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Episode 421: Culture Warriors, Punching Protesters, & the Sacred Overlap


Why does everything feel like it’s “us vs. them” these days? Pastor and author J.R. Briggs says it’s because we’ve been taught to see everything as either/or, while Jesus modeled how to live in the tension of both/and. Briggs calls the space between opposing ideas the “sacred overlap.”


He talks to Skye about the role of mystery and paradox in Christian theology, and how it applies to contemporary issues. Also this week, why using war rhetoric to describe our Christian mission is very unchristian. Clean comedian, Jim Gaffigan, unloads on Trump in a profanity-filled Twitter rant. Did Eric Metaxas punch someone and then run through Washington D.C. backwards? Plus—beetles, frogs, and butts.


“The Sacred Overlap: Learning to Live Faithfully in the Space Between,” by J.R. Briggs: https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Overlap-Learning-Faithfully-Resources/dp/031010212X


“If You’re Fighting the Culture War, You’re Losing” by Cap Stewart: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/if-youre-fighting-the-culture-war-youre-losing/


“Jim Gaffigan calls Trump ‘liar and a criminal,’ slams ‘Trumpers’ in series of tweets”: https://variety.com/2020/politics/news/jim-gaffigan-trump-twitter-rant-1234752423/


“Eric Metaxas confirms he punched protester, says protester was to blame”: https://religionnews.com/2020/09/01/eric-metaxas-protester-menaced-punch-video-trump-rnc/


“These Water Beetles Make Their Escape Out of Frog’s Butt After Being Swallowed”: https://www.sciencealert.com/these-water-beetles-can-houdini-their-way-out-of-a-frog-butt-after-being-swallowed




10 Comments


Love this podcast!! Thanks for the great conversations week after week. It would be awesome to see Latasha Morrison from Be the Bridge on the show too. They are doing such amazing racial reconciliation work in the Church.

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Michael Sheldon
Michael Sheldon
Sep 14, 2020

Really loving the focus on how Christians should be thinking about politics and engaging culture. My big takeaway from your recent content along with the And Campaign and others is that any response that comes from a place of fear is not of God. I would recommend How the Nations Rage by Jonathan Leeman as another resource. I'd also love to hear you discuss the latest Netflix controversy about Cuties as it relates to QAnon, Christian cancel culture, and social commentary through the medium of movies.


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Sarah Lowe
Sarah Lowe
Sep 13, 2020

That episode gave me a lot to think about. I wonder if whom you find yourself sympathizing with more--whether Jim Gaffigan or Eric Metaxas--tells you something about where your blind spots are right now. (I feel like it did for me.)

This may be more "practical"/nuts-and-bolts than you prefer to get on a podcast episode, but I've heard you guys talk a lot about social media and good vs. bad uses of it. I wonder if that topic would be worthy of a more extended discussion? Personally, I don't feel tempted to argue with people on social media (and I only use Facebook--which I know is a platform that Skye hates!)--but I do feel tempted to judge and be angry…

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Jeff W
Jeff W
Sep 12, 2020

Hey guys - love your podcast. Missed Christian's perspective this week. She brings a good balance to you two, and I think she often asks questions we'd like to ask but can't.


Here's a concern, in fact: When Phil was introducing this week's show, he explained why you're going back to the Skye/Phil format without Christian. He said that because you have so many awesome interviews, you want to watch your time better (implying that Christian's input takes that valuable time). Then, you spent a HUGE amount of 32 minutes on some really, really silly stuff. You spent the same amount of time with less real conversation. I am sure that you didn't mean to imply that having Christi…


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Skye Jethani
Skye Jethani
Sep 10, 2020

conorray


I agree with you. The divisions have existed for a long time and are growing more extreme because of social media and cable news. Trump is a symptom of our division and a product of it, not the primary cause. To be clear, on the podcast I did not blame Trump for our divisions. I said he ”brings out the worst in people on both sides.” That was in response to Gaffigan’s twitter tirade and Metaxas punching a protester.

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