Small Town Theologian

Jonathan Shirk

Helping you find greater comfort and joy in the gospel.

STT 090 - What about Images of Jesus (HC LD 35, QA 96-98)?
25-08-2022
STT 090 - What about Images of Jesus (HC LD 35, QA 96-98)?
Considering many things like the popularity of The Chosen, Christmas traditions, children's Sunday School curricula, and religious jewelry, it is obvious that many Christians believe it's good to depict Jesus. But has the church in recent years carefully considered the meaning and extent of the second commandment? Has the church considered its Christology carefully enough? Is the church remembering the ancient heresies of Nestorianism and Monophysitism? The church needs to revisit the second commandment and our doctrine of Christ.      Please find "Small Town Theologian" on Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc., and SUBSCRIBE. This will ensure you get the latest episode delivered directly to you! Please leave a sincere 5 star rating if you would. Books: To support Small Town Theologian, head to my Amazon authors page HERE and buy some books to read and give away. Blog: smalltowntheologian.org. Associations: Society of Reformed Podcasters & Christian Podcast Community. Check out other Christian and Reformed podcasts. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR FAMILY WORSHIP: (1) If you believe Jesus Christ is true God and true and righteous man, what Biblical argument would you make to justify making images of Jesus? (2) Do images of Jesus help people rightly know God in ways that Scripture does not? (3) Considering the ancient heresy of Nestorianism separates the two natures of Jesus and makes them two persons, how might images of Jesus encourage Nestorianism in the mind and worship of Christians? (4) Are there any examples of artists making God/Jesus in their own image?
STT 086 - The Dishonesty & Unhelpfulness of Much Seeker-Sensitive Worship (HC LD 31, QA 83-85)
28-07-2022
STT 086 - The Dishonesty & Unhelpfulness of Much Seeker-Sensitive Worship (HC LD 31, QA 83-85)
When it comes to worship, if we are primarily thinking about unbelievers, we are not primarily thinking about Christ. Our desire for unbelievers to attend worship to hear the gospel may sometimes get us into trouble in this way. We may want to avoid offending them, to make them comfortable, and in doing this, we may want to talk a lot about God's love without talking much about God's justice, judgment, and wrath. Seeker-sensitive worship can be dishonest and unhelpful. Listen to the Small Town Theologian SPECIAL (002), Rev. George Gregory's message on the keys of the kingdom. Also, HERE is a sermon on Matthew 18 and the keys of the kingdom.  Please find "Small Town Theologian" on Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc., and SUBSCRIBE. This will ensure you get the latest episode delivered directly to you! Books: To support Small Town Theologian, head to my Amazon authors page HERE and buy some books to read and give away. Blog: smalltowntheologian.org. Associations: Society of Reformed Podcasters & Christian Podcast Community. Check out other Christian and Reformed podcasts. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR FAMILY WORSHIP: (1) Do you believe that God's law exposes our sin and misery? (2) Is God's law necessary in Christian worship services? (3) How will unbelievers come to know the depth of their sin and misery? (4) Is preaching faithful without both law and gospel? (5) How might a church go astray if its focus is on making worship appealing to unbelievers? (6) Is there a way to be seeker-sensitive and faithful to proclaim the law and gospel clearly and compellingly for the salvation of sinners?
STT 085 - Are Protestants & Romanists Together (HC LD 30, QA 80-82)?
20-07-2022
STT 085 - Are Protestants & Romanists Together (HC LD 30, QA 80-82)?
Unity is amazing, and we should strive for it and enjoy it. However, there can be no true unity where there are irreconcilable differences about the gospel. Are Protestants and Romanists (Roman Catholics) together? Do we have unity in Christ? We should not forget why the Reformation happened and that there still exist irreconcilable differences. One of those differences is the Lord's Supper versus the papal mass.   To learn more about the sacraments and how to benefit from them, check out these GREAT resources: Heidelberg Catechism 65-82; Westminster Shorter Catechism 88-97 and Westminster Larger Catechism 161-177; Belgic Confession articles 33-35. Also, you may be interested in The Book of Praise: Anglo Genevan Psalter from the Canadian Reformed Church. Perhaps this will interest you for family worship. Please find "Small Town Theologian" on Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc., and SUBSCRIBE. This will ensure you get the latest episode delivered directly to you! Books: To support Small Town Theologian, head to my Amazon authors page HERE and buy some books to read and give away. Blog: smalltowntheologian.org. Associations: Society of Reformed Podcasters & Christian Podcast Community. Check out other Christian and Reformed podcasts. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR FAMILY WORSHIP: (1) What do Reformed Christians believe happens in the Lord's Supper? (2) What do Romanists believe happens in the papal mass? (3) Can there be true unity where there is a fundamental disagreement on the gospel? (4) What must be agreed upon to have true unity in the church?
