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Lisa Harper's Back Porch Theology Profile

Lisa Harper's Back Porch Theology

English, Religion, 3 seasons, 128 episodes, 4 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes
You're invited to hang out on Lisa Harper's back porch and enjoy conversations about all things Jesus, theological anthropology, biblical orthodoxy, Spanx, the merits of Tex-Mex and more! We believe this podcast will help you dive deeper into God's word, understand that the gospel is great news for everyday life, not just when viewed in the light of eternity, and that God is for us, that He's always been in the process of redeeming our inherent value as imago Dei and restoring us into a vibrant, intimate relationship with Him.And rest assured, this won't be a one-sided conversation because throughout the podcast, Lisa will be inviting friends, including some brilliant theologians and academics to join her in substantive but decidedly unstuffy segments. So come on, y'all grab some coffee or sweet tea and join us on the back porch!
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Can Self-Care and Selfless Coexist?

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology, we’re going to run further and faster in the thematic lane of giving ourselves away and talk about the healthy tension between self-care and selfless. One of my favorite pretend theological boyfriends, St. Augustine, said “Charity is a virtue which, when our affections are perfectly ordered, unites us to God. For by it, we love Him.” In other words, generosity for the sake of Christ actually accelerates our awareness of His unconditional love. Therefore, giving yourself away in a healthy, biblical context comes with the penultimate payoff of increased intimacy with God. It’s what can never honestly be said about the stock market – choosing to live a generous, God and others-oriented lifestyle also means our investment comes with a perfectly secure dividend. Which is the theme of Jesus’s message in Luke chapter 6: Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Speaking of pouring, how about pouring yourself a big cup of coffee and grabbing your Bible - unless you’re still trying to figure out how to fit those newfangled LED Christmas lights back into the box they came in so you can finally cram all of the holiday trimmings back into the attic until next November, of course – and come hang out on the porch with Alli, Dr. Howard and me! Find Allison's new video Bible study at  Join Team BPT at
1/1/11 hour, 5 minutes, 47 seconds
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God Never Gives Up On You with Max Lucado: Part 1

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology, we get to hang out with one of my all-time favorite pastors and spiritual mentors, Max Lucado. Several years ago, Time magazine declared him to be “America’s Pastor” for good reason. Even though he’s sold 92 MILLION books and they’ve been translated into 54 languages worldwide, he’s one of those incredibly kind and humble shepherds who still smells like sheep! And today he’s going to bless us with some brilliant Old Testament exegesis wrapped in gentle humor. Remember, our overarching theme here on BPT for 2024 is “The Year of Giving Yourself Away” and I don’t think there’s anyone I trust more when it comes to teaching us how to give away our own agendas so that we can lean more fully into God’s redemptive plans for our futures than Max. So please grab a cup of your favorite caffeine and your Bible, unless you’re already cutting out homemade Valentines for your kid’s school because your brain was momentarily hijacked last August when you volunteered to be their homeroom parent for an entire year! – and come hang out on the porch with Max and me.   Find Allison's new video Bible study at Join Team BPT at
1/1/148 minutes, 34 seconds
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God Never Gives Up On You with Max Lucado: Part 2

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology, we get to continue our conversation with Max Lucado about giving away our agenda so that we can lean more fully into God’s redemptive plans for our future. And as scary as it may sound to loosen your grip on your agenda – maybe because you’ve had to take care of yourself for so long it’s hard to fully trust in God’s faithfulness – Max will help all of us believe bigger in God’s providence and protection by venturing into the deep weeds of a colorful Old Testament narrative about a scoundrel named Jacob. If you feel like much of your life has been an uphill struggle and you’ve had to fight for anything good – and maybe, as a result, you’re just flat worn out and don’t have much more “get up and go” left in your bedraggled heart - this episode is tailor-made for you because as Max poetically writes: Our God is the God of those who struggle and scrape, sometimes barely making it, hanging on for dear life. We don’t have to be strong to be saved. We don’t have to be perfect to be redeemed. We simply need to trust the God of Jacob, believing in a God who sticks with the unworthy and underachievers until we are safely home. He is the God of second chances and new beginnings. You can take a deep breath and relax your shoulders y’all, because you’re able to be rinsed with genuine encouragement. So please grab a cup of coffee and your Bible – unless you’re live-streaming a makeup tutorial, of course – and come relax on the porch with Max and me.   Find Allison's new video Bible study at Join Team BPT at
1/1/142 minutes, 45 seconds
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Hermeneutics and Holy Fire

