In my last post I began to count down my favorite podcasts. As I mentioned previously, listening to Christian programs has been an important part of my personal discipleship and growth. While listening to podcasts should not replace spiritual growth through Bible reading, prayer, and real flesh and blood relationships, these types of programs can be a very beneficial supplement for your spiritual diet.
Being an ex disc-jockey, we’re counting down these podcasts backwards. Last time I shared with you #10-#6. This time I’ll share my top 5. All of these are available through itunes.
#5. Renewing Your Mind- R.C. Sproul. R.C. is a masterful teacher of theology. He has an uncanny ability to take some of the most difficult questions you could think of (Predestination, Free Will and God’s sovereignty, God’s attributes, and more) and engage common folks like us on a level we can understand. R.C. also has some excellent lectures on figures from church history including Polycarp, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others. He is a great story-teller and my oldest kids were in rapt attention over R.C.’s telling of Martin Luther’s story.
#4. Bethlehem Baptist Church Sermons – If some of you are thinking, “John Piper”, think again. Piper has retired from the pulpit of Bethlehem and in his place stands one of the best kept secrets in preaching podcasts, Jason Meyer. While I haven’t listened to Jason a lot yet, from what I’ve heard he appears to be a worthy heir to fill Piper’s shoes.
#3. The Whitehorse Inn – Every show opens with this brief introduction which sums up what the podcast is all about: Five centuries ago in taverns and public houses across Europe, the masses would gather for discussion and debate over the latest ideas sweeping the land. From one such meeting place, a small Cambridge inn called the “White Horse”, the Reformation came to the English-speaking world. Carrying on the tradition of the early Reformers, welcome to the White Horse Inn! This is a wonderful program with incredible discussions centered on the Scriptures, theology, and current issues and challenges in the modern church, all from an intentionally Reformed perspective.
#2. Ask Pastor John– I’ll be honest and say I don’t know if I’ve ranked this too high. I suspect part of the high-ranking has to do simply with my love and appreciation for the ministry of John Piper. Regardless, you’ll find a lot of wisdom packed into this short podcast. Piper draws from decades of walking with Christ and immersing himself in the Scriptures to answer listener questions on a whole range of topics of interest to practically any believer. For years I’ve considered Piper a “mentor from afar”, and though his preaching ministry at Bethlehem has ended, I’m glad we can still benefit from his godly wisdom and contagious passion for Christ.
#1. Family Life Today– While not the deepest show, it’s one of the most practical. If you’re looking to get an engrossing theological education, try R.C. Sproul instead. If you’re looking for some “rubber hits the road” conversation, this show is for you. While specializing on topics such as marriage, you’ll also find discussions on parenting, discipleship, sexuality, suffering, biblical manhood and womanhood, and more. The guests are usually very engaging, and the hosts clearly love families and want to strengthen yours. Twenty years ago “Focus on the Family” was the “go to” program in this genre. In my opinion, “Family Life Today” is superior.
The Briefing-Al Mohler, President of Southern Seminary, hosts this daily short program. Mohler possesses one of the sharpest theological minds on the planet. But this is not a show that teaches doctrine. At least not directly. This is more like a news program tackling current events. Mohler brings his keen mind to bear on the latest headlines and helps us to think about current events from a Biblical perspective.
Revive Our Hearts- Nancy Leigh Demoss. If I was a female, she might have been in my top 10. But I’m not a female, so I hardly listen to her program. But what I’ve heard is great. And what I know about Nancy is that she is wise and godly. Nancy provides sound biblical wisdom for women. Ladies, I’d highly advise subscribing to her podcast.
The Plugged in Podcast- Whenever I’m not sure whether I should rent a movie or not, I often check the “Plugged In” website for help. Some of you do too. Well, they also have a podcast. Produced by Focus on the Family, this program reviews the latest movies, music, and even video games from a Christian perspective.
Wretched Radio– I’ve recently starting listening to Todd Friel’s program. Apparently he has a TV show too. Here’s how he describes it: Take a dollop of sarcasm, mix it in with conservative theology and voila, you have Wretched TV. Think of it this way. Take John Stewart, remove the potty language and change all of the wordly topics to Christian. That is Wretched. Depending on your style of humor, you may or may not appreciate the sarcasm. I haven’t listened to that many episodes yet so I’m not sure if he ever pushes too far with the sarcasm. I’ll let you be the judge. But that aside, Todd’s show is very entertaining and theologically solid based on what I’ve heard so far. I’ve also enjoyed the programs where he will go to college campuses and engage with unbelievers in interesting conversations. As an ex-radio guy, I’m also impressed with the show’s production sensibilities and presentation.
Finally, I should probably also mention that my appreciation of all of these podcasts does not necessarily mean I will agree with or endorse 100% of what is said, done or taught on them. All of these shows are run by fallible people. Obviously I think they all have something important to offer, else I wouldn’t be listening to them and I wouldn’t bring them to your attention! But in the end, judge all things you hear, whether from the iPod, or from the pulpit, in light of the perfect and infallible Word of God. Happy listening!
Grace and Peace,