The Best of the Tradition With a Heart for Evangelism and Discipleship
In addition to the radio show material, this podcast feed also includes weekly sermons, audio from the First Word Debate and Lectures Series, and Adult Sunday School material, when possible. The sermons and Sunday School material will expire after about 3 months so the feed will only consist of the radio show and debates. All podcasts through iTunes are free. Many thanks again to the great folks at KPFT. If you like what you hear on the Sin Boldly Podcast, be sure to drop a line to Pastor McClanahan and visit KPFT.
Notable past guests include apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate, historian Dr. Larry Schweikart, atheist David Smalley, author Katherine Ozment, filmmaker Rena Montedoro, Exorcist Fr. Gary Thomas, author Karl Vaters, apologist Eric Hernandez, author Karen Stollznow, musician and author Dan Michael Cogan, among many more!
Oh, and if you like the music, I alternate between two albums. One is Giver of Life By Dan Michael Cogan. You can find it on iTunes or download it for free here. Thanks, Dan! The southern rock is from my brother's old band, Greenlight Caravan. Just look for Greenlight Caravan on iTunes to download their whole album. If you like southern rock, you'll love Greenlight Caravan.
The Sin Boldly Radio Program
In the summer of 2015, Pastor McClanahan began working with a local public radio station - KPFT, 90.1 FM - to develop a podcast. That podcast is now a digital radio show, available every Thursday at 5:00 pm on your digital radio or via streaming through KPFT's website. It will continue to be recorded and put out as a podcast. Called Sin Boldly, the show focuses on a combination of apologetics (defending Christianity to the outside world), discernment (seeking truth within the Christianity community), and commentary on current events. There are also occasional shows on aesthetics within the church, so keep you ears out for shows on liturgy, contemporary worship, and church architecture. Check out the podcast feed to see if any past shows are of interest. Listen live at www.kpft.org/listen.
All episodes are available through any podcast app for free. Just search the iTunes store for The Sin Boldly Podcast. If you use an Android device, I highly recommend using the CastBox app. It's a free app and you can find it through Google Play. The podcasts will not come up through Stitcher and CastBox's search feature is easy to use.
Sin Boldly Podcast Episode Index
Sin Boldly Episode 99
What's Up With the Methodists?
I was joined by two Methodists to discuss the current state of the Methodist Church. Like all mainline denominations, they are currently divided over issues of Biblical authority and interpretation, sexuality and marriage...and more. Christy Thomas is a retired elder in the Methodist Church and currently blogs over at Pathos at www.christythomas.com. She argues for a more inclusive approach and for a church less dominated for purity concerns. Keith Boyette is an attorney and Methodist minister who is President of the Wesleyan Covenant Alliance (https://wesleyancovenant.org). He argues that the Methodist Church's Book of Discipline should not change and the Biblical teaching on sexuality is clear. It is not uncommon for disagreeing factions within the church to speak about each other. My aim was to get them to speak to each other in the midst of the dispute.
Sin Boldly Episode 98
Does the Church Need to Repent?
I was joined by Todd Bullis, an activist against abortion with Abolish Human Abortion (AHA). In particular, Todd protests churches for their apathy concerning abortion. This has raised not a few concerned voices about the nature of intra-church fighting and caused some to ask just how much should/can we do about this evil? Todd is also the adoptive father of six foster children and speaks first about that vocation. It forces one to ask: how much ought Christians to be doing to truly be salt and light in the world today? Is it enough that we call ourselves Christian? I'll say as a disclaimer that I have ecclesiological and theological disagreements with Todd, and no doubt were my own church to be chosen by the Church Repent project, I would be incensed. I did want to give him free range to express himself. No doubt, some might have pushed harder against Church Repent. And I do not lay the guilt of abortion - at least not all of the guilt - at the feet of the Church, just as I do not lay the guilt of other sins at the feet of the Church. The Body of Christ needs the gift of patience as the message of repentance is proclaimed...and often ignored. However, the Church does need to be encouraged to do more, and on that point, Todd and I agree.
Sin Boldly Episode 97
Three Examples of Modern Theological Liberalism.
On this solo episode, I look at three examples of theological liberalism in my former church body, the ELCA. One is the Naked and UNAshamed, er, ministry. The other is a new church start tentatively called St. Jezebel's. And the third is Decolonize Lutheranism. While each is relatively small, they seem to accurately represent where theological liberals are headed. They indicate a pretty clear lack of theological boundaries and postmodern attempts to redefine and reclaim evils of the past. As always, I'm open to dialogue on these or other movements if you're interested. Just email me! Also, as a warning, I'm not labeling this episode clean, though there is no profanity. Some of the themes are more appropriate for adults because they deal with sexuality.
Sin Boldly Episode 96
"Does God Exist?" Debate Review.
The congregation I serve, First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, TX, hosted a debate on God's existence a few Saturdays ago. This episode is dedicated to reviewing that debate. What arguments were made? What concessions were granted? Who was the most consistent? Who focused on the topic? How did each participant answer the question? We look at the highlights...and lowlights, and try to figure out who was successful in the debate after we offer our criteria for such an event.
Sin Boldly Episode 95
Self-Feeders and Watered Down Messages.
Back in January, Dr. Gary McIntosh, Dr. Eugene Wilson and Karl Vaters and I gathered to talk about the Church Growth Movement at large. There was so much to talk about, we did it again, only this time without Dr. McIntosh (who is a very busy man and we hope to catch up with later!). We look at the need for small groups and the need for Christians to be "self-feeders", as well as whether or not churches can grow if they preach the "hard sayings of Jesus." Also, how do pastors of small churches deal with the frustration of churches that aren't growing and what do they do in the wake of that reality?
Sin Boldly Episode 94
All Manner of Kooks.
This solo episode looks at a handful of topics: the contraction of the Church due to perpetual adolescence; a parent's rights in a transgender case; a 1952 Planned Parenthood pamphlet that calls abortion the killing of a baby; and the Kooks Burrito company being forced to close because of "cultural appropriation."
Sin Boldly Episode 93
A Debate: Did Jesus Die For All? With Jordan Cooper and Dr. Theodore Zacharaides.
