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November 13, 2019
As is now well known, millions of evangelical Christians supported Donald Trump and helped lead him to victory on November 8, 2016 in his stunning upset over Hillary Clinton. Besides Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell, Jr., among the better known evangelicals who have support Mr. Trump are James Robison, host of the TV program Life Today, David Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, a Southern Baptist megachurch in El Cajon, California, Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist, Dallas, Texas, and Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist in Prestonwood, Texas. Until recently, there hasn’t been as much focus on Trump’s more charismatic and prosperity gospel supporters. In fact, many in these circles were convinced to vote for Trump in 2016 because prophets in the movements believed Trump was destined by God to become president as early as 2015. Two lesser-known charismatics who have been on Trump’s Evangelical council are Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor, Free Chapel Worship Center, Gainesville, Georgia, and Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church, a multi-site megachurch of some 36,000 attenders based in Southlake, Texas, near Fort Worth. Two prominent supporters, both associated strongly with the prosperity gospel, are Kenneth Copeland and Paula White, both of whom have also been a part of the President’s council. White has had a particularly close pastoral relationship with President Trump, starting years before he took office. And recently, she’s been appointed by Trump to the Office of Public Liaison, which is responsible for communicating and interacting with various interest groups. On this edition of Quick to Listen, we want to delve more deeply into Trump’s charismatic and properity gospel supporters, and especially Paula White, to better understand the social and political passions and concerns of this religious movement. Our guest is James A. Beverley, research professor of Christian thought and ethics at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Canada. He is also Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Texas. He has been a contributor Christianity Today, Faith Today, and Charisma magazines. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Nelson’s Illustrated Guide to Religion and Religions A to Z, and most recently, Donald Trump, God, and Christian Prophecy: A Guide to the Prophets and Prophecies in the Charismatic-Pentecostal World concerning the 45th President. This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Intensional. D.A. Horton unpacks how God addresses these issues and where to take it from there in his new book Intensional. Go to dahorton.com to learn more about Intensional. This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Christianbook.com, your go-to source for everything Christian. Books, Bibles, gifts, music and more, all in one place. And always from people who share your values. Go to Christianbook.com. This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Meant for More, a nationwide movement of students sharing the gospel at public school in March 2020. To learn more about how you can help equip students to reach their schools for Christ, visit Meantformore.org.  What is “Quick to Listen”? Read more Subscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our host on Twitter: Morgan Lee Subscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli Report Follow our guest on Twitter: Emily Belz Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder
November 6, 2019
Non-disclosure agreements (NDA) started in the tech world as a way to protect trade secrets. But they haven’t stayed there.A recent World Magazine story noted: "This practice from corporate America is now common among religious nonprofits. Done right, confidentiality agreements help institutions protect members’ privacy and can fend off ruinous litigation. But NDAs can also mask institutional disease and leader misconduct. And even when an institution doesn’t enforce its NDA, the widespread institutional fear of liability can lead to unintended, devastating outcomes." In her reporting, World Magazine’s Emily Belz examined a number of Christian ministry NDAs and spoke with former employees who had signed them. She joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli this week on Quick to Listen to discuss why this practice has become so common among Christian ministries, who it serves, and who it hurts. This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Intensional. D.A. Horton unpacks how God addresses these issues and where to take it from there in his new book Intensional. Go to dahorton.com to learn more about Intensional. This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Christianbook.com, your go-to source for everything Christian. Books, Bibles, gifts, music and more, all in one place. And always from people who share your values. Go to Christianbook.com. What is “Quick to Listen”? Read more Subscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our host on Twitter: Morgan Lee Subscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli Report Follow our guest on Twitter: Emily Belz Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder
October 30, 2019
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Rapper Kanye West is one of the biggest pop culture personalities of our time. His critically-acclaimed and chart-topping music, premium fashion line, controversial public persona, blunt political opinions and his marriage to Kim Kardashian West keep the Chicago hip-hop artist consistently in the news. Last week, West finally released his much-teased and highly anticipated album “Jesus Is King.” In much the same fashion as anything West does, the reaction to an album full of gospel music and theological lyrics has been enormous and polarizing. Some Christians see Kanye's life as just the highs and lows of an extreme and public display of what it looks like to walk with God over the course of a life. Others may see his conversion as more of a linear event that culminated sometime in the past year, which included this album and also the beginning of his hosting pop-up Christian services around the country. How you understand Kanye’s conversion probably depends on the spiritual tradition someone comes from says Femi Olutade, one of the hosts for the hit music podcast, Dissect. “If you come from more of a classical evangelical background, there's a lot of focus that's on kind of conversion stories and this kind of momentary ‘born again,’ born from above kind of experience, where everything changes,” said Olutade. “You have this overwhelming sense of emotion or thought that is just radically different before and after.”But not all Christians have the same understanding of conversion. "I would say that in the largest span of understanding Christian faith and life, [conversion] is one moment over a much larger period of what it means to follow God,” said Olutade. “...And I think it's something that's a constant struggle, that takes constant repentance, constant forgiveness, constant tears, and constant working through.” Olutade joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and Wes Jakacki to discuss Kanye’s long relationship with Christianity and what is and isn’t different in 2019. This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Christianbook.com. Over five hundred thousand Christian products to choose from, all in one place, and always from people who share your values. Christianbook.com. This episode is also brought to you by the Wheaton College Graduate School. Respected and represented the world over, the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Wheaton College Graduate School will inspire, challenge, and equip you to be a servant scholar for Christ and His Kingdom. Learn more at wheaton.edu/QTL What is “Quick to Listen”? Read more Subscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Wes Jakacki Subscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli Report Find our guest, Femi Olutade on Twitter, on his podcast, Dissect, and on Medium. Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder
October 23, 2019
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Last week, John MacArthur celebrated 50 years in the pastorate at a conference at his congregation Grace Community Church. During the event, MacArthur accused the Southern Baptist Convention of taking a “headlong plunge” toward allowing women preachers after women spoke at the SBC’s 2019 annual meeting. That, he said, was a sign the denomination no longer believed in biblical authority.“When you literally overturn the teaching of Scripture to empower people who want power, you have given up biblical authority,” said MacArthur, as a Religious News Service story reported. A moderator also asked MacArthur and his fellow panelists to offer their gut reactions to one- or two-word phrases. When the moderator said “Beth Moore,” MacArthur replied, “Go home.” MacArthur has never shied away from controversy. Last year, he helped organize a controversial statement responding to social justice. He has frequently spoken out against the modern Charismatic movement. Part of the impetus behind MacArthur’s tendency to speak out comes from how he understands his belief in a high authority of Scripture, says Jonathan Holmes, a pastor and counselor who graduated from the Master’s College and worked there for several years. “There are a lot of things many evangelicals would say are non-essentials, for instance, a woman's role in the church, or drinking, or dancing, or creation or the end times,” said Holmes. “But those all become major touchpoints for MacArthur because his view of Scripture is such that if you budge on the grammatical, literal interpretation of the Bible in any of these areas, the whole thing begins to fall apart.” Holmes joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss whether MacArthur is a fundamentalist or evangelical, whether he has ever changed his mind with regards to his own theological convictions, and what to make of a Master’s Seminary grad preaching at one of Kanye West’s Sunday Services. Today's episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, where Kingdom-minded women and men are equipped to follow their callings. By learning to think theologically, developing ministry skills, cultivating a community of support, and engaging in spiritual formation, Truett students are uniquely prepared to make an impact in the Church and the world. Learn more at baylor.edu/truett. This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Christianbook.com. With over 500,000 products to choose from, Christianbook.com brings everything Christian right to your fingertips. Go to Christianbook.com. This episode is also brought to you by the Wheaton College Graduate School. Respected and represented the world over, the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at the Wheaton College Graduate School will inspire, challenge, and equip you to be a servant scholar for Christ and His Kingdom. Learn more at wheaton.edu/QTL.
October 16, 2019
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Last week President Trump abruptly announced that American soldiers would be leaving Kurdish-controlled territory in Syria. The news shocked the US military. It was also an unwelcome surprise to Kurdish fighters, whom the US had backed in the fight against ISIS. The announcement was good news for Syria's neighbor Turkey who have long fought the Kurdish guerrilla group known as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK has waged a decades-long insurgency inside Turkey and both Turkey and the US consider it a terrorist organization. Shortly after Trump’s announcement, Turkish troops began a military assault on the Kurdish-controlled parts of Syria. Many of the Christians that live in that area have fled to Armenia, says Charlie Costa, who pastors a congregation in Beirut and actively plants churches in the Middle East. “But of course, that empties the area of any Christian witness, at least theoretically or on a human level,” said Costa. “It leaves the place without a witness for Christ. Even those who support the President were disappointed with that because the view in the Middle East is always that America protects Christians.” Costa joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to learn why Kurds are coming to Christ, the community’s long history of persecution, and how Middle Eastern Christians view American Christians.  This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image, a newly updated and combined book by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, from InterVarsity Press. For 40% off and free US shipping on this book and any other IVP title, visit ivpress.com and use promo code POD19. This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, which offers a practical, student-centered approach to seminary. Wesley Seminary’s model connects applicable coursework with active ministry. For more information, visit http://seminary.indwes.edu.
October 9, 2019
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries.Right now, the Roman Catholic Church leaders are in the midst of a three-week-long meeting discussing the future of their ministry in the Amazon. Among the issues the synod is investigating: how church leaders should respond to chronic priest shortages, the role of women in official church leadership, and environmental degradation.Under the previous popes, John Paul II and Benedict the XVI, synods—or meetings convening all of the top brass of the Catholic church—were largely symbolic, says Christopher White, the national correspondent for the Catholic publication Crux. Not so with Pope Francis.“His two synods on the family wrestled with, among other issues, communion. And in the end, after two synods and two years of deliberation, Pope Francis issued a document that allowed for a cautious opening to communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, which did move forward the Church's pastoral teaching on that particular issue,” said White.White suggested that the Amazon synod may conclude similarly.“Among the many issues that they're going to be discussing in Rome over the next three weeks is perhaps relaxing the celibacy requirement for priests because there is such a shortage of priests in the particular region of the Amazon. And they're grappling with what to do about it,” he said.White joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the real or symbolic importance of synods, what makes the Amazon region particularly vexing to the Church, and why Protestants should stay abreast of an important Catholic meeting.Today's episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, where Kingdom-minded women and men are equipped to follow their callings. By learning to think theologically, developing ministry skills, cultivating a community of support, and engaging in spiritual formation, Truett students are uniquely prepared to make an impact in the Church and the world. Learn more at baylor.edu/truett.This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, a ministry-focused insurance and payroll provider serving Christian churches, schools, and related ministries. For more information, visit BrotherhoodMutual.com.This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by the MA in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership program at Wheaton College Graduate School, preparing leaders to serve the most vulnerable and the Church globally. For more information, go to wheaton.edu/HDL.What is “Quick to Listen”? Read moreSubscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple PodcastsFollow the podcast on TwitterFollow our host on Twitter: Morgan LeeSubscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli ReportFollow our guest on Twitter: Christopher WhiteMusic by SweepsQuick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder
October 2, 2019
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries.Last month, the hip-hop artist Lecrae got baptized for a second time in the Jordan River. Afterwards, he posted a picture of the event on Instagram. From CT’s reporting: The Grammy winner responded to one follower who suggested that since Lecrae already has new life in Christ, the Jordan baptism was just a “weird bath in a very significant place.”“1. It’s Mikvah,” Lecrae replied, referencing the Jewish ritual bath that predates Christian baptism and also represented new life. “2. Jesus was God already and still was baptized. 3. Celebrate the heart vs. criticizing the information.”But despite Lecrae’s response, many on social media made it clear that they were still theologically uncomfortable with the hip-hop artist’s decision.  Baptism has long been a divisive sacrament in church history. The argument over Lecrae’s Jordan River baptism stem from a debate over the action really means, says Matthew Knell, who teaches historical theology and church history at the London School of Theology. “[Today], we talk about 'I'm going to get baptized. I want to get baptized,' said Knell. “But the church would say that baptism is something that happens to you, rather than you being the initiator.”In other words, “It's not my initiative, it's the divine work in me that's happening in baptism.”Knell joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why disagreements over baptism have led Christians to persecute other Christians and how the church has sought unity even in their disagreements over the sacrament.WWhat is “Quick to Listen”? Read moreFollow the podcast on TwitterFollow our host on Twitter: Morgan LeeSubscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli ReportLearn more about guest Matthew KnellMusic by SweepsQuick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt LinderThis episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image, a newly updated and combined book by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, from InterVarsity Press. For 40% off and free US shipping on this book and any other IVP title, visit ivpress.com and use promo code POD19.This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Kinship United, a non-profit organization working with every day superheroes like you to rescue orphans and widows from abuse, trafficking, or worse, for the past nineteen years. To learn more about how you can save a life, visit KinshipUnited.org.
September 25, 2019
Most Friday nights during the school year, a group of Wheaton College students takes the train into downtown Chicago together. Their purpose? To share the gospel with the people they meet that night in the city.Last year, Wheaton’s Chicago Evangelism Team traveled to Millenium Park, home to one of the city’s most popular attractions: the Bean. When students began to approach people with pamphlets, a park employee told students they were forbidden from doing so. Similarly, when one student began preaching, they were told that they were breaking a Chicago ordinance. Read The Chicago Tribune’s report.This account comes from the lawsuit four students filed against the city of Chicago last week, alleging that the city’s park rules improperly restricted their freedom of speech. The rules divided up the park into 11 sections and banned the public from “the making of speeches and passing out of written communications” in all but one of the sections. That section was not the Bean, which was where the students specifically wanted to evangelize. The public’s strong reaction against evangelism comes as more and more companies are aggressively trying to sell you on their brands and products, says R. York Moore, the national evangelist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA. “Now, as we see, people tend to associate proselytization with big tech companies or someone trying to sell you a credit card,” he said. “...It’s no longer unique.”Moore joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why evangelism can make us feel uncomfortable, what bad evangelism looks like, and what makes public proclamation of one’s faith beautiful and unique. This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image, a newly updated and combined book by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, from InterVarsity Press. For 40% off and free US shipping on this book and any other IVP title, visit ivpress.com and use promo code POD19.
