The Laymens Lounge
The Laymens Lounge Mar 04, 2020
133. Jay Hewitt: "This is my Account of How I am Weak Yet I am Strong"
After receiving a devastating brain cancer diagnosis, Jay Hewitt had a decision to make: Should he give up on faith or practice what he preached and trust that with God all things are possible? In I Am Weak, I Am Strong, Jay chronicles his journey of turning toward Jesus even when circumstances urged him to turn away. Faith in action for Jay included competing in an IRONMAN triathlon while undergoing cancer treatment. His race was a grand gesture of love for his young daughter--and a call to resilience for all of us. Join us, in this episode of The Laymens Lounge, as we survey a few areas where our Lord caused Jay to be strong in the midst of his weakness.
132. Zach Garris: "Wives, Submit to Your Husband..." But What if He's a Clueless Jerk?
Join us as we sit down with Zachary Garris author of "Masculine Christianity" and ask: Should wives always submit to their husbands (what if he is a pagan? What if he's a lazy gamer)? Can women at least Pray in Church (or must they always remain silent)? Can a woman be a professor (or is she really to have no teaching authority over a man)? Can a woman Tweet out an admonishment? What is the connection between universal suffrage, feminism and being trans.? All this and more...
The Western church has gone feminist. God has given men authority in the home, church, and society. Yet the church has rebelled against God’s design and embraced the unbelieving world’s teaching that women should take on the same roles and duties as men rather than focus on the home and children. Christian scholarship and Bible commentaries are dominated by feminist arguments that both husband and wife should submit to each other (“mutual submission”), that women may be pastors and preach sermons to men, and that the Apostle Paul’s teaching on men and women was limited to Greco-Roman culture and has been transcended by our unity in Christ.
Sadly, the conservative response to feminism—complementarianism—compromised several historic Christian teachings and has thus given feminism an even stronger foothold in the church. Many complementarians fail to root gender roles in the differing natures of men and women. As a result, they have refused to apply the Bible’s teaching about men and women beyond the home and church, leading to the embrace of women in civil office and military combat. In addition, the vast majority of complementarians have adopted the novel interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (“the women should keep silent in the churches”) that Paul only prohibited women from evaluating prophecy, which has opened the door to women preaching and teaching men in the church.
The result is that the Western church has become effeminate and weak. Pastors are afraid to teach important Bible passages on the roles and duties of men and women, and it is no surprise that young Christian women are trading babies for careers outside the home and that churches are regularly capitulating to subversions of biblical sexual ethics. What the church needs is to recover its masculine calling, where men embrace their God-given authority—and responsibility—in the home, church, and society. This book affirms the historic Christian teaching on men and women, critiques feminist scholarship, and urges complementarians to hold a more robust and consistent position. This is a call to return to the Bible’s teaching on men and women. This is a call to Masculine Christianity..
131. DFM Strauss: Discovering Herman Dooyeweerd
One may characterize this book as non-ecclesiastical kingdom work. In the footsteps of Abraham Kuyper, the well-known Dutch theologian and politician, Herman Dooyeweerd, a legal scholar, realized that the Reformation of the 16th century touched the heart as the religious root of human existence and therefore could not remain restricted to the narrower church life for its penetrating and renewing effect must affect all areas of life. This reformational legacy inspired the ensuing Christian life and world view which turned out to be a direction giving life orientation. It inspired the transformation of all walks of life including the entire academic enterprise. The encompassing scope and depth present in the philosophical work of Herman Dooyeweerd opens up avenues which shed new light on the foundations of the various special sciences as well as diverse everyday practices. Exploring the insights contained in this Book will turn out to be an enriching experience while introducing distinctions and analyses not familiar to everybody. Join us as we sit down with Danie Strauss, editor of “Discovering Dooyeweerd” as we get a primer on the father of Reformational Philosophy.
130. Douglas Wilson: Mere Christendom, the Blessings of Trolls, and Carrying a Kuyperian Torch into the 21st Century
Let Twitter rage; Douglas Wilson is the People's Theologian.
Join us for a conversation with Douglas Wilson, where we delve into his recent book, 'Mere Christendom,' explore the unexpected blessings of online trolls, examine the remarkable overlap between Abraham Kuyper and Douglas Wilson, and celebrate the genius of whoever is behind Canon Press' Twitter account (by the way, everyone who subscribes to the Westminster Confession of Faith is a Christian nationalist).
129. Bnonn Tennant: It's A Good to be a Man
Join us as we sit down with Biblical Theologian and captain-of-common-sense Bnonn Tennant and discuss the telos of man, white knights, weak pastors, singing like a man, and why it is good to be man.
128. Johan Snel: The Seven Lives of Abraham Kuyper
A Biography of Abraham Kuyper the Alpinist, Globetrotter, Celebrated Speaker, Scholar, Activist, Journalist and Statesman
Who was Abraham Kuyper? We know his books, we know his vast opinions, but do we know his actions? Do we know how he thought of himself? Do we know how others thought of him? How is he remembered today? Indeed, there is a folk "history" of Kuyper alive and not-so-well here in the USA, but is what we have been told, and assumed all along (and probably echoed ourselves), actually true to the historical record? Was Kuyper really a jerk whereas his younger co-laborer Bavinck the humble and kind man - or, was actually, contrary to popular belief, the nice guy and it was Herman Bavinck that was the disagreeable one? Was Kuyper truly genuinely disdained or did even his critics respect him? Did he really stop attending church at the end of his life? Did he fancy himself a Theologian? Did he fail a second term as Prime Minister of the Netherlands because he was despised or was there another reason? Was Kuyper a schismatic for starting a non-state Reformed Church in the Netherlands or did he have no other choice? We also might ask: is James Bratt's, author of the definitive English language biography of Kuyper, accurate or does he have an ax to grind? All these questions, and more, we discuss with the formidable and ad fontes proponent Johan Snel, author of "De Zeven Levens van Abraham Kuyper" ("The Seven Lives of Abraham Kuyper"). Join us as Snel, who poured over Kuyper's personal letters and correspondence, gives us the only English version of his Dutch language book "De Zeven Levens van Abraham Kuyper." Listen in as we discuss Kuyper in the 7 areas that he, at the age of 75, associated with himself. Namely, Kuyper's own self-identifying as an Alpinist, Globetrotter, Celebrated Speaker, Scholar, Activist, Journalist and Statesman. Join us as we separate fact from fiction in regards to "Abraham The Great" - the founder of neo-Calvinism and a faithful brother in Christ. Pro Rege.
