Episode 2-5: A Conversation with Gay/Progressive Leader Brandan Robertson

Episode 5 May 09, 2021 01:11:13
Episode 2-5: A Conversation with Gay/Progressive Leader Brandan Robertson
Thinking Christian
Episode 2-5: A Conversation with Gay/Progressive Leader Brandan Robertson

May 09 2021 | 01:11:13


Show Notes

I had a most interesting conversation on Thursday with Brandan Robertson, who is a leading spokesman for gay and progressive Christianity, on everything from the character of Jesus, to the nature of the Bible, to Christianity’s connection to slavery. Not much on homosexuality; it wasn’t one of our topics this time. We connected originally through an article I’d written at The Stream.

As always, there was more that could have been said. I’m still curious why he’s so critical of Jesus, whom he takes to be God in the flesh, and in the same light also, how he could think Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

He actually caught me off guard when he answered a certain question I’d asked, saying, “Inerrancy.” I hadn’t studied the history of that doctrine, but now that I’ve had a chance to look through it, I have trouble understanding how he could make the point he followed through on it with. I believe he left the door open for more conversation, though, so maybe I’ll have a chance to ask him these things. I’d rather meet him over coffee, but I enjoyed the talk, and I’d do it again gladly this way, too.

I think he’s expecting we would talk about sexuality if we meet again this way. That’s been done a lot, though, and I don’t know what progress we could make without first walking through the one main issue he himself brought up near the end. Our differences really hinge on what we take to be our best sources, our authority, that which determines what we believe. I’m thinking that would be very interesting to talk about.

Also on YouTube (podcast audio is enhanced compared to YouTube audio):

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:22 Hello, I'm Tom Gilson. And today on the thinking Christian podcast, we will hear a replay of a fascinating conversation I had on Thursday, may six with Reverend Brandon Robertson, who identifies as a gay, progressive Christian and whom I met through work that I did an article on him actually on the [email protected]. We decided to have a continuing conversation. We held the conversation on YouTube on May 6th, and here I present for you. The audio of that conversation. I hope you enjoy it. Hope it's enlightening. Speaker 1 00:01:02 All right. I want to welcome you here, who are watching and listening. I'm Tom Nelson, I'm a senior editor with the [email protected]. We are a Christian website giving a, a Christian perspective on current events. We come from a conservative perspective. I'm also the author of several books, including most recently a book called too good to be false. How Jesus' incomparable character reveals his reality. A guest here is Reverend Brandon Robertson, and I'm going to give him a, a good long time to introduce himself. We met each other online after I saw some, uh, a video that he had done at a church, uh, East Lake, and responded to that and an article on the stream before that I tried to reach him, but apparently not successfully. So he contacted me by Twitter. We got talking, which had a very, I think, enjoyable cordial email lead up to this conversation. Speaker 1 00:02:03 So I've been looking forward to it. Yeah. And I think Brandon has too. We come from very different perspectives. However, we both identify as Christians. We both would certainly speak a very strong love and worship for Jesus Christ, but from a different perspective, what I want to do here is give Brandon a chance to introduce himself because for one thing, he started from a perspective, very similar. And actually I've read your, your spiritual journey. Autobiography, Brandon, no bed. There are differences in where you started from than where I am now, but I'll let you tell the story. Why don't you introduce yourself please? Well, hello, everyone. So good to be here. My name is Brandon Robertson. I'm a gay Christian pastor, author and theologian. I served as the lead pastor of a church in San Diego until this January and not here in Washington, DC. I'm working Speaker 2 00:03:00 Both as a pastor of a digital community that we call metanoia and, uh, at the intersection of faith and advocacy here, um, on a number of issues right now, I'm working for instance, uh, in Pennsylvania to help organize, uh, faith leaders in support of the equality act. Um, but as Tom mentioned earlier, my journey has taken me from fundamentalism to evangelicalism to today. What is called progressive Christianity. I don't identify with a denomination necessarily, although there are plenty of denominations that I think, uh, align with where I'm at theologically and socially. Um, but really in the past year over COVID, I've had this very, um, fortunate opportunity. Thousands of folks around the world through platforms like Tik TOK and other platforms, and really form a community of progressive Christians. Um, and so like every Thursday evening after this call, uh, at 8:00 PM, I have a group of people who meet on a Bible study where we have, um, almost 250 people registered to attend. And we walked through the Bible from a progressive inclusive lens. And that's really, my passion is to reach out to those who have been hurt by the church who have been taught a version of Christianity that I don't think represents how I've come to understand Jesus and make space for them, um, in the church once again, in a way healthy and healing for them. So I know we have, uh, different points of, uh, agreements and disagreements and our theologies are probably very, very different, but, um, in many ways doing similar different, uh, audiences. So Speaker 1 00:04:46 Yeah, and with different perhaps and goals in mind along the way we, uh, as I mentioned in the part that didn't live stream so much that we met each other, as I responded to a sermon that you gave Brandon on at Eastlake church, uh, some interesting points of disagreement there, some questions. And so on, you started out in something that I would call fundamentalist Christianity. Is that term, you would describe it as, Speaker 2 00:05:18 Yeah. Initially the church I went to and got saved and was an independent, fundamental Bible believing Baptist church Speaker 1 00:05:26 And King James only. Yeah. King James King, James, all my, yes. And then, uh, your journey took you to moody Bible con would you like to tell anything about that part of it? Speaker 2 00:05:41 Yeah. So in between the fundamentalists part, um, after, at about the age of 16, after I got saved at 12 and the fundamentalist church, I ended up in an evangelical mega church, more mainstream Willow Creek association church, and the pastor there who became mentor, um, had graduated from the moody Bible Institute. And so it became clear that, uh, because I was following in his footsteps and me under his guidance, um, that I should probably go to moody. And I ended up going off to Bible college in 2010. And over the course of my four years at moody, I really had what became the most monumental and my faith. Um, I always say moody is an incredible school because of the location because it's in downtown Chicago, but that's, I think probably the worst thing they can do for the kind of school that they are, because what I would do was hear conservative theology in the classroom. Speaker 2 00:06:37 And then I would walk out into the streets of Chicago and my theology was confronted with reality. And so many of the realities and things that my theology was telling me about other people wasn't adding up. And so, uh, during moody, I went to a Roman Catholic church to visit with some friends and remember sitting through a mass and hearing the priest really