Why John Wesley was not Pelagian (@SoWhat_Podcast, #UMC)

The new episode of the So What? Podcast went live this morning. In this edition we continue the discussion of Pelagius and Pelagianism. It was particularly fun to get clear on the Wesleyan critique of Pelagianism and how it differs from the Reformed (or Calvinistic) critique. There’s also some great Wesley quotes on original sin. Check it out below or subscribe in iTunes. And don’t forget to give us review.

The Resurrection in the Creed, Part 1 @sowhat_podcast

The newest episode of the So What? Podcast went live today. This one is in two parts, and the topic is one of my favorites. That’s right: Kyle, Dave, Brad, and I are talking about the resurrection of Jesus. We dig into what it means and why it matters as an article of faith. What are the objections to Jesus’ resurrection? What’s the rationale behind those objections? Does it matter if Jesus was or was not physically raised from the dead? What does the resurrection of Jesus have to do with our salvation? With Christian identity? What is the relationship between the resurrection of Jesus in the past and the resurrection of believers in the future? Click the player to listen now. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe.

New Podcast: Body of Christ, Bread of Life @StMarkMobile #UMC

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/audio/postId/5402610/url/http%253A%252F%252Fstmarkumc.podbean.com%252Fe%252Fbody-of-christ-bread-of-life-john-11-5-10-18-648-58-1272014-rev-matt-oreilly%252F/initByJs/1/auto/1

When we want to read about the birth of Jesus, we usually turn to Matthew and Luke. After all, that’s where we find angels and shepherds, magi and the manger, Mary and Joseph, and, not least, baby Jesus himself. We don’t usually turn to the Gospel of John. John doesn’t have all the nativity stuff. Nevertheless, the opening chapter of John is telling a Christmas story, because it’s telling the story of the Word of God made flesh in the person of Jesus. It’s the story of the incarnation. And Christmas is about nothing, if it’s not about the incarnation. John is not quite so interested in who was there when Jesus was born. He is more interested in the implications of God taking a body in Christ. And one of the reasons John is interested in what it means for God to take a body in Christ is because John understands that the body of Christ is the bread of life. And John wants to be sure the sheep are fed. 
If you received this post through email, click here for the podcast.

New Podcast: His Presence, Our Salvation #Advent #UMC @StMarkMobile

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/audio/postId/5393909/url/http%253A%252F%252Fstmarkumc.podbean.com%252Fe%252Fhis-presence-our-salvation-matthew-118-25-11302014-rev-matt-oreilly%252F/initByJs/1/auto/1

Advent is about Christ’s coming. And his coming is about the promise of his presence with us. But Christ is not present with us in exactly the same way as he was to his first followers. None of us have ever had an experience like that of the disciples, who were granted to look upon and touch the risen Christ. This raises the question: How is Christ present with his Church now? How is he with us in between his first and second comings? The Church’s answer has long been quite simple, even if it remains deeply mysterious. He is present in the bread and the wine.

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New Podcast: Generous God, Generous People @StMarkMobile #UMC

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/audio/postId/5358533/url/http%253A%252F%252Fstmarkumc.podbean.com%252Fe%252Fgenerous-god-generous-people-2-corinthians-81-9-110214-rev-matt-oreilly%252F/initByJs/1/auto/1

There are many words to describe God. One of those words is “generous”. And what an excellent word to describe the big-hearted and overflowing extravagance of God’s grace. We can be exceedingly grateful that God relates to us with a generous grace. But if God treats us with such generous grace, shouldn’t our lives be conduits of that grace to others? Shouldn’t we embody that kind of godly generosity? Doesn’t God desire that his people be generous as he is generous? Because he is generous? And as we grow in godly generosity, aren’t we then growing in grace? And if generosity is about grace, isn’t it also about joy? What if growing in generosity produces joy? And not just any joy. Deep joy. 
If you receive this post through email, click here for the podcast.

New Podcast: Fully Focused on the Finish #ChristianPerfection #UMC

When I read the letters of Paul, I often wonder whether he was a fan of athletic games – foot racing, at least. On several occasions Paul draws on the language of the races to illumine the nature of the Christian life. For instance, “Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it” (1 Cor 9:24). Similarly in Philippians 3 Paul describes the Christian life in terms of straining forward towards the goal to win the prize. It’s hard not to imagine an Olympic runner putting all of his energy into crossing the finish line to win the gold. For Paul, the gospel worthy life is fully focused on the finish, and that means knowing what the finish line is, namely resurrection union with Christ, and it means leaving the past in the past – all of it. On top of that, Paul’s racing imagery helps us get a better sense of what we mean when we talk about Christian perfection. Take a listen to find out what Paul means when he counts himself among the “perfect” in Philippians 3:15. If you receive this post as an email, click here to listen on the podcast page. Previous sermons can be found here

New Podcast: Christlike in Real Life @StMarkMobile #UMC

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/audio/postId/5320402/url/http%253A%252F%252Fstmarkumc.podbean.com%252Fe%252Fchristlike-in-real-life-phil-219-30-10514-rev-matt-oreilly%252F/initByJs/1/auto/1

How would you like to be part of a group of people who were always concerned with your best interests? A group of people who were consistently and genuinely looking out for your well-being? They would be loyal to you. They would encourage you. They would build you up. That would be great. But you’re probably thinking: what a longshot. Because, after all, we meet people all the time who are in it for themselves – only looking out for Number One. Wouldn’t it be nice to be a part of group that was different, a group committed to other-oriented love? Longshot…right? Well, I believe that this kind of community life is a real possibility. And I believe it because that is the vision of community that Paul holds before the Philippian Christians in his letter to them. He tells them to regard one another with the mind of Christ looking not to their own interests but to the interests of others. It turns out that Paul thought the Philippians could actually live into this vision. And he commended Timothy and Epaphroditus as men who embodied this vision of what it looks like to be Christlike in real life. Check out this week’s podcast for more on embodying the mind of Christ consistently…comprehensively…entirely.