Life and Books and Everything
Life and Books and Everything

Episode · 1 month ago

Evangelical Elites

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How do you use the term ‘elite?’ Is it positive or is it a term of derision? Elites, and especially Evangelical elites, have been criticized a lot lately. Collin, Kevin, and Justin have given this matter some consideration, and on this episode they offer their thoughts, turning the focus both internally and externally, with both positive and negative critiques. But first… books! They’ve been reading a lot. You’ll hear about productivity, theology, classic fiction, and of course a lot of history.

Life and Books and Everything is sponsored by Crossway, publisher of the ESV Concise Study Bible. The ESV Concise Study Bible is rich in content yet approachable and easy to carry—perfect for studying God’s Word in any context.

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Timestamps:

Books First! [0:00 – 2:25]

Collin is surprised. [2:25 – 7:36]

Kevin is restrained. [7:36 – 19:18]

Justin is almost finished. [19:18 – 28:54]

Elites in the Spotlight [28:54 – 37:54]

Hating on Elites [37:54 – 43:03]

Evangelical Elites [43:03 – 46:40]

Public Religious Research Institute Survey [46:40 – 49:08]

Elitists Out of Step [49:08 – 53:35]

Kevin Responds [53:35 – 58:34]

Elites Not Reading the Room [58:34 – 1:02:11]

The Inner Ring [1:02:11 – 1:03:15]

Encouragement [1:03:15 – 1:07:18]

Books and Everything:

Collin:

Brand Luther: How an Unheralded Monk Turned His Small Town into a Center of Publishing, Made Himself the Most Famous Man in Europe--and Started the Protestant Reformation, by Andrew Pettegree

Pilgrims and Priests: Christian Mission in a Post-Christian Society, by Stefan Paas

Kevin:

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, by Oliver Burkeman

Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children's Rights Movement, by Katy Faust and Stacy Manning

Wonderfully Made: A Protestant Theology of the Body, by John W. Kleinig

The Viking Heart: How Scandinavians Conquered the World, by Arthur Herman

1984, by George Orwell

Justin:

Proverbs: A Shorter Commentary, by Bruce K. Waltke and Ivan D. V. De Silva

The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom, by H.W. Brands

Lincoln in Private: What His Most Personal Reflections Tell Us About Our Greatest President, by Ronald C. White

Lonesome Dove: A Novel, by Larry McMurtry

Articles on Elites:

The Galli Report 10.08.21,” by Mark Galli

The Failure of Evangelical Elites,” by Carl R. Trueman

Evangelical Elites, Fighting Each Other,” by David French

The Inner Ring,” by C.S. Lewis

To reading and salutations this is lifeand books and Everything Kevin Dean here with Colin Hanson and just inTaylor, good to have you with us and band, is back together to talk aboutlike books and everything we are sponsored by crossway grateful for themany good books that they publish want to mention today just recently releasedis the e SV, Concise Study Bible, so many people not exaggeration to say hundreds ofthousands of people- I don't know just in it's in the millions probably buthave made use of the Esbul Bible, and if your arms are tired from carryingthat around now you have the Esve, Concise Study Bible, so you still havegreat resources and notes, and I assume Justin articles and essays,but in a more concise format, so check that out anything else. You want to sayabout that New Resource Justin. No, it's concise! It is coin that was a concise answer. Wonderful, we're going to jump right inand usually we me and Er. Well, there's two kinds oflisteners to this: podcast there's a listener that says please do more bigTin Sports Banter and then there are the other. Ninety eight percent of ourlisteners say how many times do I have to hit fast forward thirty secondsbefore I get through that, so you'll be glad to know. We just did all of thatfor twenty minutes before we hit record. So it's out of our system and all thethe coaching questions and Nebraska's hasseason and northwestern's equally said season. Also sad and Michigan States,surprisingly good season. So that's that's as far as will go with collegefootball and sports. Usually we meander through a few topics and then we end bytalking about books. We love books here and we want toreverse the order and we want to start by talking about books. So Colin willstart with you. Yeah give us a few books. What have you been reading? Youcan give us books, you just started books. You finished in the last weeksor months, give us seven, whether you like them, love them or something else.What are some of the things? You're reading to give two, so these are two booksthat I read before I recently traveled to to Europe, because I thought theywould be helpful with some of my preparation for those for those visitsand one of them was brand luther by Andrew Pedigree. You guys read thatbook now. I know of him good scholar, yeah so came on two thousand andseventeen with the flurry of five hundred years since, since fifteenseventeen and the famous fitten Dwar, I am always interested reading aboutLuther, so I've set it before in this podcast give me luther and Churchill,and I probably will read a biography of each of them every year and so brandluther was. I liked it because I also work as as a publisher. So I thought itwas interest in the perspective that he brought on Luther, not just as theChurchman, not just as the theologian, but also as the master of the printingpress and also the master of the popular treatise. So essentially, twomajor arguments in this one of them is that Luther took a very personal keeninterest in the economics of printing and in fact he, the author of pedigree,says that that's kind of comes out of his father's background and mining andbusiness and things like that. But he...

