Podcast Archive

Today our hosts have a meaningful, sober conversation with Todd Billings: author, pastor, and professor at Western Theological Seminary. Todd has been diagnosed with a rare, and for him terminal, form of cancer: Multiple Myeloma. He shares some of his experience and hope amidst acute awareness of his mortality, and how to, with strength and godliness, face death. Cancer affects some of us, either directly or indirectly, so Todd's words of trust in God's providence, Scripture, and prayer are helpful and relevant. Touching on points he raises in his book, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ, Todd lends insights on ways to encourage those suffering with serious illness. This is a conversation you're not likely to forget.

Carl, Aimee & Todd find themselves in the company of a Canadian... again. Once running a fish 'n' chips restaurant, Francis VanDelden now pastors a church in Frederick, Maryland. Carl & Todd are dying to know: Does Francis regret the day Aimee Byrd cast a shadow on his church door? Listen as Francis shares his personal joys of the pastorate and the privilege it is to enter the pulpit each week. The Gang asks Francis how he shepherds an OPC "megachurch" of almost two hundred. It's a conversation that is casual, helpful, and refreshing.

Authors & "Canadian cultural icons" Linda & Sandy Finlayson, join the round table to talk Shania Twain, maple syrup, books, and their estranged friendship with the Spin's own Carl Trueman. They discuss Sandy's biography on Thomas Chalmers and Linda's book Wielding the Sword. The dynamic duo share their reasons for taking up the pen to publish these books centered around church history as it is both a passion and mission of theirs.

This week the spin's all about Thomas Oden and his latest book, A Change of Heart: A Personal and Theological Memoir. Oden, once a man deep in radical, liberal ideals passionately opposed to orthodoxy, confesses a stunning conversion to orthodox evangelical Christianity, and at the coaxing of the most unlikely person. Carl, Aimee, & Todd discuss many fascinating stories of Oden's life and the array of renowned theologians, politicians, leaders, and icons he's rubbed shoulders with along the way. His humble accounts occupying these pages are shocking and showcase an intellectual man with a pastor's heart. It's a page-turner the gang suggests you read in 2015.

Welcome back to the Preaching Conference as we rejoin the panel discussion where the team and Reverend Kent Hughes tackle meaningful questions submitted by pastors and seminary students attending the event. The banter is contagious and some of the questions outrageous… yet helpful. Tune in to hear how this quartet of theological know-how takes on questions like: "How can I get in the pulpit when I am so sinful?" and, "Now that you've reached the pinnacle of evangelical celebrity, what's the view like from the top?" and a Spin favorite: "Where would you draw the line of being vulnerable from the pulpit in sharing your own personal sin?"

Take a gander with Carl, Aimee, and Todd as they browse today's Christian Best-Sellers list. Discerning worthwhile reads from sentimental fluff, they look for theological substance but the pickin's are slim. With the casual aside, this is a courageous conversation to address a serious question: Why do so many Christian women read garbage? And if the allure of weak theology is so great, should pastors go on book patrol? Being our token female (and honorary man), Aimee has plenty to say. Of course, Carl has another question for our Fair Lady that really gets her goat...

Grab a seat in Rust Auditorium at Westminster Theological Seminary where the MoS crew talk with Dr. Kent Hughes at the annual preaching conference. Dr. Hughes has a long track-record of faithfulness behind the pulpit and the pen. He answers on a topic he knows much about: preaching. You'll hear anything from how to preach through pain to how to cultivate humility amidst success. Hughes' answers will both bless and challenge.

Jonathan & David of the Old Testament… were they homosexual or was it just a bromance? Not a new question to a culture tending to attribute sexuality to deep, rewarding relationships… but why is that so? The Gang addresses the need to reinstate friendships to a non-sexual category and what implications this could have on how we think about relationships in the Church. It's a conversation on intimacy, and judging by the way things are headed, Carl may break his Brit-code to hug Todd, marking the best day in Todd's life.

This week, the Gang loiters outside a mega-church conference, enticed by the big-band jams vibrating through the concrete to their high-tops. They've decided to forego the meeting this time because they've gotten "swept away" in conversation about the experience they could be having in there. They raise important questions about the content of today's evangelical Christian praise music: What is it teaching us? Should sound theology stop when we sing? Do we shut our minds off in praise, or should the words encourage active engagement with the word of God? Does Todd think the whole point is to make us feel happy? Seems today's trend is sentimentalism. But what of liturgy and proclaiming biblical truths and actual Scripture? Our hosts have plenty to say about it! Plus, find out if Carl is a Closet Psalmist, when the last time Todd wore a choir robe, and if Aimee has looked upon the wine lately.

How high should standards be for a pastor and his ministry? Do we rate his success in congregation size, fame, or by how white his teeth are? Standards can be unrealistic and unbiblical when a new pastor comes on the scene, and comparisons can foster a culture of critique and criticism. Bad pastors are a reality. However, the church has a common crisis at hand: are we firing, disrespecting, even "bullying" otherwise competent men who don't live up to our superficial standards? But what if there is a real problem with your pastor? How do you deal with it? If you are on either side of this scenario, tune in as our in-house reverends, Carl and Todd, share helpful resources and advice for both congregant and pastor. As for Aimee, she's packin' heat to keep these boys in their place – one nun-chuck for Todd and one for Carl.