Pete Enns & The Bible for Normal People

Interview with Jonathan Martin: Pentecostalism as Mysticism

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Pete and Jared talk with Jonathan Martin about the beauty of Pentecostalism, the value of being taught to listen to the Holy Spirit from a young age, and the importance of experiencing other Christian traditions as they explore the following questions:

  • What is the Azusa Street Revival?
  • What’s the difference between pentecostal and charismatic?
  • How has the Pentecostal tradition changed over time?
  • Why are shared experiences important in the Pentecostal tradition?
  • How does community fit into mysticism?
  • What are some values of the Pentecostal tradition?
  • How do we open ourselves up to God?
  • What is the importance of experiencing traditions outside our own?
  • How do you hold to the conviction and identity of your beliefs while still being open to different traditions?
  • How does Jonathan’s Pentecostal upbringing affect how he interacts with other Christian traditions?
  • What often happens when we try to “pin down” God?
  • How are Pentecostalism and mysticism similar?
  • What is the view of the Bible in some Pentecostal churches?
  • How do we limit ourselves with our beliefs about God?
  • How do some Pentecostals read the Bible like early Christians did?


Pithy, shareable, less-than-280-character statements from Jonathan Martin you can share. 

  • “If you’re a Pentecostal, it really opens the door for you to become a mystic.” @theboyonthebike
  • “It’s much more about a shared experience of the Spirit than it is shared ideas or doctrine.” @theboyonthebike
  • “What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit for if not for serving our neighbors? What is the power of the Spirit for if not embodying the gospel in an incarnate way in a neighborhood?” @theboyonthebike
  • “For everything that’s beautiful about these diverse expression of the body of Christ, I don’t think there’s one that’s entirely complete in and of itself.” @theboyonthebike
  • “I feel like in some ways kind of being flat on my back opened me up to God in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise been open.” @theboyonthebike
  • “I found once I began to embrace this more sacramental way of being… I felt like I started having some of the more expressly charismatic experiences that I always craved in the Pentecostal spaces but could not access personally.” @theboyonthebike
  • “I think it’s precisely because I was taught well how to listen to the Holy Spirit that … when I was exposed to the Anglican Church, or to the beauty of the Orthodox church… I couldn’t deny the witness of the spirit in these other places.” @theboyonthebike
  • “So long as the system that we’ve had has been working for us than why look for God elsewhere? Why be threatened by how the Holy Spirit might be moving outside of where we came from?” @theboyonthebike
  • It often kind of takes something really hard to pry our fingers loose from holding onto a tradition too tightly.” @theboyonthebike

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Christian Ethics with Jared Byas on The Bible for Normal People Podcast

Christian Ethics with Jared Byas

August 26, 2019

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Jared responds to Skillet lead singer, John Copper, and his public statement, “What in God’s Name is Happening in Christianity?” Jared unpacks Christian ethics and the origins of our collective concept of right and wrong and he explores the following questions:

  • Where does our sense of morality come from and how does the Bible fit into that?
  • Is the Bible a good place to go for our ethical foundation?
  • Is it possible that we’ve been raised with some generational baggage around this topic that may be coloring our view of Biblical morality?
  • Is it the Bible or the Holy Spirit that guides us into all truth?
  • If we don’t have the Bible to form our ethics, will we go on a moral rampage?
  • Where do we get our sense of right and wrong from?
  • Is the character of God found in the Bible?
  • What is the Problem of Evil?
  • Do the rules and laws from the Bible apply to the 21st century?
  • Christian ethics is heavily dependent on…what?
  • What element can we use from the Bible as our ethical rubric?
  • What do ethics, love, and culture have to do with one another?
  • Do our ethics shape the way we read the Bible or does reading the Bible shape our ethics?
  • Is the Bible an ethical rulebook?
  • What is our image-bearing responsibility regarding Christian ethics?


Pithy, shareable, less-than-280-character statements you can share.

  • “How do we make moral decisions based on something that’s unclear and ambiguous?” @jbyas
  • “Christian ethics [is] heavily dependent on the Spirit of God… to guide us as a community of faith.” @jbyas
  • “ We have to take our ethics and our experiences to the Bible and make decisions from there.” @jbyas
  • “Wisdom is necessary to figure out what is loving.” @jbyas
  • “Our experiences shape how we read the Bible and our Bible is part of that experience that shapes our ethics.” @jbyas
  • “It is dangerous to think that the Bible alone gives us an ethic.” @jbyas
  • “Each generation has to take what’s been passed down to us and we have to struggle with it.” @jbyas

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