Frequently Asked Questions about Focus on the Family's The Truth Project

What is The Truth Project?

In a 2003 study, the Barna Research Group revealed a stunning statistic that continues to reverberate throughout the evangelical world – only nine percent of professing Christians have a biblical worldview.The Barna Update, "A Biblical Worldview Has a Radical Effect on a Person's Life," December 1, 2003.

Because of this, today's believers live very similarly to non-believers. A personal sense of significance is rarely experienced, we spend our money and time on things that fail to satisfy, and we begin to wonder what life's ultimate purpose really is. We are, in short, losing our bearings as a people and a nation.

To counter this downward slide within the body of Christ, Focus on the Family has launched one of the most ambitious and powerful projects in the history of our ministry – Focus on the Family's The Truth Project®.

The Truth Project is a DVD-based small group curriculum comprised of 12 video lessons (recommended to be viewed and discussed over 13 consecutive weeks) taught by Dr. Del Tackett, instructor of Christian Worldview at the Focus Leadership Institute and a former Senior Vice President of our ministry. This study is the starting point for looking at life from a biblical perspective. Each lesson discusses in great detail the relevance and importance of living the Christian worldview in daily life.

We believe this curriculum can be a catalyst for exponential change within the body of Christ, as thousands of people are "transformed by the renewing of [their] mind" (Romans 12:2). As He has throughout history, God continues to call ordinary people to make an eternal difference in our world.

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Is there a general overview of the lesson content?

Lesson 1 - Veritology: What is Truth?
The Truth Project begins by defining truth as "that which corresponds to reality." This absolute and eternal truth, at the heart of Jesus' mission on earth, continues to be the focal point of the Cosmic Battle in our own time.

Lesson 2 - Philosophy and Ethics: Says Who?
Truth is not simply an academic concept. The way we think about truth has a direct bearing upon the way we live our lives. What's more, our understanding of right and wrong is directly dependent on our worldview: is the universe God's creation or a closed cosmic cube?

Lesson 3 - Anthropology: Who is Man?
The Bible tells us that man was created in God's image but fell from innocence through sin. Modern psychology, on the other hand, asserts that man is inherently good and behaves badly only under the influence of social or institutional pressure. This lesson explores the implications of both views.

Lesson 4 - Theology: Who is God?
Eternal life, according to Jesus, is knowing God in an intimate, personal, and relational way. Such knowledge, which is possible only because of divine revelation, transforms us from the inside out as we begin to see ourselves in the light of His majesty and holiness.

Lesson 5 - Science: What is True? (two-part lesson)
(Part One): Science, the "systematic study of the natural world," brings to light innumerable evidences of Intelligent Design. But Darwinian theory transforms science from the honest investigation of nature into a vehicle for propagating a godless philosophy.

(Part Two): A careful examination of molecular biology and the fossil record demonstrates that evolution is not a "proven fact." Meanwhile, history shows that ideas, including Darwinism as a social philosophy, have definite consequences – consequences that can turn ugly when God is left out of the picture.

Lesson 6 - History: Whose Story?
Does the past have an objective actuality and significance? Or does it, as postmodernist philosophy asserts, exist primarily inside our heads? This tour considers the meaning of history as God's story and shows us why remembering is so important.

Lesson 7 - Sociology: The Divine Imprint
The order we observe in the natural realm is even more apparent in the social systems God has established: family, church, community, state, labor, and the union between God and man. Life is a series of relationships that flow out of and reflect the Trinitarian nature of the Creator.

Lesson 8 - Unio Mystica: Am I Alone?
Is it possible for the infinite, eternal Creator to dwell within the heart of an individual? The implications of this great mystery, which represents the very core of the Christian faith, are explored at length in this examination of the most intimate of the social spheres.

Lesson 9 - The State: Whose Law?
Of all the social spheres, the state, to which God grants the power of the sword for the punishment of evil and the preservation of the good, has the greatest potential to go awry if it oversteps its authority. The civil magistrate must always remember his place under the sovereignty of God – otherwise, havoc will ensue.

Lesson 10 - The American Experiment: Stepping Stones
America is unique in the history of the world. On these shores a people holding to a biblical worldview have had an opportunity to set up a system of government designed to keep the state within its divinely ordained boundaries. Tour #10 follows the history of this experiment and explores what happens to freedom when God is forgotten.

Lesson 11 - Labor: Created to Create
Contrary to a great deal of contemporary popular opinion, work is not a "curse." God Himself is active and creative, and He calls man to share in the joy of His activity and creativity. Labor, economics, media, and the creative arts all have a role to play in magnifying the glory of the Creator.

Lesson 12 - Community and Involvement: God Cares, do I?
The ethical law and the meaning of the Christian life are summed up in the commandment to love God and one's neighbor. This command is the source of the believer's motivation for self-sacrificial service to the needy and their personal involvement in our culture.

