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Episode 514: How Politics Poisoned the Evangelical Church with Drew Dyck & David Kinnaman


A recent article in the Atlantic reveals how the political polarization in the United States is now tearing evangelical churches apart. And Marvin Olasky, the former editor of World Magazine, writes about the dramatic change he witnessed among evangelicals over his long career. Drawing from thousands of letters he received, Olasky concludes, “The Republican party platform has become more important than the gospel for many who identify as evangelicals.” Special guest co-host Drew Dyck joins Phil and Skye to discuss the articles.


Then, president of Barna research, David Kinnaman, is back with more stats to unpack. With a record number of pastors thinking seriously about quitting, and political polarization listed among the top reasons, Kinnaman says the church is facing a crisis of discipleship. He believes we need a political theology that’s rooted in the gospel rather than partisanship. But is it too late? Also this week, fear over climate change is making progressives question the morality of having kids. And, South Korean college students are flush with cash.



News Segment

0:00 - Intro

4:24 - News of the Butt

9:54 - Climate change and having kids

20:15 - How politics poisoned the evangelical church

30:47 - Evangelical Christianity in the age of Trump

Sponsors

57:08 - World Relief

59:04 - Faithful Counseling


Barna Brief with David Kinnaman

1:00:14 - Barna Brief intro

1:01:32 - Data on pastors considering quitting

1:04:23 - Reason 1: Stress of job

1:06:20 - Reason 2: Loneliness

1:09:54 - Reason 3: Political division

1:21:05 - Good news in this data?

1:29:42 - Credits


Barna Brief links:

Barna Group, Faith Leadership in a Divided Culture

Resilient Pastor Cohort (discount code is HOLYPOST15): barna.com/cohort

“The Resilient Pastor” by Glenn Packiam - https://amzn.to/3HK2f4R


News segment links:

“South Korean Toilet Allows Students to Pay With Their Poop” - https://interestingengineering.com/south-korean-toilet-allows-students-to-pay-with-their-poop


“Your Kids are Not Doomed” by Ezra Klein (NYT Opinion) -https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/05/opinion/climate-change-should-you-have-kids.html


“How Politics Poisoned the Evangelical Church” by Tim Alberta (The Atlantic) - https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/06/evangelical-church-pastors-political-radicalization/629631/


“The Sixty Years’ War: Evangelical Christianity in the Age of Trump” by Marvin Olasky (National Review) - https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2022/06/27/the-sixty-years-war-evangelical-christianity-in-the-age-of-trump/


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22 Comments


On poo-to-fuel segment be happy that the US is not behind in this area, but leading it! I’m working on that research and we’ve only scratched the surface of the number of jokes that this opportunity has provided. https://www.pnnl.gov/publications/sustainable-aviation-fuel-hydrothermal-liquefaction-wet-wastes

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Hannah James
Hannah James
Jun 28, 2022

My house church has been using Skye’s book “What if Jesus Was Serious?” To guide our discipleship and our weekly learning. It has been a great book for us to look at application of the teaching of Christ. This episode seems so on par with what seems to be occurring. Thanks for the insight

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Jacob Moremen
Jacob Moremen
Jun 26, 2022

Skye finally nailed exactly what's been rattling in my head but I didn't have the right words for. Apocalyptic unveiling. But right after that Phil follows up with the notion of "the church" supporting "Trump-lets". So my question is this: is it really "the church" supporting them? Or to follow Skye's point, were those buildings with pews never churches to begin with? At least not in the sense that they gathered followers of Christ in communal worship of our Lord.

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I have some problems with some of the things you said about climate change and Christian hope in that context.

Firstly, while Christians are to be characterised by hope, it is a very focuses hope. It is not about just being optimistic. Christian hope is the hope of Christ's return, our resurrection and eternal life in a renewed creation. Christians can have that hope and still be pessimistic about the possibility of solving the climate change problem.

Secondly, climate scientists generally don't put forward the worst case scenarios. However, what has tended to happen is that the effects they have predicted have happened earlier than they thought they would. The climate keeps taking them by surprise, e.g. the simultaneous hea…

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Stephanie Hutt
Stephanie Hutt
Jun 24, 2022

Thank you for all the effort that you put into these podcast. I’ve found a community that challenges me and makes me feel I’m not crazy for thinking the way I d. A couple of things I was watching a news segment on YouTube from MSNBC and in this clip they were talking about shifting demographics and they said that only 32% of Trump voters were church going people. I just found that interesting.

Secondly, in the article from the Atlantic I think when talking about Pastor Bill Bolin the author should have mentioned Michigan had no shutdown orders during the pandemic. If you’re going to mention the guy was sticking it to the man (or in this cas…

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