Unscripted: "Parenting and the Brain" (With Dr. Charles Stone)

In our previous podcast, Bryan Catherman mentioned some aspects of brain function, Dr. Charles Stone, and Dr. Stone’s book, Brain Savvy Leaders: The Science of Significant Ministry. It’s a complicated topic that Dr. Stone makes really simple and enjoyable to read. Therefore, we thought we’d invited him on the podcast to get the information correct and see if he might be able to help us understand how the brain influences parenting. He did not disappoint! Listen to, “Parenting and the Brain” (With Dr. Charles Stone).

Find more podcasts like this, as well as many interviews with Christian pastors, professors, authors, and others from all across the US and Canada on our Salty Believer Unscripted page. And be sure to subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Parenting and Proverbs 19:18

adult-1850268.jpg

Parenting is hard. Proverbs 19:18 and some other proverbs offer good wisdom for parents. In this episode Bryan Catherman and Jared Jenkins continue to look at parenting through the lends of Scripture. Listen to “Parenting and Proverbs 19:18.

Find more podcasts like this, as well as many interviews with Christian pastors, professors, authors, and others from all across the US and Canada on our Salty Believer Unscripted page. And be sure to subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

The Bible and Parenting -- Anger and James 1:19-20

Is there are place for anger in our parenting toolbox? What does anger produce? How effective is losing your temper with your children? What does the Bible say about this?

Jared Jenkins and Bryan Catherman explore James 1:19-20 and some other verses as they discuss anger and parenting. Listen to this episode of Salty Believer Unscripted, “Parenting and James 1:19-20.

Find more podcasts like this, as well as many interviews with Christian pastors, professors, authors, and others from all across the US and Canada on our Salty Believer Unscripted page. And be sure to subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

"Holy Noticing" (An Interview with Dr. Charles Stone Jr.)

Dr. Charles Stone Jr. is a pastor, author, and a student of neurological leadership and the brain. His book, Brain Savvy Leaders: The Science of Significant Ministry. Now he has a new book about to publish called Holy Noticing: The Bible, Your Brain, and the Mindful Space Between Moments. Bryan Catherman and Jared Jenkins connected with Dr. Stone via Skype to chat with him about his newest work. The book is available for preorder but the interview is available now.

bio-picture-large-1.jpg

Holy Noticing releases March 5th but you don’t need to wait to order it. The price is very reasonable for the 240 page paperback published by Moody Publishers. Also, be on the lookout for a detailed review on this site.

Find more podcasts like this, as well as many interviews with Christian pastors, professors, authors, and others from all across the US and Canada on our Salty Believer Unscripted page. And be sure to subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Letters to the Church by Francis Chan

Chan, Francis. Letters to the Church. Colorado Springs, Col: David C. Cook, 2018.

Francis Chan’s newest book, Letters to the Church comes with a buzz because it’s Francis Chan. He knows how to generate a buzz. But there is a limited audience who might benefit from the entirety of this book. The book has some extremely helpful, motivating ideas but as an entire work, it may lead more away from the local church than toward it. Chan’s work has the potential of producing more jaded Christians frustrated with Jesus and his Bride than not.

Chan sees a problem in much of how the American Church is functioning today. I appreciate that he is sounding the alarm but Chan’s over forceful response misses the nuances of the real problem.

Chan is clearly jaded with the Church (as he presently sees it) and he’s making an argument against the so-called-Christian who is not acting like how Chan thinks First-Century believers acted. There are some Christians who are indeed acting in rebellion, sitting in the pew in apathy. There are some who need this sin addressed (as Chan argues). That person should read this book.

At the same time, there are some who haven’t thought much about what the local church could be, and Chan permits them to dream. They might find Letters to the Church exciting and will hopefully lean into the local church rather than walk away. This could be many people in sleepy churches, especially across the Bible Belt. This person should read the book, with caution.

But I’m not convinced anyone outside the two above mentioned groups should pick up a copy. I hate to write this review because Chan has done a great deal for many Christians. He’s motivated millions on some level. His zeal and passion for Jesus and following him radically is motivating. But this book is loaded with problems.

First, I struggle to read authors who make their living from the Christian community by selling books, speaking at conferences, and recording videos on media services like RightNow Media who argue that the local church should be in homes with unpaid pastors and have no financial resources. These same books and conferences are marketed to churches and often hosted in church buildings. The same musical worship that is treated as problematic programming in the book is the same worship found at the conferences where Chan speaks. If Chan believes what he writes, he should stop accepting so many speaking and writing engagements. Or he might look for less harsh and more inviting ways to make changes from within.

