In late 2014, Slate magazine published a series of articles under the title, “The Year of Outrage.”
If anything, the outrage in America has only worsened since then. Even Christians have jumped onto the outrage train. The results haven’t been pretty, for either society generally or churches specifically.
What would Jesus do? And how should Christians follow His example? Scott Sauls thinks gentleness is the answer to both questions: “Jesus has been gentle toward us,” he writes, “so we have good reason to become gentle toward others, including those who treat us like enemies.”
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Pastor Sauls about how Jesus’ gentleness is the antithesis of outrage culture. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Scott Sauls is senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and author of A Gentle Answer: Our “Secret Weapon” in an Age of Us Against Them, published in June by Thomas Nelson.
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In 1 Peter 3:15, the apostle wrote: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” The Greek word the NIV translates as “answer” is apología, from which we get the word apologetics. Apologetics is that branch of Christian theology which offers reasonable answers to skeptical questions about the faith.
Apologetics is a necessary component of evangelism and discipleship, especially in an America that is becoming increasingly post-Christian. But apologetics is not always done well. Too often, it is perceived as a logic-chopping exercise in answering abstract questions no one is asking by faith-defenders who are more concerned with winning arguments than people.
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m exploring a better way of doing apologetics with Joshua Chatraw. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.
Dr. Chatraw is executive director of the Center for Public Christianity at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and author of numerous books on apologetics, including Apologetics at the Cross, The History of Apologetics, and most recently, Telling a Better Story. All these books are published by Zondervan.
My conversation with Dr. Chatraw is coming up after a brief word from our sponsor.
This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Now What? for Youth.
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On June 15th of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, ruling that the prohibition of sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act extends to sexual orientation and gender identity as well. LGBT rights groups hailed the decision as a major victory, but churches and other faith-based organizations worried that it would impinge on their religious freedom.
In three cases since Bostock, however, the Supreme Court has vindicated religious freedom. Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue struck down that state’s (and by extension every other state’s) “Blaine Amendment.” Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania upheld an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate based on religious or moral reasons. And Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrisey-Berru (in which the Assemblies of God was joined a friend-of-the-court brief) expanded the scope of the “ministerial exception.”
Given the divergent outcomes of these four cases—Bostock pulling one way, the three other cases pulling the other—many people are asking: Where is the Supreme Court heading with religious freedom?
That’s the question Eric Kniffin and I will discuss in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.
Eric Kniffin is a partner in the law firm of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, where he works in the Religious Institutions Practice Group. Before joining the firm, he worked as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, practicing in the Civil Rights Division. He also served as legal counsel for Becket Law, a leading religious freedom litigator.