Wesley Smith, lawyer and an award winning author, recognized as an expert thinker in the field of bioengineering and a "Great Defender of Life" for his work against assisted suicide and euthanasia, joins us today as we bask in the glories of the one-star Best Western conference room. Wesley is calling in from Cali - how fortunate he should be deprived the novelties of weak coffee and Todd's disgruntled face as he eats another day-old donut. Of course, the trials we face here pale in comparison with today's topic. Wesley bears much knowledge on bioethics, a field of study that tests the ethics and philosophical implications of medical practices and procedures. With the sanctity of life increasingly questioned, "do-harm medicine" is growing in practice. We live in a backwards world where death is more valued than life, and the disabled not worthy of all the medical efforts. Don't be surprised to find yourself catching your jaw during this one!
In Reformed Theology, we hold firm to the tradition of true doctrine - we believe it's invaluable to aiding an understanding of our faith and more importantly we believe scripture to be the supreme and normative source of what we believe. Yet why are so many evangelicals leery of combining the words: 'tradition' and 'true doctrine'? In the end, they help define divine realities, and more importantly, lend accurate descriptions of God. Maybe more alarming is not the lay person who misunderstands traditional doctrine, but those who don't preach it from the pulpit or teach it from the lectern. It's necessary that the Church connect scripture to the traditional doctrinal statements lest she get swept away by every wind of novel doctrine.
Name 10 ways to destroy your child’s imagination. Ok, we'll give you 5 to start: 1. Mechanize your kid, 2. pad their resume, 3. send them to Yale, 4. stifle their natural talents and, if you do nothing else, 5. deter any natural tendency to admire God's vast creation. This is but a taste of the (outlandish?) commentary to expect from Dr. Anthony Esolen, professor of English at Providence College and author of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. To those of us glued to our screens or whose suffocated imaginations are inhibited by too many distractions, Dr. Esolen is a breath of fresh air.
Today we have Rusty Reno on the line for a special XL Bully Pulpit. Rusty is editor of First Things Magazine, formerly taught theology and ethics at Creighton University, and has authored many theological books of which one is a topic of today's conversation: Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society. We are worlds away from the Garden and in the wake of that fateful bite we now navigate amongst many evils. So can we go back to the Garden? What lasting influence do we bring to bear on our pagan societies? Rusty shares quotable insights to sharpen our perspective on these (and many more) questions any Christian should be asking.
We're here again with our boy, Max “Rambouski” Benfer. Strangely he always finds our secret bunker! Despite our better judgment, we let him appear on the show … (what can we say, we feel bad for the guy!). He's had quite a colorful past and in his previous life, Max served in men’s ministry - basically calling men to set up camp in Neverland and play in the dirt. In all seriousness, what is men's ministry supposed to look like and what makes it successful? If ministering to the men-folk looks like a pack of Tarzans in the woods while "Jane" stays home, it's time we reconsider our strategy.
Are all things being redeemed … even Pokemon Go?! C'mon. We're handing out our very last Desperate Theology award and we hope the winner will take it in stride! In light of Pokemon, Carl, Aimee, and Todd sit down to talk "Hyperreality", that is, the reality that isn't. We live in a world increasingly fixated on what's fabricated. Screens have gripped our eyes and crippled the imagination. "It’s all crap and it’s destroying our souls," says one no-name Englishman. So what is reality and why do we shy away from it? You'd think it's an obvious answer, but how often do we function far from the natural created world before and around us with little awareness?
According to Carl, Aimee & Todd, church membership isn’t an extra-biblical idea, so where does it originate from and what does it even matter? More importantly who does it better: the OPC or the PCA? (Carl's got the answer to that). Once we tease out why church membership is important, what purpose do membership classes serve? What pros are there to having them and for goodness sake, how long should they be?! And surely college or seminary students are off the hook since they are in such a transitory time, and they're taking enough classes. Right?
Today's Desperate Theologizer gets a failing grade from MOS, but they need more than a trip to the principal's office to straighten them out. Speaking of authority, the pulpit grants power to those behind it, but sometimes it becomes a weapon taken to extremes. Heavy shepherding, control, throwing your weight around - these are twisted approachs to pastoral ministry that any minister has the temptation to fall into and every lay congregant should be able to recognize. Today's addition of Bully Pulpit is more true to its name than ever.
How on earth can we trust the books in the Bible to be the only Word of God, or “canon”, to which no man should add or subtract? What exactly is the canon and why is it important? What are its fundamental flaws, (and if there are any), then how can we be confident in it? The canon can be an intimidating topic so naturally we spared no expense in bringing out the big guns: Michael Kruger. Dr. Kruger is President of Reformed Seminary Charlotte, Samuel C. Patterson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, and author of numerous books. However, he’s more widely known for being married to Melissa Kruger. Hopefully we will get her on the show soon - but Michael makes for a nice Plan B.
Can mercy and grace find their way into your workout? Well, uniting brain and brawn has never been more feasible thanks to the desperate efforts of another Theologizer. In other news: Carl has a piercing question for Todd: “Is your Frat-Boy-Honeymoon period with the PCA over?” General Assembly recently ruffled some feathers, but thankfully they’d never get rid of Systematic Theology or start ordaining women … right?! … or would they?