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology, Dr. Howard, Alli and I are happily diving into the seemingly heady subject matter of hermeneutics. Hermeneutics comes from the Greek word hermeneutic, which means “to translate” or “to interpret.” And in the context of Judeo-Christianity, hermeneutics refers to the science of interpreting the Bible and is the branch of theology that deals with the principles of exegesis. In the same vein, the term exegesis is etymologically related to the Greek word meaning “to guide” or to “lead out.” Therefore, the basic definition of exegesis is to draw knowledge out of something and in the Judeo-Christian context refers to how Christ's followers can understand and apply the holy Scriptures. Now before you hurl one of your earbuds against the wall in frustration because this is all starting to sound as confusing as the garbled voiceover from an old Godzilla movie, hang with me a minute longer and listen to what Peter said about Paul’s New Testament writing: His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). Even more startling is a verse in John’s Gospel account where surely the Pharisees’ faces got beet red when Jesus admonished them for being clueless Bible bangers with His observation in John 5:39: You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, and yet they testify about me. In other words, those First Century religious elitists had pretty much “mastered” the text of Torah but they’d missed THE MESSIAH in the process! Unfortunately, modern Bible readers can get way off course and still miss Jesus in the text if we dive into Scripture without first praying for discernment, considering the author’s original audience, the socio-historical context, the literary format, and several other factors of sound biblical interpretation. It’s entirely possible to diligently study God’s Word – even memorize portions of it – and misappropriate or distort His promises. So while it’s not necessary to remember the academic definition of terms like hermeneutics or exegesis, much less how to spell them, it is important for us to learn how to wipe the fog off our proverbial lenses before we read this awesome, authoritative, supernatural love story called the Bible. I think today’s episode is going to invigorate our desire to engage with God through His Word. So please grab a mug of your favorite caffeinated beverage and your Bible - unless you’re chopping a slippery onion for homemade chili with a sharp knife, of course – and come hang out on the porch with Ally, Dr. Howard, and me! Join Team BPT at Find Allison's new video Bible study at
1/1/150 minutes, 30 seconds
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Generosity Under Fire

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology Alli and I are talking about generosity under fire – in other words, how we can keep giving sacrificially giving even when we feel like a tube of toothpaste that’s been rolled so many times, there’s nothing left in the tube. Should our physical and financial resources be the final arbitrator of our generosity or should we maintain a “what’s mine is yours for the glory of God” posture when like the widow of Zaraphath, we’re down to our last bag of flour and bottle of oil. John Wesley, a renowned church father, and theologian, once preached: “When the Possessor of heaven and earth brought you into being and placed you in this world, he placed you here not as a proprietor, but as a steward.” In other words, if you’ve given your heart to Jesus, you’re supposed to give Him everything else too. No matter what name is listed on the title of your car or registered under your Apple ID, our stuff, our time, and even the ever-changing emotions that flow through our hearts and minds, they’re on loan to us to use for God’s kingdom purposes. Everything we have can be used as an asset in the preeminent business of loving God and loving people. Conversely, anything we’re hanging onto tighter than we’re holding onto Jesus can become an idol. Today’s going to be like a teaspoon of wasabi, y’all – it’ll probably go down spicy and might just make your eyes water. So please grab a tumbler of iced coffee and your Bible – unless you’re holding onto a bouquet of helium balloons for a clown friend, of course – and come hang out on the porch with us!  Join Team BPT at Find Allison's new video Bible study at
1/1/150 minutes, 26 seconds
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Theological Anthropology of Generosity

The title of today’s episode is The Theological Anthropology of Generosity, and while that’s admittedly a lofty mouthful (which underscores the fact that Alli and I are both certified logophiles), the main point of today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology is that God is the genesis of generosity. Quite frankly, as created beings, it’s almost impossible to understand, much less extend, authentic compassion – to effectively give yourself away, which is the overarching thematic umbrella this year here at BPT – until we recognize that our Creator Redeemer is the original author and perfect model of generosity. The book of Genesis reveals that immediately upon breathing life into Adam and Eve, at the dawn of humanity, He gave them everything they needed. Unfortunately, soon afterward in that same Edenic paradise, a slithery intruder - who is the enemy of our soul also known as satan - planted an insidious seed of doubt in Eve that God was holding out on her and Adam. And humanity has been predisposed to doubt our Creator Redeemer’s beneficence – the fact that He will provide everything we need for life and godliness – ever since. If your foundational security has ever been bullied by feelings of scarcity – if your peace has ever been compromised by the fear that you or those you love won’t have enough of what you need, whether that be finances, food, attention, or affection – then today’s conversation is bound to add some spiritual rebar to your emotional scaffolding. So please grab a cup of coffee and your Bible – unless you tried on one of those pythonish, body-slimming bathing suits and sprained your thumb trying to pull that puppy off, of course – and come hang out on the porch with us. Join Team BPT at
1/1/152 minutes, 46 seconds
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The Epilogue Effect

