The GoodLion Podcast
By Aaron Salvato & Brian Higgins
Check out the other great shows on the GoodLion network at www.goodlion.io
The GoodLion PodcastJun 19, 2023
Progressive Dispensationalism, Eschatology Reimagined - With Dr. Darrell Bock
Why Does Yahweh Seem So Angry in the Old Testament? - (GoodLion Classic Episode)
Gerry, a beloved Seminary Professor and mentor to many, joins us again to wrestle with the difficult but essential topic of God's judgment and wrath. Our listeners know this is a subject close to Aaron and Brian's hearts, and Gerry provides his gracious yet challenging insights.
We examine how God's wrath in the Old Testament fits with His love in the New. We also look at Greg Boyd's cruciform hermeneutic, and Gerry helps us consider whether this is a helpful interpretive framework or if it raises concerns.
As always, Gerry's wisdom, humility and grace permeate the discussion as he guides our GoodLion community through these complex issues.
Whether you're wrestling with these hard questions for the first time or looking for a fresh perspective, this classic conversation with one of our longtime favorites is bound to stretch, encourage and inform.
Join us for another profound and provocative episode that aims to renew and reshape the way we see God.
Jesus' Death: Failure or Victory? - (Classic GoodLion Episode)
For this special classic episode, Aaron delves deeply into a provocative claim made on NPR's This American Life. In a conversation with host Ira Glass, Princeton historian Elaine Pagels argues that Jesus's death on the cross was an "utter failure." This piques Aaron's curiosity. He decides to explore the topic further, questioning leading scholars and theologians about whether Jesus's crucifixion really was a failure as Pagels suggests. Aaron brings on apologist Thomas Fretwell and his friend Wavey Cowper to share revelatory insights and historical context. They examine what Jesus and his earliest followers truly understood about his death on the cross. Was Jesus's crucifixion the Roman Empire successfully squashing a would-be revolution? Or was it the enactment of God's eternal plan of salvation for humanity? Join Aaron and his friends as they pick at Pagels' thesis - and explores the far-reaching implications of Jesus willingly enduring the ultimate human failure, in order to achieve the ultimate divine victory. Through thoughtful discussion, historical evidence and theological reflection, they aim to provide you with a fresh perspective on the death and resurrection of Christ.
Getting Honest About Depression and the Christian Church - With Wesley Towne (Classic GoodLion Episode)
Join Aaron and Brian as they tackle one of the hardest topics facing Christians and the church today: depression. In this honest and illuminating episode, they sit down with pastor Wesley Towne who has spent years ministering to those struggling with mental illness.
This episode was recorded shortly after the tragic loss of Pastor Jared Wilson, bringing the topics of depression and struggle into sharp focus. Wesley shares openly about his own journey, helping remove some of the stigma that prevents many Christians from facing mental health issues.
Aaron, Brian and Wesley tackle some tough questions with compassion: What does depression really look like for believers? How has the church both helped and hindered those struggling? And ultimately, what hope can we find in Jesus for those in the midst of these battles?
This episode pulls no punches, offering wisdom and insight from someone who has walked this path. We pray Wesley's transparency and perspective provides both comfort and challenge - reminding us that in sharing our struggles, we find the healing we seek in community.
Join us for this honest encounter with a subject that affects so many.
A Raw Conversation On Sex Scenes, Christians, and Media - (GoodLion Classic Episode)
Welcome to a classic two-part episode of The GoodLion Podcast! It's a marathon not a sprint as Brian and Aaron dive into the complex issue of violence, sex and nudity in media.
The popular show Game of Thrones sparked many conversations about how Christians should consume media with sex scenes. These episodes, recorded in 2019, tackle that debate head on with nuance, depth and understanding.
Brian and Aaron explore whether Christians should watch sex scenes and potential impacts on the soul. They discuss the complex factors at play, from Biblical principles to practical effects on one's heart and mind.
While some argued for a simple "yes it's sin" approach, our hosts Brian and Aaron believe complex issues deserve complex conversations. These episodes mark a turning point in the show where Aaron and Brian found their groove as co-hosts, leaning into the heart of The GoodLion mission – seeking answers to complicated issues while avoiding simplistic responses. As Aaron points out, one of our guiding mantras has always been "no easy answers," drawing us to dive deep and point listeners to the God who is not safe, but who is very good.
We hope these classic episodes spark meaningful discussion and thought-provoking reflection as you wrestle with how to engage media in a way that honors God and your conscience. Brian and Aaron hope these episodes speak to you, challenge you and ultimately point you to how to follow Christ well in our postmodern culture.
Shame, Sin, & What Tim Mackie Taught Us About Righteousness - (Classic GoodLion Episode)
Aaron and Brian welcome you to revisit two early episodes from Season 1 that set out to deeply explore the meaning and importance of righteousness. These episodes were part of their initial ‘Righteousness’ mini-series where they sought to understand what righteousness truly means and how it should impact the lives of Jesus followers.
In Part 1, Aaron shares his reflections on righteousness and clips from Dr. Tim Mackie of the Bible Project that shed new light on its original Hebrew meaning. Hearing Tim's insights was a major revelation for Aaron that changed how he understood the concept.
In Part 2, Brian and Aaron are joined by pastor Bryan Stupar for a thought-provoking conversation about righteousness and how it relates to struggle with guilt and shame. They examine Jesus' interaction with the woman caught in adultery, seeking to apply the lessons to our own lives. Aaron also recounts a personal story that helped righteousness come alive for him in a fresh way.
Though the audio quality may not match their current podcast standards, Aaron believes the content remains powerfully relevant for listeners today.
So join Aaron and Brian on this nostalgic journey back to the first season of the GoodLion podcast as they explore two defining episodes in their quest to understand the true meaning of righteousness!
GoodLion Update: School of Discipleship Ministry Reports, Great Things in Store for the Podcast, & an Update on Aaron's Seminary Journey
A Ministry Update:
First, a ministry field report: we're thrilled to announce that GoodLion Ministries has been expanding its reach with the establishment of the GoodLion School of Discipleship in Yukon, Oklahoma. This new venture is a multi-church ministry effort where young adults can immerse themselves in the study of theology, discipleship, and the teachings of Jesus. This progression from a podcast to a local community has been welcomed with overwhelming love and support, and we're just getting started!
