It seems that I should have no choice but to make the first reorienting, foundational, podcasts that I recommend to you a podcast episode that focuses on the book of Genesis. Genesis is about beginnings as the word implies. How we understand the message of Genesis naturally colors the way that we view the trajectory of the Biblical story. Genesis is massively important. This podcast lecture from Dr. John Walton, Professor of Old Testament Studies at Wheaton College, will offer a profound and unignorable challenge to many of the standard assumptions that people make concerning the message of the book of Genesis.
2. WHAT ARE THE GOSPELS? (Richard Burridge)
"What are the Gospels?" is a question that never came close to entering my mind until somewhere in my early adult life. As a child and young adult, I had always assumed that the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were simply four different histories of recorded events. These books were the facts about Jesus' life and the factual accounts of what Jesus said. I had assumed that the writers were just honest people trying to record events accurately. I never considered the agenda or intent behind the author's writing. I never thought about the writer's motivation or audience. I never imagined the possibility that the author was arranging materials in a particular way for a specific purpose. I had never even stopped to ask why we call them "Gospels" or "what is a 'Gospel'?" It seemed to me that it was liberal Christians at best that asked these types of questions, and every time they did, it seemed as if they were taking Jesus away from me. I have since learned that genuinely committed followers of Jesus have grappled with these questions and have discovered a healthier, more robust faith because of it. I've learned that these are deeply significant questions to ask if we want to understand the Jesus that each Gospel writer wants to tell us about in his way. In this Podcast, Rev. Professor Richard Burridge defends his argument that the Gospels are an ancient form of biography in conversation with Mike Licona and Justin Brierly.
HEAVEN OR HELL? (N.T. Wright)
I used to think that "the Gospel" was all about getting people to follow Jesus so that they would end up in Heaven instead of Hell when they died. Through my evangelistic efforts and experiences, I began to realize that there was something significantly wrong with the notions that I thought I was supposed to put forward. It dawned on me that the sermons in the book of Acts didn't sound like the things I was saying. And I began to investigate and ask very foundational questions. In the process of working through the question, "What Is the Gospel?" I discovered that the Gospel was never actually about going to Heaven when we die but about God's Kingdom coming on the earth. NT Wright's work, and especially his book "Surprised By Hope" was enormously helpful and eye-opening. This little podcast is an introduction to the topics of Heaven and Hell through the eyes of the first-century scholar and theologian, NT Wright.
KING JESUS GOSPEL (Scott McKnight)
I had never listened to or read anything by Scott McKnight before I listened to this podcast. And the only reason I listened to this podcast is that people continually tell me that I sound like Scott McKnight. Naturally, I have become curious about what this guy is saying. Ever since being exposed to Scott's work, I have been delighted. Professor, Scott McKnight is significantly smarter and better-learned than I am. If you listen to this energetic, funny, and engaging lecture, you will hear a lot of what I talk about on The Gospel For Planet Earth through the voice of someone who has the scholarly ability and knowledge of modern Church history to drive the arguments home. In this particular lecture, Scott argues that "the Gospel" is the announcement: "Jesus is King."
5. THE SAME GOSPEL FOR THE WHOLE WORLD?
(Salim Munayer & Steve Maltz)
Does allegiance to the Gospel of Jesus require followers of Jesus to promote and support the political state of Israel? Is there a Biblical mandate for Israel to possess a specific section of real estate in the middle east? Many Western Christians believe that it does, and we have propagated this position in many places where protestant missionaries have taught people about Jesus. In my view, this particular position is the fruit of misunderstanding the nature of the Gospel. In this intense debate between a Palestinian Christian, Salim Munayer, and a New York Jewish Christian, Steve Maltz, you will feel the tension that the subject possesses but which we rarely see or hear in balance. This debate allows us to rethink some of our theological positions to make sure the message we are preaching is one Gospel for one people of God. As the Apostle Paul said, "God does not show favoritism." Romans 2:11. Challenging the mainstream Christian position on this subject is necessary for the Church to gain a healthy vision of the future which will benefit all people, without showing favoritism.
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The Gospel For Planet Earth