Life and Books and Everything
Life and Books and Everything

Episode · 6 months ago

Gospelbound, with Sarah Zylstra


The only way we can move forward in the church is by going back to the Gospel. Journalism and education have become intrinsically destabilizing forces for Christianity, and anxiety is at an all-time high. Sarah Zylstra and Collin Hansen have written Gospelbound: Living with Resolute Hope in an Anxious Age to respond to this very problem. [Collin also hosts another podcast called Gospelbound). You will find encouragement and direction in this episode.  

Life and Books and Everything is sponsored by Crossway, publisher of Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin, the Best-Selling Author of Women of the Word. 

Ten Words to Live By teaches readers how the Ten Commandments come to
bear on their lives today, helping them to love God and others, to live in
joyful freedom, and to long for that future day when God will be rightly
worshiped for eternity. Ancient and timeless, these words cannot be overlooked.
They serve as the rightful delight and daily meditation of those who call on
the name of the Lord. 

For 30% off this book and all other books and Bibles at Crossway, sign up for a free Crossway+ account at 


The Prescriptivists Lost [0:00 – 1:00] 

The First Ever Female Guest on LBE [1:00 – 1:57] 

The Sarah Zylstra Orbit [1:57 – 6:20] 

Where Good Writers Come From [6:20 – 11:27] 

In what sense is the Gospel “binding?” [11:27 – 14:18] 

Where is all this anxiety coming from? [14:18 – 20:01] 

The Media, Education, & Anxiety [20:01 – 27:35] 

Why do we prefer to be anxious? [27:35 – 35:15] 

Stories that Encourage [35:15 – 45:40] 

The Danger of Nostalgia [45:40 – 53:56] 

A Better Way [53:56 – 59:50] 

Books and Everything: 

Gospelbound: Living with Resolute Hope in an Anxious Age, by Sarah Zylstra  

TF readings and salutations our loyallisteners, welcome to life and books and everything, I'm keping young andhave Justtin Taylor Colin Hanson with me, and were here from them in just amoment, but as always e grateful for Rossway and find books they put out intoday, we are spotlighting ten words to live by lighting in doing what Godcommand, Bi Jin Wilkin Book on the Ten Commandments Justin. How did that title?Ten words to live five? was there a fight about maybe tin words by which tolive? You felt, like you, could end with the preposition the prescriptivislost that one okay. I guess so well. Yeah I've seen good stuff about thebook online, so check that out by Jin Wilkin, and today we are going to talkabout a different book by M a different publisher, we're very grateful for thisbook by Colin Hanson and Sarah Ecof Zilstruk called Gospel bound. So Sarah,this is a momentous occasion. You are the first female guest on lifebooks andeverything I mean talk about. This is one of the the glass ceilings out theretalk about you. There will be elementary schools named after you. This is really sticking it to thepatriarchy, so we are very glad to have you on the show Kevin. This is my firstbook too. It is oh you've Rian, so much I didn't realize it was your first bookyeah, first all over the place. Well we're great grateful to have you on,and we've enjoyed, reading lots of your stuff on Gospel Coalition and elsewhereover the year, so Sarah Ecogh Zilstress, some people may think. That's an oddname. I think it's a lovely name, you must be Dutch. Are we related? We arerelated okay. So where are you? Where are you from tells a littleit aboutyourself, I'm originally from Iowa? So I grew up in a small farming communityin Iowa Shadowon Ucton, who still is hanging out in Iowa. It was calledCanaa, it's a really little tiny town, probably seven hundred and fifty peoplein it. When I was growing up there, so live there for a long time went to college at Dorto university that you may have heard of in the cornfields of Iowa met a boythere named Adam Zialstra and married him, and then we moved to Chicago to goto graduate school, and then we stayed in Chicago at some point. The four of us may havelived within a hundred mile radios at each other yeah. It's true. I think wedid. I think we did we in Chicago. We are in the south suburbs. We live in asuburb called homewood and we go to church in a suburb called Orlan Park.Noan. You know I was born in Southholland. You were born like fiveminutes. FROR ME UHHUH, yeah, there's probably an elementary school there,too yeah yeah, I'm sure some day named after you Kevin. Is that whaen just amatter of time? Okay! No! CERTAINLY NOT! But Sarah Are you? Are you a Chicago Sports Fan? I'm aChicago ups fan yeah, I mean Ou, Don' grow up in Iowa. You don't really haveit yeah, there's a lot of cup spans in lwil. Se, you just have to pick he tcthe closess to so growing up. I was like kind of marginally at twin sfanbecause I was closeest to Minneapolis, but then I moved to Chicago forGraduate School and that's when we really got into baseball. So do youthink Thet Andy Dalton experiment with the bears is going to turn out? No, doyou? No, I don't yeah. Does I an IT? Does anyone yeah? I mean Ryam pace yeah this Hep. He enjoys hislast year as a general manager of the bears. Zaratell us before we turn to the book.

