It seems like everyone today has a podcast.
Only a few years ago, podcasts were a fairly novel concept. They were the newest iteration of the talk-show radio host. However, according to Podcast Insights, (as of April 2021) there now are over 2 million podcasts and over 48 million episodes! About half the population in the U.S. are podcast fans, which accounts for over 60 million homes in America alone. The format of the podcast makes them perfect for multitasking - I often listen to my favorite podcasts while washing dishes, mowing lawn or other chores that don't require active brain engagement. For many listeners, podcasts make it easy to catch up on the latest news in an entertaining way.
By simply subscribing to a podcast via your favorite podcast app, you can have new episodes delivered right to your device every day. Some popular podcast apps that many people already have on their phones are:
Apple Podcasts (iPhone & Apple devices)
Spotify (iOS, Android, Mac & PC)
For myself, and many others, podcasts offer a way to grow in your faith that is especially handy for auditory learners. It can be a way to redeem the time in our commutes to work, doing chores, or as simply something to listen to while we paint, design, draw or create. I've even played around with the idea of starting my own podcast (which may happen in the future). Podcasts have been a tool to help me grow in my understanding of theology, shape my Christian worldview by hearing multiple viewpoints on an issue and even to consider opposing viewpoints as podcast hosts and guests talk things out. Now, this not to imply that we should fill every blank space of time with podcasts - but they do offer us a unique tool for growth.
However, not all Christian podcasts are equal. There are some really bad podcasts that teach error. So, I'd like to share a few of my favorite solid podcasts for helping you grow in your faith. These podcasts in this list are particularly great for those who are new to the faith or recently starting to grow in their understanding of theology.
Here (in no particular order) are my top six podcasts to help new and renewed believers grow in their faith...
1. Core Christianity
One of the best resources for new and mature believers to grow in their faith
Core Christianity podcast is a Christian radio talk show with hosts, Pastor Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier that was founded to help people find answers to the difficult questions of the Christian faith. In each 26 minute episode, Pastor Adriel gives brief, Biblically sound answers to questions sent in by phone or email.
Many of the questions asked are common to questions that new or seasoned believers will have of the Bible or faith, such as: What does the Bible say about dating someone who isn't a Christian? Is Christianity a religion or a relationship? What is the Antichrist's role in the End Times? Did God create His own enemy? Does Easter have Pagan origins? Will I recognize my loved ones in Heaven? and much more... The question and answer format also helps to equip you to defend the faith and explain it to others by hearing how an experienced pastor/theologian gives an answer. You can also find many articles, studies, free downloads and resources at their website. Core Christianity truly is a huge blessing to the church and a wealth of amazing resources to help you mature in your understanding of the faith.
2. Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R.C. Sproul
Outstanding Bible teaching from one of the clearest Bible teachers of recent times
Renewing Your Mind is an outreach of Ligonier Ministries, which is an international Christian discipleship organization founded by Dr. R.C. Sproul (1939-2017). They are committed to faithfully presenting the unvarnished truth of Scripture, helping you to know what you believe, why you believe it, how to live it and how to share it. Dr. Sproul is a world-renown Bible teacher, a prolific author, professor and scholar who has blessed the lives of so many - including myself! His way of breaking down complex concepts and topics in a way that is understandable and compelling is a unique gift.
Renewing Your Mind is a daily broadcast that has been airing since 1994. It provides in-depth Bible teaching to instruct listeners in the life-changing truths of Historic, Biblical Christianity in a way that engages the pertinent issues of today. The podcast episodes are typically about 27 minutes long and cover topics such as: the sovereignty of God, the authority of scripture, the Passover, various parables of Jesus, and many other Biblical topics. You know that when you're listening to Dr. Sproul, you are getting solid teaching that is rooted in God's Word and has been believed throughout the centuries of the church.
3. Simply Put
The best short-form podcast to grow your theological vocabulary and understanding
Simply Put is a short-form podcast hosted by Barry Cooper. Barry Cooper is an author, teacher, and screenwriter who has served for 20 years with Christianity Explored Ministries based in the United Kingdom.
Simply Put is a weekly podcast that focuses on defining and exploring theological terms and concepts in short 5-10 minute episodes. Cooper has an uncanny gift to explain theological concepts in everyday language in a way that doesn't require a dictionary. Plus, Barry Cooper's smooth British accent is reason enough to treat your eardrums to this podcast! haha. If you're like me, you might binge-listen to a few episodes. They're nice and compact so you don't have to feel like you need a big chunk of time, but they're deep enough to leave you with something to think about. If you're just starting off studying theology or are new to the faith and reading the Bible, this is a great podcast to help you get your feet wet and understand some of the terms like imputed righteousness, justification, penal substitutionary atonement, providence, the noetic effets of sin, and more. Who knows, maybe you might even understand what supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism are!
