139: Todd Adkins, Host of “5 Leadership Questions”

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*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org

Todd Adkins Final

Todd Adkins is the Director of Leadership at Lifeway Christian Resources. He is passionate about the development of leaders, especially within the church. Todd served in student ministry and as an executive pastor for several years before joining the leadership at Lifeway to head up Ministry Grid, Lifeway’s dynamic new leadership development platform featuring over 3,700 videos and a fully customizable learning management system for churches.

The 5 Leadership Questions podcast is brought to you by LifeWay Leadership. Each episode co-hosts Todd Adkins and Barnabas Piper will ask five questions of different guests or about different leadership topics. The aim of the podcast is to inform and encourage Christian leaders whether they serve in the pastorate, the business world, non-profits, or on a volunteer basis.

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Their aim is to encourage leaders, share insights, and learn from other great leaders. They want to help leader grow in character, knowledge, and skills and do so in an enjoyable way. Some conversations are more serious while others are light-hearted. Their hope is that these conversations will build up leaders no matter their position.

Subscribe to Todd’s Podcast on itunes: 5 Leadership Questions


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138: Morgan Guyton, Author of “How Jesus Saves the World From Us”

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*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org

Guyton final

Christianity has always been about being saved. But today what Christians need saving from most is the toxic understanding of salvation we’ve received through bad theology. The loudest voices in Christianity today sound exactly like the religious authorities who crucified Jesus.

How Jesus Saves the World from Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity

This is a book for Christians who are troubled by what we’ve become and who want Jesus to save us from the toxic behaviors and attitudes we’ve embraced. Each of the 12 chapters proposes an antidote for the toxicity that has infiltrated Christian culture, such as “Worship not Performance, “Temple not Program,” and “Solidarity not Sanctimony.” Each chapter includes thought-provoking discussion questions, perfect for individual or group study.

There are many reasons to lose hope about the state of our world and our church, but Guyton offers one piece of good news: Jesus is saving the world from us, one Christian at a time.  -From the Publisher

Find Morgan at: Mercy Not Sacrifice


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137: Chris Marlow, Author of ” Doing Good is Simple: Make a Difference Right Where You Are”

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*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org

ChrisMarlow FinalChris Marlow, founder of the global advocacy organization Help One Now, once felt paralyzed in the face of global problems. They seemed too numerous, too complicated, too big—and after all, how much can one person really do? But a wake-up call in Zimbabwe and a closer study of Scripture soon showed Chris that maybe Christians are overcomplicating how to do act justly in a broken world. Maybe all God is calling us to do is set up a lemonade stand for a good cause.

Doing Good Is Simple: Making a Difference Right Where You Are

We all want to do good, but often, we can be overwhelmed by our busy schedules, family commitments, and the feeling that we might not be making much of an impact anyway.

In Doing Good Is Simple, Chris Marlow gently challenges us with grace and humor to realize that we are both called and equipped to make a difference in the world and reminds us that doing good can be simple! -From the Publisher

Find Chris at: doinggoodissimplebook.com


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136: Gerald McDermott, Author of “The Great Theologians, A Brief Guide”

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*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org

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Gerald R. McDermott (PhD, University of Iowa) is Anglican Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also associate pastor at Christ the King Anglican Church. His books include The Other Jonathan Edwards: Readings in Love, Society, and Justice (with Ronald Story), The Theology of Jonathan Edwards (with Michael McClymond), A Trinitarian Theology of Religions (with Harold Netland), Cancer: A Medical and Spiritual Guide (with William Fintel, MD), Jonathan Edwards Confronts the Gods and World Religions: An Indispensable Guide.

 

The Great Theologians: A Brief Guide

Who are the church’s great theologians? What was special about their teaching? What can we learn from them today? Gerald McDermott has written this book for those who want a solid introduction that is challenging, but not overwhelming. Provocative but satisfying. And not too long. McDermott not only informs us about eleven pivotal theologians from Origen to von Balthasar, but helps us sort out what is of continuing value today. With study questions at the end of each chapter, this book is perfect for small groups to go through together. As you do, you’ll explore your shared theological history and uncover more about what and why you believe. Here’s your chance to think with “the greats” about God. -From the Publisher

Find Gerald at: beesondivinity.com/gerald-r-mcdermott


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135: Suzanne Burden, Author of “Reclaiming Eve: The Identity and Calling of Women in the Kingdom of God”

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*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org

sbSuzanne is a graduate of Cornerstone University and Grace Theological Seminary and serves part-time as discipleship pastor at Three Rivers Wesleyan Church. She writes and speaks on living in the Kingdom of God as a joyful, right-now reality. Suzanne co-authored “Reclaiming Eve: The Identity and Calling of Women in the Kingdom of God”.