Well, I have been looking forward to this episode for a while. I was honored to be joined by Dr. Theodore Zachariades of Reforming America Ministries and Jordan Cooper of the Just and Sinner Podcast and Blog to discuss the Limited Atonement. Did Jesus die for the sins of the whole world, or only for his elect people? What is the extent of the work of the cross? Jordan comes from a Reformed background but is now a Lutheran pastor and theologian. Theodore came to the Reformed Baptist tradition after growing up Easter Orthodox. This debate features conversation around many of the relevant Biblical passages and demonstrates the different ways that these two traditions come to see the way God has worked in the world to save sinners. Thanks again to both of my guests for their time and expertise!
Sin Boldly Episode 92
5 Signs of a Progressive Church.
This solo episode looks at some signs that your church is becoming more progressive, i.e. less orthodox. We also look at some celebrities and their relationship to faith, including Val Kilmer and Brad Pitt.
Sin Boldly Episode 91
The Kinship of Jesus: Christian Community Amid the Roman Empire.
Dr. Kathleen Mills joined me today to talk about her book The Kinship of Jesus. What was different about Christian community in the context of the Roman empire? And what should Christian community look like today? Thanks to Kathleen for stopping in!
Sin Boldly Episode 90
Selling Heroin as Religious Charity.
This solo episode explores whether a heroin dealer deserves religious protection. After all, he is providing comfort to the poor, lame, blind and apparently, even dead! I also look at Trump's new executive order which offers protection for pastors endorsing political candidates from the pulpit and the fallacies of the Prosperity Gospel.
Sin Boldly Episode 89
Leaving Leftism: An Interview with Dr. Danusha Goska.
For this episode, I was joined by Dr. Danusha Goska, author of Save, Send, Delete and a fascinating article on why she left Leftism. Widely traveled, Dr. Goska has experienced the world's most prominent religions but remains a lifelong Roman Catholic. Why? What compels her to still believe in God and the revelation of Jesus Christ? Her book is an email correspondence with a well-known atheist, and her article can be found here.
Sin Boldly Episode 88
Grace Alone Revisited, and Defining Hate Speech.
In this solo episode, I look at two articles. The first looks at "Grace Alone" from a Roman Catholic point-of-view. (That article is here.) What does it really mean to "cooperate" with God in salvation? Is "grace first" good enough or were the reformers right to insist on "grace alone"? I also look at an article that argues that there is no such thing as hate speech, only unfavorable opinions that are labeled as such to shut down free speech. Oh, and just how much should churches spend on their parking lot?
Sin Boldly Episode 87
The Benedict Option. With Wyatt Graham.
The Benedict Option has been called the most important Christian book in decades. But what does it really propose? Is it anything new? And is it even the best "option" out there? For that matter, do Christians have options other than the biblical "option" found in the Great Commission? How should Christians response to a hostile culture? Wyatt Graham of The Gospel Coalition of Canada joins me and we use his latest article as the foundation for our conversation. That article can be found here.
Sin Boldly Episode 86
Satanism. As Told By An Ex-Satanist.
I was joined by Zachary King, a former Satanist of 26 years, of All Saints Ministry. We talked about his past life as a Satanist and what Satanists believe, the Biblical reality of the devil and his minions, and recent Satanic encroachment into the public square. Is Satanism essentially a boutique rebellion, or a more mainstream group than we think? Is this an underground movement that has significant appeal or does the media blow it out of proportion? You listen and decide. I definitely will take it more seriously than I used to after this interview.
Sin Boldly Episode 85
Orthodoxy and the Reformed: Differences in Understanding the Fall and Salvation.
In a relatively rare exchange, an Orthodox priest (formerly Baptist) dialogues with a Reformed Baptist pastor (formerly Orthodox) on the questions of the Fall and its effects, how man is made righteous before God, and how one grows in holiness. The East and West do not have frequent debates and exchanges, and this pairing came as a result of a desire to understand the differences between the traditions. Many thanks to Father Wilbur Ellsworth and Pastor Theodore Zachariades for joining me. Learn about Fr. Ellsworth's move to Orthodoxy here and check out Reforming America Ministries here.
Sin Boldly Episode 84
The Johnson Amendment and the Temptation to Meaninglessness.
I was joined again by Pastor Kevin Baird who offered his thoughts in support of a repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which generally prohibits (or so pastors believe) political engagement by those involved in 501(c)(3) organizations. Pastor Baird argues it limits free speech and pastors have a role to connect issues of conscience with policies and candidates. I then look at the way the devil tempts us and ask if it is only in the way of the temptations of the flesh? Can we also be tempted to apathy or meaninglessness?
Sin Boldly Episode 83
The Origin of Life. With Dr. Walter Bradley.
Are you familiar with the primordial soup theory of how life began? It begins with a pond of water and a strike of lighting. Is that really how life could have "naturally" began, eventually evolving to the level of diversity we see now? Evolution occupies a lot of the attention in apologetics and debate circles. But the question of life's origin is far more foundational...and impossible in a merely naturalistic worldview. Dr. Walter Bradley is a co-author of the classic textbook The Mystery of Life's Origin (which you can find for free at http://themysteryoflifesorigin.org). Thanks to Dr. Bradley for offering his time!
Sin Boldly Episode 82
Arrested Street Preacher and Religious Freedom Issues.
I was joined by Christian evangelist Mike Stockwell to discuss his recent arrest and trial in England. Is preaching the words of scripture an arrest-worthy offense? Apparently it is England. From there, I take a look at a smattering of issues involving religious freedom, including the almost surreal juxtaposition of Catholics fighting for the right to offer insurance that doesn't include birth control and the Pope recently saying Catholics should decrease their number of children.
Sin Boldly Episode 81
Booing Jesus and Abortion in the Public Square.