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology, we’re going to be swimming in the cleansing waters of divine restoration and double portions. Isaiah 61:7 says: Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. And that extravagant promise permeates biblical narrative: liars with infertility problems ultimately become fathers of theocracies; wimpy young men trembling in wine barrels become mighty warriors who lead successful military campaigns, and Benedict Arnolds get forgiven and picked to preach sermons where thousands get saved. God’s generous grace is miraculously, exponentially restorative! If you’ve got mistakes in your backstory, today’s episode is going to supercharge your hope. If you don’t have any mistakes in your backstory, please do not pass “Go” or collect $200 before calling a Christian counselor or a physician because honey, you are either delusional or have amnesia. Thankfully, there’s a third option, how about grabbing a cup of coffee and your Bible and hanging out with us instead? Welcome to Back Porch Theology, y’all.  Join Team BPT at
1/1/148 minutes, 16 seconds
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Intellectual Humility: Giving Away the Need to Always Have the Right Answer

Fund conversations that matter: donate.accessmore.comDuring today’s episode on Back Porch Theology, we’re talking about intellectual humility, which could be loosely described as giving away the need to always have the right answer. I spent way too many years afraid that someone would look under the hood of my life and discover everything I was ashamed of. During those years that I was consumed with shame, I used what modest intellect I have as a deflector shield. And posing behind my need to be perceived as always having the right answer robbed so much of my peace as a young Bible teacher. I was scared that making a public mistake regarding the WORD OF GOD would brand me as a fraudulent heretic forever. Here’s the deal y’all, as Christ-followers of course it behooves us to imitate those ancient Bereans from the book of Acts, who received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. However, it also behooves us to remember that when you filter the divinely inspired and inscripturated Word of God through the finite minds of men and women, it’s bound to be distorted at some level. Now please hear me, I’m not at all saying we have a license to be irresponsible – anything but – however, as a sixty-year-old, mistake-prone Bible teacher I’ve learned that intellect without humility equals insufferable arrogance, which is the antithesis of Christoformity – of having a Jesus-shaped life! Speaking of Jesus-shaped living and intellectual humility, if you haven’t already please check out our upcoming Kerygma Summit April 25-27, here in Franklin, TN. It’s a curated, 3-day intensive – basically a Bible study boot camp saturated with belly laughs – where a whole bunch of us from all over gather together and learn from a dream team of seminary professors, theologians, and ministry leaders so that we can better understand, emulate and communicate God’s Word. I don’t have time to tell you everyone who’s on the teaching team for this third Kerygma Summit but y’all it is a veritable Who’s-Who of modern-day theological heroes and heroines, among them they’ve published something like 300 books, Bible studies, and commentaries. Several of them have even served on translation teams – which means they’ve translated the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic into English - for specific versions of the Bible, including the NIV and ESV, isn’t that cool? But the coolest thing about these brilliant saints is that they love putting theological cookies on the lower shelf for people like us so that we can lean more fully into Jesus as a result. Getting to hang out with them, meet new friends from all over the world who are passionate about God and His Word, and be led in worship by Brooke Ligertwood – yep, Brooke’s coming back this year and will be leading worship throughout the event - is going to be like drinking from a firehose of wisdom and grace! Space is limited and over half-full already, so again please check out the details at and don’t dawdle if you’re thinking about coming because we don’t want it to fill up without you. In the meantime, go ahead and grab a caffeinated beverage and your Bible – unless you’re practicing the hand jive, of course – and come hang out on the porch with Alli, Dr. Howard, and me.  Join Team BPT at
1/1/148 minutes
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Giving Away The Fear of Not Fitting In

Fund conversations that matter: donate.accessmore.comDuring today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology, we’re taking a road trip to the First Christian Church of Colossae, which was started by an unlikely pastor named Epaphras who got saved while tagging along with a friend who had an extra ticket to an Apostle Paul Crusade at the Ephesus Arena! This church started out with a bang but then came perilously close to veering off course and getting stuck in the high weeds of religious syncretism. That is until their spiritual uncle Paul wrote them a gentle but firm course correction letter. And the affectionate tone of his communication to the Colossians becomes even more poignant when you remember that great apostle was writing from a prison cell where he was unjustly held captive as a result of his unwavering Christian faith. Speaking of that world-changing apostle who had a blinding encounter with Jesus after which he dedicated the rest of his life to sharing the Gospel and ultimately wrote half of the books in our New Testament canon – Pastor Levi and Jennie Lusko, worship-leading power couple, Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes, and I would like to cordially invite you to join us on an immersive Bible study and worship experience through Italy, Turkey, and Greece where we’ll be tracing some of Paul’s most significant missionary journeys as we dive deeply into several of his New Testament epistles this summer. It’s called The Incomparable Cruise based on another letter he penned from prison called Ephesians where Paul proclaims: I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Can you imagine how mind-blowing and heart-expanding it’s going to be to explore the book of Ephesians in Ephesus, the book of Romans in Rome, and visit the very spot in Athens where he preached the epic sermon that’s recorded in Acts 17? Goodness gracious, I’m so excited about this trip that I can hardly sit still here in the studio! If you’re interested in joining Levi, Jennie, Kari, Cody, and me for this floating revival on the Mediterranean Sea July 13th-20th, 2024, please check out the link in my Instagram, the link in today’s show notes or go to and search The Incomparable Cruise. But first, how about grabbing a cup of coffee and your Bible - unless you’ve got both sweaty hands on the bars of your Peloton for an uphill climb, of course – and come hang out on the porch with us! 
1/1/152 minutes, 7 seconds
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Dr. Howard in the Hot Seat, Part 1

