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Understanding Our Times: What Makes A Healthy Church Member with Thabiti Anyabwile

September 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Oftentimes we focus on the proper role and function of the church.  While there is much discussion over what type of church one should look for, there doesn’t seem to be much discussion over which type of members churches should be looking for.  For many Americans, simply sitting in a pew each Sunday is an accomplishment in and of itself.  However, is this all there is to being a good church member?  This will be our topic as speak with Pastor Thabiti  Anyabwile, author of the book What Makes A Healthy Church Member.

Broadcast – Understanding Our Times

Website - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes

Time – Saturday, September 18, at 6:00 pm EST/5:00pm CST

Length – 30 Minutes  

Call-in Number - (347) 945-7171

You can join us live Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST, or download the broadcast in mp3 format at a time more convenient for you.

“Understanding Our Times” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on current events from a distinctly Biblical worldview. Host Kevin Thompson offers listeners timely discussion of meaningful issues with a variety of different guests each week. Callers are encouraged to call (347) 945-7171 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes. The show is live every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. PT. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.

Understanding Our Times – Evangelicalism, Fundamentalism and the Emerging Middle with Phil Johnson

Recent years have the growth of a conservative group within Christianity that has been growing discontent as they witness the extremes of both Evangelical and Fundamentalist circles.  They have a commitment to the gospel and no movement to call their own.  Join us this week as we talk about this “Emerging Middle” with Phil Johnson, executive director of the “Grace to You” with John MacArthur.  Phil also writes for the Pyromaniac blog.

Broadcast – Understanding Our Times

Website - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes

Time – Saturday, July 31, at 6:00 pm EST/5:00pm CST

Length – 30 Minutes  

Call-in Number - (347) 945-7171

You can join us live Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST, or download the broadcast in mp3 format at a time more convenient for you.

“Understanding Our Times” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on current events from a distinctly Biblical worldview. Host Kevin Thompson offers listeners timely discussion of meaningful issues with a variety of different guests each week. Callers are encouraged to call (347) 945-7171 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes. The show is live every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. PT. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.

Understanding Our Times – More Than a Conqueror

What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? Does it mean that, as Christians, we have the power to overcome every obstacle and solve every problem? Tune in this week as we explore Romans 8:37 through a sermon preached by our host, Kevin Thompson. This message was delivered in Costa Rica during a recent missions trip. This broadcast will also feature Spanish interpretation.

Broadcast – Understanding Our Times

Website - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes

Time – Saturday, July 24, at 6:00 pm EST/5:00pm CST

Length – 45 Minutes  

Call-in Number - (347) 945-7171

You can join us live Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST, or download the broadcast in mp3 format at a time more convenient for you.

“Understanding Our Times” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on current events from a distinctly Biblical worldview. Host Kevin Thompson offers listeners timely discussion of meaningful issues with a variety of different guests each week. Callers are encouraged to call (347) 945-7171 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes. The show is live every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. PT. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.

Free Four-Volume Systematic Theology Download

July 9, 2010 2 comments

This is from James White’s blog.  The post is from Jeff Downs.

Doctrine is practical. In scripture we have a pattern of the indicative and then the imperative (see this book for a defense of this pattern). Paul begins his letters stating his doctrinal concerns, then the “therefore…” this is how you should live!

Those who read through systematic theologies know that for the most part, doctrines are stated, but not applied. This is not the case with at least one systematic theology I’m familiar with and use regularly.

While no true lover of books will be satisfied with online material, (come on, you can’t pick it up, you can’t smell the combination of ink and paper); online books are certainly helpful in various ways (size, searchability, etc.).

If I were to recommend one systamatic theology (and that perhaps would not be easy), I would recommend Wilhelmus à Brakel’s 4 Volumes A Christian’s Reasonable Service (here is an alternative place to purchase).

You can currently dowloand (in PDF format) all four volumes by clicking here.

You can read the whole post here.

Categories: Theology

Understanding Our Times – The Beatitudes

May 15, 2010 1 comment

The Sermon on the Mount is probably the most famous sermon ever preached.  This week, our broadcast will feature a message on the Beatitudes, the first few verses of this well-known sermon.  What does it mean to be poor in spirit?  How does one hunger and thirst after righteousness?  Join us this week to hear our host, Kevin Thompson answer these questions and much more.

Broadcast – Understanding Our Times

Website - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes

Time – Saturday, May 15, at 6:00 pm EST/5:00pm CST

Length – 30 Minutes  

Call-in Number - (347) 945-7171

You can join us live Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST, or download the broadcast in mp3 format at a time more convenient for you.

“Understanding Our Times” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on current events from a distinctly Biblical worldview. Host Kevin Thompson offers listeners timely discussion of meaningful issues with a variety of different guests each week. Callers are encouraged to call (347) 945-7171 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes. The show is live every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. PT. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.

