Part 3 - Scots Confession, History & Theology

This is Part 3 in a series of adult education (Sunday School) classes that I taught at St. Charles Presbyterian Church (USA) in the early months of 2020. It provides a fairly thorough discussion of the Scots Confession's history and theology targeted (hopefully, effectively so) at the generally educated churchgoer. 

Part 3 continues exploring the background of the Scots Confession. It deals with John Calvin and the Swiss Reformation, including Calvin's teachings on the knowledge of God, as well as providing a very brief overview of the English Reformation. It also explores chapters 11 - 15 in the confession itself, addressing topics like Christ's intercession at the right hand of the Father, the afterlife, faith, "total depravity," "good" works and merit, and the Christian's ongoing struggle against sin.

This is Part 3 in a 5-part series. You can find the series index here.

Here are some quotes from the episode:

"Zwingli, trained as a humanist, said, 'No, it's about reading the texts.' So he would just preach through as the text went along."

The blow-by-blow of Zwingli's death "would actually make a pretty good Hollywood death scene."

"Fast-forward three years and [Calvin] and Farel are getting kicked out of Geneva."

"Commentaries on Scripture are one of the main contributions that Calvin made."

"Calvin was a big influence on Knox and therefore on the Scottish Reformation."

Human nature "is just like a conveyor belt, pumping out idol after idol after idol - false gods to worship."

"[Calvin] said, 'In the Bible, the women are singing; they should be singing! But no organs, and only the songs that are in the Bible.'"

"The proper human response to grace given and received is to be grateful. And that gratefulness should take shape in how you live."

"'I need this marriage annulled so I can marry another woman and hopefully have a son. Because clearly the problem's not me, it's her.' Typical male, king logic."

"Knox can be seen as one of the first real Puritans."

"A fairly distinguishing feature of Scottish theology is the emphasis that they put on what's called the 'session' of Christ."

"In keeping with much Christianity of the time, hell is imagined here as something like an eternal torture chamber. ... Just like a king has dungeons, God has dungeons."

"One sign...of whether or not somebody is in fact a true Christian is whether their life gets spiritually harder."

"Not only does Jesus forgive you for past sins, but even why you try to do good works, Jesus is making up the difference."


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