By Kirk E. Miller - CrossWay MKE
Church TheologyAug 22, 2019
The Apostles' Creed (with Michael Svigel)
We're kicking-off a new series on, what are sometimes called, the ecumenical creeds. In today's episode, we begin with what is known as The Apostles' Creed. Along the way, we also answer questions like, what is a creed, and why do the creeds matter? Maybe your church recites The Apostles' Creed. But what does it mean to call Jesus God's Son? And what about that line about him descending to hell? We hope you will be encouraged as you dive deeper into this historic articulation of the church's faith!
The Theology of the EFCA (with Greg Strand)
What does the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) believe? What are the theological convictions that unite this broad collection of churches? In this episode, Kirk is joined by Greg Strand, chair of the EFCA's Spiritual Heritage Committee, to discuss and exposit the EFCA's Statement of Faith. As we hope you'll see, this Statement of Faith is an articulation of nothing less than the core elements of gospel itself.
Changing Unwanted Thoughts (with Esther Smith)
Are you burdened by anxious thoughts? Does your mind race uncontrollably? Are you prone to ruminate? Maybe you are wearied with thoughts of hopelessness, self-deprecation, unpleasant mental images, or a range other unwanted thoughts. At some point or another, all of us experience some form of mental anguish or distress. In this episode, Esther Smith, seasoned counselor and author of A Still and Quiet Mind: Twelve Strategies for Changing Unwanted Thoughts, provides us a multi-faceted, Biblically-integrated approach for dealing with the battles in our minds.
Our Contemporary Knowledge Crisis (with Bonnie Kristian)
Kirk sits down with Bonnie Kristian to discuss her latest book, Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community. They delve into the current erosion of knowledge, exploring its consequences on society, the church, and our relationships. Explore ways we can rebuild stability in our communities and lives amidst a world where knowledge feels increasingly elusive and society increasingly fractured.
Divorce & Remarriage (with Andy Naselli)
Jesus taught that divorce "from the beginning ... was not so" and that those who divorce commit adultery. Yet he also added, "except for sexual immorality" (Mt 5:31-32; 19:3-9). And Paul says believers are "not bound" if their unbelieving spouse leaves them (1 Cor 7:15). These texts are source of much debate. And yet their implications are extremely pressing and practical for many. What does the Bible have to say about divorce, and if divorce any possibility of remarriage thereafter? New Testament scholar Andy Naselli joins Kirk to discuss these matters.
The Pastoral Ministry of Richard Baxter (with Tim Cooper)
Richard Baxter was a 17th-century English Puritan pastor best known for his rigorous and methodical approach to pastoral care. What can we today learn from Baxter about pastoring, what it looks like to be pastored, and the nature of the Christian life experienced within the church. Church history professor, Tim Cooper, joins Kirk to talk about the legacy of Baxter for the church today.
Why Baptism is Required for Church Membership (with Bobby Jamieson)
Why does our church, and churches like ours, require people to be baptized before we will admit them as members of our church? Today Kirk is joined by Bobby Jamieson, associate pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., to discuss the Biblical and theological reason for this practice.
Roman Catholicism (with Gregg Allison)
What are some of the major differences between Roman Catholic and evangelical theology? And how do we assess these differences? How should we relate to our Roman Catholic friends, family members, and neighbors? Join us for this episode with Gregg Allison as we discuss these questions and more.
The History of the EFCA (with David Gustafson)
On April 24th, 2023 our church, CrossWay Community Church of Milwaukee will be voted into the EFCA's Forest Lakes District. But what is the EFCA (Evangelical Free Church of America)? And where did it originate? In order to help us better understand the EFCA heritage, Kirk interviewed Dr. David Gustafson who is currently writing a book on the history of the EFCA.
Paul's Theology of Resurrection (with Richard Gaffin)
How did Paul think about resurrection, and what role did it play in his overall theological understanding? Kirk sits down for a conversation with retired professor, Dr. Richard B. Gaffin Jr., about Paul's theology of resurrection. We explore questions like, what is the connection between Christ's resurrection and ours? What is the relationship between Christ's resurrection and the ministry of the Spirit in our lives? What does Paul mean when he says that Jesus was "raised for our justification" (Rom 4:25)? And how does Christ's resurrection empower us for our mission as a church?
