Why You Should Listen to Podcasts

Apple_Podcast_logo With the age of smartphones, we have never had more instant access to a plethora of incredible Bible teaching and information.  One of the things that has been most beneficial to me this past year being a voracious podcast listener.  With the power of smartphone technology I can listen to some solid information anytime and anywhere.

Why Should I Listen to Podcasts?

  • Redeem the Time. Rather than Miley Cyrus sing Wrecking Ball for the 1,000th time on the radio, why don't you listen to something that will equip you and grow you?
  • Learn to Think. Listening to good conversation on deep issues helps you to think better yourself.  It is like getting mentored by some of the best thinkers out there.
  • Saturate Your Mind on Christ. As you listen to good Christian podcasts you will grow and mature in Christ as you think about him throughout the day.

When Should I Listen to Podcasts?

  • As you get ready in the morning
  • On your commute to and from work.
  • Anytime your traveling
  • While your doing mindless work like cleaning or mowing grass.

With the podcast app on the iPhone/iPad it is easy to subscribe and get automatic updates on some top notch podcasts. I know there are some great Droid solutions as well, but I'm Droid ignorant so you will have to google it for yourself.  If you are new to podcasting or are looking for some new podcasts to add to your diet of consumption check out a few of my favorite podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis.

My Top Favorite Podcasts

  • The Briefing by Dr. Al Mohler - Have you ever wanted to sit down and listen to one of the greatest Christian minds and thinkers today analyst the newspaper from a Christian worldview? If so, then you need to subscribe to this daily podcast.  In addition to keeping you informed with whats happening in the world, it will teach you to think deeply and christianly about current events. As I start out my weekdays this is the first podcast I play while getting ready or on the morning commute.
  • Ask Pastor John - Have a pressing or controversial question? Well John Piper takes them on in this podcast as he answers listeners questions.  As usual, his insights and responsive are insightful and thoroughly biblical.  You will be well served to add this podcast to your regular listening.
  • Rainer on Leadership - The CEO of Lifeway, Thom Rainer, deals with leadership and churches on his weekly podcast.  There is often some great practical discussion for pastors and church leaders.
  • 5 Minutes in Church History - Church History is so beneficial, yet for many it can be boring and an overwhelming task. Church Historian, Dr Stephen Nichols, helps make church history fun and engaging with his five minute weekly podcast.  If you want to learn more about what God has done in the past and learn lessons to be applied today check out this great new podcast.
  • Thinking in Public - Dr. Al Mohler has a second stellar podcasts.  In this one, he interviews many scholars and researchers on a variety of subjects and has an engaging conversation. It is like being a fly on the wall as intellectual superiors discuss and engage culture and history.
  • This is Your Life - This podcast by Michael Hyatt has a lot of practical wisdom and insight.  He deals a lot with leadership and productivity.  It is a helpful and productive podcast to add to your list.
  • The Dave Ramsey Show - This is the podcast of Dave Ramsey's radio show.  It is fun to listen to fun financial counsel and helpful as well.  Finances and stewardship are vital issues in the Christian life that should not be neglected.

Sermon Podcasts

In addition to these Podcasts most churches offer their sermon audio through podcast.  Here are a few sermon podcasts to check out.

These are a few of my favorite podcasts.  What are some of yours? Any I should add to my line up? Share with us in the comments below!

 

Potential Dangers of Your Bible App

 

Technology is amazing isn't it?  I mean who would have ever thought that we would one day be able to open on the Bible and read it on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.  However, with any gift there are some potential dangers...

If we are not careful the convince of ready availability of the Bible can cheapen the preciousness of the Bible.  In an age where the Bible app stands next to the Facebook app we must be very careful not to demise the worthiness of the Bible in the eyes of our culture.  For example, many church members have stopped bringing paper Bibles to church on Sunday Worship.  The will prioritize bringing a smartphone or an iPad, but don't bother carrying a Bible. Carrying a Bible communicates to others the preciousness of that which you are carrying.  It communicates to others that this book is significant enough and valuable enough that it is worth the extra trouble of carrying the extra weight with me.  It also makes a distinction between the Word of God, and whatever else you have on your device.  This is why I personally have made the decision to always bring a paper Bible with me to the pulpit.  I'll sometimes use my iPad for notes, but I always make sure I have a Bible with me, because it communicates to the congregation the preciousness of the words of Scripture.

