Adult Sunday School and Education
Special Sunday School Class - November 21 - Travis Tamerius
The Book of Nehemiah (October-December 2004)
This semester Pastor Smith is teaching through the book of Nehemiah and Pastor Meyers is leading an Inquirer's class. There are no online resources available for these classes. Check back next semester!
Early Church History & Biographies (April-September)
The plan is to take two full quarters to study the history of the early church. By "early church" I mean the period of church history that begins immediately after the end of the old age (AD 70) and the writing of the last of what we call the New Testament books. Our study will be confined largely to the second, third, and fourth centuries (AD 70-400).
In the first quarter (April-June) we will look at the history of the church in general, examining the important events and issues of this era. The second quarter (July-September) will focus on biographies of historically significant figures in early church history.
Once again, I am inviting the congregation to address questions directly to me and the other teachers by writing out your questions and leaving them in the grey box on the table in the Narthex, by sending me an email note, or by asking me personally. You can also write the teachers responsible for the individual classes: Chris Smith , Jonathan Barlow, or John Halsey Wood.
Spring Quarter Class Schedule & Handouts
April 4 - Introduction & Overview of Ante-Nicene Church History (Meyers)
April 11 - The Apostolic Fathers (Clement, Ignatius, etc.) (Meyers)
April 18 - The Apostolic Fathers, Part II (Meyers)
April 25 - Persecution in the Early Church (Smith)
May 2 - No Class/Congregational Meeting
May 9 - Worship in the Early Church (Meyers)
May 16 - The Apologists (Justin Martyr, etc.) (Wood)
May 23 - The Development of the Canon of the NT (Barlow)
May 30 - From Saturday to Sunday: The Lord's Day in the Early Church (Meyers)
June 6 - Promotion Sunday: No Adult SS Class
June 13 - Constantine & Christendom (Smith)
June 20 - Heresy in the Early Church and The Development of the Doctrine of Christ (Meyers)
June 27 - Early Church Heresies, Part I (Meyers)
Summer Quarter Class Schedule & Handouts
July 4th - Early Church Heresies, Part II - 4th of July
July 11th - Ignatius of Antioch (Meyers)
July 18 - Justin Martyr (Wood)
July 25 - Irenaeus of Lyons (Smith)
August 1 - Tertullian of Carthage (Barlow)
August 8 - Origen of Alexandria (Meyers)
August 15 - Cyprian of Carthage (Wood)
August 22 - Athanasius of Alexandria (Meyers)
August 29 - Basil the Great (Wood)
September 5 - Augustiine of Hippo (Meyers)
September 12 - Special Sunday School Class - James B. Jordan
September 19 - Augustine of Hippo (Part 2) (Meyers)
September 26 - John Chrysostom (Smith)
The Cup of Blessing: Wine and Beer in the Bible (January - March 2004)
We will begin a new adult Sunday school class this Sunday (Jan. 11th) on the subject of the Bible's teaching about wine and beer. The class will deal with such questions as: Does the Bible commend wine to believers? What about the abuse of alcoholic beverages? Should wine or grape juice be used in the Lord's Supper? What does wine signify in the Bible. What should we think about "giving offense" to believers that don't agree? Scriptural background will be presented, the tradition of the church examined, and contemporary issues will be addressed.
I am inviting the congregation to address questions directly to me on this subject by writing out your questions and leaving them in the grey box on the table in the Narthex, by sending me an email note, or by asking me personally. I will do my best to answer your questions during the course of the class. Of course, I will not identify the source of the questions apart from a person's explicit permission. In other words, please feel free to ask whatever you want. I won't mention any names.
Class Schedule & Handouts
Class #1 (January 11th): What's It All About?
This first Sunday's class will introduce the major topics and issues that need to be addressed before we restore wine to the communion cup. You can download a pdf file of the Powerpoint presentation made in class here.Class #2 (January 18): The History of Liturgical Change at PRPC
This week we will survey and explain how the worship service at Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church has changed over its history (1982-2004). This will help us understand the trajectory of the development of the liturgy at Providence and show how restoring wine to the Lord's Table fits with our principles and history. You can download a pdf file of the Powerpoint presentation made in class here.Church services were cancelled on January 25th due to ice and snow.
