Episode 138: A much needed book: Transforming Homosexuality

Episode Highlights
– Sharing a much needed, gracious book for the church, Transforming Homosexuality: What The Bible Says About Sexual Orientiation And Change, by Denny Burk and Heath Lambert
– It holds the biblical line while offering hope for change and the HOW of change.
– Christians should not be content to condemn the sin without offering help for HOW to change.

Episode 137: What’s the deal with reformed theology? Perseverance of the saints

Episode highlights:

– (Wayne Grudem) “All those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.”
– Perseverance of the saints is not exactly the same as “once saved, always saved”
– God is the author and perfecter of our faith, and yet we are exhorted to believe.

Episode 136: When is it okay to pull the plug?

Highlights:
– All issues surrounding end of life require wisdom that comes only from the Lord. James 3:17, 1:5
– Taking a loved one off life support is not analogous to assisted suicide or abortion.
– All of us should talk to our loved ones long before decisions need to be made to find out what their wishes are regarding resuscitation and life-support.
– Clarity should be sought from doctors: is this a case in which there is no chance for improvement, or is the respirator allowing my loved one to heal?

Episode 134: How should I address the social justice issue with my believing friend?

Highlights:
– Balance is needed on this issue. The Lord calls us to care for the weak and champion justice (Acts 20:35; Matt 12:18, 23:23). He also calls us to be all about gospel ministry (Matt 28:18-20; 2 Cor 5:18-21)
– We should beware of giving ourselves to any method of achieving reconciliation that is not gospel-based. The gospel saves and sanctifies. The gospel reconciles. (Rom 1:16; Gal 1:8; Eph 2:11-16)
– We should always speak the truth in love, returning conversations like these to the gospel.
– This is not an issue to divide over. We can agree to disagree.

Episode 133: What’s the deal with reformed theology? Irresistible Grace

Episode Highlights
– The gift of faith, sovereignly given by God’s Holy Spirit, cannot/will not be finally resisted by the elect
– Faith is a gift of God. Phil 1:29; Eph 2:8-9
– God saves without dependence upon man. Acts 9:3-16; 16:14; 1 Cor 1:30-31
– Those whom the Father chooses will be saved. Acts 13:48; John 6:37; Rom 8:30
– This doctrine should lead us to humility, gratitude, and greater freedom/confidence in evangelism.

Episode 132: Head coverings and short hair? Part 2

Episode Highlights:
– Historical and theological background indicate that Paul was instructing against women showing overt signs of rebellion and promiscuity.

– Symbols that would be more meaningful in our culture–showing faithfulness/submission to one’s husband–would be wearing a wedding ring and dressing modestly.

Episode 131: Head coverings and short hair? Part 1

Episode Highlights:
– There is evidence in the OT that it is not inherently ungodly for men to have long hair, and by inference, for women to have short hair. (Lev 10:6; 21:10; Num 6:5)

– It is likely that Paul’s comments regarding long and short hair are an application of the OT principle that the genders should be distinguishable – men should look like men, women should look like women. (Deut 22:5)

– If a woman can have shorter hair, while using her hair to look distinctively feminine, that is fine.

Episode 130: What should we do if we know the clock is ticking, but we’re not in a hurry to have kids?

Episode Highlights:
– Having children doesn’t have to mean the functional end of your marriage. A commitment to prioritizing your spouse will make that closeness transcend the childrearing years.

– We need to think deeply about what it means for children to be a blessing. They are a good, enjoyable, delightful gift. What other blessings do we put off because we think we have something better?

– Practically-speaking, having and raising children only becomes more difficult as you get older.

Episode 129: What’s the deal with reformed theology? Limited Atonement

Episode Highlights:
– This question pertains to the extent of the atonement: Did Christ’s death pay the penalty for all individuals without exception or only for the elect?
– A proper understanding of atonement itself excludes the possibility of a general or universal atonement.
– This doctrine, more accurately expressed as “particular redemption,” leads us to a right view of the power of Christ–He actually accomplished something on the cross–and of the love of God–it is a particular love that acts efficaciously upon its objects.

Episode 128: How should I think about a friend excited about particular gifts of the Spirit? Part 2

Episode Highlights:
– Where should be cautious about the gifts in the ways Scripture instructs, i.e. how tongues and prophecy are to function in corporate worship. We should not assume a posture of automatic suspicion, since the Bible teaches they are good and beneficial for the upbuilding of the church.
– We should not be merely “open” to the gifts, but obedient to the imperatives regarding them.
– The NT prophecy is not of the same character and function as OT prophecy. The NT assumes they are different. (1 Cor 14:29-30; 1 Thess 5:19-21).

Episode 127: How should I think about a friend excited about particular gifts of the Spirit? Part 1

Episode Highlights:
– Given that the issue of the gifts of the Spirit is a second or third tier issue, we should not consider it a reason to separate from one another. We can disagree.
– All gifts will cease when the Lord returns. (1 Cor 13:8-10)
– Until Christ returns, all gifts remain active because all serve the same purpose–they are for the common good (1 Cor 12:7). There is no biblical reason to identify some as having ceased.

