Would you like to do a series of lessons on For the Love of God with your class? If you're not sure which segments to choose or which order to cover them in, we've put together one possible 10-week plan (out of the many options!) that you could use.
This segment, covered in Episode 1: War + Peace, looks at one of the darkest events in Christian history: the Crusades. This lesson is a good place to start as it introduces the theme of religious violence and contrasts the actions of the Crusaders with Jesus' command to "love your enemies".
Also covered in Episode 1, this segment on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. provides some balance to the story of the Crusades. It's an example of a man whose Christian faith inspired a life of non-violent resistance; a man who opposed a racist, unjust system, but sought to love those within it.
This lesson covers three segments on the topic of the 'Image of God', looking at the history of the concept and its tremendous impact on the world. This is a key lesson to introduce students to the theme of Episode 2: Rights + Wrongs.
Also from Episode 2: Rights + Wrongs, this segment is an excellent example of the "better and worse" of Christian history. It looks at the part Christianity played in the history of slavery in the United States, and how the Bible was used to support both slavery and abolition.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of Jesus' most famous stories. This segment, from Episode 3: Rich + Poor, traces how this story has profoundly shaped our world, and is a good introduction to the idea of charity and caring for the needy.
This segment, also from Episode 3, offers a clear example of the "worse" of Christian history. It focuses on the medieval popes, and just how far they strayed from Jesus' teaching on money, generosity, and caring for the poor.
This segment, also from Episode 3, brings the lessons of history into contemporary life, showing what ordinary Christians can offer their local communities today.
From Episode 4: Power + Humility, this segment shows a chilling example of when Christians have desired power for their own benefit. It also looks at a man who chose to forsake power for the good of others: Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Also from Episode 4, this lesson traces the surprising impact of Christian missionaries on the world, particularly focusing on the Serampore Trio in India. It looks at important issues to do with cultural sensitivity, human rights, and humility.
Using a musical analogy, this segment holds up the beautiful "composition" Jesus wrote its lasting resonance, despite the fact that his followers have not always "played in tune" with his teachings. This is a natural final lesson in a series, as it sums up the key ideas from the whole documentary.