Category Archives: Listener Feedback

56: Confidence or Arrogance | Listener Feedback

In this episode John and Gregg discuss listener feedback from Eric in the comments for Episode #41.  Eric believes John and Gregg have been overly critical of The Misunderstood God by Darin Hufford in a way that is unnecessary and misses the value others have found in Hufford’s message.

John and Gregg reflect on this feedback and consider why they are being critical and detail oriented. Gregg comments on this in the context of his current experiences at Swiss L’Abri where new arrivals often complain that discussions about God are overly complex or major on minor ideas. If people stay for a while this perspective often changes.

Gregg notes that putting valid or questionable details into an orientation that doesn’t work may take you to the wrong destination. This has been Gregg’s concern with The Misunderstood God.
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48: Starting With the Right Orientation | Listener Feedback

In this episode John and Gregg continue their discussion from Episode 47 around Kyle Idleman’s message from May 25, 2014 titled The Inside-Out Way of Jesus: Humbled To Be Exalted (week 2) and attempting to answer listener Brandon’s questions.

The notes John refers to taking from Idleman’s message are here.

Gregg sums up his view of this sermon by Kyle Idleman be wanting to re-focus on the correct guiding principle within Christianity.  So instead of focusing on ‘heaven or hell’ Gregg suggests that the message of Christianity (and its proper focus) is first that God loves you.  Second, that God is truly sovereign and truly parent.  Third, that God desires to enact a love relationship in a context of truth (and truth-seeking) and that God will instigate that relationship, even if that is by means of you being exposed to the biblical text or to Christians who demonstrate God’s love to you in how they respond to you.

So Gregg rejects Kyle Idleman’s view that humility–humbling ourselves–is the answer for any situation in which we find ourselves.  Instead, Gregg argues that humility’s proper context is the Christian’s proper, overarching orientation: loving God entirely, loving yourself rightly, and loving your neighbour likewise.
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47: Step Away From the Boat | Listener Feedback

Today’s episode and the next where sparked by listener comments and questions from Brandon in Louisville, Kentucky.

Brandon writes:

Hey guys. I’m a casual listener. I might have gotten through the first 10 or 12 podcast so far. Great job producing so much content consistently. A couple things.

Early on Gregg mentioned a book he was looking forward to reading by some one who was an expert in near east history. At the time I tried to google the name but couldn’t find anything. Now I have forgotten it altogether.

So, the reason for my correspondence. I’ve often been frustrated with Christian books that call for total commitment…like we are just supposed to stand there and strain every muscle and tendon in our body thinking about Jesus. I haven’t read anything by Kyle Idleman nor did I know anything about him other than what you guys have mentioned in the podcast. I recently moved to Louisville KY, and haven’t had much luck finding a church in the first couple weeks. So I decided to give Southeast Christian (the local megachurch) a try. Guess who was preaching? It rhymes with smile shy dill man. Anyway, I was really touched by the sermon on humility and I wanted to know what you all think.

In a subsequent follow-up Brandon also wrote:

also, I’d reallly love to hear you all define “love” in relationship to God and man.

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38: Sin’s Significance

In this episode John and Gregg discuss listener feedback directed to both of them. The feedback to Gregg suggests that those who do not focus on grace are those who have not yet understood the enormity of their sin (on the example of the woman in Luke 7). The feedback sent to John concerns the difference between the older and the younger brother in the parable of the prodigal son, and expressed concern that John remain humble even though he has not had significant moments of acting against his Christian views or “sinfully.”

John clarifies that while he has a hard time seeing “the gravity of his sins and shortcomings,” in no way does he see himself as better than others, if anything he envies those who have had more overt experiences of God, such as the listener engaging with us.

Gregg responds that often he hears responses of gratitude and thankfulness to God’s grace or forgiveness but that the biblical text, in the context of forgiveness of sins Luke 7, presents the matter in much better way: “the one who has been forgiven much loves much.”  In other words, the most existentially fitting response to God, in this context, is to love.

Gregg goes on to question how we view sin.  Specifically, where Christians understand God primarily as sovereign, sin is a list of things that we have done wrong (i.e., ways in which we have not been obedient servants and so merit punishment or God’s disdain).  But where we see God as parent then sin acts or dispositions, conscious or preconscious, commissive or ommissive, which thwart my relationship with God.  Sin in this context does not drive God from me but moves me further from God.
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34: Beyond Salvation | Listener Feedback

In this episode John and Gregg discuss listener feedback from Joanne, on Episode 31. Joanne commented on relating to God as “father” and “abba.”  Joanne explained this with reference to Romans 8:15, which refers to people being adopted into God’s family contrasted with earlier parts of Romans that also touches on slavery–a topic Kyle Idleman hit hard in Not a Fan.

Gregg identifies similarities in both Joanne’s and, earlier, Melinda’s comments and in his responses to both, where Gregg distinguished ‘how’ something takes place versus ‘why’ it takes place.  While John wonders about the significance of adoption in contrast to slavery, Gregg clarifies the context and purpose of the book of Romans.  In brief, Romans argues for the legitimacy of Jesus as the messiah who fulfills the covenant and bears the consequences for Israel’s failure, in Israel’s place.  In this way, the promise to Abraham is also fulfilled and as such non-Jews are now invited to enter into right relationship with God.  Hence “adoption.”
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