beautifully recite the gospel and moody had taught me that Catholics were anti-Christ, that they were part of the great whore of Babylon and the book of revelation that this was an evil group of false Christians. And yet the priest and this parish were proclaiming the same gospel that I proclaimed and that I understood. And I had so many experiences like that, that just began to kind of help me begin asking questions and be a little suspicious of my narrow view of Christianity. Speaker 2 00:07:31 And the long story short is as I explored more read more, um, as I interviewed prominent theologians outside of moody as a theology for a radio show that I had at the time, my faith continued to be challenged. And I found myself growing more, uh, open to new ideas that I hadn't ever been able to consider. And as that was happening, moody responded with a lot of fear. Um, and the administration tried to kick me out six times over four years, um, not for anything fun, uh, but just because I was, uh, blogging and interviewing these people that they considered false teachers, which by the way, were just people like Tim Keller and people like NT rights and Tony cat polo is probably about as far left as I got. So, yeah. Speaker 1 00:08:22 Yeah. And I noticed in your book is that many interesting things, by the way, I loved your book up till about page 90. And then that's when I started thinking, Oh my goodness, what is he saying here? The part I didn't love before, that was the part where you described some very negative experiences with really legalistic Christianity. I reject that too. I think the number one heresy in Christian history that our favorite hit kerosene as Christians has been legalism. And so we have all kinds of ways of practicing and expressing that. And you experienced some of that early on, but during your discussion of how you begin to shift your viewpoint, one of the things you've said is that you, uh, you were talking with Muslims and you came to understand, I don't know if this was a, an enduring understanding or just something that was a challenge at the time, understand that they worship the same God as Christians. And that caught my eye. Where do you stand on that right now? I'm curious. Speaker 2 00:09:26 Yeah, I would absolutely, um, still stand by that. I think that came both from experience, uh, traveling with moody, um, to Turkish Cyprus and being in the midst of, uh, Muslim culture. But also, um, it was a particular conversation. I learned mere slob Wolf who wrote a book a few years ago that became a controversy called all a Christian response where he makes the case that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. So Speaker 1 00:09:52 Then that leads, obviously in my mind, at least to the really key core question, there's lots of core questions and there's lots of things we're not going to cover here today, but the one that I love and especially because I've been studying so intently in his life is the Muslims certainly have a different view of Jesus than Christians have. And it's different in important ways, not so much important what they believe though, right now. Who do you think Jesus is and was how would you identify him? Speaker 2 00:10:27 Yeah, I would say, um, I have a pretty traditional, uh, liberal view of who Jesus is. Jesus is, can be said to be the incarnation of God. I think you can say, Jesus is God in the flesh. I think you can say, Jesus is the son of God biblically. Um, and historically there is a differentiation between what John Dominic Crossan would call the Christ of history and what, um, or the Jesus of history and what the Christ of. And so I think there is some difference. I think the gospels don't try to give us necessarily the Christ of history. That's not what they were written. They were intended to build up the faith of the early church. And so in the gospel accounts, we have, um, some liberties that are taken by the authors of the gospel because they had an agenda. They had a desire to convince the early Christians and new converts that Jesus was. Speaker 2 00:11:25 In fact, the Jewish Messiah. Now we can, this is a long conversation we get into, but my goodness, I think a large body of scholars today would say it's very hard to make a case that Jesus himself thought of himself as equal to God in every way. Um, and I think those are interesting at the end of the day. Um, as far as goes, I think as long as we can profess that Jesus is the Lord of our life, that we're going to try to follow in his way. That's what I'm trying to lead people to do. And all of the big, mysterious questions, how divinity works out and whether we adhere to the council of Chalcedon or not. Um, I think that I'm very quick. Speaker 1 00:12:14 Okay. Yeah. We certainly come on at a different place there because, and my goodness is I have studied Jesus and, uh, um, I am resetting something that fell down here. I'm sorry, I'm looking away. But as I have studied Jesus, I have been stunned by his magnificence. I have been overwhelmed by his uniqueness. I have been, um, the more I look at a story, the more I look at the, the, as a story, look at it as a story. And I think of where did this character come from? Who invented him? If he was an invention who invented any part of him, if any part of Jesus' story wasn't invention, the, uh, the most prominent answer to that question would be something like, um, Bart, Erman talks about it in terms of a telephone game. Others will talk about it in terms of cognitive dissonance reduction. Speaker 1 00:13:16 I am really having trouble with my earpiece here. I am so sorry. Others we'll talk about it in terms of, um, um, just, just, um, proselytization going on around the Roman empire, into Asia, minor and so forth. And what I find in Jesus is that he is among other things, the only character in all of literature, much less all of history who was both Supreme, really powerful. And I mean, Supreme way as a character he is described as the creator and Supreme only other centered and giving. And that's universal across the gospels, that there is no point in the gospels where we see him using his extraordinary powers for his own benefit. There was no one else like that. And for that, and so many other things, uh, that's just one, not only do I, I find him worthy of admiration, but of worship and, and the, uh, the, the claims to his deity are supported by that. Speaker 1 00:14:25 And a lot of other things, that's just, you know, my, my here's here's where this, you can respond to that or to manage the question, because this, again was something that I caught in, what I read. And when I heard from you was the question of what does it mean to follow Jesus? Because I think what I read in your book was that your take on following Jesus would look something like, or your, your expression, your opinion of it would look, something like to follow Jesus is to do as Jesus did. I'm reading from your book, Jesus holiness was rooted in his willingness to embrace his God given identity. That's one of the things that made them different. And therefore, I think different than the, in that sense, you were probably referring back to holiness. The holiness is a matter of being separate, and you can correct me on that. Um, and you say not excluding the obvious fact that he is God incarnate. So his holiness is rooted in his willingness to embrace his God-given identity. And then what would it look for you and me if we began to lean into God's call for us to be Holy, uh, you say that essentially that it's, we need to lean into who we are. Is that, is that a good statement of your position? Speaker 2 00:15:46 Yeah, I don't think I would reduce it to that. I think that's, uh, one chapter, uh, I think more importantly, um, the entirety of what I tried to call people to is to actually follow the red letters of Jesus. And I think my experience of