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35 minutes | 12 hours ago
Rebecca McLaughlin | How the Gospel Answers Culture’s Questions
For many unbelievers, issues around diversity and sexuality are roadblocks to the Christian faith. But in Today’s Conversation podcast, Rebecca McLaughlin shows how a deeply biblical and intellectually honest approach transforms cultural roadblocks into compelling signposts for the good news of Jesus Christ. Rebecca reminds listeners to “always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). She and host NAE President Walter Kim also discuss: Why there is a biblical, but not secular basis for all self-evident truth; How to address the idea that evangelical Christians are on the “wrong side of history” on issues like same-sex relationships; Why involving the Christian community is so important in relationships with unbelievers; and How to approach difficult cultural conversations with empathy and humility. Read a Portion of the Transcript Walter: How can we approach conversations of faith, conversations where we are seeking to persuade with empathy and humility? How do we go about that? Read more Rebecca: It’s always hard because we’re always, at least I speak for myself, I’m always fighting with my own ego in these situations. There’s a piece of me, if somebody says something that I think is wrong about Christianity or somebody accuses Christians in general or me in particular of hypocrisy or whatever it is, there’s a piece of us that rises up and wants to shoot back. We are specifically told in Scriptures not to do that and we’re told to love our enemies. We’re told to give a reason for the hope that we have but to do it with gentleness and respect. I think the ways that can play out for us in conversation is first we need to acknowledge and validate the ways in which our non-Christian friends’ objections to Christianity are actually good objections, and they’re right to have them. Whether it’s about race or the way Christians have treated people who identify as LGBT or whatever area it is, often our first move really needs to be, say, “Yeah I agree with you.” Rather than go straight to the defensive, actually say, “Yeah you’re right, and to the extent I have been complicit in that as a Christian, I need to repent of that.” There are my own sins and sins of my tribe that I need to be ready to repent of to the Lord but also in conversation with friends. I think it’s very easy for us to confuse defending the gospel and sort of standing for our faith in Jesus with defending ourselves and our own record and the record of our tribe. But really, as Christians we should always be ready to recognize that the way to move forward is repentance in faith, clinging on to Jesus, holding firm to the Scriptures and recognizing our own moral adequacy in it. I love how in the first letter to Timothy, how Paul, just a few verses after he has named same-sex sexual relationships among other sins, just a very few verses later in the first chapter of that book he says, “This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came to the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” He was not actually coming as a judgmental, self-righteous bigot throwing stones at people. He was saying, “I am the worst sinner I know, and Jesus came to save even me.” I think that there’s something ultimately liberating about that for us as Christians. As we call our friends to repentance, we’re not doing so from the moral superiority that Jesus can command. We’re actually doing so from a position of moral inferiority. I think that’s liberating and I think it can open up conversations in a different way with friends and I think we can draw on the extraordinary richness God has given us in the global Church… In Christianity, one of the beauties that we have in evangelism and apologetics is Christianity is a team sport, and I think we need to be drawing on the members of our team. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Relevant Resources Check out “For the Health of the Nation,” a discipleship resource for Christians to apply biblical principles to complex issues. Listen to related NAE podcasts: Kaitlyn Schiess | Spiritual Formation for Public Life John Inazu | Surviving and Thriving in Deep Difference Tish Harrison Warren | Evangelical Identity in Global Context Discover NAE resources on racial justice. Learn how NAE’s Statement of Faith brought unity among diverse traditions. Today’s Conversation is brought to you by BrotherHood Mutual. The post Rebecca McLaughlin | How the Gospel Answers Culture’s Questions appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
38 minutes | a month ago
Raymond Chang | Understanding the Asian American Experience
