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Munger Place Church is the East Dallas campus of Highland Park United Methodist Church. Worship services include both the best of the old and the best of the new. The music is rock and roll-based, sermons are both live and on video, and dress is casual. But at the same time, the services draw from 2,000 years of Christianity by incorporating some of the beautiful old hymns, prayers, and responses.
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Michael Munger on EconTalk

EconTalk: Mike Munger and Russ Roberts

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Michael C. Munger, Director of the interdisciplinary Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program at Duke University, appears regularly as a guest on EconTalk, the award-winning economics podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Podcast episodes featuring Mike Munger are listed here. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 750+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and c ...
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Munger Place Video Podcast

Munger Place Church

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Munger Place Church is the East Dallas campus of Highland Park United Methodist Church. Worship services include both the best of the old and the best of the new. The music is rock and roll-based, sermons are both live and on video, and dress is casual. But at the same time, the services draw from 2,000 years of Christianity by incorporating some of the beautiful old hymns, prayers, and responses.
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When reading 1 Samuel 1:19-22 we have to ask a question - Did Israel get this right? Israel asks for a King so that they can be ‘like other nations’. Israel, however, was chosen by God to be a Kingdom of Priests and a nation to the nations. Is there a great risk then in being just like everybody else? As Christians we are called to be different - a…
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Every one of us has felt uncertain about the future at one point or another. What do we do when we experience this? Is the answer to just have more faith? While our scripture for this week does discuss a need for faith, it shows us something much more important than just more faith. Scripture: Matthew 14:22-33 Pastor: Rev. Sean McDonald…
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We have reached the end of Acts. Through our reading, we have learned some critical things that can help us as a church as we experience new beginnings. But in the last two verses, we receive the fourth step in our Blueprint. While all of our steps are important, if we don’t follow this last step, we might as well not have a blueprint at all! Scrip…
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Even to this day, the Church faces A LOT of challenges. And when adversity strikes, it can be easy to do what is best for us as individuals. However, that is not what it means to be the Church. This week we will see what Paul and Silas do when they find themselves in a scary situation. Instead of pointing to themselves and doing what’s best for the…
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The Church from its beginning has been a place that meets needs. If you are hungry, thirsty, in need of help in another form, or simply searching, the Church is the place to become a part of and get what you need. It is an expansive calling. The truth is, however there is nothing like the Church. Only the Church is called to work and help everyone …
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The book of Acts doesn’t just show us the start of a church, it shows us the start of THE Church. For that reason, it provides a great blueprint for us as we step into this new beginning for Munger. Over the next few weeks we will dive into Acts together to identify historic truths about what it means to be the Church. This week we will pick up dir…
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This week we are wrapping up our series CoMission. What we see in our scripture is probably the most important thing we need to realize about our mission as a Church. In fact, it is so important, that it is exactly what Jesus did during his mission on earth. If we can follow that same model, then we will begin to truly make a difference in our comm…
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This is an exciting time of the year. Student’s are graduating, changing grades, going off the college, and summer is starting! But this time of year can also be scary because it is a time of change. And when we are faced with change, sometimes all we want to do is stay where we are comfortable. But what does God call us to do? How does God call us…
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Message: The message of Corinthians is church is family. We are to love each other, endure each other, and celebrate each other. Family will do all these and more. Today, pray for your church family. Everything that a good family does church is intended to do. We are to love our church and do so well. Extra Mile: Take a look at Acts 15, it is a com…
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This week we are looking at a classic story from scripture. The Good Samaritan is a story that tells us who our neighbor is. We are tempted to label this as a story that teaches us that everyone is our neighbor. However, that’s not really what Jesus says. So who then does Jesus say our neighbor is? Extra Mile: Jesus puts the legal expert through a …
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Message: The Christian life is about you, and it’s not about you. All of us need Jesus - we need the forgiveness and life he offers us. Once we are saved by Jesus, though, a change happens. Our lives are to be lived for others. In our Scripture today, Jesus starts a new age. It is an age where believers focus less on ourselves and more on showing a…
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God helps those who can’t help themselves. That includes each and every one of us, but this can sometimes be hard to admit. We like to be in control and feel like we can change even the worst of our situations, but when we come to grips with the fact that we can’t help ourselves into heaven we actually begin to have a deeper relationship with God. …
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The Bible is our sacred book. Within it are countless truths we hold dear. God creates. God loves us. Jesus is the Son of God. The Bible also records failings and ideas that did not work. King David shattered the 10 Commandments. Leviticus offers sacrifices and laws that we do not follow any longer. The Bible has to be interpreted - and that is our…
