Episode 172: Eric Nykamp – “Comfort and Complicity.”

Today on the Antioch Podcast, we are starting a new series where each member of the Antioch Podcast team takes a turn sharing a bit about our antiracism journey over the past year.  This week, it is my turn to share my story.  I’ve not shared my story on the podcast before, and this is only a bare-bones version, but I hope you the listener find it meaningful. 

 

CREDITS:

The Antioch Podcast Team’s Antiracism Movie Recommendations:

 

 

Episode 171: One Year Later … “Remembering the Insurrection.”

Sometimes I have a hard time dating forms after New Year’s Day. It is like my brain is on autopilot, and it takes me a good while to remember the year correctly. But not in 2021. On January 1st of 2021, I couldn’t wait to put all the awfulness of 2020 behind. I was so happy writing the number 2021 when I had to sign and date forms. After 9 months of pandemic lockdowns, racial unrest, and a contentious election, I was ready to put the past year behind me. I was convinced that 2021 had to be a better year… and then January 6 happened. I remember that sense that things were bound to get better evaporate as I watched the scenes of insurrectionists overrunning the US Capitol Building. I know I’m not alone.

So today on the Antioch Podcast, our multiracial team of antiracism educators and friends sat down to talk about our memories of that day a year ago, talking about what we thought and felt at the time, and how we are thinking today about these events a year later.

This was a particularly vulnerable conversation … which we are willing to share with all of you, our listeners.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.

CREDITS:

Moca Valencia Recipe

Golden Statue of Trump

Gold Statue CPAC

 

Episode 170: Antiracist Spiritual Practices – “Self-Care”

Today we are continuing our miniseries on the Antioch Podcast on Antiracist Spiritual Practices – the same Christian disciplines that Christians have been practicing for over two millennia, with an Antiracism focus. Biblical Antiracism swings the camera of our awareness to examine how sin-filled humans use their power to create systems and policies which many times bring about racial inequities and injustice. These systemic injustices make it hard for all peoples to flourish, which is not in keeping with God’s plan for humanity. These spiritual practices accomplish three things:

1.) These spiritual practices heighten our individual and corporate awareness to perceive and recognize individual and systemic sins that lead to inequity and injustice – including racial inequities and race-based injustices.
2.) These spiritual disciplines prepare us for action because as it says in the book of James chapter 2:17 -faith without actions is dead.
3.) These spiritual disciplines make room for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, who stretches and guides us as we walk by faith. We remember that it was the Holy Spirit who called the church out of a Jewish monoculture to a worldwide faith reaching all peoples and cultures of the Roman world… a phenomenon which continues to this day. Without the work of the Spirit, there would be no multiethnic church – as our sinful human nature is to be self-centered, stay in our own groups, and hoard whatever resources and power we have to serve our own interests.

So today, we continue with a discussion of the antiracist spiritual practice of self-care. Jesus routinely would take time away from ministry to recharge – often in solitary places. This practice of self-care is the topic of our discussion today because racism takes a toll on anyone who is working to recover from the damage of overt racism and microaggressions, decolonize their mind, have equitable relationships, and reform systems and institutions to be more inclusive places where all God’s people can live and thrive.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.

Episode 169: Antiracist Spiritual Practices – “Scripture Reading”

Today we are starting another miniseries on the Antioch Podcast on Antiracist Spiritual Practices.  These are the same Christian disciplines that Christians have been practicing for over two millennia, with an Antiracism focus.  Biblical Antiracism swings the camera of our awareness to examine how sin-filled humans use their power to create systems and policies which many times bring about racial inequities and injustice.  These systemic injustices make it hard for all peoples to flourish, which is not in keeping with God’s plan for humanity.  These spiritual practices accomplish three things:

  • These spiritual practices heighten our individual and corporate awareness to perceive and recognize individual and systemic sins that lead to inequity and injustice – including racial inequities and race-based injustices.
  • These spiritual disciplines prepare us for action because as it says in the book of James chapter 2:17 -faith without actions is dead.
  • These spiritual disciplines make room for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, who stretches and guides us as we walk by faith. We remember that it was the Holy Spirit who called the church out of a Jewish monoculture to a worldwide faith reaching all peoples and cultures of the Roman world… a phenomenon which continues to this day.  Without the work of the Spirit, there would be no multiethnic church – as our sinful human nature is to be self-centered, stay in our own groups, and hoard whatever resources and power we have to serve our own interests.

