Andy answers questions about godparents.
Andy interviews his pastor, Arthur Andrews from Hephatha Lutheran Church.
Andy finds out why Pastor Andrews wants to start a podcast and explores other means by which Pastor Andrews has shared the Gospel using 21st century technology.
Andy and Wes close the series on Lutheran Theology discussing worship, the Church, and ministry.
Marks of the Church
Luther's Two Kingdom Theory
Priesthood of All Believers
Office of the Public Ministry
Office of the Keys
First Reconnect Thanksgiving Special.
Andy reads an article by Eric Metaxes that was published in 2015 in the Wall Street Journal entitled, "The Miracle of Squanto's Path to Plymouth".
He also shares the top 7 Bible verses for Thanksgiving which are compiled and explained by Kristi Winkler of ShareFaith.
Andy is a Lutheran, meaning that he believes the Book of Concord (The Lutheran Confessions) accurately represent the teachings of Scripture. However, he has never read Martin Luther's 95 Theses that he posted on the church door in Wittenberg on Oct. 31st, 1517.
In this episode, he reads them for the first time, start to finish on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Many of these have some historical particularity that fully escapes him. Much is still to be learned.
Andy continues the series on Lutheran Theology. This time Wes is back and together they discuss the formal principle of Lutheran theology and the nature of Law and Gospel.
Sean Pino interviews Andy to see if he thinks Scripture and Darwinian Evolution are compatible. The literary nature of Genesis is discussed, the source and origin of physical death in creation, the interplay between scientific discovery and theory with Biblical interpretation, and why some Christians are adamant in their refusal to adapt Darwinian teaching into Christian Doctrine.
For episode 100 of Reconnect, Andy interviews Joe Joe Bongiorno, about his illustrated rock lyric book, Black Sabbath The Illustrated Lyrics, Vo1. 2: Songs of Protest and Apocalypse. Bongiorno’s book explains the lyrics of Black Sabbaths’ 2nd album, Paranoid. Some listeners might be shocked to hear about a Black Sabbath themed episode of a podcast dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, and if that is the case, please go back to episode 68 where Andy interviewed Joe about Volume 1.
Bongiorno explains how Paranoid is a collection of songs that are “ultimately polemics infused in the discourse of apocalyptic literature (with implications both ancient and modern), there is the every-present reminder that there is hope and a greater purpose at work.”
Sabbath challenges us to consider the nature of war, evil, depression, addiction, the failures of transhumanism, and the warns us against aligning ourselves with Satan, but instead points us to hope in the supernatural king that will take earth under his wings. As Bongiorno demonstrates that the imagery of Geezer Butler’s lyrics is knowingly derived from the Bible, it becomes clear that Black Sabbath’s album Paranoid is calling us to repentant, a turning from a sin and a turning to God and the salvation that he alone can bring.
Andy is joined by Wes, Jonathan, and Robby to continue the series on Lutheran Theology. This time the focus is on the means of grace, a term that is particularly Lutheran, and is used to describe the Gospel, baptism, and communion.
You'll learn why Lutherans call baptism and communion a means of grace. Not all Christians would do this, and many would deny that they are ways in which God delievers his grace to individuals. Most Christians won't deny the Gospel being a means of grace, so the bulk of the episode is focused on baptism and communion. Lutherans baptize babies and believe that Jesus' body and blood is physically present in communion and is consumed along with bread and wine. Why do Lutherans believe these things? Listen and find out.
Dave, Tim, and Andy sit down to discuss how to go about sharing the Gospel with kids.
Wes is back to continue the Lutheran Theology series with Andy. This episode of Reconnect covers the Material Principle of Lutheran Theology (Justification), The Work of the Holy Spirit (Sanctification), Good Works, and the Doctrine of Election.
Andy sits down with one of the campus pastor's at Concordia University Irvine, Jonathan Ruehs, to discuss a show they both really love, The Walking Dead!
Andy answers some listener questions about Lutheran theology that really are about the the divisions of Lutheranism in America. Also a question about Lutherans and their lack of focus on end time teachings was addressed. He then closes with more points on the Teachings of the Lutheran Church he created to be recognized as being qualified to teach Theology in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod: Christian Identity, The Bondage of the Will, and The Doctrine of Christ.