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Message: They are simple phrases. They sound Christian―like something you might find in the Bible. We’ve all heard these words - passed down over generations. Maybe we’ve said them. They capture some element of truth, yet they miss the point in important ways. We'll spend some time together to search for the whole truth by comparing common Christia…
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The Sabbath was over, and it was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone and sat on it. The angel looked as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards shook from fear and…
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The Sabbath was over, and it was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone and sat on it. The angel looked as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards shook from fear and…
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It is Palm Sunday where we remember Jesus entering Jerusalem as the start of Holy Week. The crowds expected Jesus to start a revolution, but it did not happen the way many thought it would. Think back. Has Jesus ever answered a prayer in a different way than you asked? It is a hard question. God’s plan, however, is often different than our own and …
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As the Book of Job closes, God appears to Job and speaks to job from a whirlwind. The words God speaks are one of power. Where was Job when the universe was created? By what power has Job created anything at all? As creations of the Lord, we have to know our limits. We can know in go much, but ultimately we are called to have faith in that the Lord…
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In our Bible passage today, Jesus is the same and also entirely different. Luke 24:36-49 is a resurrection appearance of Jesus. He died, and now is raised. He is the same and also completely different. When reading this passage notice Jesus accepts his change. He is different now, and is setting the example for who we can be. To really change, you …
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Job and his friends are asking the question that many of ask at some point in our lives; why do bad things happen to good people? Job’s friends are convinced he is suffering because he has done something to deserve it. But in our scripture for this week, Job provides another perspective that can completely change the way we approach our struggles. …
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Lament acknowledges the reality of the situation. It opens us up to pain. It revises our assumptions of the world and it helps us to reconstruct our relationship to who/what we have lost. Lament has its crucial place in worship and produces the fruit of hope in a future in which lament will have no place. God may be light, but His best work is alwa…
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How do we respond when we suffer tragedy we do not deserve? Welcome to the Book of Job. The problem of suffering is a fundamental human problem. We all have asked, ‘Why did God allow this?’ Or ‘Why has God not stopped this evil?”. The Book of Job is going to make a run at answering this question so jump in as we read this book through Lent. You wil…
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In our Bible passage today, Jesus is the same and also entirely different. Luke 24:36-49 is a resurrection appearance of Jesus. He died, and now is raised. He is the same and also completely different. When reading this passage notice Jesus accepts his change. He is different now, and is setting the example for who we can be. To really change, you …
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There are many themes in the Bible - on of them is ‘We are part of God’s Plan’. God could work without us or accomplish ends around us, but chooses to work with us. God hears our prayers and uses them as a part of a larger story as only God can. For Hannah, this brings a measure of comfort - God takes our petitions and uses them for a larger purpos…
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One of the overlooked attributes of our ancestors is that they waited. Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, knew what it was to wait for the birth of a son. Israel knew what it was to wait for the coming of the Messiah. Although at times God moves in a rapid way (the miracles of Jesus) often God moves in time. This week, practice waiting - otherw…
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Sometimes we do not find what we hope to find. We believe that something will make us happy only to discover it does not. We achieve a goal, and then find out our satisfaction is less than we thought. Israel did this too in that it became a nation, built and rebuilt Jerusalem - but it was not enough. They had to return to obedience to find joy. Neh…
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We all want to improve this time of year. And the decisions we make now can help us make those improvements. One decision that may help us more than any other is the decision to be consistent. To be who we want to be, we need consistency” Extra Mile: Being consistent is always hard at first. This is why we rarely stick with our New Year’s resolutio…
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God loves us. The truth is God always has. Because of human decisions, though, there are times that come and we find ourselves a little lost, and we need to return to God’s love. The good news is God is willing to help. When we take a step towards the Lord, the Lord takes a step towards us . As 2024 begins, we should know that one step towards Jesu…
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Jesus heals. In the miracle stories healing is a prevalent theme with many people who are in need healed by Jesus. In these stories we get a clue about Jesus. He has a heart for those caught in this dilemma of being less than whole and stuck with no apparent way to get better. Jesus was their only hope, and when we make a similar ask the promise Je…
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Healing was a central part of the ministry of Jesus. Typically, it was believed in Jesus’ day that if someone was sick it was a sign of disfavor from God. Jesus reversed this. Needs that people have became a way for the glory and power of God to be revealed. Our weakness is not a sign that God has left us, rather it is an opportunity for God to wor…