September 18, 2019
Though one can argue that evangelical religion has been in crisis from the beginning, starting in November 2016 and the election of Donald Trump, it exploded afresh. Not only did the nation wake up to discover a chasm dividing in the country, so did evangelicals--especially when it became clear that white evangelicals voted for and then supported the new president, depending on the poll, in the range of 75 to 81 percent. The evangelical left was shocked and horrified by this, and the evangelical right was mystified by their outrage. Many Black, Asian, and Hispanic evangelicals—if they still identified with the term at all--looked at white evangelicals left and right and just shook their heads, wondering if either side really got it. We now have a cacophony of voices shouting at one another, and much of the shouting is about two questions:  “So, what is an evangelical Christian anyway?”  And more to the point, “Does it even matter?”To help explore those questions, we invited Thomas Kidd, the Vardaman Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University, to speak with us. He is the author of many important history books, including The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America ; George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father and most recently, Who Is an Evangelical? A History of a Movement in Crisis. What is “Quick to Listen”? Read moreSubscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple PodcastsFollow the podcast on TwitterFollow our host on Twitter: Morgan LeeFollow our guest host: Kyle RohaneSubscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli ReportFollow our guest on Twitter: Thomas S. KiddSee our guest's books: Books by Thomas Kidd Today's episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, where Kingdom-minded women and men are equipped to follow their callings. By learning to think theologically, developing ministry skills, cultivating a community of support, and engaging in spiritual formation, Truett students are uniquely prepared to make an impact in the Church and the world. Learn more at baylor.edu/truett.This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Focus on the Family’s Bring Your Bible to School Day powered by students nationwide October 3rd. When you sign up to participate, you’ll also be entered to win a trip to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.
September 11, 2019
Benny Hinn made an announcement last week.“I am correcting my own theology and you need to all know it. The blessings of God are not for sale. And miracles are not for sale. And prosperity is not for sale,” he said during his weekly TV broadcast.His comments made waves. Hinn is one of the biggest names of a movement known broadly as the prosperity gospel. (His nephew wrote for CT about rejecting its theology.) Those seen as part of the movement—be they Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, or Paula White—are often attacked for their health and wealth teachings.But determining the limits of the movement—especially when it exists around the world—isn’t easy, says Candy Gunther Brown, a professor of religious studies at Indiana University.“Anytime you use a phrase like ‘prosperity gospel’ whether it’s in a North American context or whether it’s the Global South, it’s necessary to be very conscious to not paint things in too broad of strokes,” said Brown. “You need to be careful to respect the variety in the Global South and not idealize any more than you paint under the same brush of criticism. There’s variety in teachings, whether you’re talking about Nigeria or Brazil or South Korea.”Brown joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how much influence prosperity gospel preachers actually have, what President Trump thinks about the prosperity gospel, and where the millennial leaders are in this movement.What is “Quick to Listen”? Read moreSubscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple PodcastsFollow the podcast on TwitterFollow our host on Twitter: Morgan LeeSubscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli ReportFollow our guest on Twitter: Candy Gunther BrownMusic by SweepsQuick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt LinderThis episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image, a newly updated and combined book by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, from InterVarsity Press. For 40% off and free US shipping on this book and any other IVP title, visit ivpress.com and use promo code POD19.This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Focus on the Family’s Bring Your Bible to School Day powered by students nationwide October 3rd. When you sign up to participate, you’ll also be entered to win a trip to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.
September 5, 2019
Last month, the New York Times Magazine devoted an entire publication to remembering the 400th anniversary of American slavery. In the introduction to the project, it wrote,The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.But the transatlantic slave trade goes back to the 15th century, when Portuguese merchants began trading North African people as slaves. The industry’s growth happened alongside massive changes in the church, including the Reformation in 1517 and subsequent church fighting and division between Catholics and Protestants. To understand the church’s beliefs about slavery at the time, you have to go back to the Patristic period, says Michael A. G. Haykin, a professor of church history and biblical spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Augustine and Aquinas argued that while slavery was not part of God’s first intention, it was a result of the fall—a conclusion embraced by the church for years.“The only clear abolitionist in the patristic period is Gregory of Nyssa who argues that slavery violates the image of God in man, to hold another individual as a possession is a violation of his human dignity and value in the sight of God,” said Haykin.Haykin joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the genesis of the church’s views on slavery, how the missions movement affected the slave trade, and the role of the Quakers in pricking the Protestant conscience on this atrocity. What is “Quick to Listen”? Read moreSubscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple PodcastsFollow the podcast on TwitterFollow our host on Twitter: Morgan LeeSubscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli ReportVisit Michael Haykin’s blogMusic by SweepsQuick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt LinderToday's episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, where Kingdom-minded women and men are equipped to follow their callings. By learning to think theologically, developing ministry skills, cultivating a community of support, and engaging in spiritual formation, Truett students are uniquely prepared to make an impact in the Church and the world. Learn more at baylor.edu/truett.This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Things Above Podcast: Heavenly Thinking for Earthly Engagement. This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, a ministry-focused insurance and payroll provider serving Christian churches, schools, and related ministries. For more information, visit BrotherhoodMutual.com.
August 28, 2019
The Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) has changed its position on end times doctrine. The denomination recently voted to drop the word “premillennial” from its statement of faith.So what prompted the change?“We say that we ‘major on the majors and minor on the minors,” the EFCA said in an internal document. The denomination noted that they did not take a stance on the Reformed v. Arminian view of conversion, the age of the earth, infant v. adult baptism, and whether the gifts of the spirit had ceased or were still active.In light of that, “we believe there is a significant inconsistency in continuing to include premillennialism as a required theological position when it is clear that the nature of the millennium is one of those doctrines over which theologians, equally knowledgeable, equally committed to the Bible, and equally Evangelical, have disagreed through the history of the church,” the document stated.The church has held multiple positions on the End Times held by the Early Church fathers, says Daniel Hummel, a historian of US religion and foreign relations.“But in more recent evangelical history, postmillennialism dominated in the early part of American history and colonial history,” said Hummel. “People like Jonathan Edwards saw revivals as inaugurating the millennium, as bringing in this deeply Christian era that would last a thousand years and then conclude with Jesus personally returning.”Then, after the carnage of the Civil War, Americans became more pessimistic, which, in turn, affected their eschatological views.“Premillennialism become sort of the main tradition and the air that a lot of evangelicals breathe throughout the 20th century,” said Hummel.Hummel joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the rise and fall of premillennialism, the influence of Left Behind, and the significance of the EFCA’s decision.What is “Quick to Listen”? Read moreFollow the podcast on TwitterFollow our host on Twitter: Morgan LeeSubscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli ReportVisit Daniel Hummel’s websiteMusic by SweepsQuick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt LindorThis episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image, a newly updated and combined book by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, from InterVarsity Press. For 40% off and free US shipping on this book and any other IVP title, visit ivpress.com and use promo code POD19.
August 23, 2019
"It’s certainly not linear. Grief is not like that. Grief is all over the map, that’s part of the difficulty of it. You can feel like you’ve gotten through a lot of it, and then feel like you’re back at the beginning again." - Diane Langberg, author of Suffering and the Heart of GodAll six episodes release Monday, August 26th. Subscribe now at Living and Effective.com. 
August 21, 2019
Last month, Snopes fact-checked an article from the satire site The Babylon Bee. On its website, Snopes explained its rationale:The Babylon Bee has managed to confuse readers with its brand of satire in the past. This particular story was especially puzzling for some readers, however, as it closely mirrored the events of a genuine news story, with the big exception of the website’s changing the location. We found dozens of instances of social media users who were puzzled by this article.Meanwhile, The Bee’s CEO told Fox News that Snopes running its fact-check could end up deeming the website as “fake news” and make it harder to share its stories on social media sites.The Bee may be the first Christian satirical piece that Snopes has examined, but it’s hardly the first satirical site that organization has fact-checked. That’s partially because humorous fake news can get anyone, says Bob Darden, the former editor of the late Christian satire magazine, The Wittenburg Door.“On the cover, we had a statement that said, ‘The world's pretty much only religious humor and satire magazine,’” said Darden, explaining The Door’s method for trying to prevent people from taking its articles too seriously. “That was our tip to anyone who read The Door. When articles or things got picked up by various outlets, we always insisted that we had that little tagline.”Darden joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss what makes satire Christian, how politics changes humor, and why the best parodies make it clear that the subjects are also things the writer loves.What is “ Quick to Listen”? Read moreSubscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple PodcastsFollow the podcast on TwitterFollow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted OlsenRead Politico’s How Trump Turned Liberal Comedians ConservativeMusic by SweepsQuick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt LindorThis episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image, a newly updated and combined book by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, from InterVarsity Press. For 40% off and free US shipping on this book and any other IVP title, visit ivpress.com and use promo code POD19.
August 14, 2019
Two weeks ago, the Assemblies of God General Council elected a woman to its executive leadership. After more than 100 years in existence, Ohio minister Donna Barrett now holds the role of Assemblies of God general secretary, the third-highest position in the denomination.In May, the Foursquare Church’s Tammy Dunahoo ran unsuccessfully for the denomination’s presidency. If Dunahoo would have been elected, she would have been the first female president since the denomination’s founder, Aimee Semple McPherson.Though women have largely been absent from denominational leadership structures, that women have been allowed to preach from the beginning of the movement makes them unique among Protestant traditions.Historically, Pentecostals “didn’t prefer the traditional method of leadership identification,” said Leah Payne, the author of Gender and Pentecostal Revivalism: Making a Female Ministry in the Early Twentieth Century. “They did, in fact, reject things like seminary.”People preferred calling because it existed outside of these types of structures and institutions.“Plus you could be five years old and receive a calling,” said Payne.Payne joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why women have struggled to advance past the pastorate, the unique ways Pentecostals understand church leadership, and why many Pentecostal churches have pastor couples that lead churches together.What is “ Quick to Listen”? Read moreSubscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple PodcastsFollow the podcast on TwitterFollow our host on Twitter: Morgan LeeRead Aimee Semple McPherson’s "Is Jesus Christ the Great I Am? Or Is He the Great I Was?" sermonListen to Weird ReligionSubscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli ReportMusic by SweepsQuick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt LindorThis episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image, a newly updated and combined book by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, from InterVarsity Press. For 40% off and free US shipping on this book and any other IVP title, visit ivpress.com and use promo code POD19.This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Focus on the Family’s " Bring Your Bible to School Day" powered by students nationwide October 3. When you sign up to participate, you’ll also be entered to win a trip to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.
August 7, 2019
Last week, three more high-profile mass shootings rocked the US, once again sparking intense debate about gun control, white supremacy, and the president’s role in inspiring the shootings. In the wake of these attacks, the media also profiled the alleged gunmen, who were dubbed “loners” by those who knew them. They were also all young—the three alleged gunmen’s ages fell between 19 and 24. An LA Times op-ed by researchers who have analyzed data about the profile of mass shooters since 1966 also noted that nearly all of them were traumatized as children. The American church’s youth ministry model hasn’t done a good job of reaching this demographic, largely because of the middle-class’s desire for safety, said Andrew Root, the author of multiple books on youth ministry and a professor of youth and family ministry at Lutheran Seminary.“So all of a sudden, a loner kid comes, who either is bullying or has been bullied, and then comes in and is just a negative presence,” he said. “It can lead young people to say they don't feel safe and lead parents to be very clear to the youth worker that they don't want that kid around because he/she feels unsafe. I think it becomes really difficult that American youth ministry as it classically has been a middle-class phenomenon and that tends to push these young people out. Or not even out, but they just disappear.”Root joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the complexities of welcoming disaffected young people into church, why lack of interpersonal relationships especially hurts young people, and what Bonhoeffer has to offer our current conversation on youth ministry.Note: the date that marked the beginning of the data set in the research published by the LA Times was incorrectly stated on the podcast. It is correct in the show notes and here: 1966.This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Things Above Podcast: Heavenly Thinking for Earthly Engagement. This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Focus on the Family’s Bring Your Bible to School Day powered by students nationwide October 3rd. When you sign up to participate, you’ll also be entered to win a trip to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.. 
July 31, 2019
Two weeks ago, Josh Harris, the author of the controversial Christian bestseller I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced that he and his wife, Shannon, were ending their marriage. Last week, Harris published another Instagram post, this time about the state of his faith:I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is “deconstruction,” the biblical phrase is “falling away.” By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now.Harris’s announcement caught editor Drew Dyck off guard.“I think my shock probably pales in comparison to the shock and even the grief that the people that sat under his ministry for over a decade would feel,” said Dyck, the author of Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Church … and how to Bring Them Back. “There's a lot of consternation when your pastor says he's ‘falling away’ from faith because it's an implicit threat to your own faith.”Dyck joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and CT Pastors editor Kyle Rohane to discuss why people are leaving the church today, why you should react differently to your friend departing the faith than your child, and how to process our emotions and reactions we learn that public figures and loved ones have left Christianity.This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Promise Keepers. The Christian men’s ministry that filled stadiums across America is, once again, calling on men to stand up and be counted. For more information, go to promisekeepers.org.Follow the podcast on TwitterFollow our host on Twitter: Morgan LeeFollow our guest on Twitter: Drew DyckMusic by SweepsQuick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder
July 31, 2019
Two weeks ago, Josh Harris, the author of the controversial Christian bestseller I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced that he and his wife, Shannon, were ending their marriage. Last week, Harris published another Instagram post, this time about the state of his faith:I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is “deconstruction,” the biblical phrase is “falling away.” By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now.Harris’s announcement caught editor Drew Dyck off guard.“I think my shock probably pales in comparison to the shock and even the grief that the people that sat under his ministry for over a decade would feel,” said Dyck, the author of Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Church … and how to Bring Them Back. “There's a lot of consternation when your pastor says he's ‘falling away’ from faith because it's an implicit threat to your own faith.”Dyck joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and CT Pastors editor Kyle Rohane to discuss why people are leaving the church today, why you should react differently to your friend departing the faith than your child, and how to process our emotions and reactions we learn that public figures and loved ones have left Christianity. This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Promise Keepers. The Christian men’s ministry that filled stadiums across America is, once again, calling on men to stand up and be counted. For more information, go to promisekeepers.org. Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our host on Twitter: Morgan Lee Follow our guest on Twitter: Drew Dyck Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder
July 25, 2019
Last week, the US hosted its second religious freedom ministerial, an event which calls attention to the plight of those suffering persecution for their faith (or lack thereof), around the world. The same week, Politico reported that some in the Trump administration were advocating to slash the refugee program to zero next year. In light of the significant cuts to the program that the administration has already made, CT asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was organizing the ministerial, to respond to arguments that the refugee program had closed off “one of the avenues that people of minority faiths have to escape their persecution.” His response: This administration appropriately is incredibly proud of how we treat those who are at risk around the world. I think there’s no nation in history that has accepted as many refugees as the United States has, nor whom has an even broader acceptance of people coming from around the world—both to come here to study and to learn, but those who want to come here permanently as well. Our focus here at the State Department has been to do our level best to do what we believe these people actually want: to help them stay inside of their own country, to deliver them goods and services and benefits, and to help shape their government policies in ways that permit them not to have to flee the country but allow them to exist safely and securely inside of their own country. Now on staff at World Relief Dupage/Aurora, Durmomo Gary came to the United States over a decade ago. He left Sudan in the early 2000s after an attempt on his life because of his Christian faith and recently wrote about his experiences for the Daily Herald. "We landed in New York on October 31. As an American you know what day that is,” he said. “We landed in the airport and all I can see around is creepy costumes. Never read about it. Never heard about it. It freaked me out.” Gary and his wife survived the bizarre cultural experience to make their transfer to Chicago and begin the US side of the refugee resettlement process. Gary joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what happens when you find out someone’s trying to kill you, how to get a passport when people are trying to kill you, and what it’s like to be a Christian in Sudan v. America.
