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Unpacked with Skyler
56 minutes | May 19, 2021
American Christian Origins and Problematic Theology with Dr. Ben Witherington III
In this episode Skyler interview with New Testament scholar Ben Witherington about the origins of the Reformation, Christian origins in America, and theological problem from a rerelease of his book "The Problem with Evangelical Theology." Ben is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has althored over 60 books including a commentary on every book in the New Testament. He brings a wealth of knowledge and wisdom for biblical scholarship and down to earth Christian living. LinksBen Witherington IIIThe Problem with Evangelical Theology: Testing the Exegetical Foundations of Calvinism, Dispensationalism, Wesleyanism, and Pentecostalism, Revised and Expanded Edition
50 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
The Art of Disagreement with Ruth Jackson from Unbelievable Show
In this episode Skyler talks with Ruth Jackson about how to disagree without being disagreeable, and why we should welcome conversations with those we disagree with. Ruth is a co-host with Premier Christian Radio and the Unbelievable Podcast where they specialize in bringing together Christians and non-Christians to discussion various topics. She has also launched a Podcast with Alister McGrath called The C.S. Lewis Podcast. LinksRuth Jackson (Twitter) Justin Brierley (Twitter)Premier Christian RadioUnbelievable PodcastAsk N.T. Wright AnythingThe C.S. Lewis PodcastThe Daisy Chain Will Our Children Have Faith? by John Westerhoff III Tactics, by Gregory KouklePodcasts, Books, and Resources Where is God in all the suffering? Amy Orr-Ewing and Jon SteingardUnbelievable? God, Gay Christians and the Church - Brandan Robertson and David BennettThe Big ConversationUnbelievable the ConferenceAlpha
48 minutes | Nov 23, 2020
God's open door with Duck Dynasty's Al Robertson
In this episode Skyler interviews Alan Robertson from Duck Dynasty. Alan helped his family with the family business (Duck Commander) making duck calls until he left to serve as a pastor at White's Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, LA. In 2012 he entered the rest of the Robertson family on the A&E Duck Dynasty show. Since the show last aired Alan has co-authored two books and travels frequently to speak on various topics. In this episode Skyler and Alan talk about his story, marriage, ministry, and the open doors God's brought their way as a result of the show. LinksAlan Robertson (Website)Unashamed with Phil & Jase Robertson (Podcast)White's Ferry Road Church A New Season (Book)The Duck Commander Devotional for Couples (Book)
50 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
Rural Church Turnaround with Danny Davis
In this episode Skyler interviews Danny Davis a rural pastor, Bible college professor, and rural church revitalization coach. Danny has planted and revitalized churches in South Africa and the USA. He holds a Doctor of Education in Transformational Leadership and is the author of "Rural Church Turnaround: Real Life Experiences of Rural Pastors and Lay-Leaders." In this episode Skyler and Danny talk about his story, God's work of revitalization, and our role in the process.Rural Church Turnaround (website)Rural Church Turnaround: Real Life Experiences of Rural Pastors and Lay-Leaders.
55 minutes | Oct 14, 2020
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God with Andy Bannister
In this episode Skyler talks with Dr. Andy Bannister about Islam and Christianity. Andy is a respect and sought after Christian scholar and speaking on Islam, Atheism, and apologetics. He serves as the director of Solas and is an adjunct speaker with the Ravi Zacharias International Ministry. On this episode Andy helps us to understand the complexities if Christians and Muslims worship the same God. LinksAndy BannisterSt. Patricks Bad AnalogiesSolas Center For Public ChristianityRavi Zacharias International MinistryThe Atheist Who Didn't Exist (Book)Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?
50 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
Saving slaves, beating bad guys, and changing governments with Jon Good
In this episode Skyler talks with Jon Good from International Justice Mission (IJM) about the issue of modern day slavery and worldwide injustice. Jon serves as one of IJM’s church mobilization directors and helps equip churches by sharing the biblical call to justice, introducing churches to IJM’s ministry and mobilizing churches to engage in local and global justice ministries. LinksJon GoodInternational Justice MissionGlobal Slavery IndexCentral Illinois Prevention of Abuse Become a Freedom PartnerFor ChurchesThe Good News about Injustice (Book)NotesIJM's mission is to protect the poor from violence by partnering with local authorities to rescue victims, restore them back to health, retrain perpetrators, and restore the public justice system.Over 40 million people are enslaved today.Two main forms of slavery today: Forced Labor and Sex Trafficking.The 10-80-10 rule: in a corrupt system about 10% are corrupt and in it for the wrong reason, 10% are good and in it for the right reason, and 80% in the middle will go in the direction of whomever is getting the affirmation and the benefits.
