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.

The History of Hell with John Roller

February 22, 2009

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Dr. John Roller has served as an interdenominational youth evangelist, as a pastor of churches in Illinois, Florida, and West Virginia. He has a Ph.D. from Bethany Theological Seminary in Dothan, Alabama, where he specialized in tracing the early christian history on the afterlife and the doctrine of hell. Dr. Roller has written an e-book, The Doctrine of Immortality in the Early Church, which is available for free upon request by emailing him (johnroller@faithbiblechristian.com). More information about John Roller can be found at www.JohnRoller.com.

In this show John articulates with lucidity the shift from the biblical notion of annihilation to the pagan mythology of eternal torment. From the earliest days Christians believed that at death one was asleep until the resurrection when Jesus returned to establish his kingdom. Only then would hell exist as a means by which God would destroy the wicked and rebellious. However, through the late second century influence of Athenagoras of Athens, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian of Carthage, the hell doctrine combined withe the Greek philosophic idea that souls are immortal into the grotesque abomination that is so popular today. Join us as we delve into the history of hell to document the remarkable shift that occurred in the second century.

The Truth about Hell with John Cortright

February 15, 2009

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Rev. John Cortright brings thirty years of biblical teaching experience to bear on the critical subject of hell. Most Christians believe that hell is the place that one goes to immediately at death if he or she is unsaved. In hell a person is supposedly tormented without relief, not for ten, twenty, or thirty years, nor even for a million years, but for all of eternity. This grotesque mythology has grown out of exaggerations by people like Dante whose imaginations, no doubt, got the better of their exegetical powers.

John demonstrates from the Scriptures that the dead are in Sheol (also called Hades) where they are unconscious (“asleep”) until Jesus comes to resurrect. Even so, after the millennial rule, a great white throne will be set up and the final judgment will occur. At this time everyone whose name is not found written in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire (gehenna) to be burned to death.

John shows that the idea of gehenna (the word translated hell in the New Testament) came from an actual place–the Valley of Hinnom (see picture at right). What’s more, John has actually been there–to the Valley of Hinnom–in modern day Israel and he describes it with chilling detail. Furthermore, John shares what took place there historically so that it became the prototypical way of talking about God’s fiery judgment to be delivered in the last day. If you have ever questioned the typical view of hell, and have been at a loss to reconcile the belief that God will torture people forever with the notion that “God is love,” then this show would be well worth your time.

The Truth about Heaven with Steve Taylor

February 8, 2009

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Pastor Steve Taylor has extensive ministry experience, having served as the pastor of churches in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Georgia prior to moving to Arizona. Over the past thirty years of his ministerial career he has had a lot of time to research Bible topics including Heaven.

Steve shares with us a truth that many are coming to realize: that at death Christians are unconscious until the resurrection when Jesus returns to establish God’s kingdom on the earth. Steve draws not only from decades of Bible study, but also from his vast experience in ministry as he has counseled with those who have lost loved ones. Listen in to hear what the Bible really says about the afterlife.

Kingdom Lifestyle with Daniel Fitzsimmons

February 1, 2009

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Daniel Fitzsimmons is currently a senior at the University of Albany where he studies investigative journalism with a concentration on international relations. Dan shares about what it means to live out the kingdom lifestyle in a college environment. When I asked him, “How does the kingdom affect your lifestyle?” he replied, “It doesn’t affect any part of your life, it is your life. Everything is different.”

Throughout the course of our discussion Dan was courageously transparent in sharing his own past experiences with the college lifestyle and how God has helped him to realize that following Jesus needs to be taken as a serious priority. Furthermore, Dan makes an emotional appeal to those who grew up Christian but now rationalize their belligerent rebellion by saying, “I have time to change; God will forgive me.”

A primary theme that resurfaced several times was how being a kingdom citizen should affect how we live here and now, even before Jesus returns to establish God’s kingdom on earth. Listen in to this show to hear not only a stimulating theological discussion but also how belief in the kingdom can affect our daily lives in radical ways.

The Kingdom of God as Gospel with Sir Anthony Buzzard

January 25, 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 both 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 has a number of books including The Coming Kingdom of the Messiah and Our Fathers Who Aren’t in Heaven.