So today, we continue with a discussion of the antiracist spiritual practice of reading scripture.  As you will hear, there are a few “drop the mic” moments in this episode.  Well worth a second, and perhaps a third listen.

 

Episode 168: Antiracist Spiritual Practices – “Prayer”

Today we are starting another miniseries on the Antioch Podcast on Antiracist Spiritual Practices.  These are the same Christian disciplines that Christians have been practicing for over two millennia, with an Antiracism focus.  Biblical Antiracism swings the camera of our awareness to examine how sin-filled humans use their power to create systems and policies which many times bring about racial inequities and injustice.  These systemic injustices make it hard for all peoples to flourish, which is not in keeping with God’s plan for humanity.  These spiritual practices accomplish three things:

  • These spiritual practices heighten our individual and corporate awareness to perceive and recognize individual and systemic sins that lead to inequity and injustice – including racial inequities and race-based injustices.
  • These spiritual disciplines prepare us for action because as it says in the book of James chapter 2:17 -faith without actions is dead.
  • These spiritual disciplines make room for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, who stretches and guides us as we walk by faith. We remember that it was the Holy Spirit who called the church out of a Jewish monoculture to a worldwide faith reaching all peoples and cultures of the Roman world… a phenomenon which continues to this day.  Without the work of the Spirit, there would be no multiethnic church – as our sinful human nature is to be self-centered, stay in our own groups, and hoard whatever resources and power we have to serve our own interests.

So today, we begin with a discussion of the antiracist spiritual practice of prayer.  It is a passionate conversation, perhaps worth listening to more than once.  Fair warning, there are a few times in this conversation you might say, “ouch.”

CREDITS:

Antiracism Prayer – United Church of Canada

https://www.trinitychurchboston.org/sites/default/files/ART-Prayerbook-FINAL_0.pdf

 

Karl Bart (Barth?) Pray with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in another.

Episode 167: Antiracism 101 – “What Is Biblical Antiracism?” – part 2

Today on the Antioch Podcast, we are at the end of a three-part miniseries on Antiracism basics, we are calling “Antiracism 101.”  Two episodes back, we explored what antiracism is – and last week we had the first of two-episodes devoted to a discussion of what Biblical antiracism is.

So today, we will finish our two-part discussion of what is Biblical about antiracism.  It’s a good one.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.

CREDITS:

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, Jennifer L. Eberhardt

Synod repents of the sin of racism

Synod Repents of Historical and Present Racism

The True Courage of Johanna Veenstra

Leading and Longing, Eric Nykamp

 

 

Episode 166: Antiracism 101 – “What is Biblical About Antiracism?” – part 1

Today on the Antioch Podcast, we are in the middle of a three-part miniseries on Antiracism basics, we are calling “Antiracism 101.” Last episode, we explored what antiracism is – and today we have the first of two-episodes devoted to a discussion of what Biblical antiracism is.

So today, we will have the first of our two-part discussion of what is Biblical about antiracism.

CREDITS:

From Every Nation – Calvin University

Antiracism Work is Gospel Work

The World Has Come to Kentwood

Episode 165: Antiracism 101 – “What is Antiracism?”

Today on the Antioch Podcast, we are going to start a three-part miniseries on Antiracism basics, we are calling “Antiracism 101.” In this series of three episodes, we will be exploring what antiracism is, what Biblical antiracism is, and conclude with an case study that looks at how Biblical antiracist principles affect an actual church whose story was recently in the national news. You won’t want to miss any of these three episodes.

So today, we will begin the series with this discussion of what is meant by the term antiracism.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.


CREDITS:

Transcending Racial Barriers: Towards a Mutual Obligations Approach, Michael Emmerson and George Yancey

Episode 164: Diversity Playbook – “Part 4: An Interview with the Authors.”