That's great know where you're fromtell us about what what you've been doing. Yourwriter, we read in the Book that you and Colin are both trained injournalism. You got your northwestern university swag on ther. Give us alittle bit more background about you and how you came to no Colin and writethis book with him yeah. My life is runs sort of an an oddparallel with collins because he grew up close to where dor is and then I started writing in college. I went inundecided. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I really liked thecommunication in English classes, and so I majored in those and then we movedto my huone, my husband and I moved to Chicago, so he could go to graduateschool. I worked as an administrative assistant for about eighteen months andthen I wanted to go to school to so Ienrolled you know. BEFC does not have a journalism programmand, so I went up tonorthwestern where Colin had just graduated from so I missed him again,but then my last semester there or my last quarter, we went out. It wasa religionard reporting class, and so we went to places like the Buddhisttemple and the Jewish Temple and the Sek Temple, and we went to all theplaces we could learn about different religions and then they said now we'regoing to seac you about even gelicals, and so we went out to with Billy Graham Center and sout at Wetin College, andwe would have a person come and tack to us from Christianity Today, which wasColin and so after he was done talking. I went up to him and said to him: Hey,did you know I'm an evhangelical at this jaw dropped to the floor because Iwas the only evangellical, probably at northwestern at that point in time, soit was that was good and then I started writing for him at Christianity todayand then he left and I state and then about three or four years ago. He said howabout if you come in right for me, I think hat's, the colition and I saidthat's silly- I'm not going to write puffy stories about Christians for you,I'm going to write real news and then he said Oh come on, it won't be puffyit'l'll be goodso. This does not sound accurate at all. We're going to tell some good grittystories. It's going to be we're going to have a good time. Maybe I made that part up. I don'tthink he said we're gointo get thim, but but it is so that's good. I mean this as a compliment for both ofyou. You both write like you've, been to journalism school, and I mean thatas a compliment, there's a clarity, a suscinctness, the theaction moves on you both write. Well is this: Is this aNack you had or does northwestern really just give you the skills,because I wish more people had those skills. You know one of the benefits of growingup in a rural public education, like I had inSouth Dakota. Is that all the way through high school we were still doinggrammar I mean I wasn't I wasn't I was not. I was not doing the greats ofWestern literaturer. I was not reading those books, but we kept doing grammar,and so I had that I had that base. Also. My Grandmother has been a newspapercolumnist for the last sixty years in Madison, South Dakota, so a bit of thatis Jus Tis leader. No, that's way too big, the Madison daily leader inMadiston, South Dakota, and so I just kind of I guess I grew up a little bitaround journalism. It was one of the plausible. You know places that I couldthat I could go and then the benefit of medill at northwestern was being consistently told. How terrible Iwas as a writer like t at that was the consistent benefit was handing amagazine feature writing paper to Bob mclory, who was that professor late BobClardy was that professor, that Sarah...

...was with on that trip and him justtearing it apart and saying this is horrible, and but it you just you justneed that at some point I don't know how you develop as a writer. Ifsomebody does not tell you you're, not very good at it yeah, because I don'tknow that anybody is comes out and it's they're just really awesome at it. Itseems to be more of a discipline than it is a gift. I mean there is a giftaspect. I just see more of the gift develop when people are trained in it.What do you think Sara? I agree I think there's both I think you'reborn with hat a little bit, but certainly it just is a little bitstagnant. Excuse me, it's very emotional. We all got ournal.We were all together last week and I think we all got cold because we hadn'tbeen around human beings yeah until last week, man go ahead, keep going sir. No. Thatwas all I just. I think it's both. I agree. Okay, that was just a cough. Idon't think she's breaking up yet I had a a professor, probably my favorite,professor in college and Church History, professor and I wasreading all these puritans. I was reading all these old translations ofCalvin, and so I was imbibing that sort of writing style. I'v told this storybefore so I was writing these papers with very long ornate, flowery lots ofsubordination in the sentences words like behoove or Besiech or comuneeight,and I was I was writing with that sort of edgethat they had of really tearing each other down anyways. He was you talkabout just giving somebody on its feedback, he said. Well, you know.Obviously you can write, but you should not write like this. I know you're reading all these booksthat right like this, but if you want to be understood- and you want peopleto read- don't write like this- you can it was. You know at first. You think. Oh No didthis is this is how the great heroes of the faith roat well. Actually, that'snot always true it sometimes how theyre Victorian translators thought theyshould have written so justin. When did someone tell you, you were terribleright, he just KIU as an editor and keeptelling everybody else. I just just tell people yeah. Nobody has told methat yet, but I'm sure the day is coming. No. You know there was a significant moment for me, my freshmanyear, going to being a religion, major, a public university and my advisorfavorite professor. As a freshman just said, you really need to take a writingclass and I think HEU Sawt, that I had some potential but wanted me to gettrained in writing as a required course and o that was humbling to hear, but alsogood, just to concentrate on the craft of writing. And then he would also, as a professor and Ithink, back in this now having grated some papers, he would hand writ like anentire page of comments and critiques and feedback, and you realize inretrospect what a gift that was and how Min numbing that must have been for himto be looking at freshman papers and western Sive and rinting that level offeedback for each one was a gift. Well, let's Talk About This Book Gospel,bound living with resolute hope in an anxious age. Colin I've been meaning toask you to you: have a podcast by the same name. Is it the Gospel to which we are bound or isit the Gospel for which we are bound, like your Canan, bound, your heavenbound, Yor, Youre or both what we're by which we are bound? Yes, R, by which weare bound to one another? How is the Gospel finding this is theprepositional podcast, apparently,...