Understanding Our Times: The Glory Walk with Pastor James Wilkes

 

Join us this week as we discuss the Glory Walk, a newly released book written by Pastor James R. Wilkes of New England Baptist Church in West Bridgewater, MA.  This book seeks to encourage Christians to “live in the bigger picture of God’s kingdom with God’s purposes in view.”  In other words, it is time to forsake the life that glorifies self and embrace the life that is centered on glorifying God.  “Living on purpose for the glory of God” will be our topic of conversation this week.   This is a live broadcast and your phone calls are welcomed. You can also join us live in the chatroom and leave your comments there.

Broadcast – Understanding Our Times

Website – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes

Time – Saturday, April 10, at 6:00 pm EST/5:00pm CST

Length – 30 Minutes  

Call-in Number - (347) 945-7171

You can join us live Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST, or download the broadcast in mp3 format at a time more convenient for you.

“Understanding Our Times” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on current events from a distinctly Biblical worldview. Host Kevin Thompson offers listeners timely discussion of meaningful issues with a variety of different guests each week. Callers are encouraged to call (347) 945-7171 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes. The show is live every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. PT. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.

Understanding Our Times: The Dangers of Dispensationalism with Gary Demar

November 28, 2009 1 comment

This week we again enter the realm of theological controversy by discussing the topic of dispensationalism.  Are there two peoples of God?  Should we be expecting a secret rapture of the church at any moment?  Is this the position of historic Christianity?  How does this system effect how we live and act in the light of the Lord’s coming?  We will ask these questions and more to an outspoken critic of dispensationalism, Dr. Gary Demar.  Brother Demar is the President of American Vision (www.americanvision.org), the author of numerous books, and the host of the Gary Demar Show. 

Broadcast – Understanding Our Times

Website - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes

Time – Saturday, November 28, at 6:00 pm EST/5:00pm CST

Length – 30 Minutes  

Call-in Number - (347) 945-7171

You can join us live Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST, or download the broadcast in mp3 format at a time more convenient for you.

“Understanding Our Times” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on current events from a distinctly Biblical worldview. Host Kevin Thompson offers listeners timely discussion of meaningful issues with a variety of different guests each week. Callers are encouraged to call (347) 945-7171 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes. The show is live every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. PT. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.

Death of a Dispensationalist

November 25, 2009 5 comments

I suppose that I have needed to write this article for quite some time now.  I guess for me, it’s not easy.  This is an area I have struggled with for quite some time.  But I believe now is the time to declare – I no longer consider myself to be a dispensationalist, at least not in the way I have always considered myself to be.  Allow me to explain.

Most of my life, I have believed that God has had two distinct peoples with two distinct plans – Israel and the Church.  Human history may be divided up into at least seven distinct periods of time in which God dealt with His people using a particular test requiring a particular response and resulting in a particular failure on behalf of man.  For most of my life I would distinguish between the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ.  They are two separate events with a literal seven year tribulation in between them.  Life is to be lived with the conscious awareness that the Rapture could take place at any second. 

While these were my stated beliefs, secretly for quite some time now, I have been harboring some doubts.  For example, why is it that verses concerning the rapture and verses concerning the Second Coming sound very similar and almost identical?  How can there be such a sharp distinction between Israel and the church after reading Galatians 3 or Romans 9-11?  What about church history?  If dispensationalism is the correct way of interpreting Scripture, why was this whole system of theology only brought to light in the 1800’s?  How could God’s people have missed something so obvious for so many years?  I understand that doctrine does come about through process and is refined and systematized as years pass.  But just how many theologians, preachers and men of God before the mid 1800’s preached or taught that God had two distinct peoples?  These doubts have never been answered fully or satisfied in my mind. (I am open to the idea of further research answering these questions if anyone would like to point me to some good references on the topic.)

I think more than anything else, what has really concerned me about this system of doctrine is the results I see from it.  When I ran for congress two years ago, I received most of my criticisms not from secularists, but from my fellow believers.  They insisted that I was wasting my time.  Christian have no business entering into politics because this world is just going to burn up anyway.  Jesus is coming back soon and all my work will be for not.  Though they often preach against the evils of modern culture and society, they have no plan to engage, challenge or change said culture and society.  Their only battle plan is retreat, excuse me, rapture. 

This fact was hit home for me this past weekend.  I attended a worldview rally in Rockford, IL.  One of the speakers was David Reagan of Lion and Lamb Ministries.  His comments absolutely shocked me.  He declared there was no hope for America.  He then proceeding in telling us just how bad things have got here in our nation since the 1960’s.  We are clearly headed to destruction as God has already began to judge this nation for its terrible sin (the worst of which seemed to be our lack of complete support for the nation of Israel).  In fact, things are so bad here that Dr. Reagan announced that the only hope Christians living in our country have is the rapture. 

After this presentation, Brannon Howse spoke on how secular and ungodly philosophies have crept into our educational system and our national way of thinking as a whole.  An interesting lecture.  One point that stuck out is that these evil men (such as Karl Marx and Tom Dewy) decided to advance their agenda “not by revolution but by evolution.”  In other words, they had a long-term plan that actually worked. 

