Year 9 RS End of year Revision Cards


Nature of God

  • Christians believe that there is one God - monotheism.
  • God is often described as:
    • Perfect, Judge, Creator, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnibenevolent and Eternal.
  • Christians believe that God is not limited by the laws of nature or by a physical body.
  • God is much more than a person or superhero.
  • Some argue that God is so different that he cannot be described in words or be fully understood by humans.
1 of 28

Holy Trinity

  • Father
    • Christian statement of faith "I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and Earth".
    • Christians are taught to speak to God using the phrase "Abba, Father".
    • "Abba" is similar to "Dad", showing a close, loving relationship with God.
  • Son
    • Jesus is God incarnated (in a body).
    • Many believe that because Jesus was not made by tow humans, he was free of sin.
    • Jesus's purpose was to show how God wants people to live.
    • Jesus's purpose was to sacrifice himself on the cross for human sin and to rise from the dead to show that all may have an everlasting life in heaven.
  • Holy Spirit
    • Unseen part of God that is all around us.
    • Constant guide of source of comfort.
    • In the Bible, the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost "all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them".
2 of 28

Reasons for belief in God

  • Arguments for the Existence of God:
    • Design argument by William Paley: The world is too complex, intricate and beautiful for it to have just come about by chance. "Just as a watch has been carefully designed by a watchmaker, so the world has been designed by God".
    • First cause argument by Thomas Aquinas: Something cannot have come from nothing. The universe must have been caused by something - that something is God. (God is the only thing that is not governed by the laws of cause and effect in the universe, sice he is outside the universe.
    • Religious experience argument: People have spoken, heard and seen God. This may be through visions, numinous experiences, conversion exepriences or miracles. A particularly important example is St Paul's "Road to Damascus"  convesrsion experience.
    • Upbringing argument: Many believe in God because it is how they have been brought up. They might not be able to say why they believe God exists, only that they believe it does.
    • Moral argument: People have a basic understanding of "right" and "wrong" - a conscious - which is from God.
3 of 28

Reasons against belief in God

  • Arguments against the Existence of God:
    • Imperfect design - of God is all-loving, it doesn't fit that he would design a world with so much evil and suffering. Eg. natural disasters. The existence of evil and suffering shows that God does not exist.
    • Theory of Evolution by Charles Darwin - natural world has evolved over a long period of time through a process of adaptation. Humans and animals were not created instantly - they give an "illusion of design" because they are so well adapted based on survival of the fittest.
    • Big Bang Theory - the universe did have a first cause, but instead of being God, the first cause was the Big Bang. (Note: many Christians would argue that God caused the Big Bang).
    • God of the Gaps by Richard Dawkins - belief in God is a product of past, immature societies.Now, in a modern age, science gives us the answers for things that those in the past did not understand. "Blind faith" is unjustifiable.
    • Morality not from God by Freud - conscience is a taught set of values instilled through primary socialisation.
4 of 28


  • Miracles – a marvellous event that cannot be explained by any human activity. Christians believe it to be evidence of God’s continued care and love for the world (benevolence), as well as evidence of His omnipotence.
  • Examples of Miracles in the Old Testament
  • -God separated the Red Sea for Moses who was leading the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 14:21-22)
  • -Joshua 10 God stopped the sun in the sky to give the Israelites more time to fight the battle against the Amorites.
  • Examples of Miracles in the New Testament
  • -Foundational miracles – the miracle of the virgin birth and Jesus’ resurrection are the foundations for the whole of the Christian religion.
  • -Jesus performed four different types of miracles: natural miracles (e.g calming the storm); casting out demons; healing the sick (e.g. resorting sight of blind man Bartimaeus); raising the dead (Jairus’ daughter).
  • -First miracle – turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana (natural miracle).
  • Modern Miracles
  • -Lourdes, France place where Virgin Mary apparently appeared to St. Bernadette. More than five million Roman Catholics go on pilgrimage there every year in the hope of a cure, either for themselves or others. Catholic Church have confirmed 66 miracles healings at Lourdes.
5 of 28

Reasons to believe in miracles

Reasons to believe in miracles:

