The City Podcast: The Body and the Imago Dei

by Timothy Motte on December 22, 2014

After the podcast last week with Dr. Renae Schumann about faith and fitness and her complete bodily transformation, Cate was left with so many more questions that we decided to do a follow-up with just her and Dr. Schumann.

In this episode they talk about how to respect the image of God in your body, food as an idol, comparing ourselves to others, and competing views of body image among the high school and college girls that they work with.

Featuring: Cate MacDonald, Dr. Renae Schumann

The City Podcast. Smart. Sane. Spiritual.


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The City Podcast Special: Back to Barterra

by Timothy Motte on December 17, 2014


The infamous Hunter Baker (ostensibly identified as our only listener, though you are now disproving that) has taken control of this episode.

He is insisting on talking about Dr. Reynolds’ excursion into fiction writing, namely, Chasing Shadows: Back to Barterra.

Since he’s such a loyal listener, I guess we will let him proceed.

So imagine that the universe has to have a place where all our fictions dwell…

Featuring: Dr. Hunter Baker, Dr. John Mark Reynolds

The City Podcast. Smart. Sane. Spiritual.


Mentioned in this podcast:

Disclaimer: Amazon purchases made through links on this post will benefit Houston Baptist University.

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On this episode, Dr. Reynolds gets to talk with Dr. Philip Nation, the director of adult ministry publishing at LifeWay and new Professor of Leadership and Biblical Studies at HBU, and with Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, founder of the Christian Thinkers Society, about the intersection of discipleship, leadership, mentorship, and publishing.

Featuring: Dr. John Mark Reynolds, Dr. Philip Nation, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston

The City Podcast. Smart. Sane. Spiritual.


Email us at with your thoughts, questions, or suggestions for future episodes.

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Jesus, Educator: A Higher Education, Part (IV/IV)

by John Mark Reynolds on September 5, 2014

Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr.I have been told by marketing friends that in the United States only Abraham Lincoln is better liked than Jesus. Given Lincoln’s wonderful heritage to this nation, the popularity of Father Abraham makes sense. Jesus is, of course, to most Americans the Son of God, Savior, and the central figure in their religious beliefs.

Yet Jesus was more than Redeemer, King, Savior, and Christ. Jesus was also the greatest teacher who ever lived. You might be able to build some kind of a university program on the ideas of Lincoln, but Western schools all begin with Jesus, the educator, as a foundational thinker. Oddly, many Americans forget his role as an educator, though his followers thought of themselves primarily as students (disciples) and called Jesus “teacher” (rabbi). All colleges and universities in the West used to be Christian and the foundations still exist, even if in rubble, at most schools. Jesus the educator, Jesus the sage, Jesus the thinker gave Christians ideas and an example that produced our aspirations.

An important leader in thinking about Christian higher education in the United States is President Robert Sloan of HBU. He began this academic year reflecting on Christian higher education. First, he assumed certain things about education in his introduction. Second, he rejected the idea that Christianity only adds “nicety” to university. Third, Dr Sloan showed that no Christian college exists merely as a cover to “get people saved.” Finally, Sloan turned to the role of Jesus, the educator. As provost I have tried to reflect on what my leader is saying, not because I have to do so, but because when I heard this talk it seemed unusually important. [click to continue…]

On Earth as It Is in Heaven: A Higher Education (III/IV)

by John Mark Reynolds on September 4, 2014

If you do not know Jesus, you will not go to Heaven when you die, you will go to Hell and that is a place most to be avoided. Imagine living in Newark, New Jersey without the charm while stuck in conversation with Vlad Putin without the wit. . . for eternity. Jesus came to save our souls, but His work is so mighty that He also brought His Kingdom to Earth now. Jesus has come, is coming, and will come again. His Kingdom was, is, and will be fully manifest.

Hinton Center front viewThese truths are not quite self-evident, but plainly taught in Sacred Scripture. Our salvation from damnation is to a Kingdom with a ruling King now. Of course, our main job is to work out this rule in our own lives, helping others when we can and ought. A job of the University is to aid the state, church, and family in working out how each student is to live in the present love of God.

Salvation to Something

Not every Christian college takes up this job. Some do not because they have reduced Christianity to party manners, but others make a more fundamental mistake. My boss, HBU’s President Robert Sloan, gave us a vision of what Christian education is. As provost, my job is help him make that real which is a joyful challenge. My first reflections dealt with the nature of the job and the second on avoiding mere niceness.

Here in the third reflection, we consider whether the Kingdom of Heaven discourages care for this present age. [click to continue…]

Don’t Just Be Nice: A Higher Education (II/IV)

by John Mark Reynolds on September 3, 2014

Hinton Center with PillarsAs the bill for school comes due, many of us ask: “Why pay for higher education?” The answer is found in Scripture and founded the university. Even if most schools have forgotten the foundations, there are a few educational leaders who remember.

Let’s Be Nice When We Can

The leader of real education recently spoke on starting the long road to graduation. My first take on his lecture  also recommended listening to the entire talk: do. Part of what he says hinges on the double meaning of the word: nice.

Being called “nice” should be a good thing, even if now many use it as an insult: damning with niceness. My wife, the fairest flower in Christendom, got so sick of being called “nice” that she started being rude, at least for her personality, whenever people said she was “nice.”

But being nice is good. Nice people may finish last, but they finish last in races that nobody should be proud of winning. We should all be nice to each other, this is good manners, but being “nice” is not worth tens of thousands of dollars.

President Sloan believes many Christian colleges do not know why they exist and so miss the mark. [click to continue…]