The Quotable Round-Up #114

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Upon receiving my pre-release copy of the book Competing Spectacles by Tony Reinke, I immediately dive in to the book. The book is really good and fast paced to read and I want to share to you some of the great quotes from the book. Competing Spectacles will be released on April 30 but you can pre-order it on Amazon by clicking this link. While waiting for the release of the book, here are some great quotes from that book.

“Only the grand Spectacle of Jesus Christ can reach to the bottom of our loves and longings with power to shape us into something whole and beautiful.”

“The Christian’s great problem is not Hollywood or Bollywood; it’s the unchecked earthly desires that operate within our fallen selves.”

“…the greatest problem with video gaming is not that gaming is innately evil, but that it’s addictively good. Gaming taps our social competitiveness, our love of narrative, and our interest in problem solving. As gaming franchises grow, digital dreamscapes are becoming holistically immersive.”

“Our appetite for worldly spectacles gives us a sense of the expanse inside our hearts for divine spectacles. What we do with this gaze-lust of our eyes is another thing but to be fundamentally indifferent to all the visual glory of this world is not to be subhuman but to be unhuman.”

“The spectacle of the cross is an earthquake that reverberates through our lives and breaks the chains of our earthly spectacle addictions.”

The worst of our compulsive social media habits are filling our days and corroding our prayer lives.”

“The rarity of gold and silver once gave substance to the worth of cash. Today, the scarcity of human attention brings value to accrued likes and plays and shares. The ticks of human attention are the new social currency that determine the value of our media.”

Book Review: Sunny Side Up: The Breakfast Conversation That Could Change Your Life by Dan DeWitt

afdnawgI don’t usually include the sub title of a book on the title of a book review post for the reason of brevity. I think it’s enough to put the main title because it’s already striking. However in the case of Sunny Side Up, I don’t want people to get into confusion on what the book is about. You might think of it as a cookbook or those mushy generic devotionals that includes food or beverages on its title? Well it’s not. Definitely it’s about breakfast but I don’t know if they had eggs that morning. Kidding aside, what I can assure you is that Sunny Side Up is a life changer book.

The premise of Sunny Side Up is the Gospel of John, chapter 21 were Peter encountered our risen Lord. That morning talk made a difference in Peter’s life. And from that the author looks at other places in the Bible were this lowly fisherman, a denier of Christ turns into a person God want him to be. After reading this book, you’ll have a place for the apostle Peter in your heart like never before as he stumbles on issues of pride, love, following God and forgiveness that we, as believers also mess up too. Good thing God is there to pick us up.

This short book (about a short moment with Jesus and Peter) really hits every wall that hinders us to give our all to God. Truly this awkward conversation in an unusual setting shakes what we consider mundane sins to us. It’s amazing that Jesus, the Creator will have a stopover before going to heaven with a mess up fisherman named Peter. He wants also you to dine with Him. Read the book and prepare to be challenged.  If this is the breakthrough of the apostle Peter, it will also be yours.

My favorite chapter is “Cracked Eggs”. It’s the chapter about forgiveness. I know we all struggle with it and this chapter really pierced my heart and almost moved me to tears. I’m really thankful to the author for this part of the book.

Sunny Side Up is slated to be released on February 1. By then one month of 2019 is already over, but still it’s not too late to read it to start your year right. Celebrate love, humility, being a servant, following Christ and forgiveness in a fresh way from a breakfast conversation.

My verdict:

5 out of 5

Accessible Apologetics: Delighting Grace Interviews Jason Petersen

sjvengxI have read tons of apologetic books. From age of the earth to atheism, KJV onlyism to Roman Catholicism and now from evidential to presuppositional apologetics, I have read materials that covers basically those topics. But nothing has helped me look at apologetics in a more dissected view to see how it really works. I have been bogged by a jungle of terms and jargons that I didn’t see apologetics in a more understandable way. After picking up the book, Apologetics Made Simple, it dawned to me that I can view and understand  apologetics  in 5 important components.  Recently Delighting Grace connected to Jason Petersen, author of Apologetics Made Simple, and we talked about Christian handling apologetics, the presuppositional approach and his book  Apologetics Made Simple.

