The Vision For Life Podcast
New episodes every Wednesday!
Episode 59 | VFL Reads: Glennon Doyle's Honesty Gospel
October 20, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont
Glennon Doyle is an archetypal American celebrity, embodying trends in the broader culture in a concentrated way. Her writing, podcast and Instagram function as popular wisdom literature marketed to women. On this week's episode, Autumn and Hunter discuss a review of Doyle's career published in The New Yorker. In "Glennon Doyle's Honesty Gospel," Ariel Levy reviews Doyle from within a secular framework. And yet even from that perspective, Levy hints at inconsistencies and cracks in her narrative of self-expression. For a Christian reading this review, Levy helps us discern some of the common themes and cracks in the "secular gospel." We discuss these themes while observing how the secular, therapeutic gospel tends to echo Christian language without its substance. Article mentioned in this episode: "Glennon Doyle's Honesty Gospel" by Ariel Levy (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/02/15/glennon-doyles-honesty-gospel)
Episode 58 | VFL Culture: Marijuana
October 13, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Dave Morlan
In recent years, 36 states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana for either medical or recreational use or both. Colorado led the way. Living in a place in which weed is ubiquitous and legal raises interesting questions for followers of Jesus. Does the Bible provide wisdom for navigating this cultural issue? Is marijuana use allowable for Christians? Should Christians participate in the marijuana industry? Dave and Autumn discuss these questions, looking to Ephesians 5:18 and Proverbs 31:6-7 to bring clarity and nuance to this topic. They observe that a desire for escape, relief, and transcendence motivate much of the widespread use of marijuana and other psychotropic drugs. In conclusion, they discuss that the gospel offers the possibility of transcendence and the promise of being made new in a wholly different and better way than mind and mood altering substances.
Episode 57 | Q&R: Educating Children In A Secular World
October 6, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont, Dave Morlan
A listener-submitted question wrestles with Jesus' vision to be "in the world not not of the world" as it relates to educating children - especially in the public education system which indoctrinates students with a modernist vision of sexuality and gender at an increasingly early age. How are wise parents navigating this reality? Autumn is joined by Dave and Hunter to discuss the challenges of raising children in this environment and some of the different ways Christian parents are approaching education. They identify three typical, but different, approaches to education and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Episode 56 | VFL Sermon Discussion: Justification & Sanctification
September 29, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont
New City Catechism question 32 asks, "What do justification and sanctification mean?" In the sermon from September 26, 2021 we learned that these two words summarize the gospel's gift of "righteousness." Justification is our declared righteousness before God; sanctification is our gradual growing righteousness. And the order is essential - justification BEFORE sanctification. In this week's episode, Autumn and Hunter follow-up on the sermon and ask, "How can we practice the rhythm of "first justification, then sanctification" in everyday life? What does it look like to actually live by this rhythm, and how does it give us a unique joy? Resources mentioned in this episode: "Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal" by Richard Lovelace (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0830852883) New City Catechism, Question 32 (http://newcitycatechism.com/new-city-catechism/#32)
Episode 55 | VFL Reads: Social Media, Identity, And The Church
September 22, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont, Michael Goldstein
Autumn, Hunter and Michael discuss a book review of Breaking the Social Media Prism by Chris Bail. In his review, Timothy Keller observes that social media is driving polarized thinking and polarized relationships - but not for the reasons we're commonly told. Rather than being driven by algorithms, social media is driven by our own, modern need to construct and express an identity. "Social media is more about identity than ideas," says Keller summarizing Bail. But if we can resist using it to express identity, we can still use it constructively. Resources mentioned in this episode: "Social Media, Identity, and the Church" by Tim Keller (https://quarterly.gospelinlife.com/social-media-identity-and-the-church/) "Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing" by Chris Bail (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0691203423/)
Episode 54 | VFL Culture: COVID-19 Vaccines
September 15, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont
Introducing "VFL Culture" episodes, where we discuss a topic of public debate through the lens of biblical wisdom. Hunter and Autumn (reluctantly) dive in to everyone's favorite family argument: Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine? Is there a possible "religious exception" reason to refuse the vaccine if mandated? And what if I land in a different place on this than my friends, fellow church members or pastors? Resources mentioned in this episode: "COVID-19 raises concerns about abortive fetal cells in medicine" [ERLC] (https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/explainer-covid-19-raises-concern-about-abortive-fetal-cells-in-medicine/) "Common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine" - Interview with Russell Moore and Dr. Francis Collins [ERLC] (https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/common-questions-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/) "How should Christians think about religious exemptions for vaccination?" by Ashli Arbo and Matthew Arbo [ERLC] (https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/how-should-christians-think-about-religious-exemptions-for-vaccination/) "What you should know about COVID-19 vaccines" by Joe Carter [TGC] (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-faqs-what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-vaccines/)
Episode 53 | Q&R: Gospel Issues vs. Cultural Issues, And The Persecuted Church
September 8, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont
Autumn and Hunter discuss two listener-submitted questions. First: In light of last week’s conversation on the fracturing of evangelicalism over “secondary” issues, how do we actually distinguish between “gospel issues” and “cultural issues?” Can you give us some guidance on how to know the difference? Second: In light of recent events in Afghanistan, how can we pray for and support Christians who are persecuted, especially when our experience as Americans is so different than theirs?
