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What in the World? EPISODE 1: The Kingdom of God with Ruth Padilla DeBorst

How big is the scope of the gospel? What does God's kingdom include? And what happens when we discover the American church isn’t the center of it? Based on the book Inalienable by Eric Costanzo, Daniel Yang, and Matthew Soerens, in this episode Skye Jethani (co-host of The Holy Post) talks to theologian and missiologist Dr. Ruth Padilla DeBorst. With extensive experience in the Latin American church, Padilla DeBorst explains how popular American Christianity misunderstands the Kingdom of God, and how seeking the wisdom of the global church can guild the American church through its current crisis.

"Inalienable: How Marginalized Kingdom Voices Can Help Save the American Church" by Eric Costanzo, Daniel Yang, and Matthew Soerens -

0:00 - Theme song and intro

Interview with Ruth Padilla DeBorst 2:46 - Misunderstandings and assumptions about Christians in the Global South 7:41 - Power and privilege 13:39 - Theologies of liberation 18:10 - Immigrants in the American church 21:06 - Is partnership possible? 25:05 - Celebrity leader dynamics 31:32 - Learning from another context

Sponsor: 35:21 - World Relief sponsorship Join the Path:

Debrief with Matthew Soerens and Daniel Yang 37:18 - Debrief intro 39:18 - U.S. short-term missions 41:25 - Daniel's family experience 44:13 - Communal culture 49:15 - Laying down preferences 55:35 - The good and the bad in American influence

1:01:18 - Credits

Resource referenced by Daniel Yang: GlocalNet -

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Cheryl Rowan
Cheryl Rowan
Oct 27, 2022

I have now listened to all three episodes of the "What in the World" series and am anxious for more episodes. In particular, Episode 1 has "echoes" of two other books I have recently read: "Freein Congregational Mission" (by B. Hunter Farrell and S. Balajiedlang Khyllep) and "Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes" (by E. Randolph Richards). Very thought provoking! Are you aware of a new certificate of ministry being offered through Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Missional Leadership?

I have been connected for 15 years with a ministry based in Guatemala (CEDEPCA) which seeks to address many of the issues and concerns that Ruth talks about in this episode. "Inalienable" is now on my reading list!


I was going to twit Skye for snide comments about comm's with one of the most prosperous countries of Central America, within his own time zone even (just not switching to DST, as one ought not do in the tropics) but then Ruth tweaked the way she quoted Matt. 6.33, several times (e.g. at 25:15 or so), using "justice" instead of righteousness -- and I counted that a great, great gift.

N. T. Wright's quibbles about translating the δικαιο-family words, especially in PFG, were very profitable to me. They drift, you see, between righteous- and just- nouns and verbs, just as the Hebrew word the LXX translators used that family to translate, צדק, does natively -- the choices taken in…


Jul 15, 2022

Great idea for a segment!

Would you like to interview some Ukrainian Christian leaders in the thick of things?

I have two friends... One already interviewed in Christianity Today, a refugee, missions leader.

Another was my summer roommate in missions school, now a leader of a big humanitarian/missions hub in Lviv, he's been interviewed by some podcasts too.

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