The Nature of God
The doctrine of the Trinity states that there is only one God, yet God exists in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6; Matthew 28:19; and 2 Corinthians 13:14) All three persons of the Trinity are eternal, not created, nor made. The Father begets the Son. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father. The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son who send him.
In addition to being eternal (Psalm 90:2; Exodus 3:14; John 1:1; Romans 1:20; and Revelation 22:13), all three person of the Trinity are each omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-13 and Jeremiah 23:23-24), omniscient (Psalm 139:1-5 and 1 John 3:20), omnipotent (Luke 1:37 and Ephesians 3:20), immutable (Numbers 23:29 and Malachi 3:6), and love (1 John 4:8). Concerning the character of the Triune Lord, all three persons are holy (Isaiah 6:3 and 55:8-9), good (Psalm 145:9), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), merciful (Micah 7:18 and Luke 1:50), gracious (Joel 2:13), and patient (2 Peter 3:9).
The Origins of the Universe
Scripture teaches that God created all things out of nothing by his spoken word (Genesis 1, Psalm 33:6, and Hebrews 11:3).
Scripture teaches that God created all things in six days and that he rested on the seventh, which is the basis of the Sabbath command for man to work for six days and rest on the seventh. (Exodus 20:9-11; 31:15-17) Each day of creation was an evening and a morning. (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, and 31) The immediacy of creation through God’s spoken word also supports a six day creation period.
The LCMS rejects theistic evolution. Man came from God’s direct and intimate work of creation, not from his hand of involvement in millions of years of death in the animal kingdom. (Genesis 2) Scripture also teaches that death entered the world through one man’s sin (Romans 5:12), not through God’s process of creation.
The Fall into Sin
The doctrine of Original Sin teaches that all men are sinful, inheriting a sinful nature from the moment of their conception. David writes, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5, NIV).
Every human inherits Adam’s guilt and the wrath that comes with it. Paul writes, “By our very nature we were subject to God's anger, just like everyone else” (Ephesians 2:3, NLT).
God’s response to original sin is the new Adam, Jesus Christ. “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many” (Romans 5:15, NIV)!
Andy received a Facebook message from a follower of his Contradict - They Can't All Be True page that asked his thoughts on how to respond to the question, "Why Don't Christians Care More About their Sins?" This episode of Reconnect gives a lengthy response to this question, weaving in various Youtube videos that feature Alistair Begg, R.C. Sproul, and Paul Washer.
David Pratt is back on Reconnect to further discuss his love of Presuppositional Apologetics.
His brother, Jonathan Pratt, and Andy Wrasman have lots of questions for him, especially Andy, who prefers to lead with the Gospel and defend the message of the Gospel using historical evidence for the historicity of the New Testament.
The following questions are discussed (not in the particular order of the video):
Did the Apostles ever try to convince someone that God exists?
Did the Apostles ever use presuppositional apologetics?
Did the Apostles ever use evidential apologetics?
What does 1 Peter 3:15 tell us to be able to prepared to give a defense for?
Does Scripture teach that everyone knows that the Triune Lord exists or just that a Creator God exists?
So Atheists are lying when they say there is no God, because they actually know there is a God? Do you find it helpful to tell Atheists, you’re not an Atheist, you know God exists? Then more specifically tell them that they know the Christian God?
Is Presuppositional Apologetics an argument from natural knowledge or revealed knowledge? If it is an argument from natural knowledge, then how does it show Christianity to be true?
Isn’t evidence beyond the existence of truth, knowledge, and logic needed to show that Christianity is true?
When would you, if ever, use evidence for the historical reliability of the Gospels and the evidence of the resurrection? Are you opposed to it?
The Jews Expected Rambo Jesus
What Romans Said About Crucifixion
Has the Cross Lost Its Punch?
The Crucifixion - A Medical Perspective
Bit of Christology Talk
Did Jesus Die on the Cross?
First Segment: Andy responds to a reader's email about his use of Contradict for evangelism.