...says I mean it was a very importantthing not only that now that there was capacity to be able to publish thatthere would be that it would look beautiful that it would look highquality. All these things that I just kind of took for granted before I justhadn't hadn't thought about so really like that book and gave me a newperspective. Also I don't know I mean. Sometimes major things are the thingsyou overlook, but one thing guys that I he argues here also is that MartinLuther effectively created or invented the popular theological treatise, and I thought well I mean the epistles.Certainly, I think are that way, but I thought okay, I'm gon going backbecause, of course we know he wrote in the vernacular, so he wrote in Germanalso you know, but that that was a major innovation, but I thought wow didhe? Did he invent the popular theological?Writing Popular Teologia? Writing He may have I'm not I'm not do now. Idefer to you guys if so the argument would be prior to that theological.Writing was you know by scholastics for scillasclassics and in Latin. It so happened not in a popular language. Now youwould have popular sermons and sermon collections yeah, but I supposetheological treatise. As its own category sounds plausible to me, I haven'tthought about that. It's interesting! That's what I mean about Luther is howmany, how many books, how many biographies I've read about Luther andyou just seems like there's, always something else that you learn in there.So I'll jump to my other one, real, quick another one that I was so firstfirst part of my for the first part of my trip last month was in the northercountries in Copenhagen and then the second was in the Netherlands, and so Iread a book by a Dutch misology, Stephen Poss called pilgrims andpriests, and this was a really interesting reading experience becausea lot of its focus focusing on missions in a post, Christian society and that'sa lot of what I was speaking about in Europe. So I wanted to be up to date onsome relevant current thought, and there was a lot of really interesting,really helpful stuff in this when it was written very much from apractitioner perspective as opposed to a high level academician. But I alsowas fairly disturbed by the dismissal of aspects of Orthodox theology inthere and also especially the doctrine of hell and a lot of it just made mewhen I got to the end of it. It just made me come back and say: I'm notquite clear after reading this whole thing exactly what the gospel of savingpeople from and when I see a lot of that,unfortunately, in Mieol Gy, and that was it turned out. I'm glad I read thisbook because when I went to the Netherlands, that was a clear area ofemphasis that I got within that community. I was speaking on contextualization as an example, and the challenge was: How do you stick withyour Orthodox theology and at the same time also contextualize it in differentin different cultures, and so that was what they had assigned me and afterhaving read this book now, I understand much more of why they wanted me to talkabout that, because sometimes those two things don't go in hand in hand.Context uasail means okay. We also have to leave behind a number of otheroutdated, theologies, so poges on priests by Stephen Post, very good, soyou're, a restrained Colin. Only two- I did I left. Oh, I knew you'd have aboutten Kevin, so I wanted to feed my time to the gentlemen in North Carolina Yeah,I'm going to live it myself to five, so real quickly, one Oliver Berkman fourthousand weeks time management for mortals. I read one or two productivity time management de kind ofbooks a year and I've probably read...

...fifteen of them over the years, and sothey say a lot of the same things, but almost always there's a handful of best practices or good ideas orreminders. I would say this: one is sort of a middle of the pack of time management, productivity, books.I've read before I think the strength of it is. You can hear it in the titlefour thousand weeks, so he says on average we have about four thousandweeks, which makes your life seem very short, fifty weeks times, eighty yearstime, management for mortal. So it's good in that he's acknowledging ourmortality, he sort of tells his story as a Time Management Guru. Who has cometo the realization that just new time management tricks is not really goingto help not really going to fix what ails us so there's a good sense ofhuman finitude that runs through the book, which is good and that we simplyhave to make hard decisions, because we really can't do everything. I alsoappreciate it has some really good paragraphs that convicted me againabout not going down the cesspool that can be social media. You know. Why are?Why do we enter in and say I want a lot of people. I don't know, and maybe someI do. I want you to take up a lot of my mental space right now and I want tojust give that gift to you. Why do we do that? I'm the knot as good, I think his his non Christian bearings come throughoften and how he views spirituality and how he views religion. So some goodthings I'd say I sort of middle of the Pack Time Management Book Second Bookis well. Of course I won't mention Gezo. You should listen to the interview. Idid N with him on the Robert League. That was an amazing interview. Kevinwell he's amazing that I mean he is an amazing to interview. He is energetic, he'sobviously knowledgeable. His Christian faith comes through yeah. It was reallyfantastic. You asked great questions, but as somebody who does a lot ofinterviewing, usually the guest does make that and Gezo was no exception. Hewas simply I mean again. I could have listed if you guys had kept going forthree more hours. I might have been the only person left, but I still wouldknow I've heard from others, and I don't hear that from all of our all thepodcast I do or interviews, but that was really good. So another book, Katie,Faust and Stacey manning them before us, why we need a global children's rightsmovement. You heard of that book either of you guys, O George did did a forget. It's aprefacer, a forward to it. So these are women who are work.There's this organization, then before us, and it's about children's right. Sothe title there is, we ought to put the rights and the needs of children before the desires and self actualization ofadults. These are conservative women who go through their Christians, butit's not a Christian book per se. They go through a lot of medical research.Sociology research go through various topics, arguing why biology matters?Why kids need a MOM and a dad? Why sirica Y is a selfish thing to do sotalk about transgender, so they hit on any number of hot topics related tofamily life, sexuality, gender. You know it's a punchy sort of book, but itpulls in one place at a popular level in distills, a lot of the largerresearch on some of those issues, and...

