Basic Bible Podcast Episode 019 – Discipleship, Part 3


Perhaps this podcast could be better labeled, the “Lost Episode.” Last year Ray Jewell and I sat down to record an episode about discipleship.  That one episode quickly turned into three before we knew as the conversation just kept going and we were having a blast doing it.  However, that third episode never aired.  The reason is because for somehow part of the recording was actually lost.  I’m still now sure what happened.  But, some of you have been asking about it so I decided to take what I did have and add a few comments, and thus we have episode 19.  So, in this final segment about discipleship, Ray share a few thoughts on how to apply this practically and then I wrap things up with a few book recommendations.

Recommended Resources

Christ’s Call to Discipleship by James M. Boice

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples by Francis Chan

Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches That Make Disciples by Jim Putman

Walking as Jesus Walked: Making Disciples the Way Jesus Did by Dann L. Spader


Basic Bible Podcast Episode 18 – Worship

For some the idea of worship conjures up images of raised hands, a great guitar riff or maybe an old, out-of-tune organ cranking out some of the great hymns of the faith. But, as we will see in this week’s episode, worship is not limited to a style of music but also describes a life lived in response to the greatness of God. This week’s guest is Josh Calhoun, the Student Ministry Director at Central Christian Church in Beloit, WI. Yet, if you are familiar with Josh, it is probably because he is a member of the Christian band Citizen Way. I know I say this every week, but you won’t want to miss this episode. I had a ton of fun chatting with Josh and I know it will be worth your time to listen.

Basic Bible Podcast Episode 17 – Presuppositional Apologetics with Dr. John Frame


II Corinthians 10:5 explains that “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”  On this episode we will be talking about presuppositional apologetics, a defense of the Christian faith that seeks to tear down objections and uphold the Word of God.  We are honored to have Dr. John Frame on the program this week to discuss this topic with us.  Dr. Frame serves as J.D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando.

Recommended Resources:

Every Thought Captive by Richard Pratt

Apologetics for the Glory of God by John Frame

Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought by John Frame

Redeeming Philosophy: A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions by Vern S. Poythress

A History of Western Philosophy and Theology by John Frame

The Defense of the Faith by by Cornelius Van Til


Basic Bible Podcast 016 – The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

Snapshot dresen

Happy New Year from the Basic Bible Podcast!  As many people reflect on their New Year’s resolutions today, we’re going to be focusing on the resolutions of perhaps the greatest theologian born in America, Jonathan Edwards.  When Edwards was just 19 years old, he sat out to write a list of guiding principles that would give direction to his life.  If you know anything about Edwards, you know he was passionate for God and resolutions show us just that.  To discuss this with us is Pastor Steven Dresen of Cedar Hill Baptist Church in East Brewton, AL.  A special thanks is due to Pastor Dresen as he was a last minute fill-in for a guest that had to cancel and then patiently put up with a few recording/internet troubles I was having.

Read all of the 70 Resolutions here.


Recommended Resources:

Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell by John H. Gerstner

Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards

God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards by John Piper

Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography by Iain H. Murray

Simplify Your Spiritual Life: Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed  by Don Whitney

The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson

My List of Top Books of 2017

This was a difficult year to post a top 10 list of books for the year 2017.  It is not difficult because there was a lack of good books, because there were a great number of worthwhile reads that came out this year.  The problem is that of all those worthwhile reads, I didn’t read very many of them.  I’ve got to admit, I didn’t hit my reading goals this year.  However, there are a few books that come out this year that I did read and that I do want to pass along to all of you.  These are not in order.

1-3.  The Church Trilogy by Joe Thorn

The Life of the Church
The Heart of the Church
The Character of the Church

These three books are very easy to read and give a great introduction of the doctrine of Ecclesiology, or the doctrine of the Church.  This is bite-size look into the life of church, how it ought to operate and how we ought to operate within it.  Topics such as the ordinances, leadership, evangelism and preaching are unfolded in a way that anyone could understand it.  I highly recommend these books to new believers and would be a great tool to use in discipleship and new members classes.

4.  The Gospel and Adoption by Russell Moore and Andrew Walker

As you all know, I have a heart for adoption.  This book is a collection of different essays dealing with how the gospel drives us to consider adoption.  The book is both doctrinal and practical.  The first two chapters explores the Biblical doctrine of adoption and how the gospel ties in while the three remaining chapters deals more with practical application and how the church can and should get involved in creating a culture of life.

5.  The King’s Mission by J.A. White

Pastor Aaron White of the River Hills Community Church is now only a gift to his local congregation, but a gift to the Church at large as well.  He has written a number of books well worth your time to read.  Pastor White has a passion for exalting Christ, a fact obvious in every page he writes.  This book is an Advent devotional I used with my family this year.  There is a short reading for each day of Advent along with the corresponding Scripture passage. The book has not only me recommendation but also that of Tom Schreiner and Bruce Ware of Southern Theological Seminary.

6.  The Secret Battle of Ideas about God by Jeff Meyers

Worldviews is something everyone has but few actually think about.  This year I began teaching through Understanding the Times in my worldviews class which was written originally by David Nobel but recently updated by Jeff Meyers.  At a teacher’s convention this past October I was introduced to the new book by Meyers.  It’s a smaller overview of the book I’m teaching through, intended for a larger audience.  Meyers explorers several different worldviews (secularism, spiritualism, Islam, Marxism and postmodernism) and explains how approach each one Biblically.  Many Christians know what they believe but easily fall prey to false ideas.  This book is helpful as week seek to guard the flock but also challenge the culture around us.  It is most helpful in aiding Christians to think through philosophies we are bombarded with each day.