I was joined by two great guests on this episode of Sin Boldly. Chaplain Dr. Michael Sprague was booed upon praying in the name of Jesus at Louisiana's state capital. Apparently Jesus is still not popular! We discussed the nature of prayer in a public setting and what good can come from such a discouraging moment. I also talked with Wes Thomas of Abolish Abortion TX to look at HB 948 in more detail. We also delved deep into Texas legal history and the path forward for legislation like this. Thanks to both for their time! (And as I had two guests this episode, it would be fair to each not to assume they share the same convictions on all issues. They very well may, but I wanted to make that distinction.)
Sin Boldly Episode 80
Prison and Theonomy: Approaches to Incarceration.
I was joined by David Collingsworth of KPFT's The Prison Show and Carey Appling to discuss the modern state of the American prison system and theonomy. Is our prison system the equivalent of slavery? Does it actually rehabilitate offenders or even try? Is there a legitimate Biblical alternative? How should Christians think about prison? Those are just a few of the questions we look at in this episode.
Sin Boldly Episode 79
A Roman Catholic Apologist on Galileo, the Crusades, and the Inquisition.
Paul Flangan of Catholic Apologetics joined me for a conversation on Galileo, the Crusades, and the Inquisition. All three are common attacks against the Church, and certainly not without some merit. But what do these three events really tell us about Christianity, and are they as bad as many make them out to be? Mr. Flanagan offers a lot of insight on each of these tales of heresy, war, and the battle between science and faith.
Sin Boldly Episode 78
HB 948, Abortion Myths, and Why Joel Osteen is NOT a Motivational Speaker.
Texas Legislator Tony Tinderholt has proposed legislation (House Bill 948) that would abolish all abortion in Texas. This episode looks at the details of that bill and the possible fallout. We also take a step back and look at some common myths about abortion that justified it becoming legal in the first place. Then we take a look at Joel Osteen and refuse to let him off the hook for being a mere "motivational speaker". He says he's a pastor who loves the Word of God. Judge him as such.
Sin Boldly Episode 77
Are Atheists Immoral?
This solo episode looks at a handful of issues. We begin with an article by Herman Mehta who accuses a Christian author of calling all Atheists immoral. Are they? Or do they have no standard by which they can ground the morality they want to affirm? (I should have said, but didn't on the show that a denial of God is in itself an immoral act, but at the time I'll confess I was thinking of civic life, not the spiritual life. But yes, atheism is always immoral and atheists are always spiritually immoral so long as they deny God. But they can be civically moral by secular legal standards.) We also look at if religion is keeping abortion legal by ghettoizing the cause and a Super Bowl of Bible Stories.
Sin Boldly Episode 76
Church Growth Confab.
Well, I did it again. I way outpunched my weight class and I had three wonderful guests on Sin Boldly to look at the critical question of Church Growth in the Church today. I was honored to be joined by a literal titan of church growth, Dr. Gary McIntosh of the Talbot School of Theology, Karl Vaters, author of "The Grasshopper Myth", and Houston's own Eugene Wilson. All three have looked at the issues of church growth generally, the Church Growth Movement specifically, and the benefit and role of small churches in the Kingdom of God for many years. I had hoped to go longer given the collected wisdom, but I believe a sequel is in the works already and perhaps even a conference...we'll see. Many thanks again to Gary, Karl and Eugene.
Sin Boldly Episode 75
Daily Bible Study, Garrison Keillor, and "The Exorcist" Regret.
I was joined to start the show by Pr. Steve Gjerde who offered his thoughts on the two-year daily lectionary, a great help in learning the grand sweep of the Bible. The rest of the show looked at an article written that day by titular Lutheran Garrison Keillor on the inauguration of President Trump, the common evolutionary view of religion, and "The Exorcist" author William Blatty's two regrets upon his recent death.
Sin Boldly Episode 74
VidAngel's Lawsuit, and Part 2 of Lutherans and the Charismata.
I was delighted to be joined by Neal Harmon, the CEO of VidAngel, a streaming service that allows extensive filtering of non-family-friendly content. VidAngel is fighting an important lawsuit that could be critical for streaming law in the future. For those of us who want the right to be able to filter streamed content, its an interesting service. I was also joined by new friend and pastor Jess Knauft. We continued our conversation on the charismata, really looking here at the question of tongues. Is this gift still around? How should it be employed?
Sin Boldly Episode 73
2016 Martyrs, Marrying Oneself, and Women in the UFC.
This show is a rundown of a handful of issues. We look at the staggering number of Christians who died for their faith in 2016, the top 5 heresies of 2016 (poor Andy Stanley!), Mark Zuckerberg's newfound "religion", a bizarre article about people marrying themselves (yes, marrying themselves), and a pretty controversial article about whether Christians should partake of women fighting in the UFC.
Sin Boldly Episode 72
This episode looks at Christmas reflections by people of three faiths: Jewish, Christian, and atheist. (Yes, atheists have faith.) There's also a slight detour in there about the logic behind arguing the pro-choice position because we aren't equipped to care for "unwanted" babies. A guest-free smattering, you might say. Merry Christmas season!
Sin Boldly Episode 71
Why I'm Not An Atheist. With Eric Hernandez and Spencer Hawkins.
I was joined by Eric Hernandez and Spencer Hawkins to talk about the reasons that Eric could never be an atheist. After a bit of a late start and some technical difficulties, we had an interesting conversation. It focused on whether evolution can produce true beliefs or if atheists necessarily have a defeater for their own views, and then a look at substance dualism. You'll see I was outgunned, so I mainly let the experts do the talking. Learn more about Eric at www.erichernandezministries.com and check out Spencer's book here.
Sin Boldly Episode 70
Making Zinn History. With Dr. Larry Schweikart
What a pleasure it was to be joined by best-selling author Dr. Larry Schweikart to take a look at his own work and contrast it to Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. If you're not familiar with it, Zinn's magnum opus is the virtual Bible of left-wing American history. Schweikart examines the nature of history and specific claims that Zinn and others make about America and asks if they're accurate. He also makes a passionate plea for American exceptionalism and looks at the pillars that make her so. Many thanks to Dr. Schweikart for being a guest on the show!
Sin Boldly Episode 69
Abolish Human Abortion. With Carey Appleby and Alex Johnson.
