We are starting a new book and it is John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. Because life is short and our attention spans are even shorter, we are reading a highly edited version of the work. The text is available in the OBC bookstore. Discussing Book 1 on Tuesday, December 5th.
Dec. 12 reading is pp.39-65. Printed schedules available in class or at the bookstore.
*Note also that we will NOT be meeting on December 26th and January 2nd. This may be proof that we are not exactly Calvinists!
"The moralists will be back. They will be back because they never really go away. They go dormant for a while. For this reason, let us never say, “We all know what the gospel is, now let us go on to the Christian life.” The minute we say that we’ve lost the foundation of the house and the power of the Christian life. It’s like saying, “We all know how to breathe, so let’s forget about breathing and get to exercising.” People who say that have never exercised! If you want to live a Christian life, start with the declaration of the good news. How do we confront sin in our lives? We reckon with the law. How is sin defeated? By the gospel and only by the gospel. The law has no power to defeat sin. The law only has power to convict and guide. The law is like railroad tracks. To go off the tracks is destruction but the tracks do not move the train. Only God the Spirit empowers the Christian to live Christianly and he does so only through the frequent and faithful declaration of the good news to sinners." Excerpt from R. Scott Clark. Full article is found here. Relevant insights complementing our reading. Chapter 3 of The Whole Christ is our chapter for Tuesday, October 3rd.
We are off and rolling with week one in the books. With introductions out of the way, we will discuss chapter 1 of The Whole Christ on Tuesday, September 19th. Hope to see you there. As I mentioned in class, try listening to some of our author's sermons or lectures as you may find reading his writing easier. I find that I hear his voice as I read.
Tuesday, September 12th is our first Theology for Breakfast meeting for the new season. Our text is The Whole Christ by Sinclair Ferguson. On this first meeting we will discuss the Forward, Introduction, and other relevant matters to our year together. We will meet from 6:30-7:30 and it will be great. It always is!
*Theology for Breakfast is a men's ministry of Omaha Bible Church that welcomes men from OBC and without. See you Tuesday.
As we prepare to discuss the Law of God, an insightful statement by a favorite Baptist is in order:
"The Doctrine of the Divine Covenant lies at the
root of all true theology. It has been said that he who well understands the
distinction between the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace is a master
of divinity. I am persuaded that most of the mistakes which men make concerning
the Doctrines of Scripture are based upon fundamental errors with regard to the
Covenants of Law and of Grace" C.H. Spurgeon.
Please read chapter 19 of Confessing the Faith for Tuesday, February 28 in preparation for some excellent discussion.
* If you are wondering about what we are reading on later dates, we cover a chapter a week.
There will be NO Theology for Breakfast on Tuesday, January 17th as public schools have canceled. Its a snow day with no snow. Be safe on the icy roads and plan to meet on the 24th. We will cover ch.14 of Confessing the Faith on January 24th.
Theology for Breakfast will be meeting throughout the winter with two scheduled exceptions. There will be no meeting on December 27th or January 3rd. If you or someone you know shows up on one of these two days, loneliness will ensue. Here is the reading schedule for the next few weeks: Dec 13 (chapter 11 Justification), Dec 20 (chapter 12 Adoption), January 10 (Sanctification). Enjoy!
“The general call of the gospel is like the common ‘cluck’ of the hen which she is always giving when her chickens are around her. But if there is any danger impending, then she gives a very peculiar call, quite different from the ordinary one, and the little chicks come running as fast as they can, and hide for safety under her wings. That is the call we want, God’s peculiar and effectual call to his own" C.H. Spurgeon.
The reading for December 6th is chapter 10 on Effectual Calling.
Human rebellion against the almighty Sovereign is hopeless and apart from gracious intervention we are helpless. Thanks be to God that a mediator is provided in Christ Jesus. The mediating work of Jesus will be discussed on Tuesday, November 22. Please read the first half of chapter 8 (and more if you're ambitious) so we can have some meaningful interaction.
Nothing against daisies, but whatsoever comes to pass is not hanging in the balance. The topic for Tuesday, Oct. 11 will be God's Eternal Decree. Read chapter 3 to be ready for our discussion. Best of LUCK to you!
The triune God is the topic for Oct. 4 so we will be discussing chapter 2. The video link contains the excellent lecture on apologetics that we discussed 9.27.16. It is worth your attention. NEED TO SKIP AHEAD ABOUT 12 MINUTES.
