Where do demons fit into a Biblical theology? We look at the few places they appear in the Old Testament and find them linked to the idols worshipped by the peoples around the ancient Israelites. It turns out they are presented as having no real existence or power. So why do demons suddenly make a large appearance in the Gospels?
Dan welcomes guest, John Launchbury, to discuss the vital question: why did Jesus have to die? They explore the meaning of the word atonement and consider the pros and cons of some of the main atonement theories. As they explore the key scriptural passages involved they find that the impact of the death of Jesus can be just as profound today as it was in the 1st century - and it's all about changing us rather than changing God!
In the dead of night, in the middle of the sea of Galilee under a ferocious storm, Jesus appears walking on the waves towards his disciples. He calms the sea and the boat is immediately at land and safety. It's no wonder that the disciples were amazed at this. What did this mean? If Jesus could control creation by walking on the raging sea, does that make him divine? Does walking on water show that Jesus is God?
Christmas is a time of joy and festivity, but the joy sometimes fades away much quicker than we would like. By turning attention directly to the birth of Christ, can we recapture something of a more permanent joy and rejoicing to help us through life with more optimism and hope?
How can Jesus uniquely be called the Son of God? Does calling him the Son of God make him Deity in any sense? What is Jesus claiming when he says he is the Son of God? All these questions and more are considered in this episode.
How should we read the Old Testament in the light of Jesus? Do we even need to pay it any attention now that Jesus has come? We consider what it means for Jesus to fulfil the Old Testament and find that, when Jesus reads and applies the different parts of the Hebrew Bible, he shows us how to bring it to life in our lives as Christians today.
To kick off a new series on Biblical themes, we look at 8 different ideas about the Kingdom of God. We find that both Jesus' statements about it and the expectations of his audience were deeply rooted in the Old Testament, Hebrew scriptures. This brings to life a tangible picture of what is involved but also something far greater and more universal than even the Jews expected!
When we are downcast and discouraged, is there anywhere we can turn to in order to feel valued again? And do Christianity and the Bible have any wisdom and encouragement to offer? Jesus directly addressed the "poor in spirit" in his famous Sermon on the Mount and it's just as relevant and powerful today as it was when he originally spoke those words.
We finish our conversation discussing whether the text of the New Testament is reliable by diving into some examples of accidental copying mistakes as well as more deliberate changes that a scribe might make when copying texts.
A recent survey puts a surprising number of American Christians outside orthodoxy in relation to the birth of Jesus and his supposed pre-existence. Is there a good explanation for this? Perhaps the straightforward narrative of scripture, and its teaching about the man Jesus Christ, is what sincere church-goers pick up on with good reason.