Understanding Islam and Extremist Terror

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Understanding Islam and Extremist Terror


In this special episode, Podcast Seminary Dean, Dr. Freddy Cardoza, answers the questions:

What does Islam teach?
What do Muslims believe?
Why are factions of Muslims frequently at war with one another?
What is Sharia Law?
What are the Five Pillars of Islam
Who was Muhammad?
What was Muhammad’s Night Journey?
Is the Quran Inspired?
Who is ISIS? Al Qaeda? Boko Haram? Al Shabaab?

And much more!
Also, over 30 hours in the making, get the 90 slide presentation on “Understanding Islam and ISIS” at http://podcastseminary.download


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Barcelona Terror: ISIS and Muslim Extremism [Podcast]

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On August 17, 2017 on the famed Las Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, a raging terrorist drove a windowless white van 60mph down the pedestrian-filled walkway, killing or injuring nearly 100 people.
In this timely podcast, Podcast Seminary Dean, Dr. Freddy Cardoza, addresses the Barcelona ISIS Attack, exploring terror sentiments among Muslims around the world from the latest Pew Research report (August 9, 2017), along with a close look at ISIS and other terror groups.


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Source: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/09/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world/

Album Covers of Our First 20 Podcast Seminary Episodes

Blog Header New 2017 July large logo40 transparency x 1140We’re excited about how well our 3-month old podcast has been received. This is a special thank you for the more than 6000 downloads our podcast has received in only the first 3 months.


Podcast Seminary Stats for First Three Months, 2017


Here you’ll see the covers of each of the first 20 episodes. You can click it and link to our new podcast page OR go below and see our new audio courses that we think are the cat’s meow. Thank you for your support of Podcast Seminary as we help people grow in their faith and relationship with God.
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First 20 Podcast Seminary Episodes, 1600 x 2950 Best


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What the Global South Needs to Know About Postmodernism

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What the Global South Needs to Know About Postmodernism

I was asked by a fellow believer and reader of my blog about the problem of Postmodernism. As of late, Postmodernism has begun making more headway in Africa, particularly Zambia, and further into the Global South. He invited me to respond with a blog, so I wanted to include it here. Following are a handful of my thoughts on Postmodernism. Later, I will be offering a 2 hour audio course from Podcast Seminary on this issue. For now, this is a brief response.


Christianity Always Has Tension with Culture and Society
Christianity has always had a degree of tension with society. This is because of the Apostle Paul’s injunction in Romans. There, in Romans 12:2, he charged believers who were surrounded by a culture generally hostile to the values of the Christian gospel not to be “conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (NASV).
Because of the reality that Christians live in an environment that is increasingly hostile to the gospel and to believers themselves, Christian educators must seek how to prepare believers to live in the world without being conformed by it. That critical task is made more difficult due to the onslaught of Postmodernism which is seeking to dominate the next several decades of Western thought—and that now threatens the Global South as well.
What is Postmodernism?

One might pose the questions, “What is postmodernism?” and “Why should a familiarity with it be considered important?” It has been said that “Postmodernism is a throw-away word that means everything and nothing” (Goetz, 1997). It is a word which did not secure a dictionary definition by the end of the Twentieth Century. Nevertheless, according to one of the foremost writers in postmodern thought, Jean-Francois Lyotard, postmodernism can be reduced to the simple common denominator of incredulity toward metanarratives (Knight, 1998).
Put plainly, Postmodernism (in its many forms and expressions) rejects the possibility of a cohesive worldview that explains reality. It is similar to the idea of Existentialism or, better, Nihilism, saying that life has no essential meaning, but then allows individuals to flagrantly choose their own truth, their own meaning, and their own values—as their individualized personal worldview.
The Essence of Postmodernism’s Ideological Bankruptcy

