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59Episodes

A podcast about life, theology, friendships, current events, and the journey of authentic discipleship with two pastors who also happen to be lifelong friends, former college roommates, bandmates, and groomsmen in each other‘s weddings.

August 3, 2022

It’s the Economy, Stupid: Stewarding God’s money well amidst inflation, recession, and economic uncertainty.

You’ve probably noticed at this point this past summer- your dollar isn’t going as far as it used to. Gas prices are up, grocery prices are up, and just about everything else seems more expensive. It’s not just your imagination- inflation is at a 40 year high. It’s risen 9% in one year’s time, and it rose 7% in 2021. Not only is inflation up, we’re either headed towards a recession or are already in one, depending on which economist you ask. The S&P 500 had its worst first half of a year since 1970, and it is down 19 percent since January. Things are bad. And they just might be getting worse.

But we’re Christians! Why should we even think about money? Shouldn’t we be just trusting God?

What does the Bible say about managing our money during economic uncertainty? And how can continue to be generous and trust God when we don’t know how much it’ll cost to fill up our gas tank this time next week?

July 20, 2022

Ready to Give a Defense: Christian Apologetics and How to Talk Reasonably about Your Faith

Many skeptics claim that Christians are naïve, unintelligent, and gullible people who blindly put their faith in a set of beliefs that aren’t at all supported by rational evidence.

Other skeptics say that there’s just not enough evidence out there to persuade any one to embrace the teachings of Jesus. So why even bother? Just embrace your own understanding of spirituality, pick the path that works for you, or don’t… just don’t worry about it. You do you.

Skeptics commonly bring objections to the Christian faith that are centered around the existence of God, the exclusivity of the Christian gospel, the inspiration of Scripture, the existence of miracles, and seeming the contradictions in the Biblical text and Christian thought.

So are they right? Are Christians naïve, gullible, unintelligent simpletons who blindly place their faith in a set of beliefs for reason at all, besides maybe, wishful thinking? How do we as Christians answer skeptics? How do we have conversations with others who may find our beliefs offensive?

And how we can do that with kindness, love, and grace?

July 6, 2022

How to Live as as Christian in a Post-Christian World- Staying Faithful as Strangers, Aliens & Exiles

A Post-Christian culture is a society in which Christianity is no longer the dominant civil religion. These societies may have been founded on values informed by Christian principles, but gradually assumed values, culture, and worldview that are not necessarily Christian. In many of these places, secular humanism replaces Christian thought to become the predominant worldview.

Many sociologists are now recognizing the fact that America may moving in this direction—and within a few years, we could also described a “post-Christian” nation. Our post-Christian values are reflected in our media and entertainment, our collective views of human sexuality, our views regarding the sanctity of life, and our pervasive consumerism.

How do we live as Christians in a post-Christian culture? And is it possible to live in a society and still be faithful to the teachings of Christ?  

June 22, 2022

What is a Woman? Sex, Gender, Identity, and the Logic behind the Gender Ideology Movement

Transgenderism, Gender Identity Disorder, or gender dysphoria is a feeling that a person’s biological sex does not match the gender they identify with and/or perceive themselves to be. Individuals who identify as transgender often describe themselves as feeling “trapped” in a body that does not match who they feel they are in the inside.

The transgender movement rises and falls upon the idea that gender and sex are two completely different constructs that might deeply intertwined with one another, but are altogether separate. Sex is a biological construct (unchanging and based on chromosomes).  Gender is a social construct or category (a perception, a feeling, or way of identifying, which is subjective and really more of an experience). Gender has now emerged as a continuum or spectrum where one can identify themselves as any gender identity. For millennia, human civilization has understood gender as binary- there are men, and there are women. But now, some say there are as few as 72 genders, while others say there are an infinite number of genders.

But is any of this true? Can a man just decide he’s a woman, and that makes him a woman? Can a woman just decide to be a man, and she’s magically a man? Are gender and sex two completely different things? What does the Bible have to say about these ideas? And how can we actually have coherent conversations about these ideas without resorting to name-calling, mud-slinging, or storming out of the room?

June 9, 2022

Under the Banner of Heaven- the School of Prophets, Joseph Smith, and the Violent History of the LDS Church.

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith is a nonfiction book by Jon Krakauer that was recently adapted and released as a limited streaming series on Hulu. In the book and TV series, two stories are examined: the origin and evolution of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and a modern double murder committed in the name of God by brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who subscribed to a fundamentalist version of Mormonism.

In the years prior to the murder, Ron and Dan Lafferty became increasingly interested in Mormon groups that accepted many beliefs of the original LDS church, including polygamy and direct communication with God.

Ron and Dan were charged for the throat-slashing homicides of their sister-in-law Brenda Wright Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica, that occurred on July 24, 1984. Ron, a self-proclaimed prophet, claimed to have received a revelation from God in which he was instructed to "remove" several people, including the two victims.

Every church, every denomination and every religious group has its own broken past, scars and ugliness, but is the LDS church just like any other Christian denomination? Speaking of which, are Mormons just other Christians that happen to have a different form of practice and worship, like Baptists, Methodists, or Presbyterians? Or was the church actually founded on something completely different than Biblical Christianity?  

