118 Zwingli and the Swiss Anabaptists (Five Hundred 3)

Learn about the Swiss Reformation, spearheaded by Ulrich Zwingli in Zurich as well as the formation of the sect of Anabaptists known as the Swiss Brethren, including Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, and George Blaurock. Key events covered in this episode include: 1519 Ulrich Zwingli begins Reformation in Zurich 1529 Zwingli and Luther part ways over[…]

117 Luther and Calvin (Five Hundred 2)

In this episode, you’ll get a brief introduction to the contributions of Martin Luther and John Calvin to the initiation and spread of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, including these events: 1505 Martin Luther becomes a monk 1517 Martin Luther nails 95 Theses on Wittenberg church door 1524-5 Peasants War 1536 John Calvin[…]

116 Introduction (Five Hundred 1)

500 years ago, there was only one Christian denomination throughout most of the world. 500 years ago, the church and the government killed those who resisted tradition. 500 years ago, no one could read the bible in their own language. How did we get from there to here? Discover the wild and exciting story of[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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,[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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.[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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 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,[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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,”[…]

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.[…]

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.[…]

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,[…]

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[…]

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,[…]

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,[…]

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[…]

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.

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[…]

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. […]

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[…]

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. […]

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[…]

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[…]