Alex and Carey from Abolish Human Abortion (AHA) stop by to discuss abolitionism. What are the differences between an abolitionist and a pro-lifer? What do they experience when they speak at abortion clinics (mills)? Why is abortion even wrong? Those are just a few of the interesting and thought-provoking questions we tackle when taking on the subject of abortion. Thanks to Alex and Carey for stopping in, especially on short notice!
Sin Boldly Episode 68
A Look at White Supremacy
This solo episode looks at a phrase that is remarkably mainstream now: white supremacy. It seems if you're white and a little right of center, you're probably a white supremacist. Why has this phrase found a renaissance? What is meant by it? Is white supremacy really the definitional problem in America? There is so much that one could say, but I simply tried to summarize the meaning and offer what I think is really going on.
Sin Boldly Episode 67
David Bahnsen on Greg Bahnsen's Legacy and Capitalism.
Many thanks to David Bahnsen of The Bahnsen Group for taking the time to talk about his father's (Greg Bahnsen) legacy and the relationship between capitalism and Christianity. Having read and come to know a fraction of his father's work, I was curious as to what he was like as a man. And given that David lives in the world of wealth management, I wanted to spend time talking about what was actually so good about capitalism and wrong, even evil, about socialism.
Sin Boldly Episode 66
Are You Certain God Exists? With Sye Ten Bruggencate.
Christian (Presuppositional) Apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate (www.proofthatGodexists.org) stops in to take a look at a different way of thinking about our knowledge of God. Do we immediately know that God exists, or mediately know that God exists? Is it knowledge that every person possesses by virtue of their nature, or is it knowledge all people come to because it is so easily seen by natural revelation? We also look at how we can be certain of anything, and how we can know we can trust the Bible as a foundation for all knowledge. It was heady stuff for me, to be sure!
Sin Boldly Episode 65
Does God Love Everyone? A Debate on Calvinism.
Does God love everyone? In what way does he, if so? I was delighted to be joined by two very well known guests, Christian apologist Matt Slick and philosopher Jerry L. Walls. Walls' new book, "Does God Love Everyone" offers a stinging critique of Calvinism as a system that must admit that God simply doesn't love all people. Where does this leave the Calvinist, then, in understanding God? And is it in accordance with the scriptures? This debate got a little heated as both thinkers are passionate about their positions. Thanks to both for their time and their expertise in these matters!
Sin Boldly Episode 64
Lutherans and the Charismata
Have the charismatic gifts ceased? It's an interesting question that bears on Christ's Church this very day. Two Lutherans, myself and Pastor Jess Knauft of Immanuel Lutheran in Redondo Beach, CA, look at the ways in which particular gifts have ceased, whether the canon is closed, and if the office of Apostle is still open to the Church. We still have a lot left to discuss, but it was an interesting back and forth to get the ball rolling.
Sin Boldly Episode 63
The Costs of Christianity. State Churches, Trump and Bonhoeffer.
In this solo episode, I look at a handful of related stories: Pope Benedict XVI's comment's about the church tax in Germany, evangelical's public support for Donald Trump, and the trouble with speculating about what Bonhoeffer would do. Well, they're kind of related.
Sin Boldly Episode 62
Philosophy, Faith and Revelation. With Dr. Steven Pena.
Dr. Steven Pena of Saint Thomas University joined me to take a look at philosophy and faith. Yes, its a big topic, and as I am not a philosopher, we discussed some of the big issues at an introductory level. We also looked at the role of revelation in coming to know if God exists...yeah, it does matter. Like, a lot.
Sin Boldly Episode 61
Cult or Church? The Church of Wells with Rena Montedoro.
Many thanks to writer and filmmaker Rena Montedoro for joining me to take a look at the Church of Wells, a controversial church in a small Texas town that has managed to gather a lot of publicity, often for bad reasons. Rena's film to be released in the future is called Machine. We take a look at this small congregation and ask if it is a cult, and what makes something a cult in general. This congregation often has a presence at conferences and college campuses, and is a church we should definitely keep our eye on.
Sin Boldly Episode 60
Is There Grace Without God? Interview with Katherine Ozment.
Katherine Ozment, author of Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose and Belonging in a Secular Age, joins me to discuss the "Nones" or those no longer affiliated with any religious identity at all. Questions of worldview abound as well as what turns people off from religion. Is there a real hope that the Nones can become a unified group with meeting communities of their own? Can Christianity be effectively replaced?
Sin Boldly Episode 59
He Church Shopped 100 Churches...This is What He Found.
Buddy Griffin visited over 100 congregations as an anonymous church shopper. He followed the same protocol very time. He documented his findings in his book "What in Heaven is Going on at Church?" He joined me to talk about the book, all the things churches do wrong, and what they do right.
Sin Boldly 58
The Seven Levitical Festivals and Their Fulfillment, with Quincy Prickett.
Can you name all seven of the festivals as outlined in Leviticus 23? Well, we review them all here and their fulfillment, either in the life of Jesus or still to come. Quincy Prickett has made the study of the Old Testament part of his life's work, and he outlines the festivals. This is more of a Bible study than usual, but you'll probably learn a new thing or two. Thanks Quincy for your time!
Sin Boldly Episode 57
David Smalley, Evil and God's Goodness.
David Smalley of Dogma Debate dropped in for a chat on our apologetic efforts, evil and the goodness (or lack thereof) of God. I certainly appreciate that David can have a civil conversation on tough issues, and no doubt, he presses hard issues on the Christian to answer. In the end, I think these are more worldview questions, as none of us can possibly judge God if God, in fact, exists. But many thanks to David for dropping in and we'll have to do it again soon.
Sin Boldly Episode 56
Islam and Inconsistencies: An Interview with Former Muslim Dr. Mark Christian.
Very special guest Dr. Mark Christian of the Global Faith Institute (www.globalfaithinstitute.org) joined me to take a look at a topic for the first time on Sin Boldly: Islam. The nephew of a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr. Christian knows first hand the theology of Islam and its inconsistencies. He is sure to offend some with his strong words and his passion, but that is simply the nature of these claims. It is worth repeating here what Dr. Christian says several times in this episode: Muslims are the primary victims of Islam. A sequel or a trilogy will be a must!
