Leaving Pietism (Transcript)

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Jimmy Buehler: Hi, this is Jimmy. On Theocast today, Jon, Justin, and myself—we are going to talk about one of the favorite things we love to discuss, specifically the idea of pietism. We talk about this a lot in our regular podcasts, and one of the things it can create is kind of this disorienting feel to the Christian life.

We’ve titled this Leaving Pietism, where we discuss all of the different effects that it can have on the Christian life. We hope this conversation is helpful to you and we have a second part of this podcast normally in our members’ portion that we encourage you to listen to. That’s really where we land the plane of this conversation.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for your support and we hope and pray that this podcast would encourage you to find rest in Christ. Thanks for listening.

Jon Moffitt: Theocast has a lot going on in 2021. We are trying to do more than we’ve done before. So stay tuned for that. We’ve got a lot of great announcements coming on. We’re really excited about today’s podcast because with all of our schedules, it seems like it’s getting harder and harder being church planters and working jobs. It’s always an encouragement to have Jimmy here and back on the mic. I think we’re going to grab quite a few over the next few of these holidays. That’ll be encouraging to have him back on.

Today is a big moment for our podcast. It’s a podcast we have been contemplating and talking about. We have skirted around the topic. We even mentioned it. But today’s the day that we record a very important conversation and the subject is leaving pietism.

I can remember the first time I heard that word. I had no idea what it was. It sounded puritanical, which was very much connected to that. I remember once it was described for me for the first time, as Jimmy had said before recorded, I had that “I’m not crazy” moment. There are many of you that probably are hearing this podcast for the first time because a friend of yours shared it with you. So we’re going to hopefully, and as graciously as we can, peel back the Christian layers that have been laid upon you that we call pietism.

Let’s start with what is piety and pietism, and then we’ll talk about why it is that this is a good subject to be discussing this morning.

Jimmy Buehler: First, we need to make a sharp distinction because whenever we have this conversation with people, there seems to be a misunderstanding of the terms that are being utilized. What we like to say here at Theocast is piety is good. Holiness is good. No guy on this podcast would go ahead and say that a life of rampant sin is okay. Nobody would say that. Piety is good, but what we are pointing out is pietism is bad and unhelpful. What we mean by that is pietism is this hyper focus on the personal sanctification of the believer, a hyper focus of what we would call the inward Christian life where it’s obsessive about feelings and the popular way you could say is my affections.

There is a hyperintense focus on the personal faithfulness of the Christian, and so after a while, what you can begin to feel in a pietistic realm of the Christian life is “I’m never doing enough. I never feel like I’m living rightly enough.” Like there’s always something more to be done. We’re going to get into that here shortly, but I want to throw it to Justin to help flesh out this idea of the difference of piety and pietism and specifically what we mean.

Justin Perdue: Piety is something we can define simply as godliness, and in particular it is the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us. Piety, as Jimmy has already said, is all kinds of good. We’re all for it. We trust the Holy Spirit of God to be producing godliness and genuine piety in us, and He is faithful to do that work.

Pietism, as Jimmy has already said, is a hyper focus on the obedience, the performance, the affections, and feelings of the believer. The emphasis seems to be almost exclusively upon the believers own personal improvement. In that sense, I think it is fine to say that it’s a focus on the believer’s sanctification, but it is always this hyper individualized reality that becomes the emphasis of everything in the local church.

What we want to try to do here on this podcast is do a few minutes of defining terms and pulling back the curtain, helping people see what this is, and maybe what this even looks like in their own personal context. Then we want to do some reconstructing: how can we help lead you and lead many out of pietism into a different place that is focused upon the Lord Jesus Christ and his finished work? Where there actually is rest, peace, and assurance to be found as we together are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit and built up in love onto maturity in the body of Christ.

Jon, thoughts? Anything else that you want to do, brother, by way of chalking the field before we talk about what this looks like and how this affects us in the local church?

