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The Right Stuff

Man Talk / Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
August 15, 2021 4:00 pm

The Right Stuff

Man Talk / Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr.

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August 15, 2021 4:00 pm

Welcome to Man Talk, with your Hosts Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr.  Will welcomes Mark Nickens from Liberty University to the show. Will and Nick discuss the different classes Nick will go over with TAWCMM.

Our ministry is devoted to breaking down the walls of race and denomination so that men, who are disciples of Christ, may come together to worship as one body.

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This is Hans Scheil from the Finishing Well Podcast.

On Finishing Well, we help you make godly choices about Medicare, long-term care, and your money. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Welcome to Man Talk, brought to you by TAWCMM, talking and walking Christian men's ministry, where they're devoted to breaking down the walls of race and denomination and challenging men to take their God-assigned role. Here's our hosts Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr., a black guy and a white guy. Hello, welcome listeners, Man Talk listeners. We are so glad that you can join us once again, and we have an exciting show here today. We have Dr. Mark Nickens with Liberty University, and he's been associated with the men's ministry for a little while now. And so he's going to give an introduction of himself, and then we're going to get right into talking about some of the things that Mark is planning for TAWCMM, or talking and walking Christian men's ministry, as well as some of his passions in the ministry and some things that God has got him to journey on. So welcome, Dr. Nickens. Well, thank you very much for having me on. So you want to go ahead and introduce yourself to the Man Talk audience.

Yes, my name is Mark Nickens, and I grew up in High Point, North Carolina. And I guess to start the story off, I felt passionate about being an engineer because I was good at math in school, but things just weren't really working out in engineering curriculum for me. And so I left and joined the army for a while and then got out and felt God has called me into becoming a professor. And so I went on and got my master's and doctorate degree in church history, and so I've been teaching a number of different schools since 1994. And so I teach church history and biblical classes and also world religion classes. But praise God, you know, I like history myself, and I tell you, it's just a thrill, I think, to even to think about and also to bring to light some of the things that has happened in our history so that we could never forget, you know, the men and women in the past who have brought things to the future that we are now have the privilege to partake in. Yes, and history also, and especially church history or Christian history, helps us to understand ourselves better. For instance, whenever I started dating my wife, the first thing I asked her was, tell me about yourself so I can understand your past and who you are today.

And so by studying Christianity more deeply in church history, we can understand the different reasons why we do things today. Wow, that's great. That's absolutely great. And so, Mark, we have, you know, our men meet every first and third Friday mornings at First Christian Church in Kernersville. And I know that you have lined up for the men some very exciting classes that the men are going to partake in starting in September. So why don't you tell us a little bit about that? Well, thank you.

Yes, starting with September the 10th, and it will actually run for four consecutive Friday mornings. So I just have a passion for people to understand the Bible more deeply. And I cultivated this as I was teaching at a Baptist college for 14 years. And I would have a lot of youth come into my classes who said they'd grown up in the church their whole life. And I realized that there were some different things about the Bible they just weren't sure about.

So I just wanted to just be able to take that university and college level training back into churches. And so that's what we're going to be doing at the Taco Meeting, is I'm going to spend four Fridays. And the first two Fridays we're going to have an overview of the New Testament.

And the second two Fridays we'll have an overview of the Old Testament. And so the example I like to use is it's kind of like a car. So a lot of people buy a car because they want to get from point A to point B. They might like the color or some fashion of the car, but basically it's just about reliable transportation.

But then there's some people who really want to get under the hood to see how the car works. And so that's what these classes are going to be like. These are going to be getting under the hood of the Bible. For instance, just some questions most people of Christians have never really thought about is, why are the books of the New Testament arranged the way they are?

There's 27 of them. And in the early church period they actually sit down and said, we're going to have this arrangement. Why did they arrange it that way? Just as a little teaser, of course the Gospels are easy to understand because they are the biographies of Jesus. So that makes sense. Then the next book is Acts and that makes sense. But then you have all these letters from different apostles. Some people were half-brothers of Jesus.

So you have these different letters and had to decide how are we going to arrange these letters. And it would make sense if you look at the story of Jesus and who was Jesus' main apostle, Peter. It would make sense that the book after Acts would be Peter's letters, but it's not. They're Paul's letters instead.