July 25, 2019
Last week, the US hosted its second religious freedom ministerial, an event which calls attention to the plight of those suffering persecution for their faith (or lack thereof), around the world. The same week, Politico reported that some in the Trump administration were advocating to slash the refugee program to zero next year. In light of the significant cuts to the program that the administration has already made, CT asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was organizing the ministerial, to respond to arguments that the refugee program had closed off “one of the avenues that people of minority faiths have to escape their persecution.” His response: This administration appropriately is incredibly proud of how we treat those who are at risk around the world. I think there’s no nation in history that has accepted as many refugees as the United States has, nor whom has an even broader acceptance of people coming from around the world—both to come here to study and to learn, but those who want to come here permanently as well. Our focus here at the State Department has been to do our level best to do what we believe these people actually want: to help them stay inside of their own country, to deliver them goods and services and benefits, and to help shape their government policies in ways that permit them not to have to flee the country but allow them to exist safely and securely inside of their own country. Now on staff at World Relief Dupage/Aurora, Durmomo Gary came to the United States over a decade ago. He left Sudan in the early 2000s after an attempt on his life because of his Christian faith and recently wrote about his experiences for the Daily Herald. "We landed in New York on October 31. As an American you know what day that is,” he said. “We landed in the airport and all I can see around is creepy costumes. Never read about it. Never heard about it. It freaked me out.” Gary and his wife survived the bizarre cultural experience to make their transfer to Chicago and begin the US side of the refugee resettlement process. Gary joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what happens when you find out someone’s trying to kill you, how to get a passport when people are trying to kill you, and what it’s like to be a Christian in Sudan v. America.
July 17, 2019
It claims 100,000 members. It owns and operates an evangelical television channel, two schools, the first and only private prison in Korea, and hospitals in Korea and Ethiopia. Forty years ago, Myungsung Presbyterian Church in Korea was founded by Kim Sam-whan, its now pastor emeritus. But the church is currently involved in a crisis over who will be its next pastor. Kim Sam-whan gave his senior pastor position to his son in 2017. But the Presbyterian denomination to which it belongs says that it violated part of the denomination’s constitution, which prohibits the transference of pastor or elder positions to family members. According to CT’s reporting: “Defenders argue that Kim Ha-na was elected in accordance with Myungsung’s laws, and the denomination that Kim Sam-whan once headed should not meddle in the megachurch’s affairs. Critics argue that the denomination’s flagship church is flouting the corporate laws it must heed.” Because the first wave of megachurches started in South Korea, church leaders in that country have been thinking about the proper procedures for succession for several years now, says Warren Bird, the vice president of research and equipping for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. But this issue is something that churches have been wrestling with for years. “Nepotism came from a church context, nephew-ism. It was where certain priests had certain sons and certain nephews that they wanted to position well in the responsibilities and hierarchies of the church,” he said. “Of course the question was: Did they really father the child?” Bird joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how the Bible handles succession, how it affected the church’s rules about celibacy, and when women are bequeathed the ministry.
July 17, 2019
It claims 100,000 members. It owns and operates an evangelical television channel, two schools, the first and only private prison in Korea, and hospitals in Korea and Ethiopia. Forty years ago, Myungsung Presbyterian Church in Korea was founded by Kim Sam-whan, its now pastor emeritus. But the church is currently involved in a crisis over who will be its next pastor. Kim Sam-whan gave his senior pastor position to his son in 2017. But the Presbyterian denomination to which it belongs says that it violated part of the denomination’s constitution, which prohibits the transference of pastor or elder positions to family members. According to CT’s reporting: “Defenders argue that Kim Ha-na was elected in accordance with Myungsung’s laws, and the denomination that Kim Sam-whan once headed should not meddle in the megachurch’s affairs. Critics argue that the denomination’s flagship church is flouting the corporate laws it must heed.” Because the first wave of megachurches started in South Korea, church leaders in that country have been thinking about the proper procedures for succession for several years now, says Warren Bird, the vice president of research and equipping for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. But this issue is something that churches have been wrestling with for years. “Nepotism came from a church context, nephew-ism. It was where certain priests had certain sons and certain nephews that they wanted to position well in the responsibilities and hierarchies of the church,” he said. “Of course the question was: Did they really father the child?” Bird joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how the Bible handles succession, how it affected the church’s rules about celibacy, and when women are bequeathed the ministry.
July 10, 2019
What this sometimes contentious rite looks like in global Christianity.
July 10, 2019
What this sometimes contentious rite looks like in global Christianity.
July 4, 2019
Last week, CT published a piece about the “First Century Mark Saga.” It’s a complicated, nearly decade-old situation that reveals much about the world of ancient biblical manuscripts. Many Christians may be inclined to primarily connect biblical manuscripts with apologetics or Bible translations, but the ecosystem they inhabit is far more complex, says Christian Askeland, a former Museum of the Bible employee and professor of Christian origins. “With the Gospel of Mark controversy, there's a lot of stuff going on there,” said Askeland. “There is the paleography issue—the New Testament was written in the first century, so just the basic idea that we could have a first century manuscript, that one of those would survive and we would have it. Then there’s the issue of acquiring the artifact—what museums have the right to buy this kind of ancient material culture. And then there's the scholarly issue—how do professionals, specifically Christian scholars look when they are trying to buy this manuscript.” Askeland joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli this week on Quick to Listen to discuss what’s at stake in the ‘First-Century Mark’ saga and illuminate the larger world of ancient biblical manuscripts.
July 4, 2019
Last week, CT published a piece about the “First Century Mark Saga.” It’s a complicated, nearly decade-old situation that reveals much about the world of ancient biblical manuscripts. Many Christians may be inclined to primarily connect biblical manuscripts with apologetics or Bible translations, but the ecosystem they inhabit is far more complex, says Christian Askeland, a former Museum of the Bible employee and professor of Christian origins. “With the Gospel of Mark controversy, there's a lot of stuff going on there,” said Askeland. “There is the paleography issue—the New Testament was written in the first century, so just the basic idea that we could have a first century manuscript, that one of those would survive and we would have it. Then there’s the issue of acquiring the artifact—what museums have the right to buy this kind of ancient material culture. And then there's the scholarly issue—how do professionals, specifically Christian scholars look when they are trying to buy this manuscript.” Askeland joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli this week on Quick to Listen to discuss what’s at stake in the ‘First-Century Mark’ saga and illuminate the larger world of ancient biblical manuscripts.
June 26, 2019
China is home to some of the worst religious repression in the world. But it also prints more Bibles than any country, thanks to the Nanjing-based Amity Press, which has printed almost 200 million Bibles since 1988 in partnership with the United Bible Societies. So when the Trump administration recently announced that the latest round of tariffs would include books, Christian publishers were alarmed. Last week, several leaders in the industry made their case before trade representatives to exempt Bibles from these proposed economic measures. But how did an industry that just decades ago was operating like a family business become a global one? And what makes China uniquely capable of printing millions of Bibles and other Christian books? Stan Jantz, the executive director of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how globalization transformed the Christian publishing industry, why China is such a crucial place for Christian publishing, and why he hopes his testimony can help the book industry overall.
June 26, 2019
China is home to some of the worst religious repression in the world. But it also prints more Bibles than any country, thanks to the Nanjing-based Amity Press, which has printed almost 200 million Bibles since 1988 in partnership with the United Bible Societies. So when the Trump administration recently announced that the latest round of tariffs would include books, Christian publishers were alarmed. Last week, several leaders in the industry made their case before trade representatives to exempt Bibles from these proposed economic measures. But how did an industry that just decades ago was operating like a family business become a global one? And what makes China uniquely capable of printing millions of Bibles and other Christian books? Stan Jantz, the executive director of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how globalization transformed the Christian publishing industry, why China is such a crucial place for Christian publishing, and why he hopes his testimony can help the book industry overall.
June 19, 2019
How God is working through the Windrush generation and beyond. The number of churches continues to drop in the UK. As CT reported last month, there are only 39,000 congregations left in the country, a quarter drop from 20 years ago. But despite churches increasingly closing their doors and the number of people attending church falling, this bad news isn’t across the board. For Black Majority Churches, the numbers actually look a lot healthier. These congregations began in the wake of World War II, when immigrants began arriving in the UK from the Caribbean, sparking a generation that became known as the Windrush generation, named after the boat that the inaugural group took. “They came over to help the UK,” said Chine McDonald, the media, content, and PR lead at Christian Aid. McDonald’s family came over from Nigeria several decades later, though they didn’t always face a warm welcome from the local congregations. “I remember when we would go to predominantly white churches. We would arrive on a Sunday and were told, ‘What made you choose this church as opposed to a black church that was down the road?’” said McDonald. “...These white majority churches weren’t used to see black people in their congregations, weren’t used to having black friends or black neighbors.” Nigeria is actually responsible for one of the country’s most robust denominations, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, which has more than 800 churches in the UK. McDonald joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the growth of African and West Indian Christianity and how it is changing the UK.
June 19, 2019
How God is working through the Windrush generation and beyond. The number of churches continues to drop in the UK. As CT reported last month, there are only 39,000 congregations left in the country, a quarter drop from 20 years ago. But despite churches increasingly closing their doors and the number of people attending church falling, this bad news isn’t across the board. For Black Majority Churches, the numbers actually look a lot healthier. These congregations began in the wake of World War II, when immigrants began arriving in the UK from the Caribbean, sparking a generation that became known as the Windrush generation, named after the boat that the inaugural group took. “They came over to help the UK,” said Chine McDonald, the media, content, and PR lead at Christian Aid. McDonald’s family came over from Nigeria several decades later, though they didn’t always face a warm welcome from the local congregations. “I remember when we would go to predominantly white churches. We would arrive on a Sunday and were told, ‘What made you choose this church as opposed to a black church that was down the road?’” said McDonald. “...These white majority churches weren’t used to see black people in their congregations, weren’t used to having black friends or black neighbors.” Nigeria is actually responsible for one of the country’s most robust denominations, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, which has more than 800 churches in the UK. McDonald joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the growth of African and West Indian Christianity and how it is changing the UK.
June 12, 2019
In August 2010, CT published a cover story on Beth Moore, “Why Women Want Moore: Homespun, savvy, and with a relentless focus on Jesus, Beth Moore has become the most popular Bible teacher in America.” Intensely popular among evangelical women when the story was published nearly a decade ago, Moore, a Southern Baptist, has increasingly drawn the attention of American Christians at large. More recently, Moore has also begun speaking out on politics, sexual abuse, and the misogyny that she has experienced in the church. Her preferred platform has been Twitter, where she has nearly a million followers. Earlier this year, she tweeted that in 2016, for the first time, she was able to confront the abuses and misuses of power she had seen and experienced in the Southern Baptist denomination. Earlier this month she also provoked another controversy with some Southern Baptist leaders when discussing how she would be preaching at an upcoming church. Yet her influence shows no sign of waning. “I think a lot of evangelical women look to her for shaping their theological views, for understanding how to study the Bible, but then also just in general,” said Sarah Pulliam Bailey, a religion reporter for the Washington Post who wrote the Moore cover story. “She's funny and she's charismatic and quick. … She doesn't have just Southern Baptist fans; it stretches far beyond that. And if she were to somehow shift in her views, it would be a big deal. So I think she has a big voice [among Southern Baptists], but she's not just dependent on the Southern Baptist Convention.” Pulliam Bailey joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how Beth Moore came to hold this platform, when she began to speak out on more controversial topics, and what this means for communities she’s part of.
June 12, 2019
In August 2010, CT published a cover story on Beth Moore, “Why Women Want Moore: Homespun, savvy, and with a relentless focus on Jesus, Beth Moore has become the most popular Bible teacher in America.” Intensely popular among evangelical women when the story was published nearly a decade ago, Moore, a Southern Baptist, has increasingly drawn the attention of American Christians at large. More recently, Moore has also begun speaking out on politics, sexual abuse, and the misogyny that she has experienced in the church. Her preferred platform has been Twitter, where she has nearly a million followers. Earlier this year, she tweeted that in 2016, for the first time, she was able to confront the abuses and misuses of power she had seen and experienced in the Southern Baptist denomination. Earlier this month she also provoked another controversy with some Southern Baptist leaders when discussing how she would be preaching at an upcoming church. Yet her influence shows no sign of waning. “I think a lot of evangelical women look to her for shaping their theological views, for understanding how to study the Bible, but then also just in general,” said Sarah Pulliam Bailey, a religion reporter for the Washington Post who wrote the Moore cover story. “She's funny and she's charismatic and quick. … She doesn't have just Southern Baptist fans; it stretches far beyond that. And if she were to somehow shift in her views, it would be a big deal. So I think she has a big voice [among Southern Baptists], but she's not just dependent on the Southern Baptist Convention.” Pulliam Bailey joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how Beth Moore came to hold this platform, when she began to speak out on more controversial topics, and what this means for communities she’s part of.
June 5, 2019
Popular Southern Baptist pastor David Platt learned that President Donald Trump was on the way to his church in the middle of the service, as he prepared to take communion. When the president arrived, Platt put his arm around Trump and prayed: “We pray that he would look to you; that he would trust in you; that he would lean on you; that he would govern and make decisions in ways that are good for justice, good for righteousness, good for equity, every good path. Lord, we pray that you would give him all the grace he needs to govern in ways that we just saw in 1 Timothy 2 that lead to peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way.” Last year, Vice President Mike Pence visited Metropolitan Baptist Church several days after Trump reportedly referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.” At the service, Maurice Watson, the senior pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, pushed back on that characterization. "I stand today as your pastor to vehemently denounce and reject such characterizations of the nation’s (inaudible) and of our brothers and sisters in Haiti and I further say whoever made such a statement and whoever used such a visceral and disrespectful, dehumanizing adjective to characterize the nations of Africa,” Watson said. “Do you hear me, church? Whoever said it is wrong and they ought to be held accountable.” Watson’s actions came out of Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 4 to speak the truth in love. “It literally means truthing in love, and sometimes truthing in love means that one has to do as Pastor Platt did, and that is to pray for someone even if that person is someone with whom one disagrees,” said Watson. “But also truthing in love is what I believe I did, to speak in a very measured, in a very respectful way, to say if someone made those remarks about these people groups, whoever that person may be, is wrong.” Watson joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and managing editor Andy Olsen discuss what it’s like to have the executive branch show up in your congregation, the challenges of pastoring in DC, and what happens after you push back against the Trump administration while the VP is in the house.