...will devolve he're into a study of thegenitive. No, that's exactly the double meaningthat we had in mind with this and the same thing with the podcast is a dualmeaning of we are tethered to the Gospel. We don't stray from the Gospel.The Gospel doesn't change that good news is the same. The imagery that welike to use in the book or when we talk about the book is to imagine a culturalhurricane. Just these winds blowing all over the place, but this is what keepsyou keeps you steady. This is what keeps you standing in the middle ofthat, but you're, absolutely right! Then you head into RomansFifteenthirteen, and you see this, this discussion of abounding in hope, and sothere is a leaping forward as well and so ha. The main premise of this book isthat the only way we move forward together in the church is by gettingback to the Gospel so that double movement is going to the essentialorganizing principle of the book. We don't move forward through all thedifferent challenges that we face or ways we want to reform or to change orto improve the church by some sort of novel new ideas we improve in thosethings by getting back to the Gospel ultimately has found in God's word andso yeah, that's the that's the meaning there and YO K O we'll just keep kind ofhammering away at that, but I think a lot of the temptations in terms ofthinking about our position our time time as Christians is, I think, a lotof Christians. Imagine that they want to be on the right side of history orthat history is this thing, that's always progressing. That's onetemptation! I think you see from more liberal Christians and there's anostalgic bent as well, that wants to just get back and to recover somethingthat's been lost, but ultimately Seran. I believe that both of those are amirage, but there is still this time concept I mean we could get intoanaugurated ascatology get into the already, not yet of the kingdom, but wethink that kind of understanding of time of being bound tosomething behind. But that's our best chance of looking forward in hope iswhat we've been called to as Christians, so Ihave an initial question for Colinand then for Sarah Ead. This is totally unscripted, so justin will jump inwhenever he wants, but Colin. The very first sentence is America seems to bein the midst of a full blown panic attack. The New Republic observed intwo thousand and nineteen, and that was before covid it is it the case. I think you'resaying it is, but I'll just ask it an open ended. Is it the case that we'remore anxious than we've ever been before into? What doyou attribute that? Well, that's really H. that's kind ofthe premise that we jump off here from, of course, we don't have social sciencedata to be able to go back to any other time period, but by many measures weare living in an unprecedented anxiety, spike part of that's just a risingunderstanding or at least sense that we should feel anxious at somebody. Readthis book and say that anxiety seems to be the proof that you really care aboutthe world. So if you're actually not reporting that you're really anxiousabout everything, then people think well. Aren't you paying attention tothings, and so, when you start to get into, why is that the case? We couldpoint to any number of different factors there. I would start with atheological factor and that's something that Tim Keller and others haveobserved. Well, Sarah points it out in her part writing on this Tho, simplythere's less belief in God. Well, if there's less believ in leave belief inGod, then wouldn't that lead to more anxiety, because ultimately, this isall there is, there's no way to rectify...

...these injustices, except in thistemporal place and time and we're ultimately in charge, or this president,that I love is in charge or this president. I hate is in charge allthosge. Things are naturally going to lead to anxiety, so I would furtherthan amplify that theologically to say that. Well I mean yeah, that's if there is no god I mean you could goback and you look morally. If there is no god anything is anything is possibleand it seems to be that' kind of what we're living in now. Anything is is possible I'll. Let Sarah jump in onthat as well. You know we did just look at sudies from like the S A s and the sis when you can see it'd be interesting. If somebody did all these tudies backaround the world wars right like how anxious were we back then, but they didtrack them through the S and even through, like the recession in twothousand and eight and we're still far more anxious now than we were it. Overlays a lot to things, and oneis technology like our smartphones, also follow the same path and there's abook called Igen and which she lays out over and over and over again like howthat was kind of a turning point. In the s when our cell phones came alongand our smartpones were a pack of all te time and how drastically that has changed numbersfor the worst and a lot of different things. In some cases, it's better teampregnancies are better, but that just means that kids are spending less timephysically together and more time alone. So our depression, an anxiety, followsthat same path and the only thing she didn't lay on top of ther, which Ithink would explain all of it is that our belief in God also changed in the s,and you can track that as well like before. That sort of that you know,could drive a bus through a neighborhood and pick up a bunch ofkids and adults, take them to a billy gram, crusade and they' get saved. Youcan't do that anymore. There's just there's distancing there. So I think if you can understand that theological part and the and the technological part, the rest of itmakes sense, Yeah Collin the well. The the other thing I was just trying tothink about before is, if you look long term over the course of centuries, notjust some of the recent periods there and I could look at. But if you go backover centuries, the category of theotisy is relatively recentdevelopment. The sense in which we blame God for whats thin. What thingsare happening on a sense in which we presume to hold him accountable, and Ithink that's a source of a tremendous amount of anxiety is not just that wewe sense that this is not the way things should be and that somebodyneeds to be blamed for that either God on that vertical plane or each other onthat horizontal plane. And so it's interesting is that if you look backthrough history, there are many times when circumstances would seem toindicate that people should have been more anxious. And yet there wasn'tevidence in the written reports of that that huge t at the people felt that way,so something that seems to spike as Sarahs, pointing out here, along withpeople's changing beliefs about God and changing expectations of this world andjust to put a little bow on it. I think we live in a time where Christians aretending toward an overrealized escatology. That is a largely a resultof tremendous improvements in in quality of life around the world. Andso I wonder if, as we look back- and this is a podcast that started in thecircumstances of covid nineteen, I wonder if looking back one reason whypeople didn't turn more toward questions about God or to turn to faithin some ways just because they expected there would be some kind of deliverance that would come from us, politically or otherwise, and I thinkin many cases that's how it's played...

