Wrestling with Theology

Wrestling with Theology

Avatar
By Rev. Doug Minton
Join me as I wrestle with the history of pro wrestling as well as wrestle with the truth and understanding of God's Word.
More places to listen

More places to listen

Moment of Meditation: Saul Anointed King (1 Samuel 10:19)
Original Broadcast: August 2009 Monthly Theme: King Saul [Samuel said:] "But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to Him, 'Set a king over us.' Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD." (1 Samuel 10:19) Saul Anointed King Samuel goes and does as the people demand and God approved. He goes to find the first king of Israel. He brought the entire congregation of Israel together. Starting with Reuben, he went tribe-by-tribe until God proclaimed the king to come from Benjamin. Benjamin came forward clan-by-clan until the Matrites were chosen. The clan came forward family-by-family until Saul was chosen. "But when they sought him, he could not be found" (v21). Maybe Saul had the right idea. Everybody wants a king, but they want a king who will rule their way. Millions of people demanding to be heard and followed in their ideas. Saul was probably right for running away from such a stressful job, but it was the job that God had given to him. The job he had been born for. Each of us has been placed on this earth for a specific task. Some of us find it earlier, some later. We see how God has skilled us and gifted us with certain abilities, talents and gifts that are best used in certain instances. Many times, especially when we're younger, our task is not so clear. Prayer is needed that God might show us where He wants us and what He wants us to do with our lives in His service. Join me in a prayer this morning. Gracious Lord, be with us this day and enlighten our lives so that we may see Your purposes for us that we might live and walk fully in Your ways. Amen.
01:35
October 22, 2019
Moment of Meditation: A King Demanded (1 Samuel 8:4-5)
Original Broadcast: August 2009 Monthly Theme: King Saul Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, "Behold, you are old and your sons don't walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations." (1 Samuel 8:4-5) A King Demanded What a pickle Samuel found himself in! The people were starting a revolution to redo the government. How would you feel about someone telling you to appoint your successor for your job knowing that the job would significantly change with this new appointment? Samuel wasn't happy about it. He got extremely upset with it, but God even told him to do it. He lists all the reasons why having a king is a terrible idea. But the people say, "No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations" (vv19-20). Israel wanted a king so they could be like everyone else. Peer pressure takes its toll on everyone. Despite how we like to be independent, inwardly we really want to have people accept us so we crumble when people want something that we don't. But Jesus didn't crumble. He came to save His people. His people rejected Him and put Him on the Cross, but He didn't crumble. He died there for sinners. Sinners who succumb to the pressures of being like everyone else. It's hard for Christians to take stands against things because everyone wants to be just like everyone else. But Christians have the strength of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them as long as they feed their souls with God's Word. Filled with His Word, we can overcome the pressures around us so that we might live as He would have us. May God strengthen you today in His grace. Amen.
01:32
October 21, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Jephthah's Fateful Vow (Judges 11:30-31)
Original Broadcast: July 2009 Monthly Theme: The Judges of Israel Jephthah made a vow to the LORD: "If You give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering." (Judges 11:30-31) Jephthah's Fateful Vow Jephthah's vow. What can you say about it? Maybe he should have been a little more specific. When he returns from devastating the Ammonites, he wishes he had been a bit more specific in his vow. The first thing to come out and meet him on his return--his only daughter. She comes out dancing with tambourines. He rips his clothes. What would normally be a wonderful family reunion after a successful military campaign turns into heart-rending turmoil. Jephthah wrestled with whether he should fulfill his vow to God or not. He wanted to spare his daughter because she was his only child. But he knew that God would punish him for not fulfilling the vow. It was the daughter's voice that broke through the internal struggle: "My father, you have given your word to the LORD. Do to me just as you promised" (v36). So he did. He offered his only child as a burnt offering to God. A symbol of what God Himself would do later for Jephthah, his daughter and all people when Jesus died on the Cross as a burnt offering for the sins of the human race. What Jephthah rashly vowed and struggled to keep, God vowed from the very beginning of the world and saw it through to the very end. His Son dead on a Cross as an offering for you. Amen.