Over the past year, nearly 3,800 incidents of name-calling, shunning and assault against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate. How should we as Christians understand this dramatic increase of violence against Asian Americans? How did we get here? In Today’s Conversation podcast, Raymond Chang traces anti-Asian sentiment and actions through U.S. history, and offers a mini-cultural sensitivity training to listeners. In this podcast hosted by NAE President Walter Kim, you’ll also gain understanding on: How the model minority myth and perpetual foreigner syndrome affect Asian Americans today; What unique contributions Asian Americans offer the Church; How to love and care for Asian American friends and neighbors; and A word of encouragement for those who are weary from the heaviness of racial injustice and other societal and personal tragedies. Read a Portion of the Transcript Walter: Part of sensitivity training, of course, is awareness of this history of the model minority and perpetual foreigner myths, but you’ve also alluded to something way beyond cultural sensitivity training. You’ve alluded to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; you’ve alluded to the power of the Holy Spirit to transform. In your role at Wheaton in areas of discipleship as campus minister, what is a Christian response in terms of a deeper discipleship in this area? Read more Raymond: Because we are working in a world where sin loves to wreak havoc — it loves to establish patterns that harm people and divide people including Christians — and where race and racism have been significant forces in our formation is why so much of the church in the United States is divided especially along racial lines. You see that in the ways that we vote — which everyone has the right to vote their conscience — but it’s interesting our votes are often tied with our race more than our faith and that we use apologetics to defend a particular partisan position instead of actually seeing that both parties are completely flawed in the country as well as the ways that no party actually represents Jesus and his kingdom fully. One of the things that I am finding over and over, including at my work at Wheaton, is that many of the students come in seeking to be a part of a kingdom community that’s very diverse and that celebrates all the contributions that God has instilled within each people group with each community, and yet find it very difficult that some groups are more exclusionary than other groups and maintain harmful stereotypes because they often come from homogenous churches and homogenous upbringings. I do think that we need to have a race-conscious and gender-conscious discipleship so that we don’t perpetuate the harms that we are seeing throughout society. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Relevant Resources Connect with the Asian American Christian Collaborative, and check out their list of recommended resources for continued learning. Learn more about incidences of hate against Asian Americans at Stop AAPI Hate. Read NAE’s statement on anti-Asian violence. Discover NAE resources on racial justice. Today’s Conversation is brought to you by OneShare Health. The post Raymond Chang | Understanding the Asian American Experience appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
42 minutes | 2 months ago
Tish Harrison Warren | Evangelical Identity in Global Context
Tish Harrison Warren found her home in the Anglican Church in North America many years ago. Her ministry calling and the ongoing act of Jesus’ grace led her to a special connection with believers on the other side of the world. Having a global perspective, Tish believes, can change the way all evangelicals pray, worship and think about our neighbors. In Today’s Conversation podcast, Tish and NAE President Walter Kim discuss: How evangelicalism has shaped her piety; The importance of emphasizing global evangelicalism; How American evangelicals can be more globally minded; and What she learned about being a faithful witness in our cultural climate. Read a Portion of the Transcript Walter: As we draw to a close, I want to point our attention to the book you have recently written, “Prayers in the Night: For Those Who Work, or Watch, or Weep,” which explores themes of human vulnerability, of suffering, of God’s apparent absence. If you were to encapsulate a lesson from this book for our cultural moment — the common struggles that we have with fear and love, a desire for God’s presence and how do we find that in moments where God appears absent — what’s something from this work that you would give as a final word of encouragement or maybe even challenge for us? Read more Tish: Well the book is sort of looking at how do we continue to trust God when God makes no guarantee that bad things will not happen to us…. The ultimate hope of how we respond to our vulnerability — vulnerability that comes from mortality, that comes from living in a world where darkness is very real, certainly we are all feeling this right now with COVID, but also I would say our vulnerability that we sometimes feel as evangelicals, our cultural vulnerability … — is that our hope can’t be that everything is going to work out for us. We know that that may not be true. And our hope can’t be that we are going to beat it, that we are going to get enough power or privilege to make everything go well for the church, or make everything go well for our family or our children. The hope really must be rooted in the love of God, and in the fact that in all of our suffering, God meets us in our suffering. But also we meet God; we join in the sufferings of Jesus and somehow, mysteriously, are taken up into the life of God through our suffering. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Relevant Resources Read Tish’s Christianity Today article, “Why I Claim the ‘Global Evangelical’ Label.” Read Tish’s books: “Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life” “Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep” Learn more and connect with Tish at TishHarrisonWarren.com. Check out “For the Health of the Nation,” a discipleship resource for Christians on civic responsibility. Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Brotherhood Mutual. The post Tish Harrison Warren | Evangelical Identity in Global Context appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
