Pastor’s Book Club

April 3 – Chapter 3 “Tactics” by Greg Koukl

Before reading the chapter: How would you respond in each of the 4 scenes on pages 42 and 43? Jot down a sentence or two on how you would respond to each scene.

  1. What are the benefits of responding in certain situations by asking questions?
  2. What is a common objection to Christianity and what clarifying question could you ask in response to it?
  3. What passages in the Bible indicate the Christianity is exclusively the one true religion?
  4. How do we know that the Bible is truly inspired by God?
  5. How would you respond to someone who says, “Christians shouldn’t force their views on other people.”

Be prepared to formulate “What do you mean by that” questions (without using those words verbatim) to various situations when we meet Tuesday night.

March 27th – Chapter 2 “Tatics” by Greg Koukl

  1. What reservations exist in talking to others about your Christian convictions?
  2. Is arguing a virtue? Should arguments be avoided?
  3. What is the relationship between reason & Scripture? How do we view reason in light of our view of Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)?
  4. How might a Lutheran view of evangelism differ from some of the author’s arguments?
  5. What assumptions might underlie some of the author’s arguments in this chapter?
  6. Find a Bible passage that supports a Lutheran view of evangelism.
  7. For next week, bring an example (from the news, personal conversation, tv show or book) that demonstrates a post-modern worldview (usually demonstrated by relativistic arguments).

March 6 – Chapter 6

  1. What is worship?
  2. Respond to someone who says, “Your church service seems really weird to me, like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”
  3. What is distinctive about Lutheran worship that is not believed about worship in other church bodies or other religions?
  4. In the 5th Century, Prosper of Aquitaine coined the Latin phrase lex orandi, lex credendi, which means “the law of worshiping founds the law of believing.”  Can you describe what this means and how it relates to worship.
  5. How would you respond to someone who says, “Your church seems too Catholic!”
  6. Which parts of Luther’s Small Catechism deals with worship?

February 28 – Chapter 5

Chapter 5  p. 91-106

  1. How does God rule in the secular kingdom? (aka, The Kingdom of the Left Hand)
  2. How does God rule in the spiritual kingdom? (aka, The Kingdom of the Right Hand)
  3. Give some examples (not already given) of ways the two kingdoms are confused.
  4. What comfort is found in a proper understanding of Two Kingdom theology?
  5. How would you respond to someone who says, “Since the Bible says ‘You shall not murder,’ as a country we should not practice capital punishment.”
  6. Within the context of Two Kingdom theology, how would you respond to someone who says, “The only way this country can be governed is that we elect a president who is a Christian.”

Februray 21 – Chapter 4b

Chapter 4b  p. 81-89

  1. What might you say to someone who says, “I could never be a solider, because killing is a sin?”
  2. What happens when we act according to an office which has not been given to us?
  3. What is special about the pastoral vocation that is unlike all other vocations?
  4. All members of the priesthood of all believers proclaim the Gospel, how is that different from the proclamation from the vocation of pastor.
  5. How would you respond to someone who says, “My marriage is a disaster.  Things would be better if I wasn’t married anymore.  Why shouldn’t I get a divorce?”
  6. True or False: “God wants me to be happy.”

February 14 – Chapter 4a

  1. How does God serve you in His earthly kingdom?
  2. List all the vocations in which you currently serve.
  3. Describe how an understanding of the doctrine of vocation can be a comforting doctrine.
  4. What is a good work?  What makes it good?
  5. How would you respond to someone who tells you, “I don’t know why I’m working at this dead-end job!  I’m never going to get promoted.  How am I ever going to start my own business if I can’t get ahead in the world?”
  6. Extra Credit: Which parts of the Small Catechism deal with the doctrine of vocation?

February 7 – Chapter 3

February 7: Chapter 3, Pages 55-69

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is a theology of glory?
  2. What is a theology of the cross?
  3. How would you explain to someone Luther’s quote found on page 65, “The most severe trial…comes upon a person when he believes he has been forsaken and rejected by God.  Such a trial comes only to the ‘greatest of saints.’”
  4. How would you respond to someone who says, “God doesn’t care about me, if there’s a God at all, look at all the pain He’s put me through.”

January 31 – Chapter 2b

Pages 41-53

  1. What is a sacrament?
  2. What is baptism?
  3. Find 3 Bible Passages that talk about Baptism.
  4. How would you respond to someone who says, “Infant baptism doesn’t really count, because they don’t really know what’s going on?”
  5. How would you respond to someone who says, “I was baptized when I was a baby, but I fell away from the church so I would like to get baptized again?”
  6. What is the Lord’s Supper?
  7. What would you say to someone who says, “Jesus was just being symbolic at the Lord’s Supper.”  Give a Bible passage to support your answer.
  8. How would you respond to someone who says, “I cannot go to the Lord’s Supper because I am not worthy.  I just cannot forgive my sister for what she did to me.”

January 24 – Chapter 2a

pages 31-41

  1. When were your sins forgiven? (32)
  2. What is faith and how is such faith obtained? (33f)
  3. Can human reason discern there is a god? (37f)
  4. What does the phrase “means of grace” mean? (38)
  5. Define the following attributes of Holy Scripture:
    1. Inerrant
    2. Infallible
    3. Inspired
    4. Efficacious
  6. Dr. Veith says, “The point of Bible reading is not merely to learn about God, to see how we should behave, or to gain principles for successful living, though the Bible does communicate such things” (39). Do you agree with this statement?  If Dr. Veith is correct, what is the point of Bible reading?
  7. How would you respond to someone who says to you, “Just because the Bible says it’s true, doesn’t make it true.  Every religion’s holy book claims its own veracity, but that’s circular reasoning.  Why should I believe the Bible instead of the Qu’ran, book of Mormon or other religion’s books?”

January 17 – Chapter 1

Pages 17-29

1. What is central in understanding Lutheran Spirituality?
2. Think of another example not already cited for each of the three spiritual aspirations.
a. Moralism
b. speculation
c. mysticism
3. Why is it an advantage for Lutheran Theology to begin with facing up to imperfection? (p. 17)
4. What are some common outcomes of moralism?
5. What could you say to someone who says, “I’m spiritual, but I don’t like religion?”