June 5, 2019
Popular Southern Baptist pastor David Platt learned that President Donald Trump was on the way to his church in the middle of the service, as he prepared to take communion. When the president arrived, Platt put his arm around Trump and prayed: “We pray that he would look to you; that he would trust in you; that he would lean on you; that he would govern and make decisions in ways that are good for justice, good for righteousness, good for equity, every good path. Lord, we pray that you would give him all the grace he needs to govern in ways that we just saw in 1 Timothy 2 that lead to peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way.” Last year, Vice President Mike Pence visited Metropolitan Baptist Church several days after Trump reportedly referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.” At the service, Maurice Watson, the senior pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, pushed back on that characterization. "I stand today as your pastor to vehemently denounce and reject such characterizations of the nation’s (inaudible) and of our brothers and sisters in Haiti and I further say whoever made such a statement and whoever used such a visceral and disrespectful, dehumanizing adjective to characterize the nations of Africa,” Watson said. “Do you hear me, church? Whoever said it is wrong and they ought to be held accountable.” Watson’s actions came out of Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 4 to speak the truth in love. “It literally means truthing in love, and sometimes truthing in love means that one has to do as Pastor Platt did, and that is to pray for someone even if that person is someone with whom one disagrees,” said Watson. “But also truthing in love is what I believe I did, to speak in a very measured, in a very respectful way, to say if someone made those remarks about these people groups, whoever that person may be, is wrong.” Watson joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and managing editor Andy Olsen discuss what it’s like to have the executive branch show up in your congregation, the challenges of pastoring in DC, and what happens after you push back against the Trump administration while the VP is in the house.
May 30, 2019
In April, nine Hong Kong activists were convicted for participating in the pro-democracy Occupy Central and Umbrella Movement protests. One of those was a Baptist pastor, Chu Yiu-Ming. In the courtroom, he painted a vivid picture of the faith that had transformed his life and inspired his activism: “We have no regrets. We hold no grudges, no anger, no grievances. We do not give up,” he said, speaking on behalf of fellow activists striving to bring universal voting rights to Hong Kong. “In the words of Jesus, ‘Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; The Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!’” (Matt. 5:10) Our coverage of Chu’s sermon was one of CT’s most popular news stories of the year so far, with many on social media praising his bravery. Chu was not the only leader known for his faith. Earlier this month, Joshua Wong, a 22-year-old Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, was returned to prison. Earlier he told World Magazine: As Christians, we are not only responsible for preaching the gospel and then waiting to go to heaven when we die. We need to be bringing heaven down to earth. That seems like a totally idealistic dream, but if we want that dream to come true, how should we let people know that as Christians we don’t focus only on trying to increase our salaries and better our careers? We ask, how can we do more for the people around us?” The Umbrella Movement and Occupy Central Protests have not been welcomed by all Christians. Several years ago, Archbishop Paul Kwong at the Anglican St. John’s Cathedral angered many Hong Kong Christians after saying that pro-democracy activists should remain silent, as Jesus did while being crucified more than 2,000 years ago. “I would like to ask for Christians in the world to pray for Hong Kong—especially for Hong Kong church and Christians—for hearts of love and peace, because I think in the division, we have a lot of hatred and anger in ourselves,” said Wai Luen “Andrew” Kwok, associate professor in the department of religion and philosophy at Hong Kong Baptist University. This week on Quick to Listen we’ll explore what’s at stake in the Umbrella Movement, how Christians have influenced it, but also why it’s divided the church.
May 22, 2019
On Thursday, Indians will learn the results of their country’s massive national elections. For the past five years, the country has been governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Despite Modi’s popularity among much of the country’s Hindu population, his tenure in office has proved difficult for India’s religious minorities. The Hindutva movement—which is made up of extremists who believe that all Indians must be Hindu—have gone after Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, and other religious minorities. “Christians in India are not the only ones facing the brunt of nationalism,” Vijayesh Lal, the general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India. “We know about Muslims being lynched. … That would also be the Communists, who actually subscribe to no religion at all. That would also be the Dalits, or the untouchables.” Since 2014, India has risen 11 spots on Open Doors’ World Watch List, and last year the advocacy group said that more than 12,000 Christians were attacked. Lal joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to discuss why he is not optimistic about the election results, regardless of the victor, why the government denies Christians and Muslims affirmative action, and why conversion is complicated.
May 22, 2019
On Thursday, Indians will learn the results of their country’s massive national elections. For the past five years, the country has been governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Despite Modi’s popularity among much of the country’s Hindu population, his tenure in office has proved difficult for India’s religious minorities. The Hindutva movement—which is made up of extremists who believe that all Indians must be Hindu—have gone after Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, and other religious minorities. “Christians in India are not the only ones facing the brunt of nationalism,” Vijayesh Lal, the general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India. “We know about Muslims being lynched. … That would also be the Communists, who actually subscribe to no religion at all. That would also be the Dalits, or the untouchables.” Since 2014, India has risen 11 spots on Open Doors’ World Watch List, and last year the advocacy group said that more than 12,000 Christians were attacked. Lal joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to discuss why he is not optimistic about the election results, regardless of the victor, why the government denies Christians and Muslims affirmative action, and why conversion is complicated.
May 15, 2019
Last week, the Canadian Catholic leader Jean Vanier died at the age of 90. Born into a privileged family, Vanier’s life took an unexpected turn when he founded L’Arche, an international network of communities for people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. As Bethany McKinney Fox, the founding pastor of a church inspired by L’Arche wrote for CT: “While many ministries involving people with intellectual disabilities began with a clear separation between those being helped and those doing the helping, slowly the paradigm has shifted toward Vanier’s approach at L’Arche, where all are called to share their gifts as members of one body of Christ, doing the work of the gospel together.” In addition to his legacy of work with intentional communities, Vanier was also a prolific author. “The themes that constitute those books—peace, peacemaking, community, community building, communion—are pretty consistent,” said Michael Higgins, the author of Jean Vanier: Logician of the Heart. “They undergo various kind of elaborations if you like, various more sophisticated iterations, but they are fundamentally the same themes built on the radical simplicity of the gospel that calls for us to live lives for others.” Higgins joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the counterculturally private personal life of Jean Vanier, his relationship with Henri Nouwen, and what evangelicals should learn from this deeply Catholic intellectual and practioner.
May 15, 2019
Last week, the Canadian Catholic leader Jean Vanier died at the age of 90. Born into a privileged family, Vanier’s life took an unexpected turn when he founded L’Arche, an international network of communities for people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. As Bethany McKinney Fox, the founding pastor of a church inspired by L’Arche wrote for CT: “While many ministries involving people with intellectual disabilities began with a clear separation between those being helped and those doing the helping, slowly the paradigm has shifted toward Vanier’s approach at L’Arche, where all are called to share their gifts as members of one body of Christ, doing the work of the gospel together.” In addition to his legacy of work with intentional communities, Vanier was also a prolific author. “The themes that constitute those books—peace, peacemaking, community, community building, communion—are pretty consistent,” said Michael Higgins, the author of Jean Vanier: Logician of the Heart. “They undergo various kind of elaborations if you like, various more sophisticated iterations, but they are fundamentally the same themes built on the radical simplicity of the gospel that calls for us to live lives for others.” Higgins joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the counterculturally private personal life of Jean Vanier, his relationship with Henri Nouwen, and what evangelicals should learn from this deeply Catholic intellectual and practioner.
May 8, 2019
This week marked the start of Ramadan, a 30-day season of fasting and celebrating observed by millions of Muslims around the world. Some Christian communities, especially in the Middle East, have for generations learned how to respect and connect with their Muslim neighbors during this time. As more Americans convert to Islam and Muslims from other countries migrate to Europe and North America, the Western church has been slowly learning the history of this holiday and how to reach the mosque during this time. Fasting is a great way for Christians to connect with Muslims during Ramadan, says Joseph Cumming, who works with Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders and scholars around the world to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation.  “Maybe you just fast one day in Ramadan to enter into that experience with them and what you find is when you do that and then you have a conversation with your Muslim friend and suddenly there's this feeling of we are in this together instead of this, ‘I'm in one community and you're in a different community and never the twain shall meet,’” said Cumming. “Actually, we're part of a single group of people having this experience together, and it can lead to beautiful spiritual conversations.” Cumming joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss Christians’ complicated relationship with fasting, the origins and meaning of the season of Ramadan, and things Christians should be especially sensitive to during Ramadan.
May 8, 2019
This week marked the start of Ramadan, a 30-day season of fasting and celebrating observed by millions of Muslims around the world. Some Christian communities, especially in the Middle East, have for generations learned how to respect and connect with their Muslim neighbors during this time. As more Americans convert to Islam and Muslims from other countries migrate to Europe and North America, the Western church has been slowly learning the history of this holiday and how to reach the mosque during this time. Fasting is a great way for Christians to connect with Muslims during Ramadan, says Joseph Cumming, who works with Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders and scholars around the world to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation. “Maybe you just fast one day in Ramadan to enter into that experience with them and what you find is when you do that and then you have a conversation with your Muslim friend and suddenly there's this feeling of we are in this together instead of this, ‘I'm in one community and you're in a different community and never the twain shall meet,’” said Cumming. “Actually, we're part of a single group of people having this experience together, and it can lead to beautiful spiritual conversations.” Cumming joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss Christians’ complicated relationship with fasting, the origins and meaning of the season of Ramadan, and things Christians should be especially sensitive to during Ramadan.
May 1, 2019
Two weeks ago, the Notre Dame caught fire and burned. In the aftermath of the blaze, fundraising efforts to repair and reopen the church have raised millions of dollars. But they’ve also highlighted disparities in the ability of other religious traditions—primarily Protestants and Muslims—to open new places of worship and maintain their existing ones. Currently, a new church opens every 10 days in France, says Raphaël Anzenberger, the director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries for the French-speaking world. But expensive rents often mean that these churches can’t move to the city center, and consequently have a harder time influencing their culture’s leaders. Existing congregations seeking to renovate their buildings also run into challenges. “It's getting really complicated for our pastors, who not only need to feed the flock, which is their first calling, but also to be experts in handicapped law [and how to] fireproof buildings. You have to be a lawyer, a notary, it's just crazy, an architect,” said Anzenberger. And the government isn’t necessarily a friend. “Sometimes what they'll say is, ‘We really like you. We think we understand who you are. We think we understand you're not a cult,’ which is already a good progress, but then they'll say, ‘You know, if we help you then we'll need to help all the other ones.’ And the other ones is basically the Muslims.” Anzenberger joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why the relationship between church and state in France is so terrible, why the fashion industry needs more evangelists, and what’s behind a recent spate of vandalism in French churches.
May 1, 2019
Two weeks ago, the Notre Dame caught fire and burned. In the aftermath of the blaze, fundraising efforts to repair and reopen the church have raised millions of dollars. But they’ve also highlighted disparities in the ability of other religious traditions—primarily Protestants and Muslims—to open new places of worship and maintain their existing ones. Currently, a new church opens every 10 days in France, says Raphaël Anzenberger, the director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries for the French-speaking world. But expensive rents often mean that these churches can’t move to the city center, and consequently have a harder time influencing their culture’s leaders. Existing congregations seeking to renovate their buildings also run into challenges. “It's getting really complicated for our pastors, who not only need to feed the flock, which is their first calling, but also to be experts in handicapped law [and how to] fireproof buildings. You have to be a lawyer, a notary, it's just crazy, an architect,” said Anzenberger. And the government isn’t necessarily a friend. “Sometimes what they'll say is, ‘We really like you. We think we understand who you are. We think we understand you're not a cult,’ which is already a good progress, but then they'll say, ‘You know, if we help you then we'll need to help all the other ones.’ And the other ones is basically the Muslims.” Anzenberger joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why the relationship between church and state in France is so terrible, why the fashion industry needs more evangelists, and what’s behind a recent spate of vandalism in French churches.
April 24, 2019
Nearly 300 people are dead after suicide bombers attacked three churches and three high-end hotels on Easter Sunday this week. Christians—the majority of whom are Catholics—make up less than 10 percent of the population of the majority-Buddhist nation, and have reported escalating concerns about their religious freedom. Christian persecution has largely come at the hands of Buddhist radicals, so the church has largely responded to the attacks with shock, says Ivor Poobalan, the Prinicipal of Colombo Theological seminary in Kohuwala (Colombo), Sri Lanka. “We expected the threat or danger to come from those quarters,” said Poobalan. “Islam has been around for over 1,000 years and has never been violent.” Poobalan joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to discuss how Christianity arrived in Sri Lanka, why the faith has long been associated with privilege, and how he hopes the church will respond to the bombings.
April 24, 2019
Nearly 300 people are dead after suicide bombers attacked three churches and three high-end hotels on Easter Sunday this week. Christians—the majority of whom are Catholics—make up less than 10 percent of the population of the majority-Buddhist nation, and have reported escalating concerns about their religious freedom. Christian persecution has largely come at the hands of Buddhist radicals, so the church has largely responded to the attacks with shock, says Ivor Poobalan, the Prinicipal of Colombo Theological seminary in Kohuwala (Colombo), Sri Lanka. “We expected the threat or danger to come from those quarters,” said Poobalan. “Islam has been around for over 1,000 years and has never been violent.” Poobalan joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to discuss how Christianity arrived in Sri Lanka, why the faith has long been associated with privilege, and how he hopes the church will respond to the bombings.
April 17, 2019
everal weeks ago, theologian Ekemini Uwan was interviewed on stage at the Sparrow Conference for Women. But when Uwan, a Nigerian American who frequently speaks out against racism and white supremacy, began doing so at the conference, people in the audience began walking out, according to a report from The Witness. Uwan later tweeted that she had to hire an attorney to force the conference to send her photos and video of her interview. YouTube also removed a video of her remarks at the request of Sparrow, and the conference’s social media did not include her images or quotes, in contrast to those of other speakers. Earlier this year, author Kathy Khang preached at chapel at Baylor University. Khang, a veteran speaker, included an anecdote mentioning an 11-year-old boy who was arrested after not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance. In the middle of Khang’s talk, a Baylor student stood up and said, “That’s not what happened. He was making terroristic threats to his teacher.” The event deeply rattled Khang, both for her personal safety in the moment and also when the same student who attended the event posted a video slamming her. It’s important that the conference organizers who invite women of color to speak—especially when the speakers are delivering a message that may challenge the audience—ensure the audience is prepared to hear their message, says Khang. “If you’re asking me to talk about the church, what are the ways you’ve already prepared your audience to hear this message?” said Khang. “What are the books you’ve had them read? Who are the other speakers who have come in? What is the reception like for them? What is the follow-up you have planned for the event you’re inviting me to?” When attendees find themselves uncomfortable by the remarks of a particular speaker, that can be a good time for their own personal reflection, says author Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, who also frequently teaches at Christian conferences. “We don’t always have to agree, but what is going on here? What are the blind spots?” said Sistrunk Robinson. “Have you been stretched and challenged by this in a good way?” Sistrunk Robinson and Khang joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren on Quick to Listen, to discuss how Christian conferences and institutions can do a better job supporting the women of color that they invite to address their audiences.
