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The Good Citizen Podcast
31 minutes | Dec 25, 2019
#110 Explaining Christ’s Exclusive Claim in a Plural World
Quick note: The Good Citizen Podcast will be on break next week and will return on Tuesday, January 7, 2020. Christmas contains a controversial claim. Luke 2:11 states, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Jesus claimed to be more than a good teacher and healer. He claimed to King and the only way to heaven (John 14:6). Does Jesus’ claim that He is the only way to Heaven lead to pride and even oppression, as some claim? Is following your own truth a better way to live your life and order society? Here are our thoughts on why Jesus’ claim is exactly the exclusive claim needed by our diverse society. Key points: Everyone makes exclusive claims.All exclusive claims can’t be true.Exactly this exclusive claim is needed these days.
44 minutes | Dec 19, 2019
#109 The Monarch in the Manger: A Reflection on Christmas, Kingdom and Calling
By now, you’ve probably heard of Baby Yoda, the cute, small and non-verbal star of the Disney+ show The Mandolorian. In case you haven’t seen this yet, I will just share this part of the story: the remnant of the evil Empire wants to kill this small creature because it has the potential to affect the entire galaxy. Sound familiar? I thought so. A little over 2,000 years ago, a troubled Roman governor sought the life of a small child because of an old prophecy that the child would become king of the Jews. But, the chief priests and scribes that Herod queried left something out. That prophecy in Micah contained a much more powerful (and if you were Herod) terrifying claim: this child wasn’t just the King of the Jews. He was the high King of the universe come to inaugurate his redemptive and revolutionary reign. So, Disney+, thanks for the reminder. Because of the busyness of the season, I often find it easy to gloss over the glory and profundity of the Christmas story. This year, because I have been doing a good bit of study on government, etc., Christ’s kingship and kingdom stood out to me in a new way. And, I wanted to share that with you. Here’s a recent sermon on that topic titled “The Monarch in The Manger.” Outline ChristmasKingdomCalling Key Takeaways Christmas isn’t a solitary event. Rather, it was the continuation of the Biblical meta-narrative begun at Eden and the fulfillment of a promise made to Abraham.The Jews waited numerous centuries and endured several conquests prior to the birth of Christ. By the time Christ was born, they were about 60 years into Roman domination. We get impatient when God doesn’t work in a few days or months. The Jews waited centuries.The word kingdom appears approximately 117 times in the New Testament, but do we really know what it means?What we miss about the end of the Christmas (and Christian) story.Summary: This Christmas, don’t dream of a snow. Pray for a Reign.
40 minutes | Dec 10, 2019
#108 A New Vision for Church/State Partnerships with Senator Andy Zay
The church and the state are often seen as opponents, but what if they were partners? Now, before someone screams “separation of church and state,” please note that I am a strong proponent of the institutional separation of church and state.. But, when it comes to some of our most complex problems such as the drug crisis, the foster care crisis and the general breakdown of the family, there are numerous opportunities for church and state to work together for the common good. Meet Indiana Senator Andy Zay (District 17), who is helping spearhead such partnerships in the Hoosier state and who recently shared his vision with me. Key takeaways from the conversation: His calling to public life–his concern for his neighbors and his community led him to run for office.What led him to author the CarePortal legislation.A new vision for church/state partnerships.What if the church could solve 50% to 60% of the problems/needs that require public welfare programs?His work on the opioid epidemic and how churches can help.Encouragement to the church to recapture its historic role in American society.
40 minutes | Dec 3, 2019
#107 What are the Biblical Roles of Church and State? with Greg Baker
From the Old Testament prophets and kings to the current controversy over Trump’s “court evangelicals” (such as Paula White), the relationship between the throne and the altar has always been a thorny and complex one–prone to misunderstanding and even abuse by one or both institutions. So, what does Scripture say about this relationship? And, how can we successfully apply these principles now and engage government in a Biblical way? To answer these questions, we have a return guest: Greg Baker, the Director of the Church Ambassador Network at The Family Leader in Iowa and the Director of The Daniel Initiative (a similar effort that has now launched in 10 states from Arizona to Florida to New Hampshire). Greg’s work has drawn national attention and has even been highlighted by CBN news. In this discussion, we do a deep dive on three perennial questions: What is the role of the church (as it relates to public life)?What is the role of the state?How should these two God-ordained institutions interact? For more information about the Family Leader and the Church Ambassador Network, access their website here.
