I'm shutting down the entries here and apart from a radical April snowstorm or the like, this will be it until the Fall. The next book we will be discussing is Luther on the Christian Life by Carl Trueman. September 15 will be the Fall launch date. It'll be another dose of greatness when it comes to theological breakfasts.
April 21 - Chapters 5-6 of Ordinary
April 28 - Chapter 7 of Ordinary
May 5 - Chapter 8 of Ordinary
May 12 - Chapter 9 of Ordinary
May 19 - Chapters 10-11 of Ordinary
There are great things about being young. But are there great things about being old? The answer is yes even though it seems so unnatural for me to say so given that I'm the product of my culture. We are so infatuated with youth that we easily forget that lessons are learned and wisdom can be gained with the passing of time.
The Bible therefore values both the young as well as the old and puts significant emphasis upon the need for the mature to lead.
So why is it then that the church's ministry models are built around a youth led paradigm?
Food for thought as we discuss chapter 3 of Ordinary on Tuesday, April 7th.
Ordinary is not the same as mediocre (as we will see in chapter two of our book on 3.31.15).
In fact, have you noticed that when the church attempts to harness the so called extraordinary in her methods, Christians look mediocre at best? After all, who other than mediocre believers would find hefty middle-aged men attempting to break bats on their heads anything remotely close to illustrating divine power?
The extraordinary gospel appears foolish and is not. Abandoning the ordinary means of proclaiming the gospel looks foolish and in fact is.
Now that we Know the Heretics (smirk), we are moving on to the Ordinary! Okay, it's not like it sounds, but it is time for a change. Starting Tuesday, March 24th we will begin discussing the book by Mike Horton entitled Ordinary. To listen to an interview on the book with the author, click here.
In the meantime, we will be discussing a chapter from Biblical Words and Their Meaning by Moises Silva. This is only for one week, March 17th. You can pick up the chapter from the OBC bookstore if you need it. Its not an easy read, but an important one that should create some stimulating conversation.
Remember the best selling book Blue Like Jazz? I remember buying and reading it after a respected church leader told me how much he liked it. I don't remember much about the book other than the line where Miller says “There was something inside
me that caused [Jesus] to love me” (Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz), 238. That was enough to make me conclude that the book was a bad book, to lose respect for the church leader, and to wonder why an evangelical publisher would promote such things. An extreme reaction? Not if Pelagianism is a heresy. So what's the relevance to Theology for Breakfast? The relevance is that if we knew our heresies better, we wouldn't gobble them up as if it were the gospel. The next two doses of heresy for breakfast are Apollinarianism (2.17) and Pelagianism (2.24).
Which best describes God: an egg, water, or a pie? Does God manifest Himself in three forms? Who comes up with these bad questions anyway? Okay, enough already. Tuesday, February 3rd will be our discussion of Sabellianism (ch.6 of Know the Heretics). In case you are more of a visual learner, pictured here are some naive trinitarians enamored by a best-selling disciple of Sabellius.
When Christianity is mixed with Zoroastrianism (or any other religion for that matter), bad things happen. Tuesday, January 27 will have us discussing Manichaeanism as it relates to this problem (ch. 5). Hopefully the outcome will be a greater appreciation of the sufficiency of Christ.
We've all heard God described as different in the Old and New Testaments. You know, upset in the Old and loving in the New! But did you know that the historic heresy (yes, I said heresy!) associated with this philosophy is Marcionism? Plan to learn more about this ancient/contemporary heresy on Tuesday, January 15th as we discuss chapter 3 of Know the Heretics.
Know the Heretics is our next read. Why this book? First, because there isn't anything new under the sun when it comes to false teaching. Second, because Christians are called to embrace the truth and avoid falsity. Third, because knowing some of the key historical players and their errors can serve us well in our ongoing pursuit of wisdom.
Read pp.1-22 for discussion on Tuesday, December 9th.
*While you have not seen this man, you have surely seen Pelagius' fingerprints all over the American church.