38 minutes | 3 months ago
Kaitlyn Schiess | Spiritual Formation for Public Life
Kaitlyn Schiess describes how we are all formed by the habits and practices that fill our lives. These repetitive and often unrecognized actions shape not only our relationship with God, but also our relationships with neighbors, the political choices we make, and a host of other decisions and expressions. In Today’s Conversation podcast with NAE President Walter Kim, Kaitlyn invites us to expand our understanding of spiritual formation and examine what practices may be shaping our worldview. Walter and Kaitlyn also discuss: Why spiritual formation is broader than internal work; How different generations — particularly Gen Z — approach spiritual formation and politics; What false gospels the American church has embraced; and What questions we should ask to keep false gospels and idols in check. Read a Portion of the Transcript Walter: What is the story that we should be immersed in? What is the gospel story in your theological imagination, in this spiritual formation, in this liturgy that you’re seeking to inculcate us in? You’ve talked really well and compellingly about the forces that would misshape us. What are some of the gospel themes or narratives or stories in your work that you would hold forth as this positive shaping of who we are? Read more Kaitlyn: Someone asked me recently what one passage I would go to to talk about politics. I said Genesis 1 and 2, because we tend to start so much of our political conversations, our imagination, and those kinds of liturgies in just sin. And that’s an important conversation for politics in our world, but could we start with this picture of creation made good by God, and human beings created to act as his representatives to steward creation and to build communities? Could we go back to that language of ruling and reigning as representatives of God and then seeing that paralleled in Revelation as a picture of creation redeemed and restored? Our jobs being the same kinds of jobs: to steward and to rule and reign as God’s representatives, to take the good gifts of his creation and make things with it, to be creative. That’s one of the themes I tend to think about: this human creativity, human community building as something that is our commission from the very beginning to the very end. Another one is a theme that I grew up in — I am so thankful for — and it was really neglected in a lot of those churches is the kingdom of God and the way that it’s described especially in the New Testament. Not just as Jesus coming on the scene and announcing the coming of the kingdom of God as this kind of ethereal, spiritual thing and we’re not really sure what it means, but as him taking care of people — restoring, redeeming, healing people. Announcing the fact that especially the marginalized and oppressed are going to be set free. Taking some of those images from the prophets and from Jesus’ ministry and being able to apply those in our world today. We will have disagreements. There will be complicated things, and it’s not always black and white or easy to understand. And yet — at least in the traditions that I grew up in — a lot of that really powerful language for seeking flourishing human communities was missing. Even in my own ministry at the church, I’ve tried so hard to say: Could we look at some of those things? And even before we get to super interpretive questions of how we apply this, could we just sit in the beauty of some of these descriptions of what God’s intentions for human communities are? Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Relevant Resources Read Kaitlyn’s book, The Liturgy of Politics: Spiritual Formation for the Sake of Our Neighbor. Learn more and connect with Kaitlyn at KaitlynSchiess.com. Check out “For the Health of the Nation,” a discipleship resource for Christians on civic responsibility. Listen to related NAE podcasts: Post-Election Guidance for Christians | Scott Sauls Civics for Christians | Amy Black Today’s Conversation is brought to you by OneShare Health. The post Kaitlyn Schiess | Spiritual Formation for Public Life appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
39 minutes | 4 months ago
Dr. Francis Collins | A Christian Perspective on the COVID Vaccines
Coronavirus cases continue to surge as the first round of COVID vaccines makes its way to Americans. This medication has not only brought a sense of hope, but also many questions. Is it truly safe after such a quick timetable for development? Will it actually be effective and for how long? Are there ethical issues involved in the creation of the vaccines that Christians should know about? In his role as director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins overseas the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world. He is also a committed Christian. In Today’s Conversation podcast, you’ll hear Dr. Collins and NAE President Walter Kim discuss: The integration of faith, science and health; How vaccines actually affect the body; The manufacturing process and ethics behind vaccinations; and What role pastors and Christians should play during the pandemic. Read a Portion of the Transcript Walter: Clearly you have thought a lot about the integration of faith and science and of course health. And we have a moment in time where those issue converge in matters of life and death. How do you think Christians should