As we look back on a fruitful first semester and look ahead to the next, we invite you to join us on this educational journey by visiting www.GoodLion.school, where you can check out what we are doing and support our mission.
A Summer Break, Classic Episodes, and Higgins Returns for Season 10:
We will be taking a break for June and July, but In our efforts to consistently deliver meaningful content, during the break we'll be dusting off and re-sharing some of our best episodes from the early seasons that you may have missed. In addition, we're delighted to share that Brian Higgins, our much-loved co-host, has been helping us record more episodes for next season. His presence has always been crucial to the podcast, and we can't wait to have him back around.
If theology piques your interest, next season we've already recorded some engaging episodes on eschatology featuring the renowned professor Darrell Bock, as well as friend of the show Nick Cady. We're also looking forward to incorporating lessons from the GoodLion School of Discipleship into our podcast.
Personal Note and Request from Aaron:
Friends, as we wrap up this season, I come to you with a personal appeal. After much prayer and consideration, I've decided to pursue a Master's Degree in Applied Biblical Leadership under the mentorship of Professor Gary Breshears at Western Seminary. This journey means a lot to me, yet it has presented some financial obstacles. I've always tried my best to support myself as much as possible through working with my hands and mind, but recently I lost my main side client that was helping me pay for Seminary tuition.
In light of this, I am humbly reaching out for your assistance to make this vision a reality. If you feel led, contributions can be made at GoodLion.org/help. All donations will directly support my seminary payments.
I have no expectations of anyone other than Christ. I am simply just throwing out an ask and seeing if the Lord speaks to anyone about helping. I fully trust He will provide in whatever what He chooses, and I would ask that if you don't feel led to help, please just keep me in prayer that the Lord would lead, guide, and provide!
Thanks for reading, praying, and listening. Love you all and excited for next season!
Learning From Jesus: The Wisdom Warrior (Michael Bowles)
Michael Bowles returns with fresh insight on the ancient motif of the wisdom warrior. As Aaron and Michael discuss, Michael traces the wisdom warrior path embodied by exilic prophets like Jeremiah and Daniel who navigated Babylonian captivity through wisdom above violence. Michael reveals how Jesus, the ultimate Wisdom Warrior, defeated Satan through the weapon of truth and the victory of the cross.
Aaron and Michael discuss how seeking wisdom instead of vengeance transforms how we engage cultural conflict. They reflect on how Jesus deployed logic, reason, humility and surrender rather than force as core tactics of His nonviolent resistance. Michael reveals how wisdom warriors combat injustice through yielding fully to God's peace.
Learn to cultivate wisdom in daily life from the original Wisdom Warrior, Jesus. Michael teaches us wisdom warrior tactics: be calm in conflict, seek to end fights before they start, return good for evil and appear weak yet remain protected by God.
Thought we wrestle with how to fight today's battles... Jesus' shows us His weapon of peace rather than a spirit of vengeance. Michael shows how daily wisdom begins with surrendering to God's alternative path of Shalom through the cross of Christ.
Jesus, the true Wisdom Warrior, calls us to lay down our swords and take up His weapon of wisdom to make peace.
Enter the realm of the wisdom warrior on this thought-provoking conversation with guest Michael Bowles as he traces the motif from Old Testament types to its fulfillment in the ultimate Wisdom Warrior, Jesus Christ.
Michael is a California transplant living in the Pacific Northwest with his wife Lauren, their son Cove, and daughter Cambria. Prior to the move, Michael served as a pastor in Los Angeles for seven years, working in various capacities including pioneering new faith communities and pastoring youth and young adults. Currently, he works for the gospel-centered transitional housing provider ABSOLUTE Ministries and serves on the worship and teaching teams at Stone Church Auburn.
Michael is also a fellow thinker at Western Seminary in Portland and runs a blog titled Along the Road, where he shares his theological reflections, biblical insights, and cultural commentary. He offers a perspective of a God who is FOR humans and the natural world, assuming the posture of a fellow traveler on the journey of life.
Battling Intrusive Thoughts (Aaron & Brian) - Strategies for the Christian to resist and overcome thoughts of doubt, discouragement, & fear and re-center on Christ.
Struggling with Intrusive Thoughts and Doubts? You're not alone.
Most Christians experience doubt from time to time, but for some the struggle with intrusive thoughts that breed uncertainty can become all-consuming. In this episode, Aaron Salvato answers a question from listener who struggles with random sudden thoughts that cause them to question if their faith is real. Aaron shares his own experience with disruptive intrusive thoughts as a young teen and how he overcame them. He discusses how God sees those who doubt and affirms that grace is bigger than any issue of the mind.
Then, Join Aaron and Co-Host Brian Higgins as they tackle the thought intrusions that can erode our trust in spiritual truth. From reading Scripture and questioning long held beliefs to processing Christian behavior in culture, they uncover how to engage doubts wisely.
Brian shares from experience, urging listeners not to suppress their questions but courageously chase answers. "There are good resources out there," he notes. But the deepest antidote lies in experiencing Jesus in a personal way that transcends logical proofs.
Aaron articulates how doubts that lead us to truth can strengthen faith, while doubts pursued solely to alleviate uncertainty rarely satisfy. Jesus meets us where we are, inviting us higher. "Show me yourself in a way I cannot deny," Aaron encourages listeners to pray.
Tune in for this honest yet hopeful discussion of what it truly means to doubt your doubts in pursuit of the One who desires to reveal himself. Escape the echo chamber of your mind and find peace beyond the unending "why's" through the presence of God himself.
Does wisdom on wrestling with doubts sound like just what you need this week? Listen to this thought-provoking episode of the GoodLion podcast today.
Key takeaways include:
• Intrusive thoughts are a normal part of the human condition, but can be especially distressing for Christians.
• Doubt does not mean your faith is invalid; it can push you towards deeper understanding.
• You are not your thoughts; learn to let them come and go without getting trapped in them.
• Focus on God's unconditional love and mercy rather than your own mental struggles.
Listen in for empathy, wisdom and hope and reminds us that God sees beyond our doubts to the spirit within that seeks Him. This episode provides perspective and practical tools to help those wrestling with intrusive thoughts that breed discouragement in their faith journey.
Responding To Tough Pushback Around Christian Sexual Ethics | Pieter Valk - Pt 2: "Is Gay Sin Worse Than Straight Sin?" and More Challenging Questions From Pastors.
