A Plain Answer® Podcasts

Below are the recent broadcasts of A Plain Answer®.

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A Plain Answer: North Korea and National Security - James Carafano
Air Date: 4/22/2017
North Korea and National Security

North Korea has been in the news lately. But what is the bottom line with all the "goings on?" Today we talk about North Korea's actions, what is basically standard fare for this belligerent nation - but we also take a look at what has changed over the years. We talk about the United States' interest in northeast Asia and in particular, South Korea and Japan. What do we make of the aircraft carriers the US is sending into the region? We also pause and take a look at homegrown terrorism here in the US. How many Islamic plots have there been since 9/11? How can we protect our nation? Then at a low level, what can we do as families, to better prepare ourselves? Our guest is former Army Lt. Colonel Dr. James Jay Carafano - he is Vice President for the Kathyrn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institure for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation. He has written an Amazon e-book and its title is: Surviving the End: A Practical Guide for Everyday Americans in the Age of Terror Kindle Edition Participants: James Carafano, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Resurrection - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 4/15/2017
The Resurrection

What is the place that the resurrection has in the New Testament? Does Christianity hold together without the resurrection? What proof do the Gospels offer for the resurrection? Does the Old Testament teach the doctrine of the resurrection? What does the resurrection mean for the believer? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem and Palm Sunday - Dr. Liam Goligher
Air Date: 4/8/2017
Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem and Palm Sunday

We review the events surrounding the triumphal entry of our Lord Jesus into Jerusalem. We talk about his choosing a young donkey and the symbolism of a king coming in peace. There is a special emphasis that is given to the children and how we too, should fold in the children in public celebration on Palm Sunday. We also discuss the end of our days and how we need to keep short accounts with others. We are to look for our Heavenly home and know with calm assurance that to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. Participants: Dr. Liam Goligher, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Benedict Option - a Book Review - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 4/1/2017
The Benedict Option - a Book Review

Today we review the book “The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation,” by Rod Dreher. In summary, Dreher is extracting many of the principles you would find in a monastery, and projecting that on to the larger Christian community and using that as a model to follow. While he is not opposed to those who join a monastery, he is not prescribing that for Christians in general. At first reading you may think he is advocating entire separation form the world and a conviction of extreme pessimism. Our guest comments about that. He does a good job in diagnosing our world and its problems. His concern is that of protecting ourselves from the extreme secular, ungodly environment that we find ourselves in, in the western world. The disciplines seen in monastery life can be applied to our own lives in terms of limiting constant entertainment, prayer, fasting, and learning to take a break from the enslaving onslaught of technological devices. We are continually distracted and this has the effect of alienating us from the Christian life. Some areas of the book are overstated, i.e., stretched a bit. Our guest points those out. One area is the fact that there never was an ideal Christian civilization. Nevertheless some of his prescriptions indeed should have interest to us today. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Missions and the Reformation - Dr. Peter Hammond
Air Date: 3/24/2017
Missions and the Reformation

Today our guest discusses the recent Lusaka Reformation 500 Conference he attended in Zambia. Ironically it was 30 years ago that he was a prisoner at the hands of the Communists in Zambia, and now God has done a marvelous work of his grace. He discusses the problem of severe persecution of Christians at the hands of Muslims. In five years, there have been 1000 terrorist attacks and 17,000 Christians have been murdered at the hands of Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram. However, our guest sees this as an act of desperation, because in truth, the unreported story is that so many Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Our Lord is powerfully advancing His Kingdom. Participants: Dr. Peter Hammond, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Repeal and Replace of Obamacare - Rachel Bovard and Drew Gonshorowski
Air Date: 3/18/2017
Repeal and Replace of Obamacare

A piece of legislation is in the works which replaces Obamacare. But will it pass muster with sufficient votes in Congress? This Republican plan is not all that appealing to some Conservatives. Why is that? Today on A Plain Answer, we interview two experts. Rachel Bovard is an experienced hand on Capitol Hill and is director of policy services for The Heritage Foundation. She helps us understand some of the concerns about the present bill. We also discuss the shortcomings of the present "Affordable Care Act," aka Obamacare. Indeed, Obamacare does look to be in a death spiral. We then shift gears a bit, and look at the proposed bill from a financial point of view. Drew Gonshorowski is focused on doing research and writing on the nation’s new health care law, including the repercussions for Medicare and Medicaid. He works as a policy analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation. This is the first time on A Plain Answer that we have two guests back to back - please let us know how you like it!


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A Plain Answer: The Lost Language of Lament - Michael Card
Air Date: 3/11/2017
The Lost Language of Lament

Have you ever considered the passages of lament that are in the Bible? Many of the psalms deal with lament. A song of lament is sometimes the only appropriate expression for some situations. Certainly not all of life should be praise songs - think about it. How do you respond when there are raw, open wounds afflicted upon God's people? With praise songs? No, the Bible gives us laments. Laments structure our grief. They document the trauma, renew our identity and revive our hope. They delivery us from plasticity. We need them because they are true to the contours of existence. This A Plain Answer grew out of a sermon that was preached by Dr. Kevin Chiarot on 2/26 and here is the link: http://www.westminsterchurch-ny.org/local_church/sermons.php . Today, we talk with one of the most thoughtful Christian song writers that we know of. He is theologically sound and his lyrics are insightful to the true human condition. He has written a book on this subject: "A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament." Participants: Michael Card, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Caring for Sexually-Hurting People - John Freeman
Air Date: 3/4/2017
Caring for Sexually-Hurting People

Does God care about your sexual failures? You may have an instinctual notion that what you are doing is sin, and yet it has such a strong hold in your life that you feel no power at all to change. At many times you have no desire to change, because what you are doing seems to be "fun." Today we talk with John Freeman who runs Harvest USA (see http://www.harvestusa.org/). Whether you are involved in a same-sex relation, or perhaps pornography, or maybe you are a pastor in a church with no one to talk with. This program is for you and is done with sensitivity and a caring tone. You are offered real hope and help. Participants: John Freeman, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Ordination of God - Rev. Bill Shishko
Air Date: 2/25/2017
Does God really ordain all things that come to pass?

In Ephesians 1:11 the Apostle writes: "In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,"- this week we answer a listener's good question concerning the ordination of God. The Bible teaches that God ordains all things, whatsoever comes to pass. Yet it also teaches in the Moral Law that specific sins are dead wrong - such as murder, theft, etc. How can the Bible on one hand assert the providence and Sovereignty of God and yet on the other command us to live holy lives and forsake sin? The seeming contradiction has caused some to reject the repeated biblical claim of God's sovereignty over all. Our guest is a pastor with many years of experience. He has trained other pastors at Greenville Seminary, and is now a Regional Home Missionary. He also is one of Redeemer's trusted Advisors. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: North Korea in Perspective - Bruce Klingner
Air Date: 2/18/2017
North Korea in Perspective

Last Sunday, February 12, North Korea launched another missile. It was a Pukguksong 2 missile that is based on solid fuel and can be moved around. Today we talk with a man who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. No confidential information is shared. Our guest gives us an analysis of North Korea and comments about their launch of this Pukguksong 2 missile. We learn about the recent assassination of the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong Un. We also look into whether Kim Jong Un is a "crazy man" or not. The answer may surprise you. We look at the extreme hacking capabilities of North Korea - this may surprise you too. Also discussed is the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Participants: Bruce Klingner, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Comprehensive View of God's Kingdom - Dr. Cornelis Venema
Air Date: 2/11/2017
A Comprehensive View of God's Kingdom

What difference does your faith in Christ make in the basic outworking of life? The day to day stuff that you live through is profoundly affected by the faith. We are to seek the Kingdom of God as we live out the faith, and walk in the light of God's word. What about our work? Are all lines of work serving Christ? Good works flow out of a true and living faith. During part of our discussion we take a look at a time of history when atrocities were bring committed in Germany. What should have been the role of the church during this time? Participants: Dr. Cornelis Venema, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Time for Confidence - Dr. Stephen Nichols
Air Date: 2/4/2017
A Time for Confidence

Are you discouraged by the seemingly overwhelming influence of secularism? There is a sort of moral free-fall that our society is experiencing. We need to remember the message of the prophet: "Behold your God!" Our guest references the story of Chicken Little. An acorn hits chicken on the head and he runs around proclaiming that the "sky is falling." By contrast, history gives us perspective. Our guest tells the true story of Jerome and his misinterpretation of the events around him and how he died in a cave. We are reminded that God's kingdom is unshakable. Learn about Polycarp and how he stood up for the Christian faith and was martyred. The historical record mentions the leaders at the time, and mentions the reign of Christ. We can have confidence in God because He alone is sovereign. We are called to contend for the faith. Participants: Dr. Stephen Nichols, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Foundations of Modern Christian Social Thought - Dr. Jordan Ballor
Air Date: 1/28/2017
Foundations of Modern Christian Social Thought

In the last century, there were key people who influenced Christian social thought, and today we look at two of them: Leo XIII and Abraham Kuyper. For most of our listeners you may be familiar more with Kuyper than Leo, but it is good to be informed. Learn about property and stewardship. We also cover Subsidiarity and Sphere Sovereignty. Today's guest Dr. Jordan J. Ballor, is a senior research fellow at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, where he also serves as executive editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality. Participants: Dr. Jordan Ballor, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Evangelism in the Power of the Spirit - Rev. Al Baker
Air Date: 1/21/2017
Evangelism in the Power of the Spirit

Are you struggling with sharing your faith? Sharing the good news of Christ is hard to do and you may even experience fear as you want to help your friend. Today we talk with a pastor who has the gift of evangelism, and he helps us to negotiate this important area. He also covers the situation of suicide and what helps on that front as well. Participants: Pastor Al Baker, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Narrative Matters for High Crime Neighborhoods- Dr. Walter E. Williams
Air Date: 1/14/2017
Narrative Matters for High Crime Neighborhoods

We see high crime in some key cities such as Chicago, and even more locally, Newburgh, NY. The common narrative blames this high rate of crime on poverty and racial discrimination. Last year there were close to 800 homicides in Chicago alone. Yet in the 1950's this was not the case, and people were far poorer and there was more discrimination. Our guest points to the family as key to reducing crime, and not welfare. The welfare state and the coddling of criminals is hurting the cities, not helping them. Yet we see small cities, even Kingston, NY pushing to make themselves a "sanctuary city!" This is insanity. It will raise the crime rate and call for more welfare. No thinking leader would do that to its people if they really wanted to serve the law-abiding citizens. Setting up sanctuary cities is a violation of federal law. We also talk about economics - what does a free market system look like by way of a simple illustration? Participants: Dr. Walter E. Williams, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Fidel Castro and Cuba - Dr. Paul Kengor
Air Date: 1/7/2017
Fidel Castro and Cuba

How would you describe Fidel Castro's Cuba? What did he do to his country? What happened to religious freedom? Was he a leader that we should try and emulate? Are there intersections of his philosophy with that of the Progressives of today? Why did Fidel Castro not allow the average person to even go fishing in his country? What about the family which decided to harvest two mangos from their own mango tree? What did they have to do in order to protect themselves? Participants: Dr. Paul Kengor, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Song of Solomon - Gerry Wisz
Air Date: 12/31/2016
The Song of Solomon - A Picture of Christ and His Bride

Have you ever read the Old Testament book of Song of Solomon? Well, if not, you are in for a real treat... but what does it mean? Is this only a book on love between a husband and wife? Is there something more? What does it mean in the Bible that Christians are the "Bride of Christ?" Join us for an interesting discussion with a writer who has studied this area of Biblical literature, including having lectured on it. Participants: Gerry Wisz, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christmas - God is with us! - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 12/24/2016
Christmas - God is with us!

What is the significance of Christmas? Today we talk with a seasoned pastor who labored in the Hudson Valley for many years and is now retired and yet remains very active in ministry. The season of Advent talks about both comings of Christ - the first and second Advent. Jesus was fully man and fully God from His conception in his mother's womb. On the human side, the ancestors of Jesus are traced in the books of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament. His lineage is traced back to David and even to Adam. Jesus lived a sinless life - He is the only one who ever achieved that. What does Christmas mean to us today? We are celebrating "a new creation" in Jesus Christ. This new beginning in Jesus Christ is very significant, and it gives us real hope. Immanuel is a Hebrew name which appears in chapters 7 and 8 of the Book of Isaiah. Christians believe that "God is with us" is a profound truth that finds its fulfillment in Jesus. Not only is it "God with us," but it's God is for us! Underneath us are the everlasting arms of a loving God. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christmas - A Worldwide Celebration that's Justified - Dr. Elias Medeiros
Air Date: 12/17/2016
Christmas - A Worldwide Celebration that's Justified

Christmas is more than a celebration that is limited to one nation. It is a worldwide celebration for all nations that embrace the Savior. Today we talk about this aspect of the incarnation, and also include a brief glimpse into how Brazilians celebrate the birth of our Savior. Also, what about the notion which some of the Reformation believers held: that of not celebrating Christmas? What did one of their main influencers teach? Our guest looks at a source document from a key Reformer that helps us to make a determination. Also what about the Puritans - what was the social/religious concerns which they had at the time, which caused then to not celebrate. Another insight our guest brings is noting the celebration of God the Father at the birth of Christ. For the Christian today, it is good to celebrate Christmas, consistent with the celebration of our Heavenly Father as shown in the gospels. Participants: Dr. Elias Medeiros, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Advent Reflections - Background, Calendar and Celebration - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 12/10/2016
Advent Reflections - Background, Calendar and Celebration

What is Advent all about? Is there a history to it? What of the so-called church calendar? Is it helpful? Today we talk with a pastor who is located in the Hudson Valley of NY, about the season and its significance. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Man's Total Inability and Advent - Dr. John Frame
Air Date: 12/3/2016
Man's Total Inability and Advent

What is "free will?" Do we possess it? What characterizes our free will, if left to ourselves without the sovereign interaction of God? What does it mean that God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world? These difficult concepts and others are tackled today on A Plain Answer. Our guest teaches core courses on systematic theology, apologetics, ethics and philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. Participants: Dr. John Frame, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Millennials Substituting Politics for God - Peter Burfeind
Air Date: 11/26/2016
Millennials Substituting Politics for God

Today we talk with Peter Burfeind, campus pastor at the University of Toledo and author of "Gnostic America: A Reading of Contemporary American Culture & Religion according to Christianity's Oldest Heresy." We talk about the plight of Millennials and the recent election results having a profound effect upon them. Peter explains how many Millennials essentially have a faith in politics. He ties the current reaction back to the earlier Middle Ages idea of millenarian movement in Munster, Germany. The book referenced for further study is: "The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages, Revised and Expanded Edition," by Norman Cohn. Participants: Peter Burfeind, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Thanksgiving - Its roots historically and for us personally - Rev. Mark Diedrich
Air Date: 11/19/2016
Thanksgiving - Its roots historically and for us personally

Next week is Thanksgiving in these United States. Today we take a look at the roots of Thanksgiving. What did the first celebration look like? What was the roll of the Wampanoag Indian tribe? What was the real story behind Squanto? What tribe was he from? What theology did the Puritans of that day hold? Was it biblical? How did the Pilgrims return the favor of Wampanoag assistance? Why is it important to have a belief that embraces God's sovereignty? All this and more is discussed in this Thanksgiving edition of A Plain Answer! Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Evangelism - Rev. Al Baker
Air Date: 11/12/2016
Evangelism and the Historic Christian Faith

We just came through an election, the results of which are a blessing to most Christians. However, our hope is not in a king, but rather the King of kings. It appears that God in His mercy has extended to His church some time in which to really work hard at prayer, evangelism, and discipleship. The heart of the matter is the heart of man. His sinful heart - and from that flows the issues of life. Yes, we should stay engaged in culture and continue to be salt and light. But without God miraculously changing people's hearts to love Him and in response, obey His righteous laws, there are no political results which can save our wicked nation. We must bow before the Lord, and repent of our sins. We must evangelize the lost. We must disciple the nations, starting right where we live. Of special interest in this broadcast is a discussion of the biblical doctrine of election and how it goes along with evangelistic outreach. Participants: Rev. Al Baker, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Russia - Background and Current Tensions - Dr. Earl Tilford
Air Date: 11/4/2016
Russia - Background and Current Tensions

What's going on with Russia? Seems like the "hawks" are doing some saber rattling and it is rather troubling. Today we talk Dr. Earl Tilford. He worked as Director of Research at the Strategic Studies Institute, the U.S. Army’s strategic research institute charged with looking twenty-five years into the future to approximate the strategic paradigm and then recommending force structures, strategies and weapons systems that might best-fit future national security requirements. From 1969 to 1990, he served as an Air Force intelligence officer with tours in Vietnam and at Headquarters, Strategic Air Command, where he was a nuclear targeting specialist. During his Air Force career, Tilford also served on the faculties at the Air Force Academy and the Air Command and Staff College and was editor of the Air University Review. Participants: Dr. Earl Tilford, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Reformation Riches for the Contemporary Church - David Bruins
Air Date: 10/29/2016
Reformation Riches for the Contemporary Church

Today we talk with the author of the new book: "Reformation Riches for the Contemporary Church: Liberation for Both Skeptics and Burned-Out Evangelicals." The Reformation occurred 499 years ago and its message was earth-shaking and yet beautifully simple. Why do churches today seem to downplay or even shelve the message of the Reformation? What does it mean for the gospel to come to us as an alien righteousness? Do we see a "legalism-lite" at work in some of our churches today? What does Reformation worship look like? What about calling? Participants: David Bruins, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Irony of being Pro-Woman, while promoting Abortion - Dr. John Sparks
Air Date: 10/22/2016
The Irony of being Pro-Woman, while promoting Abortion

Since 1973, there have been over 58 Million babies killed by abortion in the United States. The argument from the "Pro-woman" advocates pushes for abortion, including late term abortions, while ignoring the rights of the little girls and boys who are being summarily murdered. The mothers often do not take the time to have a sonogram so that they could see their precious little one. Hillary Clinton, the likely next President is a strong advocate of the movement to kill our offspring under the guise of a woman's rights or a woman's body, etc. She conveniently ignores the life of the child that is being killed with a knife or by suction. This is a travesty. Participants: Dr. John Sparks, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Preacher and his work - Dr. Liam Goligher
Air Date: 10/15/2016
The Preacher and his work

What is it like to be a pastor and have to prepare many sermons, shepherd the flock that God has given you, and balance the many interruptions that you face each day? Today we talk with the Senior minister at 10th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Participants: Dr. Liam Goligher, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Racial Reconciliation - Michael Card
Air Date: 10/8/2016
Racial Reconciliation: A closer look with songwriter and artist Michael Card

God's word teaches: "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him." This points to a principle that's important to the Christian. Not only have believing Gentiles been grafted into the Abrahamic root, but also, there is absolutely no ground for dividing classes of people on any grounds, including race. Today we talk with song writer and musician, Michael Card. He shares with us how the Lord led him in his journey within the African American community. We discuss how relations move slowly at times, but with rich rewards. Participants: Michael Card, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: An analysis of Obamacare and our Health care system in general - Edmund Haislmaier
Air Date: 9/30/2016
An analysis of Obamacare and our Health care system in general

Wouldn't it be nice to talk with a knowledgeable person who understands the nuances of the healthcare system in the United States, and get an explanation of how the system works? What is Obamacare? What was the origin of Blue Cross and Blue Shield? How about several states by way of comparison - we talk about New York, Maryland and New Jersey. Participants: Edmund Haislmaier, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Book of Ecclesiastes - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 9/24/2016
The Book of Ecclesiastes - how to read the book

Have you ever read the book of Ecclesiastes and wondered how to interpret it? Is it merely a book that describes life without the Lord, or is it much more than that? In fact you may not understand it much at all. Don't feel bad - please join us for this discussion. Did you know you can find much joy in this book? The book is very real, and we talk about this and other aspects during this episode of A Plain Answer. Our guest has written a book on the subject as well. The title is: Shepherding the Wind: Sermons in Ecclesiastes. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Missions in America and Around the World - Dr. Peter Hammond
Air Date: 9/17/2016
Missions in America and Around the World

Yes, things are "bad" spiritually speaking, and seem to be getting worse in America. We see a profound moral decline. Many folks have more faith in government as their savior, than they do in the Sovereign God of the Scriptures. It is so easy to become depressed and distracted from what the Lord is doing as He spreads the good news and uses feeble man as His proximate means. This week we talk once again with a seasoned missionary. He has been to many parts of the world, and often in hostile areas. He has smuggled Bibles, been imprisoned and even experience some torture. He has seen war first hand. But in all this, the testimony is that God is moving is powerful ways, and the seasons of downturns always pass. Participants: Dr. Peter Hammond, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Spreading the Feast - understanding on the Lord's Supper - Dr. Howard Griffith
Air Date: 9/10/2016
Spreading the Feast - thoughts on the Lord's Supper - Dr. Howard Griffith

Today we discuss the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, more commonly known as Communion. What happens during the Supper? Is Christ present? What about our attitude and preparation for the Supper? Are children supposed to partake? How do we think about the question of how young is too young? Join us for a biblical look at this important sacrament of the church. Our guest teaches at the seminary level and has written the book "Spreading the Feast: Instruction and Meditations for Ministry at the Lord's Table." Participants: Dr. Howard Griffith, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Analysis of politics in 2016 - Dr. Paul Kengor
Air Date: 9/3/2016
Analysis of politics in 2016

Today we analyze the political scene in America without endorsing candidates. We have a moral mess on our hands in America, and on the surface it appears to only be getting worse. We interview a professor of Political Science at Grove City College. What are the backgrounds of the candidates? What about their approval ratings? How do we reach this point in American political life, of having two candidates that neither party really likes? It is a strange thing that is happening. Join us for a lively discussion. Participants: Dr. Paul Kengor, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The god of Islam vs. the God of the Bible - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 8/27/2016
The god of Islam vs. The God of the Bible - what are the differences?

Is there a substantive difference between the god of Islam and the God of the Bible? What if we lay aside all political correctness and study the source documents and understand the best of the two system's representatives? What is the answer? Today we interview a pastor, and educator who has spent time studying this topic in depth. He has taught world religion at the university level and engaged in discussions of this nature. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Ethics - Richard Maybury
Air Date: 8/20/2016
Ethics - foundations that bless a culture

Today we talk with the author of the book "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?" He is publisher of U.S. & World Early Warning Report for Investors. He has written several entry level books on United States economics, law, and history. Our subject is that of ethics and how it provides some basics for reasonable society. Participants: Richard Maybury, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The American Indian - Rev. Mark Diedrich
Air Date: 8/13/2016
The American Indian

The American Indian is an important people group here in America. Today we talk with someone who has studied them in depth. Who was it that mistreated and took advantage of the Indian? What about efforts to share the gospel of Christ with the Indians? What is meant by the pejorative term: "the Great Omission?" What happened in the lives of the Pilgrims who landed in New England in 1620 and the following years? Did they take from the Indians? Did they also help them? What was the Moravian mission at Shekomeko? Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Kingdom and its Glory - Gerry Wisz
Air Date: 8/6/2016
The Kingdom and its Glory - a closer look at King David, King Solomon and King Jesus

There is much to be learned from the lives of King David and King Solomon. King David had a serious problem earlier in his reign but ended well. King Solomon started well but ended not so well. We take a look today at these two men. We also make the extension, looking at the life or our King Jesus, who is pointed to by these other two lesser kings. Participants: Gerry Wisz, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Progressive Nature of Interventionism in Economic Policy - Dr. Shawn Ritenour
Air Date: 7/30/2016
The Progressive Nature of Interventionism in Economic Policy

Is it damaging when a government controls the economy? How is money "created?" What is the Federal Reserve? Why do we need the "Fed?" Did it always exist in America? What if it were eliminated? Join us today as we take a look at foundational principles of economics. Participants: Dr. Shawn Ritenour, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: What is Socialism? - Dr. Paul Kengor
Air Date: 7/23/2016
What is Socialism?

Have you ever wondered what exactly is Socialism? A high percentage of today's Millennial generation, when polled, have a positive view of Socialism. Is this good? What do they think Socialism is? What are its roots? What are its fruits? What about people running for office, are any of them Socialists? Join us today for a lively discussion! Participants: Dr. Paul Kengor, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Creeds and Confessions - Dr. Carl Trueman
Air Date: 7/16/2016
Creeds and Confessions - why do we need them?

