Noah interviews Drs. Glenn Bracey and Michael Emerson on their national research project where they interviewed practicing white Christians on matters of race. What they found was that practicing white Christians hold some unique views on race that are not shared by any other demographic in the United States. Their views differ from practicing black or Latino Christians, as well as from white non-Christians.
Noah interviews Dr. Alan Noble about his new book On Getting Out of Bed: The Burden & Gift of Living (InterVarsity Press). They discuss the daily realities of suffering and depression contrasted with the church’s tendency to fake it like everything is okay and that if you do things God’s way, he will fix everything.
Noah does his best to unpack what Purity Culture is, the harm it has caused, and how it’s easy to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Beliefs can be stumped. Your child can go off to college or grad school and learn an archeological or scientific bomb that shatters their belief in the Bible. I have seen it time and time again with friends of mine who grew up in the church and are no longer Christians. Taking your kids to a Christian museum where Adam and Eve ride on dinosaurs isn’t going to prevent this or fix it when it happens.
What I love about Wesley is his ruthless honesty. He essentially spends all of chapter 5 making sure the reader understands he is not presenting a quick fix to the emotional ache that gay / SSA people feel. He wants to make sure gay / SSA Christians, as well as pastors looking for the magic bullet solution to all of this, understand that there is no magic bullet. He wants to make sure people understand if they walk down the path of kinship / covenantal friendship, they will meet pain and disappointment. This is not a good sales pitch! But it is real and it is honest. Us pastors hate this. We want a systematic theology that fixes everything. We want the right answer that grounds us in Scripture and that gives everyone warm fuzzies.
What you have to love and appreciate about Wesley and his writing is that he is dealing with real issues for real people. I find it is so easy for heterosexual married pastors to come up with cookie cutter sermons and treatises on what the Bible says on homosexuality that are just preaching to the choir. They are really only intended to help biblically conservative, heterosexual Christians feel good about their biblical position on a sin that they don’t struggle with at all. These teachings have little-to-no intention of actually helping gay / same-sex attracted Christians who are held in a daily chokehold by their same-sex attraction, something they have little-to-no control over. These church leaders give them very little in the way of options or action steps, which is why so many end up turning away from the Church and pursuing gay sexual relationships and/or keep things bottled up inside with no one to help them as they struggle down paths of deep depression and suicide.