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Jesus loved a party and his miracle at the wedding Cana reveals some of who Jesus is. Jesus is a celebration and wants the joy of the Lord to be part of our lives. Faith always should lead us to joy and it is toward joy that Jesus wants to lead us. The Extra Mile: Water and wine are highly symbolic in the Bible. Go online and search ‘water’ in the …
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You and I should finish the same sentence Paul starts. “I have learned…”. What would you say? Experience is a teacher and in each chapter of life there are lessons we learn. Where are you now? As a student, young adult, parent, friend, grand-parent, and every other role we learn. In Philippians 4 Paul gives us his wisdom and the Church has cherishe…
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Our decisions have an impact. The environment, our relationships, future generations are impacted by our stewardship of what we have been given. And while it may seem overwhelming - “Am I responsible for every single thing in all of creation?!?’ The answer is ‘Yes’. The hope the Bible has for us is that we will rise to the challenge rather than bac…
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It is an age old question - How much is enough? The world has an answer and it is this - You can never have enough. As Christians, however, we have to realize that blessings are meant to be shared. Maybe we should read the again - blessings are meant to be shared. Loving our neighbor in part means receiving when we are in need and giving when we ex…
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As Christians there is an important word we need to know. Then word is ‘No.’ Too often the world tries to sell us possessions we need or attitudes we need to have and the the truth is our answer should be ’No’. As Christians, we have to draw a line. Possessions are not crucial. As Jesus taught us, we a building a Kingdom on his values. Each of us h…
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We listen to lots of people. Most of it, though, is inadvertent. We listen to music that happens to be playing, to television in the background, and other sources not necessarily of our choosing. The question today is - Who do you really listen to? Really? Who is it that you want to hear from? All of us have one voice that is above all voices. Jesu…
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If you were to ask Jesus one question, what would it be? The possibilities are endless! In our Bible passage, though, an expert in the law asks the ultimate question - “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Before jumping to the end, what would you answer? What does it take to enter into heaven? Answer that and you will be immersed in the conver…
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It has been a tough week. Like many of you, I have been deeply disturbed by the violence in Israel and Gaza over the last week. A warning - this week’s message will not be rated ‘G’. We will discuss terrorism, violence, and what our Christian response to evil should be. Jesus instructed us to be a city on a hill (Matthew 5:14), an example, and as w…
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Last week, we talked about prevenient grace. This is the idea that God loves us even before we know it! One way that we celebrate that grace is by coming to the table of holy communion. But the only way to acknowledge God's grace for all people is if all people are welcome at the table. And at the end of the day, it's God's table, and God wants all…
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Jonah is one of the most fascinating books of the Bible because its primary focus is how God is the Lord over all of us and God loves all of us. Our own lives, friends, families, acquaintances, colleagues, and even enemies are loved by the Lord. Now, that is not to say God loves everything we do, however, no action anyone undertakes can separate us…
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Houses are filled with memories - people, events,, places that are dear to us - things we remember. The Book of Exodus has been sharing with us a tremendous witness of God’s actions, miraculous events, and faithful heroes who answered God’s call. Why was the book written? In part so that we might remember. Our last week in Exodus is spent with the …
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Faith is an anchor for us. It is a foundation, and because of that we want to turn our faith into something permanent. We build cathedrals to last centuries and sanctuaries to exist for long periods of time. Israel is going through this now in our Exodus passage. We know, of course, that nothing on Earth lasts forever and Israel will learn that les…
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We have all been there. We are waiting, we are praying, and it takes too long. God does not always show on our timeline and we do what people have always done and take matters into our own hands. One of the greatest difficulties we have in faith is adapting to the timeline of the Lord. God is faithful, but there are times when we have to wait, and …
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This is a hard passage - but God gets into our mix. It was true with Pharaoh and true with Jesus. Pharaoh was unwilling to let Israel go and then God through Moses took matters into divine hands. In a similar way, the crowds choose to crucify Jesus and then God took matters into divine hands again. Our choices matter, but there comes a time when Go…
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The Lord calls us. After a life of murder, wandering, and perhaps doubt Moses is called. He sees the burning and not-burning bush and hears the voice of the Lord. God speaks to all of us in time, and a lesson we can learn from this is that in the life of faith two of the most important virtues are the ability to see and listen. Scripture: Exodus 3:…
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It’s the start of the school year…YAY! Okay, some of you may not be all that excited but the one thing we can all agree on is that we want to start the school year strong. While back to school is not the official start of the year, for many of us this is an important time of the year that symbolizes a fresh start. So how do we make this school year…
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So far in our series we have talked a lot about what not to do on the sabbath. This may leave us thinking that sabbath means just sitting on the couch and doing nothing. Sometimes, this can actually lead us to not take sabbath because we spend all week doing things we have to do and we just want to do something that we enjoy. But this can make us f…
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