What is the advantage of creeds and confessions in the Christian church? Why isn't statements like this sufficient: "No Creed by Christ, No law but love?" Find out more as we discuss this critical subject that affects the health and well being of Christ's church. Participants: Dr. Carl Trueman, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Befriending and witnessing to Muslims - Rev. Rick Anderson
Air Date: 7/9/2016
Befreinding and witnessing to Muslims

What is involved with sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with our Muslim friends? In many respects, the same challenges exist no matter what the background of the person we are talking with. However as our guest points out, there are unique cultural differences that we need to get to know and understand if we expect our interchange to be fruitful. We take a look at the Apostle Paul and how he talked with the people in a pagan city. Here are the books mentioned for followup reading: A Wind In The House Of Islam: How God Is Drawing Muslims Around The World To Faith In Jesus Christ, by David Garrison; Muslims and Christians at the Table: Promoting Biblical Understanding Among North American Muslims, by Bruce A McDowell and Anees Zaka; Reaching Muslims For Christ, by William Saal. Participants: Rev. Rick Anderson, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Declaration of Independence - Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich
Air Date: 7/2/2016
The Declaration of Independence

What were the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence? The time frame is during the reign of King George III. He ascends to the throne at the tail end of an expensive global war. He felt that it was time for the American Colonists to help pay off some of his debt. Theologically, The founders felt that there were inalienable rights which were given by God. There is a revelation that tells us what is right and what is wrong. The founders apparently understood the biblical doctrine of man's total depravity. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Kingdom of God - Rev. Ben Miller
Air Date: 6/25/2016
The Kingdom of God

People are focusing on government and their political involvement. Is there an intersection of biblical thought with government? Today on A Plain Answer, we interview a lawyer who God called into the Christian ministry. He points out that the Bible has a lot to say about the Kingdom of God. Jesus describes it as the gospel of the Kingdom. So, how are we to think about God's invisible reign and its visible effects in this world? Does the invisible manifest itself visibly? Our guest points out that we are living in Jesus' Kingdom, and that He reigns from the Father's right hand. But what does all this mean for us? Tune in to find out! Participants: Rev. Ben Miller, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Father's Day and the Christian Home - Dr. Liam Goligher
Air Date: 6/18/2016
Father's Day and the Christian Home

Today we celebrate Father's Day by talking with a father of five, who is also a grandfather of nine children. He pastors a church in Philadelphia. Early on in his marriage, he and his wife decided on priorities - that God came first, then the family and then church activities. That order has served him and his wife very well. Join us for an encouraging discussion about this fundamental subject, and may God bless your family. Participants: Dr. Liam Goligher, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christian History and the Reformation - Michael Austin
Air Date: 6/11/2016
Christian History and the Reformation

Join us for a fascinating discussion with Michael Austin of Christian History Magazine. Their latest issue #118 has a title of "The People's Reformation: Religious Upheaval Leads to Radical Social Change." We take a look back at the time frame of the early 1500's and see figures such as Martin Luther, and the situation with the Roman Catholic church. Listeners will find out how to obtain links to this magazine and free hard copies. You are encouraged to support their work if you ask for a hard copy. Here is the link: https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/ Participants: Michael Austin, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert - Dr. Rosaria Butterfield
Air Date: 6/4/2016
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

Our guest today describes herself this way: "When I was 28 years old, I boldly declared myself lesbian. I was at the finish of a PhD in English Literature and Cultural Studies. I was a teaching associate in one of the first and strongest Women's Studies Departments in the nation." - From the acknowledgement of the book: "The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert - an english professor's journey into christian faith." We discuss the role that friendship and biblical hospitality played in God drawing His child to Himself. Participants: Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Memorial Day and Sole Survivor Concerns - Dr. Paul Kengor
Air Date: 5/27/2016
Memorial Day and Sole Survivor Concerns

Do you remember the movie "Saving Private Ryan?" That movie caught the theme of four boys from one family fighting during WWII and three being killed and the subsequent effort to retrieve the last boy for a grieving mom. Today, our guest talks about various families who had multiple boys in battle during WWII. Some stories had a tragic ending, like the five Sullivan brothers who were all killed when the USS Juneau was sunk. Other stories, like that of the Bailey boys, had better endings. Our guest today is a professor of political science at Grove City College, and executive director of the college's Center for Vision and Values. The website is found at: www.visionandvalues.org. They offer a very nice mailing list that you can request. Participants: Dr. Paul Kengor, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: God's Dealings with Man through History and the Book of Galatians - Dr. David Garner
Air Date: 5/21/2016
God's Dealings with Man through History and the Book of Galatians

How does God provide for man's salvation from the early chapters of the Bible, all the way through the Old Testament and into the New? Is there a gracious design to God's plan and purpose? Is there continuity to this plan which finds its culmination in Christ? What does the phrase "The Israel of God" mean? How are we to understand the concept of "ingrafting?" Did Abraham have the gospel preached to him? Was Christ present in the Old Testament? Participants: Dr. David Garner, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Parenting By God's Promises - Dr. Joel Beeke
Air Date: 5/14/2016
Parenting By God's Promises - an interview with the author

If you are a parent, have you ever considered the covenantal foundations of your relationship with your children? The Person and promise of God is at the very foundation of this relationship. How do we rear our children by faith? What about bringing children to Christ? Our author encourages us to parent using the model of Christ, and that is as prophets, priests and kings. That is, there are similarities that we can adopt in our families which will help us as parents. We take some time and look at how the Puritan family would have raised their covenant children. Participants: Dr. Joel Beeke, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Putin Sends a Message to Obama - Dr. Earl Tilford
Air Date: 5/7/2016
Putin Sends a Message to Obama

Recently, two Russian fighter jets flew within 30 feet of the USS Donald Cook, an American destroyer sailing in the Baltic Sea. Our guest this week, discusses that and a host of other issues. Dr. Earl Tilford is a military historian and fellow for the Middle East & terrorism with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. Participants: Dr. Earl Tilford, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: American Colonial History and the influence of Christianity - Dr. Thomas S. Kidd
Air Date: 4/30/2016
American Colonial History and the influence of Christianity

Today we are joined by Dr. Thomas Kidd of Baylor University. We look at the "soul" of America in terms of the influence of Christianity on the founding and early years of our country. Not all colonists came for religious freedom, but even those would say they are "Christian" and they read the Bible and went to church. We look at the founders and whether or not they were traditional Christians. In terms of their personal faith it was a mixed bag, and yet they pushed for the Christian values of virtue and morality. In a public sense, they would have seen Christianity as indispensable. We discuss the founders' view of man and how that folded in to their framing of the Constitution with checks and balances. What are the differences between a Constitutional Republic as compared with a Democracy? Participants: Dr. Thomas Kidd, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Passover - it's meaning and application for Christians - Rev. Rick Anderson
Air Date: 4/23/2016
Passover - it's meaning and application for Christians

What is Passover? How did it originate? This week we talk with a man who was raised in a Conservative Jewish home. He was educated in Judaism via being sent to Hebrew School after public school hours were over, and became Bar Mitzvah when 13 years old. He shares insights on the Jewish customs which surround Passover and then shows the application to the Christian today. Our guest became a follower of Jesus in his college years. Participants: Rev. Rick Anderson, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Seminary Education for Free - Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.
Air Date: 4/16/2016
A Seminary Education for Free - Faithfully presenting the Historic Christian faith to many nations

Did you know there are many pastors in the world who are charged with care for a congregation, and yet their training is not adequate? Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to train these pastors with a top rate theological education that is consistent with the Historic Christian faith? Is there an approach that would embrace the tried and tested creeds of the ancient church and the confessions of the Reformation, and thus be faithful to the Scriptures? Well, there is. And its free to the pastors. Tune in to learn about a very exciting program that is being offered in five primary language groups: English, Russian, Latin American Spanish, Mandarin, and modern Arabic. Further, it is translated into even more languages. Participants: Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr., Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Missionary Pilot's life - Jeremiah Diedrich
Air Date: 4/9/2016
A Missionary's pilot's life - what does it entail?

What is involved in being a missionary pilot deep in the Amazon? How do you land a plane with so many trees? What trials do these missionary pilots face? Can you be a pilot and still have a family with small children? How does this work help spread the Kingdom of God? Participants: Jeremiah Diedrich, Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Economic development in Kingston and surrounds - Dr. Mitchell Langbert
Air Date: 4/2/2016
Economic development in Kingston and surrounds - what core principles would help us?

The economic situation in Kingston, NY has gotten worse over the years since IBM left town in 1993. In fact some of the buildings on that beautiful manufacturing and development site are being torn down. It's sad. Taxation is apparently one of the key factors in businesses leaving our area. The area has not been truly friendly to businesses but has been friendly to something else - now our welfare roll is enormous. Tune in to find out more. We are joined by Associate Professor, School of Business, Brooklyn College, who lives in this area. Participants: Dr. Mitchell Langbert, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Resurrection - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 3/26/2016
The Resurrection of Christ

What is the place that the resurrection has in the New Testament? Does Christianity hold together without the resurrection? What proof do the Gospels offer for the resurrection? Does the Old Testament teach the doctrine of the resurrection? What does the resurrection mean for the believer? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: What is Socialism? - Dr. Shawn Ritenour
Air Date: 3/19/2016
What is Socialism?

What is Socialism? Today we talk with Professor of Economics at Grove City College, Dr. Shawn Ritenour. He lays out the distinctions between Socialism, Soviet style, and Socialism, Nazi style. He explains what is so called "Democratic Socialism." Is it static, or does it move towards a more "pure" form of Socialism like in the Soviet or Nazi systems? How does it contrast with a free market approach? Participants: Dr. Shawn Ritenour, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Racial Reconciliation - Michael Card
Air Date: 3/12/2016
Racial Reconciliation

What is at the heart of racial reconciliation? Today we talk with song writer and musician, Michael Card. He shares with us how the Lord led him in his journey within the African American community. We discuss how relations move slowly at times, but with rich rewards. Participants: Michael Card, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: America faces a historical-global crossroad - Dr. Earl Tilford
Air Date: 3/5/2016
America faces a historical-global crossroad - Dr. Earl Tilford

Today we take a look at history all the way back to the Vietnam war. Our guest shows why America faces a historical-global crossroads. The need for godly, decisive leadership is dire and we will not survive much longer if we don't have such leadership, empowered by the Lord. After surveying failures of leadership spanning Vietnam to Benghazi, our guest then looks at the roots of political correctness and its renderings. Dr. Tilford is a military historian and fellow for the Middle East & Terrorism with The Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College. Formerly he was Director of Research at the US Army's Strategic Studies Institute. He is a retired Air Force Intelligence Officer. His email address for questions is: tilford@comcast.net. participants: Dr. Earl Tilford, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: LIFE Ministry to Homosexuals - Joanne Highley
Air Date: 2/27/2016
LIFE Ministry to Homosexuals - a 33 year old ministry in Manhattan

The scriptures discuss various sins: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:9-10 One of these sins is often in the news - homosexuality. Each of the sins are cause for counseling. While politically incorrect, today we take a look at a ministry in Manhattan which serves homosexuals, helping them with their sexual addiction. Participants: Joanne Highley, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Marriage and the family - Dr. David Ayers
Air Date: 2/20/2016
The Family - its definition and challenges today

What is the family according to God's definition? What about marriage? In practical terms, what incremental steps can you take if you find yourself in a broken family, with a complete mess on your hands? Do you know of a young person who is looking for a good college to attend which will support your Christian convictions? Perhaps Grove City is that school for your family. Our guest today is the Dean of Arts and Letters of Grove City College. Participants: Dr. David Ayers, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Thinking Cal Coolidge - Dr. L. John Van Til
Air Date: 2/13/2016
Thinking Cal Coolidge - a look at the life of our 30th president

Calvin Coolidge was our 30th president (1923-1929). Today we take a look at his life. Was he a Christian man? Was he a faithful president as measured by his adherence to the Constitution? Was he a good speaker and was he able to convince people? Was he a progressive? Our guest is a fellow for humanities, faith and culture at The Center for Vision and Values. He has authored the new book: "Thinking Cal Coolidge: An Inquiry into the Roots of his Intellectual Life." Participants: Dr. L. John Van Til, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Debate Over Climate Change - Dr. E. Calvin Beisner
Air Date: 2/6/2016
The Debate Over Climate Change

What are the facts about climate change? Laying aside the emotional and political influences, what do the facts show? How much has average temperatures risen since 1850? You may be shocked to learn the answer. Why is there so much air pollution in China? Is this different then climate change? For further study, here is the link to the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation: www.cornwallalliance.org Participants: Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Spiritual Stamina - Dr. Peter Hammond
Air Date: 1/30/2016
Spiritual Stamina - Dr. Peter Hammond

Today our guest is Dr. Peter Hammond and Pastor Mark Diedrich joins us. We talk with Peter about the spiritual side of working in very tough areas as a missionary. Yes, there are terrible and sometimes tortuous circumstances - but how you endure depends on the reality of Christ in your life. Peter has "pioneered missionary outreaches, including into the war zones of Mozambique, Angola and Sudan. In the course of his missionary activities, Peter has been ambushed, come under aerial and artillery bombardments, been stabbed, shot at, beaten by mobs, arrested and imprisoned." From his website at: www.frontline.org.za Participants: Dr. Peter Hammond, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The god of Islam vs. The God of the Bible - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 1/23/2016
The god of Islam vs. The God of the Bible - what are the differences?

Is there a substantive difference between the god of Islam and the God of the Bible? What if we lay aside all political correctness and study the source documents and understand the best of the two system's representatives? What is the answer? Today we interview a pastor, and educator who has spent time studying this topic in depth. He has taught world religion at the university level and engaged in discussions of this nature. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Cold War in review, and a new, 21st century threat - Dr. Paul Kengor
Air Date: 1/16/2016
The Cold War and Communism, and the

Many of us grew up during what is called the Cold War. This was a time roughly 1947-1991 during which America had a heightened sense of threat because of the world domination goals of Communism. Some of us recall the Cuban missile crisis. Kid in school had bomb drills. The threat due to Communism is over, however there is a cultural Marxism that has been left behind and has permeated the public school system and the universities. Listen closely to see what names are associated with this radical movement. As we look now, at the 21st century, there is a "new" threat to civilization and that is radical Islam. These people want nothing less than world domination. Because of our politically correct culture, few news organizations are allowed to freely discuss the problem. It is a huge problem. Our guest is an author and professor of political science at Grove City College. He’s the executive director of The Center for Vision & Values, a Grove City College think-tank/policy center. He is also a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Participants: Dr. Paul Kengor, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: God as Sovereign over all spheres of life - Dr. John Frame
Air Date: 1/9/2016
God as Sovereign over all spheres of life - is there anything off bounds for Jesus?

Is there any discipline of life that is off bounds for the Christian? What about education? Or how about the area of politics, or government? Are there two kingdoms, with our focus as Christians only being allowed to deal with things of a heavenly nature? Or is there really one kingdom? Join us today for a discussion of this topic with the J.D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary. Participants: Dr. John Frame, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Background of Osama bin Laden - Dr. L. John Van Til
Air Date: 12/31/2015
The Background of Osama bin Laden

What was the background of Osama bin Laden which led him to mastermind the Muslim attacks against the United States? What was he like? What Islamic teachings led him to such a drastic move? Is there hope for America for the future? Join us for a sort of fireside chat with a fellow for humanities, faith, & culture at The Center for Vision & Values, Grove City College. Participants: Dr. L. John Van Til, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Knox Film - Murdo MacLeod
Air Date: 12/26/2015
Knox Film - how a Christian film producer orchestrated the project

The life of John Knox is very important in terms of the Lord using Knox in the Reformation in Scotland. He was a profound reformer. In this interview we talk with a Christian film producer who realized that the 500 year anniversary of Knox was something to be celebrated and documented. Participants: Murdo MacLeod, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Advent and the church calendar - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 12/19/2015
Advent and the church calendar explained

What is Advent and why do we celebrate it? Did you know that there two aspects to the observance? What about churches that have a special schedule of readings during this time of year? Is there an advantage to that? Join us as we reflect on this wonderful time of year! Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Downside of Price Controls - Dr. Shawn Ritenour
Air Date: 12/12/2015
The Downside of Price Controls - How government intervention actually hurts people

Have you ever thought deeply about government imposed price controls? Are there negative consequences to them? What do we learn from history? Our guest today explains what happened during the Nixon administration. It is an interesting account and he has first hand experience of the pain suffered by thousands of people. Participants: Dr. Shawn Ritenour, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Spreading the Feast - Dr. Howard Griffith
Air Date: 12/5/2015
Spreading the Feast - the glory of the Lord's Supper

Today we discuss the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, more commonly known as Communion. What happens during the Supper? Is Christ present? What about our attitude and preparation for the Supper? Are children supposed to partake? How do we think about the question of how young is too young? Join us for a biblical look at this important sacrament of the church. Our guest teaches at the seminary level and has written the book "Spreading the Feast: Instruction and Meditations for Ministry at the Lord's Table." Participants: Dr. Howard Griffith, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Persecution at the hands of Islam - Raymond Ibrahim
Air Date: 11/28/2015
Persecution at the hands of Islam - in both moderate and radical areas

Today we are joined by a Middle East and Islam specialist. He discusses the persecution of Christians and other non-Muslim groups at the hands of Islam. He does a deeper dive into the teachings of the Quran, and shows why Muslims do the things they do. He discusses the status of Christians that survive and how they are treated as a second class citizen. This shocking report includes so-called moderate Muslim nations as well as the more radical areas. Some of the questions during this interview are asked by a former professor of world religion who used to teach at SUNY New Paltz. Participants: Raymond Ibrahim, Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Thanksgiving - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 11/21/2015
Thanksgiving - A look at the Psalms, the first Thanksgiving, a perspective on suffering, and thanksgiving in worship

Thanksgiving is a special holiday in the United States of America. Today we begin by reviewing Psalms 92 and 107. We talk about the first Thanksgiving, then we move to talking about suffering and loss. How do you trust God and give thanks in the midst of things like cancer? Finally, we close talking about thanksgiving in corporate worship.


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A Plain Answer: George Whitefield and his influence on America - Stephen Mansfield
Air Date: 11/14/2015
George Whitefield and his influence on America

What influence did the great Calvinist evangelist George Whitefield have on what would become the United States of America? How did Benjamin Franklin view Mr. Whitefield? Would there have been a War of Independence were it not for this man's influence? Join us for a closer look at this often ignored, but significant man of influence in our nation's history. Participants: Stephen Mansfield, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: China's one child, now two child policy commentary by film producer - Jason Jones
Air Date: 11/6/2015
China's one child, now two child policy commentary by film producer

China has had a one child policy for years now. Recently there is a move to allow two children. But are there still forced abortions? Where does this sort of thinking come from? What about population control and so-called "over population" concerns? Are they valid? Today we interview a film producer who works to tell the truth about issues affecting life. Participants: Jason Jones, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The progression from Communism to what affects our families and marriages today - Dr. Paul Kengor
Air Date: 10/27/2015
The Historical progression from Communism to what affects our families and marriages today

Is there an historical cultural connection between Communism as expressed in the Communist Manifesto, and the Progressive movement of today? The derailing of our families and marriage itself has been the goal of the old Communism for years. What of its contemporary form in 2015? Today we are joined by the author of the book: "Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage." Participants: Dr. Paul Kengor, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Evangelism - What one church is doing - Rev. David Klompien, Gerry Wisz
Air Date: 10/22/2015
Evangelism, and how one church is reaching out

What is involved in evangelism? How do we reach people with the good news of Christ, and the salvation that He offers? Join us today for a discussion about why we must do evangelism. Also how one church is reaching out, in a one-on-one manner in the public square. Here is the website referred to in this podcast: http://preaknessvalleyurc.org/ Participants: Rev. David Klompien, Gerry Wisz, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Book of Revelation, Part 1 - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 10/17/2015
The Book of Revelation, Part 1

Is there an organic and more natural way of reading and understanding the book of Revelation in the Bible? It seems so many fall prey to the temptation of forcing a preconceived idea on the book rather than letting it speak for itself. Join us today for a fascinating discussion of important book. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plan Answer: The Moral Basis of Economics -vs- Socialism - Dr. Shawn Ritenour
Air Date: 10/10/2015
The Moral Basis of Economics -vs- Socialism

Is there a biblical ethic that governs an economic system? How do the 10 commandments come into play in such a discussion? What does it mean when God says: "Thou shalt not steal?" Are governments exempted? What happens when you lust after something that someone else has? Is that wrong? Join us for what we hope, is a compelling discussion. Dr. Shawn Ritenour is professor of economics at Grove City College, and author of the book: Foundations of Economics: A Christian View. Participants: Dr. Shawn Ritenour, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The coming UN Climate Summit - Dr. E. Calvin Beisner
Air Date: 10/3/2015
The coming UN Climate Summit and comments from Dr. E. Calvin Beisner

UN leaders and President Obama plan to reach a binding global agreement to fight global warming. The climate summit will be held in Paris later this year. However such an agreement will bring great harm to the world's poor. It will harm poor and low income people in America as well. Why is this the case? Tune in to find out. Our guest is the spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and is also an author and speaker on the application of the Biblical world view to economics, government, and environmental policy. He has published over ten books and hundreds of articles, contributed to, or edited, many other books, and been a guest on television and radio programs. A ruling elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, he has spoken to churches, seminars, and other groups around the country for nearly twenty years. Participants: Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Islamisation of countries - Dr. Peter Hammond
Air Date: 9/26/2015
The Islamisation of countries - Is it happening?

We are told that 10,000 refugees from Syria will be coming to the United States. This is a result of policy determined by the present Administration in Washington, DC. But what are the consequences of this? What does history reveal? in the past when Islam gets the upper hand, it continues to spread via the sword. If the refugees come to the U.S., what will they encounter? What of our public school system? What of the immorality from Hollywood? Our guest today, has first hand experience working with Muslims in evangelism. He also is a student of history and recounts what has happened in the past with a large influx of Muslims into nations. Participants: Dr. Peter Hammond, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Paul on Mars Hill - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 9/19/2015
Paul on Mars Hill - proclaiming God's word to pagan culture

Today we look closely at Paul on Mars Hill. We explore his approach with the pagan culture of his day. Did he compromise his Christian beliefs? Was he deeply aware of the culture to which he was speaking? Is there lessons we can learn from the Apostle as he spoke to the Athenians? Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Manly Men - Stephen Mansfield
Air Date: 9/12/2015
Being a man of God and what is involved

This week we address men specifically. We interview the author of the book: "Mansfield's Book of Manly Men." What does manhood really look like? Many young men have no father figures. Manhood is being challenged. So, how do we "do" manhood? Join us for a fascinating interview. Participants: Stephen Mansfield, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Marxism - Dr. Peter Hammond
Air Date: 9/5/2015
Marxism - how does it work out once implemented and how does it slowly take over a culture?

Today we have a serious discussion about the effects of Marxism on a society. What did Karl Marx believe and teach? At what age did he reject his Christian roots? Was he involved in the occult? What premises did he advocate for the structuring of society? Find out answers to these questions and more in today's interview with the director of Frontline Fellowship. Find out what this man did when he was captured and brought before the authorities. Was his knowledge of history useful? How close did he come to actually losing his life? Find out also, the dangerous path that we are on as America, as we more and more embrace the godless tenants and policies of the religion of Marx. Participants: Dr. Peter Hammond, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Racial Reconciliation and Lament - Michael Card
Air Date: 8/29/2015
Racial Reconciliation and Lament - spending time with Michael Card

Today we have a discussion with Michael Card. He explains not only about his song writing and guitar playing, but also covers the important area of racial reconciliation. Find out what one community did as they sought the Lord in prayer for revival and how the Lord responded. He also covers the idea of lament as he folds in the example of King David. Participants: Michael Card, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Covenant - Dr. David Garner
Air Date: 8/22/2015
The Covenant - How God deals with us graciously

The Covenant is the "glue" that ties the Bible together. The concept of the covenant is seemingly on every page of Scripture. If you want to understand how God works with His people, it is very worthwhile to study the covenant. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we interview an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. Here is the URL for the article referred to in the interview: http://www.alliancenet.org/placefortruth/column/sine-qua-non/fruition Participants: Dr. David Garner, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Work and the Christian - Chuck Bentley
Air Date: 8/15/2015
Work and the Christian - glorifying God in every aspect of life

Work is hard and often we get discouraged at our jobs. Perhaps you have a boss who doesn't appreciate you, or who expects too much. But what is the the attitude that God wants us to have towards our work? Is there a way to glorify God by virtue of our work? What about the major problem that we have in America right now, that of the entitlement mentality? What does God have to say about those who are able to work, but are unwilling to do so, because of government handouts? Here is the link mentioned on the air for your free download of the lecture "The Essential Guide for Employment:" www.crown.org/career - See the right hand side of the page for the orange CD, fill in the fields, and download. Participants: Chuck Bentley, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Winston Churchill - Author Stephen Mansfield
Air Date: 8/8/2015
Winston Churchill - A Prime Minister used of God to preserve a people

Today we delve into the life and times of one of the great men of history - Winston Churchill. What was it about him, that helped Great Britain to stand against great odds and in the face of Naziism, to "keep calm, and carry on" and eventually win? What was the contrast between his style, vs. that of FDR? What did Churchill do to really unify the people? Our guest has authored the books: "Never Give in: The Extrordinary Character of Winston Churchill (Leaders in Action)" and also "Character and Greatness of Winston Churchill: Hero in a Time of Crisis." Both are available on Amazon. Also if you want to visit our guest's website, it is here: http://stephenmansfield.tv/ Participants: Stephen Mansfield, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Second Amendment - Larry Pratt
Air Date: 8/1/2015
The Second Amendment - It's origin, purpose and applicability for us today

The Second Amendment is part of a ten part Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. It is an extremely important right that is given to citizens. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we look at the origin and purpose of the Second Amendment. We also explore if it still applies for us today. Are there any instances in US history, where the Second Amendment enabled citizens to preserve their freedoms? Here is a link from Larry's site for the article entitled: "What Does the Bible Say About Gun Control?": https://www.gunowners.org/fs9902.htm Partipants: Larry Pratt, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Is Islam a Religion of Peace? - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 7/25/2015
Is Islam a religion of peace? What do we garner from the source documents?

We have heard it from two presidents now. "Islam is a religion of peace." Where does that sentiment come from? It certainly is a nice thing to say, especially for the millions of Muslims who are actually relatively peaceful. But what about the source documents? We hear of Jihad. Is it a fundamental part of the faith? And for the peaceful followers of Islam, do they still hope someday that the entire world will follow Sharia? Join us for a thoughtful and well informed treatment of this sensitive subject. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Family and Homeschooling - Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.
Air Date: 7/18/2015
The Family and Homeschooling - justification for homeschooling, stories, and pointers for parents

Have you ever wondered if there is a Biblical basis for Homeschooling? How do you deal with pressure from the naysayers? What about weariness? What if you feel fear of government pressure or lawsuits? If you have ever thought about homeschooling, hopefully this interview will be of value to you. To read some of RC's blogs and listen to his podcasts, please visit his website at: http://rcsprouljr.com/ Participants: Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr., Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: State of the Union - Pastor Jeff Sanders
Air Date: 7/11/2015
Commentary on the state of our union

Are you discouraged with what's happening to our country? Many are, and it is easy to tend to just want to give up! Well, in this episode of A Plain Answer we dive a little deeper and look at some of the root causes of the moral failure in our country. The big take away is to not be discouraged and to look to Jesus Christ. He will see us through. Things will likely get worse before they get better. We must remember Who is in charge! Participants: Dr. Jeff Sanders, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Declaration of Independence - Dr. Hans Vought
Air Date: 7/3/2015
The Declaration of Independence - Events leading up to and the start of the Revolutionary war

What events led up to the Declaration of Independence? Did the colonists desire war? Was there government overreach in those days? Did the government come after the colonist's guns? Learn how the first Great Awakening profoundly influenced the colonist's thinking and behavior. After we consider the declaration and the subsequent war for independence, then we take a short look at our own situation today. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The importance of the church and her relation to society - Dr. George Grant
Air Date: 6/26/2015
The importance of the church and her relation to society

The church is the body of Christ, His Bride. Christ died for Her. How important is this church? Very. Join us today for an in depth discussion of the church. We also cover the church's extension outward to the world. Jesus promises us that the gates of hell will not prevail against the progress of the church. We believe it with all our hearts. Participants: Dr. George Grant, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Father's Day - Rev. Ben Miller
Air Date: 6/18/2015
Father's Day - A celebration of our Dads

All of us have fathers. Some of us are fathers. What does the Bible have to say about fatherhood? Are there parallels that can be made with our Heavenly Father? How is a father supposed to treat his sons and daughters? What about how he is to treat the Mom in the home? Please join us for an encouraging look at fatherhood. Participants: Pastor Ben Miller, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Islam - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 6/13/2015
Islam - a calm analysis of its precepts and practices

This week we carefully take a look at Islam and attempt to understand its origins and the practices of its founder Mohammed. Our guest today has taught world religions at the university level for many years. What is Jihad? What is the difference between the so called Greater Jihad and the Lesser Jihad? What were the practices of Mohammed? Did he institute holy war? What is the Hadith? Are there different sects within Islam? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Local Government for the Glory of God - Dr. Joel McDurmon
Air Date: 6/6/2015
Local government for the glory of God - civil magistrates serving Christ

What can you do when there is federal overreach? If your liberties are taken away, is there a legitimate way to intervene and one that is God-honoring? What did the Apostle Paul mean when he described the civil magistrate as a being God's minister to you for good? What if we affected our local area for good and obeyed God in a bottom's up approach? Wouldn't that be much better and bring glory to God? Join us for this discussion with American Vision's Director of Research. Find out about a helpful book for further study that addresses education, welfare, local government, taxation, the free market, the courts and executive power - all from a biblical view point. The book is entitled "Restoring America One County at a Time." Participants: Dr. Joel McDurmon, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Common Core - Dr. Gary North
Air Date: 5/30/2015
Common Core and one alternative

What is Common Core? The Common Core State Standards Initiative touts it as “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA).” That definition sounds very attractive. But is there more? What lies beneath the surface? Join us for a discussion of Common Core and an alternative educational model. We learn about a powerful new online home school curriculum. For a link to the website, please copy and paste this URL: http://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/ . Dr. Gary North serves as the Director of Curriculum Development for this project. Participants: Dr. Gary North, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Greatness of the Great Commission - Dr. Peter Hammond
Air Date: 5/21/2015
The Greatness of the Great Commission - evangelism is the first step, but what's next?