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology Alli and I are hanging out with a gang of girlfriends in Belle’s living room - if you’re new to the porch, Belle’s like everybody’s favorite aunt, and we’ve had a neighborhood Bible study at her house every week for almost 15 years in a row so I’m pretty much a piece of the furniture there now. The theme of this taped-with-a-lively-group episode is hurling some spicy, dicey, I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable asking this in church theological questions at Dr. Howard so he can help us process conundrums like: Since God is sovereign and has already laid out the boundary lines of our lives, why do we pray? What’s the difference between that and fatalism? How do you describe the trinitarian nature of our Creator Redeemer to a new believer or non-Christian? Why does God allow suffering and how can I hang onto hope in the ensuing silence? If you’ve ever wished you knew a brilliant, accessible, kind biblical scholar who would help you untangle some complicated issues about God, today’s conversation is curated especially for you! So please grab a cup of coffee – or if you’re like me, a splash of coffee with your cream! - and your Bible – unless you’re hiding in the pantry of an Airbnb because you desperately needed a break during what’s become an especially loud and messy Spring Break – and come put your feet up on the porch with us! Log onto for showtimes Save 25% on Dwell at
1/1/148 minutes, 19 seconds
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Dr. Howard in the Hot Seat, Part 2

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology Alli and I are back at Belle’s house with a gaggle of friends because we had such an engaging, provocative, and revelatory time last week when we got to ask Dr. Howard hard questions about God, that we unanimously agreed we wanted an encore! I mean it’s not every day you get to honestly process what sometimes feels like a gaping hole in your faith with someone who has five earned degrees and a PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary. Another one of my theological heroes, Helmut Thielicke, who I won’t get to meet until Glory because he passed away in 1986, said this: “Unless a theology works at the margins of life, it’s not worth anything even if it makes sense at the easy center.” I’m sixty years old now and in my experience, life can be a whole lot of things – it can be breathtakingly beautiful, excruciatingly hard, messy, wonderful, devastating, delightful, surprising – but I’ve rarely found life to be easy. At least not for long. And thankfully our Creator Redeemer doesn’t expect us to pretend like it is. Our Heavenly Father invites us to bring everything to Him – including our questions – nowhere in His Word will you find the command to curate your emotions and only present the optimistic, compliant parts to Him. God created us to be His image bearers, not soulless automatons. Those of you saints who still have questions about things like the nature of the Trinity, or the historical reliability of Scripture, or the sole sufficiency of faith in Jesus for the atonement of sins, or whether there’s a literal heaven, you’re very welcome to join our motley crew of Christ followers. So please grab a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage and a Bible – if you have one - and come hang out on the porch with us.  Log onto for showtimes Save 25% on Dwell at
1/1/154 minutes, 46 seconds
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Scratch and Dent Sacrifices

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology, we’re going to take a ride in the caboose of the Old Testament book of Malachi so as to get up close and personal with the spirit of entitlement. In this post-exilic era, God’s people were so discouraged and bitter, and prideful that they were down to the last dredges of their faith. As a result, they brazenly questioned God’s goodness and began putting scratch and dent sacrifices in His offering plate. And while their rotten behavior is certainly a fly in the ointment of redemptive history, I’m grateful their story and God’s merciful response was recorded because if we’re honest, I think most of us have been guilty of giving God secondhand stuff we don’t want anymore and pretending it’s a sacrifice, too. The temptation to keep the best for ourselves and give God leftovers didn’t die with the ancient Israelites...the spirit of entitlement is still alive and kicking hard in modern Christendom. Sir C.S. Lewis wisely wrote in his classic book The Screwtape Letters, “Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury.” Goodness gracious, that dog will hunt, won’t it? How often have we perceived that we haven’t been treated the way we deserve to be treated? How often have we secretly resented giving more than we received? How often have our hearts poked out their bottom lip over a relational return that was paltry compared to our emotional investment? And how has that kind of entitled, egocentric thinking exhausted our peace, gratitude, and intimacy with Jesus? Today’s episode is going to be a liberating sort of spiritual heart bypass for some of us, y’all so grab an extra-large cup of coffee and your Bible – unless you’re practicing for your part-time job as a mime, of course – and come hang out on the porch with Alli, Dr. Howard and me. Log onto for showtimes
1/1/150 minutes, 31 seconds
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Embodied Devotion with Dr. Craig Keener: Part 1