Some things just aren't right. Mixing the Law with the gospel is one of those things. Yes, they are both important and yes the gospel only makes sense in light of the Law, but collapsing them into one another is hugely problematic. For Tuesday, November 18th we will see the problem illustrated in Kline's helpful article entitled Covenant Theology Under Attack. You can find it here.
One of the most important things about God from where I sit is that he is a covenant keeping God. In other words, he vows and in Christ His "vowing" is for our sure good. We will see this vowing for us in Christ as we discuss the Davidic Covenant (chapter 7 of Sacred Bond) on Tuesday, November 5th.
*The empty picture frame comes in lieu of a picture of God taking an oath which would go best not pictured for reasons I hope are obvious.
"...Israelites were appointed to live and serve
under a meritorious, legal system, while Christians live and serve under a
Is this true? Hopefully what you have been learning in Theology for Breakfast helps you to more confidently say "No!" Hopefully it also helps you to see why it is important to think through issues of continuity and discontinuity in the Scriptures.
Both the New and Old Testaments teach that grace is the one and only way that sinners have rightly related to God as Abraham was justified by faith and is therefore the spiritual father of faith transtestamentally (Romans 4; Galatians 3; Genesis 15).
Reading for Tuesday, October 28 will be chapter 6 of Sacred Bond.
If you know what's good for you (and I know that all breakfast theologians do!), you will want to be a part of Reformation Today. It's Saturday, October 25 and Carl Trueman will be in the house. You can sign up here. Reading for Tuesday, Oct. 21 is chapter 5 on the Abrahamic Covenant.
The Village is a tidy and well ordered community. It is also oh so very safe, safe as long as no one ventures past the boundaries where danger lurks. But as with other M. Night Shyamalan films, things are not what they seem.
I don't want to give away the movie's twist in case you have not seen the Village, but I will say that the fear tactics of the village elders remind me of those who warn about the supposed monstrosities of theological covenants.
We will be reading and discussing chapter 4 on Tuesday, October 14th. I hope to see many of you then, but beware, there may be marks on the door and the bad color will be seen so do your very best not to SCREAM!
the heart of this question of justification and imputation is the rejection of
what is called the covenant of works…The covenant of works refers to the
covenant that God made with Adam and Eve in their pristine purity before the
fall, in which God promised them blessedness contingent upon their obedience to
His command…Where Adam was the covenant breaker, Jesus is the covenant keeper.
Where Adam failed to gain the blessedness of the tree of life, Christ wins that
blessedness by His obedience, which blessedness He provides for those who put
their trust in Him. In this work of fulfilling the covenant for us in our
stead, theology speaks of the ‘active obedience’ of Christ. That is, Christ’s
redeeming work includes not only His death, but His life. His life of perfect
obedience becomes the sole ground of our justification. It is His perfect
righteousness, gained via His perfect obedience, that is imputed to all who put
their trust in Him. Therefore, Christ’s work of active obedience is absolutely
essential to the justification of anyone. Without Christ’s active obedience to the
covenant of works, there is no reason for imputation, there is no ground for
justification. If we take away the covenant of works, we take away the active
obedience of Jesus. If we take away the active obedience of Jesus, we take away
the imputation of His righteousness to us. If we take away the imputation of
Christ’s righteousness to us, we take away justification by faith alone. If we
take away justification by faith alone, we take away the Gospel, and we are
left in our sins. We are left as the miserable sons of Adam, who can only look
forward to feeling the full measure of God’s curse upon us for our own
disobedience. It is the obedience of Christ that is the ground of our
salvation, both in His passive obedience on the cross and His active obedience in
His life. All of this is inseparably related to the biblical understanding of
Jesus as the new Adam (Rom. 5:12–20), who succeeded where the original Adam
failed, who prevailed where the original Adam lost. There is nothing less than
our salvation at stake in this issue”.
Reading for Tuesday, October 7th is chapter 3 of Sacred Bond. Enjoy!
