After the last discussion we had that included topics centered around that ever-present issue of unity in the church, Jarod and I wound up thinking about an issue that’s directly related to this: conflict.
How do Christians handle conflict with one another? What about when it’s with someone who’s outside the faith, as it so often can be?
We’re starting off the new year right by getting the podcast back up and running. Jarod and I sat down to chat over a few things that had been on our minds. In particular, we talked briefly about our thoughts and concerns regarding the debate over “social justice” within the church and my thoughts after having read Eric Mason’s book “Woke Church.” I will try to post a more in-depth review of the book on this site later.
If you want to check out Neil Shenvi’s discussions on the issue, you should definitely look to his website and Twitter feed. He’s a great resource for serious and even-handed thoughts on the issue.
We also discussed the #WakeUpOlive controversy surrounding Bethel Church a couple weeks back, and touched on issues we talked about last time.
Through all of it, the thread that we continued to return to was the issue of unity in Christ for the church, which I spent a lot of time talking about last year. Rather than concluding that, it seems to have become only more pressing as time has gone on. I will probably return to the subject more in other forms later. In the meantime, I cannot recommend the book I mentioned enough, which you can find at the link below from Amazon:
Kings Highway Radio is continuing down the road! This time, Jarod and I tackle a somewhat controversial subject in the church, that of the nature of spiritual gifts and in particular, the difficulty often found in addressing the way these ought to be taught and experienced in the church today.
This discussion was inspired by a recent series of episodes from Apologia Radio’s new podcast Cultish. Former Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry student Lindsay Davis discusses a number of issues in a discussion inspired by her expulsion from the school, and they dig into the (hence the name) cult-like way the church and its related school is led. I highly encourage you to listen to all three episodes if you want to know more about Bethel and why so many express concerns about them.
Jarod and I spend time talking about this as well as related issues often found within that movement. We encourage anyone who would like to discuss this further or who wants to take issues with where we fall to email us, as we welcome feedback and disagreement. Our goal is to have brotherly dialogue on this and everything else we discuss in the course of this podcast.
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I made mention to this in recent Spurgeon Audio episodes, but it’s finally here! My friend and fellow worker in the faith Jarod Grice sat down with me and we recorded the first episode of King’s Highway Radio. Our hope is to develop this into a format that lets us have more informal discussions about current events, theological thoughts, good books, as well as hopefully be joined by guests from time to time.
For now this will be shared on the same RSS feed as Spurgeon Audio, so if you are already subscribed you’ll receive these episodes automatically. I’m hoping to eventually create a second feed for it, but for now it will be right here. Please also consider following the podcast’s Twitter feed. If you enjoy what you here, share it with your friends and drop us a line to let us know what you would like to hear us talk about.
A few months ago I heard about an upcoming book from Moody Publishers, a biography on the wife of Charles Spurgeon. Naturally I was excited as that sounded exactly like the kind of thing I should be reading and talking about. I went on Amazon and set up a preorder and then, on a whim, sent off a note through the book’s website to see if I might get to talk with the author for the podcast.
Not only were they able to arrange an interview with the author, Ray Rhodes Jr., but they were also gracious enough to send me a review copy to read ahead of time and prepare. I wound up absolutely loving the book, and still purchasing another copy to give to my mom.
This book is a detailed and well-resourced biography, but it is also a devotional in the life of someone who knew a great deal of both joy and sadness, success and suffering, and who walked through all of it by God’s grace through faith. The book is wonderfully detailed both with lots of notes referring to other sources for the interested researcher, as well as many pictures of locations and people surrounding the Spurgeons and their work to minister to the heart of the city.
The book is chronological but not strictly so, and focuses on different threads of events within a particular issue in particular chapters rather than trying to be strictly chronological. This makes it a little easier to understand how different events work together, as the author revisits where one event started to talk about how another one began.
I can’t recommend this book enough, and if you are looking for a gift for someone who enjoys reading this is a wonderful choice. You can follow the link below to an Amazon page to order, but of course there are many sources you can purchase this book from:
I’m going to put my response to Dr. Boa aside for a while, as I have had a few other things come across that require my attention and I don’t want it to be rushed or incomplete. I also wanted to take time to respond to another issue, one that I have had on my mind frequently due to it being a common one in my area. It has weighed heavily on my heart and I felt like it was appropriate to spend time writing about it.
A friend of mine on Facebook pointed me to this article at Gawker by Hamilton Nolan, about whom I know literally nothing except what’s written here, wherein he goes to a revival featuring a variety of names from the prosperity gospel/Word of Faith movement, such as Kenneth Copeland, and the man who is apparently over the organization running this particular revival conference, Morris Cerullo. Naturally, the author goes for vivid descriptions of every grandiose and bizarre experience, from the very excited attendees there seeking the “double portion” of God’s favor, to the lady spending half the conference waving a flag in the back of the room. But there is a certain starkness to the most detailed moments: the hope and dreams of so many who, multiple times over the course of the revival, make their way up front upon the call of the speakers to give money–large amounts of it. I can only imagine how much money changed hands there.
My friend wanted me to tear the article apart, and produce what would no doubt be an entertaining screed. I began a blog post, but got sidetracked and it ended up being put by the wayside. Yesterday*, however, I encountered another article posted in a few places around the web: Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me, written by Kate Bowler and published in the New York Times, certainly no bastion of conservative theological discussion. But her article was heartfelt and hit right at the heart of the same issue I saw on display in the first article (albeit in a more satirical style): no matter its claims, the prosperity gospel has at its core idolatry and a human desire to hope that our own works will get us what we want.
Both articles resonated with me not because I stood on similar theological grounds with the authors (as far as I can tell, neither is explicitly a Christian), but because of a recognition of the damage this teaching was doing to their view of the true purpose of the church and the cynicism it breeds among those who come to realize that they will not find what they desire this way.
First discussion episode of 2016! Dave and Jon are joined by Dave’s friend Ryan who read the Edwards sermon, to discuss what they read as well as talk about the difference between what the world thinks of heaven and the biblical teaching.
Another discussion episode, and it’s crossover time! Dave is joined by Alex from The Rugged Marriage podcast to discuss love: God’s love for His creation, and how it is revealed in the good gift of marriage. Next week: request time! We’ll be reading a sermon requested by one of our listeners.
We also discussed our experiences of encountering the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and how what we had experienced in life led up to the moment that our eyes were opened to the truth. Take a listen, and stay tuned for the next sermon coming soon!
We’re trying something a little different! Two episodes, and this one rather than being a sermon is a discussion episode where I am joined by Spurgeon Audio producer Jon Ladner and Reformed Pubster and videographer Michael Kraus. We were all present for the debate and we discuss our impressions of the excellent interaction from that evening. Plus: thanks to #prosapologian channel rat Nick Vahalik and the kind permission of Red Grace Media, we have a brief clip from the debate that we are able to use to give just a bit of context. First discussion episode, hopefully first of many!