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Theology For the Rest of Us | Quick Answers to the Questions About God and the Bible
10 minutes | a year ago
291: Navigating Different Social-Distancing Convictions
In this episode, Kenny tackles the reality that there will be various opinions and convictions from different people in our lives and churches as we make attempts to return to some sense of normalcy in the coming weeks and months. This is going to require wisdom and grace. Instead of demands, expectations, social pressures, harshness, judgmental attitudes, or virtue signalling, Christians ought to actually lead the way with kindness, grace, and diplomacy in the midst of this unique season that may have the potential to be filled with some awkward moments. Resources Navigating Different COVID-19 Recovery Convictions (By Costi Hinn) Coronavirus and Christ (By John Piper) What Courage Might Corona Unleash? (By Marshall Segal) Let the Lily Have Today (By Marshall Segal) Voices: Restraint: Being a Christian Presence on Social Media (By Joshua Sharp)
18 minutes | a year ago
290: Reacting to COVID-19 on Social Media
In this episode, Kenny encourages and challenges listeners to be very careful with what they post on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Christians are posting things that seem to be motivated by fear, politics, or conspiracy theories, and these sorts of posts tend to cause us to lose credibility. This behavior misrepresents Jesus and potentially jeopardizes our ability to share the gospel. In this moment in history, people are looking for sources of comfort and encouragement. People are often looking for voices they can trust, and voices that can be the source of wisdom. Let's be what they are looking for, so that we can point them to Jesus. Resources Voices: Restraint: Being a Christian Presence on Social Media (By Joshua Sharp) Coronavirus and Christ (By John Piper) Fifteen Great Chapters on Anxiety, Suffering, Lament (from WTS) What Courage Might Corona Unleash? (By Marshall Segal) Let the Lily Have Today (By Marshall Segal)
23 minutes | a year ago
289: These Are Not Uncertain Times! (What About COVID-19?)
Currently, the world is facing a global pandemic—the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In the midst of the panic, fear, and frustrations there are many different responses. One common phrase used by many is the statement, "These are 'uncertain' times." However, for the Christian—the genuine believer in Christ—nothing is uncertain. In this episode, Kenny makes clear that the believer never has anything to worry about. No matter what we face, even if we die due to a virus, we are in the hands of Christ! Kenny closes the episodes with a great quote from Francis J. Grimké who was a pastor during the Spanish Flu of 1918: "While the plague was raging, what a comfort it was to feel that we were in the hands of a loving Father, whether we were smitten with the epidemic or not, we knew it would be well with us, that there was no reason to be alarmed." Resources Coronavirus and Christ (By John Piper) Fifteen Great Chapters on Anxiety, Suffering, Lament (from WTS) What Courage Might Corona Unleash? (By Marshall Segal) Let the Lily Have Today (By Marshall Segal)
14 minutes | a year ago
288: Are Short-Term Missions a Waste?
Each year North American evangelicals spend millions of dollars on short-term missions trips. A recent listener of the podcast asked whether or not this is appropriate? Would it be better for us to simply pool our monies and send it overseas? In essence, short-term missions can be very effective, if done right. However, most short-term missions are done wrong. They often have the wrong goals and wrong peoples in mind. This makes much of the short-term missions activity feels very wasteful, inefficient, and even harmful. Short-term missions can be very helpful if we partner with local ministries and strategic come along side of them to help expand their pre-existing ministry and their gospel influence. Kenny also uses this question as the opportunity to discuss his approach to global missions and challenges the audience to engage in global missions. Each Christian has a part to play in global missions. As pastor and author John Piper states, "There are only three kinds of Christians when it comes to world missions: zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient. May God deliver us from disobedience!" However, just because we are all called doesn't mean that every opportunity makes sense. In this episode, Kenny talks about some of the pitfalls of contemporary missions efforts, especially highlighting the fact that most missions activity and giving currently goes towards groups that have already been reached with the Gospel. Kenny demonstrates the distinction between the "unreached" groups and the "unsaved" peoples. This is distinction is valuable as we determine how to spend our money and resources. Recommended Resources When Helping Hurts (by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert) Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry (by Cameron Cole & Jon Nielson) Let the Nations Be Glad (by John Piper) Missions: How the Local Church Goes Global (by Andy Johnson)
8 minutes | a year ago
287: How Much Money Should I Be Giving?
