This is the 100th episode of CS.

Because this is something of a milestone for the podcast, we’re taking a break from our usual episodic fare for something very different.

For those listeners who subscribe only for the historical narrative, you’ll want to skip this one altogether because we won’t be looking at Church History at all in this episode. This Century mark for CS will be about the podcast itself.

A few weeks back I posted a query, asking who might be interested in an episode that was a more personal look at CS & the host. There were enough positive replies that it made doing this reasonable. I remember listening to my first podcast series some years back; Mike Duncan’s index-level podcast, The History of Rome. About a dozen episodes in, I began to look for Duncan’s cryptic personal comments, rare as they were. Then as the series progressed, he’d share a few more details about himself. Though the content on Rome was sterling, it was the personal comments & his dry wit that kept me interested à & in an odd way, seemed to personalize the information so that it wasn’t just a dry academic pursuit. Maybe some prefer the personal element of a podcast be left out. I suspect they are the exception, not the rule.

So, this being a 100th episode >> of version 2 of CS, I thought we’d do a kind of history of CS; History of the Christian Church.

As I just said, my first into podcasting was listening The History of Rome by Mike Duncan. I’m a bit of a nut for all things Roman and found his podcast on iTunes without a lot of searching. I even have a full set of Roman armor in my office. No – I do not dress up in it and do re-enactments.

When I finished listening to The History of Rome, I wanted more, so I subscribed to Lars Brownworth’s Twelve Byzantine Emperors; another outstanding podcast. Next I decided to find something similar to Duncan’s podcast on Church History. By similar, I mean, short episodes of about 15 to 20 mins in length. That had proven perfect for listening while working out, working in the yard, going for a run and so on. But my search for something in the Church History genre was unfruitful. What I found were a few longer lectures delivered in college & seminary classrooms. And while the content was, I’m sure, solid, they tended to be rather dry and tedious.

So, drawing inspiration from Duncan, who really did sound like a guy with a computer, a mic, and a love for his subject, I decided to give it a shot and do my own church history podcast. What it meant was that I was going to need to do what Duncan had done, and that was – read a lot and seek to cull the material from trusted sources.

So, I got started and over the next couple years churned out a hundred episodes. It didn’t take long before I realized the early episodes were of poor audio quality. And as the narrative progressed, the timeline got jumbled and confused. That’s largely unavoidable since the history of Christianity means following the Faith where ever it went. But I grew increasingly dissatisfied with the number of times I jumped around with the narrative. So I decided to stop at a hundred episodes and go back to redo the series so far. As we’ve slowed down a bit, the first version’s about 80 episodes became version 2’s 100. And that’s not including a dozen episodes in the first version on the difference the Christian faith has made in World History & Modern Civilization. For those of you who listened to the first version & remember “The Change” series, we’ll be redoing those soon.

Some subscribers have asked how far we’ll go in CS. The plan is to track Church History up to the dawn of the 21st C. Then I’d like to go back and do some far more in-depth studies in certain moments, places, trends, and figures in the History of the Faith. These will be spotlight episodes that will drill down into a lot more depth on key chapters in the story.

Here’s a little about your host for CS.

As of this recording in August, 2015, I’m a couple months shy of my 60th birthday. I’m blissfully married to Lynn for 35 years. We have 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren.

I’m lead pastor at Calvary Chapel in Oxnard, CA, a church I founded in 1982 along with David Guzik. Some of you may know David. He’s one of the finest Bible expositors on the planet. His Enduring Word online commentaries, are featured in the Blue Letter Bible. Hundreds of thousands of pastors & Bible teachers all over the world refer to David’s  commentaries in their sermon and study preparation.

David & I co-pastored for 6 years, then he and his wife planted a CC church in a nearby community. They then moved to Siegen, German where they lead a Bible college for several years and recently returned to live in Santa Barbara to lead the CC there.

If you’re interested in checking out David’s excellent Bible commentaries, you can find them at enduringword.com.

Calvary Chapel Oxnard, where I serve as lead pastor, is part of a voluntary association of like-minded churches that began in the late 60’s and the counter-cultural hippie movement in Southern California. Calvary Chapel is technically a non-denominational movement that unites churches around a core set of doctrinal & practical distinctives. If you’re interested, you can find us at calvaryoxnard.org.