This episode is the second part of an interview with Pieter Valk. In part one of the interview, Pieter laid out his heart and his vision for helping gay people follow Jesus and find love, support, and belonging within the church while adhering to the theological orthodoxy and commitment to the historic Christian sexual ethic of God's design for marriage and sex between one man and one woman.
In this episode, Pieter addresses some pushback and questions he has received, not just in general, but specifically from pastors and leaders. Pieter answers with truth, grace, and love.
Some of the topics covered in this episode include:
- How does Pieter handle people being skeptical about his ministry because of his sexuality?
- How does Pieter respond to pushback against the side B sexuality movement, which sometimes lionizes the gay identity and propping up gay Christians to almost a celebrity status?
- Is gay sexual sin is worse than straight sexual sin?
- Why does Pieter uses the term "gay Christian" at times, and what does he say to those who would say the term is misleading or stumbling?
- How do we Model what it looks like for two ministry leaders to disagree on something in a way that's gracious and an example of iron sharpening iron?
Overall, the conversation is a phenomenal one! We really hope it blesses and encourages you as you follow Jesus and try to make an impact in the culture for His Kingdom.
Compassionate Sexual Orthodoxy - Pieter Valk Pt 1: Navigating Brokenness, Shame, and Helping LGBT People Turn To Jesus
Pieter Valk joins Aaron Salvato for a very intriguing conversation on sexuality. Pieter is a same-sex attracted Christian and ministry leader who is also committed to the historic Christian sexual ethic. This is a challenging path to walk, as it requires faithfulness and obedience to the teachings of Jesus around sexuality, often leading to a life of singleness and celibacy. In this episode, we will dive deep into Pieter's journey and discuss the complexities of his beliefs.
We will explore the theology of sexual temptation and how it relates to same-sex attraction. Pieter will share his personal experiences and offer practical wisdom on how we can love and support those who are struggling with this issue. We will dive deep into the topic of sexual brokenness and how it effects everyone, no matter their orientation. We will also answer a very challenging question: does God intend for people to experience same-sex attraction? This is a difficult and often controversial topic, but Pieter approaches it with compassion and grace.
Pieter's unique perspective challenges the modern narratives around LGBTQ issues and offers a fresh perspective. In this two-part series, we will discuss Pieter's ministry and his heart for the Church to create a more compassionate and faithful community pursuing orthodoxy and the Way of Jesus together, no matter what our sexual struggles are.
The Dangers of Theology Gone Wrong - (Dr. Gerry Breshears) - Disunity, Division, & Deconstruction
In part 2 of our short series on theology, Dr. Gerry Breshears (Western Seminary) helps us understand the dangers of theology gone wrong. Gerry is an amazing theological mind and a fan favorite of the show. In part one, we defined theology and talked about why it's essential for discipleship. In this episode, we'll discuss how theology can at times become an idol.
We'll start by asking a tough question: If all Christians have the Holy Spirit, why are there so many theological differences? We'll also explore how we can find unity in the midst of theological diversity and hear from Gerry about how God changed his heart to be more open to those who disagreed with him.
Gerry will share his insights on how to approach theology with humility, curiosity, and a willingness to learn from others. We'll also look at the dangers of theology gone wrong when it becomes a burden on the learner, leading to crises of faith, doubt, and deconstruction. Gerry will share his perspective on how we can help those who are struggling through doubt and deconstruction, and for those who want to study theology but feel overwhelmed, he'll provide some practical tips on how to approach theology with care and discernment.
So, join us as we deep dive into these tough questions and explore the dangers of theology gone wrong. If you haven't heard the previous episode, make sure to go back and listen to part one. Let's dive back in and pick up the conversation where it left off last time with Dr. Gerry Breshears.
WHY does theology matter for discipleship? (Dr. Gerry Breshears) - Defining Theology, Learning How it Helps us as Disciples, and Exploring How We Can Work Together... Even When We Disagree
In today's episode of The GoodLion Podcast, we're chatting about something super close to our hearts: what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and how theology shapes that journey. With the launch of our humble little ministry, the GoodLion School of Discipleship in Yukon, Oklahoma, we're passionate about fusing hands-on discipleship with some deep, thought-provoking theology. To that end, we've happy to have the amazing Professor Gerry Breshears from Western Seminary joining us for the first of two episodes to explore this fascinating topic!
We'll kick things off by getting down to the basics: like, what even is discipleship, and how does theology fit into the picture? Why should we even care about theology as disciples? Why is theology essential for a disciple's growth and understanding? We'll also tackle the potential pitfalls when theology is neglected in the discipleship process and discuss ways to prevent our own theological biases from hindering the way we disciple others.
One of the most challenging aspects of discipleship is working and serving alongside people with whom we have theological disagreements. Gerry shares his valuable insights on navigating this tricky terrain while maintaining unity and love for one another.
Join us for an enlightening conversation that will encourage listeners to reflect on their own discipleship journeys and appreciate the importance of integrating theology into their practical walk with Jesus. Don't miss this opportunity to grow in your understanding of what it means to be a disciple, embracing both the heart and the mind in your pursuit of Christ.
The Creativity Of The Minister - Riley Taylor | Exploring the God-given call to harness creativity for good.
In this episode Aaron sits down with his friend pastor Riley Taylor to discuss the importance of creativity in ministry. Aaron and Riley share a background in filmmaking and youth ministry, and have always believed in using their creative skills to enhance their ministry work.
Riley explains that creativity in preaching can lead people to truth. By using creative elements like metaphors, stories, and illustrations, pastors can help people better understand and connect with biblical truths. He also stresses the importance of storytelling in ministry, as it can help people see the Gospel in a fresh light and make it more relevant to their lives.
Both Aaron and Riley point out that God himself is a creative being, as evidenced by the creation story in Genesis 1. They believe that humans were created to be creative, and that using that creativity in ministry is a way of fulfilling our purpose. However, they also caution against letting ego and self-focus take over in the creative process, and emphasize the need for humility and surrender to God's will.
Overall, this episode encourages ministers to embrace their creativity and use it as a tool for ministry, while remaining grounded in the truth and humility of Jesus.
The Theology of Heavenly Treasures | Materialism, Heart Locations, & Answering the Question "What did Jesus Mean by Store Up Treasures in Heaven?"
