View Full Version : Reformed Doctrine
03-01-2012, 12:37 PM
Ok, we've been using TOG for 3 years. Love the level of study and discussion outlines. Great times with my teens. Began in Year 3, completed 4 and now finishing up 1. Looking ahead to Year 2, I have some reservations due to the Reformed worldview. Not looking to start a discussion on doctrine, just wondering if any of you who've worked through Year 2 and you are not Reformed, was the doctrine an issue for you? Don't mind discussing differences with my teens, but I don't want Reformed questions answered from Reformed books and an Reformed discussion to boot.
Grace to you!
Thanks in advance,
Thanks for the reply. Guess I should have said we are Protestant =)
03-01-2012, 02:17 PM
If i had a different POV on doctrinal things, I would start by deciding what weeks needed tweaking, add in books from my perspective, if I thought that the book was inappropriate, and then add in my own discussion or add adjustments in the margins.
If you are referring to the split between the Roman Catholic & Protestants, and you want a more Roman Catholic view, there is a yahoo group for Catholic users of TOG. They might have book recommendations, discussion questions. etc.
It is called TOG-Catholic :-)
(sorry, not sure what "reformed POV" in the first post meant)
03-02-2012, 07:06 AM
Our journey through y2 several years ago was incredible! I do know that we did not feel "directed" in any doctrinal direction. Our overall experience with Tapestry (including y2) is that they give you, the mom, much to consider in the teacher's notes and go out of their way to point out any potentially controversial points. Then they help you wade through them. I recall many instances where they direct you to talk with your student about what your own denomination teaches. The heart of their approach, after all, is to equip you to teach your children ... not to bypass you. I don't remember anything that was in a student resource or in the dialectic accountability and thinking questions that I felt was leading or biased. Plenty of help was given in the discussion guides and teacher notes. If it matters, we're protestant but not reformed.
03-02-2012, 09:37 AM
Thank you all for taking time out of your lives to reply. My reservations began when looking at D/R books. There are several concerning reviews about the Worldview books for these levels. Not doctrinal issues, just plain errors. For example: "the author said 'Jesus chose to begin by joining a new movement in the Judean wilderness led by a prophet name John.'" Further:
Also it stated on page 7 Jesus 'feared that His cures would be misinterpreted, and that people would see him as just another magician..."
Next on pp. 8-9 "Jesus knew that he had a unique role in God's plan of redemtion, be he feared the traditional titles for a messianic redeemer." Jesus was God's plan of redemption and Jesus didn't fear anything man could do.
I want to be sure to get a balanced perspective on these resources before going further. Perhaps these issues have been addressed???
Grace to you,
03-02-2012, 09:47 AM
In which book did you see the quotations you've mentioned? I can better answer your question if I can look them up as well.
03-05-2012, 04:05 PM
Thanks for these questions. I completely agree with you that "Jesus was God's plan of redemption and Jesus didn't fear anything man could do." I have just gone back and re-read the entire first chapter of this book. While *I* would not have chosen the word "fear" in these instances, I read the chapter to be Shelley's attempt to show the array of political and emotional groups that swirled and eddied around Jesus, as a man, and as He attempted to begin to preach His message. Shelley has chosen an earthly perspective as his narrative style, not a more familiar, heavenly, omniscient one.
You quoted this: For example: "the author said 'Jesus chose to begin by joining a new movement in the Judean wilderness led by a prophet name John'" as an error. We could say that this is accurate, taken from a certain standpoint. At John's baptism, where a crowd was gathered, Jesus began His public ministry. In other words, in the context of John's new movement, which, as the author is relating, is among a jumble of other stronger, better established religious movements all vying for the Jews' loyalties, Jesus chose to make his first public move. Seen from this vantage, the statement is correct, technically. But, it could be seen as misleading by a young reader, and the other statements that you have flagged in this first chapter (attributing "fear" to Jesus) are concerning as well.
For instance, as I re-read the entire first chapter, this passage follows the statement quoted above about Jesus choosing to join John's movement: "John's call to repentance and righteousness drew Jesus to the Jordan. He found in John's message the truth of God, so "to fulfill all righteousness" he submitted to John's baptism and soon afterward began his own mission, proclaiming, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15). That's concerning. I would not say that "Jesus was drawn to John by his message by the truth of God and so submitted..." The Bible simply says that Jesus came to where John was, and (clearly the master of the scene) insisted that John baptize Him. And, of course it's not like Jesus was just "joining John's movement" as a matter of His strategy for getting known in Jerusalem, but that's how it reads when taken out of the (admittedly unusual) narrative approach that the author adopts in this first chapter. Charitably, I read it as an author trying to give a fresh slant to an old story in order to gain a reader's attention. In doing so, he's taken some risks. He's portraying Jesus as a man among men, not as the Divine among men. This *is* problematic and, as I read the chapter with an eye towards this element, I was not happy with how it comes off. I would agree that younger readers might not have the discernment to see that this is what the author is up to.
That said, I still believe that MUCH of this book is worthy as an introduction to church history that is manageable for high schoolers. If you look at the vast majority of readers, the reviews are positive. If you look at the handful of negative (1 star) reviews on Amazon.com, you find MOST of the substantive complaints addressing this one chapter, chapter 1. The topic of church history is vast and rich with details. Were Shelley's book a longer treatise, I believe that there would be people who panned the book no matter which direction it took. All accounts of church history touch the Divine, and also denominational differences, and Shelley must have a point of view. Condensing always loses nuances that find their definition in details. However, please know that I'm not advocating "fresh" and "readable" (his attempted approach, I believe, in chapter 1) over biblical truth!
We are now in the process of "smoothing (revising in key places)" Year 1. When we get to this book, I will definitely re-read it with an eye towards what you've pointed out. I believe now that my course will be to have students skip this chapter, and start their study with church history while reading the book of Acts. Thanks for your question, and for your diligence as a homeschooling mother!
03-09-2012, 02:21 PM
So I gather this is about questionable/ tricky POV in Church History in Plain Language, by Shelley, Bruce L. right? That might be nice to have a note about the first chapter in the glance ahead. I'm not sure that is it a "reformed" thing really, but an authors style & emphasis. I'm reformed, (protestant, CREC) and I dislike the slant in the examples you listed myself, but the rest of the book was pretty good from what I remember. :-) Thanks so much for all the work you put into this! WE LOVE TOG!!!!
03-10-2012, 09:45 AM
Right, the above response from me was about Shelley's chapter 1, mostly. And I am going to add the Glance note in my next pass through Y1. If anyone reading this is approaching Week 32, just skip that chapter is my advice. Our goal re: Reformed theology is to present its essence and pros/cons along with all the other biblical interpretive theologies and the Scriptures themselves, and let families tell their kids what they will based on their own convictions.
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