...out with vaccines on one of the thingsthat you guy draw attention to in the book. Early on is the role of the media,not just social media, but your own professional background of journalismwhere two things exist. One! It's a secular world. If there's anythingabout religion, it's reporting about religion, but it would be just very odd for ajournals to be talking about the activity of God in the world and thenthe whole notion that if it bleeds it leads and that's a hallmark of modern reporting and- andwe can blame the media for that. But the four of us are human beings who,like to click on those stories as well. So how did you guys end up trying tocan afford to different path? And what's your analysis of what's gonewrong in terms of the media adding to our alrdy, anxious hearts yeah? This is another thing thatstarted changing. I think in the S is the split of journalists from in termsof Relig, their religiosity from the general population, and so increasinglyjournalists don't go to church and don't believe in God, at the same ratethat people generally do so. It's a profession, that's moresecular, even than our secular country, and so I think it's hard to write wellabout something or charitably about something or even you know be able tounderstand, what's happening. If you really don't like you're, really notfamiliar with the terms or you know, it just seems very outdated or even youknow, homophobic or racist to you, then you're just going to keep writing aboutit really negatively. So I think that's Hen, one thing that happens and we cantest im that just from going to a tap journalism school where we didn't knowvery many other Christian people who are there and those are the the people who go onto be in the mainstream news. There's also there's also a change there, justin in terms of education, so I think that's what Sara is getting at here.Journalism was not typically a professional path. It was not somethingthat you pursue. You didn't need education for that, and so one of thethings that changed his journalism became post, I would say, post watergate especially became more of a prestige profession. It started to moveinto these academic environments. Places like northwestern Columbia,reallywud would raise in its its esteam level, and so as they became moreeducated as Journalistn, especially at those institutions. They became asSeras pointing out even more disconnected from that community, but Ithink the the assumptions go down a lot deeper and I know Kevin you'd also havesome feedback on this, but Saran. I talked a lot about this last week. Ithink there are certain professions that are inherently destabilizing forChristians and just for Christianity in the waythat they're understood in this economic and academic environment. Iwould point to education and I would point to journalism. Both of themdepend on the pursuit of novelty and the pursuit of something that is different or is new and education,especially also you have to disprove previous generations. So I don't knowhow that works for you as as a seminary professor Kevin, but it seems that theway to establish yourself academically is by disproving previous generationsor other scholars, and I just don't think it should be a surprise to us asChristians, that in the academic and journalistic fields, there always seemsto be this drift, because it's different from pastoral Ministris Sar-and I were talking about this with her pastor at length at the conference lastweek. Pastors job is to faithfully apply week after week the Good News ofthe Gospel, the whole Council of God, to this congregation and to repeat thesame old things. That is not how journalists are trained and I don'tthink it's how academics are trained...

...either. So there's just somethinginherent. It's not just. We've got a few bad seeds in there if we could justfigure that out now think there's something inherently destabilizing forChristians in those professions, and I think it has a lot to do with certain fields. As you said ineducation- and I will you know- It'd be interesting to go back and say: Has italways been the case in those sort of professions? Almost all of the leading universitiesbegan as training grounds for ministers here in the United States and somecapitulated quickly and some took centuries to do so, but it really was-and this gets us off track a little bit to talk about education, but theyreally were universities with and Iffhisis on the university that therewas a truth. There was an overarching truth and so often go back even alittle earlier than that. It was always that theology was the Queen of theSciences in theology. Had the overarching, we would say Metanarrative to help us make sense of all these things. But absence of thatcertainly certain fields we saw when I was at university, O Reform Church andwe would have professors. thethere were certain fields that you knew you couldmore easily find a bible believing Christian, horticulture or botany, orsome engineering fields or intimology and there's something about some of thehard sciences. Maybe it's left brained or it's dealingwith facts not being swayed by opinions, but give me the evidence that comportedwell with Christian belief, whereas anthropology the arts often and that may not havealways been the case. Certainly we know in the history of Christendom, the artsand Christianity were very closely tied, but then the arts became almost a rivalaccess to truth, a rival means of arriving at the true and the good in the beautifulthat must be opposed to Christian thought, Gon. Well, I was just going tosay this is relevant for the book, one of Sara's, major passions as classicalChristian education. She writes about that in the context of hospitality inthis, in this book, of a way of being able to make Christian truth accessibleto other people who don't yet believe, including how we raise up the nextgenerations, and I mean some things SAR and have talked a lot about the rise ofthe social sciences and pragmatic education in the twentieth century. Iwould imagine, Sara you, can embellish this and connect. I back to the book ifyou want, but I would imagine that's part of what you're talking about Kevinin terms of it wasn't always this way with education, but education's lostthis sense that we go back just like talk about with the Movement of GospelBam than we go back, so we can move forward. It seems like as a societythat whole concept is increasingly foreign. We don't go back to learnanything except how much more righteous we are than the people who went beforeand they did there. Sir. No, I think I think, that's true. I think that's whyI was so like why we love classical education so much and why we were sosurprised by the beauty of it. You know it's largely or trying to betake after how people had been taught for hundreds and hundreds of yearsbefore John Duwy in thee s and kind of change toward more pragmatism, far morepregnatism, and you know why. Why would you need to learn philosophy when youjust need to learn how to run an assembly line to be a productivecitizen? So there's some economics in there too, a at the end of theintroduction. This sums up. Well, what I think your book is about. You writeour negative things happening in our broken world every day, but is Godworking things for good? Are there really people following him sofaithfully that they give up their suburban comfort to love low incomeneighbors where they obey God's word, instead of following the world's path,a sexual fulfillment? Does anyone so take these words of Jesus seriously?Whoever finds his life will lose. It wheever loses his life, for my sakewill find it absolutely we've seen them.