In this episode, host Aaron Salvato dives deep into the theology of "Treasures in Heaven" as described by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. As Christians, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of life and forget the deeper meanings behind Jesus' teachings. Aaron dives deep into the idea of heavenly treasures, explaining what they are, what they are not, and how we can pursue them.
To begin, Aaron delves into the definition of heavenly treasures. He points out that while the Bible can be difficult to understand at times, there are many concepts that we grow up hearing but may not fully grasp. He goes on to explain that when we think of treasures, we often imagine gold, jewels, and other material possessions. However, heavenly treasures are something entirely different.
Heavenly treasures are gained in the pursuit and practice of the things that matter most to God, such as the way we love and serve others, the way we obey God's commands, and the way we share the good news of Jesus with those around us. This pursuit is not about earning brownie points, but rather it is about affecting eternity and building the Kingdom of God.
The episode also delves into the heart conditions that lead us to pursue earthly treasures like success, wealth, fame, and popularity. We discuss how we can easily make idols out of our desires, and how these treasures can become our masters. By contrast, pursuing heavenly treasures involves redirecting our desires towards something that is life-giving and freeing. The episode concludes with a discussion of where our hearts are directed and how pursuing treasures in heaven ultimately leads us to a deeper relationship with Christ.
One of the most beautiful things about storing up treasures in heaven is that we can experience a taste of heaven right now. Rather than simply hoarding wealth and not touching it until some far-off distant future, we can experience the eternal riches of heaven right now if we abide in Christ through His Spirit. Aaron emphasizes that our treasures lead us somewhere, and that the most important aspect of the concept of treasures in Heaven is the idea that where our treasure is, our heart will be also.
To truly thrive, we must declare Jesus as the King of our hearts and redirect our desires towards the eternal.
How can we serve when we are busy and overwhelmed?
In this episode, we answer a question from one of our students at the GoodLion school of discipleship on the topic of servanthood, which is an essential element of Christian discipleship. At the heart of servanthood is the concept of selflessness, which requires us to put the needs of others before our own. As followers of Christ, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and love is the biggest motivator for serving others.
In today's world, we are constantly busy with various commitments and responsibilities, and it's easy to get caught up in our own needs and wants. However, we need to remember that as Christians, we are called to a different standard. We are called to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
One of the biggest challenges of servanthood is finding the time to serve. We often feel like we are too busy to serve, and it requires other sacrifices just to make time for it. But the reality is that serving others is not just an obligation or duty, but it's an opportunity to participate in the work that God is doing in the world.
However, we must also be careful not to fall into the trap of chronic busyness or overload, where we feel overwhelmed by our commitments and responsibilities. This can lead to stress, burnout, fatigue, and other negative effects on our mental and physical health.
So how do we balance the demands of our busy lives with the call to serve others? It all comes down to our priorities. We need to make intentional choices about how we use our time and rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to direct our actions and decisions.
The key is to prioritize our relationship with God and make time to abide in Christ. We cannot pour out into others if we are not first filled up ourselves. By seeking God's presence and guidance in our lives, we can gain a sense of perspective and clarity that allows us to make better choices about how we use our time.
At the same time, we need to be careful not to put too much pressure on ourselves to save the world. We cannot save anyone; only Jesus can. Our responsibility is to serve others with a joyful heart and to be faithful to the small acts of obedience that God calls us to.
In doing so, we can be involved in laying the building bricks of the kingdom of God that will last into eternity. So let us all seek to be servants of Christ, putting the needs of others before our own and trusting in God's provision and guidance in our lives. Thank you for listening to the GoodLion podcast.
Love & Holiness - The Character of Yahweh (2nd Hand Seminary) | Jon Markey, Austin Palmer, & Johnny Golightly
In this episode, host Aaron Salvato and three of his classmates from Western seminary sit down to discuss theological concepts surrounding the love and holiness of God's character. Aaron frames this episode as an experience of"secondhand seminary", a gateway into learning and diving deeper into one's faith. Aaron explains that historically, this concept has helped him grow in his walk with Christ through listening to friends and mentors who attended seminary share the things they were learning: "It would inspire me to go read some of the books that they were reading or listen to some of the lectures from theologians that they were benefiting from. I called it second-hand seminary, and it massively helped me grow as a young pastor."
Aaron and his classmates, Johnny Golightly, Jon Markey, and Austin Palmer, are part of a cohort led by Professor Gerry Breshears, whom Aaron describes as "one of the best theological minds of our time! Gerry is a jedi master… a founding board member of the Bible Project and a longtime theology professor at Western seminar… despite his vast knowledge, he’s a humble and intensely caring prof who pushes his students to dive deeper and fall more in love with Jesus!”
Although Aaron and his classmates had hoped to make this a multiple part series, they were not able to due to their busy schedules. Despite this, we believe that this episode still contains a lot of great conversation that will give listeners an opportunity to be a fly on the wall listening in to a conversation between seminary students sharing ideas about the faith, the character of God, and the way of Jesus.
If you're interested in deepening your faith and learning more about the love and holiness of God's character, this episode is for you!
Dr. Joe Holden on Seminary, Biblical Authority and Holding Fast to Inerrancy - Great episode from Brian Brodersen
Calvary Chapel: Seminary & Anti-intellectualism - Helpful content from CGN Mission & Methods podcast
The Anonymity Of Pastoral Work - Nate Holdridge
In this episode, Aaron is joined by guest Nate Holdridge to discuss the anonymity of pastoral work. While pastoral work may seem like a public job in this age of celebrity pastors, Nate argues that embracing the anonymous aspects of this work is a better path, and essential for the pastor's soul.
Using Paul's image of the farmer and the field, Nate highlights that the pastor, like a farmer, is a mere worker employed by God. The only one in the equation that matters is God, who gives the growth. This means that good pastoral work has a tinge of anonymity, where pastors do work that is often unseen and are there for the service of the field. They cannot produce fruit on their own.
Throughout the episode, Aaron and Nate discuss various topics, including the comparison game that can steal a pastor's joy, and the importance of faithfulness. They also delve into the idea that growth of depth is more valuable than numerical growth, and that workaholism can be harmful to the pastor's soul.
The pressure that millennial pastors feel to live up to the older generations, and the pitfalls of pastors building a social media platform for themselves, are also explored. Nate shares his views on why pastors should consider the anonymous aspects of their work as a healthy antidote to the temptations and pressures that come with the public nature of pastoral work.
