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Thinking Fellows

369 EpisodesProduced by 1517 PodcastsWebsite

The Thinking Fellows is a podcast that explores theology, history, and apologetics. Hosted by Caleb Keith and Drs. Scott Keith, and Adam Francisco.

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The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings Trilogy)

January 29th, 2023


The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings Trilogy)

Scott Keith, Adam Francisco, Caleb Keith, and Bruce Hilman discuss the second book in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The Two Towers opens to a broken fellowship set on two …

Remembering Jim Nestingen

January 19th, 2023


Caleb Keith and Scott Keith join Steven Paulson and Ken Jones to remember their mentor Jim Nestingen. Jim was a pastor and doctor of the church who …

New Year, New You

January 12th, 2023


The Thinking Fellows discuss memorable parts of 2022 and look forward to 2023. Scott hosts this episode and introduces the newest "Scholar in …

The Fellowship of the Ring

January 2nd, 2023


The Thinking Fellows discuss J.R.R. Tolkien's first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They identify differences in style and scope from the …

Merry Christmas 2022

December 25th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows wish their listeners a Merry Christmas. They discuss the son "Mary Did You Know" and a notable trend of churches closing for Christmas. 

The Hobbit

December 17th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows discuss J.R.R. Tolkiens The Hobbit. The Fellows outline what they liked and what they found challanging about reading and …

Reading Tolkien

December 11th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows prepare to read the fictional works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Caleb and Adam discuss what makes Tolkien unique and some of the …

How the Church Reads the Bible

November 29th, 2022


Caleb, Scott, and Adam are joined by John Hoyum to talk about how churches across the world read and preach the Bible. John is a Junior Fellow at 1517 and the co-host of the new podcast Preaching the Text with Steve …

A Time to Be Thankful

November 23rd, 2022


The Thinking Fellows discuss and describe the things they are thankful for this year. While somewhat cliche, the fellows all explain how they have …

Trust Not In Princes

November 15th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows comment on Psalm 146. "Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish." How do …

Literary Apologetics (Why You Should Study Them)

November 11th, 2022


The Fellows discuss the purpose and place of literary apologetics. They look at the role of narrative and imagination when doing theology and how it …

Why You Should Celebrate the Reformation

November 1st, 2022


In this episode, The Thinking Fellows address the idea that the Reformation is not worthy of celebration but is lamentable. The Fellows contend that the Reformation ought to be celebrated for its recovery of the Gospel. …

Justification By The Word

October 26th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows are joined by Dr. Jack Kilcrease to discuss the centrality and importance of the doctrine of the Word. Jack is the author of Justification by the Word, a new book published through Lexham Academic. …

Consciences Captive to the Word of God (HWSS Live 2022)

October 19th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows recorded a live show in Sandiego, California. For this episode, they ask, "What did Luther mean when he said his conscience was captive to the Word of God?" The Fellows each give an answer and …

Postmodernism (Why You Should Know the Intellectual Origins)

October 12th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows have Bruce Hillman on the show to discuss postmodernism. Bruce has extensively studied the development of postmodernism and helps give a history of its intellectual origins. The fellows also discuss …

Why You Should Be Aware of Cultural Nihilism

October 8th, 2022


In this episode, the Thinking Fellows discuss what it means and looks like to live in a culture of nihilists. The fellows propose that postmodernism …

Rings of Power (Why You Should or Shouldn't Watch the Show)

October 3rd, 2022


Scott and Caleb are joined by Joshua Keith to talk about the new Lord of the Rings T.V. series. Is the series a faithful adaptation of Tolkien's …

Why You Should Be Aware Of Secularism

September 22nd, 2022


Christians today need to realize that they live in a secular age. How do we navigate a world that goes on its merry way without referencing or …

Why You Should Care About the World Wars

September 17th, 2022


Caleb, Scott, and Adam discuss World War I and World War II. How did these wars shape the society and culture we live in today? What philosophical …

Why You Should Do Hard Things

September 5th, 2022


Caleb, Scott, and Adam discuss the idea of challenging and complex tasks. How do we both personally and vocationally benefit from undergoing …

Why And What You Should Read From The Reformation

August 23rd, 2022


If you are excited to learn from the primary sources of the Reformation, what should you start reading and why? The Thinking Fellows discuss the …

Why You Should Study Apologetics

August 10th, 2022


Caleb and Adam talk about the utility and necessity of apologetics. They discuss how apologetics has changed with postmodernism but how the essential …

Why You Should Confess the Creeds

August 5th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows discuss the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. They examine why creeds are a part of the Christian tradition and how they guide the church in confessing the truth of Scripture. They look at …

Why You Should Know about the Church in Conflict

July 28th, 2022


Caleb and Adam Francisco talk about the prominence of apologetics in the early church. Why was the early church under constant assault? How can we …

Why You Should Read the New Testament

July 20th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows are joined by Daniel Emery Price and Erick Sorenson to talk about reading the New Testament. They talk about common objections …

Why You Should Read the Old Testament

July 13th, 2022


Caleb, Scott, and Adam are joined by Chad Bird to discuss why you should read the Old Testament. They look at myths and skepticism about the Old …

Why You Should Know the Parts of Worship

July 5th, 2022


Caleb is joined by two members of 1517's junior fellowship, John Hoyum and Philip Bartelt, to give a rundown of Lutheran worship. What does Lutheran worship look like, sound like, and accomplish? How does it differ from …

Why You Should Have Children

June 29th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows address the idea that it is good to have children. They try to tackle modern social dilemmas and look and the theological …

Why You Should Read Things With Which You Disagree

June 21st, 2022


The Thinking Fellows talk about confirmation bias. Is there a benefit to regularly engaging with disagreeable ideas? Can information be neutral, or …

Why You Should Study History

June 8th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows talk about the importance and relevance of studying history. Dr. Francisco makes a case for why all people should in some way be …

Why You Should Read a Little More Philosophy

June 1st, 2022


Dan Deen returns to do one more episode on why you should read and study philosophy. This time Dan moves away from the ancient world and points us to …

Why You Should Study Philosophy

May 25th, 2022


Caleb and Scott are joined by Dr. Dan Deen to discuss the relevance of studying philosophy. Why is the love of wisdom essential, and how does it impact your life? They also discuss the limits of philosophy and why …

Why You Should Distinguish Law and Gospel

May 18th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows revisit the distinction between Law and Gospel. They discuss the consequences of confusing God's two words and why each word must be precisely taught and preached.

1517 Podcast Network Celebration

Why You Should Have a Theology

May 11th, 2022


Caleb, Scott, and Adam discuss the idea that everybody has a theology and that it is essential to understand the why and what of your theology. They …

Why You Should Know Something About Islam

May 5th, 2022


Caleb and Scott ask Adam questions about Islam. Why should the average person know something about this quickly growing global religion? Do the way …

Why You Should Learn About the Reformation

April 27th, 2022


The Fellows discuss the importance of the Reformation. Not only does the Reformation contain religious significance, but it is an ignition point for the progress of all human history. 

1517 Podcast Network Celebration

Why You Should Have a Low Anthropology

April 19th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows revisit the doctrine of sin. They discuss why Christians should not be surprised by cultural immorality. The fellows close by …

Why You Should Believe in The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

April 13th, 2022


Happy Easter from the Thinking Fellows. This week, Scott, Adam, and Caleb talk about the centrality and reliability of the Ressurection of Jesus Christ. They discuss the need to present the case for the resurrection …

Why You Should Delete Social Media

April 6th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media. The internet and social media have changed how we distribute and consume information. How can you know which way is up in the rapid and …

Why You Should or Should Not Go to College

March 30th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows explore the reasons why students go to college. They present a case for moderated and thoughtful attendance at universities …

Why You Should Read Old Books

March 22nd, 2022


The Thinking Fellows make a case for reading old books. Why should you read both pre-modern and ancient works of literature, philosophy, history, and …

Do You Have a Higher Calling?