Jon Moffitt: I know when we say something like “hyper focused on individual sanctification”, it seems almost like an oxymoron. We’re deemphasizing the importance of it. Part of pietism is so rebranded in the Christian life. It has changed the way in where the Bible has put the emphasis. We assume that all of Christianity is the constant affirmation of our election. Applied to them is almost a denial of God’s sovereignty that He who began a good work in you will complete it, that our faith rests not in our works but in the work of Christ. All of that would be affirmed in pietism. In pietism, they would say, “Yes, God is sovereign. He elects us.” All of our sermons and books, and the way in which we think, the way we process this relationship with God is us thinking we must meet these watermarks. If we don’t meet these watermarks, then we should call into question whether we truly are children of God. So there’s this feeling of onward and upward, this constant pressure of growth.

What’s hard is that you aren’t quite sure where the watermarks are. It seems like they’re moving, or as Justin has used an illustration in the past, it’s like Lucy keeps moving the football; the goalposts keep moving. You never truly find rest because of the requirements on you. So if you’re doing five minutes a day of devotions and prayer, really you should be at 10 minutes—and then really you should be, and then you should be, and then you should be.

You have people who will go into a men’s or women’s Bible study and confess a struggle with a sin and they are looked at. The question they receive is, “How long have you been a Christian? Shouldn’t you be over that by now?” So there is no place for struggling with sin. There is no place for doubt and fear and anxiety. When you do have those, you suppress them because pietism basically says you should be looking like this. In my experience, you become fake, superficial, and you suppress any real doubts that you have because you do not want to be known as a baby Christian.

When we say hyper focus, what we’re saying is you are more focused on what you are doing for God than what God has done for you. Hyper meaning inappropriate emphasis. It’s an inappropriate emphasis on the individual sanctification because you assume that you can actually sanctify yourself and God is there cheering you on.

Justin Perdue: Pietism is essentially a prove yourself kind of outlook. It’s a prove yourself kind of theological framework where there are these standards that need to be met. Again, nobody can define those biblically. Nobody can tell you how much is enough. We’ve talked about that before. But there needs to be a certain amount of improvement, a certain amount of performance and obedience, a certain kind of trajectory in my affections and if I am not meeting that standard, then I should be very concerned. If I’m not meeting that standard—to your point, Jon—my entire union with the Lord Jesus is called into question.

It’s a fundamentally different understanding and presentation of the Christian life than what we see in the New Testament because in the New Testament, the apostles seem to convey that you are in Christ Jesus by faith. You have been united to him and thereby you are legit. Now live in the Lord Jesus Christ and conduct yourself in these ways as the redeemed saints of God. Instead, pietism flips that on its head and says if you are legitimately in the Lord Jesus, then you will do all of these things and you need to go prove that you’re not a faker through your obedience, through your performance, through your improvement, through your affections, and your feelings. That has all kinds of fallout for the local church and for the life of the individual Christian.

Jon Moffitt: The heavy emphasis on fruit. Are you demonstrating fruit?

Jimmy Buehler: In a pietistic framework, the Christian life becomes one of constant self-discernment that there is this intense focus on motives. It’s not just, “Did I do this particular Christian act?” but “Did I do it with the right motives?” That isn’t to say that motivations are unimportant, but it is to say that that is an endless well that you can get very much lost and go into a downward spiral as you focus on all of the things that you should be doing, and not only that you should be doing, but that you should be doing with the right motivations.

Jon Moffitt: If your motivations aren’t swimming in grace, you’re in trouble.

Justin Perdue: The harder you flail and struggle, the further you sink down. And it’s just how it is.

Jimmy Buehler: I would say in pietism, the eyes of the heart are always pointed inward that you’re constantly looking to yourself. Speaking from personal experience, when I lived in a pietistic world, it actually produced the opposite of what it promises. I would think that spending time in personal prayer and Bible study would produce a greater holiness and love for the saints. But often what it did was the exact opposite is that it made me really neurotic as I tried to fulfill self-imposed laws of whether I did it enough or if I did it with a right amount of reverence. I would constantly remember reading my own Bible and asking myself if I am doing this for the right reasons or if I am just doing this to gain God’s favor.

