Christianity in the Age of Wokeness

The first episode of the podcast is available for anyone who wants to listen, or watch, because as of right now we are only posting the video of our conversations online. Once we get some things ironed out we will create a podcast feed for Apple Podcasts, or wherever else we can figure out where to publish it. We originally called the podcast The Neighbros, but discovered after posting it to YouTube that some other dudes are already using that name. So it’s back to the drawing board for a podcast name now.

In this episode, Corey and I introduce ourselves and hit the highlights of my first essay in the Christianity in the Age of Wokeness series, Woke Apocalypse. We talk about the ongoing cycle of beasts and antichrists as the book of Revelation plays out over the past 2,000 years, and how Wokeness is the beast of our current age. We also talk about how God’s will, as revealed in Ephesians 1, is to unite all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. The present work of the beast through Wokeness is to divide humanity, pitting people against each other based on identity markers. In podcast episode 1 we go on to discuss the nature of evil, and how it can be identified by the presence of lies and deception. We also talk a bit about the difference between growing in our understanding of faith and deconstructing our faith.

If you’re interested in following along with the discussion, feel free to subscribe on YouTube. Even though the name of the podcast will change, we’ll still be posting all future episodes on that channel. We’d also love to hear from you! If you have a question or comment that you’d like for us to discuss on future episodes, go ahead and leave a comment either on this post, or on the video on YouTube.

I didn’t prepare what I was going to say ahead of time, which is unusual for me. All I knew was that I wanted to read from Revelation 21. My hope is that these words honored both Jesus and Zeke.

Our son was so photogenic, even up to the very end. As a toddler, he was always hamming it up for the camera. I sorted through hundreds of pictures and video clips to try to tell the story of his short but powerful life as best I could.

The music we chose for the video is “Your Great Name” by Natalie Grant. This song has a very special place in the life of our family, and Breena would sing it to him often in order to soothe him. He always responded to the sound of her singing with peace and joy.

For those of us who grew up in a LEGO world, this is the LEGO movie we’ve been waiting for. There are already several LEGO movies, of course, many of which my son has found on Netflix. There is a Batman movie, a Clutch Powers movie, an entire Ninjago television series, and many others. This big screen adaptation, however, is not limited to a specific set or brand of LEGO, nor is it animated in the same way. It looks like it’s stop motion, but it’s really CG with stop-motion principles and rules.

The brilliance of The LEGO Movie, though, is in its story. It’s not simply a kids’ movie, though it does urge adults to be more childlike. The movie celebrates the triumph of participatory imagination over controlling enshrinement, of play over mise-en-scene. Lord Business (Will Ferrell) is bent on freezing everything and everyone perfectly in place with his nefarious weapon, the Kragle. Emmet (Chris Pratt), the ill-equipped Special and fulfiller of prophecy, and his rag-tag team of master builders must stop Lord Business using the mysterious Piece of Resistance before he unleashes his weapon on Taco Tuesday.


In wisdom we must become adults, but in imagination we must remain as children.
The jokes are playful but the insight is deep. Lord Business represents the inclination we develop as we grow older – to control, to create merely to look upon rather than to engage in hands-on play. The LEGO world, the world of our imaginations, needs to be set free. In wisdom we must become adults, but in imagination we must remain as children. The childlike imagination demands participation, interaction, and invention. We don’t simply create a world and stand back from it, like the god of deism. Rather, like the God of Christianity (though not to the same extent, of course), we create a world and enter into it. The need to control stifles our imaginations, throwing us to the mercy of the instruction manual. But a child whose imagination has been set free is not bound by such instructions. They are free to create and truly play.

This is what The LEGO Movie is about, and this is why it’s important for us adults to see, especially those of us with sons and daughters who love LEGO as much as we did. This is a hilarious, touching, even incarnational film about what it means to stay young even as we grow older.

I was at this event, and it was the first time I’ve had the pleasure to see and hear N.T. Wright speak live. My friend Joel and I sat very close, right next to two founding members of Mars Hill Bible Church (no, it wasn’t Rob Bell). It was a wonderful time, and I found Dr. Wright both brilliant and engaging. I encourage you to find an hour and watch this. Below you’ll find all my tweets from this event.

And then my phone battery died. I think that was somewhere around the middle of the talk. Obviously I thought it was a great talk, and it really summed up the heart of N.T. Wright is all about. So if you don’t want to spend months and months reading the copious amounts of books he has written, you can take one hour sometime and watch this.

 

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