March 16th, 2022


The Fellows revisit the doctrine of vocation. They explore the idea that God has particular callings for your life that he reveals in the needs and …

The Abolition of Man

March 9th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows conclude their reading of The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. This work ends with a brutal prognosis of society and the loss of …

C.S. Lewis on The Way

March 1st, 2022


The Fellows discuss chapter two of The Abolition of Man. They critique Lewis' use of Tao while praising his specific criticism of the turn against …

Men Without Chests

February 22nd, 2022


The Thinking Fellows discuss the first part of The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. In this chapter, Lewis discusses the use and objectivity of …

Proclamation and Apologetics

February 15th, 2022

The Fellows take on listener questions for the first time in 2022. Why can't Lutherans be members of "fraternal societies?" What is 1517, and what …

Jordan Peterson Needs a Preacher

February 8th, 2022


The Fellows respond to comments made by Jordan Peterson on The Joe Rogan Podcast. Peterson asserts the Bible is "beyond the truth " on the Podcast." The Thinking Fellows break down this statement and discuss why …

The Last Battle

February 1st, 2022


In this episode, the Thinking Fellows cover the final book in The Chronicles of NarniaThe Last Battle is an eschatological picture of Narnia. Here …

The Magician's Nephew

January 25th, 2022


The Magicians Nephew is the first book chronologically in The Chronicles of Narnia. In this work, Lewis creatively envisions the creation of Narnia …

The Horse and His Boy

January 18th, 2022


The Horse and His Boy was the fifth book written in the Chronicles of Narnia. The story takes place in the adjacent lands surrounding Narnia when the Pevensie children and their reign over Narnia. Here, Lewis gives a …

The Silver Chair

January 11th, 2022


The Thinking Fellows comment on the fourth book in the Chronicles of Narnia. When they were first published, this was the first book in the series to not feature the Pevensie children. While some consider the Silver …

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

January 4th, 2022


Scott, Adam, and Caleb discuss The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Originally the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia, this seafaring journey picks up four years after the events of Prince Caspian. This adventurous story …

Prince Caspian

December 28th, 2021


Scott and Caleb discuss Prince Caspian, the second book authored by C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia. They propose that the predominant Christian theme in the book is the truth of the Gospel and having faith in …

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

December 21st, 2021


Caleb, Scott, and Adam discuss and comment on the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia. The Fellows outline the basic story of the book while pointing out the Christian themes and literary significance of the work. …

The Chronicles of Narnia

December 14th, 2021


Caleb, Scott, and Adam introduce the Chronicles of Narnia. The Chronicles of Narnia is a seven-book series by C.S. Lewis. These books are not only highly influential in the genre of fantasy but are deeply and explicitly …

J.R.R. Tolkien

December 7th, 2021


The Thinking Fellows discuss the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien's fantasy worlds have helped shape and define the entire fantasy genre of …

The Inklings

November 30th, 2021


Caleb, Scott, and Adam discuss the characters and ideas that made up the Inklings. The Inklings were a group of Christian scholars and writers who …

Reading C.S. Lewis

November 23rd, 2021


Following the introduction to C.S. Lewis and his conversion, the Thinking Fellows speak to the impact and scope of his written works. The charm of …

C.S. Lewis: The Most Reluctant Convert

November 16th, 2021


Scott and Caleb Keith join Adam Francisco to discuss the life of C.S. Lewis and the docudrama The Most Reluctant Convert, which revolves around …

Last Theological Will and Testament

November 9th, 2021


Scott and Caleb get to the end of the Smalcald Articles. Here, Luther takes a stand for the proclamation of the Gospel and the necessity of the Reformation. As Luther faces the possibility of his death, he refuses to …

Baptize Babies

November 2nd, 2021


The following several articles of Smalcald are concerned with the application of the Gospel. Luther emphasizes that the power of the Word is given to …

Comfort and Assurance

October 27th, 2021


The Thinking Fellows are live from Here We Still Stand Las Vegas with the original cast and special guest Chris Rosebrough. As a pairing with the …

Repentance and the Gospel

October 19th, 2021


Jim Nestingen and Steve Paulson join Caleb and Scott to discuss the Smalcald Articles. Jim and steve used to lecture on the Confessions together, and …

The Pope and the Law

October 12th, 2021


Caleb and Scott continue to read the Smalcald Articles. This time the articles focus on the abuses of the papacy. Luther then moves into an outline of doctrine, starting with sin and the law.

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The Chief Article of the Christian Faith

October 6th, 2021


Caleb and Scott read through the first several articles of the Smalcald Articles. Here we find an affirmation of orthodox trinitarian theology and a …

Introducing The Smalcald Articles

September 29th, 2021


Caleb and Scott give a historical overview of the Smalcald articles. Many factors were at play; from Luther's personal health issues to looming …

What is the Canon?

September 21st, 2021


John Hoyum joins Caleb Keith to answer some listener questions. The first question is about using quotes attributed to Luther that are apocryphal. …

Nobody Talks About Melanchthon

September 14th, 2021


Caleb and Scott answer two listener questions. The first question is about addressing or using worldviews as a methodology for engaging culture as a …

Vocation and the Drowning of Baptism

September 7th, 2021


Caleb and Scott take a break from the Book of Concord to address listener comments and questions. First, they responded to comments about vocation and damnation. Then they close the show with a discussion about …

Correction to Abuses

August 31st, 2021


On this episode, Caleb and Scott complete their comments on the Augsburg Confession and the Apology. These final articles are not positive statements …

What is a Good Work?

August 25th, 2021


Caleb Keith is joined by John Hoyum to discuss articles 20 and 21 of the Augsburg Confession and Apology. In these articles the evangelicals make a …

Freedom and Reason

August 18th, 2021


Caleb and Scott discuss free will, the fall into sin, and human reason. Article 18 of the Augsburg Confession outlines how human reason differs from free will. How is it that you can make good rational choices while …

Do I Have To Obey Government?

August 12th, 2021


Caleb and Scott talk about article 16 of the Augsburg Confession. This article highlights not only obedience to civil authority but the freedom to participate in civil offices and process. Article 16 provides a …

Does Tradition Matter?

August 4th, 2021


Scott Keith is joined by Jim Nestingen to discuss church traditions and their uses. Should the church retain old traditions? Is there a point where a …

The Life of the Church

July 27th, 2021


Scott and Caleb continue to talk about the Augsburg confession and the Apology. This time, they discuss how the church functions with proper rites …

Confession is for Absolution

July 20th, 2021


The Augsburg Confession is clear; the aim or purpose of repentance is the application of Christ to the sinner. In articles 11 and 12 of the Augsburg …

How to Obtain Forgiveness

July 13th, 2021

Scott and Caleb continue with articles 7-9 of the Augsburg Confession. In these articles, the Reformers took a definitional stand against a sacramental system of infused grace and instead positioned the Sacramental …

How am I Saved?

July 6th, 2021


Caleb and Scott discuss article four of the Apology to the Augsburg Confession. Justification is the article upon which the church stands or falls, …

A Race Toward Justification

June 30th, 2021


Caleb and Scott read and discuss the first three articles of the Augsburg Confession and the Apology. While Rome did not object to the Lutheran …

A Crisis in Christianity

June 22nd, 2021


Scott and Caleb introduce the Augsburg Confession. The Augsburg Confession is one of the most unique documents of the Reformation and stood as a bold …

What About Evolution?

June 15th, 2021


Caleb and Scott take listener questions about creation and apologetics. Does the idea of evolution threaten our understanding of the Bible? How do we …

What Does Baptism Offer?

June 8th, 2021


Caleb is joined by Bob Hiller and Rod Rosenbladt to close out Luther’s Large Catechism. This episode focuses on God’s gifts in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. How is God working through these means?

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How to Talk to God

June 1st, 2021


Caleb is joined by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt and pastor Bob Hiller to talk about the Lord’s Prayer. Luther explains that the Lord’s Prayer gives Christians the how and why of talking to God. Prayer gives us an opportunity to …

Reading the Bible

May 25th, 2021


The Thinking Fellows Podcast celebrates the anniversary of the 1517 Podcast Network with a 30minutes and 40minutes crossover. Scott and Caleb are joined by Dan Price, Erick Sorensen, and Chad Bird to talk about reading …

I Believe in the Holy Spirit

May 18th, 2021


Philip Bartelt and John Hoyum join Caleb to read and discuss the Third Article of the Apostles' Creed. In his explanation of this article, Luther …

I Believe in Jesus Christ His Only Son Our Lord

May 12th, 2021


Luther’s short sermon on the second article of the Apostles’ Creed is short but significant in its call that Christ and this article be constantly preached throughout the year. Caleb and Scott discuss the length and …

I Believe in God the Father Almighty

May 5th, 2021


Caleb is joined by John Hoyum and Kelsi Klembara to talk about Luther’s explanation of the first article of the Apostles Creed. The first part of the Creed emphasizes God’s care for his creation. Luther, focuses on how …

Thou Shalt Not Covet

April 27th, 2021


Caleb, Scott, and John wrap up the section on the Ten Commandments in the Large Catechism. What does it mean to covet? What do God’s commands produce?

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The Large Catechism 

1517 Events

Thou Shalt Not Steal

April 20th, 2021


Scott, Caleb, and John discuss Luther’s extended commentary on the seventh and eight commandments. Luther takes particular care to give broad …

Thou Shalt Not Murder

April 14th, 2021


Caleb, Scott, and Adam continue their walk through Luther’s Large Catechism. They examine the difference between just use of the sword and murder. They close with Luther’s framing of marriage and chastity in the sixth …

Remember the Sabbath

April 6th, 2021


Scott, Caleb, and Adam are back together talking about the third and the fourth commandments. They briefly explain the first and second tables of the Law, and Adam introduces Luther's concept of three estates.