Episode 52 | VFL Reads: The Six-Way Fracturing of Evangelicalism
September 1, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont, Dave Morlan
Introducing a new podcast feature, "VFL Reads," where we read and discuss an article or book that helps us think about following Jesus in our world. This week, Autumn, Hunter and Dave discuss "The Six Way Fracturing of Evangelicalism" by Michael Graham, published at mereorthodoxy.com (link below) "Evangelicalism" is a movement that emerged in the 1940's, differentiated from both "modernism" and "fundamentalism," and grew to become the most influential Christian stream in America (this history is discussed in the conversation). For better or worse, our experience of Christianity in America is influenced by the ups and downs of evangelicalism, even if we wouldn't identify as "evangelical." Today, this movement is fracturing due to cultural pressures and differences of opinion in how to respond. That fracturing means that many Americans experience Christianity as filled with arguments, controversies, disappointments, and disagreements - even among those who believe the same gospel and follow the same Jesus. In this episode, we discuss this fracturing using Graham's categories and how we can faithfully and joyfully follow Jesus in an age of fragmentation. https://mereorthodoxy.com/six-way-fracturing-evangelicalism/
Episode 51 | VFL Sermon Discussion: Prioritize Public Faith
August 25, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont
In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus compares his followers to a lamp. A lamp's very nature, its intended purpose, is to give off light. That is why, Jesus adds, people put a lamp on a stand; there it will give light to all in the house. He continues with an admonition to those listening to "let your light shine before others." In the same breath, Jesus acknowledges the temptation to hide, which he compares to putting a lamp under a basket. Based on this teaching, Hunter describes public faith as a willingness to identify as a follower of Jesus and a commitment to good works that serve others. We grow in these good works, a public display of our faith that directs attention to God, by knowing our story, practicing hospitality, doing our work with excellence, caring for the poor and vulnerable, and sharing our church.
Episode 49 | VFL Sermon Discussion: Prioritize Gathered Worship & The Next Generation
August 11, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont, Dave Morlan
The church is called, not to fit in with it's surrounding culture, nor to go to war with it, but to lovingly challenge it. Followers of Jesus - the church - challenge culture in love through a biblically distinctive posture, practices, and priorities. Our current sermon series considers some of the church's distinctive priorities, namely gathered worship and investing in the next generation. Putting these priorities into place in our lives often brings us to decision points that require deciding between two good options, or between what is good and what is best. What are the practical implications of setting aside time every week for gathered worship? What does investing in another life visa vie sharing the gospel require? And what if this is all harder than it sounds? Dave, Hunter, and Autumn respond to these questions in a candid discussion.
Episode 48 | Daily Life With God, Part 4: A Lifetime Journey
August 4, 2021 • Hunter Beaumont, Dave Morlan
In the final installment of our Daily Life with God conversations, Hunter and Dave talk about what it’s like to cultivate a relationship with God over many years. They discuss habits they’ve always returned to and the mysterious experience of the Lord’s distance or absence, when what used to “work” doesn’t work anymore and what He might be teaching us in those seasons.
Episode 47 | New Marriage Podcast Introduction!
July 28, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Dave Morlan, Renee Morlan
FDC App (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id899775050) Apple Podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1578291844) Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/show/16xemuRB2blAVuOoLnWMhC) Google Play (https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9wb2RjYXN0cy5zdWJzcGxhc2guY29tL2prNm1waDQvcG9kY2FzdC5yc3M)
Episode 45 | Daily Life With God, Part 2: Overcoming Common Hangups
July 14, 2021 • Autumn Gardner, Hunter Beaumont
Everyone who attempts to cultivate a daily relationship with God runs in to obstacles and frustrations - time, distractions and apathy, just to name a few. In part 2 of our series, Autumn and Hunter discuss some of these frustrations and how we can keep going even when the going gets slow.