April 17, 2019
everal weeks ago, theologian Ekemini Uwan was interviewed on stage at the Sparrow Conference for Women. But when Uwan, a Nigerian American who frequently speaks out against racism and white supremacy, began doing so at the conference, people in the audience began walking out, according to a report from The Witness. Uwan later tweeted that she had to hire an attorney to force the conference to send her photos and video of her interview. YouTube also removed a video of her remarks at the request of Sparrow, and the conference’s social media did not include her images or quotes, in contrast to those of other speakers. Earlier this year, author Kathy Khang preached at chapel at Baylor University. Khang, a veteran speaker, included an anecdote mentioning an 11-year-old boy who was arrested after not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance. In the middle of Khang’s talk, a Baylor student stood up and said, “That’s not what happened. He was making terroristic threats to his teacher.” The event deeply rattled Khang, both for her personal safety in the moment and also when the same student who attended the event posted a video slamming her. It’s important that the conference organizers who invite women of color to speak—especially when the speakers are delivering a message that may challenge the audience—ensure the audience is prepared to hear their message, says Khang. “If you’re asking me to talk about the church, what are the ways you’ve already prepared your audience to hear this message?” said Khang. “What are the books you’ve had them read? Who are the other speakers who have come in? What is the reception like for them? What is the follow-up you have planned for the event you’re inviting me to?” When attendees find themselves uncomfortable by the remarks of a particular speaker, that can be a good time for their own personal reflection, says author Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, who also frequently teaches at Christian conferences. “We don’t always have to agree, but what is going on here? What are the blind spots?” said Sistrunk Robinson. “Have you been stretched and challenged by this in a good way?” Sistrunk Robinson and Khang joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren on Quick to Listen, to discuss how Christian conferences and institutions can do a better job supporting the women of color that they invite to address their audiences.
April 10, 2019
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas could not execute inmate Patrick Murphy if they did not allow his Buddhist chaplain into the death chamber with him. In response, last Thursday, the state of Texas decided to ban all chaplains from entering the death chamber with inmates. Patrick Murphy’s situation echoes the story of Alabama inmate Domineque Ray. Ray, who was executed in February, requested to have his imam be present with him in the execution chamber. Ultimately, his request was denied and Ray was put to death without the presence of his chaplain. Chaplains serve many roles in the final moments of an inmate's life, including comforting family members, says Earl Smith, who served for decades as a death row chaplain in San Quentin State Prison in California. When they’re kept from inmates in their final moments, it can mean there’s no one who is able to relay the individual’s last words. “That inmate was looking for a way to say ‘bye’ in peace and because you said ‘No, you can’t have [the chaplain],’ even in his death, there was no peace,” said Smith. “We often say that when they’re executed there’s going to be closure. Executions don’t bring closure. They just mean someone has died.” Smith joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to discuss why Christians should want all death row inmates to be able to be with their chosen chaplain when they die, what it’s like to spiritually walk with prisoners, and the surprising circumstances that led to Smith winding up at San Quentin.
April 10, 2019
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas could not execute inmate Patrick Murphy if they did not allow his Buddhist chaplain into the death chamber with him. In response, last Thursday, the state of Texas decided to ban all chaplains from entering the death chamber with inmates. Patrick Murphy’s situation echoes the story of Alabama inmate Domineque Ray. Ray, who was executed in February, requested to have his imam be present with him in the execution chamber. Ultimately, his request was denied and Ray was put to death without the presence of his chaplain. Chaplains serve many roles in the final moments of an inmate's life, including comforting family members, says Earl Smith, who served for decades as a death row chaplain in San Quentin State Prison in California. When they’re kept from inmates in their final moments, it can mean there’s no one who is able to relay the individual’s last words. “That inmate was looking for a way to say ‘bye’ in peace and because you said ‘No, you can’t have [the chaplain],’ even in his death, there was no peace,” said Smith. “We often say that when they’re executed there’s going to be closure. Executions don’t bring closure. They just mean someone has died.” Smith joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to discuss why Christians should want all death row inmates to be able to be with their chosen chaplain when they die, what it’s like to spiritually walk with prisoners, and the surprising circumstances that led to Smith winding up at San Quentin.
April 3, 2019
At the beginning of this year, Christianity Today received a grant funding a position for an immigrant communities’ editor. What beat is that, you say? It’s a position that examines “the intersection of immigration, the church, and Christian communities.” As immigration continues to be a volatile current event, we wanted to hire someone who could examine the complex issue from a human and faith-perspective. Enter Bekah McNeel, a longtime education journalist based in San Antonio, Texas. Living and reporting for a number of years on a border state has changed how McNeel understands the immigrant issues—and how she perceives the national news coverage that will suddenly show up and attempt to cover a story without “a deep understanding of the context.” “The coverage was always really jarring,” she said. “You don't understand how normal it is for people to come and go [across the border.] The thought that a truck full of 18 guys could get as far as San Antonio it seems like what?.... The whole thing seems bigger and scarier because you didn't have a context.” McNeel joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to talk about why the immigration issues need less policy discussion, speeches, and sermons and more conversations, how emotions are and are not different on the border, and why she’s excited about this position this year.
April 3, 2019
At the beginning of this year, Christianity Today received a grant funding a position for an immigrant communities’ editor. What beat is that, you say? It’s a position that examines “the intersection of immigration, the church, and Christian communities.” As immigration continues to be a volatile current event, we wanted to hire someone who could examine the complex issue from a human and faith-perspective. Enter Bekah McNeel, a longtime education journalist based in San Antonio, Texas. Living and reporting for a number of years on a border state has changed how McNeel understands the immigrant issues—and how she perceives the national news coverage that will suddenly show up and attempt to cover a story without “a deep understanding of the context.” “The coverage was always really jarring,” she said. “You don't understand how normal it is for people to come and go [across the border.] The thought that a truck full of 18 guys could get as far as San Antonio it seems like what?.... The whole thing seems bigger and scarier because you didn't have a context.” McNeel joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to talk about why the immigration issues need less policy discussion, speeches, and sermons and more conversations, how emotions are and are not different on the border, and why she’s excited about this position this year.
March 27, 2019
In 2013, Christian book retailer, Cokesbury Bookstores, closed all 38 retail stores. In 2017, Family Christian Resources shut down all 240 locations in the midst of mounting debt and bankruptcy. Then, this year, LifeWay Christian Resources, the largest Christian retail chain in America, announced that it would be closing all of its 170 stores this year. While Christian book publishers have sold their products on Amazon for years, these closures still affect their business, says Mark Taylor, the president and CEO of Tyndale House Publishers. “In some ways, Amazon has been a boon to publishers of all types because they are now our largest trading partner and have been for a number of years,” said Taylor. “The key issue that we talk about at Tyndale House is what we call ‘discoverability.’ How will a consumer the new books or the old books that we are publishing?” Taylor recounted a recent trip to Barnes and Noble, where, after browsing through the offerings, he found a book by a longtime Tyndale author Jerry B. Jenkins. “I ‘discovered’ it by seeing it in Barnes and Noble,” said Taylor. “We’ve all had the experience that Amazon is a great place to shop for anything … and their customer service is outstanding. But how do you discover new books?” Taylor joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the golden years of Christian publishing, how publishers have adjusted their selling strategies as brick-and-mortar stores have vanished, and just how significant the Amazon effect is.
March 27, 2019
In 2013, Christian book retailer, Cokesbury Bookstores, closed all 38 retail stores. In 2017, Family Christian Resources shut down all 240 locations in the midst of mounting debt and bankruptcy. Then, this year, LifeWay Christian Resources, the largest Christian retail chain in America, announced that it would be closing all of its 170 stores this year. While Christian book publishers have sold their products on Amazon for years, these closures still affect their business, says Mark Taylor, the president and CEO of Tyndale House Publishers. “In some ways, Amazon has been a boon to publishers of all types because they are now our largest trading partner and have been for a number of years,” said Taylor. “The key issue that we talk about at Tyndale House is what we call ‘discoverability.’ How will a consumer the new books or the old books that we are publishing?” Taylor recounted a recent trip to Barnes and Noble, where, after browsing through the offerings, he found a book by a longtime Tyndale author Jerry B. Jenkins. “I ‘discovered’ it by seeing it in Barnes and Noble,” said Taylor. “We’ve all had the experience that Amazon is a great place to shop for anything … and their customer service is outstanding. But how do you discover new books?” Taylor joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the golden years of Christian publishing, how publishers have adjusted their selling strategies as brick-and-mortar stores have vanished, and just how significant the Amazon effect is.
March 20, 2019
Christianity Today’s March 2019 cover story examined how retirement fits into the Christian vision of faith and work and how assumptions about what retirement looks like are changing for many Americans. We looked at the increasingly diverse ways that Christians are leveraging their post-career years for the good of their families, churches, and communities. A lot of readers wrote in to express appreciation for covering a topic that really matters to so many, but we also got a fair number of responses that were concerned that our take on retirement was too narrow. One reader, Rodney, summed it up this way: "Your article 'Saving Retirement' in the March issue was a good summary of the situation facing retirees today. However, most of the examples of retirees doing something purposeful after retirement were people who had held leading positions in their field of work with presumably large salaries. The article definitely needed to portray what some ‘ordinary workers’ have gone on to do." We agreed with Rodney that there is a much broader picture of post-work life that needs to be acknowledged. Do Christian understandings of work and aging accommodate those who can’t afford to retire? Rev. Amy Ziettlow, pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Decatur, Illinois, and author, with Naomi Cahn, of Homeward Bound: Modern Families, Elder Care, and Loss, joined theology editor Caleb Lindgren and editor in chief Mark Galli to talk about the hopeful vision for retirement she sees in her working-class church community and her recommendations for how retirement-aged individuals and their churches can best partner with each other during the autumn years.
March 20, 2019
Christianity Today’s March 2019 cover story examined how retirement fits into the Christian vision of faith and work and how assumptions about what retirement looks like are changing for many Americans. We looked at the increasingly diverse ways that Christians are leveraging their post-career years for the good of their families, churches, and communities. A lot of readers wrote in to express appreciation for covering a topic that really matters to so many, but we also got a fair number of responses that were concerned that our take on retirement was too narrow. One reader, Rodney, summed it up this way: "Your article 'Saving Retirement' in the March issue was a good summary of the situation facing retirees today. However, most of the examples of retirees doing something purposeful after retirement were people who had held leading positions in their field of work with presumably large salaries. The article definitely needed to portray what some ‘ordinary workers’ have gone on to do." We agreed with Rodney that there is a much broader picture of post-work life that needs to be acknowledged. Do Christian understandings of work and aging accommodate those who can’t afford to retire? Rev. Amy Ziettlow, pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Decatur, Illinois, and author, with Naomi Cahn, of Homeward Bound: Modern Families, Elder Care, and Loss, joined theology editor Caleb Lindgren and editor in chief Mark Galli to talk about the hopeful vision for retirement she sees in her working-class church community and her recommendations for how retirement-aged individuals and their churches can best partner with each other during the autumn years.
March 13, 2019
Venezuela has been in crisis for years, but the situation there has arguably taken an even greater turn for the worse in recent weeks. Recently, a blackout cut off the entire country from electricity. Citizens have also been victim to frequent water shortages and a currency that is losing its value at unprecedented rates. At the same time, more than three million people have left the country of 31 million people, roughly 10 percent of the population. The country is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, although, like much of Latin America, has experienced the growing influence of Protestantism. According to Pew Research Center’s 2014 numbers, Protestants currently make up 17 percent of the population. Germán Novelli-Oliveros, the Venezuelan-born-and-raised pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how oil brought Protestantism to Venezuela, why pastors won’t speak out politically, and his advice for people who want to help.
March 13, 2019
Venezuela has been in crisis for years, but the situation there has arguably taken an even greater turn for the worse in recent weeks. Recently, a blackout cut off the entire country from electricity. Citizens have also been victim to frequent water shortages and a currency that is losing its value at unprecedented rates. At the same time, more than three million people have left the country of 31 million people, roughly 10 percent of the population. The country is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, although, like much of Latin America, has experienced the growing influence of Protestantism. According to Pew Research Center’s 2014 numbers, Protestants currently make up 17 percent of the population. Germán Novelli-Oliveros, the Venezuelan-born-and-raised pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how oil brought Protestantism to Venezuela, why pastors won’t speak out politically, and his advice for people who want to help.
March 6, 2019
As part of the launch of her latest book, Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber asked would-be readers to mail her their purity rings. Then she took the submissions and had them melted down and turned into a vagina statue. While the action earned attention for its shock value, Anglican priest Tish Harrison Warren recently pointed out for CT that this was far from the first example of vaginal (or yonic) art in the Christian tradition. “No reasonable person could say that these Christian yonic symbols indicate that the early church was a bastion of feminist liberation,” Harrison Warren wrote. “In the ancient church, as now, misogyny abounds. Still, at the very least, they show that the female body was not (and is not) deemed dirty, unholy, or otherwise bad.” Christian art has always depicted women, says Robin Jensen, a professor at Notre Dame who specializes in the history of Christianity and liturgical studies. “Surprisingly, though, what you’d expect to find in Christian art is sometimes not there in the initial stages,” said Jensen, the author of Understanding Early Christian Art. “If you were to think about the two most common themes in Christian art from all the centuries of Christian art through and time, you might say the crucifix and the Madonna and child. Neither of those are going to be appearing until much later.” Instead, art based on Bible stories with male and female characters from both the Old and New Testament is what is initially most prevalent, says Jensen. Jensen joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to discuss the extent to which fertility is a theme in Christian art, how nudity is generally handled in Christian art, and what’s going on with angels.
March 6, 2019
As part of the launch of her latest book, Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber asked would-be readers to mail her their purity rings. Then she took the submissions and had them melted down and turned into a vagina statue. While the action earned attention for its shock value, Anglican priest Tish Harrison Warren recently pointed out for CT that this was far from the first example of vaginal (or yonic) art in the Christian tradition. “No reasonable person could say that these Christian yonic symbols indicate that the early church was a bastion of feminist liberation,” Harrison Warren wrote. “In the ancient church, as now, misogyny abounds. Still, at the very least, they show that the female body was not (and is not) deemed dirty, unholy, or otherwise bad.” Christian art has always depicted women, says Robin Jensen, a professor at Notre Dame who specializes in the history of Christianity and liturgical studies. “Surprisingly, though, what you’d expect to find in Christian art is sometimes not there in the initial stages,” said Jensen, the author of Understanding Early Christian Art. “If you were to think about the two most common themes in Christian art from all the centuries of Christian art through and time, you might say the crucifix and the Madonna and child. Neither of those are going to be appearing until much later.” Instead, art based on Bible stories with male and female characters from both the Old and New Testament is what is initially most prevalent, says Jensen. Jensen joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to discuss the extent to which fertility is a theme in Christian art, how nudity is generally handled in Christian art, and what’s going on with angels.
February 27, 2019
For the past four days, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church has been reexamining its doctrines on human sexuality. From Christianity Today’s report from yesterday: The United Methodist Church (UMC) voted Tuesday to maintain its traditional stance against same-sex marriage and non-celibate gay clergy, bolstered by a growing conservative contingent from Africa. The denomination’s “Traditional Plan” passed, with 438 votes in favor and 384 against (53% to 47%), in the final hours of a special UMC conference held this week in St. Louis to address the issue of human sexuality. While this decision will likely have broad global consequences, it is also one that has been heavily impacted by the denomination’s large international presence. The UMC has about 7 million lay members in the US and 5.5 million overseas, and they operate in more than 130 countries. But the denomination's broad reach isn’t anything new. “It’s inherently a global movement,” said J. Steven O’Malley, a professor of Methodist Holiness history at Asbury Theological Seminary, who recently spent the year working on a project called “The Origin of the Wesleyan Theological Vision for Christian Globalization and the Pursuit of Pentecost in Early Pietist Revivalism.” O’Malley joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what was at stake at the most recent UMC meeting, how the denomination came together 50 years ago, and how it ended up around the world.