The Presence of the Future: The New Testament’s Inaugurated Eschatology (with G.K. Beale)
The Old Testament tells a unifying story of God working to restore his creation and establish his kingdom. This would finally happen permanently and irreversible at the end of history, the "last days." But the New Testament presents this time as already having dawned in the arrival of Christ. We are living in those "last days," as Peter said (Acts 2). Premier New Testament scholar, G.K. Beale, visits the Church Theology podcast to talk about the New Testament's "inaugurated eschatology,” or as George Eldon Ladd put it, "the presence of the future."
Themes & Theology of Mark's Gospel (with Peter Orr)
In this episode, Kirk sits down with New Testament scholar, Dr. Peter Orr, for a conversation on theology and major themes of Mark’s Gospel. We discuss the identity of Jesus, the so-called “Messianic Secret,” the meaning of the cross and discipleship in Mark, the role of the temple in Mark, and much, much more. We hope this conversation helps you better understand the Gospel of Mark, even as you read it for yourself!
What Are Deacons? (with Matt Smethurst)
The Bible presents two offices (or formal positions) within the local church: elders (also called overseers and pastors) and deacons, which means "servants." But what exactly are deacons? Who should serve as a church's deacons? How are deacons meant to function? And why are they so very, very important to the health and mission of a church? Matt Smethurst joins us to discuss these matters and more.
From Womb to Tomb: On Being Pro-Life for the Whole Life (with Karen Swallow Prior)
What does it mean to be pro-life? Is it simply being anti-abortion (pro-birth)? Or is it something more? Karen Swallow Prior joins us to share, not only why we as Christians oppose abortion, but also how the same ethic that forms this opposition entails consistent care for human life.
Understanding Typology (with Mitch Chase)
Jesus is the true and better Adam. He's our Passover Lamb whose death brings about a new Exodus. Indwelt by God's Spirit, Christ's church is the end-time temple of God. And on and on we could go. The Bible is littered with typologies, "prophetic patterns," that anticipate and find their fulfillment in Christ. But what exactly is typology, and how does it function? What are its underlying assumptions, the theological operating system if you will, on which it runs? And should we be imitating the apostles by practicing typological interpretation even today? Mitch Chase joins us to help us answer these questions.
Truth Over Tribe: Against Political Tribalism (with Patrick Miller)
Have you noticed that you've been more anxious recently? Have political differences put a strain on a relationship with a friend or family member? Has politics caused division in your church? Society is increasingly polarized and tribal. And unfortunately, we as Christians are often not immune, but at times even the worst offenders. In this episode, Patrick Miller, an author of Truth Over Tribe, helps us see the causes of our tribalism to pursue a healthier Christian political engagement.
A Christian Case Against Christian Nationalism (with Paul Miller)
Talk about "Christian nationalism" is quite the buzz right now. Many are currently decrying it. Some now though are readily embracing the label to champion it. So what exactly is Christian nationalism? And is it something we, as Christians, should be concerned about? Paul Miller answers, "yes," helping us understand why Christian nationalism is both bad for our neighbors and harmful to the church.
Experiential Calvinism: A Functional Theology of the Doctrines of Grace (with J. A. Medders)
What are the so-called doctrines of grace? And what bearing do they have on our lives? Jeff Medders joins me to talk about Calvinism and the practical ways it ought to manifest in those who believe it.
A Christian Assessment of News Consumption (with Jeffrey Bilbro)
In a world in which our consumption of news is increasingly polarized and sensational, and disinformation is all too common, how do we combat such unhealthy habits to form a better relationship with the news? And what, after all, is the news even for? What is a particularly Christian mode of engaging and consuming news? In his book, Reading the Times: A Literary and Theological Inquiry Into the News, Jeffrey Bilbro provides a theological, even historical, perspective on the function and impact of the news in our lives, a diagnosis of our problem, and a reframing of how we might construct alternative practices.
Application Practiced & Application Received (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 19)
Not only do we work to apply the scriptures, but the scriptures do their work on us. So how do we foster a disposition and habit of regularly subjecting ourselves to the scripture's slow, ordinary, but supernaturally transformative work?