Sin Boldly Episode 55
Christians Reckon with Trump.
Dr. Kevin Baird joins me to take a look at Wayne Grudem's endorsement of Trump and Baird's widely-read response. The basic question is: what are Christians to do with Trump given the conscience issues that he raises? What does it mean to have a Christian and biblical worldview as political beings? If you want to know hear what these evangelicals think of Trump, or if you are unsure what to do given the unusual nature of this election, this episode may be for you. Thanks to Dr. Baird for dropping in!
Sin Boldly Episode 54
Christ and Culture and Jesus Dundee.
This solo episode looks at the classic paradigms laid out by Richard Niebuhr of Christ and Culture. To what degree does Christ interact with culture? Or does he only stand opposed to it? What is our relationship to the culture? Should we try to convert it or survive as hermits? And did you know Jesus lives in Australia? Apparently, he's back, and he really was married to Mary Magdalene. Who knew?
Sin Boldly Episode 53
What to Ask a Theological Liberal and Cuckoo Clocks (!)
Back from a long vacation, I take a look at foundational questions to ask a theological liberal (and yourself as well while you're at it) so current arguments can be properly centered. I also deign to offer advice on buying German cuckoo clocks. Trust me, if you're ever in the cuckoo clock market, you'll thank me.
Sin Boldly Episode 52
Questions about Race, O.J. Simpson, and Testimonials.
In this solo episode, I take a look at the hard questions of race. Can we assess people as they are, or are we bound to really all be racists? What does Christianity have to say about race? I also take a brief look at the recent OJ documentary and whether testimonials are a good idea.
Sin Boldly Episode 51
Megachurch or Small Church? A Conversation with Karl Vaters of New Small Church.
I was delighted to be joined by Karl Vaters, host of the Pivot blog at Christianity Today, and of www.newsmallchurch.com. Karl is a defender of church health generally, but especially within small churches. Just because a church is not "mega" doesn't mean it isn't fulfilling its commission in God's Kingdom. Karl talks a lot about what makes a church healthy, the pitfalls of churches of all size, and how small churches can do ministry with confidence. Learn more at Karl's website or follow him on Facebook.
Sin Boldly Episode 50
Orlando, Social Justice as a Religion and the End of Discernment.
This solo episode looks at three topics: the Orlando shooting, an article on Social Justice as religion, and whether discernment is doing what I think it is.
Sin Boldly Episode 49
Honoring God Through Apologetics: An Interview with Sye Ten Bruggencate.
Following up on a debate on apologetic methods, I was honored that presuppositional apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate could come back on to discuss his apologetic more in-depth. Does his method honor God more than others? Is it more biblical than others? We also listen to a Lutheran discuss a Christ-centered apologetic and ask if it is more appropriate than philosophically-driven method. All-in-all, there's a lot of great stuff here. Agree or not, Sye will give anyone something to think about.
Sin Boldly Episode 48
Why Frank Schaeffer is Wrong About Abortion, Trump and Religion, and Insane Emoji Bibles.
I had a solo show again tonight and took a look at an interview with Francis Schaeffer's son, Frank, a convert from Christianity to atheism. I looked at this wrong arguments about abortion, but his (probably) astute thoughts about the relationship between evangelicals and politics. I also looked at a recent E.J. Dionne piece about the waning Christian influence within the GOP. Oh, and did you know Emoji Bibles are a thing now? Sad to say its true.
Sin Boldly Episode 47
Guns and Christians, 1 Year Anniversary.
I was all alone for this show so I shared a few thoughts about doing an apologetics show for about a year now and I reviewed an online dustup between John Piper and Joel McDurmon on Christians and gun control. If you're a believer and you ever wondered if you should be packin' heat, these articles will tell you what side you fall down on.
Sin Boldly Episode 46
Was Dietrich Bonhoeffer an Orthodox Christian? A Conversation with Drs. Richard Weikart and Victoria Barnett.
Two incredible scholars join me for an in-depth consideration of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor, spy an opponent of the Nazis. Dr. Richard Weikart and Dr. Victoria Barnett look at the ways Bonhoeffer is a product of his era and why he continues to speak to Christians today. At the heart of the question is how we assess historical figures in their own context and if judged by his context, Bonhoeffer remained an orthodox Christian. This is simply a must listen for all interested in Bonhoeffer. Many thanks to Drs. Weikart and Barnett for their time.
Sin Boldly Episode 45
Fake Psychics, Speaking in Tongues, and the Limits of Skepticism: An Interview with Dr. Karen Stollznow.
Author Karen Stollznow, Ph.D of the Monster Talk Podcast joined me to discuss her latest book, a novel, Hits and Mrs. The book tells the tale of a professional skeptic intent on bringing down a famous psychic medium. On the show we look at the techniques of fake psychics and even examine a John Edwards cold reading on Dr. Phil's show. With a Ph.D in Linguistics, we also briefly look at the phenomenon of speaking in tongues (just in time for Pentecost Sunday!) and discuss the limits of skepticism regarding all of Christianity. Thanks to Karen for sharing her time, and do check out the Monster Talk Podcast.
Sin Boldly Episode 44
Can Inflatable Dolls Be Angels? 2 Christians Vs. 1 Atheist.
Well, there's a challenge I've never heard before. Christian apologist Tom Peeler and atheist Geoff Berg joins Pastor Evan McClanahan in studio to look at common misunderstandings between believers and non-believers. This is a back-to-basics debate perhaps re-covering familiar ground, but among friends and with good humor. Everything from unusual sightings of angels (or not) to the real problem of suffering to God's sovereignty and divine prerogatives are on the table. Who made the best arguments?And why? Thanks to Geoff and Tom for offering their time and unmistakable talents.
Sin Boldly Episode 43
Sye Ten Bruggencate and Eric Hernandez Discuss Apologetic Methods.
I was very honored to have two apologists join me for a follow-up discussion on apologetic methods. Classical apologist Eric Hernandez and Presuppositional Apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate discuss and debate why they have adopted their methods.
Sin Boldly Episode 42
Two Fools and Christians Lacking Confidence.
