Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wretched Radio, and Learning to Think Theologically

Back in the early 2000's (2001 maybe?), I discovered a Christian talk radio show called "Talk the Walk" with Todd Friel on AM980 KKMS in the Twin Cities.  I can remember the very first episode I ever heard - it was a man debating with and witnessing to people he was meeting at the State Fair (it was in the summer).  Needless to say I was intrigued, as he easily handled any questions and objections that came his way.  I made sure to tune in the next day, and heard similar content on the show.

As the State Fair wound down, the guy doing the debating and witnessing was back in the studio and talked through the issues of the day as they related to evangelical Christianity.  He talked about all sorts of things: current events, issues in the church, worship, witnessing, politics, entertainment, and just about everything you can imagine.  I remember being exposed to something I had not previously been able (willing?) to do: think theologically.  In other words, I had never been exposed to someone thinking through every day issues from scripture.  Sure, I had been to church my whole life, and by this time I was actually and genuinely a Christian.  But there was a significant disconnect between my thinking and scripture.  I had never been taught to examine all of my life in light of what I knew to be true about God and man, as revealed in scripture.  This all began to change when I started listening to Todd Friel on Talk the Walk.

As time went on, I made sure to never miss an episode of "Talk the Walk."  I listened to it every day, and recommended it to all my friends and family members.  I grew immensely as I listened to Todd think through issues using scripture and theology.  It was a huge part of my growth at that time.

After a couple years, Todd left "Talk the Walk," which was locally broadcast, and KKMS in order to do "Way of the Master Radio" with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, a nationally syndicated show.  The show's content remained essentially the same, except it now included live witnessing encounters between Todd and people on the street over the phone.
And then, after a couple of years with Way of the Master, Todd Friel left (amicably) to do his own TV show in addition to the radio show.  The TV show is called "Wretched," and the radio show is aptly titled "Wretched Radio."  The radio show isn't broadcast in the Twin Cities anymore, so I download the podcasts each day for the meager price of $5.00 a month.  It's the best money I spend in my entire budget.  For this amount I get full access to the daily TV shows and podcasts (which are essentially the same, although the podcast is two hours a day, whereas the TV show is only a half hour a day - needless to say, I prefer the podcast).

One other thing that needs to be mentioned in a post like this, and especially in light of what I've already said, is that the primary way a person learns to think theologically is through familiarity with and dedication to the Bible.  In this sense, the best thing a person can do to learn to think theologically is to learn to read the Bible.  Learn to read the Bible?  Isn't it just reading?  No, it's not just reading.  It's connecting what has been read to real life.  This is not as easy as it sounds, and it is definitely a skill that comes with time, practice, prayer, and humility.  The Spirit is a part of this process just as much as we are.

That being said, I owe a lot of my spiritual growth and maturity to Todd Friel and the ways he's taught me to think through life and scripture (and he's a pretty funny guy, too; the shows aren't just interesting, they're pretty entertaining).  I would recommend that any Christian interested in getting down and dirty with connecting scripture to real life subscribe to Wretched and listen to these podcasts and grow in your ability to think theologically.  Your life will change.  Seriously.

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