And there's a reason for that. And so that's what we're going to do is kind of dig into those ideas about the Bible, about how it's arranged the way it is, other ideas about the Bible, cover just some interesting things like the fish symbol. Why is the fish symbol used for Christianity? So just some things like that, just to get people to understand the Bible more. So we'll spend the fourth Friday going over the New Testament and the Old Testament. And you know, Mark, I think, like you said, that most born-again believers, I don't think that they take a deeper dive in the Scriptures as they should because once you start getting in there and you start looking at various and sundry things in reference to the Bible and what it says, and really dig into like the Greek and dig into the Hebrew meanings behind some of the language, we would find that a lot of times when we cite certain verses, and I hear this all the time, that we cite certain verses, we have a tendency to cite those verses out of context. And I was wondering if you have found that out, too, in your teaching.

Oh, certainly. I mean, that's always a danger is reading verses and then I guess juggling them around to fit maybe what you want to read like. So yes, it is very important to be able to understand the situation going on behind the scenes in a sense.

So yes, I would agree that's part of a deeper biblical understanding is being able to pick out or flesh out those different meanings that are underneath the current. And in reference to the Scriptures and the order, so is the order, and this is just, again, maybe a little teaser, you're probably going to get to this in our meetings, but the chronological order, is it arranged historically in that chronological order? And again, I know you're probably going to get into that, but what's the whole thing around the order and why it is the way that it is, if you can give us like a brief overview? Well, that's actually what we're going to cover in detail in the class. And so the short answer is no, the letters are not arranged chronologically.

They even pause letters. Those are not arranged chronologically. There's a reason for their arrangement, which we'll get into in the class, actually on the first Friday morning.

But yes, there's different reasons for those different things, right? So what made you, I guess, get interested in history, biblical history? When I was at Wingate University and working on my degree, my bachelor's degree in biblical studies, at first I actually hated history. I remember I had to take a history class at another college I went to, and I hated it so much.

After the class was over, I remember coming home and going in the backyard with a baseball bat, throwing the book up and hitting it in my bed. I hated history so much. I hated history. God hates history. And so whenever I got to Wingate, I had to take this terrible class called Church History. I was like, oh no, I hate history. But then as I started studying through it, I realized the history is not about something that happened to dead people in the past. History is about me.

History is living. For a great example, which I use a lot in my Church History classes, look at the day of Pentecost. Peter preaches the sermon.

Around 3,000 people get saved. At that point, Christianity has started. The Church has started. There's no leadership of the apostles. There's no New Testament. There's no organization. There's no hymns.

There's nothing. So everything in Christianity is developed for a certain reason. And so I realized that by studying Church History, I can understand, oh, that's why.

I can give you a good, brief example. Some churches have the practice. It used to be all evangelical churches did, but it's changed.

Some churches have the practice of people going forward at the end of the service and accepting Jesus Christ. That developed in the mid-1800s. There was a huge movement called the Second Great Awakening.

It had lots of revivals. Charles Spinney was one of the leaders. Particularly, Charles Spinney would travel around with his large tent preaching. He would notice that people were just antsy in their seats.

They were having experiences. And so he had learned from the Methodists who had this practice of, when people were getting emotional, to have them come up to the front. Not to say, I've become a Christian, but just to get you closer to the pastor so you're under more conviction.

And so he borrowed that idea, and he became so popular that lots of people used that. And so then eventually it changed to where, whenever you come up to the front, that means you are becoming a Christian. And so before that time period, if you want to become a Christian, you would go to the pastor during the week or something like that.

You would not come up to the front. And so the altar call developed in the mid-1800s. So there's lots of things like that in Christianity that have developed over time. So it just helped me to understand better why I did different things and why other people do different things. And that's the reason why I'm passionate about church history. And you know, that, I think it should resonate and give a lot of insight to our men in particular, because our men are the leaders of their household.

And they need to take these things back because the more that they are equipped, and this is part of our mission, is to equip men with the tools that they need in order to take these tools back to their family and to let God bless them to teach the family. So it's almost like one of those train-the-trainer type of things. But I enjoy history and understanding your passion. And I learned something new here today about how it's sort of like a reflection of ourselves. So it's like a mirror, if you will.

Exactly. OK, we are coming up on 30 seconds. So I want us to continue this. But when we come back from the break, we're going to continue talking with Dr. Mark Nickens of Liberty University. And we're going to talk about more of his passions and missions that God had blessed him to be on.

So we just want you ManTalk audiences to hang in there with us, and we will be right back after the break. TAWCMM would love to have you join their community of men for breakfast every first and third Friday of every month. They have Bible discussions and fellowship after the best breakfast in town. The meeting location is at their gracious Host Church, First Christian Church in Kernersville, 1130 North Main Street in Kernersville.

