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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
March 17, 2023 9:00 am

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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March 17, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about the origins and significance of Saint Patrick’s and who Saint Patrick was.

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Top of the mornin' to ya!

Today is Friday, March 17th. I'm Seamus O'Flannigan. I'm about to exit this radio show. And you're listening to Clear View Today with Dr. Abidjan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at, or if you have a question for Dr. Shah, anything you'd like to write in and suggest that we talk about, you can send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also email us at And if you guys want to help us keep this conversation going, although I don't know why you would, you can support this podcast, share it online, leave us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, wherever you get your podcasting content.

We're going to leave a link in the description of this podcast so you can do just that. Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! I don't love the getup. If you're listening on the radio, he's got a beard, he's got a green coat, he's got the hat. I'm a leprechaun.

I don't like it. I'm a six-foot-tall leprechaun. I was going to say, you're the biggest leprechaun I've ever... Let's get through the verse of the day, because I want to hate on this, but I just don't know how far I need to go, so I need to get some Jesus first. You need to use some scripture in your life first.

Why don't you go ahead and handle the verse of the day? Romans 14, verse one says, Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. It calls back to this idea that we are meant to... Those of us who are more mature in the faith, those of us who have been Christians for longer, it is our responsibility to disciple those who have not. This idea of men pouring into younger men, women pouring into younger women, and this whole church-family concept where we are teaching and training the next generation of believers on learning what it means to be a Christian. Yeah, we have this idea that people who follow the rules and people who check the boxes and people who say the right things, those are mature Christians. One thing I've learned about Christians just since being saved is that Christians love to gatekeep, and they love to correct, and they love to make sure that people worship their way. I think Paul was seeing that in the early church. What he's saying is, listen, God's received us, so make sure that you receive one another.

It's not your responsibility to set up requirements and check boxes for people's fellowship, especially in the church context. Absolutely. Yeah. Speaking of not gatekeeping people, I'm really trying. I'm really trying to get on board.

Trying to get on board with what? It's St. Patrick's Day. It is St. Patrick's Day.

Today. I'm not wearing green. I'm not wearing green. I'm going to pinch you. You can pinch me. I'm drinking out of a green coffee mug, so maybe that counts, but I don't have any green on my body. I don't think there's any... My socks are blue. Which is not green. You can pinch if you want.

I'll take that. You could have worn a green shirt. I could have. You didn't have to do this leprechaun bit for the radio.

It's not going to make sense for me to do this on May the 7th. Did you go get breakfast in public looking like that? Yeah. People laughed at you?

Probably. Do you see what I'm talking about? You're too much. You did this at Christmas, you did this at Halloween, you did this... You didn't really do this around Valentine's Day, but now it's St. Patrick's Day.

You're too much. It's fun. Are you having fun? I'm having a great time. I could come in in bunny ears at Easter.

Little bunny ear on top. I don't like that. I just think you take holidays too seriously. I think holidays... I think that you don't take holidays seriously enough.

I take them seriously. St. Patrick's Day is not really... It's a holiday, but it's like, what am I doing?

What do I do for it? I could wear green. Nothing. I mean, just Irish culture. I'm not Irish. I'm part Irish. You're not Irish. I thought you were German. It's kind of like a European mix.

Take all the European nations, throw them in a blender, and that's where white people come from. I'm a lovely Mediterranean Greek, so I feel like to celebrate the Irish culture isn't really my thing. It's not in my mind. So why don't you come in one day wearing the Greek flag and bring some tzatziki for us to eat? Because I didn't grow up in Greece. What culture would you like to celebrate?

I don't want to celebrate any culture. I just want to do a radio show. Maybe look at TV. We can have fun doing the radio show. All I'm saying... I'm all about having fun.

I think you go too far. All I'm saying is, why not? Why not? I'm not hurting anybody. No, you're not. You're not.

It makes you look silly. If I looked silly, I'm embarrassed. I'm not embarrassed. I know. I'm not embarrassed by that. And I feel like I'm wrong for thinking this, but you should be.

Are you embarrassed for me? Secondhand. Why? Secondhand.

100%. Because you're a grown man in a beard and a coat and a hat, which is technically fine. You're not doing nothing wrong. If it were me and people would be like, look at that clown, I would be embarrassed. So I'm like, that's how you must feel. And the fact that you don't makes me angry. And I don't know why. Makes me angry.

Yeah, it makes me angry. My fear is that you're going to keep it on. I am.

