A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

Evangelicalism. Ugh.

October 21, 2020 Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker Season 1 Episode 8
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Evangelicalism. Ugh.
Chapters
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Evangelicalism. Ugh.
Oct 21, 2020 Season 1 Episode 8
Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker

In this episode we tackle the good, the bad, and the ugly of American evangelicalism. This conversation represents the culmination of something Kyle and Randy have been discussing for a while, and something that comes up a lot when they do live church Q&A's. Is "evangelicalism" salvageable? Listen to find out.

The bourbon featured in this episode is Willett Pot Still Reserve.

If you're local to Milwaukee, check out our friends at Story Hill BKC.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we tackle the good, the bad, and the ugly of American evangelicalism. This conversation represents the culmination of something Kyle and Randy have been discussing for a while, and something that comes up a lot when they do live church Q&A's. Is "evangelicalism" salvageable? Listen to find out.

The bourbon featured in this episode is Willett Pot Still Reserve.

If you're local to Milwaukee, check out our friends at Story Hill BKC.

00:00

[Music]

00:14

welcome to

00:14

a pastor and a philosopher walk into a

00:16

bar the podcast where we mix a sometimes

00:19

weird but always delicious cocktail of

00:21

theology

00:22

philosophy and spirituality

00:28

hello friends and welcome to a pastor

00:30

and a philosopher walk into a bar

00:33

i'm excited to be with you today i'm

00:34

excited about what we're going to talk

00:36

about

00:37

mostly and i'm excited about what we're

00:39

going to drink today so kyle could you

00:41

just

00:42

tee it up for us please yeah so our

00:45

topic for today

00:46

is evangelicalism praise the lord uh

00:48

this is something that randy and i have

00:50

been talking about for a long time it's

00:51

something i think we've both been

00:52

wrestling with

00:53

for a long time we until fairly recently

00:56

would both have confidently described

00:58

ourselves

00:59

as evangelicals whether we still would

01:02

or not is going to be part of our

01:03

conversation

01:05

so we're going to talk about the the

01:07

good the bad and the ugly

01:08

of what it means to be an evangelical in

01:10

the united states

01:11

oh boy well i could use a good drink to

01:14

talk about evangelicalism in the united

01:16

states as

01:17

it currently sits so kyle what are we

01:19

drinking today

01:21

today we have willet pot still

01:24

small batch straight bourbon whiskey now

01:27

that's just the normal will it

01:28

correct yeah yeah hot steel small

01:32

i know i know that's just what it says

01:33

on the label it comes in a funny shaped

01:36

bottle that kind of looks like a pot

01:37

still

01:38

so it's it is it's a good looking bottle

01:42

it's very recognizable on the shelf

01:43

sort of drug paraphernalia i've always

01:46

looked like a bomb yeah you could

01:49

definitely smoke something out of it

01:51

i'm sure if you wanted to uh so this

01:54

comes in at

01:55

47 alcohol by volume

01:58

it is a straight bourbon whiskey which

02:00

means it's aged for at least two years

02:03

in new oak barrels uh

02:06

and it's delicious man i get this could

02:08

just be the glass but i really think i

02:10

get a lot of barn in the nose here

02:12

a lot of dusty oh yeah major old musty

02:16

books like dusty books

02:17

dusty library and barn like old wood

02:20

prefab wood

02:21

you know it's very specific yeah

02:25

all right now i'm gonna that was just

02:26

the nose i'm gonna taste it now

02:28

i mean to me it's a punch in the face of

02:30

vanilla

02:32

some black pepper on the back end nice

02:34

all right yep a little spicy but not too

02:37

much

02:37

i get the vanilla i get cherries yep

02:39

cinnamon flavor

02:40

cinnamon uh yep yes a good for me a good

02:43

bourbon

02:44

slash a good whiskey but particularly

02:47

bourbon is

02:48

when the front of your pallet or the

02:49

front of your tongue is

02:51

different than the middle in the back of

02:53

your palate

02:55

yeah when that's complex enough to

02:57

actually do something and have different

02:59

descriptors

03:00

that's i'm having fun then yep vanilla

03:02

hits first it's like it's more cloves on

03:05

the back

03:07

for me i feel like that's the the taste

03:09

that stays in my mouth for a while

03:11

we apologize to all you non whiskey

03:13

geeks

03:14

but i'm not fine that's where there's a

03:17

fast forward button on your

03:19

on your app um this bourbon used to be

03:21

really easy to find i guess it's not so

03:23

easy to find anymore

03:25

um it's so comes in somewhere around the

03:26

40 mark i think

03:28

comparable to other mid-range bourbons

03:31

yeah i'd say that's a great 40

03:33

whiskey myself i'd have to think hard

03:36

and have them side by side if i

03:37

like will it or woodford to me we're

03:40

gonna need to get some wood good stuff

03:41

side by side

03:42

all right hey we should cool all right

03:45

well cheers boys

03:47

cheers evangelicalism

03:51

is a hot button topic in our world today

03:54

particularly among people who are maybe

03:57

on the first half of life

03:58

40 and under there's a lot of

04:02

hand wringing over it there's a lot of

04:03

anger over evangelicalism there's a lot

04:05

of protection and defensiveness when it

04:07

comes to

04:08

talking about evangelicalism and there's

04:10

a lot of people

04:11

a lot of people who grew up in within

04:13

evangelicalism

04:15

who want nothing to do with it and in

04:17

many ways because of evangelicalism want

04:18

nothing to

04:19

do with the church they've written it

04:21

off some of them have

04:22

gone on to high church traditions

04:24

catholic presbyterian episcopalian you

04:26

name it but i would say many of them

04:29

have become

04:30

gone into this none category where

04:31

they're just i'm done with organized

04:33

religion it's

04:34

evangelicalism has ruined me for

04:36

christianity

04:38

and that's uh that's a loaded gun that

04:41

we're talking about here

04:42

something that some people say because

04:44

of that i don't want anything to do with

04:45

religion and then some people who are

04:47

clinging to it

04:48

in all in its in its pure form or in

04:50

their pure form

04:52

in defending it and they think defending

04:54

evangelicalism equals defending the

04:56

gospel

04:57

right which i would totally disagree

04:58

with kyle can you just frame up

05:01

this big umbrella that is evangelicalism

05:04

a bit for us give us an overview

05:07

sure and just to piggyback on what you

05:09

said there's another class of

05:11

people who just don't know what to do

05:12

with themselves like they're not willing

05:14

to become the nun and they're not

05:15

willing to exit into what you call the

05:17

high church traditions

05:18

they just don't know where to go because

05:20

there's nowhere that they fit and so

05:21

they

05:22

sort of spin their wheels and are really

05:23

really unhappy i know quite a few people

05:25

like that

05:26

disgruntled within the movement but

05:27

don't know where where

05:29

what their options are correct yeah yeah

05:30

or they don't have any good options

05:32

um so there's several different i mean

05:35

it's one of those words where you drop

05:37

it in a room and suddenly

05:38

you've made enemies on all sides right

05:40

because it means so many different

05:41

things to so many different people

05:43

so to give some some clarity about what

05:45

it is we're talking about here

05:46

we're both americans and so what we're

05:48

going to be talking about is american

05:50

evangelicalism

05:51

i say that because evangelicalism is

05:53

older than

05:55

the american expression of it it exists

05:58

in other parts of the world today in

05:59

very different ways than it does

06:01

in the united states and so that's not

06:03

necessarily what we're talking about but

06:05

it's important to keep in mind that

06:07

american christians are a very small

06:08

segment of christians globally and there

06:10

are many

06:11

global christians who would use the word

06:13

somewhat differently from how americans

06:15

use it

06:16

in the united states it's almost become

06:17

synonymous with a political voting bloc

06:20

so when you read a poll from barna or

06:23

pew or something like that and they talk

06:24

about evangelicals

06:26

what they mean is this this really

06:29

sizable

06:30

and politically powerful demographic

06:34

that's mostly white that votes a

06:36

particular way

06:37

and to to extricate evangelicalism

06:40

from that can be very very difficult so

06:43

if we're going to talk about we're going

06:44

to have to talk about both the spiritual

06:47

aspects of it and also the political

06:49

aspects of it because

06:50

these days they're they're one entity

06:53

and it would be kind of dishonest of us

06:54

to pretend

06:56

that we could we could just isolate one

06:58

half of that and ignore the other half

07:00

which would be really nice to do right

07:02

uh i personally wish i could ignore the

07:04

political half and just focus in on the

07:06

theological stuff but it's not that

07:07

simple

07:08

so we have to just admit it's aligned

07:11

with

07:12

today in the united states conservative

07:14

politics politics of the

07:17

the gop which itself is quite different

07:19

than it was

07:20

a couple decades ago on the more

07:23

theological or religious side what does

07:25

it mean to be an evangelical

07:26

fortunately here there's a definition

07:28

that's pretty widely accepted

07:30

that we can appeal to so there's this

07:33

historian

07:34

i think he's british named david

07:36

bevington actually

07:37

he and an american historian named mark

07:40

knoll

07:40

have both written a lot about

07:42

evangelicalism trying to sort of locate

07:44

it in the history of religious thought

07:47

and they just came out with a book

07:48

together about

07:50

evangelicalism in its place and actually

07:52

its future so i'm looking forward to

07:53

reading that

07:54

later this year yeah but bevington gave

07:57

this

07:58

call it a definition he set out for

08:01

markers i'm going to call them markers

08:03

of evangelicalism

08:05

as a way to distinguish it from other

08:07

historical religious movements

08:09

so he says there's four things that are

08:11

kind of distinctive

08:12

to evangelicalism first a kind of

08:16

he called it biblicism so

08:20

a strong emphasis on the bible uh now

08:23

some evangelicals

08:25

yeah the authority of authority

08:26

particularly in the sense of what should

08:28

i believe about god

08:30

but also for most evangelicals what

08:32

should i believe about the world

08:34

and what should i believe about ethics

08:35

really what should i believe period

08:37

yeah i mean when it comes to the bible

08:39

and biblicism i would say this is a huge

08:42

departure from this is a protestant

08:44

thing in many ways i would say

08:46

is that catholics look at to their main

08:48

authority as tradition

08:50

and evangelicals look to their main

08:51

authority as the bible

08:53

yeah catholics don't even read the book

08:55

right

08:56

that's a little jab to my catholic

08:58

friends but i've had priests say that to

08:59

me so

09:00

i feel okay about it yeah um

09:04

that's a huge huge divergence that's a

09:08

that's a major major difference in what

09:10

we give authority in way

09:12

and most of my catholic good catholic

09:14

friends and most of my good evangelical

09:15

friends would say

09:17

both of them catholics put too much

09:19

weight into

09:20

tradition and evangelicals probably put

09:23

too much weight

09:24

into the scriptures now if i said if

09:26

you're a good evangelical listening

09:28

you just put me in the heretic box

09:29

because you can't put too much weight in

09:31

scriptures

09:32

but but that's exactly what we're

09:34

talking that that attitude that's

09:35

biblicism you can't put too much weight

09:37

on this that's

09:38

that's what that's what bevington has in

09:40

mind um so that's the first identifier

09:43

or the first marker the second

09:44

is cruciate centrism which is just a big

09:47

word that means

09:48

a strong focus on the cross so the death

09:52

of jesus is the most important aspect of

09:55

christianity or the death

09:56

and resurrection let's put those

09:58

together of jesus

10:00

are the defining features of

10:02

christianity that's what it's

10:04

really all about let's let's make

10:06

another nuance here i would say

10:08

good evangelicals with good theology

10:11

would say the death and resurrection

10:12

of jesus is central but i would say

10:16

part of that not fully robust

10:18

evangelical theology

10:20

really even leaves out the resurrection

10:21

and just says it's all about

10:23

the cross yeah and not in a non-healthy

10:26

way i would say

10:26

yeah so there are fair enough there are

10:28

some traditions that you could you could

10:30

sit in

10:31

a church in that tradition for several

10:33

years and not realize that the

10:34

resurrection was that important

10:36

but you know guys a lot about you know a

10:38

whole lot about the crucifixion

10:40

and sin um definitely fair point um so

10:44

that's biblicism crucialism third we

10:46

have conversionism

10:48

so this is the idea that you need to

10:51

have

10:52

a conversion experience born again

10:55

yeah to be born again to use the

10:57

scriptural language you have to be one

10:59

way

11:00

and then you make a decision and you

11:01

repent and you have an experience and

11:03

then you're a different way

11:04

and that's how you enter into the church

11:07

that's put into terms how do you stay in

11:08

the church

11:09

put into terms that i grew up with did

11:12

you invite jesus into your heart yeah or

11:14

i invited jesus into my heart when i was

11:16

eight years old at a milwaukee brewers

11:17

baseball

11:18

christian camp and i remember kneeling

11:20

on one knee thinking about what a worm i

11:22

was

11:23

at eight years old invited jesus into my

11:25

heart and i get to live forever i was

11:27

nine

11:27

so that's interesting uh and i remember

11:30

praying that conversion prayer three or

11:32

four times to make sure that it's

11:34

that stuck before i told it absolutely

11:38

but yeah you have to have this conv and

11:39

sometimes those you know those

11:40

conversion stories are very dramatic and

11:42

sometimes they're not they happen when

11:43

you're a kid

11:44

but the point is uh there has to be a

11:46

point in your life when you acknowledge

11:48

the lordship of christ and you devote

11:50

your life to that and yeah that's your

11:52

conversion as a good church boy and

11:54

pastor son i would guess that you had

11:55

the the problem of your a boring

11:57

testimony where like you grew up a

11:59

christian

12:00

and you didn't have that like cool

12:01

college story where you could i was

12:03

six so yeah if either of you need any

12:06

spiritual guidance on your

12:07

journey or whatever just like a little

12:09

ahead and you can

12:10

lean on me yeah yeah thank you

12:13

[Laughter]

12:15

so that's the first three yeah and then

12:16

the last marker uh according to

12:18

bebington is activism

12:20

this one's vague it can mean a lot of

12:22

different things to a lot of different

12:23

people

12:24

right now it means political activism

12:26

that's what it means in the united

12:27

states

12:27

i didn't always mean that though it

12:29

could be

12:30

prior to the civil war in the united

12:33

states it meant

12:34

what we would now call social justice

12:36

yeah i'm caring for the poor

12:38

and the downtrodden and the socially

12:40

disenfranchised

12:41

doesn't matter so much anymore i would

12:43

say that's the beautiful roots of

12:45

evangelicalism evangelicalism when it

12:47

began

12:48

i'd be a card-carrying member to be

12:50

honest with you with john wesley and the

12:52

methodists and

12:52

the social justice movement that was

12:55

burst out of there really

12:56

is a huge part of the foundation of

13:00

evangelicalism

13:01

it's beautiful it's good unfortunately

13:03

now when you talk about social justice

13:05

to most evangelicals

13:07

you're talking politically you're

13:08

talking a dirty word social justice

13:11

is like now a dog whistle for saying oh

13:14

that's a liberal evangelical so that you

13:16

can write them off

13:17

yeah so it's changed dramatically in the

13:20

last

13:21

um 150 years and i think another aspect

13:24

of this

13:25

is well several things happen we could

13:27

talk about a few of those things i mean

13:28

the war was one thing and there was

13:30

fundamentalism which we've talked about

13:32

in a separate episode happened a lot of

13:34

things happened in culture that

13:35

evangelicals felt they needed to react

13:37

against

13:37

probably the enlightenment being

13:39

possibly the biggest right well yeah

13:41

certain ways of looking at scripture

13:43

that were birthed in the enlightenment

13:45

yeah and so

13:46

because of those ten those trends in

13:48

this broader society and because of the

13:50

decisions that

13:51

a lot of evangelicals at the time made

13:54

to

13:54

react against those things and to i mean

13:57

they chose a couple hills to die on that

13:59

they honestly shouldn't have chosen

14:01

and that started a trajectory that led

14:02

to what where we're at today

14:04

just imagine though for the first time

14:06

actually right now as we speak

14:09

listeners friends community we're

14:11

sharing a moment of epiphany here

14:12

i actually understand a little bit i

14:14

feel like i'm i'm i can empathize with

14:17

the evangelicals who reacted in the

14:19

wrong way during the enlightenment when

14:21

you're getting you're used to a world in

14:23

which science is just

14:24

loose theoretical non-foundational world

14:29

that it really doesn't have much matter

14:30

when we're talking about truth

14:32

but then all of a sudden with the boom

14:35

of scientific discovery happening

14:37

in the enlightenment all of a sudden

14:38

people are saying oh we can actually see

14:40

what's true based on science

14:42

and can i can imagine where a church

14:44

that's been used to being able to

14:45

identify what's true based on the bible

14:47

based on tradition based on their their

14:49

ideas

14:50

now they're being challenged by science

14:51

and that's a very insecure moment

14:54

and so now all of a sudden we have to

14:55

react right that's usually where things

14:57

go wrong

14:58

is where instead of responding you

14:59

actually react and so now we have to

15:01

react and say no this

15:02

what is in this book is scientific fact

15:06

right or fill in the blank you they went

15:07

all sorts of different directions but i

15:09

actually get that you know like they're

15:10

used to controlling the narrative

15:11

they're used to having

15:13

the the lion's share of what it means to

15:16

be

15:16

what's something if something's true or

15:18

not and all of a sudden that rugs

15:20

getting swept up from underneath them

15:21

and they panic i get it yeah but yet

15:25

it gave birth to all sorts of

15:28

funky theology and bad ways of looking

15:30

at the scriptures it makes you think it

15:31

makes me think

15:32

that if they had really honored the

15:35

scripture as much as they

15:36

claimed to if their biblicism has been

15:39

sincere

15:40

they might have noticed that it's

15:41

written from the perspective of socially

15:44

weak people

15:45

yes absolutely they're an oppressed

15:48

people

15:48

yeah i mean it's written from the

15:50

perspective of social oppression

15:52

yeah so to use it as a way to hold on to

15:56

social power is

15:57

pretty ironic and what's ir what's

15:59

what's crazy is that the bible actually

16:01

never claims to be a book of science

16:03

no literally science didn't exist

16:07

and the ancient people had their science

16:10

all wrong so if we're taking science

16:12

from

16:12

from this book that's thousands of years

16:15

old

16:16

whoa we're going to have a weird science

16:17

anyways yeah and it did i mean it turned

16:19

out to be really weird and parochial and

16:21

is to this day

16:22

yeah before we move on from this i just

16:24

wanted to say like another aspect it

16:26

seems to me of

16:27

activism see if you agree with this is a

16:30

certain kind of

16:31

evangelism evangelism for the purposes

16:35

of

16:35

conversion evangelism it seems to me

16:38

not as an expert here within

16:41

evangelicalism evangelism looks quite

16:43

different than it does outside of

16:44

evangelicalism

16:46

has that been your experience yeah i

16:48

would say

16:49

i mean evangelicals do

16:52

evangelicalism evangelism i'm sorry very

16:56

poorly for the most part but

16:57

to their credit they're one of the few

17:00

traditions that actually do evangelism

17:02

intentionally um and hold it as a

17:05

as a value i would say or or well they

17:09

i don't want to say for example that

17:10

catholics don't hold evangelism to be of

17:13

value

17:14

but their approach to it seems very very

17:16

different yeah and here's what i think

17:18

you were getting at which i would

17:19

completely agree with

17:20

uh even a typical evangelical response

17:22

to

17:23

a social justice movement would be well

17:26

we just got to get them saved

17:27

right like why are you worrying about

17:29

their environment why are you worrying

17:30

about those kids

17:31

not having food to eat why are you

17:32

wearing worrying about those kids not

17:34

having parents why are you worrying

17:35

about those kids not having health care

17:36

we just got to get introduce them to

17:38

jesus and if that's if that happens

17:40

let's move on and get the next ones is

17:42

that what you're getting at yeah yeah

17:43

yeah i literally heard my old pastor say

17:45

those exact words

17:47

people would argue about other various

17:49

things and uh he'd be like oh

17:51

let's just focus on what really matters

17:53

yeah that's been some of the comments

17:55

uh some some of the things that i've

17:57

seen coming out of

17:58

some of my evangelical friends in

18:00

response to recent

18:02

racial protests the this uprising trying

18:05

to do something

18:06

the response is why why aren't we seeing

18:09

the gospel mentioned here like we should

18:11

be mentioning the gospel

18:12

protests that that aren't uh that don't

18:15

have the gospel message embedded in them

18:17

are

18:17

are useless and uh and it's of the world

18:20

yeah yeah i i have trouble putting

18:24

wrapping my head around how the gospel

18:26

could be extricated from

18:28

the advocacy for the poor and the

18:30

powerless but it but it seems like

18:32

that's a division that's been really

18:34

cleanly made in a widespread way

18:36

and it gives you it gives you a sense of

18:39

what

18:40

that kind of evangelical must mean by

18:42

the gospel if it's not already present

18:44

in that kind of service and that kind of

18:46

social activism

18:48

then what is the additional thing that

18:49

they think the gospel is that's missing

18:51

from that exchange

18:52

and it seems to me it's something

18:54

cognitive it's it's

18:56

a matter of what people believe what

18:58

propositions they have assented to

19:00

and if that's what it means then that's

19:02

a thoroughly unbiblical way of thinking

19:04

about

19:05

yeah it's probably about where they go

19:06

when they die too like that's sure

19:08

if sure but the thing that that decides

19:11

that for

19:12

for many many evangelicals is what you

19:15

believe

19:16

uh i heard a philosopher of religion one

19:18

time kind of snarkily

19:20

say it's almost like when you get to

19:22

heaven god is going to put a little hat

19:24

on you with a little meter on it he

19:26

called it a doxastoscope

19:28

it's something that measures the level

19:30

of your belief and if

19:31

if the you know if the needle pins the

19:33

right thing then you get

19:35

let in or something which is absurd when

19:37

you put it that way but that really does

19:38

seem to be

19:39

the basis of most evangelicals beliefs

19:43

about what it takes to be saved so it's

19:45

a matter of doctrinal ascent

19:47

now to be fair to evangelicals i would

19:50

say

19:52

interpretation or the translation that

19:54

we've been given of the apostle paul

19:55

particularly in the book of romans and

19:57

many other places would in galatians

19:59

would lead us to believe that belief is

20:01

everything right so like to be fair to

20:03

them you have to

20:04

you have to look those those verses and

20:06

those texts in the eye and say

20:08

yeah what's is there something bigger

20:10

going on so i

20:11

i think belief actually does matter in

20:14

in

20:15

in some way to god i think god really

20:17

loves it when we put our faith and trust

20:18

in him

20:19

but what where i said the translation is

20:22

usually when paul says faith in christ

20:24

it's the original greek is usually

20:27

faithfulness to christ right and that's

20:30

totally different that means

20:31

i can have i can have feeble faith

20:33

that's struggling to actually

20:35

really cognitively put the dots together

20:37

i can i can be having a hard time

20:39

in doubting but still be faithful to

20:41

christ in my life

20:42

that's a very big difference so this to

20:44

me is another irony of

20:45

evangelical biblical scholarship because

20:48

it seems to me

20:49

like i agree with you that on the

20:51

surface it would make sense how they got

20:53

there

20:54

to the belief is everything kind of view

20:56

but they got there through poor exit

20:58

jesus

20:58

they got there through ignoring superior

21:01

biblical

21:02

scholarship which would have told you

21:04

that you know english translations

21:06

of the word belief are not adequate for

21:09

the greek

21:10

pistus or pasteur or whatever this is

21:13

not what they meant

21:14

right and so if you you know if you read

21:16

paul in an english translation it's easy

21:17

to come away you're right it's easy to

21:18

come away with the view that

21:20

without belief you know your your

21:22

eternal security is

21:23

is not there but when you recognize that

21:26

paul didn't really think of belief in

21:28

the same way that we do nor did jesus

21:30

the whole foundation of that kind of

21:31

gives way yeah absolutely i can

21:34

i've been in evangelicalism long enough

21:36

that i can put on the hat and really

21:38

quickly think in those ways and and

21:40

feel that defensiveness that that i

21:43

think has to be felt when we look at the

21:44

reality that like going back to the

21:46

example of the protesters

21:47

if if there's a world out there that's

21:49

advocating for justice more than the

21:51

church is

21:53

for the church to come along if if

21:54

that's the if that's the gospel of

21:56

advocacy for the oppressed is

21:58

is part of the gospel and that's

22:00

happening better outside of the church

22:01

as the church comes along it's like

22:02

trying to sell

22:04

ocean water on the beach like we have we

22:06

have yeah

22:07

it's more expensive because we're going

22:09

to ask something of you

22:11

as you as you join this movement and we

22:12

have literally nothing to offer

22:15

that isn't already present uh outside of

22:17

the church so the defensiveness is

22:20

uh i think it's a response to what's

22:23

perceived as a position of um it's a

22:25

perilous position it's a weak position

22:28

i can't sell this yeah

22:31

you get no argument from me so randy

22:35

you're

22:35

you're a pastor of what you used to

22:39

confidently call an evangelical

22:41

church i did yep so has that changed for

22:45

you

22:45

what has you what has been your

22:46

experience in fact for both of you

22:48

because i know you both have

22:50

extensive experience in the evangelical

22:51

church world can you just describe for

22:53

our listeners what that experience was

22:55

like

22:55

and why you are where you are now yeah

22:58

and i'll say

22:59

back to you kyle i feel like you've held

23:02

on to the evangelical label only because

23:04

we as a church have for the last yeah

23:08

for the last three or four years that's

23:09

fair

23:10

yeah okay which is very honoring of you

23:12

by the way

23:13

um it's just more work to not use

23:18

the label yeah you have to explain what

23:20

you mean now

23:21

yeah yeah yeah i mean i avoid a lot of

23:23

awkward conversations

23:25

yep so i've been a pastor for uh

23:28

for about almost 14 years

23:31

in september we started brew city church

23:33

in september of

23:34

man i think 2006 it was a year after we

23:37

got married my wife and i

23:39

and at those moments i really didn't

23:41

have a whole lot of qualms with

23:43

evangelicalism by name or the tribe

23:45

right i

23:46

even then i still tried to prophetically

23:49

speak out against the

23:50

overtly political nature of it i've been

23:52

uncomfortable with that since i was in

23:53

middle school to be honest with you

23:55

and confronted by it so there's things

23:57

that i fought against

23:58

early in my pastoral life career calling

24:01

whatever you wanted to call it

24:03

but in the last probably 10 years

24:06

and especially probably four or five

24:09

i've grown increasingly uncomfortable

24:11

with the label and

24:12

in the last couple of years have really

24:14

actually

24:16

i dread when people ask me i don't dread

24:19

what people ask me what i do

24:20

i don't mind saying that i'm a pastor

24:22

but i dread the following question which

24:24

is always

24:24

what kind of church do you pastor that

24:27

question i absolutely dread because

24:30

by and large they easily write me off

24:32

when they hear i'm an evangelical pastor

24:34

they easily put me in a box they easily

24:36

label me

24:37

as conservative republican

24:40

trump supporter homophobic very

24:44

homophobic

24:45

judgmental he thinks that i'm going to

24:48

hell

24:48

no matter what there's there's all these

24:50

things that like as soon as i say

24:52

evangelical pastor i think

24:53

subconsciously and even consciously

24:55

people put together these little things

24:57

that go off that says

24:58

he's judging you as we speak he's not a

25:00

safe person

25:01

he's he's he's got an agenda and since

25:04

that's been happening in the last five

25:06

six years or so i've become extremely

25:08

uncomfortable

25:09

for me personally as an evangelical and

25:12

then

25:12

something happened to me a couple maybe

25:14

a little more than a year ago

25:17

one easter morning on easter is a big

25:19

deal for guys like me right we our

25:22

buildings are packed people are ready

25:24

for us to be inspired and the worship is

25:26

is beautiful and it's it's a fun time

25:29

and i just remember i remember driving

25:32

in to sunday service and i'd take the

25:34

same way every time

25:35

going down i-94 here in milwaukee and i

25:37

remember thinking there's like three

25:39

times as many cars

25:40

this morning as normal uh struck me i

25:42

know

25:43

how many cars there are going to be what

25:45

the feel is on a normal sunday morning

25:46

and they were

25:47

easily triple the amount of cars on the

25:49

road and i told me something and then we

25:51

have

25:52

all these people in the in the building

25:54

and we pack it out and it's

25:55

it's wild times and instead of being

25:58

super

25:59

pumped by that and super excited by that

26:02

i was disturbed by it because it just

26:03

told me

26:04

what's keeping these folks from being

26:06

here the other 51 weeks of the year

26:08

right

26:09

and what i realized was

26:12

maybe it's our label maybe it's that

26:16

as long as we're calling ourselves

26:18

evangelical

26:20

we're actually making ourselves off

26:22

limits to a bunch of people

26:23

who might find what we bring beautiful

26:26

who might find what we bring life-giving

26:28

and eye-opening and surprising but

26:30

because we have this

26:32

tribe in this name over us of

26:35

evangelicals

26:36

they'll write us off and never step foot

26:38

through our doors and

26:39

that is the tipping point for me i don't

26:42

mind being looked at as a

26:44

i don't mind being mine being looked at

26:46

poorly by other people i can explain my

26:48

way out of that

26:49

i do mind when our label affects the

26:52

witness of the gospel when our label

26:54

in our tribe actually compromises the

26:56

witness of christ

26:58

that's that's a that's a non-starter for

27:01

me it can't happen and so since

27:02

since then i've been processing and i've

27:04

just gotten more comfortable with

27:07

being the annoying voice in the room i

27:09

still have evangelical

27:10

friends our church networks are

27:12

evangelical my peers and closest friends

27:14

in the ministry are evangelical

27:16

but i'm no longer comfortable calling

27:18

myself

27:19

evangelical or calling bruce city church

27:21

evangelical now i'm not the only one who

27:23

gets to say what bruce city church is

27:24

with there's

27:25

250 people in a leadership team that

27:27

gets to do that together but

27:28

i just refer to us as a christian church

27:30

non-denominational following jesus

27:33

because i'm tired of beautiful people

27:36

who might be able to hear something

27:37

beautiful

27:38

be off limits to it because of our title

27:41

and our tribe

27:43

yeah speaking of when people ask me what

27:46

i do and i'm dreading when they ask me

27:48

what kind of pastor what kind of church

27:50

i pastor there's just

27:52

a conversation that sticks out to me i

27:54

love cooking

27:55

and somehow that got out to my kids my

27:58

boys cub scout camp

27:59

and they recruited me as the camp cook

28:03

for winter camp

28:04

which is just cooking a lot of below

28:08

average you know food

28:11

for a bunch of kids who don't really

28:12

care about what it tastes like it's

28:14

really fun for a cook but so i'm cooking

28:18

and then one of the other dads come in

28:19

his name's ed he's a great guy he's a

28:21

catholic

28:22

he um he lives in the same area as i do

28:26

i can tell he cares about social justice

28:28

a lot

28:29

and we start talking about politics and

28:31

um he's liking where this is going and

28:33

everything

28:34

and then he starts asking what i do and

28:36

i could as soon as he started hinting at

28:38

talking about what i do because we were

28:40

talking about what he does instead

28:42

i was panicking because i knew i was 100

28:45

confident of what his

28:47

reaction would be and so he asked me

28:48

what do you do i'm a pastor

28:51

and you know you always get that little

28:53

like eyebrow raise like

28:54

oh you're a pastor yep i'm a pastor goes

28:57

what

28:58

what kind of church do you pastor and

29:00

inside i'm

29:02

just panicked and i go

29:05

well i'm an evangelical church but it's

29:07

a different kind of evangelical church

29:08

we really care about social justice and

29:10

we really

29:10

we we love we're pretty progressive for

29:13

an evangelical

29:14

church i had to put on so many

29:16

disclaimers and i didn't even let him

29:18

pause or let him say anything before i

29:20

went into all those disclaimers

29:22

because i wanted to crawl into it under

29:24

a table

29:25

and hide because i was embarrassed of my

29:28

tradition i knew what he would think of

29:29

it

29:30

and i knew that he was about to write me

29:31

off and so i felt like i had to save it

29:32

in the moment

29:33

that's a really rough affiliation

29:37

to to take just because that's what

29:39

we've been given

29:41

and now i feel like i've got to justify

29:42

myself and excuse myself in my

29:44

church that i love dearly and i think is

29:47

following in the way of jesus

29:49

but now with most interactions i have to

29:51

actually be embarrassed and excuse our

29:53

us

29:54

because of the name that we have that's

29:56

being trashed by the rest of our tribe

29:58

and family

29:59

not the rest but a lot large part of it

30:01

that's a problem for me

30:04

yeah like most things it comes down to

30:07

is this a

30:08

a liability or is this is this an asset

30:10

is this

30:11

absolutely there's a constant benefit

30:13

and the cost to say you're an

30:14

evangelical is very high

30:16

it's just grown and grown yeah

30:17

absolutely i mean when we first started

30:19

it was a little bit of a liability we

30:21

had a lot of ex evangelical people who

30:23

would be

30:23

young people who would be like okay i'm

30:24

done with the evangelical church but i

30:25

can i can hang with you guys you know

30:27

like

30:28

we meet in warehouses and got to sweep

30:30

up cigarette butts from the

30:31

you know the party that was here the

30:32

night before i can do this here

30:34

but since those early days it's just

30:36

exponentially grown to be a bigger and

30:38

bigger liability to now like you're

30:39

saying elliot

30:40

it's just not worth it i don't think um

30:42

if i actually care about the testimony

30:44

of jesus

30:44

and the gospel it's not worth it

30:48

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31:23

[Music]

31:25

so elliott you have an interesting

31:27

history with

31:28

evangelicalism tell us a little bit

31:30

about that yeah

31:32

well it was my my whole context i grew

31:35

up a pastor's kid within an evangelical

31:37

free church like the full

31:38

efca thing and rural america no less

31:42

in rural america this is this is a badge

31:44

of honor like we're evangelicals because

31:46

we care about

31:48

uh propagating the gospel in the world

31:50

and so i don't know what all of those

31:52

other denominations who aren't

31:53

evangelicals are doing but

31:55

like obviously we've got it right

31:58

i questioned the label until i saw it

32:01

politically associated

32:02

and and even then it's been this long

32:04

kind of this progression of

32:06

of starting to understand more and more

32:08

this is something that's not

32:09

uh i can't when i say i'm an evangelical

32:13

that doesn't

32:14

actually describe what i what i mean or

32:16

what it like what it meant

32:17

in my in my context uh in my my origins

32:20

and so

32:23

it's it hasn't felt like any major cost

32:26

to me to to drop it it's not like i'm

32:28

i have to make a decision on behalf of a

32:30

church or it's what this isn't something

32:32

that

32:33

i i'm really bought into aside from my

32:35

parents tradition frankly and so

32:39

evangelicalism uh as as i see it now

32:43

as it's as it's become politically

32:45

aligned and as i've seen the responses

32:47

of

32:48

um of of those who would

32:51

overtly call themselves evangelical

32:52

christians and and who who wear that on

32:54

their sleeve and then i see

32:56

the the open the racism or the

33:00

if if not if not openly it's the the

33:03

fear of the other the defensiveness this

33:05

fear it seems to be this dominating

33:08

characteristic

33:09

as as we look at um

33:12

immigration or even

33:16

even other denominations at those who

33:18

who we could

33:19

look at and identify as as others within

33:21

the bride of christ it's

33:23

there's this this sense that that they

33:25

don't have it right

33:26

and we do i i don't know when it

33:28

happened but i know i can't call myself

33:31

an evangelical now and

33:32

it's it's been i think in the last

33:36

two three years within the current

33:39

administration perhaps that that i

33:41

finally had to make that break once and

33:42

for all

33:44

yeah and what about you kyle what's your

33:47

process been

33:48

recently so i i

33:51

just sort of de facto became an

33:53

evangelical because

33:54

um when i was a teenager my

33:58

parents switched from the kind of

34:01

liberal

34:01

mainline denomination we were a part of

34:03

to the southern baptist convention but i

34:06

didn't have any idea what that meant

34:08

and so we were just suddenly

34:09

evangelicals but i had no

34:11

context for that or anything i couldn't

34:12

have distinguished it from what i'd

34:14

known

34:14

prior to that point and then when i was

34:18

in college

34:18

i had a pentecostal experience i got

34:22

involved with a bunch of

34:24

a campus ministry of a bunch of

34:25

pentecostals i didn't know they were

34:26

pentecostals but they were

34:28

uh and then sort of they sneakily you

34:29

know baptized me in the holy spirit

34:31

kind of like that scene in nacho libre

34:33

where they just sneak up on you and

34:34

you're baptized and so then i was

34:36

pentecostal which

34:38

is also a kind of evangelicalism at

34:40

least in the united states

34:41

but again i didn't know that so i didn't

34:43

become aware really of being a

34:45

an evangelical until i got to graduate

34:47

school i suppose

34:49

at least it wasn't really on my radar

34:51

and then suddenly you know i'm

34:52

surrounded by a bunch of atheists and

34:54

a bunch of catholics and some mainline

34:57

protestants that are very very liberal

34:59

and i realized that i'm the peculiar one

35:03

that they view evangelicalism as as kind

35:05

of backwards

35:06

as um kind of a punchline really

35:09

socially

35:10

and and particularly from the from the

35:12

perspective of scholarship it was just

35:13

not taken seriously at all

35:15

and i had thought that we were like at

35:17

the pinnacle of

35:19

of christian scholarship i was varying

35:21

at the time i was very into

35:22

apologetics which we can talk about on a

35:26

later date

35:27

and so you definitely get this sense

35:29

within that kind of world that kind of

35:30

space

35:31

that evangelicals often see themselves

35:34

as the cutting edge of scholarship

35:37

especially when it comes to the bible

35:39

and outside of that world they're almost

35:41

entirely ignored

35:43

so there are you know a handful of

35:45

exceptions here and there

35:47

uh evangelical scholars who were

35:49

educated at reputable institutions and

35:51

so they make a name for themselves in

35:52

scholarship

35:53

but you can't when you read their

35:54

scholarly work you can't really tell

35:56

their evangelicals so much

35:58

but like within the umbrella of

36:00

evangelicalism you think oh we have all

36:03

the smartest people all the best experts

36:04

all the best biblical scholars all the

36:06

best you name it

36:07

and then outside of it it's viewed as

36:09

like this kind of fringe

36:10

niche thing that's a little behind

36:12

behind history and the wrong side i mean

36:14

you've seen ken ham's

36:15

ark though like that so i i grew up in

36:18

kentucky

36:19

and as you know just a couple hour drive

36:22

from where i grew up and

36:23

i have relatives who still are very into

36:26

that kind of thing

36:28

yeah so for me

36:32

my movement out of evangelicalism

36:34

coincided with my movement

36:36

out of what i would call second-rate

36:39

scholarship

36:41

not i'm not trying to offend any

36:42

evangelicals here but that's just kind

36:44

of how it happened

36:45

but then i i'm late for that buddy

36:49

i met you and i love you and i love

36:50

everybody at this church and so

36:52

um that's the label that was used and so

36:55

if i would

36:56

if i would meet somebody and they asked

36:57

me what church i went to i would say

36:58

we're a progressive

36:59

evangelical church right and then they'd

37:02

probably ask what that meant and i can

37:03

explain

37:04

you know we're evangelical in these

37:06

distinctives but

37:08

we also like black people and we don't

37:10

hate gay people and we don't think that

37:12

transgender people aren't human and blah

37:13

blah blah blah

37:15

but now i'm very relieved to hear that i

37:16

don't have to make that qualification

37:18

anymore

37:19

there you go i can just say we're a

37:22

christian church in milwaukee

37:24

so we've we've kind of been skirting

37:26

this a little bit some of the

37:28

things that have driven us out of

37:30

evangelicalism

37:31

let's just name some things if that's

37:33

okay

37:34

what are randy from your perspective

37:36

what are the main dangers or the main

37:38

problems

37:39

with evangelicalism that have forced you

37:41

to decide that you can no longer use the

37:43

label

37:45

i mean this might take a while the

37:47

rampant homophobia is a major one

37:50

it haunts me that our tribe

37:55

or maybe even we can say now former

37:56

tribe has

37:58

made a large people group feel like god

38:01

doesn't love them

38:02

because christians don't love me

38:05

god thinks i'm terrible because

38:08

christians obviously think i'm terrible

38:09

god doesn't want anything to do with me

38:11

because christians don't

38:12

want anything to do with me and that's

38:13

by and large evangelicals but

38:16

there's some in the other other

38:18

traditions as well but that's mostly

38:19

evangelical

38:20

i think the the status if you ask

38:22

non-believers

38:24

young non-believers what they think of

38:25

when they think of evangelicals 91

38:27

of them say homophobia that's a problem

38:29

to me because those are people that have

38:31

the gay people have

38:32

the image of god on them they bear the

38:34

imago day

38:35

which makes makes them gives them

38:38

unsurpassable worth and value is

38:40

as greg boyd likes to say that's a

38:42

problem for me

38:43

so homophobia is one of them

38:44

judgmentalism is one of them this us

38:46

versus them mentality that evangelicals

38:49

thrive off of

38:50

is a problem for me because i don't find

38:52

any of that in christ

38:53

in jesus when we talk about the gospels

38:56

the political stuff is a problem for me

38:58

here's here's

38:59

it's not just the political stuff if if

39:00

evangelicals were just mostly republican

39:03

i wouldn't care that wouldn't be that

39:06

big of a deal for me but here's the big

39:08

deal

39:08

is and this has happened i think mostly

39:10

in the last decade

39:12

is what many evangelicals have done

39:14

without knowing it

39:16

is they've they've let their theology be

39:18

influenced by their

39:20

political ideology and that is a scary

39:23

thing that i've noticed that

39:24

when it comes to things like race racism

39:27

in things of race and

39:28

inequality are completely to me kingdom

39:31

things and i'm not saying that they

39:32

don't have political

39:33

outcomes which they do but for me is how

39:36

you feel about equality how you feel

39:38

about

39:38

race and racism that is a completely

39:42

kingdom of god

39:43

issue but because we've got gotten so

39:46

entrenched in the evangelical church

39:48

in the more conservative way of thinking

39:50

now anytime you

39:51

talk about race and i can say this from

39:53

experience loads and loads of it

39:55

that when you talk about race you've got

39:57

to actually cringe because you're going

39:58

to mix

39:59

you're going to make a lot of the room

40:00

mad because you're talking about race

40:02

that means you're a liberal

40:03

that's why many churches right like as

40:05

as we think about the rioting that's

40:07

happening the protests that's

40:08

that's that's been happening and why so

40:11

many evangelical leaders have said

40:12

nothing about it i can tell you

40:14

firsthand i've talked to these guys i

40:15

know

40:16

they're scared out of their mind to do

40:17

it because they know that if they do

40:19

they're going to be seen as liberal

40:21

progressive you know

40:23

heretics and they're going to lose a

40:25

bunch of their church because they're

40:26

going to think you're getting too

40:27

political when really you're just

40:28

walking in the way of jesus

40:29

i can't take that anymore like i'm not

40:32

going to be willing to to compromise the

40:33

gospel for the sake

40:34

of these people who say they love the

40:36

gospel and that's my last one that i'll

40:37

say that

40:38

it's just this one of the straws that

40:40

broke the camel's back is that this

40:42

people

40:43

evangelicals and i'm sorry i'm being so

40:44

hard on you evangelicals now

40:46

it's us i still i still like in many

40:48

ways see us as

40:50

family um but this group of people who

40:54

say they hold the gospel so highly the

40:56

gospel coalition we have we got all

40:57

these gospel-y things

40:59

this group of people who say they care

41:01

about the gospel so much

41:03

this is an extreme statement but i'm

41:05

gonna say it because i've thought it

41:06

through and i really believe it

41:08

evangelical christians who say they hold

41:10

the gospel so highly

41:11

just might be the biggest danger to the

41:13

gospel of jesus christ of any people

41:15

group in the world right now

41:17

i really think that evangelicals again

41:20

who

41:21

say they care so much for the gospel are

41:23

a danger to the gospel and to the

41:24

testimony of christ himself

41:26

they're letting jesus be lumped in with

41:28

this judgmental

41:30

homophobic angry us versus them tribal

41:34

movements

41:34

and everybody's seeing the gospel as

41:36

such that

41:38

is for me that's grounds for divorce

41:42

yeah yeah i have a really hard time even

41:45

considering

41:47

that kind of evangelicalism a genuine

41:50

expression of christianity there's a

41:53

political commentator i won't name him

41:54

because i don't want to necessarily

41:56

recommend his work but

41:57

and he just doesn't even refer to that

41:59

as christianity he calls it christianism

42:01

sure that's good pseudo-christianity and

42:03

i've heard similar other things like

42:04

there's a biblical scholar i respect a

42:06

lot who just calls it the american civil

42:08

religion

42:10

doesn't even use the word christianity

42:12

for it because it's just so

42:14

it's so antithetical to what you see in

42:16

the new testament i mean

42:18

there's nothing about the sermon on the

42:20

mount that's consistent with

42:23

that kind of rampant you know us first

42:26

mentality

42:28

where it's all about grasping and

42:29

maintaining power at the exclusion of

42:31

of others yeah you i mean speaking of

42:34

the term of the mount

42:35

as a good jesus follower wouldn't you

42:37

think that if you find yourself having

42:39

to qualify and put asterisks

42:41

and conditions on the sermon on the

42:42

mount jesus

42:44

formative teaching about what what god

42:46

is like

42:47

doesn't that make you think man i should

42:50

think of my way through

42:51

where i've gotten to in my faith journey

42:54

that's just the fact that more people

42:56

don't consider that because i've heard

42:58

how many evangelicals have the three of

43:00

us heard who

43:02

put asterisks on the sermon on the mount

43:04

to explain it away

43:06

how can you not be how can you not be

43:08

uncomfortable with that i don't

43:09

understand that

43:11

yeah have i hit them all or do you guys

43:13

have other issues with

43:14

evangelicalism since we're taking the

43:15

gloves off here

43:17

i mean mine are maybe predictably

43:21

more evangelicalism has in my experience

43:25

a real hang up with being

43:28

intellectually respectable and that's a

43:31

volatile

43:32

relationship with academia right i think

43:34

this go well

43:35

yeah i mean this probably goes back to

43:38

the foundation of sort of american

43:40

fundamentalism and the sorts of things

43:41

that they were reacting against and

43:44

they they started to form this idea that

43:47

there's a

43:48

an intellectual elite at the big

43:51

universities

43:52

that has it out for them that liberal

43:55

agenda

43:55

yeah the the kind of but like a hidden

43:58

kind of

43:58

uh i don't know conspiratorial kind of

44:01

thing that

44:02

you know to to get a position at one of

44:04

these big universities you have to

44:05

somehow be liberal or

44:06

not take the bible seriously or

44:08

something like that rather than seeing

44:11

the fact that you know most academics

44:13

are more liberal rather than seeing that

44:15

as a reflection of

44:17

the effect of of critical inquiry

44:20

and they see it they see it they take it

44:22

kind of personally and so they

44:23

they become insular and they do a kind

44:26

of very cult-like

44:28

thing i'm not saying all evangelicals

44:30

are in a cult

44:32

but there are some pretty stark

44:34

similarities

44:35

between how evangelical scholarship

44:38

often works and how cults often work

44:40

they kind of separate themselves from

44:41

the larger quote-unquote mainstream

44:44

society

44:45

they build their own institutions they

44:48

teach their adherence to distrust the

44:51

experts

44:52

and the sources of information in the

44:54

mainstream

44:56

and then they give them worked out

44:57

explanations of why the mainstream sees

45:00

things the way that they do

45:02

so that when their adherents encounter

45:04

mainstream

45:05

expertise and whatever they have uh they

45:07

have a ready way to explain it away they

45:09

don't have to take it seriously

45:11

because it's already been explained for

45:12

them by their

45:14

religious authority um so you know the

45:17

leaders within the bubble

45:18

are touted as the best in the world and

45:22

you know they're probably smarter than

45:23

the average layperson for sure

45:25

and so when the layperson goes out into

45:26

the world and meets other experts they

45:28

can't tell the difference they can't

45:30

tell

45:30

you know who's a genuine expert who

45:32

isn't and they've been told to distrust

45:34

those other ones and so it's just sort

45:37

of this self-reinforcing cycle thing

45:39

and what you get is this really insular

45:42

and really really over

45:44

confident kind of theology

45:47

that the outside world views as a joke

45:50

and

45:50

inside it you can't understand why it's

45:52

viewed as a joke so here's a

45:54

little microcosm of what i mean so

45:57

we don't have to talk at length about

45:59

this issue but it's just a good example

46:01

you mentioned the ark thing earlier so i

46:04

was

46:05

you know i grew up in a play in an arab

46:07

part of the country where

46:08

young earth creationism which is the

46:10

view that the earth is

46:12

six to ten thousand years old and they

46:15

get that date from

46:16

a particular reading of the bible it's

46:19

just taken for granted that's

46:21

it's just in the soil almost i mean i

46:23

didn't know anyone growing up who didn't

46:26

take that view and if you look at the

46:27

polls a shocking number of americans

46:29

still take that view

46:32

and if you if you talk to a pastor

46:36

in that kind of culture

46:39

about that specific issue probably

46:41

they're going to point you if you have

46:42

questions

46:43

they're going to point you to one of a

46:44

handful of quote unquote

46:47

creation science organizations and then

46:50

you're going to go and you're going to

46:50

read their material and you're going to

46:52

get this idea

46:53

that this is just obvious that anybody

46:56

who was rational

46:57

and honest would take this view

47:00

and then you want you might wonder if

47:02

you're a thoughtful person well then how

47:04

come

47:05

all the scientists how come everybody

47:07

outside of our community

47:09

how come they don't take that view and

47:11

the answer

47:12

the very ready explanation is

47:15

they're dishonest or they're sinful

47:18

or they're somehow out together the

47:20

devil is deceitful

47:21

yeah they can't help it satan just has

47:24

them their minds have been clouded

47:26

right and it never occurs

47:29

to these uh seemingly anyway the kenham

47:32

types right

47:33

seemingly never occurs to them that

47:35

maybe the problem

47:36

might lie on the other side of that

47:39

equation it's just an extreme

47:40

overconfidence

47:41

uh about what they claim to know and

47:44

that's something that as a philosopher

47:45

obviously really

47:47

really rubs me the wrong way and and

47:48

from that you get this sense that

47:50

evangelicals feel like they are the best

47:53

or maybe even the only

47:55

representation of the church because

47:57

nobody else understands it quite as well

48:00

our interactions with anybody on the

48:02

outside are going to be mediated through

48:04

conversion we're trying to get you to

48:06

think like us and if you don't

48:08

well we have to sever ties yeah now

48:10

let's be clear

48:12

we're talking about extremes here right

48:14

so many evangelicals would say

48:16

we're the only show in town we're the

48:17

only true believers that's that's

48:19

language that many evangelicals use

48:21

but i have many evangelical friends and

48:23

peers and colleagues

48:24

who would never in the millionaire say

48:26

that i have evangelical

48:28

pastor friends who you know they have to

48:31

unfortunately they feel like they have

48:33

to hide from their church that they do

48:34

the catholic hours every day

48:35

and they're beautiful because they've

48:37

resonated with that liturgical

48:38

form of prayer in in profound ways and

48:41

who

48:42

profoundly honor other traditions they

48:45

just find themselves in the evangelical

48:46

one there are plenty of good

48:47

evangelicals

48:48

um it's just the bad ones are so damn

48:51

loud

48:52

and so dang weighty that they kind of

48:55

just tilt the scales and the world

48:57

around us sees those ones they don't see

48:59

the thoughtful

49:00

you know kind gracious loving

49:02

evangelicals they see the

49:04

the the crazy uncle evangelicals yeah

49:06

yeah and you know

49:08

speaking from my academic perspective

49:10

those

49:11

what you call the crazy uncles they are

49:13

still largely the gatekeepers

49:15

at most of the evangelical schools sure

49:19

and those schools have a lot of money

49:20

and a lot of influence

49:22

and you know there are exceptions and i

49:24

myself have quite a few friends who are

49:26

evangelical academics and

49:27

you know i respect them and they would

49:29

not be accurately described by what i

49:31

was just talking about

49:32

yeah but for me at the end of the day i

49:34

it comes down to this question

49:36

is there enough that is good and

49:38

distinctive

49:39

about evangelicalism to justify

49:43

ignoring all of that and at the end of

49:47

the day to me the answer is no because

49:48

everything that's good about it can be

49:50

found somewhere else uh

49:52

all the all the four things we talked

49:54

about you know all the

49:55

the great things that we like about its

49:57

history i mean that stuff

49:59

isn't unique to evangelicalism it's also

50:01

available in catholicism it's also

50:03

available in mainline protestant

50:04

christianity

50:05

it's available in orthodoxy you know

50:09

yep and yeah i mean that's that's i

50:11

would say why

50:12

i'm not why i was for so long

50:15

uncomfortable with jumping

50:16

out of evangelicalism is because i

50:18

didn't see and what for me would be a

50:20

viable

50:20

alternative i love catholics but i'm not

50:23

interested in being one i

50:25

i'm i love episcopalians i'm not

50:27

interested in being one i love the

50:28

methodists

50:28

i'm not interested in in being one

50:31

that's been the problem for me i

50:32

haven't seen something for us to land in

50:34

for me to land in

50:36

and that's where though as in

50:37

conversation with some of our church

50:39

leaders it's just been

50:40

what if should we just call ourselves

50:43

christians what if we just kind of

50:44

hearken back to the early church and

50:46

call ourselves followers of the way of

50:48

jesus and we don't

50:49

have to have a label or a new thing or

50:52

an old tradition to jump into we can

50:54

just follow that old tradition that is

50:56

following the way of jesus

50:57

now so play devil's advocate just a

51:00

little bit if that's okay

51:02

so like younger me would say well

51:05

isn't that just cut either isn't that

51:08

just sort of avoiding some important

51:10

questions

51:10

or maybe it's just taking a stance on

51:12

some important questions without

51:14

admitting which stance you're taking so

51:16

for example

51:17

a non-denominational church right

51:19

there's bunches of non-denominational

51:21

mega churches for example

51:22

within evangelicalism and without fail

51:26

the pastors and the leaders at that

51:28

autonomous

51:29

non-denominational mega church they have

51:31

opinions

51:32

on theological questions and if you were

51:34

to write those opinions out

51:36

you could probably match those opinions

51:38

up to one of the main

51:40

already existing denominations which

51:42

makes you wonder well why not just call

51:44

yourself

51:44

that right why separate yourself from

51:48

that rich history

51:49

so what do you i don't know what do you

51:51

what do you think about that is there an

51:52

importance in attaching yourself to

51:54

a historical tradition that you actually

51:57

do line up most closely with in your

51:58

theology

51:59

or is it best to just say we're just

52:02

christian

52:03

uh yes and no i mean i think first of

52:06

all

52:06

as you were talking about

52:07

non-denominational it made me think

52:09

again that

52:10

we might have to also drop that

52:11

non-denominational title because that's

52:13

what people see on the internet

52:15

and as soon as people in our culture and

52:16

world c non-denominational they

52:18

instantly think evangelical that's a

52:21

non-denominational is actually a

52:22

denomination

52:23

now right yeah so so that's another

52:26

problem for us that we'll have to

52:28

work our way through but what i would

52:30

say is

52:31

we're not creating something new we're

52:34

actually trying to

52:35

be something a lot more ancient and i

52:38

would also say

52:39

just because we don't identify as

52:41

methodist or presbyterian

52:43

or lutheran or you know

52:46

episcopal catholic we see all of that

52:49

within our family

52:51

even evangelicals to be honest with you

52:53

like they're the crazy uncles

52:55

but we they're still part of the family

52:56

you can't get rid of them right

52:58

our family is not defined by the tribe

53:00

that we identify with or

53:02

that denomination christianity is this

53:04

rich

53:05

huge tense that has all sorts of

53:08

traditions within it

53:10

all sorts of cultures within it i mean

53:13

anglicanism is different in africa than

53:15

it is in the uk than it is

53:16

in the u.s that's just the beauty of

53:19

christianity is this this litany of

53:21

voices

53:22

in this diversity of of ways of going

53:24

about it

53:25

and that's the that's the messiness of

53:27

it as well but that i think that's still

53:29

beautiful and so i would say we

53:30

identify as family with all of those

53:33

traditions

53:34

we're just walking in the way of jesus

53:35

in this way that we feel like is most

53:37

honoring to the gospels in our context

53:40

right here in milwaukee wisconsin

53:42

hmm what would your old self say to that

53:45

i i think i'm okay with that yeah and

53:47

i'm not my even young guy

53:48

so who cares i'm okay with it now

53:52

yeah i liked young kyle too but i like

53:53

you better now well here's what my

53:55

current self would say about it i'm not

53:56

necessarily convinced anymore that

53:58

church bodies ought to define themselves

54:00

according to what they're

54:01

what they're doctrinally committed to so

54:03

that to me

54:04

now seems like a mistake and and that is

54:07

the distinction between the traditional

54:09

denominations its doctrinal commitments

54:11

so

54:12

if we're trying to move more towards

54:14

something along the lines of our

54:15

practice and being unified despite our

54:18

differences

54:19

then i'm all about that yep so as a

54:22

formerly evangelical

54:24

pastor what would you say is the future

54:26

if you had to predict

54:27

what does the future of of

54:28

evangelicalism look like

54:33

i honestly think that we're seeing the

54:36

not even the first fruits but we're

54:38

we're into this journey we're past the

54:41

introduction to it

54:42

we're past the the first couple hours of

54:44

it if we're taking a road trip

54:47

into the evangelical church turning into

54:49

a very

54:50

niche christian circle i

54:53

i look at my kids and my kids my oldest

54:55

is 13 my youngest is eight and i look at

54:57

my two oldest in particular

54:59

and i can tell you that my daughter if

55:01

if the church doesn't talk about race

55:03

and equality

55:04

which in from in seven years from now

55:06

when she's gonna be

55:08

making this her own she will want

55:10

nothing to do with it and i think

55:12

it seems like the chur the evangelical

55:14

church the extremes of it especially

55:16

are more and more disassociating

55:17

themselves with anything that has to do

55:19

with racial equality

55:20

and justice and i can tell you my

55:22

daughter won't want anything to do with

55:23

even

55:24

even as a pastor's daughter my son

55:27

who loves science and is obsessed with

55:29

science and biology

55:31

if he has to believe that the earth is

55:33

six to ten thousand years old

55:34

he will not want anything to do with it

55:36

i can see it in him now as an 11 year

55:38

old

55:39

and i guarantee you as an 18 20 25 year

55:42

old

55:42

he'll see that it is irrelevant and

55:44

won't want anything to do with it so i

55:45

think that's where evangelicalism is

55:46

going because i don't see

55:48

much changing in that regard so i see it

55:50

as a sinking ship

55:51

and then i see maybe evangelicalism goes

55:53

from this big titanic ship

55:55

that has hit the glacier it's like that

55:58

already happened

55:59

now we're in the process of going down

56:00

and i think evangelicalism will turn

56:02

into lifeboats

56:03

it'll just turn into a smaller niche

56:05

kind of inbred

56:06

group of people and by inbred i mean no

56:08

one's going to want to come into

56:09

evangelicals and on his own

56:11

they're going to have to keep it going

56:13

by having more babies

56:15

kind of like mormonism sorry for mormon

56:17

friends but

56:18

it's going to be ironically mormons are

56:20

in many ways more progressive today than

56:22

evangelicals are but that's

56:23

that's a separate episode yeah but i

56:25

know from having mormon friends like

56:27

mormons are encouraged to have more and

56:29

more babies

56:30

because that's the way that they're

56:31

growing the church and i think that's

56:32

the way the evangelical church will get

56:34

by and large the outside world will see

56:35

it as kind of you described it which

56:37

haunts me kyle

56:38

but and i've never heard anybody compare

56:40

the evangelical church to a cult

56:42

but it fits the bill and i think that's

56:44

where we're headed

56:48

it seems like there's a evangelicalism

56:50

as

56:51

a movement too as it's on the move and

56:53

so this

56:54

this feeling this need that we need to

56:57

separate ourselves from it you know some

56:59

of that is is us undocking but there's

57:01

some of it is just work we're getting

57:03

off

57:05

stop the bus we need to get off and this

57:06

thing is going to keep going uh further

57:08

and further down this journey and it

57:09

seems like it's condensing towards

57:12

you know it's that that generic distrust

57:14

of

57:15

uh mainstream science like that was

57:16

always part of my experience and and

57:19

the the way that i was taught but for

57:22

that to

57:23

crystallize into like i never knew how

57:26

to say fake news

57:27

like it's so it's so quick and so easy

57:29

and

57:30

it's applicable to everything and so so

57:32

now they're

57:33

they're these simple uh simple ways to

57:35

write off

57:36

things that are outside of uh our

57:38

comfort zone

57:40

and it seems like it's just it's just

57:42

getting uh narrower and narrower and

57:44

more and more

57:45

crystallized as it gathers around some

57:47

of it's gathering around political power

57:48

some of it it just seems to be around

57:50

around the language and as as the camp

57:53

gets smaller

57:54

uh the circle's tightening and yeah so

57:57

it feels like the

57:58

the movement itself is on a trajectory

58:01

um and randy i think that's what you're

58:02

describing too but it's it's not like

58:04

it's this static thing that we're

58:06

walking away from either

58:07

yep and i will say i think you'll see

58:10

more and more churches like us

58:13

have to have this moment of

58:15

introspection of

58:17

can we stay tied to this sinking ship i

58:20

i guarantee you

58:22

we're not the first that's having this

58:23

conversation but we're among the first i

58:25

think

58:25

and i guarantee you there's going to be

58:27

more churches just like us

58:29

who have that moment where they say

58:31

where they're counting the cost for the

58:33

gospel

58:33

now i could i would i know for sure that

58:35

more pastors the evangelical pastors

58:37

would love to be having a conversation

58:38

just like this

58:40

it's just that too much of their bottom

58:41

line is tied to staying evangelical

58:43

for us we're small enough and we also

58:45

have a progressive enough

58:47

and mature enough culture that we can do

58:49

this and

58:50

we probably won't lose any if many if

58:54

any people

58:55

other churches other evangelical

58:56

churches especially the bigger ones

58:58

so much they'll have to cut they would

59:00

have to cut three quarters of their

59:01

staff

59:02

if they came out and said this what

59:03

we're saying right now that's why they

59:04

won't do it but there's gonna come a

59:06

moment i guarantee

59:07

for church after church after church to

59:09

consider

59:11

we might have to cut ties with

59:12

evangelicals and i think you're gonna

59:13

see that happening

59:14

and i think uh what's currently

59:16

happening with

59:18

race and the the george floyd protests

59:21

and everything

59:22

might be the thing that really triggers

59:26

that

59:26

yeah for for a lot of people i've seen

59:28

lots of posts on social media that say

59:30

things like

59:30

especially from black friends that say

59:32

things like if your church isn't talking

59:34

about this this sunday

59:35

leave yep just yesterday i saw a post

59:39

from a prominent

59:41

former evangelical twitter person has

59:43

large following on twitter

59:45

for the first time sort of telling his

59:46

story about why he left the church that

59:48

he did

59:49

and it was because he was black and he

59:51

would talk about being black

59:52

and his you know his church leadership

59:54

explicitly said

59:56

don't do that that in fact they said uh

59:59

that's the sin of pride

60:01

yep and he just couldn't take it anymore

60:03

and so

60:05

yeah i think this might be the tipping

60:06

point for a lot of those churches

60:08

and the ones that resist and hold on

60:12

we'll just see a slow attrition because

60:15

you know

60:15

the next generation doesn't think that

60:17

way my students don't think that way

60:19

your

60:19

your children don't think that way yep

60:22

yeah

60:22

absolutely i hope you're right that

60:24

there's a catalyst to some change

60:26

but when i think about the

60:30

uh maybe it's just the loudest fringe

60:31

but the the individuals that that i see

60:34

still driving that movement

60:36

the the slow attrition feels like a more

60:38

realistic path i hope i'm wrong i hope i

60:40

hope

60:41

what you're what you're saying that

60:42

there that there's maybe still time

60:44

that that plays out well i think i do

60:47

think there's a

60:48

very big difference i know there is

60:51

between urban evangelicalisms and then

60:53

suburban evangelical

60:55

evangelicalism and then rural

60:57

evangelicalism i'm in a we're part of a

60:59

church network that has all three of

61:01

those in it

61:02

and just the response to covet even

61:05

itself

61:06

has been so telling where us is a very

61:08

urban

61:09

church are taking it very seriously and

61:12

the people in our church we have nobody

61:14

very few people have any clamoring for

61:15

us to reopening the minute we can right

61:18

the suburban context they do they have

61:20

people who

61:21

mostly careful but there are many people

61:23

who are like i'm gonna go

61:24

over to this other church because they

61:26

opened up you know and then

61:28

you have the rural ones who are saying

61:31

if you don't open up

61:32

you're not a real christian because you

61:33

have no faith and i'm a freedom fighter

61:35

right

61:36

and so i think there's the entrenchment

61:38

of evangelicalism

61:39

gets further and further and deeper and

61:41

deeper the further away you go from an

61:43

urban center yeah i think that really

61:46

matters

61:47

we should get an expert on the

61:48

urbanization of religion

61:51

and interview them that would be

61:52

fantastic here's an episode yeah yeah

61:55

i do want to say before this we're done

61:57

with this episode that there might be

61:59

some of you who

62:00

are exactly where we're talking about

62:03

you're resonating with what we're

62:04

talking about you're wondering why you

62:06

haven't heard this before maybe even

62:08

um and you're you've been seeing it as

62:11

an evangelical

62:12

evangelicalism or nothing kind of

62:15

situation or you've

62:16

resonated with where we are with don't

62:18

really fit in the catholic world don't

62:19

really fit in high church

62:21

but certainly need to be done with

62:22

evangelicalism and so you're just gonna

62:24

getting ready to pitch it all i get you

62:26

i have many friends like that

62:28

i know where where that is i want to

62:30

encourage you you don't have to leave

62:32

the way of jesus

62:33

because you're leaving evangelicalism

62:35

that just you don't have to do it

62:37

jesus is beautiful on his own with or

62:40

without this tribe that is maybe

62:42

made him look ugly just look back at

62:46

jesus again

62:47

look at the gospels in their purest

62:49

sense of what they are

62:51

and there are people like out there like

62:53

that that you'll resonate with there are

62:55

other churches in other cities who bring

62:58

that

62:58

beautiful gospel uniqueness and richness

63:01

look for it but don't give up on jesus

63:03

because you're ready to give up on

63:04

evangelicals

63:05

please it's hard to overemphasize that

63:10

that's that's been the the saddest part

63:13

for me about the decline of

63:14

evangelicalism well i guess there's

63:18

it's it's the two two sides of the

63:20

saddest part it's seeing

63:22

my my sunday school teachers my

63:26

uh my mentors my relatives who

63:31

who have followed evangelicalism into a

63:33

really dark place that it is now

63:36

and then on the other side to know my

63:38

friends who who

63:40

couldn't find their place in the church

63:41

who felt outcast

63:43

because of their orientation or because

63:46

of their color

63:47

or who just couldn't be a part of

63:49

something that was so grounded in fear

63:51

and hatred

63:52

and and so to see

63:56

it's it's life but but it all comes into

63:59

stark

64:00

relief in the social media feed seeing

64:02

these two groups

64:04

crying out against each other and and

64:06

yet to say

64:08

this this isn't jesus this isn't what

64:11

it's supposed to

64:12

be to those friends who have left the

64:14

church there

64:15

promised there's something still here

64:16

this is this

64:18

there's beauty even though it's really

64:21

hard to

64:22

hear that see that sometimes over the

64:24

volume of the church itself

64:26

the evangelical church itself yeah and

64:29

this might seem

64:31

this might seem pompous but i'm going to

64:32

say it if there's any church leaders

64:34

listening

64:35

this is the real state of things if

64:38

there are evangelical pastors listening

64:40

who have been restless with the

64:41

evangelical movement and label

64:43

similarly to what i have this is real

64:47

we are losing a whole demographic

64:50

and they're leaving the church and they

64:52

don't want anything to do with it

64:54

in the future because of what our tribe

64:56

has done to it

64:58

and friends if that's if we're church

65:00

leaders

65:01

let's be beholden to the gospel more

65:03

than we are paycheck

65:05

i know that that's dangerous to say i

65:07

know that it's

65:08

easy to say when my paycheck isn't is

65:10

isn't on the line but

65:12

it could be and i want i

65:15

i like to hope to think that i have more

65:16

integrity to the in

65:18

and follow jesus in a in a way that says

65:21

i would i would be willing to get

65:22

another job

65:23

and have this be my side hustle because

65:25

i did that for the first five years of

65:27

doing this

65:27

have this be a side hustle that i do for

65:29

free because i'm so committed to the

65:31

gospel i will not

65:32

let a whole generation just in the

65:35

future of the church

65:36

walk out the doors because we weren't

65:38

willing to say the truth

65:40

we can do better yeah i'll just

65:43

add this one thing my encouragement

65:46

to people who are struggling with what

65:49

kind of christian can i be

65:50

now and wondering what the church is

65:52

going to look like in the future i would

65:54

say

65:55

watch for the holy spirit

65:58

watch for where the holy spirit shows up

66:02

and you might be surprised because the

66:04

fruits of the spirit have not changed

66:06

right they're the same

66:06

list of things they were 2 000 years ago

66:09

and it seems to me that if you look for

66:10

the evidence

66:12

of god's spirit in a community the

66:15

places where it shows up most for me

66:16

right now

66:17

are the marginalized so it's my

66:19

suspicion

66:21

that the future of

66:24

an activist church is probably in the

66:27

black community

66:28

it's probably in the lgbtq community

66:31

it's probably in

66:32

native american communities so

66:36

yeah watch for the work of the spirit

66:37

that would be my

66:42

[Music]

66:44

recommendation

66:51

[Music]

67:19

so i will say this much for

67:21

evangelicalism particularly the

67:23

evangelicals that i view as really

67:26

thoughtful

67:26

and really careful and trying to do

67:28

their best within

67:30

perhaps not the best framework um there

67:32

is a kind of zealotry

67:33

that goes along with being an

67:35

evangelical maybe it's rooted in its

67:37

history and the

67:38

you know the wesleyan tradition perhaps

67:40

um but

67:41

they're really committed and passionate

67:44

about people experiencing god uh and i

67:46

think

67:47

even if it's couched in some some

67:49

unfortunate language

67:51

even if it is based on some you know

67:54

shoddy expertise even if it doesn't

67:56

necessarily

67:57

have the most progressive social view uh

67:59

evangelicalism has a fervor to it a

68:01

passion to it that if we could translate

68:03

it to

68:04

a more progressive outlook could could

68:07

do a lot of good socially

68:09

so absolutely i'll give them that much

68:11

yep

68:12

yeah in i mean speaking of

68:14

evangelicalism and what it's

68:16

done to to sully the gospel i will say

68:19

that evangelical churches

68:23

are responsible for a lot of the relief

68:25

efforts happening around the world in

68:26

third world nations right now

68:28

whether or not i agree with samaritan's

68:30

purse's theology which i absolutely do

68:32

not and whether

68:33

whether or not i agree with all their

68:34

methodology which i absolutely do not

68:37

you'll see i remember seeing five years

68:39

ago when the refugee crisis happened

68:41

that samaritan's purse was standing on

68:43

the greek isles

68:45

with resources and supplies for refugees

68:48

fleeing their current situation and i

68:50

that that was a convicting moment for me

68:52

i've done plenty of slamming of

68:54

franklin graham and will continue to do

68:55

so but good on him for

68:58

for being there being the first to greet

69:00

these refugees with resources

69:02

and care and love that's we can't deny

69:05

that that also

69:06

reminds me of chuck coulson in his uh

69:09

prison ministry if you remember that

69:10

absolutely somebody who i would

69:12

passionately disagree with about the

69:13

relationship between politics

69:15

and faith but you cannot deny that you

69:18

know

69:18

the man did a thing that other other

69:20

christians were unwilling to do

69:22

yep and many evangelical churches now

69:25

have a prison ministry yeah

69:26

not to mention all the good focus on the

69:28

family has done

69:39

did you go to the adventures in odyssey

69:41

there's a slide that goes outside the

69:43

building

69:43

we did yeah because the the show

69:47

what was it called um adventures in

69:49

odyssey yeah yeah yeah

69:50

the mr whitaker right he was the oh i

69:53

still love that

69:54

we really identified with the i can't

69:57

throw out mr whitaker

69:58

i read all the little books yeah i never

70:01

experienced that as a kid but

70:02

we we started having our kids listen to

70:04

those just because they're cute and fun

70:07

and i'm down with mr whitaker and the

70:09

adventures in odyssey i remember being

70:10

sweet and fun and i don't remember any

70:12

of the theological content and

70:14

i don't know how much uh dobson actually

70:16

had oversight of that but

70:18

everything i remember that was directly

70:20

connected to him now seems to me

70:22

deeply damaging oh yeah but i also know

70:26

there was like some

70:28

some disagreement within the ministry

70:30

like between him and some of the

70:31

leadership that took over

70:33

when he got a little older because i

70:35

used to read their um

70:37

they had they did a movie reviews

70:40

for for people that were afraid of

70:43

r-rated movies and content

70:45

so fun but they they presented

70:47

themselves as actual reviews

70:49

that then also just mentioned here's the

70:51

stuff you can

70:52

so it wasn't just here's how many naked

70:54

scenes there are it was an actual

70:56

supposedly like artistic review of the

70:58

whatever

70:59

and i remember they gave a positive

71:00

review i don't remember the movie though

71:03

it was a movie that i liked and i didn't

71:05

think it was even

71:06

close to the line and then dobson

71:09

stepped in

71:10

and was like nope this is a [ __ ] movie

71:12

no one should watch this it's

71:14

dangerous and they had to like kind of

71:17

apologize

71:20

those are the ones where it's like it's

71:21

you know it's meant to make it so that

71:22

you don't have to

71:24

uh subject your family to this stuff but

71:26

but then the review reads

71:27

like erotica is like it's like so like

71:30

that's a backfire if you

71:32

if you go into like at the 56 minute

71:34

mark like you can see a little bit of

71:36

nip

71:37

through the sheer and suddenly

71:41

[Laughter]

71:46

so my childhood experience of focus on

71:50

the family i mean we lived in colorado

71:51

springs for a while so i've got some

71:52

memories of like being in the um

71:55

the imagination station uh yeah slipped

71:58

my head for a moment

71:59

uh but uh but then like years later

72:03

uh listening to i i actually like took

72:06

out a car stereo speaker and i

72:08

put it inside of my pillow at night and

72:10

so i would listen to the radio

72:11

um and like nobody else could hear it my

72:14

parents didn't know that i did it but i

72:15

write it in and so i listened to um ktis

72:19

the christian radio station out of the

72:20

twin cities and

72:20

at nine o'clock it was chuck swindoll

72:22

and i would kind of just like you know

72:23

bear through that because i was

72:25

i was looking like it would get more

72:26

interesting when focus on the family

72:28

would come and like dobson would

72:30

talk through whatever dangerous bill to

72:33

allow same-sex marriage was

72:34

on the docket and like what we should do

72:37

and then i would i would switch

72:38

down to uh to cities 97 at 10

72:41

for the love line with uh adam and dr

72:44

drew

72:45

nice and so then that was kind of the

72:47

sex ed portion of the evening

72:51

which explains a lot earlier almost

72:54

everything i know about sex came from

72:56

that show

72:57

dr drew did you ever listen to dobson's

73:00

actual sex

73:00

ed like no curriculum

73:04

i'm surprised my parents didn't put that

73:05

in front of me this is how my dad like

73:07

did the birds and the bees with me

73:09

which i was old enough at that point

73:11

that it it didn't seem like news but

73:13

yeah we went for a long car ride and he

73:14

popped in these cassette tapes of

73:17

chainstops oh goodness

73:20

i wonder how many people had that same

73:22

exact experience

73:23

probably a lot yeah praise the lord

73:27

yeah i think less of this is going to

73:28

get edited out than you guys think

73:31

i was just thinking you just made it

73:32

really we had a nice clean

73:34

episode as far as editing and then you

73:36

just messed everything up for yourself

73:39

oh it's worth it

73:48

thanks for listening we hope you enjoyed

73:50

this conversation you can find us on

73:51

social media

73:52

like and share and subscribe wherever

73:55

you get your podcasts

73:56

if you're inclined to leave a review we

73:58

read through all of those and we love

73:59

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74:00

till next time this has been a pastor

74:02

and a philosopher

74:03

walking to a bar

74:14

[Music]