A video was released by One Passion Ministries in which Steve Lawson answered the question, “What doctrine is most missing in churches today?” His answer was the doctrine of regeneration. While that sounds good, where he went with it was concerning. In the video, Dr. Lawson said that justification by faith alone in Christ alone is, in a sense, just paperwork in heaven–and that it does nothing to change your life. What do we make of that? How should we respond? Jon and Justin have that conversation on today’s episode.
Many Christians in our day are convinced that they can grow in understanding and reach a better knowledge of the truth on their own. The perspective is, “I have the Bible. I have the Holy Spirit. I’m good to go.” After all Jesus says the Holy Spirit will lead the disciples into all truth when he comes. That’s true. But how does he do this? Jon and Justin examine the Scriptures–that the Holy Spirit inspired–to see how we are grown in our knowledge of the truth.
“I’m just saying what the Bible says.” “I just believe the Bible.” “That’s what the verse says.” Have you ever heard people say these things while contending for a theological position that sounds off to you? This practice has a name. It’s called biblicism. As Christians, we all want to be people of the Word. The question is whether we are handling the Word correctly. Many people through history have drawn false conclusions by “just reading the Bible” divorced from orthodox theological frameworks. Jon and Justin have a conversation about all of this in today’s episode.
It is Reformation Week. And here at Theocast, in the tradition of the Reformation, we always seek to clarify the gospel. When we do, people respond in somewhat predictable ways. “Well, you do believe that Christians are required to obey, right?” “Obedience is required for salvation.” Are these questions indicative of misunderstanding? How should we respond to these kinds of questions? Jon and Justin double down on union with Christ by faith in today’s episode.
In today’s episode, the second of two episodes on 1 John, the guys consider some specific passages from the letter that are often used to unsettle Christians and cause them to question their standing in Christ. 1 John 2:3 and surrounding, as well as 1 John 3:4-10, are discussed. How should we understand John’s words on keeping the commandments and making a practice of sinning? Should these verses produce fear and doubt?
At Theocast, we get as many questions about 1 John as we do any book in the Bible. It is often a book that has been used to cause Christians to question whether they are really legitimate. But is that the reason John wrote the letter? In today’s episode, the first of two episodes on 1 John, Jon and Justin give an overview of the letter and discuss the purpose for which the apostle wrote it.
Fallen human beings have always had issues with authority. And, in a fallen world, authority is often abused. All of this is true in our day–even in the church. In today’s episode, Jon and Justin have a conversation about authority, how it can be used well, and how it can be abused. The guys give some particular time to discussing how not to abuse pastoral authority. That part might surprise you.
On today’s podcast, Jon and Justin have Chad Bird on to discuss the ideology of having a personal relationship with Jesus. Where does this ideology and language come from? Is it helpful? Is it biblical? The guys consider these things and then move on to discuss the fact that the Christian life is inherently corporate and our Christian devotion is church-shaped. Why do we need the church? What is the point of the corporate gathering? (Hint: this has everything to do with our need for Jesus to minister to us and give us his gifts.)
Jon and Justin follow up on the conversation last week about smuggling works into faith. Today’s episode is a little different than the norm. The guys critique teaching from John Piper, John MacArthur, and Doug Wilson on the relationship between faith and works. Multiple excerpts and quotes are cited, all of which are available in the show notes. The reason for this episode is to defend the clarity of the gospel–that we are saved by Christ alone and receive his merits by faith alone, apart from any works we could ever do.
Jon and Justin are joined by Mike Abendroth, pastor of Bethlehem Bible Church and host of No Compromise Radio. The guys have a conversation about faith–and, in particular, how works are often smuggled into faith in the evangelical church. How do we appropriately define saving faith? How do we understand the relationship between faith and works? Why is it that obedience, love, and good works are regularly woven into the definition of faith?
We all tend to buy into the world’s definition of love. We view love as transactional. And, if we’re honest, love is really about our self-gratification. This understanding of love robs us of true joy in our relationships and it robs us of peace before God. The love of God for us is unconditional, sacrificial, and steadfast. We know what love is by looking to God’s love for us. And we love because he first loved us. If we understand these things better, our relationships with one another in the church and in our homes will profit. Jon and Justin talk about these things in today’s episode.
In a fallen world, we sin against others–and we will be sinned against. Sometimes, we are sinned against in ways that are indescribably painful. In today’s episode, Jon and Justin talk about forgiveness. It can be hard to forgive those who wrong us. And, yet, the teaching of the Scripture is clear. We are to forgive those who sin against us, as God in Christ has forgiven us. The guys have a compassionate and pastoral conversation about these matters.