the church and derivative environments was that I was taught. I think our, uh, Jesus lifted the bar so high just to show us that we could never live up to it. And therefore we just need to rely on Jesus's grace, because we're always going to fall short of the beatitudes for instance, or the sermon on the Mount. Okay. I don't think that's, uh, the gospel at all. I think she escape plus standards that he fully expects us to live into and says as much he says, he's giving us the spirit and the spirit will enable us to do even greater things than he has done. Um, and so I think is to quite literally follow the teachings of Jesus. And there's a differentiation between that following Jesus versus being a Christian are two different things. In my view to be a Christian is to belong to the religion that formed arguably, uh, in its official form, hundreds of years after Jesus. Whereas following Jesus is about being a disciple and taking his actual example that we have recorded in the gospels and trying to make it a reality. Speaker 1 00:17:13 Okay. And his actual example is rather wide ranging. It's everything from prayer to, um, to love, to giving to, um, he talks about marriage, the rest, he uses the word repentance and John, the Baptist used it. The word is used throughout the new Testament in a specific way. And it's a repentance from sin and that's the gospel of the kingdom. You say, seek first the kingdom. What is that kingdom? It is the ultimate state of reality where all of us are freed to be ourselves to live out our dreams. And I'm curious how that ties together with repentance and with kingdom of God, in your opinion. Speaker 2 00:18:03 Well, I would disagree with that. The word repentance actually appears and mouth of Jesus or in the new Testament. Um, as you know, we'll have probably a conversation about the word metanoia in Greek, which almost universally, if you look at how the early, uh, how most even conservative scholars have commented on the repentance, um, the wide body of scholarship says that's an inaccurate and sad translation. Literally I was looking today at scholars have said, it's the saddest mistranslation in Christian history because the word metanoia doesn't mean be sorry, change one's mind. It means yes to change directions too. If you've been walking in one path, Jesus said that leads towards destruction begin walking in another path. But I think by making it repentance, we've turned it into a religious act of piety and contrition. And that's not what God is looking for. God is looking for us, not just to say, sorry, because we've done something wrong, but actually to change our minds about the way we're living to change our perspective and to live into the kingdom of God said, looks like Liberty to the captives and recovery of sight, slip lines and proclaiming the year of God's favor for everyone. Speaker 2 00:19:24 Um, the kingdom of God, as I say all the time is the world as God intended it to be. And that's what happens when we live a life of metanoia of this word. That's been mistranslated as repentance. It's the constant changing and turning of ourselves. And the way we're thinking towards the way of Jesus, which I believe is the way that leads unto life. And if he was right few find it, Speaker 1 00:19:49 You, in, in Paul's letter, he talks about a repentance is sorrow. That leads to repentance. That's in second Corinthians, seven nine in, uh, in John, the Baptist ministry. There is this sense of this is a painful change perhaps, uh, Jesus says in Luke nine 23, that you must deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me. Uh, as I read nomad, I got this distinct sense that you were trying to explain that becoming more Holy became was, was becoming more of your identity. Uh, I think it, even that, at some point you say something almost like that, I'm not going to be able to find that maybe right away. Well, I think, and I'm not sure how that, I don't know how that fits Speaker 2 00:20:44 Because I think, uh, I found, but we can't reduce that identity to sexual identity, which I think I sense the direction. Um, not the question. Speaker 1 00:20:54 No, no, no, no, no, no. I'm not going there at all. That's that's, uh, I, I understand talking about this would be an, uh, uh, a conversation that would apply regardless of, Speaker 2 00:21:06 Yeah. Well, I used the word identity in nomad and elsewhere to talk about our true self and our false self. That's another common language that father Richard Rohr is one of my people can also use. Um, and so our true self is the self that God created in God's image. That one might even say is the pre identic self, the self before the, the self that was trying to get to through sanctification. And so I think that there is in the church today is really a modern problem. This idea where we are telling people that they need to conform to certain ways of being and conform to certain expectations that are mostly cultural expectations and not scriptural expectations at all. And I also think as a culture, there's a lot of pressure for people to conform to different ways of being that are not healthy or helpful. And so I think part of holiness, part of sanctification is being drawn by God's spirit, into the true self, into our sanctified self or our pre identic self. However, you want to see a logically put that, but the true self is the self that God desires us to be apart from sin, uh, completely devoted to Christ completely following in the way of Jesus. And so Speaker 1 00:22:27 Zuri, Richard, Roy. Yeah. And of course, Carl yum, that sounds very Richard. Roy doesn't sound very new Testament. To me, it sounds to the new Testament is, is so much more about being formed in Christ being complete and Christ being like Christ. Jesus was, um, he was consistent in saying, follow me, follow me, follow me. And when people said, you know, I want to go bury my father. He said, leave the dead to bury the dead and follow me. And it was a consistent call to become like him, not like ourselves, his, his, uh, his, his being was out of reach. Certainly when I think of being, uh, as, as powerful as he is as good as he is, I could even imagine, you know, coming into a large sum of money. Um, you know, I played the power ball and I win. Um, neither of those is going to happen just because I don't play the Powerball, but yeah, I suppose I won, you know, a couple of hundred million dollars and, and I thought I'm going to be the best person in all of the world. Speaker 1 00:23:47 I'm going to give it all away. None of it for myself, I'm not going to use any of this extraordinary new economic power for my own benefit. And, uh, and I think, yeah, I would do that. But if, uh, if the brakes needed fixing, I might do that too. When I look at Jesus, he was my goodness. He was hungry at the end of 40 days. And Satan came to him and said, you could turn these stones into bread. And he said, and Satan was right. Jason could have done that. But he said, no, man shall not live by bread alone. And throughout his ministry all the way to the cross, it was all for others. And I think of that's the, that's the life that I'm to follow. It's a life that's only reachable by grace. This is one point where you and I would certainly disagree because I know that I can't reach it. I know that there's a standard. I know that God is Holy meaning, not just that he's different, but that he is very, very, very good. I can't attain to that, but by his grace, God can give me the forgiveness, the freedom, the spirit, as you mentioned, and, and bring me into that state where I can attain to at least his love and his forgiveness and walk in grace. That's that's. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:25:16 So, but what's the point of the grace, because it sounds like what you're saying is on your own strings, you can't reach that standard, but by grace, you can reach that standard by grace. Speaker 1 00:25:28 God can take me there. Yes. Yes. That's correct. Speaker 2 00:25:32 I agree. Yeah. I think, okay. I think everything Jesus said that we could do every command he gave is well within our ability to do through the transforming power of the spirit of God, by the power of the grace of God. And I think the other distinction that I want to make something that you said a little, I agree that the new Testament calls us to conformity with Christ. And I think I make that pretty clear in my writing as well. That Christ is God is the true self of the world. Like Christ is the hope of glory that's within us. Christ is the God and live we, uh, and whom we live and move and have our being. And so I think the problem probably what's happening is that we're using two sets of language to talk about very similar things. And I know you probably don't want to see it as similar, but I think, um, the language that I'm using is slightly different, but we're both saying by coming into our true selves, you're actually leaning into the Christ in you, the hope of glory, you're leaning the image of Jesus. That's the only image we're called to conform to be not conformed to the images of this world, but to the image of Christ. That's what I'm trying, Speaker 1 00:26:52 The person to do that without a saving work of grace, is, is it the, is it the goal of every person to begin? Um, you know, from the moment of, you know, whatever age of accountability and say, I'm going to lean into myself so that I lean into Christ. Is that the way you do? You lean into Christ? Speaker 2 00:27:14 It's one of, it's not reduceable, uh, you can, it's not just that chapter part of it. Speaker 1 00:27:20 Part of sanctification Speaker 2 00:27:23 Is embracing all that God made you to be, which would, in other context, people would say that would be living into your manhood as God intended your man, but to be, and living on whatever other identities you have Speaker 1 00:27:36 And the, uh, yeah. And you say, uh, for me to become more like Brandon is to become more like God, because that is in whose image I have been created. Um, but then, uh, what about sin? What's that? What's that? What about sin? Yeah. Well, the sin is a, um, shall we say not a minor theme. It's not a minor theme. What about faith? Uh, what about saving faith? And, and so on, sin is not a minor theme. What, what do we do to overcome the sin problem in each of us? And yeah, yeah. Speaker 2 00:28:19 It's a matter of grace and works or faith. It's a matter Speaker 1 00:28:24 Of both of them. James Speaker 2 00:28:26 Clearly makes, uh, States in his writing it's sin is something God ultimately has to deal with. I'm a Universalist, there's no surprise there, but I believe that the work of Christ applies to absolutely everyone. And that through the power of the regenerating work of Christ sin can be overcome and will be overcome for absolutely everyone for an Adam, all die, but in Christ all will be made up. Speaker 1 00:28:51 And so in John chapter five, when he speaks of there will be a resurrection. And as the father has life in himself and learning in John chapter five, verse 26, he has granted the son to have life in himself and has given him a thorny to execute judgment also because he is the son of man. I, I was in a Bible study once it was written by a somewhat progressive pastor, not necessarily as progressive as some, but it was on the Apostle's creed. And he left out the part where he says, Jesus will come to judge. And I wonder, why did he leave that out? And then it goes on, Jesus says, do not at this for the hour is coming in. Which all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth. Those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation, clear, clear distinction there. And there is, uh, those, he says he, who is not with me is against me. There is a kingdom of darkness and a kingdom of light. There's a kingdom of God. There is a kingdom of the, um, of darkness. Again, there is. How, how does, how does that all fit together in your progressive Christian? Speaker 2 00:30:24 Well, I would say in my biblical world view that all fits together in a notion of one, you have to understand the Jewish context in which Jesus is talking about the Jewish people in the first and second centuries began to adopt the theology that Jesus himself promotes, which believed in resurrection from the dead, but it wasn't a resurrection for just the righteous. It was a resurrection for everyone throughout the new Testament in particular, you do see what I would argue are potentially on the surface competing views. Um, there is a constant wrestling throughout the new Testament between this punitive judgment. That is the desire of an oppressed people to want to see their enemies defeated. And there is the actual teaching of Jesus. And again, you're quoting from the book of John people, uh, who are conservatives, who haven't done the work here. I think role, there are things like what I'm about to say, but the fact is John is the oldest gospel. John represents a theological development and most, um, Jesus scholars would say that John represents a lot of teachings that don't actually originate from the mouth of Jesus. So when I look into today, Speaker 1 00:31:40 Exactly Lydia McGrew and her recent book, the eye of the beholder would make it clear that that, that, that deals with all that. And I think it's very clear that that the book of John is true reportage of the life of Jesus. I say most conservative scholars who haven't done the work. Yeah. There are some who have done the work and would say that we can trust these as the words of God. Uh, you're you're rejecting that. I take that, or at least putting that on the shelf as, as a maybe who knows. Speaker 2 00:32:17 I know no credible scholar that would say that the gospel of John is not a, it does not include innovations from the early church, because again, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Synoptics have teachings of Jesus that are pretty much across the board, all in alignment. And when you get John, which again has written some say up to a hundred years after Christ is the first time we have some of these really innovative teachings about the deity of Christ and about these Christian doctrines that weren't around when Jesus was teaching and not Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And so, I mean, even then withering sin, who's a very well-known conservative scholar who I rely on greatly says, of course, John is theological innovation that doesn't undermine it. That doesn't make it less credible. It just simply says, maybe Jesus, didn't say all of these things. This is how the early church began to portray Jesus. And we get to choose whether we want to believe that or not. Speaker 1 00:33:14 Yeah. The, uh, by the way, ah, the, the deity of Jesus is not absent from the Synoptics. It Speaker 2 00:33:20 Is started, is not clear. Speaker 1 00:33:23 It's not absent his as a Rob Bowman and COVID Shefsky have put it his honors, the gunners, the attributes, the names, the deeds, the position of God are all attributed to Jesus. There you do. You never S this is an interesting thing. I have never heard anyone discuss this. You never, in any of the four gospels speak of Jesus having, or see Jesus described as a person who had faith. Certainly he trusted the father, but there are, to me the only, uh, and this is a long discussion that I have, uh, gone through with many people and recorded and too good to be false. The best explanation for that in all four gospels is that Jesus didn't have faith in the father because God doesn't have faith in God. It's a, it's a, you know, it's a strange thing to say that God would have faith in God. Speaker 1 00:34:22 There are many. So anyway, back to the, uh, the words of, of John and the, and