The Spirit that is Holy

pdy6dxyagiqqyvcpinn6v68mxamRounding out Luther’s teaching on the Apostles’ Creed, this Sin Boldly podcast episode considers the Holy Spirit: His person, work and purpose, and the many ways we misunderstand him. And we ask the pressing question: when pastors enter the sanctuary on a zip line, does it really help advance the kingdom of God?

Why the name “Sin Boldly”? Martin Luther wrote to his friend Philip Melanchthon in 1521: “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” To sin boldly, therefore, is not to seek unholy living, but to follow the course we believe the Bible demands even if the world is against us. And if and when we sin, trust in an even greater savior.

If you want to listen via the podcast feed, that link is here.  That link will take you to iTunes. To subscribe to the Sin Boldly podcast with an Android phone, I recommend the Cast Box app, which easily finds Sin Boldly via search. Your iPhone (or iOS) Podcast app finds it easily on iTunes. If you subscribe to the show, you get the episodes immediately upon release. Otherwise, it may take a few hours from the time of publication until it shows up on the feed. To listen immediately, see below.

Links cited:

http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/march/i-murdered-more-people-than-ted-bundy-former-abortionist-reflects-on-painful-past

https://religionnews.com/2018/12/05/george-h-w-bushs-quiet-faith-remembered-at-cathedral-funeral/

https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/prayer/39476-are-you-praying-in-tongues-too-much

https://www.fox13memphis.com/top-stories/-flying-mid-south-pastor-goes-viral/878751225

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All About Jesus. The Apostles’ Creed, Article Two

maxresdefaultA solo show that looks at the second article of the creed and contemporary issues, in particular the debate over the methods of the missionary who was slain last week. I also look at an article written by an Evangelical woman who feels gaslighted by her own congregation because of her left-leaning understanding of Christianity. In the creed, we learn what the real core of Jesus life and ministry was about. How do we keep that the main thing?

Why the name “Sin Boldly”? Martin Luther wrote to his friend Philip Melanchthon in 1521: “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” To sin boldly, therefore, is not to seek unholy living, but to follow the course we believe the Bible demands even if the world is against us. And if and when we sin, trust in an even greater savior.

If you want to listen via the podcast feed, that link is here.  That link will take you to iTunes. To subscribe to the Sin Boldly podcast with an Android phone, I recommend the Cast Box app, which easily finds Sin Boldly via search. Your iPhone (or iOS) Podcast app finds it easily on iTunes. If you subscribe to the show, you get the episodes immediately upon release. Otherwise, it may take a few hours from the time of publication until it shows up on the feed. To listen immediately, see below.

Links cited:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/11/27/missionary-didn-die-from-tribesmen-arrows-was-killed-his-own-arrogance/QSblpdBocWWSs3HeS94TYP/story.html?p1=Article_Recommended_ReadMore_Pos1

http://thefederalist.com/2018/11/28/john-chaus-death-missionary-failure-nobody-emulate/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/evangelical-christians-trump_us_5bfc326de4b03b230fa57ae9?fbclid=IwAR3E0xXbScFZv6ihFTjthTFECBR86e-PUXYSxT0QrceH7iDyog0n6y-gpcc

God as Father. Or is it AI?

600px-'Adam's_Creation_Sistine_Chapel_ceiling'_by_Michelangelo_JBU33cutThis episode looks at the first article of the Apostles’ Creed on God the Father. Boy, are there many competitors for God as Father and God as Creator and God as one who is almighty? And yet those words all play a crucial role in the first sentence of the Apostles’ Creed.

Why the name “Sin Boldly”? Martin Luther wrote to his friend Philip Melanchthon in 1521: “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” To sin boldly, therefore, is not to seek unholy living, but to follow the course we believe the Bible demands even if the world is against us. And if and when we sin, trust in an even greater savior.

