If you spend any time on the Renew.org website or at a Renew.org booth at a conference, you will run into the title “Real Life Theology.” Many of our books and other resources have the heading “Real Life Theology.” So, what is “Real Life Theology” and what books fall under this category?
First, why call it “Real Life Theology”?
We call our core theology resources “Real Life Theology” because every book in the RLT family of resources is crafted to be used in real-life discipling relationships. We keep the tone of each RLT resource accessible for everyday readers and frame every chapter to be useful for discipling relationships.
Here’s a quick summary of our 3 types of “Real Life Theology” resources:
#1 – The Core, 12-Book Real Life Theology Series (for adult discipling relationships)
There are 12 short, core books that make up our Real Life Theology series. These books flesh out the RENEW.org faith statement. Here is a list of all 12 books:
- Tony Twist & Mihai Malancea, Grand Metanarrative: God’s Story as an Invitation to Theology
- Orpheus J. Heyward, God’s Word: The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture
- Chad Ragsdale, Christian Convictions: Discerning the Essential, Important, and Personal Elements
- Matthew W. Bates, The Gospel Precisely: Surprisingly Good News About Jesus Christ the King
- Mark E. Moore, Faithful Faith: Reclaiming Faith from Culture and Tradition
- Michael Strickland & Anessa Westbrook, New Birth: Conversion and Baptism
- David Young, Holy Spirit: Filled, Empowered, and Led
- Bobby Harrington & W. Scott Sager, Disciple Making: The Core Mission of the Church
- Kelvin Teamer, Kingdom Life: Experiencing God’s Reign Through Love and Holiness
- Carol M. Swain, Countercultural Living: What Jesus Has to Say About Life, Marriage, Race, Gender, and Materialism
- Gary L. Johnson, The End: The Return of King Jesus and the Renewal of All Things
- Richard A. Knopp, Truth About God: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It?
All 12 books are also sold as a 1-volume Collection (available in English and Spanish). A couple notes about the RLT Collection: It doesn’t include the discussion questions from the individual books, but it does add some unique elements (e.g., glossary of theology terms, a 13th book about the question of eternal security).
Check out the RLT Collection HERE.
Here are some additional resources to be used along with these core RLT books:
- (free) Starting a Discipleship Group: A Leader’s Guide for Using The Real Life Theology Books
- (free) 300+ pages of sermon notes + sermon bumpers
- (free) 70+ RLT teaching videos (3-7-minute videos, 6 per book)
#2 – Real Life Theology Handbook (for teen and adult discipling relationships)
This handbook by Daniel McCoy and Andrew Jit takes RENEW.org’s Real Life Theology series and condenses it into a one-volume, step-by-step training manual for teens and adults. Each chapter walks you through how to build your convictions on what is true and then live them out in the real world. Each chapter is built around interactive features such as:
- Self-assessments – A straightforward look at your options when it comes to answering life’s most important questions and an opportunity to be honest about where you are
- Study – Helpful tools for digging into crucial questions (e.g., How did we get the Bible? Should suffering weaken or strengthen our faith?)
- Scriptures – Space for wrestling with the meaning of important Bible verses and how we can embrace their significance in our lives
- Snapshots – Stories of everyday disciples of Jesus who have applied these truths to their lives
- “Let’s Talk About It” sections – Each chapter suggests 3 places to pause and have discussion within your discipling groups.
Check out the RLT Handbook HERE.
Although the RLT Handbook walks through the same topics as the core 12 RLT books, it puts more focus into some of the tough apologetics questions that arise along the way.
#3 – Real Life Theology Conversations (for parent-child conversations)
Using a simple question-and-answer format, Real Life Theology Conversations guides parents to lead fifty-two conversations on theology questions. Each conversation is built around a question and has the following elements:
- Interactive questions and answers
- Scriptures to discuss and memorize
- Activities for sharing and applying the truth
Check out RLT Conversations HERE.
In addition, there are post-conversation elements and a Scripture to memorize. As you walk through these questions and answers with your child, you’ll have great conversations and help them build their lives on God’s truth.
We have put together multiple resources to help parents and churches who are walking through the RLT Conversations. At the RLT Conversations page, you’ll find:
- 11 section intro videos
- “For Dads Only” videos
- Seeds Family Worship songs that go along with the book
- Social media assets
- Church campaign resources (social media promotion, videos, campaign checklist, etc.)
- Launch party resources (event overview, slide decks, sample keynote, promo videos, etc.)
At RENEW.org, we believe that everybody does theology: we all have views about whether there’s a God, what God is like, how we should live, what happens after we die, etc. Since we all have a theology—and since our theological views shape our lives in massive ways—it’s important that we do theology well. That’s why we’ve put together these RLT resources. We want to help equip you, from child to adult, to do theology in real-life, transformative discipling relationships.