Episode 19 – Dustin McClain

Church Planter Dustin McClain joins this episode of Scripture & Spice. Micah asks Dustin about the decision making and practical processes of planting a church in 2019. The two talk about opportunities and challenges facing churches in our society. Pastor Dustin’s passionate faith is on full display as he introduces listeners to Purpose Church – launching January 27th, in Murray, Kentucky.

Visionary Leadership

I grew up attending church with my family.  I found Jesus in a church.  Moreover, I have encountered some of the nicest people on planet Earth in church.  Over the years I developed a deep love and appreciation for the church, her people, and her mission.  My love for the church led me on a path to become a pastor.  During my pastoral tenure I have become passionate about nurturing and growing the church.    This task is not without difficulty.  Given current social trends it is not surprising that so many churches are struggling to keep their doors open.  Meanwhile, such struggling churches focus almost all of their resources on surviving, thus they lose sight of their mission of service and ministry that had once been such a vital role of the church’s story.  Somewhere along the way, the church has lost its vision.

The arrival of 2019 provides the church a great opportunity to think about her future.  What dreams and goals do we have as a church?  What is it that God wants from us in the years ahead?  And how are we going to get there?  These are the kinds of questions that weren’t answered in seminary.  Being a visionary leader in the church is not a recommendation; it is a requirement!  As the Scripture says, “Where there is no prophetic vision, the people perish.”  (Proverbs 29:18)  We must hone in and commit ourselves to the church’s future.  Pray for your church, her leaders, and that the vision becomes crystal clear.  And get ready for a fun and fruitful 2019.

-Micah Spicer

Episode 18 – Dr. Ron Williams

Retired pastor and New Testament Professor Emeritus Ron Williams is back for his second appearance on Scripture & Spice. In this Advent episode, Dr. Williams offers his insights to messianic theology during the 2nd Temple Period and how Christians have interpreted Jesus as Messiah.

Episode 17 – Dr. Greg Wolfe

Our residential Old Testament Scholar, Dr. Greg Wolfe, is back on this episode of Scripture & Spice. During this season of Advent, Dr. Wolfe offers his insights on how the Hebrew people understood their messiah in the ancient world. Samuel Ebelhar and Curtis J. Hannah join in studio for this fun and informational discussion.

Episode 16 – Rev. Dr. Dwight A. Moody

The Rev. Dr. Dwight A. Moody, founder and former president of the Academy of Preachers –a national organization that nurtures and inspires young preachers — joins Micah in this episode to discuss the role that preaching has played throughout the ages. 

Immaculate Conception or Virgin Birth

As we approach Christmas, I am enjoying my time spent preparing for a sermon series on Jesus’ family tree.  Each week, I examine another woman listed in Jesus’ family tree according to the genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel.  Five are mentioned: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife, and Mary.  As we read the introductory verses in the New Testament, the regular drumming pattern of a list of male names is jarred by mention of these women.  Simply put, they do not belong in a formal genealogy of the royal family.  The author purposefully injects these women into this lineage.  Strikingly, these women share a common thread – sexual promiscuity.  Tamer, a widow desperate for a child, purposely got pregnant by dressing up as a roadside prostitute and enticing her own father-in-law.  Rahab was a prostitute.  Ruth was a Moabite woman who crawled into the bed of Boaz after getting him drunk one night.  Bathsheba had an adulterous affair with King David and ended up pregnant, bringing shame on the Great King of Israel.  Mary is an unmarried teenage girl who becomes pregnant.  Such scandal!

Unlike the women whose stories are told in the Hebrew Bible, Mary becomes a focal figure in Christian theology very early in the life of the church.  The earliest creeds affirm, based on Scripture, that Jesus was “conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.”  A friend told me that he listened to his preacher deliver a sermon on his belief in the “immaculate conception.”  This friend, a biblical scholar, then had the audacity to correct the preacher by saying, “you do not believe in the ‘immaculate conception;” instead, you support the ‘virgin birth” theory.  It is easy to confuse the “immaculate conception” with the “virgin birth.”  I would like to end by sharing the distinctions with you.  The Immaculate Conception, as taught by the Roman Catholic Church, refers to the conception of Mary by her mother, not to the conception of Jesus.  This teaching holds that Mary was born without “original sin.”  Because she was without sin, she was able to give birth to Jesus in a special state of moral purity.  The “virgin birth,” on the other hand, is the belief that Mary, without a man, became pregnant through the agency of the Holy Spirit.  It refers more to the source of pregnancy than to the birth itself.

