If anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. However, living in the new creation isn't easy, it takes honesty with God, vulnerability with one another, and the empowerment of the Spirit. These conversations with Christian scholars, pastors, and lay-leaders - hosted by pastor and theologian Dr. Scott Daniels - are meant to encourage, inform, and expand the imagination of those seeking to live as a reflection of Christ's new creation.
New Creation Conversations 083 - Jason Porterfield on How Jesus Waged Peace Throughout Holy Week
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59:16Welcome to episode eighty-three of New Creation Conversations. In today’s conversation I’m excited to be joined by Jason Porterfield. Jason is a gifted young theological thinker, writer, and advocate for peace. Jason has made his home in places abandoned by society, from Canada’s poorest neighborhood to the slums of Indonesia. His passion is to cultivate God’s shalom wherever it is painfully absent and to help churches embrace their peacemaking vocation.Jason has a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2007, Jason joined Servants, an international network of Christian communities living and ministering among the urban poor. He was a founding member of the Servants team in Vancouver, started a new team in Indonesia, and directed operations in North America through 2015. Our conversation centers on Jason’s most recent book Fight Like Jesus: How Jesus Waged Peace throughout Holy Week. The book recently received the American Book Fest’s 2022 Best Book Award in Christianity and the Illumination Book Award’s 2023 Gold Medal in Theology. The book is really well done and a very timely read with Holy Week just a couple of weeks away. In the book, Jason goes day-by-day through the final week of Jesus’ life and explores what we learn about Christ’s radical vision for peace through the events of each of those days. Throughout Holy Week, two competing approaches to peacemaking collide. In the book Jason wonders, what if we’ve embraced the wrong one?It is a very challenging and transformative book, and an important conversation. So, thanks for joining me for this New Creation Conversation. Here’s my conversation with Jason Porterfield.
New Creation Conversations 082 - Marty Solomon on Asking Better Questions of the Bible
52:08Welcome to episode eighty-two of New Creation Conversations. In today’s conversation I’m excited to share with you my conversation with Marty Solomon. Marty is a theologian and biblical scholar who serves as the president of Impact Campus Ministries and has a passionate belief that the best way to pursue all of these dreams for changing the world is to work with young adults who will be creating that world. he longs to help young people see why the work that they do every day is part of how God is putting the world back together. in addition to his work with impact, Marty is also the creator and executive producer of the BEMA podcast. A podcast that helps people walk through the entire Bible understanding both its context and its surrounding history.Marty and I clicked immediately, at least in part, because Marty is originally from my neighborhood here in Idaho. For several years after college, Marty served as a pastor in the Boise area before taking extended time to dive more deeply into biblical studies and helping others understand the Bible more clearly.Our conversation centers on Marty’s brand new book, that was just released yesterday Feb. 7, Asking Better questions of the Bible: A Guide for the Wounded, Wary and Longing for More (published by NavPress). In the book, Marty wonders if as we read the scripture, we may too often be asking the wrong questions. Because of our context, we tend to go to the Bible as though it's a book written from a modern, western perspective and in that process, we end up asking questions the Bible isn't really asking, so we shouldn't be surprised that we often get the wrong answers. Asking better questions of the Bible provides a comprehensive and accessible guide to the culture, viewpoints, and context of the bible's original authors and audience. The book offers a fresh way to read and understand each distinct portion of scripture, which points the reader more clearly toward the beautiful mystery of God's story. The book is really well done and accessible for readers of all kinds. I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with Marty, and I'm excited to get to share it with you.
