107 Each One Serve (John Cortright)

Service is an important part of Christian living.  We are not spectators waiting to be entertained, but participants looking for ways to help out.  In this sermon, John Cortright shows what Jesus taught us about service at the last supper as well as what sort of attitude we should have.  So often we either critique[…]

Interview 26: Word of Faith vs. Trusting in God (John Schoenheit)

What is faith?  To some it is believing in something without evidence.  To others it is a means by which to attain God’s blessings like prosperity and health.  John Schoenheit explains how neither of these definitions best encapsulates the biblical understanding.  Instead, he shows how faith is really just trust in what God says, whether[…]

Interview 25: Studying the Trinity, Discovering God Is One (Sean Holbrook)

Sean Holbrook was attending a typical evangelical church when he heard a series of sermons teaching the Trinity.  Ironically, these very messages, designed to bolster faith in the doctrine, ended up inspiring Holbrook to question the age old dogma.  As a result, he set out to study the topic more and watched James White debates[…]

105 Recovering the Kingdom (Kingdom of God 14)

We’ve looked at how and why Christianity lost the kingdom message; in this episode you’ll learn how we got it back.  Over the last five hundred years, three different movements have made significant strides in recovering the kingdom: the Anabaptists (16th century), the Adventists (19th century), and liberal scholars (20th century).  In this lecture you’ll[…]

Off Script 33: Stewarding Your Resources

We all have resources, whether money, time, talents, or skills.  How should we steward these resources?  In this episode, we conclude our series on stewardship by talking about work, debt, contentment, retirement, volunteering, industriousness, and laziness.  We conclude that as with all areas of life, we need to seek God’s glory with our resources. Links:[…]

104 The Kingdom Is Too Jewish (Kingdom of God 13)

This is part three of a series of three lectures on why some Christians ended up rejecting the kingdom message in the first few centuries of Christianity.  In this part, I work through the major differences between how Jews and Greeks read scripture.  What we find is that the Christians who didn’t like the kingdom[…]

Off Script 32: Stewarding Your Image

Last week we looked at stewarding your body. In this episode we focus on a phenomenon that has been growing over the last couple of decades–tattoos and piercings. What was once seen among sailors, bikers, and soldiers is now rampant among celebrities, athletes, and countless others. What’s a Christian to do? Should we go with[…]

103 The Kingdom Is Too Hedonic (Kingdom of God 12)

Last time we saw that some influential Christians rejected the biblical teaching on the kingdom because the idea of living on earth forever seemed crude to them.  This time, we look at how the ancients thought about bodies and bodily pleasures.  As it turns out, from (at least) Plato onward, many philosophers tended to embrace[…]

Off Script 31: Stewarding Your Body

How should you steward your body?  Are all bodily pleasures inherently sinful?  In order to grapple with these questions, we take a tour through the bible from the Garden of Eden through to the time of Jesus to observe the balanced biblical perspective between asceticism (denying all pleasures) and hedonism (living for pleasure).  As it[…]

102 The Kingdom Is Too Crude (Kingdom of God 11)

Now that you’ve seen the historical defenders of the kingdom faith, it’s time to turn our attention to those who fought against it.  Over the next three lectures you’ll learn the main reasons why Christianity rejected the kingdom message of the bible and replaced it with going to heaven or hell at death.  First up,[…]

Off Script 30: Stewarding the Earth

We’re beginning a new series on stewardship. To start with, we’ll discuss the biblical mindset towards stewarding the earth. Future episodes will address stewarding our bodies and finances.  In this show, we begin with creation theology and move to consider how God injected covenantal significance into how Israelites were to think about their land. Lastly,[…]

101 Historical Kingdom Advocates (Kingdom of God 10)

Who has believed in the kingdom over the history of Christianity?  In this lecture, you’ll find out who defended the kingdom belief in the first four centuries, before it faded out of the mainstream and got replaced with going to heaven instead.  In order to put you in contact with the primary sources, we read[…]

Interview 24: What Is the Trinity with Dale Tuggy

Do you know what the Trinity is?  Could you explain it to someone else or is it just a confusing collection of impenetrable statements hidden under a cloud of fog?  In his recent book, Professor Dale Tuggy seeks to clarify everyone’s perceptions of the various Trinity theories so that we can have productive conversation on[…]

Interview 23: Bible Lock-Screens with Ryan Maher

Are you interested in online ministry?  Would you like to reach more people?  Ryan Maher shares what he’s learned about combining his love for God and graphic design into his bible lock-screen app.  Once Instigram came out, he jumped on board and developed a following that numbers around a million people.  In this interview Maher[…]

Interview 22: The 21st Century Reformation (J. Dan and Sharon Gill)

J. Dan and Sharon Gill are part of a growing movement of bible students who have concluded that the Father of Jesus is the only true God.  They’re so passionate about this truth that in 2008, they launched their website, called Twenty-First Century Reformation (21stcr.org).  To date they’ve received over 700,000 views on YouT ube,[…]

96: Nicholas Hlifka Faith Journey (2017 Theo. Conf.)

Nicholas Hlifka grew up as an atheist until a Christian teacher shared his faith with him in high school.  While attending the State University of New York at Fredonia, he took a class with Dale Tuggy.  When he found out that Tuggy was a biblical unitarian, he was immediately wary of such a heretical belief. […]

95: Chad Hoffman Faith Journey (2017 Theo. Conf.)

After a bad divorce, Chad Hoffman became a Christian.  He attended a number of different churches and something didn’t sit right at each.  In 2006, he was diagnosed with a inoperable tumor on his brain stem.  After some treatment it shrank and grew back.  During this tumultuous time, he started considering what he believed about[…]

94: Carouthers Family Faith Journey (2017 Theo. Conf.)

Steve and Phyllis Carouthers have attended many churches throughout their Christian journey.  A couple of years ago Phyllis was researching the gifts of the spirit and came across an article on the Truth or Tradition website and saw that they were biblical unitarians.  Initially she found this quite disturbing as she associated all unitarians with[…]

93: Jouke Elsinga Faith Journey (2017 Theo. Conf.)

Even though he grew up in the Calivinist Reformed tradition as a pastor’s kid, Jouke Elsinga was not sure he believed in God’s existence.  After reading Frank Turek’s I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, he came to believe in God and started searching for apologetics.  He came across my apologetics class on[…]

92: Danny Tanner Faith Journey (2017 Theo. Conf.)

Danny Tanner grew up in the Lutheran Church and later got heavily involved with the Brethren in Christ group.  He’s served as a worship pastor, an associate pastor, and an executive pastor.  Currently he’s involved in a church plant.  Over the years he’s questioned his faith, but never let himself dive in deep enough to[…]

91: Jeremy Bowders Faith Journey (2017 Theo. Conf.)

While working in a casket factory as an upholsterer, one day Jeremy Bowders reflected on the fact that he would be in one eventually. He began asking the big questions about his life’s purpose. He began reading the bible and became a Christian. In the course of researching open theism, he read an article by[…]

90: Jonathen Favors Faith Journey (2017 Theo. Conf.)

