Not Saved through Faith Alone? Time to Get out the Torches? Ep. 38

saved through faith alone

Are we or are we not saved through faith alone?

The Desiring God website published an article earlier this week using a tweet saying “You’re not saved through faith alone. Be killing your sin.” For Desiring God (the ministry of John Piper) to put out a title like that in the month of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is to have dropped a match in gasoline.

For this episode, we welcome Pastor Matthew Fletcher of Webster Bible Church, Adam’s own pastor. This in-studio discussion was our attempt to fairly and charitably represent the best of both sides in this debate, and to search the Scriptures for keys to understanding what it all means.

To everyone else, we in the Reformed world probably look like hair-splitting lunatics as we debate this vital doctrine. But to those of us who know that Western civilization depends on a healthy, vibrant Reformation Church, questions of soteriology are nothing to ignore or brush aside.

The issue of how we are saved is the heart and soul of the Reformation, both 500 years ago, and today. If we lose the Reformation distinctives of the 5 Solas, we lose the whole gospel from the churches…

So these things are indescribably important. Tune in!

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Thank you all for your listenership and encouragement!

Why We’re Protestant with Nate Pickowicz Ep. 37

Why We're Protestant

Do you know why we’re Protestant? Can you explain to your family, friends, and to unbelievers what happened in Germany in 1517, and what it means in Western civilization in 2017? Too many Christians (both Roman Catholic and Protestant) have no idea what the Reformation was and is about! What does it mean to be Protestant, and does it still matter?

Pastor Nate Pickowicz recently published Why We’re Protestant: An Introduction to the Five Solas of the Reformation. In this episode Nate helps me explore and explain the differences between Rome and Reformation, and why the differences still matter. This interview lays plain why we maintain the protest of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, and why our very salvation depends on it.

Both living popes have recently given statements on the Reformation which may seem to indicate a moving together of Rome and Reformation, but have things truly changed between us? Are we able to unify? During the show, Adam reads those quotes to get Nate’s responses.

Justification, sanctification, faith, good works, and grace—we touch on all of these and beyond. Enjoy this Reformation conversation! Be sure to review the Westminster Confession of Faith on Justification (Chapter XI), which Adam reads in part during the show. This episode is not meant to provoke anger in our Roman Catholic friends, but rather to spark honest dialogue about how we are still very much in disagreement over the heart of the Reformation protest.

Here’s a great review of the book by Joshua Mills at the Sovereign Grace Alone blog.

Please support this show with a donation of any amount; I can’t do this work without your support, and trust me, there are few who are willing to give to a micro podcast like this one!

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Debunking some Reformation Myths & More with Dr R Scott Clark Ep. 36

r scott clark reformation 500

The Reformation is such a complex series of events, myths and errors are bound to crop up around its memory. In this laid back conversation with R Scott Clark, professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California, we get the details on some of what really went down all those centuries ago, and how the consequences have followed us to this day.

Please get more carefully acquainted with this wonderful pastor and theologian, and visit his website at your first chance. You can find him on Twitter here.

For more information on the new documentary Calvinist, click here.

If you want to hear the clipped segment of conversation where Adam asks Dr. Clark a personal/pastoral question, become a monthly supporter of this show here, at Adam’s Patreon! For a monthly pledge of any amount, you will get access to this very interesting bit of discussion between the two men.

Thank you for all your grace and support for this show. Listener feedback and questions are always welcomed here.

500 Years this Month! Ep. 35

500 Years Reformation

500 years of gospel life! It’s the 500th anniversary of the Reformation! The month of October 2017 marks five centuries since the gospel rose from the ashes and rubble of medieval Christianity.

And we have much to celebrate. While there are many problems in the churches, too many to number, there is one irrefutable reality in our midst: the gospel has not expired from the earth, now 2,000 years into the Church age.

We live! In spite of all Satan’s ploys, we live in Christ! The Church has not been defeated, nor shall she be. Though the forces against us are mighty, the gospel within us is greater, by the Spirit of Christ Himself!

Tune in this next month for episodes surrounding our Reformation heritage. For today, listen to Adam talk about our great God and His gospel. Give your feedback here, and please support the show here.

Some Reformation resources you should check out:

Stephen Nichols: What was God doing Before the Reformation?

W Robert Godfrey: Church History

Seeing Christ in all of Scripture

Christian Dogmatics: Reformed Theology for the Church Catholic

Want Racial Justice? First, Divorce James Cone & Marx Ep. 34

racial justice

Want racial justice in the church in America? Many high-profile black evangelicals have joined a rising collective voice pouring condemnation upon all white evangelicals for racism. The election of Donald Trump as POTUS seems to have leveled a heavy blow to racial unity in the American church, and the bleeding seems to be gaining volume.

Dr. Anthony Bradley, Thabiti Anyabwile, Jemar Tisby, Tyler Burns, Christena Cleveland are a few of the black Christian leaders who regularly denounce white racism, not on an individual level as something each of us may be guilty of; no, to these folks, your light skin means you are a participant in the oppression of people of color in America…

…unless I’m totally misunderstanding, which is possible. On this episode, I read out several of these people’s statements on white racism in evangelicalism. You listen, you tell me. Am I right that this is a Marxist play going on in our midst?

If white racism is endemic, then black Marxism is too. How about we drop both of the blanket labels and talk as individuals? The following tweets are a small sample of what I see all day every day: white Christians are a part of the problem, and must be confronted using Marxist categories of class strife.