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In Defense of Christian Ritual

March 30th, 2021


Scott, Caleb, and Adam are joined by David Andersen and Ed Killian to talk about David’s book, In Defense of Christian Ritual. David makes the case for Word and Sacrament worship and the construction of worship around …

What Does It Mean To Have a God?

March 23rd, 2021


Scott and Caleb look over the first and second commandments and their explanation in Martin Luther's Large Catechism. In his expanded answers, Luther …

Introduction to the Large Catechism

March 16th, 2021


John Hoyum and Philip Bartelt join Caleb to discuss the preface to Martin Luther's Large Catechism. They talk about the Large Catechism, its context, …

Q&A: Lewis, Tolkien, and Hearing the Gospel

March 9th, 2021


Caleb and Scott take some time to answer listener questions. What kinds of Christian themes are present in the writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. …

Christian Questions and Answers

March 2nd, 2021


Caleb, Scott, and Rod go through the Christian Questions and Answers section of the Small Catechism. Written by Martin Luther after the original publication of the Catechism, these questions are intended for those …

Daily Prayers and Table Duties

February 23rd, 2021


Caleb, Scott, and Rod read and discuss Luther’s daily prayers out of the Small Catechism. This is followed by a walkthrough of the Table of Duties.

The Sacrament of the Altar

February 16th, 2021


As we continue through the Small Catechism, Luther provides questions and answers about the Lord’s Supper. In a brief and simple format Luther answers the who, what, where, and why of The Sacrament of the Altar.  Sit …

Confession and Absolution

February 9th, 2021


The Thinking Fellows talk about Luther’s breakdown and examples of confession in the Small Catechism. The conversation focuses on how confession is meant to be a means of comfort to Christians.

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Holy Baptism in the Small Catechism

February 2nd, 2021


Scott and Caleb move into the Catechism's explanations of the Means of Grace. Starting with Baptism, Luther follows Scripture to explain how God's …

The Petitions of the Lord’s Prayer

January 26th, 2021


Scott, Caleb, and Rod read and discuss the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer and Luther’s explanations. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show. 

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Being Dad

The Small Catechism 

The Creed

January 19th, 2021


Caleb, Scott, and Rod walk through the Apostles Creed and Luther’s explanations. They also highlight the purpose and flow of the Small Catechism.

The Second Table of the Law

January 12th, 2021


Scott and Caleb continue to walk through Luther’s Small Catechism. This time covering the 5th-10th commandments. In particular,they focus on how …

Introduction to the Small Catechism

January 5th, 2021


Caleb, Scott, and Rod discuss the the context and introduction to Luther’s Small Catechism. They examine the purpose, audience, and style of the …

Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions

December 29th, 2020


Caleb and Scott begin the series on the Lutheran Confessions. Scott goes over the outline of the Book of Concord and gives a brief history of why each document was written. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the …

Mall Santa

December 22nd, 2020


Caleb and Scott host a Christmas episode where they talk about Santa, magic, and Scott’s graying beard. Is Santa a remotely helpful Christmas image? …

Christmas and Church Seasons

December 15th, 2020


Scott, Caleb, and Dave Rufner discuss the place and purpose of Church seasons. How do holidays like Christmas and other liturgical points of …


December 8th, 2020


The Thinking Fellows talk about repentance. Joined by Rod Rosenbladt and John Hoyum, we answer the questions, Is repentance a final work? Is there good and lousy repentance?

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December 1st, 2020


On Giving Tuesday 2020 the Thinking Fellows discuss stewardship. This opens up a discussion about the economy of salvation and how giving does not enter Christians into transactional relationships with God. Sit back, …


November 24th, 2020


Caleb, Scott, and Rod are joined by John Hoyum to talk about reaching out to Post-Christians. How do you talk to somebody who has left the faith? Have common objections to Christianity changed?  Sit back, relax, grab a …

Tools for Catechesis and Other Questions

November 17th, 2020


Scott and Caleb answer listener questions. What kind of habits can help children learn the Catechism? Is the deceleration, “all my deeds are sin” a comfort? Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show. 

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Fathers and Friends

November 10th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by Paul Koch to talk about why conversations and attention to fatherhood and friendship is important. The significance is …

Unveiling Mercy

November 3rd, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by Chad Bird to talk about his new book, Unveiling Mercy. This opens up a conversation about the difficulty and importance …

The Seculosity of COVID

October 27th, 2020


Caleb and Scott are joined by Dave Zahl to talk about the religious side of COVID. Zahl is the executive director of Mockingbird Ministries and the …

What Happened in 1520?

October 20th, 2020


The Thinking Fellows are live from the 2020 Here We Still Stand Live-Stream. The Fellows talk about the events that unfolded in 1520 including the …

Scripture and the Word of God

October 13th, 2020


As the Lutheran reformers moved toward a confession of faith it was important to identify where that confession would come from and by what authority …

All My Deeds Are Sin

October 6th, 2020


The Fellows talk about good works their necessity and imputation. Can a work be good and sinful? What does it mean that all my goodnesses even good …

Free Will Is a Fiction

September 29th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by Steve Paulson to talk about the Bondage of the Will. The Fellows discuss the timeline and context of changes Luther and …

The Promise With Steve Paulson

September 22nd, 2020


During the Reformation, the gift of the gospel was often described as a promise. Caleb and Scott sit down with Steve Paulson to talk about what the …

The Telos of the Law

September 15th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by John Hoyum to talk about the Law. What was the reformations last shift on the Law and how is it relevant today? Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show.

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The Doctrine of Sin

September 8th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by John Hoyum to talk about how Luther and Melanchthon approached the doctrine of sin. Scott talks about how the shift on sin is the starting point for the reformational re-discovery of …

Heading Toward a Confession

September 1st, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by Philip Bartelt to talk about what doctrines and events which lead up to the Augsburg Confession. This will be a …


August 25th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by Philip Bartelt to discuss Donatism. Phil highlights the history of this condemned teaching, while Scott and Caleb ask about the ways Donatism might show up today. 

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The Freedom of The Christian

August 18th, 2020


Caleb, Scott, and Rod record a special episode for the Lutheran Study Days conference in Bergen. The question: what is Christian Freedom and does it have any limitations? Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the …

Back to School and Melanchthon

August 11th, 2020


Scott and Caleb talk about Melanchthon’s approach to education and how it might help parents dealing with kids going back to School during COVID. Sit …

Theology and Literature

August 4th, 2020


Caleb, Scott, and Rod talk about the relationship between theology and literature. Scott also gives Caleb the opportunity to talk about his MA …

Weak on Sanctification

July 28th, 2020


Caleb, Scott, and Rod talk about distinguishing sanctification from justification. Rod talks about how the weak on sanctification phrase developed. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show.

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Why Not Just Study The Bible

July 21st, 2020


Scott and Caleb answer a question about studying historical and systematic theology vs. just studying the Bible. The conversation turns toward the …

Is the Church an Essential Service?

July 14th, 2020


The Thinking Fellows tackle an epistemological problem and ask if churches are an essential service. This episode was inspired by a New York Times …

Scientific Method and Faith

July 7th, 2020


Rod, Scott, Adam, and Caleb are back in their regular studio to record a new episode on faith and reason. The conversation focuses in on the modern …

Thomism and Theological Systems

June 30th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by John Hoyum to talk about Thomism and the unification of philosophical and theological systems. The conversation focuses …

Church and State

June 23rd, 2020


The regular hosts of the Thinking Fellows are back in the studio after a long time of phone-in episodes. During this episode, they talk about the …

The Theologian's Craft

June 16th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by John Hoyum to talk about the theologian's craft. What makes one a theologian? And what considerations should be …

Are the Categories of Cross and Glory Useful?

June 9th, 2020


The Junior Fellows are back for a second episode. John Hoyum and Kelsi Klembara join Caleb Keith to discuss the relevance of the theology of the …

Mortal and Venial Sin

June 2nd, 2020


This episode of the Thinking Fellows is hosted by members of 1517’s junior fellowship. Caleb Keith, John Hoyum, and Kelsi Klembara answer a listener's request to do an episode on mortal and Venial sin. Sit back, relax, …


May 26th, 2020


Who can you trust? The Thinking Fellows are back around to one of their favorite topics, epistemology. This time, they talk about experts and …

COVID and Our Neighbor

May 19th, 2020


The Fellows have a conversation about the struggle of serving your neighbor in the time of coronavirus. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show.

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Quarantined Reading

May 12th, 2020


The Fellows sit-down and talk about what books they are reading during the quarantine. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show.

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Wager in the Wind

Chasing the Demon

The Last Town …

Lutheran Language and Other Questions

May 5th, 2020


Scott, Caleb, and Adam go through the most recent listener questions. The questions range from a request for further reading in apologetics to a …

Hard Choices

April 28th, 2020


Caleb and Scott Keith are Joined by Pastor Paul Koch to talk about the hard choices pastors are making during the Covid-19 shutdowns. Paul talks …

Scandinavian Luther Renaissance

April 21st, 2020


Scott and Caleb are once again joined by John Hoyum to talk about Scandinavian Lutheranism and Gerhard Forde. The episode ends on a conversation about Forde's objections to the term inerrancy.