Having overcome his desire to remain in the background, Jonathen Favors boldly shared his testimony of coming to understand who God is.  After a severe football injury, he had a lot of time to spend time with and think about God.  While attending BIOLA University, he had learned that the title “Son of God” is[…]

89: Kingdom in the New Testament (Kingdom of God 5)

Now that we’ve looked at many of the kingdom texts from the Old Testament, today we’ll get into the New Testament and see what Jesus and the apostles taught about the kingdom.  We’ll examine the titles of Jesus, a couple of his parables, some texts from Paul and James, and conclude in Revelation.  In this[…]

88: Restorationist Manifesto

Simply put, restorationism is the approach to Christianity that seeks to compare accepted doctrines and practices against the bible to see if they are valid.  Our intention is to recover authentic New Testament Christianity and live it out today.  We hold God’s inspired scriptures above traditions, creeds, and clergy.  The time is ripe for us[…]

87: Kingdom in the Prophets (Kingdom of God 4)

Last time we looked at the kingdom prophecies in Isaiah.  Today we’ll examine Amos, Micah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Ezekiel, and Daniel to continue developing a biblical picture of the age to come. This is lecture 4 of the Kingdom of God class, originally taught at the Atlanta Bible College.  To take this class for credit, please[…]

Interview 20: How To Quit Pornography (Blake Cortright)

Let’s face it; it’s difficult to talk about pornography, especially among Christians.  We get overwhelmed with feelings of shame and embarrassment while fearing how others will regard us with disgust or disdain.  However, this issue is a huge struggle for a ton of Christians (and non-Christians) in the world today.  Drawing on some of what[…]

86: Kingdom in Isaiah (Kingdom of God 3)

The prophet Isaiah spoke more about the kingdom than any other prophet in the Hebrew bible. Consequently, his book is a phenomenal place to begin developing our understanding of what the kingdom will be like.  Stitching together his various snapshots, we encounter a magnificent collage detailing a new world full of peace, justice, and healing.[…]

Restorationist Manifesto

Presented at the 26th Theological Conference on May 18, 2017 Sponsored by Restoration Fellowship by Sean Finnegan The information age has opened up incredible opportunities to understand Christianity better.  With unprecedented and unrestricted access to facts and opinions from disparate religious perspectives, sincere bible students have been increasingly questioning the typical doctrinal packages offered by[…]

Interview 19: Spiritual Disciplines (Blake Cortright)

What spiritual disciplines do you practice?  We’re all familiar with reading our bibles and prayer, but there’s so much more available.  In this interview, Blake Cortright guides us through his own journey into discovering ancient Christian disciplines that can help us today, including prayer, fasting, meditation, bible study, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance,[…]

85: Kingdom Covenants (Kingdom of God 2)

It’s impossible to understand the kingdom of God or Jesus without having a grasp of the history-changing promises God made with Abraham and David.  To Abraham God covenanted the land and to David, a descendant to rule.  Ultimately these two covenants find their fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth–the Messiah. This is lecture 2 of the[…]

Will James White Take Dale Tuggy’s Challenge to Debate?

Yesterday Dale Tuggy challenged James White to debate whether or not the God of the bible is the Trinity on his Trinities podcast (Episode 182: White’s Case for the Trinity–Part 2 at 38:17).  The question is, “Will White accept the challenge?”  If so, he will have to do more than follow his standard approach of[…]

Off Script 29: Dealing with Doubt

What role does doubt play in your life?  Do you think of it as something to push aside and ignore or do you pursue your doubts to get answers?  In this episode we examine the role of doubt for Christians, avoiding both extremes of refusing to engage with doubt as well as obsessing on it. […]

84: Kingdom Restoration (Kingdom of God 1)

Today we begin a new class on Restitutio on the Kingdom of God. Jesus said the kingdom was like a treasure hidden in a field—it’s so valuable it’s worth selling everything to purchase. He said to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness above what we eat or wear. In this class we’ll spend[…]

Off Script 28: Seeking a Christian View on Refugees and Immigrants

On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13769, called “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” in which he banned immigration from seven countries, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  This unpopular order caused much controversy throughout the US and led to significant litigation, delaying it’s[…]

Podcast 83: Questions about Gay and Lesbian Christians

In the last episode (Boundaries for Same-Sex Attraction), we looked at what the bible says about same-sex attraction.  In this one, we consider seven important questions about gay and lesbian Christians: How should same-sex attracted Christians think of themselves? Isn’t the Christian sexual ethic harmful to gays and lesbians? Is having same-sex feelings a sin?[…]

Podcast 82: Biblical Boundaries for Same-Sex Attraction

Is it a sin to be gay? What does the bible say about same-sex attraction? In this episode you’ll become familiar with the relevant scriptures that talk about homosexuality. You’ll also learn what arsenokoitai (ἀρσενοκοῖται) means in 1 Corinthians 6.9, a key battleground text for discussions of biblical sexuality. Here the Apostle Paul pulls from[…]

Podcast 81: My Life as a Stud (Jackie Hill-Perry)

Jackie Hill-Perry used to dress like a boy to go out and pick up girls. She ended up in a long-term relationship with another woman, but then she came to a sudden realization that she was living a lie. She’s completely changed her life and now embraces her femininity and even got married to a[…]

Case for Christ Movie Nails It

The Case for Christ, a classic apologetics book that provides evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, is now a movie!  The film follows the lives of Lee and Leslie Strobel, a happily married non-religious couple in the Chicago area.  One night out a restaurant, their daughter begins choking on something and nearly dies.  However, at the last[…]

Interview 18: God Woos Fashion Set Designer from Gay Lifestyle (Becket Cook)

Meet Becket Cook.  He’s a very well-connected gay fashion set designer who has traveled the world, attended the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, etc., and rubbed shoulders with Hollywood’s A-list actors.  One day he saw Christians reading their bibles in a trendy coffee shop in LA and engaged them in conversation.  One of them invited Cook[…]

Podcast 80: Resurrection People (Sean Finnegan)

The best chapter on resurrection in the bible is 1 Corinthians 15. In it, the Apostle Paul masterfully lays out the Christian position on resurrection while overcoming common objections in the culture. As it turns out, people living in Corinth thought the idea of resurrection seemed real bizarre.  Looking at tombstone inscriptions, Plato’s Phaedo, and[…]

Interview 17: Will All Israel Be Saved? (Matthew Elton)

How does salvation work?  Is Israel still God’s chosen people or are they on the same footing as everyone else now that the Messiah has come?  In Off Script episode 17, Is Jesus the Only Way to God?, Brian wrote in, inquiring if a Torah-observant Jew could be saved even if he or she didn’t[…]

Podcast 79: Proud of Our God (Victor Gluckin)

Are you embarrassed of your non-traditional beliefs about God? Victor Gluckin says that it’s time to stand up for what we believe. Believing God is one (instead of three-in-one) is not some sort of fringe doctrine; it’s at the very heart of biblical faith. After all, Jesus himself identified the Jewish “shema” as the most[…]

Interview 16: Church of God Vision (Seth Ross)

Back in Interview 11, Joe Martin talked about how he was soon to step down from his leadership position at the Church of God (General Conference).  In this episode, you’ll hear from Seth Ross, who has taken up the mantle and who casts his vision for the future.  You’ll learn about his background, his twenty[…]

Podcast 78: The Insidious Danger of Self-Righteousness (Sean Finnegan)

No one joined the Pharisees out of desire to practice professional hypocrisy. They were the devout, the separated, the ones who took God and holiness seriously. However, by the time of Jesus, they had confused godliness with self-righteousness and lost compassion in the process. It’s so easy for us to root for Jesus as he[…]

Off Script 27: Worshiping God

Now that we’ve worked through several counterfeit gods, including love, money, success, and power, it’s time to dig in a little deeper.  Do you understand your own heart?  Can you discern where you are tempted to idolize something or someone?  In order to figure this out, ask yourself these four questions: What do you daydream[…]

Podcast 77: God Is Enough (John Cortright)

Covetousness, self-reliance, and envy can rob us of gratitude and contentedness.  So much of our world programs us to feel restless, entitled, and discontent regarding our possessions, how we look, our work, and our relationships.  Have you ever asked yourself, “How much is enough?”  Taking his cue from the Apostle Paul, John Cortright shares the[…]

Off Script 26: Worshiping Power

The 19th century philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, believed that our desire for success, money, or love really went back to our “will to power.”  Whereas other philosophies focused on calibrating our internal state to accept reality, Nietzsche focused more on conforming reality to our desires.  Although it’s terribly out of fashion to admit one desires and[…]

Podcast 76: The Real St. Patrick (Sean Finnegan)

Saint Patrick is one of the most courageous missionaries of Christian history. Although revelers mark his day with debauchery and drunkenness, he pursued holiness and risked his life to preach to the Irish barbarians. He held out to the ancient Irish tribes a promise of protection from their gods and demons, if only they would[…]

Off Script 25: Worshiping Success

Everyone enjoys accomplishment and achievement, but what happens when we take success and make it our ultimate goal in life?  When you reach the pinnacle of success in any field, it’s easy to get depressed, asking yourself, “Is this all there is?”  Furthermore, you may begin to fear that you won’t be able to maintain[…]

Podcast 75: Heretic! 4 Approaches to Dropping H-Bombs (Dale Tuggy)