01:33
October 18, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Gideon Refuses to Rule (Judges 8:23)
Original Broadcast: July 2009 Monthly Theme: The Judges of Israel But Gideon told them, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you." (Judges 8:23) Gideon Refuses to Rule It's the first time we have people of Israel wanting a king. With God's help, Gideon defeated the Midianites and delivered freedom to Israel. For his reward, they wanted to make him king: "Rule over us--you, your son and your grandson--because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian" (v22). It was the same in our own country two centuries ago. George Washington made great strides in the colonies' struggle for independence. In recognition of his heroics in battle, many in the Continental Congress wanted to proclaim Washington the king of America. He flatly refused, just as Gideon, because the colonies wanted to re-create the tyranny they had just overthrew. Gideon knew better. Israel had been set up with one king--God. There was room for no one else to have the power. Gideon humbly took the role and office of judge that God had given to him. Forty years he judged. He personally and Israel as a nation both prospered greatly during his time in office. Who is the king of your heart? Is it God or someone/something else? If it's not God, pray for the strength to be able to overthrow the tyrant currently reigning in your heart and place the compassionate, caring Father on the throne. Amen.
01:26
October 17, 2019
WWT #46: Confessional Corner - AC XXIII 1-14
The Roman Catholic Church has denied priests the right to marry and have children. Is this biblical? Is this historical? This episode is part one of answering these questions from the 23rd article of the Augsburg Confession.
11:13
October 16, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Gideon's Fleece (Judges 6:37)
Original Broadcast: July 2009 Monthly Theme: The Judges of Israel [Gideon said:] "Look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor." (Judges 6:37) Gideon's Fleece We pick up where we left off last time. Gideon still isn't sure that God wants him to deliver Israel. One final set of proofs that Gideon needs to see that this is truly God's way and not one of Satan's tricks. He still wasn't quite sure that this was what God really wanted. So, he devised the fleece test. He placed a wool fleece on the threshing floor and said that if God wanted him to deliver Israel that the fleece would be wet and the ground around it dry when the dew came in the morning. He woke up the next morning and saw it just as he had requested of God--wet fleece, dry ground. Still not completely convinced, he tells God that he wants it reversed the next morning. Next morning he wakes up to wet ground and a dry fleece. God was truly calling him. Gideon was slow of heart. James probably had Gideon in mind when he writes, "Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak" (1:19). What is God calling you to do? God's callings come in such great variety. Not always in the form of delivering a nation from its enemies. Sometimes it's as simple as being a good parent, good child, good brother or sister. Just ministering to the people in your life in the little things you do every day. You don't need a fleece to tell you if God wants you to do something good for someone else. As Nike® would say, "Just do it." Amen.
01:19
October 16, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Gideon's Doubts (Judges 6:13)
Original Broadcast: July 2009 Monthly Theme: The Judges of Israel "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? ... The LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian." (Judges 6:13) Gideon's Doubts Gideon asked the question that's on everyone's mind. Yes, someone actually asked God about the reason for evil in the world. Especially evil to God's chosen people. Does God give him an answer? Absolutely. He says, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" (v14). Gideon continued to pry into that assignment because he was the youngest son in the smallest family of weakest clan of Manasseh, the smallest tribe. How could someone as insignificant as him deliver Israel? Only with God's strength. That's the only way to overcome the doubts of God's presence when calamity strikes the lives of the faithful. Peter tells us that very thing, "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you" (1 Peter 4:12). God's answer throughout Scripture to this question is that you are asking the wrong question. The question isn't, "Why is this happening to me?" The question should be, "What good will God make out of this testing?" The testing will come. The Bible promises that. It's not our place to doubt God's Word, as Gideon did. It's ours to take hold of the calamity that has befallen us and strive to see God's hand in it and God's path through it. St. Paul reminds us, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. ... But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). Trials come, but God is still at work. Trust in Him and believe that He will see you through. Amen.
01:50
October 15, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Sisera (Judges 4:17)
Original Broadcast: July 2009 Monthly Theme: The Judges of Israel Sisera, however, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there were friendly relations between Jabin king of Hazor and the clan of Heber the Kenite. (Judges 4:17) Sisera Sisera was the commander-in-chief of Jabin's forces. When Deborah and Barak pressed the battle, he fled in fear. He found a tent among his allies that he could hide in. While he hid, the woman who offered her tent to him killed him in his sleep. The death of a coward. Amazing how both armies in the battle were commanded by cowards. Are you a coward? Do the problems in life intimidate you to the point that you run to any and every possible hiding place? Why is it? People turn to alcohol and drugs so they can escape into an altered version of reality. Others seek the hedonistic rush of promiscuous sexual activity. Why do you run? What's so great about the problems in your life that you have to run and hide? Why not go to the one place where you can find true help--your heavenly Father? Are your sins so great that you're unworthy of His attention? Do you see Him as a vindictive Judge instead of a compassionate Father? We pray in the Lord's Prayer, "forgive us our trespasses" and "deliver us from evil." Do we truly believe that God will grant these petitions that we ask on our knees? Certainly He will. He promises to hear us whenever we call upon Him in the name of His Son. The next time the troubles and problems of this world chase after you run to your heavenly Father. He will take care of you. Amen.
