Introduction to these Units
You are asked to read the five Units in turn and complete the 'Doing-It-Yourself' exercises. These exercises aim to reinforce your learning. If any questions arise from them they can be raised at the study group session. This 'homework' is an essential part of the course and if it is not attempted the group sessions will be difficult for you.
Also included in the Units are 'Doing-It-Together' Exercises. These are tackled in the group sessions held between the Units. They are included so that you will know something of what is coming in those sessions. The course ends with a Study Day.
There are two other pieces of work to be done during the course. At one of your group sessions, the tutor will introduce what the 'Self-appraisal' is. There is a form at the end of these Units which will help you to reflect upon your experience of studying this course. The other task is a written assignment. A choice of topics is shown at the end of Unit 5. You don't have to wait until
the end of the course to start work on your assignment, which will be marked and returned to you with comments.
Some aids to preparation will be needed, but some sharing of resources can probably be arranged. It will be very useful if you have or can borrow a concordance, but you may wish to see the range of what is available at the first session before you purchase anything. It will also be very useful to have a Bible with references, and a Bible or Bible handbook with brief introductions to the books of the Bible.
Some thoughts on your approach
Be prepared to talk. Be prepared to listen. What are your expectations? Where do you expect to learn from?
You might expect to learn from the Bible. But how do you get your ideas from the Bible?
This course aims to offer a few techniques and approaches. You might expect to learn from the teaching of the Church. But so much has been spoken and written.
Where do you start? How do you decide whom to believe?
This course really only sketches a few lines of thought, and gives you a few flavours to whet your appetite. Beyond that, it is between your spirit and the Holy Spirit. You are very definitely going to learn by reflecting on your own experience, and taking a second look at the ideas you bring with you. This is one of the ways in which Jesus worked.
This course aims to start from where you are, and help you to move on. You are very definitely going to learn from others, because God speaks to each of us in personal terms. The Bible itself gives us at least four different pictures of Jesus.
This course looks at different pictures of Jesus, and hence at Jesus' picture of God. You will learn from your tutor, and your tutor will probably learn from you.
But your tutor is there to help you learn for yourself.
We hope you will begin to find ways of putting it all together.
That is what this course aims to help you to do.
But God-talk is not just us talking about God, listening to God-talk and reading God-talk.
For most believers it is based on a relationship with God. It is a matter of talking with God and listening to God who speaks through all the talk and story.