The gospel preached in churches usually only includes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. However, Jesus never even mentioned his death and resurrection until the 16th chapter of Matthew, yet he and his disciples were out preaching the gospel tirelessly prior to this. So, if the original gospel did not include the information about Jesus’ death for our sins, then what was he preaching about?

Sir Anthony Buzzard shares from his vast biblical knowledge to help us uncover the missing foundation of the Christian gospel–the kingdom of God. In fact, Jesus (like John the Baptist) was a kingdom gospel preacher. Then after he died and was raised, this new information was added onto the existing gospel of the kingdom. Sadly, in modern Christianity, there is an endemic tendency to jettison the foundation of the gospel by solely focusing on Jesus’ death for our sins. Thus, we are left with a gutted gospel. Listen in as we probe the Scriptures (and the Gospels in particular) to sort out the whole saving gospel.

If you would like to contact Sir Anthony Buzzard, you can email him at this address: anthonybuzzard@mindspring.com

Objections to the Kingdom with Dustin Smith

January 18, 2009

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Dustin Smith has his Bachelor’s in Theology and is currently working towards his Master’s of Theological Studies at Bethel College in Misahwaka, Indianna. Currently, he serves as the pastor of Timberland Bible Church in South Bend, Indianna (the home of Notre Dame).

In this show Dustin explains several verses that are typically used to contradict the idea that the kingdom of God is a future, political, realm to be established on earth at the second coming of Jesus the Messiah. First, Dustin summarizes what the kingdom is, and then I ask him to explain several key texts. Throughout our conversation, Dustin repeatedly emphasizes that the kingdom should not be understood as solely future nor should it be “spiritualized” into a personal experience, rather the kingdom is something yet future even though it was somehow present in Jesus’ ministry through his gospel proclamation, teachings, miracles, and deeds.

Throughout this show the following texts are explained in detail:

  1. Matthew 12.28
  2. Luke 17.21
  3. John 18.36

Furthermore, Dustin answers why should we even be concerned about what the kingdom of God means. The show concludes with a discussion of how we as ambassadors of the kingdom are meant to bring forth signs of the kingdom in order to testify to God’s magnificent plans for the future of his creation. We are God’s restorative agents to give people a foretaste of the kingdom by reaching out to everyone with cross-shaped love, truth, justice, and forgiveness.

Kingdom of God with Victor Gluckin

January 11, 2009

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Victor Gluckin expertly navigates through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation stopping at critical points along the way in order to elucidate the primary theme of all Scripture: the kingdom of God. Victor has a B.A. from the University at Albany (SUNY) in history and Judaic studies. He also attended Atlanta Bible College where he studied theology. Now he serves as one of the pastors at Living Faith Christian Church in Warwick, RI.

Victor talks about the twin pillars of the Old Testament without which one is sure to lose his way while journeying through the pages of Scripture–the promises made to Abraham and David. To Abraham, God swore that his descendants would receive the land. To David, God made a covenant, that one of his lineage would sit upon the throne and rule forever. These two grand promises converge when one arrives at the first verse of the New Testament–Matthew 1.1. Jesus the Messiah is descended from Abraham and David and is God’s chosen one to ruler over the land, which he calls “the kingdom of God.” Listen to this podcast to discover the missing link which joins together both Old and New Testaments, both the prophets and Jesus, both the messianic Psalms and the epistles into one coherent whole, one grand narrative of paradise lost and how God through the course of redemptive history plans to at last make everything wrong with the world right.

Why Truth Matters with Richard Wilkinson

January 4, 2009

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This inaugural show divides roughly into two sections. The first part Richard Wilkinson talks about why biblical truth is important by telling his story of conversion. While at medical school in Scotland he was educated in chaos and despair and found himself at the end of his rope. Then he took drastic action–he moved to the USA to be near a Christian community. Even then, it would take several years before God finally got his attention and incontrovertibly revealed himself so that Richard found himself unmistakably transformed. This testimony serves as the background to our discussion about biblical truth.

The second half of the show taps into Richard’s forensic science background to give some insight into how one can investigate competing biblical interpretations. Since he is studying forensic science at the University of Albany (SUNY), he is able to bring a unique perspective to sniffing out deception and exonerating truth. Listen in as we discuss how to discern biblical doctrine from deception.