Today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology took place in Wilmore, KY, on the campus of Asbury Theological Seminary, because Alli and I had the phenomenal privilege of spending time with one of our favorite – and I mean one of the most favorite of all our favorites – Bible scholars, Dr. Craig Keener. I quote or cite Dr. Keener all the time because his book on hermeneutics, his commentaries on the New Testament, and his classic Bible Background Commentary are some of the sturdiest scaffolding I’ve built my Christocentric belief system on. He’s the one I paraphrase every time I say, “If you get out of the Bible what you were expecting to get out of the Bible, you need to raise your expectations!” because Dr. Keener is among the wise saints who’ve taught me that the redemptive truisms in this divine love letter we call the Bible are always bigger and better than our finite human minds can comprehend! His life’s work proves that Scripture isn’t a flat text to memorize or a proposition to study, but it provides a way for us to engage with the only true God who sees us and loves us, and is always in pursuit of our hearts. For Alli and I, getting to spend the day with Dr. Keener felt like being junior high kids who love singing in the choir but aren’t particularly melodic, yet we got invited to harmonize with Pavarotti! And the best part about this conversation wasn’t even the wisdom bombs he humbly dropped, y’all - it was how his heart is surely bigger than his extraordinary brain because even though Dr. Keener is a world-renowned New Testament scholar, almost every time he talked about the love Jesus has lavished him with, his eyes welled up with tears. I’m telling you, this man walks with God and just being in his presence helped us lean more fully into our Savior’s embrace. So please grab a cup of coffee (or one of those fancy electrolyte-enhanced waters) and your Bible – unless you’re picking dog hairs off your black jeans, of course – and come spend some time on the porch with us.
1/1/150 minutes, 24 seconds
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God’s Word Is The Antithesis of Hate Speech with Dr. Craig Keener: Part 2

Today’s episode of Back Porch Theology is a continuation of the hope-fertilizing conversation Alli and I got to have with Dr. Craig Keener – a world-renowned New Testament scholar, and commentarian, who currently serves as a professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. Dr. Keener is one of our heroes of faith, who by the way has graciously agreed to be on the teaching team at Kerygma ’24 at the end of April so we’re over the moon about that! He’s widely respected for his scholarship – he’s got a Ph.D. from Duke – but even more so for his gentle compassion. And it’s in that spirit of kind humility that Dr. Keener dismantles the vitriolic yet increasingly popular claims that the Bible and those who order their lives by the promises and parameters prescribed in it are racist, misogynistic, and imperialistic. Mind you, people claiming to know God have often behaved despicably and His Word has been used to promote all kinds of horror throughout history. However, when people use God’s Word to promote the mistreatment, marginalization, and murder of others, they’ve twisted and distorted it into something God Himself never intended because evil is not divinely causative. So grab a cup of coffee and your Bible and come hang out on the porch with us. 
1/1/11 hour, 17 minutes, 59 seconds
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Don’t Look Back with Christine Caine, Part 1

Since we’re right around the corner from The Kerygma Summit ’24 where 1,500 ministry leaders and Bible-loving chicks from three different countries are gathering here in Franklin, TN for a 3-Day spiritual boot camp, I thought it’d be fitting to spend today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology with one of the most gifted Bible expositors and evangelists I’ve ever met, who just so happens to be one of my best friends, Christine Caine. And I can’t wait for y’all to lean into this episode because Chris is going to wrap historical context and practical theology around one single verse in the Gospel according to Luke that can have a resurrective kind of impact on our future. In Luke 17:32, Jesus spoke three interesting words: "Remember Lot's wife." We don’t know her name, history, or all the details of her story. All we know is that when she was fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah with her husband Lot and their two daughters, she intentionally disobeyed God’s clear command to not look back and was consequently zapped into a pillar of salt, making her the first Scary Spice several millennia before the girl band borrowed that moniker. Mrs. Lot is one of the more infamous women in biblical narrative and out of the 170 women referred to in Holy Writ, she's the only one Jesus told us to remember. If you’re feeling stuck this season – mired in all-too-familiar feelings of shame, discouragement, resentment, unforgiveness, apathy or just wishing the reality of your life bore more resemblance to the life of your dreams, I believe today’s conversation could be the catalyst Holy Spirit uses to lift you out of the spiritual doldrums and back into the hope-filled future God promises for all of us through the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. So please grab a cup of your favorite beverage and your Bible – unless you’re weaving through a herd of anxious cows on a scooter of course – and come hang out on the porch with us.
1/1/157 minutes, 49 seconds
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Don’t Look Back with Christine Caine, Part 2

