Mar 132010
 

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/9642809[/vimeo]

This may be my favorite teaching from J.I. Packer.

Here he talks about the need to learn the faith, to teach and be taught, and gives us the 10 things we most need to learn about.

Most won’t take the time to watch…those that do will be blessed and encouraged and maybe even inspired to swim past the shallows.

  No Responses to “Christianity Must Be Learned!”

  1. I would absolutely love to watch this, but its downloading so very slowly…
    is it really 83 minutes long? No doubt its worth the time! Just wondering
    maybe theres a way to download it somehow so it doesnt keep stopping?

  2. Or download the audio

    http://www.saint-peters.net/sermons

    …but watch it here at PP if you are able 🙂

  3. I’ll give it a listen when I get home later. The title is intriguing!

  4. really looking forward to winding up my day listening to him tonight

  5. Not bad, I guess, but I still say Todd is more lively.

  6. The main difference is that Dr. Packer is a Christian.

  7. Just listened to it. I want to go to Catechism now. Loved his simple response as to how to share with someone who plays the evolution card.

    Michael,
    Which book of his would you recommend as to getting down the basics of theology for the lay person?

  8. Thanks Brian D!

    I found the trick… to put it on pause, until it downloads fully and then play it.
    Helps keep the good Dr from stuttering! Only problem is now its after 12, and though i have listened to the first 20 min, will have to save the rest for tomorrow.

    well here is a portion ( paraphrased as best as I can) that He is teaching about theology:

    To lay before us the truths Christians are to live by
    in Ethics, How we should behave towards God and others
    getting to know and understand Gods point of view

    I especially like:

    I. Theology equips us for our witness
    to love our neighbors with good works and good words
    to be able to give an account for the hope that lies within us
    as sometimes people will say, ” I wish i had your faith, can you share it with me?”
    we need proper theology to answer the question well

    II. Theology is important for matters of discernment
    Romans 12:1
    present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God for this is our reasonable service… being transformed by the renewing of our minds being able to discern

    discernment comes through renewing our minds in learning to know and think Gods thoughts after Him, shaping our hearts, showing, demonstrating the will of God in our lives, which is good acceptable and perfect.

    III. For full Biblical understanding. Some have gotten the idea that Bible study is all we need, But without Theology, we cannot properly study the Bible.

    looking forward to hearing his 10 points on what we should be learning and what we need to know… promises to be good stuff!

    Thanks for posting the study Michael!

  9. That was Romans 12:1,2

    The ESV shows all of Romans 12 like this:

    A Living Sacrifice

    12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, [1] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] 2 Do not be conformed to this world, [3] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. [4]

    Gifts of Grace

    3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, [5] and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, [6] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

    Marks of the True Christian

    9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, [7] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

    14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. [8] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it [9] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    good night all!
    may Gods richest blessing, peace and grace be Yours
    and may you all be blessed by JI Packers encouragement here!

  10. Nonnie,

    Thanks for asking… 🙂

    I think “Knowing God” is the finest single book on theology for the lay person ever written.

    He also has a little book called “Concise Theology” that consists of one page summaries of all the important Christian doctrines that is wonderful.
    It’s available free at monergism.coms Packer page.

    He also wrote a book called “18 Words Everyone Should Know” that I love.

  11. Sis,

    Thank you for listening and giving us a synopsis of the teaching.

    I loved this point…too much. 🙂
    “II. For full Biblical understanding. Some have gotten the idea that Bible study is all we need, But without Theology, we cannot properly study the Bible.”

  12. Thank you for the information. Going to Amazon right now. 🙂

  13. All of Dr. Packers books are written with the lay person in mind.
    I probably have almost all of them and they all have been of great value to me.

    Now…when he writes for theological journals or his classes at Regent…you know you have encountered a very formidable mind.
    Those I have to take slowly….

  14. Nonnie,

    That makes my day…it truly does.

  15. Very nice.

    That is why I love home Bible Studies. The questions brought up will lead to a theological study of topics.

    I appreciated that he used Peter Sellers as a contrast example.

  16. First time I listened to Dr. Packer. Now I’ll probably hear his voice when I read his books.

    It reminded me of listening to Stanley Voke years ago.

  17. II. For full Biblical understanding. Some have gotten the idea that Bible study is all we need, But without Theology, we cannot properly study the Bible…

    and how shall we be taught without (prepared and disciplined) teachers? it is amazing (to me) how reading (study of?) the Word opens up to us laymen when we have the benefit of good, disciplined and devout teachers – whatever their theological bent

    expecting a treat, hearing this man this evening

  18. Michael, After watching this wonderful video, it spurred me to do a bit of investigating (googling). Ironically, I ended up on a site of my mom’s Anglican acquaintance/friend preaching. It ministered to her, and it looks as if she will contact him. Christianity must be definitely learned, and she will continue in her journey. I just thought I’d let you know how the Lord worked…… 🙂

    MLD, is there a huge difference between Anglican and the LCMS? I know, I know…. 🙂

