Outer: Worth Being Familiar With
- Divergent beliefs of Catholics and Protestants about Christian fundamentals
- Theories of soteriology and their contributors
- Avery Dulles' Models of the Church
Middle: Important to Know and Do
- Terms: mystery, paradox, agape, eros, incarnation, grace, paschal, pentecost, mystical
- Look up passages from Scripture; read for understanding
Center: Big Ideas and Core Concepts
Big ideas: mystery, paradox, authentic love, "incarnation" and religious representation, Paschal Mystery, Pentecost, Church
Big ideas framed as understandings:
- To call God "Love" both respects God's mysteriousness and summarizes his self-revelation to human beings.
- The Paschal Mystery is the linchpin of God's love and of Christian salvation.
- The Church is the visible continuation of the presence of Christ and the Paschal Mystery throught the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Critically examine uses of the word "love" in popular discourse and in theology.
- Explain how the Paschal Mystery fulfills Jesus' promise of eternal life.
- Interpret data about the Catholic Church according to the distinction between its human and divine dimensions.
The next step in Stage 1 is: "Select and develop Essential Questions to guide inquiry into the big ideas"
Questions can be topical or overarching; open or guiding. There should be a balance of open vs. guiding questions; and topical questions should be explicitly matched to overarching questions. A unit should have approximately 2-5 essential questions. They should: cause inquiry into the B.I.'s; provoke deep thought, discussion, and inquiry; lead students to consider alternatives, weigh evidence, support ideas, and justify answers; stimulate ongoing rethinking and self-questioning; lead to meaningful connections; and naturally recur and transfer.
Step 1: Start with the textbook. If the text provides "answers," then what are the questions? What are the "answers" of my textbooks?
From Celebrating Sacraments Teaching Manual by Stoutzenberger:
- Christians believe in the Incarnation--that God became human to communicate love for us.
- Jesus is the primary sacrament of God tot he world, revealing God's kingdom in his life and ministry.
- Jesus dying to free us from the bods of sin and death, and his rising to bring us into a new life with God in the Spirit, is known as the paschal mystery.
- We witness [the Paschal Mystery] often in everyday life as a cycle of life, death, and new life.
- Jesus models humanity as its best, faithfully responding to God's offer of grace.
- On Pentecost the Holy Spirit empowered the disciples as the Christian [C]hurch to be the sacrament of Jesus Christ to the world.
- The [C]hurch can be understood as the people of God, a community of believers in Jesus; the Body of Christ, whose members combine their individual gifts to bring Christ to the world; and the temple of the Holy Spirit.
- The [C]hurch, empowered by the Spirit as both a sign and an instrument of the Kingdom of God, carries on Jesus' work.
- The [C]hurch is called to be oen united whole with Jesus as the center.
From Our Sacramental Life Teacher's Manual by Driedger:
- In order to understand how the sacraments are the work of Christ and continue Christ's work on earth, we must understand more about his Church.
- The Church is a multidimensional reality. Two aspects of this reality are the Church as Body of Christ and the Chruch as the Sacrament of Christ.
- As members of the Chruch we are united to one another.
- Christ is the head of the Church; all members of the Church strive to be like Christ.
- Christ and the Church are not the same. The head and members of one body have a distinct relationship. The image used to the describe this relationship is that of a bride and bridegroom.
- The Church exists to point others to Christ.
- The Church is both Christ's instrument and the visible sign of God's plan for all humanity.
- The Church has botha visible and invisible or spiritual dimension.
- All members of the Church are called to carry on Christ's work.
- Christ establish the Chruch as a visible organization with a hierarchical structure through which he communicates truth and grace.
- By her relationship with Christ, the Church is called a sacrament.
- Christ himself is the prime, or primordial sacrament.
Also, let's not forget my "fake standards":
- the meaning of the phrase, “God is Love”.
- patterns in the actions of God in creation, revelation, and salvation.
- “incarnation” as referring both to Christ as the presence of God and to the experience of God in tangible things.
- how the Paschal Mystery fulfills Christ’s promise of eternal life.
- how the event of Pentecost characterizes both the power of the Holy Spirit and the Mission of the Church.
- Biblical images of the Church as the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, the People of God, and the Temple of the Spirit.
- qualities of the human and divine aspects of the Church.
All right. Step 2 is to brainstorm questions. Specifically, I want about 3 topical questions.
- Why would God have chosen to save humanity through the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery? Could he have done so in other ways? How would the first Christians have answered this question? (Guiding)
- How exactly does the Paschal Mystery "work"? What does the political execution of a 1st century Palestinian Jew by the Roman Empire have to do with me? (Open)
- Why is a Church necessary? What are the alternatives? Why didn't Jesus simply stay on Earth? (Guiding)
OK, these are more like "question clusters," but each bullet is ultimately a single question.
Next, I need to broaden these questions into overarching questions.
- What does love look like for Catholics? (Open)
- Is there a pattern to the way God does things? Why does he work the way he does? (Open)
- What is the best way to represent ("re-present") the person, love, and saving power of Jesus of Nazareth in an accessible way to people today? (Guiding)
Now I need to narrow. 2-5 questions. Less is more. Let's aim for four.
- (Topical, Open) How exactly does the Paschal Mystery "work"? What does the political execution of a 1st century Palestinian Jew by the Roman Empire have to do with me?
- (Overarching, Open) What do God's actions reveal about love? What does love look like for Catholics?
- (Topical, Guiding) Why is a Church necessary? What are the alternatives? Why didn't Jesus simply stay on Earth?
- (Overarching, Guiding) What is the best way to represent ("re-present") the person, love, and saving power of Jesus of Nazareth in an accessible way to people today? (Guiding)
- (Overarching, Open) How can we talk about mysteries if they are beyond human understanding?
(I edited these based on Part 4 above)