This series is a free, easily accessible class that teaches the basics of Christianity in one place. While there is a lot of good, topical content to be found online, this is a systematic, step-by-step project that covers the basics of Christianity without assuming anything.
Prospective teachers, you will not find any of the hallmarks of "liberal" or "progressive" theology in these videos. There is nothing in these videos that would compromise traditional Lutheran or Christian beliefs. The sanctity of life and marriage, the inerrancy of scripture, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the existence of the prophets, the reality of miracles, and much more are all affirmed. The only possible exception would be "old earth" beliefs as mentioned in the first video. Depending on the importance of that question, there is nothing stopping an LCMS pastor or teacher from using these videos.
The thinking behind producing these videos is that many churches will likely be without pastors in the future, so this offers pastoral instruction for teens or new believers. For church traditions that teach Confirmation, this video series can be used for that purpose as well. Worksheets for each video are below as PDFs should you want to grade the work of students.
Most of the classes will be taught by Pastor Evan McClanahan, but many will feature special guests who can offer expertise on subject matter. Here is the link to the YouTube channel.
Teachers, I have included the times of each video so that you can plan ahead. The goal was for each video to be 15 minutes, but you will see that some fell short of that and some went beyond it. I have bundled all of the worksheets together so if you want to easily print off all of the worksheets with one click of a button, that should be easy to do. That bundle is the last pdf on the list.
And I have created a single PDF file with all of the worksheets with answers for teachers. If you would like that I'll email it to you. Just email me at the email below. (I can't put it here or the students might be tempted to cheat!)
Also, the entire class is available as a podcast if you would like to listen that way. (I would be the first to say that the visuals don't add a lot!) Look for Christian Basics Class with Pastor Evan McClanahan's on your favorite podcast app or go here.
Is there a video you would like to see? Email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This introductory video tells you what to expect in this 50-video class. Basically, this class is intended to explain the very basics of the Christian faith. We will tackle the basic apologetic arguments, the Bible, and application of Christian theology in 15-minute videos. There is a lot of stuff out there, but I wanted something as comprehensive as possible and geared towards a new seeker/young adult. If you have any ideas for future videos, let me know: email@example.com.
Of course there is no way to take centuries of arguments, volumes of literature, timeless debates, and reduce this question to a 15-minute video. But I want you to at least know that you really have two choices: God or absurdity. If God does not exist, then nothing can exist. But God does exist, so your life matters. And if you have an open mind, all of the evidence in the world is available to you.
This class looks at the consequences for living in a world with - or without - God. Without God, there really are no real or true reasons to hope. With God, you have purpose and meaning because you yourself are made by the foundation of all there is.
This class looks at whether or not you can really trust all of those stories about Jesus. Do we have what the original authors wrote? Can we trust those old words for our salvation?
Apologist Taylor Neill (www.neillology.com) joins me to look at the philosophical question of whether miracles are even possible. If they are not, then basically everything else I'm going to teach in this class is a waste of everyone's time. If they are, then we should heed this revelation from God. (Hint: if the creation really took place, then miracles are possible!)
This short video is a basic summary of what others said about Jesus and what Jesus said about himself. When confronting what others said about Jesus, we are left with only a few options.
This video looks briefly at the main content of Genesis 1-3, but looks more at one of the main issues which keeps people from believing in God: evolution. Are we just glorified apes? Or are we the descendants of the historical Adam and Eve? Could both stories in some way be true?
Genesis 4-11 is often overlooked as mere myth. After all, these chapters contain the story of the great flood and the Tower of Babel. But is there good evidence that might just speak to the historicity of these accounts? Ted Wright of Epic Archaeology (www.epicarchaeology.org) joins us to talk about these important - and fascinating! - chapters.
This class very quickly moves from Genesis 12-50. We get familiar with the Patriarchs in Genesis: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and are prepared to understand the Exodus.
Archaeologist Ted Wright of Epic Archaeology joins me to look at the historical evidence for the Exodus from Egypt. The Exodus is the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt and heading for the land promised to Abraham and his offspring. Is it possible that this story is not just a myth, but the true story of a massive escape from Egypt?
This class takes a look at the Law of God, briefly considering the Law as given to the Israelites and recorded in Leviticus. We also ask which laws continue into the New Testament, which laws have not, and in what way the Law of God might impact our civic life.
This class looks at the book of Joshua, but really, more than anything, at the issues surrounding the conquest of the land. Many unbelievers will cite the conquest of inhabited lands (as depicted in Joshua and elsewhere) as evidence that either God does not exist or if he does, he is cruel. As Christians, however, we defend the prerogative of God to judge all evildoers, including ourselves, and the conquest of this land is not an ongoing practice that Christians participate in.
I interview Dr. Adam Harger of Houston Baptist University to take a look at the Prophets. Part 1 of 2.
I interview Dr. Adam Harger of Houston Baptist University to take a look at the Prophets. Part 2 of 2.
Dr. Chad Bird of 1517 joins me to look at the Kings in the Old Testament. We make it all the way to David.
Dr. Chad Bird of 1517 joins me to look at the Kings in the Old Testament. We conclude our look at David's reign and make it through the divided northern and southern kingdoms.
This class looks at the stories and prophecies of the book of Daniel.
This video ends our brief look at the Old Testament, but not before telling the story of the return to Israel and highlighting some of the important books that were not covered.
This video begins a 6-week look at Martin Luther's "Small Catechism", a staple of Lutheran Confirmation for centuries. We look at the first three of the Ten Commandments.