Text & Framework (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 18)
Each of us inevitably approaches scripture with a set of preconceived ideas, beliefs, outlooks, and assumptions. These can be theological convictions, social-political sensibilities, cultural baggage, or even experiences that have shaped us. How do we make sure we let scripture speak on its own terms and challenge these frameworks, and avoid imposing ideas onto the text?
One Meaning, Many Applications (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 17)
Although a passage of scripture's message doesn't change and is located in the author's intent, its application will be manifold, not only as we tease out its various implications, but also as it comes to bear on different contexts, settings, times, and peoples.
Family Worship (with Donald Whitney)
Across history, Christians have worshiped God in their homes as families on a daily basis. What is family worship, what does it look like, and what are some practical instructions for how we might go about implementing it in our own homes? In today's episode, we talk to Donald Whitney, a professor of Biblical spirituality, about the practice of family worship.
The C.H.R.I.S.T. Acronym, Pt. 3 (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 16)
So now that we understand the overarching storyline of scripture centered in Christ, how do we go about interpreting specific texts in light of it? In this episode, we conclude the C.H.R.I.S.T. acronym, a device to help us discern faithful connections to Christ.
The C.H.R.I.S.T. Acronym, Pt. 2 (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 15)
So now that we understand the overarching storyline of scripture centered in Christ, how do we go about interpreting specific texts in light of it? In this episode, we continue unpacking the C.H.R.I.S.T. acronym, an easy-to-remember methodology for thinking about the ways various passages relate to Christ.
The C.H.R.I.S.T. Acronym, Pt. 1 (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 14)
So now that we understand the overarching storyline of scripture centered in Christ, how do we go about interpreting specific texts in light of it? In this episode, we will introduce the C.H.R.I.S.T. acronym as an easy-to-remember methodology for thinking about the ways various passages relate to Christ.
On Biblical Theology (with Oren Martin)
How do God's dealings in the Old Testament relate to Christ and the message of the New Testament? How does the whole Bible fit together? How are we to think about themes like kingdom, temple, land, etc.; and how do they help us better understand the scriptures as centered in Jesus? These are all questions that Biblical theology seeks to answer. In this episode, I sit down with Oren Martin, one of the authors of 40 Questions About Biblical Theology, to discuss what Biblical theology is and why it matters.
The ABI's of God's Kingdom, Pt. 3 (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 13)
If we are to read each portion of scripture in view of the broader story of scripture, then what is that bigger story? What is the overarching storyline of the Bible? In this episode we cover the next three epochs of that overarching story: Jesus' arrival, the church and her mission, and Christ's second coming.
The ABI's of God's Kingdom, Pt. 2 (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 12)
If we are to read each portion of scripture in view of the broader story of scripture, then what is that bigger story? What is the overarching storyline of the Bible? In this episode, we cover the next three epochs of that overarching story: the initial form of the kingdom in Israel, the exile, and the prophets’ messages of warning and hope.
The ABI's of God's Kingdom, Pt. 1 (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 11)
If we are to read each portion of scripture in view of the broader story of scripture, then what is that bigger story? What is the overarching storyline of the Bible? In this episode, we cover the first few epochs of that overarching story: creation, fall, and the covenants.
The Convictions Behind Christ-Centered Reading (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 10)
We contend that a proper reading of any passage of scripture will necessarily include interpreting it in light of the whole of scripture as centered in the Christ-event. But what is the basis for this position? And what are the errors involved in failing to read all of scripture in view of Christ on the one hand, or, on the other hand, spiritualizing the text and bypassing its original meaning as we get to Christ?
Mike Piedt's Testimony of God's Grace: From Homelessness & Addiction to a Servant of Christ's Church
Mike turned to drugs and alcohol at around eleven or twelve years of age. Later in life, he would end up homeless, pursuing a life on the streets. But one day, God miraculously opened his eyes to the good news about Jesus. And he's never been the same. He's now a member of his church where he faithfully serves as a deacon.
How to Talk about Race (with Isaac Adams)
Bring up race and people tense up and dig their heals in. Why is this? Why is talking about race is so difficult, and no less in the church? In this episode, Isaac Adams sits down with Kirk to talk about talking: how can we have better conversations about race? Or even more fundamentally, why do we need to have better conversations about race? Based on Adam's recent book, Talking about Race: Gospel Hope for Hard Conversations (Zondervan, January 2022).
