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Author: Dr. Pete Goodman

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Dr. Pete Goodman explores the relationship between wisdom, faith in Jesus and discovering the life to the fullest that he offers. Seeking in all things to live out the promise of Daniel that those who are wise will shine like stars.

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42 Episodes
Is going to church a necessary, required part of being a Christian? Church attendance has been in a steady decline over the past decade (and even more so following COVID) but surprisingly this isn't necessarily a reflection of people's beliefs. In fact, a vast majority of those who no longer regularly attend a church continue to say they still "believe" and generally think of themselves as Christians. They aren't giving up on Jesus per se, just regular church attendance. So what are we to think of this phenomena? Is it a requirement of what it means to actually be a Christian? Or was the idea that one had to regularly attend a church service to be a Christian something to be challenged and re-examined, possibly one more passe idea that needs to be deconstructed? In this episode, I tackle the question by examining the differences between a destination (the goal and purpose of Christianity) and the journey itself (things we do and engage in to help us reach the goal.) Church attendance, as you'll hear, should most likely be considered part of the journey, more than what it actually means to be a Christian. However, that doesn't mean there isn't still a strong case to made for why it's an important part of the journey that we should be extremely wary of removing from our lives. Something may not be "necessary" but can still be extremely beneficial. I also discuss the release of my new book, aptly titled Like Stars, available for purchase now on Amazon. Find more content on the Like Stars YouTube Channel Got a question for a future episode? Leave it in the comments section! --- Send in a voice message:
My friend Michael joins me again with some of his questions from the Old Testament prophets - why did they do and say some of the odd and strange things we read about and sometimes ask others to as well? We also dive back into the question of signs from God and spend some time discussing what Isaiah and others meant when referring to the "Day of the Lord". --- Send in a voice message:
The book of Job is one of the more complex, confusing, and often misunderstood writings in the entire Bible. Because of it's poetic style, flowery language, and use of multiple voices it can be hard to decipher exactly what the story is trying to communicate. In this bonus episode from a recent message I gave at Rise City Church, I unpack the book's main theme regarding the Retribution Principle (Karma) and how that relates to the way we see and understand how God works in our lives and world. --- Send in a voice message:
Why does God allow so much evil and suffering in our world? If he is all powerful, all knowing, and as good as the Bible claims why doesn’t he put a stop to it? This is a serious problem that many people of faith struggle to make sense of and those outside of Christianity use as ammunition against it. Is there a logical way forward that doesn’t turn God into either an indifferent landlord who doesn’t care enough or worse, a bit of a moral monster who actually uses evil as a tool for his own confusing means?   In this episode of the Like Stars Podcast, we talk through the intellectual/logical problems associated with evil, some of the less than perfect responses people sometimes give to it, and a better way forward that takes into serious consideration the necessity of freedom and an open world governed by natural laws in order to support life as God intends. We also pay special attention to the way in which God does intervene, especially in giving us wisdom and direction in our to find goodness and avoid evil, and in his promise to use our suffering for good if we continue to trust and follow him. Got a comment or a question for a future podcast? I would love to hear from you. Email me at Want to hear the entire Rise City Church worship album ALL THE PRAISE? Find links here:   --- Send in a voice message:
Paul's letter to the church in Rome is my favorite book of the entire Bible, one I have deeply enjoyed studying over the years. It's a book many - including myself - have struggled to make sense of as Paul's language and arguments are extremely deep and nuanced. As a bonus episode this week, I am sharing my overview of Romans as part of my New Testament Survey video series. Don't forget you can find the entire series, with video/audio for each book of the New Testament on the like stars YouTube page or by going to my website --- Send in a voice message:
Do people only believe in a religion because it's what they were born into? Does something like Christianity only continue because it gets indoctrinated into children, who then mostly abandon it once they are old enough to think for themselves? And how should one respond to the claim that believing in God is just a form of wish fulfillment. We just "want" it to be true that we are not alone and death isn't the end, so we create a God in our minds to make ourselves feel better? Questions like these seek to undermine the truth of Christianity and require an answer. And so in this episode I unpack the logic and reasoning behind both claims and show how neither is really an effective undermining of faith when fully thought through. I also respond to a question of why the Bible often seems to celebrate and look forward to God's judgement, even though that seems like something bad we should we be more worried and afraid of. I show how the concept of God bringing judgement is actually salvation to those who are oppressed and seeking justice in a world that often lacks it. Please rate and review this episode and feel free to send in any questions you may have for future episodes to You can also find the video version of this episode, my entire New Testament survey class, and other Bible-based content on my website LIKESTARS.US --- Send in a voice message:
My New Testament Survey Course covering is now available! Join me as I take a brief walk through every book of the New Testament, offering important background information and keys for reading, main themes and big ideas, and a short chapter by chapter outline to help you in your reading. Starting with this special preview on the Gospel of Matthew. Each episode in the series is available in audio on Apple and Spotify or as a full video with notes to help you follow along on the Like Stars You Tube channel. Follow these links: Apple Podcasts: YouTube: You can also find it all on my website: LIKESTARS.US --- Send in a voice message:
Is the possible existence of aliens a problem for Christianity and something followers of Jesus should choose not to believe in? What about ghosts or other paranormal activity? Is there a “magic bullet” argument that works to prove the existence of God? And do all people even receive and think through evidence the same way, or does making a case for God require many different ideas, often specific to the individual? And are all sins capable of being forgiven or are some things just too horrible? What about Jesus’s statement concerning the “unforgivable sin” of blaspheming the Holy Spirit? In this episode of the Like Stars Podcast, I work through each of these questions, seeking to make sense of what God’s word has to say, as well as how wisdom can help us navigate through difficult topics. In doing so we discover that, while the existence of aliens isn’t necessarily a problem for Christians, ghosts present a much bigger issue. That there is not one perfect argument capable of convincing everyone God exists and that the only unforgivable sin is rejecting the one who offers us forgiveness. Be sure to like and subscribe and, if you enjoyed this issue or have more questions let me know! Comment, rate or send me an email And for more Like Stars Podcast episodes and as well as other Bible-based content, check out my website LIKESTARS.US.   --- Send in a voice message:
Reading the Old Testament raises a LOT of questions for us. And often times, they are the kinds we’re almost uncomfortable even talking about because of how strange and unclear they seem. From the very high-level questions like does God cause evil? Does he change his mind, or has he himself changed over time? To more specific and out there ones like – did he really talk through a donkey, or did the ghost of the prophet Samuel really come back and speak to king Saul? Fortunately for you, my friend Michael LOVES asking these kinds of questions and so on this episode of the Like Stars Podcast I invited him to join me in person and ask away. It’s definitely the most raw and spontaneous episode, and quite a bit longer than normal, but we cover a lot of ground with Old Testament questions that I think you’ll enjoy. As always, if you have questions for a future podcast (or maybe want to come on live and ask away!) email me or leave them in the comments section. And please take a moment to rate and review as well as share on social. --- Send in a voice message:
Why are priests required to be celibate and not marry? Are children of Christian parents automatically saved? Is God male or female..or both... or neither? And is ignorance bliss or should we always strive to be informed and get answers?In this episode of Like Stars, Pete works through some of your questions regarding faith and the Scripture, seeking God's wisdom for our lives. He examine the Catholic church's long history of requiring its priests to remain celibate and not start families and whether that's a Scriptural command or just a tradition. He also looks at Paul's somewhat confusing words in 1 Corinthians 7:14 about unbelieving spouses and children being "sanctified" by the believing spouse. What did Paul mean...does being married to a Christian or having a Christian parent automatically make you one? Finally, he responds to a question regarding God's gender and how to respond to claims by some supposed "Christians" that there is a female god, as well whether or not ignorance is bliss and if we should or shouldn't always strive to know and understand everything or just being ok being uninformed sometimes. For more from Pete, check out Got a question for a future podcast? Leave a comment or email him at --- Send in a voice message:
Can we trust the message of the Bible? How do we know that the people who wrote it were actually telling us the truth? In many ways, the answer to these questions all rise and fall on one pivotal issue - the resurrection of Jesus. For if it's not true that Jesus rose from the dead, the answer is plainly and unquestionably "no", we cannot - and should not - put any stock in the Bible whatsoever. It's entire premise is built upon a lie and cannot be trusted. On the other hand, if Jesus, who claimed to be God in the flesh, did indeed confirm that by defeating death itself and rising from the dead then everything he said and did, and all his disciples claim and taught should absolutely be trusted and followed. In this episode, we thus explore the claims made against the resurrection that perhaps Jesus wasn't actually dead, the tomb wasn't really empty, or maybe the followers of Jesus just made the whole thing up, offering responses to show how each of those ideas fall short of likely and that the most reasonable explanation for the historical evidence is the Jesus did in fact raise from the dead and therefore the Bible is a trustworthy message we should be basing our lives upon. * This is also the second part to a larger discussion on the Bible's trustworthiness that began with the bonus episode "Is the Bible Historically Reliable" * Got a question or comment for the podcast? I would love to hear from you: or in the comments section. And don't forget to rate and review the podcast! --- Send in a voice message:
Can we trust the Bible? This is a hugely important question as it contains some pretty serious claims about the nature of truth, reality, and what is expected of our lives. It’s no wonder so much time and attention has been devoted to trying to argue that the Bible either is or is not historically reliable. So, which is it? In this Bonus Episode of a message I gave at Rise City Church, I tackle some of the biggest claims denouncing the accuracy of our modern Bibles. Specifically, that it has been copied and translated far too many times over the past 2000 years to possibly still be a reliable picture of what was originally written. And, that the books that make our modern Bible were not the only ones written and there’s no way to trust that some weren’t ignored or kept out by people in power. So, there’s no way we could we possibly trust our modern Bibles are true to the original author’s words. Listen in as I unpack some of the flaws and problems behind these claims and why the Bible is in fact an incredible accurate copy of those original writings, due to the immense number of early copies available to us. I will also be picking up this conversation in the next episode of the Like Stars Podcast by examining the question of whether the original authors should be considered trustworthy themselves. Stay tuned! --- Send in a voice message:
Most Christians tend to agree that swearing is on the “shalt not” list, but why does God seem to make such a big deal of the take-his-name-in-vain one? Of all the terrible things someone can say, why is that so offensive it got put into the top 3 of the 10 commandments? In this episode of the Like Stars Podcast, I show how this command actually has nothing to do with what we today refer to as cursing or swearing when we’re angry.  Rather, I explore the way it was connected to how the ancient world understood calling upon the name of their gods, why and when they did it, and how the one true God wanted his people to behave and act very differently towards him and one another. He was not some magic genie that you could simply recite the correct language to work magic or curse your enemy, nor were his people to be seen as liars, cheats, or promise breakers. His name would be honored when his people lived with integrity, sought to love and bless one another, and came to him as a father rather than a magical slot machine. We also read some of your “very real and not at all made up” podcast reviews. Just a warning, a few of them did make me cry afterwards. But I’m ok! Got a question for the podcast? I would love to hear it! Email me And be sure to rate and review the show! --- Send in a voice message:
Ep. 22: Guns Blazing

Ep. 22: Guns Blazing


Why did Jesus tell his disciples to go buy a sword if he wanted them to love their enemies and turn the other cheek (Lk. 22:36), or that he didn’t come to bring peace but a sword and fighting even among family members (Mt. 10:34)? Was he less of a pacifist than we thought? And what’s more, how should these verses be used in the current debates among Christians concerning guns in our country, the modern-day equivalent to a sword? Yeah, no big deal. In what will likely be the last and final episode some of you will ever listen to, I completely ignore all good common sense and waltz into the completely not at all contentious, totally-won't-upset-anyone hornet’s nest of Christians and their guns (#prayforpete #RIPLikestarspodcast). However, my aim is not to give yet another divided political opinion or take a strong stance on the gun debate, but rather to do my best to interpret the Bible properly and seek to wisely apply it to our lives today. And while it would be impossible to keep my opinion completely out of it - I do my best to do so with honesty and transparency - I seek to demonstrate how these passages are in fact NOT supporting Christian violence or weapon stockpiling when rightly interpreted and understood in light of Jesus’ role as judge over Israel, his warning to his followers of coming persecution, and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy regarding the Messiah’s suffering and rejection. Listen in, but remember, you can disagree with someone and still be their friend! (Unless we are arguing about whether you think running is an enjoyable hobby. It isn’t, you’re crazy, and we simply cannot be friends, sorry.) **** This episode was updated with a slight edit on 5/28/2023. I felt a comment I made was a bit too flippant and unnecessary so it was removed. --- Send in a voice message:
Should Christians take one another to court? The apostle Paul writing his first letter to the Corinthians didn't seem to think so. But is that something that that still applies to us today or was it more related to their cultural context? On this episode we look at what was likely behind that passage and what it might mean for us. We also look at the ancient practice of casting lots to discern God's will, which was essentially doing a random drawing and trusting God to assure you picked correctly. Is this the best way for us to discover what God wants from us today? We walk through what this looked like for the ancient world and how there is a better way forward for Christians today, specifically by seeking guidance from the Bible, prayer, and the Holy Spirit. Be sure to rate and review the podcast, as well as share with anyone who you think may benefit from hearing this discussion! Got a question? Email me: --- Send in a voice message:
Have you ever wrestled with all the passages in the Old Testament that appear overly violent and harsh? What are we to make of Scriptures that appear to suggest God was behind some of it? In this bonus episode of a message I gave at Rise City Church, I address the challenging issue of divine violence. While emphasizing the importance of interpreting Scripture correctly, I argue that God's use of violence is not arbitrary but a last resort to eliminate evil, and His wrath is a result of love, not a lack of it. Focusing on God's compassion and willingness to forgive, using the Book of Jonah as an example. We need to start with faith in God's goodness and seek understanding while shining in a world that needs to see that goodness. --- Send in a voice message:
Throughout the Old Testament the name of God – Yahweh - is often spoken of as being important and “above every other name.”  But what is such a big deal about His name, and what does the word even mean for that matter? In this episode we dive into the story of Moses first being told God’s name at the burning bush and how “I AM” speaks to far more than just his personal label, but a title that represents his ultimate position and power within the universe at large. Following on this big idea, we also talk through Paul’s command in Romans to “pray continually”.  How is such a thing even possible? If you enjoyed this episode, please rate and review and be sure to subscribe to receive updates on all new releases! And don't forget you can check out full videos on the Like Stars YouTube channel: --- Send in a voice message:
On Palm Sunday the crowds hailed Jesus as a conquering hero. Yet just a few short days later many, including one of his closest followers had turned their backs on him and called for his execution. What led to such a massive act of betrayal? In this message, given at Rise City Church, I examine the ways in which people's expectations of the coming Messiah did not match who Jesus actually was. And how the kind of savior they were hoping for was not the one He turned out to be. What are our expectations of Jesus and what happens when He doesn't turn out to be what we wanted Him to be? --- Send in a voice message:
What is it about conspiracy theories that grab our attention and why does it seem like so many Christians gravitate towards them?  In this episode of the Like Stars Podcast, we talk through some of the problems with allowing our minds to focus too much on the negative in society and of always living in distrust, as well as the dangers of continually looking for an “enemy” to blame the world’s problems on.  As opposed to how Paul’s statements in Philippians about choosing our focus on the good can bring about a healthier and happier life. We also examine a common question Christians have regarding habitual sins and how we can overcome them.  For many genuine and committed Christ followers, there are patterns of brokenness that continue to linger no matter how much we seem to fight them, and it can grow to feel hopeless that true change will ever come. But as we discuss in this episode, there is hope when we choose to fight these battles the right way and with the right perspective. Got questions for a future podcast?  Email me: ⁠⁠.  I would love to hear from you! You can also WATCH the video of this episode on the Like Stars YouTube Channel: --- Send in a voice message:
Should Christians be willing to die for their homeland? Should they even consider this their home world in the first place? And should they consider having their kids in home school? Oh…and who was Melchizedek? On this episode of the Like Stars Podcast, I jump into some of the questions you have sent me recently. I examine the concept of fighting for your country, including what is a just war and how Paul’s instruction in Romans 13 help guide our understanding there. We also talk about the famous phrase “Christians should be in the world but not of it,” asking what exactly that means and if it is even true. Are we meant for another world or are we meant to change the one we live in here and now? I then get a bit personal when asked about how Christians should feel about sending their kids to public school verses home or private schooling and the tension that exists between wanting to teach our children to be a light to the world and shine in dark places, to be an influence, while also recognizing that some dark places have the tendency to be the one influencing and damaging our children’s faith. And finally, we had to have at least one deep theological question to keep me on my toes. So, I tackle a very odd and confusing passage in the book of Hebrews that speaks of Jesus being a high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Got a question or comment? I would love to hear from you! --- Send in a voice message:
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