Dr. Peter Hammond is a missionary with Frontline Fellowship. He has worked inside the war zones of Mozambique, Angola and Sudan. He often travels by off road motorbike as he delivers many Bibles to persecuted Christians in Africa and Eastern Europe. Dr. Hammond has been ambushed, come under aerial and artillery bombardments, been stabbed, shot at, beaten by mobs, arrested and imprisoned. Today we talk about an aspect of the Great Commission that you may have never considered - even in all your years in a Bible believing church. Join us for an inspiring interview! Participants: Dr. Peter Hammond, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Armed Forces Day - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 5/16/2015
Armed Forces Day - How the Bible applies to the military

Is it legitimate for a Christian to serve in the armed forces? How does a young person who is serving in the military deal with their emotions and spiritual life if they are engaged in deadly combat? What is Sphere Sovereignty? Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Restoring All Things - John Stonestreet
Air Date: 5/9/2015
Restoring All Things - an interview with John Stonestreet

Are you getting weary of all the bad news in this country? In the face of the moral deterioration in America, we have real hope. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and that changes everything. Christ is reconciling the world unto Himself. This week's guest explains the Christian perspective on our broken world and encourages us to have a part in working on solutions. For further reading, visit www.breakpoint.org. Also the book referenced is "Restoring All Things." Participants: John Stonestreet, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Pastoral Perspectives - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 5/2/2015
Pastoral Perspectives - leisure, worship, baptism, the Lord's Supper, environmentalism, and training children

Today we sit down with a seasoned pastor and listen as he reflects on some important matters. We think about the busyness of our age and the need for leisure. That leads to thoughts about worship, including the sacraments. We then think about the contrast with worshiping other things, such as the earth. Finally we discuss children and the need for training them. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Federal Reserve - Dr. Shawn Ritenour
Air Date: 4/25/2015
What is the Federal Reserve?

What is the Federal Reserve? Does it serve a useful purpose and who controls it? Does the Federal Reserve help preserve a free market? Did we always have a Federal Reserve? Are there any disadvantages to having such a construct? Our guest today is professor of economics at Grove City College and has authored the book: "Foundations of Economics: A Christian View." Also referenced during the interview is a website with more information - please see: www.mises.org. Another book for further education is: "The Ethics of Money Production," by Jörg Guido Hülsmann. The book is available as a PDF and also for ordering. Participants: Dr. Shawn Ritenour, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Faithfulness in Worship and Vocation - Rev. Ben Miller
Air Date: 4/18/2015
Faithfulness in Worship and Vocation: How God uses our experiences for His good to bear fruit

Is God at work in your life? It may not feel like it, but He really is, and we need to learn to be patient. The Bible takes a long range view of things. Today we often can get discouraged as we watch the evening news, digesting the latest terrorist tragedy. But isn't there an ebb and flow in history? In the past there were enormous pagan world powers which trampled underfoot the Christians. But with time, God is redeeming the world to His glory! Dear friend, be encouraged and think about adopting a more long-term perspective. How is your "mood?" Join us for some challenging thoughts in this regard, which affects your children's future. Participants: Rev. Ben Miller, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act - Attorney Mike Farris
Air Date: 4/11/2015
Understanding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)

What is the controversy surrounding the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act? Is it true that the state enactment has substantially the same content as the federal version? Who signed the original federal bill? Do you know who came up with the name (RFRA)? Why do we need RFRA if we have the First Amendment? Does RFRA authorize discrimination against same-sex couples? What is the difference between a Christian establishment serving a same-sex couple in a restaurant and baking a cake for their marriage ceremony? Our guest is often heard on "Home School Heartbeat" and is Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He has served as lead counsel in the US Supreme Court, as well as on eight federal circuit courts and the appellate courts of thirteen states. For more information see: http://www.hslda.org/ and do a search on the letters "RFRA." Participants: Mike Farris, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: God's Righteousness -vs- Man's Righteousness - Dr. Edd Cathey
Air Date: 4/4/2015
God's Righteousness vs. Man's Righteousness

Do you feel increasing pressure to conform to the standards of this world? That is, pressure to "measure up" as it were, to someone else's law, but not the law of God? We are told how to think so that we become politically correct and diverse in accordance with the precepts of the religion of secular humanism. But what about God? Do His righteous standards count? Of course they do! In this episode of A Plain Answer, we look at the contrast and explore how God wants us to view this important area. Participants: Dr. Edd Cathey, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Stewardship of Creation - Dr. Cal Beisner
Air Date: 3/28/2015
The Stewardship of Creation - Godly dominion and care for the poor

Modern man has much to say about our relation to the earth. A whole movement has developed called Environmentalism. But there are many conflicting reports. You sometimes wish there were an honest authority who would come forward and help us sort through all the talk. What about the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament? Does God give us His perspective on this area? Does He lay down guidelines that help us to see what our role should be in all this? What about the claims that man is destroying the environment by producing too much carbon dioxide? Does the science support this claim? Are climate change policies helpful? What about the poor in countries - what is one of their greatest physical needs? Is a clean environment a costly good? Our guest is the founder and national spokesperson for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. For further study, their website is here: http://www.cornwallalliance.org/ Participants: Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian Sabbath - Rev. Bill Shishko
Air Date: 3/21/2015
The Christian Sabbath - A true delight of soul

What is the Christian Sabbath? Since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christians have been meeting for worship on the first day of the week. The day is transformed, and yet the Sabbath is a creation ordinance, and is part of the Ten Commandments. Is it still appropriate for God's people to set one day aside for rest, worship and general well being? What did Jesus mean when He said that the Sabbath was made for man? Do you find that you are wearing yourself out with constant activity? Burn out is common. Why not listen to the words of Jesus and implement the Lord's day refreshment into your life? Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Sexual Wholeness - Mike Kozlarek
Air Date: 3/14/2015
Sexual Wholeness - Holiness of body and mind

Pornography addiction is a serious problem and affects many people. Sexually compulsive behavior is much more common than you may realize. Both men and women are affected. 90% or more of college age men are using pornography. Our guest works with the Navigators, and has extensive experience in helping college age kids overcome their sexual addictions. We must avoid sexual immorality, and accountability partners are suggested. Participants: Mike Kozlarek, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The UN and Agenda 21 - Dr. Mitchell Langbert
Air Date: 3/6/2015
The UN and Agenda 21 - how they affect local planning

What is Agenda 21? What is the UN talking about when they promote "sustainable development?" Is it true that the United States funds the lion's share of the UN budget, and yet only has one vote? Most of the government members of the UN are totalitarian governments and are opposed to free market capitalism. But what about Agenda 21? We have the tendency to ask ourselves: "How could policy at the UN level possibly flow down to our local towns?" Well, as surprising as it is, it is happening. Find out more and feel free to contact us with questions, using our email address: ministry@redeemerbroadcasting.org . Participants: Dr. Mitchell Langbert, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: On Knowing - Dr. Edd Cathey
Air Date: 2/23/2015
On Knowing - the Biblical basis of knowledge

How do we know anything? How do we know God? Suppose someone is not a believer, and is struggling over the person of Christ. Perhaps he has ridiculed the faith in the past. What if this person were to bring the person of Christ before his own personal judgment bar? Would he not have to lift himself up such that he is at least equal to God, or perhaps a little higher than God, in order to make a judgment concerning His existence? It was Van Til who gave us the analogy of autonomous man taking a "swipe" at God, but only being able to do that from the vantage point of sitting on his lap. Our guest directs us first, to Colossians 3:5-10, and the two different kinds of knowledge. Join us for an interesting discussion. Participants: Dr. Edd Cathey, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: What is the free market? - Dr. Shawn Ritenour
Air Date: 2/21/2015
The Free Market - what is it, and do we have one in America?

You have heard the term "Free Market" bandied about, but what is it really? Here is a definition that our guest suggests: "A free market is a vast network of voluntary exchange. It manifests itself in a division of labor, and exists under the legal institution of private property." After discussing what a free market really looks like, our guest answers the question of whether or not we have one here in America. For future inquiry we recommend our guest's book: Foundations of Economics: A Christian View." Also for excellent reading on the free market, we recommend the Mises Institute, found online at mises.org. Finally, check out the DVD series: "Economics for Everybody" - available on Amazon. Participants: Dr. Shawn Ritenour, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Response to the National Prayer Breakfast Remarks - Dr. John Vance
Air Date: 2/14/2015
The National Prayer Breakfast remarks - a response

At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama made some comments that have caused concern in the Christian community. The President used inflammatory language that implied a moral equivalency between the Christian Crusaders and the modern Islamic terrorists, in particular, ISIS. In this episode of A Plain Answer we look at the Crusades and quote some of the best historians who are experts on the Crusades. We also briefly discuss the Inquisition and slavery. Our guest is the former Senior Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and also used to teach world religions at SUNY New Paltz. He helps us sort out the rhetoric and make sense of the facts. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Book of Ecclesiastes - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 2/7/2015
The Book of Ecclesiastes - how to read the book

Have you ever read the book of Ecclesiastes and wondered how to interpret it? Is it merely a book that describes life without the Lord, or is it much more than that? In fact you may not understand it much at all. Don't feel bad - please join us for this discussion. Did you know you can find much joy in this book? The book is very real, and we talk about this and other aspects during this episode of A Plain Answer. Our guest has written a book on the subject as well. The title is: Shepherding the Wind: Sermons in Ecclesiastes. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Abortion discussion - Rev. Richard Kuiken
Air Date: 1/31/2015
Abortion - a recap and alternatives

Today on A Plain Answer we review the travesty of abortion. Did you know that the abortion clinics are most often located in neighborhoods which have a high percentage of minorities? What are the alternatives to abortion? How can Christians show the love of Jesus Christ to women who have an unwanted pregnancy and is considering having an abortion. Hear first-hand, how a local church has helped these women in tangible ways. Participants: Rev. Richard Kuiken, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Dealing with the loss of loved ones - Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.
Air Date: 1/24/2015
Working through the loss of loved ones

Have you lost a loved one? What about the seeming tension between being sad, and resting in the sovereignty of God? Are they mutually exclusive? Today our guest explains that joy is the settled conviction that God is able, and that God is for us. What about responding to others who have lost a loved one? Are you not sure of what to say? Are you uncomfortable? How are we to respond? Finally, how can Word and Sacrament become a healing balm for the people of God in the midst of their profound loss? Join us for a heart-felt discussion on this important topic. Participants: Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr., Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Baptism of Jesus - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 1/17/2015
The Baptism of Jesus - Why it was important

Does it strike you as a little odd, that our Lord Jesus was baptized by John? In the gospel of Mark, the narrative begins with this baptism as he describes the gospel. Certainly there must be something very important about this event. Join us for a revealing discussion about the gospel as it is tied to this baptism. Learn about the Trinity, the sacramental gospel, the historical gospel and even the eschatological gospel. Learn how there is an aspect to Jesus such that he is the new Adam, the new Noah, the new Moses, and the new Israel. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Common Core and an alternative - Dr. Gary North
Air Date: 1/10/2015
Common Core - it's genesis, goals, problems and a workable alternative

What is Common Core? The Common Core State Standards Initiative touts it as “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA).” That definition sounds very attractive. But is there more? What lies beneath the surface? Join us for a discussion of Common Core and an alternative educational model. We learn about a powerful new online home school curriculum. For a link to the website, please copy and paste this URL: http://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/ . Dr. Gary North serves as the Director of Curriculum Development for this project. Participants: Dr. Gary North, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Studying the book of Revelation - Rev. Bill Spanjer
Air Date: 1/3/2015
Studying the book of Revelation - The Dwaarkill Study Center

Have you ever felt a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of studying the book of Revelation? Question: Is it a book predominantly tied to the latest newspaper stories, or is it much more? What are one the keys to understanding the book? In this episode of A Plain Answer, we learn about an upcoming study series for those who cannot afford to attend college (time and money), but who want something more challenging than a Sunday School class. The Dwaarkill Study center is headquartered in Pine Bush, NY and is run by a number of godly men who are trained in teaching Bible, theology, philosophy, apologetics and culture. An upcoming course is offered to the public and is being held at Good Will church in Montgomery. For more information and to sign up for the course, please visit: http://www.dwaarkill.org/ Participants: Rev. Bill Spanjer, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Trusting Christ in the coming new year - Rev. Jonathan Shishko
Air Date: 12/24/2014
Trusting Christ in the New Year - an interview with a young pastor

As we look at the prospect of a new year, perhaps you have fears. You may have physical ailments, or have suffered the loss of a loved one. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we talk with a pastor who ministers in Queens, NY. His church is a smaller and more recent church plant. People come to the church from all walks of life and from varied racial backgrounds. There is unity for these brothers and sisters because of what Christ has done in their lives. The New Year 2015 is just about here. We can be hopeful if our trust is in the God who is over all of history, including this New Year. Participants: Pastor Jonathan Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christmas and persecuted Christians - Dr. George Grant
Air Date: 12/20/2014
Christmas and persecuted Christians - How to help

We have brothers and sisters around the world who are in dire circumstances. In one town in northern Iraq, there are about 1 Million people in refugee camps. In 2014, the persecution of Christians around the world was more brutal and intense than at any other time in the history of the church. The actions of the ISIS terror rebels have been absolutely torturous. Kurdistan, very nearly the last sanctuary for Christians in the Muslim Middle East, is now under siege by the Ji'hadi terrorist forces of ISIS. More than a million refugees from the rest of Iraq and Syria are now threatened--along with the dynamic Kurdish Christian communities. The Nuun Fund has been established to speed urgently needed resources to our friends at the Classical School of the Medes in the cities of Erbil, Dohuk, and Sulaymaniyah. To help in this particular effort, the link is here: https://www.crowdrise.com/NuunFund Share this podcast with others. Participants: Dr. George Grant, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Sovereignty of God in Christmas - T.M. Moore
Air Date: 12/12/2014
The Sovereignty of God in Christmas - perspectives on Christmas and the Christian faith

When we think about Christmas, we often think about the baby Jesus in the manger. But as wonderful as that is, there is much more involved in the birth of Christ. There were many events that providentially came together that made this just the right time - or as the Apostle Paul would write: "...In the fullness of time." We look at the scope of Divine Sovereignty, and the genealogies involved. We also talk about the difference between a bogus sovereignty and real sovereignty as it is found in God. Also, what about politics? How does that tie into the sovereignty of God in Christmas? For further study here is the link to the Colson Center and this Viewpoint series: http://www.colsoncenter.org/the-center/columns/viewpoint Participants: T.M. Moore, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Advent and why we celebrate it - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 12/6/2014
Advent and why we celebrate it

The beginning of Advent was this past Sunday (11/30). One question is, why do we celebrate this at this time of the year? Also why do we celebrate in a cyclical manner each year? Is there a rationale for the church year? Is there an inevitability regarding some kind of ordering the church year? Join us as we explore these questions and others. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Shepherding a Child's Heart - Dr. Tedd Tripp
Air Date: 11/29/2014
Shepherding a Child's Heart - a discussion with Dr. Tedd Tripp

Dr. Tedd Tripp wrote a book on parent's raising their children some years ago and it was entitled: Shepherding a Child's Heart. Today we have the opportunity to talk with Dr. Tripp. How important is the gospel to parenting? What are some of the biggest threats to the Christian home? Join us for an insightful discussion. Participants: Dr. Tedd Tripp, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Thanksgiving - Dr. Hans Vought and Pastor Mark Diedrich
Air Date: 11/22/2014
Thanksgiving - a review of how this celebration developed

What were some of the events leading to the establishment of a day of Thanksgiving here in America? What do the original source documents have to say about the Pilgrim's belief in God and His providence? Are there other records which tell of the God-focused emphasis that are part of America's history? Join us for an interesting discussion of this more important American celebration. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Pastor Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Forgotten 10th Commandment - Chuck Bentley
Air Date: 11/15/2014
The Forgotten 10th Commandment and finances

Today we take a closer look at how the Bible applies to our finances. The 10th Commandment says: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's." This has direct application in our lives as the people of God. In the interview we mention the video series "God Provides." Here is the link to that video for small groups or personal study: http://www2.crown.org/godprovides/ Participants: Chuck Bentley, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Parables of Jesus - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 11/6/2014
The Parables of Jesus, and a parable about parables

Jesus often taught in parables. Did you know that there is one that is considered a "parable about parables?" In Matthew 13 we learn that to some are given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to others it was not given. What is this talking about? We also discuss the person of Jesus and how His actions are quite surprising to our often uninformed way of looking at biblical truth. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Restoration of the sinning brother - Rev. Bill Shishko
Air Date: 10/31/2014
Restoration of the sinning brother and Galatians 6

Does scripture instruct us how to deal with restoration of the sinning brother? What do we do with a person how had fallen? Ideally restoration is in order. Galatians 6 contains some helpful guidance. Our guest takes some time to explain the translation of this text from the original and highlights some nuances of the text. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Offended Brother - Rev. Bill Shishko
Air Date: 10/25/2014
The Offended Brother - how to handle

How do you deal with someone who has offended you? What if your feelings have really been hurt. What if the other person has talked behind your back? There is a plan laid out for us in Scripture on how to handle these cases. Join us for a helpful discussion. Matthew 18:15-17 is a key text. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Generational Discipleship - Rev. Ben Miller
Air Date: 10/18/2014
Generational Discipleship - How do we raise Christian children?

Are you concerned for your children that they grow up to be followers of Christ? How is this done? What should be your perspective as you approach this all important task? How do we view our children? Do children born to Christian parents have a special relation to the church and to Christ? Participants: Rev. Ben Miller, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Pornography - Part II - how to gain victory over it - Rev. Bill Shishko
Air Date: 10/11/2014
Pornography, it's seriousness, and how to gain victory over it

Allowing pornography in any form, is not consistent with the Spirit-filled Christian life. It is very destructive to your life and home and can be seen as a sort of spiritual terrorism for the Christian. Join us for a pastoral discussion of this important subject and how to gain a victory over this sin. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: As ISIS approaches Baghdad - an update from Canon Andrew White
Air Date: 10/4/2014
As ISIS approaches Baghdad - an update from Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White is sometimes referred to as the Vicar of Baghdad. He has been serving in the city as pastor of St. George's church. Of grave concern is the advance of the Islamic State to a mere one mile away from Baghdad. The concern is that ISIS has been systematically killing anyone who does not abide by Sharia law. Christian churches have been burned, Christians have fled and many more have been brutally killed by the radical Muslims. In this interview we learn of the calling by God of a pastor as well as details of the work in Baghdad. Canon White set up the local medical clinic in addition to his pastoral duties. His church has bomb blast walls and has been bombed 5 times int he past 3 years. The imminent danger is due to the Islamic State that is now on his doorstep. Please pray for our dear brother. He currently has about 35 soldiers caring for him and cannot place one foot outside his compound. In this episode of A Plain Answer, our Maryland Public Affairs Director conducts the interview. Participants: Canon Andrew White, Craig Poland.


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A Plain Answer: Children in a Christian Home - Rev. Doug Wilson
Air Date: 9/27/2014
Children in a Christian Home - How we are to view them?

Are the children born into a Christian home the same as the children of any secular home? As a believer in Christ, how can I know that my children are going to turn out to love and serve God? Parents want to give their children good things - especially the good thing of covenant faithfulness. Please listen closely to this interview if you are concerned about raising a godly offspring. Participants: Rev. Doug Wilson, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Pornography - Part 1 - Rev. Bill Shishko
Air Date: 9/20/2014
Pornography - An issue to be dealt with

Pornography may not seem like a problem for Christians, but it is. Pornography is not only a problem for men either. This is a huge industry and we see a profound desensitization within our society. Outlets for such filth have now entered our homes via R-rated movies and the internet. How do we deal with this area? The gospel is God's power unto salvation and its power is much greater than that of Satan's. So, it is a problem; it is rampant, and yet God is greater than this problem. What are the biblical directives? Towards the end of this discussion are also listed resources for further help. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Vicar of Baghdad and Islamic Terrorists - Canon Andrew White
Air Date: 9/12/2014
The Vicar of Baghdad speaks regarding the Islamic terrorists and the Christians in Baghdad

Imagine going to church on Sunday and being frisked as you came into the church building. What if your church was built with blast walls to protect against Islamic terrorists seeking to kill your people? Imagine having your church bombed five times in the last three years. What is the perspective of a key Christian leader in Baghdad regarding ISIS and their tortuous ways? ISIS is Islamic, contrary to President Obama's assertion to the contrary, and ISIS is being consistent with the words written in the Koran (aka Qur'an). Join us for an interesting interview with a pastor of the largest church in Baghdad. The Christian is called upon to love our enemies. Hear a story of a founder of Hamas that the Lord changed. So far however, no one of ISIS has yet changed. The Christians are being slaughtered because of their love for Jesus. Canon White asks us to pray for: Protection, Provision, Perseverance, and Peace. Participants: Canon Andrew White, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Responding to the crisis in Iraq - Sean Malone
Air Date: 9/6/2014
Responding to the crisis in Iraq - what one ministry is doing

There are 1.6 million people displaced in Iraq due to the genocidal military campaign of ISIS, and the conflict in Syria. Over 100,000 Christians who fled Mosul have sought refuge in the Christian quarter of Erbil. Roughly 400,000 Muslims are scattered outside the city, with no help at all because nearly every relief organization has left the area. Join us for this timely discussion and find out what you can do to help. Participants: Sean Malone, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: How to Read the Bible - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 8/30/2014
How to Read the Bible

Have you ever approached the Bible and asked yourself the question: "How does God want me to read this book?" What is the Bible? What is the purpose of the Bible? Is the Bible meant to be read primarily in isolation? What about in community? Are there different genres evident in the Bible? Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Education - Rev. Bill Spanjer
Air Date: 8/23/2014
Education - Bringing every thought captive to Christ

What is a key goal of education? Is there a foundation for a good education? Is education only related to learning data and facts, and then being able to pass tests? Join us as we talk with one of the teachers at Chapel Field Christian School for a refreshing discussion of education. Participants: Rev. Bill Spanjer, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: World War I follow-up and beyond - Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich
Air Date: 8/16/2014
World War I follow-up and beyond

In this follow-up episode we review the time frame of the United States getting involved in the war. Then finally, how the war was closed out. What were the restraints that were placed on Germany and how did that all work out? What is Communism and Marxism? We also review the tremendous technological advances evident in the early 20th century. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: World War I - Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich
Air Date: 8/9/2014
World War I - Its beginnings, alliances and execution

The anniversary of the start of WWI was July 28 of last month. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we look at why the war started and the alliances involved. WWI was called "The Great War" at the time, and it was perceived as the war to end all wars. Obviously it didn't. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Why Preaching is vital in the life of the church - Dr. Liam Goligher
Air Date: 8/2/2014
Preaching - why it is vital in the life of the church

Why is preaching important? In this episode of A Plain Answer we interview the Senior minister of Historic 10th Presbyterian church in Philadelphia. Our topic is on preaching. Our guest reviews the fact that God talks. He communicates to us via his word the Bible, and that word is meant to be heard. When we hear the preacher, we are hearing a living voice speak to us and the message comes from God who is living. We hear the human voice of the preacher. We also review the fact that the office of the preacher is analogous to the office of the prophet. The preacher re-speaks God's word to the people. The preacher serves the role of a "herald," in this work. We also discuss the modern day tendency of preaching becoming very conversational. The modern change has taken it from being a proclamation, to a conversation. We do not see this as positive. Also addressed is the doctrine of the church as it is gathered for worship. Preaching can be a high point of that worship as God's people are assembled together. Finally in the interview we hear a personal testimony of how God called a man to be a minister of the gospel and to preach. Questions regarding this important topic of preaching can be addressed to lgoligher@tenth.org. Participants: Dr. Liam Goligher, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Review of three books - Dr. George Grant
Air Date: 7/26/2014
A review of three books on Margaret Sanger, Christopher Columbus and America's Independence

This week we have a book review on three topics: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood; Christopher Columbus the 15th Century navigator/explorer, and America's independence which took place in the 1770's timeframe. Three books are reviewed, and the salient features considered for each. Participants: Dr. George Grant, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Elder selection and organic officer training - Rev. Bill Shishko
Air Date: 7/19/2014
Elder selection and organic officer training

How does the church select its elders? And what is "organic officer training?" In this edition of A Plain Answer we review four key conditions that should be positively identified before a man is ordained to be an elder: 1) There has to be a desire in a man for the work of oversight. 2) There have to be the graces that the Scriptures require. 3) The man must possess the gifts to do the job. 4) Finally there has to be recognition by the congregation that a man has these gifts/graces. Please join us for a soul searching and helpful treatment of this timely subject. If you have a question for Pastor Bill Shishko about the matter of elders, please feel free to email him. His address is: shishko.1@opc.org. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Medical Missions to Nicaragua - Dr. Frank Imbarrato
Air Date: 7/12/2014
Medical Missions to Nicaragua - Helping those in need with the love of Christ

What happens on a missions trip that has a medical/evangelical focus? In a recent trip to Nicaragua did you know that there were a total of 48 people who went to help others? Indeed, 10 doctors, 6 nurses, 2 pharmacists, 5 dentists and the rest were logistical support people - all these went with love in their hearts to help those in need. One of the young people from a local church joined in, and found that this experience was just wonderful. Medical missions not only deals with medicine but also sports evangelism with the teenagers in Nicaragua. High quality Study Bibles are given to Pastors there. Why would Christians want to take their time, resources, etc, and do this sort of thing? One of the driving reasons comes from the Lord Himself: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen." Matthew 28:18-20. To contact Dr. Frank - his email address is: fimbarratomd@gmail.com. To contact the Christian Medical and Dental Association so that you can support this effort, that website is at: www.cmda.org. Participants: Dr. Frank Imbarrato, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Ministering to the prisoner - Bruce Hempel, Jake Jacobsen
Air Date: 7/5/2014
Ministering to the prisoner - How God is working through Kairos

Have you ever wondered how to minister to men who are in prison? Our Lord said: "for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'" Matthew 25:35-40 Kairos is a prison ministry and is looking for volunteers - perhaps this is a venue in which you could serve. Participants: Bruce Hempel, Jake Jacobsen, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Officers in the church - Rev. Bill Shishko
Air Date: 6/27/2014
Officers in the church - how God blesses a congregation through imperfect servant leaders

Have you ever wondered about how a church is led? What are elders and what requirements has God set in place for these men? Are they perfect? What character qualities should they possess? Does the Bible teach a plurality of elders, or a one-man-rule? Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Reaching out in today's world - Rev. Jonathan Shishko
Air Date: 6/21/2014
Reaching out in today's world - impacting a 3 mile radius in Queens for God's glory

How do you affect a 3 mile radius of people in Queens NY with the gospel of Christ? One way is to have a "BBQ and A"! That is, a Barbecue Question and Answer. This outreach is a part of Reformation Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Queens. The church has their normal Sunday worship service, and then on select Sunday afternoons in August, they go to the park, brings lots of food and just serve people in the love of Christ. After the feasting, is a short sermon of 10 to 15 minutes, following by a time of Q and A for as long as it takes. Reformation meets at the Fresh Meadow School – Public School 173, 174-10 67th Avenue, Fresh Meadows, NY 11365 . Also in this discussion is a personal testimony from this younger pastor of how the Lord called him to full time ministry. It is a fascinating account. Participants: Rev. Jon Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Father's Day - Rev. Ben Miller
Air Date: 6/12/2014
Father's Day - what is a father and how does the Bible instruct him?