Obviously, such an approach inevitably leads to conflicts with nearly everyone else in the world about things such as meaning, truth, morality, ethics, and the nature of knowledge, language, truth, and destiny. ***Even so, Postmodern proponents wish to live in that state of constant moral and existential confusion, because the ambiguity of life, ethics, morality, and meaning promise what they seek: complete personal autonomy (Subjectivism) and the rejection of all authority except their own (Moral Relativism).***
Ah, but alas, the Bible teaches that there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9), as the Postmodern way of life is nothing more than a warmed over philosophy popular during the days of the Old Testament judges when “each man did what was right in his own eyes” (Jud 17:6). The ultimate result of Postmodernism is beginning to be seen in the West: the breakdown of personal ethics, rejection of law and order, resistance of justice, and personal ruin.
The Onslaught Against Christian Virtue by Postmodernism
Meanwhile, Christians continue to insist on the existence of truth, morality, and meaning—but are beginning to be targets of mild persecution for holding positions contrary to Postmodernism. In these last days, postmodern people in Western society “will not put up with sound teaching” (2 Tim 3).
But in their rebellion against God and their war against logic and sound reason, the unexpected result of Postmodernism in the United States seems to be a twofold outcome: First, believers and churches struggle to maintain their witness in the cultural decay and societal chaos that Postmodern has wrought. And second, people willingly deluded by Postmodernism’s false promise of freedom are now being victimized, scandalized, exploited, and destroyed by living out their valueless worldview.
The Disintegration of Culture, Society, and Possibly Civilization
The result is that civilization itself is being shaken here, as we watch others’ lives disintegrate before our very eyes.
Our word of warning to the Global South and believers there is simple: Avoid the error of European and American Postmodernism and learn to think for yourselves. You do not want to enter in to this pain and decay that is the only possible outcome of the Postmodern belief system. It is a bankrupt view of life that only makes promises of autonomy that it cannot fulfill, leading to even greater bondage and personal disrespect than one thought possible. I have seen this and plead with you to fight against Postmodernism in order to preserve your faith, culture, and dignity.

Is Jesus Really the Only Way? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series


Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 7 of 7

Is Jesus Really the Only Way?
As a Christian, I say “Yes” and for good reason. But the Bible makes it clear that not only “Christians” should believe in Jesus. Rather, God wants everyone to believe and follow Christ as Lord (boss). How can God make such an audacious ask? Well, for one thing– He’s God! But there’s more…
God makes claim on being the only way to eternal life because of a few logical facts: No other person in the history of humanity ever rose from the dead—except Jesus. What’s more, no other faith even has the audacity to teach such a thing— except Christianity. The Bible uses that central fact as the primary truth on which the entire Christian faith rises and falls.
Once Jesus rose from the dead, he stuck around the next 40 days to prove He had risen and defeated death, something documented to believers and skeptics alike. In doing so, this became the greatest attested miracle in history. The Resurrection of Jesus is the #1 Mic Drop of all time.
And through the Resurrection, Jesus demonstrated that He is all powerful, by personally overcoming death—after having lived the greatest moral life in history.


Listening Challenge: Learn More About How Christianity Contrasts with Other Faiths

LEARN ABOUT CHRISTIANITY


On the basis of who He was and is, Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh, the Son of God. He claimed that He was the one Way, the One Truth, and the One way to Eternal Life. Since Jesus lived a life of perfection that should be the model for all people—and because Jesus alone raised from the dead and since no one before or since has claimed or proven the same as Jesus, He has the sole right to make such an audacious claim.
But ironically, that’s not the major hurdle for people. Once they realize all this, you would think it would be impossible to object to Jesus being the One and Only Way. But that objection is just a smokescreen.
If God gave us 2 ways, instead of one way to God, people would remain unhappy. If God gave them 2 ways instead of 3, they’d be unhappy. Even if God said, you can have a million ways—we’d still want one more. You see, the problem with Jesus being the only way isn’t really Jesus. It’s that, as humans, we want COMPLETE AUTONOMY. We resist submitting because we want to be our own and only authority. But because Jesus lived a perfect life, unlike us, and died for our salvation, unlike us, and raised from the dead on His own power, unlike us or anyone else, Jesus is Lord of All, and insists that He and He only is the Only Way to God. It makes complete sense.



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Is God a Violent Person? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series


Is God Really Violent?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 6 of 7


