Lesson video

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Hi and welcome to RE I'm miss Kendrick.

And I'm going to be teaching this unit on Christian Beliefs and Teachings.

We are really excited to be able to teach you remotely through Oak Academy.

And we're going to be covering as much as we can in Christianity.

But it's such a broad religion with so much variety that I'm afraid we just can't cover everything.

It's just not possible.

So we're mostly going to be focusing on those topics in Christianity and those views in Christianity which are covered by the main exam boards in the UK.

As we're hoping to gear you up for your GCSE.

If you're interested in something that's not covered in these lessons.

I really encourage you to carry on researching.

We really want to inspire you to look into religion more and learn more about these different views.

What I talk about in these lessons is not the whole of Christianity.

It's just a part of Christianity.

So just keep that in mind, as we go through these different lessons that there are a huge amount of variety of views.

I personally find them all really, really interesting.

So I hope you do as well.

So what we're going to be looking at in today's lesson? This is the first lesson on our unit on Christianity.

So we're going to be looking at the nature of God.

So we're going start off actually by looking at how views on the nature of God is expressed in Christian art.

Partly because I really like art but I think it really expresses some key concepts about God in Christianity.

We're also going to look at the doctrine of the Trinity.

So we're starting with something really tricky.

So I hope you've got your brains all geared up and ready.

We're going to learn some key words to describe God.

And we're going to practise a couple of straightforward and exam style questions.

As we're going to be trying to cater to a variety of different exam boards, I will let you know which exam boards the questions best fit with.

And I'm also just going to give you some general tips for writing about Christianity in an exam.

What are you going to need for today's lesson? Well, this is going to be very straightforward.

You're just going to need a pen or pencil and some paper, and generally the will to learn.

This is going to require you to be really, really active, you're not just going to sit here and watch me, you're going to be taking part in this lesson as well because that's how we learn things don't we? Things don't just soak into our brains automatically.

We need to think hard to make it happen.

So I really hope that you're ready to do that as well.

So, if you do not have everything you need, you need to pause the video now and go get them.

I'm going to give you that moment pause now.

And hopefully you've got everything you need now.

So we will begin.

To start off with I have this picture which if I showed this to a class of students and said who is this? They probably would say, God.

And this is quite a familiar picture Isn't it? You might have seen this in Christian art or in other places as well in films or books, things like that.

Although lots of people will look at this picture and say, Oh, that's a picture of God.

It's actually quite misleading in some ways.

Now, one reason why Christian art has historically shown God as a man with a big flowing white beard in the clouds is actually because of Greek art.

So throughout history, lots of artists have been really influenced by Greek art.

And they saw all those Greek paintings of Greek gods like Zeus.

And they really liked them and they borrowed those images when painting the Christian God.

And this is one reason why we often see God depicted like this in Christianity.

Now I said this can be misleading and I've got two main reasons why this picture in particular can be quite misleading.

Number one, traditionally Christians do not believe that God the Father has a physical body.

Now, sometimes in the Bible God is described as having a physical body.

So it might say the hand of God or God is seated on his throne but traditionally Christians will see this as symbolic language.

It's ways of understanding something that is so beyond human understanding and experience that human language and attributes are used to help people to understand it a little bit better.

So that's the first thing, Christians don't believe that God the Father has a physical body and literally looks like this guy.

Another thing is you might notice, I've been saying God the Father and this is because of the Christian belief in the Trinity.

So I'll to show you another picture.

Now, this is a picture of a stained glass window.

And for many Christians, this is God.

So, here we have a familiar sort of image haven't we? We've got the God the Father with the flowing white beard haven't we? And we've also got Jesus seated next to him.

So holding a cross, he's holding his fingers like this which we shall talk about in a little bit and give you a bit more detail.

And then in between them, we've got this dove and the dove represents the Holy Spirit.

Now, for Christians who believe in the Trinity, they would say that all of these three persons, and persons is the right word, I know it sounds a bit weird but I promise you is, each of these persons are part of God and together they are God.

Not three different gods, not one God acting like three different people, but one God all together.

And I'm going to talk about that a little bit more later on.

But there's lots of really interesting things to talk about in this picture first.