41 minutes | Nov 26, 2019
#106 4 Steps to Gospel-Centered Citizenship in 2020
Elections, like Christmas, seem to be coming earlier and earlier each year (full disclosure, our Christmas tree was up two weeks ago). Though the 2020 general election is a little less than a year away, it is already front and center in public life. And, 2020 is shaping up to be an incredibly divisive and difficult year. Our national argument–I mean conversation–continues to grow sharper and louder. Our society is defaulting back to socio-political tribalism, and our shared values and national identity continue to fade out. That said, as Christians, we are called to proclaim and live out the gospel in every area of our lives (Matthew 28:16-20; Matthew 5:16), including in our role as citizen. But, how exactly are we supposed to do that in an increasingly polarized and post-Christian society? Here’s how. Understand Biblical PrinciplesKnow Your HistoryStudy Your GovernmentBe a Good Citizen Key Takeaways: Why Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday (which may or may not be motivated by a turkey attacking me as a child!).The proper role of church and state and how they have been conflated over the centuries.An all-star line up of Christian citizens down through the ages and what they can teach us as American citizens.An application of Biblical principles about government to the American democratic republic.Guiding principles on how to apply your faith to your role as citizen in 2020!
46 minutes | Nov 20, 2019
#105 The Clearinghouse Model for Community Impact with Karla Whisenand and Saundra Box
Most church leaders and other committed Christians I meet want to serve and impact their community. And, most community leaders I meet recognize numerous needs and problems in the community. So, the problem is connecting the church’s energy and resources to the greatest needs in the community. One great way to solve this dilemma is through a clearinghouse ministry. Such ministries build relationships with numerous churches on one side, build relationships with community leaders and organizations on the other and then connects the two. For example, most churches and especially church leaders are not equipped to or do not have the margin to provide a full-service food bank, monitor charitable efforts for fraud or abuse, help individuals in a strategic way so that assistance is a “hand up” rather than a “hand out” and give ongoing training on basic issues such as budgeting and parenting. This is where a clearinghouse ministry is invaluable. I was recently introduced to Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC) of Greater Hancock County, which is a part of a national movement of similar clearinghouse ministries across the US and abroad. Karla Whisenand, the Executive Director of Love Inc, and Saundra Box, the Clearinghouse Coordinator, recently joined me on the podcast to explain their ministry and how churches in other communities can reproduce this effort. These two are a dynamic duo, and I was so blessed by their love for Christ and the joy with which they serve their community! Key Takeaways: Love INC’s description of its ministry: a collaboration between local churches and their community (agencies, ministries, government, schools) to provide effective help for the disadvantaged. How Love Inc encourages churches to work together Why Love Inc does not focus on giving out financial assistanceWhy many individual’s felt needs are not their greatest needs and why a comprehensive response to such needs is the best response (for example, a call for a free mattress probably signals inability to find work, lack of budgeting skills, etc.)Great stories about Love Inc helping individuals in Greenfield. Karla discusses how she led the ministry while fighting a personal battle with cancer and discusses an amazing answer to prayer! Love INC operates in Hancock County, a county of about 75,000 just east of Indianapolis. Here are some recent stats showing the ministries impact in a year: Number of Calls received and processed: 1,087Numbers of Needs expressed by callers: 1,530Numbers of Church Referrals: 874Needs satisfied through Acts of Service: 198Needs satisfied through Product Ministries: 1,400Needs satisfied with Financial Assistance: $37,054Number of Volunteers: Over 1,700Volunteer Hours (estimated): Over 6,600
41 minutes | Nov 14, 2019
#104 The Call to Public Life with Pastor Micah Beckwith
