Podcast Archive

Simonetta Carr has authored numerous (and superb!) children’s books. It’s our honor to have her on the show today, and it won’t take you long to figure out she ain’t from around here. Originally hailing from lovely Italy, she now lives in sunny Cali - trading one vineyard for another. It does seem all the more fitting she’d write a book on Michelangelo, contender for the Renaissance Man title and a native Italian himself! Simonetta calls us to question: why should reformed protestants know (or even care) about Michelangelo and the Renaissance, and why should our children learn about them, too? Her book will broaden our view of the reformation as well as an appreciation for the arts and the beauty therein. But … what about all the renaissance nudity?! Don't shield your eyes … it’s a bit of Art Appreciation meets Survey of Art History on Mortification of Spin today, so trade your pen for a paintbrush and tap into your inner artist.

Happy 10th anniversary to the Young Restless & Reformed! To those unfamiliar with YRR, we aren't marking the anniversary of a soap opera, (though, it's had its fair share of drama!). The YRR, or New Calvinism, is a movement that gained momentum in the late 90's when many grew restless within the Emerging Church. They wanted something more solid on which to stand: doctrine! And so they turned to the theological treasure trove of the olden days. For some it's a revolutionary resurgence of discovery and Biblical understanding, while to others, it's simply review. However good this movement from Emergent to Edwards is, it comes with its criticisms and concerns. Ten years strong and the verdict's still out: Have the Young Restless & Reformed strengthened the Church?

Let’s talk ministerial burnout! It’s a relevant topic at the end of another marathon recording day as we squeeze our hosts for onnnnne more episode. Poor Todd, red-eyed and against his fragile will, did not leave the studio despite his many threats to do so. Just a Diva trapped inside a pipe-smoker’s body. In all seriousness, ministerial burnout can be lurking in the pulpit or present in the pew more often than we realize. The stats are alarming which demand we ask: Do we encourage those who shepherd us? Do we pray often (or even at all!) for them? Are our elders consumed by responsibilities or healthy and happy in their service? 

As you may know, our hosts are avid readers. But what you don't know may surprise you ... Carl enjoys snuggling up to a good comic & Todd's keen on the Scratch and sniff, pop-up variety but Aimee's leaps and bounds ahead of the boys with the more mature palette, devouring her fair share of Seventeen magazine. Our shining examples of readers beg the question: why read? Outside of studying the Bible, should reading be considered a godly discipline? Should Christians read poetry? Novels? Or only biographies and ... Harry Potter? 

Wesley Smith, lawyer and an award winning author, recognized as an expert thinker in the field of bioengineering and a "Great Defender of Life" for his work against assisted suicide and euthanasia, joins us today as we bask in the glories of the one-star Best Western conference room. Wesley is calling in from Cali - how fortunate he should be deprived the novelties of weak coffee and Todd's disgruntled face as he eats another day-old donut. Of course, the trials we face here pale in comparison with today's topic. Wesley bears much knowledge on bioethics, a field of study that tests the ethics and philosophical implications of medical practices and procedures. With the sanctity of life increasingly questioned, "do-harm medicine" is growing in practice. We live in a backwards world where death is more valued than life, and the disabled not worthy of all the medical efforts. Don't be surprised to find yourself catching your jaw during this one!

In Reformed Theology, we hold firm to the tradition of true doctrine - we believe it's invaluable to aiding an understanding of our faith and more importantly we believe scripture to be the supreme and normative source of what we believe. Yet why are so many evangelicals leery of combining the words: 'tradition' and 'true doctrine'? In the end, they help define divine realities, and more importantly, lend accurate descriptions of God. Maybe more alarming is not the lay person who misunderstands traditional doctrine, but those who don't preach it from the pulpit or teach it from the lectern. It's necessary that the Church connect scripture to the traditional doctrinal statements lest she get swept away by every wind of novel doctrine.

Name 10 ways to destroy your child’s imagination. Ok, we'll give you 5 to start: 1. Mechanize your kid, 2. pad their resume, 3. send them to Yale, 4. stifle their natural talents and, if you do nothing else, 5. deter any natural tendency to admire God's vast creation. This is but a taste of the (outlandish?) commentary to expect from Dr. Anthony Esolen, professor of English at Providence College and author of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. To those of us glued to our screens or whose suffocated imaginations are inhibited by too many distractions, Dr. Esolen is a breath of fresh air.

Today we have Rusty Reno on the line for a special XL Bully Pulpit. Rusty is editor of First Things Magazine, formerly taught theology and ethics at Creighton University, and has authored many theological books of which one is a topic of today's conversation: Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society. We are worlds away from the Garden and in the wake of that fateful bite we now navigate amongst many evils. So can we go back to the Garden? What lasting influence do we bring to bear on our pagan societies? Rusty shares quotable insights to sharpen our perspective on these (and many more) questions any Christian should be asking.

We're here again with our boy, Max “Rambouski” Benfer. Strangely he always finds our secret bunker! Despite our better judgment, we let him appear on the show … (what can we say, we feel bad for the guy!). He's had quite a colorful past and in his previous life, Max served in men’s ministry - basically calling men to set up camp in Neverland and play in the dirt. In all seriousness, what is men's ministry supposed to look like and what makes it successful? If ministering to the men-folk looks like a pack of Tarzans in the woods while "Jane" stays home, it's time we reconsider our strategy.

Are all things being redeemed … even Pokemon Go?! C'mon. We're handing out our very last Desperate Theology award and we hope the winner will take it in stride! In light of Pokemon, Carl, Aimee, and Todd sit down to talk "Hyperreality", that is, the reality that isn't. We live in a world increasingly fixated on what's fabricated. Screens have gripped our eyes and crippled the imagination. "It’s all crap and it’s destroying our souls," says one no-name Englishman. So what is reality and why do we shy away from it? You'd think it's an obvious answer, but how often do we function far from the natural created world before and around us with little awareness?