'Christ the Center' Student Podcast
March 17, 2009
A team of Westminster students have recently joined together to serve the church via their website, Reformed Forum. Spawned by Camden Bucey, M.Div. ’11, it provides a weekly podcast panel conversation, Christ the Center, engaging hot topics of the theologically Reformed milieu.
Dialogue is supplemented by Jim Cassidy, Th.M. ‘11 and Jeff Waddington, Ph.D. ‘11. Many of Westminster’s own professors have appeared on the show discussing everything from Van Til’s Trinitarian theology to an orthodox view of Science. Find podcast panels from G.K. Beale, J. Ligon Duncan, James White, William Dennison, Guy Waters and Phil Ryken - among others.
The three panelists Camden Bucey (CB), Jim Cassidy (JC) and Jeff Waddington (JW) were recently interviewed by Westminster due to the creative and effective impact these three students have had on the Reformed community through these dialogues.
1. Why did you decide to start Reformed Forum?
CB: Before moving to Philadelphia, I had limited opportunities to discuss Reformed theology. I took a few distance courses from Westminster, but I missed out on the key aspect of interacting with students and faculty. When I moved to Philadelphia to attend Westminster in the summer of 2007, I quickly learned that some of the best conversations happen outside the classroom. I eventually had the idea that people outside the Westminster campus might like to listen in on these discussions. I realized how much I was learning from my interactions at Westminster, and I wanted to provide a portion of that experience to others.
JC: We started Reformed Forum because we believed that it would fill a ministry niche in which we could provide thought-provoking material which would promote a robust Reformed theology with a redemptive-historical hermeneutic (hence the name Christ the Center) and an ecclesiastical focus.
CB: I listen to several Reformed theology podcasts throughout the week (White Horse Inn and Renewing Your Mind are two excellent examples), but I couldn't find any that consistently dealt with the topics that Westminster students are discussing. I wanted to fill that gap by starting the Christ the Center podcast.
JC: We also wanted to communicate the idea that doctrine and practice are not at odds with one another, but rather orthopraxy [action or activity] must be firmly rooted in orthodoxy [belief] - hence the subtitle "Doctrine for Life".
JW: Doctrine and life should not be divorced, as it so often happens in the contemporary church. We also wanted to stress Reformed confessional integrity with a strong interest in the interrelationship of systematic and biblical theology.
2. How has it helped your seminary experience?
CB: The Reformed Forum has helped me to integrate what I am learning in the classroom with what I have been reading and with what various Reformed scholars are engaging in. I learn best by asking questions, and the interview format of Christ the Center, our main program, allows me to ask questions I have been thinking about. As a result, my understanding of several theological subjects has been sharpened. Other students also benefit from the program. In fact, a few students used Carl Trueman's interview on the History of Trinitarian Thought to study for their Ancient Church final exam.
JW: I have received so much rich teaching that I wanted to be a part of something where I could share the wealth of insight I gained from my time at Westminster. I like to think of it this way, if I am only taking in and never giving out, then I become like a stagnant pond that is fed by many streams but has no outlet.
3. In your best words how is the Reformed Forum edifying the kingdom?
CB: The Reformed Forum provides helpful discussions for the church and makes Reformed theology available to people everywhere. Not only are we learning about various topics ourselves and providing an opportunity for scholars to teach our listeners, but we are cataloging these discussions for tomorrow's listeners. The Reformed Forum serves the church by taking advantage of new opportunities in digital distribution.
JW: I like to think of the Reformed Forum as an Internet theological network. We are trying to offer beneficial services to the church at little or no cost. The Reformed Forum hosts Christ the Center, which is a panel discussion show where we discuss biblical and theological topics and interview pastors, scholars and theologians about issues that ought to be of concern to people in the church. We also have the Reformed Media Review which is a spin-off from Christ the Center, where we discuss at length new books from a distinctly Reformed perspective. Speaking for myself, all that we do is for the purpose of bringing honor and glory to the Triune God of Scripture-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
JC: I myself find it edifying because it provides meat for the soul. The audio recordings of the Confession help prepare seminarians for their Presbytery exams, but they also provide much food for ministry for the busy pastor. We hope that Christ the Center is edifying the kingdom by keeping both laymen and pastors up to date with the latest issues, as well as giving them solid biblical and Reformed tools for ministry. We try to take the best of the current Reformed thought and get it into hearts and minds. In this way, sound doctrine will make its way into the lives of God's people. And since we believe sound doctrine makes sound Christians, this part of our work is very important.