approach this health crisis? Read more Dr. Collins: Christians down through the centuries have been faced with a challenge of what is our calling in times of trouble. We can call upon God to help us, but sometimes God calls us to be part of the solution; that’s happened down through the centuries as well. In times of plague — and this is not the first one nor will it be the last — Christians have had a tradition of not running away from the challenge but running toward it saying, “What can I do?” I think that’s what we should be doing now. It’s different because usually when you’re a Christian and you’re called to run towards something that means you kind of gather together and here’s a circumstance where gathering together happens to be the wrong thing to do because of the danger of contagion. We are called to act, to love our neighbors in other ways than what we are used to — helping the elderly couple down the street who can’t really get out to buy their groceries to go and do that for them and leave a bag at their doorstep for instance, volunteering at the food bank or simply being a listening ear for people who have lost a loved one, who are ill, who are isolated. All of those things we can do. What we can’t do is what we love to do, which is to gather together without putting everybody at risk. Again, Christians are called in our love for our neighbors to consider all of those things. I’m reading my Bible this morning — reading in 1 John — and I ran across these verses in 1 John, Chapter 3: “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” That’s a pretty good calling to Christians, but the next verse, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Actions and in truth. That’s what I think Christians are now called to do and many are doing so. But it has been a confusing time for a lot of people trying to figure out how do I take those words and make them into something I can do that is faithful to God but that recognizes the reality of what we know, through knowledge God has given us to learn through science, about this particular COVID-19 and how can I do what needs to be done to keep other people safe and not be the next super spreader despite my good intentions of being a Christian reaching out to those in need. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Relevant Resources Learn how you can help researchers prevent and treat COVID-19 at CombatCovid.HHS.gov Check out Dr. Francis Collins’ books: The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions Read the NAE resource, “When God & Science Meet: Surprising Areas of Agreement” Listen to related NAE podcasts: Religion vs. Science | Elaine Ecklund Being a Christian and a Scientist | Ian Hutchinson Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Youth Theology Network. The post Dr. Francis Collins | A Christian Perspective on the COVID Vaccines appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
36 minutes | 5 months ago
Tim Mackie | The Bible and Creativity
Since Tim Mackie was in his 20s he has been on a mission to understand the Bible — its history, culture and language — and to help others understand the Bible. This passion led him to earn a theology degree and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies, to serve as a pastor for several years, and eventually to start the BibleProject with co-founder Jon Collins. In Today’s Conversation podcast hosted by NAE President Walter Kim, you’ll hear Tim share: Why he and Jon decided to start the BibleProject; How Tim was drawn to Jesus through an outreach to skateboarders; What approach the BibleProject takes to navigate different interpretations of Scripture; and How creativity threads through Scripture and connects to our calling as Christians. Read a Portion of the Transcript Walter: I’m speculating here, but I want you to draw this out. Pre-pandemic, post-pandemic, what you’re doing at the BibleProject seems like it would have been equally applicable before and after because of the medium that you have chosen to work in and through. But is that the case? Have you noticed any shift in the ways that people have engaged with your material during the pandemic? Read more Tim: You’re totally right. Your intuition is correct there. It wasn’t something we planned necessarily, but it just so happened the main medium and platform that we are using is both YouTube and just online delivery. We are able to give away all this content for free with no ads or no paywall or subscription payments, because from the beginning — and again this was Jon’s idea — of starting kind of a micro-Patreon model which is, “If you find the videos helpful, donate a few bucks and help us make some more.” When the number of people begins to grow, it creates a pretty stable base to be able to build an animation studio. So that is what happened over time. What we found was in pandemic era where people are at home more and looking for more content to either learn on their own or to learn with friends/family, we’ve seen a large amount of momentum and growth in our audience and growth in the number of people who are learning about BibleProject. It’s felt like a very providential experience that we couldn’t have planned. So yes, we have noticed all of those things and are feeling really humbled that we get to be in this role where we feel like our work is more meaningful than ever, because we’re actually serving a lot more people than we were a year ago. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Relevant Resources Watch BibleProject’s flagship series on the books of the Bible from Genesis to Acts. Visit the BibleProject website for additional resources such as Bible studies, blogs and podcasts. Order copies of the NAE Bible Reading Guide to help members of your church be in the Word every day. Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Christian Community Credit Union. The post Tim Mackie | The Bible and Creativity appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