Win A Free Copy of Are We Together by R.C. Sproul

I’m giving away one free copy of R.C. Sproul’s book “Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism” All you need to do to enter the contest is share a link to the latest episode of the Basic Bible Podcast ( with the hashtag #basicbiblepodcast on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Every time you share it counts as another entry. I will choose a random winner Tuesday morning on Facebook live.

Basic Bible Podcast Episode 15 – The Incarnation

This is our special Christmas edition released on Christmas Eve!  In this podcast, Dr. Philip Allen and I chat about the Incarnation.  We’ll take a look at John 1, Philippians 2 and even the Garden-Temple in Genesis 1-3 comparing that with the great truths of Hebrews 4 and Revelation 21 in a very practical way.  Our conversation turns towards Christ’s great humility and see the drama of redemption unfolding before us.  There really is a reason to celebrate this season!

Recommended Resources

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ by Bruce A. Ware

Knowing Christ by Mark Jones

God Came Near by Max Lucado

The King’s Mission: A Daily Advent Devotional by J.A. White

On the Passing of R.C. Sproul

I never even met the man.  I wanted to, but never had the opportunity.  A friend once got a book signed by him for me and I once spent a few moments with his son, but that was as close as I would ever get to him this side of heaven.  Yet, at the same time, no other author outside of Scripture has had as much of an impact on me as Dr. R.C. Sproul.  Though we never met, he had such an amazing impact on me and my relationship with Christ and His word.

Like every other Bible college student in the history of the world, I struggled with the concepts of predestination and election.  Though some of my friends had already to adopt Calvinism, I simply could not (or would not) wrap my head around the concept.  Then came that fateful day walking around the Pensacola Christian College bookstore.  I bought my first ever R.C. Sproul book, Chosen by God.  To this day, it still seems strange that I became a Calvinist while attending an institution that is adamantly against it.  Chosen by God would be my gateway into the wonderful world of Reformed theology.  It was short, easy-to-read and thoroughly Biblical.  God used that book to open my eyes to his truth.

The Holiness of God would be my next encounter with Dr. Sproul.  This was the book I referenced earlier.   It wasn’t a book that I intended to read, but a friend not only bought for me but had Dr. Sproul sign it for me as well.  I especially remember reading the chapter concerning the “Insanity of Luther.”  It was a game-changer for sure.

I would soon begin to listen to the Renewing Your Mind broadcast and watching various videos and sermons online.  Books such as Grace Unknown and Getting the Gospel Right would become part of my growing library.  I loved his style of writing – he was a teacher at heart.  He had a keen knack for taking difficult subjects and breaking them down for people like me to understand.

As the years went on he became one of my go-to guys.  If there was a book wit the name Sproul on the cover, I usually bought it.  As I began to teach theology myself his materials became all the more important to me.  Books such as Now That’s a Good Question, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith and more recently Everyone’s a Theologian would be key supplemental works in my prep for class.   Of course, the Reformation Study Bible is a huge help as well.

Again, I never knew the man.  I never shook his hand nor looked him in the eye.  But it just felt like I knew him.  His voice was just as recognizable to me as any family member’s voice would be.  He sprinkled so many personal stories throughout his writings and addresses that it seemed to personalize him to the point of being more than just a mere theology professor.  He was a friend who pointed me to Jesus.

Basic Bible Podcast Episode 14 – Hanukkah

After a rough week of illness and trips to urgent care, the podcast is back!  This we week take a look at the Jewish festival of Hanukkah through a Christian perspective.  Joining me is Evangelist Mark Sohmer, himself a Jew who has embraced Christianity (You’ll hear that testimony).  We chat about what the celebration is all about along with a discussion of John 10 and Isaiah 53.

Recommended Resources

Betrayed! by Stan Telchin

The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Encountering the Suffering Servant in Jewish and Christian Theology by Darrell L. Bock (featuring Michael Brown)

Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith by Marv Wilson


Jews for Jesus

Movie Review – The Star

As a conservative Evangelical I’m skeptical about anything coming out of Hollywood these days.  So, when I heard about a big-budget animated production about the birth of Christ featuring major celebrity voices, I had my doubts.  After having now seen the film, I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised.

The movie tells the story of the Nativity through the eyes of several animals including a donkey longing for importance, a wise-cracking bird and three camels looking to protect the new king about to be born.  Kids will enjoy the humor and action-packed journey while parents will enjoy seeing their children wrapped up in a Biblical account.

Now as a Bible teacher that tends to be hyper-critical about everything, I certainly noticed a few discrepancies between the movie and the actual Biblical account.  For example, they make the common mistake of placing the wise men at the manger (the Bible has the magi arriving about two years later). But outside of that, there really is nothing glaringly wrong.  In fact, the characters speak openly about Mary being overcome by the Holy Spirit, the child is the Son of God and the long-awaited for Messiah.  Even God’s sovereignty plays a major role in the plot as both Mary and Joseph learn to trust in God to lead them as they cannot understand His will.

While this is far from an in-depth Bible study, this movie can be used as a great conversation starter with your children.   It can be something your entire family can enjoy and then discuss together as you celebrate the advent of our Lord.

See it now while it’s still in theaters.