Mark and Rex finish out Season 2 strong with a recap of a year like no other and a look toward the vast possibilities of the future.
Welcome to Jessup think I’m your host, Mark Moore and your co host Rex Gurney on racks we have come to the end of a season. So we’re finishing up season two. And so on today’s episode, it’s just you and I, and we’re gonna kind of take a look back at the year. And obviously, it’s been a year that comes along, you know, once in a generation, right, yeah. And we really need to process that. And also, we’re going to look at, what will it look like for us to move forward, to move forward. And to understand the realities that happen in 2020. I understand where God is calling us.
And there’s one thing I really want our listening audience out there to understand that when Mark and I talked about end of the season, it doesn’t mean we’ll never be back again. I know that every time the girlfriend broke up with, she always said, Rex, this is the end of the season. And there was no season two. So we are actually going to be back we
can promise right we probably will be a season unless we both get run over by a bus. That’s true. Then there will be a season three,
there will be a season three. So we hope you enjoy this recap of season two and a look back at 2020. Well, Rex, this says definitely been
a year it has been quite a year. I don’t think any of us anticipated what kind of year it was going to be even right even the first few episodes that I joined in the in the podcast. Yeah, it’s not at the beginning, but close to the beginning.
Right. Well, yeah, I was gonna give a little a little bit. Okay. Okay. Okay. So with with just I think we’re, we’re now moving into what we’re gonna want to look at as dedicated seasons. But our first we’re closing in on 70 episodes. Wow. 70 070 they still let us do that hang? No, I don’t I you know, I think we’re still hiding under there. But it’s 70 episodes are first episode aired on January 15 2019. Oh, wow. 2019. Well, over two years ago, yeah. So a little over two years, which is
wild. Hell might have been in like, a decade or an epoch or era ago.
Since then. Right. Exactly. And, and Rex, you were actually a guest on the show. Okay, just a guest in late February. What were we talking? We talked about Protestantism, types of history of jellicle history of that. Yeah. So we kind of highlighted the, you know, in some ways, the history of the evangelical church. And, and, and that’s maybe, you know, we had obviously, we were friends and talked before, and maybe when with that episode, I was like, you know, this would be great having Rex as a regular voice. So you joined, I asked you and you graciously accepted, and you joined as a co host in May. Okay. In May. And in that first episode, you were on was actually entitled, Vietnam, the monkeys, and classic. And we had Derek Martin or theater director, we’re all over the place. Yeah, exactly. We’ve covered we’ve covered all of our bases, okay. And we range from, you know, when people ask, like, Hey, what’s the podcast about? Like, what’s a little bit about everything having to do with the spiritual life? The understanding, you know, how your Christianity up applies to the rest of the world, how you view the arts, we’re looking at spiritual disciplines and spiritual practices, right, you know, and that’s something that’s near and dear to both of our hearts. And so and then some different expressions of the Christian faith. Yes, exactly.
Celtic spirituality, a little bit on orthodoxy.
Right. Right. And, and we were able to then kind of over 2020 start to expand. Right. And, and we’ll talk about that, you know, we were able to kind of reach out to authors and professors, and academics throughout the US. And even we, we went International, by the times, right, this season was over, by the time when season two started, you know, we’re going to you can think of the seasons kind of being September to June, okay, remember to June, and kind of that summer break of, you know, of handpicked reruns. So this summer, we’re actually selecting for episodes that we’ve had in the past, and highlighting them again, because they were really important. So they they’re worth another Listen, and they are in there and they’re continuing a conversation that that will continue well into 2021. For sure. And so excited to kind of do that, you know, but yeah, when we started, let’s say Season Two And that would have been actually in the fall of 2019. So, so kind of, you know, Season One was a shorter season, right, we started in January. But if we think of seasons that way, you know, we had no idea for one what was getting ready to happen, right. But we had no idea. By the by the end of season two, we would be having guests from Australia. Right, we would be having guests from North Carolina, we foreign country. Right, exactly. We had guests from Texas, I went well, there you go, basically. And so, you know, it’s been great being able to get a lot of voices, from a lot of different disciplines, and perspectives and, and even theological camps, you know, being able to hear their voices on things that are happening right now. And, and books that they’re writing, and, and publishing, and promoting. And so, it’s been great kind of over, over this season to to expand in that we’re really excited for season three, and and some guests that were already lining up looking at, again, some, some not only, you know, one thing that I think is nice for us is that being in the academic world, we’re able to connect with other professors, right, because we kind of have, you know, shared misery, maybe, you know, shared, we understand where each other so we can connect on that level, and also highlight maybe some of these academic works that don’t necessarily get the popular attention, right. And, but are still so important and so important for the conversation in the church, and the conversation on on key topics. So really looking forward to season three, and the guests that we will have will continue to spread that net out. And even you know, stay International.
Well, that that word international mark. So when I when I was in the pastor at almost every person that I met a fellow minister that I met, that said they had an international ministry meant that they had, like, you know, done a missions trip to Mexico once and so suddenly, they you know, our international accounts, accounts accounts. We actually have talked to somebody and it was interesting, you all sort of didn’t know that, but the the timezone differences. The International dateline was a little tricky. It was a little tricky with the Australian one. Yeah, it was,
yeah. So you know, we can be honest, we’ve had one, okay. But we’re looking to expand that we’re looking, you know, we’ve we’re figuring out the time zones. And so if you’re not inside a preseason,
I had almost forgotten. Well, I not almost I actually had forgotten the topic of the first time I was on the show. Yeah. And I was just thinking that how relevant our topics are, it’s probably no secret that we’re still struggling with the COVID pandemic, right. And if you want to know the difference between evangelical Protestantism and mainline Protestantism, even right now, the evangelical churches are open for in person services, and the main lines are still on virtual servers. You can even see just yeah, different. Yeah. With that, yeah. Yeah. play out. We’ve seen that play out this last year.
Right. And then And then also, in some ways, bleeds into political division and political viewpoints. Right. That tied in together that that often evangelical Protestantism, has a more right of center perspective. And not always, but
and often a different sort of posture towards, you know, issues of government overreach. Yes. Right. Right. misinterpreted government overreach. Yeah, and things like that.
Yeah. And more mainline Protestant, typically a very different place. Yeah. Yeah. And so it is really interesting. It’s helpful to understand the background of these two camps to understand a little bit about what is going on, right in America. Yeah. Over over this year as we approach so the
stuff we’re talking about here, folks is real stuff. Yeah, it is real stuff. And it plays out every day.
That’s true. When I got I got maybe a personal question. I didn’t even tell you. I was gonna ask this
personal question. I have one for you, too, about the shirts. Were seven day episodes into this thing and I still don’t have it.
Yeah, I know. We’re gonna I promise you. I’ll declare right now he’s declaring season three. Okay, we’ll have shirts, okay. It’s gonna happen. I know it is definitely gonna happen. I can guarantee you guarantee. Okay, I have I have it on good authority. Okay. With even maybe a budget line. Okay. I’ll continue to leave mark. Okay, continue, please. We’ll just move in the date back. The pigeons came and told me a new date. Okay, a new day to season three. So but no In all seriousness, looking over this last year, what’s something maybe for you personally, that you that you learned or gained a different perspective on? over 2020? And even now? Well, you know, we’re halfway through 2021. And it still seems kind of like, you know, a blur.
What? Well, some of it. I mean, you know, there’s, there’s sort of a macro picture and a micro picture, a micro picture, this just sort of connected with the podcast. Yes. You know, we’ve had actual guests that have had that have that have national reputation. And as much as Mark and I would like to believe it’s because of the notoriety of our podcast, and people are just clamoring. But actually, the pandemic has sort of worked to our advantage in a way because, you know, folks write these books, and some of these books actually make it on the New York Times bestseller list, right? They can’t go on book tours, right? Just sort of can’t do that right now. Right. And so they’re just much more amenable to be on a quality podcast like ours. That’s right. And that’s been a real boon, not just for us, but for the listeners. Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s been a you know, I guess. You know, I was trying to ISO thinking about this the other day, like, even a year ago, maybe a little bit over maybe 14 months ago. I had no idea that my life would change so much. And I had no idea of what the pandemic and all of its associated stuff. And there’s a whole lot of stuff that’s revolved around that. Right, right, right. Scientific, political, all sorts of things. I, I really, perhaps in my naivete, I did not see coming, what it has done. For the unity of the church. or lack there, right. Yeah. Yeah, I really wanted to release unity. You know, perhaps I was naive or idealistic. Right. You know, but I did not really see that coming. Yeah. And that’s been a, you know, a source, in some ways of of heartache for me as someone who takes the church very seriously. Right. Right. But but it’s, you know, we can look at it as an opportunity, you know, you can’t deal with the lay of the land, if you don’t know what the lay of the land is, and a lot of us are finding out what the lay of the land is right now. Right. And and, you know, the positive thing about that is we can address these divisions, since no one can deny them anymore.
Yeah. Yeah. And, and that’s, that’s what it has been really interesting that, you know, we’ve, you know, I’ve lived through several different political changes, right, you know, and different political parties, and when within the church and the church, in a sense, has has, often, especially in the evangelical community has often leaned, you know, right of center on on politics. But there’s but this year, yeah, this last, you know, this last season has definitely been a more lines drawn in the sand in the sense that you can’t be on this other side and be a part of us
racially interested, because, you know, in some ways, well, actually, in a major way, I believe that Christianity at its best is always countercultural, if the culture is basically, yeah, you know, this world. Right. Right. Right. Um, but, you know, the cultural faultlines, that the pandemic, and its associated stuff now has, has brought to us you know, those fault lines are in our culture, they’re in our politics, they’re in our churches. Right. Right. And these lines are very similar almost everywhere, which, you know, is really grist for and cries out for some good sustained theological and biblical thought. Right about right before we move forward from this.
Yeah. And it’s really interesting looking at, you know, because this isn’t the first time divisions right in the church. Right, right. And even looking at what Paul said to the Corinthian church, right, in the first that first letter, you know, first couple chapters, he’s saying, I hear that there are divisions or factions among you some say, you know, I, I love Paul, some say, you know, and even pulls the Jews
that serve Jesus, the scary part of that, though, I mean, you’re totally right, Mark, but the scary part of that, as someone who, as Mark also is representative of this, just know some stuff about church history, you know, some 50 years later or so. Clement of Rome is writing to the Corinthian church, and this is like 50 years after Paul’s letters to the Corinthian church, and if you read first collimate the Corinthian church is dealing with all the same exact stuff, right? It’s like right to yours and nothing’s changed even after like Ryan Hall wrote you the letter, you Yeah, and you know, he could say something about, you know, human nature, the nature of sin, just the nature of organizations, but in some ways, it’s, it’s, you know, disheartening.
Yeah. What it is? Yeah. And that’s, like you said, I mean, looking at this last year, that’s probably been one of the, within the church that one of the most heartbreaking things is, is the disunity in, in just on how approaching different things right, right, Amy and Yun are not talking about a homogenous idea, right. Without saying, right. Everyone needs to then just think the same way to get along. But how can we how can we strive for a better unity in the midst of our differences, especially
since these fault lines aren’t necessarily just between, you know, different denominations, right like that? They’re in local churches. Yeah. I’ve read article after article after article and in places like Christianity Today and religion, news service and other other online kind of religious new things. Yeah, I look at every day about, you know, how pastors are even supposed to preach to their congregation. Right. Right. Right. Right now? Yeah, with the division there. How do you how do you minister to that from the pulpit? Right. You know, there’s, there’s, it’s always been there. But right now, as we said, you know, the fault lines have been exposed. Yeah. And, and exaggerated. You know, one thing that the president of our institution, john Jackson often says, and he’s he’s right, is that the, the pandemic has accelerated some trends that have already been there, right. It’s not like made that some of this stuff is just exposed it and sort of, you know, put it in an hyperdrive. Yeah. And you can’t put that genie back in the bottle. Right. And so, you know, grist for thought and theologizing.
Yeah, definitely. And one of the other things over over this last year, and especially one that I think we’ve we’ve dove in into on the podcast, and something that I’ve really been working on and wrestling with, and understanding more is, is racial injustice, in, in America and in our world. And so, you know, we’ve, we were able to in this summer, I’m excited to have, you know, do replays of our two episodes with jemar tisby. And just an interesting historical look, because we needed you know, I, when I look back at this year, some of the things that I learned that that I’m saddened by is that, um, you know, middle aged, you know, getting closer to upper middle age. And so Mark’s beard is not gray yet, right? Mine is a I have I have speckles of gray and more speckled speckles there. But, but, you know, it took me till my to my mid 40s to ever really hear what redlining was, to my mid 40s, till I ever learned about Juneteenth. Yeah, my mid 40s till I ever even knew there was a race massacre in Tulsa in the 20s. Yeah. Right. And I look back and think, Wow, how, how did I not ever hear about these things?
Probably because you grew up in Indiana, but right. No, I mean, yeah, it’s context for sure. In my situation, similar, you know, part of it was growing up in New Mexico, it was interesting. You know, this is a story that’s not, you know, a secret that I may have talked about on the podcast before, but my mother was a missionary from Virginia sent out because to New Mexico, that’s how I was born and raised there. sent there because she had some health problems in Virginia. So it was back in the 50s. When it’s like, Go West young woman. Yeah, pretty much and there will be better. Yeah. No, I mean, the sanatoriums were out there, right. And all this stuff. And so she was sort of sent out and they the Southern Baptists in Virginia had kind of paid her salary for a few years and that she met my father and quit. But that’s, but even after that happened, we always sort of went to mission churches, and I was actually baptized in a small. It wasn’t called church. It was called the Neighborhood Center. And it was a it was a mission church that the Southern Baptist had and sort of paid for in in what at that time qualified as, I guess, for lack of a better word. Albuquerque is like ghetto, huh? Yeah. Because Yeah, Albuquerque, you know, about half Anglo, half Latino, and a very, very small African American community. Yeah, but this church was there, right. So and that was because my mother still wanted us to do mission work. Yeah, and yeah, things like that. But even with that, there was just no wider knowledge of the stuff. It wasn’t till I moved to Virginia, actually, and in the 1990s, right, yeah. And saw some of the stuff still alive and well, right. Right, alive and
well. And, and that’s, and I think that’s was was another thing of 2020 is just a reminder that this, that racism is alive and well, it’s 25 years later, not much has changed, and, and the church needs to be on the forefront talking about this, rather than responding later,
we want to be the engine of the caboose. Right in the cultural conversation, right.
And, and, and historically, I mean, that’s what i what i think so appreciated about the episodes were damar is historically, it kind of helps us recognize where we’ve got it wrong in the past, like, right, we have to start there like that. This isn’t a condemnation of every Christian who’s gone before us, right. It’s just saying, Hey, we missed it here. Let us not miss it now.
Well, that’s because jomar is interesting, because, you know, the guy actually has some fame right now. Right? In fact, it’s interesting. Just a couple weeks ago, I was talking to somebody, a colleague teaching at another institution, and they were talking about Have you heard of this book? jemar? tisby? It’s, uh, yeah, like, well, Have you listened to our podcast? We’ve actually, we’ve actually had him on twice. But sometimes when I’m reading about him and other mediums, they’ll talk about jemar tisby, the historian, right, because he actually is his greatest in history, right. And so he, you know, it’s kind of just telling folks that never knew this stuff that was there that was there and is rare.
Right? And, and it’s, and that’s just an important, like, you were saying, like you You don’t know how to navigate, you don’t know, the lay of the land. And so as you as we sadly have to re educate ourselves, because we didn’t learn this. It’s like, wow, how can how can the church be? Again, on the on the forefront of talking about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion? Right, you know, and there’s often this kind of jump maybe to unity, but we kind of have to have those hard conversations first, right, we have to have those hard conversations. And, and, and we were also we’re privileged to have our own faculty and staff on and talk about issues of race, and, and issues of, of again, how, you know, the church in the 60s didn’t always intend that’s an understatement. They didn’t accept Martin Luther King, Jr. and they didn’t support him wholeheartedly. And there was division or go the letter from Birmingham Jail. Right. Exactly. And, and those are things we can learn from, you know, I, you know, we had Ed stetzer on recently, and he was here on campus kind of talking, and I’ve always appreciated from Ed, this historical understanding, right, he, like, he looks at trends, and and I’m always fascinated by that. And, and we do have to realize, you know, while 2020 was, you know, at least in my lifetime, more hands down be the most tumultuous year, at least for right now. You know, anything can happen, and then I could do with my life, too. But looking back at the same kind of tomo in the mid 60s, right, and, and he kind of talks about it as these kind of cultural reverberations right are and, and so we have to realize, like, this isn’t something new. Right? Right. Right. But what we can I think do as a church is is and this is the importance of history, and having a history prof on the show, like Rex is how can we learn from history to to move forward?
What not repeat the mistakes of the 70s which came right after the 60s? Because we have, you know, right, all the 60s and then we had disco? Yeah. Which honestly, is a reaction to all of that stuff. Right? Let’s just all go dance with the mirror ball and look, yeah, right. Which is probably not going to be a healthy reaction to what we have just gone through. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah, we can so we can learn from from all sorts of decades.
Definitely. Definitely. And, and so that’s kind of, you know, on this kind of, kind of recap of season two and looking towards the summer. And also we want to kind of spend a little time here Rex looking towards the future right. Like, like, and when we say that we are not saying that to mean that those things, you know, the pandemic, and racial injustice and political division are over, now we get it, you know, it’s not like, oh, the storm has passed, we can, we can move forward. It’s what can we what can we? What wisdom can we gain from this last year? And how do we move forward knowing that these are still things we have to confront? We’re halfway through 2021. And it’s still the same conversation. You know,
I wonder sometimes that perhaps some, you know, we’re not futurists, or anything. But we talk about moving forward and having a vision of whatever comes after this. I think sometimes part of the problem is, is we don’t actually have a vision of what comes after this. We just want to get through with this. Right. This over with Yeah, right. Yeah. And then, of course, you know, as a historian, you know, that, if that, if that’s the only approach to these kind of things, then you know, the same darn thing is going to happen over again.
Right. Right. And so I think it’s, I think it’s important for us to, to look at, okay, what what is a healthy way to move
we talk about racial reconciliation, we talk about these things, well, then what exactly does that look like? is it just an absence of strife? Right? Or is it something more positive than that? Yeah. And I think that we have a unique opportunity right now to start thinking in those directions.
Yeah, you know, definitely. And that a, you know, was helpful in the second episode that we had germar on it was promoting his newest book, which was how to fight racism. And he kind of highlights this arc. Right? Hey, ourselves, yeah, see this arc of, of racial justice, or this arc of reconciliation? And it kind of starts with that awareness phase. That is the awareness phrase, phase and, and then moves to relational things. Right, you know, and, and I think that’s, that’s where I can see in this next year of how, how do we begin to and people have used this phrase a lot, how do we begin to build bridges, right. And, and start to see our communities much more interconnected. And, and start to see the church as much more interconnected and interdependent, and, and continue to listen, continue to learn, continue to lament. And, and continue to repair. And, and moving, moving forward in that sense, but we can’t just kind of fast forward to, to the moving forward react to that, that hard work of, of engaging, and, you know, repenting of what has happened.
It’s interesting, I have always been not only a fan of but have been called to, I guess what you would call multicultural ministry. In some ways, the churches that I pastored were very, very much that way. Particularly the one in Oakland, it was like, every color of the rainbow pretty much. Yeah. But at the same time, I’ve been reading article after article after article now about how the promise of the multicultural church movement has actually not been fulfilled that much. Yeah, that there’s been real issues with that. And yet, still, at the same time, there has to be a way to address rise faultlines even in the Christian community. Right. Right. And that, you know, takes an openness to perhaps some new thinking, yeah, it’s not like, well, let’s just do something that hasn’t worked as well as we hoped it would. better, right, let’s maybe do something different. And I actually don’t know what that is right now. Yet want to have an open heart and an open mind to where God wants us to go with that.
Yeah. One One thing that has been on my heart recently, and I’m actually doing a little bit of study and writing on it this this summer, but twice in the Gospel of Matthew and I’ll just pull out one of them. Scripture here, I’m gonna go for it. We’re going for in, in the Gospel of Matthew in chapter nine. He also does this in chapter 12. He says the same quote, and it’s actually a quote from Hosea. So it’s not just New Testament he’s quoting, but in in Matthew nine, it’s when he’s calling Matthew not to be a disciple. And the Pharisees are like, I can’t believe he’s eating with tax collectors and sinners and That’s where we get the kind of I’ve, you know, the sick need a doctor, who else is there to actually eat with. Right? Right? And, and Jesus says this line and he gonna repeat it in Matthew 12. He says, you know, but go and learn what this means I desire mercy, not sacrifice for I have not come to call the righteous but sinners. And I’ve just been kind of meditating on that phrase I desire mercy, not sacrifice
and in your meditations, where or is that leading you right now?
Well, I think it’s leading me to you know, we kind of see that play out so, so many other places in the Gospel, right? When you have the story of the Good Samaritan that finishes with Jesus flipping the question, right, the quarter The story starts with the the expert in the law saying, Well, hey, who’s my neighbor? Right? Gotcha. Yeah, like, and Jesus flips it asks him, he tells the story, right. And then he says, who was the better neighbor? And the expert on law? Probably begrudgingly, but I might be reading into the text there. Says the one who showed mercy. Right, the and and I feel like God is calling us not to be enforcers of his law. Right. Not to be enforcers of ritual, as much as I love ritual, actually, and sacrament. He has called us right is this idea of going learn what it means I desire mercy, showing mercy to anyone who’s hurting. And I think the, the, to me, the point of the Good Samaritan story is, whoever you see hurting
is your neighbor. And that would mean you’d have to get rid of something that I have been played with and probably still am played with in my life right now. And that’s this sort of great, you know, I don’t know, Abacus or whatever in the sky. Right? Yeah. To where there’s this balance here. And you know, who desert who deserves My Mercy desert? That’s really that not only is that the wrong question, that is an unintelligible question. Right? who deserves My mercy? Right, right.
Yeah. And it’s, and it’s anyone who needs mercy, or it’s too, right to show that mercy. And that’s really where I think Jesus worked so hard to get the disciples and his earliest followers to really grasp that idea, right of loving God and loving others. What does that look like to to love others?
And speaking of pandemics, and Christians loving others on one lesson from church history, and we probably have mentioned this before, and yeah, many of you have heard it, and other venues, other places. But one of the, you know, real signal, talking points for Christianity when it was still illegal under the Roman Empire was these plagues, which would come across every, you know, 2030 years. I mean, folks, this kind of stuffs been happening forever. It’s just this is just our turn. Right? Right. In many ways, many ways. But Christians would not just take care of their own. They take care of the pagan sick too, because, you know, wealthy Romans and such will just get out of Dodge, right? Oh, yeah. But Christians wouldn’t. And that really made an impression on people. these are these are folks that aren’t just in it for themselves. Yeah. And very powerful,
that is powerful, that, that that our witness, right for Jesus is living a life that is others focused, characterised by mercy for all people. Yeah. That, that desire is not like and I think we always try to, it’s kind of like mercy, but mercy, mercy, but we got to bring in wrath right, mercy, but judgment, mercy. And I think Jesus saying, Hey, I’ll take care of the rest, right? But I want you to go and learn what was meant by desire, mercy, not sacrifice. And, and so I think for me, that’s, that’s this next phase of the journey this next year. The idea of, of, of doing just that and going and learning what that means, what does that mean, to kind of develop and understand a theology of mercy and, and being able to then show mercy, not to those I deem deserving. But to anyone who is in need and, and starting with mercy, that that it’s the it’s the mercy or kindness of God right. Paul says this in Romans that leads us to repentance. It’s it’s that is how God approaches us and how he’s asking us to approach others and and kind of this other this Other idea has been kind of running around in my in my head and this comes from Proverbs. And this actually, Proverbs 29. And and I really, since college, I started reading the Proverbs and the message paraphrase, you know, just, it kind of helps, you know, you can think of it and now it’s interesting as a theology professor and you know, and being in a church for so long people can get kind of caught up on the translation.
What is my favorite pet? favorite pet papers? Isn’t that an interesting way to put it? Apparently, I have a lot of, wow, I need to have a favor. I need I need someone to have mercy on me. But one of them is is is I mean, I think it’s a totally legitimate thing, because I do believe the Scripture is inspired by God. Yeah. to parse the Greek to figure out what it is right, right. But the pet peeve is when preachers will sit there and talk about well, but Jesus meant this when he said this and use this Greek word. That’s like, I’m actually Jesus was speaking Aramaic. Right? Right.
Translated from Aramaic integrates now into English. Right? Right. And, and there is so much and that’s what so that’s why, you know, like, you know, and I appreciate all kinds of translations that kind of help us get closer to one
another. And when I’m just using Now, just to see Scripture with fresh, you know, you get as old as you need to have, you need to, um, see here and read Scripture with fresh eyes, ears and whatever else. But I’m actually I’m reading a Native American translation of the gospel, which is, I’ve been, I’ve been doing that in my personal devotions. fact, this morning, I was reading Ephesians. And in that version, and it just makes things you know, I’m not I don’t think you should, you know, base any doctrine on this particular paraphrase. Yeah, yeah. But at the same time, it really makes scripture come alive again. right for me, right? What if the gospel is like the good road? Right? And what does it mean then to walk the good road with the creator? Yeah. And that’s, it makes money. That’s great.
Yeah, I like that. And so that’s why Yeah, it’s just a message and I feel like Eugene Peterson does a good job of, of getting to, hey, this is what is this is the thought that’s being that it’s getting across in this. And it’s actually proverbs 29, eight. And in the message, it just says this, it says a gang of cynics can upset a whole city, a group of sages can calm everyone down. You know, and it’s, it’s easy, you know, and I think maybe people like, like, you and me maybe are can be more predisposed to cynicism. Right? occupation. And, and that’s just been something that is has really been hitting me that cynicism is not going to help us move forward. No,
right. It’s not gonna make for a happy household either. And two weeks ago, my wife and I do not need to hear that right now. And she was totally right. I wasn’t even aware of the fact that I was I just gotten so negative about writing,
right. And so we need to be careful of that, that if we want to move forward, that cynicism is not going to be the response that helps us now analysis critique, those cannot but those can be done without cynicism. Right. And, and I love that that juxtaposition, right? Or that contrast a gang of cynics versus a group of sages, sages, right? A group of sages got How can we approach all of these topics, all of these experiences? guy with wisdom, with mercy, with with with a calm, mind, a calm heart that says we want to hear? We want to listen, we want to respond not rashly. Right? And we don’t just want to, with what we disagree, we don’t just want to well write it off, burn it down. But well, how can we engage? right and so so I think for me, maybe the rest of this year, and hopefully this will come out in season three? With the T shirts. That’s right with the T shirts. Do we need to wear them in the studio? You know, there’ll be a little more social media happening in season three. So yeah, there’ll be some photo ops. But the idea of for one I desire mercy, not sacrifice. And well what does it look like to not not fall prey to cynicism, not fall prey to cynicism, but in wisdom, which humility, mercy, grace. Those are all parts of wisdom, right? Like those, even when you think of someone in your life, you’re like, wow, that was a wise person. They probably had a gentle, merciful, calming spirit. That’s probably true.
It’s, it’s interesting, I once heard somebody say that, um, one of the marks of a really grounded, wise person is that you can be talking to them and feel that you have not aged in their presence. I’d love that. Yeah, I want to be that kind of guy. I’m not that kind of guy. But I’ve always wanted to be that kind of guy. Because wisdom is timeless. And as of course, it would be because our true wisdom is from God.
Yeah. And so. So I think our invitation for our listeners, for you listeners out there is, as we kind of break, as we break for the summer that maybe engage in these reruns come. And, and the first one will kind of highlighting a professor out of Southern California, Dr. David van drunen. He’s going to be highlighting politics after Christendom, you know, what does it look like to engage politically, when the the overarching power structure is not Christian? Right. And so we can look back in history and think of those times in England, things of those times after Constantine, basically, in the Roman Empire, where there was such a fusion of Christianity and political power, right. And we can learn from that and learn maybe, wow, look at these mistakes that were made, how we move forward. And so and we actually recorded that last summer. But we’re bringing that back, because, you know, kind of snuck in. And that was one of our first kind of Professor interviews. Yeah. Right. It’s kind of interesting to look back at that, and then highlighting the two episodes with jemar tisby. First one on his book, The color of compromise, which is a, which was a history of the American church, and, and in the subtitle he highlights is the complicity of the American church. Right, that, that it oftentimes wasn’t even just passive, or in the background, it was the actively since Yeah, actively, you know, enforcing racist ideas. And so we need to, we need to know those stories, we need to confront that, you know, and, and then his his follow up book on how to fight racism, which I think is really helpful, practical, how do we move forwards?
And one thing I admire about jemar is that he wrote that second book after the first book, right? Because a lot of folks wouldn’t have right. And that’s Yeah, that’s impressive and important. I mean, now, what do we do about it?
Right? Right. Yeah, I agree. You could have wrote the first book and said, Yep, I’m gonna give up on the church and move on. But it’s not let’s let’s do something about this. And we can write, we have the tools without a church and and we need to hear other voices, so excited for that. And then the fourth one, is actually from a northern California pastor writer named Dan Kimball over in Santa Cruz, of his release, we did this guy, I think, last, you know, last year, of how not to read the Bible. And, and it’s so important, you know, because as you as as you bring the Bible into these conversations, it is really easy to miss read it for one to use it to your advantage. And it’s also easy for people who haven’t read the Bible to pick up on a few things and say, yeah, the Bible’s pro slavery, the Bible’s this and that, and it’s like, well, let’s really look at these tough passages. Let’s look at this. And let’s remind ourselves that for one, what the Bible is and how to approach it. So really excited for that, and then we just encourage you over this next year, wow, how can we how can we develop wisdom, not cynicism? I mean, that’s that’s just personal. That sounds like something to work on. Yeah. And, and what what’s that balance and once that understanding of mercy over sacrifice, and you can kind of understand that again, Eugene Peterson, paraphrases that I desire mercy, not religion. Right, because the sacrifice he’s talking about there is, is kind of religious ritual sacrifice, right. And what is mercy? What is showing mercy to someone like Matthew, when Jesus does that?
Well, James will tell you actually what true religion is.
Exactly. And James also highlights mercy triumphs over judgment, right. And so it’s, it’s a consistent theme that I think is important and I and I just love the phrase, and it’s actually a kind of typical, maybe rabbinic phrase. That Jesus use, go and learn, don’t learn, go and learn. So we would ask that if you go and learn what is meant by I desire mercy, not sacrifice go and learn wisdom over cynicism. Sounds like a good charge. Yeah, we look forward to a good season three. Thank you for listening to Jessup. Think Be sure to follow us on Twitter at Jessup think we would love to hear your thoughts on the episode and engage with any questions you have. Our aim is to provide a framework for further reflection and deeper exploration of these important topics. You can also help the show by leaving a review on iTunes these reviews help the podcast reach new listeners. Until next time, I’m Mark Moore and this is Jessup.
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