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How does The Truth Project define "truth"?

The Truth Project begins by defining truth as "that which conforms to reality."  But it's much deeper than that.  We want this study to serve as a catalyst for examining one's  personal worldview, which we define as "the set of individual truth claims which I embrace so deeply that I believe they reflect what is really real – and therefore they drive what I think, how I act, and what I feel."

Many people today – unfortunately, most people – don't seem to think that there is any universal standard of absolute truth.  But we believe differently.  The purpose of The Truth Project is to develop a biblical worldview: "A formal worldview based ultimately upon that nature, character, and being of God as it is expressed in His infallible Word [the Bible] and His creation.  It becomes the foundation for a life system that governs every area of existence."

For us, the "truth" is God's truth, as set forth supremely and most definitively in the Bible – and we regard this truth to be absolute in the sense that it cannot be compromised and is not open to purely subjective interpretation.  Ultimately, we cannot dissect the truth; we can only proclaim it.

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How does The Truth Project define "worldview"?

We use the term "worldview" to refer to a comprehensive conception of the universe and man's relation to it.  The English word is borrowed directly from the German Weltanschauung, a technical philosophical and psychological term that translates literally as "a way of looking at the world."  As we understand it, a biblical "worldview" is not concerned with anything as specific as old-earth/young-earth interpretations of Genesis or Catholic/Protestant debates about heaven and purgatory.  Instead, it focuses on the big, basic issues of human life:  the existence of God, the nature of reality, the existence and knowability of absolute truth, and the moral and ethical implications of these and other primary questions.  All this is examined in greater detail in the twelve lessons that constitute The Truth Project.

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How does The Truth Project define postmodernism?

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What is your statement of faith?

Focus on the Family Statement of Faith

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, only infallible, authoritative Word of God;

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit;

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return in power and glory;

We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful humanity, regeneration by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ is absolutely essential.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life;

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, they who are saved unto the resurrection of life and they who are lost unto the resurrection of damnation;

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Focus' faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Board of Directors is Focus' final interpretive authority on the Bible's meaning and application.

You might also be interested in the more detailed outline of our guiding principles, along with our mission and vision statements, posted on our general website.

Some have asked if Focus on the Family follows a specific doctrinal perspective (e.g., whether Arminian or Reformed). In keeping with the interdenominational nature of our organization, we make a deliberate effort to avoid emphasizing any particular theological interpretation. Our mandate is to concentrate on the basic tenets of the faith that C.S. Lewis would call "mere Christianity."

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How can I purchase a DVD set?

Focus on the Family's The Truth Project® may be purchased directly through our online Family Store:

The Truth Project Small Group Curriculum (English)

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Why do you put such a strong emphasis on the small group model?

Focus on the Family's The Truth Project® is a special curriculum created to address the disturbing reality that, according to a 2003 Barna Group survey, only nine percent of professing born again Christians have a biblical worldview (thus, we are "targeting" the other 91%).

But having prayerfully wrestled with this concept at length before we ever began production, we're convinced that merely watching the DVDs isn't enough. After all, a worldview is not a mathematical formula or a simple historical fact. A person does not "learn" a worldview overnight, or in this case simply by viewing 13 hours of video material. Worldview is developed over time, and it plays out through interaction with other people.

Our goal is that the Lord will work through this curriculum to bring about transformation, sometimes described in the Bible (e.g., Romans 12:2) using the Greek word metamorphoo (metamorphosis). Metamorphosis, as we most often think of it and see it in nature (butterflies and moths), occurs over time and largely within the nurturing, protective environment of a cocoon. Therefore, we have deliberately chosen the small group study model – a prayerfully supported "cocoon" filled with interactive discussion and application – as our preferred method for unfolding and exponentially expanding The Truth Project.

It's impossible to overstate the importance of prayer in this process; in fact, we consider it a prerequisite. We frequently emphasize that every Truth Project facilitator should spend at least two months praying about and for each group before beginning the series, and then pray for every participant by name on a daily basis to help fuel the metamorphic process that we hope God will bring about in these folks' hearts.

Simply put, if a person is watching these DVDs outside the context of a group led by someone who has committed to pray for them in this fashion, they are probably missing the supportive "cocoon" which we believe is absolutely crucial for the ultimate success of this endeavor. And in doing so, they're only seeing (and experiencing) a fraction of the big picture. The video content of The Truth Project makes up perhaps a third of the whole package; the other two thirds come from the context in which it is experienced.

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How many people should make up a small group?

The Truth Project curriculum is designed for small groups that are made up of 10-12 people. This size is intentional as it will help to foster personal relationships and allow for individual growth to occur within the framework of an authentic Christian community.

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Is The Truth Project suitable for a Sunday School class?

The Truth Project is specifically designed and licensed for home study groups, and is set up to be used in blocks of about two hours in length for each lesson.  Since most Sunday School classes are limited to approximately one-hour sessions, the curriculum does not lend itself well to this venue.

