During stay-at-home orders, the internet has been a lifeline for many. In addition to using social media, lots of people are taking classes or researching topics, many with a religious bent.

Here's some of what people are learning about online:

In-depth theology

On the in-depth end of the spectrum, the Homebrewed Christianity podcast at trippfuller.com is offering “The Rise of Bonhoeffer: Ethics & Empire in a Post-Truth Era.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor and theologian in Germany during the time of Adolf Hitler. He was imprisoned and executed for his stance against Hitler and the Nazis. 

His books — "Cost of Discipleship," which encouraged people to move away from a comfortable religion and to radical following of Jesus Christ; "Life Together," about Christian community; and "Letters and Papers from Prison" — are still classic reading for many Christians. Visit christianitytoday.com/history/people/martyrs/dietrich-bonhoeffer.html for a short biography. 

“Each of the elements are intended to provide all the resources necessary for the engaged nerd like yourself to wrestle deeply with a powerful thinker like Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” according to a description of the five-week online forum.

Theological ethicist Jeffrey C. Pugh will give a lecture each week, then he and host Tripp Fuller will discuss it. The class is invited to a private group page for more conversation. Readings will come from five of Bonhoeffer’s books.

Visit homebrewedchristianity.lpages.co/riseofbonhoeffer/ to sign up. The course is offered on a donation basis. People are also encouraged to help sponsor others. Sessions are at 4 p.m. Tuesdays and start June 2. The lectures will also be sent by email to registered participants as well as on the livestream.

Bible reading for children

How about a Bible reading plan for children?

Kids Beach Club, a ministry that tries to reach every third- through sixth-grade student through an after-school program, started its summer Bible reading program on May 24 at kidsbeachclub.org/srp.

This Hang 10 plan offers weekly PDFs and videos taking children through the Bible in sections, such as the Books of Law or the Prophets, in 10 minutes a day. There is also a PDF that offers the entire reading plan in one download.

The program itself is free, but some activities are keyed to the KBC Explorer’s Study Bible, which is for sale on its site. 

When to open church

Thom S. Rainer recently wrote on the Church Answers blog about why church members are disagreeing about when to restart in-person services.

The five answers are short, but if you want a summary, he reminds leaders: “You can’t please everyone all the time.” He tells them to do what they think is best.

Visit churchanswers.com/blog/five-reasons-your-church-members-are-disagreeing-about-when-to-regather to read more.


Facets of Faith runs every other Saturday in Living. Reach Leila Pitchford at lpitchford@theadvocate.com.