Book of Concord Bible Class #3: The Scriptures and the Creeds

Simply put, this Bible class examines the Scriptures to see the newly-formed Christian church engage in creed-like statements of faith.  There are both professions of who Jesus is and His work on our behalf.  We the profession of faith used with baptism, the pledging of men into the Pastoral Office, and the rejection of heresy.

Note: At the beginning of each class, there will be a 5-minute quiz, which will be included in the links below. Immediately after the quiz, we will go over the answers to that quiz.  If you don’t want to hear the answers, take the quiz first, then start the audio of the class.  Written answers will be included in the second link, which is the present class outline.

Quiz #3 (Grey sheet):  Quiz-for-Sep-15-Book-of-Concord-Creeds-Part-2.pdf
Handouts (white sheet with answers to the quiz on the back):  Book-of-Concord-Class-3.pdf
Extra Source Materials:  Where-did-we-get-the-Creeds.pdf

The following is a reading guide (through December) for those who would like to read along with us.
Reading Guide for Tappert, Kolb, English only of Triglotta, Concordia Reader’s Edition: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-1-Page-1-2.pdf
Reading Guide for Triglotta, Jacobs, Henkel, Die BekenntnisSchriften, Tappert, Kolb: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-2-pages-1-2.pdf

41A Creation: Compare Cultures

“Now, when you compare the creation-based culture (like the Jews) with an evolution-based culture (like the Greeks), you’re essentially comparing America of yesteryear to the America of today.  And this is what is happening throughout Western culture.  This is the divide we are experiencing.  And that divide is widening quickly” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.98-99).

#56 Brought Up After the Fashion of the World

4. Now children are not to obey parents who are so foolish that they bring up their children after the fashion of this world. God is to be more highly regarded than parents according to the first three commandments. I call it being brought up after the fashion of the world when parents teach their children to seek nothing but the pleasure, honor, possessions, or power of this world.

To wear decent clothes and seek an honest living is a necessity, not a sin. Yet in his heart a child must be reconciled to the fact that it is an awful pity that this miserable earthly life cannot well be lived, or even begun, without the striving after more adornment and more possessions than are necessary to protect the body against cold and for nourishment. Thus the child must be taught to do against its own will what the world wants. The child must put up with fools and with that kind of evil for the sake of something better and to avoid something worse. Queen Esther wore her royal crown, but yet she said to God, “Thou knowest that the sign of my high estate which is upon my head has never at all delighted me, and that I abhor it as a filthy, menstruous rag. I never wear it when I am alone, but only when I have to and when I face the people.” The heart that is so minded wears adornment without peril, for it wears and yet does not wear, it dances yet does not dance, it lives well yet does not live well. And souls such as this are the secret hidden brides of Christ. But such souls are rare, for it is hard not to take delight in great adornment and display. Thus St. Cecilia wore golden clothes at the command of her parents, but underneath she wore a hair shirt next to her skin. (Luther’s Works, v. 44 p.83-84).

Book of Concord Bible Class, Pt. 2: The Creeds

This Bible class presented an overview of the historic and ecumenical creeds of the Christian church.  The Apostles’ Creed is the oldest of the creeds.  Although it is first quoted at the end of the fourth century (390 and then 404), it has its roots in the old Roman Creed of the second century.  The Nicene Creed was approved at the council of Nicea in 325 A.D. and revised at the Council of Constantinople of 381 A.D.  The third Council of Toledo of 589 A.D. added the words, “And from the Son” (filioque).  This creed confesses the full divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit against the Arians and others.  The Athanasian Creed was most likely not written by Athanasius, even though the topics which it addresses are contemporaneous with Athanasius.  It was already in use in the 6th century and serves as a detailed explanation of the Trinity and the person of Christ.

The relationship between the Scripture and the Creeds can be summed up by two Latin phrases:  Scripture is norma normans (“the rule that rules”) but the creeds are norma normata (“a rule that is ruled”). Finally, we took a look at Mark 8:27-29 in which Jesus asks Peter, “But who do you say that I am?”

Note: At the beginning of each class, there will be a 5-minute quiz, which will be included in the links below. Immediately after the quiz, we will go over the answers to that quiz.  If you don’t want to hear the answers, take the quiz first, then start the audio of the class.  Written answers will be included in the second link, which is the present class outline.