The history of Christianity can sometimes be really depressing, especially when we look at the “heresy hunters.” From Justin Martyr and Irenaues in the second century to Athanasius and Epiphanius of the fourth century, as Christians we progressively came to define ourselves on the basis of what we don’t believe.  As a result, so much[…]

Off Script 24: Worshiping Money

I bet you don’t think you struggle with greed. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who told me this was a problem for him or her. But greed is subtle. It sneaks up on you when you think you’re just working towards financial security or building your confidence or taking control of your life. In[…]

Podcast 74: Which You Are You? (Sean Finnegan)

We all have competing impulses within us vying for our attention and expression. How do you know which ones to amplify and which to repress? How should we think of ourselves? Are we powerful and valuable creatures made in God’s image or accidental byproducts of time plus chance plus matter? In order to live out[…]

Gay and Christian? Dealing with Same-Sex Attraction as a Christ-Follower (Wesley Hill)

Today the church is faced with a false dichotomy: (1) show love and acceptance to same-sex attracted people or (2) get labeled as homophobic and hateful bigots.  But, is there a third way?  What about women and men who have a homosexual orientation but want to follow Christ authentically?  What does the gospel say to[…]

Off Script 23: Worshiping Love

Today we are starting a series based on Tim Keller’s book, Counterfeit Gods, wherein we’ll consider a number of idols that vie for worship in our society.  In this episode we consider Aphrodite, the ancient goddess of love, and her modern counterparts.  We begin by examining the somewhat dysfunctional love story of Jacob and Rachel[…]

Podcast 73: Relating to the Government (Vince Finnegan)

How should Christians relate to the government?  In this sermon, Vince Finnegan works through Romans 13 to show how we should relate to the powers that be.  Ultimately God is in charge of raising up and tearing down regimes and nations over the course of human history.  Our goal is to love one another as[…]

Interview 15: Healing from Abuse and Abandonment (Claudia Scott)

Claudia Scott is one of the pillars of our church, a woman of faith who carries herself with dignity and poise. Growing up, she’s been an example to me of faithfulness and passion for God. Having only known her over the last twenty or so years, I was clueless about how much she had been[…]

Podcast 72: Free as a Fish on Land (Sean Finnegan)

What is true freedom?  We tend to think of freedom as the lack of restrictions so that we can do whatever we want.  However, I want to make the case that freedoms is not the lack of boundaries, but finding the right ones to enable us to be our best for God.  After God liberated[…]

Interview 14: Ken LaPrade’s Baptism Journey

What do you believe about baptism?  In this interview, I ask Ken LaPrade, a house church pastor in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, to share his baptism journey.  Coming from a Way International background, LaPrade learned that spirit baptism had replaced water.  As a result he had interpreted the water baptisms in Acts to[…]

Podcast 71: What Good Is Jesus without His Gospel? (Anthony Buzzard)

In this vintage message, Sir Anthony Buzzard makes the case that the gospel Jesus preached was about the kingdom. Although Jesus remains incredibly popular all around the world today, his message remains obscured even among many sincere followers. How can we call ourselves Christians if we are ignorant of Christ’s proclamation?  The kingdom is not[…]

Interview 13: Caring Enough to Confront (Jerry Wierwille)

How are you at handling conflict?  Do you withdraw and avoid conflict at any cost?  Do you rush in headlong, eager to set the other person straight?  Are you a compromiser who looks at everything like a contract where both parties inevitably have to make trade-offs to get some advantage?  As with so many really[…]

Podcast 70: Getting the Gospel Right (Sean Finnegan)

The gospel is the message we believe in that results in immortality (2 Tim 1.7-10).  If I were the devil, I would target the gospel message so that even if some Christians rustled up the courage to actually share it with others, they’d have a distorted or partial message.  In fact, scripture tells us that[…]

Interview 12: Jacob Rohrer on the Gospel (Jacob Rohrer)

What is the gospel?  Growing up, Jacob Rohrer heard about Jesus dying for his sins so he could go to heaven.  However, he’s come to see that this way of thinking is not only wrong, but goes against what Jesus himself taught.  Listen in to Rohrer as he explains the five elements of the gospel,[…]

Podcast 69: Teen Comes out as Christian to Gay Parents (Caleb Kaltenbach)

We hear a particular narrative over and over: “Gay teen courageously comes out to Christian parents and faces consequences.” This is the hero’s journey of the early 21st century. From gay pride marches to hit songs to movies and TV shows, this story is ubiquitous in our culture. For example, I used to listen to[…]

Interview 11: Joe Martin, Looking Back on His Service at the Atlanta Bible College

Dr. Joe Martin has taught at the Atlanta Bible College for over 25 years. He’s worked as an adjunct professor, full-time professor, academic dean, and the president. In this interview he talks about his favorite class to teach, his greatest challenge as a teacher, and his advice to those interested in going into ministry. He[…]

Podcast 68: Soli Deo Gloria (Sean Finnegan)

Did you make any new year’s resolutions this year? We are now three weeks into 2017 and I bet many of us have already reverted to our old ways. However, what I want to propose here is not a new habit or a trick to stop an old one. Rather, I want to encourage you[…]

Interview 10: Twenty Years of Missions in Africa (Joe and Rebekah Martin)

Joe and Rebekah Martin have labored for twenty years in Africa to bring the gospel and humanitarian aid to some of the poorest people in the world.  They minister primarily in Malawi and Mozambique, though the work in Kenya is now gaining traction as well.  In this interview, you’ll hear how a single tract led[…]

Podcast 67: It’s Just War (Debate)

Martin Luther King Jr. day is on Monday, so I thought this would be a good time to replay a phenomenal debate on the question of whether or not Christians should use violence or participate in the military.  Peter Kreeft and J. Daryl Charles defend the classic just war position while David Bercot and Dean[…]

Revive 2017 Audios

Here are the messages from Revive (January 6-8, 2017), held at Woodstock YMCA in Connecticut. Friday Night Sean Finnegan — You Can Be Holy Saturday Morning Stan Chee — Battlegrounds for Holiness Vince Finnegan — God Is Holy Saturday Night Chris Sytsma — Perspective Victor Gluckin — Don’t Put It on a Cart Sunday Morning[…]

Off Script 22: Christianity Is Lame

Let’s say you are sharing your faith with a friend and they say to you, “Well, I’m glad that Christianity works for you, but it sounds like no fun to me.”  How would you respond?  Is Christianity no more than a set of restrictions we set on our lives like a straitjacket?  Listen in to[…]

Podcast 66: What I’ve Been Saved From (Victor Gluckin)

Pastor Victor Gluckin of Living Faith Christian Church (Warwick, RI) shares about his journey of faith. He was Mr. Popularity in High School; everyone loved him.  However, he was spiritually dead and lifted up with pride.  His breaking point came when he left his small town and attended George Washington University in DC.  He planned[…]

Off Script 21: The Bible Is Too Antiquated

The youngest part of the bible is nearly 2,000 years old.  How can such an ancient book have any relevance to our complex and technologically advanced world?  How would you answer this objection?  It’s certainly undeniable that our world is so much different from the nomadic shepherds of three millennia ago.  However, science, political innovations,[…]

Top 5 Interviews from 2016

Here are the top five* Restitutio interviews (not including Off Script episodes and regular podcasts): 1 Dale Tuggy’s Journey [231 Downloads] In this interview with philosopher Dr. Dale Tuggy, I ask him questions about his personal spiritual journey. Dr. Tuggy is an analytic philosopher who works on world religions and the doctrine of the Trinity.[…]

Podcast 65: Christian Views of Sexuality (Apologetics 15)

Apologetics 15: Gender and Sexual Ethics (Objection 3) This lecture covers some basic Christian sexual ethics, including marriage, divorce, pornography, homosexuality, cohabitation, and adultery.  Sadly, since this was the last lecture, time did not permit a thorough analysis of these subjects.  Even so, I touched on each briefly and biblically in an effort to stake[…]

Top 5 Regular Podcasts from 2016

Here are the top five* regular Restitutio podcasts (not including Off Script episodes and Interviews): 1 Theism, Atheism, and Pantheism [214 Downloads] In Building Belief, Chad Meister uses a worldview comparison chart to simplify all the religions of the world into three broad categories: theism, atheism, and pantheism. This strategy will help you to compare[…]

