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Episode 528: Can Ancient Liturgy Save Evangelicalism? with Aaron Damiani


The death of Queen Elizabeth has many wondering about the future of Christianity in the UK. The Queen was outspoken about her faith in Jesus Christ, but how will King Charles change what it means for the monarch to be the “Defender of the Faith”? We all know evangelicals are divided by politics, but a new report by Catholic bishops says Roman Catholics are too. What can we learn from one another? Poverty among kids in the U.S. has declined dramatically in recent decades. Liberals say it’s the result of government programs. Conservative credit economic growth. Who is right?


Then, Anglican pastor Aaron Damiani talks with Skye about his journey from megachurch burnout to life-giving liturgy. His new book, “Earth Filled with Heaven,” is written to Christians skeptical about tradition, rituals, and sacraments, but they might be the key to saving evangelicalism from itself. Plus, why you shouldn’t drink coffee before shopping or trust ads featuring dogs.


Bonus Patreon Interview with Aaron Damiani - Https://www.patreon.com/posts/72516965/


News Segment

0:00 - Intro

03:06 - Dog and cat marketing

9:42 - Drinking coffee before shopping

11:13- The Queen’s faith and Christianity in the UK

21:46 - Catholic church split by politics

30:36 - Child poverty has declined


Interview with Aaron Damiani

“Earth Filled with Heaven: Finding Life in Liturgy, Sacraments, and other Ancient Practices of the Church” - https://amzn.to/3Szeaqy

43:55 - Background

47:47 - Megachurch burnout

52:14 - Liturgy and sacrament overview

59:38 - Misperceptions about liturgy

1:08:21 - Mitigating celebrity dynamics in the church

1:11:48 - Is this just another novelty?

1:15:08 - Credits


Articles from news segment:“Dog owners take more risks, cat owners are more cautious, research finds” by Lei Jia (Salon) - https://www.salon.com/2022/09/04/dog-owners-take-more-risks-cat-owners-are-more-cautious-research-finds_partner/


“Drinking coffee before shopping could make you spend more” by Adam Barnes (The Hill) - https://thehill.com/changing-america/enrichment/arts-culture/3567346-drinking-coffee-before-shopping-could-make-you-spend-more/


“US Catholic bishops’ report to the Vatican shows a church split by politics” by Claire Giangravé (Religion News Service) - https://religionnews.com/2022/09/23/u-s-catholic-bishops-report-to-the-vatican-shows-a-church-split-by-politics/


“Expanded Safety Net Drives Sharp Drop in Child Poverty” by Jason DeParle (NYT) - https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/11/us/politics/child-poverty-analysis-safety-net.html


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9 Comments


Hey, I am an evangelical who had a very different experience than the one you shared. I did grow up with liturgy in a mainline church in the Reformed tradition. But the church was very clearly evangelical. I went to seminary, and there I was trained in much more liturgy. Suffice to say, I think episcopal/anglicans were the heroes. While being trained in more liturgy, I began to react negatively. My critique is one I did not hear you discuss. My sense was we began worshipping "form" over "content." ie, did we do it "right?" It felt very distant and impersonal. It seemed like you thought most evangelicals were ignorant of liturgy and didn't know what we were missing. …


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rachel k
rachel k
Oct 03, 2022

Hey Phil, I'm wondering if you have plans to talk about the library in Llano, Texas...they have banned the children's books My Butt hurts; I need a New Butt; and one other that I can't remember. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/08/magazine/book-bans-texas.html

Seems like that would be on your radar. I might be a little slow...

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Hey Phil, in reference to a comment you dropped in this episode about the Pope visiting Canada because “some Canadians were cranky”, that is not the case. The pope visited to formally apologize for the Roman church’s complicity in systemic cultural genocide against Indigenous people.

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Jak P
Jak P
Sep 29, 2022

Not that I wish to sound overly like a pernickety Brit, but just to remind Phil that the late Queen Elizabeth was not Queen of England, she was Queen of the United Kingdom's, or more fully the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; of which England is simply one of four constituent parts. She was also Queen of Canada amongst several other places which brings the geographical references a little closer to home.


I might also just want to amend the suggestion that Defender of the Faith is an inherited papal title from Henry VIII. Yes, he was awarded the title by the then pope, and that title was later withdrawn. Parliament re-confirmed the title to Henry is…


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Lisa Crews
Lisa Crews
Sep 29, 2022

I left evangelicalism in part due to poor quality discipleship and was drawn to a more traditional liturgy. I think maintaining balance is essential. Here's my experience detailed for those interested: My background is 25 years Southern Baptist Churches, then 10 years in Independent Baptist Churches and 10 in Bible churches, all in a large city the southwest. Then it was 1 year at a Calvary Chapel and 1 year at a conservative (won't marry homosexuals) PCA Presbyterian church, both in a large city in the southeast. I think the discussion was a little unintentionally misleading or maybe just unclear. I agree that Evangelical churches do tend toward left brained focused learning, but they are also essentially anti-intellectual. That's a bi…

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