If you want to listen via the podcast feed, that link is here.  That link will take you to iTunes. To subscribe to the Sin Boldly podcast with an Android phone, I recommend the Cast Box app, which easily finds Sin Boldly via search. Your iPhone (or iOS) Podcast app finds it easily on iTunes. If you subscribe to the show, you get the episodes immediately upon release. Otherwise, it may take a few hours from the time of publication until it shows up on the feed. To listen immediately, see below.

Links cited:

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/environment/sd-me-climate-study-error-20181113-story.html

https://venturebeat.com/2017/10/02/an-ai-god-will-emerge-by-2042-and-write-its-own-bible-will-you-worship-it/

https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/church-ministry/39290-10-characteristics-of-christian-cults

A Debate: Which Worldview Produces the Best World?

IMG_4127This fascinating debate features two scholars with diametrically opposed worldviews, both believing the worldview they hold benefits society while the other harms it. Both men are published and you might say true believers of their positions. Dr. McDurmon defends a biblical worldview while Dr. Carrier defends secular humanism.

This debate is different from past debates in that it is decidedly not a merely philosophical debate, but a debate that seeks to “cash out” theological convictions and assumptions. It also places an equal burden of proof on each speaker. Enjoy, and spread the word! YouTube link coming soon.

Finding Christ in Prison.

jail_generic_via_shutterstock-1476215822-9267-1534871566-9391I interviewed Cesar Cantu, a convicted drug runner who spent time in federal prison and whose sentence was later commuted by President Obama. Cesar tells an important story about trusting God and following his path. Definitely worth a listen!

Why the name “Sin Boldly”? Martin Luther wrote to his friend Philip Melanchthon in 1521: “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” To sin boldly, therefore, is not to seek unholy living, but to follow the course we believe the Bible demands even if the world is against us. And if and when we sin, trust in an even greater savior.

If you want to listen via the podcast feed, that link is here.  That link will take you to iTunes. To subscribe to the Sin Boldly podcast with an Android phone, I recommend the Cast Box app, which easily finds Sin Boldly via search. Your iPhone (or iOS) Podcast app finds it easily on iTunes. If you subscribe to the show, you get the episodes immediately upon release. Otherwise, it may take a few hours from the time of publication until it shows up on the feed. To listen immediately, see below.

Hands Off My Stuff! A Show on Coveting.

coveteousnessThis solo show concludes our series on the Ten Commandments, the last two teaching us that we should not covet. We look at the “harmless vice” of gambling as well as the covetous nature of the Prosperity Gospel. We also begin by looking at the festivals of Reformation and All Saints Day and a woman who claims to be having a child with a ghost.

Why the name “Sin Boldly”? Martin Luther wrote to his friend Philip Melanchthon in 1521: “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” To sin boldly, therefore, is not to seek unholy living, but to follow the course we believe the Bible demands even if the world is against us. And if and when we sin, trust in an even greater savior.

If you want to listen via the podcast feed, that link is here.  That link will take you to iTunes. To subscribe to the Sin Boldly podcast with an Android phone, I recommend the Cast Box app, which easily finds Sin Boldly via search. Your iPhone (or iOS) Podcast app finds it easily on iTunes. If you subscribe to the show, you get the episodes immediately upon release. Otherwise, it may take a few hours from the time of publication until it shows up on the feed. To listen immediately, see below.

Links cited:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/texas-prophet-joshua-holmes-is-jesus-in-the-flesh-followers-say-227970/

https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B110522/is-gambling-ok-dont-bet-on-it

https://www.christianpost.com/news/british-woman-claims-she-had-sex-with-20-ghosts-now-engaged-to-poltergeist-228282/

A Tale of Two Maxims

Which wins out: “Some things should never change” or “Adapt or die”?

fb6c9b_cc1f73885a1546b2841a9b32b667d2cc~mv2Every week, while leading a historic liturgical service, I feel the judgment of the world against what we are doing. It is surely just my own insecurities; and yet, I feel like I see it on visitor’s faces. Visitors are utterly confused about both the order of the service and the strangeness of it all, given the weird clothing that the worship leaders are wearing, the lighting of candles, and the employment of an organ, something they may have never even heard before. 