So we've got the Holy Spirit being represented as a dove and this is quite a traditional representation of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is also sometimes represented as fire because of the story of Pentecost which we'll look at in a future lesson.

But often the representation of the Holy Spirit as a dove shows peace and the shows God's presence in the world.

If we look at Jesus, we can see Jesus is holding the cross.

So this is showing the Christian belief that Jesus was crucified for the sins of humanity.

You can even see the nail marks in his hands on this picture.

So the idea that Jesus had a physical body that died on the cross.

And we've also got two other things, so Jesus is holding his hand like this and in traditional Christian art and icons you often see different hand gestures and they all have meanings.

This was quite straightforward, it's generally representing the Trinity because we've got three fingers raised haven't we?.

And lastly, Jesus is dressed in a blue and blue has a real symbolic meaning in Christian art.

It represents human life.

And if we see next to Jesus, God the Father is wearing red which represents divine life.

And this next to the belief that Jesus is God incarnate, God in a human flesh and human form which again, we'll look at more in a later lesson.

We've got a lot haven't we? in this already.

I've got a couple more things to tell you.

If you look at God the Father, we can see He's holding a sort of globe or sphere with a cross on it.

Now, this is showing God's power and authority over the world.

And sometimes you might see pictures of Kings and Queens holding the same sort of object.

And again it represents or authority and He's wearing a crown as well.

A very, very elaborate crown.

And again, this shows the belief that God is sovereign over the world.

He's King of the universe, He's the all powerful Creator.

So I've told you quite a lot about the Christian beliefs in God already just from this picture.

So we're going to pause and I'm going to ask you some quick five questions to see how much you can remember of what I've just said.

So I'm going to go through these questions.

If you want to talk to your screen, I 100% encourage that but you don't have to.

You might find that deeply embarrassing and uncomfortable but at least think of the answer in your head, or you can point to the answer on the screen as well.

So first question, what does Jesus' gesture of holding up three fingers traditionally refer to in Christian art? Give you one, two, three.

It represents the Trinity, the belief in three persons in one God.

What does the globe with a cross on traditionally represent? God's power and authority over the world.

What is the Holy Spirit traditionally represented as in Christian art? A dove.

What colour shows divine life in traditional Christian art Got red.

What colour shows human life in traditional Christian art? Blue.

Yes, first I had to pause for a second I thought I've got it the wrong way round but I haven't.

And what colour does Jesus wear in traditional Christian art? Think about who Christians believe Jesus is or what Jesus is? Blue.

Which of the explanations below is the best description of God in traditional Christianity? I'm going to give you slightly longer for this one to have a think about it.

Oh, I see that's not come up very well.

It's, there is one God in three persons.

There you go you can see it's sort of flashing there and we have to be really careful with this one because it's really, really tricky to explain the Trinity and to understand it.

What does Jesus' gesture holding up three fingers traditionally refer to in Christian Arts? We're coming back to this again to see if you can still remember it.

It's the Trinity.

What does the globe with a cross in it traditionally represents? Power and Authority.

What is the Holy Spirit traditionally represented as in Christian art? A dove.

What colour shows divine life in Christian art? Red.

What colour shows human life in traditional Christian art? Blue.

What colour does Jesus wear in traditional Christian art? Again, think about who Christians believe Jesus is Blue.

So that's showing human flesh of human life Isn't it? And which of the explanations below is the best description of God in traditional Christianity? There we go, there is one God in three persons.

So we're going to go into this a little bit more.

I've told you several times that the Trinity is a really tricky concept and it's important for you to understand that.

I always say to my students after our lesson of the Trinity, if you come out of the lesson thinking you get it, then you've missed something.

If you come out of the lesson thinking, hang on a second but she was saying this, but then there's this issue blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

Then you're closer to understanding the Trinity because essentially the Trinity is a mystery.

It's something that's very difficult for Christian or Christians would say it's something very difficult for humans to understand.

'Cause they would say that God is so beyond human understanding.

But we can get close with sentence statements about the Trinity.

So firstly, we've got our definition.