They have a hard start at seven o'clock and a hard stop at eight o'clock. First time visitors eat for free. Join your hosts, Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr., a black guy and a white guy. Affordable chiropractic in High Point, as you might tell from their name. Affordable chiropractic, even for the cash patient. Dr. Jeff Fricke has been caring for patients in High Point for 34 years. Physical therapy such as ultrasound and spinal decompression for disc conditions such as herniation. Comprehensive care for auto accident injury patients with no out-of-pocket expense. Remember, affordable chiropractic on West Lexington Avenue in High Point.

Call 336-885-1987. And we are back. That's all right. I like that bump in.

Yes, sir, I'll give you two thumbs up on that one. But we are back talking with Dr. Mark Nickens of Liberty University. And he has been talking to us about the upcoming classes. And I know a lot of our men, Mark, are excited about it. Giving classes on church history and the men. We already shared with them, bring your notebooks, bring your pens and your pads, bring your electrical devices. Because we're going to have a great time learning a lot of things that we probably were aware of in just skimming the surface.

But never took that deeper dive or as you put it in our first segment, under the hood look. So we're going to now shift gears and we're going to talk with Dr. Nickens about some of his passions and missions and missionary work that he has going on. And I know it is something exciting because missions is that spiritual food as well as the natural food that feeds and supplies the people of God.

Keep them wholesome, keep them healthy spiritually and naturally. So share with us, Dr. Nickens, about some of the things that God have got you involved with or have been involved with in the past and share with our listening audience. Well, thank you. Actually, I do have two free offers for your listeners. One is a website that I run. I call it academic.

I really hate to use the word because some people kind of shy away from that. But it's more of a head knowledge instead of a heart knowledge view of the Bible or Christianity. And the website is simple. It's called studythechurch.com. And on that website, I have over 150 different small articles that explains different aspects of Christianity.

And you'll see the link once you get there. It has just to be listed articles. So, for instance, what's the earliest Old Testament scripture that's been discovered?

What's the earliest New Testament scripture that's been discovered? An entire history of Jerusalem for the past 10 years. So lots of different interesting articles like that. Also, I have what I refer to as double extreme Bible trivia test.

Wow. I have eight of them on there. And they're pretty hard, so I have the answers.

And so those are just kind of fun things to do just to go through. And no one has ever answered the first question. And I'm going to give it to you and you can go to the website and see the answer. And once again, it's studythechurch.com, and you can see there on the different links you can get to the double extreme Bible trivia test. And the question is, who was the first king of Israel?

So don't answer and no one's ever gotten it right, but I approve from the Bible what the answer is. Wow. They can go there just to get that. There's lots of fun questions and interesting questions there. And also, and part of my passion of teaching about the Bible, I developed a small – I don't really call it a school, it's an institute – called Trinitas Bible Institute. And throughout the year I teach six different classes that are all online and they're all free.

And any of your listeners are happy to jump in on any of those. And you can find it at trinitasinstitute.com. Trinitas. Trinitas, if you think of the word Trinity, and you take off the Y and put AS, that's us.

Okay. Trinitasinstitute.com. And the reason I chose Trinitas is that's actually the Latin for Trinity. And so trinitasinstitute.com.

Well, I'm sure our listeners are – they're going to be really, really anxious to get to that first question that no one else answered. You know, because it's like hidden treasure. You know, just to use a parable of Jesus from Matthew chapter 13, verses 44 and 46, he said, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man who finds a treasure in a field. He goes, he hides that treasure.

Then he goes home, sells everything he has, and he comes back and he buys that field. So I kind of equate that to that, that, you know, here you have, you know, this treasure that no one has answered. And so now I know our listeners are going to be really excited about that. And it's really all about getting people, just fun ways of people to dig deeper into the Bible. For instance, part of my interest has led me into youth. For example, I mean, youth desperately need to know the Bible more deeply, more so than any other generation, because Christianity is being attacked more so than ever before.

And they're the ones that are having to answer these difficult questions in school with their friends. And so I've developed youth Bible texting classes. So I have one that's six weeks long for the Old Testament and one that's seven weeks long for the New Testament. And so as I try to figure out how to reach youth, I realized, well, I'll just, instead of trying to get them to come to my physical class, or my online class, I will use the language that they use. And I'll use text, whether you call it Instagram or texting or whatever, it's all text.