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New Creation Conversations 081 - Rev. Brent Neely on the Ancient Church and Reading the Prayers of the Saints
49:57Welcome back to episode eighty-one of New Creation Conversations. The day before Thanksgiving I had to go in for some surgery and then I needed to take a couple of months off. So, thanks for your patience, but as we start this New Year, we are back at it trying to have conversations that keep the church and academy connected to each other. In this first conversation back, I’m joined by Pastor Brent Neely. Brent is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene and is currently serving as an Associate Pastor at New Horizon Church in Belton, Missouri. Brent is a graduate of both Eastern Nazarene College and Nazarene Theological Seminary. He is currently working on his doctorate, studying monastic spirituality. Brent has recently written a book entitled The Book of Ancient Prayers: 365+ Prayers from the Saints of the Church. The book offers daily prayers from a wide variety of Christian sources both ancient and contemporary and includes the voices of men and women from every continent. While the book can be started anytime, it is designed to follow the Christian liturgical year. At the end of the book are some additional prayers specifically tied to the various liturgical seasons. It's a wonderful book and a rich conversation with a young church leader what we can learn from ancient spiritual practices that can help us better follow Christ today. So, welcome back to New Creation Conversations.
New Creation Conversations 080 - Dr. Nell Becker Sweeden and Dr. Josh Sweeden on Holiness in a Restless World
58:21Welcome to episode eighty of New Creation Conversations. In today’s conversation I get to talk to two friends and a unique couple who both are amazingly gifted and thoughtful. I know and have worked with both Dr. Nell Becker Sweeden and Dr. Josh Sweeden individually on various projects the last few years and I know firsthand how gifted they both are. However, I deeply appreciate the ways they continue to embody how to serve the Lord together as a couple and as a family in ways that mutually serve one another and make space for one another’s calling, while also working and ministering together in powerful ways as well. They are both Point Loma and NTS graduates and are both ordained elders in the CoN. Nell has a PhD in Practical Theology from Boston University and currently serves as the Director of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries – serving in 163 world areas to support and equip local communities to transform lives by creating holistic solutions to alleviate poverty and suffering. She is the author of a previous book Church on the Way: Hospitality and Migration (2015, Wipf and Stock).Josh also earned his PhD in Practical Theology from BU. He is currently Professor of Church and Society at Nazarene Theological Seminary. He has also written a previous book, The Church and Work: The Ecclesiological Grounding of Good Work (Pickwick Publications, 2014). Josh and Nell also have two sons – Eli and Asher.Their most recent project together – and the center of our conversation - is a wonderful new book entitled Holiness in a Restless World, published by The Foundry Press.It is a rich, thoughtful, and accessible book that wrestles with the on-going journey and process of pursuing the holy life. As they point out in the book, the bible is filled with all kinds of stories of wandering, restlessness, dispersion, and finally coming home. Nell and Josh invite readers to set aside some of our presuppositions about what the holy life looks like – especially in the places where our imaginations have been captured by what they call the “heroic.” Instead, they invite us to discover holiness in the everyday stuff of relationships, work, and neighborly love. This is a great book for mornings of reflection with God or conversations and prayer with a small group of fellow travelers on the road of discipleship. I deeply value Nell and Josh. I love this book. And I’m thankful to get to bring this conversation to you. So, thanks for joining me for these New Creation Conversations. Here’s my conversation with Dr. Nell Becker Sweeden and Dr. Joshua Sweeden.
New Creation Conversations 079 - Dr. Paul D. Miller on What's Wrong with Christian Nationalism
43:17Welcome to episode seventy-nine of New Creation Conversations. In today’s conversation I got to make another new friend and have an important conversation about an issue that has been a hot topic of conversation for the last five or six years – Christian Nationalism. Dr. Paul D. Miller is a political theorist and political scientist focusing on international affairs, the American experiment, and America’s role in the world. He spent a decade in public service as Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council staff, as an intelligence analyst for the CIA, and a military intelligence officer in the US Army. Paul is currently a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Georgetown University. He is an alum of Georgetown, has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard, and earned a PhD from Georgetown in International Relations. As you can imagine, he has written widely on international affairs, political theory, and religion in public life. His most recent book – and the focus of our conversation – is The Religion of American Greatness: What’s Wrong with Christian Nationalism (published recently by IVP Academic).It is an excellent book. It is thoughtful, detailed, and balanced. I learned a great deal form the book and felt very delighted and privileged to be able to have a conversation with Dr. Miller about it. No matter your political leanings, there is a great deal to be gleaned from Dr. Miller’s research and experience.