39 minutes | 6 months ago
Scott Sauls | Post-Election Guidance for Christians
Our country just experienced a very close and very contentious election. In Today’s Conversation podcast, Scott Sauls offers pastoral guidance on how Christians should respond to this election — or any election — and what opportunities we have to be a light for Christ in a divided nation. He grounds his advice in examples and values from the Bible. NAE President Walter Kim and Scott discuss: What evangelicals should believe about God’s sovereignty, regardless of who the president is; What we should think about authority, particularly if we deeply disagree with that authority; How Christians engage on political issues with society at large, especially non-Christian neighbors; and The opportunities the Church has in this post-election season. Read a Portion of the Transcript Walter: Some people in our churches are thrilled with the results of the election. And just as some are thrilled, others are devastated. There are plenty of people in between. What do you say to these groups of people? Are there different messages for the different categories? Or the same message for everyone? How do you lead and speak into that situation? Read more Scott: Well, obviously you have to do it sensitively for people who are feeling anxious — overly anxious or overly elated, right? You don’t want to shame people for being overly elated, and you don’t want to guilt people for being overly anxious. But we do, as the messengers of Jesus, want to embrace our role as helping others as well as ourselves to put all of this American politics into its proper context. I think it’s wonderful that whenever we have a presidential election, the next season we go into is a season of Advent, which emphasizes that the government will be on Jesus’ shoulders and of the increase of his reign in government there will be no end. He is the one that’s not voted out. He is the one that’s not dethroned. He is the one that doesn’t have a term limit. Whatever outcomes politically we might, during whatever season, be elated by, we can’t hold on too tightly to hope, because it’s only a matter of time before this leader, this administration, this philosophy is taken out of power. Or if we are so anxious and devastated, again we are talking about a temporal situation. And we are also talking about a Christian reality, which is true at all times, and that is that we are aliens and strangers. That is our identity with respect to our relationship with the world; we are aliens and strangers. Our citizenship is elsewhere. Hebrews Chapter 11, the heroes of the faith, they are all looking ahead to a better country, it says. None of them received the promises of the good life, the flourishing world that they all dream of. None of them, it says, received the promises in their lifetime. Whenever we think that a politician is going to bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, we’ve lost our focus. Of course, we can celebrate leaders that amplify truth, beauty and justice in their leadership. We can always celebrate that. But always with a measuredness, because we ought not put our hope in princes and chariots, but in the name of the Lord our God. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Relevant Resources Follow Scott Sauls on Twitter, Instagram or at ScottSauls.com. Read his latest book, “A Gentle Answer: Our Secret Weapon in an Age of Us Against Them.” Check out “A Call to Civic Responsibility for the Health of the Nation” and add your name. Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Christian Community Credit Union. The post Scott Sauls | Post-Election Guidance for Christians appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
29 minutes | 7 months ago
Amy Black | Civics for Christians
What role should Christians play in politics? What are our civic responsibilities? And, how do we glorify God as we engage in policy conversations? Amy Black, professor of political science at Wheaton College, joins Today’s Conversation podcast to answer these questions and more. In this overview of civics for Christians, you’ll hear NAE President Walter Kim and Amy discuss: How we can apply Scripture to our current political experience; What principles should guide Christians when voting; Whether Christians should join political parties; and What the difference is between “politics” and “policy.” Read a Portion of the Transcript Walter:Churches are also struggling to remain nonpartisan, recognizing that they are undoubtedly composed of viewpoints that are varied and that they want to maintain a witness to the world that would welcome anyone through their doors. So even if churches seek to be nonpartisan, what about the individual believer? Should the individual believer join a political party — seek to influence a political party with an agenda from the inside? Read more Amy: It’s really important. Should believers join parties? Absolutely. I want to see individual believers active in political parties. I want them to be salt and light. If we think about