EPISODE #116: Ted asks about what single book Christians should aim to make sure to read. Rod talks about the state of education in Luther’s day and what value such a teaching tool had for an illiterate citizenry, what this one book (or almost a pamphlet) was able to do for Christian believers very rapidly, and what role it had…
My hand has been causing me to sin lately. Should I cut it off?
EPISODE #115: Ted asks about what Jesus said about removing body parts if they’re causing him to sin. Rod talks about what Jesus reveals to us about our true fallen nature and how much we need a savior to rescue us, how dark our inherited sin is, and that we can trust that the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection is true.
If I’ve been forgiven do I need more forgiveness?
EPISODE #114: Ted asks about if the Christian needs continued forgiveness if he or she has already been forgiven. Rod talks about God the gracious Giver and we no more than sinful recipients, and Dad’s own need for forgiveness and basing his understanding of that need in God’s word.
Can infants have saving faith?
EPISODE #113: Ted asks about whether our youngest children are capable of having saving faith, referencing Matthew 21:15-16. Rod talks about how he used to have his students study all the Scripture verses on baptism, what God says about children and faith, and Jesus’ response to the idea of kids being prevented from coming to Him.
How does the cross work?
EPISODE #112: Ted asks how Jesus’ atonement and sacrifice on the cross works. Rod talks about several important books on the subject, about adoption, reconciliation, propitiation, imputed righteousness, how Melanchthon and Luther tangled on the subject, and what it means for sinners to be reckoned AS IF righteous in this life.
What does it mean ‘the power of sin is the law’?
EPISODE #111: Ted asks about what Paul meant regarding the relationship between sin and the law. Rod talks about how the law affects the sinner, the realities of our sinful condition when we think about improvement, where salvation must come from, and considers the quality of people with whom Jesus spent His time.
When Scripture says ‘the letter kills’, does that mean we shouldn’t take Scripture literally?
EPISODE #110: Ted asks about 2 Corinthians 3:6 and how literally we should interpret Scripture. Rod talks about what sinners bring to their faith and salvation, the importance of having a law/Gospel distinction, and why reading Scripture correctly and well and accurately is important.
Is Jesus truly raised from the dead or is it a fairytale?
EPISODE #109: Ted asks about whether or not Jesus is actually risen from the dead. Rod talks about how the claims of Christianity could theoretically be overthrown, and returns to the powerful historical evidence behind the truth of Christ’s resurrection actually taking place in human history.
What is the most important thing we learn about atonement from the Scriptures?
EPISODE #108: Ted asks about what the Bible tells us about Jesus Christ and atonement. Rod talks about what’s going on on the cross, what Jesus went though, why it needed to happen, and what makes Christianity Christianity.
How can I be assured of my salvation now if only ‘he who endures to the end shall be saved’?
EPISODE #107: Ted asks about assurance in light of Matthew 24:13, when we don’t feel like we’re enduring. Rod talks about the struggle being typical for sinners who are sensitive to their inner disobedience and their disinclination to Christ, but then speaks of good news for such people, including confirmation of what believers faithfully do in their vocations every day.
Do we need to give things up for Lent?
EPISODE #106: Ted asks about whether Christians should give things up for Lent. Rod offers up some different conversations like, “How does the cross work? Why is the cross so important in Christianity?”, and the words that are associated with it: Reconciliation, Adoption, and the idea of Substitution.
Can I commit the ‘unpardonable sin’ and not know I’ve done it?
EPISODE #105: Ted asks about the ‘unpardonable sin’ we read about in Luke 12:10. Rod talks about how little textual clarification we get about that verse, where Scripture talks about apostasy, the importance of the ‘means of grace’ in regard to ‘God’s answer to our fretting’, and why it is important that it is the Object of our faith that…
What does it mean ‘while we were yet sinners Christ died for us’?
EPISODE #104: Ted asks about what the Romans 5:8 verse means. Rod talks about the effect that the law has on sinners and what it makes sinners do, and that, though sinners may be tempted to think the law enables them to follow it, it actually has an opposite effect, and where sinners are to go for assurance of salvation…
What is gospel reductionism?
EPISODE #103: Ted asks about what the term ‘gospel reductionism’ means. Rod talks about Dr. John Montgomery coining the term, the importance of a high view of Scripture, from the first century to the eighteenth, and about the tangles that were had in the LCMS relatively recently over the view of Scripture and inerrancy and its inspiration from God, and…
What does it mean to have cheap law?
EPISODE #102: Ted asks about what cheap law means, particularly in the face of the idea of cheap grace. Rod talks about sinners’ inclination to lower the demands of the law so that we can meet those demands, and just what our real inherited ‘sin condition’ is and why we truly need rescue, and are, in reality, incapable of even…
Do sins need to be forgiven after conversion?
EPISODE #101: Ted asks if Christians need forgiveness after conversion. Rod talks about what St. Paul describes about his Christian faith in Romans 7 and his struggles with his sin while remaining faithful, and God’s forgiving nature, and what it means for Christians to be regularly and constantly forgiven for their sins throughout their whole lives, even while they believe…
Can a pastor, or anyone other than God for that matter, forgive sins?
EPISODE #100: Ted asks about whether we can forgive one another in the name of Jesus Christ and if that is God’s real forgiveness. Rod talks about where believers are given that ability, from Scripture, and whether only called pastors and priests can forgive sins in Christ’s stead, or if any believer can.
What is the Lutheran position on discipleship?
EPISODE #99: Ted asks about what discipleship looks like in Lutheranism. Rod talks about law and the Gospel, the message we can sometimes receive from church about discipleship, and investigates it through the Lutheran doctrine of vocation and Christian liberty.
Is the main difference between the Old Testament and New the fact that God empowers us in the New?
EPISODE #98: Ted asks about what God empowers believers with in the New Testament versus the Old Testament. Rod talks about what preachers and teachers should look for (and find) in both the Old and New Testaments and what their focus should on be for sinners.
Is the Great Commission central in Lutheranism, and if so what does a disciple look like?
EPISODE #97: Ted asks about the Lutheran position on discipleship under the Great Commission in Lutheranism. Rod talks about what the Bible is about, how churches can fail in their message, and discusses what effect teaching with a focus on law has on believers, versus teaching with a focus on Christ and His Gospel.
If the Holy Spirit tells me to evangelize someone in a mall and I don’t do it, is it a sin?
EPISODE #96: Ted asks about what it means if he avoids doing something he feels the Holy Spirit has told him to do. Rod talks about the reformers’ position on direct revelation, outside of Scripture, and why Sola Scriptura is important. And yet Dad also confirms the Great Commission and looks at it through the lens of the Lutheran Doctrine…
It’s presently Epiphany on the church calendar. Why is it considered the apologist’s Sunday of the year?
EPISODE #95: Ted asks about apologetics and the connection to the day Epiphany in the church year. Rod talks about how Epiphany is the time when Jesus officially ‘went public’ with His ministry, starting with a miracle, and that the early church always argued that the truth of the Gospel was based on fulfilled prophecy and on miracle.
Why do Christians put so much import on Christmas?
EPISODE #94: Ted asks about what it is about Christmas that causes Christians everywhere to make such a big deal out of it. Rod talks about the beginning of the story of our redemption and what Jesus later said he came to do, and that if the Christian faith is true, this is the happiest news of all time. “The…
If you find parallels to the Christmas story in pagan mythology, does that make Christianity a myth?
EPISODE #93: Ted asks about what the true connection is between what is considered pagan mythology and symbols and some things Christians enjoy during Christmas. Rod talks about C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and the work they did in myth and storytelling, and where the burden of proof lies regarding the connection between the Christianity and mythology, and the potency…
I looked back after setting my hand to the plow. Am I done for?
EPISODE #92: Ted asks about what hope there is for those who have failed Jesus’ admonition in Luke 9:62. Rod talks about the reality of all sinners’ condition, and the truth that all sinners are not ‘fit for the kingdom of God’, but that there is yet hope in Christ for all such unfit sinners.