Delighting Grace: What are the reasons why Christians distance themselves when we talk about apologetics?

Jason Petersen: By the Holy Spirit, we know that faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). I think those who distance themselves mean well, and that they believe that the defense of the Christian faith is incompatible with faith itself. If we look at situations in the Bible that involve the defense of the faith such as Acts 17 and what the Bible says concerning defending the faith in 1 Peter 3:15, we see that the Bible does call us to defend our faith, but we are to do so in faith. We ought to exhibit the character of Yeshua when we defend the faith.

Delighting Grace: How about lack of civility? Can it hinder apologetics? What do you do when you face this kind of situation?

Jason Petersen: We do not have the power to frustrate God’s will, but we are accountable for how we behave. When someone is rude to us, we should not reciprocate. If someone will not listen when we proclaim the truth to them, we are to walk away (Proverbs 14:7, Matthew 10:14).

 

Delighting Grace: When the word apologetics comes up, we quickly picture it as Christians talking to unbelievers. But how about in church settings when we have talk it to our brethren? Is there a difference in approach?

Jason Petersen: We ought to treat everyone with the same love and respect of Yeshua. With another believer, you both should already agree that the Bible is the foundation for thought. After all, there is no need to convince someone who already believes the Bible is the Word of God that the Bible is the Word of God. The only difference would be the starting point of the person we are talking to.

Delighting Grace: Any personal story that you can share with us that you have applied apologetics?

Jason Petersen: There are many, but an example of the most common type of stories I have involve dealing with unbelievers that seem to think that Science reigns supreme over all. I recently had a discussion with an atheist named Kyle Rutherford, who says he is a scientist (I can’t remember in what field), and I explained to him all of the philosophical problems that involve claiming that the empirical method can allow us to know which propositions are true and which are not. He did not offer any response to my arguments and instead attempted to ridicule me. I departed from him because the Bible teaches us to leave the presence of a fool (Proverbs 14:7).

Delighting Grace: As I have point out previously, your e-mail address reveals you’re a presuppositional apologist. So for the readers can you tell us what’s it all about and how it differs from evidential apologetics?

Jason Petersen: Although I am a presuppositional apologist, I do believe that evidential apologetics does have its place and I have seen it bear fruit. God can use any form of apologetic for his glory so I am not dogmatic concerning how we do apologetics. I will, however, say that I think it is important that we approach our apologetic with a systematic mindset. If we are going to defend the truth of the Bible, we better darn sure be able to show how we know that it is true. This is why I am a presuppositionalist, and in particular, a Clarkian presuppositionalist.

It is hard to define evidential apologetics because there are various approaches and degrees of approaches. Some evidential apologists believe that we can show that the Bible is true apart from using the Bible. While I do think we can point to many things outside of the Bible that are consistent with the truth of the Bible, I do reject the notion that the truth of the Bible can be demonstrated apart from special revelation. It is one thing to point to things that are consistent with the truth of the Bible, but it is another to demonstrate it.

As a Clarkian presuppositionalist, I start with an axiom, “The Bible is the Word of God.” From there, I can, using the verses in the Bible, show that the Bible is true because it is inspired by God and God does not lie (2 Timothy 3:16, Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2). This may seem strange to some, and perhaps some may be so inclined to reject such a notion as circular reasoning. I would argue that because my axiom is not demonstrable, the line of reasoning is linear, not circular. As a Clarkian presuppositionalist, I believe the only way to know that the Bible is true is if the Holy Spirit dwells within you (Romans 8:16). I also believe that the use of evidence is permissible, but what it can accomplish, as it would be with trying to prove any other position with evidence, is limited. This is a topic that I plan to hash out more in my upcoming book, ‘Clarkian Apologetics.’

Delighting Grace: How do you respond to people who say apologetics is impractical to help someone’s Christian walk?