New Creation Conversations 078 - Karen Gonzalez on Centering Immigrants in Our Christian Response to Immigration
58:21In today’s conversation I got to make a new friend and have a wonderful conversation about an important cultural the theological issue - immigration. Karen Gonzalez is a writer, speaker, and immigrant advocate who emigrated from Guatemala as a child. She attended Fuller Theological Seminary, where she studied theology and missiology. For the last 15 years, Karen has been a non-profit professional, currently working for an organization that serves asylum seekers. She wrote a book about her own immigration and story and the many immigrants found in the Bible in The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong (Herald Press, 2019). Her new book is Beyond Welcome: Centering Immigrants in our Christian Response to Immigration (scheduled to be released on October 18, 2022, from Brazos Press). I was privileged to get to read an advanced copy of the book and found it to be so helpful in clarifying our language related to immigration, understanding the realities of the many populations on the move in the world, reflect biblically on the subject, and think imaginatively about our Christian response. It is a very helpful and readable book, and a thoughtful conversation.
New Creation Conversations Episode 077 - Dr. David Busic on Mentors, Church Leadership, and the Praying Pastor
1:06:28Welcome to episode seventy-seven of New Creation Conversations. Today’s conversation is with a return guest, my dear friend and a gifted pastor and leader, Dr. David Busic. David has been serving as one a General Superintendents in the Church of the Nazarene for almost a decade now. In addition to his current role, he has pastored three congregations and served as the president of Nazarene Theological Seminary. In our last conversation, David talked about his unique journey into ministry. This time I got him to open up and reflect a bit about his various assignments in ministry and what God taught him in each of those places and positions, and what God is teaching him right now in his current role. He also shares about some of the key mentors in his life and what they contributed to his development as a leader.Our conversation also centers on his new book The Praying Pastor (published recently by The Foundry). It is a helpful, accessible, encouraging, and practical guide to how, as pastors, we can make the important spiritual discipline of prayer more central in our vocation and leadership. Because the Church of the Nazarene is one of just a handful of denominations that is structured globally, David and his colleagues on the Board of General Superintendents get to see a breadth of the Church that many if not most of us rarely get to see. Some of what he experiences is difficult and challenging, but much of he witnesses is also miraculous and full of the new creation life of God’s Spirit. I love any chance to get to talk to my friend about leadership in the Christ’s church. And I’m glad I get to share this conversation with you.
New Creation Conversations Episode 076 - Dr. James K.A. Smith on How to Inhabit Time and His Journey as a Christian Philosopher
1:02:38Welcome to episode seventy-six of New Creation Conversations. My guest today is the incredibly gifted writer and Christian philosopher, Dr. James K.A. Smith. I have really been looking forward to having this conversation for a while. Jamie and I became friends about twenty-five years ago when he was a young professor at Loyola-Marymount University, and I was early in my teaching career at Southern Nazarene University. We both got accepted into a summer study program at Calvin College to study “eschatology and hope” with Dr. Miroslav Volf. It was a very enriching summer intellectually and spiritually. However, part of the benefit of the program was that Calvin invited us to bring our families with us for the six weeks we were there. It just happened that Jamie and his wife Deanna, and Deb and I both had four kids all around the same age and so we got to hang out as families.The group that summer had several very gifted and bright people in it, but it didn’t take long for us to figure out that Jamie was gifted in unique ways. Eventually Calvin invited him to join their very prestigious philosophy faculty – a faculty that in the past has included names like Richard Mouw, Alvin Plantinga, and Nicholas Wolterstorff. Jamie now is Professor of Philosophy and the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. In these last two decades Jamie has written some of the most widely read and greatly influential books of this generation. We will talk about several of them in our conversation, but some of the best known are Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?; How (Not) to Be Secular (CT winner); the award-winning Desiring the Kingdom (CT winner); You are What You Love, and more recently On the Road with St. Augustine (CT winner). He’s also written for the Wall Street Journal, the nY Times, The Washington Post, USA Today… well, you get the point.Jamie has an amazing story of both coming to faith in Christ and becoming a scholar – which he I got him to tell pieces of in our conversation. He’s a graduate of the University of Waterloo. Did his Master’s in Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies, and earned his PhD in Philosophy from Villanova University. A lot of our conversation centers on his brand-new book, How to Inhabit Time: Understanding the Past, Facing the Future, Living Faithfully Now (Brazos Press). It is exactly what you would expect from Jamie, a rich, thoughtful, well-written, and transformational textJamie makes a very short list of four or five people who have shaped my own journey and my thinking the most, it’s fun that I also get to call him a friend. Thanks for listening in to this New Creation Conversation. Here’s my conversation with Dr. James K.A. Smith.
