044 | Jesus and Women: Lessons For a 21st Century Church

Welcome to episode 44 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s turn our attention to a few of Jesus’ encounters with women of his day as we continue our theme of Pictures of Jesus. The culture of Jesus’ day was steeped in patriarchal tradition where women had no rights and were subservient to the male-dominated culture. Society had digressed to the point where a man could divorce his wife for any reason at any time. Women had no voice in that culture and within that society. They were completely dependent upon the male-dominated culture and had no identity of their own, separate from male interpretation.

Enter: Jesus, who broke all of the acceptable social rules of the day and had public, one-on-one conversations with women who were social outcasts and who had no voice or individual social identity or value. He cared for them, interacted with them directly, and treated them with value, respect, love, and concern. He treated them as they were meant to be treated from the beginning – as co-regents with their male counterparts (Genesis 1:26-28). 

Today, we read passages in our Bibles that tell us there is no social segregation between male and female within the church and while we might assent to that truth intellectually, the reality is our practice often contradicts and denies what we profess. What did Paul mean by that statement? Grab your favorite beverage and join our conversation.


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043 | Clash of the Covenants: A Conversation with Mike Kapler

Welcome to episode 43 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is a conversation with Michael C. Kapler about his book, Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee. If you’ve been around Christianity for more than a week, you’ve probably noticed the confusion that exists concerning grace and law; Old Testament and New Testament. What in the Bible applies to us this side of the cross of Christ and what does not? We see God in the Old Testament doling out 613 commands to ancient Israel with the requirement that all 613 must be obeyed perfectly all the time. In the New Testament we read things like “the Law was weak and useless” and “no one will be justified by the works of the Law.”

Add to that, the Ten Commandments and the confusion goes up exponentially. Are the Ten Commandments the “unchanging moral law” of God as at least one theological tradition would have us believe? Or maybe only eight or nine of the ten are for us today. What did Paul mean when he said, “Christ is the end of the Law for all who believe”? Are we supposed to ditch the Law in favor of something new, different, or better? If so, what becomes of the Law and what is our relationship to it? Is the Law of Moses divided into sections of civil, ceremonial, and moral and only the moral law (i.e. the Ten Commandments) applies today? If so, why did James say if we break any one of the 613 commands, we are guilty of breaking them all? Is God policing us to make sure we obey the Law? How does grace fit into this?

In my opinion, Mike’s book, Clash of the Covenants, is required reading to begin sorting out these and many, many other questions. It’s in an easy-to-read format that will draw you into the discussion. Listen in to our conversation as we talk about The Sermon on the Mount, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Old and New Covenants, and the Law of Moses, to name a few.

Since 2005, Mike Kapler, along with Joel Brueseke, have been hosting the weekly podcast, Growing in Grace. If you’re not familiar with it, do yourself a huge favor and subscribe. It is one of our favorites!

-Enjoy!


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042 | Pictures of Jesus: Compassion and Love

Welcome to episode 42 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. In this episode we take a look at some snapshots of Jesus in the New Testament. We don’t mean literal pictures but short snippets some of the New Testament writers give us regarding Jesus’ compassion and love for humanity. We then remind ourselves that these same attributes of compassion and love belong to the Father as well because Jesus said that anyone who has seen him, has seen the Father and the New Testament also describes Jesus as the exact representation of the Father. Many times, religion steals this from us and instead, gives us a Father who is angry and vindictive.

We think that’s a gross misrepresentation of what God is like. So let’s explore this idea. Grab your favorite beverage, get comfortable, and let’s talk about the Father’s amazing compassion and love for us.

Here’s a link to Mike’s blog post called The Prodigal’s Father that we allude to in this episode.

-Enjoy!


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041 | A Look Back

Welcome to episode 41 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. Happy New Year! In this episode, Mike & Susan pause to take a look back at 14 previous episodes and recap the content of each. As this episode progresses, a common theme emerges around the importance of our identity in Jesus. How the Father views us gets skewed by false ideas, tribal doctrine, the opinions of others, and our own sense of unworthiness. 

This episode is a reminder that we are called sons and daughters of God, meaning that the Father treats us like he treats Jesus. He’s never disappointed in us. That’s grace. Grab your favorite beverage, hop in your favorite chair, and listen in as we gospel up one another for 2019.

-Enjoy!


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040 | VIDEO: A Holiday Update From The Grace Cafe

Welcome to episode 40 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is a short video update from the Cafe. We’re on the road this holiday season and in lieu of a regular episode, we stopped to film this short video update to wish you all a happy new year. We’ll be back with regular episodes next week!

See you in 2019!

Mike

039 | Christmas is a Rescue

Welcome to episode 39 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Christmas is upon us, so let’s talk about it. God becoming flesh wasn’t done in a vacuum. It was done for a reason. Jesus was born to rescue us and his rescue was accomplished by his dying for our sin and being raised for our justification. Crucial and necessary to his dying, was his birth. The two cannot be separated. In order to die and rise again, he first had to be born.

In this episode we talk about everything Christmas and the hope we have in Jesus. Grab your favorite beverage, put your feet up, and listen in as we talk about this inexhaustible gospel of grace.

-Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!


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038 | God Is For You

Welcome to episode 38 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Thank you for the response we received from our previous episode (37). The notes and stories you sent prompted our topic for this episode. Some of you reached out to tell us about your own journeys out of institutional religion and the effects of spending years in settings lite on the gospel and heavy on rules.

In this episode, we talk about God’s real opinion of us as we interact with 3 of the letters we received. Mike’s been fighting off a virus so please excuse his voice when it gets a little rough in spots.

You’ll find The Grace Cafe Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GraceCafePodcast/.

Enjoy!


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037 | Our Journey Out Of Institutional Religion

Welcome to episode 37 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. About 2 years ago, Susan and I had a conversation about our trek out of organized religion. That conversation was episode 5 of Mike’s old Ekklesia Podcast. The Ekklesia Podcast was a venue where Mike fleshed out some of his thoughts about organized, institutional religion and our involvement in it. Ekklesia is the Greek word translated “church” in our New Testaments and Mike used the Ekklesia Podcast as an ongoing conversation about the differences between the ekklesia Jesus is building and many of the institutional churches we build.

We hope you enjoy this episode. we would love to hear from you! If you get a chance, be sure to leave us a review in iTunes or on the Apple Podcast App.

-Enjoy!


Photo by Ruediger Theiselmann on Unsplash