Second, Chan idolizes the First-Century Church, or what he thinks the First-Century Church was. He makes arguments from what the First-Century Church was doing, and he assumes those local churches were free from problems. His assumption of those local churches become his gold-standard for what all churches should strive. However, Chan overlooks all of the issues in the Early Church. They had problems with racism (poor distribution of bread in Acts 6 or Peter’s refusal to eat with Gentiles in Galatians 2, for example), difficulties with obedience to the Great Commission (note that they hadn’t left Jerusalem until Acts 8), and theological disagreements about circumcision. Much of every epistle deals with problems in the church. If not for all the issues, we wouldn’t have a good part of the New Testament. And let us certainly never forget the harsh warnings God gave the churches in the divine letters in the book of Revelation. Today’s less-than-perfect Church looks a great deal like the First-Century less-than-perfect Church, but neither looks like the Church Chan is painting.

Third, at times Chan slightly misrepresents God’s Word to lead the reader to his desired conclusions. For example, in the chapter called “Good Shepherds,” his argues that everyone should become a pastor, and everyone is a pastor. Here he writes,

“Contrary to popular belief, we are all called to pastor (a word that simply means ‘shepherd’). Older women are to shepherd the younger (Titus 2:3-5). Parents are to shepherd their children (Eph. 6:4). Timothy was told to teach others what he had been taught (2 Tim. 2:2). We’re all called to be making disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). If you can’t find a single person who looks to you as a mentor, something is wrong with you” (106).

Chan is not wrong about the word from where we get pastor, and indeed it does mean shepherd. In the New Testament, the Greek noun for that word is poimen and the verb form is poimaino. In nearly every English translation, that word is translated shepherd. But this word appears in none of the verses Chan supplied to argue that everyone is a pastor. In all the verses, there is an idea of discipleship and teaching, but pastor or shepherd is not there. No English translation uses the word shepherd or pastor in the verses Chan uses, except he implies that’s the case with his parenthetical statement and he changes the word to shepherd in regard to older women teaching (kalodidaskalous) and encouraging (sōphronizōsin) the younger women and training (paideia) our children.

Ephesians 4:11 does make a case that some are to be shepherds (the poimen noun) who are also teachers (but it’s not the same teacher-word as those used in the selected verses). Also note that Ephesians 4:11 says some, not all, and then some are for maturing the Church. Chan’s handling of the text tosses out the nuances of discipleship, pastoral ministry, and shepherding. Scripture draws clear differences between Paul, Timothy, the elders of the churches, and the Body as a whole. We would be wise to pay attention to those differences rather than adjusting to meet our own purposes.

Also, while I believe every Christian should be making disciples, I am uncomfortable with Chan’s line at the end of the quote that “something is wrong” with a person not presently making disciples. The charge in 2 Corinthians 5 is to call people to be reconciled to God, not to make people into ambassadors. It seems once a person is reconciled to God well, he or she becomes an ambassador. Jesus’ charge to make disciples in Matthew 28 is to make followers of Christ, not to make people into guilt-ridden disciple-makers. There’s a big distinction. Once one is following Christ or reconciled well, he or she naturally becomes a disciple-maker (although a little more training may be necessary at that point). If someone is not a disciple-maker, the fault may rest with the person discipling that individual. God wants us drawing people to himself, not propagating a marketing pyramid by guilt.

Fourth, I appreciate that Francis Chan was concerned that people might read his book out of context and use it as ammo against the Church. He writes,

“I am trying to write with a spirit of unity. While some of the things I write may sound critical, I really am trying to speak in a spirit of grace and unity. One of the worst things that could happen for is for angry people to take these words and proudly confront their church leadership. There is enough division and arrogance in the Church already. I believe there is a way to show kindness and grace toward one another without abandoning our convictions” (25).

However, in the pages that follow, Chan was not gracious with the part of the Church that he’s jaded with. He doesn’t sound like a shepherd or even a caring person. For example, in the chapter called, “Servants” he writes,

“Don’t you see the weirdness in calling people CHRISTian when they aren’t servants? I know we can’t force people to serve, but there has to be something we can do. No team puts up with players who refuse to contribute. No army puts up with soldiers who don’t carry their own weight. Why do churches continue to put up with Christians who refuse to serve? Why don’t we treat selfishness as a sin that needs to be confronted? If Scripture commands us to serve one another, isn’t it a bit strange that we give people a free pass?” (97).

