While I believe the best way for Christians to be discipled is through believers being personally involved in the lives of other believers in a local congregation, there are some excellent means available for us to supplement our discipleship that can greatly encourage us, stimulate us intellectually and spiritually, and help us grow closer to the Lord.
Over the years God has grown me in great ways through the encouraging and helpful teaching of wise pastors and leaders in the faith through audio broadcasts. From as early as my pre-Christian teenage years, I remember listening to Christian radio and hearing the preaching of John MacArthur and others. Such teaching, even before I was a Christian, stirred my heart and increased my interest and sensitivity to the things of God. In time, I came to Christ, and Christian broadcasting was a huge part of what the Lord used to bring me to faith.
In the early days of my faith, without a Christian father and lacking older Christian men to mentor me, I continued to find guidance through Christian broadcasts that supplemented and reinforced what I was learning in my local church.
Over 20 years later, such audio broadcasts are still a part of my regular diet of spiritual nourishment. Nowadays, however, thanks to technology, you don’t need to live in the radius of a Christian radio station to benefit from all the great teaching that is available. Today, I am an avid listener to podcasts. I’ll listen at home, when I’m driving, when I’m running errands, cleaning the house, etc. And the great thing about podcasts is that, unlike radio, you can listen to a program at your convenience and even save programs if you wish.
In this post and the next I’d like to share with you my top ten podcasts. These are programs that greatly help and benefit me. And the style of these ten programs are diverse enough that if you aren’t into one, you are bound to find something else on the list that resonates with you. If you never listen to podcasts, I’d encourage you to try it out. You just might like it, and if so, I think you’ll greatly benefit from regularly listening to any or all of my top picks. There are many ways you can receive these shows including subscribing via itunes, listening directly off the web, subscribing to the RSS feeds, or you can save them as mp3’s for later. Since I’m an ex-disc jockey, I like countdowns. So I’ll do this countdown style. Here’s #10-6. Enjoy!
#10. The Cross and the Jukebox- Russell Moore Probably the most unique Christian podcast out there. If you love country music you will love this show. If you don’t love country music, I promise you that you will still find this podcast incredibly fascinating, stimulating, and informative. You can always skip the featured song and just enjoy his commentary. This podcast by Russell Moore discusses religious and cultural themes in country music. Every once in awhile he’ll even look at hip-hop! Check out this show to see how the cross and the Gospel intersect with American music.
#9. Stand to Reason. A weekly three hour radio program hosted by Greg Koukl. Greg is brilliant and tackles subjects in the realm of apologetics. You’ll hear topics such as evolutionary theory, ethics, and philosophy dealt with among other things. His ministry is interested in equipping Christians to discuss their faith in our pluralistic and increasingly anti-Christian society. He has great monologues, takes phone calls, and sometimes has excellent special guests.
#8. Grace to You-John Macarthur. One of the grandfathers of Christian broadcasting, John Macarthur has been faithfully teaching and proclaiming God’s truth, one verse at a time, for decades. Even when John occasionally takes a position I disagree with, I still learn so much and can trust him to strive to ground everything he does in what the Bible says. In spite of the small handful of minor disagreements I may have with him, Macarthur is one of the most solid and trustworthy Bible expositors out there.
#7 Let my people think-Ravi Zacharias. Ravi is one of the most brilliant apologists and philosophers of our day. He is keen minded and sharp witted. He provides especially helpful thoughts in demonstrating the superiority of Jesus Christ and Christianity above other worldviews. He has also provided devestating crtiques of Athiestic philosophy.
#6 Listener’s Bible Audio Devotional- Max Mclean. Have you ever listened to an audio Bible and been bored? Not because the Bible is boring but because the reader is? You won’t have that problem with Max Mclean. Max is an incredible reader of the Bible. He is able to draw you into the Scriptures without being over the top. His presentation is simple but nuanced. Through Max I learned that reading the Bible out loud is not just reading, but it is an interpretation. How you read the Bible and where you put the emphasis can either bring out or obscure the meaning of the text. Mclean offers a daily, one minute devotional of him reading a certain section of Scripture that addresses a particular topic or question. There are also longer podcasts from Max available as well where he will take you through the whole Bible in a year. Great stuff, and helpful for memorizing the Scriptures. If you really like Max, you can purchase his entire audio Bible online.
I hope one, if not all of these podcasts will be a source of help, encouragement, and learning for you. In a future post I will share my top five podcasts. In the meantime, if you have any favorites, I’d love to hear them.
Grace and Peace,