During today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology, we’re continuing our spiritual adventure with the always feisty and biblically faithful Australian, my dear friend Christine Caine. Chris and her husband Nick helped me navigate the arduous process of adopting Missy, so it didn’t surprise me when my daughter began to speak English that she proclaimed Chris to be her favorite Aunt! Mind you Missy’s got several favorite aunts and my actual sister Theresa is appropriately at the very top of her list, but I love the fact that the Caine family and Harper girls are so interwoven, Missy assumed she and Chris were related when she was little! And I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll feel like she’s part of your family of faith after hanging out with us on the porch today too, because spending time with Chris inevitably means feeling closer to Jesus, as well as being inspired to share the glorious good news of His unconditional love in the hopes of welcoming more image bearers into our stumbling toward grace community! I often paraphrase church father and theologian Lesslie Newbiggin who referred to the congregation as the most effective hermeneutic of the Gospel - in other words, we can see and understand who our Savior is and who He’s called us to be as His ambassadors more clearly through the lens of genuine relationship with other Christ followers. Remember 90-plus percent of the biblical imperatives – that is those instructions and parameters scattered throughout Scripture explaining how we should live as people who’ve been redeemed and perfectly loved by God – are set in the context of community. But before we dive into this Gospel elucidating, community-building conversation with Chris, I need to make a qualification. If you haven’t yet had the privilege of meeting this feisty Bible teacher, best-selling author, and global anti-human trafficking leader, not only does she have an Australian accent, she talks fast so listening to her is like drinking from a firehose! Therefore, you might want to grab a double expresso or an extra-large glass of something caffeinated and your Bible – oh and if you’re driving or on the Peloton, please pull over or hop off the bike for the next little while because trying to do anything thing else while listening to Chris is like trying to play Twister while ice skating – it’s just not a good idea. Please bring your undivided attention to the porch today because we’re about to have some church up in here, y’all! Save 25% on Dwell at
1/1/157 minutes, 45 seconds
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The Thrill of Orthodoxy with Dr. Trevin Wax, Part 1

During today’s episode of Back Porch Theology, we’re sitting down with an engaging joyful scholar - which may sound like a juxtaposition but shouldn’t be - Dr. Trevin Wax. Trevin’s an old friend who’s got a long list of accomplishments including serving as a missionary in Romania, after which he went on to serve as the vice president of research and resource development at the North American Mission Board. He’s taught courses at Wheaton College and Cedarville University and has lectured at the prestigious Oxford University in the UK. He’s also the founding editor of The Gospel Project, published the Christian Standard Bible – which is one of my favorite translations - and has written a nightstand full of books. But what I appreciate most about Trevin is that he embodies the fact that being serious about matters of faith doesn’t equate to being overly serious about oneself. As Christ followers, of course, we’re called to marinate in God’s Word like those ancient Berean Christians, but arrogance and academic elitism are not spiritual gifts! That being said, Dr. Wax is known for dropping wisdom bombs everywhere he goes, so you’ll probably want to bring a notebook or journal along with your Bible to the porch today, plus something yummy and caffeinated like a non-fat mocha with whipped cream – I’ve never used thrill and orthodoxy in the same sentence but when I order a non-fat mocha with whipped cream I feel like those two juxtaposed terms enhance each other to the point of making my coffee almost Keto! We’re going to have a great conversation today, y’all – thanks so much for choosing to hang out with us. Save 25% on Dwell at The Joy of the Trinity is available wherever you buy books. Every girl deserves a faith-filled adventure click here for the NIV Kingdom Girls BiblePenguin Random House 'Do it Anyway'
1/1/151 minutes, 19 seconds
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Embodied Theology – Live from Kerygma ‘24

Today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology is a really special one and it’s especially rowdy too because it took place just a little over a week ago at The Kerygma Summit here in Franklin, TN where almost 1,500 women from across the country – as well as some other countries, I got to meet a lovely backporcher from Tanzania – gathered together to learn more about God and His Word. The teaching team at Kerygma this year was a veritable Who’s Who of Bible scholars, seminary professors and theologians including some of the engaging and enlightening friends we’ve previously connected with on the porch like Dr. Craig Keener and Dr. Scot McKnight. Brooke Ligertwood led worship all weekend, and y’all I can’t wrap words around what happened when she ushered us toward the throne room of Jesus on Friday night, except to say it felt almost transcendent. God’s Spirit revealed Himself to us in a way that left a redemptive mark on my heart, which I hope never fades. You know those moments in time when God effectively wipes the blurred glass that Apostle Paul says exists between us and Glory in a way that allows us to see Him more clearly? He made His presence so accessible this weekend, I’m still in kind of a discombobulated fog of wonder and gratitude. In retrospect, I should have taken off my shoes because it was just that holy. Well anyway, this conversation took place during the course of Kerygma, so I need to warn you that there’s a lot more ambient sound than usual because we were smack dab in the middle of a giant family of faith instead of a controlled studio environment. And I also want you to know that we delved into sensitive subject matter because I explained in detail about how God used a community of believers to save my life when I wasn’t sure I could keep living it. Which means some of the moments we’ll share today are too mature for little ears, therefore I encourage you to wait until after you’ve dropped the kids off at school to join us. That being said, please bring your Bible and a big cup of coffee – unless you’re up to your elbows in suds because that darling Doodle tangled with a skunk again - and come hang out on the porch with us!Save 10% at The Joy of the Trinity is available wherever you buy books. Every girl deserves a faith-filled adventure click here for the NIV Kingdom Girls Bible
1/1/155 minutes, 28 seconds
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A Wise Woman Once Said – Live from Kerygma ‘24

