1. Was there anything surprising to you in Metzger’s piece?
2. What arguments have you heard supporting the argument that Christians should not observe Halloween—that doing so might even be sinful? How convinced are you of these arguments? Why? How impressive or compelling do you think non-Christians would find this position? To what extent does it matter what non-Christians think?
3. What arguments have you heard supporting the argument that it’s fine for Christians to observe Halloween—that even if it once was questionable, in our secular society those reasons no longer count? How convinced are you of these arguments? Why? How impressive or compelling do you think non-Christians would find this position? To what extent does it matter what non-Christians think?
4. Did you know the real—the original—story of Sleeping Beauty? Would you be comfortable telling it to children? Why or why not?
5. Compare and contrast the two visions of Christian faith (pre- and post-19th century) summarized by Metzger. Which seems more authentically biblical? Why?
6. Has this article changed your thinking in any way? Does it raise questions you would like to consider further, or perhaps research?
7. How can individual Christians, and Christian families, find their way through the myriad opposing positions advocated by Christians on so many issues in our world? In many cases, to disagree on such things is to be dismissed as “worldly” or perhaps even shunned, marginalized in the community of believers. How should we respond to these expressions of legalism?
8. “Gargoyles and gods,” Metzger says, “are less dangerous than Satan and his demons in the wide world of wickedness. Yet they serve to widen our imagination and keep our faith from becoming a bit too tame—and boring.” To what extent do you find common expressions of Christian faith tame or boring? Do your non-Christian friends see it similarly?
9. What have you done to intentionally develop a distinctly Christian mind? What have you done to help your imagination to flower in a distinctly Christian way? What plans should you make?
10. Do you sense “cultural fault lines” between the Christian community and the rest of society widening or closing? What should they be doing? Why?
[Questions by Denis Haack.]