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The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Color blessed with Dr. Derwin Grey

September 14, 2019

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The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Dr. Carol Tanksley on Fear, Anxiety, and Grief

Dr. Jeremiah Johnston welcomes Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley, a physician and author known by many as “Dr. Carol.” They discuss the emotional health and the value of life. Dr. Carol Ministries reaches people with a holistic approach gained through her experience as a physician and her theological education, earning her the moniker, “Doctor-Doctor.”

Rather than viewing people as comprised of different facets, Tanksley views humans as holistic beings. “The way some groups in Christianity talk about our humanness is that I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body. Not that that’s wrong, but God didn’t create us as separate pieces,” she says. “You can’t separate the different parts of our humanness from each other – the physical, emotional, relational, spiritual parts – any more than you can separate the flour, sugar, eggs, and salt in a loaf of bread. We are baked together into an integrated whole. Because we are integrated, whole human beings, God’s best for us demands that He has access to all these other areas of our lives.”

Christians find that their physical actions, their relationships, and their mental focus all play an integral role in their faith walks. When facing anxiety, Christians do well to remember that they can choose their focus to a great extent. “If you want positive resilience, it’s important to keep the bad stuff out and keep the good stuff in,” Tanksley says. “We have a choice about the food our minds take in. We have a choice and it makes a difference.”

Since grief is unavoidable in life, people are served by learning how to manage it. “Healing doesn’t just drop on you. For me, I didn’t want to work on the grief, but I realized that was the thing that would help me go through it,” Tanksley says.

In helping others through their pain, Johnston and Tanklsey emphasize the ministry of presence. Johnston recounts a time when he simply read in the Psalms and prayed over a suffering person. “I want to say this to those who may be suffering: know that your profound grief is never wasted. God will and can bring good from it. God will restore your joy,” Johnston says.


Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley (MD, MDiv and DMin) is an OB-Gyn, a speaker, and an author. Her books include, “Overcoming Fear & Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare,” “Live Healthy, Live Whole: Your Prescription for Healthy Living, Loving Relationships, and Joyful Spirituality,” and the recent, “The Christian’s Journey Through Grief: How to Walk Through the Valley with Hope.”

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Mark Lanier on Justice and Evidence

 

Dr. Jeremiah Johnston welcomes Mark Lanier to the show. Lanier is well-known for his work as an attorney, but it is his love for the Bible that led him to establish the Lanier Theological Library, an exquisite facility with about 17,000 square feet of literary resources, artifacts, and study space in the Houston area.

Lanier originally felt he might serve the Lord as a vocational minister. “I thought I’d love to be a preacher. I love the Lord,” he says. “It occurred to me, I really ought to pursue a legal career but continue to serve the Lord bivocationally. So I became a lawyer really just to pay the bills, but my passion has always been trying to teach people the Word of God and trying to help the Kingdom of Christ.”

In his theological study, Lanier has been a student of Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Syriac. “Language is a deep love of mine. It unlocks Scripture,” Lanier explains. Much of Scripture is understood more deeply with an understanding of the original language and civilization. “Today we know the brain cells process thought. In the Old Testament mindset, they thought the seed of thought was the heart. When you read all of these passages in the Psalms that talk about getting your heart right before the Lord, we tend, in 21st-century America, to think that means to get your emotions and feelings right before the Lord. It’s not talking about emotion; it’s talking about thinking and using your thoughts to focus on God and what God wants you to do. It’s not talking about emotional religion first and foremost.”

Rather than simply being a personal choice, Christianity has served to form the basis for the Judeo-Christian legal system. It is a truth that Lanier, as a law professional, greatly values. “If you remove God, at the end of the day, law is what people say instead of what God says. God told Israel, ‘I’ve created male and female in my image. All people have equal dignity and rights and access to justice and all basic core human principles,’” Lanier says. “That’s different than anything else we find culturally then and now.”

To be kept from becoming swept up in the tide of popular beliefs, Christians should renew their minds with the truths of the Bible. “If we remove God from our system, we have removed the bedrock foundation and our system is shifting sand,” Lanier says. “We all need to be before God on a daily basis.”


Mark lanierMark Lanier is an attorney, teacher, and author of books including “Christianity on Trial,” “Psalms for Living: Daily Prayers, Wisdom, and Guidance,” and “Torah for Living: Daily Prayers, Wisdom, and Guidance.”

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Is Christianity Still Good for the World? & Bob Sprotte’s Great Story

 

Dr. Jeremiah Johnston talks with an everyday follower of the Christian faith who decided he wanted to do more to reach his community. Grand Rapids, Michigan-based businessman, Bob Sprotte, is furthering the Gospel in his area in a creative way through the Great Lakes Symposium on Christian Worldview, to be held on Thursday, August 1, 2019, in Bay Harbor, Michigan.

In our Christian walk, as in business, Sprotte has learned that faithfulness is essential. “All the little things we do matter,” he says.

Johnston shares insights from his speech during Wilberforce Weekend in Washington, DC. “It’s an exciting time to be a Christian,” he says.

While the majority of growth in the faith is not currently coming from the Western world, it means that Christians based in the West have an untapped mission field all around them.

Johnston cites a Pew Research study in which most atheists and agnostics believe the Church contributes little or nothing to the world. Johnston refutes this notion in his book, “Unimaginable: What our World Would be Like Without Christianity.”

“Christianity has been a force for good in our world,” Johnston says. “The evidence is simply overwhelming.”

Paul’s words in Galations 3:28 were revolutionary in the culture in which he lived: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Christianity, wherever it takes root, influences culture. It heals racism, promotes charity and justice, supports gender equality, and embraces the value of life. The opposite is also true. Where Christianity has been unwelcome, people are dehumanized, society becomes nihilistic, and there is no clear purpose for life.

“Every time history repeats itself, we pay a higher price,” Johnston says. “Yet, we are living in the golden age of Christianity. There is more evidence for our faith than at any other time. My challenge and my prayer for all of us is that we will apply John 1:5: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’”

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Jeremiah Johnston: Truth is Under Attack

If truth is a foundation, then the structures of society can only hold together properly if the truth remains stable. Show host, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston says, “You don’t have to go far to see that truth is under attack. People say, ‘That’s your truth, not my truth,’ or ‘I don’t believe in good and evil.’ You need to know as a Christian thinker: ‘Does absolute truth exist?’”

While Christianity is the object of widespread scrutiny, Johnston points out that somewhere around 70,000 people per day come to faith in Jesus Christ. “I’m here to tell you the Christian faith has never been more popular or prominent or influential around the world,” he says.

Thankfully, Jesus made the truth of His nature and of God’s character very clear in Scripture. In the book of John, the Son of God’s appearance in the world is described as “full of grace and truth.” In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

As followers of Christ, we are to worship God “in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). At the conclusion of his earthly ministry, Jesus tells Pilate, “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of the truth listens to me” (John 18:37).

In pointing out these passages, Johnston says, “One of the most dangerous places to be is when we don’t seek truth. The easiest way to eliminate confusion is to know the truth.”

Even if people do not acknowledge certain truths, they continue to exist. Christians should not be afraid of challenges to their faith by skeptics. A winsome approach can make people wish Christianity were true, and then realize it is, as Blaise Pascal wrote.

Without truth as an underpinning, and when Christianity is diminished in society, there is room for inequality, slavery, eugenics, dehumanization, and moral relativism, Johnston says. “These are very real concepts that impact our daily lives. Please be a person who lives by absolute truth in your morals, ethical decision-making, and your Christian living,” he says.