Our pastor is a nice guy. He loves to open up opportunities for people to discuss issues that are important to them. That is why, in the Sunday School class that he is teaching on Practical Theology this quarter, he decided to tailor the class by allowing us, the students, to ask questions that we would like him to teach on and have the class discuss. Poor, trusting, naïve man. I don’t think he knew what he was in for.
I have to say that I am honored to be among such thoughtful and vulnerable people and am looking forward to the discussions that grow from these questions.
Here are the questions that were submitted (our pastor tried to make them more manageable by organizing them into categories):
If the PCA (reformed faith) believes in predestination, where does our free-will fit into our future? In other words, if God knows our future and it is already planned, what choice do we have?
Sacraments: Use and Meaning
Please explain again the use of Baptism & Communion as a sign and seal of salvation. What is the right attitude in which to receive these? Is circumcision still a sign and seal?
Are there any additional or only spiritual signs of salvation?
Sniffing Out the Truth of Cultish Coercion
1 John 2:18-26 & 1 John 4:1-3 & Galatians 1:6-9 – These verses have been presented to me to support “we know the truth and no one else does.” How do you view these verses in light of inner core and outer core beliefs? (Looking back, outside the dogma, there seems to be a contradiction between the Scriptures and the statement.)
A Case for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in the PCA
What is a woman’s role in the PCA? How are women viewed? If women are thought to not be able to hold a leadership role in the church, how is that carried over into everyday life? Such as:
a. Woman CEO with men as employees: how will she be viewed?
b. How do we bring our children up respecting a woman’s role without formulating an opinion that may be demeaning?
Does the reformed faith allow for changes? Is the culture at the time a basis for the role that women play?
Christ and Culture
How does the church determine what in Scripture is cultural practice and what is commanded by God as an act of obedience, worship, etc.? If sanctification is a reality that bears fruit in the life of the believer, why is the church virtually indistinguishable from the surrounding culture in so many ways?
Mixed Bag of Nuts
Why has [our church] chosen a contemporary worship format over hymnody/ psalmody?
How does Christianity (or reformed theology) reconcile Biblical truth with quantum physics?
How does Christianity (or reformed theology) reconcile Biblical history with dinosaurs?
What role does the Holy Spirit have in Christian life today? Is this purpose/ function any different now than from the time of Pentecost?
What theological differences are there between reformed Presbyterian and reformed Baptist? Reformed Episcopal?
Are there levels of “saintliness” or “sinfulness”?
Speak to the issue of iconoclasm and the role of arts in the church.
Can you guess which ones Frodo and I submitted?
As our class delves into these questions, I will share my thoughts (and the many questions which are sure to follow) here. Maybe I can convince Frodo to also. Just check the theology category. If these topics interest you, I encourage you to check out Heather’s blog, Stepping Heavenward, where she will also be sharing her musings on her Sunday School’s teachings on Chapter 22 of the Baptist Confession of Faith.