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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

A New Way to Think About Work & Family

On this edition of White Horse Inn the hosts begin a discussion of Ephesians chapter 6, as Paul outlines the proper roles for Christian parents and children. While many today leave religious instruction to their church’s youth program, Paul teaches that it is the father’s responsibility to bring up their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The hosts also interact with Paul’s instructions concerning the proper motivation for Christian workers and employers.


“Paul is laying out his view of the church as chosen before the foundation of the world in Christ. Christ was sent in the fullness of time to bear their sins and to give his life so that he would have a spotless bride and then he sends his Holy Spirit to raise them from spiritual death and unite them to him so that as he is glorified, so his whole church, his whole body, will be glorified as well.

“In the light of that, Paul has been saying, therefore, get rid of the Gentile story, the story about the nowhere man, living in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody. You have a hope. You have a purpose. You are even now joined to Jesus Christ and to be joined to Christ is to be joined to his body, the church. In the light of that as a church, play your role and in playing that role, you submit to each other now out of love. A new humanity is emerging on the ground that’s visible to people. This [church] is the real deal – an institution in history that is a divine organism coming down out of heaven, not something that is being built by the free will and the works of human beings, but is a gift coming down from God.”

Michael Horton


“Catechesis: Inhibiting Factors Today”

The first and biggest factor that inhibits catechesis, and the hardest to counter or circumvent, is the turn away from external authority in Western culture… [L]eading thinkers in the West began to see themselves as pioneers of a new, post-Christian era in which the Christian heritage of belief might be questioned and critiqued like any other human point of view. This was a radical turn from a millennium and a half of acknowledging the truth and authority of God’s written Word as set forth in and by the church…

The second inhibiting factor, a corollary of the first, is resistance to authoritative instruction within the Christian community… In children’s and youth work across the board, today’s agenda is learning Bible stories rather than being grounded in truths about the Triune God. In group Bible studies generally, participants are led to look directly for personal devotional applications without first contemplating the writers’ points about the greatness, goals, methods, and mystery of God.

A final factor inhibiting catechesis emerges here: preoccupation. In most evangelical churches, Sunday and weekly programs are already as full as can be reasonably managed.

(J. I Packer and Gary Parrett, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, pp. 10–12)

More from this Series: Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

  1. An Introduction to Ephesians Listen Now ›
  2. In Him We Have Redemption Listen Now ›
  3. Dead in Sin, Alive in Christ Listen Now ›
  4. Saved by Grace Through Faith Listen Now ›
  5. Reconciled Through the Cross Listen Now ›
  6. The Mystery Revealed Listen Now ›
  7. Knowing the Love of Christ Listen Now ›
  8. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism Listen Now ›
  9. Futility of Mind & Hardness of Heart Listen Now ›
  10. Walking in Love & Thankfulness Listen Now ›
  11. An Interview with Steve Baugh Listen Now ›
  12. Applying the Gospel to Our Relationships Listen Now ›
  13. A New Way to Think About Work & Family Listen Now ›
  14. What Is Spiritual Warfare? Listen Now ›