Honestly, and maybe we can shift the conversation here, the pietistic life can ruin a Christian. There are really two ways that it does that. One is that pietism can produce some really self-righteous people, but also it can produce some really self-conscious people.

I want to throw that to you guys and kind of flesh that out. What does pietism do to the Christian and maybe even the local church?

Justin Perdue: Just very quick—an interjection. For the sake of clarity, when we talk about pietistic contexts, we do not mean that in those contexts the gospel is not preached. It generally is. When we talk about pietistic contexts, it’s not as though people in those realms don’t believe in the sovereignty of God, in salvation, and things like that—oftentimes they do. It’s this very strange, almost schizophrenic reality where on the one hand I’m being pointed to Jesus and what he’s done for me, and I’m even being told to find peace and comfort in the sovereignty of God over my life and over my salvation. But then on the other side of it, I’m being robbed of any assurance that I could ever have because I’m always being pointed inward and being caused to question the legitimacy and the sincerity of everything that I do. And to your point, Jimmy—did I feel the right way? Were my motivations appropriate? Did I do enough? Am I zealous enough? And inevitably anybody who has any self-awareness, when they’re trying to measure themselves according to those standards, is going to fall short. You’re going to fail. We’re not going to pass the test.

To your point, I think the results of pietism in the local church or in the individual believer’s life are one of two things generally. I think for some people, and this would be a smaller subset, it can fan the flames of self-righteousness and pride because some folks think they’re doing pretty well, and maybe naively, they think they’re crushing the Christian life. For those people, they’re just driven further into that self-righteousness and that proud place, and they tend to look down on others and be condescending and all that. But I think for the majority of us, what it ends up doing is it ends up crushing us and producing despair, and we’re anxious and depressed all the time. Because life in a fallen world is hard enough as it is. Then the only thing that could ever give us peace and hope and assurance has been taken from us because we’re being pointed to ourselves and we realize, “I haven’t done well enough and maybe I’m not legitimate.” And so we really are just floundering—and we’re distraught and despondent, frankly.

Jon Moffitt: Hopefully you hear that these are three men who know the pietistic tendencies of their own hearts, and who have drowned in it themselves.

Going towards what Jimmy has said, all pietists hate legalism. They will say that legalism is bad, that you cannot and should not earn your salvation before God, and they would be offended if you called them a legalist. They would say, “Oh, that is an inappropriate description of who I am.” Pietism is really sneaky. It’s very, very sneaky because pietism is not the emphasis of earning your salvation. The sneaky part of it is maintaining yourself. It’s proving that when you say you are saved by faith alone, that you really mean it. There is a lot of worry about things like lordship salvation and radicalness, and even some of the things that come from your desires and affections, as Jimmy has said. What it does to you is that you obviously are going to quote Ephesians 2:8-9 from the rooftops, but in your bedroom, you’re totally afraid saying, “But is that really true with me? Is that really how I feel?” You live in that constant fear and dread. Those who have grown up in a dispensational background, you’re worried that Christ is going to come back and you truly aren’t one of the elect because you don’t seem to be showing enough.

So you don’t live in confidence of Christ; you live in doubt of Christ because of you. You actually are denying faith alone. Salvation is a Person; it’s not a process. Jesus saves you. You don’t do something to saved.

Jimmy Buehler: I think one of the favorite phrases of pietism is the if-then or the conditional statements that if you truly are a Christian then you would necessarily do these things. Ultimately, what that points us to is that the litmus test of our faithfulness, the litmus test of our Christianity, often becomes the things that we do. That is where the focus is.

