Podcast Archive

After a delicious Christmas dinner and dessert, Aimee, Carl, and Todd relax around the fireplace and answer some Christmas ‘letters’ from listeners. For example: Are nativity scenes with baby Jesus in the manger a second commandment violation? Some attribute the origin of Christmas to a pagan tradition, and the Christmas church service as an infringement of the regulative principle of worship. The crew give their views on those, as well as some thoughts on the Reformed position of Advent, and “making room for Jesus in your heart” during this time of the year.

Todd’s cultural insensitivity is remarkable, but he redeems himself by offering the sole criteria for a children’s Christmas pageant. Wanna know who’s the most personable of the three, and Carl’s alias on Twitter? Don’t miss this episode!

This week’s destination is the Evergreen State of Washington. The crew meets with Mark Ward, author of Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible. In his book, Mark considers—on one hand—the value of the KJV, and what we lose when we put aside the still most-read bible translation in the US. On the other hand, what happens when we cling to James’ Authorized Version with an unhealthy degree of loyalty?

What’s best: dynamic equivalence, or more literal translations? Mark gives his honest opinion, along with some pros and cons pointing back to intelligibility for the sake of edification. Betwixt all this, Dr. Ward shares a crash course on dead words and “false friends.” Don’t miss it!

To put the brakes on the Spin, the crew is addressing some very important questions sent by the listeners…like this, from Scott S. in Orlando: Will there be peanut butter in the new heaven and new earth? And, if so—creamy or crunchy? The theological implications are staggering.

It’s totally OK if you don’t like the way your pastor parts his hair, or even his choice of psychedelic print ties, but is it a good enough reason to leave your church? On a more somber note: How does one talk to a three year old about death? We cover public critique/criticism dos and don’ts…the difference between criticizing a bad idea and attacking the person behind the idea…even whether a seminary education is imperative for someone already in pastoral ministry. Hey, you asked; now pull up a seat and listen to what Carl really thinks about one of the most popular of American foods.

Most people have heard of the famous Charles H. Spurgeon, also known as the “Prince of Preachers.” Ray Rhodes dug deeper—delving into Spurgeon’s family life—and found Spurgeon’s greatest earthly treasure: his wife, Susannah.

Ray serves as pastor of Grace Community Church in Dawsonville, GA and is president of Nourished in the Word Ministries. It was during his doctoral studies that Pastor Rhodes decided to do a deeper research on the marriage and spirituality of the Spurgeons. He found some very surprising facts about “Susie,” and uncovered how she lived such a busy and productive life alongside Charles—perhaps, even more so, after his death.

In Susie, Ray tells an amazing story of commitment, encouragement, poor health, faithfulness in trials, and much more. And if you appreciate book pictures like Todd, this biography puts the icing - and the cherry - on the cake!

The crew sits down with Michael Allen to chat about his latest, Grounded in Heaven - Recentering Christian Hope and Life on God. Allen is the John Dyer Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and academic dean at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. He’s also a multiple-time guest, making the professor a real Spin survivor!

This time around, Michael challenges the contemporary idea of a new heaven and new earth with a more classical, Reformed term: visio Dei, or beatific vision. Does he mean that you can be so heavenly-minded that you’re no earthly good? How does being heavenly-minded inform the way we face life struggles? Allen gets personal answering these queries, and debunks a myth that heavenly-minded people are uninvolved or unproductive in social affairs. Michael keeps building his case, and even uses the word - wait for it - asceticism! Obviously, you don’t wanna miss this conversation…but, have a dictionary close at hand!

Westminster Seminary California is a confessional institution committed to supplying churches with Bible specialists--and we’re about to find out how they do it.

The crew shares a sit-down with Dr. Joel Kim. He’s the president of WSC, and passionate about the great mission and privilege of preparing men and women to serve. Joel’s happy to share his thoughts about the vital role of the local church working in partnership with the seminary in the making of ministers. Also on the table: how do churches deal with the moral and ethical issues of ministers-to-be who graduate with student debt? Do those churches have a role to fulfill concerning financial support? Dr. Kim offers compelling food for thought.

It seems that reading comprehension difficulties are on the rise. That might be due partly to the great technological advancement of social media, and the ability one has these days to communicate, and discuss profound ideas pertaining to life and death, in just 280 characters.

Mortification of Spin understands the issue, and steps up to the plate to help those with difficulty comprehending Carl’s article, “Is Tim Keller a Marxist?” In this episode, Carl--once again--affirms his distaste for the city, and for Transformationalism...all, while defending a man (who happens to like both) from unfair accusations. Confused? You won’t be, after this episode of “The Spin!”

Truly yours,

The Crew

Aimee finally gets an ally! Interestingly enough, she’s the only other woman ever to receive the esteemed title of “honorary guy” on the podcast: author and speaker, Nancy Guthrie.

Nancy joins the crew today to dismiss some misconceptions about the Garden of Eden, and help us with a biblical understanding of our eternal destination. Are believers on their way back to Eden--back to the same state Adam and Eve were in before the fall? Nancy shows us that what’s truly ahead for God’s children is Even Better than Eden! Listen as Nancy shares her passion for biblical theology, and how Genesis 3 answered many of the personal questions she asked amid painful life circumstances.

It’s that time of the year again when our dear, innocent children are initiated in Satanism through the practice of trick or treating. Well…OK, not really!

But indeed, some questions come back around every year, and opinions about Halloween are diverse enough to create a squabble between Carl, Todd, and Aimee. Halloween, or Fall Festival? “Trick or treat,” “trunk or treat,” or “Reformation celebration?” Should young ones dress as Superman or Moses? Should horror movies be avoided, or do they possess some redeeming value? Could a celebration like Halloween help us think about realities such as death and evil, or are we simply trivializing them through the media of entertainment?

Todd shares the most frightening thing he’s ever heard, as Aimee announces her candy distribution plan, and Carl—well, you must listen to find out!

Still in the boonies of western Pennsylvania, the crew receives a visit from Fr. Thomas Weinandy. He is a Franciscan Capuchin priest, systematic theologian, long-time professor, and author of many books. In his latest--Jesus Becoming Jesus: A Theological Interpretation of the Synoptic Gospels--Thomas focuses on the doctrine and theology of the synoptic gospels, zooming in closely on the acts of Jesus in his earthly life, and the mysteries of the faith as the Lord becomes Yahweh Saves.
 
The conversation emphasizes the importance of connecting the saving acts of God in the person of Jesus Christ, and the orthodox doctrines of immutability and impassibility. Hear what Fr. Weinandy says about holding both together in preaching, and what is truly essential for our salvation.