Kings Highway Radio: Power Religion and Relevance

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When Jarod and I started discussing the book Power Religion: The Selling Out of the Evangelical Church, we were interested in it because it spoke directly to issues we’ve been discussing on this podcast for over a year now, and because it was such a broad representation of mainstream evangelical thought. It has been all the more impressive to us because, in spite of the fact that it was published in 1992, it hardly seems out of step with the issues currently faced by the church. So many of the seeds that have grown up into struggles over things like politics and conspiracy theories, social justice and critical theory, and the increasing ubiquity of the Word of Faith movement in the American church are seen in the warnings and discussions set forth.

Seen just as clearly are the calls for best practices to replace the questionable and dangerous ones that were and are present throughout the evangelical church. When pastors from Presbyterian, Baptist, Evangelical Free, and other denominations stand together in calling the church to judge its view of power with a biblical lens, we ought to take special notice.

It was a little unusual for a podcast to spend its time digging into a book that is not current, but I hope our point and our reason was clear throughout: the weight of being the church calls us to look back, both to recent and ancient history, and know where we have been, so that we don’t stumble into traps unaware and so that we don’t invent new heresies, or rehash old ones.

I know the charismatic/Word of Faith crowd took the biggest beating during this discussion. It isn’t our goal to anathematize everyone who has set foot in a Pentacostal church. It is, however, our desire to warn of the ease of falling under the sway of false teaching, and that particular movement has been a major breeding ground for them. There, power is sought out of a desire to be closer to God, but it puts power in the wrong hands, rather than calling the church to trust the One who wields power perfectly at all times. That includes the power to endure suffering unto the end.

The thing I think we found most engaging, and what will probably drive our discussion in the next few episodes, is the struggle of Christians to engage with the world in a way that says “I trust God” while not being antagonistic to our neighbors. For so many, being a conservative believer often seems to mean you find yourself clucking your tongue at the latest nonsense being put in children’s programming and getting into fights online over hot button issues. It results in us not spending much time truly “giving a defense for the hope that is within us” because as conservatives we often seem to have no hope. On the contrary, we often operate from this idea that says “Well, the world’s going to hell, I’m going to just dig in here and try to keep my kids from going along with it.”

I am grateful to everyone listening to us as we dig into this, and I hope you will give us feedback as to your own thoughts, either in the comments below or by email. We want to know how we can strengthen believers to truly walk in faith as we seek to grow our own.

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Kings Highway Radio: Power Religion and Power Preachers

Dave and Jarod return to their favorite cigar bar to talk about the next part of the book Power Religion. This section was particularly interesting to us because it spoke to many current events–the tendency of many Christians to embrace conspiracy thinking and hostility towards those outside the faith, carnal conservatism replacing faithful service and humility, and the strife between inward-focused fundamentalism and outward-focused evangelicalism. Join in and let us know your thoughts!

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Kings Highway Radio: Power Religion and Power Within

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Dave and Jarod continue their discussing of the book Power Religion with the section titled Power Within, on the issue of psychology and its influence on modern theology and church counseling. This section especially is a great one to read, so we really recommend getting the book and checking it out yourself. The guys are joined by Denton-area biblical counselor Adam Sandlin who gives some fantastic insights into the thoughts the authors shared, and why psychology may help build moral citizens, but it is not sufficient to transform hearts.

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Kings Highway Radio: Church Consumers and Kyle Strobel

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We had the privilege this week of sitting down to interview scholar, author, and professor Kyle Strobel. Of course, the name “Strobel” probably brings to mind Kyle’s father Lee, who wrote books like “The Case for Christ,” but Kyle has made his own impact on Christian literature.

As we have dug into the Power Religion book we have worked through a lot of subjects related to the topic of Kyle’s book The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb, a book that has been one of Jarod’s favorites. In particular he and co-author Jamin Goggin deal with the challenge of holding the modern church up against the truth Jesus preached often, that the one who would be the greatest in His kingdom must be the servant of all. This is a challenge to many in the modern church in many contexts. American churches often find themselves operating with a secular corporate “get it done” mentality, but how does this really jive with the words of our King?

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Kings Highway Radio: Fear and Power in Denton, TX

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Jarod and I got together for what may be our last time to hang out in a public place for at least a few weeks, at the new Denton Cigar Company. We spent some time talking about our thoughts on the ever-present fear and anxiety surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our county along with many others has announced the closure of all public places and called for gatherings to not exceed 10 people.

This has caused a lot of anxiety and frustration among many, especially Christians missing the closeness of worshiping with the body of Christ. We spent some time talking about the issue and going over the reality of what it may look like to navigate this as believers in the coming weeks and months.

Jeremy Young’s Twitter thread breaking down the Imperial College report can be found here.

We also talked about the topic that will be discussed over the next few episodes. We will be going through the book Power Religion: The Selling Out of the Evangelical Church? The title may seem a bit clickbaity, but it is actually a very insightful series of essays from many teachers and leaders within the church on various elements tied together by one element: the effect of seeking after power in one form or another while also trying to be a leader in Christ’s kingdom. If you want to read along with us, it is still available on Amazon.

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Kings Highway Radio: When There Is No Peace

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 cover a few thoughts in this episode, and we’d love to hear your feedback as well.

Last time I mentioned the book Advancing Christian Unity by Anthony Burgess, and I want to recommend it again. I will close out here with a brief quotation on how to handle division in our lives and in our churches:

Take heed that these divisions do not prove a snare to you.  Bewail times of division, but make sure they do not divide between you and God, or you and truth. Instead:

1. Walk humbly, renouncing your own strength, for it is God, not yourself, who must preserve you.

2. Pray much for the Spirit of God to give you His anointing – and senses exercised to discern between good and evil.

3. Take heed of fomenting differences and making the wounds wider.  Instead, like the good Samaritan, bring oil, not salt, to the wound.

4. Lastly, let this make you long for heaven, where the strif between brethren will cease.

Anthony Burgess, Advancing Christian Unity, pp.93-94

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Kings Highway Radio – Resolved

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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:

Advancing Christian Unity – by Anthony Burgess, from Puritan Treasures for Today

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King’s Highway Radio: Gifts and Fruit

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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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King’s Highway Radio: Power Corrupts

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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.