May 25, 2022

Spiritual Abuse- What is is, What it isn’t, and How to See the Warning Signs

Abuse could be defined as the improper use of something; unjust or corrupt practice; or cruel and violent treatment of another person.

Spiritual abuse is abuse administered under the guise of religion or spirituality, including harassment or humiliation, which may result in psychological trauma. Spiritual abuse may also include misuse of religion for selfish, secular, or ideological ends such as the abuse of a clerical position.

There are extreme examples of this found in sexual abuse coverups and in cult groups like the Branch Davidians and the People's Temple. But also doctrinally sound, Biblically based churches or ministries can sadly delve into the territory of routinely using fear, guilt, or manipulation to produce unquestioning obedience, a sense of elitism, uniformity, or inappropriate loyalty- which could qualify as forms of spiritual abuse.  

But does every bad church experience qualify as spiritual abuse? When it spiritual abuse, and when is it just the brokenness or immaturity of church leaders or members?

May 11, 2022

Roe vs. Wade, Abortion, and a Question of Logic- is Abortion Murder and an Unborn Child a Human?

On May 2, 2022, Politico published a leaked draft opinion authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, appearing to be the majority opinion for the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The case deals with the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi state law that banned abortion operations after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy.

If the ruling stands, it would overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which would allow U.S. states to determine the legality of abortions for themselves. Analysts predict that abortion would immediately be banned in 23 states and territories if this happens.

Meanwhile, the debate surrounding abortion seems to have been re-sparked. The issue for many has less to do with the life of unborn children, and has more to do with concepts, “women’s rights”, or “reproductive choice”. In fact, the issue of abortion itself has been so reframed that honest, productive, logical dialogue about the issue itself becomes almost impossible. To oppose abortion is to be anti-woman, or even pro-rape.

But if we just stripped away all the controversy, vitriol, and red herring arguments- logically speaking, what are the ethics of terminating a pregnancy? Is an unborn fetus a human being? Why are so many Christians against abortion? And why are so many other folks for it?

April 27, 2022

Exploring the Paranormal Pt. 3- Cryptids, Big Foot, and the Wild Wonderful World of Cryptozoology

In today’s episode, we’ll be exploring Cryptozoology- a field of study that searches for and researches unknown, legendary, or extinct animals whose present existence is disputed or unsubstantiated. Cryptozoology is interested in creatures like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, the Chupacabra, and other lesser known entities- like the Skunk Ape or the Lizard Man of Scape ore Swamp. Many who are devoted to this discipline are frequently the subject of public ridicule, but nonetheless their commitment to discovering the existence of certain cryptids persists.

For these cryptid creatures, are they unknown physical creatures, mistaken eyewitnesses, enterprising frauds, or something else?

Why are people so fascinating and enthralled by the idea of these types of creatures existing?

This fascination and belief in cryptids/monsters goes back to ancient times in creatures like dragons, trolls, and other mythical beings. What are some reasonable explanations we have for the existence of these kinds of common folklore across various world cultures?

April 13, 2022

Exploring the Paranormal Pt. 2- UFOs, Tom Delonge, and Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind

In today’s episode, we’ll be exploring the phenomena behind UFO's, or as they have recently classified, UAP's- unidentified aerial phenomena. In 2020 and 2021, the US Government released a number of videos that raised some eyebrows. The report found that the US Government was unable to identify 143 objects spotted between 2004 and 2021. At least 18 of those US government reported UAP sightings represent breakthrough technology that involves unusual movement patterns or flight characteristics that represent technology or phenomena unknown to man. 

So the US Government has now stated that UFO's are real? What about other reports and sightings of UFO's and Extraterrestrial life? Does that mean aliens exist? Wouldn't the existence of aliens discredit and disprove Biblical Christianity? But what if UFO's weren't definitive proof of aliens or extraterrestrials? What are they then? 

March 30, 2022

Exploring the Paranormal, Pt. 1- Ghosts, Psychics, and Spirit Mediums

The word Paranormal implies that the scientific explanation of the world around us is normal and anything that is above, beyond, or contrary to that is para. What sets the paranormal apart from other pseudosciences is a reliance on explanations for alleged phenomena that are well outside the bounds of established science. 

Examples include- extrasensory perception (ESP), telekinesis, ghosts, poltergeists, life after death, reincarnation, faith healing, human auras. The three broad topics of paranormal activity (that we will be exploring in subsequent episodes are)- 1) Ghost Hunting, 2) Ufology, 3) Cryptozoology.

In today’s episode, we’ll be exploring the phenomena behind ghosts, physics and spirit mediums. Specifically, why does every culture, people group, and generation share accounts of similar experiences related to the appearance of spirit beings? Are these all results of legend, myth, and humanity’s wild imaginations? Or, is there something to these accounts?

When we hear about “paranormal” incidents or activities as Christians, how should be interpret them? What does the Bible say about ghosts, psychics, and mediums? And by the way, are psychics legit? Or are they fake?