All of us have fathers. Some of us are fathers. What does the Bible have to say about fatherhood? Are there parallels that can be made with our Heavenly Father? How is a father supposed to treat his sons and daughters? What about how he is to treat the Mom in the home? Please join us for an encouraging look at fatherhood. Participants: Pastor Ben Miller, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Second Amendment - John Whitehead
Air Date: 6/7/2014
The Second Amendment - some rational thoughts from a constitutional attorney

What was the intent of the 2nd amendment? This is part of our Bill of Rights here in America. What about the claim that there is a militarization of police forces occurring in our land? Is there any hope of changing things at the federal level? Are there stories of swat teams entering people's homes and killing innocent civilians? The accounts in this interview may surprise you. Participants: John Whitehead, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Ascension - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 5/31/2014
The Ascension of Jesus Christ- why it matters

What is the significance of the ascension of Christ? Ascension Day was this past Thursday and some churches celebrated it with a special mid-week Ascension service. Also this Sunday some churches will give special attention to this theme in their preaching. The Ascension itself is an act of triumph and victory. The glory of Christ's ascension is that we now have a Prophet, Priest and King enthroned in the heavens, and our risen Lord is now accessible to all men everywhere. The ascension marks the inauguration of a new order. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Volunteerism - Tom Planz
Air Date: 5/24/2014
Volunteerism - How it works in the Olive Fire Department in upstate New York

What's it like to be a volunteer fireman? Why do people volunteer their time to such an immense responsibility? Can anyone join the local fire department? What if you don't know anything about fighting a fire? Find out more about this interesting topic, and while the interview is local to the Town of Olive, it covers many principles that apply to other rural areas. Participants: Tom Planz, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Marriage - Rev. Ben Miller
Air Date: 5/17/2014
Marriage - what is God's perspective?

What is marriage all about? If we look beyond the modern rhetoric and debates about marriage, can we find out what God actually thinks about it? Also, what responsibility did God give to mankind from the early days as documented in the book of Genesis? Did you know that God delights in differences, that is diversity? What about the modern ideology that frames men and women as having power over one another, rather than a biblical view of mutual submission and love? This is a breakthrough perspective that really will bring peace to your life. Learn more about the biblical perspective on marriage in this edition of A Plain Answer. Our guest is pastor of Trinity Church on Long Island (http://trinitychurchlongisland.com/). For questions, feel free to contact Pastor Miller at 631-629-4528. Participants: Rev. Ben Miller, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Scripture and Tradition - Dr. Kevin Chiarot
Air Date: 5/10/2014
Scripture and Tradition - How are we to understand

What is the relationship between scripture and tradition? What did the Protestant Reformation teach about Sola scriptura? What is the difference between "Sola" and "Solo" scriptura? How was the canon of scripture determined? Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Local government for the glory of God - Dr. Joel McDurmon
Air Date: 5/3/2014
Local government for the glory of God - civil magistrates serving Christ

What can you do when there is federal overreach? If your liberties are taken away, is there a legitimate way to intervene and one that is God-honoring? What did the Apostle Paul mean when he described the civil magistrate as a being God's minister to you for good? What if we affected our local area for good and obeyed God in a bottom's up approach? Wouldn't that be much better and bring glory to God? Join us for this discussion with American Vision's Director of Research. Find out about a good resource for further study that addresses education, welfare, local government, taxation, the free market, the courts and executive power - all from a biblical view point. Participants: Dr. Joel McDurmon, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Medical missions to Macedonia
Air Date: 4/26/2014
Medical Missions to Macedonia - God building His kingdom through doctors ministering in love to others

God is working in this world, and one place is in Macedonia. Christian doctors ban together to minister the love of Jesus Christ to those with medical needs. People are served and educated, and God is glorified! In our discussion today we cover a recent missions trip to Macedonia and review the great things that God is doing in that country. We also talk about life and what it means to Christian families with respect to having children. Participants: Dr. Frank Imbarrato, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Living with our deepest differences
Air Date: 4/19/2014
Living with our deepest differences - seeking peace within divergent worldviews

How do we live with others who have diverse worldviews - some of which are mutually exclusive to our own? Are there general guidelines that can help us seek peace in this world, while still retaining our own religious freedoms? Today on A Plain Answer, we discuss this important topic with Christian scholar and author Os Guinness. Os recently wrote the book: "The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity" Participants: Os Guinness, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: We become like what we worship
Air Date: 4/12/2014
We become like what we worship

Do you get discouraged as you look at the illness in society? What about gangs and violence, or the increasing number of people on the public dole? What about those who determine right from wrong via polling rather than by using God's objective standard? It really turns out that our problems are not political at the root, and they are not cultural at the root. The fact is, we become like what we worship. So if you are worshiping an idol, then you become like that idol more and more. Worship is necessarily public, whether or not it is conducted in private. If you worship Jesus Christ, then you become more and more like Christ. Join us for an interesting discussion. Participants: Rev. Doug Wilson, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The UN and climate change
Air Date: 4/5/2014
The UN and climate change - taking a closer look at the issue

This past week we heard of a report from the United Nations. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the report confirms that the effects of human-caused climate change are already widespread and consequential, affecting agriculture, human health, ecosystems on land and in the oceans, water supplies, and some industries. We take a closer look at this area and in particular, the cause and effect relationships. Is climate change truly the result of human action? Our guest provides a couple of examples of local or regional changes that can occur. Deforestation of a large area would have an effect, or another example is the grouping of people into one relatively small area. But what about "global" climate change? Is there a verifiable relationship between human-caused CO2 and climate change? Join us for an interesting discussion. Participants: Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Discernment
Air Date: 3/29/2014
Discernment - A great need in the Christian community

Discernment is a wonderful gift. The basic principles of the Christian life goes along with being skilled in the Word of righteousness. We review Hebrews 5:12-14: "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." The importance of exercise - that is people who put themselves regularly into the "gym" of God's teaching and practice. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christian counseling
Air Date: 3/22/2014
Christian Counseling - what are its distinctives?

Is there anything unique about Christian counseling? How does it stand out and are there presuppositions particular to this field of work? Are counseling issues really worship issues? Many people seek counsel - in this episode of A Plain Answer, we discuss the topic of counseling with a Christian man who works in this field. Participants: Rev. John Mallin, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Stewardship of Creation
Air Date: 3/15/2014
The Stewardship of creation and climate change

Have you thought about this world and what your responsibility is with respect to enhancing the beauty and safety of the earth, and utilizing its resources? We know that we are to care for the poor, and protect them against oppression. Is wealth the big threat to the environment? We discuss this question. What are the documented scientific observations related to the earth's temperature over time? Is there a relationship between human-produced carbon dioxide and global warming? How are we to view the earth as Christians and what are the implications of the gospel of Christ? Much more information is available at: http://www.cornwallalliance.org/ - check it out. Participants: Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Lent
Air Date: 3/8/2014
Lent - A time for repentance and re-commitment to Jesus Christ

What is Lent? Certainly the Roman church observes it, but what about Protestants? Why the 40 days - where does that come from? In this discussion we take a thoughtful look at Lent and encourage participation in it. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: How is God at work in Macedonia?
Air Date: 3/1/2014
How is God at work in Macedonia?

It is easy to become self-absorbed. The seeming pressures of American life can sometimes distract us from the Great Commission. Learn about a very up-to-date missions opportunity in Macedonia. The Macedonians are asking for help and Christian doctors are responding. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we discuss this unique opportunity with a local doctor who is heading up another medical missions trip into this country. Learn about how the Holy Spirit is awakening a people to the truth of God's word and how Christians are ministering all aspects of Christ's love to anyone who needs help. Participants: Dr. Frank Imbarrato, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian Sabbath
Air Date: 2/22/2014
The Lord's Day - A Christian Sabbath

What is the Christian Sabbath? Since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christians have been meeting for worship on the first day of the week. The day is transformed, and yet the Sabbath is a creation ordinance, and is part of the Ten Commandments. Is it still appropriate for God's people to set one day aside for rest, worship and general well being? What did Jesus mean when He said that the Sabbath was made for man? Do you find that you are wearing yourself out with constant activity? Burn out is common. Why not listen to the words of Jesus and implement the Lord's day refreshment into your life? Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: President's Day
Air Date: 2/15/2014
President's Day: A discussion of Lincoln and Washington, plus some thoughts about secession

On President's Day we celebrate the two birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. We also acknowledge all of our presidents. Dr. Vought spends part of our time discussing the movie "Lincoln" - the 2012 American historical drama film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. We also discuss the time frame of Lincoln's presidency and the war that took place. Lincoln tragically died by an assassin's bullet just prior to the end of the war. Dr. Vought reviews Lincoln's keen understanding of moral boundaries. We delve into the sensitive area of secession and what might be the likelihood of secession in our own day. Also, as a Constitutional Republic, is secession ever legitimate? When is there a right of revolution? Lincoln said that revolution is a right when it is exercised for a morally justifiable cause; but without such a cause, revolution is no right but simply a wicked exercise of physical power. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Medical Missions
Air Date: 2/8/2014
Medical Missions - serving the Lord by loving people and caring for them

Caring for people really involves caring for the whole person - Body, emotions, and the spiritual. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we talk with a local medical doctor who is also a Christian. He spends some of his time each year donating his services to help the down and out. This is not a government program but rather it flows from the low level and from hearts of love. The compassion of Jesus Christ is ministered to many hurting people through the highly trained medical community. Please tune in to learn about an approach that is effective, low cost, and is serving people in several parts of the world as well as here in the Hudson Valley. Here in the Hudson Valley, there is a non-profit group that is helping the down and out and needs your support. They are Christ Health Care Ministry, and their website is found at: http://www.christhealthcareministry.org/ . Participants: Dr. Frank Imbarrato, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The battle to disconnect in a culture of constant connectedness
Air Date: 2/1/2014
The battle to disconnect in a culture of constant connectedness

Have you recently gone into a diner for lunch, looked around and seen people sitting across from each other, but not talking? Instead they are "texting" and checking email. This is not wrong, but it does give us pause regarding how busy we have become without the freedom to have some "down time," and truly relax. In this episode of A Plain Answer we look at this timely topic with a pastor from Long Island who has been in the pastorate a long time. We explore what is meant by a Christian Sabbath, and some suggestions how to maintain sanity in a world that is so busy that it seems like we cannot breathe. What do the Scriptures have to say? Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The way things used to be
Air Date: 1/25/2014
The way things used to be, and thoughts on returning our republic to God

We are losing our great nation. Our country has changed so very much and unfortunately it has not changed for the better. But all is not lost. In this broadcast we look at two aspects of steps we can take to help our nation return to things that matter. You will have to listen to the podcast as we don't want to give away too much in this little write up! This is the first time on A Plain Answer that there is only one participant. It is yours truly.


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A Plain Answer: The Book of Revelation
Air Date: 1/18/2014
The Book of Revelation: Read it and be blessed!

The book of Revelation contains a promise for those who read it. When we read through the entire book, and see the book as a whole, we find ourselves worshiping the Lamb, cheering for the saints, detesting the beast, longing for the end, and wanting to bear steadfast witness. These things are of critical importance to the church of any age. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Baptism of Jesus
Air Date: 1/11/2014
The Baptism of Jesus - What it means and our response to it

The baptism of Jesus is an historical fact - testified to even by secular historians. For us Christians it has immense importance. Jesus Christ, the messiah from heaven, identified with us in His baptism. He calls us to identify with Him. Christian baptism is not an option. Any sincere believer in Christ is required by God to receive this sign and seal of God's covenant of grace. In Jesus' baptism, we see Jesus' active obedience. He was the only man who ever lived who was perfectly holy. Jesus would not have been our Savior unless he fully identified with us. Do you take baptism seriously? What if you were a Muslim convert to Christianity? If you as a Muslim, were to be baptized in Saudi Arabia - that would be your death sentence. Do we take baptism as seriously as the Muslims do? This is a telling question. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Epiphany
Air Date: 1/4/2014
Epiphany - Light has come!

The term epiphany means "to show" or "to make known" or even "to reveal." In Western churches, it commemorates the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King. Jesus appeared to the world, and the church calendar lists January 6 as Epiphany day. We are reminded that Jesus came not only for the house of Israel, but for the whole world. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Christian Approach to the New Year
Air Date: 12/28/2013
A Christian approach to the New Year

The New Year is just around the corner. A new year can almost be scary at times - there are health concerns, financial challenges, and loss of loved ones. The Scripture is sufficient for us to look to it and the One who wrote it, for comfort and direction to the believer. We know personally, this Sovereign God who has revealed Himself in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. By His Holy Spirit, he comes to us and transforms our dead hearts and places a love for God in these hearts of stone. We have relationship with this Sovereign God and realize that He loves us, and yet He is all-powerful. Our guest is a younger pastor who ministers in Queens NY. He mentions an important Bible verse to keep in mind as we enter the new year: "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9. Participants: Rev. Jonathan Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Special Christmas focus on foreign missions
Air Date: 12/17/2013
Our 2013 Christmas focus: Foreign missions in very dangerous places

How would you like to be a missionary in a place where bombs are going off? In fact ministering in a war zone? What if the Lord called you after you got out of say, the military - and you wanted a real challenge to spread the gospel. The kind of men needed for this mission field among terrorists need to have thick skin and tender hearts. You are not killing people, but you are using your military skills to survive behind enemy lines and survive being ambushed and bombed. Sound interesting? Well, it is, and it is a mission field that is not for the faint of heart. However, since God not only orders all events after the counsel of His will, but He also orders the "means," any headway made in the spread of the gospel in such an environment, is 100% due to the grace of God. He uses the tools of tough men with a tough love for God. Interested? Join us today for this discussion of spreading the Historic Christian faith in the front lines of the faith. Participants: Dr. Peter Hammond, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Why we celebrate Advent
Air Date: 12/14/2013
Why we celebrate Advent, and the uniqueness of Jesus

We are in the midst of Advent. Advent is the beginning of the Church year. In this edition of A Plain Answer, we explore the greatness of the Christian faith. The coming to this world of Jesus was an objective, verifiable, historical event. He is very unique in history. We have inherited a rich faith, and Advent in particular is an event which the church in her wisdom over the ages, has seen as a time of reflection on the coming of Jesus. A surprise may be that both comings of Christ (1st and 2nd) are in view in Advent. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Obamacare punishes married couples
Air Date: 12/7/2013
Obamacare and the fact that it penalizes married couples

Did you know that married couples are penalized by Obamacare? Besides the frustrations of millions of cancelled polices, increased costs and frustrations with the Obamacare website, there are further problems. Listen carefully to the facts of why married couples are penalized. Participants: Dr. Richard Land, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Worship, Liturgy and the Christian Calendar as we approach Advent
Air Date: 11/30/2013
Worship, Liturgy and the Christian Calendar as we approach Advent

There is something very special to the Christian about the next 4 weeks. The Advent season is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we step back and take a look at the Christian worship service. What is liturgy? What is the Christian calendar? Does using old, time-tested prayers negate the working of the Holy Spirit? Join us for a thoughtful discussion, and enjoy the coming season of Advent! Participants: Rev. Ben Miller, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Thanksgiving
Air Date: 11/21/2013
Thanksgiving - A time to give thanks to the Triune God of the Scriptures

Are you truly thankful to God for His kind mercies and benefits? In this episode of A Plain Answer, we go back in time and look at the Pilgrims. What were some of the hardships they faced and how did they respond? What were some unusual providences? When did the day of Thanksgiving become nationally recognized? We also briefly touch upon the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which occurred on November 19. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev Mark Diedrich, Bill Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Why the shut down of a primary lead smelter plant matters
Air Date: 11/13/2013
Run away federal agencies: Why the shut down of the last primary lead smelter plant in the US really matters

A magazine article recently appeared which documented the EPA-imposed shutdown of the last remaining primary lead smelter plan in the United States. While this doesn't seem like a big deal, it really is. In this discussion, the Senior editor of The New American magazine joins us to talk about this far-reaching news item. A primary lead smelter plant takes the raw ore and produces new lead for us to use in many of our products. Lead is used in automobile batteries, wheel chair batteries, UPS batteries (used in computer server environments), medical equipment, solar-powered off grid systems, and more. Of special interest also is that lead is a primary component of ammunition. For those of us who enjoy the outdoors, including hunting and target practice, this move by the EPA will have dire consequences. The EPA is merely an agency of the Federal government. It was established by an executive order from President Nixon and has been funded by Congress. Join us for this discussion of lead and why we need primary lead smelter plants in the United States, rather than having our hands forced to purchase from China and other countries. Participants: William F. Jasper, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christian Radio - a power tool in the hands of the Lord
Air Date: 11/9/2013
Christian Radio - A powerful tool in the hands of the Lord

Christian radio takes many forms. In this installment of A Plain Answer, our morning host Cal Carter joins us to discuss how the Lord uses radio as an outreach to people who need the Lord. We discuss this missionary aspect of radio and the call of the gospel that can occur via this important medium. Also we cover the help that Christian radio gives to church members. Finally we give an inside look at a brand new project to plant a powerful 7000 watt signal in southeast Maryland, in St. Mary's county, for Redeemer Broadcasting. Participants: Cal Carter, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Kingdom
Air Date: 11/2/2013
The Kingdom - a biblical theme that is of great importance

What did Jesus mean when He spoke of the Kingdom of God? Is this only a spiritual kingdom? Does it only have its fulfillment in the eschaton? What does kingdom life look like this side of eternity? Is there biblical warrant for expecting all aspects of this world to be brought under the kingship of the Lord Jesus Christ? Participants: Rev. Troy Greene, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Stewardship of Creation
Air Date: 10/26/2013
How can we be good stewards of God's creation?

The Cornwall Alliance is a network of evangelical theologians, scientists, economists, and others. There are about 60 scholars in the network, and they are involved in promoting: 1. Biblical earth stewardship (enhance the beauty, fruitfulness and safety of the earth). 2. Economic development for the very poor. 3. The proclamation and defense of the gospel of Christ. One subject we discuss is the modern environmentalist movement and whether it is consistent with the Christian faith. Participants: Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Grief and the Christian
Air Date: 10/19/2013
Grief and the Christian

What about the Christian and grief? What kinds of emotions are experienced as we go through the grievous losses in our lives? Are there feelings of guilt or regret as we are faced with the finality of our loss? What if you feel like your faith will not be able to survive your loss? Sometimes with the death of a loved one, we feel an almost unremitting sorrow when it sinks in that we can no longer have this person in our lives. For the person who is dying, sometimes there is intense sorrow that they have to leave things undone. What is the dynamic that life in this fallen world "plays" on us? What about the Scripture - how does it provide comfort for the child of God? What about the feelings of loss with divorce, or perhaps a job loss? There is a Pioneer - One who has forged the way, and has defeated death, and has been raised from the dead. Please join us for this honest discussion of a serious topic. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Long range redemptive history
Air Date: 10/12/2013
God's Redemptive history and the need for adopting a long range vision for Kingdom advancement

Why is it that we as Christians are so short sighted in modern 21st century America? In today's discussion we take a look at God's Redemptive plan in history. God's unfolding of His plan often takes much longer than we think with our puny understanding. We talk about having an eschatological perspective and frame that within the relative slowness of God's moving. We talk about Abraham, and the bondage of Israel for 400 years! The advance of God's kingdom takes time and we are to be encouraged as we diligently serve our Lord with keen focus. We know that God is on His throne and that His Kingdom will be successful. Participants: Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian man in this world
Air Date: 10/5/2013
The Christian man and his God-given role in this world

The Christian man and his God given roles - this week we look at the Christian man in the World, or you could say, society. God said "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. (Gen. 1:26)" What did He mean by this? What about the times when we as men sin - what are we to do? What should be our perspective with respect to work? Things are bad, so is there any reason to be optimistic? Yes there is! Listen to this podcast to find out more. We also talk about callings. Quite often our callings are not the same as what we do to earn money. It's nice when they can match but often they don't match. Sometimes later in life we are blessed with the opportunity to do our callings full time. Regarding callings, just suppose you passionately see something that needs to get done; and others just don't see it like you do. Well, very possibly you are looking at a calling for your life. Participants: Dr. George Grant, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Trinity
Air Date: 9/28/2013
The Trinity - One God, three Persons

The Bible never uses the word Trinity, and yet the concept is undeniably present in the Scriptures. We start our discussion by reviewing another monotheistic religion, namely Islam. The unique position of Christianity is that we believe in one God, and yet there are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. Participant: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Education
Air Date: 9/21/2013
Education - a look at Christian Schools and Classical Schools

Our guest today is Pastor and educator Doug Wilson of Moscow, Idaho. We discuss the notion of a Christian approach to education. What is meant by the biblical assertion that "Jesus is Lord?" Is there neutrality in education? What is a classical education? Participants: Pastor Doug Wilson, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A relationship with Christ
Air Date: 9/14/2013
Knowing Christ personally - what does that mean?

Have you experienced the actual presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life? As we read the Scriptures, we discover that it talks about God coming into our life. This simple fact can become obscure to us if we lose our focus and simply pit the tradition of one group against another. There is something more than just an intellectual understanding - the fact is, a person can be united to Christ. Metaphysically there is something about a Christian that really sets that person off from another person who has not experienced the presence of Christ. If after listening to this podcast, you find that you would like to exchange notes with us about coming to Christ, our email address is: ministry@redeemerbroadcasting.org Participants: Dr. Joel Nederhood, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: What about the Christians in Syria?
Air Date: 9/7/2013
What about the Christians in Syria? How does this possible attack impact them?

Have you given much thought to the fate of the Christians in Syria? Did you know that they actually prefer Assad's regime as compared with the alternative? What if America attacks Syria - how would that adversely affect our brothers and sisters in the Lord who live in Syria? Participants; Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Syria
Air Date: 8/31/2013
Syria - what is at stake, and what should be our involvement?

Syria is in the news because of the chemical weapons used in an attack early last week in a Damascus suburb. Our President feels that the United States must do something militarily. We do not agree. In this episode of A Plain Answer we interview Dr. Hans Vought, Professor Ulster County Community College. Is it proper for the United States to basically consider itself the world's policeman? And by what standard do we make such moral judgments? The number of people murdered on August 21 in Syria was 1400. That of course, is a terrible tragedy. But what about America? Statistically, just yesterday, we stood by and allowed abortionists to kill 3300 unborn babies. Can we take the moral high ground on Syria and lob some bombs over there, killing even more people, when we are exterminating the most vulnerable among us? Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Keys
Air Date: 8/23/2013
'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven' - what did Jesus mean?

In Matthew 16, is recorded Peter's confession of Christ. Jesus then turns to Peter and says: "...I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.." In this program, we discuss the authority that has been given exclusively to the Christian church. Protestants and Catholics do not agree as to the meaning of this exact verse. Catholics see this as pointing to the role of the Pope. Protestants on the other hand, also see this statement as pertaining to authority, but come out with a different conclusion. The Protestant Reformation would teach that the church has authority from Christ, through the Apostles, to preach the gospel of the Jesus Christ, to teach the whole counsel of God, and to administer the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. The Reformation position is that the administration of these Sacraments are within the purview of the Church only. We also address a listener's question/assertion regarding being baptized by a non-church group. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Philosophy - Why Study it?
Air Date: 8/17/2013
Philosophy - Should Christians engage this field of study?

Have you ever studied college level Philosophy? What about Plato, Aristotle, or St. Augustine? Or the later philosophers - Rene Descartes, John Locke. What about David Hume, Hegel, or even Karl Marx; do these names scare you? They shouldn't. Christ is Lord over all. We should not shy away from studying any of these men. Today our guest shares with us why we should consider studying this topic, as Christians, for the glory of God! We are encouraged to use philosophy, particularly on a historical level, to combat the postmodern age in which we live. Participants: Justin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Missions to Indonesia
Air Date: 8/10/2013
Indonesia - How God is advancing the gospel of Christ

Indonesia. What comes to your mind as you think of this country of islands? If you think Muslims, yes that is a big part of the picture. In fact, Indonesia comprises the world's largest Muslim nation by popuation. In this edition of A Plain Answer we interview a pastor who has a burden for the gospel of Christ in reaching Muslims in Indonesia. Join us as we learn about nine new churches that have been planted, and 27 Classical Christian schools in Indonesia. God is working in marvelous ways. Also we will briefly discuss another outreach happening among the Kurdish peoples in Iraq. Praise God for these works! Participants: Dr. George Grant, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A church plant in Queens and a young pastor blessed by God
Air Date: 8/3/2013
A church plant in Queens NY and a young pastor led by God

Young people in Christian ministry are all too familiar with the decision of what to do with their lives. Where is the Lord leading? What is the call of God like, and how do you know when He has truly directed your paths? In this episode of A Plain Answer, we talk with a younger pastor, who the Lord has placed in a church plant in Queens NY. The church is an Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) and is very active in reaching out to the New York City community in which they live. Coming up this month, they will again be hosting their popular BBQ&A - a barbecue question and answer. The BBQ&A resumes on August 18 and is held at Cunningham Park. There is free food, a 10 to 15 minute sermon and then an open-ended question and answer session. It is a fun, yet meaningful event. If you live in this area, you are cordially invited to come for a very special Sunday afternoon. There is even nursery help if you need it. Join us for this engaging discussion about how the Lord is using a young man and the church he pastors, in evangelical gospel ministry to reach their community with the love of Jesus Christ. Want to contact Jonathan? He can be reached at: jon@refpres.com , or visit the church's website at: www.refpres.com . Participants: Rev. Jonathan Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Church and Society
Air Date: 7/27/2013
Church and Society - Is there a relationship between the two?

Is there a relationship between the church and society? What if a church loses its first love and embraces the world - what if it rejects the deity of Christ? What if churches turn from marriage between one man and one woman, and redefine this sacred bond? Does the affect of their teaching and practices connect in some way to society? Please join us for this interesting and timely discussion! Another item we cover is the notion of *some* churches forsaking the gospel of Christ, while many do not. On this point we take a look again at the heresy of Harold Camping. As you may recall, he came to the false conclusion that all churches were sinful and that Satan reigned in all churches. In asserting this, he intentionally ignored many godly Bible-based churches. Harold Camping essentially ascribed to Satan, the works of the Holy Spirit, and it was indeed blasphemous. Participants: Dr. Mark Allison, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: National sins and God's response
Air Date: 7/19/2013
National sins: Are we under the judgment of God?

Have you ever considered that God sometimes leaves a nation to their own ways, and no longer blesses a people because of their gross sins. If so, the question is, have we reached that point in America? What about during the 1860's with the slavery issue? What did the leaders of that day have to say? Was the war a punishment? If so, then both North and South were being punished, according to Lincoln. But there was another problem in the 1860's too, and it was in particular, the North's aversion to really bad theology; theology that robbed God of His glory. What about today? Is God leaving us to our own ways because we have turned our backs on him as a nation? This is a very disturbing thought. One thought towards the end of the discussion is this: "We shouldn't be misled into thinking that because we live in a rich and powerful nation (and many ways the richest and most powerful nation there's ever been) that somehow that's a sign of blessing and that we're invulnerable. Every great empire; every great nation in history has fallen and collapsed, and the United States of America will be no exception." Join us for an interesting discussion. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Macedonia
Air Date: 7/13/2013
Macedonia - a call to medical missions

In this podcast we talk about medical missions to Macedonia. The call to this part of the world was certainly on the Apostle Paul's mind, when we read of it in Acts 16:6-10. "Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." There is a modern day call to this same region. Join us as Dr. Frank Imbarrato shares with us the joy of serving these people with medical missions. Participants: Dr. Frank Imbarrato, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Medical Missions
Air Date: 7/6/2013
Medical Missions - how to serve Christ and minister to the whole person

Suppose you wanted to share the gospel of Christ with a person, but their attention was distracted due to a painful headache. Do you think they would want to listen to you with a throbbing migraine headache? Not hardly. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we talk with a medical doctor who has a practice in Monroe, and he also dedicates his time to helping people in third world countries. Ministering to the whole person was modeled by our Lord Jesus Christ. Join us for this soul-searching podcast and learn more about how you can participate in the Great Commission. Participants: Dr. Frank Imbarrato, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg
Air Date: 6/29/2013
The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1-3, 1863. It became one of the decisive battles of the Civil War, also known as The War Between the States. In this discussion we take a look at some of the details of the battle as well as some interesting tidbits. For example, what was the spiritual condition leading up to the war? What happened towards the end of the war in terms of revival in the land? Why was this battle decisive and how was it a key turning of events in the war? Would the Confederates ever again fight another battle on Northern soil? Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Obamacare - an update
Air Date: 6/22/2013
Obamacare: a thoughtful update and discussion

Obamacare increasingly is affecting our lives. Here at Redeemer, we have heard from numerous doctors and nurses, all of which are very concerned over Obamacare. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we look at the facts as we understand them, of this gigantic piece of legislation. Our special guest is Twila Brase, RN. Twila is the President of the Citizen's Council of Health Freedom. Participants: Twila Brase, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Spirit-filled life
Air Date: 6/14/2013
What does the Spirit-filled life look like and how does He guide us?