Episode 126: What’s the deal with reformed theology? Unconditional Election, Part 2

Highlights:
– While passages teaching unconditional election abound, in addition to Romans 9 (covered in part 1), John 6, John 10, and Ephesians 1 are key.
– Practical implications of the doctrine of unconditional election are motivation to worship and motivation to evangelize.
– We must be careful this and other doctrines not to go where the Bible doesn’t. The Bible teaches unconditional election, yet does not thereby teach that man is not responsible if he is not elect. Nor does it teach that man should wait until acted upon before believing or obeying.

Episode 125: What counsel would you give to parents navigating decisions about their teen’s smartphones/social media?

Episode Highlights:
– Understand that the use of technology and social media are not inherently evil or good. They can be one or the other depending upon how we use them.
– A parent’s main responsibility is to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, which assumes training a child to make godly decisions as adults. Eph 6:4
– Understand the potential danger compared to the potential benefit. The potential danger is far greater in our opinion, however, this does not necessitate forbidding the use of these platforms.
– Making a wise decision requires knowing your child well. Some teens will be mature enough to handle the freedom/responsibility while others will almost certainly lack the maturity to make good decisions.

Episode 124: What’s the deal with reformed theology? Unconditional Election

Episode Highlights:

– Election is the act of God from eternity past (before creation) in which He chooses whom to save, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of His own gracious pleasure.

– Israel is the foremost paradigm for understanding God as an electing God. Gen 12; Deut 7:6

– Election is but a subset of God’s absolute sovereignty over all things. Psa 135:6-7; Prov 16:33, 21:1; Eph 1:11

– Election is explicitly taught in Romans 9, where Paul explains that it is God’s gracious chosen to have mercy on whom He wills and to harden whom He wills.

– The NT presents election as a comfort. Rom 8:28-30

Episode 123: Is it okay to withhold information from my spouse?

Episode Highlights:
– The impulse to withhold from a spouse in response to their failure to love well comes from a worldly notion of love, “I am to love only as well as I’m loved.” Christlike love pours itself out regardless of the performance of the one loved.

– Your responsibility to your spouse is ultimately your responsibility to the Lord.

– The “one another” commands indicate that the Christian life is to be lived in transparency and sharing. If that is true of a normal Christian relationship, it should be an even higher priority in marriage.

– The Bible depicts marriage as a one-flesh relationship, the sharing of two people physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

– Jesus did not withhold Himself from His bride.

– Guard against bitterness by keeping your eyes on Jesus, who has always loved well those who spurn Him.

Episode 122: Do I have to support LGBT at work according to biblical principles of submission?

Episode Highlights
– We should resist supporting any ungodly lifestyle. Titus 2:11-12
– The Bible is clear about LGBT issues. Gen 1-2, 19; Lev 18:22; Judges 19; Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 1 Tim 1:10
– In situations where an employer (or any other authority) asks us to do something ungodly, “we must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
– We should be as loving, kind, and hardworking as possible so as to mitigate any fallout, while recognizing that we’ve been called to suffer for the Name. Acts 5:40-41

Episode 121: What’s the deal with Reformed Theology? Total Depravity

Episode Highlights
– Total depravity asserts that every aspect of our human nature has been affected by sin (mind, will, emotions, desires, body). Rom 1:18-32; Eph 2:1-3, 4:17-19
– Because every part of our being is affected, we are not able to please God (total inability). Joshua 24:19
– Total depravity does not mean that we do not make real decisions; we always do what we want to do. Gen 6:5, Jer 17:9, Psa 14:2-3
– This doctrine should lead us to humility and to live like those who were dead but who have been brought to life.

Episode 120: Rightly Understanding God’s Desire to Be Glorified

Episode Highlights:

– There are inherent differences between God and man that make it appropriate for God to desire worship and inappropriate for man to desire worship. (Psa 50:12-15; Acts 24-25)

– God doesn’t need anything. When we conceive of Him as needy because He desires worship, we make the mistake of thinking about Him as if He is a man. (Psa 50:12)

– We are worshipers by nature; the worship of false gods brings misery; by calling us to worship Him, God calls us to joy. (Rom 1:18-32; Ps 16)

– God is the greatest being conceivable, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. When He calls us to Himself to recognize this, it is a kindness.

Episode 119: What’s the deal with Reformed Theology?

Episode Highlights:
– Reformed theology (as we are using the phrase) holds that God rules with absolute control over all creation, foreordaining all that happens, but doing so in a way that does not deny human will or make God the author of sin.

– It is an important doctrine because it is founded upon the doctrine of God and therefore has implications for all other doctrines. It also has implications for ministry methodology and the Christian life.

– Reformed theology is not the most important component of what we believe and we should NOT break fellowship with those who disagree.