Why Bad News Is Good News

BY MATT JOHNSON

Martin Luther knew something about economics. Well, God’s economics anyway. It goes something like this: you can’t pay your way into heaven, and it was wrong of the Pope and his cronies to say so. The Christian life is all of grace and nothing of personal sacrifice or performance. These are the big ideas that frame Luther’s 95 theses.

Why Bad News Is Good News

What If It’s None Of My Business?

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

I did not grow up in a church that had a rich understanding of grace. I was spoon fed a strict diet of law served on a bed of threats. I was told that I both could and should be perfect, because God provides all the help, through the Holy Spirit, that I need in order to do so. Therefore, if I do not reach that goal, it is only because I selfishly choose not to.

What If It’s None Of My Business?

30 Minutes In The New Testament: Episode 103 (Romans 7:24-8:17)

Daniel and Erick breakdown what it means to be both sinner and saint. How do we deal with the fact that we desire to do what is good but struggle to carry it out? Where does Paul direct us for hope and comfort? If there is no condemnation for those in Christ, how do you know you are in Christ? What does it mean to have the Spirit and what is His role? What does it mean to be an heir with Christ. It’s all discussed in this episode.

30 Minutes In The New Testament: Episode 103 (Romans 7:24-8:17)

When The Old Adam Goes Church Shopping

BY DONAVON RILEY

If I’m going to join your church, there’s some things I’ll need to know first. I need to know whether you practice a Christianity that’s primarily a to-do list. Do you emphasize the Christian and his performance? After all, if I don’t do the right thing and avoid the wrong things how will I know what God thinks of me?

When The Old Adam Goes Church Shopping

Agree With Your Enemy

BY MARTIN LUTHER

Paul describes this faith in most significant words, namely, when we cry Abba! Father! For in the spirit of fear it is not possible to cry, for we can scarcely open our mouth or mumble. But faith expands the heart, the emotions, and the voice, but fear tightens up all these things and restricts them, as our own experience amply testifies.

Agree With Your Enemy

40 Minutes In The Old Testament: Episode 157 (Deuteronomy 2:1-3:14)

Moses recounts wandering around the wilderness for 38 years. God puts prohibitions on who Israel is allowed to engage in conflict with. Why is God good to the children of Esau? What does God’s gifting nature to other nations tell us about Him? What does it mean for God to hate someone? What is going on with nations of giant people? Chad and Daniel discuss all of this.

40 Minutes In The Old Testament: Episode 157 (Deuteronomy 2:1-3:14)

Whenever Our Heart Condemns Us

BY BRANDON HANSON

He looked me straight in the eye and said these words, almost in a challenging way, “I hate God. I do. I try to love and obey Him, yet whenever I’m alone, when my mind has a chance to think, it constantly and consistently points me to the fact that I am not innocent of sinning against God.

Whenever Our Heart Condemns Us

I Am A Fake Christian

BY RYAN COUCH

What is a fake Christian? I think the answer depends upon how you define “Christian”…the Bible says that a Christian is one who has faith in the person and work of Christ as his/her only means of salvation; that is that they’ve been put to death and raised into new life with Christ.

I Am A Fake Christian

Grace In The Wilderness

BY JESSICA THOMPSON

God’s children spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Imagine the hopelessness. Imagine the frustration. Imagine the seeds of distrust that were blooming into outright trees of anger and pain. “He brought us out of Egypt for this?” Some of us don’t need to imagine this anger, this pain, this sense that maybe God has forgotten or betrayed you.

Grace In The Wilderness

30 Minutes In The New Testament: Episode 102 (Romans 7:1-23)

Paul roots the Christian’s death to the law in baptism and makes a scandalous claim that the law arouses sin in people. What does it mean to be released from the written code of the law and to obey in spirit? How does the law increase sin? What does it mean that sin uses the law to deceive us? Is Romans 7 talking about pre or post conversion? Daniel and Erick discuss all of this.

30 Minutes In The New Testament: Episode 102 (Romans 7:1-23)

Begin The Begets

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

I am a time traveler now. It all started this past Christmas. My son gave my husband and me DNA kits, and the instructions suggested that, in preparation, you should begin building your family tree while awaiting the results. So, I did. Now, I am...I don't want to say obsessed, but...okay, let's just call it what it is...I'm obsessed.

Begin The Begets

Stop Conflating Caesar With Jesus

BY BRANDON HANSON

Appealing to our religion to push our political and social sensibilities is not what Jesus died for. And when we make it about that, it becomes more exclusive than the very inclusive Gospel. It sets up dividing lines that God never put there; boundaries that He sent His Son to break, walls that were torn down in the death of Christ.