I’m certainly glad Jesus didn’t treat me like the weak link on a sports team or toss me in the brig like a militant dictator. Jesus invites us to join his mission. And Jesus adopts us into his family, not conscripts us into his militia as long as we carry our own weight. Service is an opportunity to join Christ, and caring pastors indeed have a responsibility to call people into that opportunity. At times, there is sin, but not always. It might be frustrating that people aren’t serving Jesus in his church as we might want them to, but if there “has to be something we can do” we might be better praying for these folks and discipling them. Christ called us to make disciples, not build the Church. He said he would do that (Matthew 16:18).

I pastor a church of broken people. Single moms newly following Christ. People just coming off addiction. Confused and jaded believers. Caged-Calvinist. I would hate to demand that they serve when they only see it as another burden or some kind of false way to appease God, but I love shepherding them into opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ when they are ready to see it that way and Jesus has transformed their view.

Before my wife and I were believers, we slipped into Sunday church serves late and left just as they were ending so we wouldn’t have to engage with believers. We wanted to watch and listen but I wouldn’t have had Christians over to my home or gone to a Christian’s home to discuss faith or likely even become friends. Our only real exposure was a year and a half of slipping into services and leaving. I’m thankful that church was there and they didn’t confront us for not living like authentic Christians. If they had, I suspect we would have walked, never to return. However, in God’s timing and after hearing many messages God saved my wife and me. This is but one example, but it reminds me that not every circumstance fits well into the house-church, roll-up-your-sleeves and get to work expression of the local church. The Body is one Body of many parts. If we only view the Body as the local church, we miss that many other Christians are being the Church as they serve as their part of the whole Body of Christ.

Francis Chan makes many good points in his book, but nearly all of them are overshadowed by the other things he says. I suspect this will be the kind of book people will read and say, “Yeah, this is how the church should be” but then do little to nothing to change their Christian walk. They will harbor extremely high expectations of the church and then be let down when they don’t see those expectations. Even worse, they’ll become jaded with the broken church that Jesus died to redeem. Letters to the Church is a rally cry kind of book without the rally or much action. I like where I thought the book was headed when I read the introduction, but in the end, it was far more noise without substance.

I appreciate Chan’s heart for seeing the American Church desire to follow Jesus in radical ways. I love his passion for the Lord. But as much as this passion is a strength, it comes with a weakness too. If the passion is light, dealing in absolutes when absolutes don’t capture the nuance of reality is the shadowy side of the light. This book might have been much better and much more beneficial had Chan tempered his frustration before putting ink on the paper.

Unscripted: "The Bible and Parenting (Ephesians 6:1-4)"

There’s a very good reason why God tells fathers not to stir up their children to anger, but instead instruct them in the way of the Lord. In our second episode of the Salty Believer Unscripted episode, Jared Jenkins and Bryan Catherman look at Ephesians 6:1-4. This is a series where the guys are exploring what the Bible has to say about parenting. Listen to the episode here or use the player below.

Find more podcasts like this, as well as many interviews with Christian pastors, professors, authors, and others from all across the US and Canada on our Salty Believer Unscripted page. And be sure to subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Unscripted: "The Bible and Parenting (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)"

Jared Jenkins has put together a new series for “Salty Believer Unscripted.” It’s a journey into what the Bible has to say about parenting. In this first episode, he and Bryan Catherman look at what is probably one of the top go-to sections of Scripture on parenting— Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

I addition, Jared refers to a specific sermon. Listen to St. Helen’s Bishopgate’s Parenting Day sermon here.

Listen to the first episode of our new series, “The Bible and Parenting” here or with the audio player below.

Find more podcasts like this, as well as many interviews with Christian pastors, professors, authors, and others from all across the US and Canada on our Salty Believer Unscripted page. And be sure to subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

LifeWay: More than a Bookstore (with Jonathan Howe)

Bryan met Jonathan Howe while on a trip to Nashville. After connecting, Bryan learned much more about the task and purpose of LifeWay. Howe is the Director of Strategic Initiatives and he directs multiple podcasts, websites, and other communication efforts of Dr. Rainer and other leaders within the Southern Baptist Convention. You can also read Howe’s work on Facts and Trends.