If you appreciate what we do here at the Citizen, give a bit of financial support to let us know. Thanks all.

A Pastoral Love for All Peoples Ep. 33

Richard Baxter English pastor

Featuring the soft gospel heart of Pastor Richard P. BaxterMoordown Baptist Church in Bournemouth, England, this episode is a bit of a change of pace from recent shows.

Pastor Baxter provides a view from across the Atlantic, from a church and a region where peoples from all nations are welcomed and becoming a part of the national fabric. This is the sound of a man who is confident in the gospel, and in the Lord who weaves together people from every tribe to be His own new humanity in the church.

Adam wanted a British voice added to the mix on race and ethnicity, and Richard was no disappointment. This episode will hopefully bring you encouragement and a reminder of the goodness of hospitality in the church.

Will you please consider even a small show of financial support to this show? As Adam’s first child will be born very soon, he has to scale back anything and everything that may compete with his time in a non-productive way. This show is not drawing 10’s of thousands of listens, but there have been several thousand, and none of it could have happened without the faithful support of a few gracious friends. Thank you all, and please be sure to share this podcast!

Ethnonationalism? Miscegenation? Kinism! Ep. 32

kinism globalism

You may have heard of kinism, which is a doctrinal movement within (mostly) Reformed circles. Kinists believe that intermarriage is unnatural and sinful, and that every people group should live separated from other ethnic groups.

In other words, it’s a racialist movement that claims justification from Scripture. This calls for a Christian response.

On today’s show, Adam co-hosts with Tony-Allen Cucolo from – Tony has done his research on kinism, so his knowledge brings a needed tone of expertise to this discussion.

You can find Tony on Twitter here.

Thanks for tuning in to this series on race. Be sure to catch all the other episodes going back to episode 25, The One about Race. I’ll probably have one or two more episodes on Christianity and race before the series ends. Thanks for all your great feedback so far! Keep it coming.

  • Adam

Christ in All of Scripture: What’s it Have to Do with Race? Ep. 31

Tower of Babel and race racism

Adam interviews Lutheran pastor Brian Kachelmeier, a frequent guest on Lutheran Public Radio’s flagship program, Issues, Etc. (which you all need to check out).

We talk about Genesis, especially the Tower of Babel in chapter 11, and how Christ in all of Scripture is relevant to even questions of race and ethnicity in 2017.

Will you please consider even a small show of financial support to this show? As Adam’s first child will be born very soon, he has to scale back anything and everything that may compete with his time in a non-productive way. This show is not drawing 10’s of thousands of listens, but there have been several thousand, and none of it could have happened without the faithful support of a few gracious friends. Thank you all, and please be sure to share this podcast!

Interview with an Atheist: Worldview & Race with Dan Courtney Ep. 30


Can a Christian and an Atheist have a cordial dialogue about religion, worldview, and hot political issues? Probably not normally, but Dan and Adam are superhuman! Well no, but seriously we gave it our best shot – here’s an in-studio dialogue about our two different worldviews, and how we might apply the atheist hypothesis to the issues of race.

I did my best to be fair and welcoming to my guest. Our goal was to seek as much neighborly common ground as we could find without necessarily jamming into a debate. I wanted to make my case that atheism necessitates a type of non-moral human society wherein racism makes perfect sense. Dan later wrote to me to reply to this contention (which he heard raised by Jonathan Fisk in episode 29). Here’s his message:

“Just listened to the podcast with Rev Fisk. I think I’m just starting to understand your approach to race. I hope that in our discussion I provided some diversity of opinion from a secular / progressive / left / liberal perspective. Although I don’t call myself a social justice warrior, I think they have some legitimate concerns even as I share some of your complaints about a certain dogmatic approach to radical egalitarianism.

But let me offer a response to a question posed by Mr. Fisk, “If Christ is not being preached as being risen from the dead, what reason do you have for not being a racist?”

Because cooperation is a critically important adaptation for human survival. If you consider racism as an irrational antagonism toward those that are different, then it clearly hinders cooperation between groups.

This may not be the reason that you reject racism, but I’m grateful that you do.”

So there you have it. We continue to try to understand each other’s worldview, and hopefully set an example for the audience in how two men of very different beliefs might converse and explore for the truth. There is much more to be said between Christian and Atheist camps, and perhaps Dan and I will have that opportunity.

If you enjoyed this show, please donate, leave feedback, and review us at the podcast service you use (iTunes, Google Play, or whatever).



Charlottesville, White Supremacy, and We’re All Marxists Now Ep. 29

At least two people are dead and many injured in Charlottesville, Virginia after a white identitarian rally and leftist protesters clashed in the streets. Is this another example of the problem of white racism in America, or is it more than that? Is the Progressive left the only left wing cause that showed up in Charlottesville, or are all identitarian movements inherently leftist, Modernist, and fatally flawed?

Come along with Adam to ask the questions a different way, and to approach the answers with the wisdom from above. We shall not be led around by the nose by a Marxist, materialist society if we would just take hold of our heritage from above; if we would only utilize the birthright of our citizenship in the New Jerusalem, we might be able to speak prophetically to this chaotic, Marxist culture swirling around us.

The problem isn’t racism, it’s idolatry. Can we start there? Tune in for more on this frustrating topic. We must face it and come up with better answers than the world is providing.

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