Understanding the Prophets (with Eric Tully)
Out of all the parts of the Bible, many find the Old Testament prophetic literature to be among some of the most difficult to read and understand. The prophets can feel incredibly distant, addressing unfamiliar historical situations. Their writings can feel bizarre, using imagery that's hard to understand, or even unruly—"Can someone provide me a roadmap to these books?" And yet Eric Tully argues that the prophetic writings serve as an important junction in between God's foundational activity in the Old Testament (think Genesis-Chronicles) and how God will finally resolve that story in Christ (the New Testament). If we want to understand the Old Testament and Jesus(!) we need to understand the prophets.
The Storyline of the Hebrew Bible (with Stephen Dempster)
Have you ever been reading in the Old Testament and wondered, what does this have to do with the larger story? Or maybe it's never even occurred to you that the Old Testament even has a larger story! Well, in this episode, Kirk sits down with a premier Old Testament scholar, Stephen Dempster, author of the stellar book, Dominion and Dynasty, to talk specifically about the theology and storyline of the Hebrew Bible.
Expository Preaching (with Mike Bullmore)
What does it mean and look like faithfully to preach the Bible itself rather than use the Bible as a launchpad for our own message? In this episode, Kirk sits down with seasoned pastor Mike Bullmore to talk about what's called "expository preaching" and why it's so important.
Lafto Kale Heywet Church in Ethiopia (Missionary Profile, Ep. 3)
CrossWay Milwaukee has a church-to-church partnership through World Orphans with Lafto Kale Heywet Church in the Lafto region of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. CrossWay's financial support goes towards Lafto's ministry caring for vulnerable families, specifically with widows and orphans. This partnership helps provide food, education, medical care, and economic opportunities as well as open doors for the Gospel. The ultimate goal of the church-to-church partnership is to learn from and encourage one another in the advancement of God’s Kingdom.
Listen in as Kirk connects with Pastor Eyob, and others from Lafto Church, to hear and learn more about the ministry we support there.
Discerning the Main Claim of a Passage (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 9)
Have you ever read a passage from the Bible and wondered, what was the point of all that? Maybe you pick up some themes and ideas here or there from a passage, but you're unsure how it all fits together. Or maybe you've never thought to consider how a passage all fits together. In this episode, Kirk and Dan get back into their series on how to read the Bible, asking, after we've made all of our initial observations on a passage (e.g., tone, context, structure), then what? They talk about the need for understanding a passage's overall claim, message, or point.
Cultivating Wisdom in the Information Age (with Brett McCracken)
Do you ever feel like the constant bombardment of technology and social media is making us dumber, or maybe even more foolish? Or does truth feel ever more elusive to you in an age of increasing options, viral conspiracy theories, and personally curated newsfeeds? How are we to navigate this post-truth world? Brett McCracken joins Kirk for a conversation about his most recent book, The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World. Listen in as Brett gives us guidance on finding wisdom and feeding our souls amidst the information gluttony, perpetual novelty, and "look within" autonomy.
Nelson Salviano in Brazil (Missionary Profile, Ep. 2)
Kirk was able to connect over Zoom with one of CrossWay Milwaukee's missionaries, Nelson Salviano. The Salvianos are located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In 2004 Nelson Salviano started a pastoral training program called ESCALE. Through ESCALE Nelson travels throughout Brazil and to remote areas leading seminars that help train existing pastors in their ability to understand and preach God’s Word. In this episode, we get to learn more about Nelson and his family, their ministry, and ways we can be praying for them.
Why the Church Remains Essential (with Jonathan Leeman)
Over the last couple of years, churches have been hit with COVID restrictions, tensions over race, political disagreements, church abuse scandals, and more. This wave has resulted in many a Christian asking, "Is church worth it?" Or as more and more churches adopt things like "online campuses," many are tempted to treat staying home as a permanent, on-par option with the physical gathering. But how would the Bible help us to consider these things? Is the gathered church still essential? Jonathan Leeman joins Kirk in this episode to begin answering these questions, and to discuss the topic of his recent book, co-authored with Collin Hansen, Rediscover Church: Why the Body of Christ is Essential.
