Interview 29: God’s Faithful Minister (John McCave)

John McCave has faithfully served God as a minister for 36 years.  In this interview he shares his story of how God brought him from a hardened tough guy to a humble servant, motivated by love.  McCave also shares key insights he’s gained along the way, especially with regard to his wife, Mary without whose[…]

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[…]

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:[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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,[…]

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[…]

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,[…]

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. […]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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 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 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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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 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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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 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 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,[…]

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.

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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.

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 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[…]

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[…]

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.”[…]

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[…]

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 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,[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Lee Camp on Following Christ

Jesus of Nazareth, the Gospel accounts relate, always comes asking disciples to follow him–not merely “accept him,” not merely “believe in him,” not merely “worship him,” but to follow him: one either follows Christ, or one does not.  There is no compartmentalization of the faith, no realm, no sphere, no business, no politic in which[…]

Podcast 4: A Biblical Theology of Finance (Craig Blomberg)

by Craig Blomberg This is one of those areas where, as a preacher, I can’t help but be very sensitive.  Although most pastors struggle with just enough to get by, a few have amassed great wealth or even embezzled people’s contributions.  Because of some very public bad examples, people tend to be leery of listening[…]