Paul the Decorated

What makes Paul, the Apostle, an authority figure in the early church?  Does he have the right education, credentials, or job experiences that make him an expert?  Questions of authority arise early and often during Paul’s career.  In this Scripture & Spice Podcast episode, we consider church authority in our times and in Paul’s day.

Also in this episode:

  • What’s on your resume?
  • How does society recognize achievements?
  • Paul’s complicated relationship with the Corinthians
  • What gives someone authority in church?
  • Scripture of the Day: 2 Corinthians 11:22-27

23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,[b] in cold and exposure.

Problems with Paul

The Apostle Paul is considered a hero in the Christian faith.  He preaches the gospel, performs miracles, and suffers immense persecution as a result.  While many admire the man, others characterize him as a sexist and supporter of slavery. In this Scripture & Spice Podcast episode, Micah address these concerns by examining Paul’s theology and his actions.

 

Also in this episode:

 

– How to pronounce Philemon

– Does Paul support slavery?

– Is it fair for us to expect figures from the past to have transcended their times?

– Scripture of the Day: Philemon 1-25

Paul’s Faith is Tested

The Apostle Paul is considered a hero in the Christian faith.  He preaches the gospel, performs miracles, and suffers immense persecution as a result.  How does Paul handle tragedy and suffering? More specifically, what does Paul do when his faith is shaken?  In this Scripture & Spice Podcast episode, Micah suggests that Paul uses tragedy and suffering to shape and grow his faith.

 

Also in this episode:

 

– When our faith gets shaken

– What kind of things challenge our faith?

– How do we respond when our faith is challenged?

– Scripture of the Day: Acts 19:22

Celebrating Unforeseen Success

 The Apostle Paul is considered a hero in the Christian faith.  He preaches the gospel, performs miracles, and suffers immense persecution as a result.  In a time of grief and despair, Paul receives news of unheralded success. The Thessalonian Congregation is standing firm in their convictions to follow Jesus in spite of suffering.   In this Scripture & Spice Podcast episode, Micah and Curtis discuss Paul’s reaction to this good news.

 

– That’s a pleasant surprise!

– Thessalonians as Paul’s crowning achievement

– Pastoral concerns to grieving families

– What happens to those who die before Christ’s return?

–  Scripture of the Day: 1st Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 4   13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[d] that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Foolishness of God

The Apostle Paul is considered a hero in the Christian faith.  He preaches the gospel, performs miracles, and suffers immense persecution as a result.  In his day, Paul presented a unique religious perspective; namely, to serve a crucified messiah.  Opponents would have his considered this message foolish. In this Scripture & Spice Podcast episode, Micah & Curtis discuss Paul and his thoughts on the folly of his own beliefs.

 

– Wisdom and Foolishness

– Scandal of the Cross

– Why the message of a crucified messiah is difficult to sell in the 1st Century?

– What does it mean to preach Christ crucified?

– Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 10:14, Proverbs 7:22-23, Proverbs 26:11 & 1st Corinthians 1:18-25

Paul on Trial in Greece

The Apostle Paul is considered a hero in the Christian faith.  He preaches the gospel, performs miracles, and suffers immense persecution as a result. How did Paul handle the possibility of suffering for his faith in Jesus the Messiah?  In this Scripture & Spice Podcast episode, we examine Paul as he stands on trial in Athens.

Also in this episode:
– Ancient Greece gives us Philosophy and Democracy
– The Apostle Paul preaches Jesus in the marketplace and the synagogues
– What is natural theology?
Paul on trial at the Areopagus
– Scripture of the Day: Acts 17:16-33

Paul Faces Conflict

The Apostle Paul is considered a hero in the Christian faith.  He preaches the gospel, performs miracles, and suffers immense persecution as a result.  Paul encountered conflict, not just with opponents of Christianity, but also faced obstacles within the church.  In this Scripture & Spice Podcast episode, Micah acknowledge issues of conflict that plague Paul’s ministry and explores how Paul addresses said conflict.