127. The Old Man and the New
126. Mike McKinley: What is Friendship With God?
In John 15, Jesus says, “I have called you friends.” But what does it mean to be friends with Jesus? In the early 1650s, theologian John Owen attempted to answer this question through a series of sermons, eventually compiled as Communion with God. The book is full of truths about having fellowship with God, but Owen’s work is often a struggle for modern readers to understand.
In Friendship with God, pastor Mike McKinley takes a key idea or insight from Communion with God and clarifies it for readers in each chapter, giving them practical guidance for how to develop fellowship with God—such as obeying the Father’s commands, acknowledgment of sin, and prayer. Perfect for new Christians or for those without a church background, this accessible resource offers an introduction to the God who “wants you to know him and be known by him.”
Join us as we sit down with Mike and discuss the expectations and nature of friendship with God.
125. Will the Real Neo-Calvinists Please Stand Up (And All the Liberals Sit Down)? Recovering an appropriated tradition
Neo-Calvinism, also known as “Kuyperianism,” is a nuancing and application of Christianity to all aspects of life that was developed by Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck. It is based on John Calvin’s (aka The Bible’s) program to every square inch of a person’s life (beyond the realm of Sunday mornings and into a leavening into Monday through Saturday). Neo-Calvinism is Biblically, historically, and theologically conservative through and through, but unfortunately, it has been appropriated and distorted by theological liberals. As a result, many orthodox, Bible-believing, conservative Christians when they first hear “neo-Calvinism” often associate the tradition with all the whack-jobs out there who claim to be neo-Calvinist when in reality Kuyper is rolling over in his grave.
“Whatever else believers may tolerate or bear, false teaching they may not.”
– Abraham Kuyper
124. Leah Savas: The Story of Abortion in America 1652–2022
Tracing the History of Abortion in America by Looking beyond the Laws to the Dramatic Stories and Colorful Personalities of the People They Touched
Fifty years ago, the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion-on-demand sparked nationwide tensions that continue to this day. In the decades since that ruling, abortion opponents and proponents have descended on the Capitol each year for marches and protests. But this story didn’t begin with the Supreme Court in the 1970s; arguments about abortion have been a part of American history since the 17th century. So how did we get here?
The Story of Abortion in America traces the long cultural history of this pressing issue from 1652 to today, focusing on the street-level activities of those drawn into the battles willingly or unwillingly. Authors Marvin Olasky and Leah Savas show complex lives on both sides: Some sacrificed much to help the poor and others sacrificed the helpless to empower themselves. The Story of Abortion in America argues that whatever happens legally won’t end the debate, but it will affect lives.
Join us as we sit down with Leah Savas as we discuss "The Story of Abortion in America: A Street-Level History, 1652–2022" (Crossway).
ANNOUNCEMENT: Abraham Kuyper Book Club "Pro Rege: Living under Christ’s Kingship (Vol. 3) Starting Feb 1!
So far about 75 of us are going to be reading Abraham Kuyper's "Pro Rege: Living under Christ’s Kingship, Volume 3" and we would love to have you read in parallel. In the six months between February 1st and July 31st, we are slated to read 54 Kuyper articles from "Pro Rege." Thus we need to average roughly 3 articles/essays per week. We have set up a Facebook page called "Abraham Kuyper Reading Club" - here we will discuss and sharpen one another. It should be fascinating conversation as we have folks from Kenya, Brazil, Columbia to USA, Canada and South Africa. We have professional academic Kuyper/Neo-Calvinist scholars as well as normal folk (butchers, bakers, and website makers). The reading schedule is pinned at the top of the Facebook group. Also, the good people at Lexham Press are offering 40% off the book digital and/or physical through Feb 1! To get that deal go to the Lexham site, and at the checkout input the code "LAYMENSLOUNGE40." Ok friends, lets Make Abraham Great Again!
Lord, please use this book, these discussions and everything that comes from this for your own fame and will. For the King/Pro Rege! In Jesus name! Amen.
If you are anti-Facebook, feel free to use the discussion fields below. Here is the reading schedule:
Here is the current reading schedule for Pro Rege!
Feb. 1-5: pp. 1-18
Feb. 6-12: pp. 19-43
Feb. 1319: pp. 44-68
Feb. 20-26: pp. 69-94
Feb. 27-Mar. 5: pp. 95-119
Mar. 6-12: pp. 120-143
Mar. 13-19: pp. 144-167
Mar. 20-26: pp. 168-186
Mar. 27-April 2: pp. 187-215
April 3-9: pp. 216-241
April 10-16: pp. 242-270
April 17-23: pp. 271-288
April 24-30: pp. 289-315
May 1-7: pp. 316-340
May 8-14: pp. 341-364
May 15-21: pp. 365-380
May 22-28: pp. 381-406
May 29-June 4: pp. 407-431
June 5-11: pp. 432-449
June 12-18: pp. 450-467
June 19-25: pp. 468-475
June 26-July 2: pp. 479-480
We should have a bit of leeway if we need to slow down or catch up for a couple weeks, but this schedule will get us through Pro Rege vol. 3 before the end of summer!
123. Meet the Hosts of The Laymen's Lounge as we Chat the Law/Gospel Distinction
The gLAWspel is Depressing but the Gospel is Sweeeeeet!
