Psalm 102 reminds us to record what God has done so that future generations will praise him. The Gospel Coalition's story-telling podcast, Recorded, chronicles a variety of stories of God’s redemptive and transformative work. These narratives testify to the beauty of the gospel on display in this generation—in many places and in surprising ways. Whether your faith is strong or struggling, tune in to Recorded for encouraging snapshots of God’s faithfulness, nearness, and love.
Top Theology Stories of 2023 with Collin Hansen and Melissa Kruger
1:30:34Join Collin Hansen and Melissa Kruger for their annual recap discussion on the biggest stories affecting the church around the world in the last year. This conversation was originally featured on TGC's Gospelbound podcast.
55:34Nearly all American teenage boys—97 percent of them—play video games. On average, they spend more than two hours a day maneuvering in digital worlds. For two out of five teen boys, that feels like too much time.They’re probably right. Though it’s impossible to draw a direct link, it’s hard not to notice that as gaming grows, males are falling farther behind girls in school, in joining the work force, and in starting families. As Reformed Christians, we aren’t ready to give up on video games yet. In this episode of Recorded, Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra examines why boys are more likely than girls to be addicted to video games, why playing with people online doesn’t mean you have more friends, and what it looks like to bring video games under the lordship of Jesus Christ.Learn more about The Defender Way mentioned in this episode.
Why Sinclair Ferguson Moved Back to Scotland’s Most Secular City
31:05When Sinclair Ferguson was growing up in Scotland in the 1950s, the culture was not only Christian but also Reformed. Ferguson memorized Bible passages at his public school, learned nighttime prayers from parents who weren’t believers, and attended church for years before converting to Christianity.In the years since, Ferguson has written more than 50 books, spoken at virtually every Reformed conference, and taught at nearly all the Reformed seminaries.Meanwhile, the Church of Scotland membership has plummeted from 1.3 million to less than 300,000—that’s a million people lost in a single lifetime. The denomination has cut pastoral positions and discontinued ministries. Many of her massive granite church buildings are now restaurants and apartments and bars with names like Soul.Ferguson retired a few years ago. After the career he’s had, he could speak anywhere and write for any publisher. But you won’t find him based in an influential American city or church or ministry. Instead, he’s in a small city in Scotland, writing sermons and preaching the evening services at a church of only 200.This is a story about why he’s doing that, about why it matters. This is a story about the gospel, about hope, and about coming home.
46:02In 2009, about a quarter of American high school students said they had “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.” By last year it was up to 44 percent, the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded.For girls, the rate rose to 57 percent. That means more than half of teenage girls feel persistently sad or hopeless. If you stood a teen from 2009 next to a teen from 2022, what would be the most noticeable difference between them? One of them would be on her phone.In this episode of Recorded, Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra shares the stories of young women who are being shaped by social media and explores what Gen Z thinks, feels, and believes.
Escape from Kabul
1:02:20When Joe Biden announced last April that all American troops would be leaving Afghanistan, those familiar with the country knew it would eventually fall to the Taliban. But nobody predicted it would collapse before the Americans had even left the country.Caught off guard, Afghans began to run, especially those who feared for their lives—former government employees, American interpreters, and Christians.The Christians were especially interesting, because while conversion was illegal even under the Afghan government, the number of believers had been steadily growing, from an estimated 2,000 in 2013 to about 10,000 in 2021.How were so many hearing about Jesus? With everybody keeping their faith a secret, how were they connecting with each other? And how on earth were they going to get out?This is their story.
Coming April 29: Escape from Kabul
1:05“It’s time for American troops to come home. We’ll do it responsibly; deliberately and safely and responsibly,” announced President Biden last summer.Instead, we watched panicked Afghans swarming the tarmac of the Kabul airport and hanging off the fuselages of departing jets. In August 2021, before American soldiers had even cleared the airport, Taliban troops overran the entire country. You know that story, but we want to tell you another one of what God was doing—and what he’s still doing—in Afghanistan.“Escape from Kabul” is the latest episode from Recorded, The Gospel Coalition’s storytelling podcast. Tune in to hear the whole story on Friday, April 29.
Final Call for T4G
29:59Last month, Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan announced that the T4G conference planned for April 2022 in Louisville would be the last. The successful pastors' conference spanned 16 years, gathering Reformed pastors from a range of denominations. The last in-person conference, in 2018, drew more than 12,000. Attendees loved the preaching, the music, the books, and the fellowship. So it was a surprise to hear it was coming to an end.Sarah Zylstra explains how T4G got started, why it was a risk, and what has changed since then.In this episode:2:42 How Ligon Duncan met Mark Dever6:23 Meeting Al Mohler and C.J. Mahaney9:55 The birth of T4G12:04 Designing the conference13:32 The first T4G14:33 Growing T4G and becoming T3G18:41 The growth of the Reformed resurgence20:36 The splintering of unity in America and the Reformed fellowship23:58 Memories26:00 What T4G’s end means for the Reformed resurgence26:46 T4G’s legacy28:28 Looking aheadResources:T4G siteT4G playlistsThe Reason for God by Tim Keller*Young, Restless, and* Reformed by Collin Hansen
Remembering 9/11: The Most Hopeful People
53:20In this episode, you'll hear how God worked in and through the tragedy of September 11, 2001 to draw Christina and Brian Stanton into a deeper faith. Pastors Tim Keller, Mark Dever, John Piper, and Bert Daniel, along with several Redeemer Presbyterian Church elders and staff, also share their stories of how this particular collective suffering changed their lives, their ministries, and their churches, forever.
Remembering 9/11: The Day the Sky Turned Black
38:08On September 11, 2001, Christina and Brian Stanton were blown back into their apartment and knocked unconscious by the impact of the second plane hitting the south World Trade Center tower.Four miles north, the staff of Redeemer Presbyterian Church climbed out a window onto a balcony. From there, they saw both towers collapse. Four hours south, the staff of Capitol Hill Baptist Church could feel the reverberations of the plane slamming into the Pentagon.Half a country away, John Piper looked at the staff of his Bethlehem Baptist Church and told them, “This changes everything.”In these stories of loss, trauma, redemption, and eternal hope, we see that God was, and is, and always will be at work—even in the darkest moments.Resources and references from this episode: "Truth, Tears, Anger, and Grace" (Tim Keller's sermon delivered to his congregation of Redeemer Presbyterian Church on September 16, 2001)"A Service of Sorrow, Self-Humbling, and Steady Hope in Our Savior and King, Jesus Christ" (John Piper's sermon response on September 16, 2001)"Terrorism, Justice, and Loving Our Enemies" (article by John Piper on September 12, 2001)"21 Ways to Comfort Those Who Are Suffering" (article by John Piper on September 12, 2001)"Boatlift, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience" (video documentary on the boat rescue evacuation September 11, 2001)
Introducing Recorded: Remembering 9/11
3:30In this two-part series, we’ll follow the story of Christina and Brian Stanton, who were standing on their New York City apartment terrace when the second plane roared over their shoulders and changed their lives on September 11, 2001.We’ll hear how pastors like John Piper and Mark Dever handled the tragedy, and we’ll learn how God worked in and through Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, which sat just three and a half miles north of the twin towers.In these stories of loss, trauma, redemption, and eternal hope, we see that God was, and is, and always will be at work—even in the darkest moments.Remembering 9/11 will be available wherever you listen to podcasts on Wednesday, September 8.