Now, I want to be clear: that doesn’t mean that there aren’t necessary consequences of the Christian life. That is not what we are saying. We are not saying that you can have faith in Christ and then go on and live however it is that you good and well please. What we are saying is that there is a fundamentally different posture to the Christian life—that the litmus test is not the faithfulness of the Christian, which waxes and wanes as the difficulties of a fallen world press in on the believer, but the litmus test of the Christian life, the litmus test of whether you will be saved or not is always and forever Christ and Christ alone. That has to be it. Otherwise, the minute that we begin to add our own works, our own maintaining faithfulness to the Christian life will actually begin to taint the purity of what the gospel is, which is that Christ has saved us by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of his precious work alone.

Justin Perdue: Amen, brother. If I were going to try to reduce it down, to piggyback on what you’re saying, the litmus test in pietism of the Christian life and our legitimacy is what we do, not who we trust. It’s just soul crushing for so many people. I think that all the statements that you made, Jimmy, by way of clarification are important. We are all for good works and the pursuit of obedience and we trust.

Let me just briefly interrupt myself. The concern of every holiness movement in the history of the church has always been that if we tell people that redemption and salvation are finished, that Jesus has done it, there’s nothing left for you to do except to trust Christ and receive what he has done for you, if we tell people that then it will produce lawless living and lax Christianity. And our response to that is always and forever going to be no, the preaching and the heralding of the finished work of Jesus in no way produces those things because of the reality of our union with Jesus and the reality of the work of his Spirit in us to conform us to his image. The Lord will do it. It’s very interesting how people who love to say that salvation is of the Lord from beginning to end will lose their minds somewhere in the middle: God has justified us, God will glorify us, but in the middle you better get to work, and it depends upon you, your effort, your diligence, your sincerity, and whatever, to make sure that this thing goes according to plan. And you may very well mess it up—to which we would say, if that’s true then we may as well be doing something else because we’re wasting our time. Because if we can mess this thing up, we will.

Jon Moffitt: Pietism really is rooted in the concern for the lazy or lax Christian. There are entire movements and ministries and well-known men who have created massive followings because they have convinced people that lazy Christians are not Christians. They’re constantly calling into question the intentions, desires, and works of the individual.

This is a concern I’ve had. I’ve been doing this for five years on the air. I’ve received a lot of criticism over the years and these guys are experiencing this now, too. What we are offering is not an either-or situation here: you’re either doing no holiness or you’re doing holiness. This is not an either-or. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember how many times it’d be interesting to go back and see us quoting Ephesians 4 when it says to walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Paul starts with your resting in Christ for three chapters, and then talks about the motivation for your obedience. But it has nothing to do with this individual hyper sanctification. It’s all outward: if you’ve been saved, love your brother. What pietism tells you is if you’ve been saved, prove it—do these things to prove it and increase it.

What’s interesting is that Peter says Christ has sovereignly chosen us. He saved us. He’s the one who’s moving us forward. Then he says, “Now add to this love, kindness, meekness, and gentleness.” The point of it is that the adding is building up on the foundation. And the word “add” there—it’s kind of a tricky translation. It really should say more of the outflow like you must now demonstrate it. At the end of it, he says if you’re not doing this, you have forgotten that you’ve been cleansed. That is an appropriate understanding of our good works. Pietism would change what Peter says. It would say if you aren’t doing these things, you should question if you’ve been cleansed. Peter says, you forgot you were cleansed and pietism says you should question your cleansing.

Jimmy Buehler: Something I like to point out is that pietism can also be called the tag-you’re-it theology. It’s like when Christ died on the cross, when he said it is finished, what he really meant was, “Tag, you’re it. I did my part and now it’s your turn.”

Justin, I like the word that you used earlier: “the maintenance of the Christian life is really up to us and us alone.” It’s like Jesus is coming back and so you better, with fear and trembling, like a weight has returned, and stockpile your life with love and good works. Make sure that when he returns, there is enough. But what the Bible mysteriously points us to is that Jesus is the founder, but he’s also the perfecter of our faith. The book of Hebrews taught that. Philippians 1, “That he who began a good work in you,” verse six, “will bring it to completion.”

Where we want to be so primarily concerned often is with the quality of our personal holiness. I think the Scripture constantly wants to draw us out of ourselves to see that Christ has accomplished so much for us on the cross and in his resurrection. The Scriptures want to point us to that.

