Word & Table
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Word and Table is a bi-weekly podcast about liturgy, sacrament, and the great tradition of Christian worship and why it is vital in our world today.

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    1 & 2 Corinthians - Background

    Why did Paul write to the Corinthian Church so many times? What was the controversy going on in the background that occasioned his letters and how can it remind us of the heart of evangelism and church ministry today?

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    Good Liturgy

    How does the Church put on a good showing in its liturgy? How does thoughtful liturgical style and presentation contribute to the symbols on display and the truths being communicated? Finally what's the point of liturgy anyway? Is it meant to teach us something, or help us do something else?

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    For our Valentine's Day (or should we say 'Valentinian') special we talk about heresies and the heretics who love them. What is the difference between heresy and error? How do we know what isn't heresy? Do we need to be worried about being heretics just because we make theological mistakes?

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    Three Creeds

    We talk about the three great creeds of the Church: where they came from, what they mean, and what they have to do with the Bible.

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    The Eucharistic Prayer

    Father Stephen talks through the parts of the great Eucharistic Prayer and why it's all one seamless garment.

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    O Antiphons

    O Come O Come Emmanuel has some of the most beautiful lyrics of all church music, and it turns out that they run deeper than your average carol. Father Stephen explains the history of the O Antiphons and how celebrating Christmas is incomprehensible without Easter.

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    Interpreting Scripture

    How does the Church interpret scripture together? What are the guiding principles that help us understand the message and meaning of the Bible?

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    The Letter to Diognetus

    There is a short letter wedged into most collections of the Apostolic Fathers. We don't know who wrote it and it certainly wasn't from the generation after the Apostles, so what's it doing there and why is it worth reading?

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    The Laity and their Duties

    We've talked about Priests, Deacons, and Bishops, but what about everybody else? Are we all just supposed to "pay, pray, and obey?" Hardly. Lay-ministry is where all the action is. Father Stephen breaks down the duties of all the People of God and why ordinary members living holy lives is essential to the Church's mission.

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    On the much discussed doctrine of predestination: how God always initiates our salvation, how he desires that all be saved, (though some are not) and how that all works together for the good and comfort of those called according to his purpose.

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    The Lambeth Quadrilateral

    How do Anglicans view Christians of other traditions and how can we all come together as mere Christians?

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    Jesus in Genesis

    Continuing our series on Christ in the Old Testament: where do we find Jesus in the Book of Genesis?

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    What Did Jesus Know?

    Did Jesus have all knowledge in the universe as a human being? What did Jesus already know as divine and what did he have to learn as a human being?

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    All about the Eastern tradition of icons, why the Church distinguished between images and idols, and how to read the puzzling style of Eastern icons.

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    Details in the Gospels

    Fr. Stephen addresses some of the odd details in the gospel stories and why they're put there.

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    Vincent of Lerins

    How do we know what is true and false doctrine? A 5th Century French Father of the Church, Vincent of Lerins, laid down a helpful rule that became popular both with Catholics and Protestants around the time of the Reformation. Needless to say that makes him especially endearing to Anglicans.

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    Mailbag: Confirmation, Divorce, Ecumenism

    Great questions from our listeners!

    1. Does Confirmation mean "becoming Anglican?" - Micah Thompson
    2. How does the church handle sacramental marriages that end up abusive? - Alyssa Keysor
    3. What would it take to reunite our Anglican churches with Roman Catholicism or other evangelical protestant denominations? - Seth Hedman

    Music: Veni Creator Spiritus by Richard Proulx and the Cathedral Singers. Copyright GIA Publications

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    The 39 Articles

    In which Father Stephen summarizes every one of the 39 Articles of Religion in 35 minutes. That's less than a minute per article! Plus a short introduction explaining what the Articles are and are not.

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    In Jesus' Name

    How do we pray "in Jesus' name?" What does the common ending actually mean and how does the liturgy help us address God directly?

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    Divorce and Remarriage

    What did Jesus really say about marriage and divorce? How has the church upheld such a difficult teaching?

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    The Ten Commandments

    Think the Ten Commandments is just a list of "don'ts?" Father Stephen and Alex dig into the "dos" behind the "don'ts" to show how the Ten Commandments truly is a holistic moral vision for human flourishing.

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    Christ in the Old Testament

    If the whole Bible is about Jesus, then where do we find him in the Old Testament? What's the difference between exegesis (getting something out of a text) and "eisegesis" (reading something into the text). And what's the difference between interpreting the Bible and any other book?

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    Difficult Passages in the Gospels

    Sometimes you want to be inspired by the words of Jesus but you just cannot figure what he's talking about! Alex asks Father Stephen about several difficult passages in the gospels and learns how to interpret them.