Howe, podcasts in a nice studio with high-tech gear and topnotch resources. So we were please that he agreed to be a part of our podcast, which is somewhat different than what Howe is used to working with. Although it’s possible we simply tricked him into it. We say this with a bit of tongue-and-cheek because Howe is quickly becoming a friend of ours and we find the contrast between the two podcasts amusing. Howe was a good sport and a great guest.

Listen to our interview with Jonathan Howe here:

Find more podcasts like this, as well as many interviews with Christian pastors, professors, authors, and others from all across the US and Canada on our Salty Believer Unscripted page. And be sure to subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Congratulations Brett Ricley!

19390927_1333342186785898_8739054925821548603_o.jpg

Brett Ricley, one of the Salty Believer Unscripted co-hosts, is leaving Salt Lake on his way to a new ministry position in Iowa. I’m very sad to see him go but happy for the next chapter ahead of him. Please join me in congratulating him as we send him off. Of course, thanks to technology he doesn’t have to be too far from SaltyBeliever.com and once he gets settled into the new job, we might see him back on the podcast.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to go back to a podcast we recorded with J.D. Payne. Brett Ricley and Benjamin Pierce were new on the Redeeming Life Church team and both were interns on the podcast (although we never called Brett an intern). This specific podcast was especially fun because of how excited both Brett and Benjamin were about being a part of the podcast with J.D. Payne. It was before we had better on-line gear so Payne’s audio quality over the phone is fairly bad. But it’s still a fun podcast and it highlights the early beginnings of Brett on Salty Believer Unscripted.

Listen to our podcast on church planting with J.D. here or with the player below. It first posted February 15, 2015.

Find more podcasts like this, as well as many interviews with Christian pastors, professors, authors, and others from all across the US and Canada on our Salty Believer Unscripted page. And be sure to subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Unscripted: Read Your Bible (Part 2)

ben-white-167553-unsplash.jpg

Do you read your Bible daily? Most people don’t. But Bryan Catherman and Jared Jenkins offer some tips and tools to make it easier to get into a habit of daily Bible reading. This is the second part in a two-part series.

Listen to the podcast here.

Subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS FeediTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Follow "Salty Believer Unscripted" on Facebook, @SaltyBelievers on Twitter, and SaltyBeliever.com on YouTube.   

Journey Through John -- It's Just Two Minutes Per Day

aaron-burden-330165-unsplash.jpg

I'm a pastor. I meet with a lot of people. I talk about the Bible a lot. I read the Bible, a lot. It's the chief tool of my ministry. Yet many of the people I sit with tell me they hardly ever open the Bible. Then they go on to tell me all their problems. These problems are such that living submitted to God's Word would probably resolve them. So I suggest something from God's Word for them to read and meditate on and pray about. But they tell me they don't have time to read God's Word. And they especially can't read God's Word every day.

Of course, we can make time to read God's Word and spend time with the Lord if it's important to us. It only takes a few seconds to read a single verse of the Bible. And we certainly can find two minutes somewhere in our day to think about that verse. More reading and meditating would be even better, but two minutes and one verse seems like a starting place for those doing nothing.

I was frustrated and looking for a way to help busy people read or hear at least one verse per day and think about it for two minutes. How could I get the Word of God in front of people for two minutes? Then I noticed how much time people stare at their phones and how some of that time was consuming videos. I'm sure there are two minutes in there somewhere for God's Word.

Thus, Journey Through John was born.

Journey Through John is my attempt to give people one verse from the book of John per day and two minutes of discussion on that verse. It's on YouTube, so when I'm done, the entire book of John and over 30 hours of devotional commentary will be available on the popular video-delivery site.

It seems reasonable. If we just watched one less cat video, we could make time for the Word of God.

A person can also subscribe to a daily email (Monday through Friday). Each morning when a subscriber wakes up, there's an email with the verse and a button to watch the video right there on his or her phone. A subscriber can start from the beginning of the book of John or join in where I'm at with the newest videos.

Subscribe Starting from the Beginning.

Subscribe Picking up Where It’s Presently At.

I'm not sure how I could make it any easier.

I've also put all the completed videos in a playlist on the Salty Believer YouTube channel so someone can it play and let it roll for a while. Or, if someone is looking for a specific verse or chapter, he or she can visit the website.

It took me about a chapter to get into my stride. I wasn't sure how much commentary or application should go into every two minutes. And you can't say much in two minutes, so what was it going to be? After about the first chapter, I got into a groove that I think should be helpful for anyone just trying to hear at least one verse and think about it for a couple of minutes.

