Life and Books and Everything
Life and Books and Everything

Episode · 1 year ago

What the 2020 Election Means


In this episode of Life and Books and Everything, Kevin, Collin, &
Justin wrestle with the current state of the 2020 election. Why doesn’t it seem
to be a clear victory for the Left or the Right? What does it mean for the
church? Does your vote have an inherent meaning, or is it entirely dependent
upon your intentions? And they do indulge in just the right amount of rank


College Football [1:32 – 5:05] 

Talking about the Election [5:05 – 33:11] 

Does a vote have an inherent meaning? [33:11 – 48:48] 

Alex Trebek [48:48 – 59:06] 

What book, movie, or music do you go to when you need to reorient yourself?
[59:06 – 1:08:49]  

Book & Music Recommendations:


The old, red United Methodist Hymnal 


The Heidelberg Catechism 

The Valley of Vision 

Preaching & Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 

any systematic theology 

The Planets, mvt. 4, “Jupiter” (Thaxted) by Gustav Holst 

The Mission: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture by Ennio Morricone   


Psalm 131 

“God Moves in a Mysterious Way” by William Cowper 

It's fo welcome back to life and books andeverything this is Kevin Deon with Justin Taylor and Colin Hanson. It isgood to be with you all. We are recording this on Mondays November nine.So whenever this airs, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday morning, we should not beheld responsible for any breaking news catastrophes, anything else that hasgone on in the world. We meant to record a post election podcast lastweek, but we decided there was. There was so much news unsettled. So muchnews still happening so much noise going around at the world would bequite all right without the three of US loviating for an hour about what we saw.So we decide to put that off a few days and you can get some of it right now,so we are glad to be with you again. We do not have a sponsor. So all of thethe pizza ranches, the Bo Jangols of Mouo Zero Yeah Mountain do well, let'sget the real thing. Let's some some Code Red Mountain do whatever's outthere. Yes, we're all ere rockway will be back. IsOur SPROSSO will be back? We Yer back it's not that they were upset oroffended by the material of this podcast, hopefully not so start with. What's important collegefootball, so it looks like Michigan State is probably going to go one andseven, but the one win is against Michigan and almost I mean I think,every Spartan Fan. They said you want to go seven to one or one and sevenIndoy we'll take one and seven and we beat Michigan how bad must Michigan beto lose to the team that loses to rutgers and gets blown out by Iowa. Howdo do that Bill Kevin? What how good did that feel to beat Michigan or getnos the ruckers Bull Yeah Wafter we lose the rinkers. Idecided I just one less thing for my emotions to care about this year, so Ididn't even pay attention until I decided to check about halftime of theMichigan Michigan stay game, I said: Hey were we're winning and I told mykids guys turn this on we're not losing and then Iowa iowas. So bad as I textedyou guys. We were so far behind, not even mail and ballots from Philadelphiacould say Thas we were in bad shape. I'll tell youwhere my heart is as a husker fan. Don't know if you saw that little excerpt that time Keller postedabout how you know, if you know, ane of your political parties is become anidolatry and I wurdkin about rewriting the whole thing for sports. So that'show that's hot my matter day, Wan, that's what that's what Losingtonnorthwestern does for people? It might be good. Three Ou know: Hey look it's atop three national defense Maryland struggled in their first game, couldn'tscore and its gone on to blow everybody out since then Iowa that struggledagainst northwestern's defense. They went on to blow you guys out. MichiganState. They might be legit well find out this week, oth against purdue, sothey were not as bad as they should have. They looked last year that was anaboration anyway Wut, don't you feel like with pafis Gerald. You generallythink we're going to we're going to playbetter than we should and that's what that's. What all you can hope for is anorthwestern we're going to be better than we should be on paper. Yeah t sand the style of football is going to frustrate the opponent like Nebraska.It's just going to frustrate them because I say wait a minute. This justdoesn't, it looks like we can win. This is kind of ugly, but then, if you'renorth western Fan, you realize that every game is like that. Every game isthat way against Iowa against everybody. It always feels ugly. Why aren't wescoring you don't realize northwestern's entire defense isdesigned to allow you to move between the twenties fool you into false hopeand then shut you down in the end. But no more than one Nebraska reporter,independently referred to the game, is a rock fight which is not pooplay likewhat you you know get up early on Saturday morning, like hey kids, comeloklet's, futch, a rocks fight out in the back yard, whaever northwesterns, playing atnorthwestern my kids say is that is that a high school stadium? Well, I was-I was actually thinking this last week that I'm really glad there were no fansthere, like Justin, who was there two years ago for a game that I'm surehe'll. Remember, because then northwestern did not haveto run a silent count at home. I know Nebraskas Fa there, so God bless Tus,northwestern fans, we're just spread all over the world and we're not therein Evanston to support our team. Sadly,...

