We’re approaching our 50th episode of Mere Fidelity, which is a little hard to believe.  We’re so grateful for all your support and attention.  To celebrate, we want to do another “Ask Us Anything” edition.

Mere Fidelity

So, um, ask us anything.  And then vote below in the comments on which questions you like best.  We’ll discuss as many of the most popular questions as we can in the time allotted, and all the rest will be thrown into the abyss.  Or we’ll take them up in a future episode.  We’re not a democracy, so don’t let this bit of power go to your head.

Fire away, then.  And if you’re on Twitter and want to pass the word around, feel free to use the #merefi hashtag.  Questions asked there will be unofficially considered, but if you want official recognition you need to come to these here comments and do your thing.

This whole voting thing will go on until THIS TUESDAY at midnight. Thanks again for your kindness and support.

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Posted by JF Arnold


  1. I mentioned this to Twitter already, but what about the economics of sweatshops? What level of safety and pay should be guaranteed to workers in developing countries? Are they really that great if, for every country that gets rid of them, they have to be built somewhere else? Is boycotting them cruel?


  2. Context:
    Over the centuries the Gospel has been an unchanging message of undeserved grace, explained through a range of models or metaphors. This is true from NT times into the church fathers and down the centuries.

    How would you assess the critique that evangelicalism may now be stuck in presenting an individualistic legal/penal message that worked to C16-20th European authoritarian cultures, to an era where pre reformation liberation or passover models may be more communicative to our culture(s)?

    I’m a Christus Victor fan, as it incorporates liberation from systemic sin, both where one is complicit or where one is victim, rather than just dealing with the hearers own guilt ……..
    ………… but the range of options is huge:
    ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, fish hook, new creation, liberation, rescue, new life, etc, etc.

    Heading off an obvious response:
    (NB: Not anti PSA, just thinking it has too much pre-emnence as if it is THE Gospel, rather than one atonement model.)

    Your appreciative friend Jez


  3. Stephen Gonzalez October 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    What’s your take on the Eastern Orthodox Church, I had a friend who recently converted because they claim they are the true church, because they have a succession of bishops that goes back to the apostles, therefore have “the truth” etc.


  4. What’s your take on apocalyptic reading of Paul? How important do you guys find ecumenism? How should biblical theology and systematic theology interact? (Asked these on Twitter but I’m campaigning hard for you guys to answer these…)


  5. If the Son died for all and not all are saved, is there disunity in the Godhead?


  6. How about something on the theology of sports? Plays a huge role in the culture, yet rarely discussed in the church. What are the proper limits for Christians, i.e. how do we break what is often a huge idol? Touching on the aspects of competition, embodiment, entertainment, play, etc.


  7. In the last year or two on this page much has been made about the downsides of “capitalism” and “industrialism”, with multiple citations from W. Berry, Lewis, Tolkien, et al. I am wondering what your takes might be with respect to a couple questions I have about this: 1.) How does one justly confine human choices, utilizing the political process, without violating freedoms naturally possessed? 2.) How does one do this within the church? (Maybe of more interest to me here) 3.) In a fallen world, what truly viable, and just, alternatives do we have to the (somewhat) free market path we have taken? I think I will leave it at that. Thanks much.


  8. Matt O'Sullivan October 12, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    What is your take on the covenant of works? Is it a biblical concept? What about the concept of merit? There are a thousand different approaches to this question, and objections range from the now-classic reservations of John Murray to the more recent critiques of Federal Vision theology. As a young seminarian who is trudging through the arguments and trying to be faithful to Scripture, I would appreciate your insight on this issue!


  9. In regards to communion, what is the justification, if any, for so many churches (including the one I attend) breaking with apostolic tradition and church history by refusing to offer wine at the Lord’s table?


  10. My question bridges your previous conversations about the so-called Benedict Option with some concerns about the aims and future of Christian scholarship. Are professing Christian scholars better off investing in, applying to, or working for academic institutions in their own religious tradition, or in entering the more contested, i.e. pluralistic, spaces of secular academia?

    Feel free to define “better off” any which way you like.


  11. Novels or short stories?

    Favourite offbeat film?

    Favourite outdoor activities?

    How do you think the new X-Files will be?

    How do you think the new Star Wars will be?

    Last time you were in the hospital, and for what?

    Something you do that annoys your significant other?


  12. Wine and communion. Jesus instituted wine, so why serve grape juice?


  13. I would be interested in hearing about how and when the four of you came up with the great idea of your podcast.


  14. Could you construct a theology of trivial, unneeded (but not necessarily sinful) work: i.e. Twinkie manufacturing, Coca-cola advertising, Apple Watch selling, etc. etc…..how should Christians in those fields think about their work? Luther’s “mask of God” concept doesn’t seem to fit our rich modern society (although many people still use it).


  15. Here’s one: what does ‘beautiful for situation’ even mean?! Psalm 48:2.


  16. I get that I’m too late for this but at some point I would love to hear your thoughts on ordination (what, if anything happens, what is the distinction (if any) between lay and ordained Christians?)


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