The Most Wonderful Time of the Year | Influence Podcast


Andy Williams sang that Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year.” He was right, though for the wrong reasons. Now, don’t get me wrong! “Parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow” are great and everything, but they’re not what Christmas is ultimately about. In Episode 161 of the Influence Podcast, I talk to Joseph Castleberry about the real reason why Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year. We also debunk a few myths people believe about Christmas. Dr. Castleberry is president of Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, an ordained Assemblies of … Continue reading The Most Wonderful Time of the Year | Influence Podcast

40 Days of Christmas | Book Review


Christmas doesn’t begin at my house until Thanksgiving is over. But once the turkey is digested, the tree goes up, Mariah Carey’s Christmas album gets played on endless loop (it’s that good!), and the countdown to December 25th begins. Literally. The kids have a chalkboard that says, “Santa comes to our house in _____ days.” (As of today, it’s 28 days, in case you’re wondering.) For my family, Christmas is a season, not just a day. Joseph Castleberry’s family and mine are evidently of like mind about the Christmas season. In his new book, 40 Days of Christmas, he provides … Continue reading 40 Days of Christmas | Book Review

An Outline of the Christian Faith, Part 3: Atonement and Advent (Revelation 1:5–7)


John follows his statement about revelation (Revelation 1:1–3) and his trinitarian greeting (verses 4–5) with a doxology to Jesus Christ (verses 5–7). A doxology is a word (logos) in praise of the glory (doxa) of God, or in this case, of Jesus Christ. There are several doxologies in Revelation (e.g., 4:6–11, 5:9–13, 7:12, 19:1–2). The sequence of verses 1–7 is instructive. Theology gives rise to doxology, faith to praise. A man or woman who thinks correctly about God but fails to worship him wholeheartedly has not understood him at all. Why praise Jesus Christ? Two reasons: Atonement and advent. Atonement: … Continue reading An Outline of the Christian Faith, Part 3: Atonement and Advent (Revelation 1:5–7)