...all right. This is a transition to to talking about the election whichwe'll do for a bit. We won't do for the whole time, butmy serious questionJustin, since you're close to Nebraska and fora moment in time it was very conceivable that Nebraska's Omaha district could haveput Biden over the top for the wind. If you know all the states that were stillin play, people were saying what, if he wan two seventwud and sixtyeight because of Nebraska. was there a lot of chatter about that just over theriver, because that doesn't utually happened, that Nebraska gives any oftheir delegation to the Democrat yeah? I actually wasn't. I had golp lettersurgery that day yeah. I was not paying attention to like s for part of the day yeah. I didn't actually hear about thatvery much and prior to the election I mean. I thinkpeople know that it's a it's kind of this Qirky little thing,but I didn't hear a lot of talk about it. It just seemed like given the wayin which two thousand and twenty has worked so far- that it was going to endup with some weird glitch like T, tw, sixte, nine T, wudred and sixty nine or the the only thing that felt like itwas inevitable. Is that it wouldn't be a boring night and guess that proved true to some degree.How e you feeling, by the way, Justin you you feeling better after thissurgery, how you doing everything hurts and I feel like I'm dying, you know Ifeel fine. You had your gobletter removed or justthings that were not good in the goal. Ledder. I think that they only removeit like if there's anything wrong with it. They just take it out. Did you SA? Have it like yeah? I haveit like on my desk enough for Meldahide Jaryou Nat was the picture yeah great.I asked the surgeon later like, so how many stones were they and how big werethey like he's like we don't count, we really don't care, we just take it oOlike, a surgeon, whe's, a man, a few words Yeah Wer, getting it out of there. I'm nothere to entertain I'm here to take out body parts exactly so here's where we are on the election,and there are so many political podcast and there's so manyother things. People can listen to or follow on the news to get their fix ofrank pundetree. So we'll try to steer clear from just the political INS and out Tho.Some of that may come into our analysis, but my question for you guys is, as you think, about where we are rightnow and let's just say that I know that the are lawsuits there are thingscoming to the courts about recounts or possible ballot handling Shenanigins,and I think it's safe to say that doesn'tseem like that's going to go somewhere, but you know, I think, most everyoneegrees. We want every ballot, every legal ballot counted nothing more,nothing less. So if there is more of a process to go through, certainly some people listening. Thismay be absolutely convinced that there issomething to find out and others quite sure that there isn't and just want toput the whole thing behind us so for the most part werwe're just we want tolet that play out and pray for transparency and honesty and that theEnde result would be better trust for our our system ofgovernment. So, if there's something to find out, we find it out, but where westand right now certainly looks like and seems like Joe Biden is going to bethe next precident we may or may not have a Republican Senate to run offelections in Georgia. Republicans surprisingly picked up anumber of seats in the house which no one really saw coming so there's a lotof different ways to describe what happened and what is still unfolding.So Colin I'll start with you. What are two or three takeaways you have for yourself, as you think about theelection and in particular, as it relates to Christians, Anto the churchthere, some things you're thinking about or some some lessons that you'repondering one week after the election will bear with me. These will all becontestable just like the election and with a range of in and out of thepolitics and as it as it works into the religion. There have only been four presidentswho have lost after one term in the...

...last century, and so what we've seenthis last week is is historic. It's not common, very, very, very difficult todefeat n incumbent president running for reelection. Republicans have alsolost seven out of the eight last popular votes for president now.CAVIATT, of course, nobody's campaigning for winning the popularvote. So it's not necessary at the same time is probably just not a good signfor National Party and so something's, not quite working in theRepublican coalition, at least for president, but nobody has a clear idea of what'snotworking or why so a lot of the time in the upcoming weeks months years isgoing to be spent trying to sort that sort that out, I mean four years ago,or you know, before trump was elected. I was convinced Republicans were goingto ditch social conservatives and go for a more libertarian type strategythat couldn't have been more wrong and now moving in a more populistdirection, and I think it probably has better possibilities in terms ofcontrast with the Democratic Party and for just for sheer numbers of votes. Butthe point being politics is great for making seeminglysmart people just dumb about stuff. So I'm nottrying to make a sort of a statement about exactly what I think should bedone about that, but just to say what we saw was was historic and was part ofan ongoing long term trend. That's problematic for Republicans. You mentioned Kevin the House and in anumber of different places, Republicans generically or running for Congress orstatehouse statehouses or governor performed better than president trump.That wasn't the case everywhere, but it was the case in some notable places,and so you could see there was not. The anticipated is what a lot of media hadexpected: The anticipated sharp leftword Ture Wave Yeah exactly theblue wave, the turn for the whole country in part, because, yes,president trump did turn out huge record numbers of people to voteagainst him, but the Republicans and president trump also turned out a lotof people themselves, and so there wasn't that big shift. I don't know howyou guys read those results because it'clearly not some kind of radicalleftward shift, and yet we now have recreational marijuana in South Dakota and we also have a president trump, whowas very open himself, but especially through his wife proudly boasting of being the firstpresident of all time, the United States to support GAM marriage when hecame into office in two thousand and sixteen. So what is Republican is notthe same thing as what is what is conservative or what is sociallyconservative there, and so it's hard to read no major huge leftword shift, andyet the Republican Party and its voters have shifted to the left on socialissues to a certain extent. So that's hard to kind of get a read on. Let megive you one more well, let me interject Quicki strantually with thatCalifornia Calle Fornia rejected whatever they're, calling it thatdiversity measure by pretty significant right margin and and Louisiana bandabortion or affirmed their earlier band. You know with rovy waite if that getsoverturned, that it'll be written in that it's not going to be legal inLouisiana a but then also Nevada wrote gay marriage into their constitution ifthat gets overturned. So you're right, it's hard. That's why I'm saying it'shard to get a read on exactly what happened. So it's easy to say there wasno huge leftword shift, but it doesn't appear necessarily that it was avictory for social conservatives. It just kind of it's just kind ofmuddied, but then you look at places like Orange County. California, with itlooks like to, if I understand correctly, to pro life women. You Know House members who ran ahead ofpresident trump and that area listeners can correct me if I'm wrong on that. Ihaven't done a ton of research on that, but Orange County was one of thenotable places that two and four years ago just got Republicans really gotthumped there. So my last two points one is that this is. Is PresidentTrump's Republican party- and I think you see that in part with Mea, thatseems obvious, but the fact I think we've only had two senators come outand sort of acknowledge the results, as we understand them so far. Tleast amRekowski in in Alaska and then Mit Romney in Utah, which is not surprisingbecause they've been the two biggest critics of trump from within theRepublican Senate. So I mean he really does leadthe party, but what's going to be...

