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General Theology The forum for general theological discussions about issues that do not fit in any other forum, eg. Angelology

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  #1  
Unread 21st June 2010, 05:56 PM
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Alpha Course : is it a cult?

I had experiences on that course but I now see it was a dangerous cult.

What do you make of it?
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  #2  
Unread 21st June 2010, 06:07 PM
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What makes you say that?
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  #3  
Unread 21st June 2010, 06:21 PM
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When I moved into my new home shortly after being confirmed Catholic my new Lutheran neighbor boldly came over to my house and invited me to join her church's Alpha course. While I could never recommend the Alpha course to anyone, it being a protestant entity with protestant teachings I would be loathe to call it a cult. My main gripe with the Alpha course, aside from it being adverse to Catholic teaching is the fact that it's a copywrited program which cost's money to any denomination that decides to offer it. In other words, it's just another money making program invented by some well-intentioned protestsant.
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Unread 21st June 2010, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by tadoflamb View Post
When I moved into my new home shortly after being confirmed Catholic my new Lutheran neighbor boldly came over to my house and invited me to join her church's Alpha course. While I could never recommend the Alpha course to anyone, it being a protestant entity with protestant teachings I would be loathe to call it a cult. My main gripe with the Alpha course, aside from it being adverse to Catholic teaching is the fact that it's a copywrited program which cost's money to any denomination that decides to offer it. In other words, it's just another money making program invented by some well-intentioned protestsant.
I have no experience with the Alpha course other than hearing about it in conversation. But I think you make a valid point concerning extra 'add-ons' that seem to be proliferating. Our church is considering something call National Church Development.

I think it all stems from the belief that if you are spending money it must be good for you.
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Unread 21st June 2010, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tadoflamb View Post
When I moved into my new home shortly after being confirmed Catholic my new Lutheran neighbor boldly came over to my house and invited me to join her church's Alpha course. While I could never recommend the Alpha course to anyone, it being a protestant entity with protestant teachings I would be loathe to call it a cult. My main gripe with the Alpha course, aside from it being adverse to Catholic teaching is the fact that it's a copywrited program which cost's money to any denomination that decides to offer it. In other words, it's just another money making program invented by some well-intentioned protestsant.
I don't think Holy Trinity Brompton make a fortune out of it, and if they do it will be ploughed back into ministries, not just making Nicky Gumbel rich.

A lot of Catholic material is also copyright and and costs money.

We don't use alpha, but we do use courses from elsewhere, most notably All Soul's Langham Place, and they are generally fair value for money.
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love is stronger than hate,
light is stronger than darkness,
life is stronger than death,
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  #6  
Unread 21st June 2010, 07:07 PM
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We used it at our Church last year. I thought it was a good course that we used to generate moderated discussion after each session. With a knowledgable discussion leader, this is a good course for Protestants and Catholics alike. In a sense, it is kind of like C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.
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Unread 21st June 2010, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ebia View Post
I don't think Holy Trinity Brompton make a fortune out of it, and if they do it will be ploughed back into ministries, not just making Nicky Gumbel rich.

A lot of Catholic material is also copyright and and costs money.

We don't use alpha, but we do use courses from elsewhere, most notably All Soul's Langham Place, and they are generally fair value for money.
It's been seven years since I've made my brief investigation into the Alpha course including a attempted look into the class materials and just exactly what it was I was getting myself into. What I found was a brief overview of the class and anything more would have cost me cash.

Admittedly, I was new to Christianity and the Catholic Church, but my experience with the Catholic Church (and remains to this day) access to the fullness of the teachings of the faith is available to anyone, FOC.

My first bible was given to me by my priest. My first Catholic resource We Believe... came mailed to my door FOC. The Catechism can be found online in it's entirety FOC.

This is why we believe scripture when it says, "Freely you received, freely you will give."

If the information in Alpha course were so essential to knowing the Christian faith (that's what it was set up for, to gain converts) then shouldn't it be offered at no cost?

This seems to be another reoccurance of the protestant phenonema of 'doing well by doing good'. I'm coming up against it more and more frequently.
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Unread 21st June 2010, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Secundulus View Post
We used it at our Church last year. I thought it was a good course that we used to generate moderated discussion after each session. With a knowledgable discussion leader, this is a good course for Protestants and Catholics alike. In a sense, it is kind of like C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.
Do they have a Catholic version now, because my take on Alpha seven years ago was if a Catholic happened to enroll in it they were in for a very rough time.
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Unread 21st June 2010, 07:19 PM
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My wife and I did an Alpha marriage course. It was good and I'd recommend it to any married couple. We also did an Engaged Encounter (a requirement of my priest who married us). It was pretty similar stuff -- albeit for different stages of relationship. I don't think Catholic/Protestant enters into it.
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Unread 21st June 2010, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tadoflamb View Post
Do they have a Catholic version now, because my take on Alpha seven years ago was if a Catholic happened to enroll in it they were in for a very rough time.
It doesn't get into doctrine that far. It is mostly about teaching who Jeaus is and why one should believe in and follow him. Those parts that a Catholic might feel are incompletely addressed are easily handled in the discussion that follows.

I got to lead the discussion on the session that spoke about the Church. What he taught was not wrong but was incomplete on the subject of Christian unity. So, we filled in the blanks at the end.

It was a good course and worth the money. The average person in the parish will learn something.
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