18 episodes

Many Christians struggle with hard questions about faith. Thinking Matters equip Christians with thoughtful answers to defend faith, navigate culture and reach people

Thinking Matters Podcast Thinking Matters NZ

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Many Christians struggle with hard questions about faith. Thinking Matters equip Christians with thoughtful answers to defend faith, navigate culture and reach people

    #5 Does Christianity Have Room for Māori? | Thought for Today

    #5 Does Christianity Have Room for Māori? | Thought for Today

    Growing up Māori and Christian can be complicated: Māori Christians often do not feel welcomed by either group. The reality is, too few Māori are engaged with the Church in New Zealand. We know Christ has called ALL to be part of his church, so what can be done?

    This issue is not unique to Māori though - the very beginning of the church encountered racial and cultural divisions which needed resolution. In Acts, the Council of Jerusalem was formed to discuss incorporating Gentiles into the early church.

    Pre-Colonisation, Māori embraced the Gospel, but after experiencing betrayals, having land confiscated, and suddenly becoming a minority, Māori did not feel welcome in the European expressions of traditional church denominations. In a similar way, the early church was built on Jewish tradition, but the disciples quickly understood that the non-Jews were different and had different values and customs; values and customs which did not necessarily affect their ability to receive the Gospel.

    They also realized that God Himself had called these Gentiles and that it was by His grace they, including themselves, were saved. Their final conclusion was that the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit and so, should be received into the faith with only a set of core beliefs to follow.

    Therefore, just as there was room for the Gentiles to enter the faith, there is also room for Māori and other cultures of Aotearoa to enter the faith. And just as the Jews did not need to become like the Gentiles, or the Gentiles needed to become like the Jews, we also do not need to become like one another, but simply, despite our differences, make room to worship alongside others in unity with Christ.

    I’m Īhaka Nāmana from Thinking Matters, for more resources like this one, visit https://www.thinkingmatters.org.nz Ngā mihi.

    • 2 min
    #4 Are Christians Allowed to Doubt? | Thought of Today

    #4 Are Christians Allowed to Doubt? | Thought of Today

    When I was 12, I began to be introduced to worldviews outside of my Christian upbringing and it became apparent to me that I didn’t really know what I believed or why I believed it. As I was exposed to more challenges to my faith, I became less confident in what I thought I knew.

    It can be tough navigating our faith sometimes. Questions arise like, “Is Christianity true? Or am I just delusional?” But, is this supposed to happen? Are Christians allowed to have doubts or question their faith?

    In John, we find one of Jesus’ own 12 disciples having doubts of his own. Thomas doubted the resurrection, but after Jesus appeared to him, he immediately renounced his doubt. Jesus’ response? “...Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (NIV).

    Jesus did not scold Thomas for doubting, instead, He praised those who still have faith despite not seeing first-hand evidence for their belief. It is not wrong to have doubt, and doubt itself does not disqualify us from salvation, it is what we do with those doubts that determine whether our faith becomes stronger or weaker.

    We can allow these doubts to fester or we can search out the truth. At 12, I decided not to let my doubts destroy my faith and I immersed myself in Christian apologetics, learning what I believed, and exploring the evidence for it. This helped me address my own doubts and grow my faith.

    So, It’s not wrong to have doubts, it’s what we do with these doubts that can make them unhealthy or not. Don’t let your doubts stop you from having a strong relationship with God. To learn more, and to find answers to doubts you may have, visit https://thinkingmatters.org.nz

    I’m Īhaka Nāmana from Thinking Matters, ngā manaakitanga.

    • 1 min
    #3 What is Apologetics? | Thought for Today

    #3 What is Apologetics? | Thought for Today

    The word ‘apologetics’ stems from the Greek apologia, meaning “a defense” which is most famously exhibited in 1 Peter 3:15 which says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you" (NIV).

    Many Christians do not know what the word apologetics means: either they think it means that we apologize for being Christian, OR they think apologetics is about arguing and "Destroying" your opponent - but what is Christian Apologetics really about?

    Simply put, apologetics is learning what you believe well and why you believe it. It’s about researching and finding evidence or reasoning for our beliefs, so we then can, as Paul says, “make a defense” for what we believe.

    Okay, but why is apologetics important? It’s not only important to answer the doubts of unbelievers, it also helps to answer our own doubts about the faith. It builds our confidence in what we believe and helps us to navigate objections or questions that others or we ourselves may have. Apologetics is also a great way of finding places in which our beliefs or doctrines may be incorrect or aren’t fully in line with the truth.

    However, Christian apologetics isn’t merely about learning information and arguments. Effective Christian apologetics is transformational to the way we think and behave. It builds our faith, increases our confidence in God, and influences our actions.