it, one of the best ways to influence the direction of political parties and of elected officials, is working from within those parties — raising questions, sharing ideas, offering critiques when needed. This can happen obviously at the grassroots level when people are working on campaigns or they’re part of a county party organization. It can also happen all the way up at the leadership level, helping direct priorities and policy choices. I want to see Christians involved in both parties at all those levels. As a professor at a Christian college I am delighted when I see my former students working for both Democrats and Republicans. I see them working on campaigns, on the Hill, on the executive branch, they can be bringing a distinctive Christian voice to both major political parties and trying to make a difference, and that to me is just a perfect part of our Christian mission. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Next Steps Check out “For the Health of the Nation”, a discipleship resource on civic responsibility that has also served as NAE’s policy guide since 2004. Read Amy Black’s cover article “Evangelicals & Politics: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Headed.” Books by Amy Black: Honoring God in Red or Blue: Approaching Politics with Humility, Grace, and Reason Beyond Left and Right: Helping Christians Make Sense of American Politics Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Christian Community Credit Union. The post Amy Black | Civics for Christians appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
33 minutes | 8 months ago
Walter Kim | Theology of Race
When facing challenging issues, evangelicals like to start with the Bible. In this podcast, we revisit a conversation from 2016 between then NAE President Leith Anderson and now current NAE President Walter Kim. The topic is as timely now as it was then: Theology of Race. In this podcast, you’ll hear Leith and Walter discuss:: What — if anything — the Bible says about race; How the Tower of Babel and Pentecost relate to diversity; The racial situation among first century Christians; and How Christians today ought to respond to racism and racialization. Read a Portion of the Transcript Leith: Events of the last couple of years in Ferguson, Baltimore, South Carolina, and other places in our country have exposed long-standing injustices and misunderstandings between those in black and white communities and have brought the issue of race to the forefront of many discussions. As evangelicals we want to start with the Bible. What does the Bible have to say about race? That’s the focus of our conversation today, so thanks for joining us, Walter. First, let’s just get right to a basic question — making sure we’re on the same page. What are we talking about when we use the word “race”? What does that mean? Read more Walter: Well, it depends who you ask. If you ask a biologist or sociologist, they would give different answers, but I think functionally when most people consider the issue of race, they associate it with perceptions of physical or genetic characteristics. Characteristics like skin color or facial features, black or white skin tone, Latino or Asian facial features. And it’s this particular access and definition of race that is probably most present on the consciousness of people as they raise this issue to address. Leith: And I’m assuming that most people notice. I’m sensing that in some cultures this is a bigger deal than it is in others. I had sort of an embarrassing moment recently. I was at a conference with an African American friend, and the topic was race. And a few months later, we were talking about one of the speakers there. And the race of the speaker came up, and I said the person was Caucasian. My friend said the speaker was African American. I looked it up, and I was wrong and he was right. So is our culture more or less addressing and sensitive to this than others in history and around the world? Walter: I think this really gets at the issue of categorization. As humans we have a finite ability to organize all the information that comes through our senses, and so of course we’re going to try to come up with ways of categorizing the information. And when it comes to people, one of the ways we attempt to categorize is by the features that we see with our eyes and associate with a certain set of meanings — a person’s origin or value or so-forth. This really isn’t a problem just for North Americans; this is really a function of being human —the need to categorize. The real question is: Are the categories that we use appropriate, or can they be misused? And this is where we in America have gotten ourselves into a very complex and challenging situation. Leith: Let’s tie that back to the Bible. Does the word “race” even appear in the Bible? Walter: Yeah, that’s an interesting question. The Bible is completely comfortable with this notion of categorization. In fact if you go to the Old Testament in Genesis Chapter 10, categories are in fact used to divide humans. And so you have these table of nations. So you read about the sons of Japheth. “And from these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each within its own language.” The categories that exist — at least in this passage — are territories (geographical categories), nation (political category), clan (familial category), language (linguistic category). But what we notice is that there is no racial category — at least racial in the terms that we use today. Even