We believe this episode will encourage pastors who are working hard but feeling unseen. No matter the size of your church or the length of your time in ministry, pastoral work is often challenging and can feel lonely. It is easy to get caught up in the comparison game, social media pressure, and the drive for numerical growth. However, we hope that this episode speaks to your heart and reminds you that it is the Lord who brings the harvest. May you be reminded that no matter how unseen your work may feel, it is essential and valued in the eyes of God.
Nate Holdridge has served as senior pastor of Calvary Monterey on California’s central coast since 2008. Calvary’s vision is to see Jesus Famous. Nate teaches and writes with that aim at nateholdridge.com.
Nate also leads the Jesus Famous Podcast, conducting interviews and discussions that help keep Jesus first. He has also written The No-Nonsense Biblical Man, Dear New Dad, Whole-Hearted Work, (un)Reasonable Faith, and more. Nate also serves as a member of the Executive Team of Calvary Global Network.
Devotions, or Devoted? - Aaron Salvato & Brian Higgins | Classic Episode
In this classic episode from season 2 of the Goodlion podcast, we join hosts Aaron Salvato and Brian Higgins on a deep dive into the Christian idea of "devotions." We explore the tension that many of us feel when it comes to devotions, often seeing them as just another chore. However, we discover that devotions are meant to be an opportunity to grow closer to God and become more devoted to Him and His kingdom.
Many Christians feel a tension when it comes to devotions. They often feel like devotions are just another chore, something they have to do, but don't really understand the purpose behind it. However, we believe that God is actually calling us into something deeper, a life of devotion. Together, Aaron and Brian highlight the importance of approaching devotions with the right heart and understanding.
Devotions are meant to be more than just a routine, they're meant to be an opportunity to grow closer to God and become more devoted to Him and His kingdom. When we approach devotions with the right heart and understanding, they have the power to transform our lives. We truly believe that this concept of devotions is one of the most important things for Christians to understand. Once you get it, it changes everything. Your relationship with God deepens, your faith becomes stronger, and you become more empowered to live a life closeness to Jesus.
Join us on this classic episode of the GoodLion Podcast!
Healing From Covid Division - Terry Michaels
In this episode Aaron chats with pastor Terry Michaels, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Austin Texas, for a conversation about a wound that's been inflicted on the church in recent times - division. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about challenges that tested the unity of the church, with masks and vaccines becoming sources of division, causing harm to its witness.
But in this episode, we're not here to point fingers or place blame. We're here to explore what it looks like to embrace radical peacemaking, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and make peace within the church, instead of dividing the body of Christ over secondary issues. We'll delve into the hard questions and offer reflections on how we can move forward and heal the wounds inflicted during these challenging times.
Aaron says “Pastor Terry is a wise and loving soul, a grandfatherly figure whose words are like a warm hug on a cold winter's day. I'm honored to have him on the show, and I can't wait for you to experience his wisdom and love for yourself.” Join us for a conversation that's sure to inspire, challenge, and encourage.
True Repentance Requires A Broken Heart
As Christians, it is easy for us to come to God only when we want to escape the consequences of our sin, rather than coming to Him with a genuinely broken heart of repentance. Aaron reminds us that a true desire for repentance and change must come from a deep sense of sorrow for our sin and a recognition of the ways in which it has hurt God and others.
The GoodLion Podcast is excited to bring you an episode featuring content that was left on the cutting room floor of Aaron Salvato's recent sermon titled "Crying Out to the Father." In this powerful message, Aaron shares about the importance of having a broken heart for our sin.
In this episode, Aaron also discusses how having a broken heart for our sin is essential for our spiritual growth and intimacy with God. He encourages us to be honest with God about our sin, and to trust in His forgiveness and grace.
Additionally, Aaron shares some personal experiences that illustrate the need for a broken heart for our sin. He challenges us to take a hard look at our own hearts and to seek God's help in breaking them for our sin.
Overall, this bonus episode of the GoodLion Podcast is a powerful reminder of the importance of a broken heart for our sin and the transformative power of repentance. We hope that it will inspire and encourage you on your own spiritual journey.
Crying Out To The Father - A study of God's Fatherhood
In this sermon, Aaron delves into the tenderness and care with which God relates to us as his children. He shares his own experiences as a new father and the ways in which becoming a father has given him a deeper appreciation for the love and care of God.
Aaron believes that many young Christians have lost sight of the fatherly love of God, and he encourages his listeners to cry out to God and seek to reconnect with him in this way. As you listen to this sermon, take time to reflect on your own relationship with God as your father. Consider the ways in which you can deepen your connection with him and experience his love and care in your life. Let this sermon be a reminder of the tenderness and compassion of God, and the importance of crying out to him in times of need.
We hope that this sermon will encourage and inspire you in your own journey of faith.
Thank you for tuning in to the GoodLion Podcast, and don't forget to join us next time for more thought-provoking content.
What Exactly IS the GoodLion Podcast?
The GoodLion Podcast is a show that explores the intersection of faith and culture. Hosts Aaron Salvato and Brian Higgins have been doing the show for 8 seasons and have built a loyal audience of young adults and youth who are hungry for authentic conversations about spirituality and the world around them.
In this episode, Aaron addresses a question that they often get from new listeners: "What is the GoodLion Podcast?" He explains that the he and Brian see the show as a platform for open and honest discussions about the Christian faith and how it relates to the issues that young people face in their daily lives. They believe that these are important conversation to have, as many young people are struggling to make sense of their faith in a world that is constantly changing and challenging them.
Through the show, Aaron and Brian have seen God use their conversations to minister to people and help them grow in their faith. Aaron shares some of the ways that the GoodLion Podcast has been a ministry to their audience, including providing a sense of community and support for young people who may be feeling isolated in their faith. He also discusses how they have launched GoodLion Ministries as a way to grow what God is doing through GoodLion.
Overall, this episode of the GoodLion Podcast is a great introduction to the show for those who are curious about what it's all about. Whether you're a long-time listener or just discovering the show for the first time, this episode will give you a better understanding of the heart and vision of the GoodLion Podcast and the ways that God is using it to minister to young people and help them grow in their faith.
Wake Up To The Mission (Evan Wickham) - Resist Apathy pt 6
Evan Wickham and Aaron Salvato discuss the "Mission of God" and what it means for followers of The Way of Jesus. They discuss their shared background growing up as pastor's kids in evangelical culture, and how easy it is to become apathetic to the mission of the Church. Evan gives some great insights into how to break free from this apathy and find ourselves more committed to living out the call of the Christian Church.