...difficult, for Republicans, is that what's best for president trumpspecifically and personally is not necessarily what's best for theRepublican Party in general? So typically I mean unless they can find away to increase his increases constituency as apresidential loser, they've got to be able to move on, but that's not what'sbest for him. Whas best for him would be to continue to stoke the you knowstoke interest in his own personal brand in his own candidacy and to keepthe dream alive. That he'll run again to be the only the second presdent ofall time to win to nonconsecutive terms for office and so I'll be watching tosee which and how many Republicans believe it is in their best politicalinterests to oppose president trump to carve out of space for them. In the end. One last point- and I know I've gone ontoo long here, but this is specifically related to the religious side of thingsbecause, like you said Kevin, there's plenty of people they can get all thePundetrey from we've seen a very interesting Christianalliance that come together around president trump and he's inspired a lotof confidence and conviction in a group ofpeople, and it ranges all the way from post millennial, reconstructionists toprosperity, Gospel all the way from Palawit to Kenneth Coplan to to Bethel in reading California, toBaptist revivalists to reformed southerners, whether it be SouthernBaptist or PCA. That is a a coalition that has pretty extreme theologicaldifferences from one another, but for whom the politics, and specificallypresident trump, has brought a great amount of of Cobeligerency, and Iwonder: Does that coalition continue without president trump to draw themall together? I don't have any answers, but that's something I'm looking for. That's really good. That was a lot. No, that's good! Let melet me jump in with mine, then we'll get to justin and then we'll see whatquestions we have for each other, so I've three thoughts, one. We should not over interpret theresults of the election you hit on some of that. Already it's very difficult.You can. You can make out a plausible case for all sorts of interpretationsof what happened and as we were texting over the last few daysin one sense, it's not a lot different from two thousand and sixteen. Theseare just rough estimates. But if you take California out of the equation-and I know it's a big state- the biggest you can't just take it, but ifyou did it's about exact, it's about fift, Fifty Republican, an Democrat whoyou voted for for president with California. It's two or threepercentage points more toward the Democrats. If in two thousand andsixteen you rearranged about twenty five thousand thirty thousend votes in Wisconsin Michigan, an PennsylvaniaHilary is the president we're not having this conversation if, dependingon how everything turns out in some of these states. But you know, if yourearrange forty or Fiftyhusano votes this time around you're talking aboutshacker, again trump wins, so we should be careful both in reinterpreting twothousand and sixteen as some trump landslide or reinterpreting this. Theelectoro college does what it does and that numbers what matters, but we'renot talking about a vastly different outcome. So this reminds me in sports,one of my pet peeves in sports is, you can have you know two teams playingbasketball and it comes down to the end and the guys fouled and r down by oneand he misses two free throws and now suddenly all of the Post gamecommentary is all about. Well, they you know the team that won. They just havethe heart of a champion and everything is described as if it were inevitablethat they are in every way superior when, from human point of view, it was the luck ofa role or a bounce in suddenly were telling a completely different onelittle thing changed: One Free Throw Win in win out, one small thing changedand now we're telling a completely different story. No everything else about that game was thesame, but now you're describing with an entirely different narrative, and so Ithink we need to be careful not to over interpret, and you know that's what both sides tend todo all of a sudden. There's a mandate.

Well, I don't know how you determine. Iguess I would say if you're Reagan, one thousand nine hundred and eighty fouryou can say you have something of a mandate. I don't think any of the lect electionssince we've been voting could be described as a mandate. They're veryclose were very divided country politically, so don't over interpret here's a second takeaway. This moviehas more to do with the church, just in I agreed with your post on where you are going against a pro lifecase for voting for Biden. So let's just talk about pro lyfers listening tothis, some of whom voted for trump, some of whom didn't vote for trump. I I think we in the church have not done enough to try to understand why people who have most of the same politicalconvictions on paper most of the same important theological convictions onpaper, come to very, very different opinions untrump. So what I mean is, I think, if you arein the church- and it's not all generational, butlet's just say if your our generation are older and you're, not at least thinking about. Why is it that the younger you are the more distasteful a conservativeChristian found trump, if you're not at least trying to think that through andtrying to have some creative imagination of how someone could cometo that conclusion? Even if it's not your conclusion and, conversely, if, if call them the elites call themwhatever the call them never trumpers. If thosesort of folks in our circles don't try to understand why someonemight find trump to be not just to hold your nose but okay, Idon't like what he stands for personally in his character, butconsider him to be their sort of champion. No, I'm noteven saying whether I agree or disagree with both of those views, but I thinkwe've been very quick to just think. If you come to a different conclusionabout thrump, it's so patently obvious and inparticular not ont, want to say in particular, because I think it goesboth ways, but I think what I'm seeing it in saw again with theseelection results. There are a lot of people who hen they're, probably theones not listening to this podcast they're, not on twitter they're, notand they're, not following the Naws were an anomaly to know. What's goingon in all the states, and I mean I had very smart people that I know and Imfriends with who have advanced degrees who are texting me on Thursday. Like so what happened?What states are still out there? How do you not know that? Aren't youdown to like bucks, county and Alegheni and aren't you following the precinctby presing? No most people aren't, and so I think we need to try tounderstand why there has been this affinity for trump. Some of it has been. Certainly we can see ways inwhich it's misplaced and then there's other aspects that I think we need tosay. Okay, what's going on here, because it's not just about trump Coliny you're, the the one who's so good at macro analysis, but it has to do withBrexit. It has to do with a number of movements around the world. Call itpopulace call whatever, but there is this sense of you know. Trump certainly has a a hasformed a populous sort of coalition, and if the exit polls are to bebelieved, actually more women, more minorities voted for him in higherpercentage than before. So there's something there to at least thinkthrough and hin the married and one married women were the strongestconstituency for drunk yeah Le Mean, which is interesting, because I sawsomething you know. One of one of the things that President Biden will likely do is pushfor something that I think a lot of people are going to imagine to be just an obvious good, which is forfederally funded Preschool. Okay, hat's been a common thing throughout and you just you might think. Well,what's, okay! Well, who would be against that? That's that's great. Idon't know if you guys saw the division of like which professions or jobs aremost supportive of trump and which ones...