When most Christians think of the word “call” or “calling,” they probably associate it with a call to preach or to church leadership such as Samuel’s call to the priesthood in I Samuel 3. However, Scripture also speaks of another type of calling: a call to serve in public life. In I Samuel 16, God (through Samuel) clearly called David to serve as a king. The story of Esther is another great example. She was placed by God in a position of influence in the Persian Empire to save the Jews from Genocide (Esther 4:14). Further, Romans 13:1 reads, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” It follows that some Christians in a participatory democratic republic (to be specific) will be called by God to serve in government. Well, let me introduce you to a young pastor that evidences just such a call on his life: Micah Beckwith. Micah Beckwith is a pastor at Northview Church in Carmel, Indiana; an entrepreneur and a worship leader. He is married to a former Miss Indiana, has two young kids and is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. To learn more about Micah, you can follow him on social media. I recently interviewed Micah about his call to public life, his understanding of what Scriptures says about church and state and how he practically lives out his faith in public life. Key Takeaways: The Bible’s teaching on the roles of church and state.A great Top Gun example!Why Micah should try out for the Indianpolis Pacers next year!The importance of speaking with grace and truth! Sometimes, the church leans so far into the grace part of the equation that it fails to speak truth to culture and power. How to live out the gospel in public life while still serving everyone in a diverse district. Disclaimer: Bold Church Initiative is ministry recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization, and this podcast is not an endorsement of Micah Beckwith’s candidacy. Rather, this interview focuses on Micah’s public theology and walk with Christ. Further, the views expressed by Micah are his views and are not the official position of Northview Church or its other pastors.
36 minutes | Nov 5, 2019
#103 How to Start a Foster Care and Adoption Ministry with Suzy Roth
Most church leaders and other committed Christians recognize that (1) we are in the midst of the foster care crisis (fueled in part by the drug crisis) and that (2) we are called to minister to the fatherless in their affliction (James 1:27). But, how exactly should you and/or your church engage this issue in a strategic and effective way? Here’s how. In this interview, Suzy Roth from Hands of Hope, a foster care and adoption ministry, walks through practical and comprehensive ways you and your church can get involved. Key Takeaways: 50% of foster parents quit after their first year, or their first placement. Because of this, Hands of Hope encourages churches to build care communities around foster families (both in and outside of the church), and this strategy has lowered drop-out rates to 10%.This Care Community strategy is a great way to engage the entire church (and not just specific families) in the effort.Hands of Hope is the implementing partner of the CarePortal, a new effort in Indiana to engage churches to keep kids out of foster care (see episode #94 for the legislative backstory to this effort).We discussed the importance of bridging gaps, such as simple items like toiletry items for kids removed from their homes.Hands of Hope also sponsors a week or two of summer camp just for foster kids and puts on Family Advocacy Ministry clinics to equip churches to get involved in foster care and adoption.
47 minutes | Oct 26, 2019
#102 Courage at UC Berkeley with Isabella Chow
Most orthodox Christian churches and institutions continue to wrestle with how to winsomely express Biblical teachings on sexuality and gender. In fact, one Missouri church recently discovered that even a winsome and loving sermon on the Christian sexual ethic and especially gender roles can invite scrutiny and censure. For this reason, we need examples of speaking with grace and truth that we can learn from and follow. Well, meet Isabella Chow, who is an incredible example of speaking the truth in love. In fact, her clear and compassionate explanation of Scriptural principles remains a masterclass in cultural apologetics. Here’s a brief reminder about her story. In November of 2018, this student senator at UC Berkeley abstained from voting for a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s decision to revert the definition of sex in Title IX to biological sex (this had been changed without an act of Congress under the previous administration). In summary, she declined to support a pro-LGBTQ resolution and then explained her decision. Here’s an article with the full text of her statement. As you can probably imagine, a firestorm ensued. In this interview, I asked Isabella about her experience at UC Berkeley, her spiritual formation, what she is doing now and what the church can learn from her experience. Four observations about/lessons from Isabella’s statement: She began with an affirmation of equal human dignityShe referenced relationships built prior to the crisisShe clearly explained the Biblical sexual ethicShe explained that Biblical truth concerning sexuality is good for everyone, not just Christians.