the theological implications, if you want to get, you have a way some of the gospels, I really suggest you take a good close look at it. Very recent, very in-depth study by Dr. Lydia McGrew called the eye of the beholder on the gospel of John and how it really is true reported she's she does a meticulous job of it. Here's, here's where I'm, here's something I'm noticing as we go through this conversation. It's really interesting. It's almost as if you want to tell me that we agree on everything. I don't think you do. I don't think you want to say that, but as I, as I raise questions, um, there are, you're saying things like, yeah, we agree. We agree. We agree. Where would you find points of? Um, Oh, well, we don't agree on John and we don't agree on universalism. We've we've come up with those two. Where would you find points of tension? That would be interesting differences, Speaker 2 00:35:35 The modern, and I'll use this language. I think the modern heresy that separates, uh, Orthodox historic Christianity versus evangelical Christianity in errancy. The doctrine of inerrancy is new. It is only from the 18 hundreds and throughout all of Judaism, literally back to the earliest Jewish scholars, we have all the way up through the reformation. There was no understanding that the Bible wasn't an errands text, but instead was attached, written by humans, broken, flawed, contains, broken, flawed human mistakes. And yet, as God does, so faithfully God works through broken beaks and inspires and leads. And I think evangelicals, um, since the 18 hundreds in response to the enlightenment developed a doctrine, solidified a doctrine that said every job and tittle of the scripture is historically factually scientifically true. And I think that's one awake. The Bible can't carry, and it doesn't pulled up, uh, textual criticism and scrutiny. Speaker 2 00:36:45 And if your faith is based on inerrancy, it's easy for that faith to fall apart. And if you listen to most of the people that have walked away from evangelic, probably faith altogether it's because they realize that the things they were told about the Bible being absolutely inherently true are just not true. There's again, I would say not to overspeak, but no credible scholar outside of evangelicalism, biblical scholars in the Catholic tradition and in the Orthodox tradition in the Anglican tradition would never, ever, ever proport that an errancy is the actual doctrine that our faith should be built upon. I think Speaker 1 00:37:23 What about, uh, authority, uh, trustworthy and authority, the true trustworthy guide, um, for those who would say, okay, it doesn't have to be every jot and tittle, and I know some good Evan gelical scholars who would go that distance. And I would say, okay, there's a, okay, there's a discrepancy there. We'll just let it be a discrepancy, but in minor details. Speaker 2 00:37:50 Yeah. I agree with you there. I think, um, they're really only minor details. It depends on what we're talking about though, because it's, again, the way you're looking at the text. So for instance, we generally know that a lot of the stories in the Hebrew Bible greatly exaggerate things, uh, MTO, uh, has even recently written about how it's likely greatly exaggerated the numbers of Judas who are wandering in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. Well, for some people, Speaker 1 00:38:22 I would agree with that. A very evangelical philosophers say that it's typical to if, um, it was within the realm of grammatical historical hermaneutic to say grammatically historically, uh, that it would be common for writers at the, of the day to exaggerate numbers. And so that, that is within the range of grammatical historical truth, if we understand it with, with good scholars. Speaker 2 00:38:54 Okay. So I want to ask you a question based on that. So if that's true, if we can then say, well, there are spaces in the Bible where things that it says are just not true. It's a grammatical error, perhaps then the typical line, all the cool argumentation from strict and artists would be some errors. Then how can we trust anything that it says? And I wonder how you answered that question. Speaker 1 00:39:22 Well, I would say, first of all, that, as I've studied the Bible, I have as an apologist, mostly with new Testament as my specialty, I do not have the scholarly background to, to claim this for the old Testament. Uh, but as, as I studied the new Testament, there is no reason to see any particular concern about an error. And so, um, we've got great confidence in the true report. Each of the gospels, the acts, we've got great confidence in the authorship and the truth of the epistles. And, uh, and so the old Testament is affirmed by Jesus who ought to have known being the son of God, being the logoff, being God in the flesh. And so therefore I, um, I, based on the new Testament understanding, and based on the character, the reality, the person of Christ I am, I'll let him be my authority for the parts that I have, not yet had a chance to study. And so, um, I'm okay with that. Speaker 2 00:40:41 What happens though that like Jesus in the gospels, he quotes Jewish scriptures that I don't think you probably consider inspired scriptures. Like, I don't think, I think what, I'm the point I would raise is that just because Jesus quoted something doesn't mean that he was taking it as in errands or with the same kind of authority that evangelicals are speaking about. Because again, I would encourage everyone, something that's helped. My faith tremendously is getting out of Christian scholarship and look at Jewish scholars, ancient and modern. We'll see how Jewish people I'll wait the Bible. And what you'll find is, I mean, Jewish people don't even have something called biblical theology by and large. That's not how they view the text. It's not meant to primarily be this utterance from God, but it's a collection of stories and myths and commands and prophecies that tell the story of their journey with, and, um, and that doesn't require it to be without error still and has still spoken through it and used it, um, to inspire and to guide and to convict people for thirty-five hundred years. So like I just said, it Speaker 1 00:41:48 Does, it may be that as it made Jesus, the reportage in the new Testament is trustworthy. The, um, the, the, the imprimatur he puts on the old Testament is still there. I don't know of any, uh, uh, I'm not even sure what you mean by Jesus quoted old Testament texts that I would not consider canonical. I may have heard you wrong there. What that means. Oh, well, that's fine. Jesus can quote anybody you want. That's not, that has nothing to do with whether the old Testament is cannot is trustworthy. Well, I do think it's certainly, Speaker 2 00:42:25 Yeah, Jesus considered some things to be scripture that modern evangelicalism considered to be scripture. Speaker 1 00:42:32 Really? Where does it, where does he quote something and say that it should be regarded in that way? I that's news to me. Speaker 2 00:42:40 So if you're going to put that caveat, well then any place that he quotes, the old Testament, he doesn't say this should be regarded as scripture. Sometimes he says, very rarely. He'll say, you've heard it said in the scriptures, but oftentimes we'll just speak a phrase. Speaker 1 00:42:54 You've heard it was said. Yeah. And, um, yeah, he will say from the beginning, it was not so, but God created the male and female. He will say just as Jonah was in the heart of the fish or the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. So the son of man will be. And so there are times when he just draws from the old Testament and of course the classic, uh, passages, Matthew five 16, where he says heaven and earth will pass away. But, um, um, uh, getting a shrunk, but you know, not one jot or tittle will pass