Sunday School on Pilgrim’s Progress & Free eBook/Audiobook

As we have just finished our 93 Sunday School series going through Hercules Collins’ “An Orthodox Catechism” (a Baptist version of the Heidelberg Catechism), we had just begun a new study.

As Pastor Jay put it:

“We have covered much theology in Sunday School and this is what Sunday School is for. We have covered the 1689 London Baptist Confession; The Westminster Shorter Catechism (A Baptist Version); and An Orthodox Catechism. So I wanted to start something a little different now. We are going to watch a video series on The Pilgrims Progress classic book By John Bunyan. This is a classic Christian book and very edifying…

 

Ligonier Ministries has a video series of a Pilgrims Progress survey done by a great world renown scholar named Dr. Derek Thomas (a teacher at Reformed Theological Seminary). He has done his homework and this is a great opportunity that I know everyone will love. There is also a study guide that I will be handing out week by week that you can even fill out while you watch the video. The video is about 25 minutes every week and we can follow it by a short discussion on relevant topics as time permits.”

We started this video survey this past Sunday. If you missed it you may watch it free online.

Currently, you may get a modernized version of the book for free in eBook and audiobook (MP3) formats:

Free eBook, Kindle (includes Part II) | Audiobook

A Biblical-Theological Catechism

To my knowledge, I had the privilege of explicitly introducing our church to the discipline of “Biblical Theology [17 min. readout] during our last Sunday School.

Several folks afterwards said they found it helpful and were interested in the Biblical-Theological Catechism I presented. So, below is a portion of the introduction to this catechism with links to each section thereafter.

(Note: This catechism is a work in progress and currently only goes to Exodus. The author hope to have a section on each book of the Bible).

Biblical-Theology

THE END IN THE BEGINNING:

A BIBLICAL-THEOLOGICAL CATECHISM FOR YOUNG AND OLD

by James T. Dennison, Jr.

Introduction [7 min. readout]

How does the Bible begin?

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1)

How does the Bible end?

“And I saw a new heavens and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1)

What is the word for the study of beginnings?

Protology

What is the word for the study of ends?

Eschatology

What is the inclusio of the Bible?

(NB: an “inclusio” is a bracket device marking the beginning and end of a work. An inclusion suggests symmetry, parallelism — rounded/completed balance.)
The protological beginning anticipates the eschatological end; the eschatological end consummates the protological beginning.

What other parallels or symmetries are there between the beginning and the end of the Bible?

A garden (Gen. 2:8; Rev. 22:1–2)
The tree of life (Gen. 2:9; Rev. 22:2)
Life with no curse or deathless life (Gen. 1:31; Rev. 21:4; 22:5)
A dwelling-with-God place (Gen. 2:15–17; Rev. 21:22; 22:3)

What is this pattern or paradigm called?

a. Ursgeschichte and Endgeschichte
b. Protology and Eschatology

These are fancy words. What do they mean?

a. The beginning of history (German: Urgeschichte) is like the end of history (German: Endgeschichte).
b. The first things (Protology) are like the last things (Eschatology)

 

Why does eschatology recapitulate protology?

Because the fundamental symmetry in the history of redemption displays the reflection of the end in the beginning (and vice versa: the beginning in the end).
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Rev. 21:13).

 

Define “protology” more completely.

The study of the “first things”; the “beginning things” in the history of redemption

 

Define “eschatology” more completely.

The study of the “last things”; the “final things” in the history of redemption.

Is eschatology only the “last things” in order of time, i.e., the end of the world, the final judgment, heaven and hell?

No

What else does eschatology embrace?

The whole history of redemption.

Why do you say that the whole history of redemption is eschatological or under the umbrella or canopy of eschatology?

Because eschatology deals with God’s own eternal Being and dimension; and God’s eternal Being and dimension is over and above the whole history of redemption.

[…]

 

Is all of Scripture from Genesis (creation) to Revelation (new creation) oriented to and related to eschatology?

Yes, eschatology is prior to and above every text from Gen. 1:1 to Rev. 22:21.

 

Is it important to consider the eschatological dimension or aspect of a Biblical passage?

Yes, since every verse of Scripture is underneath the eschatological umbrella/canopy, eschatology casts its shadow over the entire history of redemption.

 

Thus, you are suggesting that when I read my Bible, I should pay attention to the linear history (i.e., the line from Adam to Christ, from Moses to Christ, from David to Jesus, etc.).

Yes, I must read the Bible looking in two directions: forward (?) and backward (?) (on the horizon of history).

 

Why should I be concerned with the historical (linear/horizontal) aspect of each portion of the Bible?

Because God has created me and all mankind a being in history. In his revelation of himself, he accommodates himself to my being in time and space — drawing my story into his story. He reveals himself in history—objectively, concretely, supernaturally and transformatively.

 

And you are suggesting that when I read my Bible, I should pay attention to the vertical aspect (i.e., the line from God to creation, from heaven to earth, from eternity to time, etc.)

Yes, I must read the Bible in two additional directions: upward (heaven-ward ?) and downward (earth-ward ?).

 

Why should I be concerned with the eschatological (heaven-ward) aspect of each portion of the Bible?

Because God has made me for himself, even as he made all things. And where he reveals himself to his rational creatures, he invites them to come up to him—to the eschatological arena—to his very glory-presence.

 

Does that mean that Adam in the garden of Eden was invited to the eschatological arena?

Yes; Adam was being shown a garden replica of the garden-glory of heaven. Hence, even before his fall into sin, Adam was invited to enter a heavenly/eternal arena.

 

It seems then that the eschatological arena penetrates or intrudes into the temporal or historical arena?

Yes, as God reveals himself  and his plan of salvation in history, so at every point the eschatological arena casts its shadow and sheds its light in history.

 

Would you trace this pattern of eschatological intrusion and anticipation in the books of the Bible?

  1. Genesis [23 min. readout]
  2. Exodus [35 min. readout  | this is the one I read portions from Sunday]

[HT: Enrique Duran]

Introductory Lectures on Presuppositional Apologetics by Dr. Greg Bahnsen

Seeing as how Pastor Jay is currently doing a Sunday School series on Apologetics to the Glory of God and how we use Dr. Bahnsen’s work in it, I thought it would be useful to share these introductory lectures on presuppositional apologetics.

The following lectures Dr. Bahnsen gave at a high school to prepare Christians to defend their faith in college standing on the authority of God’s word:

Lesson 1 The Myth of Neutrality

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c3eK2xLppQ

Lesson 2 Introduction to Worldviews

Lesson 3 Worldviews in Conflict

Lesson 4 Defending the Christian Faith

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcLaxXVdaWE

Lesson 5 Problems for Unbelieving Worldviews

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5spNIQmG45k

New Sunday School Series: Apologetics to the Glory of God + Recommended Resources

Starting this past Sunday [Feb. 2, 2014] during our Sunday School hour, Pastor Jay started a series entitled Apologetics to the Glory of God. Here is the introductory audio to this series:

The PowerPoint he used:

Here is the Dr. Gorgon Stein vs. Dr. Greg Bahnsen debate that he recommend be watched:

Here are some resources that he recommended:

Every Thought Captive A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth Paperback – June 1, 1979 by Jr. Richard L. Pratt (Author)Every Thought Captive: A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth
by Jr. Richard L. Pratt

Bahnsen Always Reader

Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith
by Greg Bahnsen

 

 

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