Walking in the Spirit is something that rests on the foundation of the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Life in the Spirit is based on this foundation of justification. We learn that God sent His Son to condemn sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. We discuss guidance in the Christian life, and the role of the Holy Spirit in that. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Saneness in the Modern World
Air Date: 6/8/2013
Saneness in the Modern World - A discussion of work and rest

Have you ever seen two people sitting in a diner, and rather than having a discussion, they are on their cell phones "texting" other people? It happens all too often. That scenario captures the modern tendency of never taking a break. There was a recent article that spoke of how the Smart Phone has done away with the three day weekend. In this episode of A Plain Answer, we take a look at the topic of work and rest. We discuss the Christian Sabbath - the Lord's Day. We discuss the notion of keeping secrets and not exposing every last item of our lives to others. Join us for this timely discussion. We close with an admonition to take the first day of the week (Sunday) off, if at all possible. We are encouraged to join others in corporate worship in church on the Lord's Day. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Holy Spirit
Air Date: 6/1/2013
The Holy Spirit - What the Bible says about Him

The Holy Spirit is a Person and is a gift to us from the Triune God. But He also gives gifts and equips the members of the Body of Christ as we represent Christ to the world. We talk about how important it is that Christ ascended into Heaven and then sent His Holy Spirit. Jesus assured us that we would do greater works because of the empowering of the Holy Spirit. We see this in action as the gospel spreads in a powerful way - worldwide. Another often overlooked area connected with the Spirit filled life is the "fruit" of the Holy Spirit. Probably the greatest aspect of this is the life of love. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Trinity
Air Date: 5/25/2013
The Trinity - an old teaching with profound implications for us today

The Trinity refers to the Bible's teaching that there is only one living and true God. Further that there are three persons in the Godhead - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are the same in substance and are equal. In this discussion we take a look at this important basic teaching of Scripture. There are some interesting implications of this teaching to think about. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Pentecost and what it means to us
Air Date: 5/17/2013
Pentecost - what it means to us as believers

Pentecost will be celebrated this Sunday in many churches. We look back on when the Spirit came down upon His church. But we also realize that the Spirit of God was here since the very beginning. The Holy Spirit was certainly active at many times in Old Testament times. The Holy Spirit worked with His Covenant people all through the ages. We find the Holy Spirit very much in the Old Testament. Yet it is in the New Testament that something very special happens. Now since Jesus has ascended, Jesus has sent us the "Comforter," and that is the Holy Spirit. Now, every believer in Christ has the Holy Spirit and is regularly to be filled with the Spirit. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Imagination
Air Date: 5/11/2013
Imagination - An important part of our lives

Imagination is a faculty which we possess from God. There is both a sanctified and a sinful imagination. There are any number of literary works that are based on good imagination. This would be fantasy works. The world of engineering is also tied in some ways to imagination, that is, in terms of new inventions. In some ways, imagination is essential to civilization. We also touch upon good music. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Memory
Air Date: 5/4/2013
Memory - A human faculty that is tied to who we are

Today we discuss human memory as it relates to living life, history and culture. The ability to retain and relive the past events in our life is very important to us. What about Alzheimer's Disease? This is an extremely difficult situation for many folks. We also talk about the animals as compared to humans. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Lord's Prayer
Air Date: 4/27/2013
The Lord's Prayer - A closer look

The Lord's Prayer is recorded in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. It is an important prayer in the life of the Historic Christian church and finds frequent use in our worship services. In this discussion we look at the beginning of the prayer and two of its petitions. We spend some time looking at the second petition, which is "Thy kingdom come." One aid in helping us to understand this second petition is the Shorter Catechism, which says: "In the second petition, which is, Thy kingdom come, we pray that Satan's kingdom may be destroyed; and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened." We talk about the increase of the kingdom of grace, this side of eternity, as well as the yet to come kingdom of glory. In our time, there seems to be a lack of appreciation of the first aspect, namely the successful advance of the kingdom of grace. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: More Easy Chair discussions
Air Date: 4/20/2013
The Easy Chair - Pull up a chair and have a chat today

Today we discuss more personalities and cultural issues and news items. Pope Francis was recently elected Pope and was in the news. We note that the pressures in society and the hostilities against Christians have in effect to a degree, pushed Christian traditions together and we appreciate each other more, now that the world is attacking Christianity with such fervor. We discuss the resignation of Benedict. He remains a Bishop, and no longer has the authority that he once had in the Roman Catholic tradition. The new Pope Francis has a Jesuit background. We try and be fair to the Roman Catholic views as we describe them, putting the most charitable description upon that tradition, even though as Protestants we have major differences. Back to our first point, the issues in our world force the various Christian traditions to work together in order to stand against the onslaught of secularism and the erosion of our religious freedoms. The rule of ideas is real and we have almost reverted back to paganism. A side note, we take some time to encourage pastors to be studious in their approach. We must be as the Apostle Paul or St. Augustine. That is, well read in order to confront the forces of our day. We desire our fellow pastors in "sister" churches to be successful in the gospel. We mention some of the books that Pastor Vance is reading (from the standpoint of good scholarship). We encourage reading St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin and others. But secular works are also mentioned so that we can better understand for ourselves the other side and be able to effectively interact with all views. What are you reading? Light devotional works are fine as far as they go, but what about a weightier book? We need to train our minds. After the break we talk about Christians and their involvement in this world, including politics. Jesus expects Christians to engage the world. The Church itself has a role of preaching and teaching the gospel so that we have a Christian mind. But the individual Christian has an extra responsibility through our membership in the body politic. We must apply the Christian view to the times in which we live. That is, we must understand our times so that we can engage the world for Christ. Finally we touch upon some issues. One issue is that Obamacare is a threat on our religious freedoms. Further, Utopian Statism is a huge threat for us right now. Finally there is an attack upon charitable giving. These are bald attacks upon what we took as the basic freedoms that we once had. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Easy Chair Discussion - Several personalities who influenced culture
Air Date: 4/13/2013
Easy Chair Discussion - several personalities who influenced culture

Ever want to sit back and just have a chat about some news items and a few people who have really influenced our world? Take for example, Margaret Thatcher, C.S. Lewis, and John Bunyan. What about capitalism? Is it consistent with the Bible? What principles from the Bible support free market capitalism? Enjoy this discussion and sit back with us, and just relax! Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Discipleship Evangelism
Air Date: 4/6/2013
Discipleship Evangelism - A synthesis for reaching the world for Christ

We often hear of evangelism, and we hear of discipleship. But what we sometimes miss is the very real overlap of the two, as the Lord uses our outreach to bring others to Himself and make them disciples of Jesus. Sometimes it is not clear where one activity ends and the other begins. So it is in the real world of God working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. This week we discuss this topic with a young man who works for Disciplemakers. Hear his testimony of how the Lord used a friend in his life and how this man grew closer to Christ as a result. Disciplemakers is currently in the Pennsylvania area and works at mostly smaller colleges. Coming up on 4/19 and 4/20 is a training session led by Disciplemakers that is available free of charge to anyone wanting to become better prepared to share the gospel with their friends. Join us for this interesting discussion of the Great Commission in action. Participants: Brian Roberg, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Psalm of the Cross and of the Resurrection
Air Date: 3/29/2013
Psalm 22 - A Psalm of the Cross and of the Resurrection

Psalm 22 from the Old Testament opens with the statement: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" On the cross, our Lord Jesus quoted these very words. Finally He would say "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." The words of Psalm 22 were evidently very much on Jesus' mind as He suffered on the cross. Yet as Calvin said, "there is not one of the godly who doesn't ask himself the same question daily." In other words, we have some encounter ourselves, with the tension between the faithfulness of God and the very difficult realities of life. Jesus' suffered for us - and as we go through times of seemingly God-forsakenness, we know that we have a Savior who behaves faithfully in the midst of despair. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Are you optimistic for the gospel?
Air Date: 3/23/2013
Are you optimistic for the gospel? How much do you let this world influence your view of missions?

We live in times characterized by the heavy hand of government, loss of jobs, deep financial problems, and loss of personal freedoms. It is very tempting to "throw in the towel" as it were, and adopt a pessimism that affects our view of the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But God doesn't have this for us. He tells us of great exploits of the gospel as His word is proclaimed and His people live holy lives for Him. Join us this week for an encouraging discussion that will lift your heart from the negativity of our time. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The exclusivity of Christ as the way of salvation
Air Date: 3/16/2013
Is Christ the only way to God? What our Savior taught on this subject

Is there more than one way to God? If you are interested in Jesus and what He said about Himself, then this discussion may pique your interest for further consideration. The historical Jesus made statements about a number of things - care for the poor, harmony, justice, etc. People like most of what he said -but what about when the subject takes a turn to how we are saved? Are there multiple paths to God? Did Jesus claim exclusivity for Himself as the way to God? We live in a time of multiculturalism and diversity. In fact these two areas have nearly become a religion unto themselves. Join this discussion for insight into how Jesus really defined and described himself. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: What if you never heard the gospel?
Air Date: 3/8/2013
What if you never heard the gospel? Thoughts about the ordinary means and the extraordinary means

Just think if you had never heard the gospel story? Some people in this world have never had the privilege of hearing about Jesus and they die without Christ. What about an infant of Christian parents who dies? These questions and others are discussed in today's A Plain Answer. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A missionary couple returns to the field
Air Date: 3/2/2013
A missionary couple returns to the field

This is a discussion with a sweet missionary couple about their work in aviation in support of SIL in Brazil. SIL is associated with the Summer Institutes of Linguistics. Wycliffe translates the Bible into the heart language of the people. The aviation program allows efficient travel in support of the translators, as well as emergency transportation. Participants: Jeremiah Diedrich, Julie Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Assurance of Salvation
Air Date: 2/23/2013
Assurance of Salvation - do you have it?

What about Christian assurance? Can we have confidence of the Lord's love for us and of our eternal home in heaven? Some time ago, there was a group of people who followed a confused Bible teacher who predicted that the return of Christ would be May 21, 2011. But of these people that I talked with, every one of them did not possess Christian assurance of their eternal salvation. All they could say was "cry out to God." Or, "I hope God will save me." There was no warm and abiding assurance but only a fear of judgment day. Is this the best that God has for us? Each of these people had forsaken the church and were in disobedience to God's command of not forsaking the assembly of ourselves together. Is there not much more for the Bible-believing, faithful Christian? Yes there is! Join us for this discussion to find out more. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: President's Day
Air Date: 2/17/2013
President's Day - a closer look at President Lincoln including a look at secession

On President's Day we celebrate the two birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. We also acknowledge all of our presidents. Dr. Vought spends part of our time discussing the movie "Lincoln" - the 2012 American historical drama film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. We also discuss the time frame of Lincoln's presidency and the war that took place. Lincoln tragically died by an assassin's bullet just prior to the end of the war. Dr. Vought reviews Lincoln's keen understanding of moral boundaries. We delve into the sensitive area of secession and what might be the likelihood of secession in our own day. Also, as a Constitutional Republic, is secession ever legitimate? When is there a right of revolution? Lincoln said that revolution is a right when it is exercised for a morally justifiable cause; but without such a cause, revolution is no right but simply a wicked exercise of physical power. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Valentine's Day
Air Date: 2/9/2013
Valentine's Day - an important day - enjoy it

Valentine's Day does not appear to have any pagan antecedents. It is a great time to express our love for our spouses and also for those who are about to get married. We remember those we love perhaps with flowers, candies, a meal out together, etc. But there is something more too, and that is the love of God as expressed in Jesus Christ. Valentine's Day is almost here - enjoy it! Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer - The Book of Revelation
Air Date: 2/2/2013
The Book of Revelation - read it and be blessed

The book of Revelation contains a promise for those who read it. When we read through the entire book, and see the book as a whole, we find ourselves worshiping the Lamb, cheering for the saints, detesting the beast, longing for the end, and wanting to bear steadfast witness. These things are of critical importance to the church of any age. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: College Experiences
Air Date: 1/26/2013
College Experiences - how to handle attending a secular school

Going to a secular college can be a scary prospect for Christian students and their parents. Are there any practices which can help the students to survive and not become ship wrecked in their faith? What about those who are on a campus already and have never known Jesus Christ? In this episode of A Plain Answer, we interview two students, both recently graduated from Stony Brook University. We review how the Lord worked in both of their lives. Participants: Stephen Elmendorf, Ozan Bellik, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Temptations of Jesus
Air Date: 1/19/2013
The Temptations of Jesus - why the temptations and what they accomplished

The temptations of Jesus almost take us by surprise. Jesus was just baptized in the river Jordan, and we would expect that the next item on the agenda would be Jesus' immediate public ministry, but instead, our Lord is driven into the wilderness for 40 days. Notice the tactics that our enemy uses - he attacks Christians when they are at their low point. But not to fear. Our focus is to remain on Christ and not Satan. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Baptism of Jesus
Air Date: 1/12/2013
The Baptism of Jesus - What it means and our response to it

The baptism of Jesus is an historical fact - testified to even by secular historians. For us Christians it has immense importance. Jesus Christ, the messiah from heaven, identified with us in His baptism. He calls us to identify with Him. Christian baptism is not an option. Any sincere believer in Christ is required by God to receive this sign and seal of God's covenant of grace. In Jesus' baptism, we see Jesus' active obedience. He was the only man who ever lived who was perfectly holy. Jesus would not have been our Savior unless he fully identified with us. Do you take baptism seriously? What if you were a Muslim convert to Christianity? If you as a Muslim, were to be baptized in Saudi Arabia - that would be your death sentence. Do we take baptism as seriously as the Muslims do? This is a telling question. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Story of Life - Continued
Air Date: 1/4/2013
A Story of Life - A continuation of the account of a special baby

We interview Jeremiah and Julie Diedrich - a missionary couple who tell the story of their baby Anna Karen. This is a continuation of the account which we covered in part in an earlier interview. Baby Anna was a Trisomy 18 baby. Trisomy 18 is a genetic disorder in which a person has a third copy of material from chromosome 18, instead of the usual two copies. These babies usually do not live. Listen to this interview of what this couple experienced as it came time for the premature delivery. Participants: Jeremiah and Julie Diedrich, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The New Year
Air Date: 12/29/2012
The New Year - potentially tough times ahead, but let us be positive!

In this new year we will face any number of challenges, nevertheless there are many opportunities to embrace. How we respond to the turning of the clock should be tied to our Christian worldview. We discuss New Year's resolutions. Pastor Vance reminds us of the parable of the talents. Towards the end of this discussion we weave into the whole area of our nation and the challenges that lay ahead for us in the new year. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christmas
Air Date: 12/22/2012
Christmas - How to enjoy it in the midst of busy or lonely times

Christmas is a time for celebrating with our family and friends. Jesus our Savior has come in the flesh. In this discussion we cover various things such as the enjoyment of the year including the challenge of the busy-ness of preparing for our celebrations. We perceive expectations that are placed upon us, and we would do well to sit down, relax and enjoy the time. Pastor Vance encourages us to pursue simplicity. What about those folks who are lonely this time of year? We talk about some things which may help you. Participants: Dr. John Vance and Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Advent and Christmas
Air Date: 12/14/2012
Advent: What it means and why we celebrate it

We celebrate and "look for" the coming of Christ - both in history looking back, as well as eschatological, at the end of history. Advent has been celebrated since about the 4th century. History turns on the person of Jesus Christ. He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. During Advent we prepare ourselves and focus in a renewed way, upon the Person of Jesus Christ. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Story of Life
Air Date: 12/8/2012
A Story of Life - A missionary couple shares the account of a problem pregnancy

In the studio with us today is a missionary couple who serves with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They have an interesting, yet heart-wrenching story of expecting a baby. The pregnancy however proved to be a problem pregnancy. Find out more about how the Lord helped this dear couple cope each step of the way with the unexpected news of a baby with deformations. Listen to what happened as the baby came prematurely. Finally hear the account of the Lord taking this little one home to be with Himself. Participant: Jeremiah Diedrich, Julie Diedrich, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Obamacare
Air Date: 12/1/2012
Obamacare: A massive government takeover of our personal information and personal health care

Health insurance is being taken over by the Federal Government. "Big Brother" is now fully arrived and this is a freedom issue about all of life. There are organizations which are shedding light on this dangerous takeover. Twila Brase is the President of the Citizen's Council for Health Freedom, and she joins us today to explain the exchanges. The health exchanges will pre-populate the information fields about your personal information. The Federal Government is dependent upon the states saying "yes" to this government takeover of our personal health care. Obamacare offers health care to another 16 million people - but the number of doctors is not increasing and some argue that there is even a decrease as a result of this new law. So the argument that you are covered with a pre-existing condition is a logical "don't care" because the problem becomes whether care will even be available for you. In other words the question is not pre-existing conditions for some, it is rather availability of care for everyone. In the news, several governors have announced that they will not set up state health care exchanges. This past Thursday, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley sent a letter to Secretary of Health Human Services Kathleen Sibelius saying that South Carolina "should not and will not set up a state-based health care exchange." Several other governors, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced that their states would also not set up an exchange. Other states where the governors have made similar declarations include Kansas and Alaska. In Missouri, the Democratic governor announced on Thursday that the state would not set up an exchange either, but that announcement resulted from a ballot measure that forbade the governor from moving forward with an exchange without the approval of the state's legislature. The enormous cost to implement Obamacare has not yet been documented adequately. As you listen to this important interview, you may also want to visit the group's website at: www.cchfreedom.org . Or call them at: 651-646-8935. Some governors are rising up to say "NO" to Obamacare for their state. We laud these governors for their love of freedom and love of protection of our personal information and health choices. Participants: Twila Brase RN, Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Suffering
Air Date: 11/24/2012
Suffering - what good does it serve?

This is the time of year wherein many people feel alone and suffer. You may be in the midst of many people and yet feel terribly alone. The heart of Christianity is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel would not be the gospel, had not Christ Himself suffered for us. Our human sufferings are dealt with in the sufferings of Jesus Christ. In this broadcast we have an easy chair discussion about this important topic. Please come along side and join us. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Thanksgiving
Air Date: 11/17/2012
Thanksgiving - A time to reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of God

Coming up this coming week is Thanksgiving. In 1621 there was a harvest celebration among the Plymouth Colonists and the Wampanoag Indians. There were earlier giving of thanks by peoples who had settled in America, quite some time prior to the Pilgrims - listen to learn more. We are to give thanks for "all things." What does that mean exactly? We discuss this. The Pilgrims lost about 1/2 of their numbers between the travel to American on the ship, and the first year once settled. We discuss the subtle distinctions between the Pilgrims and the Puritans. The fact is, the Pilgrims were Separatists, and yet they are still Puritans. They are called "Pilgrims," in the sense that they were travelers. The difference between them and the Puritans which came to New England 10 years later was that the Pilgrims felt that the Church of England could not be reformed, while the Puritans felt that it could be Reformed, and did not take a separist stance. For further education: A couple of years ago, we covered in detail, the Thanksgiving tradition with our good friend Dr. Hans Vought. That Podcast is contained on this webpage, dated 11/20/2010. The cut and past link is here: http://www.redeemerbroadcasting.org/podcasts/apa_112010_Thanksgiving.mp3 Today's participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Postmortem of Tuesday's Election
Air Date: 11/10/2012
An Election Postmortem - what happened this past Tuesday?

This past Tuesday was an important election. In this edition of A Plain Answer, we look at what happened. We also discuss why the vote went the way it did. We take a look at the ramifications of this vote outcome. There is a divide in our country right now. We see a clash of worldviews and culture. There has been a pitting of class against class and race against race, and it didn't have to be that way. A huge area is our religious liberty and it is under attack. On the positive site, this is an important time for the advance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end of our discussion we end on a surprisingly positive note. Please join us. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Religious Affiliation
Air Date: 11/3/2012
Religious Affiliation - America is growing less religious

According to a recent Pew Forum poll, America is growing less religious. There is growth in atheism, particularly among the university professors and students. There is a gradual supplanting of older people with the young along with their attendant lack of Christian belief. We discuss the difference between freedom of worship, and freedom of religion. People like to say that they are "spiritual," however this does not intersect with orthodox Christianity. What to do about this alarming trend? The religiously unaffiliated typically vote liberal according to the statistics. It is an undisputed fact that a solid majority support legalized abortion. They do this because there is no basis for a moral stance; they become the arbiters of right and wrong, rather than the Word of God. Join us for this discussion to find out more. While all this sounds very pessimistic, know this - that God is over all and He wins. The gospel will advance in a powerful way in history for the glory of Christ. We briefly discuss other areas of the world and the wonderful advance of the gospel. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Church Discipline
Air Date: 10/27/2012
Church Discipline - A tough subject but much needed

What is church discipline and when is it needed? Join us today for a pastoral discussion of this important topic. The first area of discipline is self-discipline. Secondly, if there is a sin between brothers, first go to your brother and seek reconciliation. Church discipline is the last resort, but a needed one in some cases. For the most extreme cases, excommunication is called for. This discussion is very balanced and pastoral, and will lend some balance especially to young men in the ministry who may be overly aggressive in their approach. Later in our discussion we talk about what is meant by "the keys." Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: A Unique Missions Opportunity
Air Date: 10/20/2012
Missions - The love of God to the world and a unique missions opportunity

Imagine what it would be like to be an orphan in a city in Russia. Imagine feeling that you have no hope of ever having a pleasant life, and really no love. In this discussion on missions we take a look at one particular missions outreach, and that is Operation Christmas Child. One of our guests was born in Russia and at age 9 received hope for her life. Missionaries visited her orphanage, and she saw the love of Jesus Christ for the very first time in her life. She was given a "shoebox" filled with practical gifts. For the first time she had her own tooth brush! Jesus said: "assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. The listener has the opportunity to participate in a "packing party" that will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Rock Tavern, next Saturday 10/27/12. Participants: Ellen Siletzky, Oksana Nelson, Sue Croston, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Covenant
Air Date: 10/13/2012
God's Covenant Love - why the Covenant matters to believers

What is the Covenant? Did you know that it is tied to relationship? The word points to the way that God relates to us in Jesus Christ. God has set things up such that there is a structure or nature of the relationship, setting out the terms or grounds of the relationship. The gospel story unfolds in a very organic sort of way. We look at the overall unfolding of God's covenantal workings, in particular the covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David - all of them pointing forward to the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. We learn that in terms of the substance of the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant, that they are essentially one, and yet they are administered differently. We talk about how to read the Bible. The concept of the Covenant is a uniquely helpful paradigm or prism by which to see the Scriptures as one book. We see that God made a covenant with Adam but then Adam breaks that covenant. Then God establishes a promise in the garden - of a Redeemer, and thus graciously establishes a covenant. God then preserves the created order with Noah so that His covenant purposes can go forward, and then He calls Abraham. There for the first time He makes what we might call a redemptive covenant. The characteristics of these covenants are that they are a bond in blood, sovereignly administered by the God of Israel, with His people. When God makes these various covenants, we realize that they are not a different covenant, but they are all related to the others - in other words, they grow organically and all move towards the New Covenant which God makes with Christ, the Second Adam. At the very end of His life, on the night in which He was betrayed, or Lord Jesus institutes and establishes the New Covenant. "This is the New Covenant in my blood," said Jesus - and he thereby was gathering up the Passover meal and the Exodus tradition. The New Covenant is a re-establishment and is in the blood of Jesus. It is new in the sense that it is established in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and given a permanent form. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Issues that Christians care about when voting
Air Date: 10/6/2012
Voting: Issues that matter to the Christian

While we are nonpartisan, we are not amoral. There are several categories of issues which are of great interest to Christians. Morality cannot be separated from politics. There is a relationship between public and private. One item we discuss is religious freedom. This is not the same as freedom to worship. We also discuss some matters which even nature itself teaches us. Despite the assertions of some, we really cannot separate morals from the political sphere. As we head to the voting booths in one month from today, Christians care a great deal about certain issues - and our religious freedom and free speech extend outside of the church walls. We take a look at the religious freedom in Communist nations. The contrast with America may shock you. The fact is our freedoms have been severely eroded of late, and particularly by the health care law. We also take a look at a particular platform statement without saying which party it is from. Some of the verbiage is completely consistent with the Bible. We also talk about the sanctity of human life (including the end of life), as well as marriage being between one man and one woman. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian in the World of Politics
Air Date: 9/29/2012
Christians involvement in the world of politics - is it legitimate?

Is it proper for a Christian to be involved in politics? What does the Christian's role to be salt and light entail? The Bible assumes that we live in a fallen and corrupt world. What about the notion that the candidate must be as perfect as possible? Is it legitimate to vote for a candidate that is the "lesser of two evils?" A minority of well meaning Christians hold to the position that by voting for the lesser of the evils, (it is said) that "you are still voting for evil." We disagree. If you consistently hold to this sentiment, then you will never vote at all. Is that being salt and light? In this discussion we conclude that it is proper and legitimate to vote for less than perfect candidates. The reason is because we must mitigate evil. Listen closely to learn more. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Surprised by Jesus
Air Date: 9/22/2012
Surprised by Jesus - Aspects of Jesus' person you may not have considered

Jesus is fully God and fully man. Sometimes it seems easier for us to accept his divinity than it is to accept His humanity. As we read and think about Jesus, some of the details can almost be surprising. How did Jesus treat His parents? Did Jesus need to pray? Did He worship? We take a look at His sympathy for the downcast, yet his condemnation of those who were externally religious without sincere faith. What kinds of people did Jesus hang out with? What about Jesus' view of children of believing parents? Did the blessing of Jesus accomplish anything? Did you know that there is a man in heaven? Join us for this intriguing look at Jesus Christ and hopefully you will come away with a greater love for our Savior. Participants: Dr. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Battle of Antietam
Air Date: 9/14/2012
The Battle of Antietam - honoring the 150th anniversary

Antietam is one of the pivotal battles of the Civil War. There were over 22,700 killed and wounded on a single day. General McClellan had a tremendous opportunity to win the day, and yet he did not. We discuss what the two sides looked like - for example, many of the Confederate soldiers had no shoes. The 150th anniversary of this important battle is on Monday, September 17, 2012. We also discuss the affect that photography played in the civil war. Now with photography, for the first time, some of the horrors of war could be viewed by folks at home. This played a profound role in people's mind. Also of key significance during this time is Abraham Lincoln's waiting for an important victory to launch the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery was a bone of contention during this time frame. Slavery would become a war issue, which Lincoln would use to his advantage. The Constitution at this point, protected slavery. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Seward Osborne, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian Citizen
Air Date: 9/8/2012
The Christian Citizen and voting your conscience

The Presidential election is November 6, 2012 and there are lots of perspectives to help inform our votes. Christians want to maintain a clear conscience as we vote. At the same time we don't want to throw our vote away. We are often frustrated over a virtual two party system. Both groups seem to be drifting to the left, and one faster than the other. What about the Morman religion? Is it simply another "denomination" under Christianity? No it isn't - listen to this podcast to find out more. What if Mitt Romney gets elected, will this energize Morman evangelism? What if Barrack Obama gets elected, will this incite new boldness among Muslims? What about the huge gathering of Muslims prior to the DNC? Mr. Obama has attended Trinity United Church in Chicago - a Liberation Theology church for many years. Mr. Obama's policies have been friendly to Muslims. Our guest notes that a true Muslim would not attend a church, even one based on Marxism. Barrack Obama is Pro-Abortion. On the other hand it appears that Mitt Romney is pro big government, and does not appear to sufficiently advocate downsizing government. (Side note: To his credit, he and his running mate do understand finances,and know how to run businesses, keeping them in the black.) Our guest on the phone forthrightly states that he cannot in good conscience vote for Romney, while another guest in the studio says he will, but with reservation. Participants: Jerry Johnson, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian man in the world
Air Date: 9/1/2012
The Christian man in the world - what does he look like?