  19. just coming from the above audio link (video broke up too much to concentrate)

    what does this pew sitter come away with? no academic attempts to systematize my ‘theology,’ but:

    “Great Exchange”- would to God that i could write a (non-academic) book on that theme – has it been done?

    circuitry principle (grace comes down and faith goes up/returns) a wonderful picture of the whole walk in every aspect IMO – I love it (even if i’ve distorted it here)

    something jumped into my mind as i listened – i don’t believe that it was directly taught, but for the Christian there is no faith separate from a love for God, i don’t think… without a love for Him, it is just belief

    did i get anything more? yeah, but i’m no theologian 🙂

    i think i can retire from the PP now – aaand i think that Michael’s heart and his blog site almost fulfills what Packer’s vision for the Church, the whole Church is – dunno

    thank you for the blessing and God keep

  20. I really enjoyed what Packer had to say. His point is certainly well taken. I was a bit disappointed that he said the Alpha Course is the closest thing existing that does what he desires. But the idea of Bible study and theology going hand in hand is a good one, in my opinion.

    For those of you who are put off by the length of the message, it is really only around 45 minutes long, with a lengthy question and answer time. Bob Sweat could have done it in 25 minutes. 😉

  21. Nene,

    I can answer your question —

    Anglicanism is overall, quite close to Lutheranism. Their Book of Common Prayer is nothing
    short of beautiful and reverent.

    The English Reformation was heavily influenced by Luther and Lutheran theology.

    One thing I’ve discovered is that both share a similar “anthropology” — that is, our view of humankind — sin, free will, total depravity, and human nature. Because of that, our view of God’s grace is pretty much identical, at least from what I’ve read.

    There are some differences, of course. But I’m not qualified to speak of them with a lot of authority. Their form of church government, of course, is different from Lutheranism.

    I’m reading a fantastic book right now by an Episcopal pastor and ex-eminary president,
    Paul Zahl, titled “Grce in Practice”: A Theology of Everyday Life.” We both emphasize what
    Zahl calls “God’s One-Way Love” for us.

    http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Practice-Theology-Everyday-Life/dp/0802828973/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268541252&sr=1-1

    I’ve always been an admirer of Anglicanism. So many great people — John Stott, Packer,
    Paul Zahl, Robert Webber are just a few that come to mind.

    Another book that I’ve heard is really good is by Mark Galli, Executive Editor at Christianity Today — “Beyond Smells and Bells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy.” Galli has been an Episcopalian for 20 years. I think the book is more than just about the Anglican liturgy. Anglicanism, of course, is liturgical, as is Lutheranism.

    http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Smells-Bells-Christian-Liturgy/dp/1557255210/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268541379&sr=1-1

  22. Nene,
    I got about halfway through Packer and got bored. Besides, he talks funny – wish he would learn to speak English. 😉

    But I did click on an adjacent link that explains the Anglican Liturgy. Very interesting and quite similar to the Lutheran Liturgy. If you watch it, you will see that Christianity historically has been learned through the Liturgy itself.

    No one is like a Lutheran – we are to weird. 🙂 But, if the Anglicans are faithful to scriptures they can get close.

    Give a look – I had to click off the HD to make it run smoothly

    http://vimeo.com/7072049

  23. Nene,

    Anglicanism is overall, quite close to Lutheranism. Their Book of Common Prayer is nothing
    short of beautiful and reverent.

    The English Reformation was heavily influenced by Luther and Lutheran theology.

    One thing I’ve discovered is that both share a similar “anthropology” — that is, our view of humankind — sin, free will, total depravity, and human nature. Because of that, our view of God’s grace is pretty much identical, at least from what I’ve read.

    There are some differences, of course. But I’m not qualified to speak of them with a lot of authority. Their form of church government, of course, is different from Lutheranism.

    I’m reading a fantastic book right now by an Episcopal pastor and ex-eminary president,
    Paul Zahl, titled “Grce in Practice”: A Theology of Everyday Life.” We both emphasize what
    Zahl calls “God’s One-Way Love” for us.

    http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Practice-Theology-Everyday-Life/dp/0802828973/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268541252&sr=1-1

    I’ve always been an admirer of Anglicanism. So many great people — John Stott, Packer,
    Paul Zahl, Robert Webber are just a few that come to mind.

    Another book that I’ve heard is really good is by Mark Galli, Executive Editor at Christianity Today — “Beyond Smells and Bells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy.” He’s an Episcopalian. I think the book is more than just about the Anglican liturgy. Anglicanism, of course, is liturgical, as is Lutheranism.

    http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Smells-Bells-Christian-Liturgy/dp/1557255210/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268541379&sr=1-1

  24. Thanks guys.. Great stuff to check out, but I have yet to read The Shack. (insert smiley)

    MLD, The pastor in your video speaks even funnier, and I demand a British dialect! Btw..Isn’t it common knowledge…Lutherans are weird! 🙂

    Every time I see an Anglican church, I am reminded of Rose, and the Vicar from the PBS show Keeping Up Appearances. Thank goodness Packer has be thinking differently now!