Jason Petersen: Seeing how Yeshua, the Prophets, and the Apostles all defended the faith, I would probably sarcastically remark that none of them must have gotten the memo.

Delighting Grace: Your book, Apologetics Made Simple is absolutely great. Can you tell us about that book?

Jason Petersen: Thank you. I am glad that you enjoyed it. Ever since I started doing Apologetics, when I would dialogue with unbelievers, I could tell that something was not quite right with the discussion. It seemed like the arguments against the faith of the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were all rooted in semantics and linguistic gymnastics. Over time, I was able to more precisely point out where the faults were. In 2017, I decided to publish a book that would point out five critical keys to dealing with the tricks that those who oppose the faith that was given to us by God in the days of old that would make any apologetic method unstoppable. The five keys are as follows: dogmatism, systemization, language (and propositional truth), accuracy, and faith. This book is short and only takes about an hour to an hour and a half to read. I wanted the keys shared to be easily digested even by laypeople. Both laypeople and seminary professors have said great things about this book.

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us the process of writing that book?

Jason Petersen: I did an outline of the five keys that I wanted to share, and then I expounded on those keys in every chapter. The way I write is pretty simple. Some will make a thorough outline while others will just write and “let it flow.” I do a combination of both. I do a basic outline, I let it flow, and then I read over it and determine if any changes need to be made or if I need to add to or subtract from what I’ve written. That is the approach that I took with this book.

Delighting Grace: Will you be writing books like that soon? I mean its short enough to understand the subject of apologetics and won’t eat up your time.

Jason Petersen: Apologetics Made Simple, will likely be the shortest book on apologetics that I will ever write. The books on apologetics that I will write in the future will be significantly more detailed. I won’t rule out another book that is as short as this one, but it is unlikely that I will make another Apologetics book that is like Apologetics Made Simple.

Delighting Grace: So Jason please invite our readers to get a copy of your book Apologetics Made Simple and also check out other stuff from you.

Jason Petersen: I would encourage anyone who is interested in apologetics to buy my book, Apologetics Made Simple. I am also an entrepreneur that has been blessed with financial success by God. I wrote another book called, Building Wealth Made Simple, that gives an outline on my philosophy of personal finance and investing. My author website is jasonlpetersen.com.

 

The Quotable Round-Up #86

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Howdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ” by John F. MacArthur Jr. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The message of the gospel is the message of reconciliation. The alienated sinner can be reconciled to God. That’s what we pray for, it’s what we teach, and it’s why we live. Some even die for it. It is the unparalleled message of reconciliation with God through the work of Christ. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation.”

“The only reason God has kept us in the world is for the work of evangelism. Yes, we’re saved to worship, but God tolerates our imperfect worship on this side of eternity for the sake of adding to His kingdom. We’re also saved to be sanctified, but God tolerates our inadequate, incomplete sanctification to keep us here to evangelize. He endures all our consistent errors and failures because He has work for us here that we cannot accomplish in heaven.”

“The notion that God is a loving and compassionate Savior contradicts the core doctrines of the world’s religions. If you study the history of religion, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a savior god among them. When men and demons design gods, that’s simply not how they design them. Demonic religious systems don’t concoct deities anything like the God of the Bible. Instead, they generally range from indifferent to severely hostile.”

“We need to understand that reconciliation does not start with the sinner, or some cosmic cry that God responds to. We don’t have to ask God to accept the sinner—we don’t have to coax Him into it through pressure or praise. He is not reluctant to save. Reconciliation begins with God—it’s woven into His glorious nature.”

“We don’t sit in judgment of God’s judgment. The question is not, why did God send bears out of the woods to destroy a group of boys who yelled “bald head” at a prophet (2 Kings 2:23–24)? The question is not, why did the ground open up and swallow people whole for violating Old Testament law (Num. 16)? The question is not, why did God displace and destroy the idolatrous Canaanites? The question is not, why did God destroy the globe and preserve only Noah and his family? Those questions are easy to answer: the wages of sin—no matter how great or small the sin might seem to us—is always death (Rom. 6:23).”