As we continue this series on the Christian man and his God given roles, this week we look at the Christian man in the World, or you could say, society. God said "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. (Gen. 1:26)" What did He mean by this? What about the times when we as men sin - what are we to do? What should be our perspective with respect to work? Things are bad, so is there any reason to be optimistic? Yes there is! Listen to this podcast to find out more. We also talk about callings. Quite often our callings are not the same as what we do to earn money. It's nice when they can match but often they don't match. Sometimes later in life we are blessed with the opportunity to do our callings full time. Regarding callings, just suppose you passionately see something that needs to get done; and others just don't see it like you do. Well, very possibly you are looking at a calling for your life. Participants: Dr. George Grant, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian man in the church
Air Date: 8/25/2012
The Christian man in the church - our roles and responsibilities

As we continue this series on the role of Christian men, this week we look at Christian men in the church. Men are given a unique role by God, and charged by God of being leaders in the church. However that said, they are not "better" than women - just different roles. We also talk about the Christian church and what it "looks like." How does creation tie into the structure that we see in a church? What about Hierarchy? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian man in the home
Air Date: 8/18/2012
The Christian man in the home - our role and responsibility

What is the role that God has given to Christian men in the home? This discussion is the first part of a series that we intend to air, namely: The Christian man in the home, the Christian man in the church and the Christian man in society. For this discussion we embark on this first discussion by looking at the first book of the Bible, Genesis. The Christian home is THE covenant unit. We touch upon the covenant promises of God to our families. What about the worth of women as compared to men? Well, that is simple - there is no distinction with respect to a woman's worth or we could say with respect to their ontological being. What is the role of a man in the family? For that you will have to listen to this podcast! We also touch upon the necessity of a covenantal perspective as we embrace the biblical Calvinistic understanding pertaining to soteriology - we feel that a covenantal perspective brings softness, love and precious and deep meaning to the whole theological landscape. Leave out the doctrines pertaining to God's covenant love, and you are left with a harsher construct that seems lacking. In other words, it is the covenant that brings our understanding of God's seeking and saving us into right perspective. Salvation is completely of God, and it is based on his electing love and further ties into His placing specific children into our Christian homes. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Family
Air Date: 8/11/2012
Family - God created the family as an institution between a husband and wife

God created the family. "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man."" Genesis 2:21-23. A true family occurs as a man marries a woman, and the fruit of the marriage union is children. We are encouraged to develop a deep love for children. We talk about young people who are starting to look for their life's mate. What simple guidelines are there? Later in the discussion we cover the myth of over population. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christians in the Media
Air Date: 8/4/2012
Christians in the Media

Should Christians get involved in the media? What about the news - how do we get to the bottom of what is actually true? The internet has become very active and is an important and rather young media platform. If you are listening to this podcast, that fact alone illustrates the use of the internet and the distribution of information and truth using this newer mechanism. Consider that we are created in the image of God. A major component of God creating man in His own image, is the capacity for communication. Also because we are in God's image, we are meant to create - this includes many disciplines, and in particular we must have communication. We communicate in very unique ways. In this part of the conversion, we talk a little about our pets, and the limitation of them. We talk about some of the well known Christians who are in the media. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Staying Optimistic in a Pessimistic Age
Air Date: 7/27/2012
Discouraged? - Staying Optimistic in a Pessimistic Age

We all need to give much more attention to what the Bible says. Pessimism is essentially emotional heterodoxy. We take a look at the promise to Abraham - the seed promise which bears fruit in the New Testament when our Lord tells us that all the nations are to be discipled. Psalm 72 is a beautiful picture of the blessing of the gospel that will go to all the nations. Kings will bow before the Lord Jesus Christ. After listening to this Podcast, we invite our listeners to learn more by listening to sermons available on Sermon Audio from the Franklin Square OPC church pertaining to this very subject. Just do a Google search for "Sermon Audio Franklin Square". Then scroll down to "Sunday PM" and detect. You will see a series listed there entitled "Salt and Light: Christianity in the Public Arena. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Immigration
Air Date: 7/21/2012
Immigration - what is good about it and a look at illegal immigration

America is a nation of immigrants. Today's discussion looks at immigration and its constitutional mooring, and the advantages of it. We also look at illegal immigration. We look at the biblical concept of "aliens in the land," and the principles garnered from that and its application to us today. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Executive Overreach
Air Date: 7/14/2012
Executive Overreach - what has happened to our legislative process?

Has the Administration in Washington sidestepped our nation's legislative process? We look at Executive Orders, noting that both sides of the aisle have used the mechanism. The recent use of this power has virtually created new laws, which completely bypass Congress. President Obama has signed about 900 Executive Orders. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Church
Air Date: 7/6/2012
The Church - Christ has a people who assemble and worship together

Are you a church-goer? Church attendance may be frowned upon in some quarters, but we here at Redeemer Broadcasting love the Church and encourage listeners to attend a faithful church. The church is one holy, catholic and apostolic in its nature. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Independence Day
Air Date: 6/30/2012
Independence Day - its roots, the original religious fervor and where we are today

A quick review of the history of the American Revolution, including an analysis of the religious fervor that was evident in 1776 and even 100 years prior. The providence of God is mentioned. From the Puritan days up until the great awakening, almost every person in the colonies considered themselves a British citizen. But something happened at a special event in history (approx. 1730-1750), such that the colonists started to see themselves as the "American people." 90% of the people at the time of the Revolution were Calvinistic. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Education
Air Date: 6/23/2012
Education - Deciding what to do after High School

What should a student do who has completed High School? How do you choose a school and what about a Christian vs. Secular school? It is not as simple as you may think. What about going on to graduate school? The Christian grad schools may not be as well funded as needed. In this discussion we include a recent 4 year college graduate in our discussion. What about your passions? We encourage finding a match with your personal passions and gifts. Once on a campus, it is essential that you get involved with a Christian group and a church, independent of whether you attend a Christian or non-Christian school. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Ian Keir, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The War of 1812
Air Date: 6/16/2012
200th Year Anniversary of the War of 1812

Today, June 17th, is the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812. Congress declared war on that day. In this discussion we cover the background leading up to the war, what parties sided together, and what happened during the war. American ships were being ceased by both Britain and France on the high seas. Thus, there was interference in neutral shipping; but there was also impressment of Americans into the British naval service. We talk about Tecumseh and his efforts among the Indian nations. We also talk about Tecumseh's brother Tenskwatawa ("The Prophet") - who turned out to have a negative affect on the whole milieu. During our break midway through the discussion we will listen to the finale of the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. Even though the war was officially ended prior to the Battle of New Orleans, America won a very decisive battle there. It was important that America won, because if we hadn't, then Britain would have either kept the properties, or ceded them back to Spain. We remind the listener that our Constitution requires that is is Congress only, that legitimately declares war. We close our discussion with an excellent work performed by the US Air Force Band - The National Anthem. The lyrics of which actually come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf - also sitting in with us was Bill Diedrich, Mark's Dad


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A Plain Answer: Anarchy
Air Date: 6/9/2012
Anarchy - What is it, how it exists today, and its dangers

In this edition of A Plain Answer we discuss the political theory and practice of "Anarchy." The participants today share a common concern over modern day cultural elites lording it over the populace - that is, elites behind the scenes who are non-elected. However this concern is not the same as the so called anarchy movement. Anarchists believe that all forms of authority are unnecessary. This may include state, church, or some form of economic elite. The children of Israel went through a phase in which "everyone did what was right in their own eyes." Anarchy can be applied to some forms of revolution in history. However not all revolutions fall under the category of anarchy. For example, the American Revolution essentially replaced one authority with another authority, and was legitimate. Such was not the case with the French Revolution. We take a look at what the Scriptures have to say about civil authority. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Ian Keir


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A Plain Answer: Fellowship
Air Date: 6/2/2012
Fellowship - The joy and help that is available within the Body of Christ

Fellowship. Why is it necessary? What are its advantages? In this discussion we take a look at the meaningful relationships that are available to the Christian as he or she participates in the Body of Christ, the Church. Fellowship is the way we carry out the two great commandments of Scripture, namely, love God and love our neighbor. We discuss the unorthodox and destructive emphasis of Mr. Harold Camping, as he asserts that "Satan is in all the Churches." He tells people to leave the Church, and if they don't, they are in danger of going to Hell. Mr. Camping has blasphemed the Body of Christ, and indeed Christ Himself. Contrast this with the Bible's teachings. We are enjoined to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We are to hear the word of God preached and to observe the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. God has given to us the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to take this away from people cuts us off from all that is good. To those former followers of Harold Camping, we would tenderly say: Now that it is clear that Harold Camping was wrong concerning his entire time line of history and the setting of dates, realize too that he was wrong about other his other unbiblical assertions as well. Return to Church. Return to those who love you. Yes, we are imperfect, but here you will find those who love and care about your soul and will come along side and give you loving support. Fellowship with the Body of Christ is the norm for the Christian. God is not done with His church, in fact He is building it with power and the gates of Hell shall not be successful against it! Return to those who really love you. It is time to come home to deep fellowship. Christianity was never intended to be lived out as a "Lone Ranger." Christ is calling you to return to His Body. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Pentecost
Air Date: 5/26/2012
Pentecost - Now that Christ is ascended, He sends The Helper

We reflect on Pentecost - it is a Greek word meaning 50 days. It is based first, in the Old Testament. Yet it is in New Testament times, where we see the re-formation of the church which is the beginning of the New Testament church - and significantly, it includes Gentiles now! God uses a special gift of languages, or perhaps hearing, to convince the Jews then present that God was now folding into the covenant family, the Gentiles who believed on Jesus Christ. We also discuss the fact that when you receive Jesus Christ, you also receive the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 is one proof of that. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: The Ascension
Air Date: 5/16/2012
The Ascension - why it matters and its huge role in our lives and in missions

Tomorrow, many churches celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. We learn that Jesus showed Himself to more than 500 people at once. After this, Jesus departs into heaven. But it doesn't end there! Because Jesus has ascended, He then was able to send His Holy Spirit to us. We talk about Jesus being seated on His heavenly throne. This is not a static position. Jesus rules and reigns in a powerful way from this heavenly throne. In the meantime before his second coming, He is successfully bringing men to Himself. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Mother's Day
Air Date: 5/12/2012
Mother's Day - a time to celebrate and appreciate our Moms

Tomorrow is Mother's Day! This is a wonderful time to celebrate our Moms and express our thanks to them, if in fact they are still alive. In this discussion we talk about our own mothers, and then move the discussion to some mothers who are mentioned in the Bible. We also talk about the societal implications of godly mothers.


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A Plain Answer: Missions and the success of the gospel
Air Date: 5/5/2012
Missions - What is God doing in this world of ours?

Missions. That word may evoke a picture of a husband and wife diligently working in a foreign tribal people for 40 years, sustaining persecution, and completing their work with few converts. While this does happen we must think about the larger picture too. God is doing some amazing things worldwide. The success comes from God and rests on the proximate foundational work of the scenario just mentioned. In this discussion we urge our listeners to not look at the world and the Bible merely through the interpretive lens of Americanism. There are marvelous stories coming out of Africa, Asia, and China. The next time your American friend tells you that things are getting worse and worse (in America) and that is proof for for the certain soon return of Christ, we hope you think as a Christian first, and remind your friend of what Jesus said to the disciples in Acts 1:7,8. The focus of our Lord is that of the Great Commission, not speculative end-time scenarios. Our Lord wants us to see that we receive power because of the Holy Spirit which He has given us. The gospel of Christ will be successful. That may shock you in our 21st century American culture. Here in America much of our Christian foundation is under serious attack. But if we reflect on the words of Jesus as shared in this broadcast, we will be reminded of the thorough pervasive influence of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the entire world. Simply put, God wins. The "leaven" affects (in a profound way) the entire lump of "dough." In another parable Jesus talks of a mustard seed. Human thinking would not anticipate what would happen with such a small seed. Please tune in to find out more. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Miracles
Air Date: 4/28/2012
Miracles - The Christian faith is founded on the greatest miracle ever

Miracles. What do you think about them? You may have become calloused to even considering legitimate miracles because of the many hucksters on television who purport miracles but are really charlatans. But there does exist a realm of the miracle, despite the false prophets which today are in abundance. The greatest miracle of all was the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Another fantastic miracle is the new birth - that point in your life when God becomes real to you, and He truly and miraculously grants spiritual "eyesight" to you and you become a child of God. In this program we take a step back and try hard to lay aside our biases and open the Word of God with sincere hearts as we take a look at this most interesting subject. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Church Eldership
Air Date: 4/21/2012
Church Eldership - what does the Bible require?

The elders of the church are placed there by Christ and described in the New Testament. In a previous A Plain Answer broadcast, we talked about Jesus being our King. At that time we talked about Jesus visibly governing His church through the officers which He gives to the church. A listener asked the question of how can people be disciplined by imperfect humans, and especially if the one doing the disciplining has hidden sins greater then the person being disciplined? We talk about discipline that is insensitive and not according to the Scriptures. Our view of Christ's kingship is conditioned by the Scriptures in which Jesus is meek and lowly of heart and bids people to come unto Him that they might have life. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Hope Because of the Resurrection
Air Date: 4/14/2012
Hope Because of the Resurrection

We have Resurrection hope in a Good Friday world. In this world of suffering, loss of life, disappointment, job loss, etc. - in this world of mayhem. God gives us a solid hope and assurance because of the resurrection of Jesus for the dead. In the midst of these things, we have the joy and hope of Christ because of His resurrection. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Air Date: 4/7/2012
The Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The most important part of the Christian calendar is celebrated this time of the year. In this program we review the account of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We talk about the gospel - it is centered on the person and work of Christ. It includes nothing from our side, but is entirely from heaven. It is not a gospel of politics or a gospel of feminism or whatever. The gospel really is centered on Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Savior. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christ our Prophet, Priest and King
Air Date: 3/30/2012
Christ our Prophet, Priest and King

Our Lord Jesus executes three offices - that of Prophet, Priest and King. He is the one Mediator appointed by God to us. In the office of Prophet, Christ reveals to the church by His Spirit and word the whole will of God. As a Priest, we are reminded of His offering of Himself one time as a sacrifice without spot to God. He makes reconciliation for the sins of His people. Plus He continues to make continue intercession for us. As our King, Christ calls a people to Himself and gives them church officers, laws and censures. Our King Jesus bestows saving grace on His elect, rewards our obedience, and corrects us for our sins. Praise God, that He preserves us as well, as restrains and overcomes our enemies. The focus here is not merely political - but Christ's kingship is exercised as King of kings, and Lord of lords. We especially consider how Jesus Christ, the Head and King of the Church rules in our midst via the church. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Lent
Air Date: 3/24/2012
Lent: Why do Protestants celebrate it, and what is at its core?

Christians often celebrate Lent. Certainly Roman Catholics observe this, but there are also many Protestants who do as well. Lent means "spring." As we look forward to our most important holiday in the Christian calendar, namely Easter (Resurrection Day), many Christians optionally find that it is helpful to focus on our own repentance and dealing with our own sins. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: St. Patrick
Air Date: 3/13/2012
St. Patrick: His story and why we celebrate his life

So you thought only Roman Catholics would talk about St. Patrick? Well, that's normal. When we were kids, we all went to school on "St. Patty's Day" and our Roman Catholic buddies would see if we were wearing green! Remember those days? I guess that dates us. But have you ever looked into the life of this godly man? Join us for an engaging discussion of St. Patrick and sit back and enjoy the discussion of this amazing man of God. Oh, and don't worry, your host and guests are not turning into "Romanists," but we are embracing the history as God has providentially worked in this world of ours! Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Harold Camping's weak apology, natural law, shame and hope
Air Date: 3/10/2012
In the news again: Harold Camping and his weak apology

Harold Camping in the news - it seems to never go away. Three days ago he posted a letter to his website in which he issued his latest statement. Today on the first segment of A PLAIN ANSWER we discuss this particular letter. We deal with what was posted, and more significantly what was missing! Harold Camping included his entire staff in this statement in which he admits that what Family Radio did was sinful in the setting of dates for Christ's return. Yes, that's right, he included everyone - that is, "the staff of Family Radio." What is most interesting is what he did NOT say in his letter. We also address his justification of spreading falsehoods and lies about the end of the world, under the guise of people hearing "for the first time the Bible's warning." In this letter of Harold Camping, as with others, there is no grace and no real repentance either. Perhaps you would like to hear other podcast downloads dealing with most of the Harold Camping heresies - you are invited to listen to these other free downloads, dated: 7/16/11, 7/09/11, 5/28/11, 5/21/11, 5/14/11, 3/05/11, 1/08/11, 11/06/10, 10/28/10, 3/27/10, and 9/19/09. Yes, this Harold Camping story is an on-going saga and from time to time we will comment on it. If you still need more to think about after the podcast, we invite you to visit our home page, and scroll down to the link: "A blog for Family Radio listeners or staff with questions" - just click on the link for a discussion of this important letter and the implications of it. The second segment of today's discussion deals with the topic of "Natural Law." Finally we close with a quick comment about shame and the grace of God. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Original Sin
Air Date: 3/3/2012
Original Sin: What does the Bible teach - is there true innocence at birth?

Christian theology teaches that the guilt of Adam passed on to all future generations - is this fair? That is, suppose you grant the premise that God says all men are sinners from birth forward - is it a valid question to charge God with the "sin" of lack of fairness? What does the Scripture say? The Apostle wrote: "Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:18-19). If it is "unfair" that we inherited Adam's guilt, then should we presume that you think it is also unfair that Christ died for a people in their place (ie, substitutionary atonement)? Think about it. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Culture
Air Date: 2/25/2012
Culture: What does it mean and what makes it wonderful?

Culture. We hear of "multiculturalism" or "diversity." But what is the basis for meaningful culture in all of its loving relationships? The discussion this week stems from last week's topic of big government imposing their values on our families and religious and societal groups. Culture comes from the word "cultivate" (tilling the soil). Richard Niebuhr said that Culture is that secondary environment that we lay on top of nature. We talk about the Tower of Babel and the curse of God in confusing the languages, so that their culture would not be able to communicate among themselves. We also talk about the goodness of diversity. Abraham experienced the growth of a theocentric culture. We are very much part of the Judeo-Christian culture here in America. Multiculturalism as we know it today has some negative aspects as related to Christianity - please listen to find out more! Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Government Mandated Health Care
Air Date: 2/18/2012
Government mandated health care - a dangerous intrusion into our lives

Suppose you were successful and have established your own health insurance company. You are a Christian and also as a hard working person established your health insurance company for the glory of Christ and to help people. Under the new mandate from the current Administration however, you will be required to provide contraceptives free of charge, including abortifacients! (ie, medicines which cause abortions). That's right, your constitutional rights are being run over roughshod and there appears to be nothing that you can do about it. Or is there? Join us for this non-partisan look at this major news item and its implications for freedom loving Christians - including Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Adopting a Long Range Vision of the Spread of God's Kingdom
Air Date: 2/11/2012
God's Redemptive history and the need for adopting a long range vision for Kingdom advancement

Why is it that we as Christians are so short sighted in modern 21st century America? In today's discussion we take a look at God's Redemptive plan in history. God's unfolding of His plan often takes much longer than we think with our puny understanding. We talk about having an eschatological perspective and frame that within the relative slowness of God's moving. We talk about Abraham, and the bondage of Israel for 400 years! The advance of God's kingdom takes time and we are to be encouraged as we diligently serve our Lord with keen focus. We know that God is on His throne and that His Kingdom will be successful. Participants: Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: How to read the Bible
Air Date: 2/4/2012
How to read the Bible - what about 'deeper spiritual meanings?'

The early church dealt with the gnostic heresy. This problem never really went away and reappeared at various times in the church's history. There is much pride involved in such secret knowledge. The followers of Harold Camping's heresies have demonstrated this. But that aside, are there not different genres to be observed in the Scriptures? Yes there are. So we have the case of not over reacting to the recent Camping scandal. We take a look at the book of Psalms, and in particular Psalm 1. We see simile as well as metaphor. When we get to the last book of the Bible, Revelation (which is apocalyptic literature), we see Jesus riding a horse with a sword coming out of His mouth! Obviously there are literary forms present. But as we observe the various forms, there are literal meanings in all of the Bible. We need to be careful as we approach the Scriptures. One of the HUGE safety nets for our understanding is to be in community. We need to be in fellowship with God's people in a church that is faithful to the Bible and is preaching it and exercising the keys and administering the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. For personal devotions, we also recommend some particular books of the Bible to begin reading, particularly if you are new to Bible reading. Towards the end of our program we share some more about the Psalms and how they are of such profound help to the people of God. The Psalms are both a hymn book and a prayer book. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: How was an Old Testament Saint Saved?
Air Date: 1/28/2012
How have the Saints been saved through the centuries?

As we approach this subject we first look at how a person comes to faith in Christ in our day. Was the Old Testament Saint saved in a different way? What does the Bible say about Abraham - what did He experience? The text says: "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." We mention also, the Biblical idea of God working in families - the "promise is to you and your children," we are told. What does that mean? If you are like many American 21st century Christians, you may struggle a little with the meaning of that text. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Abortion
Air Date: 1/21/2012
Abortion - what is the biblical perspective?

On January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade. It has been 39 years now, of legalized abortion, and the estimates are that 54 Million babies have been killed in America. Our guest Kevin Chiarot was one of the people who helped found the Crisis Pregnancy Center in New Paltz, NY in the early '80's. We discuss the battle of the words, such as: "choice", "women's rights", "reproductive rights", etc. These words make the pro-life people sound like we are tyrannical. Choice becomes an abstraction and obscures what is really chosen. The pro-abortion people ultimately defend their right to kill a child. Participants: Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Baptism of Jesus
Air Date: 1/13/2012
The Baptism of Jesus: What did it signify?

John came to the Jordan river inviting people to a baptism of repentance. Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. We spend some time early in the broadcast discussing the tremendously interesting person of John the Baptist. His diet and dress were very unique. He was an odd man who lived it the desert, surviving on a diet of locusts and wild honey! Then we discuss Jesus and how that he was baptized by John. Why was this necessary? In this baptism, Jesus was identifying with the people. He identified in their plight. He was not a sinner, and we are. As the people came to John, they confessed their sins. They knew they were sinners and were asking God to forgive them. Jesus was baptized with the baptism of sinners because He can take away the sins of the world - the very bad sins. Sins you would think that are so despicable, that they could never be forgiven. But Jesus would forgive even these sins. And so Jesus took part in the same sign to indicate that He would be providing for us sinners. He is closely identified to us in our sin and yet remained sinless. Just think, all of our sins are transferred to Jesus and all of His benefits are transferred to us! The Heavenly Father's love for Jesus is gifted to us! Praise be to God. This baptism of Jesus also hearkened back to the "baptism" that would have taken place for the Levitical priesthood. Jesus was therefore being anointed by His own Heavenly Father. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Epiphany
Air Date: 1/7/2012
Epiphany: Light has come!

The term epiphany means "to show" or "to make known" or even "to reveal." In Western churches, it commemorates the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King. Jesus appeared to the world, and the church calendar lists January 6 as Epiphany day. We are reminded that Jesus came not only for the house of Israel, but for the whole world. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The New Year
Air Date: 12/30/2011
Looking to our Lord for the New Year - is there hope?

Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? What is a proper perspective to have during this time of year as we look forward? We have an opportunity to look at what we have done in the past, and to plan for the future in the light of Christ's faithfulness to us. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Fullness of Time
Air Date: 12/24/2011
The Fullness of time - Lessons and Carols for Christmas

Scripture readings and readings from older fathers in the faith. We intersperse these with carols. We hope you enjoy it! Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Incarnation
Air Date: 12/17/2011
Jesus Christ has come into the world, taking on Human flesh, bacame man and yet retained His diety

The Incarnation means that the eternal God sent His son into the world to seek and to save the lost. He did this through human flesh, born of a woman, born under the law. His name would be called Immanuel, meaning: God with us. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Our first parents turned their backs on God. Jesus humbled Himself and came to us, seeking us, even though we sinned against Him and have offended Him. Jesus became a Servant. We also talk about Mary the mother of Jesus. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Advent and the Second Coming of Christ
Air Date: 12/10/2011
Advent and the 2nd Coming of Christ

Advent - from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming." We discuss this whole season of Advent and especially focus on the 2nd coming of Christ. This is the Christian's blessed hope. Churches have celebrated this event at this time of year. We briefly review three celebrations by God's people: Pentecost, Passover and Tabernacles. Early churches would take their lead from the idea of celebrations. The Old Testament prophets often wrote about both comings - the first and the second, and many times made very little distinction between them. This sometimes makes it hard for us to understand them. We also discuss false prophets, who feel obliged to set dates, such as Harold Camping. This practice is old and is heretical. It places a stumbling block before people and also gives reason for the non-Christian to mock the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.


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A Plain Answer: The Secularization of Christmas
Air Date: 12/3/2011
The Secularization of Christmas and our response

There is an effort in our land to eliminate Christianity from public life. Even last week's Presidential speech for Thanksgiving, made no reference to God! A comparison of a newer Charlie Brown cartoon with an older one written by Charles Schulz is also very telling. The contemporary idea of inclusiveness and diversity has been used as leverage to squelch Christianity in the public square. We can still celebrate Christmas in our homes, but are under increasing pressure to not talk about God in the public square, or present Christianity on commercial TV. This is by design and is not an accident. We discuss the use of the phrase "Merry Christmas." We even take a short look at Hanukkah - which celebrates a real event in Jewish history. There are some who think that we should not celebrate Christmas at all. We share information about the Puritans, who were an early group who did not feel they should celebrate Christmas. They were attempting to remove the pagan elements, and didn't celebrate. We love the Puritans, but don't share that perspective. However we acknowledge that there is freedom to not observe. This is an important distinction - that is, freedom of conscience. We also discuss the topic of Christmas music that was written to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Thanksgiving in a time of loss
Air Date: 11/26/2011
Giving thanks to God in the midst of loss

We just came through the national observance of Thanksgiving here in America. We review some of the facts surrounding the giving of thanks of the Pilgrims. They had lost 50 percent of the group of people who came over with them - that is, within one year, half had perished. Yet they gave thanks. We review both the Pilgrims and in general, the Puritans. But what of thanksgiving in the midst of loss and sorrow? Some of you have lost loved ones at this very time of year. The men participating in this discussion had just lost a close friend the same week as the broadcast, and we all were grieving. Maybe you have lost a job, or perhaps have gone through the "death of a vision." Some of you have lost relationships. We cover some simple notions to consider as you work through your grief and suffering. We also would invite you to email us with any inquiries. Our pastor friends would be happy and honored to deal with your questions. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Penal Substitutionary Atonement and Thanksgiving
Air Date: 11/19/2011
What is one of the most important things to be thankful for?

