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.
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 talk about practical ways of getting to know Jesus even though we only have written accounts in the Gospels to work with. Just as we change when we know and love someone really well, knowing Jesus should change us too.
In this episode Dan chats with Professor Anna Whittaker about her expertise and how it relates to the Bible. There is plenty to learn from Jesus about stress and anxiety. He knows from experience of course, because he endured acute times of stress himself.
The first book of the New Testament is packed full of insight about Jesus, God, the problem with humanity and God's kingdom that Jesus announced. If you want to understand what the Bible and Christianity is really about, you can't go wrong starting with the gospel of Matthew.
There's so much that could be said about the record of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection so we focus this discussion on just one phrase that Jesus said on the cross. It's a heart wrenching moment, but what we think he meant is guided by who we think Jesus is. We explore the narrative, the Psalm in the background and end up with the reflections of the Apostle Paul and the conclusion of Matthew's gospel with the glory of the resurrection.
When Jesus says "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" what kind of kingdom is he talking about? Is heaven a location or something else? Dan and Laurence discover that the kingdom concept is deeply rooted in the message of Israel's ancient prophets while also carrying a timeless call to action.