“True reconciliation requires God’s forgiveness. The only way reconciliation can occur is if the offended party is willing to forgive and remove the barrier sin creates. The sinner cannot reconcile himself to God. Only the Lord can effect reconciliation by choosing not to count our trespasses against us.”

“We ought to cling to the vital doctrine of God’s sovereignty. But don’t ever let your view of sovereignty overwhelm or obscure the fact that sinners have a responsibility to respond to God—and we have a responsibility to beg them to do so. God accomplishes His reconciling work through—not in spite of—the obedience of faith from those He calls to be reconciled.”

 

The Quotable Round-Up #85

tpn6bjcHowdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ” by John F. MacArthur Jr. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“Ultimately, the gospel is not for the proud, the arrogant, or those who believe they can get to God by themselves. God intentionally chose a foolish message to humble us and to guarantee that no one would boast in his or her own intelligence. He chose the cross to stifle any inclination in us to think we got to Him on our own. All the glory goes to God.”

“The world must hear the message of Jesus Christ, and we have the precious privilege of serving as His ambassadors and heralds. May we never be so content with our theology—never so satisfied with our salvation and sovereign grace—that we forget that our great God has not only saved us but has also called us to be the means by which He will save others.”

“Make no mistake: the rise of postmodern Christianity and the supposed wideness in God’s mercy isn’t a harmless, potentially helpful theological perspective. It’s a direct assault on the gospel work of the church and an affront to the integrity of countless believers who suffered and died throughout its history.”

“If you can’t even muster the temerity to speak the name of Christ in public, what confidence can you have that He is faithfully interceding on your behalf? If you’re ashamed of the gospel, it’s a strong indication that you have yet to believe it. True, saving faith must not be hidden away. It ought to be the most public thing about you.”

“True believers cannot lose their salvation, but they can forfeit their joy and usefulness. They can sow confusion, doubt and discouragement into their own lives. And they can cripple their spiritual growth by imbibing the lies of false teachers and charlatans. While God alone secures and protects our eternity with Him, He has called us to be on the lookout for one another (Acts 20:29–31).”

“When we look at the life of Jesus Christ, we’re not surprised to see manifestly that He is God. If God became man, we would expect His human life to be sinless. His was. If God, the holy true God, became man, we would expect Him to live in perfect righteousness. He did. If God became man, we would expect His words to be the greatest words ever spoken. They were. If God became man, we would expect Him to exert a profound, unequaled power over humanity. He did. If God became man, we would expect supernatural demonstrations. There were many. If God became man, we would expect Him to manifest the love of God. He did.”

“Jesus never sat down and said, “You know, we’ve got so much common ground; let’s find a connection and have a conversation about the truths we can mutually affirm.” He wasn’t interested in identifying common ground or accommodating ignorance. Only the truth—the full truth— could set an Israelite or anyone else free from the slavery of sin.”

Squad Goals: Delighting Grace Interviews Theron St. John

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The millenial crowd is the in thing right now. If you know words like “lit”, “bae”, “tbh” or “jk” your the crowd I’m talking to. But beyond the slang , there is something that every generation will eventually face.  Whether you’re a millenial, Generation X or a Baby Boomer, like any other human being, it will come to a point that you’ll ask serious questions of your existence. “Who am I?”, “Why do I exist?”, and “What happens when I die?” are something to ponder out. And it do have a connection to the things we pursue. We connected to Theron St. John to find out what Millenials do when confronted with these “Why” questions on life.

Delighting Grace: What do you think is the one mistake most millennials do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: I am not sure I would say this is the one mistake, but a major mistake millennials make in their pursuit is they believe purpose is something they create. In other words, we live in a postmodern day and age where we are told there is no absolute truth. With no absolute truth, there is no ultimate purpose. Truth is relative, and purpose is left up to the individual to create. However, the reality is truth is absolute and it is found in God’s Word. It is in God’s Word we discover the ultimate purpose of life, glorifying God! To state it succinctly, then, millennials make a mistake when they believe they create their own purpose for life rather than understanding they can discover it and find it as it has been revealed by the Creator!