Trust that I am. That's going to be on for the episode. Absolutely. Is it itchy? A little bit. But you're keeping it on. The worst part is the beard just keeps flying up in my mouth. Yeah, because it's a beard with no mustache. Yeah.

I've never seen like the fake, you need like a fake beard that's mustache, mouth. Yeah, but this is this is very much Irish. Yeah. The leprechaun.

It's it's a chin beard. Yeah. Leprechaun. It kind of looks like Irish Amish.

Yeah. Amish. No, don't do that. Iromish.

Don't roll them into one. Well, look, I got a question of the day coming in from Randy W. Dr. Shaw, is there a book of the Bible you've never preached on? Ooh. I wonder. I would be interested to know that. I wonder. Yeah, I don't know. I'm going to say if it is, it might would be Jude? Maybe not Jude.

I know he's talked about Jude in sermons, but I don't know if he's actually preached on the book of Jude. Yeah, I don't know. I don't know. Habakkuk maybe. Habakkuk?

Or Nahum. Yeah, there's a minor problem. I don't know. I don't know. We're going to grab Dr. Shaw and we'll answer that question toward the end of the episode. But if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028 or visit us online at We'll be back after this.

And that's where this book comes in. Send us a text at 252-582-5028. Share what God has done in your life through this devotional. Hey, maybe we'll even read your story on the air. Ellie, you ready to get back to the show?

Let's do it. Welcome back to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadan Shaw, a daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028 or you can visit us online at

That's right. And if you guys are joining us for the first time today, you've never tuned into the show before. We'll let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abbadan Shah's PhD in New Testament Textual Criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's episode. Follow all of his work on his website. That's

And Dr. Shah, happy St. Patrick's Day. I really thought during the ad read you would take that off. I mean, I really believed in my heart of hearts you would take it off. It's growing on me now. I think it looks great.

I kind of like it. So those of you who have not yet subscribed to the YouTube channel, please do. You really need to.

This is why you need to, because sitting across from me is this, as Irish as it gets. Like, full beard, bowler hat, green coat, nice coat, by the way. Thank you very much, thank you. It's not mine. I like the vest. I'm borrowing the coat. Right. But it's the Amish-style beard where it's just the beard and no mustache, but you do have a real mustache kind of growing under the fake beard. Do you have a pot of gold down here?

We don't know. Oh, he's kind of jingling around in your pockets. You were, like, jingling when you walked in. The dress is fine.

When I say the dress, I mean, like, the outfit is fine. It's the accent. You're, like, getting into character. You're like, I am Seamus O'Flannigan today. Here's the thing, if you give me, like, a prompt, I'm gonna take it and run with it.

I want you to wear this on the show, like, I've already created a backstory. Like, this persona exists. I at least admire, I did some thinking during the ad read, because I was kind of negative. You were a little negative. I've done some thinking.

I at least admire that you don't care. Like, most people would be like, well, if I commit to this, I'm gonna look silly. You're like, I'm going to commit to this because I'm gonna look silly. Exactly. Like, I'm just going for it. Well, here's the thing.

Dr. Shaw, we were talking about this earlier. This whole getup was John's idea. This entire thing was his idea.

And then he picked it apart. It's good radio. He just set me up so that he could tear me down. No, man. You're tearing, you're pulling the screen behind, showing people how the show is made.

You can't have good radio where people just agree all the time. Like, hey, I really like this movie. Yeah, me too. We need some pictures on this one.

I'm sure we get some pictures when the show is over. Absolutely. Well, with it being St. Patrick's Day, obviously, we want to talk about the history of St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick was an actual person. This isn't just some name that we plucked out of the sky.

It's not something that came from a fictional book somewhere. St. Patrick was an actual person. There is a rich history there that we need to be aware of. So we're going to dive into that a little bit more today and who St. Patrick was and why he's significant. Right. It's one of those things where I think it just sort of gets lost in, not translation, but like kind of lost in culture. Because when I think St. Patrick's Day, I think of like the shamrock shakes, the four leaf clovers.

I'm going to pinch you if you're not wearing green. Yeah. And you don't really think about, it's kind of like with the St. Nicholas, like you kind of lose the fact that this was a historical person in the early church. Yeah, St. Nicholas over there. He's got lost in history. We've got to get him a mic.

He just sits there and pouts behind the computer. He's lost in history. Yeah, he's just kind of lost in history.