– Micah Spicer

Episode 15 – Randy Jones

United Methodist Pastor Randy Jones joins Micah in studio.  In this episode, they discuss the role of forgiveness in the the life of a believer.  Who has the authority and responsibility to forgive sin?  Is forgiveness a gift, or an act of justice?  Tune in to find out.

Episode 14 – Chris George

Dr. Chris George joins Micah to offer his pastoral perspective on the church and its role in seeking justice in the world.  The personal experiences Chris shares from his ministry at Smoke Rise Baptist Church offer meaningful examples on how a congregation can be hospitable and neighborly in our world today.

Episode 12 Shane Tucker

Rev. Shane Tucker joins this episode of Scripture & Spice to discuss Israel’s economy during the Monarchy. God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt and offered them a new way to live in community together. Do they adequately meet those expectations once they enter the Promised Land and establish their government? Listen in to find out!

Episode 11 – Leland Merritt

Leland Merritt joins Scripture & Spice to share his insights on the economic systems developed in the Hebrew Bible.  Pharaoh’s economic practices of exploitation in Egypt provide a context for God to call his people to a new way of life and community living as they travel through the wilderness.  How does Pharaoh’s economy compare to our current context and how might Christians live and seek justice in spite of unfair economic practices?  Listen in to find out.

Episode 10 – Rev. Betty Sivas

Reverend Betty Sivas joins Scripture & Spice to discuss the final words of Jesus in the Gospels.  His last words of instruction to his followers have long impacted the way the church thinks about mission.  Listen in as Betty and Micah examine the commissioning passages in the New Testament.

Episode 8 – Dr. Bugg Review

Retired pastor and preaching professor, Dr. Chuck Bugg, joins this episode of Scripture & Spice to discuss the down turn in attendance and enthusiasm among churches following Easter.  While the dip in enthusiasm is natural, Dr. Bugg suggests that there are ways churches can and should build off of the momentum of Easter.  You will also hear what it means for Christians to think of themselves as post Easter people.

Episode 7 – Resurrection Continued Review

Rev. Thomas joins Scripture & Spice to talk about the resurrection of Jesus and its impacts on humanity.  Micah and Charles summarize ancient religious and pagan beliefs about afterlife and contrast such views with their understanding of how afterlife theology is presented in the New Testament.

Episode 6 – Resurrection Review

Rev. Josh Hardesty joins Scripture & Spice to talk about the remarkable events that took place on Easter morning.  During their discussion, Micah and Josh define resurrection, examine the Easter accounts recorded in the Gospels, and debate the different perspectives offered by the Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Episode 5 – Crucifixion & Love Review

In this episode of Scripture & Spice Dr. Court Lewis joined Micah to discuss the death of Christ on the cross and its implications for Christians.  The bible suggests that Jesus’ death on a cross is an act of love.  Theologians throughout history, specifically Peter Abelard, have developed atonement theologies about the love of God made known through Christ.  Tune in to hear their discussion about the cross as an act of love, and even hear the philosopher articulate his personal atonement theology.

Episode 4 – Crucifixion & Victory Review

In this episode of Scripture & Spice Dr. Ron Williams joined Micah to discuss the death of Christ on the cross and its implications for Christians.  This week, they examine the theme of victory in Christ’s atoning death.  How can one perceive such a humiliating death as a victory?  Moreover, is it possible that Christ’s death creates victory in us?  Listen in as Ron and Micah summarize and seek to better understand the Christus Victor theory of atonement.

Podcast 3 – Crucifixion & Sacrifice Review

In this episode of Scripture & Spice Dr. Greg Wolfe joined Micah to discuss the death of Christ on the cross and its implications for Christians.  The Bible teaches that Jesus dies on the cross as a ‘sacrifice.’  What does that really mean?  Moreover, how can we use Old Testament sacrificial laws to help us understand what the death of Jesus accomplishes?  Listen in to this informative and transformational episode to find out.

Crucifixion & Justice Review

In this episode of Scripture & Spice, Emily Malone joined Micah to discuss the death of Christ on the cross and its implications for Christians.  Specifically, they consider atonement and how images of lawcourt and justice are prevalent in the biblical narrative.  During their conversation, they journeyed through history and identified unique theologies regarding atonement that have developed through the ages.  They then weigh in on their perspectives of what Christ’s death means for all of us.

Historical Jesus & Crucifixion Review

In this episode of Scripture & Spice, licensed pastoral counselor Joe Bob Pierce joined Micah to discuss the historical Jesus, his crucifixion, and ways for Christians to understand and interpret his death on the Roman Cross.  They make the case for the historical Jesus, an actual person in human history; moreover, they insist that he did, as the bible suggests, die on a cross.  The crucifixion of Jesus is a colossal event in human history, especially for Christians.  This session begins a dialogue discussing that event.