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What In the World? EPISODE 3: The Word of God

The Bible is one of God’s most important gifts to his people. Through it we discover who he is and become equipped to follow him in the world. But rather than a source of unity, for many Christians the Bible is a point of conflict and division—especially when we fail to recognize the difference between the Bible and our cultural interpretation of the Bible.

My guest today, Lanre Williams-Ayedun, says one of best ways to overcome this danger is by engaging our sisters and brothers from other parts of the global church. When we listen to how they read the Scriptures, it can both illuminate things we’ve never seen before and make us more humble about our own grasp of God’s word

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

Interview with Lanre Williams-Ayedun

0:00 - Intro 2:32 - Engaging Scripture globally 11:47 - Learning from the global church 18:50 - Celebrity pastors outside U.S. 22:31 - Engaging outside your context 26:58 - Scripture and cultural lenses 30:57 - Scripture and justice

Sponsor 35:09 - Sponsor - World Relief Join the Path:

Debrief with Matthew Soerens 37:06 - Diverse voices speaking into Scripture 45:17 - Healthy skepticism of cultural lenses 48:33 - Other resources

53:21 - Credits

Resources mentioned: “Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity” by Robert Chao Romero - “Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope” by Esau McCaulley -

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I loved this episode. I served in another country for 27 years and rubbed shoulders with internationals from many countries. The cultural bias is real.

One thing I feel makes the western church arrogant is its reliance on higher degrees to 'qualify' Christian leaders. Our systems and resources for Theological Education are hyper-developed. Our relative wealth means Pastors devote 4+ years to full-time study of every kind of 'ology,' in order to understand the Bible and God correctly. They learn Greek and Hebrew.

In spite of all of that high-level knowledge, what is Biblical truth depends on which tradition is running the seminary. With all that study, we still don't land on the same conclusions.

The post-moderns are forcing us…


The δικαιο- family of Greek words --> Justice / Justify / Righteousness -- several pages of N. T. Wright's writings, in Paul and the Faithfulness of God first made this gap plain to me, in our language, English, in showing that the "Romans Road" isn't quite so 100% judicial as it's often taught.

When "what in the world?" interviewed Ruth Padilla de Borst, she used "justice" and changed it to "righteousness" in quoting "Seek first the kingdom..." (or did she even quote it in Spanish first?) that exposed to me the wrong that can be done to this family of words, first translated from a similarly dense word in Hebrew, in the other direction.

Just as in places where we've…

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