In this episode, Kenny answers the question: "How Much Money Should I Be Giving?" In essence, Kenny makes it clear that there's no precise set amount that we ought to give, but instead we ought to give generously and seek to invest in the things that lead to effective ministry. Christians ought to seek to give cheerfully. There is no need to feel obligated or guilty about giving, but instead we ought to seek to be prayerful and missional. Related Episodes: 41: Why Should Christians Stop Tithing Immediately? 122: Should Christians Give to Charities? Recommended Resources: The Treasure Principle (by Randy Alcorn)
9 minutes | a year ago
286: What Does it Mean to be ‘Saved’?
In this episode, Kenny tackles the word "saved" and how it's utilized by many contemporary evangelicals. He then covers the prominent Christian adage that "we are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved."
8 minutes | 2 years ago
285: Why Did God Allow Sin?
People often ask, "Why did God allow Adam to sin in the first place?" Many have wondered, if God knew that sin would cause such devastation to humanity, and such eternal consequences, then why did God did allow it happen? Couldn't he have stopped it? Couldn't God had created Adam without the ability to sin? This is the same line of thinking that came from a regular listener by email, and Kenny tackles this topic herein this episode. This is a tough question. It's sobering in a lot of ways. But ultimately, the answer to this type of question reminds us of God's perfect sovereignty. In this episode Kenny explains how the glory of God and the proclamation of his supremacy are the most important elements of the Christian life. Therefore, if God's glory could have been known to its fullest in a world with no sin, then it is likely that God would have stopped sin. However, the very fact that God has allowed sin, clearly shows us that the glory of God, and the proclamation of Christ's supremacy over all things, is shown most in the midst of a world with sin (otherwise, God would have prevented it altogether). Honestly, we recognize that this is a hard topic for humans to wrap our minds around, but it's essential for us to grapple with. Other episodes which deal with similar topics are listed below. Related Episodes 59: Why Didn't God Just Create Us in Heaven? 18: Why Doesn't Just God Kill Satan Today? 16: Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? 19: If God is Good, Why is There Evil in the World?
16 minutes | 2 years ago
284: What Types of Things Should We Pray For?
This episode is a sequel to the previous episode. In episode 283 Kenny responded to an email that had asked about how Christians ought to pray. Here in this episode, Kenny explains how the Lord's Prayer (Mt. 6:9-13; Lk. 11:2-4) is a road map and template for how Christians ought to approach God in prayer. "Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
13 minutes | 2 years ago
283: Should We Recite Specific Prayers?
In this episode, Kenny answers an email from a regular listener about prayer. The email asked if Christians ought to recite specific prayers, such as the Lord's Prayer or other prayers modeled for us in the Bible, or whether it is okay to pray for informal prayers. Kenny makes clear that the prayers that we pray to God are less about reciting specific words, and are more about the sentiments of our hearts whenever we are engaging in prayer.
18 minutes | 2 years ago
282: Did Christianity Copy From Pagan Religions?
Some skeptics claim that Christianity stole its fundamental claims from preexisting pagan religions. In this episode, Kenny responds to this claim, making it clear that there is absolutely no scholarly or authentic evidence for any such assertions or conclusions. Kenny outlines some of the examples that some skeptics bring up, showing clearly how we know that such attacks are false. Kenny even makes the point that there are no major contemporary atheistic scholars making any such claims, because they lack any credibility of any kind. These sorts of attacks do not come from respected scholars, but instead they typically come from the world of pseudo-scholarship or from some person who simply has some sort of personal vendetta again Christianity. Resources Did Christianity copy from pagan or other religions? [Article] Is Jesus a myth? [Article] Was Christianity plagiarized from pagan myths? [Article] Jesus Wasn’t a Pagan God: Debunking Zeitgeist and Religulous [YouTube Video] Zeitgeist Debunked: Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Gods [YouTube Video] Jesus vs. Horus [YouTube Video] Jesus vs. Zoroaster [YouTube Video] Jesus vs. Asclepius [YouTube Video] Jesus vs. Tammuz [YouTube Video] Jesus vs. Romulus [YouTube Video] Jesus vs. Buddha [YouTube Video] Bart Ehrman & Robert Price Debate - Did Jesus Exist? [YouTube Video] When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences (by Norm Geisler)
21 minutes | 2 years ago
281: Did Jesus Really Exist?