54 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
Why distance learning might be a parents greatest ministry opportunity with Shelia Maia
As many families are now experiencing the new advent of education at home is not simple and easy as it sounds. There are many factors and challenges that go into it, but at the same time there is also one of the greatest opportunities for parents, caregivers, and educators for discipleship. In this interview Skyler talks with Shelia Maia about a recent workshop that Rise City Church of Gresham, Oregon did to help resource parents with practical and biblical insights to navigate and redeem this new normal of distance learning. LinksRise City ChurchTiny TheologiansThe Daily Grace CoFour Common Challenges Families Are Facing with Distance LearningTrying to recreate a 6 hour school day at home.An overabundance of screen time.Figuring out what to do with your kid if the parent(s) have to work.Figuring out how to balance working from home and doing home education. Three Opportunities Presented to Families with Distance LearningA ministry opportunity for homeschool families and/or families with stay at home parent(s): offer support to working parent(s) by offering to open up your home for their kids to have a safe and supervised place for study or learning along with your kids. Distance learning allows families greater flexibility for education. Pick the time that works best for you.The Discipleship opportunity is GREAT! Use this time to shepherd your kids heart toward Christ.Tips for educating and learning successfully Create a vision statement for this school year.Be on the lookout for and acknowledge the Christlike character in everyday moments.Have them teach it back to you.Be your children biggest cheerleaders. Be mindful of the struggle for the stress and struggle this season has on everyone.Set an example for how you expect your kids to act and respond (more will be caught than taught)Assume the best about your parents.Do the hard things first.Eat good snack and get adequate movement.
49 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
Does God Care for Rural America with Jon Sanders
In this episode Skyler interviews Jon Sanders on life and ministry in rural America. Jon served as the Lead Pastor of The RESCUE Church in South Dakota. And had been considered a leading voice in the rural church arena. Jon hosts the Small Town Big Church Podcast that seeks to encourage rural pastors with the message that God delights in doing BIG things in small places. In addition to his passion for the rural church, Jon also serves as firefighter/EMT, and the regional director of the Rural Matter Institute. LinksRural Matters InstituteSmall Town Big Church (Podcast)Small Town Big Church (Website)
40 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
Spiritual Warfare in the Bible for Today with Dr. Gerry Breshears
In this interview Skyler interview Dr. Gerry Breshears spiritual warfare, demons, and Jesus. Gerry is a professor of Theology at Western Seminary, on the Board of Directors for the Bible Project, and an Elder at Grace Community Church in Oregon. Gerry I spent countless hours researching and teaching on this topic. [NOTE: Our Podcast will be releasing episodes every other week] Spiritual Warfare Couse3 Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare, by Clint ArnoldGerry Breshear (Website)Western SeminarySpiritual Warfare takes place in ...In the World: The narrative of what will make you successfulIn the Flesh: Our selfish desires.And the Devil: demonic beings working through attachment to attack. Most common form in the Western world is accusation and deception.Method of Attack Have an assessment of things in your life (physical, emotional, relation, and demonic) Gerry listens for an accusing voice, an oppressive presence, and if one has had involvement in spiritualism and occultism.Understand your foundation and authority you have in ChristYou're in the kingdom of light (Colossians 1), not in the kingdom of darkness.Jesus has disarmed the the demonic forces at the cross (Colossians 2), they have no authority over you.Act like Jesus Speak Scripture out loud.Tells whatever it is to go away because you are a Son of the Most high God. Focus 100% of your attention upon Jesus.Things you must know about Spiritual WarfareDemons are real (contrary to Western opinions)Our Problems as people are Multimodal, so see... a doctor to check on your physical health a go to Christian counselor to check on your psychological healtha pastor to check on your spiritual healtha spirit led friend to help you discern your inner world
39 minutes | Aug 12, 2020
My Strange Bible: The Rise and Fall of the Apocalypse in America
In this episode Skyler shares some of his own research and questions on the Apocalyptic literature in the Bible following his interview with Dr. Shane Wood (Episode 13). He looks at questions such as "Why do churches shy away from Apocalyptic parts of the Bible? Where did this literature come from? What do people actually believe about it? and why did God speak in Apocalypses? Skyler is the pastor at the Christian Church of Litchfield in Litchfield, IL and a student at Lincoln Christian University where he is finishing up his Master in the New Testament.Links:My Strange Bible: Shane WoodThe Bible Project: Apocalypse SeriesBrent Sandy, Plowshares and Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the language of Biblical Prophecy and ApocalypticNotes:Apocalyptic Passages: Isaiah 24–27; 33; 34–35; Jeremiah 33:14–26; Ezekiel 38–39; Joel 3:9–17; Daniel 7-12; Zechariah 12–14; Matthew 24; Mark 13; 2 Thessalonians 2; Revelation.The Fall out of Apocalyptic preaching in America happened through three cultural movementsThe rise of Higher criticismComparative study of religionDarwinismWhat is an Apocalypse? The literature existed for about 700 years.Distinctly Jewish and Christian literature.Was seen with great skepticism after a heretical group used Revelation to espouse new teaching.SBL Definition: "a genre of revelatory literature with a narrative framework, in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, insofar as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spacial insofar as it involves another, supernatural world."Skyler's paraphrase: "Apocalyptic literature is a writing style that reveals hidden truth in story form. Revealing future salvation and the supernatural world to humans by a heavenly messenger."Five theme of Apocalyptic literature:DualismSymbolismNarrativeCosmic EndFuture SalvationSix functions of ApocalypsesA call to worshipComfort that God is in controlInsight into cosmic issuesHope for the persecutedAssurance of God’s victoryCall to purity
51 minutes | Aug 5, 2020
Understanding The End of the World from the Old Testament with Dr. Tremper Longman
In this interview Skyler interview Dr. Tremper Longman III on one of the most cited passages in the Old Testament about the End of the World. Tremper is a sought after Bible scholar who has been involved with translating several english translations, author numerous popular level as well as scholarly level books and commentaries. Tremper earned his PhD at Yale University and has recently retired from his full time teaching position at Westmont College -- but he continues to write and lecture.LinksTremper Longman IIIDaniel (the NIV Application Commentary)How to Read DanielBible and the BallotConfronting Old Testament Controversies NotesThe Old Testament uses highly symbolic language and numbers.Apocalypses communicate to the reader (without plotting it out on a calendar) that God is in control and evil will not last forever.Daniel 9 is clear on the big points, but not our specific points.Old Testament prophecy may have near term fulfillment and often further fulfillment in Christ. We need caution when interpreting the Bible and respect toward differing opinions.
48 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
Entering the World of the New Testament with Dr. Tyler Stewart
In this interview Skyler interview Dr. Tyler Stewart on the time between the Old and New Testament often referred to as the Second Temple period. This is an often overlooked period that has tremendous impact on how we understand the Bible. Without it, it would be nearly impossible to enter the world of the New Testament. Dr. Tyler Stewart earned his PhD at Marquette University and is currently teaching New Testament at Lincoln Christian University.Tyler's Recommended ResourcesNRSV Harper Collins Study BibleMatthias Henze, Mind the GapWarren Carter, Seven Events that Shaped the NT WorldSteve Mason, Josephus and the New TestamentJames VanderKam, Dead Sea Scrolls TodayKenneth Schenk, A Brief Guide to PhiloNotes:1. Three Biggest discoveriesLearning Greek and HebrewThe Unity of the BibleStudying Second Temple Judaism2. Four Reasons why we shouldn't call the period between the Old & New Testament years of silenceThis is a period of explosive literary production.The Jews then thought God was still speaking to his people. This was an important time for the formation of the Old Testament.3. Five Major eventsDeath of Alexander the Great (323 BCE)Ptolemaic Rule (301–200 BCE); the Old Testament is translated into Greek Seleucid Rule (200–167 BCE) Hasmonean Dynasty (166–63 BCE)Roman Rule (63 BCE)
47 minutes | Jul 22, 2020
Leadership Lessons Learned through Covid with Eddie Lowen
In this episode Skyler interviews Eddie Lowen on what it was like to transition a large church completely digital (due to Covid-19) while undergoing one the biggest building project in the churches history, and leadership lessons he's learned along the way. Eddie is a seasoned leader with lots of experience and lives and breaths leadership. Eddie is the lead pastor at Westside Christian Church in Springfield, IL. Westside Christian ChurchHighlights from interviewCovid has revealed and accelerated what has already been in our hearts and minds. This seasons has unlocked the genius of the church.The church doesn't require a location to be activated for mission.The quicker we are to accept that disruption is our realityThe church was designed to flourish in and with instability.God's favorite part of my story is the part where I trust him.
