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July 9, 2020
Each Wednesday, Christianity Today's Quick to Listen drops a new episode that adds context and complexity to some of the hottest current events in the Christian world. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
July 8, 2020
Take Quick to Listen’s survey! The protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in May started with a focus on police brutality. But six weeks later, a dominant theme is the removal of monuments, and memorials. Protesters have torn down or vandalized dozens of statues connected to the Confederacy and to other controversial historical figures like Christopher Columbus. But this isn’t the first time that statues have been torn down en mass amid widespread protests. After Constantine allowed Christianity in the Roman Empire, Christians tore down so many statues that in Athens they reportedly became known as “the people who move that which should not be moved.” Early church battled each other over religious iconography. Reformation Christians inspired another round of eager statue smashing and removal. “What's funny is when I was first getting acclimated to art as a Protestant, and learning that art history mattered, we were embarrassed about our iconoclastic heritage,” said Matthew Milliner, associate professor of art history at Wheaton College. “But what an honor to be known as ‘the people who moved that which should not be moved.’” Milliner joined global media manager Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss how much earlier Christian battles over statues echo today’s fights, what Christians have learned that might help us better understand the call to remove statues today, and whether we should even be creating memorials and monuments in the first place.
July 1, 2020
Take Quick to Listen’s survey! In 2014, Louisiana enacted a law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court struck down the law. Legislators said the requirement would improve the level of care that clinics provide for women. Abortion regulations in Louisiana and other conservative states have resulted in clinic closures and corresponded with falling abortion rates nationwide. Beyond the Supreme Court’s power, the federal government plays a key role in terms of shaping public opinion around abortion, says Alexandra DeSanctis, a staff writer for National Review and the host of the For Life podcast. “But I think in terms of what comes before courts, and what actually goes into effect, what actually matters for the everyday American in terms of how they think about abortion, is policy at the state level,” said DeSanctis. “And I think that even among pro-lifers, there are plenty of people who think you couldn't even really pass a ban on abortion through the U.S. Congress. ...So I do think if this is going to be a successful fight for pro-lifers, we have to think first and foremost of the micro-level, local and state policy first.” DeSanctis joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss what was surprising and unsurprising about the SCOTUS decision, what makes John Roberts tick, and if trying to get cases to the highest court in the land should be the goal for pro-lifers.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Alexandra Desanctis Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
June 24, 2020
Take Quick to Listen’s listener survey! Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. The Navajo Nation continues to be hit hard by COVID-19. The community has reported nearly 7,000 cases and more than 330 deaths. Leaders have ordered businesses closed on weekends in a community that is spread across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The Navajo Nation’s preexisting conditions like poverty, limited running water, and close living situations make it extra vulnerable to coronavirus. The lockdowns have made it challenging for people to access the resources they need, says Donnie Begay, who along with his wife, Renee, directs the Nations Movement, a campus ministry that’s part of Cru. “On the Navajo Nation, there are only about a dozen food grocery stories that cover 27,000 square miles that is the Navajo reservation,” said Begay, who lives in Albuquerque. Many on the reservation live at least an hour away from the border of the reservations and these lockdowns cut them off from the businesses on the other side. “These lockdowns can be very cumbersome to people who need to drive an hour or more just to buy groceries or necessities and food during the pandemic,” said Begay. Begay joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the community’s complex relationship with Christianity, why they’re uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19, and how Navajo millennials are making their faith their own. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Donnie Begay Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
June 17, 2020
Last month, the Chinese government approved a plan that would give Mainland China the ability to crush any acts in Hong Kong that it deems a national security risk. Despite international outcry, the legislation will go into effect in September. In one of many responses by Hong Kongers, hundreds of theologians, pastors, and church leaders signed a statement accusing the draft decision of “further depriving Hong Kong of freedom and human rights.”The Christian leaders accused the Chinese government of destroying its promises and undercutting the city as an international financial center. At a time where, quote, “darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, we fearlessly and solemnly declare the following confession and promise to our society, including our full embrace of the Gospel of the Kingdom, our sincere repentance towards the Church’s shortcomings, our absolute refusal to authoritarian government, and our determination to walk together with Hong Kong society.” the statement said. As Hong Kong heads to the fall, the church could use prayers “for guidance and clarity for church leaders and Christians in Hong Kong and how we're going to walk this path. Because I honestly have no idea what's going to happen next,” said Ann Gillian Chu, who is completing her doctor of divinity at the University of St. Andrews in the Center for the Study of Religion and Politics and who has written widely on the theology of Hong Kong’s protest movements. “And I think there is also a general sense of weariness and dread on what’s going to happen,” she said. “And obviously, this is entirely out of our control. And so there's nothing else we can rely on, except for God.” Chu joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the state of Christianity in Hong Kong, if the protests will unify or split the church, and if any prominent Hong Kong Christians desire a closer relationship between Hong Kong and China. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Gillian Chu Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
June 10, 2020
In recent weeks, American cities, suburbs, and small towns have seen an explosion of protests reacting to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Even as many have commented on the racial diversity of the demonstrators, many of those organizing the marches are young African Americans activists. But while black pastors have organized several marches in major cities like Chicago and Washington DC, they have not been at the forefront of a movement that arguably began back in Ferguson in 2014.  “While you may have had many black pastors and clergy who may have shown up at events, and you may have had a lot of people from black churches who were at these marches and protests, from 2014 to the present, by and large, this has not been a theological movement,” said Watson Jones III, the senior pastor of Compassion Baptist Church in Chicago. “It hasn't been a movement that has started in the basements of churches, in prayer meetings, and altars that flooded out into the streets.” Despite this, Watson believes that some of what is fueling many of the young black activist leaders ties back to this institution.  “Much of how they do what they do are examples of things that early clergy and faithful Christians did in the ’50s, ’60s, and even ’70s, but there is an absence of clergy leading this movement,” he said. Watson joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss why the black church’s approach to activism has never been a monolith, how the community’s preaching is speaking to current events, and the extent to which the black church is struggling to keep young people engaged.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Watson Jones III Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
June 10, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. In recent weeks, American cities, suburbs, and small towns have seen an explosion of protests reacting to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Even as many have commented on the racial diversity of the demonstrators, many of those organizing the marches are young African Americans activists. But while black pastors have organized several marches in major cities like Chicago and Washington DC, they have not been at the forefront of a movement that arguably began back in Ferguson in 2014.  “While you may have had many black pastors and clergy who may have shown up at events, and you may have had a lot of people from black churches who were at these marches and protests, from 2014 to the present, by and large, this has not been a theological movement,” said Watson Jones III, the senior pastor of Compassion Baptist Church in Chicago. “It hasn't been a movement that has started in the basements of churches, in prayer meetings, and altars that flooded out into the streets.” Despite this, Watson believes that some of what is fueling many of the young black activist leaders ties back to this institution.  “Much of how they do what they do are examples of things that early clergy and faithful Christians did in the ’50s, ’60s, and even ’70s, but there is an absence of clergy leading this movement,” he said. Watson joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss why the black church’s approach to activism has never been a monolith, how the community’s preaching is speaking to current events, and the extent to which the black church is struggling to keep young people engaged.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Watson Jones III Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