...so someone's looking for a book thatwould hit ten or twelve of those topics. That's a good one, and then last week Itook a prayer reading day and got read through start to finish. John Kleinenew book from Lexer SS called wonderfully made a Protestant theologyof the body. We need more and more good theologies of the body he's a Lutheranso here and there as it connects with Lutheran theology. I'm not Lutheran amreformed. Obviously so wouldn't agree with all that, but it's it's he's anolder theologian from Australia, Lutheran. He writes in a very understandable way, clear, really a beautiful book, putting forward apositive vision for the body so again that touches on all the hot button.Issues of trans, gender and human sexuality andhomosexuality does so in a in a very unflinching way, but to use an overusedword, winsome way, so good. If you're, if someone's looking for a book thatyou might read as a small group at your church or even want to read for yourown edification or devotion or a Sunday school class, you could do well to readwonderfully made a Protestant theology, the body and then I'll just mention twobooks that I am not finished. But I started Colin you'll be very excitedthe viking heart. Yes, bibiographer, your biography, the common handsomestory, your hand, you're Danish, yes as well also Norwegian and Swedish. So,okay, did you know this? Do you know the difference between Scandinavian andNordic well? Nordin? I did learn that while I was over there. Nordic includesIceland and Finland right right. It's Goin to navy is just in some otherislands, yeah hero, Pharo Islands, right Faro Islands, yeah, okay, so theViking Hart by Arthur Herman. He famously wrote the how the Scotsinvented the modern world, which is a good book and he's he puts a lot of research in. So it's apopular level history, but he's put in a lot of time and effort to Distil andobviously he's talking about the very sweeping history. So the Vikings you'retalking about thousands of years of Nordic historyand so talks about the wrath of the norsemen and then all the waythrough to the contribution that Nordo countries have made in defending and saving protestantism, hesays and their contribution of World War Two and then in the United States.So I'm not too far into the book and reading it and listening to some of itas I'm I on the way. So the Viking heart is a fun book by Arthur Hermanand then I sadly, I rarely read fiction, but I'vebeen meaning to pick this up again and I finally did and now I'm hooked andI'm about half way through remembering what I read back in high school, I'mran one thousand nine hundred and eighty four by George Orwell, there's more sex inthe book than I remember like I knew it. I knew that Winston had youknow with Julia, but I forgot about that.Like. Oh that's right, my my kids read this in high school. I guess I readthis in high school, so I mean it's Todar, it's not told in great detail,but it is a significant plot point. Along with the obvious themes oftotalitarianism and maybe another podcast, you know we can talk aboutGeorge Orwell and the to talent, Erin Vision, it's striking. On the one hand,a number of things that aren't true...

...today, so the the totalitariannightmare he's depicting in part is one that's so sexually repressive. That'swhy you know Winston has this affair with Julia, because the Party doesn'twant you to have any sex is only for producing good futureparty members, and actually they pontificate that part of what the partywants to do. Is They don't want you to have this enjoyment of sex? So you haveall this pent up energy that can only be used for marching and hating yourenemy. There was something interesting about that. So that's not our problemtoday of sexual repression, far from it, but then there are other acts, aspectsof it that are becoming all too early, familiar thethe thought, police and the face crimes and the way you have to watch your back andyou can't you sort of look furtively at people. Are they someone who also daresto think differently than than the rest of the world around them and just wellwritten as a writer, I'm reading it and noticing an economy of words, strongpunchy, nouns verbs doesn't waste words strong diction, so you can see whypeople have read it and it's a classic. There you go. I used up some of yourtime Callin as you a follow up, question Kevin Yeah, so I've heard of pastors having aprayer day and I've heard of reading days. But what is a prayer reading dateis that half the Times devoted to prayer and have to reading- or so I took a day and went away for overnight- went away forabout twenty four hours and spent some of it. Reading my Bible,some of it literally sitting in a chair and justbeing quiet and looking out the window for a half hour and went on along for me, a long run so I'll go on a long,walk or a long run, and I can pray then and think through things that may nothave time to sort of ruminate on and then I turned off my phone. I didn'tbring any work I didn't bring. My computer and yeah had three or four books and madeheadway on a number of them and tried to do bell. Then I I've taken justprayer days and I wish I could say that I'm really good at just doing nothingbut praying for twenty four hours, but I'm not so to pray some of the time andthen read books, read it and books. You know I didn't bring commentaries for mysermon. I didn't bring books that I'm reading through to prepare for our TS,just books on my shelf that I've wanted toget to and read so it's wonderful. Ah, it was wonderful. I thought man I got to do this. I gotta I gottaget into week once a week is the idea, but no, I C N T yeah, I'm not doing itonce a week, but something on the calendar be Great Justin. You read wonderful and terriblebook proposals. All the time. Do you have time to read other books yeah somewhat? I should be the encouragement to theaverage listener because I don't read as much as you guys I don't complete asmany books as you guys. So I think I probably start more books than you guyswith my job and with my principal interests, but I'm reading a book onIron Man triathlons right now, which has been really just getting up a realin what there is a book there's a book or warwhich is about the e famous battles in...

...the s between the. But that's that'snot it. No, no Ye! That's not my cup of tea! SoI'll give you I'll give you all books that I have not finished, but I've beendipping into and want to finish the Lord Wills, but give me differentcategories, one in the kind of Bible Theology category I hadn't heard aboutthis, but I somehow stumbled across that Bruce Walk Key has a newcommentary on the book of proverbs and we probably all know of his massive twovolume, hardcover nicot commentary when that was published. Maybe fifteenyears ago now maybe twenty, but this is called proverbs. A shorter commentarypublished by Erdman's and its Co, authored with Ivan D v De Silva, who isa professor of religious studies, Adjunct and I think, a former studentof Dr Wal keys and, interestingly enough, a former detective. I believeso perhaps he used some of those skills and piecing together, various things, so it it basically abridges the massiveproverbs commentary, but also updates the literature as well. So that's it's been an edifying book todip into Walke is a really clear writer very profound theological mind. It was actually doing a new solms commentary, not a commentary, butan introduction of the psalms that friend Zapa helping him with Waki isninety two years old now and still actively working in, I believe, he's an Anglican now, if Isaw that correctly. So that's a kind of the Bible theology category, everybodyin as an Anglican. That's where we're all headed Lincoln. You know that I always have tohave something with linking going on and the three of us. I think brieflydiscussed this book, but the Zealot and the emancipator John Brown, AbrahamLincoln, and the struggle for American Freedom Hw brand yeah, I'm about halfway through that I stalled out over the summer. Yeah he's an interesting he's,an interesting author. He does a lot with primary sources,sort of here's, John Brown and his own words in a letter and here's AbrahamLincoln and pretty short chapters going back and forth between the two so yeah,it's good. I know a whole lot more about Abraham Lincoln than John Brown.My knowledge, John Brown, is from other just larger civil war sort of history.So I'm learning a lot about John Brown. So I liked it I got halfway through. Ithink I was losing. Patients like man are: What are we up to Harper's ferryor why? When is this gonna Happen? But what did you think about it? Yeah, I'm not too far into it, but Ilike the idea of dual biographies. I've always liked that I'm sure it's one ofthose things that it's hard to do well, but when it is done well, it'sinteresting to set two people in different contexts: sort of a dialoguewith each other, and I think James Oakes did one of Frederick Douglas andAbraham, Lincoln and and brands. I writ an interview one time where he saidthat he's he's sort of secretly writing a history of America through biography,but he never told his publishers, but he has this whole concept in his mindof eventually telling the American story through biography, so he has doneAndrew Jackson and Aaron Burr and some of the financial titans and he's aninteresting author, because I think if listeners don't recognize the name, ifyou see his picture, you'll recognize him from any history documentarybecause he's one of those interesting talking heads he's he's able to convey the story telling mode the history ofwhat was going on, and so I like to read history to know what happened. ButI also I'm interested in seeing how...