away. Does that Matthew five 16. Art's probably 17. Um, yeah. And, uh, um, do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill for surely I say to you till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle by any means, pass away until the laws fulfill it. I missed the 16, entirely 17 and 18, but it's, by the way, one of the things that makes Jesus unique, uh, is, um, I suppose you'd do a lot of guests preaching. I, I do some, one thing I have never done, and I hope you never have is go up on stage and you, and you're introduced you say your pleasantries to the congregation and you say, uh, do not worry. I'm not here to abolish the Bible. Speaker 1 00:44:26 Jesus did that. And that the fact that he would do a thing to me is, is an indication of his uniqueness. There must've been some reason that they thought that he was there for that purpose and that there would be a life. The man at the base of the Rocky mountains with a pickaxe saying, don't worry. I'm not going to chop the whole thing down. Speaker 2 00:44:50 Uh, well I think I, I, I get where you're going. I think we, again, I think rooted in a Jewish perspective again, uh, Judaism has always understood truth to be progressive and their religion to be progressive. And it was always evolving and changing. And we see this really clearly after the second temple is destroyed and Judaism completely reformed itself to figure out how to function without a temple. But, um, so I think Jesus is in a long line of other rabbis, who also said, here's what you've heard the interpretation of these old Testament texts to be, and here's a higher or better interpretation. I think, I think Jesus does do that uniquely in some spaces. But I also think it's important to say that Jesus was an angel. He didn't come with something that was out of nowhere, something completely new. There were other rabbis or other teachers that had similar theology to what Jesus himself, and in act two, it already said the entire law and the prophets can be some, nothing, love the Lord, your God, and love your neighbor as yourself. I think that that doesn't diminish Jesus, but historically it's just factually true that he's in a tradition and other people were saying and doing teaching wise similar things to what he was saying and doing Speaker 1 00:46:01 Has truth progressed since the new Testament. And I'm not talking about scientific truth, I'm talking about wisdom, uh, interpersonal truth and especially truth regarding, uh, what we know about who God is and how to relate to him, Speaker 2 00:46:22 Obviously scientific truth Speaker 1 00:46:23 That wants to that one's way too easy. But yes. Right. Speaker 2 00:46:27 So Jesus said, um, and again, this is a debate Catholics have with, uh, Protestants or evangelicals in particular, but Jesus said, I'm leaving you. And I will send the spirit and the spirit will continue to lead you into all the truth. And so there's this promise that there was more to be revealed. And we see this throughout from Genesis all the way through revelation and gradual revelation of God, talk to reveal more truth and clearer truth. And we see that in what Jesus did. He quotes the Hebrew Bible and he says, you have heard it said, and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you turn the other cheek, he raises the commandments. He makes it more ethical. He says, this is what the Bible says. And here's what God actually wants, which again is a problem for an errancy. Speaker 2 00:47:12 But, um, but I would say, I mean, just evidently look at the fact that for the last 1500, 1700 years, slavery was endorsed in youth. This arguments slavery was endorsed by Christians, but the spirit of God began to work in the hearts of many of the abolitionists and said, even though the scripture doesn't get us to, you should not have slaves. It does point us in the direction that slavery is wrong. And the spirit of the text all the way Paul's writings is this gradual better treatments of people that are enslaved or entered garments dabbling as said, based on this ethic, this trajectory, we don't think we can be Christian and own other humans. And so they abolished slavery based on their faith, but not based on any biblical texts because the Bible didn't get there, but it was based on biblical the spirit of the time. Speaker 1 00:48:06 First Timothy one nine speaks of you shall not be man, uh, Steelers. It's, it's very clear about, uh, the, the, the, the, the very beginning. So Southern chattel slavery were in kidnapping and stealing persons, which was, uh, you know, that is the biggest stain on a history of evangelical Western Christianity is, and it was so obviously anti biblical, Speaker 2 00:48:36 But from the very biblical, why did every preacher support it for 1700 years? Speaker 1 00:48:42 Yeah, it wasn't every preacher and for not for 1700, not for 1700 years, the slavery disappeared from Europe under Christian influence. It was re introduced through Muslim slave traders, selling to European slave traders. And, and of course we have a stain on our history with some, um, and, and too many, but some, uh, preachers in America and elsewhere teaching it. But no, it was not. It wasn't mostly, and it was not con uh, no, Mike, no, uh, Brandon, it was not difficult of, uh, of Europe. The, the history of slavery in the world has been that generally speaking, wherever a culture had, the economic means to afford slaves, they did. And we're the only place with, Oh, someone gave me one exception once out of Wikipedia, the only place where slavery has ever been abolished was under the influence of biblical teaching, biblical teaching that has to do with the fact that we are created equally in the image of God that we are, um, that we are equally sinners, equally forgiven equally in need of the grace of Christ at the cross, that, um, there is neither slave nor free as Paul says, and his instruction, if I Lehman does Speaker 2 00:50:15 <inaudible> masters. Well, of course that was the course. Speaker 1 00:50:23 No, no, of course it was. And here's why it's because in that Jesus' mission was not to foment a political and economic revolution, which is what immediately. And that's a patient would have been at that time. It was not his mission. His mission was, uh, first of all, within the heart and then working outward from there. And so, and so the fact that when Jesus was done with his work on earth, there were still slaves. The, the, the, the command was two slaves, obey your masters and masters treat your slaves as fellow Christians, as brothers. Speaker 2 00:51:06 So it didn't abolish slavery though. And if the Bible is true, if inerrancy is true, then slaves obey your masters is an enduring command. Unless the spirit of God continues to speak and convict and guide beyond the words of scripture. This is what William Webb and evangelical scholar writes and slaves women and homosexual homosexuals, which is a groundbreaking hermenitic book that suggests this, that if we stop where scripture itself stops ethically, we don't get to our modern understanding of a Christian ethic that values human rights and decency of everyone equally and all these great things. Speaker 1 00:51:42 That's where it came from and the, uh, dispute and the slaves obey your masters by the way, was not Southern chattel slaves with iron rings around their neck, either. It doesn't matter slavery, it's slavery. Yeah. But the, um, and, uh, there is a, how do I say this? If you are in a bad situation? Yeah. The slave, what's he? What is the slave going to do? You th this is not about emancipation. This is about instructions to someone who has no choice in the matter. Um, do you get up in the middle of the night and choke your master to death? What do you do? Do you run in that case? You have no place to go. Speaker 2 00:52:37 Maybe you would tell the slave owner, Paul abolished