June 3, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. In the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets to protest police brutality. Video of Floyd’s final moments as a police officer used his knee to pin his neck and his three colleagues looked on prompted a strong reaction from around this country. While perhaps more white evangelicals have spoken out against the police officers’ actions than after previous acts of police brutality made national news, some of the ways that they are framing their statements about law enforcement suggests they actually aren’t getting it, says Aaron L. Griffith, assistant professor of history at Sattler College in Boston. “I worry that many white evangelicals are talking about the problem of police brutality in terms of the exceptions, in terms of the bad apples. And then proposing things like more training or pushing more into the colorblind frame or even mobilizing language like ‘racial reconciliation,’ to say that black Americans have an opportunity to forgive and befriend the officers in their midst,” said Griffith, who is also the author of the forthcoming God’s Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America.“That is very concerning to me because we've seen this before. We've seen this in moves toward community policing, which envisions the police as more closely connected, and perhaps even friendly, to the neighborhoods they serve,” he said. “But community policing projects are really much more about just changing perceptions of law enforcement, not the practices of how they operate. And really, making police more directly connected to communities, embedding them more closely in communities, often just exposes residents to more interactions and more risks.” Griffith joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the origins of the police, how a desire to reach teenagers affected attitudes toward law enforcement, and if white evangelicals views are changing or not. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Aaron L. Griffith Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
May 27, 2020
California’s Department of Health’s reopening guidelines for houses of worship contain bitter news for those who love corporate worship.  “Strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances where there is increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets,” the report warns. In another section it notes, “ Activities such as singing and group recitation negate the risk-reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing.” Absorbing this is tough news for those who feel most connected to God and others through music. “There is something about articulating our emotional state and using music, using song, as a means of expressing ourselves before the Lord. And that's deep in the Christian tradition, from singing and praying the Psalms to the early hymns in the New Testament like in Luke's gospel and peppered through Paul's letters,” said Glenn Packiam, associate senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “There was also a reputation that early Christians get. In Pliny’s letter to the emperor, he says, “These strange Christians get together before sunrise and they sing these hymns to Christ as if to a God.” “There's something about song that helps us express more than just what the words of the song are saying,” continued Packiam, who is also the author of the forthcoming book, Worship and the World to Come Exploring Christian Hope in Contemporary Worship. Packiam joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss how his church has handled the pandemic from a worship perspective, what makes corporate singing special, and what it means that eschatology is missing from our worship music.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Visit our guest’s website: Glenn Packiam Read more about Packiam’s church: New Life After the Fall of Ted Haggard Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
May 27, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. California’s Department of Health’s reopening guidelines for houses of worship contain bitter news for those who love corporate worship.  “Strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances where there is increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets,” the report warns. In another section it notes, “ Activities such as singing and group recitation negate the risk-reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing.” Absorbing this is tough news for those who feel most connected to God and others through music. “There is something about articulating our emotional state and using music, using song, as a means of expressing ourselves before the Lord. And that's deep in the Christian tradition, from singing and praying the Psalms to the early hymns in the New Testament like in Luke's gospel and peppered through Paul's letters,” said Glenn Packiam, associate senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “There was also a reputation that early Christians get. In Pliny’s letter to the emperor, he says, “These strange Christians get together before sunrise and they sing these hymns to Christ as if to a God.” “There's something about song that helps us express more than just what the words of the song are saying,” continued Packiam, who is also the author of the forthcoming book, Worship and the World to Come Exploring Christian Hope in Contemporary Worship. Packiam joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss how his church has handled the pandemic from a worship perspective, what makes corporate singing special, and what it means that eschatology is missing from our worship music.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Visit our guest’s website: Glenn Packiam Read more about Packiam’s church: New Life After the Fall of Ted Haggard Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
May 22, 2020
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” That these 17 words were uttered by a woman named Julian of Norwich may be the only thing you know about this 14th-century English saint. Historians don’t necessarily know that much more. We’re not even sure her real name. So why do we remember her? In this episode of Prayer amid Pandemic, Amy Laura Hall, the author of Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich and a Christian ethics professor at Duke Divinity School, tell us why we know so little about Julian’s identity but why we still read her writings on the vision she received while sick today. Gideon Para-Mallam, the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students regional secretary for English and Portuguese-speaking Africa, offers this week’s prayer. Read Christianity Today’s latest coronavirus coverage What is Prayer amid Pandemic? Read more Rate Prayer amid Pandemic on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow the host on Twitter: Morgan Lee Music by Urban Nerd Beats, Prod. Riddiman, and Oliver Dúvel Prayer amid Pandemic is produced by Morgan Lee, Mike Cosper, and Erik Petrik
May 20, 2020
Plandemic? QAnon? Bill Gates creating the COVID-19?  As the novel coronavirus has traveled around the world, so too have conspiracy theories about the origins of the disease and the winners and losers that have emerged as result. In the past month, a video making claims that Gates and Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, used COVID-19 to gain money and political power, went viral. At the same time as Plandemic, The Atlantic launched a new series examining conspiracy theories, including an in-depth look at the QAnon, a movement that makes bold claims about the global elite. The Bible has many things to say about conspiracy theories, specifically with regards for how Christians should determine what is real, says Dru Johnson, the director of the Center for Hebraic Thought and who wrote about conspiracy theories for CT in December. “The biblical diagnosis, the biblical impulse here, is not that you have to be afraid of someone lying to you. It's that somebody will always be interpreting your world for you,” said Johnson. “And you have to lean into the wise practices that God has given us as people to discern what is worth listening to and what's not.” “People say that God sent COVID-19 to bring the Church in America together to teach us the lesson. How could we know such a thing?” said Johnson, who also teaches biblical studies and theology at The King’s College in New York City. “But I certainly do believe that God is using this as a test of us. A test of who we trust and how we think about what's worth trusting and understanding.” Johnson joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to share about how the Bible discusses conspiracy theories, what Paul means when he writes about the mysteries of God, and what differentiates a conspiracy theory from a religion.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Dru Johnson Visit our guest’s website: Dru Johnson Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
May 20, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Plandemic? QAnon? Bill Gates creating the COVID-19?  As the novel coronavirus has traveled around the world, so too have conspiracy theories about the origins of the disease and the winners and losers that have emerged as result. In the past month, a video making claims that Gates and Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, used COVID-19 to gain money and political power, went viral. At the same time as Plandemic, The Atlantic launched a new series examining conspiracy theories, including an in-depth look at the QAnon, a movement that makes bold claims about the global elite. The Bible has many things to say about conspiracy theories, specifically with regards for how Christians should determine what is real, says Dru Johnson, the director of the Center for Hebraic Thought and who wrote about conspiracy theories for CT in December. “The biblical diagnosis, the biblical impulse here, is not that you have to be afraid of someone lying to you. It's that somebody will always be interpreting your world for you,” said Johnson. “And you have to lean into the wise practices that God has given us as people to discern what is worth listening to and what's not.” “People say that God sent COVID-19 to bring the Church in America together to teach us the lesson. How could we know such a thing?” said Johnson, who also teaches biblical studies and theology at The King’s College in New York City. “But I certainly do believe that God is using this as a test of us. A test of who we trust and how we think about what's worth trusting and understanding.” Johnson joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to share about how the Bible discusses conspiracy theories, what Paul means when he writes about the mysteries of God, and what differentiates a conspiracy theory from a religion.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Dru Johnson Visit our guest’s website: Dru Johnson Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
May 13, 2020
Last week, a video was leaked of a white man shooting and killing Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery in his neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia. While Arbery’s death occurred in February, the alleged shooter and his father were only arrested last week following a massive public uproar following the release of the tape. Many Christians, of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, have condemned the Arbery’s killing. But widespread condemnation from the church for these types of killings was not always the case.For years, for white Christians, “the critique of lynching rarely moved beyond ‘Lynching is anarchy, and we need to kind of reinforce the rule of law,’” said Malcolm Foley, a PhD candidate in Baylor University’s Department of Religion, whose dissertation examines African-American Christian responses to lynching from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Not surprisingly, the black church took a much more forceful response to these atrocities.“Many black pastors were commenting on this and saying, ‘If you can either stand in a mob of thousands of people and watch a black man be set on fire alive, or if you are one of the people holding the rifles that riddled this body with bullets, you're most likely not a Christian,’” said Foley, who is also the director of discipleship at Mosaic Waco. Foley joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the colonial history of lynching, how beliefs about white women provided justification for this violence, and how lynchings changed the theology of the black and white church. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Malcolm Foley Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