What is penal substitution in Christian theology? We talk about Jesus' death on the cross, and his death for our sins. Christ bore punishment in our place. We talk about the wrath of God, and tie that to the love of God. Jesus is the atoning sacrifice which placates the wrath of God for our sins. It is the love of God that both results in just wrath in the face of evil and sin and that same love that sets forth the Son as an atoning sacrifice to bear that wrath. There is no pitting of the love of God and the wrath of God against each other. Participants: Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Bible Translations
Air Date: 11/12/2011
This year marks the 400th anniversay of the King James Bible

Have you ever wondered about Bible translations? This year marks the 400th anniversary of the well known King James Version of the Bible. What other translations were in existence at that time? What did the Pilgrims and Puritans use? What was the Geneva Bible? What is the difference between a literal translation, a dynamic equivalency, and a paraphrase? Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Trinity - Part 2
Air Date: 11/5/2011
The concept of the Trinity flows naturally from the Scriptures

In this second installment of our discussion about the Trinity, we take a closer look at this teaching that flows from the Scriptures themselves. We focus particularly on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We look at the prologue to John's gospel and contrast that with gnosticism. We also talk about docetism (ie, the belief that Jesus' physical body was an illusion). We spend some time looking at some of the church's creeds and confessions and encourage the listener to investigate them and become familiar with them. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Reformation
Air Date: 10/29/2011
The Reformation and how it extends into Protestant denominations

We don't like Halloween, but we do like the Reformation. October 31st is significant because of Martin Luther and the his 95 theses in 1517. Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31 in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and some Reformed church communities. We review the state of the American church and how it has often embraced an anti-intellectual approach. Seminaries are often put down, and there is almost a badge of honor that goes along with being ignorant. We have forgotten our history, and we seem to take pride in it. We review the life of Martin Luther, as well as the conditions on the ground in the church of his day. We explore the follow-on reformers, including John Calvin as well as the various Confessions of Faith. Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Jerry Johnson, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Trinity
Air Date: 10/22/2011
The Bible teaches the doctrine of the Trinity - find out more

The Bible never uses the word Trinity, and yet the concept is undeniably present in the Scriptures. We start our discussion by reviewing another monotheistic religion, namely Islam. The unique position of Christianity is that we believe in one God, and yet there are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. Participant: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Islam in Christian Perspective - Part 2
Air Date: 10/15/2011
Arab immigration, conversions of Muslims, and Dhimmitude (second class citizens)

During the Arab immigration here in America well over 100 years ago, and into the 30's, 40's and 50's of the 20th Century, most of these Arabs were Christians and they were fleeing persecution. Christians and Jews are said to be "people of the book." We have a special status, but that does not mean equality. However for Muslims who convert to Christianity - historically, it is considered treason against the state, and some countries, such as Egypt have in their laws, the death penalty for such conversions. For people who were already Christians and were conquered, they have Dhimmitude - this is the case for the Koptic Christians. We talk about Baptism, which is a profound change of status. The Muslims tend to take Baptism far more seriously than many evangelicals do. We talk about Baptism as being a "sign and seal" of God's Covenant of grace. The Muslims literally see Baptism as a mark of treason. We grieve over the fact that our own Christian friends here in American often do not see the import of this important Sacrament. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Islam in Christian Perspective - Part 1
Air Date: 10/8/2011
When did Islam begin, and why did it spread so rapidly? Are there different types of Muslims?

In this two part series on Islam in Christian perspective, we discuss the definitions of "Muslim," and "Islam." We explore the types of Muslims: Sunni/Salafists, Sh'ia, Suffi/Dervish, and Alawis/Nusayris. Here in the Hudson Valley, there is going to be an excellent Forum to be given by Dr. John Vance on this very subject. This coming Friday night, the first part of the series will be held at at Westminster Presbyterian Church, on October 14, 2011, starting at 7:30 PM. Come early at 6:45 PM and we will be there to have some pizza and soda with folks - we would love to meet you! Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Human Condition and Government
Air Date: 10/1/2011
Is America's problem merely economic in nature, or does it run much deeper?

We continue last week's discussion that was prompted by en experience of heavy taxation in our town in terms of school taxes rising precipitously. What if a leader seeking public office were to take a stand that all that really mattered was economics and the candidate did not take into consideration the human condition and morality? How is your spiritual condition today? What if you see someone who is very talented and works hard, and becomes exceedingly productive and prosperous. Can you rejoice with that person? Or do you want what they have? Greed in the human heart is a terrible evil. In our political system greed and class warfare is often at the root cause of some very bad laws. We comment about laws that have been put in place that are nothing more than legalized thievery. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Taxes and Freedom
Air Date: 9/24/2011
Taxes: we have to live with them, but when does the government overstep its bounds?

Jesus said to "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Have you ever thought about what are the limits of what belongs to "Caesar?" What percentage of your income can the government legitimately lay claim to? We look at some world wide statistics which have been compiled regarding economic freedom among nations - which nation has the most freedom, and which has the least, and where does the United States stack up? Is there a connection between persecution of Christians and economic freedom? What about seniors in the Town of Olive in Ulster County in NY State who cannot afford to pay their school taxes? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Keys
Air Date: 9/17/2011
'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven' - what did Jesus mean?

In Matthew 16, is recorded Peter's confession of Christ. Jesus then turns to Peter and says: "...I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.." In this program, we discuss the authority that has been given exclusively to the Christian church. Protestants and Catholics do not agree as to the meaning of this exact verse. Catholics see this as pointing to the role of the Pope. Protestants on the other hand, also see this statement as pertaining to authority, but come out with a different conclusion. The Protestant Reformation would teach that the church has authority from Christ, through the Apostles, to preach the gospel of the Jesus Christ, to teach the whole counsel of God, and to administer the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. The Reformation position is that the administration of these Sacraments are within the purview of the Church only. We also address a listener's question/assertion regarding being baptized by a non-church group. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: The 9-11 Terrorist Attacks - 10th Anniversary
Air Date: 9/10/2011
Reflections on the 9-11 attacks and considerations going forward

We discuss the 9-11 terrorist attacks, this year being the 10th anniversary. We provide a summary of the attacks. Why did these attacks occur? We attempt to provide some thoughts in answer to that tough question. We review Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. We review the Sunni Islamist radicals. We also cover the Shias, as well as briefly discuss Iraq and Iran. We explore some of the feelings of that day. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Sacraments - Part III - Baptism
Air Date: 9/3/2011
Some facts about baptism to remember

Is baptism a repeatable Sacrament? What if you were baptized by another body, is your baptism still valid? Is baptism precisely related in time to the salvific work of the the triune God of the Scriptures? What is a Sacrament? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Sacraments - Part II
Air Date: 8/27/2011
A closer look at the Sacraments, in particular, the Lord's Supper

A continuation of a discussion that we began four weeks ago. We have signs and seals of the covenant in both Testaments. The Sacraments communicate to us the benefits of Christ. As important as Sacraments are, do all churches employ them? The Scriptures alone, teach us that there are two Sacraments. God pledges Himself to us, and these Sacraments are attached to the Word. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Incarnation of Jesus Christ
Air Date: 8/20/2011
Jesus took on human flesh, becoming man, and yet did not lose his divinity

Jesus took on human flesh and yet remained fully God. He is the only begotten Son of God. He is very God of very God. Jesus subjected Himself to the creation, and dwelt among us. Understanding the humanity of Jesus helps us in our worship services - download the podcast to find out how. In some respects, this perspective has the potential for transforming your worship service, and making it more God-centered. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: National Character
Air Date: 8/13/2011
How does good character intersect with our national leaders?

What kind of character should a good leader possess? Did the founders of America say anything about the kind of people who would be necessary for this form of government? Can a person be a good person in public, yet not a good person in private? "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Character
Air Date: 8/6/2011
The implications of good character.

It seems that character is not discussed much in our day, but as we look back at how the Christian ministry was conducted in the 19th century, we see more than just the therapeutic/motherly qualities - we also see ministry much more directed towards character formation. We mention the McGuffey Readers for example. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and understanding. Discipline in our personal lives is required. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Sacraments
Air Date: 7/30/2011
What are Sacraments and why do we need them?

What are Sacraments and where did they come from? Were there Sacraments in the Old Testament? What is meant by them being described as visible signs and seals of God's Covenant of grace? How many sacraments are there? What about the differences between the Protestant Reformation understanding and the Roman Catholic tradition? Are the Sacraments of the New Testament efficacious? Participant: Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian and Grief
Air Date: 7/23/2011
Handling loss of a loved one, and other losses in life

What about the Christian and grief? What kinds of emotions are experienced as we go through the grievous losses in our lives? Are there feelings of guilt or regret as we are faced with the finality of our loss? What if you feel like your faith will not be able to survive your loss? Sometimes with the death of a loved one, we feel an almost unremitting sorrow when it sinks in that we can no longer have this person in our lives. For the person who is dying, sometimes there is intense sorrow that they have to leave things undone. What is the dynamic that life in this fallen world "plays" on us? What about the Scripture - how does it provide comfort for the child of God? What about the feelings of loss with divorce, or perhaps a job loss? There is a Pioneer - One who has forged the way, and has defeated death, and has been raised from the dead. Please join us for this honest discussion of a serious topic. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Church, forgiveness and assurance after Camping
Air Date: 7/16/2011
Facing the call of God to go to church, finding forgiveness and assurance after confused by Camping

Have you been feeling the tug of God the Holy Spirit on your heart, to return to church? Perhaps you left the church as a result of Harold Camping's false teaching. Now the Lord has been dealing with your heart. Some folks have contacted us and are finding it hard to have an assurance of their soul's salvation and of God's forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Maybe you want to return to church, but the embarrassment seems just too great to allow you to return to the Body of Christ. What about the so called "Christian Sabbath?" How do you treat the Lord's day, which Jesus said was created for man, and yet still holds for us today? All this is discussed in this edition of A Plain Answer. Participants: Dr. Mark Allison, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Returning to the Church
Air Date: 7/9/2011
The how and why of returning to the Church, after Harold Camping

Many folks have left the church due to Harold Camping's false teaching. In this podcast, we discuss this in detail. We base our discussions on actual facebook postings - sincere questions that people have, as they are trying to pick up the broken pieces of their lives after being nearly destroyed by following Harold Camping. Participants: Dr. Mark Allison, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Ordo Salutis and how God saves us
Air Date: 7/2/2011
What is the order of salvation as God saves His people?

Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about the "order of salvation?" What about the biblical doctrine of election? We also discuss Harold Camping's false understanding and misrepresentation of this precious doctrine. Does God do all the work in salvation? What is man's part? What does the Scripture teach? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: How God works in Salvation
Air Date: 6/25/2011
Exploring the various experiences of how God saves His people, and assurance of salvation

Have you ever felt a little bad that your experience of salvation doesn't seem to measure up to other people's expectations? Some folks have had sincere and dramatic conversion experiences. Others were brought up in a Christian home and heard the gospel from infancy. Maybe your experience was that of the Lord reaching down to you in a very subtle but real way. In this program we discuss the various ways that God comes to people and gives them salvation. We avoid a "cookie cutter" approach that is sometimes used to make people feel guilty that their experience didn't match a particular set pattern. Nonetheless you know you are saved. How about those of you who are not sure? We also make an appeal to simply believe the good news about Jesus Christ. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Human Suffering
Air Date: 6/18/2011
Pain and suffering and the Providence of God

How do you work through the fact that God ordains all things after the counsel of His will, as Ephesians tells us; and yet there are horrible sufferings going on in this world? Participants; Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Jesus and His nature
Air Date: 6/11/2011
Jesus and His nature, Fully Man and Fully God

Harold Camping has taught that Jesus is Michael the Archangel. He seems to teach that Jesus is the Father - the old heresy of Modalism. Harold Camping says that Jesus did not die on the cross for our sins, but it was a mere demonstration. But what does the Bible really say? Did you know that all these assertions of Harold Camping are very old lies that have been around for centuries? The church over the centuries has very carefully articulated creeds and confessions which help us understand the person and salvation work of Jesus Christ. In this broadcast we review the Nicean Creed. We look at the Shorter Catechism. We talk about Modalism (also called Sabellianism). We deal with Ontology as we discuss the nature of Christ's being. We are not inventive in this broadcast, but simply share what is the Historic, Christian faith with respect to the person of Jesus Christ. Participants: Rev. Kevin Chiarot, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Church, and your personal salvation
Air Date: 6/4/2011
Can we be saved outside of the Church? Has God forsaken His Bride?

A facebook posting asked the question: "Can Salvation occur and be maintained, (by the Holy Spirit through the Word), outside of belonging to a physical church, a physical body of believers?" In this broadcast we assemble three pastors who are very experienced and who also are intimately engaged in defending the Christian faith against the claims of "Campingism." What about your own personal salvation? Are you a lone range Christian? Have you left the Church, thinking that all churches were filled with Satan, when in fact, you were mistaken? Can a Christian make it on their own, without the structure that the Epistles give us, of pastors, elders and deacons? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Rev. Bill Shishko, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: One week after Harold Camping's May 21 date
Air Date: 5/28/2011
May 21 passes: No massive earthquakes, no rapture, but many disillusioned people

Where you one of the people who were affected by Harold Camping's false May 21 "rapture" date? Did you notice that there were no earthquakes starting 6:00 PM in New Zealand, like Harold originally said there would be? Were you one of the folks who liquidated your entire bank account, to help "spread the word!" but to no avail? Now you are without cash going forward, but worse, you realize that you were fooled by this man. Lot's of people are in your same position. In this broadcast, we talk about where to go from here. Many people were in contact with Redeemer Broadcasting during this intense period of time. Harold went into hiding for a while, in fact he didn't stay at his own home for one evening. finally he came out of hiding and went on the air live on May 23, only to spiritualize the whole event, and further drive a wedge between him and the Christian faith. Join us for this important discussion as we suggest what you can do, now that you know without doubt that Harold Cmaping is a false prophet. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: May 21 and Harold Camping's Failed Prophecy
Air Date: 5/21/2011
Harold Camping's failed May 21 prophecy and how to handle if you have been fooled by him

Have you been fooled by Harold Camping's false date? Many have. We explore the root cause of the problem with Harold Camping. One of the pastors in this discussion met with Mr. Camping in December 1993 in accordance with Mathew 18 and the erring brother. We also discuss "where do you go from here," if you have been duped by this man. Participants: Rev. Bill Shishko, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Harold Camping and his false teachings
Air Date: 5/14/2011
Is God done with the church? Is Baptism and the Lord's Supper abolished? Is Christ returning May 21?

Harold Camping is in the news lately. He is predicting with 100% certainty that Christ is returning next Saturday, May 21. He denies baptism, denies the Lord's Supper. He says that if you are in a church, you are going to hell. He says that Jesus did not die on the cross for your sins, but did that somehow from eternity past. The bizarre teachings of this man seem to mount as time passes. His followers simply recite the words of their cult leader without understanding what they are saying. Will Christ return on May 21st? We believe He will not. Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dr. Mark Allison, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: States Rights and ungodly cultural dependencies
Air Date: 5/7/2011
A followon to the discussion of the War Between the States

In our last episode three weeks ago, we addressed the slavery issue. Now we have some comments about States Rights. Also: What structures in our American society today, have we gotten used to, but in fact are actually ungodly structures? How to deal with them? We must maintain cool/level heads as some of these structures cannot be quickly removed. They must be removed however over time. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Transforming Power of the Resurrection
Air Date: 4/30/2011
On what basis do we believe in the resurrection and what hope does it give me today?

Last week we talked about the resurrection of Christ from the dead. For those of us who have lost a loved one, the implications of the resurrection are tremendous! We have real hope because of Christ's resurrection. The historical evidence of the resurrection is discussed. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Air Date: 4/23/2011
Have you reflected deeply on the Resurrection lately?

The most important event in history is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this edition of A Plain Answer, we look at what it means to believe on Jesus Christ. We explore the uniqueness of Jesus and what He accomplished for His people. We talk about the cross and why it is important. This is a wonderful time of year to consider afresh the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the cross of Calvary and Jesus' resurrection from the dead! Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: 150th Anniversay of the Civil War
Air Date: 4/16/2011
What were the events leading up to the War Between the States?

This past Tuesday marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the War Between the States, or Civil War. It is generally agreed that the starting point was the firing on Fort Sumter. However tensions had been rising for decades prior, and reached a powder keg situation just before April 12, 1861, with deadly agitation from the abolitionists, and finally the presidential election of Republican President, Abraham Lincoln. Join us for this brief look at this crucial juncture in our American history. Also find out what huge issue we have today, which needs to be handled with wisdom, as we look at the whole area of human beings made in the image of God. In three weeks from now, we plan to continue our discussion of the War Between the States, and take a look at the issue of States' Rights. We also plan to explore the controversial issue of "entitlements" in our own day. Stay tuned, we hope to discuss these things on May 7. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christianity and America
Air Date: 4/9/2011
America's greatness is waining and we are in need of repentance before the Triune God of the Scriptures

What was it that made America great? How was it founded? What were the original guiding principles? We just bombed Libya in response to the UN's no fly zone decision. We justify this action in the name of protecting people who are not armed as well as the ruling party in Libya. But what about the most vulnerable among us? The baby in the wombs of thousands of American women, is in more danger than the rebels in Libya. Listen to the statistic that Dr. Vought shares with us regarding the destruction of the African American child with abortion. It will shock you! May God have mercy upon our nation. We believe that if a nation breaks covenant with God and disobeys His precepts, setting up false gods, that we can only expect the negative sanctions (ie, judgment) of God in history. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: The UN and its ramifications
Air Date: 4/2/2011
The UN security council's no-fly-zone over Libya and the US response

What was the genesis of the United Nations (UN)? What were the goals and what has this body actually accomplished? The United States recently launched a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles in response to the UN decision. Was our Congress involved in the decision? On what grounds did we bomb Libya? If it was to stop a brutal killing of a dictator's residents, then why aren't we bombing other nations such as North Korea, where there is horrendous persecution and death? What is going on? How much does the United States spend on the UN as compared to other "states?" Do we really need the UN anymore? Are not its goals steeped in naivite'? Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Your Vocation and God's Will
Air Date: 3/26/2011
How do I find God's will for my life?

Ever wonder why you are here? What job does God have for you to do? Who are you to marry? What vocation will you chose? These questions are explored in this week's discussion about your vocation and God's will. Scriptural guidance is provided that will help you sort things out. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Sovereignty of God and human tragedies
Air Date: 3/19/2011
The tsunami in Japan causes us to pause and consider that God is all powerful, but how to handle this?

The news footage of the Japan tsunami has reminded us of the terribly tragic events in that country. In this discussion we consider the age-old problem of suffering. Paul told the Ephesians that God "works all things according to the counsel of His will." How is suffering part of the plan of God? How can God permit such things? We take a pastoral look at human suffering. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Church - Visible and Invisible
Air Date: 3/12/2011
There are two aspects to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ

What is the difference between the visible and invisible church? The Apostle Paul's statement: "Christ gave Himself for the body;" Reminds us that there is both an individual dimension and a corporate dimension in the atonement of Jesus Christ. So the early Christians could say that if you reject the body of Christ, you have rejected the head. It is an anomaly to claim that you are related to the head and not the body. Towards the end of our discussion we again look briefly at the bizarre and dangerous teachings of Harold Camping. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Uniqueness of the Church -vs- Harold Camping
Air Date: 3/5/2011
Refuting Harold Camping's view of the Church

We open our discussion with a review of Harold Camping's false position that "God is done with the church." While he is clearly wrong in this assertion as well as his "deeper spiritual meanings," and his "date setting," etc....While he is clearly wrong in these things, nevertheless sometimes it is very hard to find a good church! Many churches have abandoned the gospel of Christ. Some have embraced practices that are contrary to the plain word of Christ. So what to do, if you find yourself in a situation where there is no good church around? Does this prove Harold Camping is right? No it doesn't, but it does show that we need Revival in our land! In this broadcast we talk a little about what you can do if you face such an unfortunate situation in your town. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Why do the nations rage, and Psalm 2
Air Date: 2/26/2011
Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?

We are dealing with a seething pot of rage in the world today. But what does God have to say about it? In this discussion we take a closer look at Psalm 2. How does Jehovah God deal with the rulers of nations who curse His holy name and his laws? Is there hope for us? Indeed there is! Listen, and find out why. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Gospel
Air Date: 2/19/2011
What is the gospel? But first, what is the BAD news?

The gospel is central to our faith, but what is it? Why is it the good news, and why is it needed? We take some time and look at man's sinful condition before a holy God. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Politically Correct Speech
Air Date: 2/12/2011
Does politically correct speech hamper the preaching of the gospel?

Suppose your pastor decided to preach a sermon that is based on Romans 1:18-32. In that chapter the Lord mentions specific sins. Our societal milieu tends to prohibit our free speech regarding specific sins that God Himself mentions. We assert that political correctness cuts off debate as well as prohibits free speech. We need debate in our society. Political correctness is a political instrument used by some to enhance their power. It is an age old problem, just as paganism is an age old problem. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Worship, Prayer and Bible reading
Air Date: 2/5/2011
What are the basic practices of the Christian life?

We are one month and a week into the New Year, and sometimes Christians have a Bible reading plan they follow. There is a rhythm to life and Bible reading plans can assist in a natural sort of way. Regarding worship, it is a very important activity which we are called to, both privately and corporately. We are told by our Lord that He seeks our worship. We also look at the model prayer that our Lord gave to us. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Why do Good Things Happen to Bad People?
Air Date: 1/29/2011
The prosperity of the wicked troubled the Psalmist and it often troubles us today

What is God like in His justice, and why would He allow the wicked to prosper? In this discussion, we step back and look at this probing question, which was suggested by a listener in response to last week's broadcast. What is God's "Common Grace?" We touched upon it last week and discuss it a little more in this broadcast. Towards the end of our discussion is a gospel invitation. We invite you to listen closely if you are being drawn by God and are interested in His salvation plan for you. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
Air Date: 1/22/2011
Maintaining peace in the midst of tragedies and personal trials

In the news there was a shooting in Arizona. In our own personal lives, we may have a loved one who has cancer - or we may have cancer ourselves. There are many "bad" things that happen to us in this world. We enter into the problem in this discussion and provide in part at least, a pastoral answer. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Words and their meaning
Air Date: 1/15/2011
What do we mean by catholic?

The word catholic is a rich word but can also be confusing. The Nicene Creed uses the word as an adjective when it says "one holy catholic and apostolic church." Historically, we see ethnicity passing into catholicity. We talk about another word, and that is repentance. What does that mean? And when we repent, what has happened with respect to God towards us? Tune in to find out more. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Church -vs- Campingism
Air Date: 1/8/2011
Has God abandoned the Bride of Christ? Is God done with the Church?

We are increasingly hearing of the anti-church teaching of Mr. Harold Camping. He teaches that Satan is in all the churches. He thereby ascribes to Satan, the works of the Holy Spirit. He says that all Christians should leave their churches ("depart-out"), and meet as fellowships, tuning into Mr. Camping's program and sending their donations to him. It is quite a mess. Some churches have lost members over this emphasis. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christian persecution at the hands of Islam and why
Air Date: 1/1/2011
A Closer look at what Islam teaches

On Christmas Eve in Nigeria, Christians were apparently targeted with four deadly bomb blasts. Islamic militant groups routinely use "the sword" as they spread their world view. In this discussion we take a look at what Muslims believe and what their source of authority is. What is Sharia? What is the difference between Christianity and Islam? Is Christianity a political movement? Why are there by and large, no reported attacks of Christians against Muslims, and yet numerous attacks of Muslims against Christians? We end our discussion with the hope and assurance of Muslims coming to faith in Jesus Christ - Who alone can change the heart of man, and bring true peace. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: In The Fullness of Time
Air Date: 12/24/2010
Lessons and Carols for Christmas

This is a special edition of A Plain Answer. Enjoy word and music as we tell the Christmas story within the milieu of Scripture, quotes from the church fathers, and Christmas carols. Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christmas and Depression
Air Date: 12/18/2010
What can I do when feeling very down at Christmas time?

Are you feeling down this Christmas? You may have have lost a loved one recently. You may have just found out that you have cancer. There may be family stress and trials. People around you are happy but you are sad. Join us for this podcast as we look at this important and very real issue that you face this Christmas. You are not alone - there is help. Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Celebrating Christmas
Air Date: 12/11/2010
Jesus came to earth, but what was his mission?

During this season of Advent we continue to think about Jesus' first coming and consider the real meaning of Christmas. Why did Jesus come to earth? We note that some Christians don't celebrate Christmas because of the worldliness that has crept into the modern celebration. We also spend some time considering the estate of fallen man, and how Adam's guilt has passed on to all mankind. We talk about Jesus and how He took on the sins of His people. Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich and Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: What was this world like just prior to the arrival of Jesus?
Air Date: 12/4/2010
As we celebrate Advent, we take time to ponder the events leading up to Jesus' birth

This world of ours is one of turmoil. It was full of problems and madmen at the time of Christ's arrival. We pause to take a look at the history that is recorded for us just prior to that very first Advent. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Advent
Air Date: 11/27/2010
The Beginning of the Christian New Year

In this edition of a Plain Answer, we discuss a tradition of the Christian church and why it is appropriate for Christians today, to mark time using the Christian calendar. We also note that there is no obligation to do so, and that churches and individuals have complete freedom to chose not to observe the times. We also point out that inevitably, we will be marking time, so why not use a calendar such as the Christian calendar which has been carefully prepared for us over the course of many centuries of Christian experience. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Thanksgiving
Air Date: 11/20/2010
Would the Pilgrims in 1621 have considered their gathering a 'Thanksgiving meal?'

Was there such a thing as a first Thanksgiving? There was a harvest party in the Fall of 1621. English colonists had arrived here in 1620. About 1/2 of the original colonists had died during that first year. We review a quote from Mort's Relation - which is a first hand account of that first "Thanksgiving." We wish all of our listeners a joyous and blessed Thanksgiving, as you acknowledge God and his kind benefits to all of us. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: How to Read the Bible - Part 3
Air Date: 11/13/2010
What is the sufficiency of Scripture?

What is the sufficiency of Scripture? This program does not mention Harold Camping specifically, but deals with assumptions that are necessary to read and interpret the Bible properly. We do not add to the Scriptures. The Scriptures challenge us at every point in terms of what we believe and what we are to do. When we disobey, we are rebuked by the Scriptures. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: How to Read the Bible -vs- Harold Camping Part 2
Air Date: 11/6/2010
Why does Harold Camping reject the historical grammatical method of Bible interpretation?

Harold Camping attacks the conservative and historical, objective method of Bible interpretation known as the Grammatical Historical Hermeneutic. In so doing he rejects all churches, all seminaries, and all other Bible teachers in the world. It is hard to believe, and yet his followers parrot his teachings in perfect lock step as they ascribe to Satan the works of the Holy Spirit within the Body of Christ, the Church. Only Harold Camping has the correct answers. This is nothing short of cult-like teaching. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: How to Read the Bible - vs - Harold Camping
Air Date: 10/28/2010
Why Harold Camping's hermenuetic of deeper spiritual meanings is severely flawed and essentially anti-Christian

Harold Camping has been in the west coast news recently, mentioned on various web postings and heard each day and night over his radio stations. Bill boards, park signs, leaflets are seen proclaiming the date of May 21, 2011 as the "rapture." In this edition of a Plain Answer, we discuss the severely flawed hermeneutic of Harold Camping and why this man must be avoided and not believed. His teachings fall outside the pale of orthodox Christianity. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: The Spread of the Gospel
Air Date: 10/23/2010
Is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ spreading worldwide?