As designed, the study is set up for Dr. Tackett's video teaching (one hour) to be followed immediately by guided interactive group discussion, in order to reinforce the lesson and its personal application while the material is still fresh in everyone's mind.  We've found that dividing each session into two or more segments – which would typically be necessary to fit into a Sunday School format – disrupts the continuity of the presentation.

Numerous test scenarios – and the practical experience of thousands of small groups so far – have shown that the recommended approach (two-hour lessons in a home-based small group of 10-12 people) yields, by far, the most impact in the hearts and minds of participants.

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Is there a way to contact people in my area who are facilitating small groups for The Truth Project?

For confidentiality reasons, we are unable to directly provide contact information for those who have attended our facilitator training conferences.

However, the Truth Project's Small Group Support site offers a feature where facilitators can "opt in" and post information about groups they are currently leading or plan to lead in the near future. You can go to www.thetruthproject.org and click the "Join a Small Group" box to search.

Please be aware that if you do get any (or many) search hits, that doesn't necessarily mean that there are no groups in your area; it could simply be that the leaders haven't posted their group information. We encouraging facilitators to do so, but it is optional.

It's also worth noting that many existing groups may already be full, and not all groups are "public" – in some cases, facilitators elect to begin with an existing small group (for example, a men's Bible study at their church). In order to join a private group, you would need to receive an invitation and passcode directly from a group facilitator (each leader determines their own code).

To join a group, and/or see full details about meeting location, etc., you will need to register on the Support Site. At that point, you should be able to see the e-mail address for the leader of a public group – if that individual has elected to post their contact information. If they have chosen not to do so, as indicated above Focus on the Family cannot provide those details.

Another option is to check with churches that have hosted Truth Project training events.

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What's included in the DVD set?

The Truth Project DVD set includes twelve professionally produced lessons (a total of 13 hours of material) on seven DVDs.

An additional disc in the package contains a series of short leader training video tutorials from Dr. Del Tackett.

Those who attend one of our facilitator training conferences receive the DVD set as part of their event registration. Going through the series as a small group participant will also equip you to register on the Truth Project's Small Group Support site, which contains wide range of supplemental lesson support materials for the curriculum and allows you to purchase your own DVD set.

The Truth Project Study Guide now accompanies all Truth Project DVD purchases.

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What is available on the Small Group Support Site for Focus on the Family's The Truth Project?

This site enables those who have been trained as group leaders, or those participating in a facilitator-led small group, to access a broad-ranging online resource tool. The Support Site contains all of the support materials for The Truth Project – lesson guides, outlines, presentation slides, recommended reading lists, biographies, etc. These resources are only available online, in PDF format which can be printed as needed (this avoids the additional cost of published hard copies, and allows us to keep the site updated and relevant to current events). There are also bonus video segments not included in the DVD curriculum.

Registered facilitators can access video tutorials that help equip them to lead their small groups, and sign on to a special Discussion Forum where they may interact with other group leaders and the Truth Project staff. We are constantly adding new content to the Small Group Support Site so we encourage facilitators and participants to visit it on a regular basis.

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Is The Truth Project available in other languages?

Our ongoing plan is to translate The Truth Project curriculum into other languages according to need, as staff and financial resources allow. To that end, we're in various stages of work with several of our global associate partner ministries and various other organizations.

A Spanish version of The Truth Project has been produced under the auspices of Enfoque a la Familia headquartered in Costa Rica. This edition is available to trained leaders worldwide through our Small Group Support Site.

Our friends at Focus on the Family Canada have completed a French translation of The Truth Project which is available through their Canadian French Language store. For more information, see Focus on the Family Canada's French website.

Focus on the Family Middle East, headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, facilitates an Arabic edition of The Truth Project in northern Africa and the Middle East.

Local publishing partners in Poland and Romania have completed translations in Polish and Romanian, while a Truth Project edition with Dutch subtitles is sold in the Netherlands. All three of these resources are available only within their respective countries through the organizations which produce the DVDs; write to us to request the appropriate contact information.

Finally, a publishing partner in South America is currently working on a Portuguese translation, which will be distributed in Brazil only upon release.

We would value your ongoing prayers for all these endeavors, and other future opportunities that arise as God opens doors.

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Is The Truth Project available internationally?

We realize that many of our friends in various countries would like to use Focus on the Family's The Truth Project® curriculum – and we do recognize the need to distribute this information worldwide. To that end, our staff has been working with our global associate offices to develop plans for facilitator training and program support in strategic countries.

Some of our colleague ministries have already launched the curriculum:

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How can I find out more about The Truth Project's TrueU curriculum for teens and college-age students?

You can learn more about TrueU here.

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Focus on the Family's The Truth Project is a federally registered trademark of Focus on the Family.