...people write history and then I justordered a new Lincoln Book. I wonder if you guys have heard of this by RonaldWhite, that that name, reggae yeah sure yeah America listens likegrant right. Yeah yeah, it wrote a Lincolnhe's a Christian. I don't know exactly of what kind, but he's probably done asmuch as anybody in terms of writing on Lincoln's words and speeches andthere's a new one by him, Lincoln in private. What his most personalreflections tell us about our greatest president and basically he's goingthrough Lincoln, would write something on a scrap of paper, throw it in hisdesk and thirteen years later he referred to it almost like. If we had ayou know, word documents or posted notes, but unless you I mean, there's reallyno way to kind of pull all of those together unless you visit MultipleLibrary as at work through multiple volumes and Ronald White, has pulledthose all together and tried to kind of give us the more private side ofLincoln, which is a tricky to do. That was one thing interesting about Geza'sinterview with Kevin is how difficult it is to trant to track down everythingfrom Lincoln Yeah right around. It is from leg for all yeah. So for me alsoyeah. Sorry, that's what I meant both of them the same thing yeah with all of the history work. Youwould have thought there would be. A critical edition of someone would havecollected all of the letters and but it's amazing, sometimes some of thethings that aren't done. My PhD supervisor is working on in England, amassive multi year decades project to publish a critical edition of all ofWilberforce's letters, and that will be a major undertaking to get them to findthem to try to read them, transcribe them, and we owe a lot to historical grunt workfrom people who do those sorts of things and then provide those resourcesfor for decades or centuries for people tothen call through and use. But what were yougoing to say? Justin Yeah, I'm not sure what I was going tosay, but it is striking that somebody like Robert Ely, with how much thecivil war has been covered- and you know it's not like nobody's written abiography of him before that that someone somewhere some center wouldn'thave transcribed every letter that he's ever written and that makes her jobpretty not easy but easier as a biography. Just you know, pulled outthose letters copy and Pas and put them in your narrative, but when you have totravel to a place and sit in a dusty libraryand try to transcribe letters, that's it's amazing. I have a one fiction bookthat I've started, which I don't know if I'll make my way through it, becauseit's thick, it's lonesome dove and I'm curious. If you guys have ever finishedit. Probably Collins read it like once a year, but no, I haven't read a lot of Western orwatched much western literature or film. So I was as good as the hype just herea lot of height. That's I am on page sixteen! So not yet not ye! It's more comedic than Iexpected, but the blurb on the back from USA Today says: If you read onlyone western novel in Your Life Reinoso Dove and it won the politer prize, soit will probably be the only western I I read from now on, although mygrandfather, Robert Western novel, your grandfather did, he did. He was afarmer and a chef in South Dakota and at night worth than an O, and I have itprinted in my office. It was self published posthumously, but so it's inmy blood stream, but I haven't finished that one either right. Well, that's a perfect segue tosomething else, but everyone look up: Justin's, Grandfather's, sod, busting,South Dakota story o like Glen Taylor, I ack rabbits to Buckskin, I'mexpecting a copy in the mail just in...

...just in a it's like that. Famous time when I wasinterviewing liggin and asked like his favorite book of all time- and it was- I won't even get it now, but it wassomething about the low country of or the up country or some such country South Carolina, and I just andimmediately after I sort of Gaffat is brother Mel sent me a copy of the bookin the Mail Post Haste and probably would to any listener who wants to knowmore about the history of South Carolina and where is it on yourshelves that I'm looking at right behind you Kevin? I'm sure I know,isn't it somewhere, it is somewhere. I still have it topull off a on your night stand: Oh right, yeah, yeah, yeah, all right!So here's all I want to talk about now that we talked about books. I want totalk about elites, so let me give some some context and then my opening salvoand then we'll see where the conversation goes. A number of articlesor posts have been written in the past week or two about evangelical elites.Mark Galley in his newsletter was decrying his own former employer and aCT and, as he said it a tendency to want to play nice with cultural elites.At least that was one of the themes you also have Carl Truman, who wrote a lengthy and asCarl's pieces are. You know very well read educated, interesting piece atfirst things was making some of those same pointsand in particular, arguing that the the days of Nole and Marsden, advocating for just the best Christian scholarship toovercome the the scandal of the Evangelical Mind and the people in theacademy will see our work and praise us and bless us for doing the the bestscholarship we can that that's just not going to work anymore. There's too manycultural obstacles in most fields. That was some of Carl's argument and anTommy Kidd gave something of a response to Carl's peace, agreeing with some ofit and pushing back an other aspects, and then, over the weekend, David French wrotealso about Evangelica elites, and I she might guess of not entirely disagreeing with what Carlmight be saying. But his take is more along. The lines of okay: Well, yes, weknow that there are those problems, but really he. The larger issues in ourchurches have to deal with this reactionary moment among conservativeChristians, and if we want to see the problem, it is us and the problem ofthe elites not dealing with their own kind. So I'm not so interested in USpicking, winners and losers of those arguments. All of us know at one levelall of those men, and there are other people who have weighed in on it, butit is such a hot topic. I thought we talk about itand here's my opening salvo not to so much solve the question but tocomplexify, and that is to ask what I think is often missing from some ofthese. You know. Good thoughtful critiques is a definitional questionwho are the elites and we should say at theoutset less someone say: Physicians, Healthyself, I'm sure by some measure,...

