Monday, May 5, 2008

Is Anybody Listening? More Info on the Podcasts

The following is a little more information regarding the podcasts that I listen to through iTunes frequently. Most of the programs can also be found through a local radio station; K-Light, KLHT 1040 in Hawai‘i carries most of these programs. Each has its own website and some also use the services of OnePlace.com. The link to OnePlace is included in the list to the left; OnePlace carries the broadcasts on stream and recent episodes for downloading. Most programs are free.

I’ve included a list of recommended episodes for each program. The lists include only episodes that I have heard myself. I sometimes miss an episode here and there and also would not be comfortable promoting something that I have not checked out for myself. This in no way means that these are the only good ones to listen to. By all means, however, be free to choose any episode from the programs that sound interesting and more relevant to you. The programs are all ones that I have listened to for at least a couple of months, some even for years, and have come to trust.

I have also tried to give an account for the audience that each program is geared towards. Some are strongly recommended for the Christian, some are the question and answer type for callers of any persuasion, some would be good for both the believer and the non-believer to hear. Besides, if I know a little about the subject or can link it to something personal in my life, I might reference these programs in an entry, I already have done so quite a few times, so it would be good if you could hear for yourself what was said.

Suggestions for other programs are always welcomed.



Bible Answer Man:
1 hour; hosted by Hank Hanegraaff, president, Christian Research Institute and author
http://www.equip.org/

The Bible Answer Man radio program and podcast is an extension of the Christian Research Institute of Equip.org. The Christian Research Institute was started in 1960 by the late Dr. Walter Martin. The Institute is committed to the principle found in 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” Hank Hanegraaff became the president in 1989. He is an author and regular contributor to the Christian Research Journal.

It’s difficult to point to a specific episode because the Bible Answer Man is a listener call-in program; most shows are labeled simply as “Questions and Answers.” Every so often a show will be dedicated to a specific topic, as the Mormon faith, guest hosts, and such, but for the most part it’s Hank answering callers’ questions.

Questions come from believers and non-believers alike. People have called in questions about the validity of the Bible, what the Bible says regarding contemporary issues, the difference between Chrsitianity and other religions, differences between Christian denominations, etc. Hanegraaff gives answers that are in keeping with the basic tenets of the Christian faith, making clear distinctions between those basic beliefs and the interpretations of traditions and rites that may divide denominations or other faiths.

To that effect, the Bible Answer Man is good for all people to listen to. One can find the Bible Answer Man on ITunes. For some of the recent past episodes, one can find them through the OnePlace.com link to the left.

Hank generally opens the program with a brief talk about a certain topic and then goes to the phones for questions from the callers that are not necessarily related to the opening topic.

Recommended Episodes:
Q&A 04/09/08- start off topic: A New Earth.
Guest Elliot Miller, 04/17/08 and 04/18/08- main topic: the Yoga Boom.
Christianity in Crisis, 04/10/08 and 04/11/08- main topic: the Faith Movement.



BreakPoint:
4 minutes; given by Chuck Colson and Mark Earley.
http://www.breakpoint.org/

BreakPoint is an extension of Prison Fellowship Ministries, but that is not to say that the radio commentary is for inmates necessarily. Colson and Earley briefly yet concisely review many topics and issues that are timely and important to Christians today. Colson is the chairman and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, having experienced the life of the inmate himself for his part in the Watergate Scandal. Colson is also an international speaker, author, and syndicated columnist. Earley, a former state senator and Attorney General for Virginia, is president and CEO of PFM.

Colson addresses the issues from a Christian perspective. I recommend the broadcast to Christians and parents. I add specifically parents also because many issues are ones that parents should be concerned with as they deal with the family or with children. For instance, the “Not My Shower” episode talks about how the people in a certain county are trying to make public restrooms unisex, the reason behind it, and what that means for the safety of your children.

Recent episodes and articles may be found through the OnePlace.com link to the left.

Recommended Episodes:
Not My Shower
Why Be Good?
Theology at the Theater
The Passion in Music
Dismissed! To Study the Bible
Same Old Earth, New Disguise
If It Ain’t Broke…
As Others See Us



Focus on the Family:
30 minutes; hosted by Dr. James Dobson and John Fuller
http://www.focusonthefamily.com/

Dr. Dobson is the founder and chairman of Focus on the Family. He is an author with a background in psychology and a Ph.D. in Child Development. John Fuller is the vice president of the Audio and New Media division of Focus on the Family. More about them can be found through the website.

Focus on the Family Daily Radio Broadcast does make use of the expertise of Dr. Dobson. Every so often, he will carry the program with a pressing issue. Mostly, however, Dr. Dobson’s role is to act as the mediator for a topic to be discussed by a guest or a panel of guests. Focus also relies on the expertise of others; for these shows, Dr. Dobson and John Fuller will take a few minutes to introduce the topic and guest speaker and then dedicate the bulk of the program to the message by the guest speaker. But the focus is always on the strengthening of the family.

The messages are full of humor and good sense, with the occasional hard kick in the seat to act. I recommend the program mainly to Christians since the program is set up from the Christian worldview, but there is such good sense in it that anyone can understand and follow that I think anyone can find the truths in the messages refreshing and useful. In any case, anyone not of the faith can get a good foundation on what it means to be in the faith, why we believe the way we do.

