I love podcasts. One might say that I am addicted to podcasts. With the current iPod touch software, you can listen to podcasts at 2x speed, and I listen to about 3 or 4 hours of podcasts a day during down time at work. If you consider that I’m listening at 2x speed, you could reasonably say that I consume 6 to 8 hours worth of material throughout a normal day! That being said, I think it would be helpful for me to review, summarize or recommend materials on this blog for the up-building of the church and to just keep my own thoughts organized. I would encourage you to consider whether it is worth your time to download and listen to these resources. If so, you may find PodShifter a useful tool for speeding up the podcasts.
Timothy Tennent: Introduction to Buddhism (20 Episodes)
At the time of this recording, Dr. Timmothy Tennent is lecturing at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Tennent is an expert on world religions, and has many years of missionary experience in Buddhist parts of Asia. This 20-lesson series will help you develop a working understanding of Buddhism in such a way that you will really begin to understand your own faith better and understand the worldviews that Buddhist people hold. Unlike much material in the realm of apologetics, his lectures are not just a box of arguments against Buddhism, but really a comprehensive introduction to the doctrinal evolution and practice of Buddhism as a whole. The tone is academic and engaging for me as a Christian yet I would feel entirely comfortable giving them to a Buddhist. These lectures are highly recommended.
Timothy Tennent: Introduction to Islam (24 Episodes)
Like his Introduction to Buddhism, Dr. Tennent’s 24-lesson Introduction to Islam will help you develop a working understanding of Islam. As an Abrahamic religion, Islam shares a similar worldview to Christianity and Judaism and thus requires much less lecture time than the Buddhism lectures to explain how Muslims view the world. While far from being sympathetic to Islam, Dr. Tennent avoids widespread misconceptions about Islam (especially radical Islam) without sparing them criticism where criticism is due. He does expose some historical facts that can be the dagger-to-the-heart of the Islamic religion, but his process is far more systematic and composed than simply shooting down the religion. It is crucial as Christians that we understand other religions before we consider debating them if we are remotely interested in seeing them consider the gospel of Jesus. Highly Recommended.
John Piper: Pastoral Theology (9 mini-classes ranging from 3 to 11 episodes per class)
Most people who know me know that I am a fan of all things Piper. This lecture series is no different. If you are a Piper veteran, you have probably have heard most of this considering the the topics are fairly standard John Piper: Christian Hedonism, Future Grace, Biblical Inerrancy, Sexual Complementarity, an so on. The real gem of this lecture series is the class on TULIP, or the five points of Calvinism. Piper goes point by point through the five points of Calvinism addressing them from scripture and addressing problem texts and defending them from common accusations with composure through scripture. I had problems with the mp3 tags not matching the lectures, so be careful when you download them to be organized.
D. A. Carson: The New Perspectives on Paul (iTunes only, 3 episodes)
D. A. Carson is a reformed, evangelical academic who you need to know about. He is a book writing machine (wikipedia reports he is at 57), and he is always well versed on contemporary issues and willing to write and speak about them. His lectures on the New Perspectives on Paul are no exception. The New Perspectives are a very complex, loosely connected series of academic perspectives about the teachings of the Apostle Paul that seek to reconsider whether Paul was addressing legalistic Judaism when he presents dichotomies of faith and works. The movement is extremely controversial because, unlike many liberal movements to redefine Paul, the New Perspectives are essentially a conservative movement arguing on the basis of scripture rather than undermining it. The ramifications of the New Perspectives will influence how justification is understood, and there are arguments floating around these circles for justification, at least partly, on the basis of works. The New Perspectives are finding their way into Calvinist circles with mixed responses. These lectures serve as a fine introduction to the perspectives and critical analysis of the assertions regarding Paul.