Soon after this presentation, I had the chance to speak with Dr. Reagan and ask him the following question, “If a secular humanist agenda is successfully advanced by a long-term plan, how can Christians counteract with a long-term plan if they are all convinced Jesus is coming any minute and have abandoned any hope?”  His answer was that we are to live as if Jesus were coming back tomorrow, but plan as if He were not coming back for a thousand years.  If I had the chance to talk with him further, I would like to have asked how successful it is to live for one thing and plan for another.

Many modern dispensationalists (of the ilk of Ryrie and others) would have us curse the darkness, but a candle is out of the question.  We cannot engage our culture, only preach against it.  But, the natural question that arises in my mind is why would we expect anything but complete depravity of our culture if Christians are completely removed from it.  Darkness exists when light is absent.  But because Jesus is coming any second, we just don’t have the time…

What I fail to see in such line of thought is any mention of the sovereignty of God.  The imminent destruction of America and other doomsday scenarios do sell books, but whatever happened to a God who is in control of all things?  A common theme of dispensational thought seems to be the worsening of not only the world, but of the church.  They seem at times to be joyful at the thought of God’s church being defeated and the world getting worse as these are signs of the end times.  To me, this makes the church to be weak, God to be on defense, and the world to be winning.  Now, we are told that in the end God wins, but we have to endure till then.  This does not seem to fit with the picture we see in Romans 8:31-39 of a victorious people conquering through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Is God in charge or not?

That night, Sunday night, I believe the dispensationalist in me died.  It was clear to me that I am not the person I once was.  I think differently and even pray differently.  I can no longer accept what I do not belief to be Biblical or practical. 

This does not mean I have an agenda now to crusade against dispensationalism or dispensationalists.  I have great respect for many dispensationalists.  I will still buy their books and listen to their sermons.  This is not an issue I will break fellowship over. 

So where does that leave me?  I have yet to embrace covenant theology, though I am beginning to lean in that direction. I would like to look more into progressive dispensationalism to see if there is a happy, Biblical median there.   I have still not settled on a historic premill, amill or post-mill position.  To be honest, I am just a student of Scripture who is wrestling with some difficult questions.

Categories: My Thoughts, Theology

Understanding Our Times: It’s Not What You Believe, But What You Love with Pastor Bob Bixby

Tune in this week for a convicting sermon from Pastor Bob Bixby of the Morning Star Baptist Church in Rockford, IL.  In this message, Pastor Bixby challenges his listeners to carefully examine their own salvation.  Can a man who mentally assents to the spiritual truths of salvation and show no signs of a love for God truly be considered a saved individual?  Find out on this week’s broadcast!

Broadcast – Understanding Our Times

Website - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes

Time – Saturday, October 3, at 6:00 pm EST/5:00pm CST

Length – 30 Minutes  

Call-in Number - (347) 945-7171

You can join us live Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST, or download the broadcast in mp3 format at a time more convenient for you.

“Understanding Our Times” is an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on current events from a distinctly Biblical worldview. Host Kevin Thompson offers listeners timely discussion of meaningful issues with a variety of different guests each week. Callers are encouraged to call (347) 945-7171 to listen or ask questions. The stream and archives are available at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/understandingourtimes. The show is live every Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. PT. The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio.

Wittenburg Wednesday: Is Dispensational Theology an Essential Key to Understand Scripture?

July 29, 2009 1 comment

It has been a long time since I have declared a Wittenburg Wednesday.  Yet, now, by the power invested in me by the fine folks of wordpress, I declare this Wednesday a Wittenburg Wednesday.

For those of you who are new to my blog, or to those who simply don’t remember, let me explain just what a Wittenburg Wednesday is.  Back in the 1517 a monk by the name of Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of his church in Wittenburg, Germany.  Such actions were common in that day as that was the means of creating discussion and debate.    Thus, Wittenburg Wednesdays on this blog is when I post a topic for discussion and debate.    The only difference now is that this debate will take place both on this blog and on my facebook accountas this blog is linked there as well. 

So, let us begin.  Today’s topic  is, “Is dispensational theology an essential key to understand Scripture?”  I grown up learning dispensationalism and even graduated from a dispensational college, yet I feel as though I am continually moving away from a strict dispensational rubric of interpreting scripture.  I am starting to feel uncomfortable with chopping up scripture into seven, eight, or even nine divisions.  I no longer hold to the idea of secret rapture of the church that occurs before a seven year tribulation period.  The idea of one people of God throughout Scripture (as opposed to a clear distinction between God’s plan for Israel and the church).  I am even starting to see hypocrisy in the whole system as they claim to be the ones taking a literal approach to interpretation. 

Have I left the faith?  Where am I wrong?  Or, am I now finally starting to see the light?  Is there any middle ground?  What say you?

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