Your weekly guide to solid Christian thinking on faith, science, culture, and Christian confidence. Thinking Christian is hosted by Tom Gilson, who also runs the top-ranked blog of the same name. He's a senior editor at The Stream, (stream.org) and the author of multiple books including the 2020 release, Too Good to Be False: How Jesus' Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality
Episode 2-5: A Conversation with Gay/Progressive Leader Brandan Robertson
I had a most interesting conversation on Thursday with Brandan Robertson, who is a leading spokesman for gay and progressive Christianity, on everything from the character of Jesus, to the nature of the Bible, to Christianity’s connection to slavery. Not much on homosexuality; it wasn’t one of our topics this time. We connected originally through an article I’d written at The Stream.
As always, there was more that could have been said. I’m still curious why he’s so critical of Jesus, whom he takes to be God in the flesh, and in the same light also, how he could think Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
He actually caught me off guard when he answered a certain question I’d asked, saying, “Inerrancy.” I hadn’t studied the history of that doctrine, but now that I’ve had a chance to look through it, I have trouble understanding how he could make the point he followed through on it with. I believe he left the door open for more conversation, though, so maybe I’ll have a chance to ask him these things.
I think he’s expecting we would talk about sexuality if we meet again this way. That’s been done a lot, though, and I don’t know what progress we could make without first walking through the one main issue he himself brought up near the end. Our differences really hinge on what we take to be our best sources, our authority, that which determines what we believe. I’m thinking that would be very interesting to talk about.
Also on YouTube (podcast audio is enhanced compared to YouTube audio):
Episode 2-4: Heat to Light — Our Lost Moral High Ground, and How to Begin Reclaiming It
Remember when Christianity held the moral high ground? Not just Christianity, the faith delivered to us in Christ and his word, but Christianity in the form of church-going people? Those days are over. Western culture sees Christian culture as intolerant, homophobic, bigoted, backward, and on and on the list continues.
And here’s why this really matters in our efforts to see the heat of cultural conflict turned to the light of spiritual transformation: Knowing this, we can better equip ourselves to answer the first, most urgent question on the minds of so many questioners and seekers, not to mention skeptics and unbelievers. The main question isn’t what it used to be: Is Christianity true? Now the question is whether Christianity is even good.
In today’s podcast I also announce an upcoming conversation with progressive pastor Brandan Robertson. I wrote about him on The Stream a couple weeks ago; he responded on Twitter; now we’ve agreed to continue that conversation live on video this coming Thursday, May 6, at 7 pm Eastern Time. Keep an eye for a new blog post at Thinking Christian, where I’ll be announcing where and how you can tune in.
If you’re finding this podcast encouraging, informing, or equipping to you, please pass it along to a friend. Subscribe to it or follow it on your podcast app of choice, and please also give it a five-star rating there. It really helps!
Episode 2-3: From Heat to Light: Worldviews in Conflict
You want to help move people from conflict to understanding, but here’s the problem you run into: Everyone on one side of the issue thinks everyone else has gone nuts. There’s a reason for that: From their perspective, they’d have to be crazy to believe what they believe. And that in turn traces back to serious, difficult divisions in our worldviews. We don’t just see parts of reality differently, we see almost all of it differently.
Today’s episode of the Thinking Christian Podcast helps explain how that happens, and points in a direction toward improved understanding. It’s just one step in moving from heat to light, but it’s really helpful, in fact crucial. That’s why we’re encouraging you to pass it along to a friend, along with the blog post that accompanies it. Please follow it on your podcast app of choice, too, and give it a 5-star rating. It’ll help us all move from the heat of cultural conflict to the light of spiritual transformation, in this crazy season in the history of our world.
And be sure, too, to check out your free preview chapter of Too Good to be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality, available for free from here.
Episode 2-2: Grace and Truth in Heat-to-Light Conversations
Someone’s brought the heat of cultural conflict into your home or your church. Maybe it’s their own dispute with Christianity, or maybe they need your guidance on an issue they’re dealing with elsewhere. Either way, it’s got potential to be difficult, possibly even to turn hot. Heat-to-light transformations depend on keeping Christ at the center and knowing what to say about the issues, but not just that. They also require that we approach them according to the character of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
John 1:14 and 1:17 tell us Jesus was “full of grace and truth.” It says it twice, for emphasis, I believe. This is the way we must approach all our relationships, but especially interactions that have potential to turn hot. Today’s podcast is about walking in grace and truth, and how that looks in practice.
There’s more to be found on Jesus Christ in a free download. It’s an entire chapter of Tom Gilson’s Too Good to be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality. Find it here! And if you’re enjoying this Season 2 of the Thinking Christian Podcast, on “Heat to Light: Nurturing Spiritual Growth Out of Cultural Conflict,” please give it a great rating on your podcast app of choice, and click the “Follow” or “Subscribe” button there, too. Thank you!
Season 2, Episode 1: What Easter Tells Us About Moving from Cultural Conflict to Spiritual Transformation
Heat to Light: Moving from Cultural Conflict to Spiritual Transformation
That's the theme of Season 2 of the Thinking Christian podcast, opening on Easter weekend with a focus on Jesus, not only his death but with surprising relevance, even his birth! See the accompanying blog post here: "From Heat to Light: Transforming the Heat of Cultural Conflict Into the Light of Spiritual Growth."
And along with it, download this new preview chapter from Tom Gilson's Too Good to be False: How Jesus' Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality. It's free here for all new followers of the Thinking Christian blog.
The Unimaginable Greatness of God
A creative-thinking reflection on God's greatness — using imagination to see how far God's imagination, power, knowledge and love exceeds even what we can imagine it to be.