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Gerhard Forde

April 14th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by John Hoyum to discuss the life and work of Gerhard Forde. John is a doctoral student and pastor in the Seattle area. The Fellows ask John about Forde’s upbringing and background and then …

Fasting, Natural Law, and Baptism

April 7th, 2020


Caleb and Scott Keith answer a handful of listener-submitted questions. The questions range from requirements and prohibitions concerning fasting to …

The Craft of Preaching

March 31st, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by Bob Hiller to discuss the 1517 project, The Craft of Preaching. The conversation leads toward the importance of …

Are You Afraid?

March 24th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by Donavon Riley to talk about fear. Is there a Christian response to fear? Should Christians be afraid? Sit back, relax, …


March 17th, 2020


Caleb and Scott are joined by Dan Price to talk about the impact and response to the Corona Virus. They look at Martin Luther’s letters on the Plague and talk about vocation and proclamation in these trying times. Sit …

Christ in the Straw

March 10th, 2020


Scott and Caleb are joined by pastor Bob Hiller to talk about his book Christ in the Straw.  The book serves as a devotional commentary through James. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show. 

Show Notes:


March 3rd, 2020


The Thinking Fellows are once again joined by David Andersen. The topic of this episode leans more philosophical and asks the question, are you happy? Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show. 

Show Notes:

Islamic Apologetics and Questions about Young People

February 25th, 2020


The Fellows talk about Islamic apologetic method and common questions from young people. Adam lays out the presuppositional arguments that are common …

Apologetics and Your Neighbor

February 18th, 2020


The Fellows take on another round of listener questions. The episode ends with a conversation about how vocation and the service of neighbor works …

The Empty Tomb

February 11th, 2020


On this episode of the Thinking Fellows, Scott, Adam, and Caleb talk about objections to Christ’s divinity and how they deal with the empty tomb. …

Faithless to Fearless

February 4th, 2020


The Thinking Fellows sit down with David Andersen to talk about his apologetic book Faithless to Fearless. This episode covers some of the …

Common Objections to Christianity

January 28th, 2020


Drs. Rod Rosenbladt and Scott Keith sit down with Caleb to dive to the heart of why apologetics matters. Ultimately, they teach that apologetics is …

Christian Apologetics?

January 21st, 2020


The Thinking Fellows introduce a new series in apologetics. On this episode, they define what Christian apologetics is as a category of theology and …

Sharing the Faith and Other Questions From January

January 15th, 2020


Scott and Caleb take a look at listener questions from the month of January. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show.

Show Notes:

Support 1517 

The Small Catechism 

Mere Christianity 

Where Two or Three are Gathered

January 7th, 2020


Dr. Scott Keith and Caleb Keith sit down and talk about Scott’s latest book, titled, Where Two or Three Are Gathered. The book is an edited volume …

New Year’s Resolutions

December 31st, 2019


The Thinking Fellows closeout 2019 with a discussion about New Year’s resolutions. The conversation turns to guilt, confession, and forgiveness …

Merry Christmas

December 24th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows talk about Christmas platitudes, comfort at Christmas, and share some personal Christmas stories. Thank you for supporting the show in 2019. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show.

Show …

The Gospel in the Old Testament

December 17th, 2019


Scott and Caleb are joined by Chad Bird to talk about the Old Testament. Caleb asks the question of how does the Gospel of Christ found and proclaimed in the words of the Old Testament. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, …

Why Do We Worship?

December 10th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows are joined by Dr. Jonathan Mumme to discuss the purpose and practice of Christian worship? How does or should Christian worship …

The State of the Thinking Fellows

December 3rd, 2019


Scott and Caleb Keith take this time to update listeners of the Thinking Fellows and ask for their support. Caleb also asks Scott what he thinks the …

Is Baptism a Good Work?

November 26th, 2019


On this episode the Fellows answer a handful of questions submitted by listeners. Among them is the question, is baptism a good work that earns …

Historical Methodology

November 19th, 2019


On this episode, the Fellows have a conversation about historical methodology and why it is important for the practice of theology but also daily …

A Missionary to the U.S.

November 12th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows are joined by Delwyn Campbell, who is an LCMS missionary in Gary Indiana. Pastor Campbell talks about how a missionary is called to bring the Gospel to places close or far, where it is not being …


November 5th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows sit down with Dave Zahl to talk about his new book. Dave explains the concept of Seculosity and how people create systems of …

The Common Faith

October 29th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows record a live podcast every year at the Here We Still Stand conference. Per tradition, the Fellows are joined by Drs, Jim …

Religious Language

October 22nd, 2019


Have you ever noticed that sometimes you can’t understand what a theologian is trying to say? On the episode, the thinking Fellows talk about …

The World Is Ending... Again

October 15th, 2019


In this episode, the Thinking Fellows try to navigate the theological and philosophical problems of secular doomsaying. The topics range from modern …

What’s a Guy to Do

October 8th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows talk about friendship, fatherhood, and masculinity. In particular, this episode is about the struggle and need for friendship in …


October 1st, 2019


On this episode, the Fellows address a listener’s question about what it means when somebody calls themselves Reformed. The conversation leads to a little bit of history and systematics. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, …

Repentance and Sin

September 24th, 2019


How do you know you are truly repentant? Does your life have to be wrecked by some special sin before you know the Gospel? The Thinking Fellows …

What Good is Philosophy?

September 17th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows reflect on the benefits of studying philosophy. Scott and Adam discuss how 20 years ago, Rod introduced the two of them to reading and studying philosophy. The consensus of this conversation is that …

Mutual Conversation of The Brethren

September 10th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows are joined by friends to have a conversation in a Hotel bar in Bergen Norway. While the show covers many topics, the discussion centers on the importance of friendship and dialogue in the Christian …

Live from Bergen Norway

September 3rd, 2019


The Thinking Fellows are joined by Stephen Pietsch for a live recording in Bergen Norway. Scott, Adam, And Rod gave lectures at the Lutheran  Study Days conference. We close the conference with a special episode of the …

Apologetics for Comfort and Other Questions for Dr. Francisco

August 27th, 2019


On a rare episode featuring only Caleb Keith and Dr. Adam Francisco, the Thinking Fellows ask the questions: Is Islam a Christian heresy and can …

The Bible

August 20th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows ask the question, what is the Bible? This conversation follows an episode on the historic creeds and how they are built from and …

Creeds and Confessions

August 13th, 2019


As a lead up to Here We Still Stand 2019, the Thinking Fellows discuss the importance and use of creeds and confessions. The historic creeds are brief summations of Scriptural truth. Their use has been to combat heresy …

Q&A: Prayer, Communion, and Other Questions

August 6th, 2019


Question and Answer episodes give us a unique opportunity to directly engage with the Thinking Fellows audience. Today’s episode includes questions about Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Lord’s Supper, and Prayer companions. …

The English Reformation and the Lutherans

July 30th, 2019


Did the Lutheran reformers influence the development of the Church of England? The Thinking Fellows chime in on this recently requested question. The …

Does the Church Still Stand or Fall on Justification?

July 23rd, 2019


On the 489th anniversary of the Augsburg confession, the Fellows ask the question, does the Church still stand or fall on justification? In other words, is justification the central doctrine of faith? The fellows give a …


July 16th, 2019


Returning to their topical format, the Thinking Fellows talk about stoic philosophy. The conversation flows from classical stoicism to modern proponents like Jordan Peterson. Finally, the fellows ask the question are …

Contemporary Christianity: Christianity in America

July 9th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows finish their six part series on Christianity in America led by Dan van Voorhis. Dan talks about the second half of the 20th century and how it has led to the current cloudy question of where …

Fundamentalism and Modernism

July 2nd, 2019


On this episode, Dan van Voorhis leads listeners through origins of fundamentalism and modernism in American Christianity. Dan explains how the battle between these two groups was not just in fighting but was a matter …

The Second Great Awakening and the Move West

June 25th, 2019


Dr. Dan van Voorhis is back to walk listeners through another segment of Christian history in America. The fellows discuss the differences between the first and second Great Awakenings as well as the impact of migration …

The First Great Awakening

June 18th, 2019


The Thinking Fellows are once again joined by Dr. Dan van Voorhis to discuss the history of Christianity in America. This time, they cover the context, characters, and development of the first great awakening. Sit back, …

Christianity in America: The Founding Generation

June 11th, 2019


Is America a Christian nation? To help answer that question, Dr. Dan van Voorhis looks at the background and context of the constitution of the United States. The rest of the fellows ask Dan questions and then discuss …

Christianity in America: The Colonies

June 4th, 2019


Dr. Dan van Voorhis leads a discussion on the history of Christianity in America. This episode focuses on the religious practices of American …

How Do You Know What You Know?