Was Jesus a real person? Did he actually exist? Is there evidence that Jesus was a real historical person? Yes, Jesus was indeed a real person. And, yes, there is plenty of evidence for this. In fact, the evidences for this is overwhelming. Jesus being a real historical person has not ever been in question throughout history until very recently. Even religious skeptics throughout the ages have accepted the reality of a man named Jesus that lived in Palestine in the first-century. In this episode, Kenny gives the reasons and evidences for the historical Jesus. Works Cited What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died? [article by Dr Simon Gathercole] Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths? (Maurice Casey) Contra Celsum [Wikipedia entry] Josephus on Jesus [Wikipedia entry] Pliny the Younger speaks about Christians [Wikipedia entry] Tacitus mentions Jesus [Wikipedia entry] Manuscript evidence for superior New Testament reliability [article by Matt Slick] "Minimal Facts" Approach to the Resurrection [lecture from Gary Habermas] Additional Recommend Resources The Evidence for Jesus [article by William Lane Craig] Is there proof that Jesus existed? [article by Matt Slick] The Resurrection of the Son of God (NT Wright) The New Testament in Its World (NT Wright & Michael Bird) The Case for Christ (Lee Stroebl) Is There Any Evidence That Jesus Didn’t Exist? [YouTube video from William Lane Craig] Did Jesus Even Exist? Responding to 5 Objections Raised by @rawstory [article by Michael J. Kruger] Did Jesus Really Exist? [article by Paul L. Maier] The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Gary Habermas and Michael Licona)
2 minutes | 2 years ago
Special Announcement: TEDx Talk by Kenny Ortiz: How to be a Great Mentor
Bethany Global University hosted a TEDx event in May 2019 and Kenny Ortiz was one of the communicators for the event. Check out his TEDx talk: "How to be a Great Mentor" Link: http://bit.ly/OrtizTEDx2019
21 minutes | 2 years ago
280: Do We Need Scholars to Really Understand the Bible?
There have been moments when some well-meaning evangelicals have challenged certain scholars merely on the basis that those scholars just so happen to be scholars, as if scholarship itself is bad. Sometimes certain Christians act as if scholars are all bad, or that scholarship is somehow the enemy of quality spiritual experience. The reason why some Christians advocate against scholarship is because they sometimes feel frustrated that they may be forced into feeling dependent upon scholars. Others get frustrated that scholarship can twist conservative Christianity. Many evangelicals then ask, "Do we ourselves need to be scholars to truly understand the Bible?" or "Do we now always need scholars to tell us what certain passages mean?" These are valuable questions which Kenny tackles in this episode. Kenny gives insights about how we should think about Christian scholars and he gives a poignant challenge to those that would claim scholarship is unnecessary.
8 minutes | 2 years ago
279: Is God in Hell?
In this episode Kenny answers a question from a listener about the omnipresence of God, and whether or not God is in hell. Sometimes modern evangelicals frequently use the term "separated" from God to explain the state of those in hell, but herein Kenny explains that God is actually indeed in hell and that the torment of hell is actually originating from a portion of God that unrepentant sinners rightly face, mainly God's wrath. Scriptures References Psalm 139:8 Matthew 13:42-50 Matthew 25:41-46 Matthew 7:19 Revelation 19:20 Revelation 20:13-14 Revelation 21:8 Hebrews 10:31 Hebrews 12:29
21 minutes | 2 years ago
278: Was Platt Wrong to Pray for President Trump? [Part 2]
U.S. President Donald Trump appeared at McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia on June 2, 2019 where prominent pastor and author David Platt serves as the primary teaching pastor. Eventually President Trump was invited on to the stage to be prayed for by Pastor David Platt. Within hours there was plenty of backlash on social media, some of it hurled at Donald Trump, but much of it hurled at Pastor David Platt. Several days after this prayer, and after the social media uproar, Kenny posted an episode about the event (277: Was David Platt Wrong to Pray for President Trump?). Therein Kenny addressed whether or not it was appropriate for Platt to pray for the president as he did. Kenny explains the importance of being sensitive and tactful, however he also encouraged the listeners to remember passages of scripture such as 1 Timothy 2 that tell us to pray for our leaders. After posting that episode, Kenny had multiple conversations and social media interactions with various people. Many people reacted with the attitude that asserted: "Of course it's fine for Platt to pray for the president" which helped Kenny realized that many people are unaware of the trauma caused to some people by the current political climate. After posting episode 277, Kenny also realized that many evangelicals (especially many white evangelicals) are not willing to be sensitive to those around them, and many of them make little effort to seek to understand the perspectives of other people (especially people of color). This prompted Kenny to address these concerns herein this episode.