Class #3 (February 1): Wine and Strong Drink in the Bible
This week we begin to examine what the Scriptures have to say about the use of wine and strong drink. We will discover that wine and strong drink (beer) are commended by God for the community to celebrate God's good gifts and for men and women to enjoy at home. The "wine" and "strong drink" of the Bible are fermented with an alcoholic content and therefore have inebriating power. The Bible never refers to unfermented grape juice as wine. Although wine and strong drink are risky and can be misused, nevertheless, when enjoyed in their proper social context and with moderation, these drinks are good gifts from God. You can download a pdf file of the Powerpoint presentation made in class here.Class #4 (February 8): Wine and Strong Drink in the Bible, Part 2
This class is a continuation of the previous one. We are steadily working our way through the Pentateuch, examining every reference to wine and strong drink. You can download a pdf file of the Powerpoint presentation made in class here.Class #5 (February 15): Wine and Strong Drink in the Bible, Part 3
This was a short class. Mostly we reviewed the material from previous classes. You can download a pdf file of the Powerpoint presentation made in class here.Class #6 (February 22): Wine and Strong Drink in the Bible, Part 4
In this class we wrapped up our discussion of wine and strong drink in the Hebrew Scriptures, concentrating on the prophesied Messianic banquet. You can download a pdf file of the Powerpoint presentation here.Research Resources
There are a few good essays available on the web. You can find my articles about this subject on the Biblical Horizon's website in two parts: Concerning Wine and Beer Part 1 and Part 2.
Keith Mattheson has a very good series articles in the Third Millennium online magazine called "Protestant Transubstantiation":
Part 1: Biblical WitnessG. I. Williamson has a helpful little booklet. It was written in the seventies and at that time was one of the few written defenses of the use of wine in communion in Reformed circles. You can download his book as a pdf document here.
Part 2:Historical Testimony
Part 3:Historic Reformed & Baptist Testimony
Part 4:Origins of and Reasons for the Rejection of Wine
Dr. Robert S. Rayburn preached a series of sermons to his own congregation as they considered changing from grape juice to wine. He engages in a detailed refutation of John MacArthur's arguments against alcoholic wine in communion. You can read the five pertinant sermons here.
Introduction to Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church (September - December, 2003)
Pastor Meyers will teach this class introducing Reformed theology and Presbyterian church doctrine and life to vistors, those interested in membership, and any members who desire a refresher course.
The Purpose of This Class Will Be:
- to familiarize you with the history of Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church;
- to help you understand the differences between Reformed theology and other Christian systems of thought and life;
- to summarize our confessional documents: The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms;
- to explain Christian liturgical worship;
- to discuss and explain Baptism & the Lord's Supper;
- to provide opportunity for questions and discussion with Pastor Meyers;
- to provide an opportunity for you to get to know other visitors and members at PRPC;
- to introduce you to the Elders and Deacons of PRPC.
Class Schedule & Handouts
Class #1: September 14 - Introduction
Class #2: September 21 - The Gospel & the Church
Read Do I Have to Go to Church, by Mark HorneClass #3: September 28 - The Bible in the Life of the Church and the Christian
Read Westminister Confession of Faith (WCF), chapter 1Class #4: October 5 - Why I'm Reformed. Guest Teacher: Rev. Sam Murrell.
Read Steve Smallman's What is a Reformed Church?Class #5: October 12 - More on what it means to be Reformed.
Read Steve Smallman's What is a Reformed Church?Class #6: October 19 - Combined Class: Blake Purcell in St. Petersburg, Russia
Class #7: October 26 - Creeds and Confessions in Worship & Christian Living
Read Pastor Meyer's "In Whom Do You Trust?"Class #8: November 2 - Creeds and Confessions in Worship & Christian Living, Part II
Read Pastor Meyer's "In Whom Do You Trust?"Class #9: November 21 - No Class
Class #10:November 30 - Presbyterian Church Government
Class #11: December 7 - No Class
Class #12: December 14 - Male Leaderhip in Church & Home
Class #13: December 21 - Sacraments & Infant Baptism
Read Mark Horne's essay:"Why Baptize Babies"Class #14: December 28 - Worship at PRPC
Read Part II of Pastor Meyers's book The Lord's Service
Understanding & Answering Islam (June - August, 2003)
This is a new Sunday School series for the adult class and high school (grades 9-12). Pastor Meyers will teach on the origins, beliefs, and religious practices of Islam. Pastor Smith will also teach a few lessons on the history and teachings of various Black Muslim groups in the United States.