We've talked with Hem we've learnedfrom them and we are thrilled to get to share them with you. I think that's theburden of Your Book and Sarah. So much of the writing that you do for theGospel coalition so well is to tell these stories. Do you have a fear that boy people aren't going to read a book?That's trying to give some good news yeah, but that doesn't I mean we thinkthat when we like, when we started four years ago, we're like is anybody evengoing to click on these stories like we know they don't so we just did it anyway and so did clickon it. So I do think somebody might want to read it not as much as if we had certainly hadwritten a tell all. You know book about all the wretched things aboutChristianity that we know more. People would read that, but but we'v justbelieved in this message, so wer it and just to just to underscore that,because this convicts my heart and I think it probably should convicteveryone listening, let's be honest: Okay, it's Gospel, bound living withresolute, hope and an anxious age. If it was called, I don't know Gospel Catastrophe or Gospel Pandemicor Gospel less. You know living with resolute something you know if it was a tellalllike you said this is a book about Gospel, less how the church in Americahas forgotten Jesus and loving our neighbor. Let's be honest, a youmanjilicos Ave got terailed. OEVANGELICALISM has gotten to railedand no longer really believes the Gospel, a whole lot of people, and I guess it's human nature. It'whywe need the Gospel, would say, Huh wow, that that's interesting, wonder, wonder:Who they're taken to task and honestly? Wouldn't it be much better for oursouls and again we need those truth telling all of that in its place, butit has its place and then some and it's much harder to write a book like thisund til stories like this and say you know what I want to be encouraged, thatGod is doing good things, that there are a lot of Christians livingfaithfully, that there are churches that imperfectly but truly are living out.The Great Commission of the Great Commandment- and I ought to be drawn tothese stories- why, for either of you, why are we not drawn to these stories?They should be the ones that do we only like to read them when they're Elizabeth Eliott in the the oucust I mean hat, is that theonly time we we want to read them? Well, I think there's a coupledifferent levels operating here Kevin and I I would be interested to know anybodylistening, send me a note vio social media or anybody on the podcast. Why isit that we prefer to be anxious? I mean Jesus. Tells us not to be Paul.Tells us not to be: They tell us how we cannot be- I'm not talking here aboutthe diagnosable condition, but simply that difficulty that we're all temptedwith we seem to prefer it and I'm not surewhy I would really appreciate help from somebody there, but I will tell youwhere this comes in in my life. I am, as you guys know, all of you hereall of you, my very good friends, my wife. All. You know that I'm more proneto be able to find the problems hat's, just as I'm wired justins vigorouslynodding here, I'm much more prone to find the problems, but that is a seed bed that is, that isa fertile ground for pride, for...

...arrogance, for judgmentalism, for alack of faith. Those are things I'm supposed to mortify. Those are thingsI'm supposed to put to death in the flesh, and so part of this project is aspiritual exercise. Ill. Take you guys. Back about thirteen years, I was attenity Evan Jecal didinity school. I was going into my second year and Iwalked into one of my mentors, his office, John Woodbridge. You guys know him and he I presentedhim a proposal, a book. It was called on Thousandnine htneen and seventy sixthe year that changed devingeligals and I was going to do tgive me, a political, an ecclesial anda theological analysis of the events of that year as explaining why evangeicalmhad fragmented in these different directions, and one of the things I was going to talkabout in that book was the falling out between Harold Linzell and Carl Henry,especially during the battles over and Arancee. Whenzel was a editorChristianin today and, and Henry had been before him before resigning and John had known both these menpersonally been colleagues with them. His father had been colleagues withthem at Fuller. He knew them in the sense that you know the people that youshare Christmas morning with that kind of sense, and he said Kon you could do that book. But what? If you used your time andyour talents to be able to encourage God's people? And that's when he talkedto me about history of revivals and wanting to be able to talk about talkabout that and we ended up. Writing that book, together, a God size, vision,revival, stories that stretch and stir, but but the thing that I kept hearing frompeople is not that the revival like these Tories were not hegeographical.We always included the negative effects and what revival doesn't solve notsimilar to what Sara and I are doing here in this book. It's not it's notjust oh everything's awesome, because all these thing people have figuredeverything out now. Sarah said it earlier, it's gritty, but it's just that's where it comestogether in my head. I anybody who knows me knows that I'm I'mprone to criticism, but I just don't. I don't think that makes for aparticularly healthy faith, a happy home. It doesn't make for happycoworkers if you're the boss, especially, and so I think it'simportant for Christians that we go out of our way to identify evidences of God.Grace God's grace, especially if you're like me, and it doesn't come naturally.So it's a similar as when we go around the table every night and we just sayhow did you see God at work today we don't go around the table saying. Howdid you see? God disappoint your expectations. Today we say how do we se got it work today?Where did you see the Devil Wen a few Toda? No exactly so we just we want toestablish that culture, and I just I just think I have to do that- I'm justnot sure. As a journalist, I don't know how my faith survives, otherwise, justbeing transparent bout that so let me ask a one of my leastfavorite interview questions, but I think you you two are the right peoplestart with Sarah. My question is going to be give me a astory or an illustration from the book that that really stuck with you now thereason I don't like that. I don't I'm not ware like you guys to, and I don'twrite books with telling people stories and I remember years ago I think I wasbeing interviewed about why we're not a mergent and the person. Obviously I wasnot being the sort of Interviewi he wanted and it was painful is like aforty minutes and he just kept saying Huh. Do you have a story to illustratethe Emergen Church? I don't have I didn't write. You need to talk to TedClock Rit the story part. I wrote the...