Colin Hanson, Justin, Taylor, Kevin deyoung or elites, so not trying to pretend like we're,looking from some high mountain top and not affected ornot in the mix of all of these things. But what's interesting to me- and Idon't know the the history of it, somebody could arguefor this, but it seems to me. Elite has certainly become an almost uniformly bad word and Iwonder if that's always been the case now there are still context wheresomebody said. Oh, my son is an a lete athlete. My daughter is an elitemusician that would still be considered a compliment, but in almost any contextin our culture, if you are considered among the elites, that's not a compliment that somebody'spaying to you almost surely some sort of critique is going to come that youof the elites have not done something have not guarded something protected,something promoted, something I'm not saying whether that's right or wrong.I'm just. First of all, noting that the word itself connected to that it seems we can'tescape that this whole discussion is both produced by the Internet and is anInternet phenomenon, meaning one of the reasons. Surely that were suspicious ofelites, often for good reasons. I'm not sayingthere aren't good reasons to be suspicious of some elites or to pointout their failures, but certainly it has to do with the Internet that, morethan ever before, we can hear from anybody and everybody, and so there isno just one or two or a handful of elitevoices, and the Internet itself is destabilizing to any notion of elitesor elite institutions or elite gate keepers. there. It's not at all acoincidence. We talked about this before that. We live in a day ofpopulist up swell and uprisings for good and for bad all over the world,politically, all over the world in our country, on the right and on the leftand even with an ecclesiastical circles, because the Internet is in many ways anengine of populist foment and then here's my last thought in this openingcell phone and maybe just an get ready to solve the problem for US I'll turnit to you next, but you think about who who are the elites? Who are the people that were lookingfor now? Many people have made the observation of her Jon of Goldberg, saythis and he's right we're we're going to have elites. It's just a question ofwhether you have good ones or bad ones. So if we pretend that you know what theanswer is, we won't have elites. You know, probably the people who are goingto say that really loudly are actually elites, so they're going to be elites,they are going to be people who control levers of power authority. They'regoing to be people who have bigger followings are going to be people whohave a platform, so there will be elites in any movement. Any culturethere just will be. The question is: what sort of elites are they and itseems to me there's a lot of different ways to define in a lite is an elitesomeone based on certain skills capabilities characteristics. You dothis so you're in a lite. So is it a? Is it a gift ability, character, sortof thing? Is it a position of authority? Is it your a precedent of somethingyou're in have an endowed chair at some institution that has cultural cachet?You have a position at the commanding heights of Culture and media. So is ita position in an institution?...

Is it? Is it a platform, so whether youhave a position or not? If you write a lot and speak a lot online and peoplefollow, you does that make you an elite or on the most, the most kind of existential sort ofpractical level is an elite. You can look at a elite like this. If you wrotea piece or if you said something publicly about why youshould or shouldn't vote for Donald Trump, would a lot of people starttalking about that if they did or would or whatever sort of you know hot takeyou have if everyone would start to that, probably means you're some levelof an elite. Someone who you know they can speak till they're red in the faceand if nobody is talking about it, are they an elite. So we have all sorts ofdifferent kinds of elites, or at least maybe that's one of thequestions. Is it really so different? Certainly, the Internet gives us adifferent way to have elites and it allows different people to be elite ina certain sphere or culture of influence, but it also destabilize thenormal mechanisms of protection in publishing guarding et ce. So I gotmore thoughts that didn't solve anything, but it just complexities theissue to ask that central question: Who are the elites that either need to do theirjob or haven't done their job Justin? What say you, I think, you're right Kevin, that elitestill has positive connotations when we're talking about performance or reaching a certain levelif you're an elite financial adviser, if you're an elite athlete that thathas positive connotations. I think what has negative connotations is theidea of elitism or being an elitist, and so it's difficult to separate outsomeone who's an elite, not necessarily for the fact that they run faster, liftmore or make more money than everybody else, but I think those words tend to get jumbledup in our connotative index to coin a term, so you don't find manypeople bragging about being an elite in terms of having opinions or influence ormovements or those sort of things. I think the populism angle that youmention is significant as well. There are certain segments of evangelicismright now who seem to be tapping more into the populist vein and that allowsthem to avoid the term Alitis, because the elites are the object of their owncriticism, so they can posture themselves as sort of a man of thepeople or a woman of the people. Speaking on behalf of the silentmajority versus those people pulling the powerlovers behind the curtain, so I don't know how important it is to to define it other than to note thatthere's not one definition and it tends to be used as a term of abuse. It tendsto be used as a critique of someone to your left or toyour right that you don't like. So I think, if you are operating with arelatively objective definition, feel free to use it. But if you use it justmerely as a term of derision, I don't think that's entirely fair and I think the Galley piece by the way,if, if listeners haven't seen, is a sub stack piece that Mark Galley wrote. Butthen he followed it up this Weekendt...

