Jim Davis and Justin Holcomb welcome Trillia Newbell to talk about some of the unique relational dynamics facing black women. Newbell covers being racially profiled as well as many false stereotypes and the exhaustion that black women face as they navigate others’ expectations and perceptions. Newbell shares that the painful or awkward moments in the world also exist in the church, yet there is hope that springs out of lament, having faith in a good God. The three discuss:
- An introduction to Trillia Newbell (1:02)
- Coming to faith in a “holiday Christian” home (2:18)
- Common challenges Black women face in our culture (6:45)
- Picking her battles (9:53)
- Facing down unfair assumptions (13:19)
- False stereotypes of Black women (17:51)
- Stereotypes mirrored in the church (23:58)
- A Christian response to stereotypes (28:42)
- Parenting through racial stereotypes (33:15)
- Creative God, Colorful Us (36:35)
Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
- Have you ever caught yourself thinking of any of the stereotypes of black women in your mind?
- What kind of emotions come to mind if other people judged a whole group of people by your individual speech, personality, or actions?
- Were you surprised that all of the same awkward or painful moments experienced outside the church were also experienced inside the church? Why or why not?
- Can you imagine the cumulative weight of the expectations, stereotypes, perceptions, and awkward or painful interactions over time? If yes, what does it feel like?
Books referenced in this episode:
- God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell
- Creative God, Colorful Us by Trillia Newbell
- United: Captured By God’s Vision for Diversity by Trillia Newbell
- Sacred Endurance: Finding Grace and Strength for a Lasting Faith by Trillia Newbell
More episodes from "As In Heaven"
A Biblical Theology of Race and Justice: Live at TGC21
48:04Jim Davis and Mike Aitcheson talk live at TGC's 2021 national conference with Dr. Tim Keller and Dr. Irwyn Ince about a biblical theology of race and justice. The panel explores the similarities of the course 1940s Carl Henry charted between fundamentalism and liberalism, and how maintaining a prophetic witness will be important as we observe the phenomena of dechurching and deconversion.DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:How does Tim Keller define mishpat?How does Irwyn Ince define shalom?What inferences are drawn as to the relationship of mishpat to shalom?As you observe our cultural moment, what things today bring you to a place of lament?As you observe our cultural moment, what things today bring you to a place of encouragement?What are some of the negative consequences of failing to pursue mishpat and shalom in this particular conversation?What does good leadership look like in such difficult and complex conversations?
What’s at Stake?: Gospel Opportunities and Implications
52:58In this episode of As In Heaven, hosts Jim Davis and Mike Aitcheson welcome Soong Chan-Rah to discuss reclaiming the church from cultural captivity and the specific ways that Western attitudes of individualism have crept into our modern ministry philosophies. Rah shares insights regarding the ethics of the kingdom and paints a picture of hopes and dreams for the future. Rah focuses on the positive gospel opportunities in addressing race and justice with kingdom ethics.An introduction to Soong Chan-Rah (:58)Cultural shifts in objections to the gospel (2:54)The significance of minority leadership in this shift (9:43)The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church From Western Cultural Captivity (13:27)“Captivity” in the conversation (17:11)Advice for church leadership in these conversations (21:14)“Aren’t we pas this now?” (28:10)How important it is for the church to get this cultural moment right (33:55)What happens when churches dismiss these cultural conversations (37:59)The church’s two minute drill (42:44)Hopeful realism (49:21)Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:What are some biblical truths that the church stands by that you see the church as failing to live into?What does it mean that we should embrace “the full biblical narrative”? In the arc of that narrative, which parts of the narrative do you see yourself latching on to more easily?What are ways that the church has gone into “captivity” to western values? What are ways you have seen this in our bible reading? In our community life? In Christian engagements with social issues?What are ways that we can remember the sins of our past corporately in regard to how the church has engaged with minority racial groups? What gospel hope does Jesus offer in our remembering?What are your hopes for the future of the Western Church? How do you hope to see the church embrace values that are biblical, rather than cultural? What would that look like for your local church?
Leading Organizational Cultural Competency
42:58In this episode of As In Heaven, hosts Jim Davis and Mike Aitcheson welcome Denine Blevins to the podcast to discuss the importance of cultural competency, both at the individual and the organizational level. Blevins also shares how cultural competency within Christian organizations must be different and distinct from the boiler plate secular diversity training in other workplaces. Blevins draws out some best practices in leading your organization into greater cultural competency so that you don’t undermine your organization’s core mission.An introduction to Denine Blevins (:58)Parakaleo (4:18)How Parakaleo came to be (8:45)Moments that shape the organizational competency of Parakeleo (11:36)The Office and cultural competency (20:13)How to know your organization is ready for cultural conversations (26:09)How to help your organization grow in cultural competency (29:04)Landmines for organizations looking to grow in cultural competency (37:03)God’s character revealed in the process (38:57)Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:How can organizational systems actually include or exclude certain people or cultures? What are examples of organizational systems that could potentially work to include or exclude?Think of your church or work place. Who do your organizational systems currently primarily cater to? Who do they possibly exclude?How do secular answers to cultural difference and preference in organizational systems fail? How does the Christian response offer a better answer?Why is cultural competency important for organizational leadership? What steps can your organization take to grow in this?
The Importance of Empathy, Sympathy, and Lament
39:46In this episode of As In Heaven, hosts Jim Davis and Mike Aitcheson welcome Mark Vroegop to discuss the role of lament in the conversation on race and justice. Mark shares his own experience with exploring lament in the Bible and the Christian life, including empathy and sympathy and how they serve the conversation on race. Mark shares a helpful framework on how he thinks about racial reconciliation—love, listen, learn, lament, and leverage. Together, they address:An introduction to Mark Vroegop (1:16)Catalytic moments that drove Mark’s faith journey (4:18)Why write about lament (5:53)Leading others to lament as a pastor (8:54)Preparing your soul for lament (12:42)Defining empathy (14:39)Experiences that led to Mark’s book on lament (19:55)Lament in community (22:11)Lament in minority cultures (24:23)Lament and racial reconciliation (32:08)When lament leads to reconciliation (33:45)Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:Have you ever found yourself in a place of lament in your life? If so, when and under what circumstances? How did God use that in your life?How do sympathy and empathy relate to lament?Why is lament important in how we think about the conversation about racial reconciliation?What does it look like to love, listen, and learn in the conversation about racial reconciliation?What does it look like to lament and leverage with an aim towards racial reconciliation?
OK, I See the Problem. How Do I Help?
1:15:18In this episode of As In Heaven, hosts Jim Davis and Michael Aitcheson welcome Irwyn Ince to discuss biblical strategies for affecting lasting change on both an individual and a church level when it comes to race and justice. Ince offers ways to strive toward gospel centered unity and diversity that he argues goes all the way back to the Trinity. Ince shares practical insights for churches that want to grow in their impact and reach their communities. The three address:An introduction to Irwyn Ince (1:45)Unity, diversity, reconciliation, and the Trinity (4:36)Unity is not conformity (7:33)How to help develop unity (10:48)A scriptural approach (14:56)Coaching those who want to help (19:08)How to talk about events capturing the nation’s attention (26:22)Navigating language (38:56)Taking substantive, long-lasting action (44:00)Engaging as a family (49:45)Engaging as a church (54:44)Roadblocks for the church (1:00:58)Engaging in the community (1:06:40)Encouragement for churches who want to impact their communities (1:11:16)Explore more from TGC on the topic of race. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:How does the diverse-unity of the Trinity impact our view of the imago dei? How does this manifest itself in the pursuit of community?If there are concerns about the way the church is living out God’s vision for a diverse-unified community, how should a Christian respond? What qualifies should define this sort of engagement with church leadership?What is the Bible’s vision of justice? How does that play out in a social context? How then can we understand and use a term like social justice?Do you think your church manifests the diverse-unity that Dr. Ince talks about? What steps can you take in your church to pursue the Bible’s vision of diverse-unity? How does this look at a leadership level? A personal level?
Black Pastor and Professor Encounters with Law Enforcement
49:33This episode has been marked as explicit due to sensitive language related to racial slurs. Please listen with discretion.In this episode of As In Heaven, host Jim Davis revisits some of the conversations with previous guests of the podcast to explore their personal experiences with law enforcement. This is, of course, a touchy subject, and we address it here not in order to malign police officers, but because we believe this season would be incomplete without these very important stories. Not everyone is aware of some of the dignity robbing or sometimes traumatic encounters that black pastors and professors have had with law enforcement. Empathy and understanding has been the purpose of this show from the start, and that requires that we grasp the fears and wounds of minorities in this cultural moment. The reason for these stories (:13)Crawford Loritts (3:18)Isaac Adams (7:10)Darryl Williamson (11:19)Carl Ellis (26:00)Walter R. Strickand (33:39)Jerome Gay (36:28)Irwyn Ince (44:35)Explore more from TGC on the topic of race. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:Had you ever heard any stories like these before? What did it feel like to hear so many pastors and professors share their painful, sad, and/or scary stories?Have you ever had an encounter like any of these? If not, what do you think it would feel like in that moment? If these things happened to you, what do you think it would feel like in the future being pulled over?If these things happened to you, what do you think it would feel like when a traumatic video is posted that is triggered by an encounter uncomfortably familiar with one(s) you might have had?
Parenting in This Cultural Moment
42:18Jim Davis and Michael Graham welcome Jasmine Holmes to talk through the complexities of parenting in this cultural moment. They discuss the fears and hopes of parents raising black children and what it looks like to help majority culture children process this period of American history. The group addresses:An introduction to Jasmine Holmes (1:28)The story behind Mother to Son (2:52)Current greatest fears in this cultural moment (5:23)Divisiveness and echo chambers and fear (7:16)The Black “birds and bees” talk (11:00)The “talk” with Black boys (15:29)Challenges raising Black children in this cultural climate (17:24)Coping with the struggles of raising Black children (26:05)Hope for parenting Black children in this cultural moment (28:19)The source of hope for parents (30:35)The importance of community (34:16)Learning the nuance and contours of parenting Black children (36:07)Helping children understand this cultural moment (38:58)Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.Books referenced in this episode:Mother to Son: Letters to a Black Boy on Identity and Hope by Jasmine HolmesDISCUSSION QUESTIONS:How was race spoken of in your house growing up? How were major moments of racial strife in the news discussed? What ways might that have been different for other cultures?What fears do you have for your children? How do those fears come from their culture or the color of their skin? How does this play out in conversations with your children?Why is it important for the church to recognize the differences in parenting through this cultural moment? Why is it important for the church to recognize the differences in parenting children of different cultural backgrounds?How can those in the majority culture process these race conversations with their children?