4. 5 Minutes in Church History
Best way to grow your knowledge of Church History without having to digest huge books
Perhaps one of the most important subjects I studied in seminary was church history. It is perhaps one of the subjects that most significantly impacted my faith. Today, many Christians live in a historical bubble. Church history for most Evangelicals only goes back as far as Billy Graham! However, there is so much to learn from studying church history for our faith today. 5 Minutes in Church History is a fun and engaging way to travel back in time as to look at the people, events, and even the places that have shaped the story of Christianity with Dr. Stephen Nichols (President of Reformation Bible College). Each episode of 5 Minutes in Church History offers an easily digestible glimpse of how the eternal, unchangeable God has worked in the church over prior generations, and how this can encourage us today. This is our story—our family history.
Each 5 minute episode covers a particular person or story from Church History. Dr. Nichols is an amazing story-teller and does a great job of explaining why it is important and instructive for us today. If we don't learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat its failures. Church History also helps us to see that we don't stand as a historical island but rather have inherited great wealth from the sacrifices and hard work of generations before us. Each story brings a human element to faith and inspires us through their examples of devotion, courage, and insight. It may seem odd to include a podcast on Church History in a list like this, but Church History has been one subject that profoundly affected my faith, and I think many Christians today miss out on the blessing it can be!
5. Ask Pastor John
Bible answers from a trusted pastor and gifted teacher
Ask Pastor John is a ministry of Desiring God Ministries which was founded by Dr. John Piper. Piper is a theologian, pastor, and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He is an impressive author has spoken at many large Christian conferences and his teaching ministry has profoundly affected many world-wide. Piper has an ability to teach Biblical truths in a way that brings out the beauty, glory and majesty of the Bible to lead us to worship and awe of God. Many Christians have cut their teeth on the solid Reformed, Biblical theology from men like John Piper who brought passion and clarity to these glorious truths.
Piper's years of ministry experience as a pastor helps to give him good insight in answering questions from listeners such as: How do I serve dying unbelievers? Should Christian jurors show mercy to the guilty? How do I love neighbours who ignore me? Is my repentance real if I keep committing the same sin? How does chronic pain glorify God? Is it sinful to pray for a larger income? and many more...
6. The White Horse Inn
Be a fly on the wall as seminary professors discuss today's theological issues
The White Horse Inn is a weekly Christian radio program founded and hosted by Westminster seminary professor, Dr. Michael Horton. He is joined with Shane Rosenthal and other professors and pastors week-to-week to help equip Christians to "know what they believe and why they believe it." They frequently feature interviews with leading thinkers and on the street interviews that help to illustrate what are the popular convictions of Christians or non-Christians in today's culture. The White Horse Inn aims to bring the truths of the Protestant Reformation and classic Reformed Confessions to bear on today's issues.
Some episode contents you can expect to hear are: Repentance & Personal Transformation, Making Disciples: The Mission & Its Methods, The Multiverse & The Mystery of Life's Origin, Seeing Christ in All of Scripture, How to Read & Apply the Old Testament, and much more. Listeners can be sure that as they tune in every week, they are getting solid, Biblical insights from men who are well versed in the Scriptures and have spent much time studying and thinking deeply about the issues. They desire to see a new reformation in our churches through a rediscovery of Good, the Gospel and the classic Christian confessions from the 16th century Protestant Reformation. I often feel like a fly on the wall listening and learning from seminary professors and pastors talking through important issues together.
BONUS: My Interview on The Happy Holy Hour
I did a podcast interview at The Happy Holy Hour on "Creativity in the Christian Life." I talk about how theology impacts our understanding and use of creativity in the Christian life. The Happy Holy Hour is a weekly reformed Christian podcast dedicated to seeing Christians everywhere understand who God is while living in a culture bent on destroying Him. They talk about difficult topics like Church culture, Christian living, and Biblical Authority.
I hope that these podcasts bless you and help you to continue to grow in your affections for Jesus, understanding and love of His Word and your zeal to seek His Kingdom first.
If this list of podcasts to help you grow in your faith blessed you, please consider sharing it with your family and friends to encourage them with sound Bible teaching. God bless!