    Seriously though, the links are of great value. Every time I come here, I am reminded how I have discovered a treasure.

    Pastor Dave, if you are still there… long ago you gave me some beautiful wisdom. You told me to tell my dad how proud I am of him. Ever since, I have always told him that sincerely, and his heart has been extremely blessed. many thanks, really…

  25. post script to my “Great Exchange” comment – there is a book (theological) – probably everyone in christendom but me knew that – – if it came out in the last 5 or 6 years, it probably wouldn’t have been (on my radar) – looks like a good read (perhaps some unnecessary theological theories for the book’s purpose – dunno) and a good candidate as a hand out to inquiring ‘minds’ …
    since all my ancestors were savages from the hinterlands, i had to get over my prejudice against the english accent, but i loved Packer’s presentation (i love plain and simple things) and will listen again – more than once, it’s bookmarked now 😉

    MLD,”I got about halfway through Packer and got bored” … i totally understand as one can only say ‘amen’ just so many times without it feeling trite 😆
    pardon the hit and run?
    now i’m gone

  26. Finally was able to get the link to cooperate, well late into the evening here…

    The first 20 minutes I found to be more inspiring than the last 40,
    the questions were interesting, but due to time constraints, it seemed as if so much could have been expounded upon with much more depth and instruction…
    So Bob Sweat you are in very good company… Mr. Packer could have spoken much longer!

    Two questions he answered I found to be particularly insightful;

    What did he consider to be a healthy church?

    One where the gospel is faithfully preached from the scripture
    Worship is heartfelt, congregational where everyone sings ( ideally )
    not to miss this:
    * Love and Holiness recognized as absolute importance
    * Orthodox, loyal to congregation
    * Holy, Active, Godly Believers whose lives are right as well as their doctrine!
    this is understood and practiced in the church
    *Families are taken seriously in the church; helping families in the upbringing of the children, not in the sense that Moms and Dads are incapable, but not to be happy they are simply in the church, and then dropped off the map/forgotten so to speak…
    but the well being and care for families and children are to be a part of the activity of the church

    The other one, he was asked
    how to get people to participate in Chatechisis (sp?)

    I. make space in the church program for the classes
    II. preach during the regular service to raise the awareness of the importance of taking/making time in learning theology through the classes
    III. Persuade the congregation with all the persuasive wiles to get people interested
    IV. This is the duty of the Pastor to Chatecise (sp) and help people to understand the value

    This is where the pastor has to be first convinced and understand the tremendous value of Chatechising in Theology… to aid all believers in Bible study and learning Theology together for the purposes of Knowing God better, it introduces us to truths that will thrill our hearts and bring us joy…make our steps firmer, our walks with our Lord steadier and our witness stronger.

    Most excellent!
    its my prayer that more pastors catch on to the value and joys of the proper understanding of theology in conjunction with Bible studies and Sunday sermons;
    encouraging their people in finding the value in these truths, as the more we develope our devotional life, our prayer life, our study of God, understanding of God the greater our joys will be in our walk with God!
    and that is infectious to others, in the sense or other words of that which JI Packer states, it truly does strengthen and give authority to our witness.

  27. SC noted,”*Families are taken seriously in the church; helping families in the upbringing of the children, not in the sense that Moms and Dads are incapable, but not to be happy they are simply in the church, and then dropped off the map/forgotten so to speak”

    oh how we need to take that admonition to heart – mentoring kids who are not ‘called’ into the ‘ministry’ has been sadly lacking – if the young people aren’t supported and affirmed within the whole of the Body, should we be surprised that Satan fills the gap?

    to go a step further on this thot, am i the only one who has observed folk **using** the church to promote their own children? this is IMO very different that mentoring

  28. picked up an old Packer book, “God Has Spoken” today (the only Packer book on my shelves) and he says, “I hold the heady doctrine that no pleasures are so frequent or intense as those of the grateful, devoted, single-minded, whole-hearted, self-denying Christian. I maintain that the delights of work and leisure…..all the other noble pleasure that life affords, are doubled for the Christian; for, as the cheerful old Puritans used to say (…-the real, historical Puritans, as distinct from the smug-sourpusses of last -century Anglo-American imagination), the Christian tastes God in all his or her pleasures, and this increases them…” (pg 14)
    Amen, but I don’t think that can be achieved without pursuing an understanding of the mind of God as Packer has proposed in this video… the more we know of God, the more capacity we have – to see the joys in the designs and promised end of all this…

  29. “I hold the heady doctrine that no pleasures are so frequent or intense as those of the grateful, devoted, single-minded, whole-hearted, self-denying Christian.”

    Psalm62
    So good of you to post that quote! Its so absolutely true!

    I like how he says… ” The cheerful old puritains
    as distinct from the smug-sourpusses of the last century Anglo-American imagination
    glad to see he brings that to our attention and makes a distinction!

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