Off Script 20: Christmas Special

We take a break from our normal Off Script format to share some seasonal reminiscences and lighthearted banter about Christmas past and present.  In this somewhat silly episode you’ll learn what Christmas song Rose hates, Dan’s most cherished childhood present, and Sean’s Christmas-eve meal preference.  Other exciting topics discussed in this podcast include: why Handel’s[…]

Top 5 Off Script Episodes of 2016

Off Script is a series of round table discussions with Rose Rider, Daniel Fitzsimmons, and Sean Finnegan, focusing on practical Christian thinking. Here are the top five Off Script podcast episodes from 2016.* 1 Should Christians Watch Horror Movies? [168 Downloads] Horror movies inspire fear, causing our hearts to beat faster and our adrenaline to[…]

Off Script 19: More on Why God Allows Suffering

In this episode, we pick up the conversation where the last lecture in my Apologetics class left off.  We review six reasons the bible gives for suffering as well as how to face pain and hardship. By looking at Jesus and Paul, we see that God did not spare either of them from adversity.  Jesus[…]

Podcast 63: Why Does God Allow Suffering? (Apologetics 13)

Apologetics 13: Problem of Evil (Objection 1) Now that we’ve established the existence of God, the historicity of Christ’s resurrection, and the bible’s veracity, we come to objections commonly brought against Christianity. The chief classical question posed to Christians throughout the eons is, “How can you believe in God when there is so much pain[…]

Off Script 18: Christians Are Hypocrites

In part two of our series on objections to Christianity, we look at the issue of hypocrisy.  Many are unwilling to even consider Christianity as a viable option because they’ve witnessed or heard about some horrible act of hypocrisy by a Christian leader.  It’s hard to deny that hypocrisy is a major problem in Christianity[…]

Podcast 62: Is the New Testament Trustworthy? (Apologetics 12)

Apologetics 12: New Testament Trustworthiness For the New Testament we can employ several of the same lines of reasoning as the Old Testament, though there are a couple more to consider like internal evidence and messianic prophecies that help bolster the case. Furthermore, many people’s lives have been changed by reading and believing the words[…]

Off Script 17: Is Jesus the Only Way to God?

With this episode we are beginning a series on overcoming objections to Christianity.  To start with we want to address the criticism often leveled at bible-believing Christians today that our perspective on salvation is too narrow-minded and exclusive.  Who are we to say that all the other religions are wrong?  In order to tackle this[…]

Podcast 61: Is the New Testament Reliable? (Apologetics 11)

Apologetics 11: New Testament Transmission With the New Testament we can’t argue for a reliable transmission on the basis of meticulous Hebrew scribes. More often, especially early on, the Christian scribes focused more on quantity than quality so they could get the word out as quickly as possible. However, the sheer number of manuscripts that[…]

Podcast 60: Be Ye Holy for I Am Holy (Keith Daniel)

What do you believe about holiness?  Do you view it as an impossible ideal?  Slogans like “I’m not perfect, just forgiven” and “I don’t want to be holier than thou” show how uncomfortable we are with this whole subject.  Even so, God calls us to be holy as he is holy.  We cannot ignore or[…]

Podcast 59: Is the Old Testament Trustworthy? (Apologetics 10)

Apologetics 10: Old Testament Trustworthiness Last time we looked as reasons to believe the Jewish scribes reliably transmitted the Old Testament so that what we have today is what they actually wrote. This time you’ll learn five main reasons why we believe the Hebrew bible is true: (1) archaeology, (2) medical insights, (3) unflattering honesty,[…]

Interview 9: Pagan Influences on the Development of the Trinity (Kegan Chandler)

Kegan Chandler joins me once again to talk about the history of theology.  If you haven’t yet heard his story, check out Interview 8: A Restorationist Finds the God of Jesus.  In this episode, I ask Chandler about his book, The God of Jesus in Light of Christian Dogma.  If you are at all interested[…]

Podcast 58: Is the Old Testament Reliable? (Apologetics 9)

Apologetics 9: Old Testament Transmission What reasons do we have for believing the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) was reliable transmitted from antiquity to today? This lecture provides four arguments: (1) Jewish scribes were competent, (2) people memorized large portions of the text, (3) the consequences for false prophecy, and (4) the Dead Sea Scrolls function[…]

Interview 8: A Restorationist Discovers the God of Jesus (Kegan Chandler)

Kegan Chandler grew up as a bible-believing Christian in Texas.  His grandfather, Pat E. Harrell, was a leader within Church of Christ who founded their Restoration Quarterly publication.  As a result of his grandparents’ and parents’ passion for God, Chandler grew up in a family steeped in bible study and theological reflection.  One day the[…]

Podcast 57: More Evidence for the Resurrection (Apologetics 8)

Apologetics 8: More Evidence for the Resurrection Because secular historians don’t accept the inspiration of the bible, they don’t trust the Gospels as reliable witnesses about Jesus. Consequently, they’ve come up with various “criteria of authenticity” to sift the sayings and deeds recorded in the Gospels into historical and mythical categories. Last time we saw[…]

Off Script 16: Christians Discussing Politics

This election cycle American political discourse has sunk to a new low.  Rather than presenting facts and offering persuasive arguments based on policies, we’ve seen a whole slew of false claims and personal attacks.  The exchanges between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been so caustic and shameful that when I discovered my ten year-old[…]

Podcast 56: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus (Apologetics 7)

Apologetics 7: Evidence for the Resurrection During this lecture, I played a video of William Lane Craig making a case for the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  What’s so brilliant about Craig’s approach is that he doesn’t assume the bible is true to make his case.  He treats the Gospels and Paul’s letters[…]

Off Script 15: Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Halloween comes from the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain when the Celts believed the boundary between our world and the spirit world grew thin, allowing spirits, fairies, and disembodied souls to enter our realm. Consequently, they employed several strategies to appease and misdirect these nefarious ghosts from messing with them. However, in our secular age,[…]

The Ontological Argument for God’s Existence

Check out this video from William Craig’s ministry, Reasonable Faith, explaining why God exists using the ontological argument. Here is the argument: God is the greatest conceivable being God exists as an idea in the mind A being that exists as an idea in the mind and in reality is greater than a being that[…]

Podcast 55: Did Jesus Exist? (Apologetics 6)

Apologetics 6: Historical Jesus Have you ever heard of the Jesus mythicists? They teach that Jesus never existed, that he’s a myth. How would you go about debunking this claim? Are you aware of what historical sources mention Jesus and early Christianity? In this lecture you’ll learn what’s out there from biblical authors, historians, and[…]

Fine Tuning Argument for God

Check out this video from William Craig’s ministry, Reasonable Faith, explaining why God exists using the fine tuning of physical constants. Here is the three step argument: The universe evidences order and design A design implies a designer A designer of the universe exists This argument works for any living creatures (hummingbirds, bacteria, etc.), complex[…]

The Moral Argument for God’s Existence

Check out this video from William Craig’s ministry, Reasonable Faith, explaining why God exists using morality. Here is the three step argument: If God doesn’t exist, objective morals don’t exist Objective morals do exist God exists If we agree that certain actions are morally wrong for everyone (objective morality), then we have to look for[…]

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

Check out this video from William Craig’s ministry, Reasonable Faith, explaining why God exists using cause and effect. Here is the three step argument: Whatever begins to exist has a cause The universe began to exist Therefore, the universe has a cause Just like dominoes falling in a row, we cannot explain the present day[…]

Off Script 14: Should Christians Watch Horror Movies?

Horror movies inspire fear, causing our hearts to beat faster and our adrenaline to flow.  Their monsters, murder, and jump scares have won them a dedicated following.  In this episode, we discuss whether Christians have any business watching horror movies.  We talk about where to draw the line and what exactly is problematic about this[…]

Podcast 54: Four More Reasons Why God Exists (Apologetics 5)

Apologetics 5: Arguments for God (Part Two) In this lecture, you’ll learn four more reasons for God’s existence, including the cosmological argument, moral argument, miracles argument, and the ontological argument. These are each quite different from each other, which is great because it increases their cumulative effect. Last of all, you’ll learn about “Pascal’s Wager,”[…]

Interview 7: An Analytic Philosopher Unleashes Logic on the Trinity (Dale Tuggy)

In my previous interview with Professor Dale Tuggy, we discussed his journey of faith.  In this conversation I ask him to discuss logical and biblical problems with the Trinity.  This is a higher level conversation, but well worth the listen if you are at all curious about the Trinity or are interesting in hearing how[…]

Podcast 53: Does God Exist? (Apologetics 4)

Apologetics 4: Teleological Arguments for God’s Existence If someone asked you, “Why do you believe in God?” How would you answer? Sadly, most of us would flounder around, maybe talking about the bible or second-hand miracles. However, philosophers have long identified three classic approaches to reasoning about God’s existence: the ontological, cosmological, and teleological arguments.[…]

Does Christianity Limit Personal Freedom?