Our fellowship has about 1200 adults and a swarm of children. We have 3 Sunday services and a mid-week Bible study. The hallmark of CC is that we teach expositionaly through the entire Bible, verse by verse. We’re just completing our 4th journey through. The pattern of teaching we follow is that I teach 1 to as many as 5 chapters on Wednesday night, then on Sunday, we take a much closer look at just a few verses from that same passage in more of a sermon format. We cover 2 OT books, then a NT book, then rotate back to the OT. And go through the entire Bible that way. WE have 2 more chs of Revelation to cover, then we start over again.

As our church has grown, we’ve started two satellite campuses in nearby communities. We also have a small Christian High School of 40 students. I alternate in teaching World & US history there. My wife Lynn is the admin assistant and coaches the girls’ volleyball team.

For those interested in my education, I have a Masters in Ministry & 1 in Biblical Studies. My education in the realm of church history is, as I’ve shared in several podcasts, not something gleaned from formal education or in a classroom. It’s born from a lot of reading and personal study. I’ve loved history since I was in junior high.

The people of CCO know my passion for history because I use it a lot in my teaching.

Now for some more technical details that no one but maybe other podcasters, or those considering podcasting will find interesting. I’ll keep this brief so as not to boor the bejeebers out of 99% of you.

I record in my office at church using a Blue Snowball USB microphone. The software is Audacity on a PC running Windows 10.

I write the script, usually a little more than 4 pages of 12 point Font for about 15 mins. Then I record a save file. Go back and edit out the verbal goofs & slips, then run a Normalize effect, the Compressor effect, & Normalize once more. Then I slap on the intro, Outro & Sound beds. Export it as a final wave file, & export it once more as an MP3 at 128 kbps file, which is what goes up on the site.

Before I give the names of the songs used in the Intro, Outro & Sound bed, let me share this. A little over a year ago, I moved from to a new office. The old office was a small & fairly well insulated room. The new office is in the same building but isn’t nearly as well insulated. There’s no drop ceiling in what is effectively a small industrial building. There’s even a large skylight in my office which allows a LOT of outside noise to seep into my office. There’s a train track no more than 1 hundred yards away on which trains pass several times a day. A busy street lies just on the other side of the tracks and this building is under the flight path to the local Oxnard Airport. What that means is that when I record, all sorts of interesting noises infiltrate. Airplanes, Trains, Motorcycles. The lot next door holds heavy equipment. Whenever a truck backs up, it’s warning comes on in an annoying beeping I’m sure has made it onto not a few podcasts. There are some mornings when I record that a 15 min. podcast can take me an hour and a half to complete with all the re-recording and editing that has to be done.

The songs for the Intro are in this order à

1) Gregorian Chant – Puer natus Est Nobis
2) Palestrina – Missa Papae Marcelli
3) Handel – Hallalujah Chorus
4) Mozart – Dies Ire from The Requiem
5) Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons

The Outro is the end of 10,000 Reasons.

The Sound bed which underlies the narration is from a CD called Liquid Mind.

Until recently, the CS podcast was hosted on the same sever as CCO. But I was fortunate enough to win a year’s free web-hosting from Pritchard Websites. The owner, Mike Pritchard, has done a magnificent job of transferring the site over to his server and has gone above board in making the transition. He’s a great help and the transition seems to be seamless. I want to recommend Pritchard Websites to anyone looking for a place to locate their site.

CS is a member of the History Podcasters Network. There are some excellent podcasts on the Network & I encourage anyone who loves history to check it out.

At present, if I’m reading the stats correctly, we have about 20,000 subscribers to the podcast.

We’ll end this with a little more personal info.

My favorite era of history is the Roman Era, everything from the time of Julius Caesar through Constantine. I’ve picked up & read a couple dozen books on the subject and have even managed to pull together a complete set of Roman armor. I wore it once when I did a one-man drama for Easter. I presented the story of the resurrection from the perspective of the soldier leading the detail guarding Jesus’ tomb.

I love backpacking in the Sierra Nevada mountains of CA, word-working in the garage, vacationing in Maui, working out at 24 Hour Fitness, & reading in the backyard. It’s been a while since I snow skied, but that was a passion every winter for several years. I didn’t like to turn; just to point the skies downhill and go as fast as I could. It wasn’t fast enough unless it made my heart beat at 140 per second.

Alright, I think that’s enough.

I hope this episode didn’t bore you blind. If it did, please forgive.

We’ll be back next week with our regular fare. Till then . . .