Welcome to episode 85 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. We’ve had some recent conversations with others who’ve related their stories to us about how asking honest questions resulted in being shunned, shamed, and even asked to leave the group they were in. When our journeys take a turn away from performance and toward a more genuine experience with grace, the resulting freedom that accompanies that experience is scary to those who haven’t discovered it yet and asking questions or expressing new opinions based on your new-found freedom, is a threat to those in charge or those whose journey is all about performance.
Welcome to episode 84 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. When John wrote, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17), was he giving us a formula to keep grace in check with truth? Does grace need balanced with truth in order to keep it manageable? Is truth somehow opposed to the free operation of grace? I lost count years ago of the number of times I’ve heard John’s words explained this way.
Welcome to episode 83 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Fear and doubt. These are two emotions we can all relate to and we all experience to varying levels and at different times. In performance-based, top-down religious environments, fear and doubt are common byproducts because the spotlight is on our own failed performance. At the same time, fear and doubt are not allowed to be expressed in that environment because they’re counterproductive to it. In performance-based Christianity, fear and doubt require us to wear masks and pretend we’re something we’re not, increasing our level of fear and doubt. The goal is to clean it up and get back to pretending.
Welcome to episode 82 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. In this edition of Take Five, Mike talks about taking up our cross and following Jesus. When Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24) was he referring to a spiritual discipline that involves denying my own needs and bearing up under trials? That’s a common interpretation of this passage. We’re told that when trials come, we all “have our cross to bear” and my ability to hold up well under trials becomes the litmus test for revealing how strong or weak my faith is, based on my ability or inability to deny myself and bear my cross.
But is that what Jesus meant? A more intentional look at the context reveals something completely different. This is not a spiritual discipline, but an invitation to believe. Here’s a link to the blog post I quoted from in last week’s edition of Take Five as well as this week’s:
Welcome to episode 81 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Joel Brueseke joins us on this episode as we talk about what it means to be rooted and grounded in grace. Joel is co-host, along with Mike Kapler, of The Growing in Grace podcast and Joel also has a solo podcast and blog called Grace Roots. Our conversation took us into the many things that so easily distract us and lure us away from what it means to be rooted and grounded in grace alone, apart from performance. You can find Joel on line at:
Welcome to episode 80 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. In this edition of Take Five, let’s talk about what is often referred to as spiritual disciplines. Specifically, the assumed discipline of dying daily. Paul told the Corinthians he died daily. I believe we have incorrectly inserted ourselves into that passage in an attempt to make dying daily a spiritual discipline that we’re to be actively doing. But is that what Paul had in mind? Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 79 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s talk about suffering. Our view of God will determine our view of suffering. Is God trying to teach me a lesson through suffering? If so, am I responsible to figure out what God is trying to teach me in my suffering? Am I suffering for Jesus enough? How does our theology impact our view of, and our response to, suffering?
Welcome to episode 78 of the Grace Cafe Podcast and this edition of Take Five. Let’s talk about how to have a Jesus-lite theology of the New Covenant and the dark side of making the New Covenant more about our performance than Jesus’ shed blood. This episode is based on a blog post I wrote by the same title. For your convenience, here’s a link to that blog that serves as a loose transcript for this episode.