Happy new year! To kick off season 4, hosts Benji and Jason chat (this is episode 1 of 2) a bit about their own stories and the glory of the Gospel over and against the old man, about how legit it was when when we realized the Gospel is actually good news when its rightly divided, and we also touch a lil on your boy Kuyper as well.
122: Ian Vaillancourt: Gettin’ Pickled in the Pentateuch
Because there are no throwaway verses
When starting a new Bible-reading plan, many readers begin enthusiastically in Genesis but then lose momentum when they encounter the Old Testament laws and genealogies. But the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Bible—has much to offer today’s Christian; it is the foundation for understanding the rest of the Bible, pointing forward to the coming Savior, Jesus Christ, in profound ways. In this interview with Ian J. Valiancourt, author of “The Dawning of Redemption: The Story of the Pentateuch and the Hope of the Gospel”, we learn there are no throwaway verses and that we need to immerse ourselves in the Bible getting pickled in the glory-book!
121. Trevin Wax: Orthodoxy Applied to Hot Takes, Heresy & Errors
Trevin Wax is a pillar of the SBC and recently wrote a book called “The Thrill of Orthodoxy Rediscovering the Adventure of Christian Faith” published by IVP. Join us as we see just how far the creeds and orthodoxy touch on so much of life.
“Orthodoxy, like the spires and beams in a gothic structure, can uphold a bigger and stronger roof. Heresy, however, is like a series of cracks that tend to multiply in ways that, over time, can’t sustain the weight of such beauty. By spreading throughout the structure, heresies lead to collapse. Some doctrines are like load-bearing walls in a house. You can’t remove a load-bearing wall without destroying the structure. But sometimes errors become like cracks in this wall, weakening the structure so that over time the result is the same.” – Trevin Wax
“It’s beside the point to argue that marriage and sexuality are not explicitly spelled out in the creeds. Neither is infanticide. Neither is theft. Neither is the command to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Neither is a whole host of issues connected to Christianity’s moral vision. And yet few would argue that these and other unique and powerful elements of Christianity’s testimony are “optional,” to be taken or left depending on societal preference. We must not think we can take shelter under a minimalist interpretation of the creeds, so as to get out from under the Scriptures.” – Trevin Wax
120. Joe Boot: Govt. Overreach & the False god of “Unity”
Toward a Christian Vision of Government
The cult of Climate, Covid, CRT, LGBT, and "unity. We’re at a cultural moment. It’s a product of counter reformation. Success involves 0 carbon, 0 Covid, 0 intolerance. They are impossible utopian goals… This all gives justification for state to have ultimate reach and authority power to get us to the place of ultimate simplicity. Total oneness and unity. The Bible teaches us Jesus is King and Kuyper (this does NOT include the libbed-out "neo-Kuyperians" who are preachers of heresy of and lovers of Totalitarianism) and Boot teach us there is, in fact, a Christian Vision of Government. Join us as we sit down with the Ezra Institute's Dr. Joe Boot as we discuss Dr. Boot's new book “Ruler of Kings: Toward a Christian Vision of Government.”
119. Todd Hains: Martin Luther is Not A One Trick Pony
The Rule of Faith for Reading the Bible
Today we sit down with Todd Hains, author of “Martin Luther and the Rule of Faith” (IVP), and we learn there is more to Luther than his emphasis on salvation by faith alone. How should we read the Bible? What lens should we have when reading the law? What guide for the Psalms? Indeed, Luther and Hains have much to offer. Happy Reformation Week!
118. Chad Bird: Limping With God
Jacob & the Old Testament Guide to Messy Discipleship
“I have entitled this book, "Limping with God" instead of Walking with God or Running with God, not because there would be anything wrong with those metaphors, but because, as Jacob limped away from his famous wrestling match with God, so we all get by on bum hips and bad knees. Following Jesus, we gimp our way down the dark and slippery paths of life. “
- Chad Bird
117. Richard Gaffin: Luke & Paul, Kingdom & Jesus, Ridderbos & Vos, Kuyper & Bavinck, Barth & Berkouwer
In this interview we sit down with Richard Gaffin, author of “An Introduction to the Biblical Theology of Acts and Paul - In the Fullness of Time” (Crossway) where I pepper Dr Gaffin with every question under the sun in regards to neo-Calvinisim (and its drift to liberalism), Kuyper & Bavinck (and translations), Geerhardus Vos (was he a neo-Calvinist?), Ridderbos (did he cave to liberalism?), Romans 7 (is it a Christian speaking or pre-Christian?), the fact that Pentecost is more than just a blip in the history of redemption (but one of the most important scenes), what the Christian life is made of (“Christ is both the means and the end”), and much more. Pro Rege!
116: Michael Haykin: The Lord’s Supper as Remembrance or Spiritual Feeding?
The Baptist shift from Calvin’s “Feeding” to Bunyan’s “Memorial”
When it comes to baptism and the Lord’s Supper, many Baptists reject the language of sacrament. As a people of the book, the logic goes, Baptists must not let tradition supersede the Bible. So Baptists tend to view baptism and Communion as ordinances and symbols, not sacraments. But the history of Baptists and the sacraments is complicated. In “Amidst Us Our Beloved Stands,” Michael A. G. Haykin argues that earlier Baptists, such as Charles Spurgeon, stood closer to Reformed sacramental thought than most Baptists today do. More than mere memorials, baptism and Communion have spiritual implications that were celebrated by Baptists of the past. Haykin calls for a renewal of sacramental life in churches today—Baptists can and should be sacramental. All this and more as we sit down with Dr Haykin.
115. Thomas Kidd: How on Earth Did Christians try to "Justify" Slavery?
Do you know you would have done otherwise?