Wake Up To Your Need For Christ - Resisting Apathy pt.5
So often we turn to things like money, stuff, safety and security to give us what we need. In doing so, we often grow apathetic towards our true need: Christ.
In this episode, Aaron gives a message pointing us to the reality of our need for a savior. We need to wake up to the reality that we need Jesus more than we need anyone or anything else. The world is full of sin and darkness, and apathy lulls us to a sleepy place of comfortability with sin. We know sin leads to death, but so often we don't treat it that way. We need to wake up and see sin for the destructive force it is. We must resist apathy and turn towards Christ.
Wake Up To Holiness - Resisting Apathy pt.4
A dive into the concept of God's Holiness and the call for Christians to be Holy. What does Holy even mean? How can we be asleep to this reality? We explore how failing to understand Holiness can cause us to be apathetic in our faith, and discuss how to turn things around and wake up to the call to be Holy.
To The Christian Who Has Lost Their Passion - Resist Apathy pt3
Brian and Aaron respond to a message from a listener who 1. admits her struggle with apathy, and 2. also shares some beautiful insight on how to resist it! In this episode we try our best to acknowledge just how easy it is to lose our passion for God, but also just how possible it is to find our way back to Jesus.
Wake Up To The Love - Resisting Apathy pt.2
Part 2 of GoodLion's series on "Resisting Apathy." The first step to waking up from the slumber of apathy is recognizing God's story and where we find our place in it. But the next thing we need to discover is the love of God. The love of God is one of the most central themes in the entire Scriptures and could be argued to be the true meaning of life. Despite this, so many Christians feel distant from God, and some even question if God loves them because of circumstances in their life.
In this episode, we want to dive into the concept of God's love. We want to help people everywhere wake up to the reality that God loves them deeply and cares for them like a father cares for his child.
This also includes facing the reality that God sometimes shouts at us within the fire. Often time we interpret this shouting as angry, but really it is loving because it is a father trying to rescue his child.
No matter where you find yourself today or what labels you've given yourself, we hope this episode helps you adopt the primary label of "loved." We hope it enables you to understand how truly loved you are and how freeing a life of love can be. We hope this episode inspires you to wake up and follow Jesus, the one who IS love.
How To Break Free From Apathy - Uche Anizor | Apathy Series
They discuss the struggle many church kids face, namely, growing up in a Christian environment and feeling "on fire for God", and then developing apathy in their college years and drifting to a state of complacency.
Uche offers some great guidance on what can be done to resist and break free from an apathetic Christian life.
Uche Anizor (Phd, Wheaton College) is an associate professor of theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.
Wake Up To The Story - Resisting Apathy pt.1
Part one of a new series by GoodLion Ministries called "Resisting Apathy". Aaron and Brian speak into the problem of apathy in the Christian life, noting how it is a problem that is born out of complacency and a disconnect from Christ.
Christian apathy is defined as a lack of interest or concern for the things of God. It is a problem that plagues the church and keeps people from truly following Jesus. As two former youth pastors, Aaron and Brian have seen so many young Christians ride the roller coaster of faith, swinging from "on fire for Christ" to "burned out on religion" and "disconnected from God."
When people are complacent, they are content with where they are in their relationship with God. They are not interested in growing or changing. This can lead to a disconnect from the Christian community and from Jesus. Apathy is also a problem because it leads to a complacency about sin. When people are not interested in the things of God, they are also not interested in repenting of their sin. This can lead to a life marked by sin and a lack of fruitfulness. If you are struggling with apathy, it is important to understand that you are not alone. Many Christians struggle with this issue. However, there is hope!
Aaron and Brian discuss how vital it is to start your journey of resisting apathy with reconnecting with the story of Christianity itself. The story of God. Once you recapture this story, and find your place within it, your journey away from apathy and towards a revitalized faith truly begins.
Is the Bible The Word of God, or is Jesus? - Evan Wickham
Years ago I heard one of my mentors, Evan Wickham, use a phrase I found compelling. He said: "Jesus is what God has to say." It was powerful and it stuck with me. Over the years I've been mulling over this phrase and thinking about how it intersects with one of the debates that's being had within Christianity about the concept of “the word of God.”
Some people insist the Bible is the word of God. Still others insist, no Jesus is the Word of God. Where does the truth lie?
That's the question we are going to dive into today.
On this episode I'm joined by that same mentor I learned the phrase “Jesus Is what God has to say” from: my former youth pastor and good friend, Evan Wickham. I know you're going to be blessed to hear from Evan today. If you don't know him, he's a worship leader, Husband and father of 5 kids, a graduate of western seminary, and a church planting pastor who leads Park Hill Church in San Diego.
I can't speak more highly of the guy. He's been one of the people in my life who has challenged me and inspired me to follow Jesus the most. He's always encouraged me to dive deep, not shy away from tough questions, and has always pointed me back to Christ. In fact, if it wasn't for the ways he impacted me over the years, this show and ministry of GoodLion probably wouldn't exist!
With all that said, I know you're going to enjoy todays episode as we explore the concept of the "Word of God", and ask who, or what, is the Word of God? We get deep. We get Biblical. I know that I learned a lot, and I hope you do too.
I hope this conversation between a teacher and his former student blesses you, encourages you, challenges you, and surprises you.
Youre listening to the GoodLion podcast
Community - A Mess Worth Making
Brian Higgins shares with us about the necessity of community in the Christian life. We are currently living through a post-pandemic cultural moment where many Christians are finding it hard to regain community. We also know many young people who've graduated out of youth group and now are trying to navigate their 20s also struggle greatly to find community. It can be easy to give up. In this episode we want to share with you why we believe community is important, even if it's messy.
Can a Sin Be Unforgivable?
Mission Drift, Political Extremes, and Wisdom in the Negative World - Mike Doyle
In a cultural moment that is growing hostile towards the Church, it's becoming easier than ever for Christians to slip into mission drift.
“Without careful attention, faith-based organizations will inevitably drift from their founding mission. It’s that simple. It will happen.” - Peter Greer
Out of defensiveness and self preservation, it can become easy for us to turn our mission field into a battle field, where the focus and goal shifts from reaching the lost to defeating them in political and social battles.