Authors Michelle Loyd Paige and Michelle Williams wrote their book, Diversity Playbook: Recommendations and Guidance for Christian Organizations, as a repository for their collective insights as diversity professionals who have served Christian institutions for decades. This playbook is full of practical wisdom for three distinct, but interactive audiences:

– Diversity professionals – those people tasked with helping an institution diversify their staff and serve diverse communities

– Outliers, Allies and Co-conspirators – those “other” people who interact with diversity professionals who can help – or hinder – their work

– Organizations – Institutions like Christian places of higher education, churches, nonprofits, or other places of Christian ministry who may have an interest in addressing racial inequity within their organization as well as work towards racial justice initiatives in their communities at large.

The previous three episodes of the Antioch Podcast covered these audiences, and today, we are in our final episode with the authors themselves.
Our team was excited to hear Michelle Williams and Michelle Loyd Paige talk about the book, as you are about to hear.


CREDITS:
Diversity Playbook: Recommendations and Guidance for Christian Organizations by Michelle Loyd-Paige and Michelle Williams

Episode 163: Diversity Playbook – “Part 3: For Christian Organizations.”

Authors Michelle Loyd Paige and Michelle Williams wrote their book, Diversity Playbook: Recommendations and Guidance for Christian Organizations, as a repository for their collective insights as diversity professionals who have served Christian institutions for decades.  This playbook is full of practical wisdom for three distinct, but interactive audiences:

–       Diversity professionals – those people tasked with helping an institution diversify their staff and serve diverse communities

–       Outliers, Allies and Co-conspirators – those “other” people who interact with diversity professionals who can help – or hinder – their work

–       Organizations – Institutions like Christian places of higher education, churches, nonprofits, or other places of Christian ministry who may have an interest in addressing racial inequity within their organization as well as work towards racial justice initiatives in their communities at large.

We are halfway through our four-episode series on this book.  In each episode, we will have a discussion about one of these groups as a team, culminating in a final episode with the authors themselves.

This week, we are focusing on leaders of Christian Organizations who are trying to heed the Biblical call for justice, in this episode called “For Christian Organizations.”

Episode 162: Diversity Playbook – “Part 2: Outliers, Allies & Co-Conspiritors.”

Authors Michelle Loyd Paige and Michelle Williams wrote their book, Diversity Playbook: Recommendations and Guidance for Christian Organizations, as a repository for their collective insights as diversity professionals who have served Christian institutions for decades. This playbook is full of practical wisdom for three distinct, but interactive audiences:

– Diversity professionals – those people tasked with helping an institution diversify their staff and serve diverse communities

– Outliers, Allies and Co-conspirators – those “other” people who interact with diversity professionals who can help – or hinder – their work

– Organizations – Institutions like Christian places of higher education, churches, nonprofits, or other places of Christian ministry who may have an interest in addressing racial inequity within their organization as well as work towards racial justice initiatives in their communities at large.

Last week we began a four-episode series on this book. In each episode, we will have a discussion about one of these groups as a team, culminating in a final episode with the authors themselves.

This week, we are focusing on people who interact with diversity professionals doing equity and inclusion work, in this episode called “Outliers, Allies and Co-conspirators.”

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.

CREDITS:
Pew Research Center – Support for Black Lives Matter has decreased since June but remains strong among Black Americans, September 16, 2020

Support for Black Lives Matter has decreased since June but remains strong among Black Americans

Episode 161: Diversity Playbook – “Part 1: For the Diversity Professional.”

Authors Michelle Loyd Paige and Michelle Williams wrote their book, Diversity Playbook: Recommendations and Guidance for Christian Organizations, as a repository for their collective insights as diversity professionals who have served Christian institutions for decades.  This playbook is full of practical wisdom for three distinct, but interactive audiences:

–       Diversity professionals – those people tasked with helping an institution diversify their staff and serve diverse communities

–       Outliers, Allies and Co-conspirators – those “other” people who interact with diversity professionals who can help – or hinder – their work

–       Organizations – Institutions like Christian places of higher education, churches, nonprofits, or other places of Christian ministry who may have an interest in addressing racial inequity within their organization as well as work towards racial justice initiatives in their communities at large.

