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A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home

Jason Helopoulos joins us to speak about his book A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home. The discussion covers what family worship is, its elements, and its relationship to private and corporate worship. Pastor Helopoulos also provides practical advice about how to practice family worship especially for those who have neglected it in the past.

Jason is the Assistant Pastor at University Reformed Church in Lansing, Michigan (RCA). He attended Dallas Theological Seminary and completed a Masters of Theology degree (ThM) with a concentration in Historical Theology and Christian Education in 2003. He served on the staff of Park Cities Presbyterian Church as a pastoral intern for one year and then accepted a call as an Assistant Pastor at Meadowview Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Lexington, North Carolina. In the fall of 2007, Jason was called by Christ Church PCA in Grand Rapids, Michigan to plant a daughter church in Lansing, Michigan. He accepted the call and moved to the field (and snow) as church planter and pastored Providence PCA in East Lansing until 2012. In the summer of 2012, Jason accepted the call as Assistant Pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan and is currently serving this congregation, for which he feels blessed.

Jason is married to his beautiful bride, Leah. They are blessed with two wonderful children, Gracen and Ethan.

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Dr. Michael Emlet discusses the recent fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM is the official diagnostic manual used by mental health professionals and published by the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Emlet explains the origin and purpose of the DSM and the questions this new edition raises for Christian believers. He outlines the way Christian counselors and pastors can benefit from the DSM and clarifies the relationship between psychiatric diagnoses and spiritual problems. Click here for the blog post mentioned in the episode.

Michael R. Emlet, M.Div., M.D., practiced as a family physician for twelve years before becoming a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He is a Lecturer in Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He has written numerous published articles and is the author of several CCEF booklets including Asperger Syndrome, Angry Children: Understanding and Helping Your Child Regain Control, Help for the Caregiver: Facing the Challenges with Understanding and Strength, and OCD: Freedom for the Obsessive Compulsive; as well as a book, Crosstalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet published by New Growth Press.

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Ruth and Redemptive History

Today we discuss the story and message of the book of Ruth in light of the book’s place in redemptive history. This brief story of an unassuming young Gentile woman develops the important biblical themes of the promised land, the inclusion of Gentiles in redemption, and the line of the seed of the woman. In these ways and others, the book of Ruth is a story of redemption, redemption which culminates in Ruth’s descendant, Jesus Christ.

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Vatican II Inclusivism

How can Catholic theologians seemingly contradict the official teaching of the Catholic Church? Many commentators believe that, in a recent homily, Pope Francis did just that. While the Vatican has since “clarified” his remarks, the question remains for many other Catholic theologians, who seem to promote doctrinal views in sharp contrast to previous declarations of the Catholic Church. Many Catholics now affirm a view of salvation that is “inclusive,” that is, broad enough to include not only explicit Catholics, but also Muslims, Jews, agnostics, and atheists. Many critics cry foul, since this appears to be a blatant contradiction of traditional Catholic teaching.

In this episode, Camden Bucey leads a discussion that touches upon the changes in prolegomena that allow many Catholic theologians to affirm the church’s historic pronouncements while leaving room for new doctrinal formulations such as this contemporary inclusivism. The grand project of Vatican II was to update the Catholic church for a modern age, to open the windows and let in fresh air. To accomplish this overhaul, many theologians resorted to a Kantian-esque view of revelation and history. Listen as the panel discusses the workings of this type of “both-and” theologizing.

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Typology and Jehoiachin

We welcome Matthew Patton to the program to speak about the nature and use of typology using Jehoiachin as an extended example. Mr. Patton is Visiting Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and a PhD candidate in Old Testament at the Wheaton Graduate School. This Mr. Patton’s second time visiting Christ the Center, having spoken with us previously about restoration prophecy in Ezra-Nehemiah.

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The Early Text of the New Testament

Today we welcome Dr. Michael J. Kruger to speak about New Testament textual criticism and the early text of the New Testament. Dr. Kruger has co-edited an excellent book with Dr. Charles E. Hill, titled The Early Text of the New Testament and published by Oxford University Press.

The book aims to examine and assess from our earliest extant sources the most primitive state of the New Testament text now known. What sort of changes did scribes make to the text? What is the quality of the text now at our disposal? What can we learn about the nature of textual transmission in the earliest centuries? In addition to exploring the textual and scribal culture of early Christianity, this volume explores the textual evidence for all the sections of the New Testament. It also examines the evidence from the earliest translations of New Testament writings and the citations or allusions to New Testament texts in other early Christian writers.

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Family-Integrated Churches

On this episode, we welcome Dr. Sam Waldron to speak about the family-integrated church movement, which seeks to recover a biblical understanding of the family, especially in its relationship to the local church. You can read more about the movement from The National Center for Family-Integrated Churches. Dr. Waldron explains several features of the movement, critically examining several strengths and shortcomings in light of Scripture. He has written on the subject before.

Dr. Waldron is Academic Dean and Professor of Systematic Theology at the Midwest Center for Theological Studies. He is also one of the pastors of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Owensboro, KY. Dr. Waldron received a B.A. from Cornerstone University, an M.Div. from Trinity Ministerial Academy, a Th.M. from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. From 1977 to 2001 he was a pastor of the Reformed Baptist Church of Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Waldron is the author of numerous books including A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, The End Times Made Simple, Baptist Roots in America, To Be Continued?, and MacArthur’s Millennial Manifesto: A Friendly Response.

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Christ the Spiritual Sun

Jonathan Edwards preached “Christ the Spiritual Sun” in May 1739. It was based on Malachi 4:1–2. The doctrine of the sermon was “that the same spiritual Sun, whose beams are most comfortable and beneficial to believers, will burn and destroy unbelievers.” Edwards unpacked the sermon in four heads, showing that Christ was the spiritual Sun of the world; showing what might be represented by the beams of the Sun; showing how the beams of the Sun will be most pleasant and profitable to believers; and how these same beams will destroy the wicked.

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Harmonizing the Gospels

Dr. Vern Poythress speaks about the important topic of harmonizing the gospels by sharing with us features of his book Inerrancy and the Gospels: A God-Centered Approach to the Challenges of Harmonization. Answering the challenges of critics, Dr. Poythress argues for the uncompromisingly foundational role of Scripture and a proper attitude as we come to approach it. He provides several useful principles for the task of harmonization and walks the reader through a number of examples in order to demonstrate his God-centered approach.

Dr. Poythress is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA.

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