May 28th, 2019


As a part of new episodes on apologetic conversations, the Thinking Fellows revisit questions about epistemology. Instead of tackling the topic from …

Knowing Why You Believe

May 21st, 2019


The Fellows discuss the importance of knowing why you believe. As part of this discussion, the hosts share some stories and explain the personal …

The Reformation: Conclusions

May 14th, 2019


The series on the history of the Reformation comes to an end with a recap on the Formula of Concord and the beginnings of the Thirty Years War. Thank …

Gnesios, Philipists, and the Formula of Concord

May 7th, 2019


Today's episode of the Thinking Fellows focuses on the second generation of Lutheran reformers. This era in Lutheran history represents a struggle for peace and unity of doctrine. The primary fruit of those efforts was …

The Peace of Augsburg and the Death of Philip Melanchthon

April 30th, 2019


Between the years 1550 and 1560 the giants of the Reformation are dying. The Fellows discuss the political and theological turmoil that occurred as a …

Luther’s Death

April 23rd, 2019


On this episode, the Fellows discuss the events leading up to and the fallout after Luther’s death. This leads us through a discussion on the sermon Melanchthon gives at Luther’s funeral as well as the interims. Sit …

The Power and Primacy of the Pope, Calvin's Geneva, and Luther on the Quran

April 16th, 2019


By the years 1540 through 1545, the Reformation was in full swing. As a result of the sweeping doctrinal adoption, Luther and Melanchthon were each …

Evolution, Zwingli, and other Questions

April 9th, 2019


The Fellows take a one week break from their series on the history of the Reformation to answer listener questions. The questions range all the way …

Luther’s Commentaries and Smalcald

April 2nd, 2019


The Thinking Fellows cover the major reformational events between 1535 and 1539. During this time a collection of Luther’s works are published, the …

The Fallout from Augsburg: 1530-1534

March 26th, 2019


Coming back from the Diet of Augsburg the Lutheran reformers began responding to the doctrinal backlash of the Confutation. During this time Luther …

1530: The Augsburg Confession

March 19th, 2019


In 1530 an imperial diet was called to the city of Augsburg. Among many issues to be addressed was the increasing influence of Lutheran theology. At …

Ulrich Zwingli

March 12th, 2019


Before his death in 1532 Ulrich Zwingli led a more radical reform than those in Wittenberg. Zwingli was not only a theologian, but also a humanist, …

Luther’s Catechisms

March 5th, 2019


On this episode, the Thinking Fellows talk about catechisms and catechetical methodology. During the Reformation, catechisms were a tool for …

Visitations, Antinomians, and the Small Catechism

February 26th, 2019


The seventh episode of the History of The Reformation brings the Fellows to a challenging time in Lutheran history. During the late 1520s, the first antinomian controversy begins while at the same time the Reformers In …

Liberation and the Bondage of the Will

February 19th, 2019


This episode of the Thinking Fellows opens to the peasants revolt and the radical reform of Thomas Müntzer. To round out the show the Conversation …

The Diet of Worms

February 12th, 2019


In 1521, the Pope issued an official decree known as bull against Luther. The Bull declared Luther’s writings as heresy and demanded he recant. The …

Melanchthon Goes to Wittenberg

February 5th, 2019


On the fourth episode of our series on the history of the Reformation, Dr. Keith walks listeners through the early stages of Melanchthon’s …

The Three Treatises

January 29th, 2019


As the Biblical text transforms Luther’s positions on grace and justification, he shifts his writing from disputations to letters targeted at the …

Luther Goes to Wittenberg

January 22nd, 2019


The Thinking Fellows continue outlining the events of the Reformation by following Luther’s move from the monastery to the university. This …

Origins of the Reformation

January 15th, 2019


The Fellows begin a new series outlining the history of the Reformation. The first episode features a thorough description of the Middle Ages …

The Soul of Christianity

January 8th, 2019


Scott and Caleb Keith are joined by their friend Debi Winrich to discuss her new podcast on the Apostles Creed. They talk about the importance of studying the creed and how it provides an accessible outlet for …

Discussing Atonement

January 1st, 2019


Caleb and Scott Keith are joined by their friend Kelsi Klembara to discuss atonement. The atoning work of Christ is an essential doctrine of the Christian faith. With that being said, there are still aspects of how the …

Merry Christmas

December 24th, 2018


Christmas Eve, Dr. Keith and Caleb take the opportunity to discuss the significance and balance in celebrating Christmas. They discuss why Christians …

Creativity and Vocation

December 18th, 2018


Caleb and Scott are joined by their friend Doug Klembara to discuss to the vocation of design. The conversation focuses on the importance of quality when creating and sharing materials related to the Gospel. After …

The Ideas Behind Here We Still Stand

December 11th, 2018


Scott and Caleb are joined by Dan Price to discuss why 1517 hosts conferences. They talk about fellowship, sound doctrine, and the benefit of gathering together. Dan also takes time to explain the City Events, which are …

Q&A December 2018: Sin, Love, and Wrath

December 4th, 2018


Caleb and Scott Keith sit down and answer and a handful of listener questions. Topics include particular sins, where should I go to church, is God …

An Introduction to Analytic Language

November 27th, 2018


Dr. Dan Deen is on the show to discuss analytic philosophy with the Thinking Fellows. Analytic language helps shape Christian apologetics and is …


November 20th, 2018


The Thinking Fellows talk about the craft and philosophy behind translation. Christians rely on faithful, and accurate translations of the Bible, so …

The Craft of Preaching

November 13th, 2018


Scott and Caleb are joined by pastors Bob Hiller and Paul Koch to talk about their new project The Craft of Preaching. The Craft of Preaching is a …


November 6th, 2018


Scott and Caleb are joined by Drs. Jim Nestingen and Steve Paulson to discuss confession and absolution. Corporate confession and absolution are an …

Christ in All the Scriptures

October 30th, 2018


The Thinking Fellows are joined by Donavon Riley to talk about how Jesus is present and works through all the Scriptures. Inspired by the episode Scott and Donavon Talk About Everything, the Fellows cover OT prophecy …

Theology and the Theologian of the Cross

October 23rd, 2018


Live from Here We Still Stand 2018 the Thinking Fellows recorded a special episode with Jim Nestingen and Steve Paulson. The main topic follows the …

Why Apologetics?

October 16th, 2018


The Thinking Fellows are joined by Dr. John Warwick Montgomery to talk about the apologetic task today. On this episode, they encourage lay listeners …

Why Do We Preach?

October 9th, 2018


Recently, Dr. Keith traveled to an LCMS district conference to talk about fatherhood. While at the conference he gathered pastors Paul Koch, Darrin …

Apologetic Questions: Postmodernism, and Apologetics in Luther

October 2nd, 2018


On this episode, the Fellows focus on apologetic questions brought up from recent episodes and listener questions. Starting by questioning and …

Christian living, the Augsburg Interim, and other Questions

September 25th, 2018


Over the summer listeners sent in many important questions. Today the fellows answer questions about assurance and Lutheran history. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show. 

Show Notes:

Podcast Network

Family …

Theology is for Proclamation

September 18th, 2018


Caleb Keith is once again joined by Drs. Jim Nestingen and John Pless for a special recording in Bergen Norway. The heart of their conversation is …

The Doctrine of Sin

September 12th, 2018


The Thinking Fellows revisit their very first episode on the doctrine of sin. The problem of sin gets to the heart of the Christian faith but is …

Praying the Catechism

September 4th, 2018


Caleb Keith is joined by Drs. Jim Nestingen and John Pless for a special episode recorded in Bergen Norway. Both Nestingen and Pless have spent years studying and teaching Luther's Small Catechism. On this episode, they …

When Doing Your Best Isn't Enough

August 28th, 2018


The regular hosts are reunited after a summer of teaching and travel. In preparation for the Here We Still Stand Conference the hosts visit some of …


August 21st, 2018


Postmodernism is a popular buzzword and one the most impactful philosophies in the world around us. However, postmodernism is frustrating and often …

Reflecting on the International Academy of Apologetics

August 14th, 2018


Producer Caleb is joined by three guests to talk about their experience at the International Academy of Apologetics. These students of theology come …

Augustine of Hippo

August 7th, 2018


After speaking together at a Christ Hold Fast city event, Dr. Keith invited Bruce Hilman to join him on two episodes of the Thinking Fellows. On this …

Translating Luther's Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

July 31st, 2018


On this episode, Caleb Keith interviews Haroldo Camacho about his new translation of Luther's Commentary on The Epistle to the Galatians. This new …

Being a Student of Theology

July 24th, 2018


On this episode of the Thinking Fellows, Dr. Keith sits down to interview producer Caleb and a guest Jacob Meuller. Both Caleb and Jacob are in …

C.S. Lewis: The Invasion

July 17th, 2018


The Thinking Fellows explore book two of Mere Christianity by utilizing an outline from Dr. Rosenbladt. As the next step in Lewis' apologetic …