One of the fundamental postures of the Christian life is what we call “status forward”—that our status in Christ is forgiven, cleansed, made new, and that we have died and risen with Christ. It’s the same thing that we talk to about our kids. When our kids disobeyed in the Buehler household, something that we constantly say is Buehlers don’t do that. It’s not, “Charlie and Owen and Nora, you better shape up or else you might prove yourself not to be a Buehler.” That’s not it at all. It’s like, “No, you are a Buehler. Therefore we don’t hit our sister in light of that. We don’t lie to mom and dad.” That has nothing to do with our love or affection for them as their parents. We point them to their identity: Buehlers don’t do that. It’s the same within the Christian life.

Outside of a pietistic framework, the framework that we’re pointing to doesn’t actually lessen the battle against sin—it just puts you in a completely different mindset. However, you’re going to start to notice that… the people listening to this podcast right now, I can see them going, “Oh, I feel crazy.” Suddenly everything is being shifted.

Justin, go ahead. I think you want to jump in.

Justin Perdue: I want to speak to that “you’re not crazy” thing. So that is, in one sense, what we’re saying to people. If you are sensing and perceiving this stuff, and you’re in a context where you do feel like something is off here, we want to tell you you’re not alone and you’re not crazy.

I’ve tweeted this before. I don’t think I got some flack for it; many agreed with it. I think that pietism is an evangelical version of gaslighting where in the church, we’re constantly being pointed inward—we’re being pointed to ourselves in our own performance, obedience, and affections, like we’ve been saying. Thereby, we assess ourselves, we fail to meet the test, we’re not doing well enough, and so we’re unsettled. We lack assurance. We’re despairing and we’re despondent. We go to the leaders in our church, or to our pastors, we ask the questions, and we present this struggle that we’re having. “I have no peace. I have no assurance. What do you have for me? I’m concerned about my eternal state and whether or not I’m in grace or not.” The answer is always, “We don’t know what you’re talking about. You were saved by grace, through faith in Christ alone. There’s nothing wrong here. You’re fine if you’re trusting in Jesus.” But then, we turn right around the next Sunday and we’re being pointed back in on ourselves again.

It puts the believer in this state. If anybody has seen the movie Gaslight back in the day, it’s this situation where we’re thinking that we’re losing our minds because we’re struggling with assurance. Something must be wrong with me when in reality, there’s this very confusing message that’s being presented. “You better be doing enough.” But then on the other hand, you ask about it and they say, “Oh no, we believe in salvation by grace, through faith in Christ alone.” Then you leave thinking that the problem lies with you. “Clearly Christianity has not worked for me. Or maybe I’m just not of the elect.” Or whatever you conclude. It’s tough.

Jon Moffitt: Jesus’ phrase when he says, “Come to me…all who are heavy laden.” He’s talking about pietism. He’s saying you have been put under this pressure by the Pharisees, come to him and he will give you rest. This is the tagline of our ministry: “Helping weary pilgrims to find rest in Christ.” Because this is what Christ does. Then he says, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” He’s not saying there’s nothing to be done.

Justin Perdue: “For I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jon Moffitt: A yoke, just so you understand, is something that two animals would wear where one would help them. It was something you did together. Christ comes around, he holds us, and we rest within his work in this burden as we wait for his return. It is not a burden we cannot bear.

I know a lot of times we get to this point in the conversation and I get this question all the time: where did this come from? You heard your grandparents tell you, “Hey, there’s a box of up in the attic. If you want it, it’s yours.” You go up in there and start rummaging around, and then you see this old box of books and wonder what that is. You pop it open and all of a sudden you see a title that just grabs you and you start reading it. And this book is old: it’s like 300 or 400 years old. All of a sudden you realize that this book is flaying you apart. It’s describing you to a tee. This is what’s happening to the three men that are talking to you right now, except that box of books is called a confession. We started to read how the Reformers aka Christianity, this is what the Christian life was supposed to be, is supposed to be, and it is grounded in Scripture, and it is always focusing on the finished work of Christ. So this isn’t new. We aren’t describing something like, “You will not believe what we have discovered.” What we have discovered has been written and we’re rediscovering it—we’re reteaching that which is old.

