Objections to Conditional Immortality Answered with David Burge

January 8, 2010

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David Burge is the pastor of the Takanini Church of Christ in Auckland, New Zealand. He also leads the Advent Christian Conference of New Zealand and the Conditional Immortality Association of New Zealand (www.afterlife.co.nz). He has researched, written, and spoken extensively on the topic of conditional immortality (the belief that dead people are asleep until the resurrection at the return of Christ).

Conditional immortality has already been discussed in these previous shows:

In this episode, rather than asking David to present a positive case for this doctrine, I pummeled him with difficult verses for him to explain. Amazingly, time after time, he was able to show where the misunderstanding was, and how to interpret each sensibly. Verses discussed include:

  1. Luke 16.19-31
  2. Luke 23.43
  3. 2 Corinthians 5.8
  4. Philippians 1.23
  5. Revelation 6.9-11
  6. Revelation 14.11
  7. Revelation 20.10

Also, as of right now David is fighting for his life against acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Please pray for him, his wife, and their eight children. Updates about him can be found here.

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Law and Sabbath with Anthony Buzzard

September 5, 2009

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Sir Anthony Buzzard was born in Surrey, England and educated at Oxford University and later at Bethany Theological Seminary in Chicago. He holds Master’s degrees in languages and theology. He came to the USA with his wife and daughters in 1981 and has taught Bible at Atlanta Bible College since then. He is the author of numerous books including The Law, the Sabbath, and New Covenant Christianity (other books and articles are available at restorationfellowship.org).

Do Christians need to keep the Law of Moses? Is it wrong to work on Saturday? Should the people of God avoid pork and shellfish? Questions like these may seem obvious to many of us but there are several groups of Christians who insist that unless one keeps the Law he or she will be condemned on the day of judgment. Amazingly, this same Judaizing tendency was rampant in the first century church as well. Listen in to the discussion to find out more about this as well as hear first-hand what it was like for Anthony when he came to these conclusions after observing Torah for fourteen years.


The Restitution of Jesus Christ with Servetus the Evangelical

August 26, 2009

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“Servetus the Evangelical” is the pseudonym for an evangelical scholar who recently published a book called The Restitution of Jesus Christ in which he describes who God and Jesus are from a biblical unitarian perspective including exegesis of several texts typically used to teach that Jesus is God (i.e. John 1.1; 20.28; etc.). Though he has been a Bible-believing evangelical all his adult life he began to question the doctrine of the Trinity when he couldn’t make sense of certain Scriptures within a trinitarian mindset. In particular Matthew 24.36 (also Mark 13.32) convinced him that Jesus was not omniscient since he confessed that he did not know when he would return. Texts like this began “Servetus” on a quest for truth which ended in his confession of the historic creed of the people of God that Yahweh alone is God (Deut. 6.4; Mark 12.29) and that Jesus is the human Messiah divinely begotten by God via the Holy Spirit.

“Servetus” has a website at which many articles are free for download including this tract which describes in a couple of pages what his research on God and Jesus has revealed. Furthermore, there is a contest on www.servetustheevangelical.com to guess his identity. Since 2008 he has revealed a clue each month. He will continue to do this until 2011 (the 500th birthday of Michael Servetus) when he will reveal his identity and publish a new book about his personal journey. Listen in to this conversation to hear the mysterious “Servetus the Evangelical” describe why he changed his views on these critical matters. (Thanks to JP Smajda–audio engineer extraordinaire–for his help in disguising Servetus’ voice).


The Great Shift with Alex Hall

May 31, 2009

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Alex Hall of London, UK, describes with gusto and detail how the early Christian movement shifted away from the Hebrew mindset as it was persecuted in its native land and driven out into the Greco-Roman world. Alex basis his commentary on volume one of the German church historian Adolf Harnack’s tome called History of Dogma. (Accessible online at ccel.org)

Listen in as Alex discusses the major reasons why Christianity began to shift its thinking towards Greek philosophy and how important it is that we be informed about this great shift.


The Shema with Brian Kelly

May 24, 2009

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Brian Kelly has been studying the Bible for over three decades and leads a home fellowship in Syracuse, NY. On this show he talks about the importance of the core creed of the Bible: the Shema. The word “Shema” means “Hear” or “Listen up” and it is the shorthand way of referring to Deuteronomy 6.4-5.

 Deuteronomy 6.4-5 
4 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

When a Jewish scribe asked Jesus what the foremost commandment was, Jesus immediately quoted this text. This tells us that the God Jesus worshiped is the same as the God of Moses and the Old Testament.

In this show, Brian leads us to consider the two parts to the Shema. (1) To recognize that Yahweh alone is our single God (2) to love this God with everything (holding nothing back). Download this file to learn more about biblical monotheism and how to avoid the pitfalls of ancient Israel’s idolatry.


Resurrection with Joe Martin

May 3, 2009

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Dr. Joe Martin earned his MA in sociology from Arizona State University, a second MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from Columbia Theological Seminary. He is the academic dean of the Atlanta Bible College and has been professor of Old Testament for almost twenty years.

The subject focused on the resurrection of Jesus as well as the coming resurrection of the people of God. Dr. Martin explains the Old Testament underpinnings of the idea of resurrection and demonstrates conclusively that the biblical idea is incompatible with the pagan notion of the immortal soul. By comparing Jesus’ death with that of Socrates, we are able to see that, for Christians, death is not a friend to be greeted with kindness, but the bitterest of enemies. Furthermore, Dr. Martin points out that a good deal of modern scholarship is moving in this direction, which means that people are coming to understand with more clarity that God is not planning on destroying the earth, rather his goal is to redeem it at the return of Christ. Therefore, as Christians, believers in the resurrection of Jesus and the future resurrection of the righteous, what sort of people are we to be?


Jesus the Messiah with Richard Elton

April 26, 2009

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Richard Elton converted to Christianity from atheism more than thirty years ago. He led a home fellowship for decades and now is active in prison ministry. Furthermore, he recently made a trip to Israel with another of our guests, John Cortright, and therefore he brings a fresh Hebraic perspective to our topic for this show–Jesus the Messiah.

Though many may not realize it, Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Rather, the word simply means Messiah–one who is anointed to rule God’s people on his behalf. From the birth narratives to his triumphal entry and beyond, the humble recognized that Jesus was the Messiah. But, sadly, today many of us who confess the words, “Jesus is the Christ,” do not even know what they mean. Download this show to learn the biblical meaning of Jesus as Messiah.