Over the next four episodes of the Antioch Podcast, we will explore these topics as a team, culminating in a final episode with the authors themselves.

This week, we are focusing first on professionals doing diversity, equity and inclusion work, in this episode called “For the Diversity Professional.”

CREDITS:

Shekinah Glory Ministry-Yes (Extended Version)

Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age – Bruce Feiler

Episode 160: Antiracism vs. Compositional Diversity – Part 2 of 2

This is part 2 of our two-episode conversation called Antiracism vs. Compositional Diversity: Why seeking justice matters to have true unity in Christian spaces.  This live conversation was part of the Unlearn program offered at Calvin University through the Center for Intercultural Student Development.  During this week, students, faculty, and the community are invited to educational events and forums to learn and have conversations designed to unlearn biases and promote Biblical antiracism. Jane Bruin, a friend and occasional guest on the Antioch Podcast is one of the organizers of this program.  At the end of this broadcast, you will hear Jane as she vets questions from the audience that came in during this live event.

If you missed part 1 of this presentation, go back and listen to Episode 159… or just keep listening – the conversation has been a good one.

When we left off, we had just begun discussing the topic of antiracist worship design – asking questions about song choice, representation in worship, and looking at who gets to make decisions about how worship is done within a particular Christian space.

As we rejoin the conversation, Michelle continues the conversation with another provocative question.

 

CREDITS:

The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World – Sandra Maria Van Opstal

https://www.amazon.com/Next-Worship-Glorifying-Diverse-World/dp/0830841296

Episode 159: Antiracism vs. Compositional Diversity Part 1 of 2

Unlearn week is a yearly program offered at Calvin University through the Center for Intercultural Student Development.  During this week, students, faculty, and the community are invited to educational events and forums to learn and have conversations designed to unlearn biases and promote Biblical antiracism.  The Antioch Podcast team was invited to participate in this event, so buckle your audio seatbelts for this two-hour episode.

Jane Bruin, a friend and occasional guest on the Antioch Podcast is one of the organizers of this program.  At the end of this broadcast, you will hear Jane as she vets questions from the audience that came in during this live event.

Our topic: Antiracism vs. Compositional Diversity – why seeking justice matters to have true unity in Christian spaces.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.

 

CREDITS:

 

The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World – Sandra Maria Van Opstal

https://www.amazon.com/Next-Worship-Glorifying-Diverse-World/dp/0830841296

 

 

Jemar Tisby

The Color of Compromise

How to Fight Racism

Episode 158: The Antioch Podcast Retreat – “What We Did, and What We Learned.”

Jesus once asked his followers “Come away with me.  Let us go alone to a quiet place and rest for a while.”  Jesus knew that they needed a break from all they were learning and doing while they followed him.

Everyone needs time to rest, and our team needed this as well.

Our podcast has been around for over five years, endured through some of the more challenging racial issues in recent memory, and our team needed to get some extended time to be together… without the microphones, to check in with one another, be with God, and plan for our future as a now-independent podcast.

Some of you were praying for us.  We welcome your prayers, and appreciate this from our growing community of listeners.

So we wanted to share with you all a bit of what happened during our time away in this episode we are calling “The Antioch Podcast Retreat: What What We Did, and What We Learned.”

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.


CREDITS:

Michigan Mushroom Company

https://michiganmushroomco.com

The Mushroom Factory (Detroit)

https://www.themushroomfactory.com

Zazu Mushrooms

https://zazumushrooms.com

 

Episode 157: White Christian Nationalism – “The Heretical Gospel of God and Country.”

It is a commonly-repeated story about America. European Christians traveled from Europe – some fleeing persecution – crossing the Great Sea to a Promised Land where they set up a God-glorifying Christian nation from which to bless the world. This retelling of the American story substitutes white Christians for the original chosen people of God in the Old Testament, the Israelites. While some parts of this narrative may contain some truths – after all, some white Christians did come to the New World fleeing persecution – reading scripture in this manner, with White Christians substituted for a second, chosen people of God, is a peculiarly American heresy.

