Jenga-Tower Theology (#839)

"It seems that fear drives us to build our own jenga-tower theologies, which we guard with the viciousness of junk-yard dog." That comment from a God Journey listener, sends Kyle and Wayne on a discussion about what's going on in the world and the need for real community. At a time when we may be witnessing the beginning of World War III in Europe, we've never seen followers of Christ more divided. How did Putin become the poster boy for Christian fundamentalists, and why are many pastors afraid that talking about current events will divide their congregations? At a time when we most need to see Jesus' prayer answered for the Father's glory to dwell in us so that we can be brought to complete unity, we are seeing relationships discarded as carelessly as the morning trash. Will we ever learn to put loving each other above our desires to be proved right?

Podcast Notes:
How Russia Became the Leader of the Global Christian Right
BBC Podcast The Coming Storm
Can These Evangelicals Save Their Movement? by David Brooks in NY Times




  1. Like the older brother of the prodigal son, we feel validated in our refusal to join the party. We are forever unwilling to embrace that God’s love and acceptance are realities because of who God is; not because of who we are or what we do… and the separation continues…

  2. Trabian Shorters was interviewed by Kristen Tibbet on Asset Framing. I know you both are extremely busy and I understand if you don’t have time to check that out. But if you do I think you will find it quite encouraging. These are the sorts of things I wish I had known years ago in ministry. Thank you for your ministry here.

  3. Hi, listened to this episode of your podcast yesterday (guess it was this one).

    If I understand correctly, you say, if the CDC had gathered people from “both parts of the spectrum”, to find common ground, and to admit mistakes, there would have been more trust from the people regarding their decisions and recommendations.

    Now I have to admit, I did not follow the American part of the story all too closely. But the more or less comparable German side of it. We also have our “Fauci”, our our is called “Drosten”. He put in a lot of effort to communicate his thoughts, had a regular podcast for a long time where he spoke about developments, insights, thoughts. A lot if it was “as far as we see now” and “we have to drive on sight” and “we misjudged this and that earlier on” and “we will have to wait for this and that to become more clear” and “these are the different views”. Of course he still had his opinion and his view, but as far as I see, he did a tremendous job in trying to stay balanced.

    Did it help? For the most part, yes. Large parts of the population developed large trust that what he was saying was insightful and thoughtful. But those that did not, did not. They pounced on every thing said months ago that had proven incorrect, restating it again and again and again. While being oblivious to the multitude of false reporting (in the hindsight) on their part, their misleading and plain wrong predictions. It is okay (and necessary) to point out the governments flaws. To find every single flaw and magnify it, while being blind to your own failures, is not good.

    So I guess, while what you say is a good intention, it would not have worked.

    Also, “the” truth is not middle ground. From the start, in many (or most) cases truth is not even easy to ascertain. It is reasonably easy to state observations, to verify them – but to distill some more fundamental truths takes time, thought, and the willingness to stand corrected (something I still must learn, myself).

    And now, I can see, in my mind, the (some?) Christians jumping up and down nervously at this statement, their mouths wide open, shouting with inaudible words (as it is only in my mind), jumping like rubber balls in an effort to get out their statement, their one hand holding a big book in their hand and their other hand’s finger gesturing toward it wildly.

    Would love to say more, but will leave it at this.

  4. Yes, Thomas, I think you did miss my point. Our system is so bifurcated, everything is alleged to have an agenda, and often does. My point was that if they had a broad range of scientists who have the respect of people on both sides of the aisle, people would have more trust in their conclusions. I didn’t mean that truth is in the middle ground, but when different people come to similar conclusions it is easier for people to trust the results. And our CDC has not been good at admitting mistakes. A live virus is an ever-changing reality and a good scientist will not speak with certainty about things that are ever-shifting. That was my point. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer.

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