Part of this concern is a very practical one as well.  Smartphone Bibles can be very distracting.  You can be reading Isaiah then get a text message or an email and your focus is no longer on the Bible but on your inbox.  In the day of so many technological distractions, we must not let the scriptures take the backseat to the twitter app.

No don't get me wrong.  bible apps can be very helpful.  For example, when your sitting in the doctor's office waiting for the doctor you have the Bible right there on your phone.  Take those extra minutes washing your mind in the Word rather than people magazine.  They can also be convenient for evangelism, and even for Bible Study.  Some of the Bible Study tools available in the digital age are absolutely astounding.  My favorite is Logos. I use the iPad app all the time.  With it I can quickly pull up the Greek or Hebrew Text and do a word study on the go.  The technology of this age is a gift from God, but we must never let the gift of technology become our God.

We must always keep a healthy balance, and think through the implications of everything we do.  God's Word is precious and the way we handle the text physically should communicate that to others.

Our Narcissistic Love for Technology

I love technology. In fact, I keep up with the latest trends and I can tell you the latest smartphone news.  You see, I grew up in the era where personal computers and cell phones were beginning to become main stream consumer items.  As a result, my connection and love of technology grew as computers became slimmer and more powerful to where now, through my iPhone 4s, I have the power of miniature computer in the palm of my hand.  We Americans love our gadgets.  We have our Kindles, iPads, Droids, and any other device we can get our hands on. We love them so much that there are massive websites filled with fans dedicated to the seeking out of rumors about the next big gadget.  Our love with technology can border on idolatry, and I think the Bible explains why we have such an idolatrous obsession with the latest and greatest gadget. In Romans 1, Paul begins to unpack the depravity of the human heart and mind.  The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 1:25 that each of us have "exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." Within the sinfulness of our own hearts we choose creation over creator every time. We don't want to worship God or give him glory, we will just take the things he created instead.

Humanity throughout the history of the world have acted out this terrible exchange. In older ages, it revealed itself in pagan worship of the sun and stars or other things in nature. However, the one creation that we humans love to bend our knee is to ourselves. Humanity, created for the purpose of the worship of the true God, chose to worship ourselves and exalt our own glory. This wretchedness rears its ugly head in different ways throughout various generations, this time most recently in our own progress.

We westerners who live in an post-enlightenment era, where our own intellect and reason is most supreme, worship our own intellect and progress. We love to sit back and stand in awe of our technological progress. We bask in the glory of all we have accomplished and made, including our technology which we cherish so deeply. Here is the irony, we who were created by God to bring him glory instead seek to give ourselves glory through our own creations. We are attempting to hijack God’s plan of bringing himself glory through creation.

Not only did we have the audacity to worship ourselves and reject our creator, but we also have the gall to worship ourselves through the earthly trinkets we make. We think what we make not only is on par with God's creation, but actually exceeds it in prestige and excellence. It is like comparing a toddler's out-of the line coloring book to the works of Leonardo daVinci and thinking that the toddlers work is by far the more superior work of art.  God is the masterful creator and architect and we are but mere toddlers trying to figure out how to color in the lines of God's created order.

Technology is an incredible tool. I am typing this on a macbook and posting this on my blog on a website. Technology can be a wonderful tool but a perilous master.  Are you distracted from your family by a game of angry birds?  Do you spend more time reading Facebook or posting tweets than you do in prayer?  Are you looking to the god of technology to save you from your circumstances?  As you use it, check your heart and make sure that you are not glorifying human ingenuity and progress instead of God our redeemer.  Remember that your flesh's instinct is to worship creation, even man made creations, rather than the creator God.

We are in desperate need for new hearts and new minds! Thanks be to Jesus Christ who through his blood on the cross absorbs God's wrath for our sin. Through the transformative power of the Gospel, may our hearts halt our treacherous worship of creation and may we bow our knee to the true God and King, the Lord Jesus Christ.