...a biden. I don't know if you guys sawthe one profession that is the most supportive of trump homemakers women at home, and that did not surprise me at all alot of I mean within the bigger division. You can break down littledivisions and one of the biggest divisions we see in Politics IndAmerica today, which includes our churches. This is a message to churchleaders to us, and others is a division between married and single women right,very, very significant divisions there. So as a political lens that reflects areality within our churches and that's something we can learn and payattention to, and a little bit surprising from what people wouldexpect. SOBIA married women more likely to vote for trump than married men were yeah so last point and then we'll getjust in by the time this comes out. I think myblog will be out where I I argue that I think we would all do well, or most ofus would do well to just say a lot less that allison krow song wasn't firstwith her. I think, but you say it best when you say nothing at all. I justsometimes think all the caveats of sometimes we speak and some people arereally good at it, and but I just look at my twitter feet or facebook or onlinein particular, and I think wha. Why do you need to give yourrunning commentary? Is there any special expertise? You have an e special knowledge that you erecalled upon to give, and my one of my biggest concerns in all this is how politics has become our nationalpastime, even our national religion, because think about it. We don't watchthe same movies. We don't watch the same television shows we don't live inthe same. We have all T hes these pluroformity of cultures ind the onething that is nationalized at a massive scale now ar electoral politics. Soit's th one thing we all can kind of be into, but it's the one thing thatbrings us together. That then brings us apart, and we may think that giving ourconstant hot takes is really influencing the culture reallydiscipling others, but it's probably just annoying more people than it'shelping and it. How much is it really transforming the culture when I thinkit reflects that we have already been inundated by the culture, because we'retalking about all the things that the media tells us we should be talkingabout, and yes, I have thoughts on almost allof these things and restrain myself from sharing most of them, because I'mjealous that when people think of Kevin D, Young or Christ covenant or RTS orTGC or whatever, I'm affiliated with, they think Bible, teaching, good theology reformdoctrine and they don't think. First of all, that's the guy that is for oragainst this candidate. Now, if we're going to talk about politics, becausewe should it matters, Christians have always talked about it. Then, let's getback to some first principales or let's, let's argue about you, know what Thomas Soul calls theconstrained vision or the unconstrained vision. Let's talk on that level ofmoral philosophy on Christian theology, engaging with politics rather thanhere's the latest breaking news, and I need to tell you why it alreadyconfirms what my priors are so end of sermon. Justin, you have been patientwith us, set us all straight with your your oracle from on Hih. Let the refutationsbegin yeah. I A number of thoughts, of course,probably not as cleanly neatly organizedis you brothers, but one thing that strikes me is just thattwitter is not real life. I think that's a good, absolutely follow upfrom Kevin's observations just from the Exit Poles- and you know, if you, ifyou're only portal into reality, is twitter. You ere going to be veryconfused by what happened and the ends Andalogidi. You see the Bideng campaignsaid the last two weeks. They all theyre, not twitter, no yeah that was OA. SMART move, yeah,very smart move. So that's one thing I just we all needto get out. We need to talk to people, we need to listen. We need to not thinkthat a certain self selected slice of virtual reality is full reality. Of course it is part of reality, but it's got that thewhole thing. I think we should explicitlyacknowledge the blessings of a peaceful transition to power, even ifa president trump takesvarious states... court and does not readily acknowledge defeat. I think that we will end up having apeaceful transition of power. I don't think there's going to be bloodshed. Idon't think he's going to refuse to leave the White House and I thinkthat's one of those things that is so easy for us to take for granted that welive in a country where every four years it may go back and forth between eachparty, but that that tradition exists and it is ablessing another blessing, I think, is just that.We have a free press that can report things from an explicitly conservativeviewpoint from an explicitly progressive standpoint. I think thatthat comes with drawbacks. I think in particular the curse ofTwenty F. seven news is we're reaping the results of that. There is notbreaking news every minute of the day, three hundred and sixty five days outof the year and at some point I think we have to acknowledge that the mediais not the problem. The media is entirely dependent upon us as theconsumers of media, and so we enable the press to be what it is, and I think I think it's problematic. I think another reminder for me Odt ofthis election. This is not e. The rank pundotret that you guys are so eagerfor, but won e FIC o rain Pon Te Tree. I know,but I know you love frank, pundercrate. Okay, I'll give you one rage. PUNDATRYthing the Democrats every year, with with twoexceptions that I can think of, have nominated an exceptionally boringperson to be there standard beer. So go back to Carter. One thousand ninehundred ad eighty loses me just the prototypical boring white guy who dothey follow up with four years later Walter Mondale four years after that,Michael Dukakis, I mean these. You cannot pick more boring lesscharismatic people on the planet. They make an exception with Clinton. He wints back to back collection, a guy,even if you hate him he's got charisma. He's interesting, he's interesting tolisten to you're. After that they go to Gore, then the carry Tho surprise theylost both of those. Then they make the exception with Obama and then hilarywho is just sort of in a category of her own. I think people were excitedabout her because she was a woman, but nobody thinks that she hasextraordinary gifts of charisma and then Biden. I mean another sort ofboring white guy, but this is the one election where the one thing that youneeded to be is just boring. You don't don't need any otheraccomplishment. I mean they had all sorts of other interesting charactersthat they could have nominated, but finally nominating the most boringcandidate that they could pays off for the Democrats, withexceptions of Clinton and Obama in there. So that's that's my rankpundatree striking to me that as I've reflected upon what does itmean to vote, my my working proposal is that votesactually do not have a meaning, there's, no inherent meaning again, that'sreally deep mad! No meaning in your vote there is no inherent meaning, I thinkit all resides in somebody's intention. So that means that we must not be judgmental upon somebodyfor the mere fact that they cast a vote, whether they voted for a third party,but they've voted for one of the candidates. It all depends upon. Why would youdiscipline a person for voting for a particular candidate or not voting fora particular candidate? I think we need to think more deeplay about w what isthe meaning of of a vote and an, I think, Wevewe'vesort of just had a simplistic approach to that. So let Mebe ow push on that, becausepeople listening will push and say. Well, aren't you, the guy who wroteabout there's, not a good prolide case for voting for Biden? Are you justsaying then Justin that vote doesn't matter whever Ye vote foris fine Christians Cavote for anybody? No, I'm not saying that, and I think wecan make good arguments forvoting for somebody against voting for somebody,but the act of voting in and of itself with no other contextual informationdoes not give us a lot of information. True, because for somebody it can meana full fledged endorsement. I want to publicly endorse this person everythingthat they stand for. Somebody could cast a vote for a candidate and say Ihate these ten things, but this one thing rises to the surface in adisproportionate way. I just don't think that we can tell what...