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    Basil of Caesarea

    Father Stephen and Alex talk about another Church Doctor, Basil the Great and what he did to clarify the teaching of Christ's nature, the Holy Spirit and also his work on the liturgy and monaticism.

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    Have you ever been tempted to sin? We're willing to bet you have. Father Stephen and Alex talk about temptation, how it is different from sin and God's purpose behind allowing us to be tempted.

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    Cyprian of Carthage

    Cyprian of Carthage was a 3rd Century Bishop who lived as he wrote: dedicated entirely to the unity of the Church. Father Stephen introduces us to the life and writings of this beloved Father of the Church.

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    The Pharisees

    Father Stephen focuses on the Pharisees in the gospels. Who were they, what was it about them that Jesus objected to, and what can we learn from them today?

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    Irenaeus of Lyons

    We talk about another early Church Father, Irenaeus of Lyons, his life, writings and theology. His encounter with early gnosticism occasioned some of the Church's first dogmatic and apologetic writings.

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    The Holy Name of Jesus

    Father Stephen talks about the Feast of The Holy Name, the last day in the Christmas Octave, why it takes place 8 days after Christmas, what naming means in traditional Jewish culture, and what is special about the name of Jesus in particular.

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    The Incarnation

    A special bonus Christmas episode! Father Stephen and Alex discuss the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and why assuming humanity is essential to our salvation.

    We also include a huge thanks at the end to those who gave to the show this year. Thanks to you, Word & Table will return in 2018!

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    The Greatest Commandment

    Father Stephen discusses why Greatest Commandment, identified by Jesus, is actually two commandments and why it really is the greatest out of all 613 commandments in the law.

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    Movable Feasts and Calendars

    Father Stephen breaks down the reason why Christmas is always December 25 but Easter moves around. More than you ever thought you wanted to know about solar and lunar dating and how Christians do it differently from Jewish and Muslim holy days.

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    Clement of Rome

    Father Stephen introduces us to another Apostolic Father, Clement, an early bishop of Rome who knew Peter and Paul who wrote a letter admonishing the Corinthian Church.

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    We talk about the ancient Christian and Jewish practice of fasting and talk about the spiritual logic behind abstaining from food and why it's not about despising the body but honoring its proper place before God.

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    The Feeding of the Five Thousand

    The Feeding of the Five Thousand is one of the few episodes mentioned in all four gospels. What is the deeper meaning behind the miracle? What does it have to do with how we worship today?

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    We answer a listener's question about Vestries. What are they? Where do they come from? What do they do? What don't they do?

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    One Year Update

    Some announcements about the next year of Word & Table and how you can support the show going forward. In short: 1. We are moving to a bi-weekly schedule for the time being. 2. We want to ask for your help for us to cover this next year's costs. Donate at wordandtablepodcast.com

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    Justin Martyr

    Fr. Stephen and Alex introduce the next Church Doctor: Justin Martyr, an early church philosopher whose writings are "the mother load" for helping us understand early church life and thought .

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    The Book of Hebrews

    Fr. Stephen gives an introduction and summary of the Book of Hebrews, what makes it different from the other epistles in the New Testament, and what it has to say about the often overlooked virtue of hope.

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    The Didache

    We discuss how an important early church manual on ritual and practice got lost and was found again and what its contents reveal about how the early church handled the Eucharist, charity to the poor, and how long to keep visitors in their homes.

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    We discuss all things regarding ordination: how ministers come to be ordained, the rite itself, the meaning behind bishops' clothes, and why deacons, priests, and bishops exist in a religion that is also a priesthood of all believers.

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    Anglicanism: an Introduction

    After 37 episodes, Father Stephen and Alex finally get around to talking about Anglicanism. How is it different from Roman Catholicism? How is it different from other Protestant traditions? And what about that mad king who wanted a divorce?

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    The Trinity

    Father Stephen and Alex do their level best to explain the Trinity and find a suitable metaphor that isn't heretical. They also explain why the Trinity isn't an optional doctrine for Christians and what it shows us about God.

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    What is the rite of Confirmation and why has there been such a struggle to define it? Why is there a gap between baptism and Confirmation? What's actually happening in the prayer for confirmation?

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    The Gospel of John

    Father Stephen and Alex talk about the final gospel: its surprising historical veracity, how it fits in with the Synoptic Gospels and why it has a special place in the church year.

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    Ignatius of Antioch

    Fr. Stephen and Alex dive into another Church Father, the famous martyr Ignatius of Antioch, and how his letters give us a valuable window into the world of the earliest churches.

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    The Gospel of Matthew

    Father Stephen breaks down the Gospel of Matthew, its themes, its Jewish audience, and what it has to say about Jesus's identity.

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    The Gospel of Luke

    We take on the third gospel and its indispensable contributions to the story of Christ: the birth narrative, its Greek context, and the elevated place of women. We also discuss the merits of reading the Bible in sequence.

