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Theology As a Way of Living (#487)

beachwalkIs theology a static list of facts that seek to capture God in a box, or is it a wilder conversation about his wonder and mystery as we are learning to walk with him through our lives? Wayne and Sara are back from a brief time at the beach to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. With that backdrop and his recent visit with pastors in Southern California about the Dones, he continues last week’s theme of Why Theology Matters by responding to listener comments and emails. Many see theology as a dead set of concepts, rather than a living conversation that helps shape how we live in him and navigate the rigors of this age. Wayne reframes his appreciation of theology as the conversation with the church through the ages that helps us not just know things about him, but to know him and to follow him more accurately.

Podcast Links:
Previous podcast: Why Theology Matters
Our latest update from Kenya
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Your Host: Wayne Jacobsen

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As a writer and teacher Wayne travels the world helping believers sort out what it means to live freely in the life of Christ. His latest books include He Loves Me: Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection and So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore. He also collaborated on the writing of The Shack and helped create Windblown Media, the publishing company behind the phenomenon. He was a pastor for 20 years and a Contributing Editor to Leadership Journal and has authored numerous articles on spiritual formation, relational community and engagement of culture. His home website is Lifestream.org where you can find his blog, books, articles, and audio teachings. He resides in Newbury Park, California with his wife Sara and enjoys his adult children and three awesome grandchildren.

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Why Theology Matters (#486)

bobstampsOne of Wayne’s closest friends and a gifted theologian joins us once again on the podcast to discuss the importance of an accurate theology, even for those who are living outside the box of religious obligation. Dr. Bob Stamps holds a PhD in Eucharistic Theology from the University of Nottingham and has been an United Methodist ministry for most of his life. More recently he has served as Dean of the Chapel and as a professor of systematic theology at Asbury Seminary. Even though Wayne and Bob share very different views of the church, they sat down in Richmond, VA a few weeks ago to discuss the theology that undergirds the life of the church however she connects. He views it as a conversation God is having through the Bible and with his people throughout centuries to help us understand who he his and his unfolding purpose in the world. A healthy theology will sustain a growing engagement with Jesus, not supplant it with lifeless creeds or rituals.

Podcast Links:
Previous podcasts with Bob Stamps: Living in God’s Mercy and God at Our Table
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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What to Do About the Dones (#485)

churchrefugeesNow that research has identified a group of passionate Christians who are no longer participating in traditional congregations, what does that mean for the future of the church? Will existing congregations find innovative ways to address the concerns of those who consider leaving? Will the church take on new expressions? Or both? Wayne continues his conversation with Dr. Josh Packard, Professor of Sociology at the University of Northern Colorado and the author of a new book, Church Refugees, which will be released on June 1. His book and the conversation it spawns can provide us an opportunity to recognize the church in all the ways she takes shape, or just divide us into separate tribes each thinking ourselves superior to others. Let’s pray it’s the former.

Podcast Links:
Part I of Wayne’s Conversation with Josh
Josh Packard’s Website
Pre-order Josh’s book Church RefugeesDownload the first chapter of Church Refugees
Holy Soup Blog on The Rise of the DonesThe De-churching Project
Webinar About Josh’s Book
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Who Are the Dones? (#484)

jpackardSome are calling it the rise of the dones, the number of people who have given up on the traditional congregation and are finding community and mission beyond it in more relational ways. Meet the man behind the research. In a recent trip to Colorado Wayne sat down with Dr. Josh Packard, a professor of sociology at the University of Northern Colorado and the author of Church Refugees will be released on June 1. In research about church behavior, he stumbled across a broad group of people who didn’t leave the traditional congregation to abandon their faith but to live more freely in Jesus through being more proactive about building community and finding mission in the world. This is Part One of their conversation covering how they discovered what they are calling “The Dones” and that they are generally high-capacity Christ-followers who found the congregational model too stifling.

Podcast Links:
Josh Packard’s Website
Pre-order Josh’s book Church RefugeesDownload the first chapter of Church Refugees
Holy Soup Blog on The Rise of the DonesThe De-churching Project
Webinar About Josh’s Book
Our previous podcast about Josh’s work: Nones, Dones And a Wider Conversation
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Learning to Live Relationally Free (#483)

relationalchallengeOne of our listeners said it best: “Religion makes you relationally challenged.” That it does, making us far more preoccupied with getting people to do what we want so we can feel safe and comfortable. Untangling all of that and learning to live more focused on others than ourselves is an amazing work God does to help us experience the treasure of real relationships that are honest, gentle and loving. Wayne takes a look at the kind of language and activity that actually subverts the relationships we desire so that we can better see how God is shaping us so that we can love others where they are and yet not be victims of their fears or insecurities. Living relationally free is the fruit of God working in us so that we have less need to manipulate others for our own desire, or to be manipulated by them for theirs.