February 27, 2019
For the past four days, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church has been reexamining its doctrines on human sexuality. From Christianity Today’s report from yesterday: The United Methodist Church (UMC) voted Tuesday to maintain its traditional stance against same-sex marriage and non-celibate gay clergy, bolstered by a growing conservative contingent from Africa. The denomination’s “Traditional Plan” passed, with 438 votes in favor and 384 against (53% to 47%), in the final hours of a special UMC conference held this week in St. Louis to address the issue of human sexuality. While this decision will likely have broad global consequences, it is also one that has been heavily impacted by the denomination’s large international presence. The UMC has about 7 million lay members in the US and 5.5 million overseas, and they operate in more than 130 countries. But the denomination's broad reach isn’t anything new. “It’s inherently a global movement,” said J. Steven O’Malley, a professor of Methodist Holiness history at Asbury Theological Seminary, who recently spent the year working on a project called “The Origin of the Wesleyan Theological Vision for Christian Globalization and the Pursuit of Pentecost in Early Pietist Revivalism.” O’Malley joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what was at stake at the most recent UMC meeting, how the denomination came together 50 years ago, and how it ended up around the world.
February 21, 2019
Introducing: The Way to Glory by Christianity Today
February 20, 2019
Note: Quick to Listen now has transcripts! Scroll to the bottom of the episode description to read through our conversation with David Bailey.  Last week, the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News published a three-part investigation into the scope of sex abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention. Among one of the seeming fruits of their report was an announcement from the head of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Al Mohler wanted to apologize for the role that he played in protecting his friend CJ Mahaney after he was accused of covering up a sex abuse scandal at his church. In an 850-word statement, Mohler acknowledged his role in supporting Mahaney, even as questions arose about his involvement. He then expressed regret for his former actions and spoke specifically about where he believed he had fallen short. “I can only speak for myself, but I wish to do so clearly, acknowledging these errors, grieving at the harm that was done, and committing to do everything I can to lead well and to serve Christ faithfully.” Like many public apologies today, Mohler’s drew a mixed reaction. Some were frustrated about the length of time it took for him to acknowledge his mistakes. Others were encouraged by the change of heart from a man who it had seemed might never change his mind. “With our leaders, any kind of leadership, people want to know, if something’s wrong, do you see it and are you going to do something about it? Are you going to do the right thing?” said David Bailey, the executive director of Arrabaon, a ministry that helps Christian leaders engage in in reconciliation. “Leadership, a lot of times, is moving on the currency of trust. I think a demand for an apology is ‘Hey, can I trust you? Are you going to do the right thing?’” Bailey joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why it’s hard to offer a good public apology, why it’s significant that we “demand an apology,” and how long is long enough before the start of a “comeback” story.
February 20, 2019
Note: Quick to Listen now has transcripts! Scroll to the bottom of the episode description to read through our conversation with David Bailey. Last week, the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News published a three-part investigation into the scope of sex abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention. Among one of the seeming fruits of their report was an announcement from the head of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Al Mohler wanted to apologize for the role that he played in protecting his friend CJ Mahaney after he was accused of covering up a sex abuse scandal at his church. In an 850-word statement, Mohler acknowledged his role in supporting Mahaney, even as questions arose about his involvement. He then expressed regret for his former actions and spoke specifically about where he believed he had fallen short. “I can only speak for myself, but I wish to do so clearly, acknowledging these errors, grieving at the harm that was done, and committing to do everything I can to lead well and to serve Christ faithfully.” Like many public apologies today, Mohler’s drew a mixed reaction. Some were frustrated about the length of time it took for him to acknowledge his mistakes. Others were encouraged by the change of heart from a man who it had seemed might never change his mind. “With our leaders, any kind of leadership, people want to know, if something’s wrong, do you see it and are you going to do something about it? Are you going to do the right thing?” said David Bailey, the executive director of Arrabaon, a ministry that helps Christian leaders engage in in reconciliation. “Leadership, a lot of times, is moving on the currency of trust. I think a demand for an apology is ‘Hey, can I trust you? Are you going to do the right thing?’” Bailey joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why it’s hard to offer a good public apology, why it’s significant that we “demand an apology,” and how long is long enough before the start of a “comeback” story.
February 13, 2019
Half of millennial Christians say it’s wrong to evangelize. This was the headline from CT’s report from new Barna Group research examining the perspectives of millennials, Gen-X, boomer, and elder practicing Christians on sharing their faith. (Note: Barna defines “practicing Christians” as churchgoers who consider religion an important part of their lives.) More than 90 percent of practicing Christians of all generations agreed somewhat or strongly that “part of my faith means being a witness about Jesus” and “the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to come to know Jesus.” Millennials were more likely than any other age group to say that they were gifted at sharing their faith with other people. In fact, 73 percent said they were compared to 56 percent of elders, who were the least secure about their ability. But controversially—at least to CT’s Twitter followers—47 percent of millennials said it was wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith. What should we make of these numbers? Alpha USA executive director Craig Springer joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what these figures really mean, why the best way to do evangelism may just be asking questions, and why Christian unity is a good form of Christian witness.
February 13, 2019
Half of millennial Christians say it’s wrong to evangelize. This was the headline from CT’s report from new Barna Group research examining the perspectives of millennials, Gen-X, boomer, and elder practicing Christians on sharing their faith. (Note: Barna defines “practicing Christians” as churchgoers who consider religion an important part of their lives.) More than 90 percent of practicing Christians of all generations agreed somewhat or strongly that “part of my faith means being a witness about Jesus” and “the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to come to know Jesus.” Millennials were more likely than any other age group to say that they were gifted at sharing their faith with other people. In fact, 73 percent said they were compared to 56 percent of elders, who were the least secure about their ability. But controversially—at least to CT’s Twitter followers—47 percent of millennials said it was wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith. What should we make of these numbers? Alpha USA executive director Craig Springer joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what these figures really mean, why the best way to do evangelism may just be asking questions, and why Christian unity is a good form of Christian witness.
February 6, 2019
For nearly 100 days, more than 500 Dutch pastors—as well as some from across the continent and the Atlantic—across denominations gathered in Bethel Church for a continuous worship service. Why? To protect a refugee family from deportation. From CT’s report: The Dutch government is generally prohibited from interrupting religious services, so the Protestant congregation kept extending their gathering during the debate over family asylum or kinderpardon. [Last week,] officials agreed to allow the Armenian family at Bethel—along with 700 others who have lived in the country for more than a decade—to have their cases reviewed again rather than face immediate expulsion. Christian leader Axel Wicke was closely involved with the planning and execution of the hundreds of hours–long service. Some of Wicke’s elderly church attendees told him that they stopped by the service in the middle of the night when they woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. “I’m now quite familiar with who of my parish members are night people,” he said. Wicke found the experience transformative for his own spiritual life but also said it offered a profound picture of Christianity for people with little knowledge of the religion. “The reason why we did this was quite sad or depressing … but it was also a really big gift to this parish and to the church in the Hague,” said Wicke. “I still get messages along the line, ‘Finally, I know why there is a church.’ It was a very fundamental way of recognizing, ‘That’s what the church is for.’” Wicke joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how the past couple months changed his views on prayer, how to figure out the logistics of a continuous 24/7 church service, and what type of impact this might have on the Christian community in the Netherlands long-term.
February 6, 2019
For nearly 100 days, more than 500 Dutch pastors—as well as some from across the continent and the Atlantic—across denominations gathered in Bethel Church for a continuous worship service. Why? To protect a refugee family from deportation. From CT’s report: The Dutch government is generally prohibited from interrupting religious services, so the Protestant congregation kept extending their gathering during the debate over family asylum or kinderpardon. [Last week,] officials agreed to allow the Armenian family at Bethel—along with 700 others who have lived in the country for more than a decade—to have their cases reviewed again rather than face immediate expulsion. Christian leader Axel Wicke was closely involved with the planning and execution of the hundreds of hours–long service. Some of Wicke’s elderly church attendees told him that they stopped by the service in the middle of the night when they woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. “I’m now quite familiar with who of my parish members are night people,” he said. Wicke found the experience transformative for his own spiritual life but also said it offered a profound picture of Christianity for people with little knowledge of the religion. “The reason why we did this was quite sad or depressing … but it was also a really big gift to this parish and to the church in the Hague,” said Wicke. “I still get messages along the line, ‘Finally, I know why there is a church.’ It was a very fundamental way of recognizing, ‘That’s what the church is for.’” Wicke joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how the past couple months changed his views on prayer, how to figure out the logistics of a continuous 24/7 church service, and what type of impact this might have on the Christian community in the Netherlands long-term.
January 30, 2019
SIS has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 20 churchgoers and soldiers at a Catholic church in the Philippines. Two bombs exploded at a church in the city of Jolo on Sunday, “the first blasting through rows of pews and the second shooting from the entrance to kill scrambling parishioners as well as the guards positioned outside to protect the church week after week,” according to CT’s report. The attack came several days after a key vote in the region’s surrounding islands on a referendum that offered the area greater autonomy. While Muslims in Jolo largely opposed the referendum—part of an effort to end ongoing clashes between Philippine forces and separatists, —it passed anyway. Given that the vote seemingly went in their favor, why did extremists react violently? “What they want to do is pit Muslims and Christians against each other,” said Efraim Tendero, the current general secretary of the World Evangelical Alliance and former national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches. When he previously visited Jolo, Tendero said he had been welcomed at the airport by one of the region’s Muslim leaders. “You can see that the moderate Muslim community is peace-loving and would like to support peace,” he said. These attacks, then, likely come from a group that doesn’t “really want the peace agreement to flourish so they are trying to sow more terror,” said Tendero, pointing out that many of the casualties were soldiers guarding the area. Tendero joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the relationship between Christians and Muslims in Asia’s most Christian country and the health of the Filipino church in the 21st century.
January 30, 2019
SIS has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 20 churchgoers and soldiers at a Catholic church in the Philippines. Two bombs exploded at a church in the city of Jolo on Sunday, “the first blasting through rows of pews and the second shooting from the entrance to kill scrambling parishioners as well as the guards positioned outside to protect the church week after week,” according to CT’s report. The attack came several days after a key vote in the region’s surrounding islands on a referendum that offered the area greater autonomy. While Muslims in Jolo largely opposed the referendum—part of an effort to end ongoing clashes between Philippine forces and separatists, —it passed anyway. Given that the vote seemingly went in their favor, why did extremists react violently? “What they want to do is pit Muslims and Christians against each other,” said Efraim Tendero, the current general secretary of the World Evangelical Alliance and former national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches. When he previously visited Jolo, Tendero said he had been welcomed at the airport by one of the region’s Muslim leaders. “You can see that the moderate Muslim community is peace-loving and would like to support peace,” he said. These attacks, then, likely come from a group that doesn’t “really want the peace agreement to flourish so they are trying to sow more terror,” said Tendero, pointing out that many of the casualties were soldiers guarding the area. Tendero joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the relationship between Christians and Muslims in Asia’s most Christian country and the health of the Filipino church in the 21st century.
January 24, 2019
Videos from last Friday’s March for Life and the Indigenous People’s March have been the subject of intense debate. In footage from a clip filmed in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Friday, high school students, some wearing Make America Great Again hats, appeared to be in a faceoff with a Native American elder. The footage went viral, as many on social media condemned the boys’ apparent actions. Shortly thereafter, a new video showed a group of half a dozen Hebrew Israelites berating and using insults that seem to come out of the Old Testament to the same high schoolers and the Native Americans at the event for more than an hour. For many Americans, this was their first encounter with this sect, started by two African Americans in the late 19th century. Despite the scripture references that many members of the community drop in public, Christians should avoid engaging the Hebrew Israelites should they encounter them on the street, says Lisa Fields, the founder and president of Jude 3 Project, an apologetics ministry focused on serving the black community. “You’re not usually going to get any headway because they’re going to be very insulting, very loud and no matter what scripture you present they’re going to counter it with something else,” said Fields. “…I find the most effective way to engage is 1-1. In a crowd of people, even if you are making some headway or one person is listening to you, the group is going to feed them so they’re not going to show that you’re breaking through at any point. Fields joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to talk about where the Hebrew Israelite movement came from, how the black church has responded, and what majority culture Christians need to know about what causes these movements to grow.
January 24, 2019
Videos from last Friday’s March for Life and the Indigenous People’s March have been the subject of intense debate. In footage from a clip filmed in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Friday, high school students, some wearing Make America Great Again hats, appeared to be in a faceoff with a Native American elder. The footage went viral, as many on social media condemned the boys’ apparent actions. Shortly thereafter, a new video showed a group of half a dozen Hebrew Israelites berating and using insults that seem to come out of the Old Testament to the same high schoolers and the Native Americans at the event for more than an hour. For many Americans, this was their first encounter with this sect, started by two African Americans in the late 19th century. Despite the scripture references that many members of the community drop in public, Christians should avoid engaging the Hebrew Israelites should they encounter them on the street, says Lisa Fields, the founder and president of Jude 3 Project, an apologetics ministry focused on serving the black community. “You’re not usually going to get any headway because they’re going to be very insulting, very loud and no matter what scripture you present they’re going to counter it with something else,” said Fields. “…I find the most effective way to engage is 1-1. In a crowd of people, even if you are making some headway or one person is listening to you, the group is going to feed them so they’re not going to show that you’re breaking through at any point. Fields joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and theology editor Caleb Lindgren to talk about where the Hebrew Israelite movement came from, how the black church has responded, and what majority culture Christians need to know about what causes these movements to grow.
January 16, 2019
Note: Our guest on this week’s show signed his responses so we are also making a video of this podcast available here: youtube.com/watch?v=zgbTsGnQOdQ&t=2651s Donations from the 40,000 attendees at this year’s Passion Conference raised nearly half a million dollars to fund Bible translations for the deaf. These funds will boost projects in Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Moldova, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and Russia. No sign language has a full Bible translation, and just 2 percent of deaf people around the world have access to the Gospels in their sign languages. According to CT’s reporting: Sign languages aren’t structured like text-based or spoken languages [and] they require their own processes for passages of Scripture to be told visually through sign. Chronological Bible Translation (CBT) translates the Bible by stories, while Book-by-Book (BBB) translation uses the chapter and verse structure, the Deaf Bible Society explained. The deaf community is made up of visual learners, says Jason Suhr, the director of Scripture Engagement & Translation at the Deaf Bible Society. “We don’t rely on specific words,” said Suhr, through translator William Ross III. “We kind of rely more on images and the context of those images.” When someone is signing, they will first set the scene, often spelling out the weather and where objects, plants, trees, or people might be. “You don’t really get a lot of that in English,” said Suhr. “You have to create that image in your head, whereas deaf people are able to set that up.” Suhr joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to to explore why it’s taken such a long time to provide this community with a translation of the Bible and what it will take to transform this situation.