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    We break down the pieces of priestly dress and where they come from as well as the age-old question of why the bishop wears such a funny hat.

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    The Daily Offices

    In which we explore the Daily Office: its roots and the meaning behind its practice. It's a tale that involves sleepy monks, how the liturgy can be like a garage full of odds and ends, and the difference between the Office and personal devotions.

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    Saint Athanasius

    Father Stephen talks about the life of Saint Athanasius and how he articulated and defended doctrines that the Church holds today.

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    The Church part 2

    Alex and Stephen revisit the subject of the Church and go deeper into the meaning of some of the words used to describe it: one, holy, catholic, apostolic, and the bride of Christ.

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    Church Fathers

    Who were the Church Fathers? Why were they important to the church and why are they important to us today? What is a "Doctor of the Church?"

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    Father Stephen and Alex are back to talk about Easter and the hope of the resurrection. He is risen!

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    The Benedict Option with Rod Dreher

    Bestselling Christian author Rod Dreher joins the program to discuss his book The Benedict Option and what modern American Christians can learn from monks and how they live and order their lives.

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    Midseason Break

    Father Stephen is on sabbatical until after Easter. In the interim, we've got some exciting new content to share with you.

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    Infant Baptism

    Why does the Anglican Church baptize infants? We explain what infant baptism means, and doesn't mean in light of scripture and tradition.

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    The Gospel of Mark

    Father Stephen explains how to read the Gospel of Mark, including the history, structure, and themes of the book. We also talk over why the Cross is so challenging for people of all backgrounds to accept.

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    The Saints

    Why do we reverence the saints? What is a healthy understanding of how the saints fit into our worship?

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    Fr. Stephen explains the Anglican view of salvation and how we can know that we are saved by knowing Jesus.

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    Church Councils

    Father Stephen defines what a church council is meant to do and goes over some of the major issues the great ecumenical church councils dealt with in the first few centuries of the church's life.

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    Scripture & Apocrypha

    Fr. Stephen takes a question from a listener asking about how Anglicans interpret scripture and what's the deal with all those extra-Biblical books?

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    The season of Epiphany isn't the most popular one on the church calendar, but it has a lot to say about how the Lord manifests his glory in the world.

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    Why the smells? What does incense symbolize? And what's the name of that thing it swings around in? All this and more on this week's Word & Table.

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    When you see people bowing in a liturgical service, what does that actually mean? What exactly are they bowing to? What's the difference between bowing in a Christian service and the idolatry warned against in the Bible?

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    What is confession? What is the difference between a general confession and the sacramental rite of confession? Does the church even have the right to pronounce forgiveness of sins? Father Stephen addresses all this and more on this week's episode.

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    Father Stephen explains how the Church has traditionally cqelebrated Christmas and its place meaning in the context of the church calendar. Plus Alex and Stephen talk about their family Christmas traditions and their picks for best Christmas album ever.

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    Holy Water

    Father Stephen explains what holy water is used for and what it reminds us of.

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    Where did the sign of the cross come from? What are these little "extra" things we see Anglicans, Catholics, and Orthodox believers doing at prayer? Fr. Stephen defines these "sacramentals," their place in worship and how to understand them.

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    Father Stephen describes the meaning of the Advent season, how we can anticipate the Lord's coming, and the nature of Christian hope.

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    The Liturgical Calendar - Part 2

    This week we close our conversation on the Liturgical Calendar, focusing especially on the Sanctoral Calendar and where the practice of commemorating specific saints came from.

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    The Liturgical Calendar - Part 1

    Father Stephen tells the surprising story of the liturgical calendar and how it became central to Christian worship.

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    Parishes, Dioceses, and Provinces

    This week, Father Stephen outlines the organization of the church and how the regional delineations of church government grew out of the offices of Bishops and the cities they ministered in.

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    Priests, Deacons, and Bishops

    Part 1 of a conversation on Church polity. Father Stephen explains where the offices of the church, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons came from and what their functions are.

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    Introducing the Book of Common Prayer

    Father Stephen introduces the Anglican Church's signature book, the Book of Common Prayer, and goes over what it is, what it's for, what's in it, and how to use it.

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    Scripture and Creed

    What is scripture? How do we read it? Why do Anglicans say creeds and what are they for? Alex and Father Stephen talk about these things and more.

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    What is the Church?

    This week Father Stephen and Alex discuss the Church and how it's more than just a gathering place for Christians.

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    What is a Sacrament?

    Father Stephen explains what a sacrament is and how it affirms salvation in Jesus Christ.

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    Matter Matters

    In the first episode of Word and Table, Alex and Father Stephen talk about why there's so much stuff going on in liturgical church services and how to worship together instead of side by side.

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    A brief introduction on what Word & Table is all about and why you should listen.

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