Orthodox, Historical, Reformational

July 10th, 2018


This episode of the Thinking Fellows is about defining terms. Often, the fellows describe movements, doctrine, and even people as orthodox, historical, and reformational. The purpose of this episode is to pick those …

On Being a Theologian of the Cross

July 3rd, 2018


Due to a listener request, Caleb and Dr. Keith dive into the Theology of the Cross via Forde's On Being a Theologian of the Cross. They discuss the …

Baptism, Apostasy, and Lutheran History

June 26th, 2018


The Fellows approach the latest set of listener questions. This time, we have questions about Lutheran history, baptism, and apostasy. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show. If you have questions for the …

Philosophy and Theology

June 19th, 2018


The Fellows bring Dr. Dan Dean to discuss the interplay between philosophy and theology. On this show, we cover concepts like the magisterial and …

Father's Day: 2018

June 12th, 2018


On this episode, we follow Thinking Fellows tradition and record a special Father's Day episode. The conversation includes talk about the need for …

C.S. Lewis: The Case for Christianity

June 5th, 2018


The Fellows are back to discussing the work of C.S. Lewis. This time, they approach The Case for Christianity to talk about its purpose, history, and impact. The Case for Christianity is the first of three books in Mere …

Questions about Church, Confirmation, and Other Things

May 29th, 2018


On this episode, the Fellows tackle a handful of ranging from confirmation to the relationship between Lutheran's and Anglicans. The Fellows take …

Natural Law

May 22nd, 2018


This week, The Fellows are Joined by Dr. Russell Dawn to talk about natural law. Dr. Dawn proposes that natural law is a tool for dialogue in our …

Vocation Special: Spring 2018

May 15th, 2018


This week, Josh Keith joins his father and brother the regular hosts of the Thinking Fellows, for a special episode on vocation. Josh is a blacksmith …

Faith and Technology

May 8th, 2018


The interaction between faith and technology is one of the most significant issues in our increasingly digital world. On this episode, the fellows …

Martin Chemnitz: The Two Natures in Christ

May 1st, 2018


The Thinking Fellows dive into Dr. Rosenbladt's outline on Matin Chemnitz's Two Natures in Christ. As such, this episode covers the importance of …

Book Recommendations: Spring 2018

April 24th, 2018


Almost every episode of the Thinking Fellows has a handfull of books linked in the show notes. On this episode, we set aside some time to compile a …

Questions and Answers: April 2018

April 17th, 2018


The Thinking Fellows engage with listener questions sent in during April. From the inspiration of the scriptures to the Apostles, to Luther and the confessions, the fellows take on a broad range of topics. Sit back, …

Introducing Exegesis and the Parables

April 10th, 2018


The Thinking Fellows discuss the importance of exegesis and the parables with their guest Daniel Price. Dan is the co-host of two exegetical podcasts; 40min in the Old Testament and 30min in the New Testament. To get a …

The Resurrection of Christ

April 3rd, 2018


The Resurrection of Christ is the central matter of the Christian faith. This Easter, we not only celebrate but instead receive the resurrection of Christ as the first fruits of our resurrection from the dead. Sit back, …

Questions and Answers for March

March 27th, 2018


Dr. Keith and producer Caleb take on this month's big questions sent in by listeners. The first question deals with direct revelation from God and if …

Dr. Keith and Pastor Riley Talk About Everything

March 20th, 2018


Dr. Keith travels to Minnesota and has a wild conversation with Donovan Riley. Almost every topic under the sun is fair game as the discussion turns to Luther, philosophy, and Christain Doctrine. Sit back, relax, grab a …

Shakespeare and Reformation Thought

March 13th, 2018


Today the Fellows are joined by special guest Dr. John Norton. Dr. Norton is a professor and chair of the English department at Concordia University Irvine. He recently published Killing Physicians: Shakespeare's Blind …

The Formula of Concord

March 6th, 2018


As the last confession in the Book of Concord, the Formula of Concord strove to unite a Lutherans around a standard set of answers regarding …

The Theology of the Cross

February 27th, 2018


The Theology of the Cross is a recurring theme on the Thinking Fellows. This fundamental concept regarding Christ and his work originated from …

Thomas Cranmer

February 20th, 2018


This week, the Fellows cover the Anglican theologian Thomas Cranmer. Cranmer was a reformation theologian influenced early on by Martin Luther. …

Romans 9 and a Thinking Fellows Reading List

February 13th, 2018


Thinking Fellows come into their monthly Q&A episodes with a big question about interpreting Romans chapter nine. After the break, the fellows talk about what books they are currently reading. Sit back, relax, grab …

Epistemology of Theology

February 6th, 2018


Today, the fellows dive back into apologetics. Talking about epistemology, we discuss the necessary link between historical data and theological …

Luther's Small Catechism

January 30th, 2018


Today we dive into what is probably Luther's most influential work. The Small Catechism was a tool for pastors and families to learn the essential …

The Two Natures in Christ

January 23rd, 2018


Ever since Christ's ascension into heaven, Christians have been arguing about who Jesus is. The Thinking Fellows talk about the Scriptural …

C.S. Lewis

January 16th, 2018


C.S. Lewis was one of the most prolific Christian authors of the 20th century. As an adult convert, he delivered a powerful apologetic to the …

Q&A: January 2018

January 9th, 2018


As we begin recording into the new year, the Thinking Fellows take time to answer two big listener questions. Over the course of 2017 over 15 listeners asked nearly the same questions. One topic weighing heavily on …

Defining Our Terms Part 3

January 2nd, 2018


The Thinking Fellows kick off 2018 with a final episode on defining various terms used throughout the show. Additionally, Dr. Francisco is back and helps define the characteristics of the significant time periods of the …

Defining Our Terms Part 2

December 29th, 2017


Today, we are spending another episode defining terms used throughout the show over the last two years. This episode is meant to be a big thank you to all of our listeners and supporters. We hope you enjoy the show and …

Defining Our Terms

December 22nd, 2017


As Christmas approaches, the Fellows take on a long time listener request to define our terms. Sometimes on the show, the hosts use words or phrases for which not every listener had context. To help out, we take on some …

Vocation Revisited

December 15th, 2017


After spending two episodes dealing with the apparent tension between justification and good works we dedicate another installment to the doctrine of vocation. Good works are not opposed to our justification, but it is …


December 8th, 2017


On this episode of the show, the Fellows tackle synergism. This error has been present in every age of Christianity and poses unique challenges to Christianity in America. Sit back, relax, grab a drink and enjoy the …


December 1st, 2017


Drs. Keith and Rosenbladt are back on the show to talk about repentance. Also on this episode is a friend and guest, Aaron Pederson. Looking from Scripture and Luther we ask the question is repentance a gift of faith or …

The Liberal Arts

November 24th, 2017


Caleb Keith and Dr. Adam Francisco are joined by a guest to talk about the liberal arts and classical education. Our guest today is Dr. C.J. …

Politics and the Reformation

November 17th, 2017


Caleb Keith and Dr. Adam Francisco talk about the political history of the Reformation. Dr. Francisco takes the conversation back all the way to the …

The Task of the Apologist

November 10th, 2017


Caleb Keith interviews Dr. Montgomery about his background and beginning in apologetics. For Dr. Montgomery, apologetics starts by asking questions …


November 3rd, 2017


On this episode of the Thinking Fellows, Dr. Keith talks to David Zahl about Mockingbird Ministries. Zahl is the director of Mockingbird, and author, and podcast host. This episode highlights the annual Mockingbird …

Night Driving with Chad Bird

October 27th, 2017


Chad Bird joined the Thinking Fellows at the Here We Still Stand conference in San Diego to talk about his new book. Night Driving: Notes from a …

Faith and Reason

October 20th, 2017


As one of the last episodes in our latest series about the great ideas of the Reformation, we talk about the relationship between faith and reason. The Fellows discuss Luther's famous quotes about reason and then delve …

The Reformation and Islam

October 13th, 2017


The Reformation was not an isolated event; it had an impact not only in Germany but throughout the world. The Reformation was also impacted by forces …

The Heidelberg Disputation

October 6th, 2017


The Heidelberg Disputation represents the first time that Reformational theology emerges as a whole. In this work, Dr. Luther highlights 28 …

Matthias Flacius

September 29th, 2017


The Thinking Fellows are together with Dr. Wade Johnston to discuss Matthias Flacius. This episode serves as a crossover between our series on great thinkers of the Christian faith and our current Reformation topics. …

Sinners and the Gospel

September 22nd, 2017


After a long summer of traveling guest episodes, the Fellows are back in Southern California recording together. The Thinking Fellows are joined by …

Norway Special

September 15th, 2017


On this episode, the fellows are once again joined by Dr. Nestingen and Prof. Pless. This time, we tackle listener questions about doctrine and the differences between Norwegian and German Lutheranism. As a bonus, we …

The Necessary Distinction Between Law and Gospel

September 8th, 2017


The Thinking Fellows are joined by Dr. Jim Nestingen and Rev. John Pless to talk about their new book titled The Necessary Distinction. On this episode, we cover basic questions concerning Law and Gospel and the …

What Drove Luther's Hammer?