This isn't to say Christians should not have an influence on the culture, far from it. It is an admonishment to walk cautiously in these times and keep the main thing the main thing. It is encouragement to avoid the extremes of both the far-left and far-right, and ensure the main thing we are radical about is the Gospel and everything that comes with it.
In this final episode of the negative World Series, Aaron Salvato, Brian Higgins, and Mike Doyle discuss how we can have wisdom while living in the negative world.
Tim Keller, the War on Winsomeness, & Responding to the "Negative World."
Many Christians now sense the world has shifted. While culture was once positive towards Christianity, we now see a world that has shifted from openness, to indifference, and now hostility.
A negative world.
Which begs the question... how do we respond to this idea of the negative world? How do we adapt? How do we avoid negative responses that hold us back from our mission, and focus on the kind of response that makes a difference in this broken world?
Today on the GoodLion Podcast, I once again sit down with Mike Doyle, founder and lead pastor of Movement Church in NYC, to chat about this complex issue.
We discuss the need for a deep faith. A renewed sense of Christian vision, identity, and formation, and how reclaiming the monastic principles of early Christians, even in small ways, can make a big difference.
Later in the episode I’ll be joined by Brian Higgins to take a look at the debate surrounding Tim Keller’s strategy of winsomeness, and how properly understanding what we mean when we say winsome makes a huge difference in how to understand this conflict.
Then Mike will join me again to close out the episode as we discuss the problems of both-sidesism, and the need for a resurgence of theological orthodoxy.
I really enjoyed these convos, and as This episode is the 2nd of a 3 part series on the Negative World, there will be more good convos to come.
We hope it helps you think and consider how to walk wisely as a Jesus follower, and to consider the ways the world is changing, but also how our mission as Christians never changes.
You’re listening to the GoodLion Podcast
Abortion, Christians, & The Value of a Life (with Ryan Lynn) / Rebroadcast
Living In The Negative World - (Mike Doyle)
Throughout our lives many of us have heard older generations harken back to a time when Christians were accepted, praised, and embraced by the culture.
Everyone went to Church on sundays. People seemed to hold a Christian worldview and morality, and it was rare to find someone who didn’t believe in Heaven or Hell. A world that was positive towards Christians.
Some people my age remember a more neutral world, where Christianity was seen as one of many belief systems free thinkers could choose from.
But today, many are talking about the negative world, a shift where the views of the culture have become much more hostile against Christians.
Do these views have validity, or are they an overblown exaggeration? What does this mean for the Church? And how can we react to it in a way that’s true with who we are as Christ followers?
Today on the GoodLion Podcast, I sit down with Mike Doyle, founder and lead pastor of Movement Church in NYC, to chat about this complex issue. Later in the episode I’ll be joined by Brian Higgins to dive further into how we can respond to this concept.
I really enjoyed these convos, and as This episode is the first of a 3 part series on the Negative World, there will be more good convos to come.
We hope it helps you think and consider how to walk wisely as a Jesus follower, and to consider the ways the world is changing, but also how our mission as Christians never changes.
You’re listening to the GoodLion Podcast!
The Way of Jesus vs The Way of Peter - #FiresideTheology
Defensive violence, wounded Healers, and how radical enemy-love changes the world! So often as Christians we feel we must defend Jesus and lash out at those who are against Him. Too often we take the path of Peter and chop off the ear of someone who needs healing from Christ. In this episode, Aaron walks us through what he's learned about the Way of Jesus, and how though Peter's actions came from a noble place, we can learn from his mistakes and follow Jesus better when it comes to loving our enemies.
#doubt #deconstruction #exvangelical #churchhurt #enemylove #thewayofjesus #wayofjesus #violence #hatred #healing
Brian and Aaron Become Dads - (Season 8 Premiere)
The GoodLion Podcast is back for season 8! Brian and Aaron sit down for a heart to heart about a recent big change in their lives: becoming fathers!
Pastoring In A Ukrainian War Zone - Benjamin Morrison (Season 7 Finale)
With war raging between Russia and Ukraine, we wanted to take a moment and connect with a pastor in the thick of it. Friend of the show and CGN pastor Benjamin Morrison is currently doing ministry in the midst of a war zone... and he has a ton of perspective to offer us.
We cover things like:
- What is God doing in Ukraine?
- How is the Church operating?
- How can we pray for the mental health of the pastors on the ground floor?
- How can we in the states help?
- What are the motives of Putin?
- How does Putin's vision clash with the Kingdom of God?
- Can we trust the media in the midst of war?
Note from Aaron: In this episode towards the 2nd half, we discuss some of the geopolitical issues at play. I am a novice in these things, and I tend to approach things from a "Kingdom of God lens" as much as possible. That said, I acknowledge some of what I say in this episode could be said in ignorance, especially as we are discussing some of the various theories out there sent in by our friends on social media. Please bear with me (and feel free to reach out if you have something to add to the discussion!)
That said, I truly agree with the words of Jon Tyson:
"The real conspiracy is satanic and it’s goal is to get you to focus on ‘global meta whatevers’ that you can do almost nothing about and neglect the place of prayer, the word, and sacrificial love of neighbor.”
I encourage all listeners, no matter their political lens, to really consider what Benjamin is saying, as a pastor and brother in Christ on the ground floor of this war. He offers a lot of wisdom for us to consider, and has proven his focus is on the advances of the light of the Gospel into the darkest places.
Hypocrisy Hurts Our Witness. Humility Heals It - Nick Cady
Aaron talks with Nick Cady all about the problem of Christian hypocrisy, how it is harming the church, and how it shatters the witness of the Christian Church. Nick speaks from the heart and shares about a book he wrote called "The God I Won't Believe In: Facing Nine Common Barriers To Embracing Christianity", specifically from a chapter entitled "I can't believe in a God who creates hateful and hypocritical followers." Aaron and Nick discuss how to combat the problem of hypocrisy, and how Christlike humility is the antidote the culture is craving, whether they realize it or not.
Love, Not Fear - Advancing the Kingdom | GoodLion Theology Class #6
Fear is the enemy of love. The idols of safety and security can push us to live the Christian life from a posture of fear. If we are to advance the Kingdom of God, we must realize that we are called to a radical way of love that is courageous and bold.
In the final episode of our class on "Advancing the Kingdom", Aaron Salvato reminds us of the call on Christians to live a life of courageous love.