Some Unique Challenges Facing Black Women
56:00Jim Davis and Justin Holcomb welcome Trillia Newbell to talk about some of the unique relational dynamics facing black women. Newbell covers being racially profiled as well as many false stereotypes and the exhaustion that black women face as they navigate others’ expectations and perceptions. Newbell shares that the painful or awkward moments in the world also exist in the church, yet there is hope that springs out of lament, having faith in a good God. The three discuss:An introduction to Trillia Newbell (1:02)Coming to faith in a “holiday Christian” home (2:18)Common challenges Black women face in our culture (6:45)Picking her battles (9:53)Facing down unfair assumptions (13:19)False stereotypes of Black women (17:51)Stereotypes mirrored in the church (23:58)A Christian response to stereotypes (28:42)Parenting through racial stereotypes (33:15)Creative God, Colorful Us (36:35)Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:Have you ever caught yourself thinking of any of the stereotypes of black women in your mind?What kind of emotions come to mind if other people judged a whole group of people by your individual speech, personality, or actions?Were you surprised that all of the same awkward or painful moments experienced outside the church were also experienced inside the church? Why or why not?Can you imagine the cumulative weight of the expectations, stereotypes, perceptions, and awkward or painful interactions over time? If yes, what does it feel like?Books referenced in this episode:God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia NewbellCreative God, Colorful Us by Trillia NewbellUnited: Captured By God’s Vision for Diversity by Trillia NewbellSacred Endurance: Finding Grace and Strength for a Lasting Faith by Trillia Newbell
Navigating White Evangelical Spaces
1:15:07Disclaimer: This episode has been marked as explicit due to sensitive language related to racial slurs. Please listen with discretion.Jim Davis and Mike Aitcheson welcome Jason Cook to share some of the unique relational dynamics of navigating white evangelical spaces as a black pastor. Between super awkward questions, cringeworthy moments, and just downright painful interactions, Jason offers a glimpse into his own experience and encourages believers to grow in hospitality toward those outside of their own cultures. The group discusses:An introduction to Jason Cook (1:17)Growing up in traditional black churches in the South (2:18)Pivotal moments coming to faith (4:30)Leading multi-ethnic churches in segregated cities (7:12)Awkward moments as a black Christian in majority white evangelicalism (13:07)Navigating racial caricatures (17:08)Painful experiences as a black Christian in majority white evangelicalism (24:19)The long suffering of black people in the American South (31:10)Accepted as a black athlete; rejected as a black man (35:01)Unearthing cultural prejudices (44:43)Interracial marriage and biracial children (46:24)Leading in a church when other leaders have completely different world views (54:07)Civil Rights, Right to Life, and Communism (59:57)Being yourself as a black man in largely white evangelicalism (1:08:02) Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:How is it different for minorities to navigate predominantly white spaces verses how whites navigate these same spaces? What does this look like in the church?How can the church give space to other cultures to pursue the vision of a multi-ethnic church? What might keep a church from doing this?What are typical struggles churches face when moving towards multi-ethnic leadership? What gives rise to these struggles? How do churches support and submit to voices and cultures that are different to theirs?
How Racial Trauma Works
1:02:00Jim Davis and Justin Holcomb welcome Sheila Wise Rowe, author and executive director of the Rehoboth House, to discuss racial trauma and the many ways it can present itself cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, and physically. Rowe describes how Christians should engage others who have experienced racial trauma, in an effort to close the trauma gap and bring healing. The group discusses:An introduction to Sheila Wise Rowe (1:06)Defining trauma (1:50)Causes of trauma (6:21)Helping those unfamiliar with trauma to understand (8:06)The effects of trauma (11:19)Secondary trauma (14:06)The effects of secondary trauma (15:44)Defining racial trauma and its effects (19:52)Microaggression (28:57)Gaslighting (31:15)Feeling racial trauma (33:05)Learning to listen (36:22)Unknowingly exacerbating racial trauma (42:29)Empathy (45:44)Lamenting racial trauma (47:44)Healing racial trauma (50:20)Dealing with skeptics (56:10)Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.Discussion Questions:1. What do you think of when you think of trauma? What are examples of trauma? 2. What is a trauma gap? Why does it exist? Why must the church seek to understand the trauma of others, especially those who have experienced racial trauma?3. What is vicarious trauma? What are examples of vicarious trauma? How can that play out repeatedly through media and lived experiences?4. How can we seek to understand and relate to others trauma? What might this look like? How does the gospel speak to trauma and, specifically, racial trauma?