in the New Testament, this also exists — when we look at the new heavens and the new earth, this redeemed existence of humanity. If there’s ever occasion to obliterate categories, you would think heaven would be that occasion. That we’re all fully sanctified. We’re all made in the image of Christ. But even in that setting, there is categorization. And so we read in Revelation Chapter 5: “And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals because you were slain and with your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on earth.’” You see there in Revelation 5, the same kinds of categories in Genesis 10 – geographical, political, familial, linguistic. But there again, you also see there are no racial categories. Again, at least in terms of how we understand race. So the Bible definitely has human categorization, but it uses categories that are not quite the categories that we use in North America. Leith: And yet you mention Japheth and you mention Genesis 10, and that very chapter became the basis for an interpretation of the Bible by slave owners when they would talk about Ham and claim that to be a biblical justification for race-based slavery. So the Bible has been used in this matter some different ways. Walter: That’s right. And it’s unfortunate, but it is the reality, once again, of our human existence that we often take our own perceptions and the grids of our values — our assumptions, our presuppositions — both ones that are good and generous, but also ones that are tainted deeply by sin. And we read God’s word through these lenses. Again, lenses that in part are filled with grace and charity, but also lenses that are tainted in such a fashion that we are predisposed to find in Scripture affirmation of our own prejudice. This is why we need a diverse community to provide a sort of check and balance system in how we approach Scripture. Leith: Just to be clear — you are the specialist in the Old Testament, especially Old Testament languages — what these slave owners did was — as I understand it — totally unjustified, and this is simply something that was not in the Bible that they read back in about Ham, is that correct? Walter: That is correct. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Next Steps Watch “Message from NAE Leaders on Racial Justice and Equality.” Read an excerpt from our public policy guide on racial justice and reconciliation. Listen to other relevant NAE podcasts: Nicole Martin | Equipping Churches in Trauma Healing John Jenkins | Learning from the Black Church Michael Carrion | How COVID-19 Is Impacting Communities of Color Claude Alexander | What White Christians Need to Know About Black Churches Check out more NAE resources on racial justice: NAE.net/racialjustice. Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Christian Community Credit Union. The post Walter Kim | Theology of Race appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
42 minutes | 9 months ago
Nicole Martin | Equipping Churches in Trauma Healing
This is a difficult time for our country and world. Many — some who may not even know it — are experiencing trauma. Nicole Martin assesses our current context as an opportunity for the Church to be the place of healing our world so desperately needs. She shares how the Trauma Healing Institute has been equipping pastors and laypeople to facilitate Trauma Healing groups and to experience God’s healing power in their lives and the lives of others. NAE President Walter Kim hosts Today’s Conversation, where you’ll hear Nicole explain: How she has seen Bible engagement lead to healing; Why Christian leaders need to come to terms with their own trauma; What steps the Trauma Healing Institute pursues in the healing process; and How a better understanding of trauma helps us in the challenging issues of race. Read a Portion of the Transcript Walter:We’re in a season where emotions are running high with COVID, racial unrest, economic distress. Do you think we’re about to see a collective mental health breakdown? Are people going to be okay coming out of this? Read more Nicole: People will be ok. I think there is a certain humanistic resilience that we have seen across numerous global and national incidences. Whether that is looking at the trauma of warfare across the world, whether that’s looking at the yellow fever in the United States centuries ago, or whether that’s even looking at individuals and families and communities that have made it through traumatic events. The strength of human nature says, “Yes, we will make it through.” The question is: How will we be on the other side of this? Will we be more in tune to God and to the lives of other, or less in tuned? What I’ve observed even in my own experience is that trauma and crisis can sometimes cause us to go inward. We used to call it when a college student wouldn’t show up to class because something ridiculous had happened — they’d lost homework or didn’t study or whatever — we would call that “turtling.” It’s like when the turtle pokes its head in its shell. Sometimes trauma and crisis can cause people to turtle. To turn in on themselves, to poke their head back in the shell, and to ignore the things happening around. It’s a protective mode. But for the believer in Christ, the question should be: When trauma happens, will we turtle and turn in, or will we reach out and will we become the place of healing for the world? Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Next Steps Learn about the Trauma Healing Institute. Attend a Trauma Healing training session. Listen to other relevant NAE podcasts: Michael Carrion | How COVID Is Impacting Communities of Color Amy Simpson | Mental Illness, Suicide and the Church Read the Fall 2020 Evangelicals Magazine | Today’s Crisis Has Multiplied & Exposed Trauma: How Will the Church Respond? Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Christian Community Credit Union. The post Nicole Martin | Equipping Churches in Trauma Healing appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