Delighting Grace: What do millennials think about when they hear the word “purpose”?

Theron St. John: When millennials hear the word “purpose”, the question, “Why do I exist?” comes to mind. One encouraging aspect I see from my fellow millennials is the desire to know “why”. They don’t want to go through life living out a meaningless existence. They know there is something bigger than themselves to live for. I think that is, in part, why millennials are viewed more as activists on issues than maybe other and older generations. That said, millennials miss the point on answering why they exist if they believe they are in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Humanity must look to the One who has created life to discover the purpose of life, because there is something more to life than what millennials are living.

Delighting Grace: Some Christians do pray to find purpose which is a great thing. But sometimes they just rely in praying more than pursuing something. So how much praying and pursuing must a Christian do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: This question reminds me of the oft-asked question, “What is God’s will for my life?” You are right to say praying for purpose and understanding of God’s will is a great thing. Most certainly, we should be praying regularly for God to give us wisdom in this. I am reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which reads, “pray without ceasing”. Following that verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. We see the revealed will of God is found in the Word of God. When it comes to particulars and specific issues in everyday life, we glean wisdom from God’s Word. Without giving a quantity of time, I’ll say this: In our pursuits, our prayer needs to be coupled with the study and application of God’s Word.

Delighting Grace: As a single and a youth pastor, how should a millennial prepare to pursue marriage? How do you prepare yourself in marriage?

Theron St. John: Much could be said on preparing for and pursuing marriage, but if I may paint with broad strokes, I (and any Christian millennial) would be wise to pursue and prepare for marriage by developing and deepening a relationship with God and with His church. Of course, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ must be central and first. What this looks like in practical terms is depending on God in prayer to empower you by the Holy Spirit to make purity a priority in your life and to be wise in romantic relationships. As well, knowing God through His Word will show you where you need to grow in Christlike character and it will shape the qualities you ought to be looking for in a potential spouse (for more of this subject, please click here).

A second relationship a Christian millennial like myself should develop and deepen is with the local church. One of the worst things millennials can do when preparing and pursuing marriage is to neglect the wise counsel of brothers and sisters in Christ. Christians do not live autonomous lives but accountable lives. The place for such accountability is the local church. I know from experience the blessing of wise counsel given to me from faithful friends in the local church. I was delivered from some heartache and poor choices because I heard and heeded the wise counsel of those in my local church.

Delighting Grace: There had been floods of books in the 2000 and until now that attaches the word “purpose”. So how do “Something More” stand out among these “purpose” books.

Theron St. John: Something More stands out because of the book’s aim and audience. The aim of the book is to provide a basic framework for understanding our pursuit, identifying the problems, and pointing to the solution. The book is meant to serve as an evangelistic tool, equipping Christian millennials to take their non-Christian friends through the material. Because the book’s ideal audience involves reaching non-Christians, the book does not explicitly address the matter from a biblical worldview until the end of chapter 3 into chapter 4. In the typical Christian book on this topic, the worldview is stated upfront. My reasoning for the distinct structure is due to my target audience. I wanted to lay down some common denominators in our pursuit before showing how the Word of God exposes our problem and offers the solution. I believe the brevity of the book makes it useful as an evangelistic tool. (You can check selected quotes from the book by clicking here.)

Delighting Grace: I read Something More which is short and a great read. Can you tell us the process of producing that book?

Theron St. John: Since Something More is a self-published book the process was a little more flexible than it may have been otherwise. The idea for the book really started 2 ½ years prior. As I interact with those in my generation, I saw a need to produce a concise resource that would share the gospel in an engaging way. For about a year, I took down notes here and there when ideas on the book would come to mind. From there, the challenge was to write the books in a concise manner. Once I did complete that phase, I had friends who serve in student and campus ministry read the book and offer suggestions. After taking their suggestions, I had a couple of other people give feedback, and they edited the book’s grammar and structure. Case in point, the process of producing a book takes commitment and, if it is be done well, is a community project.