Unbelievers often criticize Christianity because of how it takes away personal freedoms.  If I agree to follow Jesus, then I can no longer do as I please; I’m no longer free.  Christians limit sex to marriage.  They don’t party.  Their book won’t let them express themselves without worrying about “corrupt communication.”  I’m sure you’ve come[…]

Kingdom Citizenship

Believing Jesus is Lord and Christ is both religious and political.  Watch this to see how early Christians living in Philippi would have interpreted the gospel message as requiring a radical shift in allegiances from Caesar to Jesus. Here are the slides from this sermon: Here are my notes: Battle of Actium (Sept 2, 31[…]

Interview 6: Dale Tuggy’s Journey

In this interview with philosopher Dr. Dale Tuggy, I ask him questions about his personal spiritual journey.  Dr. Tuggy is an analytic philosopher who works on world religions and the doctrine of the Trinity.  He’s a tenured professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia.  Furthermore, he runs a popular website[…]

Podcast 52: Theism, Atheism, and Pantheism (Apologetics 3)

Apologetics 3: Theism, Atheism, and Pantheism In Building Belief, Chad Meister uses a worldview comparison chart to simplify all the religions of the world into three broad categories: theism, atheism, and pantheism. This strategy will help you to compare and contrast five major aspects of these three worldviews, including theology, ontology, epistemology, axiology, and anthropology.[…]

Off Script 13: Should Christians Watch TV?

What standards should Christians have when it comes to entertainment?  Can the bible offer any guidance for such a modern issue?  Every day shows, movies, books, and songs bombard us with all kinds of ideas and depictions that constantly nudge us in different directions.  Although, we like to think of ourselves as impervious to the[…]

Podcast 51: Pluralism, Post-Modernism, Relativism, and Truth (Apologetics 2)

Apologetics 2: What Is Truth? In order to establish any of the claims of Christianity, we must first make a case for truth itself. How can you hope to provide reasons for God’s existence or Christ’s resurrection if the person your talking to claims, “That’s just your truth, and I’m glad it works for you,[…]

Interview 5: Seeking Truth Wherever It Leads (Brian and Rochelle Allen)

Brian and Rochelle Allen of Vermont share their journey of faith, including how they became discontent with the traditional evangelical doctrines they grew up believing.  In this interview they discuss how recontextualizing the bible in its Hebrew thought-world opened their eyes to understand Jesus so much better.  He is the Jewish Messiah sent to redeem[…]

Podcast 50: Why Defend Your Faith? (Apologetics 1)

Apologetics 1: Introduction Have you ever heard of apologetics? This is the field where Christians seek to provide the reasons for why they believe what they believe. In a post-Christian society, it is increasingly important to understand the reasons for your faith. For example, why do you believe in God’s existence? Why do you think[…]

Interview 4: Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical Healing (Bill and Anne DeNenno)

Some say faith-healing is a charade, concocted by charlatans to build their empires on the backs of the afflicted and suffering.  Others think that Christians who reject healing contradict what Jesus said and did, preferring the comfort of tradition instead of unleashing God’s mighty power.  What do you believe about supernatural healing?  Listen in to[…]

Is the Trinity Biblical?

I’m starting a series of videos assessing the Trinity.  I want to begin by asking, “Does the bible teach the Trinity?”  In order to answer this question, we need to define what we mean.  In one sense the Trinity is biblical and in another it is not.  Watch this video to find out more:

Podcast 49: Abide in Me (Keith Daniel)

How much time do you spend with God alone?  Do you have a quiet time each day for scripture reading and prayer and meditation?  Drawing on the image of the vine in John 15, Keith Daniel passionately advocates for a daily devotional time to abide in him.  He argues that this time is the key[…]

Interview 3: A Letter to a Trinitarian (Hugh Knowlton)

Today Hugh Knowlton joins Restitutio to talk about how to handle important doctrinal differences with other Christians.  So often such intra-Christian discussions generate more heat than light.  Does that mean we should all just ignore our differences, forcing smiles and hoping that no one peers beneath our thin veneer of unity?  Or should we charge[…]

Podcast 48: The Courage of Esther (Sean Finnegan)

Have you heard about Esther’s courage?  She had the audacity to stand for God in an incredibly dark time.  Though the Persian Empire had decreed the genocide of her people, she could have easily remained in the closet about her ethnicity and enjoyed the comforts of the palace.  Nonetheless, she would not stand idly by,[…]

Off Script 12: Forgiveness

What does the bible teach about forgiveness?  Is it optional or mandatory?  Are Christians allowed to hold grudges?  Do we only have to forgive if someone apologizes?  Join us as we discuss four reasons why you should forgive: (1) if we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us; (2) forgiving others makes sense in light[…]

Podcast 47: Resurrection Implications (Richard Hays)

Richard Hays, Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School, explains the incredible effect Jesus’ resurrection has on theology and practice.  His lecture divides into two parts: (1) a proper New Testament understanding of the resurrection requires a robust affirmation of the resurrection of the body and (2) resurrection of the body is a sign[…]

Off Script 11: Resting from Work

This is now our third and last episode in our series on work.  We’ve talked about the Christian work ethic and honorable work (i.e., what sorts of jobs Christians should shoot for as well as avoid) and now today we are talking about work’s opposite: rest.  This is a really important topic to consider.  Listen[…]

Podcast 46: Hospitality Challenge (Sean Finnegan)

What do you believe about hospitality?  The scriptures lay out three major kinds: (1) hospitality to the saints; (2) hospitality to the needy; (3) hospitality to the unbeliever.  As it turns out showing hospitality is an important Christian practice, even if it takes courage to invite others into our houses.  In our present age, hospitality[…]

Off Script 10: Honorable Work, Millennials, and Unemployment

Picking up where we left off last week, we continue discussing the Christian work ethic and, in particular, delve into Max Weber’s “Protestant work ethic” hypothesis.  Next Rose shares about her own career path, including graduating with a 4.0 in graphic design and her two year struggle to find a career job.  After that, we[…]

Podcast 45: Talking with Jesus (John Cortright)

This is now the third in a series of messages related to monotheism.  Having established that the Father of Jesus is the only true God (John 17.3), we must be careful not denigrate or demote Jesus in any way.  He is the perfect one who lived without sin and courageously faced death on behalf of[…]

Off Script 9: Christian Work Ethic

What is the Christian work ethic?  What does the bible say about work?  Join Rose Rider, Sean Finnegan, and Daniel Fitzsimmons for an honest conversation about how the biblical understanding of work challenges us.  Leaning on Ecclesiastes and Proverbs, as well as the epistles of Paul, they share how work is God’s gift to us,[…]

Podcast 44: The Immutable Shema (Sean Finnegan)

by Sean Finnegan The Shema has been the core creed of Judaism from the time of Moses to today.  It stands as an immovable witness to God’s identity as well as our proper relation to him.  Even though Jesus confessed the Shema, most Christians today aren’t familiar with it.  This is because after the New[…]

Hell Research

Reese Watt has researched the biblical doctrine of hell for nearly thirty years.  Here is a graphical representation of what he has found. He classifies all the scriptures that speak on the subject of final punishment into four categories: eternal torment: the “traditional” idea of eternal conscious torment in a blazing, unquenchable, torturous fire annihilation:[…]

Off Script 8: Relativism

Who determines truth?  Is there such a thing as objective truth or are all claims subjective in nature?  Join Rose Rider, Daniel Fitzsimmons, and Sean Finnegan as they discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly about relativism before bringing in a biblical perspective to help you think through this critical issue.