slavery. Speaker 1 00:52:42 Well, the, uh, it was there, it was there in the, in the sense of let's you did to a poly slavery would also be to remake the economics into a system that at that point had never been heard of. And so it did, Speaker 2 00:53:02 It was set out to be economic systems and sold everything, Speaker 1 00:53:07 Uh, for a little while in acts two. It did not continue though. There was private property very soon after that, this is all very interesting because, you know, we do have these points of disagreement. We have some points of agreement. And, um, the, the one that I think I would have the most trouble with is, is not an errancy. I think that the, um, I do believe in biblical inerrancy, but if it turned out that it wasn't the case, that the Bible was just basically true, then I would still be a Christian. Uh, that's not, uh, a Hill that I die on. The, um, the one that here here's where, when I, I actually wrote an article on this, on the stream a while ago, the one that thing that I wonder most about progressive Christianity is this, it looks an awful lot in progressive Christianity as if God is one of us as if God is someone who is woke, perhaps God is someone who is in favor of, um, the current sexual mores. Speaker 1 00:54:30 God is someone who is on the side of, um, not just on the side of justice, which of course he has been since the profits, if not sooner, but in the side of justice, as carried out in a, in a liberal, um, political manner that there is, to me, there is this, when I look at Jesus and when I look at how good he is, he doesn't just impress me. He scares me the thought of someone being that good, that someone has lived that perfect human life really does me in. And I fall on my face before him. You are my God, you are too good. And if it wasn't love that made him that great, I would be scared. I mean, this is God, this is the master of the universe. This is the creator. And, and it just seems a little strange that God is becoming more like one of us as the 21st century progresses. I find that unexpected odd and not very godlike. Speaker 2 00:55:48 Let's see, I think this is the key misunderstanding. I would say in that view, as you articulated it, it's not that God's becoming more like us. It's that we're gaining more insight into truth about who God is. See, this is the difference between a conservative, not even theologically, just politically worldview wise, conservative versus progressive conservatives tend to root truth and values in a period or a time in the past. Things have been given to us. This is the way things are. And our goal is to make that consistent throughout the rest of history, progressives believe truth is progress is gradually happening and we're moving towards something. I would call it the kingdom of God. We're moving towards justice and equity and peace. And I think God has been Manatee over the ages and revealing more truth. And Jesus I'd agree, as it says in the new Testament and Hebrews and in collections, he is the full and final rubble of what God looks like. Speaker 2 00:56:47 And that's the image of where we are trying to head as humanity. We need to be like Christ. We need to, if we all began and were transformed to live in the way that Jesus lived, our world would transform instantaneously into the kingdom of God on earth, as it is in heaven. Now, sin is the barrier of course, and what we see through revelation, not just biblical revelation, but scientific revelation and reason, and all the other forms of authority that most Christians have affirmed. God continues to open up the possibility of us creating the more, just, and generous and equal world along empowered by his spirit. But I mean, Saint Teresa of Angela, this is one of my favorite quotes. Although it won't mean much to evangelicals. She says, Christ has no body on earth, but ours, no hands or feet on earth, but ours. Speaker 2 00:57:38 The idea when Paul said we are the body of Christ, I don't think he was talking metaphorically. I think Paul was saying, we are the vehicles through which Christ is working to bring redemption and healing to the world. And we've seen that gradually happened throughout the ages. Again, the abolition of slavery is just another great point that we agree on this aspect, that it was people following the biblical paradigm that pointed towards the equality and dignity of humans that said, this is wrong. That's the revelation and the power of the spirit of God at work, I would say it's agree. But the LGBT rights movement is a manifestation of the spirit of God at work, opening our eyes to see that sexual and gender minorities are also equal and deserving of full respect and rights, just like every other human. Speaker 1 00:58:26 And I would say that LGBT and other sexual minorities are equal and worthy of full respect. Speaker 2 00:58:33 And I can agree with you a hundred percent on that. Speaker 1 00:58:35 And, and, and the, uh, the rights part of it would be, um, the, uh, how do I say this? The, uh, I'm not, I don't think it's a good idea at this point in the conversation to dive into the reasons for it and, and, and so on. But, um, I think you can have respect and full humanity without having full expression of one's desires. That's what I would say, Speaker 2 00:59:07 But what, uh, what about Rex stope? Clarify that part. Do you think people deserve equal rights? Oh, sure. Then you support the equality act. So that's great. Speaker 1 00:59:17 Nope. No, I don't. Yeah, no. Oh, here's, here's the funniest. One of them all, um, you don't support marriage equality and I do. I guarantee it. And marriage equality is, is, is a, is a funny word because marriage equality, if equality itself is the principle just equality. We need a quality then. Um, does it have a boundary line? Can, can we have, uh, three couples? Can we have quadruples? Can we have marriage to animals? Can we have marriage of parents and their kids? Is there a line yes or no? Speaker 2 01:00:06 Okay. That is the ridiculous slippery slope argument. No, no. I'm not going to get it. Speaker 1 01:00:11 No, no, no. You don't know the argument yet. I just asked you a question. You haven't heard that yet. Speaker 2 01:00:15 She animals. Isn't a good way to compare my marriage to my husband. No, no, no, no, Speaker 1 01:00:21 No, no, no, no. But you haven't heard the argument cause I'm not doing the slippery slope one here. I know I'm just asking, is there a boundary line at which marriage is not allowed? Okay. Then you don't believe in marriage equality, you believe or rather you do. And I do too. You believe in marriage equality up to a certain point. I believe in marriage equality up to a different point. We both believe in marriage equality. We just disagree on the point at which it doesn't doesn't apply. That's that's, that's not a slippery slope argument. And so I would say, um, by the way, and this is, um, this is my answer to your statement on the equality act more or less, but the do do, uh, everybody has the same rights, but the, uh, the Supreme court didn't just, um, open up a new, right. It created a new institution when it, it created gay marriage. Speaker 2 01:01:28 We've been happening for thousands of years. Speaker 1 01:01:31 We probably need to reschedule that part of it because in order to go through this part of the discussion, my goodness, have we, um, have we carefully avoided that for most of this time? I mean, we're about an hour in, Speaker 2 01:01:45 I just want to say that the caveat here, no, you're a great conversation partner. I enjoy it. Speaker 1 01:01:50 Yeah. I'm liking this, but you know, we're not going to be able to do the, um, the gay marriage and so on in any kind of proper manner. And so the, um, Oh my goodness. Monday night I was teaching a men's group at our church. We're done at eight 15 and at eight, 12 guy raises his