Quick to Listen
Quick to Listen
Nov 25, 2020
Why We Can’t Stop Talking about Hillsong's Celebrity Pastors
Play • 59 min

Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries.

At the beginning of this month, Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz was fired. A day after the news went public, he posted a picture of his family on Instagram admitting he was unfaithful in his marriage. Both before and after the news, Lentz made headlines across Christian and secular media for his popularity and successful ministry—as well as the “hipster” pastor look he popularized.

When Lentz co-founded Hillsong NYC with Joel Houston in 2010, the church drew lines around the block and caught the eye of A-list celebrities, none more famous than Justin Bieber. Lentz, who became famous for his wire-rimmed glasses, plunging V-necks, and designer sneakers, himself became subject of a number of profiles, including this 2015 GQ feature from Taffy Brodesser-Akner:

“The music! The lights! The crowds!” begins an incredulous woman narrating a CNN segment on Hillsong NYC . “It looks like a rock concert.” The chyron reads “Hipster preacher smashes stereotypes.”

They call Pastor Carl a hipster. Carl says he doesn’t know what that means, and he wears a motorcycle jacket when he says this.Pastor Joel is unwilling to acknowledge that there’s something going on here. Yes, he tells me, sure, he likes clothes. But that’s the end of it. I should ask Pastor Carl about the clothes, he tells me. What Pastor Carl does, he says—that’s intentional, and then he laughs.

This week on Quick to Listen, we wanted to discuss the attention around a new generation of fashion-forward pastors. What does it reveal about ministry? But what does our fascination with this aesthetic reveal more broadly about the American and Western church?

Anthropologist Katherine Ajibade, formerly a researcher with the British think tank Theos, joins CT’s Morgan Lee and Kate Shellnutt.