Jonathan Edwards owned a slave. George Whitfield owned slaves and was a pro-slavery activist. Thomas Jefferson, who said “all men are created equal part,” was a slave owner. Should we cancel Whitfield, burn our “Jonathan Edwards is my homeboy” shirts, and take some dynamite to Jefferson’s face on Mount Rushmore? But should we ask a few questions first? Hypocrisy of the highest order to be sure - yet baked into the culture was slavery. What was the silver bullet verse that prohibits slavery? Surely these people turned a blind eye, right? Surely there is no excuse, right? Surely YOU would have done different… Right? Right?...? We ask all these questions and more on this episode with Thomas S. Kidd (author of Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh, God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution, George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding). Here is frustrating and horrifying subject, but one that we do well to have.
114. Harry van Dyke: A Neo-Calvinist's Retrospect of Lament and Celebration
Translating Kuyper, the rise of liberalism amongst the ICS and Neo-Calvinists, and reformation not revolution.
In this episode with Harry van Dyke, we talk about translating Kuyper and Groen van Prinsterer, the liberal shift of many Neo-Calvinists and the ICS, sitting under H. Evan Runner, gun control, "Gay Christians", a new Neo-Calvinist research center, and growing up and playing on the same streets as Geerhardus Vos.
H. Evan Runner
Henry van Til
Dutch immigration to USA and Canada
Henry De Bolster
The Groen Club
Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer
S.G. De Graaf
The Anti-Revolutionary Party
Growing up and playing on the same Dutch street as Geerhardus Vos,
Reading 20,000 letters written into Kuyper (as well as BB Warfield)
Kuyper's visit to Canada
Herman Kuyper (Who was Abraham's son and was out beyond curfew)
The unfolding of the liberal drift Institute for Christian Studies (ICS) liberal drift and Bernard Zylstra's and Calvin Seerveld's fight to remain in the "first love" as it was slipping... "We had a hard time because that institute was the love of our heart"
The CRC course-correcting on the LGBT+ issue
Why have the bulk of the Neo-Calvinists the last 20 years focused chiefly on philosophy and politics rather than Theology
French Revolution and the program of liberalism
Reformation not revolution
The overturning of the christian worldview and christian arrangement of society...
Individualism and the state
Christians schools being recognized by the state
Principal against principal
Tim Keller, Masks and Mandates, Kuyper on forced vaccinations and sphere sovereignty
Christian Union (Netherlands)
A Neo-Calvinist research center to launch at Redeemer in September. 4 seminaries - Edinburgh, Kampen, Vrije, Redeemer
The Dooyeweerd center
Gun control, where do we draw the line, and the fact the Russians wouldn't last a month if they invaded America
If we give up guns to stop shootings then men should also give up their penis cut off to stop rape
113. Jack Collins: Applying Biblical Narratives
"It’s no secret that the Bible has a lot of stories; at Covenant [they] are concerned to show how it all fits with the Big Story. But what are we to do with the littler stories? We warn you about an overly simplistic approach, “be like David.” But still; might there not be more? I am sure that there is; but how do we get that “more”? This class will straddle hermeneutics, Biblical theology, and apologetics; in it we will work together to develop an approach that does justice to redemptive history, story, and worldview, as well as to the place of these stories in the moral formation of faithful communities, shaping their likes and dislikes for virtues and vices. We will consider narratives from both the Old Testament and the New."
The above is a description from C. John Collins forthcoming fall class, OT505 APPLYING BIBLICAL NARRATIVES, at Covenant Theological Seminary - join us as we discuss what a faithful reading of Biblical narratives might look like. If you would like to jump in on the class (in person or via zoom) email email@example.com
112. Sam Storms: I Keep Sinning... Will God Keep Forgiving?
To silence the silent screams of a desperate conscience that longs to be free and forgiven
Help! I keep sinning!!!
Join us as we sit down with Sam Storms, author of "A Dozen Things God Did with Your Sin (And Three Things He'll Never Do): And Three Things He'll Never Do" (Crossway), and discuss assurance, doubt and rest.
“It’s called a defiled conscience... everyone knows exactly what I’m talking about when I refer to those occasions when your conscience feels dirty. I’m talking about what you feel and sense deep within as you lie on your bed at night and reflect on the events of the day: the harsh words you spoke to your kids, the lie that you told your boss hoping to gain advancement, the pride you felt in your heart when someone praised your efforts. I’m talking about what you feel and sense deep within when you wake up in the morning and lustful thoughts and sinful fantasies race through your mind. 'Where did that come from,' you wonder aloud? 'What will God think of me now?'... The fact that we could treat God with such indifference is profoundly unsettling.”
“The single overriding and most debilitating factor that threatens to undermine everything in our Christian lives and in our relationship with God is the failure to understand, embrace, and enjoy the full and final forgiveness of our sins. The reason you and I struggle to enjoy God is because we live in constant fear that he doesn’t enjoy us."
“Let me tell you why we think this way. Let me tell you why you aren’t living in the fullness of the joy and peace and satisfaction in your relationship with God that you so desperately desire. It comes down to one thing and one thing only: you and I have failed to believe what God himself says he has done with our sins. What consumes us is what we have done by sinning. What ought to consume us is grateful meditation on what God has done with our sinning.”
“This is what I mean when I speak of your eternal union with God. It is your position as a saved, redeemed, forgiven, justified, adopted child of God. It is eternal in the sense that it lasts forever. Nothing can change it, undo it, or reverse it. But these are also nonexperiential realities. In other words, you don’t “feel” justification when it happens. You may feel an emotion of joy and gratitude because you are justified, but justification is not something that you experience in your body or your hormones or even in your emotions or affections. Nothing that happens in this life can affect your eternal union. Your obedience doesn’t add to it and your disobedience doesn’t detract from it. It is perfect and complete and final. But that doesn’t mean your disobedience has no effect whatsoever on your relationship with God.”
“David had committed adultery. He had stolen from another man. He had defiled a woman who wasn’t his wife. He had defiled himself. He schemed to have her husband killed. But worst of all, he had violated the honor, glory, and goodness of his God. Is forgiveness still possible for someone like that?”
