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Posts Tagged ‘Theology’

If there is one thing that the Excogitating Engineer enjoys, it is listening to podcasts. He listens to podcasts almost every time he drives to and from work. He listens to various kinds of podcasts — news, apologetics, sermons, history, etc. In this particular post, the Excogitating Engineer would like to give props to his favorite podcasts in the category of Christian Podcasts. Sermons that churches upload to i-Tunes do not fall into this category. This category of podcasts are basically podcasts that are Christian commentary or discussions. Sermons will be another category so don’t be offended if your favorite preacher is not on this list.

I am going to list my top Christian podcasts in the same way that the College Football Playoff selection committee lists their top teams. I will give you my top four Christian podcasts and then I will give you my first 2 podcasts out which just barely missed the cut. These podcasts are not necessarily ones that I agree with the most. They are merely the ones that I find listening to the most in my car. Some of them could be analogous to a train wreck that you just can’t stop looking at. The podcasts could be a train wreck but I just keep listening. So here we go with my top four podcasts and the first two out.

  1. White Horse Inn. The White Horse Inn is hosted by Dr. Michael Horton and he has a panel of pastors or teachers. They discuss theological issues, doctrines, or sometimes they will just walk through a book of the Bible and discuss it. I like it because it is 30 minutes which is a perfect length for my commute to work. The hosts are solid theologically. I don’t always agree with them but I like the fact that the panel is made up of people from various church traditions but have a solid commitment to the Gospel.
  2. The Briefing. The Briefing is a 30 minute cultural commentary by the amazing Dr. R.  Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He selects the major news stories or editorial articles of the day from major new sources and will talk about them. He discusses the news items and helps you, the listener, understand how to view the story through the lens of a biblical worldview. It is all done on the fly with no transcript. Not only is his commentary excellent, he constantly amazes with his knowledge on a vast array of topics.
  3. Theology. Driven. This podcast is a relatively new podcast for me. I’ve know about it for less than six months. There are three guys that drive around in a car and another who joins their conversations via Skype. They talk about whatever they want. Usually they start out with a few minutes of banter and spend the rest of the time discussing a theological topic. I haven’t been listening to this podcast for very long but the guys on this podcast are not learned like the ones in my top 2 podcasts, but they are solid lay people. There is one thing I can’t figure out. Why do they have to drive around to talk? Why not just sit down somewhere with a good internet connection and record the podcast? I understand the “driving” theme in the name of the podcast but is it really necessary to literally drive to “explore the open road of life?”
  4. Doctrine and Devotion. Doctrine and Devotion is very similar to the previously discussed podcast. Instead of having a panel of four hosting the show, it is a panel of two. The type of conversation is similar and they come from a similar theological perspective — Reformed Baptist. The hosts are Joe Thorn and Jimmy Fowler who are both elders at the same church in St. Charles, Illinois. They have a lot of banter in their show as well and they get very silly and even rude sometimes. If you can get through that, the content of what they have to say is pretty good. And, I wish they would stop talking about smoking all the time.
  5. Mortification of Spin. This podcast is a discussion or conversation between Todd Pruitt, Carl Trueman, and Aimee Byrd. The Excogitating Engineer enjoys their conversation and sometimes disagreements. Carl Trueman is especially enjoyable to listen to with his British accent. One of the shortcomings of this show is that the hosts are all Presbyterian. I know, the previous two podcasts are hosted by Baptists. The difference is that this podcast is supposed to represent the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. That being the case, I do not think that Presbyterians are the only Confessing Evangelicals. I enjoy the show but would appreciate more diversity in church traditions.
  6. Stand to Reason. The last of my top 6 is Stand to Reason. This used to be my most listened to podcast, until I introduced more variety into my podcast library. I’ve definitely been listening to this podcast the longest. The host, Greg Koukl, starts off with some commentary and then takes questions from callers. I enjoy listening to the questions and I learn from Greg by listening to how he answers people’s questions. I think about how I would answer the same question as I listen to him  skillfully present the Christian position on issues or theological challenges.

There you go. My top 6 podcasts. I would love to hear your thoughts on these or what your top Christian podcasts are. Of course, there are others that I like but these are the ones I listen to the most.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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A friend of mine recently moved to a new city.  This, of course, meant that he needed to look for a new church home.  If you are relocating to a new city and need to find a new church home what are things you should look for?  There are so many things that one should look for but if we want to narrow it down to the most important things to look for in a church, what would those things be?

The first and most important characteristic that should exist is a commitment to expository preaching by the senior pastor.  By expository preaching I mean a particular thing that others might not mean when they use the same term.  I am referring to the pastor preaching through entire books of the Bible in chronological order.  Not the the books of the Bible are taught in chronological order but the chapters within the book are taught in chronological order and no section is skipped.  By doing this, the pastor can ensure that he is preaching the whole counsel of God and he is not just parking on texts that he likes.  The pastor’s message should come directly from the text and he should teach the context, the verses, and the particular words within the verses.

The reason this is number one for me is that the teaching is directed by God’s Word.  If the church and I disagree about some particular issues, it will be covered by God’s Word eventually.  I will be changed or the church will be changed.  If we all place ourselves under the authority of the Scriptures, we will all be in one accord eventually.

Second, and not far behind it, is a biblical understanding of the gospel.  This drives how the church will do evangelism and missions.  It will affect how alter calls are conducted.  It will affect how children are led to Christ.  Part of this will expose the church’s understanding of the doctrines of grace.  The doctrines of grace are important but not everything.  Although it is not the be all and end all of the church, the doctrines of grace affect how a lot of things are done.  A biblical understanding of the gospel also includes important theological truths such as penal substitutionary atonement.  This is also very important.  A theology of missions comes from their understanding of the gospel as well.

The third thing that comes to mind for me is a commitment to believer’s baptism.  This is the first step of obedience in the Christian’s new life.  It is important that only believers are baptized and only those with a credible profession of faith.

These are my top 3 requirements for a new church.  There are many other secondary issues but I think these are my non-nogotiables.  What about you?  What do you consider important when looking for a new church?

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It is so important in this day and age to understand that there are many forms of Christianity but that we all worship the same Christ.  We will all be worshipping God for eternity.  So we should hold unity up as a high virtue among various denominations and not divide over so many doctrines.  This is so true but I believe that we should only have unity with those who hold to the same main Biblical foundational truths.

I have been accused of being divisive at time but I think that theological errors are many times very difficult to detect and we should not just accept something because it sounds good on first glance.  Irenaeus warned against this.  He said this.

“Error, indeed is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced more true than truth itself.” (Against Heresies 1.2)

I got this quote from Stand to Reason’s blog by J. Warner Wallace.  I commend this blog post to you and keep your ears open for theological errors.  They will come to you cloaked in truth but with some twist that totally changes truth.  Be discerning.  Don’t value unity so much that you compromise truth.  If you encounter theological error confront it in love.

 

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