That's why I made Santa Claus out of him. Yeah, I just don't, I guess it's one of those things that people don't think about a Christian church figure when they think of St. Patrick. Well, today I would like for us to learn a little history if we could.

Absolutely. And starting with European history, you know, early Christianity, when did Christianity come to the Britons or to the Europeans? You know, I mean, that's a lot of debate there. Some people think it came with the apostle Paul when he wrote Galatians. Was it Galatia or the Galatians? Were they the ethnic Gauls, the people who were living to the north? Or was it the the Galatia that became known as the region, which is the southern part of Asia Minor?

Which one is it? So if you think that it is the southern part, which became the province of Galatia, taking the names from the ethnic Galatians, but really no longer much connection to them, then you will probably believe that Christianity came to Europe kind of late. But if you believe that when Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians, that he was addressing the ethnic Galatians, the Gauls, the Celts, who were living to the northern part of Asia Minor, then you believe that Christianity came to them when Paul went on his missionary journeys. And he stopped there and they became Christians and then went further north. So it all comes down to the North Galatia, South Galatian. There's this controversy in Pauline studies. So who were the Gauls again?

They are the Celts. Okay. Yeah. Okay. So that's where we get that's where that kind of this Irish Celtic heritage comes into the holiday because that's where the influence was coming from. Right. And then and these Gauls who were living in the northern part of Asia Minor, which is modern day Turkey, were sort of connected to the Gaelic people who lived in Ireland. Okay. So there's a connection between these two people.

Okay. It was an ancient statue of the dying Gaul. And if you were seeing that statue, you know, that's coming out of the battles between the Romans and the Gaelic people. And even though that statue was sort of destroyed, it was remade to represent that. And the statue shows this Gaelic person or this Gaul person who's kind of, the sword has left his hand, but he's lying there and he's trying to get back up. And you can see the side where somebody has pierced him.

So he's dying, but he's still getting ready to fight. It's for anybody who's been on the watch. Yeah. But the statue is not the original. It has been redone through the years. But it's the dying Gaul at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. Wow.

That's what it is. So a lot of history there. So the question is, when did Christianity come to Europe? There are those who believe that by 110, Hadrian became the emperor.

And 122, he visited Britain, began the construction of the Hadrian wall. And then by 140, Hermes writes, the Son of God has been preached to the ends of the earth. So maybe by that time, the gospel is already in Britain.

So a lot of questions about those kinds of things. Tertullian talks about Christians on the far side of the Roman wall. So Christianity is already there. Origen talks about Christianity having penetrated Britain. So it's hard to tell. But then there's also Gaul, which is France, and Luxembourg, and Belgium, and Switzerland.

The progress was sort of slow. First Christians were reported about 174 AD. And then Irenaeus preached both to the Celtic and the Latin speakers. And Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, is 175 to 200 AD, that period. It's the second century.

They're already there. Then the gods. The gods are people of the Eastern Germanic tribes. And this period by Ulfila, who witnessed to them, is somewhere about 311 to 380 AD. The Franks, very important event in the fifth century. Although Christianity had already come with King Clovis, it kind of took off. In 496 AD, on Christmas Day, about 3,000 warriors were baptized because of a vow. How many of them are really, truly genuine, born again Christians? I don't know. But I mean, they sort of all came into the Christian realm. Wow. How about Ireland?

That's the big question. Did some form of Christianity already kind of penetrate into Ireland with all these other people like the Brits and the gods and the gods and the Franks? Maybe. But the real genuine Christianity that we know of came by this guy we know today as Saint Patrick. He's the one credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.

Wow. See, I always thought, and I remember we were talking a little bit before the show started, I always thought that he was Irish, but he was British and brought Christianity to Ireland. He was born of Christian parents in Roman Britain. Roman Britain? Roman Britain. So did Britain start out as a province of Rome? Well, no, Britain, there was tribes there. And then Rome conquered Britain. And even to this day, even very recently, I'm talking about in the past few months, they found some more places in England where Roman presence was. Wow.

Yeah, I mean, it's tons. I know this is kind of one of those things that we've been talking about here lately, even with the story of Samuel and Israel is that a lot of these nations did start out as tribes of people groups. And it is kind of interesting to see how as Christianity spreads and how these different mindsets and worldviews spread, you start to see these loose tribes start to form together into nations.