“Whereas God is now and always will be my Father, my experience of that truth can go up and down. One day, I might enjoy his fatherly affection, but on another day, I may have lived in such a way that this enjoyment diminishes. My sonship didn’t diminish. My status as God’s child is unchanged. But my capacity to enjoy and feel the glory of being a child of God can be undermined by unrepentant sin. Many have failed to properly differentiate between these two realities. They don’t fully grasp the distinction between what is eternal and what is experiential, and they don’t carefully differentiate between what is true of my union with God and my communion with him.”
111. Greg Parker: Bavinck on "What is Christianity?"
Getting at the Fundamentals via a Survey of History
Today we are joined with Greg Parker Jr., editor and translator of the recently released book from Herman Bavinck called “What is Christianity?”
110. Marinus De Jong: A Primer on Klaas Schilder (1890 - 1952)
No mere theories. No lofty principles to form society... Just get to Church
"The Cultural Mandate" - who said it first? Of course the idea was there in both Kuyper and Bavinck, but who coined, and helped further nuance, it? Indeed you know and love/hate, Kuyper, you are familiar with Bavinck, and you glean from Vos and Berkouwer... but who is Klaas Schilder (1890 - 1952)? Listen in as we are joined with Marinus De Jong, co-editor (along with Richard Mouw and George Harinck) of "The Klaas Schilder Reader: The Essential Theological Writings", as we discuss this oft-forgotten, yet monumental, second generation Neo-Calvinist.
108. Ross Hastings: The Practical & Theological Implications of the Resurrection
“Whatever is true of Christ is true of humanity.”
Today we chat with Dr. Ross Hastings, author of “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Exploring Its Theological Significance and Ongoing Relevance” to nuance and discuss the implications of the Resurrection. We touch on everything from Atonement models, sanctification, and the favor of God to the Cultural Mandate, Participation and Union. Dr. Hastings brings in Torrance, Barth, Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Augustine and provides a helpful big-picture of the history of Jesus and how His history becomes ours.
107. Christopher Holmes: A Theology of the Christian Life
Are we Human Beings or Human Doings?
Join us as we sit down with Christopher Holmes, author of A Theology of the Christian Life: Imitating and Participating in God, as we discuss the nitty gritty of the Christian life. Questions like, should all Christians (like my busy wife) be reading Theological books? Do we over-emphasize the Second person of the Trinity at the expense of the First? How does one “experience” God? Etc. All this and more.
106. Dan Strange: Is Everything A “Gospel Issue”?
Most Christians around me seem to be answering questions that nobody is asking. Christianity seems more to answer the question of a damned-soul and ethical living rather than scratching our most felt needs like: longing for romance, acclaim, self-confidence, and so on. Does God really care about those things because it seems the NT is chiefly concerned with Jew/gentile relations and helping Christians to get along. In what ways does the Gospel address my “secular” hopes and fears? Is everything a “Gospel issue”?
Join us as we sit down with Dr. Daniel Strange, author of “Making Faith Magnetic: Five Hidden Themes Our Culture Can't Stop Talking About... And How to Connect Them to Christ.” Dr Strange helps set us up with a working theological anthropology and connects the dots on how our faith scratches all human itches.
105. Bill Dyrness: How to Glorify & Enjoy God by Considering the Lilies of the Field
Rejoice! God is interested in your hobbies, your projects, and the things you love
“Glorify God and enjoy Him forever…” That sounds great, but how exactly does one do that? In what way does my considering the lilies of the field glorify God? Does God care about my hobbies, my stamp collection, and my walks on the beach? Does God have enjoyment when I enjoy my favorite baseball team? What does Christianity applied look like for normal folk?
Join us as we sit down with William A. Dyrness, a breath of fresh air in contrast to the musty, disconnected, Christian “academic” world of talking-heads. Dr. Dyrness said “Over the years we were grappling with an underlying issue. If all Christians have a responsibility to bring their deepest convictions into contact with their most everyday concerns, what are the most effective ways for doing this?’” Theorists are a dime a dozen and just a master’s degree away, but clear thinking belongs to everyone (or so it should), yet clarity of faith in our lived-lives often seems so illusive for so many of us – not least the “professional Christians.” Dr. Dyrness is having none of that. Please join us and be edified as we discuss how to live an extraordinarily normal life in the face of our extraordinary God in the context of stamp collecting, cold beer, and considering the lilies of the field.
104. Bruce Ashford: Politics for Christians Who Aren’t Political
Christian Democrats? Church & State? “Not of this world”?
Join us as we sit down with Bruce Ashford (author of “Letters to an American Christian” and “One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics”) asking questions like:
1. Should Christians even concern themselves with Politics? Jesus didn’t care about polotics, so should we?
2. It just seems like an abyss of lies and a world a million miles away if which the small people can do nothing, so why even bother?
3. Should we be “one issue voters” (anti-Abortion)? Can you be a Christian and Democrat?
4. Should we vote Republican – where there are more abortions, or for Democrats – where there are less abortions? Can you explain that tension?
5. Small or large government?
6. The god of “progress”? And the religious overtones taken on by liberals.
7. Is it the roll of the government to put in place Covid restrictions? If so, what are the parameters?
8. How can so many Kuyper-loving neo-Calvinists be flaming liberals?
103. John Walton vs. the World (of man-made Interpretive grids)
Let God be true and every hermeneutic a liar
John Walton appreciates Calvin, gleans from Vos, and his happy to draw from the ancient confessions - but he offers them no allegiance. Metanarratives and hermeneutical grids abound, but so do the interpretive pitfalls that come with them. Walton gets right to the heart of it saying, “The labels we use are the ones we are accountable.” He just wants us to read our Bible faithfully, even if it means we can’t be card-carrying members of any one interpretive school. His hermeneutic is simple and one every Bible should adopt before all else: “The strongest interpretation is the one with the strongest evidence.”
