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Podcast 30 - Gary Johnson, Rick Perry and Ron Paul
August 19, 2011 01:03 PM PDT

Join us this week as we continue our look at the 2012 presidential race. Last week, we looked at two Republican candidates: Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty. Of course, seeing as how Governor Pawlenty dropped out the day after this broadcast was uploaded, perhaps this week’s show will make or break another candidate and show the real strength of the Understanding Our Times listening audience!

This week we hear from three candidates: Governor Gary Johnson, Governor Rick Perry and Congressman Ron Paul.

Regular listeners will recall that this is not the first time we have talked about the former governor of New Mexico. Gary Johnson is best known for his libertarian-leaning views and his support for the legalization of marijuana. Because he continues to invite me to his blogger conferences, we have plenty of interaction with the long shot candidate.

Governor Rick Perry is the newest Republican candidate to join the race for the nomination. As the governor of Texas who took over for George W. Bush, political pundits have been quick to draw comparisons between the two. Governor Perry drew headlines earlier this month as he called on governors across the country to come to join him in a day of prayer and fasting for our nation known as the Response. I was honored to be invited to take part in a conference call with the governor, download this week’s podcast for the audio of that call.

Finally, there is Congressman Ron Paul. This is the Congressman’s third run for the presidency, but by far his most successful – despite attempts by the mainstream media to discredit and ignore his campaign. This week I had the opportunity to meet Congressman Paul in New Hampshire as he opened his campaign office up in the Granite State. Ron Paul is beloved by all who believe in the Constitution, limited government and sound economic policy.

Episode 29 - Presidential Candidates Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty
August 13, 2011 02:10 AM PDT

Today is the first major hurdle in the race to see who becomes the next Republican nominee for President of the United States. Voters in Iowa will flock to the city of Ames and take place in a crucial straw poll vote. So, in light of this event, this week’s Understanding Our Times broadcast will focus on two people looking to win that poll, Herman Cain and Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Herman Cain is the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and a popular conservative radio talk show host out of Atlanta, Georgia. Cain has distinguished himself as a viable candidate since the first televised debate between the candidates. Cain’s chief-of-staff, Mark Block, has previously appeared on this program.

Tim Pawlenty is the former Governor of Minnesota and was said to be on Senator John McCain’s shortlist for Vice President back in 2008. Some of you may remember my big but failed birthday push a few months ago to have T-Paw on this program. Pawlenty’s sagging campaign has picked up some steam as of late as the Governor has apparently decided to focus his attacks more on fellow Minnesotan and rival presidential candidate Michelle Bauchman than his ultimate rival Barack Obama.

Tune in this week as we air speeches from both these candidates. As always, make sure to let us know your comments and thoughts here on our blog, on our facebook page or send them in to Kevin@understandingourtimes.com.

Podcast 27 - Eschatology Panel Discussion, Part 2
August 06, 2011 05:15 PM PDT

Last week we began a two-part panel discussion on the topic of eschatology that took place at Rock County Christian School in my high school systematic theology class. Local pastors here in Southern Wisconsin represented the three major millennial views – premillennialism, amillennialism and postmillennialism. Last week we heard the pastors give opening statements and thendiscuss the importance of a literal interpretation of Scripture in light of this topic.

This week in part two of this discussion, the panelists are asked questions such as is there a Biblical distinction between the church and Israel, who or what is the Antichrist and as we approach the end, will things on this earth continue to get worse or will they get better?

Don’t forget, you can always send us your opinion by commenting in the comment section below, leaving us some thoughts on our facebook page or sending your remarks to me personally at Kevin@understandingourtimes.com.

Podcast 27 - Eschatology Panel Discussion, Part 1
July 23, 2011 03:10 PM PDT

I’m not sure if there is any one doctrine which leaves laymen, pastor sand scholars alike confused and baffled as the doctrine of eschatology. Are we in the end times? Is Jesus coming soon? If so, when and how? These are questions Christians seemed to be obsessed with as of late.

For the next two weeks this podcast will feature a panel discussion on the topic of eschatology that took place at Rock County Christian School in my high school systematic theology class. Listen in as three local pastors discuss the three major millennial views – premillennialism, amillennialism and postmillennialism. This week you will hear the pastors give opening statements in which they gave a basic defense and overview of their perspectives and then discuss the importance of a literal interpretation of Scripture in light of this topic.

Next week in part two of this discussion, the panelists are asked questions such as is there a Biblical distinction between the church and Israel, who or what is the Antichrist and as we approach the end, will things on this earth continue to get worse or will they get better?

Podcast 26 - When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search
July 16, 2011 06:27 AM PDT

One of the toughest and confusing times any church will face is the search for a new pastor. Many churches go through this process blind, not knowing the steps to take or even how to justly evaluate potential candidates. In many ways it is the ultimate test of a church’s spiritual health.

When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search is an invaluable tool for any church facing this situation. In this book Pastor Chris Brauns (The Red Brick Church of Stilman Valley, IL) leads readers straight to the Scriptures to highlight what should be driving this important transition period. In a step-by-step process, Pastor Brauns gives practical advice every church should consider when seeking new leadership for whatever reason. This book is written in such a way that will engage both pastors and laymen alike. Especially valuable are the chapters describing how to objectively evaluate sermons and common pitfalls search committees should avoid.

