057 | Jesus is Better: An Introduction to the Book of Hebrews

Welcome to episode 57 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Jesus is better. That’s the theme we see in the New Testament letter to the Hebrews. As the writer of this amazing letter writes to his Jewish friends who were born and raised under the Old Covenant, his purpose is to show them that Jesus is the New Covenant fulfillment of all that the Old Covenant only pictured. Jesus is a better priest with a better sacrifice with a better covenant built on better promises. In short, Jesus is better.

In this episode, we crack open the Book of Hebrews and begin looking at it from the perspective of its original recipients, Jews born under the Old Covenant and committed to the Law of Moses, who had heard about Jesus and the gospel, but were undecided concerning the veracity of what they were hearing. This letter to the Hebrews is the most thorough letter in the New Testament explaining the details of the Old Covenant and its Law and showing their complete fulfillment in Jesus. It is finished and Jesus is better.


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056 | Undiluted Grace

Welcome to episode 56 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Our freeform conversation in this episode goes all over the place. We just grabbed the mics and started talking. Here’s a few of the topics that came up as we talked:

  • We’ve been made obedient from the heart.
  • Did Paul preach law and gospel?
  • The Law increases law-breaking.
  • God did for us what the law couldn’t do.
  • Were non-Jews ever under the Law? Is anyone under the law today?
  • Does the new heart mean you can now keep the law?
  • Is Jesus a new lawgiver with a new law?
  • In Adam, all die. In Christ, we’re made alive.
  • Faith expresses itself in love.
  • Thomas Aquinas’ view of women typifies so much of church history.

 Here’s the links to the 2 books we talk about in this episode:

We also give a shoutout to Mike’s new podcast, The UnSunday Show. The UnSunday Show is up and running and is a podcast where Mike explores in more detail, our journey out of institutional religion. Visit The UnSunday Show and subscribe in Apple Podcasts or in your favorite podcast app.

A personal note: with summer upon us, we may be unable to drop new episodes every week as we do now. But we’re still here and will drop new episodes at every opportunity. Tell a friend about us!


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055 | Finding Rest in Grace Alone

Welcome to episode 55 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is a continuation of sorts of our last two episodes as we continue to talk about the impact of forgetting our identity when it comes to theological talking points like perseverance, suicide, and calling unclean that which God has cleansed. What is perseverance and if a Christian commits suicide, were they really a believer? Is it up to me to get myself safely into heaven by working hard to keep God’s favor? Does persevering to the end mean I’m sweating for Jesus more and more in order to win the prize of eternal life? Can anything separate us from the love of God in Christ? Will Jesus ever abandon us, even in our darkest hour? Is his grace sufficient in bringing me safely into his kingdom or am I responsible to work with God in getting myself there?

Let’s talk about it….

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054 | What God Has Cleansed

Welcome to episode 54 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Guess who’s back? Susan eases back into her podcast chair as her voice continues to slowly return. We revisit some of the topics that came up in the last episode that Susan wanted to talk about, now that her voice is starting to return. More specifically, God’s words to Peter in Acts chapter 10 instructing him to not call anything unclean that God has cleansed.

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the body of Christ. Part of the beauty of the gospel is that we don’t lose our individuality when we believe. We get to be who we are without pretending we’re something else in order to satisfy those around us who think we need to be more like them and less like us. Cookie-cutter Christianity doesn’t exist except in the minds of those who have lost the gospel in the mess of their own tribal doctrine and insecurities.

Grab your favorite beverage, pull up your favorite chair, and join us as we talk about these important subjects and relate them back to our own experiences.


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053 | Two Mouths; One Voice

Welcome to episode 53 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! That pesky flu virus I told you about last week has exited our home but some of its side effects are lingering. Namely, Susan is still without a voice. There’s a lot of whispering going on around here and note-writing on Susan’s part. Needless to say, our conversations have been a little one-sided.

But that didn’t stop her from joining me in the high-tech podcast studio for this episode. Hence the title, Two Mouths; One Voice. Susan joins me via notes and whispers as we talk about how the Holy Spirit guides us further and further into the gospel and a clearer understanding of what really matters. We reflect on our own experiences and how the Holy Spirit most often transforms our thinking and understanding slowly over time. Our love for others will lack to the degree that “Jesus Christ and him crucified” gets lost in our tribal doctrine.


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052 | Rethinking Formal Church Membership

Hello friends and welcome to episode 52 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. The flu bug has hit our house pretty hard and we were unable to record a fresh episode for you so I (Mike) reached over to my recently launched UnSunday Show and grabbed an episode from there to share with you. This episode centers around formal church membership and asks some honest questions about what formal church membership is, why it’s there, and who benefits. If The UnSunday Show is something that tweaks you, it can be found in any podcast app or on-line HERE.

Here’s Mike’s blog post with the links referenced in this episode:


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049 | Recovering From Spiritual Abuse

Welcome to episode 49 of the Grace Cafe Podcast! Let’s talk about picking up the pieces and rebuilding your life and identity following spiritual abuse. You’ve suffered such loss at the hands of an abuser, someone you trusted but who ended up weaponizing your story against you, resulting in so much loss. Loss of friends. Loss of reputation. Loss of family relationships. Loss of confidence. Loss of identity. Loss of hope.

What now? How do you start to rebuild following spiritual abuse at the hands of an abuser you once trusted but who, for their own narcissistic reasons, turned on you, painting themselves as a victim and you as some sort of evil person? What do you do when friends and family believe the false stories being spun about you by an abuser and shun you, while embracing unquestionably, the twisted version spun by your abuser?

Let’s talk about it.

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048 | The Intentional Brutality of Spiritual Abuse

Welcome to episode 48 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s continue our conversation about spiritual abuse. Like abusers in other forms of abuse, spiritual abusers act with intentionality and purpose. They are skilled and accomplished in silencing their victims using tools such as shaming, shunning, bullying, power posturing, lying, and gossiping, to name a few. Spiritual abusers cannot be reasoned with. Once a victim of spiritual abuse speaks up, their character will be assassinated and they will find themselves being shunned by those empathetic with the abuser as he or she spins the truth in such a way as to cast themselves in a good light, while trashing the reputation of the victim(s). 

Victims of spiritual abuse will hear over and over again that the abuser and those in the abuser’s close circle, are disappointed in them. As a result, they begin to think there is something wrong with them and they can easily develop a wrong view of God as they start to believe he is disappointed in them also. While spiritual abuse leaves no physical scars, the scars it does leave are deep-seated ones that can cripple an individual for years and make recovery a long and tedious process.

In this episode, we interact with a listener who reached out to us about their own experiences with spiritual abuse. We also, mention and recommend the following helpful books:

We hope you find encouragement in this episode!

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