45 minutes | Oct 16, 2019
#101 First: 5 Lessons from Adoniram and Ann Judson
They are considered America’s first foreign missionaries; and, their story of dedication, sacrifice, adventure and triumph is one for the ages. Here are 5 lessons from the lives of Adoniram and Ann Judson: Surrender is CompleteScripture is Your CompassSuffering will ComeSow with ConfidenceCelebrate with a Crowd Key Takeaways: Though Adoniram and Ann are best known for their missionary endeavors, they were also examples of good citizenship in their adopted country.Walk with me through Adoniram’s dramatic conversion from deism, his lightning courtship of Ann, their complete dedication to the Great Commission, their terrible sacrifices and their incredible impact in Burma (now Myanmar) and the world.In summary: Don’t keep up with the Joneses. Follow Jesus like the Judsons.
45 minutes | Oct 8, 2019
#100 Addiction Recovery with Mayor Mike Ochs, Pastor Caleb Reynolds and Pastor Kent Stroud
It sounds like the start of a bad joke… a Baptist minister, a Wesleyan minister and a Nazarene minister all walked into city hall. But, the gospel impact these pastors are making in North Vernon, Indiana is no laughing matter. I was recently invited to attend a time of prayer with the mayor of this Midwestern city and was blown away by what I experienced. A group of pastors gathers every week at town hall to pray for the Mayor and to ask how they can help their city. This group of pastors also started a chaplaincy program in a local factory, recently received a $65,000 donation from that factory to build an addiction recovery home and is now running the Potter’s House, a faith-based addictions recovery program for men. This program has been so successful that it has been highlighted by the major newspaper in Columbus, Indiana and by Outreach Magazine, a national publication. Key takeaways: Why Mayor Mike Ochs initiated a time of voluntary prayer on his lunch hour one day a week.How these pastors started a chaplaincy program at (of all places) a local factory.Why Indiana passed the Indiana Displaced Workers Act and how the church can help individuals coming out of jail find work.The great story about one Potter’s House graduate (who was formerly homeless) serving on a community board that addresses homelessness.Lessons about leading a church toward an outward focus.Great thought, “The world has the right to expect the church to be different.”
31 minutes | Oct 1, 2019
#99 Keys to Gospel-Centered Citizenship with John Stonestreet
I recently had the opportunity to interview John Stonestreet, the President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, about gospel-centered citizenship in post-Christian America. If you are unfamiliar with John’s work and especially the Breakpoint podcast, he is a nationally-respected commentator on faith and culture, theology, worldview, education and apologetics. I especially appreciate his humorous, perceptive and Biblical commentary on our cultural moment. Key takeaways from the conversation: Two observations about Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s (and any other politician’s) use of Scripture to justify political positions.Advice to pastors on speaking up about Biblical truth in the midst of increased political polarization. An explanation of the two predominant views of freedom and why a proper view of freedom is critical to the advance of the gospel and the preservation of the American republic.Why the increasingly apparent bankruptcy of the sexual revolution and other unbiblical ideas present an opportunity to the church.Practical thoughts and encouragement on how to seize that opportunity.
49 minutes | Sep 24, 2019
#98 The P.E.A.C.E. Plan for Community Impact with Pastor Bob Hicks
Many church leaders and other committed Christians are familiar with Rick Warren, Saddleback Church and the Purpose-Driven Church movement. But, did you know that this movement of churches has a very specific and effective plan for transforming communities (and even nations) through the power of the gospel? In this episode, I discuss the P.E.A.C.E. plan with Pastor Bob Hicks of North Madison Christian Church in Madison, Indiana. Pastor Hicks has pastored at NMCC for 21 years, has implemented the P.E.A.C.E. plan at his church and has even trained pastors in Africa to impact their communities by following this model. Here’s that plan: Plant healthy churchesEquip servant leadersAssist the poorCare for the sickEducate the next generation Key takeaways: Key lessons from churches in Africa and their incredible success in impacting their communities.The development of “savings groups” or church small groups that work together to save, invest and build businesses.The fascinating story about the president of an African nation asking Rick Warren to help him create a purpose-driven country and later crediting the P.E.A.C.E. plan with changing his nation.