Exactly. And so I developed this youth Bible texting class. And so this last, for example, the Old Testament lasts for six weeks, Monday through Friday, and I call it the hub and spoke method, in which I've created the class and I send it to youth leaders. And I've had youth leaders in different countries and across America use this. And the youth leader becomes the hub, and then he sends out the text every week or every day to the youth.

And so they're the spokes. And that way, if they have a question, the question goes back to the youth leader and not to me, where youth leaders can follow up with them. So if any of your listeners are interested in that, they can just go to studythechurch.com.

There's a link there where they can contact me. I'll be happy to share that with them. And so it just somewhat just gets you used to know more about the Bible. And so that's part of what drives my interest in teaching the Bible.

I can give you a great example about this. Someone did a survey about six or seven years ago in England about why Christianity had declined so much in England. So they did a survey and they asked this question, why did you not go to church, and they had like four prearranged answers. So they did the survey, they came up, they compiled the answers, and someone said, you know, we gave them the only possibilities.

What if it's something else? Let's just do the survey over again and then just have them give us the answer. It'll cost more to compile the answers, but we'll have a truer answer. So they did it, and it came back that the number one reason why young people were leaving the church is because it didn't answer their questions. The questions about Christianity, about the Bible, how did we get the Bible, how can we trust the Bible?

All this, you know, and so it didn't answer questions. And at Liberty I'll have people, sometimes I'll have 18-, 19-year-olds in their discussion boards or forums or interaction, and they'll say, you know, my friends, we are looking for people who can answer these deeper questions for us. And so that's one reason why I'm drawn toward this biblical training. As far as men, I mean, I would suggest that this is a great way to read two things. It's a great way to be able to learn the answers for your kids or for youth that you work with, is to take these kind of classes, these free online classes, come to talk them, get a good overview of the Old and New Testament over four weeks, so you can better answer the questions of youth, of the kids, because they're asking the questions.

Oh, they are. And they're getting them, you know, and they're getting the wrong answers, and so it's great to be able to give them the right answers. And so even if someone is reluctant, I don't want to do it for myself, then do it for the kids, because they are looking for someone to give them the answers. And secondly, by men taking classes and showing interest, they'll set the pattern for their kids, and their kids will say, well, if he thinks it's important, then maybe something I need to do also is to get involved more in Bible study. And I think the more, Mark, that parents and men in particular, in the community, church community, or within the society at large, you know, we need to be more of an example, because whether or not men believe or don't believe that they are role models to kids who are looking at them, and they may not ever say it, you know, but if they hear, and they see, and their minds are like little sponges, and they're just absorbing all of this information, and sadly, a lot of the things that they're getting is from the Internet, and a lot of those things, as you stated, are unbiblical, or they're not, it's not sound doctrine. And so if it sounds good to them, then, you know, they have a tendency to believe that until they encounter someone else who has something more convincing that they should believe rather than what they read online.

Yeah, so it is a challenge, I think, for men, and for just parents in particular, so God has blessed you to be doing an absolute fabulous thing. I know our listeners will, again, enjoy a lot of the challenges that you've put on the website, and give us both of those websites again. The larger website is called studythechurch.com. Studythechurch.com. And the website for my small Bible institute is trenitasinstitute.com. Trenitasinstitute.com. Just like Trinity, you can take off the Y and AS.

Trenitas. So, listeners, if you want to be challenged, if you want to explore and go deeper into the Word of God, just not be a superficial Christian, but take a deeper depth in God, because this is how you, as a believer, draw closer to God, because he said we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for the works that he has set us out to do. So, today, we challenge you, go out, let the Spirit of God bless you, and to become that man, take the challenges that Dr. Nickens has put forth, and so we thank God for you, Mark, and we know that we're going to certainly enjoy a lot of your classes. We've got about less than 30 seconds left, so there's anything else you want to say?

Well, if anyone's interested in the Youth Bible Texting class, also feel free to contact me through the website. All right, so we thank you, Dr. Nickens, and we will see you again. Thank you all for listening.

We love you. We know that God's will will be carried out, and so join us again next week. As we wrap up today's show, be assured that TAWCMM, Talking and Walking Christian Men's Ministry, is building a community of men that are Christ followers with the desire to be servant leaders in their homes, communities, churches, and work environments. Check out our website for upcoming events and regularly scheduled meetings. Drop us a note for topics that you would like to have us visit in the future. Thank you for joining us on Man Talk today. Visit us at www.tawcmm.com. Men walking the talk. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-15 11:44:12 / 2023-09-15 11:54:23 / 10

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