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Teaching Children to Love and Know the Truth

On Saturday, January 30, 2016 Lebanon Presbytery Church, Abbeville, SC will host a special seminar on “Teaching Children to Know and Love the Truth.” The event will include a lecture from the speaker, who will be live online, and also time to interact with the speaker.

Guest Speaker, Mr. Ozzie Osgood. Mr. Osgood is currently serving as Assistant Pastor at First Baptist Church of Troy, Pennsylvania. He earned a BS from Lancaster Bible College and a M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary. Ozzie directs Reflections, a home school ministry of the Church that assists families to “image God in education.” In addition to being a private tutor, Ozzie also tutors high school students with Classical Conversations, and works with students as a camp director and athletic coach. He and his wife Angie have four sons.

The seminar will be held in the Fellowship Hall of the church, 698 Mount Carmel Road, Abbeville from 9am-10:30am. A small breakfast will also be available before the seminar begins at 8:30am.

The seminar is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and a count on the number of guests is desired. Please call or Email the church to reserve your seat (864) 446-2247; LebanonPresby@gmail.com.
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Tell others if you wouldn’t mind. Lord willing, the topic next month: “Why Keep the Old (Testament) When We Have the New (Testament)?”

OT & NT Books

This is going to be a good year for readers of reformed works, especially as it relates to the Bible. I simply want to make you aware of three books that are coming out this year.

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament: The Gospel Promised, Edited by Miles V. Van Pelt. Due out May 31, 2016.
Description:
The Old Testament is not just a collection of disparate stories, each with its own meaning and moral lessons. Rather, it’s one cohesive story, tied together by the good news about Israel’s coming Messiah, promised from the beginning. Covering each book in the Old Testament, this volume invites readers to teach the Bible from a Reformed, covenantal, and redemptive-historical perspective. Featuring contributions from twelve respected evangelical scholars, this gospel-centered introduction to the Old Testament will help anyone who teaches or studies Scripture to better see the initial outworking of God’s plan to redeem the world through Jesus Christ.

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized, Edited by Michael J. Kruger. Due out May 31, 2016.
Description:
Introductions to the New Testament often take a defensive stance, focusing on historical-critical issues but failing to address the interests and needs of pastors and Bible teachers. However, with an emphasis on the theology, key themes, and overall message of each book in the New Testament, this collaborative effort of nine biblical scholars takes a more positive and pastorally relevant approach. Written from a distinctly Reformed, covenantal, and redemptive-historical perspective, this theologically rich, expositional resource will equip readers to study and teach each book in the New Testament with clarity and insight.

A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness, by John Piper. Due out March 31, 2016.
Description:
Through the centuries, Christians have declared the Bible to be the Word of God. But why? What foundation do Christians have for believing that the Bible contains the very words of the living God? In his first major book since Bloodlines, best-selling author and popular preacher John Piper makes the case for why it is not just reasonable but crucial that we view the Bible as absolutely perfect and totally reliable. Exploring what Scripture teaches about itself from Genesis to Revelation, its unique “self-authenticating” nature, and its unparalleled ability to showcase God’s peculiar glory, Piper lays a solid foundation for Christians’ unshakable confidence in the Bible.

Michael Kruger said that Piper’s book is “One of the Most Unique Books on the Authority of Scripture in Generations”

I’m looking forward to these publications. Thank you Crossway.

Youth Apologetics Class (Classical Education Style)

I (Jeff) recently started teaching apologetics to the youth at the church I pastor (Lebanon Presbyterian Church), in South Carolina. Obviously I hope that the material sticks with the youth for the rest of their lives. I believe the best way to learn a subject, or even to teach a subject is by way of the Trivium. Trivium means, three ways, which are: Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric. These three ways correspond to the particular ages of a person, and how a person at a particular age learns the best (there is some overlap). For example, the Grammar stage was also called, by Dorothy Sayers the “Poll-Parrot” stage. She said, “The Poll-Parrot stage is the one in which learning by heart is easy and, on the whole, pleasurable; whereas reasoning is difficult and, on the whole, little relished. At this age, one readily memorizes the shapes and appearances of things; one likes to recite the number-plates of cars; one rejoices in the chanting of rhymes and the rumble and thunder of unintelligible polysyllables; one enjoys the mere accumulation of things” For more information on the classical model of education click here. By the way, this method of learning can be applied to any subject, by anyone.