R.C. Sproul, “The Covenant of
Works,” Tabletalk Magazine, October
1, 2006, http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/covenant-works/ (accessed
November 27, 2010).
“The truth of biblical language must be vigorously
protected with non-biblical language. Athanasius’ experience was critically
illuminating to something I have come to see over the years, especially in
liberally minded baptistic and pietistic traditions, namely, that the slogan,
“the Bible is our only creed” is often used as a cloak to conceal the fact that
Bible language is used to affirm falsehood. This is what Athanasius encountered
so insidiously at the Council of Nicaea. The Arians affirmed biblical
sentences” (John Piper).
*Arius was the first patron saint of biblicism as he insisted that only biblical words be used in theology. In case you are not aware, he was a heretic.
Chapter 2 of Sacred Bond is the reading for Tuesday, September 30th. The covenant of works will be in view which is SO VERY IMPORTANT to our understanding of so many things. Enjoy!
Some object to the Covenant of Redemption because a Bible phrase search renders zero results. Not a very good way to approach systematic theology, but it is a common tactic by opponents. Nevertheless, as you read about the Covenant of Redemption (ch.1) in Sacred Bond, I am fairly certain you will find the biblical evidence in favor of a reality commonly described in theology as the Covenant of Redemption. So if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, maybe its a good idea to go ahead and call it a duck.
Whether you consider covenant theology a friend or foe of Christianity, reading Sacred Bond is a worthy endeavor. At the very least it can inform your understanding of what proponents actually teach and it may also display the value of the perspective as it relates to the work of God in the world. The reading assignment for Tuesday, September 16th is the Introduction (pp.1-22).
I hope you have enjoyed your Summer break and are now extra hungry for Theology for Breakfast! Tuesday, September 9th will be our first meeting for the Fall. The book Sacred Bond will be introduced on the 9th and our "menu" will be established. So grab a friend with an appetite and show up for the feast. Irony of ironies is that no actual food will be served!
"What in the world is gnosticism? I don't have time for such theological and historical philosophies as I am too busy telling people about my unique personal experiences with God and hearing others do the same. Whatever gnosticism is, I am sure it isn't something I'd be interested in or that would be relevant to me." OK, no one actually said that, but surely it captures the ironic sentiment of many. So let's read about the second century movement and see that what evangelicals are lapping up is what used to be called heresy. If you did not get the handout on Gnosticism, pick it up in the bookstore at OBC or email me. It will be discussed on Tuesday, May 20th. This will be our final meeting before a summer break.
"You may call me a liar, and you speak truth, for I have lied; but if God declares me righteous, then my lies and your insult are not the final word, nor the most powerful word. I have peace in my soul because God’s Word is real reality. That’s why I need to read the Bible each day, to hear the Word preached each week, to come to God in prayer, and to hear words of grace from other brothers and sisters as I seek to speak the same to them." Carl Trueman, Fools Rush In Where Monkeys Fear to Tread.
Please read more such words in the final three chapters (24, 25, 26) for Tuesday, May 13th.
Prepare yourself for some "serious" tongue in cheek polemics as you read the next installment of Fools Rush In. Chapters 21, 22, and 23 for Tuesday, May 6th (and yes I changed the chapters Monday as the numbering was off).
For you overachievers, here's a good video link from Carl on the confessing church.
Here's a nice little interview with our author and with none other than my brother the high and holy reverend Mike Abendroth (smirk). Give it a listen and a) understand better why I badly want you to be a man who bravely stands for gospel fidelity and b) find Carl more readable as you read chapters 18, 19, and 20 for Tuesday, April 29th.
Since we were not able to discuss Trueman's comments regarding idolatry and children as planned, I have to share at least one rhetorical question that someone planned to ask: "If foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, what might one conclude about the heart of parents who church hop based upon the appetite of their children?"
Back in "the day" children were supposed to be trained in order to become adults. This philosophy assumed that mom and dad were the mature ones and that children were, well, foolish just like the Bible says. Parents may have even thought that their children were sinners who were controlled by sinful desires.