January 16, 2019
Note: Our guest on this week’s show signed his responses so we are also making a video of this podcast available here: youtube.com/watch?v=zgbTsGnQOdQ&t=2651s Donations from the 40,000 attendees at this year’s Passion Conference raised nearly half a million dollars to fund Bible translations for the deaf. These funds will boost projects in Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Moldova, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and Russia. No sign language has a full Bible translation, and just 2 percent of deaf people around the world have access to the Gospels in their sign languages. According to CT’s reporting: Sign languages aren’t structured like text-based or spoken languages [and] they require their own processes for passages of Scripture to be told visually through sign. Chronological Bible Translation (CBT) translates the Bible by stories, while Book-by-Book (BBB) translation uses the chapter and verse structure, the Deaf Bible Society explained. The deaf community is made up of visual learners, says Jason Suhr, the director of Scripture Engagement & Translation at the Deaf Bible Society. “We don’t rely on specific words,” said Suhr, through translator William Ross III. “We kind of rely more on images and the context of those images.” When someone is signing, they will first set the scene, often spelling out the weather and where objects, plants, trees, or people might be. “You don’t really get a lot of that in English,” said Suhr. “You have to create that image in your head, whereas deaf people are able to set that up.” Suhr joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to to explore why it’s taken such a long time to provide this community with a translation of the Bible and what it will take to transform this situation.
January 9, 2019
Last fall, the Patriarch of Moscow cut ties with the Patriarch of Constantinople. This action severed the world’s largest Orthodox church from its historic home and launched a series of events that recently took a sharp turn. Last week, the Patriarch of Constantinople offered the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence from the Patriarch of Russia, actions that weren’t greeted warmly by the Patriarch of Moscow. All of this is taking place in the context of a half-decade of conflict between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea. So is this church fissure over disagreements in doctrine or international politics? One key to understanding it is understanding the concept of symphonia, or the Orthodox perspective of church-state relations. A 2016 CT article characterized symphonia as “institutionalized ‘harmonious relations’ between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian state.” “This intentional connection between church and state allows the Orthodox Church to enjoy all the attendant privileges of political preference and feeds into a uniquely Russian national identity,” wrote Andrey Shirin, in “Russia: The Other Christian Nation.” Practically, it means that the Patriarch of Moscow and Russian president Vladimir Putin work closely together, says George Hancock-Stefan, a professor at Palmer Theological Seminary and contributor to Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism. “It behooves this unified front—Putin and the patriarch—to say, ‘What is happening in Ukraine is something we don’t like,’” said Hancock-Stefan. “Therefore Ukraine didn’t like what the patriarch was doing and thus they aligned themselves more strongly with the Patriarch of Constantinople, and as a result, now we have schism.” Hancock-Stefan joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to explore the history of the Orthodox Church, what it really means to cut ties with another church, and what autocephaly is and why it matters.
January 9, 2019
Last fall, the Patriarch of Moscow cut ties with the Patriarch of Constantinople. This action severed the world’s largest Orthodox church from its historic home and launched a series of events that recently took a sharp turn. Last week, the Patriarch of Constantinople offered the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence from the Patriarch of Russia, actions that weren’t greeted warmly by the Patriarch of Moscow. All of this is taking place in the context of a half-decade of conflict between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea. So is this church fissure over disagreements in doctrine or international politics? One key to understanding it is understanding the concept of symphonia, or the Orthodox perspective of church-state relations. A 2016 CT article characterized symphonia as “institutionalized ‘harmonious relations’ between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian state.” “This intentional connection between church and state allows the Orthodox Church to enjoy all the attendant privileges of political preference and feeds into a uniquely Russian national identity,” wrote Andrey Shirin, in “Russia: The Other Christian Nation.” Practically, it means that the Patriarch of Moscow and Russian president Vladimir Putin work closely together, says George Hancock-Stefan, a professor at Palmer Theological Seminary and contributor to Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism. “It behooves this unified front—Putin and the patriarch—to say, ‘What is happening in Ukraine is something we don’t like,’” said Hancock-Stefan. “Therefore Ukraine didn’t like what the patriarch was doing and thus they aligned themselves more strongly with the Patriarch of Constantinople, and as a result, now we have schism.” Hancock-Stefan joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to explore the history of the Orthodox Church, what it really means to cut ties with another church, and what autocephaly is and why it matters.
January 3, 2019
We make New Year’s resolutions about money, fitness, diets, and technology. But what about personal character? And when choosing virtues to emulate, where should we start? The Bible, Aristotle, and Aquinas aren’t bad places to start, says Jay Wood, a philosophy professor at Wheaton College, who has frequently written about this topic. “What Christians have said about Aristotle is that he gives us good advice for how to flourish in a common human life,” said Wood. “Aristotle’s virtues do not, however, prepare us for the life to come. The great Christian teachers about virtue said we need to have the gifts that the Holy Spirit confers upon us in order to achieve the virtues.” Just for reference, here’s Galatians 5:22–23: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Wood joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the biblical basis for a virtuous life, if Aristotle’s exhortations ever clash with those of the Bible, and what it looks like to actually become a person of character.
January 3, 2019
We make New Year’s resolutions about money, fitness, diets, and technology. But what about personal character? And when choosing virtues to emulate, where should we start? The Bible, Aristotle, and Aquinas aren’t bad places to start, says Jay Wood, a philosophy professor at Wheaton College, who has frequently written about this topic. “What Christians have said about Aristotle is that he gives us good advice for how to flourish in a common human life,” said Wood. “Aristotle’s virtues do not, however, prepare us for the life to come. The great Christian teachers about virtue said we need to have the gifts that the Holy Spirit confers upon us in order to achieve the virtues.” Just for reference, here’s Galatians 5:22–23: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Wood joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the biblical basis for a virtuous life, if Aristotle’s exhortations ever clash with those of the Bible, and what it looks like to actually become a person of character.
December 26, 2018
Research shows our society's widespread isolation. What's the church's role in alleviating it? While technology, living situations, and neighborhood have all played roles in perpetuating these feelings of loneliness, arguably so have many of churches, says Ashley Hales, the author of Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much. “There’s a sense that our church structures have made people more lonely,” said Hales. “People can just come as they please. If they’re really unknown, they’re not getting plugged into any smaller forms of community.” Part of it is changing cultural expectations of church, said Hales. “We want church to be this customizable religious experience, instead of saying this is the bride of Christ, it’s going to be painful to be a part of, that it’s one of the only organizations where people of every tribe, tongue, and nation are getting together amidst different socioeconomic and racial differences,” she said. “ Hales joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the structural and existential reasons for our loneliness, how to be a good neighbor, and why it’s the small patterns of our life that make a big difference when it comes to relationships.
December 26, 2018
Research shows our society's widespread isolation. What's the church's role in alleviating it? While technology, living situations, and neighborhood have all played roles in perpetuating these feelings of loneliness, arguably so have many of churches, says Ashley Hales, the author of Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much. “There’s a sense that our church structures have made people more lonely,” said Hales. “People can just come as they please. If they’re really unknown, they’re not getting plugged into any smaller forms of community.” Part of it is changing cultural expectations of church, said Hales. “We want church to be this customizable religious experience, instead of saying this is the bride of Christ, it’s going to be painful to be a part of, that it’s one of the only organizations where people of every tribe, tongue, and nation are getting together amidst different socioeconomic and racial differences,” she said. “ Hales joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the structural and existential reasons for our loneliness, how to be a good neighbor, and why it’s the small patterns of our life that make a big difference when it comes to relationships.
December 19, 2018
After years behind bars and on death row, Asia Bibi was recently acquitted of blasphemy charges by Pakistan’s Supreme Court. But although the verdict technically liberated the mother of five, many in Pakistan responded to the announcement in anger, with protests erupting in the country’s major cities. Her family is currently in hiding and seeking asylum in a Western country. Overwhelmingly Muslim, Pakistan is a challenging place for the Christian (and Ahmadiyya community.) It ranks No. 5 on the 2018 World Watch List of the 50 countries where it’s hardest to be a Christian. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom also classifies Pakistan as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern. It recently booted out 18 international non-governmental organizations, including the Christian nonprofit World Vision. The reality is that most of the country’s Christians are people who historically are from a lower caste system, which although officially abolished, still exists in the country, says Michael James Nazir-Ali, a former Anglican bishop in the Church of England, who was born in Pakistan. “The bulk of the Christian population comes from these people who were landless, casual labor, just as Asia Bibi is, and were discriminated against and despised by many of the wealthier people around,” said Nazir-Ali. This week on Quick to Listen we’ll talk about what it’s like to be a religious minority. Nazir-Ali joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the history of Pakistan’s Christian community, whether blasphemy laws will ever be abolished, and what role the United States plays in improving religious freedom in the country.
December 19, 2018
After years behind bars and on death row, Asia Bibi was recently acquitted of blasphemy charges by Pakistan’s Supreme Court. But although the verdict technically liberated the mother of five, many in Pakistan responded to the announcement in anger, with protests erupting in the country’s major cities. Her family is currently in hiding and seeking asylum in a Western country. Overwhelmingly Muslim, Pakistan is a challenging place for the Christian (and Ahmadiyya community.) It ranks No. 5 on the 2018 World Watch List of the 50 countries where it’s hardest to be a Christian. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom also classifies Pakistan as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern. It recently booted out 18 international non-governmental organizations, including the Christian nonprofit World Vision. The reality is that most of the country’s Christians are people who historically are from a lower caste system, which although officially abolished, still exists in the country, says Michael James Nazir-Ali, a former Anglican bishop in the Church of England, who was born in Pakistan. “The bulk of the Christian population comes from these people who were landless, casual labor, just as Asia Bibi is, and were discriminated against and despised by many of the wealthier people around,” said Nazir-Ali. This week on Quick to Listen we’ll talk about what it’s like to be a religious minority. Nazir-Ali joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the history of Pakistan’s Christian community, whether blasphemy laws will ever be abolished, and what role the United States plays in improving religious freedom in the country.
December 12, 2018
On Sunday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published a four-part series on more than 400 allegations of sexual misconduct affiliated with the independent fundamental Baptist movement. The scope of their reporting spanned nearly 1,000 churches and organizations across 40 states and Canada. The report noted: One hundred and sixty-eight church leaders were accused or convicted of committing sexual crimes against children, the investigation found. At least 45 of the alleged abusers continued in ministry after accusations came to the attention of church authorities or law enforcement. But what is the independent fundamental Baptist movement? Historically it has meant a firm belief in the “fundamental doctrines, that is to say, the essential doctrines of the Christian faith” and “an insistence that you should only extend Christian fellowship to people who profess to believe the gospel.” said Kevin Bauder, a research professor of systematic theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary and the author of a two-part volume on Baptist fundamentalism. But that’s not necessarily what people hear, Bauder acknowledges. “The term ‘fundamentalist’ has sort of been co-opted by Martin Marty’s Fundamentalism project, where he made it a sociological designation for any extreme group,” said Bauder. “None of us are really happy with that label these days, because of the connotations it carries now.” (Perhaps one way to see it could be as the inverse of historian George Marsden’s remark: “An evangelical is someone who likes Billy Graham.”) Bauder joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the history of fundamentalism, why he thinks the movement is dying, and the circumstances that led it to part ways with Billy Graham.
December 12, 2018
On Sunday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published a four-part series on more than 400 allegations of sexual misconduct affiliated with the independent fundamental Baptist movement. The scope of their reporting spanned nearly 1,000 churches and organizations across 40 states and Canada. The report noted: One hundred and sixty-eight church leaders were accused or convicted of committing sexual crimes against children, the investigation found. At least 45 of the alleged abusers continued in ministry after accusations came to the attention of church authorities or law enforcement. But what is the independent fundamental Baptist movement? Historically it has meant a firm belief in the “fundamental doctrines, that is to say, the essential doctrines of the Christian faith” and “an insistence that you should only extend Christian fellowship to people who profess to believe the gospel.” said Kevin Bauder, a research professor of systematic theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary and the author of a two-part volume on Baptist fundamentalism. But that’s not necessarily what people hear, Bauder acknowledges. “The term ‘fundamentalist’ has sort of been co-opted by Martin Marty’s Fundamentalism project, where he made it a sociological designation for any extreme group,” said Bauder. “None of us are really happy with that label these days, because of the connotations it carries now.” (Perhaps one way to see it could be as the inverse of historian George Marsden’s remark: “An evangelical is someone who likes Billy Graham.”) Bauder joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the history of fundamentalism, why he thinks the movement is dying, and the circumstances that led it to part ways with Billy Graham.
December 5, 2018
We’re in the midst of what could be a significant transition for American pastoral salaries. A lawsuit challenging the longstanding clergy housing allowance is in the court of appeals. Last year’s tax reform bill made significant changes to the standard deduction, which could have dramatic effects for the level of giving churches have historically relied upon. As CT Pastors recently reported, “staffing costs typically account for 45 to 55 percent of a church’s budget. But with recent changes in costs, demographics, and giving in US churches, many are questioning that model.” Beyond these larger changes, churches, whether part of denominations or nondenominational, have long struggled with knowing how to fairly compensate pastors and other employees, says Brian Kluth, who currently leads the National Association of Evangelical’s Financial Health initiative, which seeks to improve the financial health of pastors and church. “There are real critical pay issues for people in church and really at all levels and all genders,” said Kluth. Kluth joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the inconsistent ways pastors are compensated, how American Christian giving (or lackthereof) affects this conversation, and the perks and breaks pastors receive and how they should be considered when determining salary.
December 5, 2018
We’re in the midst of what could be a significant transition for American pastoral salaries. A lawsuit challenging the longstanding clergy housing allowance is in the court of appeals. Last year’s tax reform bill made significant changes to the standard deduction, which could have dramatic effects for the level of giving churches have historically relied upon. As CT Pastors recently reported, “staffing costs typically account for 45 to 55 percent of a church’s budget. But with recent changes in costs, demographics, and giving in US churches, many are questioning that model.” Beyond these larger changes, churches, whether part of denominations or nondenominational, have long struggled with knowing how to fairly compensate pastors and other employees, says Brian Kluth, who currently leads the National Association of Evangelical’s Financial Health initiative, which seeks to improve the financial health of pastors and church. “There are real critical pay issues for people in church and really at all levels and all genders,” said Kluth. Kluth joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the inconsistent ways pastors are compensated, how American Christian giving (or lackthereof) affects this conversation, and the perks and breaks pastors receive and how they should be considered when determining salary.