You need to find assurance and find safety in that what we are pointing out is not new. We’re not asking you to leave something—we’re actually drawing you towards something. You’re walking away from something towards a sure foundation that is far older than anything that’s ever been handed to you, which is purely, for another podcast, based on revivalism of the 18th century.

Jimmy Buehler: Unless people want to criticize us, which we have had people say we focus too much on what the Reformers have said. But really the Reformers were going back also to the original sources. Ad fontes in Latin, which means “back to the sources” where they were focusing on what the earliest church fathers were writing and the Scriptures themselves.

We’re not saying that whatever Luther says, or Calvin says, or Knox says were always right. Those guys were doing what we are seeking to do today back then. A kind of mantra that came out of the Reformation was extra nos, which means “outside of us”. Something that I like to point our church to, and something that I want to point the listener to, is that the Christian life is outside of yourself. The realities of the gospel exist outside of you. That we need the gospel to come to us from outside of us and declare forgiveness and grace over us. That the Christian life is also outwardly focused. That our status in Christ has been made. That we are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone. Now, in total freedom, we can love and serve God and our neighbor. But pietism actually wants to rob you of that because it wants to place the posture of the Christian life, the focus of the Christian life, inward. That it’s a battle of emotions, and it’s a battle of feelings, and it’s a battle of motivations. That isn’t to say that those things aren’t important. But as we said earlier, that is an endless well that will only cause you to downwardly spiral the rest of your days. And it produces the opposite of what we’re saying because it’s going to produce a neurotic person.

Tell me this: what is it like being around an insecure person? What is it like? Frankly, insecure people do a lot of things, but some of the things that insecure people do the most is they become intolerable. They become rude because they’re insecure and they’re trying to make up for something. Or insecure people are almost insufferable to be around because they’re always talking about themselves and focusing on themselves. That’s what pietism does to the Christian. It just points you inward so much to the point where in an effort to be fruitful, you become fruitless because you’re constantly focusing on yourself.

Jon Moffitt: Just to go back real quick. To add to what Jimmy had said about inward versus out. The Christian life was never designed to be lived alone and pietism just isolates everyone—that your growth and your security are all wrapped up in you. What you will learn through the confessions, through Scripture—just read Ephesians 4 and following—that your health, your growth, and your effectiveness have nothing to do with your own personal piety. Your personal piety, which is absolutely important—how you obey—is designed to draw you into the community of Christ, the body of Christ. Paul never says, “When you do this, you will grow in Christ.” He says, “When the body functions properly, it builds itself up in love.”

That is the difference between a confessional outlook of Scripture that is drawing you towards a congregation, towards a body, versus pietism which is drawing you inward and as individuals. I think it’s really important to understand that as you’re walking away from pietism, you’re walking away from this isolation—being by yourself and constant living in fear—to this massive choir, to this massive of gathering of information from outside of you, where you are constantly being told of what Christ has done for you by others.

I know I’ve picked on this before, but I’ll pick on it again and I’ll throw it to Justin. That whole phrase “preach the gospel to yourself”—sure, it’s helpful, and I do that. I think on Christ and I love to think about Christ, but that is never as effective as it is when I receive the Table, and I hear the gospel proclaimed over me because we receive Christ outside of ourselves. That’s the design of Jesus in the Holy Spirit and the power of the body.

Justin Perdue: We’re not as good as we would like to think we are at preaching the gospel to ourselves. We need the saints, we need the gifts Christ has given to the church, we need the sacraments—we need those things.

