To help you work through Insurrection with friends in a way that will enable you to extract the most out of it I have pulled together a series of twelve videos that will help you to facilitate a nine week book study. I appreciate that this text might be a controversial one for some groups, however I would encourage you not to let this prevent you from studying it with others (or any other potentially controversial material).
Often book studies involve a group of people reading some material and then talking about what they agree with and what they disagree with. The problem here is that agreement and disagreement are responses that arise as a result of judging from the position of an already pre-established system. Insofar as the book agrees with our position we agree with it and insofar as it deviates from what we already take to be true we disagree. Insurrection was written with a different aim in mind, here I am attempting to disturb the readers pre-established system of belief, to splinter it and short circuit our tendency to take a Gods-eye position in relation to what we read. In this book I seek to offer the reader a type of mirror that confronts the reader with themselves in a disturbing and challenging way.
The reason for bringing people to this difficult desert of fracturing and self-reflection is not to make them doubt what they assert to be true or bring them to a point of darkness and despair. Rather the book invites the reader to ask whether they are already full of doubts, darkness and despair but strive to repress this knowledge because of fear; pretending to themselves and everyone else that they are healthy when sickness prevails.
Insurrection explores the reality of this repression and shows how such a refusal to face ourselves does not bring freedom from the sting of our brokenness but simply drives it underground (where it arises in other ways, such as in self-loathing, criticism of others, over-eating, over-working, drug abuse, destructive relationships etc.).
Because of the demands of the text and the affective nature of the questions it raises a book study might open up lots of difficult questions and anxiety. But that also means that it might actually be an engaging, productive and even transformative journey.
So I invite you to have courage, take the plunge and see what happens…
The full book study album can be found here. It is made up of twelve videos to be shown over nine weeks,
Week 1 – There is a Fire in the Building; Please Step Inside (Part one), (Part two)
Week 2 – I’m a Christian! I’m a Christian
Week 3 – To Believe Is Human; to Doubt, Divine
Week 4 – “I’m Not Religious” and Other Religious Sayings
Week 5 – I Don’t Have to Believe; My Pastor Does That for Me
Week 6 – Story Crime
Week 7 – We Are Destiny
Week 8 – I Believe in the Insurrection
Week 9 – Neither Christian nor Non-Christian (Part one), (Part two), (Part Three)
When going through each chapter it might be helpful to keep the following questions in mind,
- What was the overall message of the chapter
- How does it relate to what went before it
- Where did I find myself challenged
- Where did I find myself angry, happy, frustrated, liberated
- Does this change how I experience the world in any way
- Is there something I must try and rethink or change in light of this chapter
Thanks for keeping the resources coming Steve!