Understanding the Debate & Differences in How We Put Our Bibles Together (Views on Covenantal & Dispensational Theologies with Brent Parker and Richard Lucas, Ep. 2)
In this episode, I continue my conversation with Brent E. Parker and Richard Lucas, editors of the forthcoming book, Covenantal and Dispensational Theologies: Four Views on the Continuity of Scripture (IVP, February 2022). In this session, we talk about what different commitments or perspectives ultimately underlie the various views, why all of this matters, how it comes to bear in our theology and practice, and how we might construct a path forward in the doing of Biblical theology for the local church.
Their book is currently available for pre-order, releasing February 8, 2022.
A Survey of How Different Systems of Theology Put the Bible Together (Views on Covenantal & Dispensational Theologies with Brent Parker and Richard Lucas, Ep. 1)
How should we interpret the promises made to the people of Israel in the OT — are they being fulfilled in the church? Does God have a distinct plan for the nation of Israel separate from the church? How do Christians relate to the Mosaic Law? What does infant baptism have to do with our understanding of the Biblical Covenants? In short, these are all questions asking, How should we put our Bible’s together — and questions that both covenantal and dispensational theologies answer differently, with wide-ranging implications for how we read our Bibles, how we define the church, what we expect of the future, and how we live our Christian lives.
This episode serves as the first installment of a larger conversation on covenantal and dispensational theologies and their divergent ways of putting the Bible together. In today’s episode, Richard Lucas and Brent Parker lead us through a survey of the various view points that exist. In order of those that stress more continuity to those that stress more discontinuity, we look at:
- Theonomy / Reconstructionism [3:50]
- Traditional Covenant Theology [9:13]
- 20th Century Reformed Baptist Theology [24:02]
- 1689 Federalism [31:02]
- Progressive Covenantalism [40:37]
- New Covenant Theology [55:24]
- Progressive Dispensationalism [1:04:7]
- Traditional (or Revised) Dispensationalism [1:18:58]
- Classic Dispensationalism [1:34:36]
Their book, Covenantal and Dispensational Theologies: Four Views on the Continuity of Scripture (IVP, February 2022), is currently available for pre-order.
The Need for "Analog Church" in the Digital Age (with Jay Y. Kim)
Kirk sits down for an interview with Pastor Jay Y. Kim, author of Analog Church: Why We Need Real People, Places, and Things in the Digital Age. They discuss how the digital age, despite its many advantages and opportunities, also negatively deforms us, and why "analog church" (i.e., real people, places, and things) is needed now as much as ever before.
Structure: Understanding How a Passage is Organized (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 8)
In today’s episode, Dan and I talk about skeletons and bridges. Well, kind of. We discuss one of the most important aspects of reading our Bibles well: understanding how a particular passage is organized in order to communicate its overall message.
Melodic Line: Hearing the Message & Aim of Each Book (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 7)
Kirk and Dan talk about melodic line. Here we're talking about the overall message of a book that ties the whole and all its parts together. In this episode we talk about what the melodic line is, showing some examples from scripture. And then we talk about how can you go about discerning the melodic line, and what benefits does this yields to your reading of scripture.
Never Read a Bible Verse (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 6)
In today's episode, we try to convince you never to read a Bible verse! Wait, what? That's right. Never read a Bible verse on its own, but always in context.
Hearing the Passage: Tone (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 5)
In this episode, we look at the matter of tone (and mood). What exactly do we mean by "tone"? And how does a passage's tone affect how we read and understand it?
The Author's Rules Rule: Genre (How to Read the Bible, Ep. 4)
The Bible is not one monolithic type of writing. Instead, it is made up of various type of writing styles called genres. So what are the different genres in scripture? And how do they impact how we read our Bibles?
Hindrances to Prayer, Pt. 2
Kirk and Dan sit down from some bonus episodes supplementing the sermon series on prayer. In these two episodes, Kirk and Dan consider additional hindrances we might face in the discipline of prayer, and how we can work to overcome these.
Find Dan's original sermon on The Hindrances to Prayer here.