And then, like you said, Rome kind of comes in and conquers another one. It's just interesting to see how these things that like the beards and the shamrocks and all these things that are happening today were formed by Christianity hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Yeah. Well, so Patrick, right? He is somewhere about 389 AD, Roman Britain. And he's taken off sort of as a slave. He was captured. And there he is herding sheep and taking care of whatever his masters tell him to do. And he has a spiritual experience. And after six years of being under these people, these Irish people, he escapes to France and becomes a monk.

All right. Then while he's there, his heart really goes out to these people. He came back to England, but his heart is really with the Irish people, and he decides to go back. But I don't know if I would have done that. Yeah, that's kind of the thing is like going back in.

What was that? There was a, never mind, there was like a Roman guy that did kind of the same thing where he got captured and then he went back to Rome and started talking to him. And then he went back over to, I think, like Carthage or something like that.

But it's kind of the same thing. Like you were there, you're home free. You're home free, but now you've got this conviction. You've got the Holy Spirit telling you.

I've got to go back and help these people. That's right. And he does.

And he was a missionary for 35 some years and baptized thousands and planted hundreds of churches. That's St. Patrick. Wow. Wow.

Wow. Yeah. It's funny to hear him as a monk because I always just picture him as like a, not a leprechaun, but just like an Irish. You think about him in like the green getup. Yeah. The red hair. Typical Irish.

Four-leaf clover in the hat. Yeah, but in reality, he was a Roman Brit who went back to witness to his captors. Wow.

Yeah. And because of him, monasteries came about in Ireland and it sort of became the center of Christianity and it had the missionary zeal. Now this is we're talking about in the, let's just say fourth, fifth century now, right?

Perfect timing. It needed to happen because in the sixth, seventh, eighth century, some kind of religion started. What was that religion?

Let me see. It's got like a moon. Yeah.

It's got like, it's called Islam. Oh, that's right. That's right.

That's the one. And it began to make its way to the north, blocked off all the trade routes and to the point that, you know, parchment and things like papyrus could not go into Europe. And so that's what precipitated what we know as the dark ages. Because they couldn't get their resources. There wasn't any enlightenment or any worldview spreading, but there are no supplies for it.

Right. And so if Patrick hadn't gone back and witnessed to the Irish and in time those churches hadn't been birthed and in times the monasteries hadn't started, Europe would have completely died off because that's where in the monasteries is where knowledge kept passing down. Was it in an attempt to cut off Christianity or was there some secular war between, well, I guess if they were Muslims, it probably wouldn't have been a secular war. It would have been some sort of holy war. It was to capture Europe. So they were coming to capture Europe, so blocked everything off or they were held back.

But in the process, you know, all the resources and spices and paper and papyrus, all that was needed to write was also blocked off. So it wasn't for the monasteries where they kept knowledge alive because of St. Patrick's influence, you know, Europe would have been a very different place. That's interesting. How do we get from St. Patrick—my leprechaun beer is going to my mouth—from St. Patrick, who is going back to bring Christianity to the Irish people, to happy St. Patrick's Day, wearing green.

Where does that transition come in? Yeah, that's very interesting. Maybe we can talk about that in just a few moments, but I want to talk a little bit more about Celtic Christianity, because I think people need to hear that today. I have two books in my hands right here. I love both these books. The first one is called How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill, and the second one is called The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George Hunter III, How Christianity Can Reach the West Again. Now, why are these two books important? I love it.

I love these books. It's because the Christianity that emerged because of Patrick's influence and so much other that went on had focused on scripture, extensive knowledge of scripture. So I'm getting to your question. It had extensive knowledge of scripture at its core. It talked about the personal experience of having the Holy Spirit or the power of the Holy Spirit. It was focused on fiery missionaries battling heathenism and going into the heart of Europe where paganism was rampant.

So this is the kind of Christianity that went after the lost. Right, because there was danger. There was an actual threat to it, and it's a very mission-minded thing where even now, yeah, there's some risk, but not nearly as much as there was.

It's relatively safe now. They had to deal with the Picts of Scotland, the Angles, and the Saxons of England, the Frisians of the Low Countries. They had to fight against all these kind of people, the Gauls, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and they even went to northern Italy sharing the gospel. This is Celtic Christianity that was sort of coming out of Patrick going to Ireland, and they started monasteries everywhere, and they spread Christianity from there.

So this is how significant was Patrick's influence. Yeah, you don't really ever think about it. You just think about, like you said, kind of the caricature of it. But seeing mainstream Christianity today and how it formed from this, especially with people who were willing to fight and were willing to go and be mission-minded and willing to be bold. Again, we kind of think about a bunch of monks just praying.

