LRR Ep15. True Socialism and the Kingdom of God, W. Travis McMaken

I interviewed W. Travis McMaken about his book Our God Loves Justice: an introduction to Helmut Gollwitzer. We talk about the Gollwitzer movie Travis would pitch, Dialectical Theology, Socialism (this is a great section), Revolution, writing theology in an online community, and, we play a game of Conceptual Lightning Round… have you ever wanted tweetable definitions of Dialectical Theology, Socialism, the Kingdom of God, and non-objectifiability? We got you covered. Listen in iTunes

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Ep13. Ganggalah, Sandra and William Dumas

This is a double feature. The first interview is with Pastor Sandra Dumas, the second, her husband, Pastor William Dumas. They are the Senior Pastors of Ganggalah Church and leaders of Ganggalah Training Centre and Ganggalah Aboriginal Arts.

Pastor Sandra is the first Indigenous female pastor ordained in New South Wales through Australian Christian Churches and is carving new ground for Indigenous women within Australia. Pastor William is the chairman of the ACCNI (Australian Christian Churches National Indigenous Initiative). LISTEN IN iTUNES

“God’s theology is to set people free” Ps. William Dumas

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Ep12. Theo-Politics for a Community that Moves Beyond Itself, John Flett

The problem with the mainline is we have an insular theology, but we do not follow an insular God…

This is the Saturday night session from our weekend Political Populism and a Theological Response. Here John Flett picks up the theological challenge of populism (explored in the first two sessions) and proposes an alternative focused on the political stance of a community which finds its identity as it moves beyond itself. Recorded Nov 4, at Epping Uniting Church. LISTEN IN iTUNES

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Ep10. Populism and a Theological Response, John Flett

In this interview (from January 2017) I talk with John Flett about theology and mission in the wake of Trump, populism in its current form, the way Christians just wanted to “win” and so refused to yield power, interdisciplinary approaches, mission studies, “racism and the evangelical vote”, #WTFtheology (aka: John’s proudest achievement), and how mission (a non-America-First understanding of mission) can help counter this growing nationalist, populist tide. – this was in the lead up to the first run of his course, Political Populism and a Theological Response, earlier this year at Pilgrim Theological College. LISTEN IN iTUNES

“If you yourself are not ready to be converted, then you are not engaging in the discussion”

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Ep08. The God Who (Still) Saves, David Congdon

David Congdon’s excellent The God Who Saves: a Dogmatic Sketch came out almost a year ago. We talked about the book then, and today, in this episode we revisit the work. We talk about the book, its reception, the impact its made on David’s life this last year. We also talk about the contemporary US context (and evangelicalism within that). LISTEN in iTunes

“I wrote the book for those wanderers, those exiles from the Christian tradition, who have been marginalised, oppressed, and abused by the church… yet are desperately in pursuit of some meaning and connection which would take them beyond themselves.”

It is also a written to say to Christians, “If you want to demonstrate your fidelity to Jesus Christ, you need to abandon the assumption that your church structure and traditions have exclusive grasp of the truth, and you need to ally yourself with those who have been marginalised by the church. Only that way, will you conform to Christ and live into the faith you’re called to live into. In that way, its a call, to Christians, to put their Christianity at risk”

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The Need for an Anabaptist Political Theology

…the glib pronouncement of an “agreement to disagree” between Christians of all political persuasions will not move the Church further into a unified mission. It will not stop laymen and laywomen from engaging, or not engaging, and it will not help them live more faithfully. What is needed is a deeper, consistent, call to a political theology shaped by the teachings of Christ and New Testament. I have found this nowhere better expressed than by the Radical Reformers…

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Jesus the Trump Card

An extended reflection in two parts 1) why, despite the move away from Christianity and the church’s diminishing public influence, do people continue to employ Jesus as an argument in political and cultural debates. 2) With that background in mind, what positive claims about Jesus can we contribute to these discussions (in an attempt to save Jesus from becoming just another trump card).

Complexity is perhaps the most important contribution the church can make to discussions of Jesus and Christianity in the public sphere. Time and again, both Christians and non-Christians seek to win arguments by playing Jesus as a trump card. For the church, the best course of action may not be to challenge the Jesus trump card of the press with the Jesus trump card of the church, but rather to challenge the notion that Jesus is a trump card to begin with; that Jesus is an endorsement to be won. As we have explored, the memory of Jesus is deeply complex, rich in tradition and debate. For Christians who proclaim the risen Christ, Jesus is not a slogan, but the centre of a story, a living, breathing centre of a story, which began before time and has not ended. Perhaps we need to return to the efforts of Albert Schweitzer, and begin to counter the propensity of people to create a Jesus in their own image, by presenting pictures of the memory of Jesus; continual, full, and troublesome.

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