01:38
October 14, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Deborah & Barak (Judges 4:4)
Original Broadcast: July 2009 Monthly Theme: The Judges of Israel Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. (Judges 4:4) Deborah and Barak Deborah. The only female judge of Israel. The only prophet among the judges. Why is she numbered among all the men? The man who was supposed to be the commander of Israel's army, Barak. He refused to go into battle without her. He refused to accept his responsibility before God. Before going into battle, Deborah tells Barak, "Because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman" (Judges 4:9)--more about that next time. Ten thousand men follow Deborah and Barak into battle. Sisera, the commander of the armies of Hazor, fled in terror. This battle led to the complete destruction of Hazor by the Israelites (Judges 4:24). Judges 5 is the victory song for the Israelite army. Deborah praised herself highly saying, "Village life in Israel ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel" (v7). Deborah ruled as judge and almost "queen mother" for forty years in Israel because the surrounding nations knew that God fought for them. The same God who fought for you on the Cross. Amen.
01:07
October 11, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Judges (Judges 2:18-19)
Original Broadcast: July 2009 Monthly Theme: The Judges of Israel Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. ... But whenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them. (Judges 2:18-19) The Judges After Joshua's death, God sent judges to the children of Israel. They ran from Othniel until Samuel anointed Saul to be king. A span of around three hundred years. These men and women governed the Israelites in much the same way as Moses and Joshua had. With God's help, each judge delivered the Israelites from oppression of their enemies. While the judge lived, Israel was blessed and followed God's commandments. Once the judge was dead, Israel returned to the idols of their neighbors. Just like many of us do every week. We come and we sit in church for an hour on Sunday morning or Saturday evening. Then the other 167 hours of the week we're our own people following our own idols that we set up for ourselves--our jobs, our toys, our entertainment. The book of Judges is a sketch of what is commonplace throughout American society. Hopefully these meditations will bring us from this and lead us to always look to God for His help and guidance. Amen.
01:11
October 10, 2019
WWT #45: Common Ground - The Holy Catholic Church (CCC 748-870)
What is the Common Ground between Lutherans and Catholics regarding the question, "What is the Church?" Find out the answer to that question and several others as we go through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its confession of what it means to be "Church."
15:54
October 10, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Going Out and Coming In (Psalm 121:8)
Original Broadcast: May 2009 Monthly Theme: The Lord's Prayer YHWH will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121:8) Going Out and Coming In As we look this morning at the petition, "But deliver us from evil," we take the one thing that's constant throughout life: God is with us all the time. This blessing is given many times at confirmations and ordinations. It's a great comfort for those receiving it. How comforting it is to be reminded of the everlasting presence of our Creator and Preserver God. We pray in this petition that God would be with us throughout our days and "finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in Heaven" (SC III, 8). That's the ultimate deliverance from evil--when we are brought to our heavenly Father's place in Heaven where there is no evil. A place of perfect peace. A place where we can truly rest from our struggles in this world. Amen.
00:54
October 9, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Temptation (Mark 14:38)
Original Broadcast: May 2009 Monthly Theme: The Lord's Prayer [Jesus said:] "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Mark 14:38) Temptation Temptation is all around us. For many, temptation lurks around every corner. We pray that God will "lead us not into temptation." We understand Jesus' words to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." The new man in each baptized Christian wishes to do God's will, but the old man of sin that still clings to us wants to do our own thing. Our sinful nature wants to yield to every temptation that appeals to us. After all, that's why temptations are so hard to beat. They're very appealing. The only way to defeat temptation and not yield to it is through prayer. Even the disciples had to find this out when one demon simply refused to be cast out by them. Jesus responded, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer" (Mark 9:29). Your temptations are uniquely your own, but the same solution works for everyone--pray about them. Jesus will help strengthen your spirit by the working of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
01:06
October 8, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Confess and Forsake (Proverbs 28:13)
Original Broadcast: May 2009 Monthly Theme: The Lord's Prayer Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13) Confess and Forsake Hiding our sins doesn't work. We cannot hide them from God. Everything is seen by Him. As David reminds us, "Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence?" (Psalm 139:7). There is nowhere that we can go where God is not there. He encompasses everything. We will not prosper by thinking that we can hide our sins from God. The best way to deal with our sin is to confront it directly. To confess it and forsake it. By confessing our sins to God and vowing to forsake them, we obtain God's mercy. Only through Confession can Absolution be obtained. The Bible is filled with passages that remind us that Christians are sinners in the hands of a merciful God. By confessing and forsaking our sin, we receive the promised mercy. May you confess and forsake your sins today. Amen.
