Displaying episodes 31 - 60 of 521 in total

True Worship

When human beings think of worship, our natural inclination is to understand prayer as a bargain with God: if I praise you, Lord, this will happen for me. If we praise you correctly, we will prosper. If we praise you, our “righteous” goals will be achieved. From this idolatrous and self-serving fundamentalism proceeds all manner of evil: People who engage in wickedness imagine that they are pure; they approach God in prayer thinking not of their sins but of others; by way of a delusional self-portrait of cultic purity, such worshippers impose their will on their neighbor, often with violence. In Matthew, Jesus pushes back against these lies, showing us, instead, that true worship must be offered from a position of weakness. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:12-17. Episode 348 Matthew 21:12-17; Music: Highlight Reel by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3876-highlight-reel License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Spirit of God

This Week, before entering into a discussion of the word “field”, Fr. Paul takes a question from Richard regarding the Spirit of God in Scripture. (Episode 137)

Victory March

In the triumphant entry into Jerusalem portrayed in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is adorned with the standard symbols of a Roman procession: the crowds, evoking bread and circuses; the donkey, a mockery of Caesar Augustus who elevated his stallion to the rank of consul; the gossip in the city, “who is this,” evoking the image of a rising star, a general returning to Rome in victory, suddenly thrust onto center stage. But unlike other generals, Jesus did not enter the city to win its favor, but to destroy it through his defeat, transferring all power and victory to the throne of his Father. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:6-11. Episode 347 Matthew 21:6-11; Music: The Path of the Goblin King by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4503-the-path-of-the-goblin-king License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Through the Nostrils

This week, Fr. Paul notes that the phrase "spiritual life" is nowhere to be found in the Bible, which speaks instead of life bestowed by the Spirit. (Episode 136)

A Plan in Motion

In battle, the US Marine Corps trains their soldiers to “adapt, improvise, and overcome” in carrying out the mission. Leading up to Matthew 21, Jesus has been making plans to carry out his mission with little help from his followers. Only now, on the eve of battle, does he find two able recruits—two blind men—willing to listen. So Jesus adapts and improvises. In place of James and John, he sends two scruffy blind militia ahead to scout the terrain. As to whether or not Jesus overcomes, you may have to re-read St. Paul’s letters a few hundred times before you can hear Matthew’s answer. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:1-5. Episode 346 Matthew 21:1-5; Music: Darkling by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3616-darkling License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

ḥorbah, ḥarabah, yabbašah

In today’s program, Fr. Paul explains that in Scripture, the same item or reality can be either life-giving or disastrous, according to the will of God. (Episode 135)

What Do You Will?

In Matthew, the question of faith or “trust” in the Lord is not a matter of confession, but action. In chapter 9, two blind men proclaimed their trust in Jesus only to disobey him. In chapter 20, we find the same template—two bling men; but now, with Jerusalem just around the corner, the stakes are much higher. Instead of questioning their trust, Jesus cuts directly to the chase, asking whether or not they submit their will to the will of his Father. Where James and John failed, can two blind beggars fill-in? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 20:29-34. Episode 345 Matthew 20:29-34; Music: The Second Coming Instrumental by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4507-the-second-coming-instrumental License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Sea Animals

This week, Fr. Paul explains that in Genesis, with respect to their behavior, human beings must follow the lead of the sea animals. (Episode 134)

To Serve as a Slave

Unlike human philosophy, which re-imagines the world in its image, imposing the ruthless and violent ego of liberal and conservative idealism, Scripture takes the world as it is—with unparalleled attention to facts on the ground—co-opting social structures to serve its agenda. The first produces violence against the other side; the latter calls all of us to crucifixion for our enemies' sake. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 20:24-28. Episode 344 Matthew 20:24-28; Music: Eighties Action by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3703-eighties-action License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Instruments of God’s Will

This week, Fr. Paul explains that in Genesis, the sun and the moon are emasculated by the author and the heavens—looked upon as the realm of the of the gods—are brought down to the level of the earth. (Episode 133)

Not Mine to Give

The difficulty for Christians who aspire to positions of influence and power, is that the top person within the framework they inhabit became the lowest person in the eyes of the world. What can a Christian aspire to if the crown of their leader’s ministry is failure and defeat? What does the mother of the sons of Zebedee expect Jesus to offer her sons, beyond the Cross? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 20:20-23. Episode 343 Matthew 20:20-23; Music: Iron Bacon by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3925-iron-bacon License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Dry One

This week, Fr. Paul explains that, according to the text, the heavenly waters and the earthly waters are one element that had to be separated into two functional entities. (Episode 132)

The Anti-Imperial Throne

As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way he said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and will hand him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify him, and on the third day he will be raised up. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 20:17-19. Episode 342 Matthew 20:17-19; Music: Opium by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4172-opium License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Day is Defined by God

In this week’s episode, Fr. Paul refers to 1 Thessalonians 5 to help illustrate the reality of Genesis 1, in which darkness and the waters function negatively. (Episode 131)

The Marketplace of Humanity

As contemporary society struggles with questions of equity and power, all of us would do well to consider the radical proposition of Scripture, which demotes everyone to the lowest level, assigns some to exercise an unequal authority for its purposes, and then demotes the latter along with everyone else, leaving them in a worse position. “So the last shall be first, and the first last.” (Matthew 20:16) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 20:1-16. Episode 341 Matthew 20:1-16; Music: Sonatina in C Minor by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4393-sonatina-in-c-minor License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Big Deal with Hibdil