    Apologetics is about discovery and seeking out truth. It is a tool in which we can use to help others understand our faith and why we believe in Christianity while helping us navigate our own faith and relationship with God.

    I’m Īhaka Nāmana from Thinking Matters, for more information on apologetics and more, visit https://www.thinkingmatters.org.nz Ngā mihi.

    • 1 min
    Why We Can Trust the Resurrection - Easter Special with Mark Maney

    Why We Can Trust the Resurrection - Easter Special with Mark Maney

    In this Easter Special, Associate Pastor of Massey Presbyterian Church, Auckland and New Zealand Christian Network writer and contributor Rev. Mark Maney discusses with host Michelle Englehardt the case for the resurrection of Jesus. The Resurrection is a key tenant of Christianity, without which, our "faith is useless" (1 Corinthians 15:14). No wonder Christ's resurrection is attacked by skeptics and atheists so strongly.  Mark explores some of the most common objections to the 'impossibility' of the resurrection, and demonstrates the evidences in scripture and extra-biblical texts for His resurrection, and why we can have more certainty that this historic event actually took place.

    About Mark Maney Mark has had a passion for apologetics since he became a Christian 22 years ago. This is due to his belief that being like Jesus means knowing, loving, and living the truth. Engaging in the marketplace of ideas is a key part of discerning truth in our world, and apologetics is a beautiful pathway through that marketplace. Mark is also an engaging speaker, having won the 2016 Toastmasters NZ Humorous Speech Contest and 2018 Toastmasters NZ Most Entertaining Speaker. Mark did his undergrad (Religion & Theology) at Taylor University College in Edmonton, Canada and his graduate studies (Cross Cultural Studies & Apologetics) at Trinity Western University in Vancouver (Langley), Canada. He served as the minister at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Mt Maunganui, and now serves as Associate Pastor of Massey Presbyterian Church and Writer, researcher and contributor with the New Zealand Christian Network.

    Please Support Thinking MattersIf you found this podcast useful, please like and subscribe to our YouTube Channel and consider supporting Thinking Matters so that we can continue to bring you more podcasts like this.   Go to https://support.thinkingmatters.org.nz to make a tax deductible donation.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    April Holden | Loving for Life

    April Holden | Loving for Life

    Show notes will eventually go in here.

    • 53 min
    Mental Health and the Church | Lyn Packer

    Mental Health and the Church | Lyn Packer

    In this episode we hold a discussion with Lyn Packer. Our topic is an important one: Mental Health and the Church. See below for Lyn’s bio.

    First, Lyn shares about who she is and what the Lord has called her to with her husband Rob. Then Lyn honestly shares her testimony which includes her very painful childhood which led to years of mental health issues which stayed with her after becoming a Christian.

    During the discussion Lyn shares some sobering statistics on mental health including in the Church and how difficult it can be to ‘fess up’ about our ongoing mental health issues within the Church. This discussion was full of grace and wisdom.

    Lyn’s blog posts on mental health can be found here:

    Mental Health and the Church — Rob and Lyn Packer

    Recommended books:

    Any books by Dr Caroline Leaf.

    Mental health and the Church by Stephen Grcevich

    The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

    The High Five Habit and The 5-second rule by Mel Robinson have good insights into how the brain works.

    Helpful websites:

    Church and Mental Health: www.churchandmentalhealth.com/books/
    Mental health Ministries: –  http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/resources/books.html
    Focus on the Family’s website: –  https://www.focusonthefamily.com/get-help/mental-health-resources/

    Mental Health Foundation NZ  - https://mentalhealth.org.nz/

    Mike Kings websites –  I am Hope  –  https://www.iamhope.org.nz

    Key to Life Charitable trust -  https://keytolife.org.nz/

    Christian Counsellors Association NZ – https://www.nzcca.org.nz/

    Mental Wellbeing, Anglican Movement –  https://anglicanmovement.nz/mentalwellbeing

    Emergency Help:

    If this conversation has triggered you please reach for help. If an emergency phone 111. Or contact one of these free 24/7 helplines:


    24/7 Helpline |0800 LIFELINE (0800      54 33 54) or      free text      HELP (4357)
    Suicide Crisis      Helpline | 0508 TAUTOKO (0508      82 88 65)

    LYN PACKER BIO:

    Lyn’s ministry carries a very strong prophetic mantle. She ministers primarily in the prophetic and teaching, calling and enabling people to step into their destiny. Her prophetic gifting is also expressed through her art, and writing. She has written several books covering a variety of subject matter – prophecy and revelation, creativity, dance, prayer and prophetic allegories.

    • 1 hr 5 min

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