Inferior. Second-best. Marginalized. Every daughter of Eve faces an identity crisis at some time in her life. And many wonder where they fit in on a regular basis. Authors Suzanne Burden, Carla Sunberg and Jamie Wright set out to discover what the Bible says about every woman’s identity. What they uncovered is a scriptural blueprint for both women and men that sets them free to serve Christ together as full partners in building God’s kingdom. -From the Publisher

Find Suzanne at: suzanneburden.com


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134: Jessica Kelley, Author of “Lord Willing?: Wrestling with God’s Role in My Child’s Death”

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*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.com

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Jessica Kelley is a writer, speaker, and survivor of child loss. She has a B.S. in Psychology, a M.S. in Counseling & Human Development, and experience as a School Counselor. Born and raised in the South, Jessica now lives with her husband and five-year-old daughter in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She survives the absurdly long winters by going to the gym, dreaming about the beach, and eating copious amounts of chocolate. You can find her processing her faith journey at JessicaKelley.com.

Lord Willing?: Wrestling with God’s Role in My Child’s Death

Does God’s perfect plan really include this?

When her young son was diagnosed with brain cancer, Jessica Kelley couldn’t stomach Christian clichés. God’s will? Divine design? The Lord’s perfect plan? In Lord Willing?, Kelley boldly tackles one of the most difficult questions of the Christian life: if God is all-powerful and all-loving, why do we suffer? For Kelley, this question takes an even more painful and personal turn: did God lack the power or the desire to spare her four-year-old son?

For those dissatisfied with easy answers to why evil and tragedy occur, Lord Willing? offers a refreshing, hopeful journey straight to the heart of God. Be prepared for something more beautiful, more pure, and more healing than you can dare to imagine. -From the Publisher


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Episode 132: Jonathan Martin, Author of “How to Survive a Shipwreck: Help Is on the Way and Love Is Already Here”


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133: Lisa Sharon Harper on The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right

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*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org
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Lisa Sharon Harper is the chief church engagement officer at Sojourners, a nonprofit organization committed to putting Christian faith into action in the pursuit of social justice, peace, and environmental stewardship. She is the author of several books, including Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…or Democrat and coauthor of Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith. Harper has been recognized by The Huffington Post as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders” and is considered one of the nation’s most influential voices on a faith-rooted approach to advocacy. Harper speaks extensively, nationally and internationally, and lives in Washington, D.C.

 

The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right

God once declared everything in the world “very good.”
Can you imagine it?
 
A Vision of Hope for a Broken World
 
Shalom is what God declared. Shalom is what the Kingdom of God looks like.
Shalom is when all people have enough.
It’s when families are healed.
It’s when churches, schools, and public policies protect human dignity.
Shalom is when the image of God is recognized in every single human.
Shalom is our calling as followers of Jesus’s gospel. It is the vision God set forth in the Garden and the restoration God desires for every relationship.

What can we do to bring shalom to our nations, our communities, and our souls? Through a careful exploration of biblical text, particularly the first three chapters of Genesis, Lisa Sharon Harper shows us what “very good” can look like today, even after the Fall.

Because despite our anxious minds, despite division and threats of violence, God’s vision remains: Wholeness for a hurting world. Peace for a fearful soul. Shalom.


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Episode 132: Jonathan Martin, Author of “How to Survive a Shipwreck: Help Is on the Way and Love Is Already Here”

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*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org

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Jonathan Martin is a writer, speaker, and dreamer currently living in Tulsa, OK, where he serves as Teaching Pastor at Sanctuary Church. He holds degrees from Gardner-Webb University, The Pentecostal Theological Seminary, and Duke Divinity School. He is the author of Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You’re More Like Jesus Than You Think? He is a product of the “Christ-haunted landscape” of the American South, sweaty revivals, and hip-hop. . He loves to talk about the beauty of God, what an extraordinary thing it is to be called God’s beloved, and finding new ways to be human. His new book is called “How to Survive a Shipwreck: Help Is on the Way and Love Is Already Here”

How to Survive a Shipwreck: Help Is on the Way and Love Is Already Here

Life is turbulent. On that, we can all agree. Disappointed dreams, broken relationships, identity crises, vocational hang-ups, wounds from the past—there are so many ways life can send us crashing up against the rocks.