01:01
October 7, 2019
Moment of Meditation: The Eyes of All Look to You (Psalm 145:15-16)
riginal Broadcast: May 2009 Monthly Theme: The Lord's Prayer The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:15-16) "The Eyes of All Look to You" Everyone and everything looks to God for everything we need. As this petition shows us, "God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving" (SC III, 5a). God opens His hand and gives blessings to everyone. Christians acknowledge by faith that everything comes from God. Everything comes from the Father as its primary source. It can be the crops in the field, the feed for the animals, the cuts of meat at the store or the wonderful electronic gadgets that make life easier. All these things come from God and we owe Him the thanks for each and every one of them. Amen.
00:54
October 4, 2019
WWT #44: Apostolic Fathers - 1 Clement 14-19
Submission and humility are on the minds of the Roman presbyters as they write chapters 14-19 of their epistle to the Corinthians.
16:53
October 4, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Thy Will Be Done (John 6:40)
Original Broadcast: May 2009 Monthly Theme: The Lord's Prayer [Jesus said:] "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day." (John 6:40) "Thy Will Be Done" The Third Petition of the Lord's Prayer requests "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Luther's explanation of this petition shows that this petition, being the third and final petition concerning God's eternal attributes, is a summary of the previous petitions. "God's will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God's name or let His kingdom come" (SC III, 4b). "We thus ask that all opposition to God's will might be removed from the earth, and especially from our own hearts. We ask for the freedom to conform our desires and deeds more fully to God's, so that we might be completely delivered from our sin. We yield ourselves, in life and in death, to God's will" (PCUSA Catechism, Question 129). This petition, at least for me, is the hardest petition to pray. As Christians, we truly do want God's will to be done. As sinners, we only want God's will to be done if it's done on our time table. But what is God's will? To believe in His Son so that we may inherit eternal life and be raised again on the Last Day. We want the Last Day to get here now. We want to be rid of the problems that we pray against in the rest of the Lord's Prayer. Part of faith is believing that God is in control. That faith will lead you through this life and into the everlasting life for which we wait. Amen.
01:31
October 3, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Thy Kingdom Come (Mark 1:15)
Original Broadcast: May 2009 Monthly Theme: The Lord's Prayer [Jesus said:] "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the Gospel." (Mark 1:15) "Thy Kingdom Come" The first recorded words of Jesus in St. Mark's Gospel show the Second Petition in all its clarity. Jesus is bringing about the Father's kingdom by His preaching in the world. In the Heidelberg Catechism, the Second Petition means: "Rule us by Your Word and Spirit in such a way that more and more we submit to You. Keep Your Church strong, and add to it. Destroy the devil's work; destroy every force which revolts against You and every conspiracy against Your Word. Do this until Your kingdom is so complete and perfect that in it you are all in all" (Question 122). In Luther's Catechism, "God's kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity" (SC III, 3b). In both of these catechisms, the end result is the same. God's kingdom comes by itself through His Word and His grace. It comes as people believe in the Gospel presented by Jesus Himself. "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the Gospel" today. Amen.
01:11
October 2, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Let Your Light Shine (Matthew 5:16)
Original Broadcast: May 2009 Monthly Theme: The Lord's Prayer [Jesus said:] "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16) "Let Your Light Shine" Jesus wants your good works to shine. After all, the works you do in Jesus' name are meant for others. The works you do are done to show the Easter joy in which you live. That joy brings out the shine of the Christian life. Jesus tells us in the preceding verses, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house" (vv14-15). Your works cannot be hidden because they show your true affiliation. May your works give glory to God as your light shines in the darkness of the world, illuminating the Savior who died and rose for you. Amen.
00:48
October 1, 2019
Moment of Meditation: Our Father (1 John 3:1)
Original Broadcast: May 2009 Monthly Theme: The Lord's Prayer See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called chil