44 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
My Strange Bible: How To Interpret Apocalyptic Literature For All Its Worth.
In this episode Skyler interviews Dr. Shane Wood on one of the most particular literature in the Bible know as Apocalyptic. Many wrongly understand this genre as short hand for prediction of the end of the world. However, Shane helps us understand what it actually does and how reading it that way side steps what God intends to do inside of people. Shane is a New Testament scholar who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh on Revelation and currently teaches New Testament Studies at Ozark Christian College where he is the Associate Academic Dean at Ozark Christian College.Shane WoodGarden City Project: Online Class on RevelationBlue Letter Bible Next Level Revelation (Free Course)Revelation's Rhapsody (Book)Breaking the Code (Book)Commentary on Revelation (Book)Highlights on Apocalyptic LiteratureApocalyptic literature is a group of texts that are communicating transcendent realities, (things beyond our senses) often communicated by otherworldly beings (e.g. angels), that are heavily laden with symbolism that emerges out of a time of perceived or real persecution.The goal is to reveal clearly who God is through exaggerated images.Apocalyptic texts are intentionally designed to communicate truth at the emotive side of humanity. This allows us to be challenged and transformed at the deepest part of ourselves. And it invites us to place ourselves into the redemptive story of the Bible.Fun Fact: only 17% of all prophetic words and phrases are predictive in nature.
40 minutes | Jul 8, 2020
Civil disobedience, rioting, and politics with Dr. Mark Moore
In this episode Skyler interviews Dr. Mark Moore on the pressing issue happening right now in our country and where Christians should do about it. More than that, how we move forward from here. Mark is a New Testament scholar who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wales on the Politics of Jesus and currently the Teaching pastor at Christ Church of the Valley in Arizona.LinksMark MooreChrist Church of the Valley (CCV)Ozark Christian CollegeCore 52 (Website)Core 52 (Book)The Chronological Life of Christ (Book)Recommended Resources from Mark How the West Won, Rodeny Stark (Book)Mark's recent sermon on Racism
35 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
Transformation from Death to Life with Dr. Shane Wood
In this episode Skyler interviews Dr. Shane Wood on his most recent book Between Two Trees: our transformation from death to life. Shane is a New Testament scholar who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and currently resides in Joplin, MO where he is Professor of New Testament Studies and the Associate Academic Dean at Ozark Christian College. The book originally was designed to be about explaining how to read the book of Revelation, but it soon morphed into a book about God transformation in our lives. Shane helps students of the Bible understand the importance of sin, salvation, and the message of spiritual transformation in a fresh and insightful way.Shane WoodOzark Christian CollegeBetween Two Trees BookBetween Two Trees Class (free)
48 minutes | Jun 24, 2020
Thriving in Babylon (What God is doing in the secular Northwest)
In this episode Skyler interviews pastor Nolan Tjaden on the amazing story of what God is doing at Rise City Church in the secular area of Oregon. Nolan does not have your traditional ministry journey, and yet after feeling very strongly that God was calling him into ministry he responded and has experienced God work in powerful ways. In this episode Nolan shares his story and lessons he has learned along the way leading in the church. Nolan is currently on staff as the Youth and Young Adult Pastor at Rise City Church. LinksRise City ChurchParent PodcastIntentional things Rise City Church did to thrive in Babylon (ie, Oregon)Build a church on a theology of mission.Empowered all Christians to do ministry (not just pastors)Look for average people to lead, not just professional.Embraced the hustle: work hard, don't be lazy.