Today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology took place very recently at The Kerygma Summit here in Franklin, TN and this particular conversation was kind of the “chips and queso” moment of the whole weekend for me because I had the undeserved privilege of sitting down with some of my favorite female Christian leaders from around the country and gleaning from their collective wisdom. I framed the question that I posed to all of them like this: At sixty I know much less about God than what I thought I knew about Him at forty and what I pretended to know about Him at twenty. But what I now know to be true of God – namely His unconditional love and immutable faithfulness – I know in the very marrow of my bones. Then I asked each of them – many of whom are leading large ministries – what they now know to be true of God in the marrow of their bones. Their answers were gut-level honest, deeply encouraging, appropriately convicting at times, and always God and others honoring. This conversation was a living example of Psalm 68:11 - the Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng. Plus, since these saints came from various streams of the church, it was also a master class in unity and it reminded me of Jesus’s response to John’s question in Mark 9: “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Christian unity is not the same thing as uniformity, y’all. We don’t have to agree on every, single jot and tittle of what is theologically nuanced, but if we can agree on the fact that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way sinners like us can be reconciled with God, as well as the authority of God’s Word, we’re family. Remember the Bible also reveals that a divisive spirit is one of the six things that God hates (Proverbs 9) and whenever possible He calls us to be at peace and harmony with each other (Romans 12). Today’s conversation is going to be like spiritual Gorilla Glue, it’s going to fasten us tighter to our Creator Redeemer and tighter to the community of faith so please grab a cup of coffee or a glass of sparkling water with a wedge of lime or a thimbleful of wheatgrass juice and your Bible – unless you’re trimming your roses, of course; mine have sprouted out with more enthusiasm than Einstein’s eyebrows during the past few weeks of warm weather – and come hang out on the porch with us. Sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% at Buy The Overcomers at\overcomers Do It Anyway is available wherever you buy books.
1/1/158 minutes, 27 seconds
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How A Life Sentence Became Life Giving

During today’s episode – which is number 124, so we’re well past the two-year mark – I watched my “five-foot-twelve spiritual wing-woman” – it tickles me every time Alli says that but it’s a gracious exaggeration because she and I fly this plane called BPT together and I’d surely crash without her. Anyway, I watched my dear friend put her head on the table and weep because she was so overwhelmed by the palpable goodness of God. Alli’s a beautifully authentic woman y’all but she’s also a consummate professional and is rarely rendered mute. But you know how sometimes divine grace interrupts your consciousness in such a dramatic way that it forces a “selah” moment? A sacred pause when we can’t help but gape at God’s grace. Frankly, I think Christ-followers need to pause and gape at our Redeemer’s grace on a regular basis. In my experience, when too much time passes between gaping at grace sessions, our hearts become susceptible to the deadly virus of unbelief. Wonder is a necessary praxis if we want to actually experience the abundant life Jesus died to give us access to. We all need to be reminded of just how miraculous it is that the transcendent Creator of the Universe condescends to redeem and restore and unconditionally LOVE the likes of mistake prone yahoos like us. We recorded today’s conversation recently, at the very end of the Kerygma Summit here in Franklin, TN. It was kind of like our Swan Song of this year’s summit and it was the first time Alli met my friend Kyle. She said she’ll never be the same after hearing his story and I don’t think you will be either. So please grab a cup of coffee, your Bible, and a box of tissues and come gape at the amazing grace of God on the porch with us. Want to send letters or prayer requests to Kyle? Connect with him here! Chaplain Kyle Hebert c/o Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office P.O. Box 1000 Livingston, LA 70754 Do It Anyway is available wherever you buy books. Buy The Overcomers at\overcomers 
1/1/151 minutes, 16 seconds
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Modern Day Deborahs