September 1st, 2017


"What Drove Luther's Hammer" is a look behind the curtain of Martin Luther's reasons for reform. Dr. Rosenbladt reanimates his classic lecture as a …

Luther and Melanchthon

August 25th, 2017


Dr. Keith is once again joined by Dr. Jim Nestingen, this time to discuss the relationship between Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon.  The dynamic between these two reformers is often misrepresented or misunderstood. …

The Jagged Word Field Guide

August 18th, 2017


Dr. Scott Keith and Pastor Paul Koch talk about their new book The Jagged Word Field Guide To Being A Man. This book deals with the topic of …

Why We Stand

August 16th, 2017


Welcome to a special episode of the Thinking Fellows with producer Caleb Keith and guest Donovan Riley. Pastor Riley has been on the show twice before to talk about Martin Luther and the Bondage of the Will. This week, …

Old Man Luther

August 11th, 2017


Dr. James Nestingen joins the show once again, this time for an episode on the later life of Dr. Martin Luther. Dr. Scott Keith and Pastor Kevin McClain sit with Dr. Nestingen to hear some great stories about the great …

Soli Deo Gloria

August 4th, 2017


Soli Deo Gloria is the final turn of the screw in the Sola formula that reminds us that salvation is not our own doing but belongs to God alone. This …

Woman the Forgotten Story

July 28th, 2017


On this episode of the Thinking Fellows, Dr. Keith is Joined by Paul and Cindy Koch to talk about Cindy's new book. The book, Woman the Forgotten …

Christ Alone (Solus Christus)

July 21st, 2017


On this episode, the Fellows talk about the center of Christianity. In Christ alone lies the hope of salvation! Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show. 


Show Notes: 

Christ Alone Booklet

The Bible in an Hour

Sola Fide

July 14th, 2017


This week, the Fellows talk about Faith Alone. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit that works intricately with the other Solas. Dr. Francisco gives …

Sola Gratia

July 7th, 2017


On Episode two of the Great Ideas of the Reformation series, we talk about Sola Gratia or Grace Alone. The concept of Grace Alone is adopted by many …

Sola Scriptura

June 29th, 2017


It is time to shake things up and take a break from the Great Thinkers of the Christian Faith and begin a new series on the Great Ideas of the …

Hugo Grotius

June 23rd, 2017


The Fellows hand over the reigns to Dr. Franscico to teach us about Hugo Grotius. Grotius was a Reformation era apologist who also had a large …

Father's Day Special

June 16th, 2017


Father's Day is an important time of the year for the Thinking Fellows with the subject matter of Dr. Keith's book being fatherhood. On this episode, producer Caleb interviews Dr. Keith on Being Dad. Dr. Keith tells a …

Theodore Beza

June 9th, 2017


Dr. Mallinson joins us for the 4th time for a fantastic episode on Theodore Beza. Beza was the successor to John Calvin and is the subject of Dr. Mallinsons Ph.D. dissertation. Beza's impact is large especially when it …

John Calvin Part Two

June 2nd, 2017


On this episode, we wrap up Calvin by answering some listener questions and comments. We also talk about the differences between Lutherans and Calvinists while bringing top notch resources to the show notes. If you …

Philip Melanchthon Part 2

May 26th, 2017


Episode 71 of the Thinking Fellows is a continuation of episode 70 where we began talking about the Lutheran reformer Philip Melanchthon. On this episode Dr. Keith talks about Melanchthon's later life and some of the …

Philip Melanchthon

May 19th, 2017


The Thinking Fellows talk about one of the most controversial characters in Lutheranism, Philip Melanchthon. Melanchthon is both massively influential to Lutheranism but is often described as a detractor of Lutheranism …

John Calvin

May 12th, 2017


Dr. Jeff Mallinson once again joins the Thinking Fellows, this time for an episode on John Calvin. Calvin has been one of the most influential thinkers in Christian history. Lutherans tend to shy away from Calvin which …

Reading the Bondage of the Will

May 10th, 2017


In The Fall of 2016, Dr. James Nestingen came on our show and talked about the Bondage of the Will. During that episode, Dr. Nestingen suggested reading the Bondage of the Will backward.  Today we take a little time to …

Luther: Biographies

May 5th, 2017


Today, The Fellows talk about the various biographies Martin Luther. This idea was started by Dr. Francisco who outlines for us in this show, the key features of a good biography. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and …


April 28th, 2017


Today we have a regular guest and member of the 1517 Thinking Fellowship, Dr. Jeff Mallinson. Jeff is co-host of the Virtue in the Wasteland podcast …

Aquinas Part 2

April 21st, 2017


Today, we revisit Thomas Aquinas and move on to talk about his theological impact. This is an expansion on episode 63 which is linked below. On the …

Transhumanism and the Crosswise Institute

April 19th, 2017


Today, the Fellows have Dr. Joel Oesch on to define and discuss transhumanism and its importance. Transhumanism is defined by Dr. Oesch as a movement …

John of Damascus

April 14th, 2017


On this episode, Dr. Francisco teaches us about John of Damascus, an early apologist. It especially fits this Good Friday as John defended, in …

Thomas Aquinas

April 7th, 2017


Thomas Aquinas is one of the most influential Christian Thinkers of all time. Aquinas' views on philosophy set up the groundwork for classical …

Episode One On Luther

March 31st, 2017


One of the primary goals for our series on the Great Thinkers of the Christian Faith is to give broad coverage to thinkers outside of our Lutheran tradition. With that said, it is impossible to pass up Luther and his …

Gresham Machen

March 24th, 2017


 Once again the Thinking Fellows are joined by Dr. Dan Van Voorhis. This time we discuss our first American Christian Gresham Machen. Many Lutherans …

Johan Arndt

March 17th, 2017


Welcome to episode 2 of our new series, Great Thinkers of the Christian Faith. Today, we are hoping forward in history from Augustine to the late reformation. Our subject is Johan Arndt who was a prominent Lutheran …


March 10th, 2017


Welcome to the first episode of our "Great Thinkers of the Christian Faith" series. We begin our journey by talking about the history of Augustine of Hippo. The Fellows are joined by Dr. Jeff Mallinson to outline the …

Great Thinkers of the Christian Faith

March 8th, 2017


Producer Caleb and Dr. Keith discuss the direction of the show and our new series. A big thank you to all of the great fans who have gotten us this far! Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show.



March 3rd, 2017


Once again, Pastor, Paul Koch joins us on the show. Pastor Koch is a longtime friend of Dr. Keith and the editor-in-chief at the Jagged Word. On this …

Preaching Law and Gospel

February 24th, 2017


The Thinking Fellows bring back one of their favorite guests, Pastor Paul Koch. Pastor Koch is here to talk about the importance of preaching the Law …

Christians and War

February 17th, 2017


On this episode, the fellows have a military historian, Caleb Karges on the show to talk about Just War Theory. The fellows get into the history, and context of just war theory and try to bring the war on terror into …

Camp Ministry

February 10th, 2017


The Fellows are joined by their first guest of 2017 Johan Hinderlie. Johan has spent a lifetime involved in camp ministry. He and Dr. Keith who …

Anniversary Special Part 2

February 3rd, 2017


This week, we cover another wave of listeners questions as we start the journey into year two. A big thank you to all our listeners and supporters as the show continues to thrive and grow. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, …

Anniversary Special Part 1

January 27th, 2017


Thank you to our listeners who pushed the Thinking Fellows through a fantastic first year of podcasting. To kick off year two, we are answering listeners questions on air. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the …

What Now?

January 20th, 2017


We have spent the latter half of 2016 and the Begining of 2017 uncovering apologetics. We are now beginning to wrap up this series with the question, …

Luther and Apologetics

January 13th, 2017


On this episode, our resident historian Dr. Adam Francisco talks about Martin Luther and his view of apologetics. Many people only ever talk about …

Christianity and Islam

January 6th, 2017


On this episode the Fellows interview of the regular hosts Dr. Adam Francisco. Dr. Francisco is an expert on Islam and has his PhD. from Oxford …

The Problem of Evil

December 30th, 2016


On this episode, the Fellows pass the torch to Dr. John W. Montgomery to talk about the problem of evil. Since Dr. Montgomery could not come in …

Christmas Episode 2016

December 23rd, 2016


Christmas and apologetics go hand in hand this week as we talk about the incarnation of Christ. The Word became flesh and entered our world. It is …

Jesus' View of the New Testament

December 16th, 2016


This week, we are continuing to talk about the inspiration of Scripture. Does Jesus within the New Testament narrative talk about its future writing and validity? Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show. 