STT 083 - Aren't You Glad Christ Commands the Lord's Supper (HC LD 28, QA 75-77)
07-07-2022
STT 083 - Aren't You Glad Christ Commands the Lord's Supper (HC LD 28, QA 75-77)
Sometimes commands leave a bitter taste in our mouths. Why is that? If God's good commands leave a bad taste in our mouth, perhaps we don't love what is being commanded. God commands the Lord's Supper; we must obey Him by participating. That said, do we love the promises God gives us in the Lord's Supper?  To learn more about the sacraments and how to benefit from them, check out these GREAT resources: Heidelberg Catechism 65-82; Westminster Shorter Catechism 88-97 and Westminster Larger Catechism 161-177; Belgic Confession articles 33-35. Also, you may be interested in The Book of Praise: Anglo Genevan Psalter from the Canadian Reformed Church. Perhaps this will interest you for family worship. Please find "Small Town Theologian" on Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc., and SUBSCRIBE. This will ensure you get the latest episode delivered directly to you! Books: To support Small Town Theologian, head to my Amazon authors page HERE and buy some books to read and give away. Blog: smalltowntheologian.org. Associations: Society of Reformed Podcasters & Christian Podcast Community. Check out other Christian and Reformed podcasts. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR FAMILY WORSHIP: (1) What commands of God do you yawn or bristle at? (2) Do you delight in Christ's command to observe the Lord's Supper? (3) What is Christ promising believers in the Lord's Supper? (4) How do Christ's promises received by true faith in the Lord's Supper helpful on our wearying way to the celestial city?
STT 082 - Your Baptism Didn’t Save You, but It Should Greatly Comfort You (HC LD 27, QA 72-74)
30-06-2022
STT 082 - Your Baptism Didn’t Save You, but It Should Greatly Comfort You (HC LD 27, QA 72-74)
The ecumenical creeds and Reformed catechisms greatly help us understand how to think about the Bible. They were not created or accepted by one person but rather by many discerning Christians. Millions of Christians through the centuries have confessed them. If we act like we're the first ones to read the Bible, we'll fall into many errors. Baptismal regeneration is one of those errors which the Reformed confessions and catechisms clarify. Tune in to think carefully about the comfort of your baptism.   To learn more about the sacraments and how to benefit from them, check out these GREAT resources: Heidelberg Catechism 65-82; Westminster Shorter Catechism 88-97 and Westminster Larger Catechism 161-177; Belgic Confession articles 33-35. Also, you may be interested in The Book of Praise: Anglo Genevan Psalter from the Canadian Reformed Church. Perhaps this will interest you for family worship. Please find "Small Town Theologian" on Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc., and SUBSCRIBE. This will ensure you get the latest episode delivered directly to you! Books: To support Small Town Theologian, head to my Amazon authors page HERE and buy some books to read and give away. Blog: smalltowntheologian.org. Associations: Society of Reformed Podcasters & Christian Podcast Community. Check out other Christian and Reformed podcasts. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR FAMILY WORSHIP: (1) Why are creeds (incl. catechisms and confessions) inevitable and necessary? (2) Why are "No creed by Christ" and "No creed but the Bible" bad creeds? (3) Does the idea of baptismal regeneration provide true and lasting comfort? (4) How does it glorify God that the blood and Spirit of Jesus alone cleanse us from our sins?