102. Jan Boer: Reflections from A Neo-Calvinist Missionary in Nigeria
What does Neo-Calvinism applied look like? 84 years of insight
Today we sit down with Jan Boer, an 84 year old Dutch/Canadian who is a translator of Kuyper, student of Evan H. Runner, and a missionary in Nigeria for over 30 years where neo-Calvinism was no theoretical exercise, but a world-and-life-view applied in the day-to-day of everyday life. Of neo-Calvinist philosophers, political theorists, and cultural commentators there are no end, but rare is the neo-Calvinist missionary and practioner who labor in planting and watering the seeds of the holistic Gospel, and then walk with them as they face draught as well as yield fruit – and that is what we have in Jan Boer. Upon returning to North America after decades in Nigeria, and seeing the folly that makes up so much Christianity today, Jan’s is a voice we modern’s need to hear and heed.
Listen in as we discuss:
- Studying under Evan H. Runner
- Translating Abraham Kuyper (including many of his devotional work)
- The wholistic Gospel vs the bifurcated message
- Applying Kuyperian thought in Nigeria to issues like roads and bridges, water pumps, polygamy, church, and every square inch of village life
- The CRC, the fact that we neo-Calvinists no longer create institutions, and the fact that “We produce nothing new.”
101. Dennis Greeson: Herman Bavinck, Theosis & T.F. Torrance
When Union & Theosis Shake Hands
“These themes of perfection, union with Christ, and the necessity of the incarnation point to the fact that Bavinck’s theology is profoundly ripe for the incorporation of the summative theme of theosis. This is the notion that humanity is meant to be united to and participate in the trinitarian life of God… There is a fundamental similarity between this element of Bavinck’s thought and the doctrine of theosis… Thomas F. Torrance’s doctrine of theosis, as a facet of his broader trinitarian theology, to highlight that not only do Bavinck and Torrance bear some surprising similarities, but also Torrance provides language helpful to reexamine Bavinck’s eschatological anthropology in light of the category of theosis” – Dennis Greeson
Join us as we sit down with Dennis Greeson, author of “Theosis in the Thought of Herman Bavinck?: Thomas F. Torrance’s Reconstruction of the Doctrine and its Promise for Bavinck’s Theology,” and discuss the big picture of Christianity. Aided by Herman Bavinck, drawing from Thomas F. Torrance, and nuanced by Myk Habets – Greeson does us all a favor here helping us to rebuke the false hierarchy of evangelism, prayer, etc.
Grace restores nature. Indeed.
100. David Zahl: The Law/Gospel Distinction as Highest Theological Importance
If you know only one thing, know this
“Whoever knows well this art of distinguishing between Law and Gospel, him place at the head and call him a doctor of Holy Scripture." – Martin Luther
“The distinction between law and gospel is the highest art in Christendom.” – Martin Luther
“The reality of God’s grace is so radical that we often find ourselves trying to domesticate it, unconsciously (or not), imposing all manner of fine print about what constitutes acceptance or rejection… Our tit-for-tat programming is so strong that it tends to hijack the beauty of grace, and instead position it conditionally.” – David Zahl
“It is finished.” – Jesus
Today is our 100th episode and so I thought we would discuss, what I believe to be the most important topic in all of Theology and all of life and that is THE LAW & GOSPEL. Join us as we sit down with David Zahl, co-author of “Law & Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints)” – because, indeed, “It is finished.”
99. Joustra: A Kuyperian Calvinism for a Secular Age
“Humanity is no aimless mass of people which only serves the purpose of giving birth to the elect. On the contrary, the world now, as well as in the beginning, is the theater for the mighty works of God, and humanity remains a creation of His hand, which, apart from salvation, completes under this present dispensation, here on earth, a mighty process, and in its historical development is to glorify the name of Almighty God.” --- Abraham Kuyper
“Abraham Kuyper loved Calvinism. We might even characterize his passion for Calvinism as unusual; most Calvinists today try to appear as nonthreatening, beer drinking, bearded hipsters. Kuyper was none of those things. [It was a] passion for Calvinism as “a true world and life system.” --- Robert Joustra
Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch Neo-Calvinist theologian, pastor, and politician, was well-known for having declared that there is "not a square inch" of human existence over which Jesus Christ is not its sovereign Lord.
This principle is perhaps best reflected in Kuyper's writings on Calvinism originally delivered as the Stone Lectures in 1898 at Princeton Theological Seminary. These lectures reflecting on the role of the Christian faith in a variety of social spheres—including religion, politics, science, and art—have become a touchstone for contemporary Reformed theology.
How might the lectures continue to inform the church's calling in a secular age? In this book, Jessica Joustra and Robert Joustra bring together theologians, historians, scientists, and others to revisit Kuyper's original lectures and to critically consider both his ongoing importance and his complex legacy for today.
Join us as we sit down with Jessica and Robert and discuss their own stories and why they are drawn to Kuyper - we discuss what neo-Calvinists, since Kuyper’s lectures, have said, done, and are poised to do. Reformed, always reforming indeed. Petrification is not an option. Pro Rege!
98. Jonathan Gibson: Is True “Spirituality” Known or Experienced?
Means, Ends & Expectations of Personal Devotion
What should my “quiet time” consist of? What should be taking place – increased knowledge? felt experience? And, either way, what are the appointed means? Are “quiet times” even a biblical concept? What did the people of God do before the printing press? Join us as we sit down with Jonathan Gibson, author of “Be Thou My Vision: A Liturgy for Daily Worship” (Crossway), and discuss the most illusive facts of the enshrined “quiet time.”
97. Steve Garber: The Core Longings of the Human Heart
Satiated with Kuyper as Mystics or the with Kuyper as Cerebral Theologians and Worldviewers?
Join us we sit down with Steven Garber and identify and discuss the core longings of the human heart – especially those of the Christian. We ask questions like “how can Christian’s experience God?” - “Is Abraham Kuyper’s mysticism unachievable?” - “What values is there in merely reading about God and Theology?” - “What should the Christian life consist of?” – and more…
96. George Harinck: The State of Neo-Calvinisim in the Netherlands and Abroad
The Rise, Demise, and Global Resurgence of Abraham Kuyper
Listen in as we sit down with the treasurer of the heritage of neo-Calvinism himself: Dr. George Harinck. In this episode we survey the spread and implications Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck thoughts and teachings.
