A while back, we welcomed Dr. Anthony "Tony" Esolen on the show. He was a striking presence discussing how cultural norms destroy the imaginations of our children. Tony resurfaces today as a hot topic in controversial circumstances. In the wake of a thought-provoking piece recently published by Crisis Magazine, Tony critiques the "diversity" culture that is out of line with biblical doctrine yet pervasive at Providence college, a Roman Catholic institution.
Tony's biblical convictions now threaten his career as Professor of English. This shouldn't surprise us. The trend, even within the church, is one growing in tolerant conformity to secular culture and a shut-down on free-speech. How can we stand for what we believe and be protected by the Constitution? And what matters more: tone or doctrine … being politically correct or biblically correct? What happens to Tony should matter to us, and may we not buckle under the same opposition.
"If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know" - Louis Armstrong.
Well, if ever there was someone to ask about jazz in our circles, it's Dr. William Edgar, Apologetics Professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, President of the Huguenot Fund, and gifted jazz pianist. Dr. Edgar's interests extend far beyond the walls of Van Til Hall to French culture and the arts. But we have more to chat about than berets, baguettes, and piano keys. He recently published a book, Does Christianity Really Work?, as part of a series that asks the "big" questions of the faith. Dr. Edgar offers helpful insights into the common barriers of the skeptic and the Christian seeking the unsaved. One of his boldest critiques: "many Christians enjoy life inappropriately", weakening an otherwise bold witness for Christ.
Does anyone wear black to a funeral anymore? Seems increasingly common to have "celebrations of life" in lieu of funerals. As Christians, we mourn but not as those without hope, but that's just it, we do and should mourn our losses. So why is grief displaced with "happiness", as if we were throwing a party? And is this happiness genuine or are we genuinely in denial that something legitimately sad has happened? Beware Church, you may be sending mixed messages with these "celebrations". Just how difficult is a pastor's job made by all this confusion? To help us consider it, we have a Scotsman who weaseled his way into the recording studio after trading in his kilt for some urban slims.
"We live with an odd mix of immature people incapable of adult responsibility and yet full of extreme self-confidence,” said an English menace. But perhaps Carl is onto something - what of this Neverland with its abundance of "Lost Boys"? Not surprisingly, women complain of immaturity in the opposite sex, but they themselves aren’t spared this epidemic.
What makes us mature adults? Maybe saying "I do" or buying a mini-van? Not really. In today's culture, there’s a restless, sexualized childishness - an endless adolescence, and we want to know who (or what!) is to blame! Carl, Aimee, & Todd have their theories …
It's not Reformation Day anymore but we are still a-buzz about Luther and more specifically, the Biblica Germanica. Our Spin bookworms gawk over its beautiful calligraphy and the black and white illustrations, which Todd mistakenly took for coloring pages ... we knew better than to let him bring his crayons. It's another chance to discuss God's providential work through Martin Luther, a man so instrumental in bringing the Word of God to the common layperson of his day.
It's difficult finding the right thing to say to those in mourning - we clumsily fumble over our words, say nothing, or utter the worst possible thing at the worst possible time. Whatever our experience, we could all use help ministering better to those suffering loss - in particular, the loss of an unborn child. To help us today is Matthew Eusey, Pastor of Trinity Church Central Oahu, and his wife, Karyn.
The Euseys share about the loss of their son and what it was like at the receiving end of people's best efforts to help them through their grief. In a few words, they give voice to a darkness so often kept private. Their story is a humbling, sincere account of awaiting the resurrection while honoring the little life God fashioned and took so quickly. It's hard making sense of such a sadness, but Karyn said it best: “There is no silver lining in this … but Christ.”
Reformation Day has come and gone so naturally we talk about Martin Luther. He's no Halloween has-been, so we thought: "Better get a legit Church Historian and Luther extraordinaire on today's show!" Unfortunately Roland Bainton left the stage in '84 and Robert Kolb would rather be on The White Horse Inn, so no one really knowledgeable on the subject was available ... so we asked Carl Trueman. Carl takes a stab answering questions about the medieval agenda, what church laity gained from Luther's mission, and Luther's lasting impressions on preaching after the reformation. Grab your candy corn, it's gonna be an earful!
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?