The purpose of the class will be:
- to provide you with a working knowledge of what Muslims believe and practice;
- to help you understand the differences between varieties of Islam;
- to help you learn and understand the life of Muhammad ;
- to give you a clear idea of the differences between Christian and Muslim teaching and practice;
- to discuss effective ways of communicating the Gospel to Muslims.
Class Schedule & Handouts
Class #1: June 8 Introducing Islam: A Test. Click here to find a pdf file of the test.Resources
Class #2: June 15 - Introducing Islam: A Test, Part II.
Class #3: June 22 - An Overview of Islam & Background to the Life Of Muhammad (Arabia & the World c. A.D. 600). Click here to download a pdf version of the Powerpoint presentation.
Class #4: June 29 - The Life of Muhammad, Part I (Mecca). Click here to download a pdf version of the Powerpoint presentation.
Class #5: July 6 - The Life of Muhammad, Part II (Medina). Click here to see the Powerpoint slide presentation made in class (not a pdf file).
Class #6: July 13 - Muhammad's Women.
Class #7: July 20 - What do Muslims Believe about Jesus. Teacher: Mr. Steve Sterner
Class #8: July 27 - American Black Muslim Groups. Teacher: Pastor Chris Smith
Class #9: August 3 - Isalm & Violence
Class #10: August 10 - The Quran
Class #11: August 17 - The Quran, Part II & Islam's Doctrine of Salvation
Class #12: August 24 - Answering Islam: Basic Apologetics. Teacher: Mr. Nate Smith
Class #13: August 31 - Islam's Doctrine of God: Is Allah, the god of Islam, also the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Salaat (Prayer) - A few of you asked about the ritual of daily prayer for Muslims. If you didn't get to see and hear these in class, first, here is a document designed to help teach new Muslims the rituals of salaat. And, second, you can listen to an mp3 file of the daily call to prayer (athan) here.
The Music of the Church (April - June, 2002)
This is a new Sunday School series for the adult class and high school (grades 9-12). Pastor Meyers and Music Director Bill Hoover will address the subject of the music of the Church.
The purpose of the class will be to help you:
- understand and appreciate the rich heritage of worship music which the Church has inherited over the centuries;This will not be merely a series of lectures on the history of church music. It will be an engaging discussion and illustration of what worship music has been over the ages, what has worked well and what has not, with plenty of examples, and applications for today.
- learn Biblical and aesthetic principles of good worship music;
- understand the worship music philosophy of our church;
- develop a framework for making judgments about worship music;
- help you be a better participant in corporate worship.
Class Outlines & Resources
Class #1: Apr 28 Introducing Church Music
Class #2: Apr 28 Why Should It Be Different?
Class #3: May 12 The Hebrew Psalms
Class #4: May 19 Music in the Early & Medieval Church
Class #9: June 30 The Late 19th Century
Class #10: July 7 The 20th Century
Web Essays and Resources on Church Music
I've included some links to Dr. Leonard Payton?s work. Leonard has served a number of Presbyterian churches as a choir director. He is currently studying for the ministry at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN. We have his booklet Reforming Our Church Music on our book table. We have used his essay "Is It a Prelude or a Quaalude?" for our Inquirers Classes at Providence. It is a helpful introduction to the issues. When the New Trinity Hymnal came out, Leonard wrote a Trinity Hymnal Commentary.
Duck Schuler doesn?t have many works available on the web yet, but these few may help. See his Effortless Singing?. Duck was choir director at our church before Bill Hoover. In fact, he was Bill?s mentor. Duck is currently the music director of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, a fellow of music at New St. Andrews College where he teaches music and Latin, and a contributing editor for Credenda/Agenda. He holds the following music degrees: a B.A. from St. Olaf College, an M.A. from The University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from Washington University, St. Louis. He and his wife Kim have two children, Caitlin (11) and Louis (4).
Duck too has written a review of the New Trinity Hymnal for Rite Reasons:
Studies in Worship, a Biblical Horizons newsletter. In addition to commenting on the new hymnal, Duck?s three-part series deals with biblical principles of music and hymnody. Read his essays here: A Review of the New Trinity Hymnal, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Jim Jordan has a wonderful multi-part essay with the provocative title "The Case Against Western Civilization". The whole essay is must reading, especially if you are interested in the philosophy and practice of Christian education. You can, however, jump to the sections where he discusses the role of music in education by clicking here and here. For more essays by Jordan on music see "Music and Hermeneutics" and "Arts & Play".