We will be discussing chapter 15, 16, and 17 on Tuesday April 22nd.
Be sure to listen to Carl Trueman's recent podcast where the one who is "taking aim at everything" takes aim at recent out of character postings from the Gospel Coalition. The fact is that being gospel centered (which is great!) can become just another trend to be used immaturely in a way that belittles the actual gospel. Trueman and Co from The Mortification of Spin expose some of the bad form we've seen lately. Be warned though, there is plenty of tongue in cheekiness used to make the point. Take a listen here.
The reading for Tuesday, April 15 is chapters 12, 13, & 14. And we may just have to talk about culinary shenanigans.
Wow, celebrity pastors like Ed Young are so cool. We can be sure that unbelievers will now know how cool it is to be a Christian. Maybe next he can "preach" a sermon series on sex from his bed, oh, wait, he already did.
Up next in Theology for Breakfast are chapters 9, 10, & 11 from Fools Rush In Where Monkeys Fear to Tread. See you Tuesday, April 8th for more discussion on evangelical ridiculousness that is too often too close to home.
*If you endured the pain and watched the entire video (not advisable), did you notice the false teachers Young promotes for the conference? Too much time in evangelical hair and makeup and not enough time in evangelical 101.
"Serious things demand serious idioms. I heard recently of a church service involving dressing up in costume and music taken from a Tom Cruise movie. Now, if I go for my annual prostate examination, and the doctor comes into the consulting room dressed as Coco the Clown, with “Take My Breath Away” from Top Gun playing in the background, guess what? I’m going to take the doctor out with a left hook, flee the procedure, and probably file a complaint with the appropriate professional body. This is serious business; and if he looks like a twit and acts like a twit, then I can only conclude that he is a twit" (Trueman), 57.
A provocative sample from our reading for Tuesday, April 1. We will discuss topics covered in chapters 6-8. Easy reading so get the most of the interaction by reading ahead.
The first two chapters of Fools Rush In are behind us and for Tuesday the 25th we will cover three more (so its 3, 4, & 5 for next time).
Mr. Trueman's insights are theologically sound, historically informed, and at times disturbingly relevant (to use a word Carl doesn't like). Hopefully some of his savvy will influence us as we read, consider, and discuss.
Here are Carl's lectures on Medieval Church History from iTunes U that were mentioned in class.
While it is true that everyone is a theologian, not everyone is a credible theologian. So here is your chance to graduate to big boy pants as is said in the world of parenting. A new installment of Theology for Breakfast is your opportunity to connect with some other maturing men and discuss matters that will matter not just today, but forever. Discussion will be built around the book Fools Rush In by Carl Trueman. So if you are a man and have a desire to join the maturing, read chapter one and show up on Tuesday morning, March 18th at 6:30 AM.
You have probably heard or maybe even recited the words "one holy catholic and apostolic church." But what does that statement from the Nicene Creed mean and is it true? What does the Bible teach about the church? Is it any place where multiple Christians are assembled or is there more to it?
Tuesday, February 18 is when we will discuss these questions and engage chapter 17 of Pilgrim Theology. Come eager and ready to dialogue.
*We will continue discussing chapter 17 and the church on Tuesday, February 25.
We did it! After two weeks of discussing baptism, we had an altar call and everyone present is now a Baptist, well, sort of and sort of not. Seriously though, we are moving on and will be discussing the second part of chapter 16 in Pilgrim Theology which deals with the Lord's Supper. So come ready to discuss pp.374-386 on Tuesday, February 11th.
On an entirely different note and to prove that even "Baptists" can learn a thing or two from others, I can't recommend this message on antinomianism and neonomianism with more enthusiasm. It is a "must" watch/listen.
With so much good conversation about baptism on 1.28, we will continue with the topic on 2.4.14. So it will be a re-read Pilgrim Theology, chapter 16. If this doesn't wet your thirst enough, may I suggest some good theology from Baptist John Bunyan. Some of that can be found here.