New Creation Conversations Episode 075 - Dr. Walter Brueggemann and Dr. Brent Strawn on Jeremiah, Old Testament Scholarship, and Returning from the Abyss
1:01:05Hello friends! Welcome to episode seventy-five of New Creation Conversations. This is a very special conversation for me today because I get to talk with one of my very good friends but also with one of my heroes. My friend is Dr. Brent Strawn – whom I have had on the podcast a couple of times before. Brent is the D. Moody Smith Distinguished Professor of Old Testament and Professor of Law at Duke University and Divinity School. He is a longtime friend and an accomplished author. We have talked about a couple of his recent works on past podcasts.Brent is editing a series for WJK Press called Pivotal Moments in the Old Testament. The most recent volume in the series is entitled Returning from the Abyss: Pivotal Moments in the Book of Jeremiah by Dr. Walter Brueggemann. When I saw the book was coming out, I asked Brent if he might be able to convince Dr. Brueggemann to come on and have a roundtable conversation between the three of us. He agreed and I am so excited to get to bring that conversation to you.Walter is without question one of the most influential and prolific biblical interpreters of our time. He has authored over a hundred books and numerous scholarly articles. I have a shelf in my library with close to forty of his books. Perhaps my favorites are three volumes of his sermons. Dr. Brueggemann will tell some of his story growing up in Tilden, Nebraska. He graduated from Elmhurst College and Eden Theological Seminary. He earned a ThD in Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary and later completed a PhD in education at St Louis University. Now “retired” for almost 20 years, he spent his forty-two-year teaching career at both Eden and Columbia Theological Seminaries.
New Creation Conversations Episode 074 - Dr. Dean Flemming on Reading the Book of Revelation Missionally
59:32Welcome to episode seventy-four of New Creation Conversations. We are back after about a month hiatus for vacation and to get this school year started. In August my wife and daughter and I took a long-anticipated trip to Spain, France, and Italy. It was my first time in those places, and we had an amazing time. However, I’m excited to be back to working on some New Creation Conversations. And just FYI, you’re going to want to hang in for the announcement of who’s joining me the next few weeks. I’m super excited… but I’m also very excited to introduce my guest for today. Dr. Dean Flemming has just recently retired after lots of years of teaching. Dean is now Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Mission at MidAmerica Nazarene University. Dean taught for over twenty years outside the US – at European Nazarene College and at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary. About a decade ago Dean came back to his Alma Matter – MidAmerica Nazarene University – and finished his teacher career there. He also has an MDiv degree from NTS and earned his PhD in New Testament from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Dean has written six books and contributed to several others. Our conversation focuses on his most recent book, Foretaste of the Future: Reading Revelation in the Light of God’s Mission (published by IVP Academic). As you will hear, Dean not only has important insights into Revelation, but his unique gift is helping us to read the Scripture – and in this case Revelation – missionally. It’s a great book and a rich conversation.