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The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Unanswered questions: a best-of show

August 24, 2019

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Dr. Gregory Jantz: Healing the Scars of Addiction

 

For the Thanksgiving week program, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston leads listeners in a reflection of thankfulness. “This is a unique time of year,” he says. “Having lived for a couple of years in the United Kingdom and even in Canada, we are unique in the United States in that we have a federal, national holiday where we’re reminded that this country wouldn’t exist without God and His good providence in all of our lives.”

He refers to Luke 17, in which Jesus heals a group of 10 lepers, but only one returns to offer thanks. Luke 17:7: “Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner? Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.’”

Johnston emphasizes the importance of thankfulness for one’s mental health. “Guess how you can get healthier, strengthen your immune system and lower your blood pressure? You can become a person of gratitude,” he says.

Taking it even further, Johnston quotes Romans 1:21: “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

“Paul taught that not being thankful was actually the first step in apostasy,” he says. “Make sure you take steps in your life to be a grateful person.”

Johnston welcomes renowned mental health treatment expert, Dr. Gregory Jantz, to the program. The first step toward recovery is reaching out for help, Jantz says. “When we don’t ask for help, we can be on a pathway to create sin,” he says.

At The Center: A Place of Hope, Jantz and clinicians seek

God for wisdom on how to address and treat the problems that manifest for each person. “If we just rely on one single approach, we will never get care for the whole person,” he says. “We know the spiritual piece has to be the foundation.”


Dr Greg JantzDr. Gregory Jantz is the founder of The Center: A Place of Hope, a mental health treatment facility in Washington state. As a pioneer of whole-person care, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to changing lives for good. He has authored dozens of books and is a sought-after expert.

 

 

J. P. Moreland on Scientism

 

Discounting any belief that is not solidly proved by empirical evidence is the premise of scientism. Professor, scholar and author, Dr. J.P. Moreland, explores this concept and its implications to religious faith in his latest book. He says to Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, “Scientism has crept into public schools. There’s this claim that religious claims aren’t true.”

To counter this, Christians must provide more than dogmatic instruction, he says. “We must teach our kids why to believe instead of just what to believe,” he says. “When it comes to Christianity or any other belief they may have, if they don’t know why they believe it, then they won’t be able to maintain confidence in the face of opposition.”

It is also a mistake to conclude that the Bible must be taken on faith alone; archeological finds overwhelmingly support the narrative of the Bible, and its teaching embodies natural and supernatural wisdom. “Jesus was the smartest man who ever lived,” Moreland says. “He spoke with knowledge and authority. Jesus’ words can be trusted because He knew what He was talking about.”

Moreland confides that his toughest unanswered question surrounds suffering, especially among children. Yet, he has also seen God move miraculously. He also shares that he has personally experienced anxiety and depression.

Les asks through AskJJJ.com, “If the Jews had accepted Jesus as they did on Palm Sunday, and believed He was the messiah, would the death on the cross for all mankind’s sins have been required?”

Johnston confirms that Jesus’ death on the cross, and subsequent resurrection, was indeed necessary.

Dan writes through the website, “I consider myself an atheist. Do you accept call-ins like that, or are you more inclined to talk with someone who is like-minded?”

True to the nature of the show, Johnston confirms that his calls and questions are welcome. “This program is to have discussions with everybody,” he says.


Moreland, JPJ.P. Moreland is a distinguished professor of philosophy at Biola University. His scholarship is respected in Christian and secular arenas. He has authored or coauthored numerous books including the recent, “Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology.”

The Jeremiah Johnston Show Podcast Episodes 

Important thoughts from my recent event in North Carolina

Justin Brierley; Jeremiah takes a difficult anonymous call

 

Through his ministry with Premier Christian Radio, Justin Brierley gives listening Christians an example to follow in interactions with atheists and skeptics. He says, “We run away from having these kinds of conversations because we’re afraid. There’s a classic verse, I Peter 3:15, that says, ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.’ What we often don’t get is the bit before that says, ‘Do not be afraid.’”

I Peter 3:14 “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’”

“We often enter these conversations guarded,” Brierley says. “To me, it’s more important to keep the conversation going. It breaks down barriers with someone who doesn’t have the same faith as you. This is another human loved by God. Be prepared to listen, don’t get defensive, and don’t have kneejerk responses when you hear something that offends you. Just be ready to listen.”

Referencing his work in Africa, Brierley testifies to the power of the Gospel to transcend regions and cultures. The Christian faith also applies across periods of time, he says. “Young people are now growing up with their peer group constantly at their side through their mobile phone – digital technology. That presents kinds of pressures on people’s mental health that we never had to deal with. It’s absolutely essential that the Church understands this, recognizes it and deals with it in fruitful ways. The Church needs to wake up to the fact that there is a mental health crisis and we’re called to be the answer to that.”

Addressing mental health, Johnston listens to a caller who has recently lost her son. “He was in his early 20s and had undetected mental illness,” she says. “I just wonder if you could address: are those people who have passed away and died this way with the Lord?”

Johnston quotes Romans 8:38-39 and 2 Corinthians 5:8. He tells listeners, “If you are a Christian, and you have struggled with anxiety and depression, you are not a second-rate, second-tier Christian. God can meet you right now in the midst of your adversity and pain, and He will bring you hope to transcend that anxiety and depression.” 


Justin BrierleyJustin Brierley is the author of “Unbelievable? Why After Ten Years of Talking with Atheists, I’m Still a Christian.” He presents Premier Christian Radio’s flagship apologetics and theology debate, “Unbelievable?” each Saturday in the UK. He was the editor of Premier Christianity magazine.

Chris Brown on intelligent and intentional parenting

 

Learning to manage money well starts with understanding that you are a manager rather than an owner, says Christian financial expert Chris Brown. “We have all of these messages coming at us: ‘buy this, do this, go here, and then you’ll be happy,’” he says. “The biblical way of looking at finances is completely the opposite – it’s from a heart of gratitude.”

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…” Psalm 24:1

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” I Corinthians 4:2

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

“It’s all God’s, and He trusts us enough to manage His stuff,” Brown says. “If that really penetrates our heart, we’ll find ourselves handling money God’s way. People will avoid debt, save and budget.”

Giving becomes a privilege to a heart that is surrendered to God. Even young children can learn important, biblical, financial principles including tithing and saving. Whether it’s a piggy bank for younger kids or family financial planning sessions for older children, youth can get an early grasp on the importance of good stewardship.

For married couples, budgeting conversations can be more than a necessary talk. Instead, couples can approach budgeting as vision-casting to determine what they dream of for future outcomes. The main thing for each person, whether in leadership or in personal financial situations, is to not avoid examining one’s finances. The Church should be a source of help for each area of life, including money management.

Johnston urges a teenager who submitted a question to use Scripture as medicine in each life situation. “There are 7,487 promises in God’s Word, so you’re not going to run out of promises to meditate on,” he says. “There is so much hope in the Christian life.”


Chris BrownChris Brown uses his experience as a speaker, pastor and a financial expert to minister to Christians. He is affiliated with Dave Ramsey.