Quick note: Last year I lead a series on the Bible, which I called "Bible Basics". The website that I posted that series on is still available by clicking on the link To simplify our website, I took the page off the normal header and page and have this link available. 


What is "Tough Questions"?

Welcome to "Tough Questions" where we explore some of the difficult questions of our time. At each session I will prerecord the introduction to each question. This question will be available on this page a week before the session. The format of each session is as follows:

7:00 - start

7:00-7:30 - a short introduction to the question. This introduction will include different view points and ways of approaching the question. 

7:30-8:30 - the group can ask questions, pose new thoughts, or discuss the question in an open forum.


What will we discuss?


Outline of the Series:

Session 1 (9/18, 21): Foundation and Quest for Truth: What is truth?

Session 2 (9/25,28): Are we really free?

Session 3 (10/2, 5): Did Jesus descend into Hell?

No Tough Questions the week of October 9th.

Session 4 (10/16, 19): Are faith and evolution compatible?

Session 5 (10/23, 26): Why is there evil in the world?

Session 6 (10/30, 11/2): Are extra-terrestrials saved?

Session 7 (11/6, 9): How do we understand homosexuality?

Session 8 (11/13, 16): Is there such a thing as a just war?

*This series is available in two locations. The dates above reflect these two locations. The first date is the session in Superior, MT and the second date is the location in Missoula, MT.


This part of the series is an introduction to the art of debate. A necessary part of this series is the ability to ask good questions, reason through arguments, make good analogies, and understand the implications of our statements. Therefore I created this preliminary session to provide principles to guide these questions and to help us dialogue well. 

Notes for Principles for Having a Good Debate

This session explores the question what is truth by examining different ways of understanding truth. The exploration of this quest set the foundation for the rest of the series. 

Notes for Session 1: What is truth?

This session explores the issue of freedom. What is freedom? What is determinism? How do we understand our freedom? What are the implications of seeking for and desiring freedom?

Notes for Question 2: Are we really free?

Did Jesus descend into Hell? These words - and he descended into Hell - appear in the Apostle's Creek, but what do they mean?

  • What is Heaven, Hell, Purgatory?
  • Can God go to hell?
  • What is meant by these words in the Creed?

Notes for Question 3: Did Jesus descend into Hell?

This question explores the debate of whether faith can accept the premises of evolution. In this session we will explore the following ideas:

  1. the intersection and conflict between faith and reason
  2. the scientific mindset
  3. Scientific Laws and Theories
  4. The Church and evolution
  5. the implications of evolution and the debate between faith and evolution

Notes for Question 4: Is faith compatible with evolution?


This question attempts to answer one of the age-old questions: How can there be evil in the world with an all-good God?

The main points for discussion are the following:

  1. Theodicy and the search for an answer
  2. What is evil?
  3. implications of the definition of evil?
  4. A world with evil

Notes for question 5: Why is there evil in the world?

I sense that many people think that this question is rather ridiculous. In some ways I agree. We cannot prove whether extraterrestrials even exist much less if they are human. Underlying this question are some important points for Christians to reflect on. The follow are some of the main points that i want to draw out of this question:

  1. What defines a human being?
  2. What is the soul?
  3. What do we mean by universal salvation?
  4. Can Jesus appear as other beings beside human?
  5. What does it mean to be "saved"?

Notes for Question 6: Can Extraterrestrials be Saved?

I think that this question is the number one most controversial question in this series. It is controversial for several reasons. The primary reason is that we don't know a lot about homosexuality and therefore we can't draw many conclusions. The second reason is that it affects almost everyone. Almost everyone knows someone who has same-sex attraction, experiences it themselves, or is affected by political or social factors. The following question is designed to help us talk and dialogue about the issue. I present some of the major arguments surrounding homosexuality as the backdrop from which we can further discuss. The follow are some of the major points:

  1. the history of homosexuality
  2. definition of terms
  3. Homosexuality and the Church
  4. the origins of homosexuality
  5. implications

Notes for Question 7: How do we understand homosexuality?

I imagine that this question is on the mind of many people as we watch the news of war and violence throughout the world. This session explores the nuances of war and moral theology. The following points are the main parts of this session:

  1. What determines a moral action?
  2. How do we understand the morality of war?
  3. How do we justify war?
  4. Can there be a just war?

Notes for Question 8: Is there such a thing as a just war?