Is God Really Violent?
One of the great tragedies of human life is that there is violence in the world. Most violence is caused by evil in the human heart and the strategic influence of Satan in the world. Most violence has nothing to do with God.
But there are occasions where some violence is either allowed by God or even enacted by God. We even see serious examples of that in scripture. So it’s clear that, though God is not a warmonger, neither is He a pacifist.
Here’s what’s important to understand: God is the only Supreme Being that exists. His brilliance is beyond our ability to understand, and His character is good—even inscrutable… meaning that His benevolence is beyond the ability to accuse Him of wrongdoing. God is perfectly balanced in all moral perfections. Sometimes God is oversimplified, and therefore misunderstood. Is God love? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that God is not also a divine warrior and a champion of good. God is love, but he is not ONLY love. He is the perfect temperament of all character qualities. He is also just. He is also merciful. He is also forgiving. He holds all those perfections in perfect balance. One never eclipses the other—they always stay in perfect harmony.
This is possible, because God is all knowing. And all powerful, and everywhere present. And changeless. So for this reason, he always does the right thing and cannot err—EVER.
So here’s how to understand violence: On those rare occasions there is divine violence (like God’s punishment, etc.), it is always legitimate and even necessary. God knows that to maintain His moral purity and to honor truth, justice, righteousness, love, and mercy—there needs to be a perfect balance of His judgment, even when He chooses to permit or enact violence.
We should remember that, even when it seems so out of control, in fact—because God is sovereign, every molecule, every piece of debris, every reaction, are all in His immediate awareness, control and sovereignty.
So when violence occurs, remember God isn’t responsible for much of it—it’s often evil human free will. Remember that God is morally perfect, knows everything actual and possible, and that He is in control. And the safest place for us to be is to be willfully submitted to Him and trusting completely in his good character.



Upcoming Video (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)


7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

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What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series


What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 5 of 7

What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?
Human identity and sexuality are very deeply intertwined subjects. In many ways, both our personhood and sexuality are enigmas—deeply mysterious subjects, and not nearly as simplistic as they are made to seem in culture and society.
Our identity is the core of our individualism and our personality. Our identity is the amalgamation of who God made us, who we think we are, and even who others think we are. From these, we form a self-concept, and from that springs our personality, image, reputation, and character.
The Bible says that God made us, mind, body, and spirit. And together, these form who we are. Then, as we figure out our identity, because we weren’t created to live alone in isolation, we soon migrate toward intimacy.
Intimacy has to do with knowing others and being known by others. It’s about sharing our own self-discovery, who we are, with others. And a possibility of this sharing is that, as intimacy grows, human sexuality enters into the picture.
Human sexuality is unique. It isn’t like evolutionists would have us believe—just another version of the biological propagation of an animal species. Unlike animals, human beings were created in the image of God. And as such, we aren’t only composed of chemicals and physical bodies (like mere plants and animals), we are created to reflect God’s glory through our bodies and our inner essence. That inner essence, our spiritual reality, and our minds, means we were endowed with capacities not found in any other life forms.
Human sexuality was created to involve not only our bodies and our senses—but also our souls… meaning our minds, our thoughts, our motivations, our emotions, our feelings, and even our imaginations. And human sexuality also involves our spirits—the deepest inward parts of us, our very essence, and our very lives—in other words, sexuality involves every part of us.
As people, identity, intimacy, and sexuality are related. Each affects the other. So understanding what God says about these three powerful concepts will help us become more healthy and happy—and misunderstanding them will make us less happy, healthy, whole, and holy. So it’s important to get them right by learning and doing what God says.



Upcoming Videos (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)


6. Is God Really Violent?
7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

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Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif

Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series


Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 4 of 7

Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book?
The Bible is a written testament to God’s Story—to His Story, or History. The Bible is a It’s been said that the Bible is not a book humans could write if they would, and it’s not a book we would write if they could
The Bible has proven the test of time. In terms of its manuscripts and veracity or “proofs of trustworthiness,” it’s the most attested piece of ancient literature, bar none. There’s every reason to believe the Bible is the actual Word of God. In fact, the more you study “ABOUT” the book and study the book “itself,” the more convinced you become that it is, indeed, God’s revelation about Himself.
But people don’t read it or believe the Bible just because it’s old. We believe it because it’s true. And because it’s true, it’s reliable and trustworthy. It gives the greatest wisdom of the ages throughout its pages—as a collection of 66 divinely-inspired books that form the one and only source of God’s Authoritative Word to humanity: the Holy Bible.
And why have people throughout the ages come to believe in this ancient book? Fundamentally, because it has live-changing power.
In other words, BECAUSE IT IS the “Word of God,” it is true. And because it is true, it works. And God, mysteriously and supernaturally found a way to take eternal wisdom and existential truth, and then embed them within the written and spoken languages of all people groups in our world, through the words of the Holy Bible, as it is made available in languages around the world. And, somehow, supernaturally, God infused human language with divine power so that, when we read it OR even hear it, and apply it to our lives by doing what it says, the Bible proves it is true and the power of God is manifested.
The Bible. There’s no book like it. Anywhere. At any time. It’ll change your life. Get it, read it, and see for yourself.