39 minutes | Sep 17, 2019
#97 The Daniel Manual: 5 Key Principles for a Courageous Life
Most of our listeners are familiar with the life of Daniel. In fact, you might have learned about Daniel and the lion’s den via flannel graph (did anyone else experience the ol’ flannel graph?) in Sunday school. But, given the pressures of our times, his life and example demands a review right now. Why? Because this Old Testament prophet and statesman faithfully served God in competing kingdoms that were religiously and culturally diverse. He pointed rulers and empires to the one, true King; built relationships with officials (even his captors), modeled the spiritual discipline of prayer, provided wisdom to rulers and courageously stood for Biblical principles (Daniel 1, 4, 6).” I recently re-read the book of Daniel and was struck by 5 key principles that can help all of us live effectively and courageously in changing times. Here are those principles along with a summary: The Gospel: The Great Commission is our mission, and making disciples who make a difference is the best strategy for transforming culture (Matt 28:16-20). Though Daniel administered his government posts with wisdom and skill, his primary message to and his legacy in two ancient kingdoms was to point those kingdoms and their leaders to the one, true King (Daniel 4:34-37).Relationships: All individuals are created in the image of God and, therefore, are worthy of our attention and respect. Daniel worked to build relationships with many people (even his captors), and God gave him favor with various leaders, including the king of Babylon (Daniel 1:10). Prayer: We are commanded to pray for our government officials (I Timothy 1:2-3). Because of this command and because of our care for these individuals as well as our state, we will diligently pray for the individuals tasked with leading our cities, state and nation. Daniel faithfully and publicly prayed every day, and this habit was a testimony to his contemporaries (Daniel 6:10-28). Wisdom: We should strive to be well-versed in Biblical truth as well as the issues that affect the spiritual, physical and economic life of our state. Further, we should endeavor to faithfully apply Biblical wisdom to the complex cultural and moral issues of our times. Daniel and his friends were found to be ten times better in all matters of wisdom and understanding, and Daniel effectively translated spiritual truth to the leaders of his day. (Daniel 1:17-20). Courage: We will winsomely stand for Biblical truth in our cities, state and nation no matter the consequences. Daniel and his friends repeatedly displayed courage by declaring and exemplifying God’s principles despite the hazard to their positions and lives. (Daniel 1, 4, 6). Other key takeaways: The modern idol is a selfie.The fascinating and important story about the Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who.Senator Scott and Senator Lankford’s great and practical idea for encouraging racial reconciliation.The importance of King Josiah in Daniel’s story.Many people focus on Daniel’s daring, but it is more important to focus on his discipline. Daniel was Daniel because he was a disciple of Jehovah.Courage is built, not discovered.He was an extraordinary man who lived in extraordinary times, but he was just a man. He provided wisdom and stood for truth in two ancient and competing empires because he looked to a coming and eternal kingdom. He stopped the mouths of lions because He stood beside the lion of Judah And, he stood up to emperors because he kneeled before the one, true King. God has placed us in our own version of Babylon, a multicultural, religiously diverse melting pot with great power in the world and a god (ourselves) we cannot worship. So, what should we do? We should focus on the gospel, build relationships, pray fervently, learn wisdom and live without fear.
39 minutes | Sep 10, 2019
#96 How to Impact Jail Overcrowding with Representative Randy Frye
Jail overcrowding is an issue that appears insignificant at first glance. However, individuals incarcerated by the state for alleged crimes and actual crimes are human beings with inherent dignity. And, for health and safety reasons, they should not be stuffed into cells designed to hold far fewer inmates. Further, the fact that many communities are expending significant resources to build larger jails signals a much deeper problem. And what is that problem? Well (and just call me Sherlock) more people are committing crimes that, under current laws, merit incarceration! And, why is that? Well, in many places, the increased incarceration rate is a result of the opioid epidemic and larger drug crisis. And, why are more people turning to drugs? Well, for many, it is loneliness and hopelessness. In this episode, I discuss the issue of jail overcrowding, its causes, and the larger social trends it exposes with Representative Randy Frye, who represents District 67 in Indiana and who is spearheading efforts to address jail overcrowding. Key Takeaways: I interviewed Representative Frye at his farm in southeast Indiana, and his farm includes an intriguing piece of Indiana history.We discuss the crisis related to jail overcrowding in his district and the steps he is taking to combat that crisis.He talks about how churches can help with this crisis.He details an incredible trip he recently took to Israel (on his own dime) and the courage of a Baptist pastor in Bethlehem.He gives one of the best if not the best answer to my billboard question ever (scout’s honor)! Here’s that question: “If you had a billboard on which to write a message to the “Big C” Church, what you put on it?” You have to listen to the end to catch that!