In this deeply personal book, Jonathan Martin draws from his own stories of failure and loss to find the love that can only be discovered on the bottom. How to Survive a Shipwreck is an invitation to trust the goodness of God and the resilience of your soul. Jonathan’s clarion call is this: No matter how hard you’ve fallen, no matter how much you’ve been hurt, help is on the way—just when you need it most.

With visionary artistry and pastoral wisdom, Jonathan Martin reveals what we’ll need to make it through those uncharted waters, how we can use these defining experiences to live out of our depths, and why it will then become impossible to go back to the half-life we once lived. -From the Publisher


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Seminary Dropout 131: Brian Zahnd Author of “Water to Wine: Some of My Story”

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*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org

bz

 

Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor, of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. He is a passionate reader of theology and philosophy, an avid hiker and mountain climber, and authority on all things Bob Dylan. He and his wife, Peri, have three adult sons and five grandchildren. He is the author of several other books, including Unconditional?, Beauty Will Save the World, and A Farewell To Mars. Follow his blog at www.brianzahnd.com.


Water to Wine: Some of My Story

Why would the pastor of a large and successful church risk everything in a quest to find a richer, deeper, fuller Christianity? In Water To Wine Brian Zahnd tells his story of disenchantment with pop Christianity and his search for a more substantive faith.

“I was halfway to ninety—midway through life—and I had reached a full-blown crisis. Call it garden variety mid-life crisis if you want, but it was something more. You might say it was a theological crisis, though that makes it sound too cerebral. The unease I felt came from a deeper place than a mental file labeled “theology.” I was wrestling with the uneasy feeling that the faith I had built my life around was somehow deficient. Not wrong, but lacking. It seemed watery, weak. In my most honest moments I couldn’t help but notice that the faith I knew seemed to lack the kind of robust authenticity that made Jesus so fascinating. And I had always been utterly fascinated by Jesus. What I knew was that the Jesus I believed in warranted a better Christianity than what I was familiar with. I was in Cana and the wine had run out. I needed Jesus to perform a miracle.” –Water To Wine


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Seminary Dropout 130: Makoto Fujimura, Author of Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering

Discussing Shusaku Endo's novel Silence and it's impact on his Christianity

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*Published Originally at MissioAlliance.org

mfMakoto Fujimura is an internationally renowned artist, writer and speaker who serves as the director of Fuller Theological Seminary’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts. He is also the founder of the International Arts Movement and served as a presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts from 2003 to 2009. His books include Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture and Culture Care. Recognized worldwide as a cultural shaper, Fujimura’s work has been exhibited at galleries including Dillon Gallery in New York, Sato Museum in Tokyo, The Contemporary Museum of Tokyo, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts Museum, Bentley Gallery in Arizona, Taikoo Place in Hong Kong and Vienna’s Belvedere Museum. In 2011 the Fujimura Institute was established and launched the Qu4rtets, a collaboration between Fujimura, painter Bruce Herman, Duke theologian/pianist Jeremy Begbie and Yale composer Christopher Theofanidis, based on T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. A popular speaker, Fujimura has lectured at numerous conferences, universities and museums, including the Aspen Institute, Yale and Princeton Universities, Sato Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum. Among many awards and recognitions, Bucknell University honored him with the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2012, and the American Academy of Religion named him as its 2014 Religion and the Arts award recipient. He has received honorary doctorates from Belhaven University, Biola University, Cairn University and Roanoke College.
Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering

Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence, first published in 1966, endures as one of the greatest works of twentieth-century Japanese literature. Its narrative of the persecution of Christians in seventeenth-century Japan raises uncomfortable questions about God and the ambiguity of faith in the midst of suffering and hostility. Endo’s Silence took internationally renowned visual artist Makoto Fujimura on a pilgrimage of grappling with the nature of art, the significance of pain and his own cultural heritage. His artistic faith journey overlaps with Endo’s as he uncovers deep layers of meaning in Japanese history and literature, expressed in art both past and present. He finds connections to how faith is lived in contemporary contexts of trauma and glimpses of how the gospel is conveyed in Christ-hidden cultures. In this world of pain and suffering, God often seems silent. Fujimura’s reflections show that light is yet present in darkness, and that silence speaks with hidden beauty and truth. -From the Publisher


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