This solo episode looks at two fools, Bill Maher who believes churches should now be taxed, and Donald Trump whose favorite Bible verse is "an eye for an eye." We also take a look at the trend of trying to convert popular figures to Christ, and what this says about our confidence in God.
Sin Boldly Episode 41
The Decline of the Mainline...and Why. With Tom Brock.
Pr. Tom Brock of www.pastorsstudy.org is my guest as we look at the theological decline of Mainline Protestantism. For years, Tom has studied just where the mainline churches have gone wrong, and we cover a wide range of social, moral and Biblical issues.
Sin Boldly Episode 40
A Chesterton Lovefest: An Introduction to GK Chesterton.
GK Chesterton is one of the 20th centuries greatest thinkers, writers and apologists. He wittily and wonderfully framed the Christian worldview as the sane one and the materialist worldview as the one that needed defending. We introduce the man and his work on episode and it will definitely encourage you to read more. Thanks to friends Pastor Matthew Voyer and Justin Baker for sharing their love for GK.
Sin Boldly Episode 39
Two Street Preachers Walk into a Radio Studio. With Robert Gray and Mike Stockwell of Cross Country Evangelism.
A couple of bona fide street preachers and evangelists were in Houston over the weekend for the Final Four and I was able to get them in studio for a bonus episode of Sin Boldly. To learn more about their ministry, check out their website, http://www.crosscountryevangelism.com. Robert and Mike are Reformed in their theology and embrace a presuppositional approach to apologetics. Listen to hear of their experiences and the reasons they do what they do.
Sin Boldly Episode 38
More than Sexuality: Why Mainline Protestantism is Divided. An Interview with Pastor Clint Schnekloth.
This episode features an interview with ELCA pastor Clint Schnekloth. It explores the differences between the varying traditions that have led to splits among mainline Protestants, Lutherans included. Topics explored are liberation and liberal theologies, exploring what Law/Gospel theology means today, and yes topics of sexuality and abortion.
Sin Boldly Episode 37
A Debate: Presuppositional Vs. Classical Apologetics with Jason Wang and Eric Hernandez.
This episode features a debate on the two most prominent apologetic methods employed by Christians: Presuppositional and Classical. A rarely-held, but oft-discussed topic, this debate lays the basic groundwork for why there are different camps in the apologetics world. Thanks to Jason Wang and Eric Hernandez for joining me in studio.
Sin Boldly Episode 36
A Debate: Can Christians be for Bernie Sanders?
This episode features a debate between yours truly and Fr. John Nelson, an Orthodox deacon who hosts the Facebook page "Christians for Bernie Sanders." We have a friendly debate about the Christian values and how the influences our political choices. We look at the military and foreign policy, taxation and economics, socialism at large, and, of course, abortion and marriage. How can a Christian who differs from Bernie Sanders so much support him? And is it possible he's right?
Sin Boldly Episode 35
Bonhoeffer's Seminary Vision with Dr. Paul House.
In this episode, we interview Dr. Paul R. House, author of Bonhoeffer's Seminary Vision about his latest book. This book looks again at the life of Bonhoeffer from 1935-1940 when he served as director of the illegal Confessing Church seminary in Nazi Germany. What lessons does Bonhoeffer's model and vision have for us today? What might it teach us about online seminary options? Dr. House offers a wonderful summary of Bonhoeffer's life, times and seminary as well as contextualization for today's seminary (and beyond!) contexts. Thanks also to Dr. Wes Jackson of Houston's Center for Public History for joining me in studio.
Sin Boldly Episode 34
A Dagger Through the Heart of the Charismatic Movement. With Dr. Sam Waldron.
This episode reviews a debate held at First Lutheran (and available on the podcast feed) between Matt Slick and Dr. Sam Waldron on the charismatic gifts. There are several reasons to believe these gifts have ceased, but this episode focuses on the two Greek words for gift (doma and charisma) and asks if the gift of apostleship is one or the other. If apostleship can be definitively proven to be a charismatic gift, and that gift can definitively be said to have ceased, then such charismatic gifts can cease. If that is the case, we are warranted to believe other charismatic gifts may have also fulfilled their purpose in time and also have ceased. Furthermore, reliance on the Word of God as a sufficient means of grace follows from such a view. This episode features Dr. Sam Waldron and is a fantastic summary of why the gifts of apostleship, tongues, healing and prophecy have ceased in the modern day, and most importantly, why we can trust we have God's sufficient Word for today.
Sin Boldly Episode 33
A Debate: Should Babies Be Baptized?
This episode of Sin Boldly features a radio debate between two friends: Lutheran Pastor and scholar Dr. Scott Murray of Memorial Lutheran Church and School in Houston and Reformed Baptist Dr. Sam Waldron, Dean and Professor of Systematic Theology at Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary. While both men agree on many Reformation doctrines, why do they part company on who can be baptized? This debate is a great introduction to the topic and will drive you into the scriptures and the constant exploration of God's grace.
Sin Boldly Episode 32
A Debate on the Dating of the Gospels Featuring Dr. Craig Evans and Matthew Wade Ferguson.
This radio debate between New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Evans of Houston Baptist University and soon-to-be Classics Ph.D Matthew Ferguson looks at when the Gospels were written and why it matters. Were the synoptics written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses? Or long after, combining some elements of history with some elements of myth? Do the Gospels correspond to what we know about the context of the ancient world and might that point to the authenticity of Jesus' person? Or were the authors of the Gospels writing what they wanted to satisfy their bias. This interesting back and forth begins to answer those critical questions. Enjoy! Learn more about Craig Evans at http://craigaevans.com and Matthew Ferguson at http://adversusapologetica.wordpress.com/.
Sin Boldly Episode 31
Is Trump a Christian? Does It Matter?
This episode is devoted mostly to The Donald. It asks a fundamental question for those who care: is he really a Christian? How can we tell one way or another. The episode briefly looks at other candidates and closes with an essay from an atheist who defends the Judeo-Christian roots of American society. This is definitely one to share with Christians considering voting for Trump.