And so in the list below, when it says “by,” that means that the message was given by a guest speaker. When it says “with,” that indicates a program that was hosted by Dr. Dobson with guests. The asterisks are ones that non-believers will especially enjoy or should not miss, but by all means, pick any one of them for yourself.

This list is long and yet I have left out other episodes that I liked. It was such a difficult decision with such a variety of opinions and voices. Basically though, I trust any of the programs given by Focus on the Family. Recent episodes can be found through the Focus on the Family or the OnePlace.com links to the left. Later episodes can be found through the Focus on the Family Resource link at http://resources.family.org/.

Recommended Episodes:
A Man Called Norman 1&2; by Mike Adkins
Encounters with Jesus; by Priscilla Evans Shirer
God’s Grace is Sufficient 1-3; by Mrs. Diet Eman
*Exposing the Truth in the Evolution Debate; with Ben Stein and Walt Ruloff
Finding God in a Prison Cell 1&2; by Rev. Maury Davis
*Delighting in Your Spouse’s Differences 1&2; with Bill and Pam Farrel
*Reaching Hearts on Abortion 1&2; by Scott Klusendorf
The Timeless Truth of Christ 1&2; by Ellie Lofaro
Love in the Midst of Alzheimers; by Robertson McQuilkin
Hope for Your Marriage after Infidelity 1&2; with Gary and Mona Shriver
Reaching Emotional Wholeness 1&2; by Benji Clark Mallory
*Forgiveness in the Wake of Tragedy; by Peter Warren
Sudden Cardiac Arrest, A Survivor’s Story; by Pamela Christian
Keeping the Faith 1&2; with Chuck Colson
The Strength of a Man; by Harold Davis
Mike Singletary, Making a Difference; by Mike Singletary
*Lord, Keep Us Free; by Hansi Hirschmann



Insight for Living:
30 minutes; given by Chuck Swindoll.
http://www.insight.org/site/

After years of service in the Marines and years in the ministry of several churches, Chuck Swindoll is now an author and the founder and senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Texas. Insight for Living, with “a passion for communicating biblical truth with excellence,” is mainly based on the sermons of Swindoll himself.

Some may think that sitting in a pew on Sunday listening to a sermon is boring. It might sound even more boring to listen to a sermon through the radio or a podcast because then one can’t even see the person speaking. But Swindoll’s sermons are rarely boring if any are at all; Swindoll loves a good laugh! I have found his messages to be filled with appropriate humor and topics that are relevant for living today.

Recommended Episodes:
Covering All the Final Bases 1&2
Analysis of a Courtroom Fiasco 1-3
Encountering Jesus along Life’s Road 1-3
When God’s Gift Comes Specially Wrapped 1&2
Listening to Jesus beside the Sea 1-3
Challenged by Jesus on the Mountain 1-3
We Affirm Our Uniqueness 1&2
The Woman Who Fears the Lord 1-3



Renewing Your Mind:
30 minutes; given by R.C. Sproul.
http://www.ligonier.org/

Renewing Your Mind radio program and podcast is an extension of Ligonier Ministries whose mission statement is “Equipping Christians to articulate what they believe and why they believe it.” This mission comes from Paul’s letter to the Romans 12:2, where he says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Theologian, pastor and author R.C. Sproul is the founder and president of Ligonier Ministries.

This program is recommended for Christians who want to be able to answer the tough questions and cultivate a deeper understanding of the Bible. The other half of Romans 12:2 says that through the renewing of your mind, “you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” R.C. Sproul delivers the lessons with more of a scholarly look at the Bible, giving more information than what may be timely possible in a Sunday sermon, such as the context of the place and time, the history, the background of the speaker, the original Hebrew or Greek word for clarification, etc. [The original manuscript for the Old Testament was written in Hebrew; the New Testament in Greek].

Recent broadcasts of Renewing Your Mind may be found through the OnePlace link to the left. Older episodes may be found through the website for Ligonier Ministries.

Recommended Episodes:
Free Will and Divine Sovereighnty
The Davidic Covenant
The Goal of Christian Living
The Philippian Jailer
Guilt and Forgiveness
Spirit in Creative Expression


Truth for Life:
30 minutes; given by Pastor Alistair Begg.
http://www.truthforlife.org/

The Truth for Life broadcast works in conjunction with the ministry of Parkside Church in Ohio. Originally from Scotland, Alistair Begg has been the senior pastor at Parkside since 1983. The mission of TFL is “to teach the Bible with clarity and relevance so that:

Unbelievers will be converted,
Believers will be established and
Local churches will be strengthened.”

More on the mission can be found at the TFL website.

Begg’s messages are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. With that, he is not afraid to deliver hard-hitting messages with full conviction as well as mixing in humorous insights, making for an interesting and valuable listen for anyone. And, as a side note, his accent adds a little something to those who appreciate accents.

Recent episodes may be found through the OnePlace link to the left. Older episodes may be found through the program’s website noted above.

Recommended Episodes:
Every Picture Tells a Story 1 &2
Becoming a Christian
Judas, an Enigma 1&2
A Christian Lifestyle 1&2