Frequently Asked Questions

• What is why on earth...?
why on earth…? is a lively collection of sessions that opens up some of life’s hardest questions in an accessible way. Each session offers simple first steps in exploring a difficult subject. It does not aim to give final answers, just starting-points. Group members are invited to talk about their own thoughts and experiences with honesty. Christian angles on the subject are introduced, and group members are encouraged to apply these in their own lives.

An important early part of each session is called Background Noise. This helps group members identify what ideas they already have on the subject, and explore where these ideas might have come from: family and upbringing, media, friends, and so on.

Each session contains a short animated video and involves discussion in pairs and as a whole group.

• Who is it for?
why on earth…? is mainly aimed at small groups meeting in a home setting. It is particularly suitable for people exploring faith and those new to faith, but may also be used with more established church groups. People who already have a faith will find sessions helpful in clarifying how they might talk to their own friends and family about hard questions of faith.

• How long does it last?
Each why on earth…? session is self-contained, so can be used individually or as a part of a series (in any order). Each session lasts between an hour-and-a-half and two hours.

• How much does it cost?
It is free of charge. The session why on earth... faith v science? may be accessed and downloaded free of charge, by clicking on its links. To access and download other sessions, you need to register and log in.

• Is it apologetics?
The technical term for defending faith and engaging with hard questions of faith is apologetics. But most apologetics is done at a scholarly level, in a style which goes over the head of most people. But the issues dealt with by apologetics are important ones that affect everybody (Why is there suffering? Has science replaced faith? etc). An essential aspect of why on earth…? is that it is accessible. It is very much a first step in helping a wide variety of people think about the hard questions of faith. The animated video in each session helps people get to grips with the topic in an easy way. The sessions are fun, lively apologetics.

Does it include Bible study and theology?
why on earth...? aims to be one of the most acessible Christian resources currently available. So, any references to the Bible and theological issues are kept simple and assume no prior knowledge. The team behind why on earth...? hope many people might want to go deeper in Bible study and theology as a result of doing the sessions.

• What about issues where Christians disagree?
why on earth…? is deliberately limited in scope: it is a simple tool to start people talking about life’s hard questions. The subjects are potentially vast, and great minds down the ages have come to different conclusions on some aspects of them. why on earth…? tries to focus on areas where Christians can agree rather than highlight historic differences.

• Who is behind why on earth...?
why on earth...? is a collaboration between two groups, Church Army and SPCK:
  • Church Army is a mission community of people who are transforming lives and local communities. Its members are committed to sharing the Christian faith through words and action in a variety of contexts across the British Isles. Church Army is part of the Anglican church, but works across many denominations and inter-agency projects.
  • SPCK is the UK's leading Christian publisher, and an Anglican mission agency that has been communicating the Christian Faith since 1698.
why on earth…? is not tied to any denomination or tradition. 


  • Writer: Mike Starkey
  • Editorial Support: Annie O'Connor, Jane Truman, Steve Hollinghurst, Claire Dalpra, Andy Wier, Sue McLoughlin and Dawn Lonsdale.
Animated videos
  • Visuals: Christina O'Connor at MediaGuru
  • Scripts: Mike Starkey
  • Voiceovers: Rosie Mitchell and Mike Starkey
  • ChurchInsight and Carolyn Kinsman
Bible version
  • Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
  • Image icons used in why on earth... bother with the church? and why on earth... do bad things happen to good people? designed by Freepik from Flaticon.