We’ve heard Josh Ensley explain how his journey of faith in Jesus Christ led him simultaneously to a Baptist seminary and to a Torah fellowship, and how those influences contributed to his exploration of Pronomian Christianity. In this final segment of our conversation, Josh shares his ideas on a definition of Pronomian Christianity, where it fits in the history of the church, and where it may be going. Is this movement linked to the Reformation? That’s where this portion of our visit with Josh begins!
Kelly Ferrari Mills and Solomon Lopez provide the musical accompaniment for this show, with songs rooted in the prayers of scripture, and in the blessed hope of our final redemption. Barry Phillips and David Jones investigate an element of that hope in their discussion of Uncircumcised Lips.
Is there any reason Torah-honoring followers of Messiah Yeshua should pay hold on to anything carried over from Latin, the language of Rome? The Protestant reformers found a few things worthy of keeping, and there is a line of thinking that the Torah Awakening among Christians today is a continuation of the work begun during the Reformation. Josh Ensley hints at that in this second segment of our three-part conversation with him. Specifically, he refers to the “Five Solas” of Reformed Theology:
1. Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone” 2. Sola fide: “faith alone” 3. Sola gratia: “grace alone” 4. Solo Christo: “Christ alone” 5. Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone”
In this part of our conversation, Josh shares more of his faith journey, which leads directly to our discussion of Pronomian Christianity, the name Josh and his colleagues use to describe the faith walk of those who follower Jesus Christ (Messiah Yeshua) and keep the Law (Torah). As he explains, the Five Solas are among the important elements of the Christian faith they deem essential to carry forward as we come into a walk that embraces the Torah our Messiah lived out.
This faith walk can be difficult at time, which is why Barry Phillips and David Jones share their thoughts on how to find Encouragement from our identity in Messiah. This message of encouragement inhabits the songs from our musical guests, Teshuva and Lenny & Varda.
How long has the Torah Awakening among Christians been happening? At least a generation! It has accelerated in the past 20 years, and now a new generation of teachers, pastors, scholars, and leaders are building on the pioneering work of their elders.
One of these young thinkers is Josh Ensley, a teacher from North Georgia who began to learn about the Torah (Law) of God as a seminary student through the fellowship he attended. Today he is among a dynamic group of scholars who are putting academic rigor to common questions among Christians who are trying to reconcile what they have learned in church and what they are learning in Messianic and Hebrew Roots fellowships. That journey is the inspiration for Pronomian Christianity, the name Josh and his colleagues use to describe the faith walk of those who follow Jesus Christ (Messiah Yeshua) and keep the Law (Torah). How did Josh come on this path? That’s what we hear in this first part of our three-part interview with him.
We welcome Will Spires as our special musical guest, with songs highlighting the miracles of Chanukah, which is the subject of discussion with conversation Phillips and David Jones. As you listen, you may be surprised to hear the connections between Chanukah and Pronomian Christianity!
At what age do young people become capable of understanding complicated biblical themes? Maybe at the same age they are assaulted by the hard things of life that could plague them into adulthood – things like sex, drugs, gender confusion, and all the other areas of life under assault by the relativistic culture of our day. Pete Wilson might say that it’s not really a question of whether teenagers can grasp complicated subjects, but which approach to those subjects they will adopt. Thus the real question is how they can be helped into choosing the right approaches that will equip them to be image bearers of Messiah Yeshua, the King Redeemer we also know as Jesus Christ.
In this final episode of our conversation with Pete, we hear how he has dealt with this specific challenge to youth ministry. It’s why he is willing to engage them with heavy topics like systematic theology, making it relevant to their young lives. It’s also why he meets them where they are to help them deal with the challenges they face, such as pornography (for which he has found a powerful resource called Fight the New Drug (https://fightthenewdrug.org/). This is what has made Pete an effective youth minister at Founded in Truth Fellowship.
In a real sense, Pete is breaking down barriers that hinder inter-generational communication. This is an aspect of what Barry Phillips and David Jones talk about in their midrash, “Breaking Boxes.” This is a process that requires love and forgiveness, two topics Mason Clover and Will Spires explore in song.
If you have teenagers in your life, then you probably know it is difficult sometimes to communicate effectively with them. Is there a way to know how to connect with young people? Pete Wilson will tell he doesn’t have all the answers, but in his leadership of the youth ministry at Founded in Truth Fellowship, he has found some things that have worked well – such as Fight the New Drug (https://fightthenewdrug.org/), a program he has used to help teens who struggle with pornography. That’s one of the things we learned about in this second part of our three-part interview with him.
A big part of Pete’s success is in meeting teenagers where they are. This is an aspect of what Barry Phillips and David Jones discuss in their midrash called, “Self-Centered or Yah-Centered?” That’s also something we hear in this show’s musical offerings from Eved Adonai and Gregory Brown.