Theology - the Live Sessions (TLS)

Podcast from the monthly theology series by Paul Callan, Loughborough UK, exploring hot topics in current evangelical theology in an easily accessible way - designed to build your faith!

    Theology - the Live Sessions (TLS)
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Feb 28th, 2019 by thelivesessions at 9:29 pm

Few subjects are as hotly contested today in Christian circles as that of homosexuality. In this final episode of the series, Paul sets out to see how the principles of hermeneutics that have been outlined and used throughout TLS could impact on our understanding of the Bible in the area of gay sex and marriage.

Differences of opinion can and do exist, including within Paul's own home church. Acknowledging this, Paul expresses his personal view whilst remaining open to others and the possibility of God bringing more revelation to light in the future.

Jan 22nd, 2019 by thelivesessions at 11:19 pm

The subject of the "end-times", especially the events surrounding the return of Jesus, can be a thorny subject - much debated, disagreed over and misunderstood. But our understanding of it will colour our expectations, our level of optimism about the future and our confidence in what the church can become and achieve as a transforming force in the world.

In this episode of TLS, Paul tackles many aspects of this huge subject, seeking to apply good principles of Bible interpretation, and asks the question - should we be worried about the future, or can we look forward to what is coming?

Oct 26th, 2018 by thelivesessions at 9:01 am

The subject of violence in the Bible and God's apparent complicity in it has troubled people for centuries. Did God command genocide and, if he did, what does that say about God? How do we reconcile the difficult passages with the image of a loving God revealed by Jesus whilst holding to the Bible as God's Word?

In this episode, Paul addresses not only this question but along the way takes in the whole nature of the created universe, wrath, suffering, mercy, power and the cross, asking the question, how does God rule - through coercion or selfless love?

(As with all of the TLS sessions, PDF notes are available at

Sep 20th, 2018 by thelivesessions at 8:26 pm

TLS gets restarted after the Summer break with a fascinating look at the creation of the world - a subject that often raises passions and can divide people sharply. Is there a way to cut through this? In this session, Paul takes a look at Genesis Chapter 1 through the eyes of its original readers. Why was it written and what did THEY think it meant? As with all good hermeneutics, only then can we understand how to read it today. When we do, we discover the richness and the beauty of God in his creative love and grace towards humanity!

Jun 23rd, 2018 by thelivesessions at 3:06 pm

How do we think about God's power and sovereignty in the light of the human ability to make free choices? Do we really have free will at all? The way we attempt to answer these questions is not just theoretical - it deeply affects our view of God and of ourselves, and makes a huge difference in both our approach to evangelism and the atmosphere in our church communities. In this session, Paul Callan introduces three ways people have used to explain how free will works and then asks, 'Is God about control, or love?'

May 23rd, 2018 by thelivesessions at 1:22 pm

Hell features heavily in much modern gospel preaching, but is completely missing from the preaching of early Christians in the book of Acts. Have we got the emphasis wrong? The traditional view of hell ("eternal conscious torment" as the destiny for a large majority of humankind) comes in for some critical analysis in this session of TLS. So, what does the Bible actually say about this important but often misrepresented subject?

Don't forget - PDF session notes are available on the TLS page at 

Apr 23rd, 2018 by thelivesessions at 10:31 pm

The thought of "heaven" is a great source of comfort and hope for many Christians. But what, where and when actually is it? In this episode, Paul Callan attempts to untangle some of the confused thinking around this subject and, in the process, recover a solidly biblical hope for the future far better than a disembodied eternity in a place somewhere far away...  

Mar 24th, 2018 by thelivesessions at 9:33 pm

In this episode, Paul Callan takes a look at what the terms "justification" and "righteousness" really mean in the Bible. We are encouraged to look at what Paul the apostle was really talking about, not just what the 16th century reformers thought he said. As a result, we have a much larger and more exciting vision of being "justified" - one that places us at the centre of a covenant people fulfilling God's plan for the world, not just as individuals with their sins cancelled - although that is also true! If you have wondered what the "New Perspective on Paul" is about, find out here!

NB. Written notes for this and all other TLS episodes are available as PDF files at

Feb 20th, 2018 by thelivesessions at 8:19 pm

In recent years, the subject of the atonement has sparked major debate. Some of the traditional ways of looking at the cross have come under scrutiny and attack, even from within the evangelical world.  How can we respond to this, taking seriously the latest thinking but without throwing away vital truths and undermining precious aspects of our (and other people's) faith? This episode of TLS takes a look at the various historical "theories" of the atonement and proposes a way forward based on sound biblical principles.

Jan 23rd, 2018 by thelivesessions at 10:19 pm

Is the gospel all about having our sins forgiven so that we can go to heaven when we die? Many of our gospel presentations are about little more than "sin management", as Dallas Willard said. In fact, the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus, Paul and the other New Testament apostles preached is about a whole lot more than that! In this 5th instalment of TLS, Paul Callan does his best to describe just how big the gospel really is...

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