Introducing Controversial Topics
The passage from the “Infancy Gospel of Thomas,” and the Context and Background section above, provide an example of how to introduce controversial topics to students. Some students may be completely unaware that such things as “noncanonical gospels“ exist, and that the early church had to select those they believed were truly inspired, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Other students in your group (perhaps having read or seen The Da Vinci Code or been exposed to similar material) may already have questions about such issues. Introducing them in the context of a biblically based class, raising the relevant questions and giving accurate information will prepare them to meet challenges to their faith later on. If you think you may have young people in your group whose interest will be piqued by a quotation such as the one provided in the lesson, do a little background research yourself so that you can talk briefly but competently about such issues as apocryphal writings, the early church, and the formation of the biblical canon, in case such questions arise in class.