Street Preacher Experience (131)

In this episode John and Gregg discuss a meeting that Gregg had with a street preacher.

Gregg explained that he has never spoken to a Street Preacher before but had his curiosity piqued and so began a conversation.

After recounting his encounter with the Street Preacher, Gregg goes on to explain that he had always assumed that people who preached on street corners had something not quite right about them.

But the more he thought about the situation, the more he came to wonder if instead of being in some way aberrant the Street Preacher may actually represent a distillation of most Evangelical Christian orientations!

In other words, Gregg wonders if the Street Preacher was not and in fact an idealized version of what he typically encounters in Evangelical churches. For example, he had his own way of reading the Bible and that was “the right way;” he maintains control of the conversation; his approach to the conversation is not to have a dialogue but to be completely persuasive.

So instead of taking what he learned at church and twisting it, Gregg wonders if the Street Preacher has not taken what he learned at church and refined it. In other words he’s got “to the heart of it.”

You Guys are Too Picky (130)

In this episode John and Gregg discuss a quotation by Yogi Bhajan, submitted by an Untangling Christianity listener.

John sees the discussion about Gregg’s response to the Yogi Bhajan quotation as an extension of their conversation about Christian Praise music (in episode #128, “Let them have their music”). John’s concern here is similar to his concern in episode #128: How do we know if / when we are being too picky with our criticisms?

John explains how, in the UC Facebook group, the listener who posted the Yogi Bhajan quotation concluded that she was approaching such quotations in a very different way from Gregg.

John explains this difference using the analogy of buying bananas at the grocery store. In essence, we rarely find the “perfect” banana. So John sees UC listeners as “bringing bananas” to the group (i.e., bringing their valuable ideas, quotations, etc.) and yet Gregg typically sees “too many bruises” on the bananas (i.e., listener ideas are often criticized and perhaps rejected).
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I am a Christian (129)

In this episode John and Gregg discuss a poem from an anonymous newspaper clipping titled “I am a Christian.” Gregg received the poem on Facebook as, perhaps, a way of defining what a Christian is.

In Gregg’s view a Christian can be defined in two ways: a) as someone who claims to be a follower of Christ; or b) as someone whom God sees as being a follower of Christ. However both of these definitions has its failings: the first is extremely loose; the second is essentially inaccessible.

John notes that the philosophy behind the Co-active coaching model he is studying maintains that people are “creative, resourceful, and whole.”  John understood the notion of “wholeness” to be somewhat aspiration and mentioned this to an instructor in passing. They demurred. The instructor’s perspective is that all people are whole and it is only because of the negative messages they have embodied that have made them less than whole, however at their core, they are whole.  And so of coaching process can be a way to rediscover and return to that original “wholeness.”
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Next episode: Monday July 25

Unfortunately we are breaking form our every-other-week publishing routine today for the first time since episode #100.

Our next episode publishes one week from today on July 25, 2016. We’re skipping this week due to illness and personal scheduling challenges.

Hopefully you’ll find interesting some un-listened to episodes in the back catalog should you be disappointed not to find a new episode today. 🙂

Just Let People Have Their Music (128)

In this episode John and Gregg again discuss Christian worship music, focusing on a listener comment about the song “Fierce” by Jesus Culture.

John is of two minds in his response to the song. On the one hand he wonders if the song, in describing God’s love for us as a “hurricane that I cannot escape,” is actually presenting God’s love in a problematic way—such that if we loved our family or spouses in this manner this could create problems (such as requiring a restraining order). Should God’s love be “fierce”?

On the other hand, he wonders how we decide how much criticism (of this song but also of an idea, an action, etc.) is too much criticism. So is it okay just to enjoy the tune and ignore the fact that the lyrics (like a “hurricane”) seem to be in tension with what they are seeking to present (God’s love is good and necessary).
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