hands and says, how do we deal with critical race theory? And I looked at my watch and I said, it's a 12. And there was something, just something jet. Okay. It's actually eight, 13. Now, according to my clock here and in, uh, Eastern time. But can I just say, wait a minute, we're not going to go there this time. Let's do that. Another opportunity. Speaker 2 01:02:35 Yeah, totally. Yeah. One clarifying statement just because I popped open my, uh, YouTube screen down here and just see a lot of comments. Okay. I just want to be clear that, uh, my perspective of God, I believe in sin, I don't believe that God affirms all behaviors and perspectives and just whatever you want to be, you get to choose. And however you want to lay a view. That's not what any sensible, progressive Christian believes we believe there is right and wrong. There's not sin, there is holiness. Um, but I think the way we get to defining what sin is, I mean, this would be another conversation we should have just on what the Bible says about sexuality, because I just simply don't believe the Bible says anything about homosexuality. Um, and, and so if that, if my reading is true, grant me that that's, it's not a prohibition. It's not a matter of being a sinner or not. And so if you're reading it, Speaker 1 01:03:34 That's true. Sure. Yeah. In that case, well, you know what we've accomplished here. Um, we've both convinced each other that the other person is right. And we're switching sides. No, I know you convert me, Tom. Yeah, that's right. And you converted me. I know that didn't happen. Uh, I think we've laughed a little, we've had a little one of my objectives. Actually. My, my key objective here was to have a good conversation. Um, honestly I would love to score points. I would love to say, Brandon, you have to yield to that. I, um, um, I'm not keeping a scorecard here. Uh, I do believe in treating humans as humans. I do believe that there's a lot to be said in today's world for being able to disagree and smile. I think we have accomplished that. And I've totally buried you with the quality of my arguments. Speaker 2 01:04:43 Nope. Can I just say this? I will completely concede that in the thing that like for both of us, and this is the, this is the thing that we all just need to realize if people listening, I just want to, this is my one big point. If we're starting from different places of authority, which is what we're starting with, you believe that the Bible is and inspired and errant text idols. Therefore it's going to be impossible in many ways to actually bridge that divide arguments and like convince one another because of the basic premise isn't there. And so I agree with you think these conversations to highlight where the disagreements are and say, here, your responses are super important and this needs to happen more. And I'm always happy to do it. I'm grateful for folks like you, who do it without getting angry and feisty and all that good stuff. Speaker 1 01:05:32 And you were right about the source of authority. I was thinking again, the other night about the, um, you know, this was about atheism and the idea that you would ask an atheist to accept Christ as his savior. Well, first of all, he's got to understand what the word savor means, then Christ then sin. And in order to understand sin, you've got to understand God in order to understand God, you have to rethink your understanding of where the world came from. The, um, the difficulty there isn't necessarily that one that, you know, I think atheism is a very, very weak materialistic atheism is a very, very weak worldview, but realistically, to go into conversation with an atheist and say, you've got to really work worldview believe in mine is the wrong way to treat another human being in view of the authority separation. I do believe that there is reason to believe the Bible is our authority, because it's a good way to be confident that we are under the authority of God. And, and, and because the Bible stands up apologetically historically evidentially as well and philosophically, and it, and it fits human experience. I believe that I'm convinced of that. You are not as firm on that. You, you, um, whatever you would state as your position on that. I don't know, but not same as I would certainly. Yeah. Speaker 2 01:07:07 Um, my view of the Bible is that it's a living book. It's a document, a, a library of books that has piled over thousands of years that tell humanities or a particular group of humanities, uh, interactions with and expressions of faith in God. And I think God speaks through the Jewish tradition in the scripture just as God also will be the big heresy of the night. God also speaks through other traditions. It has always been speaking God, didn't just decide to speak through one book in one group of people at one time, but speaks in all sorts of ways to all different peoples. And I think even the Jewish scriptures affirm that when we talk about natural revelation, but, but yeah, obviously like our two views of scripture can be no more different than that. And that's going to make it really difficult when you're quoting Bible verses that I might not think are authoritative or correct at all. I have the ability to argue with the Bible, um, and you have the only option to obey the Bible. And I think, uh, Speaker 1 01:08:09 And to show that not just to a Bay and by the way, this is a word of my conservative Christian friends, our job as Christians is not just to quote the Bible in my goodness. Our job is to understand what it says. And then when it comes to explaining to others who are not necessarily in agreement with us, something I have not had time to do here. Cause we were just kind of listening to each other more. Um, but which I have made a key part of my work is to explain not only what it says, but that there are reasons to believe it's true. That's a traditional apologetic approach, but not only reasons to believe it's true, but reasons to believe that it's good. That it's true. And when we can pull that together, we have a lot more opportunity to be persuasive to people who would say, I don't like it. I don't agree with it. I don't know if I accept it. We have to go from understanding to defending, explaining its truth, to explaining its goodness in a world that isn't always convinced of it. That's my word. Not so much to Brandon, but to conservative Christian friends here. Speaker 2 01:09:23 I think that's a great posture for a conservative to take in regards to the Bible. I like that. Speaker 1 01:09:29 Yeah. Well, we've got to close this somehow sometime. Um, I appreciate the time. This has been good. Um, even though we haven't converted each other and I, maybe we can do it again sometime and we'll see what happens. Speaker 2 01:09:45 Schedule another one to talk just about LGBT marriage equality. Speaker 1 01:09:50 Oh, you were a lot more studied up on that one than I am. It would be more fun for you than me. I have done some writing. My writing on it is not you've done the historical biblical mine has been more on the why. It's good. What God has taught as I understand it. And the Bible. So we might be doing some of that if we did that. I don't know. We'll see. Speaker 2 01:10:11 Thank you for making this space seriously. Speaker 1 01:10:13 Oh yeah. Thank you. I appreciate it. Yeah. Speaker 2 01:10:19 Oh yeah, Speaker 1 01:10:19 Definitely. Thank you. Thank you for waiting for us while we found ways to make the technology happen too. We'll see you next time. Bye. That was my conversation with progressive gay Christian pastor Brandon Robertson held on YouTube on may six, 2021. I'll be back with more of the usual heat to light thinking Christian podcast programming next week until then I'm Tom Gilson for the thinking Christian podcast. Thank you for listening.

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