...a vote means in and of itself withoutknowing background without knowing arguments, and I think somebody couldare you a convoluted. In my perspective, it could be unpersuasivePerl life argument for voting for Biden, which I would disagree with, and Iwould want to argue that, but that's why I think we must be very slow to kind of go tothe church discipline button when it comes to voting without knowing moreinformation. So, in other words, I think only way to disagree with mewould be to say. Yes, voting has such an inherent meating that no matter whatyour intentions are, no matter what you think you ere accomplishing. You havecommitted a defacto sin by the mere fact of using your pen to color in acertain circle going soyou'd say the same thing thenabout partied registrations. Right that registering for a certain partyhas no inherent meaning yeah. I think so I mean I think, that what ourunderstanding of meaning is is that you have to think through intentionality.What are the motivations for that and in the country of this many millionpeople there's going to be tens of thousands, hundreds ofthousands of different motivations and rationales and proposals and puttingthings together. So I think we've just started with that assumption that thata vote has an inherent meaning, and I I would just want to push back on that alittle bit. I think I think, there's a reason for that.Justin. I think, when I saw Republicans responding to the election results, itwasn't even necessarily about president trump winning and him being able tohave certain kind of power and to carry out a certain vision for how to governthe country. It was more about hey, look at us. There are so many of usthey mock us. They call US names, they think we're losers, but see there aretens of millions of people who agree with me. So I think the reason Justin thatpeople wait the vote with so much meaning isbecause it's a tribal marker and I think that's one reason why, when I'veseen people criticize folks like devor or Piper or others when it comes totheir denial of identifying with the Republican Party and calling themelites. Well, that to me is the sign that to me as the sign that what you'retalking about here is not it's about a tribal marker and you're you're, not byby voting a certain way, you're, not identifying with the right tribalmarker, and, I think that's what makes people so upset is because I think waita minute you're, not part of our group anymore, because the intent has a lotto do with whether or not you're on the you're in the right group andeverything that comes with that. Do you think that's fair Justin or o Yeah I doand hat relates to to. The last point I was going to make is the the disease I have about Christians andchurches dividing not so much over strategy and not so much over positionwhen it comes O to voting and support, but to posture that there's a certaininclination to say I'm with these people who take this posture andthis tone and this tactic that seems to be uniting people intogreater tribe than our doctrine and our share commitments, which I think shouldhave a deeper foundation and deeperresidence with us, an yeah. So I agree, I think, with eighty five orninety percent of all of that. I definitely agree, and I've been tryingto say this on my blog and on this podcast, that what we mean by voting is ambiguous andelastic. So I'd have to think if, if you knowphilosophically, if I want to use the word meaningless, I know what you mean.You don't mean it's unimportant, you mean the meaning is not inherent,that's the one you use inherently without meaning yeah, meaning so, but Iwouldn't say I meaningless right no mean it was yeah. So I could. I could imagine scenarios where perhaps a a referendum, a ballotmeasure, that's so clear that there is an inherent meaning to aryou, for you know allowing husbands to kill their wives, yes or no ityou. What, and so, I think you wouldagree with that. There are certain extreme scenarios where there may be aninherent meaning, but I do agree with what you're saying, which is why Ithink it's dangerous to cast aspersions when what we'redisagree. What we think we're disagreeing on are these matters of first Importas,and what we may really be disagreeing on is how we construe of the act ofvoting itself.

The other thing- and I don't I don'tknow if theres a pushback against anything you guys are saying, but maybeat pushback against some of what I con sense out there. I do not have I'll, say anabaptist andsome anibaptistis listening and saying: That's not how we think of it, but whatI think of as a historic, Anda, baptist approach to politics, maybe theneighbors Christ against culture or the Shane clayboard Jesus for presidentwell, Jesus is not on the ballot for president. So I think there there is aninstinct that some people can have that we just need to rise above all of this messy partisanpolitics, not getsour hands dirty in it. I'm for Jesus, I'm for King Jesus,coming on the throne and kind of a pox on both of your houses, and I don'tlike the Republicans or the Democrats. Of course, there's a lot. That's truein all of that, and yet you know for the foreseeable future andhas been this way for a hundred and fifty years, if you're going to have atleast legislative or electoral impact, you're going to do it in this country,through the Republican or through the Democrat Party, and so I don't think wecan just wash our hands of that and say I don't belong to any of them andthey're all equally bad and equally I d n't, and that's not what you guys aresaying, but I just want to push back on anyone who thinks we can avoid somehowthe messiness of it. You agree with that. Do I completelyagree with that, and I you know talking about political homelessness. I getthat and I resonate with it to some degree, and yet it always strikes me as ironically, some sort of I am superiorto all of you out there who just can't see the light and are so blinded byyour partisanship, whether to left ot to the right and as if Jesus somehow, if he were to come back,would disagree with half of the GOP agenda and half of the DemocraticAgenda and would propose some third way that nobody's ever thought of. Before. Again, I think like you're saying Kevin,you know there's there's grains of truth in there. If there wasn't Greanthe truth, it would just be ridiculous and it would be dismissed out of hand,but this idea that we're kind of perfectly calibrated t you know Jesusis too liberal for the Conservatives andHese vice versa. On the other side, I those are all pet peeves of mine, and Itotally agree with you. I see where O guys are coming from that,but I do want to say that I don't think this is the best our two politicalparties can be, and you have limited options of being able to send a messageto politicians who tend not to respond to any message other than you're fired. So it's just it's a tough situationthere. So how do you come in and say this is how politics works. It'sapproximate good. None of us is completely above sort ofthe act of loving our neighbor through politics. Yet the same time, surely weshouldn't settle for this turely. This is got to be better. Whatare my options of being able to do this, and how do you break the cycle of apolitical dynamic where the only thing necessary is that you're not as bad asthe other Guy Right? That's explicitly how campaigns are run. I don't have anygood answers here, guys, I'm just saying: that's where the anabaptistpart of me comes out a little bit more and I think I share a little bit ofKelleran Piper's distaste for politics, but it's not because I have a distasefor politics in general. I agree in principle. I have a distaste for wherewe've arrived Tou at this political moment. That's what's frustrating to meat the risk of descending into some rank pundetree to counter intuitive inclinations. Wonder if you agree withthem one- and you know I hear this all the time and you guys probably arelistening to some of the same people. I am who make this point, and that isthat our political parties are too weak. Not that they're too strong, strongerpolitical parties would tend to give us not full proof, but better politicalcandidates. It wasn't always- or it often has notbeen this way for most of history- that you essentially have a general campaignelection campaign for your two nominees. We can decry backroom deals and smokefilled rooms, and you know conventions deciding at all,but the convention really doesn't decide it, and you can make a case thatstronger political parties would do more to weed out candidates that theythought were worse,...