So if you're doing nothing with God's Word, why not have a two-minute video emailed to you every day. I mean seriously, you can't find two minutes to hear from God's Word. You don't even have to read. Just listen as you sip on your coffee, trying to get the day moving.

For the Kingdom!
Bryan Catherman

Unscripted: Read Your Bible (Part 1)

rod-long-355994-unsplash.jpg

Bryan Catherman brought a topic to Jared Jenkins that was truly unscripted. The just talked about the topic with the recorder running. The topic? Why so few read the Bible and what we might do to get in to God’s Word a little easier. This is a two-part series. The first part discusses the problem and the second part deals with some tips and tools to get into a regular habit of opening your Bible. This is the first episode.

Listen here.

Subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Why Church?

Questioning the relevance of church attendance is not new, but it seems like the volume is getting louder. Questions about the significance or value of attending worship services with a group of fellow believers are numerous, and often among the angry, hurt, confused, or rebellious. “Why church?” As pastors, Bryan Catherman and Jared Jenkins hear the question a lot.

So they decided to explore that question with the recorder of “Salty Believer Unscripted” rolling. What is the value of the local church? Why be a part? Why is the church God’s plan for the gospel to reach the world? They address these questions and many many in an 8-week podcast series called, “Why Church?”

Listen to the series by following the links below.

Why Church?
— Part 1: Introduction audio
— Part 2: Rhythms of Community audio
— Part 3: Meaningful Community audio
— Part 4: The Church and the Mission audio
— Part 5: Prayer and Worship Together audio
— Part 6: The Church and Social Justice audio
— Part 7: The Church and the Preached Word audio
— Part 8: Conclusion and Some Thoughts from Francis Chan audio

Find more podcasts like this, as well as many interviews with Christian pastors, professors, authors, and others from all across the US and Canada on our Salty Believer Unscripted page. And be sure to subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS Feed | SpotifyiTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Why Church? . . . and a Little from Francis Chan

david-beale-168546-unsplash.jpg

For 8 episodes, Jared Jenkins and Bryan Catherman discussed the question, “Why Church?” on Salty Believer Unscripted. In this episode, they share some concluding thoughts and deal with some excerpts in Francis Chan’s newest book, Letters to the Church.

Listen to the Conclusion (with a little from Francis Chan, too):

Subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS FeediTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Follow "Salty Believer Unscripted" on Facebook, @SaltyBelievers on Twitter, and SaltyBeliever.com on YouTube.   

Unscripted: "The Church and the Preached Word"

stephen-radford-121528-unsplash.jpg

The local church and preaching the Word of God are tied together. The Church has a duty to protect the Word and a duty to hear the Word, just as much—if not more—than the duty of the preacher’s part of preaching the Word. Why Church? In part it the answer includes the necessity of preaching, hearing, protecting, and propagating the Word of our Lord.

In this episode of Salty Believer Unscripted, Bryan Catherman and Jared Jenkins look at the connection between the local church and the preached Word of God.

Subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS FeediTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Follow "Salty Believer Unscripted" on Facebook, @SaltyBelievers on Twitter, and SaltyBeliever.com on YouTube.   

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

Photo: The Gospel Herald.

Photo: The Gospel Herald.

Peterson, Eugene H. A Long Obedience In The Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2000. 

Many consider Eugene Peter’s , A Long Obedience in the Same Direction a classic. It’s a must read. Bryan Catherman offers a video review and recommendation:

Maybe your next bookclub choice? Maybe something personal to help you move through a dry or difficult season in your Christian journey?

Find and purchase this book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2t9CrZ4.

If you found this review helpful, you can find more written and video reviews at the book recommendation and review section of our website. Also, we encourage you subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Happy 9th Birthday SaltyBeliever.com!

On January 1, 2010, SaltyBeliever.com was born. It became a public website and ministry to share Christian ideas, thoughts, resources, and other helpful things for believers on a journey with Christ.

I was in seminary, working on a Master’s Degree and had papers only read by a professor. I thought that maybe I could modify that work and make it available to others. Perhaps it could be helpful? I hoped that the website could help serve alongside my other ministries. There was only one way to find out.