Second Segment: Andy responds to a video an atheist sent him that entertainly uses a game show setting to demonstrate what the video maker claims are contradictions in the Bible.
Andy responds to an email he received from a lady claiming that he is CONTRADICTing Jesus by saying other religions are wrong.
Here's the email:
"Hello! My name is Summer; I'm a woman from Oregon. After reading about the Contradict movement, I do have a couple comments/questions for you. I do believe that you are CONTRADICTing the teachings of Jesus; it seems that you are saying Christianity should be the only religion on planet earth. Thing is, Jesus taught that we need to coexist with everyone on the planet. Matthew 22:39 says to love your neighbor as you love yourself. That's just one verse out of many of the teachings of Jesus that says to not persecute others based on the things that they have done or are currently partaking in.
If you truly wanted to convert people to Christianity, you would have patience with those that do not agree. Shunning them and telling them their way of thinking is wrong is not how to break through to anyone.
It is very confusing to me that after reading the Bible, and the words of Jesus, that you think "it would be wonderful if you could simply (and legally) replace all those COEXIST bumper stickers with another that reads CONTRADICT." That's the opposite of what is expected of Christians.
Christians are "persecuted" because of things like this; it makes it look like you think you are better and above everyone else.
Also, the fact that some people never found Jesus' skeleton is NOT proof that he ascended into the heavens."
Contradict Movement: https://www.contradictmovement.org
Andy Wrasman: https://www.andywrasman.com
Andy speaks with high school senior Morgan Lunsford about the Church's involvement in the Crusades.
Does the Church need to get off its high horse when addressing Islamic invasions, Islamic terrorism, and the many Islamic nations that treat women far from equal because of the Church's involvement in the Crusades?
What are the Crusades? Why did they start? Were there any good reasons that the Church was involved in the Crusades? Why does the Church get such a bad wrap about the Crusades? Did leaders in the Church condemn any of the evil actions done by members of their side during the time of the Crusades, or only centuries later?
Check out Morgan's notes at Episode 88 accessed at www.andywrasman.com.
Ben Fisher’s back from his Reconnect sabbatical and he guides three high school seniors through Sye Ten Bruggencate’s website, “Proof That God Exists.” The website has an interactive questionnaire that uses presuppositional apologetics to guide visitors to the conclusion that God exists based on the visitor’s admission that absolute truth exists, that you know things to be true, that logic exists and that it is universal, not made of matter, and does not change. If visitors don’t come to the conclusion that truth, knowledge, and logic exist in absolute, unchangeable, immaterial terms, then they are eventually redirected to Disneyland’s ticket ordering web page.
Aaron Puls shares the Doctrine of Justification with Andy Wrasman and Jonathan Rutherford, using Dr. Rod Rosenbladt’s sermon “Christianity in Five Verses” as a guide.
Justification is God’s declaration that sinners are innocent on account of Christ’s death on the cross that atones for all of our sins. This is pure gift! We are declared innocent, though we are guilty. Justice is still served, since the penalty for our sins were paid in full by Jesus of Nazareth.
Objective Justification is a doctrine that states that Jesus died for all sins, past, present, and future, for all people. Individual receives the benefits of Christ’s saving work through faith, which is the doctrine of Subjective Justification. This means that though Jesus died for everyone only those who receive the grace he won for us through faith are saved.
Another important doctrine is Sanctification. Unlike Justification, which is instantons, and a declaration of innocence for the sinner, Sanctification is a process. It is the process of becoming holy. Though we are declared holy, it does not mean that we are now sinless. In Justification, we are declared just though we are sinners. At the exact moment of Justification, the process of Sanctification begins, and it carries on throughout the life of the believer, completed at death, at which time the sinful nature is gone for the believer, once and forever.
Sadly, many Christians look to their Sanctification as the assurance of their Justification. This is a mistake which plagues the believer with doubt of salvation, leading to utter despair or self-righteousness. The mingling of Sanctification and Justification points the believer away from Christ’s work inward to each man’s own heart and works.
Aaron plays video clips from John MacArthur, Francis Chan, N.T. Wright, and John Piper. Do they get Justification right? Or do they mingle Sanctification and Justification? Do they point us to Christ for assurance of salvation, or do they point us to ourselves?
