Study guide to For the Bible Tells Me So published

Christine Wicker, Huffington Post, thinks part of the problem that prevents open discussions about sex and God, in families and communities, is fear.

Wicker reports on a new study guide for the film For the Bible Tells Me So to help discussions and overcome stifling fear.

Fear has a stifling effect, and for some time, that silence has accompanied the business of tearing apart families, communities, churches, and, some would argue, perhaps even the whole of Christianity.

When Daniel Karslake set out to make his 2007 documentary For the Bible Tells Me So, all he wanted to do was start the conversation, because he believed there was power in talking. He attracted some big names to the project: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, and Gene Robinson, the Episcopal church’s first openly gay bishop. But the core of the film is really the intimate stories of Christian families, including Gephardt’s and Robinson’s, who discovered they didn’t have to choose between their faith and their gay children.

Remarkably, when most documentaries would have come and gone, For the Bible Tells Me So is still riding a wave of momentum three years since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Screenings are going on around the country and as far away as China, Chile and Botswana, and the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly has put it in the company of An Inconvenient Truth and The Cove, two Oscar winners, as one of “Five Movies That Changed the World.”

A Study Guide, This I Know has been released as a companion to the film:

Now, with the release of a companion study program, the film seems destined to stretch its reach even further.

The publisher of the study, Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas, had nothing to do with the making of For the Bible Tells Me So. Impressed by the message of the film, they approached Karslake’s production team with the idea. A trustworthy guide to accompany the film could bring the conversation to people and into places that might otherwise shy away in fear.

The result is a six-week course for individual and small-group study called “This I Know,” a title that (like the movie) borrows from the familiar children’s hymn “Jesus Loves Me.” It suits the material well because, from start to finish, the study is an invitation to move beyond fear and toward the radical, unconditional love that Christ modeled.

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