...certainly think you saw the DemocratParty do that this year, all coalescing to get the person that they thoughtthey didn't think. Bernie Sanders was going to be trump and he probablywouldn't have they did they did in two thousand andtwenty. What Republicans did not do in Twinns Riteenn? That's right and by theway there is a movement just speaking of what you're talking about there. Let's see senators Bensas mice Lee andRan Paul, I'm trying to see of who else have all come out in favor of repealingthe Seventeenth Amendment Yeah the Constitution, the direct election ofsenators as a way of trying to strengthen the institutions of theparty, as opposed to the platforming of more radical direct appeals to people,basically, a move back toward republicanism. Broadly speaking, cat, Imean not not party but Republican identity as opposed to democraticidentity and the other counter intuitive, and wasn't it Greg Foresterwho said this or we got. You know heard this through some of our friends, butothers have made this point. We can, in America, sort of think if only we hadmore parties, if we only had a third party that would get the best of ofboth worlds and that would be the home for everyone. Well, maybe, but lots ofother countries and parliamentary systems have multiple parties, and theyhave you know huge disappointment with whothey get to vote. For course, a parliamentary system is different andwith a prime minister from the party than a president, but it's also thecase that when you have two parties, they have to be very broad coalitions theyre as bad as we think it is whenyou have to hold together. Both parties do a very disperate coalition ofinterest. You talked about just the different theological camps, let aloneall the different rival interest that voted for trump or voted for biden,there's something that can be very good when it prevents extremes by saying wel. We have to be awhole lot of things to a lot of people. If we're going to try to get thesevotes and it in some sense, it comes down to is government working betterwhen it has a really hard time getting things done, a conservative would sayyeah I mean who was it, who tweetedsomething the summary or the federalist papers? Did you do that today? Justin? I think I retweeted it from. Was Itfrom Paul Miller Yeah? What was it something like? The federalism isddesigned to delute stupidity or decend like Yeah Decentralize Stupidity. So ifyou think good government is doing all sorts of stuff, then that's frustrating,but if you think frustrating government and gumming it up and slowing it downis better than you know. It's not all that bad ireal.Imagine I would imagine greg by the way, has in mind Israeli politics when he'sthinking about multiple parties. He's thinking about how rarely do one of themajor parties win an election outright yeah for the Cannesset, and so whatyou've seen in year after year? Is the LAKUD party needing to incorporatebasically make a deal with the far right parties to be able to get powerand that ends up actually making their politics more extreme and entrenched atleast that's an interpretation. I'm just passing that along. That's one tcan create example of what you're talking about the right. If we had fivepolitical parties and you could win states with twenty five percent andseventy five percent of the people did not want you, but you on that preventsthat that makes even more people unhappy more people feel as if theirvoices not hur, all right. We're ready to land the plane in the last fifteenminutes with a couple other topics- at's good, so real, quick. This isn't more fun because it's sad,but you would have seen that Alex Trebecpassed away on Sunday, age, eighty pint creatic cancer for anyone listeningoutside of the US and not sure if you see jeopardy syndicated wherever youare, but it's been a main stay of American television since the S Patsajic doing wheel of fortune andthen jeopardy, which is the classic quid show and Alex Trebec who wasbeloved by mini and led with a kind of cool if at times, disdainfulprofessionalism but was beloved by many, and I just wonder thoughts on. Did you guys grow upwatching jeopardies it something that you did? I do admit that normally Justin knowsthis. Normally, when some famous person dies and everyone starts tweeting gut,it crush I'm Goin, Ta Pool on my own tears. I couldn't go outside today:Kevidy Ong, pet peeves, Keven dfenty,... ar all the people crying all thetime. My favorite character, unsame by the bell he's gone. I can't go out okay,but I really have been Kevin is secretly British for offeextuly he'sDutch American, but actually British personeway so, but I have watchedjeopardy for years and years and years and most nights at my home. If I'mthere, we turn it on D at least some of us arewatching it and the kids watch it and I love jeopardy. I love the questions.I've tried out for the online, you know I filled that out and never got thecall to go on the show. My kids are waiting for it. Tsot we can get rich,but I love jeopardy and Alex Trebek was was great. I have some, you know funnyclips of him doing funny things, but whatar I'll get back to that. What doyou guys take? Do you do you care about this news and he lessons to draw? I just was one of my one of my favoritestories guys my college roommate and Tom mcgrafth pardon jeopardy. It wasthe Christmas Two Thousand and Twelve Episode December, Twenty Fif, twothousand and twelve, and here was the answer en ask you guys? Okay, this. Ithink this was, I think it was as a daily double okay. This common Irishprefix comes from the French name for Sun. What is the question this common Irish freefacix comes fromthe French name for Sun all rigll give it to you what is ma?Okay, that is what Tom McGrath yeah as what Tom said. What is Oh, the correct. The correct answer is whatis fits and what I loved about this is that Tomresponded with a phrase that alx TREBEC did not understand. He said sorry,coach Axtrebeck said it's all right. ActuallyTom had said. If I get this wrong, I'm going to be in a lot of trouble and I'msure it's because he's Irish yeah, okay, so so, then that he says what is whatis mic and then alks like no, it's a what is fits and he says sorry coachnosays it's. Okay. Obviously he wasn't talking about alxtrerback. He wastalking about coach, fitztual, yeah, wild gas. So of all the questions forTom and Tom, his die hard. A We're both die hard caldremans were in the bandtogether. So that's one of my favorite jeopardy and Alextebeck stories, someof the classic ones to go find on on Youtube. He could be very disdainful, Imean. Sometimes we get to the final jeopardy and he'd say I knew this one instantly I'll be verysurprised. If you don't all know this and then you just feel like wheree, youremember the one. This is a few years ago. The category was was football. Ithink it was fun all the question. They got all five, they didn't know any ofthe nobody even run rave ring in right in the last one was about the Minnesotapurple people leaders- and he just says: If you get this, I will die or last on he, the lady. You know theydo the little two minutes about yourself, which is what my wife Mikesqta paste of time. We could get ten more questions, andthese, awkward interviews,the NERD, lady right yeah, the NERD lady who talks about you, know nerdrock and with her friends- and he just says so e get together for losers. Then and of course, t the when cliff Clavanwas on for cheers. Remember seeing that at wasyee sode. I do not remember this. One Ote cheers episode: Okay, IV Claven,the categorya master yeah, the categoryies Ar Li heres, our postal,zip codes, O Celibacy, bars or something like that, and so heracks up he's a head by a mile and they get to final jeopardy. And I don't knowit's the name of three actors or something in his Qua E. His question is:Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen and then and then Alex says? Well, youhave to reveal, but surely you ere so far, hea you don't have to wageranything of course he's cliff plet. He wagered everything and he protests.Well, they haven't been in my kitchen. Well clearly cliff that's not whatwe're going. Okay, Justin You jeopardy!! Fran! You know, honestly, I haven't seen itfor so many years. I end up watching a youtube clip here or there, but it wasa main stake. Growing up, just like you know in our family there'd be sixtyminutes on Sunday evening in the nightly news, with brocal or Jennings,or rather and then yes, Pansa Jack and Elex Trebek, wherejust there every every night, what else...

