37 episodes

Your weekly guide to solid Christian thinking on faith, science, culture, and Christian confidence. Thinking Christian is hosted by Tom Gilson, who also runs the top-ranked blog of the same name. He's a senior editor at The Stream, (stream.org) and the author of multiple books including the 2020 release, Too Good to Be False: How Jesus' Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality

Thinking Christian Tom Gilson

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Your weekly guide to solid Christian thinking on faith, science, culture, and Christian confidence. Thinking Christian is hosted by Tom Gilson, who also runs the top-ranked blog of the same name. He's a senior editor at The Stream, (stream.org) and the author of multiple books including the 2020 release, Too Good to Be False: How Jesus' Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality

    Episode 3-5, Pastors' Equipping Series: Explaining How Perfectly Right Jesus Got It on Marriage

    Episode 3-5, Pastors' Equipping Series: Explaining How Perfectly Right Jesus Got It on Marriage

    Jesus got marriage right. Really right, and right in ways the rest of us can really appreciate, if we think about it in the right context. So His teaching provides a good introduction to biblical teaching on all sexual morality, for those who aren’t so sure the Bible gets it right.
    This sermon accompanies a Pastors’ Corner article at The Stream, where I’m a writer and senior editor. It’s in the Practical Ministry Explainer series, and it’s titled “How to Begin Teaching the Truth About Homosexuality.” It’s for pastors who want to begin teaching especially on homosexuality but aren’t sure where to start or what fireworks they may set off. This is the first in a series of steps toward complete and open teaching on sex, sexuality, and gender. And it’s got a couple of creative twists in it that I think you’ll enjoy.
    We’d love to get pastors’ feedback on the Pastors’ Corner, both here and at The Stream. We’re asking you help us help you by filling out a short questionnaire to let us know how we’re doing and how we can serve you better.
    We invite you to use this message not just as information but as a sample sermon. We do ask that in your bulletin and online postings you give credit to Tom Gilson and to The Stream, with whom this work is being done in cooperation, with links both to The Stream and to this podcast page. Download the transcript for a written form of this sermon as well.
    If you’re not a pastor, please consider yourself a member of the congregation listening and learning. You’re most welcome here! And then do please send this podcast to your pastor. There’ll be more like it to come!

    • 27 min
    Episode 3-4: How to Find Your Authentic Self

    Episode 3-4: How to Find Your Authentic Self

    It’s a top priority in our culture: Finding your authentic self. Could it be, though, that we’ll find that better through finding an authentic view of God?
    This episode recorded from a sermon given at The River Church in Liberty Township, Ohio, on January 23, 2022. You can view it on video here.
    Visit https://www.thinkingchristian.net for a free chapter download of the book many say is giving them surprising, yet faithful new insights into Jesus Christ. I mentioned it in the podcast: Too Good to Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality. You can get your preview, a chapter that will astonish you on the greatness of Jesus’ love, by visiting thinkingchristian.net.
     

    • 32 min
    Episode 3-3: Pastors' Equipping Series: Sample Sermon on Christian Exclusivism vs. Pluralism — (Optionally) Christmas Themed!

    Episode 3-3: Pastors' Equipping Series: Sample Sermon on Christian Exclusivism vs. Pluralism — (Optionally) Christmas Themed!

    Christians aren’t supposed to say we have the one truth. That’s the word around our culture, anyway. We’re supposed to be “humble” about our beliefs; to give equal worth and respect to all other beliefs. That’s what culture tells us, but what does God say? Clearly Jesus claims to be the one way, the one truth, and the one life, through whom alone we can come to the Father. But how does that square with Christian humility? How do we live that out without arrogance?
    And why isn’t God like an elephant?
    You weren’t expecting that last question, I’m sure! That’s okay, it’s just a teaser to a fun part of this sample sermon on Christian Exclusivism vs. Religious Pluralism. I present this early in December, with a Christmas theme as part of it, but you can easily extract that part out and use the rest of it any time of the year.
    This comes to you in cooperation with The Stream, where you’ll find a wealth of accompanying information, in the form of a one-page summary “explainer” article covering this material and more, with links in it to all the supporting documentation you could want in order to make sure you’re representing the truth in this message if you use it. Also here at Thinking Christian, find a written version of this sample sermon.
    We invite you to use this, not just as information but as a sample sermon. We do ask that in your bulletin and online postings you give credit to Tom Gilson and to The Stream, with whom this work is being done in cooperation, with links both to The Stream and to this podcast page. Check out the Thinking Christian blog for a written form of this sample sermon as well.
    If you’re not a pastor, please consider yourself a member of the congregation listening and learning. You’re most welcome here! And then do please send this podcast to your pastor. There’ll be more like it to come!