I want to reiterate a couple of things that you guys have said and maybe put it in my own way—and maybe this will be helpful to somebody. I want to reiterate what Jimmy said about the history of all this stuff. I think the listener needs to understand that not only are we not saying anything new, but in looking back to the Reformers, we are standing in line with them as they look back through church history. To men like Agustin, for example, and Agustin’s infamous miserable sinner Christianity where we are desperate for the grace of God in all things, where he says, “Lord God, command what you will and grant what you command, and we’re completely dependent upon you to work these things in us.” That sounds very Reformed. Then obviously, Agustin and the Reformers alike are looking back to Scripture.

A few big words in my mind if I was going to give people some handles. Jimmy talked about extra nos. So, one handle is objective. The gospel in the work of Christ is objective, meaning it’s outside of us. It’s unaffected by anything inside of me: how I’m doing, how I’m feeling, how I’m thinking. It’s not subjective, it’s objective. Then it’s also the work of Christ and the gospel are declarative, meaning they’re done, they’re finished. There’s nothing to be added to them. We rest in what Christ has done and we receive it. Then also the Christian life is corporate, to Jon’s point. We are saved from God’s wrath to God’s people and the project of sanctification, the project of salvation is a corporate project. It’s a community effort where we cling to one another as we all cling to Christ—and this is God’s plan. Objective, declarative, and corporate are good words—at least in my backpack that I think about regularly. Those are different than what is often presented to the Christian in the pew. I think they’re freeing, they’re liberating and they’re paradigm-shifting.

So I think we want to ask a question now that we may try to answer.

Jimmy Buehler: We do. We’re going to transition into our membership and Jon’s going to explain a little bit more about what our membership is and what it looks like.

I remember when I was younger. I just got married and I was inheriting all these tools to work on the house and things like that. I remember there was one specific tool—I’m going to leave it unnamed so I’m not super embarrassed—but I remember there was one tool that I was just using incorrectly, like massively incorrectly. I thought it was I was a guy, I was a man, I can do this, I can figure this out. I remember using this tool and one time this guy told me, “You know, you’re using that wrong.” Then he showed me how to use it and it shifted everything for me where all of a sudden, I wanted to use this tool on everything. It was just so exciting.

What we’re discussing is going to do this for a lot of people. It’s going to be like, “Wait a minute. I’m realizing that I’m stuck in pietism or I’m stuck in a pietistic context. Now what? What do I do now? I have all these realizations.” That’s what we’re going to talk about in our members’ podcast.

Justin Perdue: If somebody were to ask me, “Justin, how would you summarize the kind of theology that you guys are articulating here at Theocast? Give it to me in a really brief synopsis.” I would say that what we are aiming to articulate and emphasize is simply the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. It is that he is mighty and able to save to the uttermost all those who draw near to God through him. At the end of the day, that’s it.

Jon Moffitt: Amen to that. We are going to be moving over into our members’ podcast. 2021 has a new membership for us and we’re kind of changing how things are done. What we want to do is provide for you additional resources—ways in which if you love what you’re hearing and you want to learn what it means to rest in Christ, other Reformed resources are there, and what articles and books you should be reading. We’re offering more classes. We have a class on covenant theology, a class on Calvinism, we have a class on Reformed spirituality. There’s a lot that we’re doing.

But the biggest push that we want you to hear is that your partnership with us is what allows us to keep this going. We have been doing this for a while now, and I can’t tell you how many emails, how many comments, how many messages that we receive from people literally from around the world. We have over 125 different countries who have listened, over a million downloads, and all of that as possible because we have people who basically jump on our teams and become supporters on our support teams. We just want to thank you for doing that. A way that we kind of add to that is our membership podcast. It’s where the gloves come off and we really kind of get down and dirty into the weeds and express some things that we probably don’t have time to do in the regular podcast. I encourage you to come over there and join us on our private podcast feed. You can download that right onto your phone.

Jimmy Buehler: This has been a fun conversation. We’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time.

We want to thank you, the listener, for tuning into this episode. We would encourage you, if you are not a member, to get signed up for that. You can find more information at theocast.org. Now we’re going to head over into the members’ portion of the podcast, and we hope to see you there.

Thanks for listening.

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