...celebrity Jeopardyo Justin? What aboutcelebritaoberty, yolose, Sean, connery and Alex Trebak and one week is a blowto all of us, celebrity TEP. I don't watch as much wanting the TV as youguys so, because Ol that I read e met booksright, that's true, ting, toen books and everything. No, there was an otherlittle writeup by Washington, Post reporter Hanks STUVER. Maybe I'll justread it because it's four sentences, but I thought it was really a abeautiful little tribute to triback into the show he says, never outlandish or Gerishthat jeopardy. That TREBEC hosted for thirty six years champion intelligencewith a rare and relatively quiet hush, especially if you compare it with therest of television's, constant Blair with subdued buzzers and a soft musicalinterludue. During its final question, the loudest thing about this show wasthe exclamation point in its title and perhaps the alarm that accompanies thedouble jeopardy question TREBEC maintained a safe space for smartviewers in the darkest dumbest times his show and the way he hosted itproved that polite order can be more fascinating than brute chaos in twothousand and twenty. That seems like a downright revolutionary idea. I thoughtthat was just a beautiful little paragraph about a show that really doesnot have you know some overarching great significance for us, but e wasjust a constant quiet. Witty semisarcastic well dressed polite, noat all, and he always had impeccable accents to it ointo what he was doing, and it's changed a little bit in recentyears, there's more pop cultury kind of stuff those video coso yeah ut, still Imean it's every few weeks and they have a category from the Bible I mean, so itreally did a lot with classic categories of Western civilization. Itmean. Where else are you going to have something about the opera or ballet orthe Bible or American history? Just straight up questions about Americanhistory, so we will miss Alexdra back. I don't know what his faith was if hehad any seemed to be sort of a genial, general God's good. In my life I didn'thear a real Christian commitment, but we well miss him and he last thoughtsbefore our final book question. Okay, so I wonder who's going to WHO's goingto follow Ellef I haven't even seen any I havn'In't seen any speculation I mean.Has It gone well on other shows when they've transitiond, I suppose it haslike Steve Harvey, seems to have done? Well, I don't know that drew Carrey'sdoneval. I don't know Betty Alex Trevex that he's he wanted betty white to doit no might have to say at make yeah, butthere is something you here's. The last thiyg I was going to say is there'ssomething a lesson for us and that's Christians about the the unusual powerand simple elegance of longevity to do the same thing to do it with a level ofexcellence for a long time. You know, I think you know you say it just in onesense, it seems like how how could that job be hard, but to do anything wellfor a really long time is really hard and I'm sure there were things about itthat were harder that we could see so there's a lesson there, for you knowthe Patsa Jack and Alex Trebec or your favorite radio announcer for baseball.You do the same thing and you do it where you point to not yourself, butthe thing that you're hosting or doing and for a long enough time and peoplewill miss you when you're gone, and if you do that in the church and witheternal things, you'll even leave a much bigger legacy. Last question: Foryou guys twothousand and Wentys, been, I don'tknow if it's a year, unlike any other, but it certainly been an unusual anddifficult year. I wonder what what's a book? Maybe it's a movie, maybe it's apiece of music. What's something you go to you come back to when you need to beencouraged, your feeling discouraged about our day, your feeling despondentor maybe you just kind of need to be recalibrated. You feel, like you've,you've gotten off track in a certain piece of music or a book that you read.Okay, that's right! That's right that! That's what really matters! Do you havea couple of suggestions for us, Colin Yeah? I do so I've been thinking thinking aboutthis lately, the last four years, and it's I'm not speaking here about presidents from as intoms policies orthings like that. I'm talking about a...