STT 081 - Your Baptism Continues to Strengthen You as You Run Your Race (HC LD 26, QA 69-71)
30-06-2022
STT 081 - Your Baptism Continues to Strengthen You as You Run Your Race (HC LD 26, QA 69-71)
Do you realize that baptism is an ongoing part of how God encourages and strengthens you on your wearying road to eternal life? It will help you to slow down and think about what God is promising you in your baptism, and how He will comfort you through this divine gift.  To learn more about the sacraments and how to benefit from them, check out these GREAT resources: Heidelberg Catechism 65-82; Westminster Shorter Catechism 88-97 and Westminster Larger Catechism 161-177; Belgic Confession articles 33-35. Also, you may be interested in The Book of Praise: Anglo Genevan Psalter from the Canadian Reformed Church. Perhaps this will interest you for family worship. Please find "Small Town Theologian" on Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc., and SUBSCRIBE. This will ensure you get the latest episode delivered directly to you! Books: To support Small Town Theologian, head to my Amazon authors page HERE and buy some books to read and give away. Blog: smalltowntheologian.org. Associations: Society of Reformed Podcasters & Christian Podcast Community. Check out other Christian and Reformed podcasts. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR FAMILY WORSHIP: (1) As you run your race, what are you looking for God to provide along the way to strengthen and help you? (2) How often do you think about your baptism and does it comfort you when you do? (3) Is your baptism more about God's promise to you or about you "going public" with your faith?
STT 080 - God's Big Gift that Is Often Left Unwrapped Under the Tree (HC LD 25, QA 65-68)
16-06-2022
STT 080 - God's Big Gift that Is Often Left Unwrapped Under the Tree (HC LD 25, QA 65-68)
The sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper are often not as valued as they ought to be. Do you realize how important the sacraments are for your ongoing strength and growth in Christ? The sacraments are God's big gift to you; unwrap them and benefit from them. To learn more about the sacraments and how to benefit from them, check out these GREAT resources: Heidelberg Catechism 65-82; Westminster Shorter Catechism 88-97 and Westminster Larger Catechism 161-177; Belgic Confession articles 33-35. Also, you may be interest in The Book of Praise: Anglo Genevan Psalter from the Canadian Reformed Church. Perhaps this will interest you for family worship.        Please find "Small Town Theologian" on Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. and SUBSCRIBE. This will ensure you get the latest episode delivered directly to you! Books: To support Small Town Theologian, head to my Amazon authors page HERE and buy some books to read and give away. Blog: smalltowntheologian.org. Associations: Society of Reformed Podcasters & Christian Podcast Community. Check out other Christian and Reformed podcasts. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR FAMILY WORSHIP: (1) What's the best Christmas gift you ever received (besides Jesus)? (2) How does knowing that true faith comes from the Holy Spirit comfort you? (3) How does knowing that the Holy Spirit works faith by the preaching of the gospel shape your view of preaching? (4) Since the sacraments are God's good gift to strengthen our faith (not create it), how should we think about and cherish the sacraments? (5) What promise does God communicate through the sacraments to all His covenant people?
STT 079 - Even Your Best Works Aren't Part of Your Righteousness (HC LD 24, QA 62-64)
09-06-2022
STT 079 - Even Your Best Works Aren't Part of Your Righteousness (HC LD 24, QA 62-64)
Christians do good works by God's grace and Spirit, but do good works count toward their righteous standing before God? Is Christ our righteousness or are Christ and our good works our righteousness? Tune in for comfort for the soul. CLARIFICATION: When I say at the end of the podcast, "will reward us with grace when our race is finished" I am not talking about us meriting the grace of God in any way. What I mean is that the reward we receive for our good works will be all grace and no merit. Our reward is pure grace (HC 64).   Please find "Small Town Theologian" on Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. and SUBSCRIBE. This will ensure you get the latest episode delivered directly to you! Books: To support Small Town Theologian, head to my Amazon authors page HERE and buy some books to read and give away. Blog: smalltowntheologian.org. Associations: Society of Reformed Podcasters & Christian Podcast Community. Check out other Christian and Reformed podcasts. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR FAMILY WORSHIP: (1) What difference would it make if we believed that Christ was 99.9% of our righteousness and our good works were only 0.1% of our righteousness? (2) Do you believe God demands 100% purity and perfection to be considered righteous under the law? Discuss. (3) If we obey 99.9% of the law, but fail in only 0.1%, are we considered obedient or righteous (James 2:10)? (4) Considering HC 64 and the associated Scriptures, why is it a straw man to say that justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone encourages people to sin?