  • Miracles are at the foundation of Christanity– miracles of Jesus’ birth and resurrection.
  • God is omnipotent and so it able to break the laws of nature to perform miracles.
  • Miracles show that God is all-loving since he has healed people. -Miracles show that God responds to prayers.
  • There are events that science cannot explain (e.g. the 66 miracles at Lourdes) -Miracles do not happen all of the time because God may want people to learn from suffering (Iranaean theodicy)
  • God may not grant someone a miracle because he has a plan unknown to humans.
  • Miracles are a way of God revealing himself to humans – i.e. “signs” of God. Therefore is it not so much about the miracle itself, but more the point of the miracle.
  • Some argue that God should address more important suffering than lack of wine at a wedding – in response, many Christians would argue that this miracle was to show that Jesus was the son of God (rather than just a miracle about water and wine).
6 of 28

Recap 1

  • Omnipotent = All-powerful.
  • Agnostic = Not sure of the existence of God.
  • Theist = Believes in God.
  • Omnibenevolent = All-loving.
  • Omnipresent = Always present.
  • Omnscient = All-knowing.
  • First Cause = Thomas Aquinas - first cause is God
  • Design Arguent = William Paley - Detailed design of Nature - watch and eye
  • Religious experience
  • Miracles
  • Evil
  • Suffering
  • Big Bang
  • Evolution
  • Holy Trinity = Father, son and Holy Spirit
  • Richards Dawkins
7 of 28

Differences between the Old Testament and New Test

Key difference between Old Testament and New Testament:

  • When reading the O.T and N.T, Christians tend to select the passages that are positive, encouraging, reassuring. Some Psalms, parts of Isaiah and of course the New Testament.
  • But, some parts of the Old Testament contain stories of wars and seemingly ruthless battles justified by God for the protection of land that God had given to the Israelites.
  • Violence is present throughout the O.T. whereas Jesus’s teachings in the N.T focus on non-violence and peace.
  • Old Testament: “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot”. (Deuteronomy)
  • New Testament (Jesus):  If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” (Matthew – Sermon on the Mount).
  • Jesus’s teaching in the sermon on the Mount to “turn the other cheek” and resist evil requires pacifism on the part of Christians – a much more peaceful teaching than the Old Testament.
  • The Old Testament has recently come under criticism. It has been portrayed as a “violent” book and there is an unquestionable connection between religion and violence.
8 of 28

Biblical Quotes

Quotes for and against violence from the Bible:

  • Jesus said “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also”.
  • “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6)
  • “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot”. (Deuteronomy 19.21)
  • “There is no authority except from God.” (Romans 13)
  • Jesus said “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
  • When Jesus was being arrested by the Romans, one of his disciples, Peter, prepares to resist with violence. Jesus says: “Put away your sword! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me.”
  • In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared “blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”
  • “Who will speak up for those who are voiceless?” (Psalm 31:8)
9 of 28

Jesus Cleansing the Temple

Jesus Cleansing the Temple:

  • The story of Jesus expelling the money lenders or the cleansing of the Temple narrative tells of Jesus expelling the merchants and the money changers from the Temple, and occurs in all four gospels of the New Testament.
  • The Great Temple in Jerusalem was vast and beautifully built as a sacred place of worship and peace.
  • Jesus saw trade in the Temple as a abuse of its true purpose so, maybe with the help of others, he tried to shut down the trade in sacrificial animals and the money-changing that was going on.
  • He saw the Court of the Gentiles as a sacred place, part of God’s Temple. The general chaos of the area made this impossible, and it angered him.
  • He made an assessment that the trade and money changing exploited people, especially the poor, by making excessive charges, so he stepped in.
  • Jesus thought the priests and Temple personnel were abusing their sacred roles by being involved in business in a sacred area.
  • Matthew 21:12-17 account of this event: “And Jesus entered the temple of God, and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you make it a den of robbers.”
10 of 28

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Christian and lived around the time Hitler was in power.
  • He realised Hitler was evil and must be stopped. Bonhoeffer was known for his resistance to Nazi dictatorship. He rejected anti-Semitism and Nazism. He founded his own (illegal) religious community in Germany to spread his teachings. He spoke out against Nazi ideas in the university where he worked. He spoke against the Nazis at public lectures. He joined the plot to assassinate Hitler in 1945.
  • Although, Bonhoeffer was a pacifist and believed violence and conflict was not the solution. This left him faced with a dilemma – how can a Christian (pacifist) justify murder or violence? Especially when faced with evil itself – any failure to act would be allowing evil.
  • He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later, he was transferred to a Nazi concentration camp. After being accused of being associated with the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
  • Bonhoeffer was executed after being found guilty of trying to assassinate Hitler in 1944.
11 of 28