Quiz #2 (Pink sheet):  Quiz-for-Sep-8-Book-of-Concord-Creeds.pdf
Handouts (white sheet with answers to the quiz on the back):  Book-of-Concord-Class-2-Student-Guide.pdf
Extra Source Materials: Three-ecumenical-creeds.pdf  and Apostles-Creed-Background.pdf

The following is a reading guide (through December) for those who would like to read along with us.
Reading Guide for Tappert, Kolb, English only of Triglotta, Concordia Reader’s Edition: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-1-Page-1-2.pdf
Reading Guide for Triglotta, Jacobs, Henkel, Die BekenntnisSchriften, Tappert, Kolb: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-2-pages-1-2.pdf

40A Creation: ABCs

“Paul began with the “ABC’s” (Always Been a Creator).  He explained that the one true God made the world and everything in it.  He’s the Lord of heaven, and He doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands.  He doesn’t need things, but rather he provides all things….  We do this so people can understand we’re all descendants of Adam, thus all sinners, and all in need of a Savior” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.96).

#55 Sacrificing Your Child By Letting Them Go Their Own Way

Thus God’s commandment falls absolutely to the ground, unwittingly, and ostensibly for good reasons. Then is fulfilled that which is written in the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, that the children are destroyed by their own parents [Isa. 57:5; Jer. 7:31; 32:35]. They do what King Manasseh did. This king sacrificed his son to the idol Molech and burned him.47 What else is it but to sacrifice one’s own child to an idol and burn it when parents train their children more in the love of the world than in the love of God, and let their children go their own way and get burned up in worldly pleasure, love, enjoyment, lust, goods, and honor, but let God’s love and honor and the love of eternal blessings be extinguished in them?

O how perilous it is to be a father or mother, where only flesh and blood are supreme! Indeed, it is because parents are commanded to teach their children that the knowledge and keeping of the first three and the last six commandments depend on this commandment. As Psalm 78[:5–6] says, “How strictly has God commanded our fathers to make known his commandments to their children, that the generation to come might know them and declare them to their children’s children.” This is also the reason God bids us honor our parents, that is, to love them with fear; for that other love is without fear, therefore, it is more dishonor than honor.

Now see whether everyone does not have enough good works to do, whether he be father or child. But we, blind men that we are, neglect such works as these and seek elsewhere all sorts of other works which are not commanded. (Luther’s Works, v. 44 p.83).

Book of Concord Bible Class, Pt. 1: Introduction

This Bible class is the beginning of a 9-month course on the Book of Concord, the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  A creed is a summary statement of the religious belief of a certain group of people. We begin this course by responding to five common reasons which groups give for being non-creedal (or even anti-creedal). After that, we examine the five ways in which creeds have served the church.

Note: At the beginning of each class, there will be a 5-minute quiz, which will be included in the links below. Immediately after the quiz, we will go over the answers to that quiz.  If you don’t want to hear the answers, take the quiz first, then start the audio of the class.  Written answers will be included in the second link, which is present class outline.

Non-creedal (or even anti-creedal):

  1. The Bible alone: No creed but the Bible
  2. Sinful man is incapable of making a sinless statement of faith.
  3. Experience: No creed but Jesus
  4. Creeds impinge on the individual Christian’s freedom of conscience by establishing a “binding authoritative confessions of faith”
  5. Creeds divide, rather than unite people

 Why have creeds?

  1. Liturgical: Profession of catholic faith (i.e. universal, the faith of the Christian church), Standard to the World
  2. Ministers: A guide for preaching/instruction, Principle of Interpretation, Meaning of Scripture.  It tells what is most important or the guiding principles.
  3. Discipline: State the truth in response to heresy. Serves as signposts to Heresy – shutting out the heretic, and setting boundaries for authentic Christian theology and life.
  4. Baptism: Teaching for conversion to the Christian faith (into which one is baptized)
  5. Holy Communion: Catechetical teaching for the baptized, Catechism

Quiz #1 (Green sheet):  Quiz-for-Sep-1-Book-of-Concord-Introduction.pdf
Handouts (white sheet with answers to the quiz on the back):  Book-of-Concord-Intro-Student-Guide.pdf

