being manifested by growth: being daily transformed as His kids, His friends…
In this podcast, Steve and Robin Smit share about the publishing company. TWS, and a new book, “Free To Give.” In a world where the act of giving is often burdened by expectations and legalistic constraints, “Free to Give” emerges as a guiding light of grace and liberation. If you’ve ever been shackled by the weight of ritualistic and obligatory giving or the oppressive thoughts of giving to meet performance standards, this book is your path to freedom.
Troy McLaughlin, host of This Undivided Life Podcast, and the guys talked about wholeness. Derek and Jason shared about their journeys and the inception of Rethinking God with Tacos. The guys talked about Jesus as perfect theology, de-reconstruction, an Emmaus Road Jesus, revelation, the resurrected Christ, the burning heart, waking up to wonder, a father’s love, the incarnation, our humanity, sufficient grace, a God who never leaves, and an undivided life.
The current of the Nile River was strong at some points. But Miriam’s mother had chosen a section of the river that was calm. Even so, Miriam’s breath caught each time the basket bumped into a log or bobbed about in the current.
“Forgiveness is an event and a process… Forgiveness came to me…” Christ, within you the hope of glory, the journey of union, discovering our identity, speaking to light within people, no us and them, no hierarchy in love, embracing mystery and asking questions, hope, forgiveness, authentic restoration, and the eternal nature of reconciliation, in this podcast the guys talk about their rethinking journey in the context of pastoring, and Mike shares his powerful story of healing and the journey of forgiveness and a hope that won’t disappoint.
Theology and methodology, communal learning, asking questions and discussing false narratives, theodicy, rethinking atonement theories, the stages of faith – simplicity, complexity, perplexity, harmony (Brian McLaren), deconstruction, liturgy, the lectionary, spiral dynamics, and first-tier thinking, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and letting God tell our story; in this podcast, Randall and the guys talk about a theology of love as revealed through the incarnation.
“For too long the image and understanding of God, the One Jesus called “Abba”, has been hidden from view or distorted beyond recognition. The unspoken cry of sons and daughters all over the world is ‘Give us our Dad back!’”
A renewed mind, western wisdom vs. God’s wisdom, theology in relational terms, and above all, a Father who doesn’t just love us, He really likes us; in this conversation, Pete Scheller shares from his new book, Dancing with Wisdom. The guys dive deep into the Father nature of God and laugh along the way.
Hope, healing, intimacy, unconditional love, and acceptance; in this conversation, Rusty and Erin Pleune talk about the intentional steps they took to create a culture of connection in their marriage and how they now help couples do the same. They also dove into their journey of discovering community and deeper faith as they lean into the goodness of God.
Sadly, much of the church is full of behavior-focused, sin-counting, Older Brothers—slaving servants waxing eloquent on the master’s thoughts and plans while participating in dualism, nationalism, liberalism, moralism, wokeism, and a thousand other obligations outside of friendship.
God to Schlyce: “You never rebelled from me; you rebelled from a version of me that was never me…” Identity, the illusion of separation, trauma triggers and healing, how to hear the voice of God, experiencing the joy and wonder of continual fellowship with God; in this conversation, Schlyce Jimenez shares about her faith journey and her book, The Path. The Path helps readers discover how their life would be different if they could know the Father like Jesus did.
I’m describing equality as Jesus revealed it. It’s not “equals” based on measurements; it has nothing to do with finite thinking or microscopes. I’m writing about an equality revealed by Greater Love laying down His life for His friends. Self-giving, other-centered love is the birthplace of true equality and is discovered in union.
But the Brian Simmons Passion Translation of that verse is my favorite, and I think it’s infinitely more accurate—not based on my academic prowess but on what I know about love.
It reads, “I have never called you ‘servants’… But I call you my most intimate friends….”
Exclusion is often the fruit of a retributive, or penal substitutionary atonement, view of the cross—as though the Father looked away, as though Jesus only died to save some, as though Greater Love didn’t reconcile all creation, as though what was lost in Adam wasn’t fully restored in Christ, as though at the cross there was a delineation between Jew or Gentile, black or white, lost or found, sinner or saint, gay or straight, republican or democrat, capitalist or socialist, Christian or Muslim…woman and ministry—as though there is still a veil that separates some from His all-inclusive, measurelessly reconciling love.
You see, as I’ve left every Jesus that isn’t reconciling. I’ve also left every idea of church that isn’t built upon the Cornerstone of Greater Love. I’ve left every aspect of the church that practices us or them, in or out, for or against; and when I find I haven’t, I repent…
I was heartsick and disturbed by the theological certainty he placed in the punishing nature of God—a certainty that was clearly crushing him. He was tormented over whether he’d “evangelized” enough. He wondered aloud if a prayer said in the horror of a violent car crash would be enough.
“What am I still lacking?” That was the cruel and punishing road my pastor friend traveled. He seemed to believe God counted his dad’s sins against him—and his dad had come up lacking.
My pastor friend’s pain was real, traumatizing, and tragically unnecessary.
You see, what he described to me wasn’t Christian hope. It was fatalism.