    • 34 min
    Episode 3-2 — Pastor Equipping Series: Sample Sermon on the Faith-Science Challenge (Emphasis on the Virgin Birth of Jesus)

    Episode 3-2 — Pastor Equipping Series: Sample Sermon on the Faith-Science Challenge (Emphasis on the Virgin Birth of Jesus)

    Faith vs. Science: It feels like David approaching Goliath, with no sling and no stones. Or at least, that’s the way a lot of people want us to feel it. As pastor, you know there’s pressure on Christians to deny the faith in favor “almighty science.”
    With this podcast we offer you a sample sermon you can use (see below) to begin preaching the truth, that faith has nothing to hide and nothing to fear from science.
    With Christmas approaching — and possibly some final sermon prep still waiting to be done — we present this with with a special emphasis on Advent and the Virgin Birth. Skeptics say it’s got to be a fable, because “Science shows that’s impossible.” Christians typically know a good first answer, which is, “With God all things are possible.” I’m not sure that always comes across as strong with skeptics as it could. Their charge against us there has a whole lot worse problems than they realize. They’re probably the ones believing fables. Provable to be fables, I mean; provable in ways even they would have trouble denying.
    This comes to you in cooperation with The Stream, where you’ll find a wealth of accompanying information, in the form of a one-page summary “explainer” article covering this material and more, with links in it to all the supporting documentation you could want in order to make sure you’re representing the truth in this message if you use it. Also here at Thinking Christian, find a written version of this sample sermon.
    We invite you to use this, not just as information but as a sample sermon. We do ask that in your bulletin and online postings you give credit to Tom Gilson and to The Stream, with whom this work is being done in cooperation, with links both to The Stream and to this podcast page.
    This isn’t all we have to offer on the topic. Check out the Thinking Christian blog for a written form of this sample sermon, and visit The Stream on or after the evening of October 1 for a one-page pastors’ explainer article on critical race theory, with loads of links to additional information you can use. (I’ll update these program notes with a link there as soon as it’s ready.)
    If you’re not a pastor, please consider yourself a member of the congregation listening and learning. You’re most welcome here! And then do please send this podcast to your pastor. There’ll be more like it to come!

    • 29 min
    Episode 3-1 — Pastors' Equipping Series: Sample Sermon on Critical Race Theory

    Episode 3-1 — Pastors' Equipping Series: Sample Sermon on Critical Race Theory

    Updated: See the summary explainer article at The Stream!
    Critical race theory: Could you preach on it in church? Teach it in a small group? How would you approach it? Should you even address it in church?
    That last question calls for a definite answer yes. It’s too influential, and too much of a false gospel, to let your congregation try to sort it out on their own. Still, though, how would you preach on it?
    This podcast gives you a sample of teaching you can use, not just as information but as a sample sermon. You’re free to use it; that’s what it’s for. We do ask that in your bulletin and online postings you give credit to Tom Gilson and to The Stream, with whom this work is being done in cooperation, with links both to The Stream and to this podcast page.
    This isn’t all we have to offer on the topic. Check out the Thinking Christian blog for a written form of this sample sermon, and visit The Stream on or after the evening of October 1 for a one-page pastors’ explainer article on critical race theory, with loads of links to additional information you can use. (I’ll update these program notes with a link there as soon as it’s ready.)
    If you’re not a pastor, please consider yourself a member of the congregation listening and learning. You’re most welcome here! And then do please send this podcast to your pastor. There’ll be more like it to come!

    • 34 min
    Episode 2-9: Stories of Apologetics and Practical Church Ministry with Pastors

    Episode 2-9: Stories of Apologetics and Practical Church Ministry with Pastors

    (Related Blog Post: Apologists and Pastors Connecting for Ministry: Stories of How You Can Do It)
    Okay, now what? Now that you know the secret word, the one key word I spoke of in episode 8, the one that answers the question, How can we have greater ministry in the church, now what?
    That’s the question several people asked me after they listened to that podcast. “I want to build good relationships with pastors. I even get that having lunch together is a good way to do it. How do I get started, though?”
    In this episode I tell stories of half a dozen ways or so that I’ve found to connect with pastors, in my church or in others, and start building real friendship.
    This time there are two secrets. One of them is the variety of ways you can go about meeting pastors. The other is more important: Your interest in them had better be real. It need not become a lasting friendship, since those are rare and they’re hard to predict before you find them, but it’s not about manipulating your way into ministry, either. It’s about meeting the pastor as a respected leader in God’s church. And listening.
    That’s secret number two for this episode. You’ll have to listen in to hear more on secret number one.
    This episode is part of the Season 2 emphasis on Heat to Light: Moving Through Cultural Controversy Toward the Light of Spiritual Transformation.
    Be sure to visit the Thinking Christian blog, and get your free chapter download from Too Good to be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.
    Follow the Thinking Christian podcast on the podcast app of your choice, and please give it a positive rating there, too. Thank you!
     
    Note regarding publishing schedule: This has been a season of tough family crises, including my dad’s passing away last month. I expect to resume a full weekly podcasting schedule very soon.

    • 24 min

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