Upcoming Videos (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)


5. What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?
6. Is God Really Violent?
7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

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Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif

Is God Republican or Democrat? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series


Is God Republican or Democrat?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 3 of 7

Is God Republican or Democrat?
When it comes to God, we have to think completely different than we typically do. God completely transcends political parties.
God is infinite and directs the affairs of men, so He is above politics. He is, after all, the King of Kings. He is not Republican. He is not Democrat. He is not a green Party Member, Libertarian, and certainly not Communist. But neither is He ‘Independent’ or completely neutral. After all, He DOES care about all issues ethical and moral, and politics affects those things—and politics affects the lives of every person in the world. So He cares and we should care about politics for those reasons.
But, though God isn’t Democrat or Republican, in some ways, He is more involved with Government than anyone. Even Jesus was called the King of the Jews, after all—and Jesus will ultimately be installed as the King of Kings over all the universe. And the Bible says that God will form a government, an eternal Kingdom—organized as a theocracy, in the future.
The Bible calls God the Governor, Ruler, and Judge of All. He has all power and “rules” from on high. And as the Governor and King, He does not categorically register with political parties, as humans might.
That doesn’t mean, however, that people have that luxury. Indeed, scripture makes it clear that God has made us citizens of two kingdoms—kingdom of earth and the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught us to be good citizens. And as good citizens, we have an obligation to be biblically-informed and active in bringing about good in civil society, which means at least some degree of political involvement (voting, caring about people and causes that are affected by politics).
As citizens of those two kingdoms, we owe everyone the debt of love, and to be good citizens by taking biblical positions on important issues. But even then, and even if we have loyalty to causes , political positions, or even political parties—those are ALWAYS, A-L-W-A-Y-S secondary to our faith and the Kingdom of God. Remember the words of Jude 3, that we should contend earnestly for the Kingdom of God, once for all delivered to the saints.



Upcoming Videos (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)


4. Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book?
5. What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?
6. Is God Really Violent?
7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

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Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series


Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 2 of 7

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
This issue is called the Problem of Evil. And it’s fair to say that Christianity and the Bible must answer it… and it does. But so must every other faith. Human pain is universal. So Buddhism must answer this question. And Hinduism. And Islam. And all other religions.


Listen to My World Religions Podcast Series

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But if you ask the question, you may not like the answer you receive, and become an Agnostic or Atheist, then what? Then you get to answer the question yourself—because, if you reject faith, then your worldview has to stand on its own and answer these questions without God’s help.
Thankfully Christianity offers answers to the problem of evil.
The Bible teaches that bad things happen because the world and the people in it, are broken. People are capable of bad motives, bad actions, and bad consequences are often the result.
And there’s the rub—the fact that innocent people sometimes get hurt.
When God made the world, He gave people freedom. Freedom means genuine choices. And those choices may be good or bad. When people make bad decisions, there are consequences. And those consequences are indiscriminate—they hurt people who don’t deserve to be hurt.
And God hates that. It grieves God that people do evil things. But that is not only a natural consequence of freedom—but a necessary consequence. In other words, you can’t have genuine freedom without the necessity that people might choose evil, and its resultant consequences.
For Christians, we learn that IN SPITE OF evil, God has a plan for our good and will ultimately right every injustice we’re subjected to.
God is working out a master plan. It involves the interwoven lives of billions of people interacting in real time on earth, every one of them with complete free will. And as they use their free will, often wrongly, and as Satan orchestrates all kinds of evil in the world. But in the midst of all the apparent chaos, God brilliantly weaves both His global and individual plan for us. And that can take time—because of billions and billions of people doing almost whatever they want.
But God cares intimately about our pain. And ultimately—now or later, God WILL settle the score. He will outwit all the schemes and will untangle all the contradictions. And He promises in His Word that He will either make it up to us here on earth—OR, if we suffer unaddressed injustice, that He has all of eternity to make it up to us. Right now, we see through a glass dimly, but time and eternity will bring resolution, redemption, and reward. And our light and momentary afflictions here on earth are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed within us later on.


Upcoming Videos (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)


3. Is God Republican or Democrat?
4. Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book?
5. What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?
6. Is God Really Violent?
7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

Subscribe and Get It Delivered Automatically!

Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif