51 episodes

Practicing Gospel is a podcast that enables you to hear the voices from the Christian Left and about issues, topics, and concerns that interest the Christian Left

Practicing Gospel Podcast David Rayburn

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Practicing Gospel is a podcast that enables you to hear the voices from the Christian Left and about issues, topics, and concerns that interest the Christian Left

    Youth Ministry Interview with Laura Addis

    Youth Ministry Interview with Laura Addis

    Regardless of where a church is on the theological and political spectrum, all churches have always been interested in and concerned about youth. There are many reasons for this that exist at the same time and with varying degrees of intensity. As volunteer organizations, churches know that their survival depends on the continual and prolonged inclusion of new people. Churches also know that the age-range from middle school through college is when people are most receptive to the Gospel. Churches also have the desire to provide pastoral care to all within their ministries, including young people.



    However, with the reality of the growing diversity and pluralism in the United States and also the increasing decline of Christianity in our nation, churches have been especially focused upon this issue of youth, because, if the statistics are accurate, it is young people who are the primary ones opting out of church.



    This episode focuses upon what is going on with young people today in general and also what is going on with those young people who are Christians.



    My guest is Laura Addis. Laura Addis has been involved in youth ministry since 2000 in both staff and volunteer roles. She currently serves as the Ministry Associate with Students at First Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina, as Director of Programs for Life in Trinity Ministry, and as a consultant for Ministry Architects. Laura has regularly written for various youth magazines, online sites, and curriculum publishers.

    Based upon Laura's extensive experience, we are going to lean into her insight and wisdom in understanding what is happening with young people, including Christian young people today.





    The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called 'Father Let Your Kingdom Come' which is found on The Porter's Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter's Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Christian Futurist Thomas Bandy Interview PGE 50

    Christian Futurist Thomas Bandy Interview PGE 50

    My guest for this episode is Dr. Thomas Bandy. Tom was part of a panel discussion on Alternative Lectionaries in PGE 21 of this podcast. At the time, Tom noted that his consideration of the usefulness of lectionaries had been modified since he published his on alternative lectionary in Introducing The Uncommon Lectionary: Opening The Bible to Seekers and Disciples. His coming to understand the significance of demographic and life-style research and adaptive ministry had created a shift in his thinking.



    Tom has graciously agreed to return as a guest to help us understand the importance of these demographic and life-style research tools. Those who use these tools in businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations are often called futurists because the research results enables them to understand trends.



    Tom is an internationally recognized author, consultant, and leadership coach for Christian organizations and faith-based non-profits and has published over 25 books and numerous articles some of which have been translated into Spanish, Korean, and Afrikaans. He received his academic doctorate in philosophical theology from the University of Toronto and Victoria University. He has participated in the American Academy of Religion since 1981, and has served the board of the North American Paul Tillich Society.



    Tom's most recent publication is Why Tillich? Why Now?. It is a book addressed primarily to academic audiences.



    His work upon which this interview is primarily based is Sideline Church: Bridging the Chasm between Churches and Cultures. As you will hear, Tom brings together insights from demographic and life-style research and Paul Tillich to enable the church to both look toward and plan for the future.

    The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called 'Father Let Your Kingdom Come' which is found on The Porter's Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter's Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.

    Novelist Terry Roberts Interview PGE 49

    Novelist Terry Roberts Interview PGE 49

    I love interviewing artists and having conversations about the arts not just because I love the arts but know, despite opinions by some to the contrary, that the arts are vehicles of truth and provide the means of insights and understanding about reality, ethics, faith, worldview, beauty, the quest for meaning, and all manner of other important issues and questions. The arts have been and are an integral part of every people group and civilization I know. Of course, as a Christian, I am especially interested in the way the Christian faith and the arts interweave.



    To approach a conversation about all of these kinds of questions about and interests in the arts, I could think of no one better to interview than Terry Roberts!



    Terry is many things, but there are three dimensions of Terry's life that apply to this interview. First, Terry is an educator. Specifically, Terry is the Director of The National Paideia Center--an organization whose purpose is to promote critical and creative thinking. Second, Terry is a novelist. Having a Ph.D. in American Literature, Terry not only has studied writing and literature deeply, but is a practitioner of the art. Third, Terry is a Christian. So, questions of the relationship between faith, art, and larger ideas that matter intermingle for Terry, in his life, thinking, and his craftsmanship as an artist.



    Terry is the author of four novels. He has just released the fourth novel, My Mistress' Eyes are Raven Black. You can learn more about Terry and his novels for his website, terryrobertsauthor.com.

    The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called 'Father Let Your Kingdom Come' which is found on The Porter's Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter's Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.

    • 1 hr
    GIA Music and Social Justice PGE 48

    GIA Music and Social Justice PGE 48

    One might think that an interview with a couple of editors of a music publishing company might be an episode targeted only to a select audience, but, to the contrary, decisions made by such publishers can be worthy of national news. In my interview with the deans of three theological schools, when I asked what is going on in theological education presently, Dr. Karen Massey described the situation as a reckoning. There are several causes of that reckoning, but one of the significant causes is the need to confront and address the centuries long legacy and impact of colonial imperialism and white male supremacy. Another, closely related reckoning, is the issue of abuse in some way by those leading lights in a specific field. These reckonings are about power and politics because something like colonial imperialism or the abuses by dominant power brokers are by nature brought about by power and politics. Therefore any decisions made to confront and correct such legacies require political judgments. When those decisions are made, they can draw the attention of some news source. This was the experience of GIA Publications.



    This interview occurred on Thursday, June 17. The day before, on Wednesday, June 16, Fox News ran a segment about how GIA Music and one the composers they publish had ended their relationship. So, when the interview occurred, my guests and GIA Music were still in the maelstrom of that event.



    Publishers make choices about who and what will be published. That requires a judgment that cannot be separated from questions of theology, philosophy, ideology, ethics, and power.



    To help us understand what is happening in Christian music these days and the challenges faced by Christian music publishers are my guests, Kate Williams and Michael Silhavey.





    Kate Williams is the Vice President of Sacred Music for GIA Publications, Inc. In addition to her work as an editor, Kate serves as a workshop leader, consultant, and musician in the Archdiocese of Chicago and abroad, following her passion to serve in multicultural, multigenerational communities while mentoring young voices and building bridges through music ministry. Kate holds a Bachelor of Music Composition degree from DePaul University in Chicago as well as a Master of Arts degree in liturgical studies from Catholic Theological Union where it was her privilege to study as a distinguished Bernadin Scholar.









    Michael Silhavy is GIA’s Senior Project Editor. With degrees in music education, theology, and liturgical studies from De Paul University, Loyola University (Chicago), and Saint John’s University (Collegeville, MN), Michael has worked in parish, grade school, university, cathedral, and diocesan settings.  His work at GIA centers around choral and congregational music, hymnals, and working with composers and authors to create musical and liturgical resources for both Roman Catholic congregations and the wider ecumenical community. He has authored biographies on American composers and authors for the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology.

    The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called 'Father Let Your Kingdom Come' which is found on The Porter's Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter's Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Michael Budde Interview PGE 47

    Michael Budde Interview PGE 47

    Dr. Michael L. Budde is Professor of Catholic Studies and Political Science at DePaul University, where he also serves as Senior Research Scholar in the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology (CWCIT). His research explores the intersections of ecclesiology, political economy, and culture. Much of his contemporary research flows from the work of DePaul’s Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, a research center focusing on Catholicism in the so-called global South and as a worldwide religious community. Mike serves the Center as a senior research professor, and, with his colleagues, hosts visiting scholars from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere in exploring important questions in theology, politics, history, and culture.



    Mike is the author or editor of ten books, including The Borders of Baptism: Identities, Allegiances and the Church, The (Magic) Kingdom of God: Christianity and Global Culture Industries, Christianity Incorporated: How Big Business is Buying the Church, and The Two Churches: Catholicism and Capitalism in the World System. His work has appeared in journals including Modern Theology, Concilium, Journal of Scriptural Reasoning, and Studies in Christian Ethics. He received his Ph.D. in Political Economy from Northwestern University. His upcoming book is Foolishness to the Gentiles.



    Mike is one of the founders and was the first coordinator of the Ekklesia Project and has contributed significantly to the resources it offers.



    In this episode we talk broadly about Mike's thought and about how both the political and economic agendas of the United States have formative influences on Christians and churches that compromise the capacity of Christians and churches to live faithfully the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mike has an exceptionally prophetic ability to hold a mirror up to us so that we as Christians and churches are able to see ourselves and our compromises more fully and truthfully. At the same time, he also has a wonderfully pastoral way of providing us the wisdom and guidance in knowing how to move forward as more authentic witnesses to the Gospel.