...with another piece, that's more selfcritical saying that he was not intending to throw former colleaguesunder the bus, which I think is pretty disputable, but he then turns to focusupon himself is on educations with elitism. So I thought that was aninteresting move by gally's part, but maybe I just one more thing and thenColin will set us all straight here. I think going back to mark's originalpeace. We should be really cautious of judgingpeople's motives, and that's a word for myself, as it is hath word to someonelike Mark Galley motives are notoriously difficult to sus out and we can talk. I think moreconfidently about writers, posture or inclination orsuspicion, or the fact that they've moved from where they have beenpreviously and seem to be going in a certain direction, but to try toidentify someone's motives or why they're doing something, I think isalways puts you on somewhat perilous grounds, because it mean I mean somemotives, Arava. Some people confess to their motives, but I think wheneverwe're talking about elates, whether again to the left of us or to the rightof us, which just used caution before assigning a bad motive to somebodywho's doing something perhaps differently than we would do just andthat's a really good word, because such is our human nature that we rarely intrying to evaluate someone's motives impute to them. Better motives is, aswe might do, that in in a really strong friendship or relationship. We try togive people the Bene of the doubt, but in these intramural disputes or peopleat a distance and even people close to us rarely do we think you know what Ibet. Their motives were, really they were trying their best to serve theLord and just trying to do it in life is complicated and it's hard to evenknow our own motives. You know we have mixed motives even onthe best of days. So to your point, Justin doesn't mean that it'sirrelevant and sometimes it's worth talking about, but there ought to be acaution because what may be to us and obvious and all of us all three of ushave done this because we're sinners, we thought we've also had it done to usin public things, we've said or written. Oh now we know what this is all about.This is this shows what an awful person he is and now we see his real motivesrather than dealing with, what's actually been said or written or Heaven Forbid, giving somebody thebenefit of the doubt and trying to assume that perhaps they had evenbetter motives Colin. What do you think? I know you've thought a lot about thisyeah, probably probably more than I needed to so we're talking, especially aboutevangelical elites here, and I think that's important to say, becauseevangelicalism is not an institution. So if we're talking about politics here,you could talk about, the Republican Party could talk with the DemocraticParty. You could talk about Congress, White House, judiciary, the bureaucracy.You could talk about a lot of different things, but in terms of evangelicalelites, there's no there's no position essentially there's. No, he no place.So. Interestingly, you touched on this Kevin, but we're not so much talking aboutdenominational figures or even pastors. In some ways we are, but you know,they're supposed their institutions are not evangelicalism, so they may beevangelical elites, but they're, not the evangelical they're, not big, Evaessentially. First of all, I find that to be very confusing, but I think itmakes sense in terms of the dynamics of...

...mangels. Is this transom nationalnetwork thing and who are the people who control the networks there? Soessentially, it seems like we're talking about colleges, seminaries andpublishers, all of which are represented on this call. So I thinkthat's how we condense is perhaps yeah conferences. I think they're oftenoffshoots of those but you're right. So that's. I think how we end up in thebig EVA category, but if you're the head of the Southern Baptist ExecutiveCommittee, you're not which is really strange, but that's. I think why thatdicotomy works, that these are the Trans denominational networks ofEvangelicalism, as opposed to the denominations the churches, so that'llmake a lot more sense of what I'm going to what I'm going to say here aboutevangelical elites. So I want to, I think, the insinuation or the explicitpratique that came through in the number of the of the essays that youcited Kevin. I is that the elites have an elitist adjusting. You had a gooddistinction there. They have an elitist attitude that scoffs at regularevangelicals. Essentially the the critique seems to be that they are outof step with real evangelicals because they want to be I'm not sure it's everexplicitly stated, but it seems to be because they want to fit in or they want to. They want to makemoney. One of the two there seems to be the guest, I'm not sure what o othermotivation there would be, and this is significant, because large churches are all over the place.A denominational leader can be a number of different places, but publishers,colleges and seminaries do tend to be in certain locales. They do tend to bein bigger cities, or they do tend to culturally be a little more liberal ingeneral. So I think, that's again part of where the insinuation comes of ofthe cell out, and I think we can easily identify that.There are a lot of examples of this in in the jocal history, the person who issute institution that is supposed to convey even jocal beliefs, but becauseof their desire to be a part of the guild or to fit in or to play to their to their guilds requirements. They theychanged their faith. If that were not the case, then a lot of Christiancolleges would still be Christian today and not what they are, so that justkind of lays the groundwork for what I'm going to go to stay here and I'minterested to get your guys thoughts on this. So I want to go back to thepublic religion, Research Institute survey in March of two thousand andeighteen and as evangelicals. I think this was white evangelicals, but it wasasking them. What should the priority of government be and the number oneresponse was reducing health care costs as number one? For What evangelicalsnumber two was reducing the budget deficit number three was addressing the OPIOIDepidemic number four: was immigration reform, number five anti immigrationlaws and number six gun control now in this was a little bit confusing for me.Gun Control, I think, is on here, because it was a priority forgovernment and it was gun control. It was already loaded as a term, so Ithink it was a bottom priority because they didn't want the government to dogun control. So I think that's why it was there. Sojust a weirdly worded question there. Let me take it a step further than samesame survey, twenty five percent of White Evangelical said that theircandidate must share their view on abortion. Twenty five one out of fourforty five percent said that abortion should be only somewhat not to or notat all difficult to get means less than twenty percent of wet evangelicalsthink that abortion should be completely illegal, okay. So the reasonI'm saying this is because one of the...

