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Bite Size Theology: Some Big Announcements

Bite Size Theology: Some Big Announcements

It’s that time again: National Civic Hacking Day! That’s actually not a joke. But this is not a conversation about ethical hacking practices for American civilians. It’s Bite Size Theology time! We’ve just completed week one of our new series on the Epistles. If you want to catch up on our first five episodes, check out our library here!

Two big things to announce on the horizon: first, we are going to be changing our scheduling of the Extended Edition. Instead of coming out every other Saturday, Extended Edition episodes will now be coming out every other Friday, taking the place of the Bite Size episode on that day. The change in scheduling should free us up to make sure that we get you all the best possible content that we can!

Second, among the many additions that will we be announcing in the coming weeks, we officially have an Instagram account! Personally, I don’t know how the ‘gram works, but I’ve been assured that Cooper, our marketing expert, does. So, if you love both our podcast and everyone’s favorite photo-sharing app, then that Venn diagram has finally come together! Our username is “bitesizetheology”. We hope you all enjoy!

Now let’s get on with our preview of the next two weeks of Bite Size Theology!

Week 1 (6/3-6/7):

Monday 6/3: Epistles pt. 6 – Ephesians

By Aaron Lively

This particular letter in the Bible was written by Paul to the church in Ephesus, and to provide some historical background, Ephesus was a large city on the west coast of Asia. And even though Paul did stay in Ephesus and that fact is documented by Luke in Acts 19, Paul does occasionally express some unfamiliarity with the audience he is writing to. There are a few instances in Ephesians, for example, where Paul is writing that he’s mainly just hearing secondhand how they’re doing, like in 4:21, where he says “But that is not the way you learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him.” While some recent scholars use this as an argument that Paul isn’t actually the one who wrote this letter, the fact that the letter still reflects his style and claims to be written by him, while making assertions to the audience to put away falsehood, is decent justification for the fact that it was. There’s also the fact that Ephesus was a huge city and controlled an assortment of rural areas in a wide radius around it, which means that it’s a broad audience that Paul was writing to, and it’s unclear how much of that culture might’ve changed from Paul’s visit to when he was actually writing this letter from prison.

Most of the teaching in Ephesians is general. So while Galatians may have been written for a very specific purpose, Ephesians is a broadly written instruction to a diverse group of people. We do get some glimpses of what the culture in Ephesus was like. For example, in Acts 19, Ephesus is described as a culture that had an interest in the occult. This is why Paul is writing a lot in Ephesians about how God has authority over all powers, earthly and otherwise…

Tuesday 6/4: Epistles pt. 7 – Philippians

By Sage Blalock

Paul’s letter to the Philippians shows the trials of the Christian life and the secret to making it through in one piece. The letter was originally written while Paul was in prison. In chapter one, he uses this setting to magnify the gospel.

His readers in Philippi have no doubt already heard that Paul had been imprisoned by the Roman authorities. Yet in verse twelve, he refers to this as only “what has happened to me”, instead focusing on what has come from his predicament: “it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

Despite being in the midst of a terrible experience we couldn’t imagine, a 1st century Roman jail, Paul stresses the duality of the Christian life: physical suffering produces spiritual fruit. It’s important to note that Paul did not seek to be throne in jail. He wasn’t hoping to be apprehended to show how faithful he was. He merely followed Jesus’ call to the Gentiles and suffered because of it. As Paul writes in 29: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake”…

Wednesday 6/5: Epistles pt. 8 – Colossians

By Sage Blalock

Another of Paul’s letters written in a Roman prison, Colossians was addressed to a church that Paul had neither planted nor ever even visited. As such the first real meat of the letter is Paul’s pitch of Christ’s divinity and his gospel. Chapter 1:15-23 reads:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

Having laid the theological foundation of the Christian faith for Colossi, Paul contends with a dangerous theology that had infiltrated their church…

Thursday 6/6: Epistles pt. 9 – 1 Thessalonians

By John McCord

Friday 6/7: Epistles pt. 10 – 2 Thessalonians

By Aaron Lively

Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians is written to the same audience as the first letter – to the church in Thessalonica, which was the huge Roman capital city of Macedonia. Most people who lived in Thessalonica ascribed to the ancient Roman gods, and there were also a significant number of Jews living in the city. But the Christian church in Thessalonica was also heavily persecuted. Paul’s visit there is documented in Acts 17, and things didn’t end so well. He went to visit the city with two other missionaries: Timothy and Silas. And even though their work began peacefully and fruitfully, a large number of Christians in the city were accused of an uprising against Caesar, which meant that the three had to leave the city before they’d felt they were done there.

The moment you start reading through both letters to the Thessalonians, it’s immediately clear that this audience had a lot of questions about what happened to believers after they died, and what the second coming of Jesus was supposed to be like. All of the people in Thessalonica who were killed for preaching the gospel – would they miss out on Jesus’ second coming? What was their own destiny if they were to die before they saw it? These were among the Thessalonians’ biggest questions, and Paul does his best to address those questions in these two letters…

Week 2 (6/10-6/14):

Monday 6/10: Epistles pt. 11 – 1 Timothy

By Aaron Lively

Tuesday 6/11: Epistles pt. 12 – 2 Timothy

By Aaron Lively

Wednesday 6/12: Epistles pt. 13 – Titus

By Sage Blalock

Thursday 6/13: Epistles pt. 14 – Philemon

By Sage Blalock

Friday 6/14: Extended Edition #8: Calvinism vs Armenianism

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Sage Blalock

Follower of Christ. Proud husband to Jamie. Nihilistic Tennessee Volunteers fan. BA in Philosophy w/ concentration in Religious Studies, ETSU '16. Classical Studies Minor ETSU '16. Wake Divinity '19. Interests: Game of Thrones, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, and food. Big fan of food.

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