Show …

Jesus and the Old Testament

December 9th, 2016


Is the Old Testament as reliable as the New? The Thinking Fellows track down the words of Jesus to see what the Son of God has to say about the OT. …

God Breathed

December 2nd, 2016


Before Christians begin defending God's Word it is important to understand what it means for Scripture to be God's. On this episode, the Fellows talk …

Philosophical Apologetics pt.2

November 25th, 2016


Philosopher Dan is back to finish up part two of our entry into philosophical apologetics. This episode primarily covers the teleological and the …

Philosophical Apologetics pt.1

November 18th, 2016


Many Christians are intimidated or even uncomfortable using philosophy. However, philosophy has been used for centuries as apologetically aid and …


November 11th, 2016


Almost everyone has heard it said that miracles are just fairy tail stories and the most inaccurate and deceptive parts of the Bible. The Thinking Fellows tackle the root of this objection and discuss why miracles …

Apologetics for Young Adults

November 4th, 2016


Have you ever wondered who needs apologetics the most in their world? It might just be the high schooler sitting in the pew in front of you. Today, …

Reformation Special 2016

October 28th, 2016


Today we celebrate the upcoming 499th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. Joining us this episode is Dr. Steve Hein who is an author and contributor at 1517 the Legacy Project. This episode is about the history and …

The Claims of Christ

October 21st, 2016


If the New Testament truly is an accurate historical source, what implications does that mean about who Christ said he was and the things he did? …

Reliability of the New Testament

October 14th, 2016


Do the New Testament documents hold the same historical weight as other ancient documents? The Fellows bring the history and the criticism to the …

Intro to the Reliability of the New Testament Documents

October 7th, 2016


This week the Fellows introduce the validity and reliability of the New Testament documents. In addition to this, the fellows talk about how …

Epistemology and Apologetics

September 30th, 2016


How do you know what you Know? Epistemology is the sense through which one filters and views all the knowledge he or she has acquired in this world. …

Melanchthon Nerds

September 28th, 2016


Today you’ll hear the giddy voice of Dr. Keith and the calm demeanor of Dr. Kolb as they go over the details concerning the history, background, and …

Do's and Dont's of Apologetics

September 23rd, 2016


This week the Fellows discuss the Do's and Dont's of Apologetics. In other words what strategies should apologists avoid and what tools they should …

Drs. Kolb and Siemon-Netto talk Two Kingdoms

September 16th, 2016


Hallo! This week the Thinking Fellows are in Germany as special guests to the Confessio Augustana conference. Capitalizing on this experience, Dr. …

The Challenge of Islam

September 11th, 2016


Dr. Francisco addresses the problem of Islam as we remember the attack on the World Trade Center 9/11/01. 


Show Notes

- Introduction to the Augsburg Confession

- The Third Jihad

-The Influence of German Biblical …

Introduction to Apologetics part 2

September 9th, 2016


Today we continue down the road of apologetics, this time introducing the various types and systems of apologetics common used. This episode is full …

Introduction to Apologetics

September 2nd, 2016


On episode 32 of the Thinking Fellows, we introduce our next series of topics surrounding Christian apologetics. Listen to find out what the purpose …

The Bondage of the Will

August 26th, 2016


On this episode of the Thinking Fellows, Dr. Jim Nestingen stops by to talk about Luther's book the Bondage of the Will. This episode is filled with …

In The Bar

August 24th, 2016


This is a special midweek episode of the Thinking Fellows featuring Dr. Jim Nestingen. The fellows join Dr. Nestingen in a bar just outside the annual NALC convention to talk about what it means to be a mentor. Sit …

The Role of a Pastor

August 19th, 2016


This week the Fellows are joined by Pastor Joel Hess to talk about just what it is a pastor does. Joel is a writer for the Jagged and 1517 the Legacy …

Masculinity with Joel Fitzpatrick

August 12th, 2016


This week the Fellows relax and have some fun with Joel Fitzpatrick. What this episode lacks structurally it makes up for with unforgettable stories. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and find out what the Fellows think it …

Eternal Subordination

August 5th, 2016


This week the Thinking Fellows are joined by Elyse Fitzpatrick and her son Joel Fitzpatrick to talk about a controversy revolving around the idea of …


July 29th, 2016


On episode 27 the Thinking Fellows cover the last regularly scheduled Loci topic, vocation. While most systematics end with Eschatology, the Fellows …


July 22nd, 2016


On episode 26 the Fellows are joined by Pastor Craig Donofrio to talk about missions. Lutherans, especially in the LCMS are often accused of ignoring the mission field, pastor Donofrio talks about why that has changed, …

Fitzes Sepecial

July 15th, 2016


In one of our most fun shows yet the fellows talk about grace and parenting. For our 25th episode, we are joined by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson to get a unique perspective on how God works through the …


July 8th, 2016


Eschatology is the study of the last things or end times. It is one of the most talked about and sensationalized topics in modern evangelical …

Two Kingdoms

July 1st, 2016


The Thinking Fellows return to their Loci topics in episode 23. Drs. Keith, Rosenbladt, and Francisco discuss the history and purpose behind Two Kingdom theory while also covering its limitations. Sit back, relax, grab …

The Augsburg Confession

June 24th, 2016


This week the Fellows celebrate the 486th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession. The Fellows go into the detail of the History, and Theology of the …

Father's Day

June 17th, 2016


Fatherhood is an essential part of what shapes the minds and worldview of the Fellows. On this episode, the fellows talk about the fundamental nature …

The Church

June 10th, 2016


On Episode 20 the Fellows talk about the Church and what it means to be a member of the bride of Christ. Additionally, we answer a fan question for the first time. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and find out why the …

Hitmen and Midwives of God

June 3rd, 2016


Episode 19 is a special show on preaching with guest Fellow pastor Paul Koch. The Fellows talk about what makes good preaching as well as what it …

The Lord's Supper

May 27th, 2016


The final episode in our Means of Grace series. We talk about the power of Christ's body and blood given to you for the forgiveness of sins. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and find comfort in the body and blood of …

Confession and Absolution

May 20th, 2016


This week, the Fellows continue to talk about the Means of Grace by discussing Confession and Absolution. Confession and Absolution serve to soothe …


May 13th, 2016


Last week the Fellows talked about the Means of Grace, as a direct follow-up to that episode the Fellows now dive into Baptism. Why get Baptized? How …

The Means of Grace

May 6th, 2016


Early on in the show we dedicated a whole episode to the topic of grace. Now it is time to expand on the topic of grace and discuss how God delivers …

Good Works

April 29th, 2016


Lutherans can often be misunderstood as rejecting the existence or necessity of good works. On episode 14 the Thinking Fellows discuss why this common misconception is not true. Sit back, relax and grab a drink to find …


April 22nd, 2016


Do Lutherans even have a doctrine of predestination? I thought that was the Calvinists? This week, The Fellows discuss predestination, which is a little known or seldom talked about doctrine among Lutherans. Sit back, …

Wittenberg vs. Geneva

April 15th, 2016


On this episode, the Thinking Fellows do things differently. Deviating from the typical Loci topics, the guys interview Pastor Brian Thomas. Brian Thomas is the author of 1517 the Legacy Project's latest book Wittenberg …

The Will

April 7th, 2016


The Thinking Fellows discuss the human will and ask some important questions. What role does the will have in or on the Christian life? What does it …


April 1st, 2016


The doctrine of conversion is highly debated among Christians. The Thinking Fellows find their answer not so surprisingly away from logic and back in Christ. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy the show.

Featured …


March 25th, 2016


This week, the Thinking Fellows talk about the various theories of atonement. On their quest for clarity, the Fellows examine Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. Sit back, relax, grab a drink and join the …

The Person and Work of Christ Part II

March 18th, 2016


Last week we ran out of time and barely scratched the surface of the theology of the person and work of Christ. This week we continue our …


March 13th, 2016


On episode 6 the Thinking Fellows talk about faith. Faith is one of the Solas of the Reformation, and is instrumental to salvation. Follow the good …

The Person and Work of Christ

March 11th, 2016


Every doctrine of Christianity hinges on the person and work of Christ. Sit back,relax and grab a drink as the fellows talk about whats truth and …


February 26th, 2016


On episode 5 of the Thinking Fellows, we talk about Justification. Find out why justification is the article upon which the Church stands or falls. Sit back, relax, and grab a drink as Drs. Rosenbladt, Keith and …


February 19th, 2016


During episode 4, the Thinking Fellows tackle the topic of God's Grace. Grace is an attitude on the part of God whereby He sees the unjust sinner as just, on account of Christ alone.


February 12th, 2016


This week the Thinking Fellows talk about the Gospel. What is meant when we say the word "Gospel" and how does it relate to our earlier topics of Sin and Law? Sit back relax grab a drink and find out as Drs. Rosenbladt, …


February 4th, 2016


Drs. Rosenbladt, Keith, and Francisco continue along the Loci to talk about the Law and its functions. Sit back grab a drink and enjoy a show about …


January 30th, 2016


The Thinking Fellows premier episode. Drs. Rosenbladt, Keith, and Francisco follow the Loci Method to discuss the doctrine of sin. 

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