Read the introduction to Confessing the Faith by VanDixhoorn for Tuesday, Sept. 20th. Be sure to find at least one interesting fact about the history of the Westminster Confession that is worth noting. So starts another great year of Theology for Breakfast!
I like new and shiny when it comes to things like cars and bikes. But when it comes to theology, give me well-worn every time. Therefore this year Theology for Breakfast will be delving into cutting edge seventeenth century stuff. We will be looking at the tried and true old paths of confessional Christianity with the help of Chad Van Dixhoorn (an able 21st century guide). The start date is Tuesday, September 13th. We will be meeting in the OBC library at 6:30 AM. No reading required for the first day, but be sure to secure your copy of Confessing the Faith by Chad Van Dixhoorn (available at OBC and online).
No, we will not be talking about the theology of "future justification" on Tuesday, May 17. But we will be talking about justification and as I type this a week ahead of time, it is in the future. Please find the reading in the OBC bookstore and don't be fooled by the similar appearance between last week's reading and this week's. The article is a great one.
Since justification is vital to the gospel, it's attackers don't seem to rest. This means we need to be aware of the issues and vigilant. May 10 and May 17 will focus on some helpful miscellaneous articles on the justifying work of Jesus. Copies are available in the OBC bookstore.
The assignment for Tuesday, April 26th is to read the first two "Heads" of the Canons of Dordt as well as the objections. The full document can be found here. Feel free to read a little more about the history of the Synod of Dordrecht as we will discuss that also. We will also consider the importance of the event and its conclusions. See you Tuesday!
A thorny issue in Christian theology is the matter of the temple. Is it God's intent to have the Jewish temple rebuilt and the sacrificial system restored? Some say "yes" and others "no." We will be discussing this issue on Tuesday, April 19th. Pick up the article in the bookstore, give it a read, and come ready for some good discussion.
Old School Princeton's Samuel Miller argues for the importance of creeds and confessions. Is his argument for sound doctrine sound? We will be discussing this and other matters relating to his work "The Utility and Importance of Creeds and Confessions" on April 5th and 12th. Please read the first half for the 5th and the second for the 12th. Hard copies are available at the OBC bookstore or you can find it online.
The assignment for 3.15.16 is to answer the following questions in one sentence or less and in five minutes or less of research: 1) What is a covenant? 2) What is Covenant Theology? 3) When did Covenant Theology start? The important qualifier is that the answers are not to be yours, but the answers of others you came across during your five minutes of research. In other words, we are looking for what is commonly believed rather than what is necessarily true. Plan to share your answers and cite the source for each.
There will be no theology for breakfast meeting on Tuesday, February 2nd due to the predicted blizzard and corresponding school cancelations. God, however, will nevertheless be glorified even if we are not discussing his glory together!
Lord willing, we will resume meeting Tuesday, February 9th. Discussion will be of chapter 5.
We will not be meeting on the week of Christmas and New years (12.22 and 12.29), but we will be meeting on the first three weeks in December. The topic will be the Covenant of Works. If you need a copy of the reading, you can find a copy in my church mailbox. The reading is a draft and not for distribution outside of Theology for Breakfast.
Starting January 5th, we will begin discussing the soon to be released book God's Glory Alone by David VanDrunen. The release date for the book is December 1. You won't want to miss out on this one!
Our next discussion of Luther will be regarding the sacraments. Since we are not Lutheran, there will be some big differences. Lessons to learn regardless. Chapter 6 to be discussed on Tuesday, November 3rd. God told me to tell you to read it...okay, I just made that up.
What do you think will happen at church this Sunday? If you are less than sure, is it a good thing or not? Learn more from Luther's profound focus on the basics. Chapter 4 of Trueman on Luther will be discussed on Tuesday, October 20th.
Today we learned that we can admire people for some things and not others while avoiding attempts to reshape them into the evangelicals that they are not. Here's a timely case in point (or not). I really like the Pope for his taste in bicycles while at the same time I adamantly disagree with his title of ultimate mediator (Pontifex Maximus). Please read chapter 1 of Trueman on Luther for Tuesday, September 29th.
We're back! And Martin Luther is going to inspire, entertain, and on occasion offend us. All before 7:30 in the morning! What more could one expect from Theology for Breakfast? The book is Carl Trueman's Luther on the Christian Life (a Presbyterian claiming to know something about a Lutheran, now that's odd) and it should be great mental fodder for some stirring Tuesday morning chats. Read the first 30 pages to be ready for discussion on Tuesday, September 22nd.
Since one of our "asides" on Sept. 15 brought up dispensationalism, here is an article on what it is written from a positive perspective.
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.