...theology part, but Sarah is there a story that stands outthat you wrote about in the book that was really encouraging or moving foryou there's a there's, a lot of yeah yeah.I will tell you about a girl named Rochelle Star who lived in Louisvillestill does and she when she was driving to work one day. She saw a sign for astrip club along the side of the road and to is like she just felt a burdenon her heart for the girls who worked there, so she called her husband andsaid. I think Jesus wants me to work with girls in the sex industry and hesaid to her that's what Jesus would do, and so she didn't write a a missionstatement and she didn't get funders and she didn't get a board together.What she did is she just called a couple of friends and they went and satacross the street from this trip club and prayed, and then they did it againand then they did it again. So all they did for a year on Tuesdays andThursdays would go sad across from the St Club and prey, and this is just aside now. I want people to really hear this, because so many of my stories,maybe all of them, start this exact same way, which is people prayingtogether like identifying ha problem, finding a friend or two andintentionally and regularly praying together and if you're doing that rightnow, then I want you to call me in like eighteen months, because God is goingto do something, and I want to tell your story so she did this and then, after about ayear she felt God was saying to her ou it's time to go inside, so she wentinside. She was wearing a turtle ex. She didn't wear any makeup. She didn'twant to look assuming so in she goes and she finds the owner of the club andsays I want to do something kind and loving for the women who work here andhe was like blown away like. Who Are you? What do you even mean, and shesaid well, I'm a Christian and you said well, the only Christians I've seen areChristians outside picketing. I've never knowingly had one in this cluband she said well here I am, and so she convinced him and he said all right.You can bring a meal in for them, and so she came back the next week with hergirlfriends and her fried chicken and her mashed potatoes and they laid itout for the girls. Some of the dancers wouldn't eat it. When they heard theywere from a church, they thought it might be poisoned and then but she did,but she laid it all out for them and then next week she came and she did itagain. So every Thursday she's showing up with food for them, and you canimagine what would happen because it's the same thing that would happen if Isat down with you every Thursday night for dinner. Eventually we would becomefriends and share with each other and talk about things, and so they startedsharing with her like I'm addicted to heroin. I can't get off or I alwayswanted to go to culinary school, but through a turn of events in my lifehere I am nother side note she said: She's never met a girl who hasn'tabused as a child. So it's not like people are choosing to be strippersbecause, that's you know their dream from childhood. So eventually she went home with a girland she's like I, I walked into heur apartment and the only thing in thereis a Disney princess sleeping leg. She didn't even have a pillow like nothing, so she didn't know what to do withthese, and so Rochelle just called her church and would be like hey. We, youknow, there's an apartment, we need furnishing and you know what happens ifyou call your church and say we need donations, they get a whole parking lotfull of stuff that you can put n into a girl's apartment or she'd help a girlgo to school or eventually she she, you know, grew and grew and grew. She hadmore and more people from her church and Christians, who are volunteeringwith her she's. Now in all of the strict clubs in Louisville and in fiveother cities, she eventually started a Bakry because she said man what youhave to do when you're trying to pull girls out of the sex industry as givethem another way to make money. So she's now got three bakeries operatingthere. God just keeps blessing them. Is this Ministry and growing it? I don'twant you for a second to think that it's easy, because it's hard and it'sdark. You can walk with the girl for a period of time and then she killsherself with a drug overdose. But but it's you know for the, and shesaid when you pull a girl out. There's...

...five girls waiting to walk in, so it'snot like. She ever even feels like she's, making a huge difference, butshe has pulled more than six hundred girls out of the sex industry and shehas changed thousands of lives. Many of them, the volunteers themselves andhundreds of girls have come to know the Lord, and so it's worth doing and that's the good stories you have tohave to know those two and and what's really important about well. A lot ofthings is a great story, but I like what you said at the beginning: Sarah,she prayed and thought about. How can I go in and an be kind and love people and not thatit's wrong to start aboard an official ministry that that's appropriatesometimes, but so often we think. Okay, I'm going NA make this an officialchurch ministry, I'm going to get a board, I'm going to get it five ones,I'm going to do make and you end up doing most of your work and overheadand she just I'm going to pray and I'm going to go, love them and what yousaid at the end. It sounds like her. She didn't have a sense that I am goingto put an end to strip clubs in America when I'm done there will never beanother. One well Weca pray to that end, but I'm going to help this life andthis life and this life, and it may not make a dint in the statistical abstract numbers ofwomen engaged in sex industry. Maybe it will, but it's made a difference in sixhundred plus lives, colin it thoughts on that or a story you had from thebook that stuck with you. Well, I think the one that came to mind is about Ijm,and that was you know. I jams one of those ministries that in InternationalJustice Mission, I'm not sure like who could be against ending sex traffickingaround the world. Like that's, that's just one of the more unifying messagesand we heared m. We heard messages about ijm eradicating, a certain formof like sex trafficking in some country, which country was it because thePhilippines- and it was just like your general, like on the streetprostitution, alright and so then, all of a sudden, and so we wanted to reportthat story. That's great news actually making progress in this all the timeand money and prayer and everything devoted to this is making a difference,and we found out that ijem was reporting, something changing all of asudden. All these kids were just beingtrafficed online and then came the kicker, the peoplewho were doing it with their parents and was just like Whoa. This is staringinto a kind of satanic darkness that we don't understand and we don't. We don'tnormally want to go there. So what we did is we talked about whatit means to have hope when it seems like you, save one person and twentymore fall into the abyss, because that's what ministry is really like.This is the grittiness that we're talking about there and that's wherethe hope of the Gospel, the hope of eternity, the hope of eternal justicecomes into play, and so I love that story for the grittiness. There isn'tnecessarily some sort of easy happy ending there, but there is the sorty ofChristians who continue to persevere in the hope of the Gospel to change, liveshere and change, lives and eternity, but trusting that God is good, even inthe midst of the worst possible situation. That's just one that reallystood with me and it's kind of like the flip side of Richelle's story. Theyboth will illustrate each other that that we do our best effort in the powerof the Gospel. But we don't just do it to get attention or to get results. Wedo it for the glory of God. regardess of the results, even as we persevere in is a port when we hear those stories,this ties in with what we were all talking about earlier with the media, Imean imagine if every leading website and news reporter was leading day afterday. You only heard those stories...