I chose the name “Salty Believer” for a few reasons. First, I took a cue from Matthew 5:13. Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth, but if salt were to lose its saltiness, it wouldn’t be good for anything. I think that's interesting on many levels. Second, I live in Salt Lake City and at the time didn't expect this website to reach beyond my friends and family. I wanted to play upon the name of my home and wasn't thinking beyond the small circles I was in. Finally, a decade ago the term "salty" was used a little differently. It was more of a reference for sailors who had been out to sea and experienced the sea life, opposed to new sailors, identified as "green." When I was in Iraq, we used these terms for soldiers, too. Today, the term, "salty" is used more to describe someone who is jaded, snarky, or holds resentment towards something. The irony is that in 2010 I was far more 'green' in ministry than I am today, and far more 'snarky-salty.' But the name stuck, and here we are.

The past 9 years of this website have seen many things. My ministry as a self-supported missionary working alongside Redeeming Life turned into a full-time position supported by the church. I graduated with an M.Div. In 2017 I earned a D.Min. I planted a church. Book projects and chapters were penned with my words. I made more friends and invited them into the activities of SaltyBeliever.com. I’ve preached hundreds of sermons. I wrote hundreds of blog posts. Guest authors wrote some, too. Our gang filmed videos, books were reviewed, classes offered, and we started a podcast. We've had some remarkable guests along the way. And we’ve had a lot of fun through it all.

It's been a great journey so far. I would never have thought so much might have happened with SaltyBeliever.com over these past nine years. I'm waiting expectantly to see what the next nine could bring. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

For the Kingdom!

Bryan Catherman
SaltyBeliever.com

Unscripted: "The Church and the Mission"

alexander-andrews-636454-unsplash.jpg

So many Christians are jettisoning the local church. Why? Regardless of the arguments presented, the conclusion they draw is that the Church, specifically the local church, does not have the value God says it has. Jared Jenkins and Bryan Catherman are seeking to explore the value of the local church in a Salty Believer Unscripted series called, “Why Church?”

In this episode, they look at God’s plan to use the Church (including the local church) to reach the world with the gospel. It’s God’s only plan. There is no other.

Listen or download with this link or use the player below.

Subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS FeediTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Follow "Salty Believer Unscripted" on Facebook, @SaltyBelievers on Twitter, and SaltyBeliever.com on YouTube.   

The Cradle and the Cross

There are things on our Christmas tree that remind of us the nativity scene. We have a star on top, to remind us of the star the Magi followed to find the Christ. We have white lights to remind us that Jesus is the Light of the world. And as John 1 reminds us, that light was coming into the world and darkness cannot overcome it. We have gifts under the tree to remind us of the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, for all who believe and call him Lord. Like our little ceramic figurines sitting in the miniature barn on the coffee table, these things are but simple reminders. I don’t feel too bad about their simplicity because it’s much like taking the Lord’s Supper. How can a small cracker and tiny cup even come close to remind us of the magnitude of our crucified and risen Lord? Yet is is helpful to have reminders.

We have something else on our tree. At times it has drawn comments and attention. “Isn’t that better for Easter?” I’ve heard. What is it? Well, we have a cross on our tree. More than one, actually.

I greatly appreciate that our decorations include the cross. The cross on a Christmas tree serves as a strong reminder that the baby Jesus entered humble humanity in terrible circumstances to do more than give us Christmas. He came to give us Easter. Christmas is the start of a celebration that culminates with an empty tomb. The baby was laid in a manger—the man was laid in a tomb. Both significant. Both meaningful. Neither are the end of the story. The tomb is empty and a baby born in humble beginnings is the King of all kings.

When I look to Christmas, I think more about an empty tomb than I do about ‘no room at the inn.’ I think about a King on the Throne. I think about my Savior and salvation, a rescue beyond what any sinner could accomplish.

The cross on our Christmas tree is another reminder of Christ and why we call him Savior. It seems only fitting to have such an ornament on our tree.

Merry Christmas!
Bryan Catherman

Unscripted: Why Church? Meaningful Community

priscilla-du-preez-234138-unsplash.jpg

On this week’s Salty Believer Unscripted episode, Bryan Catherman and Jared Jenkins look at meaningful community. They are exploring the question, why church? and meaningful community can’t be overlooked. There are many times that a church community even replaces biological family as the community of God’s people becomes more and more significant.

Listen to this week’s episode here.

Subscribe to the Salty Believer Unscripted on your favorite podcast app, or use these links:
RSS FeediTunes  | Google Play Music | TuneIn | Stitcher

Follow "Salty Believer Unscripted" on Facebook, @SaltyBelievers on Twitter, and SaltyBeliever.com on YouTube.