events  God’s revelation is revealed through the Bible  Continues to happen today – God speaks to us throughout human history  Evident in creation and through the person of the Holy Spirit, interacting with the world Describe the Christian understanding of salvation  The Christian paradigm that humanity can be delivered from their sins – and the consequences of their sins – by having faith in Christ  Allows Christians to be brought to the fullness of life by the grace of God; this primary goal thus impacts adherent’s morals, actions and relationships  Initial salvation can be experienced in the present because of Jesus’ sacrifice. It cannot be fully realised until one is in Heaven, in the presence of God  Salvation cannot be achieved alone; through the grace of God humans can attain salvation  Jesus Christ is central; humanity is saved through his life, death, and resurrection  Obtained through: o Faith – belief in the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. o In some Christian denominations – i.e. Christianity – faith is not enough; salvation is obtained through faith AND good works o Repentance/Atonement o Prayer

Sacred Texts and Writings

[CHRISTIANITY] Identify the importance of the Bible in Christianity        

Inspired by God > The Word of God through which God speaks to followers Documents the life of Jesus Christ Deepens an adherent’s understanding of the principal beliefs of Christianity Parables give us morals and ethical guidelines (The Beatitudes, the Ten Commandments, the Love Commandment) Key events in human history and proof of this Human interaction with God Informs Christian ceremony Foundation for private reading and study

Examine extracts from the Bible which demonstrate the principal beliefs of Christianity The divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ  “Jesus wept.” – John 11:35 (humanity) The nature of God and the Trinity In Genesis (1: 26) God says "Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of  ourselves" which seems to point to God's Trinitarian nature because otherwise God would have possibly said "I will make man in my image" Revelation  In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets… but in these late days he has spoken to us by his Son. – Hebrews 1:1-2 Salvation  We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:1

Core Ethical Teachings Outline the principal ethical teachings in:  the Ten Commandments  the Beatitudes  Jesus’ commandment of love The Ten Commandments  Succinct summary of Christian ethics, and emphasises the importance of human life and the need to respect family and personal integrity  Basic rules for relating to God and others  The first four commandments describe one's relationship with God and the other six are about maintaining good relationships with one's neighbour  Framework for the key principles of Christian ethics The Beatitudes  Contains some of Jesus’ most significant ethical statements  Describes a life directed towards holiness

[CHRISTIANITY] Provide a model for the Christian life because it warns against an approach which values only material strength and power, by pointing to an inversion of values whereby things that are only regarded as having no value according to the dominant culture are celebrated in the reign of God Provide an ethical stance which stands in contrast to the dominant culture

Jesus’love commandment  Can be distilled into the primary covenantal notions of love of God and love of neighbour 

In the ministry of Jesus, Christians are required not only to love their neighbour but also to love their enemies

Love is identified as the defining characteristic of the Christian life

Love is seen as the fulfillment of the law because love is the essential quality that gives meaning to all other virtues

Describe the importance of ethical teachings in the life of adherents     

Determines Christians’ responses to a wide range of issues Guidance to contemporary ethical issues such as sexual morality, bioethics, international economics, ecological concerns and the use of force in international conflicts Ethical teachings on issues of economic, ecological and military significance are more in line with progressive elements in society Is expected that Christians would strive to live their lives in line with the principles espoused in the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and the Love. The ethical teaching of Christianity provides broad, overall guidance to the followers of the tradition Another form of ethical guidance for Christians is through the example of Jesus. Christians seek to model their lives on his life and ministry and as such the ethical standards practiced by Jesus in the course of his life become guides for the actions of Christians

Personal Devotion Describe the different types of personal prayer 

 

Vocal prayer – words are recited, spoken or sung. May be structured traditional prayers e.g. Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, liturgical texts (bible) or may be original and spontaneous based on personal experience Mental prayer – process of reflection that involves the mind, imagination and will Meditation – generally understood as the excursing of one’s spiritual memory based on repetition of words and phrases. Usually pronounced aloud and accompanied by vocal and bodily rhythm (used to focus attention on the Divine and block out distractions) Contemplative prayer – difficult to explain using words, it is often experienced as a simple prayer of quite where the mind and imagination are free to wander. It is understood as the pure gift of God. It is focused on a perception of God’s living presence


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