Seminary Dropout 010: Jeremy Courtney of Preemptive Love Coalition

Welcome to episode 10! We’re in the double digits now.

This week before the interview I start a conversation about some things changing on Seminary Dropout in the next several months and also use the opportunity to announce that “My wife and I are expecting our first child!!!!” We’re very excited and can’t wait to see that little guy/girl.


My guest today happens to be a personal friend of mine. Jeremy Courtney is the Author of Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time coming out in September of 2013 (Update: the book is now out. Go get it!), and is the Executive Director & Co-founder of Preemptive Love Coalition, an international development & peacemaking organization.


Preemptive Love has helped numerous children receive life saving heart surgeries.

PLC_logo_150pxYou can see Jeremy’s TEDxAustin talk here, and his TEDxBaghdad talk here.

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5 thoughts on “Seminary Dropout 010: Jeremy Courtney of Preemptive Love Coalition

  1. Shane, you asked in your podcast why it seems that “the church” in general has become so intolerant of sinners.
    It’s my belief that it’s so much easier to rally-the-troops with righteous anger than it is to do so with compassion and caring. If I have a group of “them,” it’s much easier for me to consolidate my base of support (“us”) by preaching about how evil “they” are.  It builds a divide, and the louder I shout, the wider the divide becomes – and the less chance of anyone bridging-the-gap and finding out otherwise.
    As a resident of the Missouri Ozarks area, I can tell you that area church attendance (and, presumably, giving) swells noticeably whenever any issue related to the GLBT community comes up (as an example). It seems to give pastors a target and the chance to invoke themes of purity and righteousness – not to mention pointing to the “good old days, when this kind of behavior wouldn’t be tolerated.”  The typical approach is that “we” are not like this, and since “they” are not like us, “they” are both wrong and not worthy of being tolerated. You can substitute “GLBT” for “Muslim,” “liberal,” “Democrat,” “welfare-state baby mommas”…. take your pick.
    Any suggestion that Romans 3 might apply to the “us” folks in this dichotomy (“There is no one righteous, not even one…”) is laughed out of countenance. The idea of “unforgivable” or “intolerable” sin (the sin that “they” do, which is more awful than the other more mainstream sinning that “we” do) has become a matter of general acceptance. 
    For me, it smacks of egotism and moral superiority. In my own case, when I start believing that my sewage doesn’t stink, or that I am in some way superior to “those other sinners,” I know that I am in a pretty dark place spiritually. It seems, however, that if one just puts these thoughts inside a big and pretty-enough building, and put some flashy lights and great music around them, they really don’t smell so bad….
    Think about any particular hot-button topic for the church, and see how much polarization occurs. Then, if you pick up Mel White’s “Stranger At The Gate,” and skip straight to chapter 14, you’ll find a lot of the basis for this.
    I’m glad I found your blog and podcast. I will be praying blessings for you and yours as your journey continues.

    • @steve1290 That’s really well said Steve. We need to be more concerned with reconciling others to Christ, not making the divide larger.

  2. Shane, this is an outstanding interview. I hope you consider
    doing a follow-up the two of you were really on a roll at the end. It would be
    fun to hear more. I found it interesting to hear Jeremy try to anticipate where
    their ministry would be today. When I looked at their website it appears that
    they’ve gone beyond what he had envisioned at the time this was recorded.

    I think my biggest take away was how well he defined the
    complex issues around international relief work. Given that economic concerns
    are not a primary driver in a country like Iraq it puts the cultural issues and
    the ravages of war front and center. Truly issues that are hard to understand without
    being exposed to them first hand. Thank you for the compassionate take on this.

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