The Trinity refers to the traditional Christian belief that there is one God in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

And again, I've used that word persons rather than people which my students always complain about but it is the correct theological term.

And this is because traditionally Christians would say that the three persons of the Trinity are distinct from each other.

So they are different persons, they're not exactly the same but they are all equally God and that there is one God.

This diagram's really helpful.

So see it says, The Father is God but He is not the Son.

The son is God but He is not the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God but He is not The Father.

Now, what this really draws out is one common misunderstanding in Christianity that The Father is God and The Son and the Holy Spirit maybe ain't God in the same way.

So often I find students will say, the Trinity is God The son and the Holy Spirit or they'll about The Father as God but they won't talk about Jesus as God.

And again, it's because it's tricky.

And you might find you have that in your mind as well because it's very difficult to get into our heads this idea that they are all equally God but different from each other.

I think the key thing for you to understand and I'm just going to make it clear now, we are not going to solve the Trinity today.

It's been discussed for 2000 years and it's still considered a mystery.

The thing you need to make sure you understand is that traditionally Christians believe that all three persons of the Trinity are equally God.

They are not exactly the same as each other.

It's not one God who today puts on a Jesus mask and tomorrow puts on a Holy Spirit mask and acts in different ways.

Or it's not like I might have different roles.

Like at school I'm a teacher and at home I'm a sister and a daughter or a friend or things like that.

It's not one person just taking on different roles.

It's three distinct persons who equally make one God.

If your brain is hurting, excellent, I'm doing something right? So key things to remember Trinity is a mystery.

But what we can and be more sense and relevant to talk about a bit more easily is different roles in the Trinity.

So if we look at the Bible, the different persons of the Trinity often spoken about in different ways and they have different main roles.

So for example, The Father is seen to be the Creator.

Now again, traditionally Christians believe that the Son and the Holy Spirit both took part in creation.

They believe there're both eternal and were there as well but Creator is the main role of the Father.

The main role of the Son is Saviour.

And this links to the Christian belief that Jesus died for people's sins.

And the Holy Spirit's main role is to be a Guide.

So Christians might pray and ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance.

Now that doesn't mean that Christians don't believe that Jesus is a Guide because they would say his teachings are a guide or what some other roles as well? So this is where my mind goes blank, I've already talked about creation.

So they would talk about the Holy Spirit being part of creation as well.

So there is a bit of both in all of them but these are the main roles.

They do overlap basically is what I'm trying to say.

So the question is, does this mean that each person of the Trinity only has certain roles? What's the answer? No.

There is overlap in these roles.

For example, Christians believe all persons within the Trinity took part in creation.

We're getting there aren't we? Okay, we're going to pause for a moment, so you can answer some questions.

So answer this in full sentences because otherwise when you look back at your work, you won't have a clue what you were going on about, try and add lots and lots of detail and once you're finished you're going to play the video again and you can get the answers.

So you can pause once the questions are on the screen Okay, I'm back.

So we're going to look at some qualities of God.

so we've looked at Christian beliefs about God, about the Trinity, who Christians traditionally believe God is, we've looked at some main roles in the Trinity, that the Father is the Creator, that the Son is the Saviour that the Holy Spirit is the Guide.

Now we're going to look at qualities.

So if we're talking about qualities we mean what a person or a thing is like.

One of my qualities is that I've got red hair.

I don't know one of your qualities, you might be able to think of some of your qualities as well, at least your hair colour.

Now, when I say the word God, you probably have a particular idea in your mind.

So I'm going to get you to pause the video and make a mind map.

I've got one started for you here and I want you to think about what qualities you think Christians believe God has.

Or you might even add some qualities that you think God should have to be God and not something else.

Okay, hopefully you got on well with your mind map and this is my one, I'm going to talk through it briefly.

And then we're going to look at some key words that are really useful to have with the GCSE.

So there are six main qualities we often talk about and I've added an extra one as well, so we've got seven.

So we've got the belief that God is all loving.

So Christians generally believe this because they believe that God sent his son to die so that people could have a renewed relationship with him.

We've got the belief that God is all powerful.

So this often comes from the story of creation.

If God created the universe surely he would be all powerful.

We've got the belief that God is all knowing.