May 13, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Last week, a video was leaked of a white man shooting and killing Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery in his neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia. While Arbery’s death occurred in February, the alleged shooter and his father were only arrested last week following a massive public uproar following the release of the tape. Many Christians, of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, have condemned the Arbery’s killing. But widespread condemnation from the church for these types of killings was not always the case.For years, for white Christians, “the critique of lynching rarely moved beyond ‘Lynching is anarchy, and we need to kind of reinforce the rule of law,’” said Malcolm Foley, a PhD candidate in Baylor University’s Department of Religion, whose dissertation examines African-American Christian responses to lynching from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Not surprisingly, the black church took a much more forceful response to these atrocities.“Many black pastors were commenting on this and saying, ‘If you can either stand in a mob of thousands of people and watch a black man be set on fire alive, or if you are one of the people holding the rifles that riddled this body with bullets, you're most likely not a Christian,’” said Foley, who is also the director of discipleship at Mosaic Waco. Foley joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the colonial history of lynching, how beliefs about white women provided justification for this violence, and how lynchings changed the theology of the black and white church. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Malcolm Foley Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
May 6, 2020
Last week, Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas announced plans for the city’s reopening. Churches are among the institutions that will be allowed to open this month: with one caveat. Any business or establishment that allows people to stay for more than 10 minutes must allow attendees or customers to sign a sheet with all their contact information, to allow for contact tracers to contact them if there was later a COVID-19 outbreak at the establishment. The conservative Christian law firm Liberty Counsel by comparing Kansas City’s actions with Nazi Germany. “The Germans did this very thing to Jews – collecting the names and locations of all known synagogue attendees - in the early days of the Nazi regime,” Founder and Chairman Mat Staver wrote in a fundraising appeal. “Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined Nazi-like measures designed to surveil, track and spy upon what was once a FREE American people. Yet that is exactly what Kansas City’s misguided government officials are now demanding.” Kansas City mishandled this situation, says Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm.  “I have almost no doubt that this was taking place due to very well-intentioned people, but there's a reason why that raises a sense of alarm in all kinds of people–and not just the conspiracy theory, propagating people who are complaining about having to wear masks in the grocery store,” he said. “...I think governments, even when they're well-intentioned, have to think through what are the implications going to be, how can somebody use this policy I'm putting into place in another time and for another reason, and how am I communicating it?” Moore joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss how COVID-19 may shape religious freedom battles in the future, where churches should look for wisdom and guidance as they reopen, and what he finds surprising about how congregations have responded to social distancing.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
May 6, 2020
Last week, Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas announced plans for the city’s reopening. Churches are among the institutions that will be allowed to open this month: with one caveat. Any business or establishment that allows people to stay for more than 10 minutes must allow attendees or customers to sign a sheet with all their contact information, to allow for contact tracers to contact them if there was later a COVID-19 outbreak at the establishment. The conservative Christian law firm Liberty Counsel compared Kansas City’s actions those of Nazi Germany. “The Germans did this very thing to Jews – collecting the names and locations of all known synagogue attendees - in the early days of the Nazi regime,” Founder and Chairman Mat Staver wrote in a fundraising appeal. “Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined Nazi-like measures designed to surveil, track and spy upon what was once a FREE American people. Yet that is exactly what Kansas City’s misguided government officials are now demanding.” Kansas City mishandled this situation, says Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm.  “I have almost no doubt that this was taking place due to very well-intentioned people, but there's a reason why that raises a sense of alarm in all kinds of people–and not just the conspiracy theory, propagating people who are complaining about having to wear masks in the grocery store,” he said. “...I think governments, even when they're well-intentioned, have to think through what are the implications going to be, how can somebody use this policy I'm putting into place in another time and for another reason, and how am I communicating it?” Moore joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss how COVID-19 may shape religious freedom battles in the future, where churches should look for wisdom and guidance as they reopen, and what he finds surprising about how congregations have responded to social distancing.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
April 29, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. As governors across the U.S. consider whether to relax stay at home orders, many are pitting the words “politics” and “economics” against the word “science.” California Governor Gavin Newsom, for example, told the Los Angeles Times.“We are going to do the right thing, not judge by politics, not judge by protests, but by science.” And as Governor Brian Kemp opened up Georgia, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms urged people to “Follow the data, look at the science, listen to the health care professionals and use your common sense.” Similar calls to “believe in science” or “listen to science” are all over policy debates and social media fights. But what does it mean to “believe in science”? And does “science” have a unified answer to questions like “who gets a ventilator,” or whether your child should go to summer camp? We should be cautious when suggesting that science can speak in such a unified voice, says Sy Garte, a biochemist who has taught at New York University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Rutgers University. “The idea that ‘science says’—suggesting that it's easy to come up with a consensus, a uniform, finished version of what is true—that's a problem because that's very rarely the case,” said Garte, who is also the editor in chief of God and Nature, a magazine from the American Scientific Affiliation. “One of the things you find out if you're a working scientist is that almost every answer brings up new questions. So we never actually finish learning anything in any field of science. We are continually trying to get deeper and learn more.” Garte joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the historic distrust between Christians and science, what science can and cannot answer, and how Christians should engage in conversations with neighbors who are suspicious of science. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Find our guest on Twitter: Sy Garte Read Sy’s testimony Read CT’s coverage of the BioLogos’ Francis Collins event Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
April 22, 2020
In October 2016, an Access Hollywood video clip of Donald Trump making demeaning remarks about women was leaked. In the aftermath of this revelation, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Al Mohler, wrote for The Washington Post. “Trump’s horrifying statements, heard in his own proud voice, revealed an objectification of women and a sexual predation that must make continued support for Trump impossible for any evangelical leader.” But last week, Mohler said that the “partisan divide had become so great” and Democrats had “swerved so far to the left” on issues of abortion, religious liberty, and LGBT issues that he planned to vote Republican for the rest of his life. This, of course, includes voting to reelect Trump this fall. One of the disappointing things about Mohler’s remarks was that they came during a pandemic and a terrible economic downturn, said conservative evangelical writer David French, who has been outspoken about his opposition to Trump since 2016. “While I don't put all that on Trump's feet, he just did some really incompetent things that had a severe cost,” said French. “And then to come in the middle of that, while we're bearing that cost, and to say ‘Four more years,’ seems to be indicating that evangelicals are saying, ‘As long as you're okay on the checklist, no matter your character, no matter what else is happening in the country, we're with you.’ I just found that to be very narrow.” French joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss what white evangelicals can learn about political engagement from black Christians, why white evangelicals by and large have not been disturbed by Trump’s cruelty, and at what points French’s own #NeverTrump convictions have been most-tested. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Find our guest on Twitter: David French Subscribe to The French Press Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
April 22, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. In October 2016, an Access Hollywood video clip of Donald Trump making demeaning remarks about women was leaked. In the aftermath of this revelation, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Al Mohler, wrote for The Washington Post. “Trump’s horrifying statements, heard in his own proud voice, revealed an objectification of women and a sexual predation that must make continued support for Trump impossible for any evangelical leader.” But last week, Mohler said that the “partisan divide had become so great” and Democrats had “swerved so far to the left” on issues of abortion, religious liberty, and LGBT issues that he planned to vote Republican for the rest of his life. This, of course, includes voting to reelect Trump this fall. One of the disappointing things about Mohler’s remarks was that they came during a pandemic and a terrible economic downturn, said conservative evangelical writer David French, who has been outspoken about his opposition to Trump since 2016. “While I don't put all that on Trump's feet, he just did some really incompetent things that had a severe cost,” said French. “And then to come in the middle of that, while we're bearing that cost, and to say ‘Four more years,’ seems to be indicating that evangelicals are saying, ‘As long as you're okay on the checklist, no matter your character, no matter what else is happening in the country, we're with you.’ I just found that to be very narrow.” French joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss what white evangelicals can learn about political engagement from black Christians, why white evangelicals by and large have not been disturbed by Trump’s cruelty, and at what points French’s own #NeverTrump convictions have been most-tested. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Find our guest on Twitter: David French Subscribe to The French Press Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
April 15, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has the largest evangelical archeology program. It’s also the only evangelical institution to offer a doctoral degree in the field. But this school year will be its last. “We will no longer offer degrees in archaeology because they are incongruent with our mission to maximize resources in the training of pastors and other ministers of the gospel for the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Southwestern announced in a statement.  Southwestern also suggested that its decision was linked to the spread of COVID-19 and the pandemic will curtail some digs this year, says John Monson, associate professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. But ultimately, Monson doesn’t think that the disease is the greatest threat to the discipline. “This is a field that's been around since Napoleon Bonaparte, so about 1799, and it's weathered a lot more than this coronavirus,” said Monson, whose archaeological fieldwork has taken him to Syria, Lebanon, and numerous excavations in Israel. “And there's always been an interest in the Bible and there still is an interest in the Bible in much of the world today….I think the bigger challenge is going to be continued interest on the part of Christians and particularly evangelical institutions.” Monson joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss where Southwestern’s shutdown of their program leaves the state of biblical archeology, how apologetics fits into this discipline, and what happens when what scripture suggests and what is found on the ground doesn’t exactly line up. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
April 8, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. As coronavirus government restrictions have curtailed in-person Sunday services, thousands of pastors and church leaders have continued to reach their congregations through livestreams. But not all churches have the same technological infrastructure. And even for churches who might have access to a tripod, smartphone, microphone and Facebook Live--their members might not have bandwidth fast enough for live video or they themselves might not be comfortable accessing these new platforms.  Jonathan Brooks, the senior pastor at Canaan Community Church in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood, says that he has some fellow pastor friends whose churches are still meeting, in spite of the state’s coronavirus meeting bans. "But it's because of the giving. It's because if they don't physically have church, they won't get any money and their budget is not so that they can miss a Sunday,” said Brooks. “And so it’s such a conundrum, it’s such a quandary. Some folks just stop having church completely because they don't have anybody around them that can help them navigate this new way of being.” While Brooks’ church has been able to meet digitally, he recognizes that few in his congregation have the opportunity to move their work online. “To be honest with you, this is a white-collar pandemic. It's not a blue-collar pandemic,” he said. “The folks who serve us all and make things run still have to go to work, which is the majority of my congregation.” Brooks joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss how Canaan has navigated online giving, how he has injected creativity into his online Holy Week services, and what it’s like when your congregation says “Amen” over Zoom. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Jonathan Brooks Learn more about the Churches Helping Churches challenge Learn more about Canaan Community Church Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
April 1, 2020
In recent weeks, we’ve entered a world without professional sports and where millions of people are forced to remain in their homes. In other words, we’re entered a world ripe for a weird Netflix show to become a cultural phenomenon.  Enter Tiger King, a docuseries exploring the bizarre world of Americans who own dozens of exotic animals, including tigers and lions. So what makes big cats so alluring to people anyways? Part of it is their unique intelligence, says Mike Mooring, a professor of biology at Point Loma Nazarene who studies jaguars in Costa Rica.“I think that from time immemorial, people have had both this primeval fear coupled with a fascination with the big cats because they're mysterious,” said Mooring. “They come and go. You don't know where they are. They are elusive. They kind of pop out of the night and then they disappear.” Mooring joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss whether big cats can be tamed, what makes these felines special, and how studying wildlife in Southern Africa led him to Christ. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Read God Loves Protected Species. And the Poachers Who Kill Them. Read The Behemoth’s archives Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
March 25, 2020
Within a matter of weeks, COVID-19 government restrictions have led thousands churches to livestream their services. This week, the Church Online Platform announced that it had reached a record-setting 7 million in church attendance worldwide, about seven times the attendance from just two weeks before. But for some pastors and church leaders, transitioning to this new normal has been challenging or at times painful. “I’m not going to tell you our service today will be awesome and unmissable, or the best online service that will change your life. I was sick and the sermon was just ok,” tweeted New York City based pastor Jon Tyson. “In fact I have found this online stuff sad and hard. Preaching to a camera is not what I was made for.” As pastors and church leaders with little livestreaming experience transition to this mode of communication, they should avoid getting too caught up with perfectionism, says Daniel Fusco, the lead pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, Washington, whose church has years of livestreaming experience. “For every church, you need to do whatever you're doing in a way that is authentic to who you are,” said Fusco. “...People attend a specific church because it speaks to them.” Fusco joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss livestreaming best practices, how to think creatively in this medium, and what it's like for church leaders to prepare for a livestream v. a traditional Sunday morning service. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Visit our guest’s website: Daniel Fusco Read Daniel’s Preaching Today articles: Preaching, Technology, and COVID-19 Leading a Digital Church Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
March 25, 2020
Prayer amid Pandemic is a podcast to encourage and sharpen the church during this season of coronavirus. Twice a week we’ll give you stories of Christian individuals and communities whose lives and faith were shaped by sickness. We’ll also get an update on the latest on the COVID-19 situation and pray together, hearing from Christians around the world.
March 18, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Last Sunday, hundreds of American churches closed their doors to congregants, many of whom watched via livestream. It may be like this for weeks. That same day, the Center for Disease Control urged Americans not to congregate in groups larger than 50.  These types of restrictions will have significant repercussions for many churches, where groups of 50 or larger gather on a weekly basis, especially with Easter just weeks away. As church leaders and pastors wrestle with these restrictions as well as navigating weddings and funerals, there’s a larger question we wanted to explore: What type of opportunity does a pandemic like this allow Christians to be remembered for? A strong empathy for the suffering of other people characterized much of the church’s response to sickness during the Roman Empire, says Gary Ferngren, a history professor at Oregon State University who studies the social history of ancient medicine, religion and ancient medicine.“The compassionate model in health care is, I think, the very distinctive contribution that Christians have made,” said Ferngren.  Ferngren joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and president and CEO Tim Dalrymple to discuss the state of healthcare in the Roman era, why the Christian response to the plague of Cyprian stood out, and how Christians came together to open hospitals. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Timothy Dalrymple Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola Find all of Christianity Today’s coronavirus coverage  Read What Martin Luther Teaches Us About Coronavirus Read about Cicely Saunders, the founder of hospice care
March 11, 2020
On Monday, the Christian anti-hunger advocacy organization Bread for the World announced that Eugene Cho would be its next president. Cho is most well-known the founder of Seattle’s Quest Church and the nonprofit One Days Wages. He’s also the latest Korean American Christian male leader to assume a top spot in an evangelical organization. In 2013, Michael Oh became the global executive director/CEO of Lausanne. In 2015, Joel Kim became the president of Westminster Seminary California. In 2017, Alexander Jun was elected moderator of the 45th General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church in America or PCA. Last year, PCA pastor Walter Kim became the president of the National Association of Evangelicals and Julius Kim became the president of The Gospel Coalition. Vanderbilt Divinity School professor Paul Lim joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and news editor Daniel Silliman on Quick to Listen to discuss whether more Korean Americans in leadership will lead to greater cultural representation overall, the long relationship between Presbyterianism and Koreans, and what the church at large can learn from Korean Americans.
March 11, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. On Monday, the Christian anti-hunger advocacy organization Bread for the World announced that Eugene Cho would be its next president. Cho is most well-known the founder of Seattle’s Quest Church and the nonprofit One Days Wages. He’s also the latest Korean American Christian male leader to assume a top spot in an evangelical organization. In 2013, Michael Oh became the global executive director/CEO of Lausanne. In 2015, Joel Kim became the president of Westminster Seminary California. In 2017, Alexander Jun was elected moderator of the 45th General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church in America or PCA. Last year, PCA pastor Walter Kim became the president of the National Association of Evangelicals and Julius Kim became the president of The Gospel Coalition. Vanderbilt Divinity School professor Paul Lim joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and news editor Daniel Silliman on Quick to Listen to discuss whether more Korean Americans in leadership will lead to greater cultural representation overall, the long relationship between Presbyterianism and Koreans, and what the church at large can learn from Korean Americans.
March 2, 2020
Super Tuesday is upon us. After a primary here and a caucus there, Tuesday is when the greatest number of US states hold primary elections and caucuses. As the Democratic field narrows down, what type of success have candidates had in reaching out to Christians? The AND Campaign’s Justin Giboney and Michael Wear joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and CEO and president Tim Dalrymple to discuss the efforts that the Democratic field has made to reach religious voters, why white evangelicals vote so consistently for Democrats, and if Republicans will ever court black Christians. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Tim Dalrymple Learn more about the AND Campaign Follow Justin Giboney and Michael Wear Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
March 2, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Super Tuesday is upon us. After a primary here and a caucus there, Tuesday is when the greatest number of US states hold primary elections and caucuses. As the Democratic field narrows down, what type of success have candidates had in reaching out to Christians? The AND Campaign’s Justin Giboney and Michael Wear joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and CEO and president Tim Dalrymple to discuss the efforts that the Democratic field has made to reach religious voters, why white evangelicals vote so consistently for Democrats, and if Republicans will ever court black Christians. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Tim Dalrymple Learn more about the AND Campaign Follow Justin Giboney and Michael Wear Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
February 26, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. When Jean Vanier died last year at age 90, his life and ministry working with people with disabilities was nearly universally celebrated.  “We don’t often find people born into privilege and status, and highly educated, who then follow the downward path of Jesus,” wrote Bethany McKinney Fox. “But as founder of L’Arche International, Vanier spent decades in community with people with and without intellectual disabilities and embraced the joys, complications, and demands that go along with such a life.” Then, last weekend, L’Arche International released a report, over a 30-year span, stating that multiple women told an investigative team about experiences of sexual assault with Jean Vanier. “The relationships involved various kinds of sexual behavior often combined with so-called ‘mystical and spiritual’ justifications for this conduct,” it stated. The report went on to say that the women provided, “sufficient evidence to establish that Jean Vanier engaged in manipulative sexual relationships with at least 6 adult (not disabled) women. This number does not presume that there were no other cases, but takes into account spontaneously received testimony.” This news comes at a time when many are undoubtedly exhausted by the number of scandals and exploits of high-profile leaders.  “Right now, that this is starting to feel very routine, is pointing to the fact that the Church has done a very poor job of dealing with issues of sexuality and spirituality and power,” said Ruth Haley Barton, the founder of the Transforming Center, an ecumenical leadership organization.  “We just don't talk about them and we haven't helped our leaders in our clergy know how to be with themselves around these issues.” For Barton, one of the keys for leaders is submitting themselves to spiritual direction.  “It really almost a non-negotiable if you want to stay the course and stay on your own journey of transformation, stay on your own journey of encounter with God while you are leading others,” she said. “ You've just got to have this place outside the limelight where you can bring your whole self.” Barton joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss how to handle anger when learning these frustrating revelations, the relationship between power and sexuality, and how to process this seemingly never-ending bad news of disappointing leaders without losing your faith.
February 19, 2020
Five years ago this month, ISIS executed 21 Christian men on a beach Libya. Their masked executors stood in all black behind the men, who knelt in a line wearing orange jumpsuits. After the Islamic State released a video of their murders, images of this massacre of Coptic Christians reverberated around the world. But despite the cultural impact left, Egyptian Christians have long experienced persecution, says Archbishop Angaelos, who serves in London. “The interesting thing is, we live it with a sense of resilience, but we have never fallen into a state of victimhood or triumphalism,” he said. “We realize that it is the cross of Christ. …It's not the end of the road because there is a resurrection that comes after the cross and the empty tomb. And so it is in that hope that we continue to live. And it's in that hope that we continue to carry that cross knowing that it will be removed from us.” Archbishop Angaelos, who still remembers the day he learned of the news recently joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Daniel Harrell to discuss why this act of persecution so greatly impacted the global church, the identity of the only non-Egyptian martyr, and whether the church will experience the same decline as it has in the rest of the Middle East. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Daniel Harrell Follow our guest on Twitter: Archbishop Angaelos Listen to Quick to Listen: Episode 38: How the Coptic Christian Church Endures Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
February 13, 2020
Last week, CT published an investigative report on allegations of spiritual abuse by Steve Timmis, who previously served as the CEO of the church planting ministry Acts 29. But long before assuming the leadership in 2014, Timmis was known for his model of intensive gospel community developed at his 120-person church in England known as The Crowded House and for his books like Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community. But not everyone who was part of Timmis’s close-knit church community felt warmly toward the church leader. According to our report:  Fifteen people who served under Timmis described to Christianity Today a pattern of spiritual abuse through bullying and intimidation, overbearing demands in the name of mission and discipline, rejection of critical feedback, and an expectation of unconditional loyalty. People in these environments aren’t always aware they’re being abused, says Lisa Oakley, the co-author of Escaping the Maze of Spiritual Abuse: Creating Healthy Christian Cultures. “Psychological abuse is not a one-off. It's usually a series of incidents which when told by themselves can seem minimal,” said Oakley, now an assistant professor for the developmental psychology team at the University of Chester. “It's when you put that story together that you actually start to see this pattern of control.” Oakley joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss what people should do if they think they are being spiritually abused, how spiritual abuse can also affect pastors, and why it may be hard for people in close-knit communities to realize the unhealthy state of their church’s leadership. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Lisa Oakley Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
February 13, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Last week, CT published an investigative report on allegations of spiritual abuse by Steve Timmis, who previously served as the CEO of the church planting ministry Acts 29. But long before assuming the leadership in 2014, Timmis was known for his model of intensive gospel community developed at his 120-person church in England known as The Crowded House and for his books like Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community. But not everyone who was part of Timmis’s close-knit church community felt warmly toward the church leader. According to our report:  Fifteen people who served under Timmis described to Christianity Today a pattern of spiritual abuse through bullying and intimidation, overbearing demands in the name of mission and discipline, rejection of critical feedback, and an expectation of unconditional loyalty. People in these environments aren’t always aware they’re being abused, says Lisa Oakley, the co-author of Escaping the Maze of Spiritual Abuse: Creating Healthy Christian Cultures. “Psychological abuse is not a one-off. It's usually a series of incidents which when told by themselves can seem minimal,” said Oakley, now an assistant professor for the developmental psychology team at the University of Chester. “It's when you put that story together that you actually start to see this pattern of control.” Oakley joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss what people should do if they think they are being spiritually abused, how spiritual abuse can also affect pastors, and why it may be hard for people in close-knit communities to realize the unhealthy state of their church’s leadership. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Follow our guest on Twitter: Lisa Oakley Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
February 5, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Last week, the largest Christian adoption agency in the United States announced it will end international adoptions. More than 15,000 children had been adopted since the late 1970s through Bethany Christian Services.Bethany’s decision was not because they didn’t believe in the program but because of their “desire to serve children in their own communities,” said Kristi Gleason, the vice president for global services at Bethany, in a statement. “The future of adoption is working with local governments, churches, and social services professionals around the world to recruit and support local families for children and to develop and improve effective, safe in-country child welfare systems.” To that end, part of these efforts has meant turning away from institutionalized care, or orphanages. One of the leaders in this effort has been Ukraine, says Micala Siler, the executive director of A Family for Every Orphan.“From what I've seen in Romania and Ukraine firsthand most recently, because of the hard work of Christians to change cultural mindsets and help refine government system, these countries have the foundation to be countries without orphanages in the next 15 to 20 years.” said Siler. Siler joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the bigger reasons why there’s been a move to move children from orphanages to familial situations, how adoption culture is growing in countries around the world, and the difference Christians have made in this conversation. What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Read LifeWay’s research on American Christians and adoptions Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
January 29, 2020
Lunar New Year kicked off last week as millions of Chinese people left the cities they live for the homes they grew up in. For many, their trips coincided with the outbreak of the coronavirus, an epidemic that the government has responded to with intense travel restrictions in Wuhan, the city of 11 million, that’s ground zero for a disease that’s killed more than 100 people. The intensity of the quarantine has raised questions from outside observers like Emory University School of Medicine microbiologist Elaine Burd, who worry about the unintended consequences of the government’s move. As the government has “essentially ordered” the people in Wuhan to wear protective gear, it’s caused a shortage of equipment for those actually treating patients, she says.  “The biggest problem is that health care workers, who are taking care of sick patients, don't have enough protective gear, and this puts them at greater risk of catching the virus while they're taking care of patients,” said Burd. “From reports that I've seen, that seems to have created some panic among the group we call the ‘worried well.’ These people without symptoms but now don't have access to the protective equipment that the local government and public health officials said they should have. And so they feel vulnerable, maybe excessively vulnerable. So I think all of that really, it can create chaos.” Burd joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and CEO and president Tim Dalrymple about what people should know about the coronavirus, God’s call for her to become a microbiologist, and how her experiences working with an Ebola patient inform how she understands China’s current crisis.  What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Tim Dalrymple Learn more about Eileen Burd Read a prayer from a pastor in Wuhan Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
January 22, 2020
Australia's wildfires have consumed million acres of brushland, rainforests, and national parks. More than 30 people have died and according to some estimates, one billion animals have been killed. The area that has burned is roughly the size of England. As CT reported earlier this month, the fires have forced some Christian missions teams to evacuate. Hillsong announced several weeks ago that it had raised more than one million Australian dollars to support those affected by the fire. And the board of directors of A Rocha Australia, part of an international Christian conservation group, said it was building partnerships with Christian and non-Christian conservationists to aid with the recovery. As an aboriginal Christian, Brooke Prentis hopes the tragedy causes Christians and the country at large to commit to listening to the voices of Australia’s indigenous people, who have lived on the land for thousands of years. “My deep prayer and hope is that while this is a tragic situation for us, but maybe it's through tragedy that finally Aboriginal peoples are included as part of the fabric of our political, social, moral, and religious systems in Australia,” said Prentis, the incoming CEO of Common Grace, a Australian organization that organizes ecumenically around justice issues. “And that we can work together to work out how we look at this situation in our present and into our future, and how the past has affected that present and will affect our future if we don't come together.” Prentis joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and CEO and president Tim Dalrymple to discuss why she’s passionate about unity in the church, the tragic significance of January 26 for the aboriginal community, and how to pray for Australia during this time.
January 22, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Australia's wildfires have consumed million acres of brushland, rainforests, and national parks. More than 30 people have died and according to some estimates, one billion animals have been killed. The area that has burned is roughly the size of England. As CT reported earlier this month, the fires have forced some Christian missions teams to evacuate. Hillsong announced several weeks ago that it had raised more than one million Australian dollars to support those affected by the fire. And the board of directors of A Rocha Australia, part of an international Christian conservation group, said it was building partnerships with Christian and non-Christian conservationists to aid with the recovery. As an aboriginal Christian, Brooke Prentis hopes the tragedy causes Christians and the country at large to commit to listening to the voices of Australia’s indigenous people, who have lived on the land for thousands of years. “My deep prayer and hope is that while this is a tragic situation for us, but maybe it's through tragedy that finally Aboriginal peoples are included as part of the fabric of our political, social, moral, and religious systems in Australia,” said Prentis, the incoming CEO of Common Grace, a Australian organization that organizes ecumenically around justice issues. “And that we can work together to work out how we look at this situation in our present and into our future, and how the past has affected that present and will affect our future if we don't come together.” Prentis joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and CEO and president Tim Dalrymple to discuss why she’s passionate about unity in the church, the tragic significance of January 26 for the aboriginal community, and how to pray for Australia during this time.
January 15, 2020
Next week, we’ll remember the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr, who died 52 years ago this year. It’s also, of course, a time to reflect on the state of race relations within the church. One of those efforts has been the OneRace Movement, a group that has brought more than 500 Atlanta-area pastors of all ethnic and racial backgrounds together in the name of reconciliation and revival. In 2018, the movement hosted a worship service at Stone Mountain, the largest tourist attraction in the state of Georgia—and also where confederate heroes Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson are etched in granite. Why host an event meant to promote strengthening race relations at such a polemic site? “It's a place with a dark history, but also present cultural significance,” said Hazen Stephens, the co-director of OneRace. “...Biblically, whenever reformers would come in, the first thing that they would do is they would go to the high place and they would remove the Asherah poles and they would take down the idols. And we felt like what we were doing at Stone Mountain as we were calling church leaders to go to a place where spiritually an idol was erected over a 100 years ago, and to tear down that idol and say, this is not what our city stands for anymore.” Learning this type of history is part of OneRace’s model: Know the story. Own the story. Change the story. This knowledge is crucial for white Christians trying to gain credibility from Christians of color when they enter into these conversations, says co-director Josh Clemons. “If I were going to say something to the white church, I would say get invested in the story. It's time to listen,” he said. “It's time to hear from African American brothers and sisters. It's time to hear from Hispanic brothers and sisters. It's time to hear from Asian brothers and sisters. And how the story of race and the effects of race has impacted them. And, and then secondly, to be invested in that history so that we can own and ultimately change the story for generations to come.” Stephens and fellow co-director Josh Clemons joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and CEO and president Tim Dalrymple to discuss the name of the initiative, how they’ve tried to make their day on Stone Mountain more than a “mountaintop experience,” and how the movement has also encouraged Christians from different denominations to partner together.
January 15, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Next week, we’ll remember the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr, who died 52 years ago this year. It’s also, of course, a time to reflect on the state of race relations within the church. One of those efforts has been the OneRace Movement, a group that has brought more than 500 Atlanta-area pastors of all ethnic and racial backgrounds together in the name of reconciliation and revival. In 2018, the movement hosted a worship service at Stone Mountain, the largest tourist attraction in the state of Georgia—and also where confederate heroes Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson are etched in granite. Why host an event meant to promote strengthening race relations at such a polemic site? “It's a place with a dark history, but also present cultural significance,” said Hazen Stephens, the co-director of OneRace. “...Biblically, whenever reformers would come in, the first thing that they would do is they would go to the high place and they would remove the Asherah poles and they would take down the idols. And we felt like what we were doing at Stone Mountain as we were calling church leaders to go to a place where spiritually an idol was erected over a 100 years ago, and to tear down that idol and say, this is not what our city stands for anymore.” Learning this type of history is part of OneRace’s model: Know the story. Own the story. Change the story. This knowledge is crucial for white Christians trying to gain credibility from Christians of color when they enter into these conversations, says co-director Josh Clemons. “If I were going to say something to the white church, I would say get invested in the story. It's time to listen,” he said. “It's time to hear from African American brothers and sisters. It's time to hear from Hispanic brothers and sisters. It's time to hear from Asian brothers and sisters. And how the story of race and the effects of race has impacted them. And, and then secondly, to be invested in that history so that we can own and ultimately change the story for generations to come.” Stephens and fellow co-director Josh Clemons joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and CEO and president Tim Dalrymple to discuss the name of the initiative, how they’ve tried to make their day on Stone Mountain more than a “mountaintop experience,” and how the movement has also encouraged Christians from different denominations to partner together.
January 8, 2020
Several months ago, Christianity Today’s past editor in chief Mark Galli announced his retirement and Friday was his last day. This also means that Mark’s time as Quick to Listen co-host has concluded. In the interim, Christianity Today’s CEO and president, Timothy Dalrymple, will take the reins as co-host. Christianity Today’s new editor chief? Longtime pastor and writer Daniel Harrell, who most recently served as senior minister of Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota. Harrell lost his wife Dawn unexpectedly last Easter and the aftermath of his death has been difficult. “A big part of this next season of my life is devoted to her legacy and her love for words and theology and for Christ and wanting to live that well for her, for my daughter, and for myself.  said Harrell. Daniel joined longtime host and digital media producer Morgan Lee and new host Tim to discuss his memories of Billy Graham, the themes of his three books on the Old Testament, evolution, and the saints, and what it’s like to hear a call to ministry at a frat party.  This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you by The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which offers rigorous theological education for future ministers of the gospel. Find out more about Southern Seminary at sbts.edu.
January 2, 2020
When did we forget God? It’s a provocative question. And it’s the name of outgoing Christianity Today editor in chief Mark Galli’s latest book. After years working in this world, Galli believes that evangelical Christians’ strong suit today is the love of neighbor be it prayer gathering to evangelism to social justice to acts of mercy. We talk about God a lot and worship him and pray to him regularly. But on the other hand, relatively few Christians take with equal seriousness the command to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. If we do talk about the love of God, it is said that we love God by loving our neighbor. True enough, but that is hardly a complete answer, nor one that would have satisfied Christians of other eras. So what would look like to love God with this sort of passionate and all encompassing fury today? Or, to put it in classical terms, what it looks like to strive to behold the beatific vision, that is, the vision of God himself, a striving driven by an unswerving desire to know God intimately, face to face, and thus to love him with earthly and heavenly intensity? For his last Quick to Listen episode Galli digital media producer Morgan Lee spoke with Hans Boersma, the author of Seeing God: The Beatific Vision in Christian Tradition, to discuss would look like to love God with passionate and all-encompassing fury today and what difference this move might make in our lives and in the world around us. 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 Visit Hans Boersma’s website Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
January 2, 2020
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. When did we forget God? It’s a provocative question. And it’s the name of outgoing Christianity Today editor in chief Mark Galli’s latest book. After years working in this world, Galli believes that evangelical Christians’ strong suit today is the love of neighbor be it prayer gathering to evangelism to social justice to acts of mercy. We talk about God a lot and worship him and pray to him regularly. But on the other hand, relatively few Christians take with equal seriousness the command to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. If we do talk about the love of God, it is said that we love God by loving our neighbor. True enough, but that is hardly a complete answer, nor one that would have satisfied Christians of other eras. So what would look like to love God with this sort of passionate and all encompassing fury today? Or, to put it in classical terms, what it looks like to strive to behold the beatific vision, that is, the vision of God himself, a striving driven by an unswerving desire to know God intimately, face to face, and thus to love him with earthly and heavenly intensity? For his last Quick to Listen episode Galli digital media producer Morgan Lee spoke with Hans Boersma, the author of Seeing God: The Beatific Vision in Christian Tradition, to discuss would look like to love God with passionate and all-encompassing fury today and what difference this move might make in our lives and in the world around us. 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 Visit Hans Boersma’s website Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
December 20, 2019
Last week, a California couple’s two-year-old daughter stopped breathing and died. In the wake of the tragedy, the parents, Andrew and Kalley Heiligenthal, had an unusual response:  "We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life. Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It’s time for her to come to life,” Kalley, a worship leader and songwriter at Bethel Church, wrote on Instagram, where she has more than 250 thousand followers. In response to her words, hundreds of people posted under the hashtag, #wakeupolive. Reaction to the Heiligenthal’s actions has been polarized. But according to apologist Lee Strobel, the family’s belief in miracles is similiar to that of many others. In a Barna study about prayer and healing that he commissioned for his recent The Case for Miracles, Strobel asked a sample of American adults if there was anything in their life they could only explain as being a miracle. “Thirty-eight percent of American adults said yes,” said Strobel. “Now if you extrapolate that number that would mean that there would be 94 million miracles just in the United States!” Strobel joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what is unique or interesting about Jesus’s miracles, how the Protestant Reformation changed Christians’ understanding of miracles, and whether or not Christians should pray for their loved ones to come back to life.  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 Learn more about Stan Jones’s books Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
December 20, 2019
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Last week, a California couple’s two-year-old daughter stopped breathing and died. In the wake of the tragedy, the parents, Andrew and Kalley Heiligenthal, had an unusual response:  "We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life. Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It’s time for her to come to life,” Kalley, a worship leader and songwriter at Bethel Church, wrote on Instagram, where she has more than 250 thousand followers. In response to her words, hundreds of people posted under the hashtag, #wakeupolive. Reaction to the Heiligenthal’s actions has been polarized. But according to apologist Lee Strobel, the family’s belief in miracles is similiar to that of many others. In a Barna study about prayer and healing that he commissioned for his recent The Case for Miracles, Strobel asked a sample of American adults if there was anything in their life they could only explain as being a miracle. “Thirty-eight percent of American adults said yes,” said Strobel. “Now if you extrapolate that number that would mean that there would be 94 million miracles just in the United States!” Strobel joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what is unique or interesting about Jesus’s miracles, how the Protestant Reformation changed Christians’ understanding of miracles, and whether or not Christians should pray for their loved ones to come back to life.  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 Learn more about Stan Jones’s books Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
December 18, 2019
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Last week, four members of Congress wrote to the Department of Justice asking that it "declare the prosecution of obscene pornography a criminal justice priority and urge your US attorneys to bring prosecutions against the major producers and distributors of such material.” This letter came in light of the internet exponentially increasing the proliferation of porn which is “especially harmful to youth, who are being exposed to obscene pornography at exponentially younger ages." As children can increasingly learn about sex from peers and digital devices, parents should be intentional about trying to make sure their kids hear about it first from them, says Stan Jones, who has authored a number of Christian sex ed books, along with his life Brenna Jones. Unfortunately, when it comes to giving their children “the talk,” “parents are often terrified of being asked, ‘Well, what did you do when at such-and-such an age?’” said Jones. “The unresolved hurt, guilt, shame from the past just causes parents to put it off and put it off.” Jones joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how the sexual revolution changed sex, the digital revolution changed sex, and how Christians parents and caretakers can get better at educating kids about sex. 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 Learn more about Stan Jones’s books Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola
December 11, 2019
Last Saturday, Reinhard Bonnke, a prominent German evangelist in Africa, passed away at the age of 79. Bonnke’s ministry began in 1967 and lasted for 50 years. Millions of people attended his crusades, leading him to be dubbed by some as“the Billy Graham of Africa.” In 2000, CT sent a reporter to see him in Nigeria: Sunday night Bonnke delivered a sermon on the first chapters of Acts—when the apostles received the Holy Spirit. He then told the audience: "Jesus is here with all the fire you will ever need! Raise your voices! Receive the Holy Spirit now!" Thousands in the crowd began wailing, screaming, and crying. Frantically waving their hands in the air, many begged loudly for anointing. Bonnke gave a similar message on Saturday night to 1.3 million people on the crusade ground. Building momentum with the audience, the evangelist instructed the crowd to begin shouting "Alleluia!" until the Holy Spirit entered their bodies. "You are going to speak in new tongues—a language you have never learned," he told them. "It comes from you're heart. Don't be afraid—this is fantastic!" Behind Bonnke’s massive popularity was a deep sense of humility, says Nimi Wariboko, the Walter G. Muelder professor of social ethics at the Boston University School of Theology. “Something that will strike you about Reinhard Bonnke and the way he relates to Africa and the way he works is that he believes in Africa and he loves Africa and he loves Africans,” said Wariboko. “….The man never portrayed himself as one of these white guys coming on the white horse with a savior mentality to save Africa. He didn’t ever pretend that God had called him to the whole world. His focus was on Africa and he never lost that.” Wariboko joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how a German evangelist became passionate about Africa, how he differed from other Pentecostal preachers, and how his work affected the church on this continent. 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 Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part 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 seminary.indwes.edu. 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.
December 4, 2019
The prominent complementarian theologian Wayne Grudem has changed his mind about divorce. Last month, Grudem told evangelical scholars at the Evangelical Theological Society that a closer reading of 1 Corinthians 7:15 had led him to conclude that the Bible permits divorce when there is abuse. Many pastors have told the theologian that they have found what he shared extremely helpful, says Grudem, a professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary.  “I just had a pastor write to me just recently saying, ‘I had felt uneasy about what I thought was the biblical position for years, but I couldn't see an alternative.’ He said, ‘Thank you. This is so helpful,’” said Grudem. “...They see the value of this alternative understanding of a ground for divorce, and it seems right to them from their reading of Scripture and from their dealing with real-life situations.” Grudem joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss his process of re-studying 1 Corinthians 7:15 and the role that hearing from victims played in prompting him to return to scripture. 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 Visit our guest’s website: Wayne Grudem Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola 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.
December 4, 2019
The prominent complementarian theologian Wayne Grudem has changed his mind about divorce. Last month, Grudem told evangelical scholars at the Evangelical Theological Society that a closer reading of 1 Corinthians 7:15 had led him to conclude that the Bible permits divorce when there is abuse. Many pastors have told the theologian that they have found what he shared extremely helpful, says Grudem, a professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary.  “I just had a pastor write to me just recently saying, ‘I had felt uneasy about what I thought was the biblical position for years, but I couldn't see an alternative.’ He said, ‘Thank you. This is so helpful,’” said Grudem. “...They see the value of this alternative understanding of a ground for divorce, and it seems right to them from their reading of Scripture and from their dealing with real-life situations.” Grudem joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss his process of re-studying 1 Corinthians 7:15 and the role that hearing from victims played in prompting him to return to scripture. 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 Visit our guest’s website: Wayne Grudem Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola 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.
November 27, 2019
Last month, Pew Research Center published survey data from 2018 and 2019 on religion and Americans. The big takeaway: the number of non-religiously affiliated Americans was growing; the number of Christians was declining. Here’s how they summed it up: "The changes underway in the American religious landscape are broad-based. The Christian share of the population is down and religious “nones” have grown across multiple demographic groups: white people, black people and Hispanics; men and women; in all regions of the country; and among college graduates and those with lower levels of educational attainment. Religious “nones” are growing faster among Democrats than Republicans, though their ranks are swelling in both partisan coalitions. And although the religiously unaffiliated are on the rise among younger people and most groups of older adults, their growth is most pronounced among young adults." To talk about these numbers and what they suggest about the future of Christianity in the US, Quick to Listen turned to CT’s news editor Daniel Silliman, who has closely studied American religious life. Daniel joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why Christianity continues to decline, the relationship that “nones” have to faith, and what similarities or differences these numbers have with the religious situation in Western Europe. 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: D aniel Silliman Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder
November 20, 2019
Earlier this fall, the Trump administration announced that the US would accept no more than 18,000 refugees in the coming fiscal year. Here’s how CT reported this news: "President Trump’s administration has dramatically cut the number of refugees admitted to the US every year since taking office. Last year, CT reported on evangelicals condemning the decision to drop the refugee ceiling to then-historic low of 30,000 for the 2019 fiscal year. The year before, it was down to 45,000. Up until then, the cap for resettling refugees in the US hadn’t gone below 70,000 in 30 years." While in many years, the US has frequently accepted more refugees than other countries, the number has almost always been a tiny fraction of its overall population. Meanwhile, Jordan, a country of just under 10 million, is currently home to 762,420 refugees. One Christian working with hundreds of these refugees is Father Khalil Jaar, the priest at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Marka Jordan. Father Jaar ministers to Iraqi and Syrian families by providing them with food, education, and other provisions. Father Jaar joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli discuss his work with Syrian and Iraqi refugees, what happened when he was kidnapped in Iraq, and how God continues to provide for the community. "This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part 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 seminary.indwes.edu." 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 Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder
November 20, 2019
Earlier this fall, the Trump administration announced that the US would accept no more than 18,000 refugees in the coming fiscal year. Here’s how CT reported this news: "President Trump’s administration has dramatically cut the number of refugees admitted to the US every year since taking office. Last year, CT reported on evangelicals condemning the decision to drop the refugee ceiling to then-historic low of 30,000 for the 2019 fiscal year. The year before, it was down to 45,000. Up until then, the cap for resettling refugees in the US hadn’t gone below 70,000 in 30 years." While in many years, the US has frequently accepted more refugees than other countries, the number has almost always been a tiny fraction of its overall population. Meanwhile, Jordan, a country of just under 10 million, is currently home to 762,420 refugees. One Christian working with hundreds of these refugees is Father Khalil Jaar, the priest at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Marka Jordan. Father Jaar ministers to Iraqi and Syrian families by providing them with food, education, and other provisions. Father Jaar joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli discuss his work with Syrian and Iraqi refugees, what happened when he was kidnapped in Iraq, and how God continues to provide for the community. This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part 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 seminary.indwes.edu. 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 Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder
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 13, 2019
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. 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
November 6, 2019
Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. 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.
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