43 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
Unpacking loneliness and depression with Dr. Gary Zustiak
In this episode Skyler interviews Dr. Gary Zustiak (Dr. Zus) on the growing issues loneliness and depression. Dr. Zus holds a DMin from Abilene Christian University and is the head of the Psychology and Counseling program at Ozark Christian College. He has been regarded as a longtime expert on youth ministry and mental health, and he has written a number of related works, including the books Intensive Care: A Manual for the Nonprofessional Who Work with Hurting and Broken Youth and Student Ministry That Leaves a Mark: Changing Youth to Change the World.LinksGary ZustiakJean Twenge: iGen Nicholas Kardaras: Glow Kids The Coddling of the American Mind National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 Notes:How to recognize it before it becomes a problem:Know yourself and monitoring your emotional pulse. Ask questions like: "How often do you feel hopeless? How often do you feel that you have lost interest in the things that used to bring you joy or purpose? How often do you feel overwhelmed? etc.Do not isolate yourself or deny the problem hoping it will go away. Ask for help.Steps to manage depression: 1. Be intentional about rebuilding connectionsDo things you’ve never done before.Like having virtual hangouts with friends or family.2. Follow a normal routine.Get up and go to bed at similar times every day.Organize your day.Keep up with personal hygiene.Eat healthy meals at regular times.Exercise regularly.Allocate time for working and time for resting.Make time for doing things you enjoy.The more you structure your day, the more your brain will calm down.3. Make a list of things you can control.Surrender what you can’t.Write down things you actually have choices with.Minimize newsfeeds. Try to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information at specific times of the day, once or twice a day if needed.4. Practice mindfulness.Take every thought captive.Don’t give in to thoughts of panic, process your thoughts.Increase all the spiritual practices you do.5. Reach out to loved ones in your life whom you can talk to.6. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help.God never intended for us to face our problems alone.How to help if someone battling depressionIf you believe someone is struggling with depression reach out to them. Let them know you care.Treat people how they want to be treated. Respect their wishes.Listen non-judgmentally.Give support and reassurance.Encourage professional help if needed.Encourage self-help organizations like Celebrate Recovery.
40 minutes | Jun 10, 2020
Unpacking difficult Bible passages with Scott Womble
In this episode Skyler interviews Dr. Scott Womble on why the Bible is so difficult and hard to understand. Scott is the Vice President of Academics & Professor of Bible & Ministry at Saint Louis Christian College where he has been teaching Bible interpretation for over 20 years. In this episode Scott shares with us why the Bible is not nearly as difficult as we make it and a few tricks of the trade to interpreting the Bible well.LinksScott WombleDouble Slit experience Entanglement How to Read the Bible for all it's Worth (Beginners)Grasping God's Word (Advanced)Notes:Why the Bible important?It is the basis for life and faith in Christ. It shows us the Story of Salvation. It explains what God's will is for your life.Is the Bible hard to understand?It is easier to understand than we think.It is hard when ignore its literary context.Read the Bible like you would a newspaper. Different sections require different rules of interpretations (headlines, comics, advertisements, obituaries, etc.). The Bible is a large book with different literary genres (narrative, law, prophetic, poetic, etc.). The Central Message of the BibleGod created everything.God revealed himself (the Bible).There's a Sin problem (God is holy and humans are sinful).God's love overcame the Sin problem (Jesus came to die for sin and was resurrected).Follow Jesus and live in eternity with God.Dos and Don'ts for Reading the BibleLearn the context of the passage (Context is king): Layers of context:Immediate: the paragraphSurrounding: several chaptersThe book: what is the book about the Bible: what is the message of the bibleChristian: Read bigger portions of Scripture (e.g., read the New Testament in a Month)Non-Christian: Start by reading the Gospel of John.
38 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
Bonus: The Biblical Answer to Racism with Shane Wood
In this episode Skyler interviews Dr. Shane Wood on the issue of racism from Shane's book Between Two Trees. Shane is a New Testament scholar who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and currently resides in Joplin, MO where he is Professor of New Testament Studies and the Associate Academic Dean at Ozark Christian College. As a biracial family, Shane has had to wrestle with the troubling problem that plagues our country today.Shane WoodOzark Christian CollegeBetween Two Trees BookBetween Two Trees Class (free)
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