Fund conversations that matter: donate.accessmore.comDuring today’s conversation on Back Porch Theology Alli and I have the profound privilege of hanging out with two women who are spiritual heroines to us – Dr. Dorian Coover Cox, a professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, and Dr. Lynn Cohick, a Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Director of Houston Theological Seminary at Houston Christian University. I’ve known Dr. Cohick for many years because she was the provost at Denver Seminary and within five minutes of meeting her, I began plotting how to talk her into becoming one of my mentors! She’s one of the first people I shared my dreams about Kerygma to and has been part of it since the inception. In fact, I told her a few weeks ago that she’s now part of the proverbial living room furniture in my life, so she’d better never think about leaving! And while I’ve known of Dr. Coover Cox for years because she’s one of the spiritual mentors of BPT’s very own Dr. Howard, this year at Kerygma was the first time we got to hang out with her in person, and within 5 minutes she got grafted into the family too! Dr. Coover Cox is an expert on Exodus and Dr, Cohick is an expert on Ephesians so we’re going to glean from these two saints’ wisdom and camp out in those two books of Holy Writ today and let me encourage you to bring a notebook along with your coffee and your Bible, because you’re going to want to take notes on the porch today, baby!
1/1/11 hour, 5 minutes, 27 seconds
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The Little Bird Who Changed My Life

Fund conversations that matter: All of the conversations we have the undeserved privilege of engaging in on BPT are special to Ally, Dr. Howard, and me because the point of our conversations – even if it takes a while for us to get there – is always the immutable goodness and compassion of our Trinitarian Creator Redeemer, God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. However, this particular conversation which we taped live at Kerygma a few weeks ago with one of my all-time theological heroes, New Testament scholar Dr. Scot McKnight, is a very personal and poignant milestone for me because God used one of Dr. McKnight’s books – The Blue Parakeet – like a merciful scalpel in my life to cut away some corrosive shame that had compromised my mind and heart and ministry efficacy for decades. The back cover copy of The Blue Parakeet reads: In this bold, engaging reexamination of reading the Bible, Scot McKnight calls all Christians from both ends of the spectrum to stop taming the Bible and to let it speak anew to our hearts. In other words, his exegetical brilliance will recharge our passion for both reading Scripture and relating to God’s redemptive narrative in increasingly intimate and personal ways. If you’re a Bible banger like me and your Bible is one of those precious possessions you’d be sure to grab if your proverbial ship was sinking OR if you’ve secretly and guiltily thought the Bible was boring and have a hard time engaging with it, this conversation is right up your alley, baby! So please grab a cup of coffee and your Bible – whether the pages still stick together from so little use or whether it’s tattered and stained – that is unless you’re swinging a broom at those nasty cicadas, of course – and come hang out on the porch with us.
1/1/148 minutes, 17 seconds
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Kerygma Summit Scholars Panel

You know those party game questions where you’re asked if you could have dinner with anyone – dead or alive – who would you choose? Well, this is my party game answer come true because I had the hugely undeserved privilege of sitting down with seven of my theological HEROES – Dr. Jim Howard, my spiritual mentor and a Denver Seminary professor; Dr. Lynn Cohick, distinguished professor of NT and director of Houston Theological Seminary, formerly the provost of my alma mater – Den Sem; Dr. Scot McKnight, acclaimed NT scholar, author of more than sixty books, who’s been a seminary professor for many decades and guest teaches at Oxford; Dr. Dorian Coover Cox, a world renowned expert on Exodus and Israel’s journey from captivity to Canaan and beloved professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary; Dr. Eva Bleeker, a licensed counselor and chaplain, bereavement expert, and professor at Denver Seminary as well as one of the kindest, most empathetic scholars you’ll ever meet; Dr. Craig Keener, a palpably humble, albeit world renowned biblical scholar, author of the IVP Bible Background Commentary which is on the shelves of pretty much every minister I know as well as eight Bible commentaries, 37 books and over a hundred academic articles, he’s a professor in the doctoral program at Asbury Theological Seminary; and finally the gentleman who’s the main reason I chose the doctoral program at Denver Seminary, Dr. Craig Blomberg, who’s a world renowned NT scholar, has authored and edited many, many academic works like The Historical Reliability of the New Testament and Interpreting the Parables, he was on the translatory team for the most recent edition of the NIV Bible, has served as a research fellow at Cambridge and recently retired from Denver Seminary but continues to teach a few classes in his role as professor emeritus of the NT. The credentials held by this dream teaching team are unstinkin’ believable y’all but their humility, kindness, and generous willingness to help the rest of us fall deeper in love with Jesus eclipses their academic resumes. This perfectly numbered crew of seven scholars became a family of spiritual big brothers and sisters to us at Kerygma and I trust you’ll come to feel that way as well as they open your eyes even wider to the God who loves us more than we can ever ask or imagine. You’ll want to bring a notebook along with something caffeinated and your Bible to the porch today, welcome to this special scholars edition of Back Porch Theology! Sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% at The Guided Prayer Journal for Teen Girls is available at or wherever you buy books. Save 25% on Dwell at Save 25% at The Good Use code Save 25 at checkout.
1/1/11 hour, 1 minute, 40 seconds