“Everything happens for a reason.” 

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.” 

“Love the sinner. Hate the sin.”  

Perhaps you’ve heard some of these sayings. Did you know that they don’t come from the Bible? There are many theologies that humans espouse, but some of the most common theological sayings heard around Christian communities are not rooted in scripture or even the Christian tradition. In fact, some of them rub against what our scripture and tradition actually teach.

For this year’s Lenten Study Series, we will take a look at five of these sayings in group discussion based upon Adam Hamilton’s book Half Truths: “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say, each week focusing on a different saying. Maybe we’ll find a bit of truth in them. Maybe we’ll find out they’re more the product of American culture than biblical witness or theological tradition. For certain, we will have a rich discussion led by the ministers of our three congregations that will help us in our own walk of faith, individual and communal. (You do not need to buy the book for these discussions but are welcome to add it to your libraries if you find the discussions enlightening.)

Our study series begins Wednesday, March 13 with a simple common meal at 5:30 p.m., soup and salad provided. You are welcome to bring something else to share as you feel so motivated (sides, desserts, enchiladas, whatever). We’ll move into discussion around 6 p.m. and close with worship (evening prayer) in the Union Avenue chapel. We plan to be done around 7 – 7:15 p.m. Please RSVP to the Union Avenue church office ( or (314) 361-8844) so we can make sure we prepare enough food. Hope to see you there!

Half Truths: “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say

March 13 – “Everything happens for a reason.”

March 20 – “God helps those who help themselves.”

March 27 – “God won’t give you more than you can handle”

April 3 – “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”

April 10 – “Love the sinner. Hate the sin.” 

Please join us each week as we explore the season of Lent with dialogue, discovery, and enrichment.