Also in this episode:

  • Hear Micah talk about the first church he served as pastor.
  • What was the Apostle Paul’s first ministry assignment
  • How should we we address conflict in the church?
  • Challenges in Antioch
  • The role of compromise when there are disagreements
  • Scriptures of the day:  Acts 11:19-30 & Galatians 2:11-21

Paul and his Conversion

The Apostle Paul is considered a hero in the Christian faith.  He preaches the gospel, performs miracles, and suffers immense persecution as a result.  How did Paul interpret his encounter with the risen Christ?  In this Scripture & Spice Podcast episode, Micah offers insights into how Paul could have interpreted the Damascus Road experience that would forever change Paul’s life.

Also in this episode:

  • Bible characters and why it is hard to understand them
  • Why are there so many interpretations to Paul’s letters in the New Testament?
  • When did Saul become Paul?
  • Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus.
  • Scripture of the Day: Acts 9:1-9

Understanding the Empty Tomb

The tomb is empty on Easter morning.  Jesus is not there, for he has risen!  How do we interpret the meaning of the empty tomb?  How did those close to Jesus understand his resurrection?   In this Episode of the Scripture and Spice Podcast, we are going to dive into ways to interpret the resurrection of Jesus and the good news of the empty tomb.

Also in this Episode:

– How do Mary Magdalene, Peter, and the Beloved Disciple react to the empty tomb?
– How does Jesus reveal himself to his followers?
– John 20:1-2

20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

Lessons from the Cross

The Cross has been the symbol of Christianity for centuries.  What do we know about Crucifixion from the ancient world? How might these insights help us to understand Jesus’ death better?  In this episode of the Scripture and Spice Podcast, learn about Jesus’ death on the cross, and the political and religious implications.

Also in this Episode:

  • What typically happened to the bodies of those crucified?
  • What does archaeology teach us about the ancient practice of crucifixion?
  • What makes this specific crucifixion unusual for Pilate?
  • Scripture of the Day: Matthew 27:11-24

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

 

Nehemiah: the Scripture, the Man, the Mission.

Nehemiah

  • What is the historical context of Nehemiah?
  • Tell us about the character Nehemiah.
  • What is the relationship between the Biblical books of  Ezra and Nehemiah?
  • What does the book of Nehemiah tell us about how we should live our lives today?

In this special edition of Scripture & Spice, the team travels to a beautiful, warm sanctuary, on a cold, icy day to do a live radio broadcast for church and community members stuck at home on the Lord’s Day due to harsh road conditions.

Messiah in the New Testament

Matthew 1 & 2, Luke 1 & 2

  • What does the term Christ mean?  Is it the last name of Jesus of Nazareth?
  • What is the difference between “Messiah” and “Christ?”
  • Cyrus as Messiah?
  • What does it mean to say that Jesus is the Christ?
  • What do the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke tell us about Jesus?

 

Messiah in the Old Testament

Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2, 2 Samuel 7

  • What does the biblical term “messiah” mean?
  • How does the faith community evolve in their understanding of messiah?
  • Does the Old Testament hint at or predict Jesus as Messiah?
  • How does the Old Testament shape our understanding of Christ?

 

 

Jesus, Justice, and the Church

What does justice look like today?  How can Christians be good neighbors?  Chris George, pastor of Smoke Rise Baptist Church, joins Micah Spicer to grapple with these practical questions for churches and people of faith.

Also in this Episode:

  • “Mine” as a naughty word.
  • How can churches address issues of economic justice in our community.
  • Scripture of the Day: The Book of Ruth, Acts 2:42-47

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

 

Jesus & Temple Economics

Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48, John 2:13-22

  • What economic implications does the temple have in Israel during the lifetime of Jesus?
  • What does Jesus think about taxes and sacrifices associated with the Temple in Jerusalem?
  • Why does Jesus cleanse the temple?
  • Luke’s Gospel as good news for the poor.
  • Was Jesus a Capitalist?

Economics in Israel’s Glory Days

2 Chronicles 9:1-28

  • God establishes justice while his people are in the wilderness.  When they settle the land of Israel, do they continue to practice God’s justice?
  • A unified monarchy is established under Saul, but doesn’t last forever.
  • Solomon is a rich and wise ruler, but he is not perfect.

Economics in Egypt

Genesis 47: 13-31, Exodus, Deuteronomy

  • Joseph helps Pharaoh build an exploitative economy in Egypt
  • Given current economic trends, does Pharaoh’s economy compare to our  context?
  • How does wilderness differ from dwelling in Egypt?
  • What are ways that Christians can seek justice in spite of unfair economic practices?