Since many in this class have never heard of apologetics, my goal is to teach this class using the classical model of education. I’ve stated (with the help of others) in the following ways what I intend to accomplish with this class, which coincide with the trivium:

(1) Knowing what you believe (grammar stage – knowledge. Memorize facts)
(2) Knowing why you believe what you believe (dialectic stage – understanding. Discover facts)
(3) Being able and willing to explain what and why you believe (rhetoric stage – wisdom. Explaining the facts)

(1) A Confident Christian – knowing what you believe (Grammar stage)
(2) A Clear thinking Christian – knowing why you believe what you believe (Dialectic stage)
(3) A Courageous and Graceful Christian in every encounter – being able to communicate what you believe and why (Rhetoric stage)

(1) Head – knowing what you believe (grammar stage)
(2) Heart – knowing why you believe (dialectic stage)
(3) Hands – being able and willing to communicate what and why you believe (rhetoric stage)

I am trying to accomplish two things with this class, at least for a portion of the class. I have a young lady who expressed interest in becoming a member of the church, so I’m including material that I would cover in a “new members class.” Currently I am answering the question “Who is an apologist?” while at the dealing with the material contained in the first membership question of the PCA, “Do you acknowledge yourself to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving his displeasure, and without hope save in his sovereign mercy?” There are some obvious topics that are in back of this question, such as God as creator and man as creature, the fall, sin, etc. So, the past two weeks we’ve talked about these topics.

The youngest in my class is 9 years old and the oldest is 16. There will be a lot repetition at times, almost like learning Greek paradigms, but this should benefit the entire class. Sometimes we’ll cover all three stages of learning in a single class, but the focus, at least for a time, we’ll be in the grammar stage.

I’m not sure if the classes will be helpful to our readers, but I’ll post links to the first three, just in case.

Class #1
Class #2
Class #3

I haven’t introduced any books to the class; we’re just not there at this point, but I would recommend the following for an introductory class on apologetics:

Expository Apologetics: Answering Objections with the Power of the Word, Voddie Baucham Jr.

Battle Belongs to the Lord: The Power of Scripture for Defending Our Faith, Scott Oliphint.

Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, Greg Koukl.

I’ll leave you with the following quotations which, in my mind are so important:

“In the study of history the first step is to learn the facts. No amount of topical study, no amount of reflection on the principles of the history, will result in anything better than a mental jumble, unless the memory has first retained the framework of the fact.” – J. Gresham Machen, The New Testament: An Introduction to its Literature and History, 9.

“The real job of every moral teacher is to keep bringing us back to the simple principles which we’re so anxious not to see.” – C. S. Lewis

The Gospel Ministry at Lebanon Presbyterian Church

“I was glad when the said to me, ‘let us go to the house of the Lord.'” (Psalm 122:1)

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, on Saturday, August 23, 2015 I will be ordained to the gospel ministry and installed as pastor at Lebanon Presbyterian Church (PCA), Abbeville, SC.

I’m not expecting any of our readers to attend this event; I mention it just in case you are in the area sometime and are looking for a church. I am asking that If you are aware of someone in the area who is looking for a place where (Lord willing) the gospel is faithful proclaimed week after week, please direct them our way. There will be no dancing in the isles, no clowns serving communion; simply the preaching of the word, the singing of hymns and the fellowship of saints. Lebanon has been without a pastor for three years, and by God’s grace, the church has called me as their pastor. Please pray that God will bless this ministry. We are praying for more people to attend, for the unity of the body, but first, that we would daily love our God with heart, mind soul, and strength.

We do not currently have a website, nor a sermon audio page, but we do have a Facebook page. Please like our page and share it with others: https://www.facebook.com/lebanonpcaabbevillesc

Calvinism and the Christian Life

I opened my Email this morning to discover a new video series produced by Ligonier Ministries. What excited me is the fact that Ian Hamilton is the feature lecturer. Dr. Hamilton is the author of Let’s Study the Letters of John among other book. He is also the pastor at Cambridge Presbyterian Church in the UK and on the board of Greenville Seminary (among many other things).

Here is a summary of the new series: “It is impossible to encounter God’s saving grace and not be powerfully and permanently changed. John Calvin knew this. In this new 6-part teaching series, Pastor Ian Hamilton demonstrates that Calvinism is biblical, God-centered Christianity with important implications for our daily lives. This theology is not simply academic. It is a theology for all of life—a theology in which the grace of Jesus Christ shapes everything.”

You can watch the first lecture and purchase the series Calvinism and the Christian Life by clicking here.

On another note, if you would be so kind as to click here and like, I would appreciate it. Lord willing I will be pastoring this church in the very near future.