Of all the White Christians I know, I don’t know any who would self-identify as White Christian Nationalists, which makes using this phraseology in conversation about a religion centered around whiteness, patriotism and faith particularly difficult. Nevertheless, for a significant segment of White Christian America misreading scripture as a text that justifies American patriotism and politics that center the concerns of white America is what feels like their religious home. And while many who practice White Christian Nationalism would not themselves support the insurrectionists who tried to overthrow the government on January 6, 2021… this psychological distancing ignores the fact that many of the symbols, signs, and prayers used by these insurrectionists are also spoken and found in their sanctuaries, homes and front lawns.

White Christian Nationism is one belief system that makes talking about Biblical Antiracism complicated for White Christians. Biblical Antiracism challenges the narrative that white Christian Americans created a Divinely-appointed society, which has continued to be blessed by God, in order to bless the world. In the narrative of White Christian Nationalism, the history of racial injustice in America is at best minimized, and at worst overlooked, because it begins to substitute a country, instead of Christ, as the savior of the world. And this world is a world focusing squarely on the prosperity and comfort of its whitest citizens. The narrative of White Christian Nationalism overlooks the sins of individual white people, and groups of white people, who created, participated in, or turned a blind eye to their own sins, including laws that permitted and encouraged racial violence and discrimination. It overlooks or minimizes the current historical moment where racism continues to oppress through laws and institutional policies that use racially-coded, but less overtly-racist, language which continue to perpetuate racial inequality. And the narrative of White Christian Nationalism excuses white people from taking responsibility for dismantling racism, by painting those who attempt to provide corrective education and action as evil, divisive or anti-American.

Let’s be honest: White people, like all people in the world, are sinful people. God calls us to look at our sinful condition, repent, and change, so that we do not keep on sinning. God calls all sinful people to do this, and when there are national sins, God calls nations as well to recognize their sins, repent and change those policies and practices.

Case in point, the ancient nation of Israel, about whom the majority of the Old Testament was written. Through the centuries Israel – God’s actual chosen nation – nevertheless had national sin-habits that brought suffering to the most vulnerable populations in their nation – foreigners and immigrants, widows and orphans, people with incurable diseases and people experiencing poverty. Sometimes Israel’s national sins created the very conditions that resulted in this kind of inequality … and it deeply concerned God… because God cares about those who are crushed in spirit.

Our group of Christian antiracism educators have a conversation about this and more in this episode we are calling “White Christian Nationalism: The Heretical Gospel of God and Country.”

CREDITS:
White Christian Nationalism in the United States (session 1)

White Christian Nationalism in the United States (session 2)

What to Do With American Rage, Reginald Smith

A Long History of Affirmative Action – for Whites

Racial Equity Tools: Discussion of Racist Laws and Policies

Our Broke Public Universities: The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Faces of Rage, David Damico

Episode 156: Radical Acts – “Seeing Acts 1-12 in the Rearview Mirror.”

The good doctor Luke, writer of his self-titled gospel on the life of Jesus followed up by writing the sequel commonly referred to as the Acts of the Apostles.  Now it IS true – this book does talk a lot about those early church leaders.  But focusing on the human beings in this story misses the bigger picture of the book of Acts, namely that this is actually a story about the Holy Spirit, the person of the Trinity which Pastor Reggie describes in this episode as the “shyest person of the trinity”.  We are taking this episode to look back at the narrative arc of the first twelve chapters of the book of Acts, to talk about the big themes of this story which among other things, chronicles how the Holy Spirit gave birth to the first, radically inclusive, multiethnic church.

You are not going to want to miss a minute of this conversation. among our group of Christian antiracism educators and friends in this episode we are calling “Seeing Acts 1-12 in the Rearview Mirror.”

Episode 155: Radical Acts – “God Don’t Play.”

Imagine for a moment a people so afraid of their murderous, narcissistic ruler, that all his followers flatter him with praise to ensure that the people they represent in the government get what they need to sustain them. They shower him with acclaim at his speaking events that are one-part stump-speech and one-part rabble-rousing spectacle.