November 28, 2018
A little over a week ago, a 26-year-missionary was killed by members of an isolated tribe on a remote island near India, Myanmar, and Thailand. As CT reported: According to news reports based on Chau’s journal entries, the Oral Roberts University graduate shouted, “My name is John, and I love you and Jesus loves you,” to Sentinelese tribesmen armed with bows and arrows. He fled to a fishing boat when they shot at him during his initial visit, with one arrow piercing his Bible. The young missionary did not survive a follow-up trip on November 17. Chau was working with All Nations, whose stated mission is “to make disciples and train leaders to ignite church planting movements among the neglected peoples of the earth.” Mary Ho, the international executive leader at All Nations, described Chau as a “very interesting young man” and “very focused.” “Since he was about 18 years old, I believe, he took a mission trip and on that mission trip he really felt a call to be a missionary,” Ho said. “Around that time he started researching all the different people groups and he came across the North Sentinelese people.” Chau really felt that “his life’s call was to take the love and goodness of Jesus Christ to the North Sentinelese,” said Ho. “Since then, every decision he has made has been to prepare himself for his life’s call.” Today on Quick to Listen, we want to learn more about John Chau, the Sentinelese, and other “neglected peoples”—and especially the challenges and perils of bringing the gospel to isolated people groups.
November 28, 2018
A little over a week ago, a 26-year-missionary was killed by members of an isolated tribe on a remote island near India, Myanmar, and Thailand. As CT reported: According to news reports based on Chau’s journal entries, the Oral Roberts University graduate shouted, “My name is John, and I love you and Jesus loves you,” to Sentinelese tribesmen armed with bows and arrows. He fled to a fishing boat when they shot at him during his initial visit, with one arrow piercing his Bible. The young missionary did not survive a follow-up trip on November 17. Chau was working with All Nations, whose stated mission is “to make disciples and train leaders to ignite church planting movements among the neglected peoples of the earth.” Mary Ho, the international executive leader at All Nations, described Chau as a “very interesting young man” and “very focused.” “Since he was about 18 years old, I believe, he took a mission trip and on that mission trip he really felt a call to be a missionary,” Ho said. “Around that time he started researching all the different people groups and he came across the North Sentinelese people.” Chau really felt that “his life’s call was to take the love and goodness of Jesus Christ to the North Sentinelese,” said Ho. “Since then, every decision he has made has been to prepare himself for his life’s call.” Today on Quick to Listen, we want to learn more about John Chau, the Sentinelese, and other “neglected peoples”—and especially the challenges and perils of bringing the gospel to isolated people groups.
November 21, 2018
How Christians Can Partner with Muslims on Religious Freedom by Christianity Today
November 21, 2018
How Christians Can Partner with Muslims on Religious Freedom by Christianity Today
November 14, 2018
It’s been a bloody year in the Central African Republic. Two months ago, a massacre claimed the lives of dozens of people in the country after suspected Islamist rebels attacked a group of civilians. The massacre was just the latest in a wave of violence for the country of 4.5 million. At the beginning of this year, the CAR’s capital had been considered a safe haven in the war-torn country. It was the only place the government claimed control, as three-quarters of the landlocked nation is occupied by armed groups. But since the spring, the country has witnessed an upsurge of violence, notably with attacks targeting churches and church leaders in the capital city, Bangui, and Bambari, another important city in the country. Four Catholic priests were targeted, with three of them killed in separate Islamist attacks. In response to the violence from the past couple years, a militia composed primarily of Christians has also committed atrocities against Muslims. But the unrest hasn’t divided the church, says Paul Mpindi, the director of Mission French Africa; a radio ministry that focuses on evangelism, discipleship, and stewardship in French-speaking Africa. “I’m so thankful for the Catholic Church and Protestant church because they are working together,” said Mpindi. “The bishop there has been at the forefront of the peace transition, helping the government, helping the rebels, and working with the Muslims.” Mpindi joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli on Quick to Listen to discuss why violence is once again on the upswing, who really makes up the country’s “Christian militia,” and what it will take for peace to prevail in the country. This podcast is brought to you in part by Christianbook.com, a huge selection of Christian books, Bibles, gifts, music, and more. This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you by Kingdom At Work, a movement that seeks to inspire, equip, and ignite leaders to advance God’s kingdom through their influence in the marketplace. To attend one of their workshops or learn more, visit KingdomAtWork.com. What is “Quick to Listen”? Read more Subscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our host on Twitter: Morgan Lee Follow our guest’s website: Mission French Africa Subscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli Report Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee, Richard Clark, and Cray Allred
November 14, 2018
It’s been a bloody year in the Central African Republic. Two months ago, a massacre claimed the lives of dozens of people in the country after suspected Islamist rebels attacked a group of civilians. The massacre was just the latest in a wave of violence for the country of 4.5 million. At the beginning of this year, the CAR’s capital had been considered a safe haven in the war-torn country. It was the only place the government claimed control, as three-quarters of the landlocked nation is occupied by armed groups. But since the spring, the country has witnessed an upsurge of violence, notably with attacks targeting churches and church leaders in the capital city, Bangui, and Bambari, another important city in the country. Four Catholic priests were targeted, with three of them killed in separate Islamist attacks. In response to the violence from the past couple years, a militia composed primarily of Christians has also committed atrocities against Muslims. But the unrest hasn’t divided the church, says Paul Mpindi, the director of Mission French Africa; a radio ministry that focuses on evangelism, discipleship, and stewardship in French-speaking Africa. “I’m so thankful for the Catholic Church and Protestant church because they are working together,” said Mpindi. “The bishop there has been at the forefront of the peace transition, helping the government, helping the rebels, and working with the Muslims.” Mpindi joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli on Quick to Listen to discuss why violence is once again on the upswing, who really makes up the country’s “Christian militia,” and what it will take for peace to prevail in the country. This podcast is brought to you in part by Christianbook.com, a huge selection of Christian books, Bibles, gifts, music, and more. This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you by Kingdom At Work, a movement that seeks to inspire, equip, and ignite leaders to advance God’s kingdom through their influence in the marketplace. To attend one of their workshops or learn more, visit KingdomAtWork.com. What is “Quick to Listen”? Read more Subscribe to Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our host on Twitter: Morgan Lee Follow our guest’s website: Mission French Africa Subscribe to Mark’s newsletter: The Galli Report Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee, Richard Clark, and Cray Allred
November 7, 2018
Elections often call attention to white evangelicals whose votes and voices play a significant role in national elections. But their attitudes and values don’t necessarily represent those of evangelicals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Case in point: Latino evangelicals. According to data from the Billy Graham Center Institute at Wheaton College and LifeWay Research, 41 percent of Hispanics with evangelical beliefs voted for Trump in 2016. What were the issues that most influenced their vote? According to the same survey, 19 percent said improving the economy, 14 percent said helping those in need, and 14 percent said a candidate’s position on immigration. “Most Latinos will tend to be socially conservative on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage but will tend to be social liberals on issues like education and immigration, so we’ve tended to be divided on how we spread the vote,” said Juan Martínez, who currently serves as professor of Hispanic studies and pastoral leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. “This isn’t new; it just stands out more because we’re a larger percentage of the voting block. Those of us who have voted have struggled with this for years because the Democrat/Republican way that this is broken out doesn’t fit us well.” Martínez joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the history of Latino evangelicals and what unifies and divides the community.
November 7, 2018
Elections often call attention to white evangelicals whose votes and voices play a significant role in national elections. But their attitudes and values don’t necessarily represent those of evangelicals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Case in point: Latino evangelicals. According to data from the Billy Graham Center Institute at Wheaton College and LifeWay Research, 41 percent of Hispanics with evangelical beliefs voted for Trump in 2016. What were the issues that most influenced their vote? According to the same survey, 19 percent said improving the economy, 14 percent said helping those in need, and 14 percent said a candidate’s position on immigration. “Most Latinos will tend to be socially conservative on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage but will tend to be social liberals on issues like education and immigration, so we’ve tended to be divided on how we spread the vote,” said Juan Martínez, who currently serves as professor of Hispanic studies and pastoral leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. “This isn’t new; it just stands out more because we’re a larger percentage of the voting block. Those of us who have voted have struggled with this for years because the Democrat/Republican way that this is broken out doesn’t fit us well.” Martínez joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the history of Latino evangelicals and what unifies and divides the community.
October 31, 2018
A Chicagoland megachurch pastor has sued a Christian media personality and two former church-members-turned-potential-whistleblowers for defamation. According to Harvest Bible Chapel pastor James McDonald, former Moody Radio host Julie Roys and bloggers Ryan Mahoney and Scott Bryant published and helped publicize false and damaging financial information about the congregation. But should Christians so at odds actually be taking each other to court? In many cases, no, says Ken Sande, the founder of Peacemaker Ministries and the current president of Relational Wisdom 360. “Typically, conflict between Christians involves some foundation of sin,” said Sande. “Lawyers can dress that up in legal terms, but what it really comes down to in 99 percent of the cases is sin. Keeping one’s word. Slandering. False representation. Bitterness. Anger. Unforgiveness. Those are all spiritual issues that the church has jurisdiction over and a judge can’t touch.” Sande joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss conflict resolution—or lack thereof—when it comes to Christians, the power of seeing people confess sin to one another, and how these processes play out in a #MeToo era.
October 31, 2018
A Chicagoland megachurch pastor has sued a Christian media personality and two former church-members-turned-potential-whistleblowers for defamation. According to Harvest Bible Chapel pastor James McDonald, former Moody Radio host Julie Roys and bloggers Ryan Mahoney and Scott Bryant published and helped publicize false and damaging financial information about the congregation. But should Christians so at odds actually be taking each other to court? In many cases, no, says Ken Sande, the founder of Peacemaker Ministries and the current president of Relational Wisdom 360. “Typically, conflict between Christians involves some foundation of sin,” said Sande. “Lawyers can dress that up in legal terms, but what it really comes down to in 99 percent of the cases is sin. Keeping one’s word. Slandering. False representation. Bitterness. Anger. Unforgiveness. Those are all spiritual issues that the church has jurisdiction over and a judge can’t touch.” Sande joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss conflict resolution—or lack thereof—when it comes to Christians, the power of seeing people confess sin to one another, and how these processes play out in a #MeToo era.
October 24, 2018
Last year, Vice President Mike Pence pledged support to Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities forced out of their homelands in Iraq by ISIS. Religious freedom advocates and groups in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq cheered the news. Then, the money didn’t come. Last week, the Trump administration announced a multimillion-dollar assistance plan to bring the total funding over the past year for religious minorities in Iraq to nearly $300 million. The money will be used to rebuild communities, preserve heritage sites, secure left-behind explosives, and empower survivors to seek justice. Those charged with administering the funds have their work cut for them. “From the time of the US invasion to now, you have seen a Christian church of over a million people that has been reduced to 100,000 people,” said Mindy Belz, senior editor at World Magazine, who has visited and reported from Iraq frequently over the past two decades. When Saddam Hussein’s regime was first toppled, Christians were hopeful, says Belz. But as the US stayed on, things got worse for the community. “When the US had troops on the ground and were essentially running the government to it, we were not paying attention to the minorities—the Christians, the Yazidis, the Shabak, the Turkmen. We were not looking out for them,” said Belz, who is also the author of They Say We Are Infidels. “They did not have sufficient political representation that would look out for them, and they were getting no favors from the Iraqi government so the jihadists were targeting them with impunity.” Belz joins associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what went wrong with last year’s plan to send money to Iraq, how ISIS changed how Christians relate to their fellow religious minorities and their Muslim neighbors, and what life is like on the ground in Iraq right now for the church.
October 24, 2018
Last year, Vice President Mike Pence pledged support to Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities forced out of their homelands in Iraq by ISIS. Religious freedom advocates and groups in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq cheered the news. Then, the money didn’t come. Last week, the Trump administration announced a multimillion-dollar assistance plan to bring the total funding over the past year for religious minorities in Iraq to nearly $300 million. The money will be used to rebuild communities, preserve heritage sites, secure left-behind explosives, and empower survivors to seek justice. Those charged with administering the funds have their work cut for them. “From the time of the US invasion to now, you have seen a Christian church of over a million people that has been reduced to 100,000 people,” said Mindy Belz, senior editor at World Magazine, who has visited and reported from Iraq frequently over the past two decades. When Saddam Hussein’s regime was first toppled, Christians were hopeful, says Belz. But as the US stayed on, things got worse for the community. “When the US had troops on the ground and were essentially running the government to it, we were not paying attention to the minorities—the Christians, the Yazidis, the Shabak, the Turkmen. We were not looking out for them,” said Belz, who is also the author of They Say We Are Infidels. “They did not have sufficient political representation that would look out for them, and they were getting no favors from the Iraqi government so the jihadists were targeting them with impunity.” Belz joins associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what went wrong with last year’s plan to send money to Iraq, how ISIS changed how Christians relate to their fellow religious minorities and their Muslim neighbors, and what life is like on the ground in Iraq right now for the church.
October 17, 2018
Last week, the world’s leading climate scientists released a sobering report, which claimed that there are only a dozen years to keep the Earth’s climate from increasing by 1.5 degrees Celsius. If the planet fails to do so, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned, the risk of drought, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people will massively increase. To avoid barreling toward this future, the entire world will have to make massive changes in the way it currently consumes energy. “It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now,” Debra Roberts, a scientist who worked on the report, told The Guardian. “This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilizes people and dents the mood of complacency.” But upending the status quo is incredibly difficult work, says Peter Harris, cofounder of A Rocha, an international Christian nature organization. A former parish minister, Harris says he sees parallels between his conservation work and his life in church ministry. “I had to sit next to the bedside of a dying friend. It was good to be there. It was good for us to share the presence of God and the hope of the resurrection,” he said. “And sometimes we know when we’re potentially going to lose the conservation battle—and honestly I doubt if we will keep the temperature rise below two degrees within the next 15 years—what we have to do it out of is that the Lord will not abandon his creation. He’ll stir up his church worldwide.” Harris joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss UN report’s warnings and predictions, the human impact of climate change, and why a Christian response to this report must be rooted in a bigger vision than halting climate change.
October 17, 2018
Last week, the world’s leading climate scientists released a sobering report, which claimed that there are only a dozen years to keep the Earth’s climate from increasing by 1.5 degrees Celsius. If the planet fails to do so, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned, the risk of drought, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people will massively increase. To avoid barreling toward this future, the entire world will have to make massive changes in the way it currently consumes energy. “It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now,” Debra Roberts, a scientist who worked on the report, told The Guardian. “This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilizes people and dents the mood of complacency.” But upending the status quo is incredibly difficult work, says Peter Harris, cofounder of A Rocha, an international Christian nature organization. A former parish minister, Harris says he sees parallels between his conservation work and his life in church ministry. “I had to sit next to the bedside of a dying friend. It was good to be there. It was good for us to share the presence of God and the hope of the resurrection,” he said. “And sometimes we know when we’re potentially going to lose the conservation battle—and honestly I doubt if we will keep the temperature rise below two degrees within the next 15 years—what we have to do it out of is that the Lord will not abandon his creation. He’ll stir up his church worldwide.” Harris joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss UN report’s warnings and predictions, the human impact of climate change, and why a Christian response to this report must be rooted in a bigger vision than halting climate change.
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