Sitting in a monastery. And that is a normal picture of monks, but I think some of that has been colored through eastern monks, the desert monks. And they were amazing people, don't get me wrong.

We make fun of people like that, but it's not right because they were some amazing people. But they sort of were doing this to be away from society. I don't think the Celtic monks or those coming out of Patrick's Christianity were really trying to just run away from culture. I think they were trying to preserve the truth and keep the fire going of Christianity. And so with that, then Christianity came to the Picts from Columbus, who died in 596 AD to the Northumbrians with Aiden, 635. And Cuthbert came to the Angles. I mean, Pope Gregory began to send, he sent Augustine, but some monks who brought Roman form of Christianity, which ended up prevailing.

So to answer your question, the Roman kind of Christianity that came through Pope Gregory sort of became the more supreme, and hence Catholicism. That makes sense. Hence, now we have all these Saint Patrick. If Patrick were ever brought back, he would be like, Saint? Saint, really? You call me Saint? He would not like that. Yeah, that's true.

I didn't think about that. You always think about that name sticking, but it came through Catholicism much later. Right. This is in the seventh century with Pope Gregory sending Augustine, but some monks, and they're the ones who brought this different kind of Christianity instead of the Celtic way of evangelism. So I would suggest going back to this. This kind of Christianity, if I may go a little further in it, can I do that?

Yeah, let's do it. George Hunter sort of talks about this, and the way he explains it is really an ancient Chinese poem, but he applies it to the Celtic Christian movement. He says it's like this, go to the people, live among them, learn from them, love them, start with what they have, build on what they have. Sounds familiar. Sounds very familiar. Sounds like God telling the people of Israel or the people of Judah, like, hey, listen, you're going to have to bloom where you're planted. Where I put you, those are the people that you're... And in some ways, that's what we're doing here.

Yeah, I agree. If you want to know how, I think, when it comes to Clearview and how we as a team think is kind of a Celtic way of evangelism, live among the people, influence them, adapt to them, and then make an impact and capture the flag for Christ. This is a great book, by the way, for those of you who want to read it. Read along with this one. That's awesome. That's amazing.

That sounds like something we need to return to. Yeah, because you've got to think, we're so focused on building up my kingdom and my empire and this is my legacy and this is the dream that I have for myself. But at the same time, God has put us somewhere. He's put us in a very specific place among a very specific group of people. And if we truly have this mission, if we want to see people get saved, then like you said, live among them, let them know you, let them trust you.

Not become one of them in their way of thinking, but you're a citizen of this land. You're one of their, I guess, legal or earthly brothers in a sense. And so they trust you. So you can use that trust and use that influence to win people for Christ.

That's a great point. If you guys enjoyed today's topic, if you have suggestions or questions for future episodes, send us a text to 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at

And you can support us financially on that same website. We're grateful to all of our giving partners, grateful for your partnership and your support as we seek to impact the nations with the gospel of Jesus. That's right. And because you guys stayed around for the whole episode, we're going to answer that question we posed up top, Randy W. wants to know, Dr. Shah, is there any books of the Bible that you've never preached on?

Oh my goodness. Leviticus? I haven't preached on that. I think I preached a passage here and there, but I haven't preached through and through. Okay. Okay.

You know, we were talking about before the show, we were talking about Amos. I don't think I preached through it. Then of course, in the New Testament, I pretty much preached some passage from every book and lots of books. But if you were to ask me one I haven't preached through, through and through would be, say, Colossians. Okay.

Wow. I haven't preached through it. Have you ever preached, I predicted Jude. Have you ever preached through it? I haven't preached through Jude. I preached in a portion of Jude.

I remember the fallen angel stuff. So when you say that, you mean you haven't preached through, like you haven't done a series going through the book. Right. Through the book. But you've done like a message and the main passage could be from Colossians. Right.

I've done that. Colossians, I want to take my time because Colossians probably has the highest Christology in the New Testament. Wow. What do you, just for the listeners, what do you mean when you say Christology? It's deep when it comes to who Christ is and what is his status, what has he done and where is he at the right hand of the father, all that.

It is the richest book when it comes to Christology. Wow. That's awesome. I'm holding it off. Very nice. I'm looking forward to that now. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clearview Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-17 10:13:17 / 2023-03-17 10:26:17 / 13

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