Podcast 43: Identity Theft (Vince Finnegan)

by Vince Finnegan From Exodus and Deuteronomy, God makes clear who he is and how he wants his chosen people to worship him.  He is Yahweh, the one God of Israel, the only one.  His identity does not change.  Sadly, later on God became the victim of identity theft, as Christians developed the dogma of[…]

Interview 2: Jerry Wierwille on Hermeneutics

Have you ever struggled to interpret the bible?  Although many today think only professionals who are trained in seminaries can understand the bible, the truth is that every reader is a theologian to some degree.  The moment you pick up the book and begin reading, you also begin interpreting what you read.  The only question[…]

Translating the Holy Spirit 2

In the first part of this investigation into the holy spirit and translation bias, I limited my focus to relative pronouns used to refer to the holy spirit. In what follows I will broaden my inquiry to include several other key texts and important concepts related to the God’s spirit. First I will discuss in[…]

Sean Finnegan

Podcast 42: My Testimony (Sean Finnegan)

Last week I attended a youth camp in Indiana called FUEL.  They assigned me the text on the Prodigal Son (Luke 15).  As I pondered and prayed how I should approach this powerful parable, I sensed God wanted me to interweave my own story in with the prodigal.  As a result, I decided to share[…]

Interview 1: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Jerry Wierwille)

Drawing on the work of Peter Scazzero, Jerry Wierwille discusses how we can avoid some of the common unhealthy emotional pitfalls. No matter if you are new to the faith or someone who has persevered for decades, this subject will make you examine yourself to see if there are issues you need to overcome. Access[…]

Podcast 41: Counterfeit Gods (Tim Keller)

by Tim Keller What drives you?  What is that one person or thing or dream that you couldn’t live without?  What thing if you lost it, could mean that almost all significance and value would be drained out of your life?  Whatever that thing is, the bible calls it an idol, a counterfeit god.  Tim[…]

Off Script 7: Patriotism

Should Christians be patriotic? How patriotic should we be? Join Daniel Fitzsimmons, Rose Rider, and Sean Finnegan as they discuss issues related to patriotism and stake out a Christian perspective based on the example of Jesus and his earliest followers.

Podcast 40: Resurrection (Historical Jesus 16)

Historical Jesus 16: Resurrection Traumatized by their rabbi’s crucifixion, Jesus’ disciples endured maddening grief and cognitive dissonance as they tried to come to grips with what had happened.  Into the midst of despair and helplessness, Jesus appeared.  Although the first “Christians” were also the worst believers in his resurrection, eventually they came to see him,[…]

Off Script 6: Consumerism

Is consumerism a force for good or ill in our society today?  How should Christians think about the ubiquity of advertising, our innate desire for novelty, and the allure of finding a deal?  For this episode Ruth Finnegan joins in with Daniel Fitzsimmons, Rose Rider, and Sean Finnegan to consider the pros and cons of[…]

Podcast 39: Crucifixion (Historical Jesus 15)

Historical Jesus 15: Crucifixion One of the most significant events in all of human history, Jesus’ crucifixion was at once a supreme miscarriage of justice while, at the same time, the supreme illustration of God’s love to humanity.  We’ll join Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane, agonizing in prayer before his God, to his arrest,[…]

Off Script 5: Scientism

Is scientific knowledge superior to all other forms of knowledge?  How should Christians balance faith and reason?  Join Rose Rider, Daniel Fitzsimmons, and Sean Finnegan as they discuss science and religion in an effort to describe and deconstruct the naive notion that science has all the answers. Read a detailed article on Scientism here.

Podcast 38: Last Supper (Historical Jesus 14)

Historical Jesus 14: Last Supper Why did Judas betray Jesus?  What did Jesus teach his closest friends and followers at the last supper?  Learn about the first “Lord’s Supper” or communion as well as what was on Jesus’ mind in his last hours before his arrest.  He taught them how to carry on after he[…]

The Gospel of the Kingdom as Motivation for Repentance

“For Yahweh of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased.” Isaiah 2.12 Introduction This paper was inspired by the phrase “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3.2; 4.17; Mark 1.15). There are[…]

Podcast 37: Olivet Discourse (Historical Jesus 13)

Historical Jesus 13: Olivet Discourse Did Jesus predict the destruction of the Temple in a.d. 70?  Did he predict the end of the world?  Learn about Jesus’ Olivet Discourse and discover what he said about false Christs, persecution, the abomination of desolation, and the coming of the son of man. Course notes are available here.

Off Script 4: Progress

Is the world getting better and better over time or worse and worse?  Listen in to Rose Rider, Daniel Fitzsimmons, and Sean Finnegan as they discuss how our culture thinks about progress in order to help you understand the hidden forces at work.  After discussing and deconstructing the idea of progress, they offer a helpful[…]

Podcast 36: Intensified Conflict (Historical Jesus 12)

Historical Jesus 12: Intensified Conflict Once Jesus came into Jerusalem, his enemies threw “stumper questions” at him in an effort to discredit him before the populace.  Jesus ably diffused these theological bombs and lobbed his own in return.  He told parables about the religious leaders that infuriated them while delighting the crowds.  Coupled with his[…]

Consumerism

This is part 6 of a series of posts called, “Identifying and Subverting Cultural Narratives.” Consumerism capitalizes on the thrill of buying something new even when you don’t need it. In order to keep people buying, advertisers craft penetrating messages to inspire dissatisfaction or fear that buying their product or service can assuage. Consumers must[…]

Habits of a Disciple: Giving

This is part seven of a series of posts called Habits of a Disciple. When we lived in Georgia, Ruth and I visited Creflo Dollar’s church, the World Changer Dome, for a Sunday service. We went to fulfill an assignment for our preaching class to attend a service different from our own tradition and write[…]

Off Script 3: Tolerance

Join Sean Finnegan, Dan Fitzsimmons, and Rose Rider for some interesting cultural analysis.  We begin by looking at how the ethic of tolerance works in our culture before deconstructing it and providing a Christian point of view.  Though many times tolerance can be a force for good, sometimes people use it as a stick to[…]

Podcast 35: Entering Jerusalem (Historical Jesus 11)

Historical Jesus 11: Entering Jerusalem When Jesus entered Jerusalem, it was not quietly, but triumphantly, riding a donkey while the crowds shout, “Hosanna!”  This moment brings to and end his “messianic secret” and publicly declares to everyone that he was claiming to be the Jewish Messiah.  His action in the temple further underlined this claim. […]

Scientism

This is part 5 of a series of posts called, “Identifying and Subverting Cultural Narratives.” Scientism is the idea that the kind of knowledge gained from the scientific method is superior to all other means of acquiring knowledge if there are any other legitimate means. Scientism exalts empirical data and analysis over intuition, logic, emotion,[…]

Off Script 2: Hyper-Individualism

Daniel Fitzsimmons and I probe the culture by discussing one of the most influential hidden philosophies of life in our culture today–hyper-individualism.  In a nut shell, hyper-individualism is a two step process: search within your heart to discover your deepest longings realize your dreams over against any external resistance This mindset has benefits and detriments[…]

Podcast 34: Conflict (Historical Jesus 10)

Historical Jesus 10: Conflict From his birth to his untimely death, conflict dominated Jesus’ life.  During his ministry the Pharisees disagreed with Jesus about the Sabbath, purity, divorce, and his style of ministry.  Jesus called them out on pride, greed, and hypocrisy.  Looking at how Jesus handled conflict serves as an example to those of[…]

Progressivism

This is part 4 of a series of posts called, “Identifying and Subverting Cultural Narratives.” Over the course of time, humanity has made incredible progress. Slavery was once a widespread and accepted institution, but it is almost universally outlawed today. Workers’ rights, including child labor and equal opportunity employment, have made great strides in the[…]

Off Script 1: Seeing the Filter

In what ways is the culture putting a filter over your eyes?  How is our world rewriting your script, adjusting your plausibility intuitions?  For our first ever “Off Script” episode, I’m joined by two cohosts, Dan Fitzsimmons and Rose Rider, to discuss how our culture influences our lives as well as how to share the[…]

Podcast 33: Jewish Groups (Historical Jesus 9)

