Has anyone done the Alpha course?

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by alvin, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. alvin

    alvin New Member

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    Hi
    Has anyone try the alpha course before?
    If so how did it help you grow spirtually?
    Should most Anglican take the course to help strenghten their faith?
    Thank you
     
  2. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    I haven't done the course, but I thought it was more for those who were seeking or who were interested in exploring what Christianity is about. I might be wrong though.
     
  3. alvin

    alvin New Member

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    I think you could be right. It more for new seekers as oppose to baptize Christian
     
  4. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    I did the course when I was preparing for confirmation. It gave me a fresh perspective on being a Christian, although I believe that better tools could be created to grow already practicing Anglicans spiritually. You won't hear much about those things that are specific to the catholic faith - in fact I felt that they had been watered down intentionally so as to appeal to certain groups.
     
  5. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    My church is working through the Alpha course right now. I am taking part of it as a way to get to meet other parishioners and to grow in my knowledge of the Christian faith. My priest recommended it as part of my development for confirmation. I think that it is a good program for both those new and familiar with Christianity.

    For the new people like me, I feel comfortable to ask questions, share confusion and my doubts. The group is supportive and not judgmental and I come away from it inspired by their help. I find the other people have been through the course several times are happy to help new people like me. I enjoy connecting directly with people than at a formal lecture or bible study group with a our priest. The older Christians share their insights, stories and perspectives so it is a nice balance to people like me who are just so unstable. The videos are well produced are a just long enough to informative but not dull.

    I do see that it leans more towards the evangelical side of theology, but with only a 20 minute video it can be hard to go into great detail of history or in depth study in a casual setting. The last video did have a Roman Catholic priest, so there is some attempt to broaden the perspectives shared.
     
  6. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    I had heard at an ACNA church planting conference about a year ago that the course had recently been revamped. I have browsed over it and not thought it worthy of an increased investment of my time. It is primarily designed as an inquirer's course. It is something of a sacred cow to those in the charismatic "stream" -they typically cannot envision a catechesis ministry with anything other than ALPHA (especially not the crusty old catechism).
     
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  7. MadHermit

    MadHermit New Member

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    My United Methodist Church did the Alpha course jointly with the local Roman Catholic church. The Alpha talks sparked great discussion and new Catholic/ Methodist friendships were forged. I doubt you could find a more engaging speaker than Nicky Gumbel for such a program. That said, here is what shocked me. Nicky is a charismatic preacher and there is a major stress on the operation of the gifts of the Spirit in some videos. That was great for me because I grew up in a Canadian Pentecostal church and have experienced most of the gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12. But Nicky gives significant play to the late John Wimber's brand of charismatic spirituality. that is associated with the Vineyard movement. We did the Alpha Course because it is the most widely used interdenominational course out there. But admittedly the reason for this interdenominational appeal eludes me because of the course's strong charismatic emphasis.
     
  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    Which is part of the problem I have with it. I have attended Alpha courses and taken part in the leadership of a few and very much enjoyed the experience. As an introduction to The Christian Faith, for those who think God is an 'Old man in the sky' and Jesus was 'a white man with a ginger beard, wearing a sheet', it does at least 'educate' the profoundly ignorant, leaving them with at least a fundamental understanding of what actual Christianity is about.

    That being said however Alpha is pretty much what it says on the label, 'a beginning' not an end, and it specifically appeals to a middle class intellectual type of person, used to having a longer than 15 minute attention span and a 'lecture' style delivery, albeit with humorous interludes to make it more entertaining. Nicky is a very good preacher and well worth listening to.

    As a confirmation preparation it has its limits. It says nothing of Covenant Theology, which is a great deficiency in an Anglican context, where an understanding of how various aspects of soteriology and regeneration fit within the overall outworking of The New Covenant between God and mankind. Especially the effects of infant baptism and confirmation, plus any possible 'conversion' or 'Holy Spirit empowerment', experience subsequent to those rites.

    Perhaps an Omega course on Covenant Theology, for adults inquiring into the 'Mysteries of God', Lk.8:10, 1 Cor.4:1-2. Heb.6:1-12. Does such a, residential or otherwise, course exist, in any dioceses I wonder?
     

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