Podcast Archive

Century 2: Christianity at the Crossroads

The second century of the church hasn’t received much attention from historians, as it lacked what many would call “remarkable developments.” Michael Kruger disagrees. In his recent book, Christianity at the Crossroads, the RTS president fills in the gaps on how the challenges faced, decisions made, and directions taken by second century Christians were essential to the growth and future of the young church of Jesus Christ.

Professor Kruger offers examples of the political and intellectual resistance Christians faced at that time, and draws helpful parallels with the present day. Join the crew, as we discover how our faith took root in the second century.

Money can be a pretty sensitive topic for pastors to address, so there’s often a temptation to avoid the subject altogether. However, the needs of a church must be clearly communicated to its congregants.

So, what principles should be followed? How much should members give—a tithe? What if someone is unemployed, or going through financial difficulty? Can the financial offering be replaced with service to the church?

The team may not have all the answers, but today’s discussion offers some general guiding principles with a good dose of sanctified wisdom!

The team sits down for coffee with Tim and Jonelle Frost. Tim is an associate pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, VA, which Carl refers to as “Todd’s megachurch!”

Tim and wife Jonelle talk openly about the initial shock and all-consuming journey of raising a child with Down’s Syndrome. The couple recounts their struggle with Declan’s health issues, their physical and emotional exhaustion, and how—through it all—the family gives glory to God, and rejoices in their little one. Grab a mug, pull up a chair, and be encouraged by this dear brother and sister as they share precious advice, and relate the love and care provided by their church family.

It’s group therapy in the bunker. The crew is feeling blue, and the only cure at this moment is to get together and discuss their gloominess.

Depression and anxiety are real issues. But is depression a sin? Saints from Biblical times to today have experienced discouragement and depression. What can we learn from them?

Join the meeting and find out how to minister to those who are struggling with this issue, as we discover what measures of comfort the Word of God offers to those who are in Christ.

What does the Supreme Court ruling on the Masterpiece Cakeshop signify for religious freedom from the conservative perspective? Should the decision be celebrated or not quite yet?

The crew welcomes Dr. Matthew Franck to shed some insight on this case and to answer a few other questions. He’s Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution and author of a vast number of publications.

As a scholar of constitutional law, Matt attaches himself to the text and its original meaning and reminds us that the free exercise of religion is in the first amendment and, therefore, superior to other societal notions of “freedom”. He also offers helpful advice to Christian individuals and small institutions. Grab a piece of cake and join us!

The crew is stoked that Daniel Hyde has agreed to take them on dawn patrol to teach them some rad surf moves. After multiple failed attempts to simply keep the bennys on deck, they take a break to talk about Danny’s favorite hair gel and his book, In Living Color: Images of Christ and the Means of Grace, a timeless take on the Second Commandment.

How has the Second Commandment been applied historically and in what ways can it be violated? Why does it all matter? Pastor Danny uses the Heidelberg Catechism to address the heart issue, but--above all--he emphasizes the positive aspect of the visible elements that Christ has given us. So, grab your board and join our party wave.

Our topic du jour is considered from both the housewife and the pastors’ perspectives.

The trend of dividing congregations by age groups and removing children from corporate worship started a few decades ago, and it has shaped the practice of many churches to this day. But is this trend a biblical model? What are the benefits of having our children present in the corporate worship?

The crew tell us what their churches are doing to engage little ones during the service, and offer some tips for helping kids get the most out of family worship.

Reports of sexual abuse are now commonplace in the media and those claims originate in diverse places, from Hollywood to the sacred confines of the neighborhood church.

Our compassionate crew welcomes Thomas Crumplar. He’s a soft-spoken OPC elder who turns tenacious attorney when defending victims of sexual abuse. Tom has prosecuted and won cases against powerful individuals and institutions, including the Roman Catholic diocese of Wilmington, DE.

Crumplar covers the ground of what constitutes sexual abuse and the first steps leaders must take when they receive a report of sexual abuse. He describes the common victim stereotype, feelings of guilt, the legal process, and much more. There is hope to be found amid the suffering and loss.