The following is a reading guide (through December) for those who would like to read along with us.
Reading Guide for Tappert, Kolb, English only of Triglotta, Concordia Reader’s Edition: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-1-Page-1-2.pdf
Reading Guide for Triglotta, Jacobs, Henkel, Die BekenntnisSchriften, Tappert, Kolb: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-2-pages-1-2.pdf

39A Creation: A Growing Chasm

“Many of our Christian leaders, Sunday school teachers, and parents have got a foot on both side of the widening chasm—straddling between the ‘Greek’ side and the ‘Jewish’ side….
They are all really ‘Greek’ in their thinking about this topic.  And I find the pastor is ‘Greek’ also because he went to a ‘Greek’ seminary….     Actually, the whole world is really ‘Greek’ to one degree or another.  All of us, to some extent, have been influenced by this ‘Greek way of thinking.
If you want to deal with this growing chasm in the culture, then the only solution is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.  However, for this to effectively happen, the gospel must be presented in a way that those hearing the message will understand” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.88-91).

#54 Undisciplined Children Because of “Natural Love” Dishonors 4th Commandment

3. There is still another kind of dishonoring of parents, much more dangerous and subtle than this first, [a dishonoring] which decks itself out and lets itself be regarded as a true honoring of parents. That is when a child has its own way and the parents allow it to do so out of natural love. In this case they honor one another and love one another. On all sides it is a precious thing; the mother and father are pleased and the child is pleased.

This plague is so common that instances of the first kind of dishonoring are very rarely seen. This second kind of dishonoring arises from the fact that the parents have been blinded and neither know nor honor God in the sense of the first three commandments. For this reason they cannot see what the children lack, or how they ought to teach them and bring them up. It is only to please men and to get ahead that they train their children for worldly honors, pleasure, and possessions. The children like this, and, of course, they obey very gladly without any back talk. (Luther’s Works, v. 44 p.82-83).

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt.21: The Wrap-up

In the beginning there was a distinction between the Creator and His Creation.  Yet at a point in time “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14).  The divine second person of the Trinity took up a human nature and manifested Himself to our human senses.  This God-Man appointed Apostles to be His eyewitnesses, particularly of His resurrection from the dead.  Through this empirical evidence of the Apostolic witnesses we are directed to believe that Jesus is the promised Christ and receive life in His name.   Strict apologetics (the scientific validation of  Scriptural truth) is quite limited to the knowledge that there is a god who also demands moral behavior.  From there, we must quickly move on to the revealed knowledge  which tells us who God is, what He has done, and what His will is toward us.  Revealed knowledge creates faith in the promise of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, human reason, natural law, logic and philosophy can be employed within the sphere of the senses.  Although apologetics and existential proofs for God are valid, the real “search” for God begins with the incarnation.  Luther uses the account of Jacob’s ladder(Gen 28) to teach us not to approach heaven by human reason speculating about the divine majesty, instead we are to embrace the incarnated Jesus Christ as presented in the Word.  “There is no other God than this Man Jesus Christ”(LW 26:29).  John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  The New Testament is a confirmation of the historical Jesus just as it was promised in the Old Testament.  “We have the prophetic word confirmed…” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

The individual Christian and the incarnate Christ live in both kingdoms simultaneously.  It is within the vocations of the three estates that we see the proper use of apologetics.  It is used by parents in teaching and raising children to serve society and the church. If parents employ teachers to help them in their God-given task, then they need to be on guard against those who would deny not only natural knowledge, but revealed knowledge as well.  Individual Christians must speak up for the historicity of the Scriptures and the truthfulness of the Word of God.  And, yes, we need to beware of philosophy and empty deceit (Col 2:8) and cast down any arguments which exalt themselves beyond its proper sphere(2 Cor 10:4-5).  But ultimately we must present the message of the cross of Jesus Christ.  The substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins is the only saving message of truth.  If the hearer is offended by the cross of Christ or thinks that its message is foolishness, then so be it.  There is no other name by which we must be saved.

Handouts 1:The Search for God Begins with the Incarnation.pdf
Handouts 2: Lutheranism-and-the-defense-of-the-Christian-Faith-Montgomery.pdf
Overhead 1: Overheads-Aug-25-2019.pdf

Full document cited in this lesson:
http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/montgomerychristianapologetics.pdf
http://www.blts.edu/wp-content/uploads/lsq/11-1.pdf