Just war Theory

  • Just War: a war that is justifiable; a war that is better to fight than not; theory originally put forward by Thomas Aquinas (c13th monk), followed by Roman Catholic Church.
  • Different Christian attitudes:

    • Roman Catholics and Church of England accept that sometimes it is better to fight than to not.
    • Just War Theory, may be accepted by some Christians because it aims to provide a way of accepting war when other methods have been exhausted.
    • It is therefore appealing to some Christians, because it is more practical and realistic.
    • This is in contrast to pacifist Christians, such as the Quakers who believe that violence is never justified.
  • Jus ad bellum = When it is right to go to war.
  • Jus in bello = Actions taken during war.
  • Jus post bello = Actions taken after war.
12 of 28

Jus ad bellum

  • Jus ad bellum: When it is right to go to war
    • The war must be started by the proper authority e.g. the government.
    • The reason to go to war must be just, e.g. to protect people.
    • Everything must be done to make sure good instead of evil results from war.
    • The war must be the last resort, every other way of solving the situation must have been tried and failed.
    • There must be a reasonable chance of success.
  • Strengths:
    • Supported by teachings to “defend the weak” and “speak up for the voiceless”.
    • Similar to the Christian Realism of Reinhold Neibuhr – that war may need to be fought in order to prevent greater evils, for example, in order to stop Hitler conquering Britain and murdering the Jews.
  • Weaknesses:
    • Governments may have hidden motives (e.g. Gulf War – perhaps also about securing oil supply)
    • Reasonable chance of success may go against call for sacrificial living.
    • Christian pacifists would argue that war is never an option, there is always something else that can be tried, therefore war will never be a last resort.
13 of 28

Jus in bello

  • Jus in bello: Actions taken during war
    • Civilians should not be harmed.
    • Appropriate force only should be used.
    • Internationally agreed conventions (rules) regulating war must be obeyed.
  • Strengths:
    • Focus is on protecting and minimising loss of human life.
    • Links to teaching that life is sacred since all humans are created in the image of God (imago dei).
    • Christians may feel that these teachings are particularly important in the twenty-first century with the development of drone warfare and nuclear weapons.
  • Weaknesses:
    • Aquinas’ theory is outdated now given the nature of modern warfaretotal war.  No modern war could be deemed ‘just’ given these rules.
14 of 28

Jus post bello

  • Jus post bello: Actions taken after war
    • Punishing war criminals.
    • Helping retrain police and military in a defeated country where a bad government has been defeated.
  • Strengths:
    • Important that part of justice is intended to help countries move from war to peace in a positive way, and so will help to avoid acts of revenge and work towards peace and reconciliation.
    • Linksto blessed are the peacemakers
    • Links to problems with vengeful Treaty of Versailles. Links to actions of UN.
  • Weaknesses:
    • Unclear who has the authority to forgive and reconcile – victims? Authorities?
    • May be difficult to bring war criminals to justice.
15 of 28

Holy War

Holy War: An argument that states physical violence is sometimes necessary to defend religion.  Causes might include claiming of land for the religion, spreading of the faith, and defence of religious believers.

Key Elements to Holy War: 

(a)Achievement of a religious goal. (b)Authorisation of a religious leader (e.g. the Pope) (c)Promise of spiritual reward for those who take part (i.e. heaven)

- It is therefore believed that God is in favour of the War.

- It links to biblical examples e.g. in the book of Joshua, when God sends His people into battle, promising them land that other people are living in.

Historical Examples

  • The Crusades (1096-1487)attempt by Christians to reclaim the Holy Land of Jerusalem from Muslims. In 1095 the Pope promised knights forgiveness of sins if they went on a Crusade.
  • Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army believed they were fighting a Holy War of Puritanism against Charles who was bringing elements of Catholicism into the church.
16 of 28

Table of Views on Violence

Violence may be acceptable because….

Biblical Example

Violence is not acceptable because…

Biblical Example

Violence may be necessary to punish those who break God’s laws.