Podcast Links:
Five Churchy Phrases That Are Scaring Off Millenials (Warning: This is one of those websites I avoid for its intrusive marketing of itself.)
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Nudged Into More Open Space (#482)

lesstraveledHow does God draw us into the space where he works most freely and where we can more easily recognize his fingerprints in our lives? While many look for a voice or miraculous encounters, he mostly guides us by nudging our hearts either as an inclination to do something, or a restlessness not to. Sometimes he plants questions in our heart to help us recognize more freely how is work is unfolding in us instead of being lost in the anxiety of how we want him to work. Two of our listeners share how the Spirit is working in them to bring them into a more spacious place of life and freedom. Learning to recognize how the Spirit nudges you is one of the greatest discoveries of this journey. We don’t always get it right, but when we do, it is such a joy to watch how circumstances and his direction converge to spill out with his glory.

Podcast Links:
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”сондажи

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Faith Shifting with Kathy Escobar (#481)

kescobarWhat do you do when the beliefs you were given come unraveled? Kathy Escobar didn’t grow up in a believing home, but came to faith at twelve. Like many of us she, too, found a longing in her heart that the religious program she was in could not satisfy. In fact, it often undermined her faith by refusing to let her ask the difficult questions and discover what life in God really meant. She tells her story and offers her help to others in her book entitled Faith Shift. Kathy joins Wayne for a Skype Conversation about the common elements of their journeys and the different spaces they’ve landed in to discover a rich community of authenticity and engagement. Kathy adds some important pieces to this conversation about creating safe environments to help others face their journey, of the unique challenges women face in our patriarchal religious culture, and the importance of loving people right where they are as they sort out what it means for them to live as God’s child in the earth.

Podcast Links:faithshiftcover
Kathy Escobar’s website
Purchase her book Faith Shift
Her blog on “Things that Help, Things that Hurt”
The Refuge in Denver, CO and their Invitation to Community
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Love’s Antidote to Obligation (#480)

affectionThose who think Jesus builds his church on obligation and accountability have yet to experience the church that rises out of his love. After last weeks’ podcast on obligation, Wayne sorts through some emails and blog posts that share some of the lessons and insights others are finding on this journey. While breaking free of religious obligation can be a lonely and painful road it will only lead to emptiness and self-indulgence unless we are captured by a greater reality, that for which our hearts have longed since birth. Finding our way into Father’s affection and learning to share it with others is the greatest of all possible journeys and the place where we find the freedom he wants for us and the connections with others that bring life. He also talks about continuing to embrace freedom even when difficult people want to drag us back into guilt and performance

Podcast Links:
Wayne’s Travel Schedule
The Church Rising
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Doubling Down on Obligation (#479)

conformityIn the face of declining participation in traditional congregations, why are many religious leaders doubling down on the obligation card? Could it be an admission that their view of the New Testament community not compelling in its own right? After his appearance on Up For Debate on Moody Radio, Wayne has been drawn into ever-more conversations about why people are leaving traditional congregations and recognizing how the relationships between believers who go and those who don’t is becoming increasingly hostile. He examines the twelve reasons some put forth as to why membership in a local congregation is mandatory for all and why it is based on a distorted view of Scripture and of his church in the world. He also shares more of his perspective that didn’t get on the debate and why all of this is so important to help us define the true nature of Jesus’ church in the world and participate freely in her reality in spite of those who seek to exclude us.

Podcast Links:
Up For Debate show on “Is Church Attendance Mandatory?”
Freeman’s “Twelve Reasons Why Membership Matters”
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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How Love Shapes Us (#478)

wolfeLearning to live in the Father’s love and share it freely will take you to places you would never have dreamed and invite you to lay down your life not because you have to, but because we can’t imagine not doing so for someone we love. Wayne finishes the conversation he started last week with Jimmy Wolfe, a husband and father who is learning how to live in the Father’s love where God has placed his family in Woodstock, GA. They pick up the theme of what it means to love what you can’t control and can’t even guarantee its permanency in your life. Their conversation ranges from how light travels in love so it isn’t just nice to people but opens them to God’s wisdom and truth to what it means to equip those who want to build up Jesus’ church in a given area without creating an institution to manage.

Podcast Links:
Email Jimmy
Previous Podcast with Jimmy Wolfe – Listening To Your Yuck Meter
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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