...and there's probably certain outlets. Youknow a Sunday school press or you know an in house that wants to justcelebrate an institution or church, and we might rightly say after a while.Well you make it look like everybody's a hero, all the time and yeah- that'snot always accurate, but we've we have so much to the other direction that itfeels as if the church has never been worse. Our leaders have never beenworse and to your point, Coln. We I think, as as simple as pleadingacnosticism to whether they are or not we we just don't know. We certainly can, unfortunately, rattleoff the top of our heads leaders that have fallen leaders that have sinnedand catastrophic ways, some that we knew some of that we just knew from adistance and it's easy for those to pile up, because you hear about them and you you may have six or seven oreight or ten in your head, and it feels like this is an absolute epidemic of leadership. Failure until you realizethere's what three hundred thousand churches in the country and who's to say that two hundred thousand of them don't haveexcellent pastors or at least pastors doing the best we don't know. Thesimple fact is it's good to be recalibrated with some stories likethis not to be polyanash, but to simply have the sortof hope that we ought to have. I want to go back to Colin something you saidearlier and I was struck by it in the book. You talk about. The danger ofnostalgia so is, is nostalgia, always bad. What's the danger in it, and justto give you an illustration from my my current life, I've been reading. I've read parts of them beforebut now reading through the whole thing, the David Calhoun's two volumes onPrinceton Seminary David Celhoun, went to longtime professor at covenant.Seminary went to be with the Lord, not too long ago, and for a Presbyterianit's just GETN NIPP I mean it's just the hodges and the Alexanders, and a inWarfield and old Princeton and training ministers and, of course, David Celhoun.It's giving a a he says at the beginning, even he's trying not to behaggy doing a Hageography, but he wants to be encouraging and he wants to beedifying, and rightly so, but I've been telling my wife said. I have to remindmyself that that wasn't a golden age either,because I can find myself we had hanging on the walls. Some of thesekind of artistic pictures of you know, colonial our houses from two hundredyears ago, and it just look so bucolic and peaceful, and you think wow D beamazing. If we lived there, you realize well, half of our children would haveprobably died honestly and wouldn't have Internet and all those things that arejust are comforts and conveniences and blessings. But even more than that and remind remind myself if I could go back, I would have foundthat those heroes of the faith had clayfeet in different ways. I wouldhave found that the churches probably had less good content in manyways that we do today didn't have the same access to books. So there'ssomething. I think that is good about nostalgia when you set foot on yourcollege campus and you return and there's kind of a flood of emotions just from the side of it, andyou kind of remember it all again and feel so warm and Fuzzy, but Colin whatwhat's the danger in Thistalgian n? Is there any good use for it?...

I'd love to hear from Justin on this aswell, because last night I caught fieldof dreams on MOLB network,which is on basically every single day. I mean it's on nnscanes, exactly so soanyway. I love that stuff, because that's my that's my s, nostalgia and I'm watching field of dreams haven'tseen this in many years. I'm just thinking. None of this movie really makes anysense. It's just a bunch of like no its disconnected like nostalgic vignettes,and yet I sat there and in the end I start teering up, because I've neverwatched this before having a son yeand. My Son Plays Baseball and my sonlearned how to catch this year and we had just spent a wonderful weekendtogether and Wewere in the front yard and he was showing off how he couldcatch and and hit and all that sort of stuff- and I was just thinking these- Icherish these memories now here, but that's the key. The nostalgia drove meto live in the now, so it wasn't just a Oh well gosh. I wish I could go backwhen I was a kid and I was playing with my dad or something, but it was reallyjust a well I'm getting to live that right in this moment and I think that'swhere Jesus would want me to be from what he sais. You know tomorrow. You'renot promised, but today is what we where we live by faith, and I thinkthat a com that comports with another one of my favorite movies midnight inParis by what he as about ive, read that in the book- and I have somefriends who that's her absolute favorite movie. I think when I saw Ijust kept hearing lightning the cleen and I just couldn't get past it, but yeah abt that well Ijust I just think the premise of it is that we all have things about our currentlives that we don't like and Nostalgia. Is this slight of hand that allows usto image that we can have all the good things of a different time period withal all the bad things of that period or this period? And so what you see withwith Olen Wilson in this film is that he goes back to his era, which is theis in Paris and that's the golden era. But then he meets a wo in in thouandn aD teties parts, but all F A sudden. She has a different golden era from thelate nineteenth century there and you realize you can just keep. I mean Itis,the obvious takeaway from the film. You can just keep doing this forever andthere there's always some other period that you think could be better JohnDixon's, an apologist in Australia, and I just asked him about this and he saidwell. Actually, I would love to he said today is the worst period in Christianhistory. That's his belief as an apologist and the best would be thesort of like the like the early Byzantean era. You know hospital allsorts of good things having there Sai, but of course, I'd only like to do itfor one month and so just it. It is a slight of hand.It deceives us, but this is the key. The problem with it is when it robs usof joy and faith of living in this moment, because this is the only momentthat we have justin. How do you process through that? I mean when you'rethinking about history, you're immerted, so much in that history, I'm justwondering how you you process through and do the signs when you enter Iowa,still say dilds of opportunity. That's a good question. I want to find outwell in Nebraska they tried out Nebraska, it's not for everyone. It didn't stick but Tuas better thanSouth Dakota's motto. We don't! I don't think I don't think we could even talkabout that right. Whic is what Ta we're onit the Metho on it campaign fromSouth Dakota. I don't ev want to talk about that. Go head just well. Iactually think more about nostalgia in my own life than I do about nostalge in terms of historical timeperiods, and I think that, because...

