057 | Jesus is Better: An Introduction to the Book of Hebrews

Welcome to episode 57 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Jesus is better. That’s the theme we see in the New Testament letter to the Hebrews. As the writer of this amazing letter writes to his Jewish friends who were born and raised under the Old Covenant, his purpose is to show them that Jesus is the New Covenant fulfillment of all that the Old Covenant only pictured. Jesus is a better priest with a better sacrifice with a better covenant built on better promises. In short, Jesus is better.

In this episode, we crack open the Book of Hebrews and begin looking at it from the perspective of its original recipients, Jews born under the Old Covenant and committed to the Law of Moses, who had heard about Jesus and the gospel, but were undecided concerning the veracity of what they were hearing. This letter to the Hebrews is the most thorough letter in the New Testament explaining the details of the Old Covenant and its Law and showing their complete fulfillment in Jesus. It is finished and Jesus is better.

Enjoy!


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056 | Undiluted Grace

Welcome to episode 56 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Our freeform conversation in this episode goes all over the place. We just grabbed the mics and started talking. Here’s a few of the topics that came up as we talked:

  • We’ve been made obedient from the heart.
  • Did Paul preach law and gospel?
  • The Law increases law-breaking.
  • God did for us what the law couldn’t do.
  • Were non-Jews ever under the Law? Is anyone under the law today?
  • Does the new heart mean you can now keep the law?
  • Is Jesus a new lawgiver with a new law?
  • In Adam, all die. In Christ, we’re made alive.
  • Faith expresses itself in love.
  • Thomas Aquinas’ view of women typifies so much of church history.

 Here’s the links to the 2 books we talk about in this episode:

We also give a shoutout to Mike’s new podcast, The UnSunday Show. The UnSunday Show is up and running and is a podcast where Mike explores in more detail, our journey out of institutional religion. Visit The UnSunday Show and subscribe in Apple Podcasts or in your favorite podcast app.

A personal note: with summer upon us, we may be unable to drop new episodes every week as we do now. But we’re still here and will drop new episodes at every opportunity. Tell a friend about us!

-Enjoy!


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055 | Finding Rest in Grace Alone

Welcome to episode 55 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is a continuation of sorts of our last two episodes as we continue to talk about the impact of forgetting our identity when it comes to theological talking points like perseverance, suicide, and calling unclean that which God has cleansed. What is perseverance and if a Christian commits suicide, were they really a believer? Is it up to me to get myself safely into heaven by working hard to keep God’s favor? Does persevering to the end mean I’m sweating for Jesus more and more in order to win the prize of eternal life? Can anything separate us from the love of God in Christ? Will Jesus ever abandon us, even in our darkest hour? Is his grace sufficient in bringing me safely into his kingdom or am I responsible to work with God in getting myself there?

Let’s talk about it….


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054 | What God Has Cleansed

Welcome to episode 54 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Guess who’s back? Susan eases back into her podcast chair as her voice continues to slowly return. We revisit some of the topics that came up in the last episode that Susan wanted to talk about, now that her voice is starting to return. More specifically, God’s words to Peter in Acts chapter 10 instructing him to not call anything unclean that God has cleansed.

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the body of Christ. Part of the beauty of the gospel is that we don’t lose our individuality when we believe. We get to be who we are without pretending we’re something else in order to satisfy those around us who think we need to be more like them and less like us. Cookie-cutter Christianity doesn’t exist except in the minds of those who have lost the gospel in the mess of their own tribal doctrine and insecurities.

Grab your favorite beverage, pull up your favorite chair, and join us as we talk about these important subjects and relate them back to our own experiences.

-Enjoy!


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053 | Two Mouths; One Voice

Welcome to episode 53 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! That pesky flu virus I told you about last week has exited our home but some of its side effects are lingering. Namely, Susan is still without a voice. There’s a lot of whispering going on around here and note-writing on Susan’s part. Needless to say, our conversations have been a little one-sided.

But that didn’t stop her from joining me in the high-tech podcast studio for this episode. Hence the title, Two Mouths; One Voice. Susan joins me via notes and whispers as we talk about how the Holy Spirit guides us further and further into the gospel and a clearer understanding of what really matters. We reflect on our own experiences and how the Holy Spirit most often transforms our thinking and understanding slowly over time. Our love for others will lack to the degree that “Jesus Christ and him crucified” gets lost in our tribal doctrine.

-Enjoy!


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052 | Rethinking Formal Church Membership

Hello friends and welcome to episode 52 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. The flu bug has hit our house pretty hard and we were unable to record a fresh episode for you so I (Mike) reached over to my recently launched UnSunday Show and grabbed an episode from there to share with you. This episode centers around formal church membership and asks some honest questions about what formal church membership is, why it’s there, and who benefits. If The UnSunday Show is something that tweaks you, it can be found in any podcast app or on-line HERE.

Here’s Mike’s blog post with the links referenced in this episode:

-Enjoy!


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051 | Finding the Freedom to be Authentic

“While the church served its purpose, I probably was asleep for many years. And now I’m waking up to living.” –Allison Stanley

Welcome to episode 51 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! Not to be confused with Area 51. Well, there may be a few similarities. This episode is a conversation between Susan and two of our friends, Allison Stanley and Nora Shaw. Allison has been on our show twice before, in episodes 10 and 11 and Nora joined Susan on the previous episode, 50. 

The theme of freedom in last week’s episode continues in this episode as the conversation turns toward losing our own authenticity as a result of needing approval from others. The freedom to be ourselves, which is ours in Christ, is lost when we find ourselves in an environment where we compromise who we really are in order to fit in. We hide parts of our true selves for fear of losing the approval of others. This is nowhere more evident than in religious settings where the emphasis is on sameness based on one person’s or one group’s theology or doctrine.

But many of us are finding the freedom to be who we really are regardless of the opinions of others. We’re learning that fitting in is a poor substitute for belonging and true freedom is the result of being who we really are without pretense or seeking the approval of others at the expense of being who we really are. We’ve traded our authenticity for approval long enough.

-Enjoy!


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050 | Finding Freedom Apart From Religion: A Conversation With Nora Shaw

Welcome to episode 50 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode captures Susan’s conversation with her friend Nora Shaw. Nora talks of her journey into the freedom of the gospel and some of the ways organized religion inhibits that freedom. Religion forces us to fit in while never really belonging because we can’t be our true selves there. The freedom Jesus and the New Testament writers talk about is a freedom apart from performance, religious or otherwise. Breaking away from what binds us, while sometimes painful and difficult to do, is the first step to finding the freedom to be truly free. The freedom to be yourself that comes only through Jesus, apart from religion.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:35–36)

-Enjoy!


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