Historical Jesus 9: Jewish Groups In order to understand Jesus, it helps to know what kinds of Jewish groups were around in his time.  In particular, four massively influential Jewish groups vied for influence among the people of Christ’s time: the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots.  Learn how Jesus compares and contrasts to these sects. […]

Hospitality and Evangelism

When is the last time you had a non-Christian over for dinner?  Although the bible repeatedly tells us to show hospitality to the stranger, we rarely apply that to those outside the household of faith.  However, if you think of hospitality as a way to develop friendships with unbelievers and live out your Christianity authentically[…]

Tolerance

This is part 3 of a series of posts called, “Identifying and Subverting Cultural Narratives.” Tolerance is the idea that everyone should have the freedom to be themselves. You shouldn’t try to change people or hold them to your standards. You certainly shouldn’t push your religion on others. Religion is a private matter, so proselytizing[…]

Podcast 32: Paradoxical Submission (Historical Jesus 8)

Historical Jesus 8: Paradoxical Submission Jesus enjoyed an intimate relationship with his Father.  He often spent time with him in prayer, sometimes all night long.  Throughout his ministry Jesus frequently spoke about how his words and deeds were not his own, but the Father’s who sent him.  Paradoxically, by utterly submitting himself to God, he[…]

Hyper-Individualism

This is part 2 of a series of posts called, “Identifying and Subverting Cultural Narratives.”  Read part one here. In my last post, “Seeing the Filter,” I considered how the culture is constantly nudging our sense of normal, scripting and re-scripting what we think will make us safe and happy. The world puts filters over[…]

Stanley Hauerwas on Finding the Right Person

Are you holding out hope for someone to come along who will fit with you so well that you won’t have to change a thing?  Do you think God has one person picked out just for you with whom you can find lasting happiness?  Are you deferring marrying your girlfriend/boyfriend on the basis that maybe[…]

Podcast 31: Disciples of Jesus (Historical Jesus 7)

Historical Jesus 7: Disciples of Jesus What does Jesus expect of his followers?  What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?  What is the cost of discipleship?  Join me as I work through what Jesus said about his expectations and requirements of his disciples as well as the rewards he promises.  This is[…]

What Happens When We Die?

Check out Dustin Smith’s Ten Minute Truth Talk for a short, funny, and informative account on what the bible teaches about where persons go when they die.  In his presentation he puts forward the doctrine called “the sleep of the dead,” which teaches the dead are unconscious until the resurrection when Jesus returns.

Seeing the Filter

This is part 1 of a series of posts called, “Identifying and Subverting Cultural Narratives.” Last week I learned how to surf at Jacksonville Beach in Florida. While I was in the ocean, I constantly battled the waves pushing me towards the beach and the undertow pulling me back towards the sea. However, it was[…]

Podcast 30: Rabbi Jesus (Historical Jesus 6)

Historical Jesus 6: Rabbi Jesus Jesus was a Jewish rabbi who gathered disciples and taught them how to interpret the Torah–the sacred Scriptures of Moses.  Learn how Jesus’ compared to other famous Jewish rabbis like Hillel and Shamai.  In this episode, we’ll look at Jesus’ emphases and style in his teaching ministry.  Anyone seeking to[…]

Tim Keller on the Kingdom on Earth

I was listening to Tim Keller’s sermon called “Culture” in his series, The Vision of Redeemer, and encountered this amazing summary of the Christian hope: In the future you have all these cultural activities going on.  Why?  Because our future is a material future.  The book of Revelation makes it very clear.  At the end[…]

Podcast 29: Kingdom Saturated Ministry (Historical Jesus 5)

Historical Jesus 5: Kingdom Saturated Ministry How should you understand Jesus’ miracles, healing ministry, and exorcisms?  Surely, these are acts of compassion, but they are so much more.  In this lecture, learn how Jesus’ deeds and words coalesce around his primary ministry focus–the kingdom of God.  By examining three ancient Hebrew prophecies, you’ll see how[…]

Podcast 28: Baptism and Temptations (Historical Jesus 4)

Historical Jesus 4: Baptism and Temptations Before he began his ministry, Jesus first had to receive John’s baptism and then overcome Satan’s temptations.  After briefly explaining his baptism, we’ll go into detail exploring why Satan’s temptations were so tempting as well as what we can learn from Jesus’ example.  How does Jesus defeat Satan where[…]

Why Did Jesus Die? (Paper for 2016 Theological Conference)

Why Did Jesus Die? Exploring the Multifaceted Biblical Doctrine of the Atonement from a Biblical Unitarian Perspective Presented at Restoration Fellowship’s 25th Theological Conference in Hampton, GA on April 29, 2016 by Sean Finnegan (restitutio.org) Here is the PDF Abstract In part one, I categorize and summarize what the New Testament documents say about the[…]

Podcast 27: Rulers in Christ’s World (Historical Jesus 3)

Historical Jesus 3: Rulers in Christ’s World Life was very different in the world of Jesus, especially politics.  In this lecture you will learn about the three main leaders that shaped Jesus’ time: Herod the Great, Herod Antipas, and Pontius Pilate.  Drawing on the Jewish historian, Josephus, you will discover the cut-throat way that Roman[…]

Jesus’ Spiritual Warfare during His Passion

Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion put on display a rampant and unrestrained unfairness and cruelty that is hard to understand apart from demonic influence.  The night of Jesus’ arrest, the Jewish elders—men respected for their dignity and leadership—degenerated into madness as they spat on my Jesus, blindfolded him, and beat him.  “Prophesy,” they commanded. “Who[…]

Steve Chalke on Holiness

As the American theologian Walter Wink puts it, “Holiness [not sin] becomes contagious in Jesus’ ministry.”  Jesus demonstrates that, far from being something brittle that needs to be protected, true holiness is God’s robust cleansing and including agent.  Instead of Jesus’ holiness driving him into isolation, it compels him to get out on the streets[…]

N. T.Wright on Eternal Life

I came across this statement from N. T. Wright’s commentary on Romans 5.18-21 in which he ably explains the meaning of “eternal life” The reign of grace goes forward at speed towards its goal, which is the life of the age to come, the time when God will usher in the new creation in which[…]

Podcast 26: Birth of the Messiah (Historical Jesus 2)

Historical Jesus 2: Birth of the Messiah Drawing on the promises God gave Abraham and David, and the historical events prior to Jesus’ life, we can get an idea of what messianic expectations were like when Jesus of Nazareth was born.  In this lecture, learn how the birth of the messiah both fulfilled prophecy as[…]

Great Discussions on the Atonement

I’m working on a paper for the upcoming Theological Conference on Atonement and I re-listened to Dale Tuggy’s interview with Joshua Thurlow in his Trinities podcast.  Thurow’s “Communal Substitutionary Atonement” theory fascinates me.  If you’ve ever puzzled over the question, “Why did Jesus have to die?” or “What did Jesus’ death accomplish?” then give these[…]

Podcast 25: Sources for Jesus’ Life (Historical Jesus 1)

The Historical Jesus: What the Bible Says about the Life of Christ In this 16 lecture class I seek to answer the question: “Who is Jesus?” Join me as we journey through Gospels to see what the bible says about Jesus’ life. It is my hope that this class will inspire you to love Jesus,[…]

Tim Keller on Christian Marriage at Google

Tim Keller deftly explains the classic Christian view of marriage at Google.  His endearing style combines with his honest approach to show how attractive and relevant the biblical view of marriage is in our present day.  Whether you are married or thinking about getting married some day, this talk will help you.