Part I – The Majority of Muslims in America are Concerned (Fearful?) about Islamic Extremism
I read a recent article by Ken Chitwood, a guest on episode 16 of Reconnect, entitled, “What Does God Require of Us Amid Rising Islamophobia?” that exhorts us to defend the rights of Muslims, reach out to Muslims with compassionate friendship, and to be humble knowing that we cannot rebuild the brokenness of the world on our own (namely, we need God to wholly fix the world).
These points are very good reminders to us for what we need to do and I affirm them throughout the episode, yet with caution.
In the article Ken states, “A recent study by Public Religion Research Institute shows that people who interact with Muslims — even those who have just had a few conversations in the past year — hold much more positive views of Muslims and refugees.”
It seems to be implied that if more Americans just knew Muslims personally and had more knowledge of Islam they wouldn’t be as fearful of Islamic extremism. However, according to a 2011 Pew Research study the majority of Muslims in the United States are concerned (is that the same as fearful?) about the rise of Islamic extremism within America, as well as a large number of Muslims in America (231,000) that say suicide bombings and violence against citizens can sometimes be justified to defend Islam, while ONLY 33,000 Muslims in America say such attacks on citizens is often times justified.
The report also says, ““A significant minority (21%) of Muslim Americans say there is a great deal (6%) or a fair amount (15%) of support for extremism in the Muslim American community.” This means that one in five Muslim Americans say there is a great deal or fair amount of support for extremism in the Muslim American community? Really? So about 660,000 Muslim Americans say there is a great deal or fair amount of support for Islamic extremism in the Muslim American community.
To support this perception within the Islamic community, the study also showed that 5% of the Muslims in America are favorable of al-Qaeda. That’s 165,000 American Muslims who are favorable of al-Qaeda.
Since such answers come from the Muslims in America, it helps explain why there is a fear of Islam in America? I don’t think it is an irrational fear based on the numbers, especially when we ask how many would legitimately tell the truth about supporting al-Qaeda and suicide bombings while living in America. Then consider that the statistics on these points in Islamic states is extremely high, and the fear is very much understood among Americans. It shouldn’t be dismissed as white America simply not knowing Muslims or Islam, when the Islamic community in America itself has a majority concern for the rise of Islamic extremism in America too!
But the Christian is exhorted to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly as Ken reminds us in his article. How do we then respond if we are fearful, or simply concerned about Islamic extremism as many of the Muslims in America are also concerned? Many of the examples Ken gives, we should follow, but I don’t think we ALL should follow them, depending on our family duties and responsibilities, which I explain in this first segment.
Part II – In God We Still Trust
I read quotes from the early founding fathers, statesmen, and presidents of America! If America is a nation under God, which God are we under? Wouldn’t the founding fathers’ words best tell us?
The quotes are compiled by Dr. Richard G. Lee in his book, In God We Still Trust.
As usual, both of these parts are connected to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
In Episode 83 of Reconnect, Wes and Andy kick around some thoughts on a list of spiritual conversation starters compiled by Southern Nazarene University. To frame the discussion of this list of questions, they use three evaluation points for evangelism conversation starters as laid out and described by J. Warner Wallace in his article, “The Best Question To Ask When Starting A Conversation About God?”: Diagnostic, Disarming, and Directed. In other words, does the question let us know what the other person believes when he answers the question (Diagnostic), is the question easily received and doesn’t cause the person to put his guard up and make him want to flee the conversation (Disarming), and is it a question that has a trajectory set on sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Directed)?
Andy has David Rueter, the Director of the Director of Christian Education Program at Concordia University Irvine, and Jonathan Pratt as guest on this episode of Reconnect to share their thoughts on why it's beneficial to the Body of Christ to have kids in church services, no matter how young, or how noisy they might be, and why it's detrimental if we keep them separated.
Anna Mussmann’s article, “Four Reasons It Is Good Your Kids Are Being Too Noisy In Church,” provides a framework for their conversation, as well as research data from David’s Concordia Publishing House book, Teaching The Faith At Home: What Does This Mean? How Is This Done?.