Trust is the central theme of life here on earth. Trust is our throughline and the evidence of heaven coming to earth. Trust is eternal life in the ever-present now. Trust is a Triune God perfectly revealed in the God-Man, Jesus. Trust is discovered in Jesus’ prayer that we would know union as He did—first with Him, our heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit; then with each other.
With grace and humor, Jason juxtaposes an inclusive, reconciling, self-giving view of God’s love against an excluding, hierarchal, punishment-focused view of God’s love.
Based on scripture, studies, personal and shared stories, church history, and Jason’s experience as a pastor and relational theologian, Leaving and finding Jesus encourages readers to leave the broken foundations of a transactional view of God, and instead, embrace the reconciliation and self-giving love that truly transforms our lives and our world.
Control is the antithesis of intimacy and oneness. A hierarchal understanding of submission is what’s wrong with this world.
“The Spirit said to me, ‘I want you to hand to me everything that you believe to be true about God and let me hand back to you everything that is true.’”
Racism, deconstruction, shame, guilt, certainty, empathy, infinite mercy, grace, healing, and other-centered, self-giving love, in this amazing conversation, Felecia and Jason visit fear and prejudice while leaning into the AND of God’s always present, empathetic, reconciling love.
“It’s Christmas Eve, and instead of dreaming of the best day of the year, the boy is in his bedroom agonizing over the universal question: Does God…sorry, I mean Santa Claus, really exist?”
In this final podcast of 2022 and season three, Jason shares a story from his first book about the Polar Express, and faith. Whether you’re tired or wide awake, full or empty, lost or found, sick or whole, you are loved by Triune God who walks beside you, will never leave you, and invites you to awaken to His affection and love. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, and goodwill toward men!”
“Whether I’m high or low, in heaven or hell, nothing can ever separate me from God’s love.” Jason dives into a memoir he helped his friend, baseball legend, Jason Grimsley, write. They guys talk about Jason’s wild and unbelievable life. This conversation is part storytelling, part revelation, and all testimony of the love of God.
Jason shares about several hardships he’s faced, including a botched suicide attempt and the near destruction of his marriage. The guys shared insights and wisdom for the highs and lows of life. And all along the way, they highlighted the message of the book. Cross Stitched displays the very real and present love of God and the abundant life He offers us when we surrender to Him.
When Karen was five, she had her first and only panic attack. It was on a Sunday, after church. She had a tummy ache and, with it, a sudden terror. What if she died? She began to hyperventilate. So, dad and mom put her in the car, where she sat in the back seat between her grandmothers. And they raced to the hospital.
In that moment of paralyzing fear, when five-year-old Karen thought she was dying, she told her grandmothers she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart.
And she did.
Everything in this next story is true, metaphorically…
One day I summited a mountain. While taking in the stunning view, I discovered a systematic friend had also just arrived and was enjoying the same vista. We embraced and then, filled with wonder, reveled in our shared awe of the landscape – it was Revelation.
Dave was a Christian, and Jesus was his best friend. Mine, too. Truly. But when we talked about Jesus, Dave’s thoughts were fuller and better than mine. We both used the same words to describe Jesus, but Dave’s interpretation was deeper and more complete. Dave’s understanding of God’s goodness was also better than I understood it.
This podcast highlights Jason’s book, Leaving and finding Jesus, where he writes about his deconstructing faith journey. The book is Jason’s Emmaus Road discovery of a love that is reconciling all creation; a journey where he’s awakening to a burning heart while leaving every Jesus who won’t lay His life down for His friends.
Derek and Jason dive into the fivefold (APEST) typology of ministry as articulated in Ephesians 4:1-1 with Brandon Kelly, the co-director at 5Qcollective. APEST stands for the Apostolic, Prophetic, Evangelistic, Shepherding, and Teaching intelligence that Jesus gifted to his body.
The guys discussed the fivefold in connection with the nature of God as non-hierarchal and inclusive, laced throughout creation and culture, reconstituted and perfectly exemplified in the life and ministry of Jesus, embedded into the very foundations of the Church, and subsequently expressed through the lives of the countless saints that make it up.
“Eternal life is not on a timeline, it is the ever-present now.”
Wm Paul Young, the author of The Shack, talks with Lloyd and Jason Clark about eternal life, an authentic friendship with our Father where we are free to live in the ever-present now. Union, peace, grace, expectancy, trust, facing our fear, the incarnation, death, writing for the one, and stories about Pauls’s friends on death row and the Shack movie, this is an authentic and vulnerable conversation.
Matt Chandler, pastor, and writer, recently used the phrase “a sexy fad” when describing the deconstruction movement. Derek and Jason highlight his statement to dive into the nature of their own de/ and reconstruction. This podcast dives into sin, grace, reconciliation, and God’s love for all His kids, the church deep and wide. Ultimately, the guys kick off season three embracing Rom 8:38-29 That nothing… “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This conversation with Jason Clark was hosted by Brent Lokker on his youtube channel Vibrant Life. This podcast begins with two dads sharing stories about helping their children encounter God as a loving Father. The guys dive into obedience in the context of union and friendship, learning to trust the unchanging nature of our Father, not as retributive, punishing, or abandoning, but as the tenderhearted one who accepts us, loves us, and is always good!