35 minutes | Sep 3, 2019
#95 What Would You Say? with Joseph Backholm
Culture is changing at warp speed, and many Christians are uncertain how to answer many of culture’s toughest questions. Well, we have some good news. Today, the Colson Center for Christian Worldview is launching a new video series titled “What Would You Say?” designed to provide “short, understandable, trustworthy, useable, and shareable answers” to some of culture’s toughest questions. For example, the three videos that have been released cover the following questions: 1. Is sex assigned at birth?, 2. Does life begin at conception? and 3. Doesn’t love make a family? Here’s the full announcement from the Colson Center and here’s the full website: https://whatwouldyousay.org/ In this interview, I discuss the “What Would You Say?” project with its visionary, Joseph Backholm. We talk about the idea behind the project, methods for effectively communicating with Millennials and Gen Z and the goal of the project: equipping believers to live out their faith in the public square with clarity, confidence, and courage.
29 minutes | Aug 27, 2019
#94 How to Impact the Foster Care Crisis with Doug Weinberg
James 1:27 reminds us that, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…” Therefore, we should deeply care about orphans and about children in foster care. On any given day, more than 443,000 children in the U.S. are in foster care. In my state, Indiana, the rate of children being placed in foster care is about twice the national average. Roughly half of foster parents quit after the first year or first placement. And, there is less than a 3% chance for children who have aged out of foster care to earn a college degree at any point in their life. So what can the church do? Well, here’s a fantastic new way to partner with government to solve this problem: the CarePortal. The CarePortal allows the Department of Child Services to email community partners such as churches with emergency needs such as beds, food and clothing in an effort to prevent kids from being removed from their homes. In this episode, I interview Doug Weinberg, former deputy director of the Department of Child Services in Indiana and former Director of the Department of Health and Human Services in Nebraska, about the foster care crisis and the CarePortal. Doug championed the CarePortal legislation in Indiana and met with more than 30 legislators to obtain bi-partisan support for the bill (by the way, Doug volunteered his time to do this; he is not a lobbyist). Key Takeaways: About 90% of the kids removed from their homes in Indiana are removed because of neglect, not abuseHe explains the (in his opinion) primary source of the growing foster care crisis: the breakdown of the nuclear familyWe discuss his conversations with legislators about the separation of church and state and the idea of churches partnering with government to solve problemsHis interesting perspective (as a former government official) about the church and its need to reengage community problemsHe explains how churches can practically engage the foster care crisisThe CarePortal is active in northeast Marion County in Indiana but hopes to expand. The CarePortal is also active in other states. Visit https://careportal.org/ for more information.