13 minutes | 2 years ago
277: Was Platt Wrong to Pray for President Trump? [Part 1]
On Sunday June 2, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump made an impromptu visit to McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia. President Trump was there to honor the lives of those individuals that were killed in a shooting at the municipal center in Virginia Beach on Friday May 31. Eventually Trump founds himself on stage being prayed for by Pastor David Platt. In this episode, Kenny addresses whether or not it was appropriate to do what Platt did, that is to pray for a politician (with such a "lightning rod" personality) publicly on stage during a church service. Kenny explains the importance of being sensitive and tactful, however he also encourages the listeners to remember passages of scripture such as 1 Timothy 2 that tells us to pray for our leaders. Kenny also reminds listeners that we live in an outrage culture, and that we ought to the more sober-minded than what our culture sometimes expects. He also points out that praying for a politician does not necessarily equal an endorsement. We ought to pray for all of our leaders, even when we disagree.
12 minutes | 2 years ago
276: Should We Value All Opinions?
In this episode, Kenny answers the question, "Should we value all opinions?" Another way to answer this question is to say, "Are all opinions created equal?" or "Should we give credence to all positions and assessments?" Kenny seeks to be diplomatic and gracious, but he gives some clear and bold thoughts about why not all opinions ought to be treated equally.
31 minutes | 2 years ago
275: Living in an Age of Cynicism with Jason Duesing
We live in an age where cynicism runs rampant. How are Christians to live in such difficult times? Unique of all people, Christians are called to embrace a hopeful outlook on life. In this episode Kenny interviews Dr. Jason Duesing about his most recent book Mere Hope which offers the core, Christ-centered perspective that all Christians share, and that Christians alone have to offer a world filled with frustration, pain, and disappointment. For those in darkness, despair, and discouragement, for those in the midst of trials, suffering, and injustice, mere hope lives. The spirit of the age is cynicism. When our leaders, our families, and our friends let us down at every turn, this isn't surprising. But we need another perspective; we need hope. Rather than reflecting resigned despair or distracted indifference, author Jason Duesing argues, our lives ought to be shaped by the gospel of Jesus—a gospel of hope. Jason G. Duesing earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University. He earned his M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently serves as the provost at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. Get a copy of Dr. Jason Duesing's most recent book: Mere Hope: Life in an Age of Cynicism Follow Dr. Jason Duesing on Twitter: @JGDuesing
21 minutes | 2 years ago
274: How to Determine Who Are the False Teachers?
This episode is a follow-up to the previous episode wherein Kenny talked about how to handle false teachers, even when we have been somehow benefited by those preachers' teachings or writings. There is a lot of controversy in our modern Christian context about how we ought to our approach the topic of heresies and false teachings. It seems like many people are afraid to discuss this. One reason some people feel uncomfortable with the topic is because they may not know how to determine if someone is a false teacher or not. In this episode Kenny answers the question “How do we determine whether or not a particular preacher is a false teacher?” Kenny gives one thing he does not do, that we ought not do, that is we should not label anyone a heretic just because they disagree with our view. There's more to it that that. The Kenny gives us the six things he uses to help determine which preachers are safe and helpful versus the preachers that are harmful and dangerous. Those six things Kenny uses are: 1- The Bible 2- Early church writings 3- Ancient creeds and statements from the ecumenical councils 4- Confessions and catechisms from Reformation era 5- The opinions of wise pastors I Kenny trusts 6- Determine if the doctrine or ideology being taught is detrimental to the believers
24 minutes | 2 years ago
273: Can People Grow By Listening to False Teachers?
There is a lot of controversy in Evangelical circles about our approach to heresies, false teaching, and erroneous teachers. In this episode Kenny answers the question "Can people still grow in their faith even though they are listening to false teachers or being influenced by some heresies?" Kenny seeks to be diplomatic and gracious in this episode, but inevitably he makes statements that are sure to be offensive to some listeners. Kenny believes that there certainly Christians that have grown in their faith even though they have consumed content, sermons, and books from false teachers. Some Christians even feel as if they have been helped greatly in some ways by those teachings. However, Kenny asserts that merely points to the grace and sovereignty of God. Just because a false teacher somehow helps a believer does not justify that false teacher or the content of his sermons or books. Kenny challenges listeners to be watchful, discerning, and cautious.
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