Though it may sound like a story ripped from the headlines of recent years, I assure you it is not. This is the story of the last speech and demise of Herod the Great, recorded in the book of Acts, by the Gospel-writer Luke. What became of this notorious tyrant is the topic of today’s conversation. As you are about to hear, this overlooked story has a lot to tell us about privilege, power, and how God gets to write the final chapter about all earthly rulers … not matter how great they are again.

You are not going to want to miss a minute of this conversation. among our group of Christian antiracism educators and friends in this episode we are calling “God don’t play.”

CORRECTION: In this episode, Eric mentions that Herod in this scripture passage is the Herod that tried to kill Jesus. While the Herod in this episode (Herod Agrippa I) is related to the former Herod (Herod the Great), they are not, in fact, the same person. They both were horrid Roman rulers, however. To read more about them, and four other people named “Herod” in scripture, follow this link: How many Herods are there in the Bible?

CREDITS:

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry

Willie Jennings Commentary on Acts

Bible History.com – Josephus Account of Agrippa’s Death

ABC News: Researchers Diagnose Herod the Great

White Christian Nationalism, Liberation Theology, and Being Reformed – Juan Carmona

Episode 154: Radical Acts – “Free… But Not So Free.”

We have been working our way through the stories told in the book of Acts – a book in the New Testament which chronicles the birth of the early Christian church. For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, the early church is by this time a multiethnic group of believers found throughout the southern part of the Roman Empire, meeting in homes in various cities, often in secret. The reason? Persecution. That’s where today’s story begins. Caesar, the ruler of the Empire, recently discovered that he could boost his ratings by publicly executing Christians. He did it once, executing a member of Jesus’ inner circle – the disciple James. After receiving glowing reviews, he decided to put on an encore performance by arresting another member of the inner circle, the disciple Peter: front-man for the Christian church in Judea. It wasn’t looking good for the church, as the systemic powers of Rome were now turning unfavorably towards the Christian religious minority.

Our group of Christian antiracism educators and friends took a look at this passage and as usual, had a lot to say.

CREDITS:

Willie Jennings Commentary on Acts https://www.amazon.com/Acts-Theological-Commentary-Bible-Belief/dp/0664234003/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=willie+Jennings+acts&qid=1619815143&sr=8-2

The New Testament in Antiquity: A Survey of the New Testament Within Its Cultural Contexts

Episode 153: Radical Acts – “Antioch: The First Multiethnic Church.”

The church began as a multiethnic institution. Period. Full stop.

Now if you studied art history like me, you are pretty used to seeing a lot of famous images of Bible stories recreated on canvas showing a lot of white people as the characters in almost all the stories. But that isn’t what church history really looked like, not even a little.

The book of Acts chronicles how the church grew from a sect of Middle-Eastern Judaism to a multiethnic movement that spread to encompass the entire world. And in today’s story, we will see where this multiethnic religion first was organized, in the trading city of Antioch.

The ancient city of Antioch was located in what today is modern-day Syria. This city later was known for being the beginning of the trade route later known as the Silk Road.

During the period of persecution after the stoning of Stephen, a group of Hellenistic Jews fled to Antioch, and started sharing the story of Jesus to anyone who would listen. And people did listen. People who had no connection whatsoever to Judaism. This church was comprised of the multiethnic inhabitants of cosmopolitan Antioch. And it was in Antioch, that believes first were called Christians. The name stuck to this day.

Our multiethnic group of antiracism educators and friends had a great conversation about this amazing, and too-little-known story about the birth of the church – the multiethnic, Spirit-filled church.

Episode 152: Raising Racially-Resilient Children

As the school year begins in the United States, parents are sending their children back to school. Schools, however, are not the only places where children learn. Our homes are places where children learn many important things that shape the rest of their lives. For example, home is the place where most Children still learn about faith. Christianity is more often caught than taught in the home as children watch and join their parents in prayer, scripture reading and conversations about walking with God. Similarly, antiracism is also a topic that is more often caught than taught in families as children watch and join their parents in relationships with others, advocacy, and conversations about race.