35 minutes | Aug 20, 2019
#93 Introducing The Good Citizen Podcast
Today, we are officially rebranding The Bold Church Podcast to (drumroll, please) The Good Citizen Podcast, a podcast designed to equip church leaders and other committed Christians to be gospel-centered citizens in post-Christian America! Quick housekeeping matter: Over the next week, you will see the cover art and title to the podcast change. If you are a subscriber to The Bold Church Podcast (and if everything goes as planned; fingers crossed), you should remain a subscriber of the show and will automatically see new episodes when they are released. What do I mean by a “good citizen”? Well, Jesus of Nazareth, a first-century Roman subject (though He is also King of kings), once said, “Let your light so shine before men that may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). And, Daniel Webster, a 19th century Christian statesman, once said “Whatever makes men [and women] good Christians, makes them good citizens.” This podcast is all about doing the hard work of living out the gospel in public life, following Christ’s command to do good and proving that Webster is still right! American Christians and Christians in other, western-style participatory democracies face a dilemma: how exactly are we supposed to faithfully live out our role as citizen while not jeopardizing our Gospel witness? Well, we have a simple (though not easy) answer: be a good citizen! In a time when we are tempted to either withdraw from public life or culture war out of fear and self-preservation, we must embrace a bolder but more gospel-centered strategy for engaging in public life. It’s time to make disciples, seek the common good and transform our cities, states and nation through the power of the gospel. But, that is easier said than done. That is why we launched the podcast. There are many podcasts out there dedicated to political news and commentary. We need these prophetic voices, but we also need practical answers. And, there are many podcasts dedicated worldview analysis. We need these resources to think well and understand our cultural moment. But, here’s my question: “What do we do now?” That’s the emphasis of this podcast: tips, interviews and examples of doing the hard work of gospel-centered Christian citizenship in a distracted, complex and, at times, hostile secular age. Key Takeaways: A definition of the word “good.” The New Testament contains a curiously consistent command concerning our relationship to those outside of the church’s walls and especially government.A definition of the word “citizen.” Scripture has much to say about our dual citizenship.Why the Good News and good works work together (Mt. 5:16).An explanation of the format: interviews, presentations/sermons on particularly tough issues and community impact, legal updates related to religious liberty and (this is new) brief biographical sketches of Christians who have faithfully lived out the gospel in public life P.S. We look forward to serving you through this resource! If you have a question or a topic that you would like us to cover, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
42 minutes | Aug 13, 2019
#92 Remember Your Ruler: 3 Reminders for a New School Year
We’re back from our summer break! And, don’t miss next week’s episode because we will be announcing an exciting change to the podcast! Now, back to this episode! Most students around the country are headed back to school or have already started classes. And, these students probably voiced a common question before heading back: “Why?” Or, “Why do I have to go to school?” This question may have seemed juvenile at the time, but maybe it’s not. In the midst of the busyness of packing lunches, buying clothes and hustling kids out the door, we, as a society, can forget to evaluate the purpose and goals of this grand and expensive project called education. I don’t know about you, but making educational choices for my kids scares me. I am preparing my kids for a time I will (probably) never see and a future that I do not fully understand. No sweat, right! This is why it is important to listen to the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 9:23-26, this preacher shares some instructions about education from none other than God himself! And, it just so happens that the same lesson was echoed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin while taking communion on the moon! So, in this episode, we work through three reminders about education for us and for the kids as a new school years begins. Key Takeaways: I explain how and why I failed show and tell (I promise that no insects or animals were intentionally harmed, but I cannot guarantee that they survived the experience)5 different options for or goals of education5 developments that complicate education for Christian parentsAn in-depth look at Apollo 11 and why the lessons from that mission apply today“The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright.” -John MiltonMy rumination on why rulers used to have razor-sharp edges (at least that was my experience)!The important truth echoed by a somber prophet and a star-struck astronaut: remember your Ruler.
33 minutes | Jun 4, 2019
#91 3 Lessons from Platt’s Prayer for the President
Two quick housekeeping matters: (1) The Bold Church Podcast is going on summer break so we can retool and rebrand for the fall! (2) Josh has joined the Daniel Initiative, a new Gospel-centered effort to build relationships with elected officials and impact public life in Indiana. In this episode, Josh explains this new opportunity and what it means for Bold Church Initiative. Now, on to our main topic. As you are probably aware by now, President Trump stopped by McLean Bible Church on Sunday, and David Platt, the pastor of McLean Bible, prayed over Trump. Though Platt’s prayer was Gospel-centered and apolitical, it has received significant attention from the national media and caused quite a stir among his parishioners. Here are three lessons from Platt’s prayer for the President: It was ScripturalIt was Gospel-CenteredIt was scandalous. For a transcript of the prayer, visit this article. For the message that Platt sent to his congregation, click here. Key Takeaways: Prayer for any leader is a Scriptural mandate (I Tim. 2). Don’t forget that Paul wrote this mandate under Roman rule–and I’m pretty sure Nero wasn’t Paul’s hero. We should pray for more than the salvation of our leaders. We should pray for them in their role as a minister of the state (Romans 13).Being winsome will not save you from controversy. In these times, we need to be winsome and courageous.This prayer caused controversy in Platt’s church. This is the angle that many church leaders and committed Christians are surprised by but must be prepared for. We need clear Bible teaching and guiding principles on the intersection of faith and public life.
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