Stop Conflating Caesar With Jesus

40 Minutes In The Old Testament: Episode 156 (Deuteronomy 1:24-46)

Moses recounts the people’s refusal to trust God when the report comes back from the promised land. A crazy accusation is made against God. Moses reminds the people how God has acted as a Father to them and carried them along. Why do we refuse to trust the promises of God? Why are we so forgetful of His faithfulness? Is it a good thing when God gives people what they want? Chad and Daniel discuss all of this.

40 Minutes In The Old Testament: Episode 156 (Deuteronomy 1:24-46)

The Advantages Of Praying Drunk

BY MATT JOHNSON

Think about it. God’s grace can quickly become theoretical and it plays out in our churchy practices and attitudes all the time. What if a homeless drunk began showing up to church services, but he’s really slow to change? He will need a lot of grace in order to live the sanctified life.

The Advantages Of Praying Drunk

How Long, O Lord? Climbing 109 Mountains

BY CHAD BIRD

I finally climbed all 109 mountains. My journey began out of desperation, fueled by anger, fear, resentment. I didn't how long it would take, nor the toll it would take from me. I simply climbed, some days only an inch, other days a few feet. And sometimes I plummeted backwards.

How Long, O Lord? Climbing 109 Mountains

Grace and Peace for Stubborn Sins

BY MARTIN LUTHER

The terms of grace and peace are common terms with Paul and are now pretty well understood. But since we are explaining this epistle, you will not mind if we repeat what we have so often explained elsewhere.

Grace and Peace for Stubborn Sins

30 Minutes In The New Testament: Episode 101 (Romans 6:15-23)

Should we sin because we are not under law? How do you talk about the law, the gospel and grace in light of the fact that we still sin? What does it mean to be a slave to God or sin? What does it mean to be obedient from the heart? What is going on with sanctification? Daniel and Erick discuss all of this. Have a listen!

30 Minutes In The New Testament: Episode 101 (Romans 6:15-23)

Grace & The Umbrella Academy

BY BLAKE FLATTLEY

Netflix just recently released a series called The Umbrella Academy, another comic book series adapted for screen. The first season is all about warding off the impending apocalypse. If you haven’t seen the show, I’ll do my best not to spoil it for you.

Grace & The Umbrella Academy

40 Minutes In The Old Testament: Episode 155 (Deuteronomy 1:1-23)

Chad and Daniel begin the journey through Deuteronomy. After some introduction to the book, we see Moses start addressing the second generation of Israel and take a shot at those who came before them for the journey taking so long. Why is the Holy Land Holy? Who does it belong to? Why does Moses appoint Judges? Why is showing partiality so frequently spoken against? All this and more is discussed in this first episode in Deuteronomy.

40 Minutes In The Old Testament: Episode 155 (Deuteronomy 1:1-23)

Examples Of Grace

BY KYLE G JONES

I was once asked why I thought young people were leaving the church in droves after they graduated high school. As a director of youth and family ministry, I’m well positioned to answer. My response: Sunday school. We’re losing young people as children in Sunday school because we’re teaching Bible stories to modify behavior…

Examples Of Grace

Giving Up For Lent

BY GRETCHEN RONNEVIK

Our church doesn’t talk a lot about giving up things for Lent. Lent seasons means we have Sunday night services as well, where we bring in speakers who talk about a different theme each year—usually surrounding the idea of the suffering of Christ. It fits because Lent is the season in the liturgical church calendar when we reflect on the suffering of Christ.

Giving Up For Lent

Jesus – The De-Motivational Speaker

BY MATT JOHNSON

Americans love the vicarious sense of pride they get from the odds-defying underdog myth. But often, all the attaboy-ing translates to spiritual performance and a definition of sin that is closer to good intentions gone awry than war against the maker of the universe.

Jesus – The De-Motivational Speaker

30 Minutes In The New Testament: Episode 100 (Romans 6:1-14)

Paul sees an objection to the gospel he just laid out in chapter 5 coming and gets in front of it. Should we sin to increase grace? What does it mean for sin to not have dominion over us? Where and when did we die to sin? What does it mean to walk in newness of life? Daniel and Erick discuss all of this. Have a listen!

30 Minutes In The New Testament: Episode 100 (Romans 6:1-14)

The Advocate

BY JESSICA THOMPSON

If you are going to memorize a passage of Scripture, can I suggest these two verses? My guess is you are going to need the good news they deliver every day of your life, multiple times a day. I love the tone that John is taking here, “My little children” is such a sweet term of endearment.

The Advocate