In today’s episode of the Antioch Podcast, the members of our team who are parents reflect back on our parenting journeys as we reflect on our own successes, mistakes, and ongoing questions in our attempt at raising our own children to be racially-resilient people.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.


CREDITS:

Racial Demographic Data from the 2020 US Census
https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/08/improved-race-ethnicity-measures-reveal-united-states-population-much-more-multiracial.html

Episode 151: Strength for the Journey – “Replenishment for Your Heart, Soul and Mind.”

We are stepping away from our series to bring you a couple special episodes of the Antioch Podcast, before returning to our series on the book of Acts.

Pursuing racial justice can be exhausting work. Many people have been feeling the strain in a more intense way since the shooting of Michael Brown (the anniversary of which just past a couple weeks ago), an event that in many ways signaled the beginning of what has become the second civil rights movement in the United States. For those of you who have been long-time listeners, this podcast started in part, to illuminate how the scriptural call for all Christians to do justice (including racial justice) is a mandatory way that Christianity is to be lived out individually – and systemically – in a world where churches and institutions are more often concerned with pursuing compositional diversity, as opposed to striving for racial justice.

This is long, slow, taxing work. It can be tiresome. If you pursue this long enough, you will want to give up at times. It is important that those who hear the call to seek Biblical Antiracism find ways to replenish our hearts, souls and minds so that we can continue in the long work of shaping our institutions to look more and more like the beloved community both in composition, and action – where we have policies and personal conviction to love our neighbors as ourselves, seek the welfare of the city, welcome the stranger etc.

In this episode, our team of antiracism educators and friends talk about how we find this kind of sustenance as we have a conversation about our personal self-care practices – developed through experience – as we pursue Biblical antiracism.

Episode 150: Hindsight 2020 – “Our Takeaways from 150 Episodes.”

We are stepping away from our series to bring you this special episode of the Antioch Podcast. This is our 150th episode. At the beginning of the worldwide pandemic, we decided to record an episode a week, instead of twice per month as we had been doing. We mostly did it because all of us suddenly had open schedules with nothing else to do, it seemed… at least for a few weeks. This pandemic wouldn’t interrupt things too long, right? But this decision to record weekly … well, that changed everything.

Most of you listening started listening during the pandemic. You listened through what turned out to be a season where the eyes of the nation were fixed on fighting germs as well as injustice. We aren’t out of this yet, but we are in it together.

So for our 150th episode, our team thought that we would take this moment, to reflect back on the past year, in an episode we’re calling “Hindsight 2020.”

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.

Episode 149: Radical Acts – “From Others to Brothers.”

In our series, Radical Acts, the birth of the multiethnic church, we pick up the story where we left off in episode 148 where Peter, a Jew, has been invited (so to speak) by a group of armed Romans to bring a message to their military commander, a Roman Centurian named Cornellius. Now I don’t know about you, but it would be the kind of invitation that is hard to pass up … especially if you had just a few years earlier watched the Roman military put your best friend and Rabbi to death. But Peter obeys God, and everything is about to change.

CREDITS:

Willie Jennings Commentary on Acts

Episode 148: Radical Acts – “The Holy Spirit and the Yucky Yums.”

Have you ever been asked to eat something you thought was completely disgusting? Just the smell of it, the sight of it, or even just thinking about it makes you get that feeling in your stomach like you were going to get sick. Or maybe you’ve had the opposite experience where you were eating, and someone you cared about started making comments about your food being gross.

In our series, Radical Acts, we have been looking at the stories in the Bible leading up to the birth of the multiethnic church… and today’s story is all about food. The Apostle Peter, is asked by God to think about eating something he had been raised to believe was disgusting… and he was brought up to believe that the people who made that kind of food were disgusting as well. But here was God, telling him not just to eat their food, but to bring the gospel to them … in their own home, even though they were the kind of people who literally put Jesus to death. It is a lot to stomach – pun intended.

Our team of antiracism educators and friends had a lot to say about this with our usual brand of theology and humor.

 

CREDITS:

Episode Art: Mark VanderHeide

Willie Jennings Commentary on Acts