“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6)

Jesus praised those people who seek peace.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared “blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”

God can be seen encouraging violence within the context of wars.

In 1 Sam 15:3 God says to Saul (King of Israel): “Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

Murder is condemned in the Bible.

The first person to die in the Bible is Abel, who is murdered by his brother Cain, out of jealousy and anger. God condemns Cain’s sinful action.

Injustice and corruption may provoke righteous violence.

Jesus expelled the money lenders from the Temple: “making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle.”

Violent acts are condemned in the Bible.

In Exodus 21:15-18 God condemns attacking, kidnapping and hitting with a first or a stone.

Violence may help to bring about God’s promise of a future absolute peace.

Isaiah describes a future time of peace: “God will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”

Jesus taught to always look for peaceful solutions.

When Jesus was being arrested by the Romans, one of his disciples, Peter, prepares to resist with violence. Jesus says: “Put away your sword! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me.”

17 of 28

Christian attitudes to Conventional Warfare

Christian attitudes to Conventional Warfare:

  • War cannot easily be justified.
  • Need to aim for peace and to maintain justice, and times of war may be necessary to achieve this.
  • St. Augustine argued that wars that aimed to punish evil were peaceful acts. (Links to Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed Genesis)
  • However, Catholics and Anglicans believe war is regrettable.
  • They may pray for God’s guidance and wisdom to be made known to leaders of the countries and all involved.
  • Christian realism – developed by Neibuhrimpossible to ethical perfection because sin is everywhere. Therefore pacifism was an unrealistic position to have in a sinful world and so war was sometimes necessary to prevent even greater evils. (Link to lesser of two evils)
18 of 28

Christian attitudes to Apocalyptic Warfare

Christian attitudes to Apocalyptic Warfare:

  • This is war that would lead to catastrophic results and widespread destruction., e.g. through the use of nuclear weapons.
  • Use of excessive force is opposed by the majority of Christians because:
    • Against Just War Theory’s jus in bello
    • Goes against respect for human life
    • In 1963 the Pope said: “it is impossible to conceive of a just war in a nuclear age.”
    • Methodist church condemns all weapons of mass destruction (although it has not condemned possessing them as a deterrant)
    • In April 2005 a letter from five Church leaders was published which encouraged the UK to move towards nuclear disarmament.
    • Peace Churches (Plymouth Brethren and Quakers) believe there is no justification for nuclear weapons in line with their absolute pacifism.
19 of 28

Christian Attitudes to Technological Warfare

Christian Attitudes to Technological Warfare:

  • This means the use of developments in technology to advance weapons and means of engaging in war: eg. drones.
  • Many Christians have concerns about the use of unmanned drones during war because this can reduce awareness of the human cost of war (e.g. it becomes just like a video game and so focus on sanctity of life may become lost. 
  • Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells argues use of drones without regulation threatens human rights.
  • Catholic Church also expressed concern for number of civil deaths caused by drones – link to Just War; proportionate force/ self-defence
20 of 28

Peace and Reconciliation

  • Peace and Peace-making Key Terms:
    • Pacifism – the belief that any use of violence is wrong, including any act of war.
    • Absolute PacifismAn absolute pacifist believes that it is never right to take part in war, even in self-defence. They think that the value of human life is so high that nothing can justify killing a person deliberately.
    • Conditional PacifismConditional pacifists are against war and violence in principle, but they accept that there may be circumstances when war will be less bad than the alternative. Conditional pacifists usually base their moral code on Utilitarian principles - it's the bad consequences that make it wrong to resort to war or violence.
  • Forgiveness and reconciliation Key Terms:
    • Forgiveness - the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.
    • Reconciliation - the restoration of friendly relations (making peace).
    • Genocide -The deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.
    • Forgiven - to cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something)
21 of 28

Reasons why Christians believe in forgiveness

Reasons for believing in forgiveness:

  • Jesus taught forgiveness and in the Lord’s Prayer, which many Christians say every day, Christians make a commitment to forgiving people.
  • Forgiveness shows obedience to God.
  • There are lots of examples where people have forgiven others for the most awful of crimes: eg. the mother of the murdered school-boy, Anthony Walker, was able to forgive her son’s racist killers.
  • Reconciliation programmes in Rwanda, after the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, shows that even the worst of atrocities and perpetrators should be forgiven so that social harmony can be achieved.
  • Forgiveness allows to inner peace: E.g. Anthony Walker’s mother argued that forgiving her son’s killers was part of the healing process; she said that forgiveness allowed her to off-load her anger and find inner peace.
22 of 28

Reasons against forgiveness

Reasons against forgiveness:

  • Forgiveness is not possible unless the wrongdoer repents and seeks to make amends.
  • Teachings in the Bible where God is angry with people’s actions may suggest that forgiveness is not always part of justice: E.g. Jesus’s anger at the money-lenders and the Temple.
  • There are examples of Christians who have been unable to forgive: E.g. mother/vicar of London 7/7 bombings victim.
  • Question of extent of God’s forgiveness – does God forgive everyone, no matter what their sins and allow them a place in Heaven?  If so, what is the point of behaving well?
  • An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” suggests that that justice should involve severe punishment, rather than forgiveness.
23 of 28

Case Study: Rwandan Genocide

Facts of Rwandan Genocide:

  • It took place in 1994.
  • It lasted for 100 days.
  • 800,000 people were killed.
  • There are two main ethnic groups living in Rwanda- the Tutsis and the Hutu.
  • Both Hutu and Tutsi speak the same language and have the same customs but…..the Tutsis had a history of having more power which caused problems
  • The Rwandan Genocide was largely the massacre of the Tutsis by the Hutu.
  • It started with a plane crash (April 6, 1994)
  • The Rwandan President, Juvenal Habyarimana, was killed (Hutu).
  • Hutu extremists are considered responsible for the crash, but the blame was put on the Tutsis through propaganda.
  • The President of Rwanda was about to sign a Peace Accord with Tutsis and the extremists disapproved.
  • The killings began the same night of the plane crash.
  • Roadblocks set up to capture Tutsis and Hutu moderates.
  • Machetes were the weapon of choice for killings.
24 of 28

Social Justice and Injustice

Social Justice: justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society.

Social Injustice: unequal wealth, unfair treatment of individuals because of their race, sexuality or religion and laws that support segregation.

Liberation Theology: the belief that God has the power to change situations in the world that are unjust and so Christians should stand up against oppressive governments.

25 of 28

Jesus on Justice

Jesus on Justice:

  • Jesus’ core message seen as Love and Forgiveness
  • Jesus taught: to sin is wrong but that God would FORGIVE those who truly REPENT.
  • TRUE JUSTICE: People should not be JUDGED/ PUNISHED by those who are no better than the accused.
  • EXAMPLE: Stoning of woman accused of adultery (John 8: 3-11)
    • Although Jesus’ message was one of LOVE and FORGIVENESS e.g. Jesus did not approve but let her live and told her ‘leave your life of sin’
    • Let he who is without sin cast the first stone
    • However many would say TODAY that Punishment is important for reformation.
  • TODAY: JUDGES and people in PUBLIC service MUST have a high standing in society and be TRUSTED characters.
26 of 28

Christian Views in favour of Capital Punishments

Christian arguments in favour of capital punishment

  • Some Christians argue that capital punishment helps to maintain order and protection in society. They would say this
  • because:
    • " The Bible sets down the death penalty for some crimes, so it must be acceptable to God. This is often seen as retribution.
    • " The Church of England has not repealed the statement in Article 37 of its Thirty Nine Articles which says: "The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death for heinous and grievous offences". 
    • St Thomas Aquinas argued that peace in society was more important than reforming the sinner. He reflects the Roman Catholic Church's teaching that the protection of the whole of society is more important than the individual.
27 of 28

Christian Views against Capital Punishment

Christian arguments against capital punishment

  • Some Christians would argue that capital punishment can never be justified. They would say this because:
    • . They believe Jesus Christ came to Earth to reform sinners, as he did with the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11.
    • Jesus amended the Old Testament teaching on retribution in Matthew 5:38-39 when he said: "You have heard that it was said, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."
    • Christians believe in the sanctity of life, that life is holy and belongs to God and therefore only God has the power to take life. In Romans 12:17-19 it states: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody ... Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to revenge; I will repay, says the Lord'."
28 of 28


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Caroline Chisholm School resources »