...explicit critiques was Amagi leads our sellouts. When it comesto abortion, they just want to be able to fit in so they hide those beliefsand that's how they get published in the New York Times or or things likethat. But I think the biggest example of how elites are out a step is not onabortion, because the survey shows that I don't know how much of a priorityabortion is and I'll get that a little bit more in a second. But the main waythat evangelicals elites are out of sink with. Evangelicals is onimmigration, and I say this when it comes to. When I mean my background being inRepublican politics. For decades, Republican politicians were proimmigration, but re Republican voters were not as a clear example of of of an elitethat is disconnected from the actual voters and that really changed twentyfifteen in two thousand, and sixteen, of course, with senator sessions herein Alabama and then, ultimately, president trump and I would say anotherexample of this- of how elitists are very much out of step. Is that yourtypical Christian College, professor and Seminary Graduate, I would even say,cares way more about ethnic diversity and watches way less Fox News andlistens to way less play. Travis on talk, radio, I think that's, I think,that's fair to say I don't think that's even a controversial thing. I thinkthat means they're very much out of step in terms of not having the sameview on those things add to that. They also probably because of what Imentioned earlier. They tend to spend way more time around liberals, Christian College professors,publishers just where they're located. They tend to spend more time aroundliberals and work in fields, especially in the academy that are dominated byliberals, and I mentioned that we could all cite examples of of Capitu lationwhether the motive might be- and I would say it's also fair- to say thatwhen you're talking about fitting into the broader culture at that seems to again be the eliteswant to fit in and that's why they're at a step with everybody else that it'sgoing to be sexual issues? That's that's always the king of theintersectionality Olympics. It's always sexual issues, so the view is you'vegot to tow the line on those issues, and I I think that temptation is veryclear and I think you can see that all over the place and in a anyways. So letme jump in a Kondo, my wrap up here. I think what we're talking about heremore than anything else, is something that the three of us have discussedquite a bit, including on this podcast, is really the phenomenon of the innerring of a simple desire you want to be ableto fit in. You want to be able to fit in with the people that you care about.You don't care about fitting in with those people that you don't care about,but the ever there society is full of inner rings and the elites are one ofthose inner rings and there's a million different inner rings, to put it mildlyamong the elites right there and that's why. I think this discussion could be framed very differently abouthow all of us tend to want to fit in, and we tend to want to think tend tothink tribally about this and what will keep me in good terms with the in crowd?This is this is on brand for this podcast, but I was visiting my withinmy family earlier this spring and I was now driving the pickup truck andlistening to the wax out of out of South Dakota and all of a sudden. Youcan just almost feel all these assumptions begin to makesense suddenly, in a different context, messages reinforced. I think, there'sjust when you're around a lot. Who wants to be the one person who isalways out of step with everybody else?...

No matter where you are you just youwant to fit in there, and I will say this that, when you put when you putall of this together, the one area where you're really really really goingto be out of step today across the board, is if you're, at a step withliberals when it comes to sex and when you had to step with conservatives whenit comes to race that you're, basically you're, just not fitting in anywhere inour political dynamic and our cultural dynamic, and it's not a very fun placeto be and that'll. Let me connect this backand then we can there's. I gave a lot of put out a lot out there, but ifyou're an elite publisher, let's bring this back the beginning, and all of uswould be you know, kind of connected to this world. If you're an elitepublisher, you know a couple things. One of themis that you won't publish on abortion, you'll be very tempted not to becausethe sales aren't there. I can say that list I mean if I'm big, Eva InternetSite Guy, we publish on abortion all the time and it just people just aren'tinterested and it just doesn't get read. You can conclude that what you want,and if you publish on race, you will get a lot of attention, but you willget a ton of hate. You'll get a ton of hate of that. So this concept of fitting in of wantingto be liked by other people, I think broadens the conversation in a way thatshows that all of us are tempted in these ways and elites are tempted,maybe in certain ways. Okay, I throw a lot out there. All right well, Colin, as usual, has the big macro view.There is a lot of a lot of trees in that forest. I want to try to pick atithing agree with with eighty five percent of that yeah. Solet me like I'm a fifteen pick im o w. let melet me distill yeah a few other thoughts. I try to be real, quick andsome of this overlast with what you said, but number one. Every group isgoing to have some measure of elites. You can. You can start a conferencetomorrow and a publishing site tomorrow that all aimed at how bad, whatever,whatever big media, whatever big people, whatever put big in front of a big farmof big whatever, and if your et thing has any sick. What's that P, J, Flake Bigpig, big husker nation, so whateveryou do, if that has any success, somebody's going to decide who speaksthat your conference, somebody is going to decide who publishes on your site.Somebody is still going to have some lever of authority. What do you do withall the media of the money that comes in a and in a few ton of money? And, ifyou so, just if you I want that new thing, which is against the elites tohave any sort of brand consistency, you're going to have to have elites whoare calling the shot somewhere there? So that's first second- and you saidthis well calling and so to Justin, but we all have a crowd that we are inclined to appease,if not to appease. That may be too strong not to upset, and sometimes it'sfor very selfish prideful reasons. It could be that's why we don't we don'tknow our own motivation. Sometimes maybe it is for money. Maybe it isconnections. Maybe it is smoke field back rooms other times, it's well boy. This person said thisand you know what I have a relationship with them or there's a network that I'm in and boy. I don'tI'm going to deal with this privately or I'm going to sit this one out,because there's a relational cost, her an institutional cost and it doesn'tseem wise when you have no institution...

...to account for it's much easier to youknow when I was younger, I always felt like man, why don't people just alwayssay exactly what they think about everything that would just be easy.Well, those people don't in time build things because youhave to know when you say and when you wait for another day and when you workbehind the scenes, so we all have that inclination. Just that's two three, andthis is where some of the where I do agree with some of galleys emphasis and somwhatKarl said, and I don't know that the others would necessarily disagree, but we do have to be prepared to stand out.I was just preaching last Sunday eveningon Second Corinthian. Six do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and it's true. Many people have madethis observation, but it used to be for most of the history in this countrythat to be a Christian, was a net positive. It was good social for yoursocial standing and that wasn't all bad civil religion wasn't all bad. It madeconverting to Christianity more palatable easier. The downside wasit led to a lot of hypocrisy and nominalism. Then you move toChristianity as a net neutral, and I think that was some of the critiquesaying. We've moved past that stage where okay, as long as I do my job, I'mtolerant of other viewpoints- and I show that I can do the best workpossible- you know the broader world of Hollywood, the academy media, bigcorporations, though I can still rise to the top. I just have to berespectful of others and disagreements and show that I can do the work betterthan anybody else and that world does still exist in some parts of thecountry in some industries. So Real, quick just to land, this very long,Soliloquy plane that Colin and I have been flying separately to Justin,chagrin yeah. We need to be prepared to standout and the days of Christianity being a net cultural, positive or even a netneutral are gone in many places and certainly in most places of the academy,and that's where Carl's point was certainly well taken. We need to beprepared to have a Christianity with the cost and then the last thing is tosay I don't you know this is critical. Maybe it's self critical ifwe're of the elites or critical whoever the elites have been of Evangelicalism,I think many evangelicals in evangelicalism have been prone to miss a mood and to see it, and maybe a first reactionof some elites is to be dismissive of it, and some of this populous mood needs to becritiqued, but I think it is always a danger of whoever whatever you elite toyou are by some definition, if you're an elite by definition,something's working for you, you've people have listened to you, you have aposition of some kind, you have a platform of some kind, andso they're always is going to be a danger for those people to think. Well,look just just do what we did just play by the rules. Just why are you so upsetabout things? And so I think there is a real critique there to miss a mood thatthings aren't working for lots of people and there is a good reason to befearful not in a quivering sort of way,...