37 minutes | 2 years ago
The Real Story of Church and State
There is a lot of conventional wisdom about the origins of religious freedom in the United States that isn’t true, says church-state expert Carl Esbeck in Today’s Conversation podcast with NAE President Leith Anderson. Knowing the real history helps us better understand our current context and future challenges. Based out of the University of Missouri, Carl has published widely in the area of religious liberty and church-state relations. He has also served as NAE legal counsel since 2002. In this podcast, you’ll learn: How different states handled the relationship between church and state in early America; Who were the “religious dissenters” that played a prominent role in shaping today’s church-state framework; Why the U.S. structure is so unique; and How early American church-state history applies to our current context. Read a Portion of the Transcript Leith: Is the United States the first to do this [disestablishment of religion]? Many European countries still have established churches. Has any country ever had the level of religious freedom that the United States was embarking on in its early century? Read more Carl: America is unique. In fact, disestablishment of religion is America’s only contribution to political philosophy. America was the first to try items of political philosophy, but they had their origin in Europe like separation of powers. Disestablishment of religion is unique to America. It was thought up here and first practiced here. With just cause, we can say that Americans’ strength in religion — even to this day, even though we’re a modern, industrial nation — is because we disestablished. After we disestablished here in the states, religion exploded and became very strong whereas in Europe, where they continued with established churches, indeed, establishment was bad for religion and religion declined. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Relevant Links/Resources “Disestablishment and Religious Dissent: Church-State Relations in the New American States, 1776–1833” — book edited by Carl H. Esbeck and Jonathan J. Den Hartog “Thoughtful, Knowledgeable Voices: Amicus Briefs Speak Into Court Cases” — Evangelicals magazine article by Kim Colby Today’s Conversation is brought to you by National Marriage Week. The post The Real Story of Church and State appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
41 minutes | 2 years ago
Behind the Scenes of The Salvation Army
Many people think they know The Salvation Army. They’ve seen the red kettles and been to the thrift stores. But those are just a few pieces that speak to the reach of this international, social services and church-based organization. Commissioner David Hudson joins Today’s Conversation with Leith Anderson to explain: What most people don’t understand about The Salvation Army; How an organization that was started in the 1800s has adapted and remained relevant today; What the Army has learned about poverty through its enhanced case management program; and How the organization functions as a Christian denomination while operating significant social services. Read a Portion of the Transcript Leith: The Salvation Army has maintained a strong evangelical, biblical commitment and a strong commitment to the poor and social justice since the 1800s. During that time period, there was a reaction among many who are committed Christians to the social gospel. A lot of them said, “You shouldn’t be doing this. Just do the message and not address the poor and social justice issues.” Has that been a challenge for the Army to face some of those criticisms and disagreements and differences on this? Read more David: Yeah, it certainly has. First of all, I articulated our mission earlier, and so I simply say our mission demands that we respond. When I look to our true founder — William Booth got us going and everything, and God used him — but I say our true founder is Jesus himself. When Jesus was walking the earth, time and time again he met human need when he saw suffering. He went and he met that [need], and he showed care and compassion. The one thing that I marvel at Jesus is that he never asked for pre-qualifiers before he healed or he served. He saw a need and he went. I think Jesus being the role model of what we do, we have to respond to these needs. You know people say, “Miracles are in the past. We don’t see the miracles like we used to.” But you know what? When I go down to some of our centers, and I hear the life stories of people and I see the transformation in people’s lives, I say this is where we have to be. Our mission absolutely demands it. Share the Love If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show. Relevant Links/Resources The Salvation Army USA Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Belhaven University. The post Behind the Scenes of The Salvation Army appeared first on National Association of Evangelicals.
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