We've talked about Creator as well.

So again, that's seen as a role and a quality of God.

We've got this word transcendent.

I wonder if you've come across this word before.

Transcendent means outside of time and space.

And this is really important when it comes to the quality of being the Creator.

Christians would say, well, this is a philosophical thing really 'cause it just makes sense.

But if fits with Christian belief.

If something was to be the creator of the universe, it would have to exist outside of the universe.

For example, if you were to build a house, you couldn't build a house if you were already in the house because the house would already exist if you were in it, right? If you're going to build a house, you have to start off outside the house and then build it.

Even if you were to build a house around yourself, you still start off outside the house because the house isn't there yet.

I hope that I haven't confused you too much.

Either way because of the belief that God is the Creator, Christians would say that you then have to believe that God is transcendent outside of space and time to be the Creator.

That links the next one If God is outside of space and time as well, then surely He would have to be eternal.

Which means without beginning or end.

Because beginnings and ends are things that happen within time.

If you say, Oh, when did the film begin? I'm talking about when in time did it begin.

Or when did the film ends? I'm talking about when in time did the film end? If we're talking about things being outside of time then we lose beginnings and ends.

We have this idea that God is eternal.

And finally, we've got the belief that God is imminent.

This means to be within everything.

Sometimes you might hear this word used, someone might say, Oh, something's happening imminently.

It means something is closest close to happening.

So if God is eminent that means that he's also within the universe.

And this often links specifically to the belief in Jesus, that Jesus was God in the universe imminently and with humans.

But they believe that the Holy Spirit is in the universe with humans as well.

Really, really nice theology going on here.

Theology is the study of God.

It means you're thinking hard and making sure everything fits together.

Can you make sure you add it, all of these different things to your own mind map, so you can pause for a moment to do that and then we're going to look at some more key words.

So pause now to add this.

Okay, And let's look at some more fancy key words.

So, we've got this word Omni Now Omni is a Greek word that means all.

And so we're going to put that at the beginning of some other words.

We've got Omni meaning all and then we've got potent meaning powerful.

Sometimes I walk into my classroom after my form of being in there or lunchtime and I go, Oh, what a potent smell? It means a strong or path or smell.

So omnipotent, I can't speak, Omnipotent means all powerful so this is a word that Christians traditionally use to describe God.

So we've already got omnipotent.

So if we add Omni onto benevolent, benevolent means all loving.

And so we've got Omnibenevolent, meaning all loving.

And actually you can see one way to remember this is that Omnibenevolent has love and it's spelled backwards.

So that is one way to remember what that word means.

Next we've got omniscient.

So the word scientia, which I might not be saying very well means knowledge.

So it's that like science, science is gaining knowledge about the universe Isn't it? So omniscient and we've got that S-C-I in it, all about knowledge is God being all knowing.

So I'm going to get you to learn at these key words and you're going to do a task called cover, write, check, repeat.

Or look, cover, write, check, repeat.

This task is not usually very popular with students but it is so, so powerful.

So what you're going to do is you're going to look at the definitions.

I'm going to have them on the slide in a moment.

You're going to read over them, You're going to cover them.

You're going to try and write them from memory.

You're going to check your answers, make any corrections and you're going to repeat it five times.

Now, I always say to my students, if you write it out five times perfectly, I know you haven't done it properly.

This is all about making mistakes and correcting them.

And it's a really, really powerful way to learn 'cause it makes your brain think hard.

And that's why students often don't like it because not easy and straightforward.

You do have to actually do some hard work.

This sort of tasks is going to come up regularly in this unit so you may as well bite the bullet now.

So I'm going to get you to pause on the next slide and do some look, cover, write, check repeat.

Okay, well done for doing that task.

And we've done quite a lot already which is really, really good.

Now just got a couple more points to make before we start writing some GCSE style questions.

Everything we've looked at today had links to worshipping God.

And that's something that is going to be brought out more in the unit on Christian practises that I would encourage you to have a look at as well.

But Christians believe that God is worthy of worship and praise because of his qualities.

So to worship means to show praise and adoration or love and adoration.

So traditionally Christians would say, well, if God's the creator of the universe and if he's all powerful and all loving then the only appropriate response to him is praise and worship.

It's not that God is sort of self centred or has a massive ego and is like, "hey guys, you have to worship me".

It is the correct response to a being with those qualities.

That's what Christians would say.

And it's something that Christians would say is a joyful thing to do to worship God for his qualities.

So Creator is one of those I've already mentioned another one would be the belief that He is the Saviour.

If someone rescues you from something you're so, so thankful aren't you? You might give them a present, you might say I owe you a debt, I'll do anything for you, I will help you whenever you need help, et cetera, et cetera.

Now, Christian traditionally believe that God has saved them from sin, save them from death and given them salvation.

And therefore they would say that the only appropriate response is to give their whole lives in thanks, and worship and adoration.

So that's one or two motivators for Christians to worship God.

And the second one I've got that is God's authority.

So again, Christians would say that God can demand obedience because He has that authority, because He is the Creator of the universe, because He is all knowing and all loving as well.

So traditionally Christians would say that when God gives a rule to live by, it's a rule given out of love and what rule given out of wisdom.

And that God is good and so that He deserves humans obedience.

So again, it's not an angry sort of rule giver.

Christians would say traditionally that those are good things to follow.

It's something joyful to follow as well.

Obviously, there are lots of people in the world who disagree and that is fine.

I am telling you the mainstream traditional Christian views here.

So we're going to look at some, GCSE style questions.

Now I've already said at the very beginning of the lesson, that we are trying to make sure that this is going to be relevant to lots of different exam boards and different exam boards are going to ask you questions in slightly different ways.

But there's enough overlap that we can do this meaningfully.

So most exam boards will ask you to answer 'explain question' And in these you will need to state that belief and then develop it by giving an example or explaining why a Christian if you're talking about Christianity, may have that belief.

So explain questions will be slightly different for each exam board.

And you will need to ask your teacher which exam board you are sitting to make sure that you're doing this right? And the question above at the top of the screen, which is going to be explained, two Christian beliefs about God fits best with exam boards AQA and Edexcel.

You might be expected to write longer answers for explain questions for Eduqas and WJEC.

Can't read properly.

The question style might look different for OCR.

So the key thing to remember here, is we're practising writing about the knowledge when you're talking to your teacher, they might ask you to do this in slightly different ways.

In terms of this lesson, it's still really helpful to just practise writing about the key knowledge that I've spoken about in this lesson.

So talk to your teacher, find out what exam board you're on and hopefully we're going to find this really, really helpful.

Okay, so the question I've got for you here as an example is, explain two Christian beliefs about God.

And I'm being very nice and get you started by giving you one Christian belief about God.

And I've got this in green and purple to show you the difference between a point and an explanation.

So it says, one traditional Christian belief is that God is all powerful.

First, you notice I have specifically spoken about which religion we are referring to.

That is Christianity, always say what religion you're talking about okay? Because even if it seems obvious to you, there's always going to be somebody who gets it mixed up, or you have to remember an examiner doesn't know what's in your head.

So they don't know whether or not, you know it's Christianity, unless you say it is.

This is because he is the creator and therefore has power over all he has made.

So I've not included a quotation or anything here but I have included a traditional Christian belief that God is the Creator.

And I've explained my point and spent more.

So what I'm going to get you to do is answer a few questions.

I would say for each one, you want two short paragraphs like this one.

So that paragraph is actually only two sentences.

So four sentences for each question should be fine if you were explaining it well and you're being really, really clear.

Don't be vague and wishy washy.

Wishy washy means that you're not referring to anything specific but you're referring to something that you could say anyone might believe.

We want to talk about specifically Christian beliefs to answer these questions.

So when the questions come on screen, you need to pause, write your answers, write them in full sentences, try your best, and then we'll go through some answers.

Okay, well done for all of your hard work in today's lesson.

I hope you found it really, really helpful.

Do join us for more lessons on the Christianity beliefs unit.

We've got lessons from lots of different units that are going to link to lots of different exam boards.

Until next time I hope that you get inspired to research more about Christianity and about religion in general and make sure you don't forget to do the quiz after this lesson.