This week, Pastor Chris Brauns is our guest on the Understanding Our Times podcast. As one who has been through several pastoral searches (from both sides!), I cannot underestimate the help this book can be to your church, even if you don’t have a pastoral search in your immediate view. You won’t want to miss this very interesting discussion on this week’s podcast.

Podcast 25 - Interview with Presidential Hopeful Governor Gary Johnson
July 09, 2011 04:24 PM PDT

Who will be the brave Republican who will take on President Obama in November? Our guest this week hopes to be that man. Gary Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico and just one of the many candidates seeking the GOP presidential nomination. Governor Johnson is considered a long shot by some as he espouses more libertarian views than conservative views on a whole host of issues.

I was fortunate enough to meet Governor Johnson as he campaigned in Iowa. He graciously allowed me to ask a question for the podcast there and then invited me to take part in a blogger conference call the next week where I was allowed to ask more questions.

Of course, my major political concerns are “social issues” and so that is what I focused on during both of these two occasions. Where does the Governor stand on abortion and homosexual marriage – two key issues to many conservatives. I also got to explore Johnson’s own religious views and what effect they will have on his campaign.

You won’t want to miss this program, download and take a listen!

Episode 24 - What is A Healthy Church Member with Thabiti Anyabwile
June 30, 2011 05:56 PM PDT

Oftentimes we focus on the proper role and function of the church. While there is much discussion over what type of church one should look for, there doesn’t seem to be much discussion over which type of members churches should be looking for. For many Americans, simply sitting in a pew each Sunday is an accomplishment in and of itself. However, is this all there is to being a good church member? This will be our topic as speak with Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile, author of the book What Makes A Healthy Church Member.

This interview was originally aired last year while we were still on blogtalkradio. However, the audio quality was so poor few people could actually understand what Pastor Thabiti was trying say. So, I have run the audio files through a few filters and I think the quality has improved at least to the point you can make out the words that are being spoken.

Episode 22 - Pursue Christ
June 17, 2011 08:45 PM PDT

Attention all 2011 graduates, this podcast is for you! Listen in this week as I air the commencement address I gave to the senior class of Rock County Christian School. Though the message tailored specifically to this class, the overall theme of the message is applicable to all graduates and all Christians in general: Pursue Christ!

My text was taken from Philippians 3:7-17: "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us."

Podcast 19 - Chuck Phelps, Tina Anderson and Fundamentalism
May 28, 2011 06:31 AM PDT

This past week Ernie Willis of Gilford, New Hampshire was found guilty of raping ten 15 year-old Tina Anderson. Both were members of Trinity Baptist Church where Dr. Chuck Phelps was then the pastor. While we will leave the exact details of this trial for the legal experts to interpret and dissect, the focus of this week’s podcast will be the impact this trial has had on the fundamentalist movement. The case has gained national attention through a recent 20/20 segment aired on ABC which has left many wondering about fundamentalism in general. Is there a network in place that seeks to cover up the transgressions of those inside their realm? Should we consider independent fundamental Baptist churches to be a cult?

We will talk about all these things and more with a group who would identify themselves as former fundamentalists. Joining us this week will be Darrell Dow, a graduate from Pensacola Christian College and editor of the Stuff Fundies Like blog. Joshua Caucutt, who graduated from and worked for Maranatha Baptist Bible College, is also joining us for the discussion. Josh operates the Sound Church blog. Of course, our host Kevin Thompson (also a PCC) graduate, would include himself in the former fundamentalist category and has blogged about this case here.

This discussion went much longer than our usual format, so we will break up the discussion in two parts and air part two next week. This week listen in as we discuss such topics as why we left fundamentalism, the dangers of an unaccountable pastor, what went wrong in this particular rape case as it concerns the practice of church discipline, and are the sins of some respected in the movement handled differently than the sins of others?

Podcast 18 - Harold Camping and End Times Extremism
May 21, 2011 07:57 AM PDT

If you were to believe the teachings of Harold Camping and the Family Radio Network today begins God’s judgment on the world. Thousands of Camping’s followers have been caravanning around the country warning of Christ’s return on May 21, 2011 at 6pm. Hundreds of billboards give the same warning. Why do so many people fall for this false prophecy, especially after Camping had already set a wrong date back in 1994? Why would so many follow a man who told them to leave their church and listen only to his radio station? Those questions are just some of what we will be discussing on this week’s broadcast.

Our guest this week is Trevor Hammack, the pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Ovalo, Texas. Pastor Hammack’s sermon audio website not only contains many great sermons preached at the Victory Baptist Church but also contains his News in Focus segments in which current events are discussed in light of the Word of God. The fact that Pastor Hammack was once a avid listener and supporter of the Family Radio Network allow him to bring a unique and inside perspective into this issue.

We will also discuss how churches can better “cult-proof” their members and how Christians in general can discern when their pastor or teacher starts going off the deep end theologically.

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