...lot of the divisions in the Church and friendships that have severed or weakened, and I don't knowUst. It's just been a painful for years. Put It that way and I've been thinkingabout how I've learned a lot in the last fouryears that I didn't want to know and that I'll never forget, but what God did has done in these lastfour years has been very encouraging just for me personally in my faith, but one major reason that this is the case is because of abook, and that is the Hemnol NBOOK. Specifically, I use the only one I have,which is which I need a recommendation on the best contemporary hymnols by theway, but I still use tye already unitedmethodist one, and it's good enough for me for now, because it has a bide withme. It's Gott be still my soul. It's got Jesus Lover of my soul, completewith the Welsh tune originally composed for and just sitting there. I remember insixteen feeling, like so many things were falling apart, just sitting therewith that hymn book open and just just singing myself and then my son. At thetime my oldest child was was young and we hadn't really gotten into a rhythmof family devotions at the time, and we were doing some things, but you know hewas was one and so that year is when we reallystarted doing family devotions with the Hemnol, and now this hear in tothousand and twenty, we bought a piano oractually. Somebody gave us a pianoand I've been playing through the Hymno there's well for the family and thatbook, that's the constant and what I love about. It is, above all, God andhis and how he reveals himself to us through song and through these you know,hyms and spiritual, songs and and but also there's a jus love the connectionto previous generations. Believers, that's such a ballast to me and then ontop of that, it's especially encouraging to me to be singing thesame songs that my grandparents, my greatgrandparents, my great grandparents and then in my family's case, going all theway back to the Walsh Revival. In the mid seventeen hundreds, not all these songs, obviously, but Imean the same methodist Yo knowprediliction for singing goesback there and all of that really, God uses to help, keep me grounded andfaithful and hopeful and joyful, even when things are changing so ant, rellythought about in those terms Kevin until you pose that question to us and that boy that was a that's the one bookthat came to mind. That's not the Bible! That's great! Let me quickly rattle through some I'llgive justin the last word, not surprisingly, the books, I think ofbooks that I'm that bring back some memories. There'ssome Thi stalgaor they've played an important part in my life, so theHydeber catechism, the Valley of vision, is always reorienting to slowly readthrough one of those prayers. You know one of the books for me as a pastor anda preacher is Lloyd. Jones preaching in preachers. I've read that book severaltimes I've been listening to some of I haven't, listened to it before, but I'mlistening now to some of the lectures you can get them on the Loy Jones APP, and I find that reorienting andrecalibrating. You know any of my favorite systematictheologies. I know that's not your thing Collin, but I find to get lost inanother century in the the complexity and the beauty and the precision of it.But let me give you, since you mentioned music, we mentioned twopieces that I love. One is the Goosstov host the planetsand Jupiter and the narrow down even further there's a two minute section inJupiter. That's now called the the him tune, faxt and look it up it's. There is a hymn set tothat tune in the Trinity Hymnol and I won't Humm it for you here. But it's it's just an exquisite melody and Ilove that whole suite and Jupiter ind particular and those two minutes arereally rich and then more than anything else, Okay Mar Mars is the one that thecollege bands all play right. Yeah Mars, is, you know, fighting and Ann denDenten Ende Ye yeahokayright right, probably my favorite most comfortingmusic outside of the the himnol is the sound track from the mission Yove seenthat movie Teton tose Gabriel's Obo. It has somany good pieces. Actually, if you go... a getty concert, you will hear theirviolin player at times play the theme from the mission actually heard it whenthey were at, you know played the music for TGC one of those years. I came upand I said that's from the mission yeah. It is so I can put that on and it's amazing how good music- andsometimes you want music without any words, can transport you in a way andbring a sense of calm and peace and comfort. So I love that Justin go big red. I should make that my ringtone, butmaybe it would depress me more than help me these days. Let's see, I think for me I'll justgive one psalm and one song so in terms of the PSOLM this year, its been solmnhundred and thirty one, which is just a very short, but I think it's threeversus long, a prayer to the Lord is telling him my heart's not lifted uptoo high lies aren't raised up to Hig. I don't occupy myself, withto thingstoo great n marvelous for me, but I have calmed and quieted my soul like aween child with its mother like a weeg child is my soul within me and, if I'mbeing honest, that is not my default position, but that sal sortof helps recalibrate my heart and mind and soul that I can be at rest with theLord, because I don't need to be occupied with thingsthat are beyond my control. He cares for me and he carries me alone, and soI can. I can rest in him. So that's been sort of a default song for me lately. I think the Hym that I comeback to perhaps as much as any other is God moves into mysterious way byWilliam Cooper. He wrote it four years before seventeensevnty six before our country's independence, O Seveneen,an seventy three and if you don't know the story of Cooper, it's worth worth. Listening to John Piper'sbiographical address on him, which is really moving a man who struggledprofoundly with very dark depression, but I think it's one of the morebeautiful hymns ever written on Youtube. There's a a ministry, I'm not even familiar withwho they are. I don't knw if it's a husband, AD wifeust man and a woman,doing a rendition of it cross roads, music, that when I'm discouraged when I'm down, Ilike to go and listen to that song and listen to the beautiful theology andlyrics, and I find that it always brings me back refreshes me encouragesme. So those are two places I might go back to office. Great ar good answers.I mean cooper was a a renowned. Poet means a good example of t e. The bestpoets writing the best hyms. He had a famous poem epiteph for a hair writingabout his pet rabbit. It would sound. So I was almost moved to tears and youknow I don't cry about anything. No, I mean it's just very moving and I reallycommand all of pipers addresses, but I do remember that one on Cooper isreally good, Colin Justin good to be with you again good to talk throughthese things. Lord Willing will have a couple of more episodes in this seasonbefore we take a break for the holidays. Thank you all for listening and beingwith US until next time. Gor. If I got it, enjoy him forever and read a goodfun.

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