...but fearful of many things that are changing rapidly in our culture, and Ithink, when elites are quick to be dismissive of that and think that anysort of consternation over that is a problem, and if we just here's what I'm saying we can't justout nice our way. If that was ever the case, we can't do that anymore. If wejust are nice enough dog on it, people will like US- and that has beensomewhat a failure of elites across the board, and you knowjust to be fair. Nobody. Nobody has navigated these last five years. Verywell, there's just been so many issues, so many difficult issues and the theInternet we forget is what has made so many of these things possible in goodways and really bad in other ways, so that enough for that Colin or justinany final thoughts, Yeah Kevin, I'm just gonna, quickly give an example ofwhat you talked about right there and then I'll talk out of an Adjustin towrap up there, but the one example of that would be the way. Bread, Wilcoxand other sociologists will point this out. The Way Evan Gel elites inpolitics tend to be dismissive of the significance of marriage, but there's but there's a but they practice that they practicemarriage, but they don't preach it to others. So they say for everybody else.It's not that big a deal, but of course they know it's a big deal,so they do that. So that's kind of that mood that they kind of missed the wayworking class communities have dissolved, as as the sexual revolutionhas destroyed the nuclear family in many different ways or in some ways theeconomy has helped to contribute to that downfall. So they'll say on bothsides: You can both political sides. You can see problems there and that's agood has an easy example for me to say, because that's where my disagreementwith the elite opinion is is seen, but I'm sure we can come with many examplestoward ourselves. Justin do you have some words to wrap up? I just want togo back quickly. Comment your mention of the inner ring by CS Lewis andashamedly. I didn't think of the essay when this whole elite discussion wasgoing on, but it really is apropos and I think it was Andrew Wilson. Perhapswho mentioned that local church elder said, read Louis'sessay together once a year and just give you one quote from it. He says Ibelieve that in all men's lives, at certain periods in a many men's livesthat all appearance between infancy and extreme old age, one of the mostdominant elements is the desire to be inside the local ring and the terror ofbeing left outside. It's just really a timeless essay that we all need to takethe heart that that desire to be in the inner ring and if we have any level ofinfluence, we're going to be in an inner ring, and it's good to heedLouis's advice and to be aware of it and to work against someof the unfortunate tendencies that tend to obtain when we are part of such aclub or a culture. It's a great word Justin. Let me let me just end by trying to encouragepastors and let me say to all our listeners, lest you think we are elites,you should see how convoluted our technology lies. Are we never can getthis thing started and the power went out here. I dropped out. We can't seeJustin, he can't I tol my Mike somebody else. So if this is a bit disjointed,that's that's why? Because we are certainly not elites when it comes topodcasting capabilities, but I did want to just land on tryingto encourage. I know we have lots of different listeners, but for pastors itcan- and somebody pointed out that it is interesting how...

...the conversation about elites usually takes place. Without pastors Imean it's, it's people who have other sorts of platforms and we're happy tolisten to those people and I benefit from them, and but it can be dispiriting to be apastor. Here's a a tweet- I don't know you know, I'm not even familiar withthis person, but this was a tweet that I think Justin pointed out a couple ofweeks ago, and it it really hit home with me as a pastor. He said as socialmedia and society fos focuses almost exclusively on bad pastors and badpastoring. There is almost no cultural support or encouragement for a sincerestruggling pastor. It is a thankless job outside of the encouragement ofsome faithful, saints and with within the congregation next tweet. As anexample, I usually face many critical responses of pastors s and the Churchat large whenever I post anything that addresses the needs of sincere pastors.Some do not want that discussion to be made public. This harms the generalhealth of the Church and church leaders Douglas Burst. Bursch not be familiar with him, but thank you.Brother is a very good word and it is easy to whether we're talking aboutelites or we're talking about you know the Mars Hill podcast and theabusive authority, which in elites have failed at times and power gets abused.All of that is true, and yet, in the midst of it, it can seem verydiscouraging for the local church, Pastor, who's sitting there saying I:Where do I fit in what? What support is there for me, I'm trying to prepare asermon this week? I don't have time to way into these Meta Evangelicaldiscussions. Now, I'm people are suspicious of my own influence or authority, and what sortof support is there for me in the midst of two years that have a tumultuouselection and race riots and we're back to fightingabout masks again and all of that, and so just want to encourage brotherpastors out there to keep your hand to the plow and pay attention to your Greek and yourHebrew and your English Bible before you listen to podcast like this beforeyou need to be well informed on the controversy door. Your labors are notin vain and your work matters and your sermon matters and it's always a burdenof mine. I'm sure, because I am a pastor to want to encourage the localchurch pastor in the midst of all these larger discussions, which can bedizzying and at times feel like wow, we're all failing, no brother you're,very likely not failing in your compassion and your care and your hardwork to care for best. Justin Colin, thank you for being herein the midst of technical difficulties and we'll try to do it again until nexttime or if I got enjoy him forever and read a good one. I.

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