...we're story driven people when I gettogether with my college friends and we text each other, we tend to reinforcethe same positive stories and if we could actually go back in time as beingunmarried single men who are just living with other guys and there's alot of angs about grades and about relationships, and but those aren't thestories that we kind of reinforcce and retell each other. So I agree with youcalling it it's a slight of hand. It's. It couldbe even a subspecies of envy that the grass isalways green around the other side, and you have this rose colored glance at the past, and Ithink there were glances the word that I would use. I think that it's it'sgood to look back good to enjoy happy memories, it's good to even feel apaying of loss for those of us who have olderchildrenyou kind of look back at you know when they were cute little kids and- and youdon't really remember all of the times when you weren, when you were sleep,toprive Dere were wanting to pul your hair out, but it's a gift to have good memories, butI think we're supposed to glance at those and then live in the present, butalso to have a focus on the future, where our faith is a future oriented faiththat we have hope of Resurrection and the present is is hard as well. We allfeel it, but there is coming a point where there will be no more satness.There will be no more sickness. There will be no more sin. That's that's!Where t e the Gospel Baland train is headed. So I want to thank you to for writing sucha good book that reminds us of the imbreaking of God's grace into the hereand now and as Wel all look forward to living in eternity together where allof sin is a story of the past. So that's a good segue. Let me justgive you one last question to each of You Collin and to Sarah Somebody gets the book reads it. Whatare you hoping, maybe praying what would make you feel satisfied as awriter what they the imprint upon them as they close thefinal page on the book? What do you want them to think? Do Feel B, I'Llil Take that and give Sarah thanthe last word glad. You asked that one Kevin, so I had the chance thanks to oursponsors here, to crossway thanks to Justin of Reading Carl Truman's booked,therise and tramp for the monernself last year, when I was still working onthis book, and I was reading this whole amazinganalysis and in the end I'm wanting to know what's next. What do we do aboutthis, and this is what Triman says he goes back to the second century churchas the model for today, and it talks about how did the second century churchpersevere to lay the foundation for the third and fourth centuries in thegrowth of the church, and he says this by existing as a close knit doctrinallybounded community a required her members to act consistently with theirfaith and to be good citizens of the earthly city as far as good citizenshipwas compatible with faithfulness to Christ. When I saw this- and he says you know-I can't cover this in the book- You guys are going to have to work out whatthat looks like today in the twenty first century. I thought that's exactlywhat Sarah and I have just done here. At least that's. What we've attemptedto do is to show what this would look like as a positive program. So, ifyou're thinking about this think about it in context of what dos the church donow that we've, you know, come to terms with this analysis from Carl Truman.Think of it also in terms of as a contrast in some ways to Rod,drers Benedy benedic option. I think...

...there's a lot of positives that can bedrawn from that book, but I don't know that it has much of a positive socialprogram or much of an evangelistic platform either, and so I'm moreoptimistic about that, and so what we do here journalistically is to be ableto fill in some of those gaps of what this could look like. You don't have tobe scared. Yes, there are a lot of scary things out there, but you don'thave to worry. There are Christians who are doing this now around the worldthey're showing us the way its all we have to do is stay fast, stay holdingon to the Gospel in the midst of this hurricane and keep sort of pressingpressing. I mean and kind of facing in leaning in facing forward in this. Sowe hope that they'll be inspired by the stories of hope. They'll be instructedon what to do, and I hope they'll find a program here. That's more positive, Ithink and hopeful than Rodgdrares, but also that fills in the gaps from wherecall Triman had left off. Good word. Sarah, I think we want them to what we Sey inthe book is to think big and to think small and to think big is, is toremember that God is holding you and also to remember, like hey we're pastthe turning point in history, we don't have to wonder: Is God going to save usor how is God going to save us we're actually the part in the storyline thatshould be the most relaxed? We already know what he did and how he's going todo it, and it's already done we're just kind of coasting into heaven from hereand Ou, so to think a big and remember those things, and also to think smallstudies show that, while you're worried about you know the the federalgovernment you're not as worried about your city council and while you'rereally worried about education in America, you're not as worried aboutyour kids classroom, so there's so when we've turned our attentionthere to those small things yeah. Maybe you can't evangalize the whole world,but you can invite your neighbor over for dinner or hang out with him on thesidewalk, while you're walking the dogs and you can crapor a missionary orbring food to a food pantry and you can abstain from sex outside of marriage,and you can there's all kinds of things that you can do to live a better waythat would draw people into like this is a different way and it's a betterway and SSO less far less anxious and more comforting and secure way. That's Great Colin and Sarah. Thank youfor the book published by Mat. NOMAS just come out in the last week, Gospelbound living with resolute hope and an anxious age. Sarah ask question: wherecan we find the best tulip time parade what city do you think? Why would you ask such a terriblequestion? I know that's like there's a lot writing on. I mean there's a lot ofour listeners. No doubt may is coming up and they're thinking. I only can goto one. Where should I book my flight good luck flying to Orange City Iowa bythe way? Well, yes, you got ta fly through sucks, Lor Pella. I would maybe I would maybe say Pella Inono thats, that's good! That's good! Have you beeninto Tuloptime parade before I have not, but I married a man who was and he hadto grow up wearing wooden shoes and oh yeah, swooping the streets and dancingsweeping the streets. I know: Well, you got Ta, you got to get it clean for theQueen Right. Come! That's that's a whole idea! Well, I was the Domini andwar road. There was a Domini float that was even Grad and through candy it wasan experience all right. We are from the supline t ridiculous. Thank you.Justin Collin, special thanks to our gest Sarah being with us, and thank youto our listeners and so ex time, if you or if I got enjoy him forever, read agood one.

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