This week, Fr. Paul explains how the verb hibdil in Genesis holds one day, day two, and day four together, defining the functionality of the heavens in conjunction with the earth. (Episode 130)

The First Will Be Last

When Peter approaches Jesus to ask, “what then will there be for us,” (Matthew 19:27) his question betrays two sins: first, his belief that he has done the right thing, and, second, his expectation that he deserves a reward for his actions. In his response, Jesus tests both Peter and the addressee of Matthew’s Gospel: is it a reward to be seated in power? “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” (Matthew 19:30) Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 19:27-30. Episode 340 Matthew 19:27-30; Music: Pilot Error by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4216-pilot-error License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Darkness and Waters

In today’s program, Fr. Paul explains the “organic and not emotionally poetic oneness of the heavens and the earth” noting that the second creation narrative begins again with the mention of the waters. (Episode 129)

No Good Thing

Among the disastrous consequences of the Synoptic thesis of the gospels is the erasure of each individual author’s intent. Is there a generalized parable of the Rich Man that happens to appear in Matthew, or is there a teaching of Matthew that retools the parable to say something different than the other gospels? If we assume a generalized parable, we blind ourselves, and shut our ears to Matthew’s account of the teaching of Jesus Christ. God forbid! Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 19:16-23. Episode 339 Matthew 19:16-23; Music: Enter the Party by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3713-enter-the-party License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Heavens and the Earth

This week, Fr. Paul highlights the function of the heavens’ priority within the purview of the author, reminding us that the pairing of the heavens and the earth signifies an encompassing reality, a totality.(Episode 128)

Mic Drop

Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah saying, “Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts.(Zechariah 7:8–13) And after hearing all that Jesus said in Matthew 18, the disciples scolded the little children and told them to go away. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 19:13–15. Episode 338 Matthew 19:13–15; Music: Virtutes Instrumenti by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4590-virtutes-instrumenti License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Part of the Whole

In today’s program, Fr. Paul explains that Genesis, like all other books of the Bible, is part of a whole, and cannot be understood until all the pieces are brought together. (Episode 127)

Mission Priority

Nothing irritates a person of responsibility more than someone or something that distracts from the issue at hand. Faced with distraction, a wise manager acts quickly to get the team back on track. Whatever the disturbance, the manager’s goal is to settle the matter soon so that the team can stay on task to complete the mission. That’s what St. Paul does in 1 Corinthians 7, and that’s exactly what Matthew picks up on in chapter 19 of his gospel. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 19:10-12. Episode 337 Matthew 19:10-12; Music: Lamentation by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3965-lamentation License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Is That for Real?

This week, Fr. Paul conintues his discussion of functionality and the meaning of words revisiting the biblical verb bara. (Episode 126)

Certificate of Divorce?

When children argue, they lobby their parents to choose a side. An unwise parent intervenes to solve the conflict, deciding who is right and who is wrong. This parent is unwise, because no matter how well-reasoned the discussion, the intervention teaches the child a horrible lesson: when you have a dispute with another person, instead of humbling yourself and negotiating a compromise, appeal to a higher authority. If the authority sides with you, you have the power to impose your will on your neighbor. In contrast, a wise parent intervenes only when circumstances demand action—and if they intervene—it is to hold both parties accountable. Under the care of a wise parent, nobody wins the argument. Instead, each child looks to their own mistakes and embraces their sibling in friendship. Acting like children, adults try to use the law the same way children use their parents: “If I can just get the law on my side, then I can impose my will on others.” That’s exactly why the Pharisees ask Jesus about divorce. Like a wise parent, Jesus turns the question against the accuser. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 19:1-9. Episode 336 Matthew 19:1-9; Music: Misuse by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4062-misuse License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

New Podcast on ESN: The Way

Fr. Dustin explores how scripture frees us from the Pharoah's of our day so that we can walk The Way in obedience to the scriptural God. (Episode 1) Subscribe: https://feeds.transistor.fm/the-way

Out of the Rubble

Cautioning against the preconceived meaning of words, Fr. Paul explains that our understanding of a term’s meaning must conform to that term’s usage in the text, in context. (Episode 125)

The Sword of Damocles

The meaning of Scripture is plain and straightforward. It is intricate and detailed, yes. It takes time and effort to digest, yes. It presents arguments that demand intellectual engagement, yes. But all this must never be confused with complexity. As we often say on the podcast, you do not need a seminary degree to understand the Bible. You may need help from someone who knows languages, or another who is familiar with history, only because so much time has passed since the Bible was written. But the original audience did not need the help of scholars to get the message. The average Joe heard and immediately understood. Why else would the Romans have been so terrified of St. Paul’s Gospel? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 18:23-35. Episode 335 Matthew 18:23-35; Music: Miami Viceroy by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4046-miami-viceroy License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


Walking us through the author’s use of the Hebrew word reshith in Genesis, Fr. Paul exposes the deficiency of biblical translations. (Episode 124)

On the Hook

People love rules for two reasons. First, they want clear guidelines on what they need to do to be in good standing, and therefore, off the hook. Second, as rule followers, they want a high perch from which to look down and criticize others who, by their measure, do not follow the rules. In Matthew, Jesus teaches that God provides his rules in the Torah because of the hardness of men's hearts. Such laws are not the measure of success, but a minimum requirement from a God who demands perfection of his followers. So Peter—please—do not quote Leviticus to get yourself off the hook for your duty to the Gentiles. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 18:21-22. Episode 334 Matthew 18:21-22; Music: Bama Country by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3417-bama-country License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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