Sin Boldly Episode 30
Is Demonic Possession a Spiritual or a Psychological Reality?
This episode of Sin Boldly looks at Demonic Possession and asks if it is a spiritual or psychological reality. With very special guests Father Gary Thomas and Bryan and Baxter (www.bryanandbaxter.com), we traverse the world of the supernatural. One surprise is how much agreement there is among the speakers as we also look at some of the more extreme and non-Roman Catholic practices out there. Enjoy!
Sin Boldly Episode 29
Joel Osteen Review, Jediism (yes, Jediism), Megachurches, Contemporary Worship and Recalling the Reformation.
No guest on the show today so a hodgepodge of topics. We take a quick look at Joel Osteen's latest sermon, the Jediism phenomenon sweeping the globe, the necessary arguments in the contemporary v. traditional worship divide, and Rome seeking to "recall the Reformation."
Sin Boldly Episode 28
Christian Science: A Different View of Reality or Faith Healing?
This episode of Sin Boldly features an interview with former Christian Scientist Linda Kramer. She examines her life in this cult, its history and beliefs, the differences between it and other "faith healing" ministries, and the good news that orthodox Christianity offered her. She references http://www.christianway.org as well as http://ffcsministry.org.
Sin Boldly Episode 27
Are Jehovah's Witnesses Christian? With Pastor Phil Gagnon.
Pastor Phil Gagnon joins Pastor McClanahan again to discuss another of the major theological derivations of Christianity, Jehovah's Witnesses. You know them as those who are wiling to knock on your door. But what do they actually believe? This episode is a concise summary of their beliefs, especially as they are different from orthodox Christianity.
Sin Boldly Episode 26
Mormonism: Is it Christian? Is it True? With Pastor Phil Gagnon.
This episode is a bit of a primer on Mormonism. It is an overview of the history and theology of the LDS Church, an important arrow in every Christian apologist's quiver. Pastor Phil Gagnon joins me to lend his expertise to the conversation.
Sin Boldly Episode 25
The Accidents of Christmas.
This Christmas episode looks at the accidents of Christmas, or the peripheral distractions that compete with the real deal. It also examines how Christmas ended up on the 25th of December.
Sin Boldly Episode 24
The God of Philosophy Meets the God of the Bible.
This episode concludes the trilogy with Tom Peeler which justifies belief in the revealed God of the Bible via logical inference and simple observation. Tom is the President of Reasons to Believe, Houston and a great apologist here in Houston.
Sin Boldly Episode 23
The (Ancient) History of Abortion.
Pastor and Historian Dennis Di Mauro joins Pastor M for an oft-neglected look at abortion, its history from ancient times to modern. The influence of Christianity on the protection of young life is impossible to ignore. They also contextualize the social catastrophes that have taken place with the massive use of abortion for sex selection in Asia.
Sin Boldly Episode 22
In-Depth Debrief on the Soul Debate. With Eric Hernandez.
In case you haven't heard enough about the existence of the soul (!) Pastor M. and Eric Hernandez do a recap of his debate with Matt Dillahunty on the existence of the soul. In a debate, there is only so much ground that can be covered. We did an extra long podcast to cover more ground in-depth and revisit some of the more difficult teachings found in the debate.
Sin Boldly Episode 21
Leaving the Charismatic Movement. With Dan Cogen.
Dan Cogen joins Pastor M. again, this time to look at the scriptural problems with the Charismatic movement. Growing up in the movement, Dan began to question whether it conforms to the life of the Church the Bible describes in the post-apostolic age. You can visit Dan's website here: http://www.dancogan.com.
Sin Boldly Episode 20
Is Christianity a Religion?
Some say Christianity is just another religion. But what if it merely makes and has common religious elements? Christians who believe the only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ should not put Christianity on par with other religions but should understand their faith as the revelation of the one true God? Or else we are condemned to the likes of Oprah who seek to relativize all religious truth, making them all useless. And what of bad religion? We'll look at that too, including the exorcism of the entire nation of Mexico. What?!
Sin Boldly Episode 19
Should Christians be Capitalists? With Peter Johnson.
When the word capitalism is used, images of greedy fat cats getting rich at the expense of the poor is what often comes to mind. Or at best, many Christians are closet capitalists, afraid or unable to defend capitalism as an actual moral good. Peter Johnson from the Acton Institute (www.acton.org) visits the studio to look at whether or not Christians can and should be advocates of free market economics.
Sin Boldly Episode 18
Is Joel Osteen a Christian Preacher?
Given that Sin Boldly is recorded in Houston, it was time to do a Joel Osteen sermon review. After all, the show is a combination of Christian apologetics, current events and discernment. I don't like it, but its your right to reject Christianity. But at least reject true Christianity, if you must. Not preaching that never mentions the core of the faith. The show begins with some parameters for what Christian preaching even is and what it should strive to do.
Sin Boldly Episode 17
The Reformation(S) That Changed the World. With Dr. Richard Johnson.
Church historian Dr. Richard Johnson joins Evan in the studio to discuss the reformations of the 16th century that had a profound impact on the world. This is a great podcast to set the stage for the various reformation movements that would lay the groundwork for many of the church bodies that exist today. It also looks at some of the reform that took place within the Roman Catholic church. Hence, reformation(S) of the 16th century.
Sin Boldly Bonus Episode
What is Time? With Pastor Gary Driver.
Everyone assumes they know what time is. But that question is a hotly debated topic and has large ramifications for apologetics, offering proofs for God's existence, and more. Time is either real, it actually is moving forward and therefore has a past that originated at a point, or it is just an illusion. Joined by Pastor Gary Driver who has offered a book by the same name as this podcast, Pastor M. opens the door to this large and complex topic.
Sin Boldly Episode 16
A Liturgical Apologetic (Say that Five Times Fast). With Dr. Frank Senn.
Why do Christians - at least some of them - use traditional liturgy in worship? When did it begin and what are its origins? Is it idolatry in some way, or simply an orderly expression of what Christians believe. Liturgical scholar Frank Senn (www.frank-answers.com) joins pastor M. to offer an apologetic for Christian Liturgy. Enjoy!
Sin Boldly Episode 15
Bonhoeffer: A Hero for What Cause? With Dr. Jonathan Sorum.
Dr. Jonathan Sorum joins Pastor M. for this week's Sin Boldly radio program. Dr. Sorum, a scholar of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, looks at the main foci of Bonhoeffer's life and work, a commitment to being a true follower of Jesus in spite of the costs. As one of the most important theologians and public figures of the 20th century, this is a great primer and introduction to the life and work of Bonhoeffer. More will come! Thanks to Dan Cogen for his musical offering.
Sin Boldly Episode 14
Demons, Exorcism, Witches and More! With Pastor Phil Gagnon.
Pastor M and Pastor Phil Gagnon from Saint Albert, Alberta, Canada discuss the rite and need for exorcism. While a rare rite to be performed, Pr. Gagnon argues it is still needed in the world. After all, the scriptures do say that “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Plus, forays into witchcraft and the proliferation of so-called ghost hunters.
Sin Boldly Episode 13
The Journey Away from Contemporary Worship Music. With Dan Cogen.
When Dan Cogen's blogpost about his journey away from contemporary worship music went viral, he joined the ranks of many who have been questioning the use of contemporary music. This podcast looks at what drives musical styles for the act of worship, and looks at the theology behind those choices. As one who has spent two decades in worship leadership, Dan has seen at all and tells his story here. This is not a contemporary music bashing session, but an examination about what kind of contemporary music is appropriate and why, and why hymns (and the psalms!) make for great worship music.
Sin Boldly Episode 12
Church Architecture and Why it Matters. With Architect Julien Meyrat.
Pastor M. interviews architect Julien Meyrat to talk church architecture and a bit about architecture generally. The interview covers historical trends in church architecture and looks at what churches can do to maximize their design dollars while not forsaking beauty.
Sin Boldly Episode 11
Abortion and its Effects with Dr. Jim Lamb.
In this episode, Pastor McClanahan discusses the controversial subject of abortion and its effects with Dr. Jim Lamb of Lutherans for Life. The wide-ranging conversation looks at the question of when life begins, post-abortive counseling, abortion in the case of the mother's health, the role of the Gospel concerning this issue and much more. This episode is a great primer for those who aren't sure what to think of the issue and a review for those who have studied it already. To learn more about Lutherans for Life, visit their website at www.lutheransforlife.org.
Sin Boldly Episode 10
Does The Soul Exist? With Eric Hernandez.
This episode explores whether or not the soul exists. Many Christians assume it does, but atheists absolutely cannot. For in the naturalist or materialist worldview, only physical things exist. By the way, do dogs have souls? You might be surprised at the answer. Thanks to Eric Hernandez for lending his time and mind to the topic!
Sin Boldly Episode 9
God Exists - The Logical Outworking of Existence. With Tom Peeler.
Tom Peeler drops in again to continue the conversation from Episode 2. Observing that we exist and that there are certain laws of logic, we work to understand the implications of those observations, i.e. what kind of being could bring this about? We conclude by logically inferring the characteristics of such a being. This sets the stage perfectly for exploring the God that is revealed in the Bible...which we'll get to next time. First things first!
Sin Boldly Episode 8
The 1983 Bob Jones University Supreme Court Case.
Since trilogies are convenient media bundles, consider this show the completion of a same-sex marriage trilogy. This episode focuses on a somewhat obscure, but probably soon-to-be-cited Supreme Court case from 1983. The case looks at how and why the Supreme Court ruled against Bob Jones University continuing to maintain its tax exempt status after banning interracial marriage. (We agree with the Supreme Court, by the way.) Of particular importance is the language used in the decision and an examination if such language could be used today. The purpose of this episode is to get ahead of arguments relating to the tax exempt status of religious organizations in the future.
Sin Boldly Episode 7
Going Atomic on Oppenheimer...Not That Oppenheimer.
This show zeros in on an article that went viral after the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage. Written by Mark Oppenheimer for Time Magazine, the article argues for the end of tax exemption for non-profits. This show will go through it line by line, challenging his assumptions and defending the work of non-profits, especially religious organizations. If this is the next battle that religious non-profits could face, this podcast will help you get ahead of the arguments and recognize them when they come.
Sin Boldly Episode 6
The Same Sex Marriage Episode.
Recorded soon after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling, this show focuses on the nature of marriage and the defense of the Church's understanding of it. This show does contain candid discussion about married life, so parents may want to listen to it before sharing it with young children.
Sin Boldly Episode 5
Introduction to the Resurrection Minimal Facts and a Word on Tithing.
In this episode, Pastor M - technical difficulties with the music and all - offers a brief introduction to the "minimal facts" argument for the resurrection. Developed primarily - or most fully - by Dr. Gary Habermas, the minimal facts argument uses a baseline approach to paint the deniers of the resurrection into a corner. There is also a word on the tyranny of the tithe.
Sin Boldly Episode 4
The Moral Argument for God. With Eric Hernandez.
Pastor M. and a Christian apologist break down the moral argument for God's existence. Eric is an experienced debater in the Houston area and considers the most common objections to this argument for God's existence.
Sin Boldly Episode 3
An Introduction to New Testament Textual Integrity and a Word on Megachurches.
Pastor M. offers a brief summary of good reasons to believe the New Testament documents we have are what the authors wanted us to have. Oh, and a quick word about megachurches.
Sin Boldly Episode 2
Existence as a Proof for God. With Tom Peeler.
In the second episode of The Sin Boldly Podcast, Tom Peeler and Pastor M. discuss the existence of God by using the most minimal observation possible, our own existence. Tom is the president of the local Reasons to Believe chapter in Houston.
Sin Boldly Episode 1
Where Did All the Christians Go?
In his first podcast with KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston, Pastor Evan McClanahan introduces the podcast and takes a look at this year's Pew Research Poll. You know, the poll findings that show fewer Americans are Christian are more and more are not affiliated. The poll findings that make most pastors curl up in the fetal position in the corner of their office for an entire week. Pastor M. offers some legitimate - and not so legitimate - reasons why Americans are leaving church behind.