Victor Gluckin

Podcast 24: Now Is Our Time To Speak (Victor Gluckin)

by Victor Gluckin In this fantastic evangelism sermon, Victor Gluckin lays out a biblical case for why we should reach out and share our faith with others.  His zeal is contagious, his reasoning cogent, and his passion inspiring.  If you are anything like me, you need to be encouraged in this area of your Christian[…]

Habits of a Disciple: Evangelism

This is part six of a series of posts called Habits of a Disciple. It was a warm sunny day when Sal, Jaired, and I went to Washington Park in Albany looking for someone to talk to about the gospel. It was Sal’s turn. He had watched me talk to some folks, but now he[…]

Podcast 23: Let Us Make Man (Sean Finnegan)

by Sean Finnegan In Genesis 1.26, God says, “Let us make man in our image.”  Since this is the creation of humanity, he couldn’t have been speaking to any humans.  So whom was God speaking to?  One common interpretation is to say he was speaking to another person within his being–God the Son.  But, this[…]

10 Minute Truth Talks: The Father Being the Only True God

Check out Dustin Smith’s explanation of the only true God’s identity in his first ever 10 Minute Truth Talk: Edited by Josiah Cain and Jacob Paura For those who want to donate towards the production of future videos, go here: paypal.me/10mintruthtalks

Podcast 22: Allow Me To Reintroduce the Christ (Blair Wingo)

by Blair Wingo Authentic Christianity requires both believing the biblical gospel as well as following Christ.  Too often today we want to believe in Jesus as savior without following as lord.  In this moving poem Blair Wingo sets the record straight.  She appeals to the bible as the source for reintroducing the real Christ rather[…]

Podcast 21: Should We Worship Jesus? (Sean Finnegan)

Most Christians never give worshiping Jesus a second thought.  However, as biblical unitarians–those who believe the Father is the only true God–we do need to wrestle with this question.  Some have argued that worshiping Jesus is tantamount to idolatry since we should only worship God.  Others have taken the view that we can worship Jesus[…]

Habits of a Disciple: Fellowship

This is part five of a series of posts called Habits of a Disciple. As I stood on the sidewalk, relieved that the heat of the summer day had finally passed, the sounds and sights of the street washed over my senses like a tidal wave over a levee. Everywhere people were spilling out onto[…]

Podcast 20: Shocking Youth Message (Paul Washer)

by Paul Washer In this convicting sermon Paul Washer exposes the unholiness that pervades much of Christian youth culture.  Although I do not agree with much of what Washer stands for, this message of his significantly affected my life.  It not only inspired me to live for God wholeheartedly, but also exposed the sneaky ways[…]

Habits of a Disciple: Serving

This is part four of a series of posts called Habits of a Disciple. I used to wait tables at Long Horn Steakhouse when I was going to the Atlanta Bible College. It was a great job for a lot of reasons. In particular it taught me about service. You see, my title was “server.”[…]

Podcast 19: Death Then What? (Sean Finnegan)

by Sean Finnegan What happens when people die?  In this sermon I mention show the biblical “evidence” for heaven, hell, purgatory, ghosts, and reincarnation before revealing the overwhelming number of texts supporting the sleep of the dead.  Focusing on John’s Gospel, I establish that (1) the dead are in their tombs asleep until they hear[…]

Bible Translation Like Telephone Game?

Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t see how you can trust the bible.  It started out in Hebrew then it was translated into Greek and then Latin before coming into old English and, last of all, modern English?”  This is such a unfounded criticism though it sounds pretty convincing.  Here are the facts.[…]

Conflict in Jesus’ Ministry

“Conflict plays a large part in the Gospel narratives of the ministry of Jesus…Jesus is shown in conflict with Satan (Mt 12:28)…with natural calamities likes storms…with mental illnesses…with religious leaders of his people…with the crowds he draws…with his family…with his disciples…and he is in conflict with his own instinctive clinging to life…when it comes in[…]

Habits of a Disciple: Prayer and Fasting

This is part three of a series of posts called Habits of a Disciple. There’s something humbling about asking for help. Think of a stubborn man who refuses to ask for directions, though he’s completely lost. Why does he persist? Why doesn’t he pull into some gas station and get help? I suppose it is[…]

Podcast 18: Eternal Security: Steve Gregg vs. Tom Morris

Steve Gregg vs. Tom Morris Once you become saved can you lose your salvation?  Listen to this debate to hear both sides of this important question.  Admittedly, the debate does seem to be a bit of a mismatch, since Gregg is extremely well prepared and Morris could not answer many of Gregg’s points.  Even so,[…]

Habits of a Disciple: Scripture Reading

This is part two of a series of posts called Habits of a Disciple. Today the entire bible is available in 554 languages. Over forty writers contributed to it over 1,500 years. It is the most accessible book in the world today with countless websites, apps, and paper copies available absolutely free. All of this[…]

Podcast 17: Follow (Sean Finnegan)

by Sean Finnegan According to Jesus no one should call him “Lord” if he or she does not do what he says.  In other words, Christ says he wants followers not merely believers.  Although hippie Jesus, one-and-done Jesus, American Jesus, prosperity Jesus, poverty Jesus, and part-time Jesus all vie for all attention, we encounter the[…]

Habits of a Disciple: Introduction

This is part one of a series of posts called Habits of a Disciple. Imagine an alien observing a man walking his dog from outer space. The dog leaves the house first followed by a rope attached to a man carrying a plastic bag. The dog leads the man down the road until it has[…]

Podcast 16: Ten Shekels and a Shirt (Paris Reidhead)

by Paris Reidhead One of the most famous classic sermons of all time, Paris Reidhead’s “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” calls into question why you serve God?  From his account of missionary work to his observations of historic Christian preaching to other movements occurring in his own day, Reidhead weaves together an inspiring and very[…]

Podcast 15: A Theology of Nonviolence (Sean Finnegan)

by Sean Finnegan I presented this talk at the 18th Theological Conference held near Atlanta, GA.  In it I present a case for the radical practice of loving our enemies.  Whether you believe Christians can and should use violence to defend themselves or others or if you think more along the lines of Christian pacifism,[…]

Another Method for Reading the Bible with Someone

I have already posted about how to invite someone to read the bible with you as well as what to do at your first meeting.  In this post, I want to describe the COMA method for one-to-one bible reading.  Whereas asking questions like “What struck you about the text?” or “What questions does this scripture[…]

Podcast 14: My Story, His Glory (Joel Hemphill)

by Joel Hemphill In this short but revealing testimony, famed southern gospel singer Joel Hemphill tells his journey from oneness to one.  Growing up in the “Jesus only” movement, he preached and sung about Jesus as God until the Father began to show him the light.  His transparent honesty comes through as he narrates of[…]

Explanations to Verses Commonly Used to Teach that Jesus Is God

by Sean Finnegan Isn’t it interesting how one statement can be shocking and controversial in one setting and totally mundane in another? For example, if someone came into a room of NASCAR enthusiasts and said, “Racing is so boring to watch—all they do is take left turns over and over,” immediately all activity in the[…]

Podcast 13: What’s Your Script? (Sean Finnegan)

by Sean Finnegan According to Hebrew bible expert, Walter Bruegemann, all of us live by a script.  He contends that our society is constantly scripting us with technological, therapeutic, consumer militarism.  In the words of the Apostle Paul, we must fight this tendency by refusing to conform to this world but be transformed by the[…]

How to Invite Someone to Read the Bible

Have you ever thought of reading the bible with a non-Christian?  The idea is simple yet profound.  Do you have any friends, acquaintances, co-workers, or family members who are not yet believers, but that you think might agree to read the bible with you?  Step one is figuring out whom you want to ask. Start[…]

Podcast 12: Don’t Let Them Go (Keith Daniel)

by Keith Daniel So often husbands make grandiose declarations in the heat of the moment whereby they bind themselves to a destructive or vengeful course of action that inevitably results in shipwrecking their marriages.  In this powerful sermon Keith Daniel provides sage advice for husbands and wives to stick together through the toughest times.  As[…]

Young Adults Open to Reading the Bible with You

In reading David Helm’s excellent book, One to One Bible Reading, I came across the following statistic about how open young adults are to reading the bible with a friend: We asked a total of 1,000 twenty-something unchurched people (900 American, 100 Canadian), and we compared them to a sample of 500 older unchurched (which[…]

Why Not Read the Bible through This Year?

Have you heard of the bible project.  I’ve watched a number of their videos and the ones I’ve seen are excellent.  Here’s a little video they put together about reading through the bible in a year.  We spend so much time absorbing television, youtube videos, and social media, but how can we hope to resist[…]

Podcast 11: Wrestling against Spiritual Forces (Sean Finnegan)

by Sean Finnegan Ephesians 6.12 tells us our struggle is not really against other humans but against spiritual forces.  Learn how malignant powers influence people both directly (through demon possession) and indirectly (through the culture).  Hopefully, this message will open your eyes to what is happening behind the scenes as Satan works to keep people[…]