I know that since “contemporary” worship has become the norm – deviate from it at your own peril! – liturgical worship that does not bend the knee to emotion and all things “pop” is increasingly out of step with, well, everything that surrounds it. So I am at times tempted to just scrap the vestments, the organ, the hymnal, the paraments…anything that would be a barrier to worshipping God given the aesthetics and philosophy of Millennials. 

But there are many reasons I don’t, or really can’t, do that. One is the very basic reason that I would alienate those who have already rejected contemporary worship for liturgical worship. They are convinced that this is a particular reverence and a reality of timelessness that comes with maintaining traditional forms of worship. So losing an existing base, a base that knows how hard it is to find such traditional forms, would be foolish. 

I also know that, personally, I would feel like a fraud. As one who is convinced that pulling emotions from people using tried-and-true techniques is nothing less than emotional manipulation, I would honestly far prefer to get a part-time job to support my ministry habit before I led a contemporary service. 

The liturgy hasn’t done anything wrong. So why should it be punished?

But a maxim that strikes me as true is, “some things should never change.” I mean, that is true, right? There are some things, some rituals, some ways of life that should never change, no matter what changes around them…right? In fact, in many ways, “old” things are highly prized. People want to buy old houses. Newly-designed pubs and coffee houses all look old: distressed wooden tables, bench seating, even lightbulbs that look like they just left Edison’s factory. People pay good money to fly around the world to experience old customs or to sit among their ruins. “Old” recipes have special value. Vinyl records are selling out among audiophiles…because we all know digital sound just isn’t true.

God himself instituted worship practices that did not change for centuries. (See Exodus and Leviticus.) So surely, as a premise, it cannot be denied that worship of God need not change. After all, we do not fundamentally change, and God doesn’t either. So why should our worship of Him? If liturgical worship is rooted in God’s Word, if the sacraments that Jesus instituted remain front and center, and if the words said continue to speak truth, what is the substantial, defensible reason to change? I just can’t think of one. The liturgy hasn’t done anything wrong. So why should it be punished? 

Of course, the answers are many and they are perhaps rooted another maxim: “Adapt or die.” The American economy is a remarkable testament to the power of the ever-changing market. Its complexities and nuances cannot be apprehended by even the most pointy-headed of academics. Businesses, in an effort to sell products or services, adapt to every slight change in the market. They must! For if they do not adapt, their competition will, and they will lose their advantage.

On the whole, the evidence is in and not even contemporary worship can salvage the poor worship habits, low level of theological knowledge, or weak commitment to the scriptures of rich, distracted, and bored Americans.

Well, it isn’t hard to imagine that when we all get accustomed to constant change and custom-tailoring, something staying the same not only feels stale; it must be positively dead. A cursory look at the contemporary Christian scene will demonstrate that once a congregation goes the route of adapting to stay alive, they are on the train that never stops. Do you remember “contemporary” Christian music in the 1990s? Yeah, it looks nothing like Hillsong. The same ol’, same ol’ won’t cut it, even when you have taken the leap of adding the screens, trap set, electric guitars and flannel. No, you need to adapt or die. 

And die many have, and many more will. On the whole, the evidence is in and not even contemporary worship can salvage the poor worship habits, low level of theological knowledge, or weak commitment to the scriptures of rich, distracted, and bored Americans. So while shiny contemporary services are peeling off members from already starving congregations, those churches themselves will have to adapt or die, since innovation is the promise they have made to their members. 

So I’m stuck between these two maxims. This is the weekly debate I hold between my ears. Which one will give way to the other? I can’t speak for anyone else, but it seems to me that the first maxim remains true and worthy of defending. Adaptation in the marketplace is amazing. But God’s Kingdom and life within the Church doesn’t have to play by those rules. Shame on our culture for demanding that it do exactly that. Worship of God is certainly in the category of “things that should never change.”