    The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called 'Father Let Your Kingdom Come' which is found on The Porter's Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter's Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.

    • 55 min
    Pandemic Lessons with Guy Sayles PGE 46

    Pandemic Lessons with Guy Sayles PGE 46

    With the significant decline in the numbers of people calling themselves 'Christian,' and the closing of thousands of churches each year in the United States, a lot of us who are Christians across the theological spectrum are asking the questions, "What is God doing? How and where is God moving, especially in God's church?"



    In Amos 3:7-8, the prophet Amos declares, "Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?" I like the way the American Bible Society's Contemporary English Version translates this passage. It reads, " Whatever the Lord God plans to do, he tells his servants, the prophets. Everyone is terrified when a lion roars--and ordinary people become prophets when the Lord God speaks."



    My guest for this episode, Guy Sayles, may not follow Amos's example of proclaiming, "Thus says the Lord!," but for those of us who know Guy, we know he is one who deeply loves God and who, with every fiber of his being, seeks to be opened to and learn the lessons God has to teach. We know that when Guy speaks, what he says arises from long, prayerful, contemplative discernment that is the fruit of spending continuous time in communion and fellowship with and in the presence of God. Thus, we know his voice to be prophetic.



    As you can learn from his website, fromtheintersection.org, Guy is a writer, speaker, guide, coach, and consultant who focuses on the intersections of faith and life, of meaning and culture, of love and fear. He explores healing and reconciling spirituality, ethical and effective leadership, and purposeful and empowering organizations. He also draws on his ongoing struggle with an incurable, but presently manageable, illness which has forced him to come to terms with limits and the illusion of control, to seek meaningful responses to suffering and the questions it raises, and to reflect on the ethics of healthcare and end-of-life-issues. If you’re interested in some of his reflections on his experience with cancer, you can find them at www.caringbridge.org/visit/guysayles.



    Since he was in college and until recently, Guy has been the pastor of churches. He has also been a university teacher. So Guy brings to us a depth and breadth of experience that provides a guiding voice for us and for churches in these times.



    In light of seeking to know what God is doing and what lessons God is teaching and wanting us to learn for the Church, Guy is here to share with us what he has learned, especially about both the lessons and opportunities for the Church brought about from the global Covid-19 pandemic.

    The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called 'Father Let Your Kingdom Come' which is found on The Porter's Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter's Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Leslie H W ,

Practicing Gospel Podcast

I think I probably don’t identify as being on the Christian Left. Doesn’t matter! This podcast is teaching me things I wouldn’t hear from the traditional right or a Bible study. Did you know that the Gospel of John in Mandarin identifies the Logos of God as the Tao? C.S. Lewis did. And Dr. Rayburn’s guest discusses that. The Baptist work on democracy issues, trends in church music, justice and peace work, racial healing initiatives, widowhood, Biblical Storytelling - some of the great topics covered in these episodes. Thanks for bringing these to our attention. We need balance in perspectives in our Christian faith.

ekatherine25 ,

Our voices

Much of talk radio claims to represent Christianity but it’s never seemed to represent my voice or been consistent with my views. With Practicing Gospel, host David Rayburn interviews guests who discuss topics and raise questions that make me think without making me mad. Dr. Rayburn and his guests use a Christian framework, one that is open minded and open to new ideas. It’s a welcome addition to the world of podcasts and I look forward to each new episode.

Indo Rob ,

The “Practicing Gospel” Podcast Series

The conversations that Dr. David Rayburn shares with his audience are windows into the insights of practitioners and mentors on the Christian Left. There are many places where Christians are offered inspiration or instruction from the perspective of the Center or Right. But it is more unusual to locate stories and lessons from more liberal people of faith, whether they are followers of the Christ Way or of other spiritual paths. As the initiator of and guide for these discussions, Rayburn draws from his PhD in Christian theology and his many years as a professor and pastor to present important ways of practicing the gospel of peace, justice and love. His introductions to each podcast guest and topic, as well as his probing questions, help to make this podcast series a splendid tool for enriching the understanding and personal ministries of progressive Christians. This fascinating series is highly recommended.

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