Class produced by Calvary Global Network (CGN).
Waging Peace on Social Media: Lessons From The Comment Section
In an age where tech dominates our lives, we spend so much time on social media. Christians need to face the facts. Whether we like it or not, social media is a big part of the public square of the day, and for the Christian called to represent Jesus and to help point others to Him, in many situations, social media can either make or break our Christian witness.
In this episode, Aaron discusses lessons he has learned from operating as a pastor on social media and details ways he has struggled to represent Jesus well in interactions with other Christians. He shares a story about an exvangelical meme, an explosive comment section, and the surprising ways Jesus used it to teach him a lesson on the value of humility, understanding, and waging peace (rather than war) on social media.
Simple Obedience, Not Escapism | Advancing the Kingdom - GoodLion Theology Class #5
This world is not our home. It was never intended to be. We are pilgrims here on earth and we should live as such. The problem that has arisen is that many Christians have become escapists instead of pilgrims. They see the world as a hostile place, so they run and hide from it. No matter what our eschatology is, we must focus not on escapism, but on simple acts of obedience, which are the building bricks of the Kingdom!
In part 5 of our class on "Advancing the Kingdom", Aaron Salvato helps us see the power of simple acts of obedience when it comes to moving God's Kingdom forward, and has a compelling discussion with students Zach & Ellie Owens, Sam Bucelli, and Emilia DiNatale.
Class produced by Calvary Global Network (CGN).
Missionaries, Not Separatists | Advancing the Kingdom - GoodLion Theology Class #4
In the New Testament, Christians are called to be in the world but not of the world. In other words, we are called to live in society and interact with others while maintaining our distinctiveness. When we turn away from those who are broken or make choices that are contrary to God's word, we have made the grave mistake of ceasing being a light in dark places.
Too many have a separatist mindset. Christians are called to be missionaries to the culture, not to run and hide from it!In part 4 of our class on "Advancing the Kingdom", Aaron Salvato helps us learn the principles of being a cultural missionary, and has a great discussion with students Zach & Ellie Owens, Sam Bucceli, and Emilia DiNatale! Class produced by Calvary Global Network (CGN).
Gerry Breshears: The Mechanics Of Salvation - (Best of GLP)
This week we present to you an old episode from season 2! We are hoping it will bless some of you listeners who may have missed it the first time it aired. Aaron & Brian get the amazing Dr. Gerry Breshears on the show to discuss all our burning questions about Salvation. What does it mean to be saved? Can you lose your salvation? How do you know someone is saved? All this and more on today’s GoodLion Podcast!
The Kingdom Advances Not by Force, But Through the Church | Advancing the Kingdom - GoodLion Theology Class #3
How does a Kingdom advance normally? Through the sword. Violence, war, and bloodshed. Jesus' Kingdom is much different. The Kingdom of Heaven does not advance through the sword, but rather through something much more powerful: preaching and the Gospel. It advances in this way: by converting one soul after another.
In the Gospels, Jesus never employs violence to achieve his ends. His life and ministry model for us an ethic of non-violence. This is a hard mentality for us to accept, because we have been raised to see the world as a place where "might makes right". Jesus turns this mentality on it's head by showing us what true might and strength look like!
In part 3 of our class on "Advancing the Kingdom", Aaron Salvato contrasts the way of violence with the way of Jesus, and has a great discussion with students Julianne Foster, Tim Cass, Zach Owens, and Kayla Reed!
Class produced by Calvary Global Network (CGN).
The Kingdom Advances In Our Hearts, Not Our Self-Interests | Advancing the Kingdom - GoodLion Theology Class #2
There is a dangerous tendency today to make the Kingdom of Heaven about what we need, or want. It is not about us. The Kingdom is about Him. He should be in the center of everything we do as His followers. Self-interest is the great enemy of godliness. It's a sin we commit every day, in all kinds of ways. This is why we have to be so careful about it. We take this mentality to our approach regarding the Kingdom. We falsely believe that the main way God advances His Kingdom is through US getting what WE want. We forget that we are called to pray, THY Kingdom Come, not MY Kingdom come.
In part 2 of our class on "Advancing the Kingdom", Aaron Salvato helps us see the first and foremost way the Kingdom of God advances forward: in our hearts.
Discussion Students: Julianne Foster, Tim Cass, Zach Owens, and Kayla Reed
Class produced by Calvary Global Network (CGN).
What IS the Kingdom of Heaven? | Advancing the Kingdom - GoodLion Theology Class #1
Welcome to the GoodLion theology class, a brand new segment on the show where we bring you rich theological lessons and thoughtful discussions with our students! In part one of our 6 part mini series on "Advancing the Kingdom of God", Aaron Salvato teaches a lesson on defining what the Kingdom of Heaven actually is. If we are going to understand HOW to advance God's Kingdom, we need to actually grasp WHAT it is, and what it isn't! Aaron walks us through a theological framework for how we can understand the Kingdom, setting the stage for the next 5 lessons. Students and CGN/GoodLion interns Julianne Foster and Kai Willbanks join in on the discussion, bringing some great questions.
In this class we look at questions like
- When Jesus taught us to pray "thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven, what did He mean?
- Should Christians focus on Heaven, or Earth?
- How can we begin to advance the Kingdom?
- What part does prayer play in this mission?
- And more!
The Joys and Challenges of Holy Sexuality - with Dr. Christopher Yuan
Sexuality is one of the main ways people identify themselves today. Our modern moment asks people to freely express who they are by unchaining themselves from traditional concepts of sexuality. This has led many Christians to revert to hardline stances about what a person must be, and particularly, what a person must avoid, in order to be accepted by God.
What if there was a different way to look at sexuality? A way more Biblical, more God-honoring, and more holistic?
In this conversation, Aaron and Brian talk to Dr. Christopher Yuan, author of Holy Sexuality and the Gospel: Sex, Desire, and Relationships Shaped by God’s Grand Story. Dr. Yuan explains what he refers to as “holy sexuality”, a belief that being pure isn’t just about orientation or marriage, but about being a person who is wholly seeking God in all things, including sexuality.
Throughout this episode, Aaron, Brian, and Dr. Yuan work to explain what holy sexuality means, understand why this is such a tricky topic to navigate in our current culture, and how we can see Jesus through all of it.
We’re so glad you could join us for this conversation.
You're listening to the GoodLion Podcast!