On the Many Ways to Lie.

pinocchio_and_jiminy_cricket___colored_by_rob_lightning-d4pqe9aThis episode continues to look at the Ten Commandments, and boy are they as relevant as ever. Truth never dies! The commandment not to bear false witness has obvious contemporary connection, given fake news, the scapegoating of entire groups of people, and stretching the truth for political advantage.

Why the name “Sin Boldly”? Martin Luther wrote to his friend Philip Melanchthon in 1521: “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” To sin boldly, therefore, is not to seek unholy living, but to follow the course we believe the Bible demands even if the world is against us. And if and when we sin, trust in an even greater savior.

If you want to listen via the podcast feed, that link is here.  That link will take you to iTunes. To subscribe to the Sin Boldly podcast with an Android phone, I recommend the Cast Box app, which easily finds Sin Boldly via search. Your iPhone (or iOS) Podcast app finds it easily on iTunes. If you subscribe to the show, you get the episodes immediately upon release. Otherwise, it may take a few hours from the time of publication until it shows up on the feed. To listen immediately, see below.

Links cited:

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/gender-man-hatred/

https://thefederalist.com/2018/10/15/elizabeth-warrens-dna-test-proves-she-was-lying/

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/10/senator-cory-booker-accused-sexual-assault-gay-man-fake-news/

On Theft, Large Catechism Study Continued

burglar1A solo episode that looks at the commandment against theft. We look at Luther’s commentary, of course, as well as modern application including looking at the institutional reality of theft. Socialism, anyone? And I got a caller right at the end of the show!

Why the name “Sin Boldly”? Martin Luther wrote to his friend Philip Melanchthon in 1521: “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” To sin boldly, therefore, is not to seek unholy living, but to follow the course we believe the Bible demands even if the world is against us. And if and when we sin, trust in an even greater savior.

If you want to listen via the podcast feed, that link is here.  That link will take you to iTunes. To subscribe to the Sin Boldly podcast with an Android phone, I recommend the Cast Box app, which easily finds Sin Boldly via search. Your iPhone (or iOS) Podcast app finds it easily on iTunes. If you subscribe to the show, you get the episodes immediately upon release. Otherwise, it may take a few hours from the time of publication until it shows up on the feed. To listen immediately, see below.

Links Cited:

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/federal-budget-deficit-hits-six-year-high/

http://ashbrook.org/publications/onprin-v1n3-thompson/

Adultery, Trump, and Loving Your Neighbor

c78a81664b681e2f5aaccfb89b7f-trump-and-adultery-is-pleading-the-fifth-97-times-acceptableA solo episode that continues our look at the Ten Commandments through Luther’s Large Catechism, focusing a bit more on the commandment against murder and zooming in on the commandment against adultery. As always, I include contemporary articles and commentary.

Why the name “Sin Boldly”? Martin Luther wrote to his friend Philip Melanchthon in 1521: “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong [sin boldly], but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” To sin boldly, therefore, is not to seek unholy living, but to follow the course we believe the Bible demands even if the world is against us. And if and when we sin, trust in an even greater savior.

If you want to listen via the podcast feed, that link is here.  That link will take you to iTunes. To subscribe to the Sin Boldly podcast with an Android phone, I recommend the Cast Box app, which easily finds Sin Boldly via search. Your iPhone (or iOS) Podcast app finds it easily on iTunes. If you subscribe to the show, you get the episodes immediately upon release. Otherwise, it may take a few hours from the time of publication until it shows up on the feed. To listen immediately, see below.

Articles Cited:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-oppose-allowing-pharmacists-refuse-contraceptives-white-evangelicals-divided-227763/

https://www.christianpost.com/news/uk-university-investigating-why-booth-promoting-prostitution-was-allowed-at-new-student-fair-227687/

http://www.dennisprager.com/trump-adultery-morality/