Part 5 - Scots Confession, History & Theology (final installment)

This is the 5th and final part 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 5 continues exploring the background of the Scots Confession. It deals with life and times of John Knox, the principal author of the Scots Confession, cover his departure from England in 1554 to avoid the reign of "Bloody Mary" Tudor, his time in Geneva and Frankfurt, his return to Scotland in 1559, and his legacy. It also explores chapters 21 - 25 in the confession itself, addressing topics like the purpose of the sacraments, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper, the Holy Spirit's work in the sacraments, government and civil authority, and the two gifts given to the church.

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

Here are some quotes from the episode:

"Calvin knew Knox, interacted with him, was friendly toward him, but, also, Knox kind of made Calvin nervous."

"Knox is explicitly calling, in England, for revolution and even regicide."

"Knox kind of let his rhetoric get the better of him in terms of the delicate state-craft of the Reformation. But Knox was never one to think twice before he said something."

"If you think about it, these [Knox's] ideas are really the foundation of the American revolution. And the form of Presbyterian government, of course, is reflected in the representative government of our country."

"[Knox] was a bit of an ass. He was not, in his public persona, the most caring and gently person. Because, again, he saw himself on the model of an Old Testament prophet who gets up and does huge symbolic gestures, and doesn't compromise, and so on."

"Knox, in many ways, was the first Puritan."

"When you set up this idea of church discipline and you start applying it in both directions, it's very democratic insofar as it's kind of pulling the nobility down and making them answerable to a broader public."

"The fact that the Reformation in Scotland was Reformed, coming from the Swiss Reformation...all that was very much because of Knox."

"Baptism connects you to Jesus and forgives your sins. Then you've got the Supper: when rightly used, you're getting united to Jesus more insofar as it's nourishing... I like to think of it as trail mix when hiking, but that's just me."

"The Reformed...remember that there's another person of the Trinity, called the Holy Spirit, who can do things."

"In the Scottish tradition you have this strange dialectic between fencing the table from the perspective of church discipline...and let[ting] as many people partake as possible because the Holy Spirit is going to use it to turn them into Christians."


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