Delighting Grace: Thank you for this opportunity Theron. Please do invite our readers to get a copy of “Something More”. Also invite them to check your blog and social media accounts. 

 Theron St. John: You’re welcome. I am grateful for the opportunity to share and for your graciousness in interviewing me. Below is how you can find more of my writings and connect with ‘Entrusted By God’:

Link to Something More book

Link to Blog: http://www.entrustedbygod.org

Link to FB: www.facebook.com/entrustedbygod

Link to Twitter: www.twitter.com/entrustedbygod

Link to Instagram: www.instragram.com/entrustedbygod

Delighting Grace: Any parting advice to a millennial who is down and can’t find purpose in his or her life?

Theron St. John: My counsel to them would be to examine where they have sought purpose in the past. From there, I would encourage them to recognize the symptoms of their problem but also look for the diagnosis of the problem. Only when the symptoms (fruit problem) lead us to a diagnosis (root problem) can we offer the proper solution. These three elements are covered in chapters 2–5 of Something More. First and foremost, they are revealed in God’s Word. So, if I had to condense the answer in a tweet-size sentence, I would say: If you are down and can’t find purpose, don’t look within yourself but look in God’s Word and look up at the cross of Jesus Christ.

(Theron St. John and the author of this blog also contributes articles on Top Christian Books (TCB Media). Check them out and all other stuff at www.topchristianbooks.online)

 

The Quotable Round-Up # 52

paper_zpshrjhwlqwHere are some of the quotes from the book “This is Our Time” by Trevin Wax. If you enjoy these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“Unless we are overcome by the love of God, we will be overcome by the fear of man.”

“Some Christians fear that to disagree with their political party or their country’s policies is to be disloyal. Not so. Sometimes dissent is the greatest form of patriotism. William Wilberforce loved his country enough to expose the evils of the slave trade. Because he loved England, he wanted his country to live up to its virtues and values. Dietrich Bonhoeffer did not betray his German heritage when he opposed the rise of Nazism. He died a truer German than Hitler could ever have hoped to be.”

“The fundamental story that defines our life is not growth in wealth but growth in Christlikeness.”

“It’s the Kingdom Dream of Jesus that should define our lives, not the American Dream of the twenty-first century.”

 

“True authenticity is not accepting my own self-expression but accepting the self-expression of God through Jesus Christ.”

“All of our exploring is intended to lead us to the heart of God, in fullest display in a Man gasping for breath upon a cross, just days before rising to walk out of His tomb.”

“When believers tell me they have no problem with explicit content because they have a high tolerance for viewing violence or nudity, I tell them that’s like bragging about having deadened senses. Desensitization is not a sign of spiritual progress but of sensual dullness.”

 

The Quotable Round-Up #37

For this week we are featuring quotes from J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith’s latest book titled “Rooted”. Hope you’ll like it and please pick up a copy.

“The church, Christ’s body, is called to live now in the light of the future.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“Everlasting forgiveness is found with Jesus, by faith alone in his death for our sins and in his resurrection from the dead.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“When sin entered the world, God didn’t turn a blind eye. In his justice and mercy, he’s provided the Savior.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“What we need today is a gospel-minded bucket list. In eternity, you won’t be able to travel to Thailand and tell unreached peoples about Jesus. You won’t be able to give your money to pro-life movements. You won’t be able to evangelize your friends and family members, urging them to look to Jesus. That’s for now. Today. Right now. This is the mindset we need today.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“True worship is glorifying God in all of life—to the perimeters and edges of life.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“If you have a paralyzing fear of death, you are living as one who has no hope. You are living with a bad eschatology.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“Christians have no need to fear death because we are going to be raised from the dead, joining Jesus in a resurrection like his.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“Now, our greatest accomplishment is something we didn’t do, but rather something that’s been done for us and in us. We boast in Jesus’s cross.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted