Top 10 List: Podcasts

Today, I give you a top 10 list: my favorite podcasts (and why I listen).  I have links to each of these (except one) if you want to start listening as well.

10. Leadership Momentum – Chris Brown hosts this podcast.  I listen and get a few nuggets from this show, but generally speaking it isn’t enough to warrant faithful listening.  I listen because I want to improve my leadership, but much of the show tends to fall in leadership that is outside of my task.  Though it is a Christian show, it deals a lot more with issues with which I currently am not dealing.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good podcast; it just means that not all shows are relevant to me.

9. Rainer on Leadership – Tom Rainer (President of Lifeway) is the host of this podcast.  It is geared more toward pastors and church staff leadership.  Anyone could benefit from these though, especially if you want to encourage your pastor/staff to grow in leadership.  If you’re a stats guy, this is the podcast for you.  If you want to know how leadership in the church should work together to build unity, this is the podcast for you.  There are a ton of guests (authors, musicians, pastors, leaders, etc.) on this podcast.  It is definitely worth the listen.  There is a new podcast every Tuesday and Friday.

8. The Look and Sound of Leadership – Tom Henschel is the host of this podcast. It is about leadership plain and simple.  It isn’t a Christian podcast, but a leadership podcast.  It is like having an executive coach in your phone.  I have been listening to it for a few months now and find it very helpful.  The great thing about this podcast is that it only comes out once a month and Henschel’s style is top notch.  Half the podcast is a story of his coaching someone, and the last is the explanation and clarification of what was going on in the story, thus giving some important insights of how one should lead.  These two methods work great for getting the lesson to stick.  If you’re in leadership, listen to this podcast.

7. Ask Pastor John – John Piper is one of the greatest pastors/preachers (in my opinion) of the twentieth/twenty-first century.  In this podcast, he allows people to email him tough questions and he picks one to answer.  I always enjoy hearing his answers.  I’m not always 100% in agreement with him, but he is always thorough and thought-provoking.  Most podcasts are around 10 minutes are so.  They are released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

6. Preaching and Preachers – Jason K. Allen (President of Midwest Baptist Theological Seminary) is the host of this podcast.  It is as it sounds: a podcast dedicated to preachers and the task of preaching.  I have never thought I wasted my time listening to this podcast.  Dr. Allen does an exceptional job hosting and interviewing guests.  He will sometimes be the one interviewed as well.  Topics have included: prayer life, sermon application, biblical languages, and rest.  If you’re a preacher, then this will help you immensely.

5. Help Me Teach The Bible – This is a Gospel Coalition podcast, hosted by Nancy Guthrie.  I’ve only just recently started listening to this podcast, but it has been helpful in Bible study preparation.  There have been many ideas and lessons that have been tucked away for future studies and lessons as well.  Even if one is not a teacher, this podcast teaches much about the Bible and is therefore helpful in growing in biblical knowledge.

4. The Briefing – Dr. Albert Mohler (President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the host of this news briefing podcast.  He generally takes three (maybe four) news items of the day and speaks to them from a Christian worldview.  He helps the listener develop a keen sense of what it means to look at events from a biblical mindset.  I never miss an episode (Mondays-Fridays).  These are about 20 minutes long or so.  Incidentally he also has a podcast called Thinking in Public.  This one is simply him interviewing an author about a book or current subject matter.  These are longer (about 1 hour) and very sporadic.

Top Three Podcasts!!

3. The Art of Manliness – This is by no means a male-chauvinistic podcast.  While there are many episodes that deal with men and men’s interests, these podcasts could be listened to by anyone at any age.  It’s almost as if the host, Brett McKay, sits around and says, “I wonder why _______ is this way.”  He’ll read about it, and then interview the person he just read.  I’m sure there is much more sophistication that goes into the podcast than what I described, but one thing is for sure: I have never listened to a bad episode….ever!  There are shows on samurais, learning, rucking, reading, governments, empires, meeting and greeting, and the list goes on.  My advice: download and listen, listen, listen.

2. The Pastor Discussion Podcast – This podcast is fairly new (only 10 episodes as of this moment of writing).  It has catapulted to the number 2 spot.  John Hawkins and Joe Marino host this one together.  It is usually a discussion (hence the name) between the two of them, though they have interviewed others as well.  If you’ve ever wanted to be a fly on the wall when pastors get together and talk (and who hasn’t!?), then this is the podcast for you.  Seriously, I find these two to be full of truth and grace, and even funny at times.  Definitely worth the download and listen.  This one is so new they don’t have a website.  Just look up “The Pastor Discussion Podcast” on your podcast provider.

1. She Proves Faithful – I know! This one is for women, but it really isn’t (for the most part).  Anyone can learn from Lauren Hlushak.  I find myself at one moment literally laughing out loud and then brought to utter silence as she drives her point home.  I have learned so much from this woman!  If there is one podcast that you listen to on a regular basis (every Tuesday), then this is the one you must–absolutely must–listen to.

That’s it!  Those are my top 10 podcasts.  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Which podcasts made your top 10 (or 5) list?  Which one of these 10 will you try?  I’m always looking for good things to listen to, so let me know.

If You Can, Must You?

I recently saw “Black Panther” and I must admit that this is probably the best Marvel Movie in my humble opinion to date.  Many are praising this movie, and to be honest, I haven’t read one article or review by others.  These are just my thoughts that the movie brought to my mind.  I am not that deep of a guy, so I would say that this was the main question the movie was asking: If you can, must you?

The plot of the movie involves the Wakunda nation of Africa. They have a mountain of vibranium which allows the people to have advanced technologies, and the king to have the strength of a panther.  The question that continues to be asked is if the country has the obligation to help others less fortunate that they.

I am not going to spoil any more of the movie for the readers, but I want to think through the answer biblically, or at least present a biblical response.

This response flows out of Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it,” (ESV) .  of course, this raises the question as to whom does our food belong.  Context dictates that those to whom it is due is to our neighbor.  The very next verse says, “Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it‘–when you have it with you,” (Prov. 3:28, ESV: emphasis mine).  The neighbor is to whom it (the good) is due.

The next question then is: who is my neighbor.  If you’re a believer, you know from where this answer comes. Jesus made it clear that everyone is our neighbor, or at very least, everyone in need is our neighbor.

The only question that is left is to ask if what is true for the individual is true for a nation.   This is a bit trickier, but I believe that the Bible, though not explicit, shows yes.  There is at least precident for saying it is true.

When Joshua was leading the Israelites into Canaan, the people as individuals(and as a whole) were instructed not to take anything. Scan however did take some items. An individual did the deed, but the nation was responsible  “But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel,” (Joshua 7:1, ESV).  One individual, one nation.

Another thought is that an individual must follow after Yahweh, but the nation’s are as well.  We see this in the Psalms, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage,” (33:12, ESV).  This verse comes on the heels of verses 10-11 that clearly juxtaposes nations who reject the LORD and those that do not.  Likewise, we as individuals are to receive Christ as Savior and Lord, but we are called to make disciples out of all nations.  (Cf. Matthew 28:19)

I am not so naive as to think that the answer (or at least the implementation of the answer) is so simple.  However, I still would argue for the necessity of a people doing what they are able to help those who are not: their neighbor.  These abilities must also take other factors into consideration.  A person should not be the surety of another, “Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts, (Prov. 22:26, ESV).  A nation should not go into debt for another nation.  However, should one sacrifice for the good of others?  Though we are not under Israelite law, we can learn and apply principles from it.  The landowners could not harvest from the edges of the field and could not pick up anything that was dropped in the field. It was left behind for the poor and hungry.  They had to sacrifice their abundance for those in need.  Should we not as well?  There are still more things that need to be factored in as well.  More than any of us I am sure could imagine.

Let’s say a nation was overtaken by famine and the people were starving. The British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs received the report, but ignored it.  The U.S. Secretary of State received the same report, and thus ignored it too. But North Korea’s minister received the report and sent aid to help fill the hungry people.  Which one of these is the neighborly nation?

I simply go back to Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it,” (ESV) .

Recommended Blogs

I am on vacation this week, so I figured that rather than writing a blog myself, I’d recommend a few to read:

1. PASTORAL – this is from TGC about why we should support freedom of religion for all religions. 

2. PARENTING – this is from Gloria Furman about how a busy mom can be a better theologian. 

3. PRAISE – this is not so much a blog as it is an interview but it is worth the listen. It is on worship and finding unity in worship styles. 

4. Podcast – this obviously isn’t a blog, but I still recommend Matt Robertson’s “Coffee + Confessions” where you get the privilege of listening to historic confessions of the faith. Definitely a podcast to subscribe to. (The link is to iTunes only.)