This video looks at the second table of the 10 Commandments that deal with how we love our neighbor. Parents, you may want to know that when the commandment against adultery is discussed, the topic of pornography is mentioned.
We continue our look at the Small Catechism, focusing this week on the Apostles' Creed.
This is the first of two videos that look at the Lord's Prayer.
This is the second of two videos that look at the Lord's Prayer.
This video concludes our look at Luther's Small Catechism with his teaching on the sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Lutherans are a sacramental people, which means we trust that God can do Spiritual things through these ordinary means of grace.
James Walker from Watchman Fellowship joins me to look at whether the existence of other religions somehow invalidates the truth claims of Christianity.
James Walker from Watchman Fellowship joins me to take a look at the Trinity. This pivotal doctrine of the Christian faith is often misunderstood or falsified by non-Christian groups.
This class is a primer on the liturgical church year. Why do we have different church seasons? How can they help us as we grow in faith?
Dr. Jordan Cooper of Just and Sinner joins me to take a look at what really makes Lutherans unique. How are we different from other Christians? What aspects of our history have made us who we are? Check out Dr. Cooper's podcast - Just and Sinner - to follow him.
Dr. Jordan Cooper of Just and Sinner joins me to look at how Lutheranism is different from Roman Catholicism. It has been over 500 years since the Reformation. What were the areas of disagreement then and what are they now? To follow Dr. Cooper, check out his podcast, Just and Sinner.
Dr. Jordan Cooper joins us for a third video on Lutheran distinctives. In this case, we look at another Reformation tradition very similar to ours, the Calvinist tradition, often found in Reformed and Presbyterian churches. To follow Dr. Cooper, check out his podcast, Just and Sinner.
The New Testament begins with the birth story of Jesus. But really, the Christmas story is about more than just the birth of Jesus. It is about the incarnation of God. That God became flesh is literally the most incredible thing imaginable!
Thanks to Ted Wright of Epic Archaeology for joining me to talk about one of the most interesting figures in the New Testament. John is a transitional prophet from the New to the Old Testament. Thanks to Ted for offering some historical background and biblical insight!
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus is tempted by the devil after fasting for 40 days. Temptation is a reality for all Christians. So how do we face and what has Jesus done about it?
This class looks at both Jesus calling his disciples as well as the way we are also called to be disciples of Jesus.
This video looks at Jesus' profound teaching from Matthew 5:1-11, commonly called the Beatitudes. In these words, Jesus turns the world upside down and calls his followers to wholeheartedly seek the things of God.
This class looks at Jesus' teaching using the phrase, "You have heard it said, but I say unto you." Here Jesus unpacks the kind of obedience that he desires for us, which is not merely outward obedience, but a deep love of God from the heart. This is the first of a three-part series that considers Jesus not only as a gentle shepherd, but a fighter with a zeal for righteousness.
In this class, we look at how Jesus goes toe-to-toe - for you - against worldly powers. It should cause us to ask how we resist evil influences in the world. This is the second of a three-part series that considers Jesus not only as a gentle shepherd, but a fighter with a zeal for righteousness.
This class looks at how Jesus fights against spiritual powers, especially that time he cast demons into a herd of pigs. We also consider a number of passages which encourage Christians towards holy living. This is the third of a three-part series that considers Jesus not only as a gentle shepherd, but a fighter with a zeal for righteousness.
Ted Wright of Epic Archaeology joins me to begin a 2-part look at Jesus' parables. Why did he teach using parables? What are they really about? What do they say to us today?
This video looks at a few of the miracles of Jesus and considers what they mean for us today.
Thanks to Taylor Neill of Search for stopping in and taking a look at the historical claims for the death and resurrection of Jesus. If the historical claims of his death and resurrection are not true, nothing else will hold together. This is, as all of these videos are, a high overview. A fun, easy read on this is a book called "Who Moved the Stone" by Frank Morrison.
Having looked at the evidence for Jesus' death and resurrection, we consider what they both mean.
This class looks at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and the ongoing role of the Spirit in the life of believers. We touch on some of the controversial aspects as well like speaking in tongues and other so-called Spiritual Gifts.
Saint Paul's letters comprise almost half of the New Testament and his conversion to being a follower of Christ is nothing short of remarkable. We get an introduction to Paul and we will follow this video up with two videos summarizing the most important teachings in his letters.
This video is a very quick look at a handful of Saint Paul's letters. We look quickly at the main themes of Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and Thessalonians.
This video continues to look at Paul's letters, specifically Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Timothy.
A quick look at important letters in the New Testament not written by Paul.
Pastor Michael Salemink of Lutherans for Life joins me to look at the gift of marriage. This video kicks off a concluding four-video series that considers social and ethical questions that are applications of Christian conviction.
Thanks again to Pastor Michael Salemink from Lutherans for Life for joining me to talk about a difficult subject. This is the second of a four-part series on application of Christian moral theology. Abortion is a reality in our land and the greatest moral evil of our day. We talk about what it is exactly, why it is wrong, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the wake of abortion.
In this third of a four-part series on social and moral issues, we take a look at economics. What should the Christian view of free or controlled markets be? Why does it matter? Thanks again to Taylor Neill of Search for joining me.
In our final video for the series, we look at what Christian theology has to say about the role of government and what good government might look like. Beyond "red" or "blue", what are the underlying principles that all Christians should apply to any question of government?
Pr. Jared Stillions of St. Peter in Hallettsville, TX joins me to look at a key concept that Christians must get right to understand the scriptures: Law and Gospel. What are they, how do we often confuse them, and how to we rightly distinguish between them?