This interview is kicking off a series that will run the next few months at TheLaymensLounge.com called "The State of Neo-Calvinism." Come back each week to read about the state and influence of neo-Calvinisim in nations ranging from Mexico and the Philippines to Wales and Egypt.
95. Myk Habets: The Joy of a Trinitarian Christmas
Naming the presence of God in our midst
“God with us.” God with us? “YHWH with us” (But isn’t that the first person of the Trinity?)? Jesus left, but he leaves the Spirit? And that’s better how? Join us as we sit down with Myk Habets to nuance the points of contact, the roles of, and the relations of the Trinity in our life as well as praying in a Trinitarian way.
94. Chad Bird: When the Old Testament Sprouts Wings & It All Starts to Make Sense
Gettin’ stoked on metaphor, allusion, & foreshadowing
Chad Bird is in the business of turning on lights. If you crack open one of his books, or listen to his podcasts, don’t’ be surprised if one of his hands comes out of the book and flips the switch on your Old Testament understanding. Most of us see the Old Testament like a pepper-sprayed collection of curiosities and divinely bizzarro truth and most of my life has been riding shotgun with the Ethiopian Eunuch saying with him “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And then your boy Chad the “Phillip” Bird drops a few podcast episodes and pens a couple books in my chariot, and just like that, I’m looking around screaming “where’s the water?!!!!” cause it’s all starting to make sense and I’m stoked cause I see Jesus on every page.
“Moses-centrality holds true for the apostles... Study Romans, Galatians, Peter’s epistles, Hebrews, James, or Revelation and ask yourself, ‘Why do these authors quote or allude to the Torah much more frequently than they do the words of Jesus? Because no gospels had yet been written?’ No, that can hardly be the reason. Even if Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not yet written, the teachings and sayings of Jesus would have been circulating orally. Then why does Moses get more apostolic press than Christ’s own words?”
Join us as we sit down with Chad Bird, co-host of “40 Minutes in the OT” and author of “The Christ Key: Unlocking the Centrality of Christ in the Old Testament” (1517 Publications), as he shows us “What the Gospels will shout from the rooftops has already been whispered from the foundation of the Torah.” Yet “the majority of Christians prefer to meander down the well-worn paths of the smaller NT garden than to venture among the weird and wild prophetic fauna of the Tanak,” but once you get a lay of the land with a guide like Chad Bird, you’ll be equipped to head off on your own down the road to Emmaus.
93. Tom Schreiner: A Christmas Survey of Matthew 1:1-25
Genealogy, “14 Generations,” the "Son of David," the “Christ," the Exile
We had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Tom Schreiner to discuss the first chapter of Matthew – asking how best to make sense of it all and have our calloused hearts hear the story afresh. Join us as we take a Christmas stroll through advent portions of Matthew with the sweetheart of sweethearts the good Dr. Tom Schreiner.
92. Gary Colledge: Who was Charles Dickens?
Everybody loves Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (well, at least the movies), but who was this man? Was he best friends with Hudson Taylor and annoyed with Charles Spurgeon? Was he an ideal husband or a bit of a playboy? Did he leave his children to their own devices, or did he pen an entire book solely for their edification and growth in Christ? Listen in as we are joined with Charles Dickens go-to scholar, and author of "God and Charles Dickens: Recovering the Christian Voice of a Classic Author,” Dr. Gary L. Colledge and discuss all things Dickens.
91. James Houston: 99 Years of Insight on Spiritual Formation
A Hospitable Bed Interview on Spiritual Formation with Jim Houston
“I came here to die.” Speaking from Hospice that is what Christian pillar James Houston, who is 99 years old, told me on our chat today – yet he is still writing and still offering wisdom to weary souls (read his "Letters From A Hospital Bed: Reflections From a 99 Year Old" here) and offers a lifetime of insight in these 45 minutes. In this interview with Dr. Houston, I had the great honor to glean wisdom on everything from spiritual health and cultivation (“We need to ask God to allow us to dream about Him each night.” “We need to remove obstacles that keep us from a love-affair with God… Let God be the last thing you think about each night, not the news or a book or a movie…”) to Trinitarian theology of participation, and to the Evangelical over-emphasis on “Systematic Theology” (As opposed to, what he suggests, a healthy “Child Theology”). His book, “Memoirs of a Joyous Exile and a Worldly Christian” is a short chronicle of his life that reads like a constellation of relationships and formation (Jim was family friends with James Torrance and the Torrance family, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a conversation partner, he was colleagues with J.I. Packer, he was in a small group with C.S Lewis, a co-author with Bruce Waltke, neighbors with JRR Tolkien, had his orthodoxy checked by Francis Schaeffer and his friend John Stott, is related, by marriage, to Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, and then the list goes on and on with other paths crossing of Carl F.H. Henry, F.F. Bruce, Malcom Muggeridge, Charles Colson, Os Guinness, Leon Morris, etc.). I’m grateful to Dr. Houston and his daughter Claire who helped this interview.
90. Michael Cooper: Is Church Planting Biblical?
Questions about what we have assumed
A few weeks ago, I happened upon a 2-part article series by Michael Cooper called “Ephesiology and the Critique of Church Planting Movements” and “Is Church Planting a Biblical Mandate?” and so, I’m not a deconstructionist, but I do appreciate a good questioning of what has been assumed. Listen in as we sit down with Dr. Cooper and discuss Paul’s model of making disciples, and all the rage that is “the church planting movement.”
89. Thomas Kidd: Literally the Best Thanksgiving & Pilgrim Interview Ever
Getting the Big Picture of the Pilgrims. Fact vs Fiction. Pilgrim Theological Emphasis. Theonomy Applied. Etc.
