The Psychology of Salvation with Mary Ann Yaconis

March 29, 2009

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Mary Ann Yaconis has a Bachelor’s in education from Indiana University of PA, a Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland in Family Counseling, a Master of Arts degree from Regent University in Counseling, and she is currently a Ph.D candidate in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola College in Maryland. She was a high school teacher for many years in Fairfax County, Virginia, and now volunteers at Living Hope Community Church as a licensed mental health counselor.

Mary Ann tells her story of how different beliefs about salvation affected her relationship with God throughout her life. She started out with a fairly typical “churchianity” background where she and her husband participated in the church a lot but didn’t really experience God in a profound way. Then, she joined another group in which she was taught the doctrine of permanent unconditional salvation. During this time she grew a lot regarding faith and walking with God, but her conscience kept pestering her about her sin. Even though the leadership kept telling her that she was saved no matter what, and that all she had to do was ask for forgiveness, she couldn’t help feeling distant from God. Then, by God’s grace, she learned about repentance–that sin was not to be forgiven alone but that corresponding life-change was necessary. As time went on she found herself moving steadily closer to God as she partnered with him to overcome sins one at a time. Since then, Mary Ann has been very active in counseling ministry and she shares some deep insights into the barriers we erect between ourselves and God.

The Grace Trap with Vince Finnegan

March 22, 2009

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Rev. Vince Finnegan is not only the founding minister of Living Hope Community Church, but he is also my father. We had an engaging Bible conversation on the subject of salvation. Out of all the programs on this show, I think this one is the most densely packed with Scripture. Text after text was discussed in order to debunk the myth of unconditional salvation and instead share the biblical idea of salvation by grace through faith that expresses itself in obedience. Furthermore, the theme of perseverance featured in our dialog. Listen in as we discuss “The Grace Trap” in this ongoing series on salvation.

Conditional Salvation with Bob Mathieson

March 15, 2009

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Rev. Bob Mathieson has been serving as the pastor of a congregation in Newark, Delaware for the last twenty years. When he was in his twenties he first accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and learned theology from an ultra-dispensationalist perspective. As a result, for the first thirty years of his Christian experience, Bob believed and held firmly to the doctrine called, “once saved, always saved.” However, in the last four years or so, Bob has been researching the topic of dispensationalism and salvation and has come to a better understanding.

Throughout this conversation, Bob not only shows the errors of dispensational theology, but he also lays in its place the foundation for a holistic view of Scripture. In our discussion on the possibility of someone losing his or her salvation, Bob remarked:

Many people are concerned about this, and I understand their concern initially, because they have made themselves feel good about the fact they could never lose it–it scares them. Someone says, “Are you telling me I can lose my salvation?” My response to that is, “That’s the wrong way to put it. You lose your car keys; you don’t lose your salvation. You forfeit your salvation; you walk away from your salvation. You don’t lose it. It not something where you are going to be surprised. This is a deliberate saying, ‘I’m going to do what I want to do with my life, I’m not going to continue to make Jesus Lord, and I’m going to continue on in some kind of sinful way.’ The only thing left then, is a fiery judgment that God will judge.”

Listen in to hear a masterful and balanced presentation of a subject that in the hands of less skilled exegetes has crumbled into either “easy believism” or “works salvation.” Is their a third option? Tune in to find out.

Easy Believism with Jason Benedict

March 8, 2009

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Jason Benedict grew up in the church but went through a period of rebellion all too common among those in college. Then after he observed a massive life-change in his brother, which included some convicting preaching as well, Jason chose to repent and accept the forgiveness available through Jesus Christ. But, his story doesn’t end there, from that time he embarked on an extremely zealous quest to earn God’s love which eventually led to burnout and despair. Even so, God did not leave him there, but sent a messenger, Jason’s cousin, to share truths about Jesus which opened Jason’s eyes and brought his relationship with God to the next level–where he could accept God’s love without feeling a need to work for it.

Through his story Jason Benedict talks about how his perception of salvation shifted from one side to the other and what the biblical balance is between grace and responsibility. Listen in to this lively conversation as we embark on a series of shows to address the critical subject of salvation.

Jason pastored a home church for a number of years and now contributes at Living Hope Community Church as one of the teachers for our Biblical Education Classes.

A Slight Interuption

March 2, 2009

Two weeks ago there was a glitch in the radio programming which played episode 6, The Truth about Heaven with Steve Taylor two weeks in a row. By that time I had already finished the next two shows and set them to auto post on the appropriate dates on this website. However, it was a bit awkward because the website was a week ahead of the actual radio show. Therefore, we are delaying the website for one week (last Sunday no new show) so that the two can be synchronized. This is particularly helpful for people who listen on the radio and then check out the website to comment on the show they just heard. Sorry for the interruption in continuity, but be assured, next week we will have a riveting show concerning salvation called Easy Believism with Jason Benedict, so stay tuned.