In our review this week, Pastor Mark Tiefel discusses the book Risky Gospel. The book was written in 2013 by Owen Strachan who serves as Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. The basic theme of the book centers around the truth that Christians are called to be bold in the name of Christ even if that boldness leads to suffering. Pastor Tiefel will take us through a brief overview of the content and give us his overall impressions of the book.
In this music review episode Pastors Neal Radichel and Mark Tiefel discuss and review "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again" by Danny Gokey. They will be using their ABC's: Is it Appropriate? Is it Biblical? and Is it Christian or Christ-Centered? The song was written by Bernie Herms, Randy Phillips, and Matthew West and originally recorded by Contemporary Christian-Worship trio, Phillips, Craig and Dean in 2012. It was later recorded by Gokey for his second album Hope in Front of Me (2014). Gokey's rendition hit Christian radio on January 8, 2016, and quickly rose to #2 on the Billboard Christian Song Chart. Listen to the song and their evaluation and learn how to apply the ABC's to music you listen to as well.
As we enter the season of Trinity, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers review the book "Mere Christianity" by C.S.Lewis. They will discuss Lewis' life and journey from Atheism to Christianity and the radio shows he did which became the book under discussion. Lewis discusses the problems of many of the religions of the world in dealing with the the problem of evil, and who Jesus is. He discusses the person of Jesus as true God, the Christian life, and the Trinity. While there are many excellent observations in the book, Lewis also falls short and even into error in many areas. He does not get into justification by Grace, or even the work of Christ as our Savior. He also confuses Law and Gospel and falls into Arminianism in connection with our sanctification. We pray that this review will be helpful to those who have read or interested in reading Lewis' book.
As we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus today, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers review and discuss the modern Ascension Day hymn, "Up Through Endless Ranks of Angels" (Hymn 737 in "Worship Supplement 2000"). The author of this hymn was a 20th Century Lutheran Hymn writer who is probably best known for writing "Go My Children with My Blessing" (Hymn 800 in "Worship Supplement 2000"). This hymn depicts the ascension of Jesus after completing the work of salvation for sinners and highlights beautifully the nature of Christ as true Man and as our acceptable sacrifice before God. It also brings out the Holy Spirit's work of Sanctification in our lives today as we await the return of our ascended Savior and look forward to the day when we will be with our Triune God for eternity.
On Good Friday in 2016, the movie Batman vs Superman was released and made quite a stir among Christians. Why was this movie released on Good Friday? Tune in to hear Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Mark Tiefel discuss both the obvious and subtle religious and Christian themes throughout this movie. In the epic battle between good and evil, who makes the decisions about what is morally right and wrong? Are both characters presented to be of a Messianic type nature? What philisophical truths are being made in this film? Should the Christian even watch it? These are some of the questions that are tackled in this episode as we review the challenges the Christian faces with modern day messages in movies and medias today.
In our Review segment this week, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers look at another Lenten Hymn, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" by Isaac Watts. This hymn (number 175 in The Lutheran Hymnal) was composed in English by the prolific hymnwriter, Isaac Watts, who wrote over 700 other hymns, some of which are found in our hymnal and other hymnals. Watts had a natural talent for meter and rhyme at a very early age, and put it to work in pointing people to his Savior. This hymn is rich in Biblical pictures and based largely on Paul's words in Galatians 6:14: "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." He points sinners to the cross of Jesus which is the means of our salvation, and our only hope in this world of sin. We are reminded of the danger of our pride and posessions which we are tempted to value above Christ and His cross. In the final verse, after we have viewed the gift of God's salvation in Christ's sacrifice for us, we are motivated to respond by giving our life to Christ and in His service. We give thanks to God for the salvation He has won for us in Christ and the forgiveness of our sins.
In our Review segment this week, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers dig into the Lenten Hymn, "A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth" by Paul Gerhardt. This hymn (number 142 in The Lutheran Hymnal) was written by Paul Gerhardt, who was a faithful Lutheran pastor in Germany who lived about 100 years after Martin Luther. In this hymn Gerhardt wonderfully depicts the purpose of Christ's suffering and death, His willingness to carry out mankind's salvation, and the great cost which He paid to accomplish it. He also describes the resulting effect of Christ's atonement for sin in the life of the Christian, both now and in eternity. He describes how the Christian, in view of the Savior's sacrifice for us, offers his life as a sacrifice for Christ. Because of Jesus' redemption, we need not fear death or the Devil, but confidently trust in our Savior, who comforts us in our earthly afflictions. We also look forward to the joy of eternal life which is ours, by faith, because Jesus has purchased our release from sin and death. What a rich spiritual heritage we have in such Scriptural Lutheran hymns as this!
In this music review episode Pastors Neal Radichel and Mark Tiefel discuss and review 7eventh Time Down's new song, "God is on the Move." They will be using their ABC's: Is it Appropriate? Is it Biblical? and Does it Direct us to Christ? This song is very popular in Contemporary Christian Music and has been in the top 10. Listen to the song and their evaluation and learn how to apply the ABC's to music you listen to as well.
In this episode Pastors Neal Radichel and Nathanael Mayhew discuss and review Ken Ham and Britt Beemer's book, "Already Gone." This book looks at statistics which show why less people are going to church and give some solutions to this epidemic in the Church. He points out how churches in Europe have closed at an astounding rate, and this is carrying over into America. Surveys reveal why people aren't going to church. For example: Boring services, chruch is too legalistic, too political, hypocrisy in the church, too far to go; not relevant; etc. But the problem is that the culture has infiltrated the church and undermined the truth of God's Word and the church has stopped being the church. What is the solution? First, the church needs to reteach and emphasize the authority of God's Word. We see this in the creation account and the rejection of God's desire for marriage, in the truth of the resurrection and the conception of Jesus. Once you start down the road of rejection of God's Word, there is a very dark end. Our purpose is to preach the Gospel which changes hearts. God's Word, His Law and His Gospel is always relevant in our world, because it is what we need to hear. The responsibilty for this lies first and foremost with PARENTS and not with the church! The solution starts with the Word of God in the home and supported by the church. This book is a must read for parents and church leaders alike to help see the problem in our society and in our homes and as an encouragement to be faithful in our use and proclamation of God's Word of Truth to the next generation.
In this episode Pastors Mark Tiefel and Nathanael Mayhew discuss and review Gene Veith's book, "The Spirituality of the Cross." Veith presents the truth of how Christianity differs from the religions of the world, and how Lutheranism emphasizes the truths of God's Word better than other Christian denominations. Veith writes about the doctrines that separate Christianity from false religions and what distinguishes Lutheranism from the rest: Justification, the Means of Grace, the Theology of the Cross, Vocation, and the Two Kingdoms. Veith warns of moralism (earning salvation by your works), speculation (earning salvation through knowledge) and mysticism (gaining salvation through emotion). God works outside of sinners in the person of Christ to accomplish salvation for sinners. This book is a must read for those who are searching for the truth of God's salvation, or who would like to grow in their understanding of God's work of salvation.