The Bible speaks of the spread of the gospel in history. In this broadcast we discuss the Biblical texts, as well as give historical examples of the stunning advance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in history. We look at a number of nations around our globe. The Christian is encouraged to take heart - because even though there is intense persecution, there is also tremendous advance, even in some Muslim countries. Jesus Christ powerfully reigns from His heavenly throne. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Persecuted Church
Air Date: 10/16/2010
A look at Christian persecution taking place worldwide

What kinds of persecution to Christians is taking place in this world? Which countries are at the top of the list in terms of severe persecution? We look at one of the early martyrs of the faith, namely Stephen in the book of Acts. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The US Constitution - Part III
Air Date: 10/9/2010
Would the heavy bureaucracy we see today exist if we really followed our US Constitution?

The US Constitution is an important document and was created in the Providence of God, but it is not on the same level as the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible stands alone in terms of its verbal plenary inspiration. However that being established, the US Constitution is a marvelous document. If however we followed the constraints that are stipulated in the US Constitution, our government would look different than it presently does. We would have more freedoms as well as more personal responsibilities. We first talk about what happens to a land when God moves in revival and reformation. Our nation currently has a big problem with discerning between right and wrong. We desperately need another great awakening. We then look at what happens when we implement the US Constitution using its own words and constraints. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The US Constitution - Part II
Air Date: 10/2/2010
What would America look like if we really implemented the US Constitution?

The unalienable rights are gifts of God and are part of being made in His image. We look at the US Constitution and how it basically "ties" the hands of the government so that they cannot violate the unalienable rights given to the people. We are concerned about a government which appears to be out of control as seen by the normal man on the street. The founding fathers if they saw our nation today would be appalled by the size and power of the Federal government. "That government is best which governs least" - Thomas Jefferson. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The US Constitution
Air Date: 9/25/2010
What are the limits to our Government that the Constitution sets in place?

Has the Constitution always guided our country? Does the Constitution allow the Supreme Court to make law? Does the Constitution empower the President to make law? What about the field of education - does the Constitution give any power to the Federal Government in this area? The answers may surprise you. Finally, does the Constitution allow a president the power to take a nation into war? Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Christian Tolerance, Islam and the Mosque
Air Date: 9/18/2010
Are there limits to tolerance?

We continue our discussion from last week. Are there limits to tolerance? The twin towers in Lower Manhattan were a symbol of American capitalism. They were destroyed, and nearly 3000 people were murdered. Technically, the mosque is allowed to be built on Ground Zero strictly on the basis of the first amendment - however there are other factors; factors relating both to wisdom, and to the notion of not offending others. It is clear that such a mosque being constructed on Ground Zero would not be reaching out as a unifying action. We study the case of Christian freedom as balanced with offending others, and encourage Muslim sympathizers to take a lesson from it. We review what has happened to Christian aid workers who go to Muslim countries - it is not a pretty picture. We close considering what is the best response to the Muslim in our land. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Christian's relation to other faiths, in particular Islam and the mosque project
Air Date: 9/11/2010
How does a Christian relate to other faiths, particularly ones which are mutually exclusive to ours?

Today our nation looks back nine years ago and thinks about one of the worse attacks on our soil in our nation's history. Nine years ago today, Muslim terrorists hijacked civilian planes and used them as tools of destruction on our people. Ground Zero is the area in lower Manhattan where the twin towers once stood - symbols of American capitalism. The terrorists struck at these as well as the governmental seat (Pentagon and would be Capital). Instead of honoring this hallowed ground, there are some who now want to build a mosque at Ground Zero. This offends many, many people. We discuss the limits of tolerance. We come to the general conclusion that tolerance has its limits in society if that "tolerance" is taken to extremes. Some extremes which would be unacceptable, would cause societal suicide and be unconstitutional. Tolerance cannot be promoted when it becomes antithetical to our whole way of life.


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A Plain Answer: The Environment Part 2
Air Date: 9/4/2010
A deeper look at the environmant including the lack of objective information on global warming

This is a follow-on discussion from last week. We talk about the environment and the Christian responsibility in caring for this earth. God gave His people dominion over the earth and it's animals. We discuss forest fires, global warming, the Hudson River - a variety of practical areas. We end our discussion with an explanation of the evangelical necessity of repentance and rebirth. Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Environment Part 1
Air Date: 8/28/2010
What is the Christian's proper response to the environment?

We look at the environment and "environmentalism" from a Biblical perspective. What is pantheism? How do we look at God's earth? Is it to be protected to the point of no development, and no experimentation? What is the difference between conservation and preservation? What about the worldview which says: "Leave only footprints, take only pictures?" Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Freedom of Religion - Part II
Air Date: 8/21/2010
The contrast between Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Worship and its implications

When President Obama addressed the victims of the Fort Hood shooting, he used the phrase Freedom of Worship, but not Freedom of Religion. We are concerned about the marginalization of religion and the privatization of it. We are concerned about breaking the cultural influence of Christianity upon American society. Even the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has noted this shift in phraseology, as noted in their 2010 annual report. They say this could well be viewed by human rights defenders as "having concrete policy implications." Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Religious Freedom -vs- Mere Freedom of Worship Part 1
Air Date: 8/14/2010
What is the difference between Freedom of Reigion and Freedom of Worhsip?

We take a look at the distinctions between Religious Freedom in America (as guaranteed by our Bill of Rights) and as carried out in our nation's history. We then compare that with a mere "Freedom of Worship." The current administration repeatedly uses the phrase freedom of worship in their general communique's and speeches - we find this troubling. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Godly Government
Air Date: 8/7/2010
Every republic in history has failed; are we close? What we can do as we wait on God.

If Congress was filled with Godly representatives come November - representatives who respected state's rights and the Constitution, would that change us substantively? The answer may surprise you. Was the Christian faith front and center in the minds of our Founding Fathers? What is the difference between group rights and individual rights? Elected officials are supposed to be "dis-interested" and put aside their own interests for the sake of the people whom they serve. We review the fact that public worship and the chaplaincy were encouraged by the Founding Fathers. Christianity was assumed in the minds of our Fathers. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Our Current Government
Air Date: 7/31/2010
How does our current governmental situation compare to the original founder's idea of a constitutional republic?

In talking with people we repeatedly find a general unease regarding the lack of limits the current government in America is exhibiting. As opposed to a sphere sovereignty as espoused by Abraham Kuyper, where there are boundaries as to the legitimate role of government, we are seeing a massive government takeover of many areas which formerly were not run by the federal government, and further would not have been seen as appropriate by our founders. We look at the original intent of our founders as well as what is prescribed Biblically. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: More on the Second Great Awakening
Air Date: 7/24/2010
Reasons why we need a Great Awakening in our own day, and some pitfalls to avoid

America is in trouble. We have drifted away from God as a nation. Would to God that He would grant us a Great Awakening in our day. However, as we pray for such an awakening, we want it real, sincere and not man-made. In this broadcast we cover some of the excesses which were evident in the Second Great awakening. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Second Great Awakening
Air Date: 7/17/2010
An Historical look at the Second Great Awakening and what could happen today by God's grace

We look at the Second Great Awakening historically. We ask, what would a national revival look like should it occur in our day? What were some of the attitudes of the people leading up to revival? How did the Second Great Awakening contrast with the First Great Awakening? Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Trinity
Air Date: 7/10/2010
There are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spriit; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory

We continue last week's discussion about Jesus Christ, that He is God. We explore the teaching of The Trinity. It is a word that does not occur anywhere in the Scriptures, but is clearly taught. We also look at some of the creeds of the church. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Jesus Is God
Air Date: 7/3/2010
What the Bible teaches about the deity of Christ

A listener asked us to cover this subject because he had a co-worker who was asserting that Jesus was not God, but only the "son of God." This term is a Hebraism. We discuss what is meant by Son of God, in terms of the ancient Greek. We talk about how to read and interpret the Scriptures as a whole. We examine any number of verses which clearly show that Jesus is God. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Assurance of Salvation
Air Date: 6/30/2010
A calm assurance that God has saved you

Can I really know that I am saved and that I'm right with God in Christ? Some groups say that we cannot know that we are going to heaven. The Bible says that we can know. Our assurance is grounded in the character of God and His Word. We need to take God at His word, and trust who He is! Peter preached on the day of Pentecost a marvelous sermon which included the statement: "I will be a God to you and to your children." This was a covenant promise, and we are to take God at His word and stand on it. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Election
Air Date: 6/19/2010
Does the Bible teach unconditional election?

A listener asked that we discuss election. In this podcast we approach this subject from a Biblical and pastoral perspective. Is there really election as taught by the Bible? What are the pastoral concerns attended with some explanations of election? How does this teaching tie into our assurance of salvation? What did Jesus say about this subject when he was here on earth? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: World War II
Air Date: 6/12/2010
How did the USA become involved in WWII?

What led the United States ultimately, into WWII? What were the sentiments among the populace, just prior to entering the war? Before actually declaring war, how did the United States become involved in terms of helping supply our allies? What were some of the costs involved in this war? In particular, how many people died from the various nations involved and what was the total worldwide. A reminder about our brief lives is included at the end of this discussion, and how important it is to know that your soul is right with God, through Jesus Christ. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: D-Day
Air Date: 6/5/2010
We should remember the dangers that led to a Hitler coming to power

We review some of the events leading up to D-Day. How was it that Hitler could come to power so thoroughly? What were some of his beliefs that drove him to such evil behavior? Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: What Must I do to be Saved? - Part 2
Air Date: 5/29/2010
Podcast

A continuation of this very important discussion, and this week we cover the work of Jesus Christ. How does God deal with our sin? What is Justification? Is Justification an act or a process? What is the gospel? God has done something for us in and through the Person of Jesus Christ. This work is something that we could not do ourselves. We are saved in Jesus Christ. What is the role of good works? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: What Must I do to be Saved?
Air Date: 5/22/2010
Why does mankind need to be saved, and how can he be saved?

The question "What must I do to be saved?" actually begs another question, and that is, why do I need to be saved in the first place? We discuss the fall of man into sin originally in Adam. All mankind descending from Adam by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression. What is the substitutionary atonement? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Law and Grace
Air Date: 5/15/2010
Is the Law gracious?

We begin our discussion this week, answering the question of how are the 10 commandments parsed in several Christian traditions: Reformed, Lutheran, Catholic. Is the law gracious? Does the law function as an accuser? Is the law a standard for the Christian life? Is grace evident in both Testaments, or only the New Testament? We also touch upon the 4th commandment in particular. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Law
Air Date: 5/8/2010
How the Law of God still applies today as we live under grace

What do some people mean when they say "I'm not under law, but grace?" What does the Bible mean by that statement? Is the moral law of God applicable to us? We discuss the moral law and how it is a reflection of the character of God. It also tells us what love is. How do we live the most fulfilling life that we can? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Marriage Part 2
Air Date: 5/1/2010
The marriage covenant

Marriage is under assault in our world, and we discuss the grace aspect as it relates to existing as well as broken marriages. We discuss the spirit of forgiveness. What are the reasons for divorce and what are the Biblical requirements allowing for remarriage? Who is the covenant between in marriage? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Marriage
Air Date: 4/24/2010
An institution of God from the early days of creation itself

Where does marriage originate? What does the Bible have to say in both Old and New Testaments? We discuss the sacredness of marriage and how it has been instituted by God in creation. It is an ordinance of creation to be honored by all. It is not a temporary arrangement. We review the cultural mandate and its implications regarding children. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Creation - Part 2
Air Date: 4/17/2010
A discussion of various schools of thought within the camps of those who hold to creation

We discuss various schools of thought regarding creation, all of which maintain the authority of Scripture. Basic areas of agreement are that all things are created by God, and He is transcendent over all things. There are areas of disagreement in terms of "how" God created our universe. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Creation
Air Date: 4/10/2010
God created all things out of nothing

Today on a Plain Answer we have kicked off a discussion of Biblical creation. The subject was huge and we hope there will be followup sessions. On today's program we read the creation account from Genesis 1, we discuss the concept of "ex nihilo," the Latin phrase meaning out of nothing - and that is applied to the Biblical record of creation. We discuss light and its origin. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Resurrection
Air Date: 4/3/2010
Christ's resurrection is the basis for future hope

The resurrection was a real bodily resurrection, not merely a resuscitation (or a reincarnation). Christianity arose out of historical facts with eye witnesses. The resurrection is the basis for the Christian's future hope and that we too, look forward to our own resurrection someday, with glorified bodies. Jesus reminds us of this when He says: "I am the resurrection and the life..." We also discuss the origin of Sunday worship and how God has changed the Christian sabbath to now be on Sunday rather than Saturday. We call it the Lord's day. It was the day upon which Pentecost came, and was also the day upon which John was "in the spirit." Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Has there Been an End of the Church Age?
Air Date: 3/27/2010
If Christ were to divorce His church, then there is no Christian faith!

Has the "Church age" ended? That's the assertion of one Bible teacher today. In this discussion we look at what he Bible itself has to say about this assertion. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Bible and Translations
Air Date: 3/20/2010
Is it OK to translate the Bible?

There are many translations of the Bible, but is it "OK" to translate the Bible? What was the practice of Jesus Himself with respect to one of the translations of His day? What are the two basic categories of Bible translations? We close discussing some historical examples of Bible translations and the penalties that some men had to endure for their labor of love. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Bible and its Origin
Air Date: 3/13/2010
How were these books recognized as canonical?

Where does the Bible come from? In this discussion we review that it is God-breathed, and how many men were moved by the Holy Spirit to record the library of books which comprise the Bible. Are there different genres to be observed? How were these books recognized as canonical? What was the role of the church in all this? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Immigration Part II
Air Date: 3/6/2010
If we have godly laws, how will that affect our immigration policy?

What are some Biblical examples of the proper treatment of aliens? What are some of the legal aspects? We share some examples of questions asked on the US naturalization test. What should our policies be if we try and implement godly laws in our land? Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Immigration Part I
Air Date: 2/27/2010
How should we treat those who immigrate to our land?

What is a Christian perspective of immigration? How should we as Christians treat those who immigrate to our land? What is the roll of individuals and what is the role of government in a godly land? Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Creeds and Confessions II
Air Date: 2/20/2010
Free offer

We continue last week's discussion on creeds and confessions. First we review some basic creeds as listed in the Bible. We move to exploring some of the confessions of the Protestant Reformation, with a closer look at the Westminster Confession and the Shorter Catechism. ONLINE OFFER: If you download and listen to the podcast, you may order a free copy of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Just email us that you listened, and request a free copy today! Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Creeds and Confessions
Air Date: 2/13/2010
The beauty of creeds and their historical necessity

Why has the Christian church through the years felt it necessary to document the faith using Creeds and Confessions? Is there an advantage to it, and does it have Scriptural precedence? What are some early Christian creeds which we find from the Scriptures themselves? We begin to look at some of the confessions which came out of the Reformation. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Abortion, Part II
Air Date: 2/6/2010
When life begins, eugenics and selective breeding

We continue to delve into this topic, discussing when life begins, and the whole eugenics area and selective breeding. In the early days we find that the first feminists were actually against abortion, and a "woman's right to her body" is a relatively new argument. We look at the statistics of who in society has abortions, and find that the poor are three times more likely to have abortions. 37% African Americans, 22% Hispanic and 34% Whites have abortions, so the scale is tipped heavily in the direction of people of color having abortions. We address the myth of over population and briefly discuss the problems that Japan and European countries are facing due to declining birth rates. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Abortion, Part I
Air Date: 1/30/2010
On what moral basis is abortion wrong?

Is Abortion wrong? If so, on what moral basis? When does life begin? We also discuss modern technology and how it helps us to see what is in the womb. We also discuss the great hope that there is for women facing the decision of an abortion, and the solution that God gives. We provide numbers of where to call in Ulster County if you need help. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: The Christian Calendar
Air Date: 1/23/2010

A Christian calendar can be a great aid to help edify us and help us to remember those things that God has done for us in Christ. What about objections to a Christian calendar? Our culture has been so highly secularized that we start to think nothing of celebrating Mother's Day, birthdays, etc, and yet if a church starts to make mention of the Christian calendar events such as Advent, or Epiphany, or Lent, then some become shy for fear of looking like "Roman Catholics." We discuss the Puritans and their stricter practice in this area. We conclude that a Christian calendar falls into the category of "Adiaphora" - a concept used in philosophy to indicate things which are outside of moral law - that is, actions which are neither morally mandated nor morally forbidden. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Epiphany
Air Date: 1/16/2010
Early events in the life of Jesus

An interesting discussion on Epiphany. Why do some Christians celebrate Christmas on January 6? We take a look at some of the early events in the life of Jesus, including the visit of the Magi, His presence in the temple, and His baptism. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Islam
Air Date: 1/9/2010

A listener asked us to cover the case of Rifqa Bary, and her running away from home, and how she was afraid that she would become a victim of an "honor killing" as imposed by her family. We discuss the larger topic of Islam, and delve into two main sects within that religion, as well as discuss Sharia law. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: The Manhattan Declaration
Air Date: 1/2/2010
Is it OK to sign it?

A listener asked us about The Manhattan Declaration, and if this declaration is worthwhile. The declaration was released on November 20, 2009 and there are a number of Christians who have signed the declaration. It deals with the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage between husband and wife, and the rights of conscience and religious liberty. It was Rev. Harry Reeder who pointed out that: "while being a call to unified Christian action in the engagement of the cultural issues of the day, this declaration does not purport to be a confessional or an ecclesiastical statement of theological unity." Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Second Coming of Christ
Air Date: 12/26/2009
The timing of His second coming is secret, but the future event is certain

The Second Coming of Christ is the "Blessed Hope" of the Christian. We must be ready for this event, and yet we understand that the Son of Man comes at an hour when we don't expect Him. We discuss the inappropriateness of setting dates for the return of Christ. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The 1st Coming of Christ
Air Date: 12/19/2009
And is it OK to celebrate Christmas?

How did the first coming of Jesus affect this world? Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? We review some of the sentiments of some Christians in the 1600's regarding the celebration. How has the spread of the Gospel influenced people? We review the words to the carol "Joy to the World," by Isaac Watts. Finally, Why did Jesus come into the world and what His life means to you personally, today. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The First Advent and events leading up to it
Air Date: 12/12/2009
Including Herod the Great

We look at the actions of Herod the Great, and the times of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We discuss how scripture talks about the coming of the Lord - both first and second comings. What does the word Advent really mean? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Times Leading up to the First Advent
Air Date: 12/5/2009
Some real history prior to Christ's first coming

What were the times like prior to the first advent of our Lord Jesus Christ? What were some of the historical events that we see occurring during the 400 year intertestamental period? What was Herod the Great like? Listen as we discuss these and other events during this time of Advent. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Sacrament
Air Date: 11/28/2009
That sounds too Roman Catholic! (or does it?)

What is the Reformational view of Sacrament? Where did the term sacrament come from and is it legitimate to use the term? How many sacraments are there? What if a pastor becomes apostate, are the previous sacraments administered by him still valid? What does it mean that the sacraments are a sign and seal? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: sola scriptura
Air Date: 11/21/2009
Is the Bible God's inherent word, and are any new revelations to be added to it?

A Pastor is a minister of Word and Sacrament. We continue exploring two major distinctives of the Reformation, namely Word and Sacrament. The topic was so large, that this program is dedicated to the Word. What is meant by the assertion "sola scriptura" as heard from the Reformation onward? How do we look at Scripture - is it God's inherent word? What of continuing revelations, now that the canon of Scripture is complete? Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Missions Part 2
Air Date: 11/14/2009
Why is missions necessary and why continue to translate the Bible into many lanuages?

We continue to discuss the need for missionary endeavor. We discuss the cultural and evangelical mandates. We discuss the necessity of translating the Bible into the native tongue of tribes and nations. We review more accounts from the field as related by a missionary pilot. We also talk about how cultures have been transformed by the gospel of Christ. Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Jeremiah Diedrich (pilot), Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Missons Part 1
Air Date: 11/7/2009
Including an interview with a missionary pilot

Don't we have so many problems in our country, that we need to focus here first? Why missions? We review some missionary accounts from the field as related by a missionary pilot. What is the extent of the evangelistic mandate which Christ has given to His people? Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Jeremiah Diedrich (pilot), Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Reformation Day and Martin Luther
Air Date: 10/31/2009
Including the Five Solas

A lively discussion on Martin Luther, and continuing the theme this month of Reformation. The Augsburg Confession, the five Solas, Bible translation and more are discussed. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich and Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Martin Luther
Air Date: 10/24/2009
His life

We take a deeper look at indulgences in this edition. Also a more in depth look at the life of Martin Luther. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Events leading up to the Reformation - Part II
Air Date: 10/17/2009
What were some of the abuses in the medieval church prior to Luther?

What were some of the abuses seen in the medieval church in the late 1400's and early 1500's, leading up to the time of Martin Luther? We discuss immorality in the church and it's affect upon society. We briefly discuss penance, purgatory, and indulgences. We address the often corrupting influences of wealth and power. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Events leading up to the Reformation - Part I
Air Date: 10/10/2009
Including a discussion of original sin -vs- Palagianism

Why was a reformation of the medieval church needed? We also discuss the Biblical concept of original sin -vs- Palagianism. Participants: Rev. Mark Diedrich, Jeremiah Diedrich joins us on the side, and Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: The Church and Politics - Part II
Air Date: 10/3/2009
What happens worse case, when churches remain true and government become oppresive and evil?

What happens when a government heads in a wrong direction, and the church must take a stand for righteousness? What was the role of the church during Nazi Germany and how did the confessing churches take a stand? We look at the Declaration of Barmen. What is Sphere Sovereignty? We quickly address the Chinese Three Self Church. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Church and Politics - Part I
Air Date: 9/26/2009
What role does the church have in political involvement?

A listener raised the question: What role does the church have in political involvement? We explore the two church/political extremes as we see them in history. We note that according to Calvin, that politics can be a sacred profession. We note the importance that religion plays in politics. We discuss the difference seen in political involvement by Reformational Christianity as opposed to other forms of government under other systems, such as Islamic-run governments. What did Jesus mean when He said "My kingdom is not of this world?" Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The End of the Church Age - NOT
Air Date: 9/19/2009
God still has His church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it!

We have received various emails from folks who have been concerned with, and/or confused by, a popular teaching that says that the "end of the church age" has arrived. The assertion that we deal with, teaches specifically, that God has left all the churches and that now, Satan rules in all churches! This false teaching also asserts that we are no longer supposed to be baptized or have communion. What does the Bible really have to say about this, and how does the history of the church mitigate against such a view? We deal with this topic carefully and without casting stones or mentioning who this "popular" false teacher is. The Bible is full of passages which mitigate against this false teaching of the "end of the church age." There are also boundary conditions which exist concerning the very nature of Christ, such that a view like this cannot possibly be true. We discuss the visible church, the invisible church and show if we dissect these and throw one out while retaining the other, we encounter an impossible scenario with respect to the incarnation of Christ and with respect to His Person. Other questions surface as we probe this question. For example, what are the marks of the church? We also delve into churches which indeed have left the faith once delivered to the saints. We explore the definitions of heresy and schism. While some groups go all the way and deny the basic essentials of the Christian faith, our Lord promises us that He will continually be with His people and will preserve those that are His and that He will preserve the true church. The teaching that Christ is "no longer using the church," is another way of trying to kill off the work and ministry of Christ on earth through His church. We note that it is incomprehensible that we would have this kind of teaching. It is an attack upon the Bride of Christ. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Education - Part 2
Air Date: 9/12/2009
When did compulssory public education begin?

We continue answering the listener's question of "What was the progression of education in the American family since colonization?" As history progresses, the Industrial Revolution played an important part of the educational model. Immigration also affected education as the country needed to turn immigrants into "good" American citizens. By 1918, all the states in the Union have compulsory public education. Private schools continue, but parents who exercise that option, start paying "double." They have to pay their school taxes, as well as for private education. By the late nineteenth century, the Christian church lost control of education in this country. Losing control of higher education meant losing control of curriculum, teacher training and eventually we see Christianity "eased" out of the public schools. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Education - Part 1
Air Date: 9/5/2009
Including how the Reformation changed education

The listener's question is: "What was the progression of education in the American family since colonization?" We discuss what an education is, and how we inherited our current educational model. We also probe other questions prompted by this original question. What was the purpose of a liberal arts education, and how did the Reformation change education? Also where were the first public schools established? Cotton Mather's quotes are explored. We also consider a quote from Cornelius Van Til (contained in Foundations of Christian Education - Addresses to Christian Teachers). Thomas Aquinas is also briefly mentioned, as well as the Belgic Confession. Since the topic of education is so large, we continue into the following week. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: The Role of Satan in the Believer's Life - Part II
Air Date: 8/29/2009
There is victory in Jesus Christ - that is the norm

A follow-on discussion including the distinctions between possession and oppression. The believer is exhorted to keep our eyes on Jesus, and not dwell on satanic activity. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The Role of Satan in the Believer's Life
Air Date: 8/22/2009
Our victory is in the reigning Christ

We discuss the limitations of the role of Satan in the believer's life. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: The First Amendment
Air Date: 8/15/2009
What was intended and what is not

The First Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." We discuss the establishment clause, the free exercise clause and how these came about. What were the ramifications of these in American History? The amendment specifically restricts the Federal Government, but what happened in the 1940's when the Supreme Court applied the first amendment to the states? The so called "Wall of Separation" is dealt with. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Just War
Air Date: 8/8/2009
When is it morally right to go to war?

What is the Just War tradition? When is it right for a Christian to go to war? Was the American Revolution a "just war?" These question and others are dealt with. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf


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A Plain Answer: Internationalism and it's dangers
Air Date: 8/1/2009

We investigate a quote from the Pope's recent pastoral letter, Caritas in Veritate, where he writes that there is a "strongly felt need" for a reform of the United Nations and of "economic institutions and international finance..." "There is," he says "urgent need of a true world political authority" with "effective power." We tackle this dangerous assertion with Biblical exposition, and with a perspective in history. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: Personal Salvation - It's necessity
Air Date: 7/25/2009
We can be saved as individuals even as God works in covenant communities

We investigate a quote from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of America - Rev. Katharine Jefforts Schori. In speaking of the crisis in her own church she says: "the overarching connection in all these crisis has to do with 'the great Western heresy' - that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in a right relationship with God." This assertion is challenged using the plain teachings of Scripture. The individual is saved by God's free grace, i.e., by grace through faith alone. Participants: Dr. John Vance, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: John Calvin's thought - a Continuation
Air Date: 7/18/2009
More insights on John Calvin's influence upon government

A continuation of last week's session, with a look at man's total depravity, and how this conviction got fleshed out in the way government is structured with checks and balances. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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A Plain Answer: John Calvin's Thought on Western Culture and the American Revolution
Air Date: 7/11/2009
Would there even be an America without John Calvin's thoughts?

Celebrating the 500th birthday of John Calvin (July 10, 1509), this program looks at the thoughts of Reformer John Calvin. His thinking has dominated Western culture throughout the modern period, and in particular profoundly affected the thinking leading up to the American Revolution. Participants: Dr. Hans Vought, Rev. Mark Diedrich, Dan Elmendorf.


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