Thomas Kidd just showed me that I really am a product of the California public school system as he separates pilgrim, Mayflower, and Thanksgiving fact from fiction. It’s not just that he corrects snippets of legend-as-history, but he fills out the pilgrim experiment and gives us the big picture and goals of these "separatists." Not just "why did they leave England?" - but what did they do when they got here? What happened to them after 10, 20, 100 years of being here? Just who were these pilgrims? What was their theology? Did they read Calvin and Luther – and who are their modern counterparts (and Ill just tell you now: it might be the OPC and PCA)? What was so horrible in England that they would endure 9 months on a ship and possibly freeze to death? Did they evangelize the native population? Did they eat turkeys or fill their bellies with a big ol' plate of eel? And what became of them - are Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards and the East Coast Congregationalists their successors? Was Squanto really a figure in their lives? Did they implement the mosaic law on the colony (what would you do if you could have a fresh start and surrounded by Christians and could do anything you felt was wise), and was a man caught in bestiality stoned to death? And, of course, the pressing question: should Christians cancel Thanksgiving or redeem it?
88. A History & Theology of Contemporary Worship
Lim Swee Hong and Lester Ruth
“God inhabits the praises of His people” Psalm 22:3. With this verse as the Theological lynchpin, a new way of worshipping God took root, and continues to this day.
New forms of worship have transformed the face of the American church over the past fifty years. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, including interviews with dozens of important stakeholders and key players, this volume by two worship experts, Lim Swee Hong and Lester Ruth, offer the first comprehensive history of Contemporary Praise & Worship. The authors provide insight into where this phenomenon began (by the way, it was NOT the Jesus People hippies in California… But was in Jan ’46 in Canada) and how it reshaped the Protestant church. They also emphasize the span of denominational, regional, and ethnic expressions of contemporary worship, taking into account the liturgical dynamics involved it its emergence and the dynamics that led to its growth. The authors show that Contemporary Praise & Worship came about through theological reflection on the Bible, not merely as the result of cultural impulses. In this interview we hit emotionalism, hype, the goal of worship, liturgy, trinitarian theology, compelling artists (Kanye West, the Gettys, Bethel, Jesus Culture, Sandra Sandra McCracken).
87. Collin Hansen: 15 Years After Young, Restless and Reformed... Where Are They Now?
15 years ago Collin Hansen identified a movement; “Young, Restless and Reformed.” John Piper, Mark Driscoll, John MacArthur were all pillars. With a heavy emphasis on a Calvinist soteriology, many of them, mostly from the Baptistic tradition, were pleased to cultivate a little bit of rootedness in the 2006 world of relativism and “you do you.” But, its been a long 15 years and now these guys have grown up. Some are now pastors, some are apostate and “deconstructed”, and no small amount have taken their own lives. There was no agreed upon natural progression of "what’s next?" and we haven't seen a cohesive YRR 2.0 planned or executed. After awhile, most of them broke out of the cage-stage and began to ask questions like “Ok, so I'm elect – what does that mean for me as a dad, as a pastor, and as someone who is still hungry for truth? What is the telos of my faith other than being theologically sound? Is Christianity just a heaven to gain and hell to shun?”
Jonathan Edwards is still Collin Hansen’s homeboy – but so is James K.A. Smith, Charles Taylor, Tim Keller (while for others its Bavinck, Joe Rogan, Martin Luther, Jordan Peterson, Abraham Kuyper, etc.). The John Piper books are still on Collin's shelf it's just now they are covered with a light dust. Indeed, YRR was never to be the end. It was never the final word and there were still many itches that YRR didn’t scratch. Many of the ever-hungry (and dissatisfied) YRR alumni have gone the way of liturgy, Anglican/Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic. Some sought to see their faith applied to “every square inch” of their lives and so fell in with the Kuyperians (the OG “neo-Calvinists" by the way), still others became Sacramentarians, and a few to the Lutheran camp with the much-needed reality of a proper Law/Gospel distinction (especially those who thought to be "radical" meant being anything other than a pastor or missionary was sub-Christian, at best, and a "wasted life" at worst). Regardless where the YRR alum have ended up, most all of them have seen the fact that useless are the days of the “Theological cultural warrior” for the day-to-day.
Join us as we sit down with Collin Hansen and survey the YRR movement asking “where are they now?” and attempt to connect dots of progression (and sometimes the regression) from that starting point.
86. Pierce Hibbs: Gratitude Isn’t just for Hippie Girls with Hairy Armpits Weeping over the Ocean, Rainbows and Organic Granola Bars
A Trinitarian Theolog of Gratitude and Giving
“We swim in gifts, in things given freely by God… But you don’t feel this very often though, do you? Neither do I. The greatest irony of being alive is that we treat gifts as possessions, generosity as commonplace, grace as summer grass-something to be stepped on and forgotten with every lifting muscle… We unwrap so many gifts every moment that we forget it’s Christmas morning, that God is watching every spark of joy, and every shrug of the shoulders.”
– Pierce Taylor Hibbs from “The Book of Giving: How the God Who Gives Can Make Us Givers”
Join us as we sit down with Pierce Taylor Hibbs while helps us to major on the majors. The attributes of God, trinitarian realities, “the giving circle”, and all manner of truth that does something for our lived lives.
85. Benji Magness: Christians, the Twilight Zone, Punk Rock and Creepy Cultural Goods
Join us as we sit down with Pastor Benji Magness and discuss the life of the believer and the enjoyment (or rejection?) of Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone, creepy stuff and horror films, punk rock and burning your CDs at church camp.
84. Sandra Richter: Hermeneutics, Meredith Kline and Isaiah
Dr. Sandra Richter speaks all manner of ancient languages, has a doctorate from Harvard, is a professor, an archeologist, a leading voice in academic theological/historical/hermeneutical discussions, and she wants to help normal Christians read and understand the Old Testament.
Dr. Richter is the author of the heavily circulated book “The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament”, it really is the go-to book for getting the big picture of the Old Testament and informs our New Testament reading as well.