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Music by Sweeps

Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder

The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola

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For the Life of the World / Yale Center for Faith & Culture
For the Life of the World / Yale Center for Faith & Culture
Miroslav Volf, Matthew Croasmun, Ryan McAnnally-Linz, Drew Collins, Evan Rosa
Patience with Yourself: Resisting the Temptation to Curate Yourself and Finding the Courage to Embrace Imperfection
Thanks for listening to For the Life of the World. To support the show, you can make a tax-deductible gift to the Yale Center for Faith & Culture by clicking here. --- This is that time of year when the little demon of self-criticism and self-denigration wakes up and starts nagging you for letting your new year’s resolutions slip a little. Or maybe you’re not there yet. You’re powering through, waking up early, working out hard, eating right, reading more, living your best life. Hey. Good on you. Go get it. But regardless, whether you find yourself nailing it or failing it, do you have the patience and the necessary courage to accept yourself at every moment you try to improve? This week, Ryan McAnnally-Linz and Miroslav Volf discuss an obscure but incredibly timely passage from an old lecture given by the great Karl Rahner, the German Jesuit priest and one of the most notable Catholic theologians of the 20th century—he was instrumental, for instance, in the theological developments of the Second Vatican Council. Miroslav once heard Rahner give a talk about patience, and has passed along the wisdom of that lecture, and now we’re passing it on to you. Miroslav even translated a passage from the German text, and reads it here (you can also find it in our show notes). In this episode, Miroslav Volf and Ryan McAnnally-Linz reflect on Karl Rahner's admonition to be patient with oneself. The discussion begins by recognizing the gap between who you are now and who you aspire to be, and proceeds with the need to keep the tension alive, working and bearing with your limitations, and exploring the freedom of a serene patience with oneself. Serenity is not acquiescence to vice or bad habits. But it represents a courageous long-term peace with your imperfections—an effort to recognize oneself as rooted in divine love and grace and acceptance, even as you pursue a vision of a better self. Show Notes * New Year’s Resolutions and the need to be patient * Karl Rahner’s “Intellectual Patience with Oneself” (translated from German to English by Miroslav Volf) * Minding the gap between who you are and who you aspire to be * Narcissism, complacency, and resignation * Miroslav’s friend’s motto for graduate school: “Courage to Imperfection!" * Patience is not merely a private interior thing—there is a public effect of bearing with oneself that leads to bearing with others. * The courage to _public_ imperfection * Cultivating a secure sense of self grounded in God’s love * We can live with imperfection knowing that we are accepted as we are * Release yourself from the grip of the performed, curated self * How patience with oneself applies to the struggle to improve through New Year’s Resolutions * Reflect on which self you want to nurture and don’t give up on the tension between who you are and who you aspire to be. * Constant pressure to improve quickly, as opposed to acceptance of limitations and imperfections * Keep the tension alive, work with your limitations, and explore the freedom of a serene patience with oneself. * You cannot do whatever you want, and the lie that you can leaves you exposed to the deep pain of failure and limitation. * “You are not at stake.” Limits are there. They are to be worked with rather than hated or abhorred. * "I’m not divine. I’m human." Karl Rahner, “On Intellectual Patience with Oneself” in _Schriften zur Theologie_, 15, 303ff. (Abridged version of the first few paragraphs that deal with patience with oneself in general, of which intellectual patience with oneself is one dimension) Translated by Miroslav Volf That we need … patience with ourselves, seems to me a self-evident thing, in fact one of those self-evident things which in reality turn out to be difficult to achieve. Perhaps there are people who don’t think they need patience with themselves because they are in full agreement with who they are and with what they do. But I hope that we will not envy the “good fortune” of such simple-minded people. If we are honest with ourselves, we are [all] the kind of people who, rightly, are not fully finished with ourselves, and also the kind of people who cannot establish the state of their full agreement with ourselves on command or through some psychological trick. Because a full agreement with ourselves is neither given nor within our power to achieve, we need to have patience with ourselves. The person in us, who we actually are, greets with pain, the person in us who we want to become… We are now on the way, we live between a past and a future, and both, each in its own way, are out of our full control. We never have all things together which we need to live; we are always historically conditioned, socially manipulated, biologically threatened—and we are aware of this. We can try to suppress the knowledge of this state of existence; we can try to let things that we cannot change just be there as surd elements of our lives; or we can misuse joyous experiences of life as analgesics against the uncanny tensions between who we are and who we should be; or we can interpret these dissatisfactions as depression which we either have simply to suffer or which we can medicalize ourselves against. But when we muster the courage to face these tensions [between who we are and who we aspire to become], when we acknowledge them and accept them … then we have come to have patience with ourselves, to accept that we are not in pure agreement with ourselves… Many believe that they have patience with themselves and that this patience is the most ordinary of things. But if we were to look at such people more carefully, we would see that they do not take on patiently the pain of their tensions, that they don’t face them without ether embellishing or hating them, but that they flee from them into the banality of everyday life … that what has triumphed in them [over these tensions] is an unrecognized despair or despairing resignation, that they, in the end, believe that life has no meaning. We would also see that they do not actually have patience as they behold the questionableness of their existence, but are seeking ways to look away and find surrogates for patience, which, they believe, make it possible for them to live. Those who are truly patient endure in reality their existential tensions, take them on, accept the pain they cause… Those who are patient are patient with their impatience; serenely, they let go of the final “agreement” between who they are and what they aspire to become. They do not know where this serenity, in which they let themselves be, comes from… Those who are patient are serene and therefore free. We will not further explore the question about what it is that we ultimately fall upon when practicing such serene patience. Some people will think that the stance rests on “Nothing”; resting on “Nothing,” they can be victorious over tense conflicts of finite realities in their own lives. Others are persuaded, that “Nothing,” when one gives it its proper sense, is of no use, that it can have no power to give peace. Instead, they believe that when we serenely accept our tensions [between who we are and what we aspire to become], then, whether we are aware or not, we have come to rest on what in everyday use of the word we call God.And when we really understand that word [God], the we see that the letting oneself “fall” into the silent incomprehensibility which is God “succeeds” because God receives in grace those who let themselves fall into serene patience with themselves.
37 min
VOX Podcast with Mike Erre
VOX Podcast with Mike Erre
Mike Erre
279 - When Unity Isn't Enough - with Dr. Timothy Gombis
Gombis stops by for a conversation on a theological response and reflection on the last couple weeks. Gombis, a Pauline scholar and seminary Professor, walks us through his thoughts and how Paul might have addressed the church in this time. Where should the outrage have begun? How do we process an Evangelical pursuit of power? How can we effect change in our communities? How can Matthew 25 fuel our understanding of politics? How has the Church's imagination been taken hostage? Who did Andre the Giant and King Kong Bundy wrestle at Wrestlemania? There is so much to sift through as we, collectively, try to look forward. We at VOX are committed to not only confronting all of this, first in ourselves, but also to wrestle with what Jesus would have for us in this time. We are committed to repentance and a pursuit of discernment. As always, we encourage and would love discussion as we pursue. Always feel free to email in questions to hello@voxpodcast.com, and to engage the conversation on here and Instagram.  Learn more about the VOX Podcast: Voxpodcast.com Subscribe on iTunes - apple.co/1Lla1Nj Support the VOX Podcast on Patreon: www.patreon.com/voxpodcast Follow us on Instagram: @voxpodcast Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/voxpodcast Follow Mike on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mikeerre Music in this episode by Timothy John Stafford www.timothyjohnstafford.com Instagram & Twitter: @GoneTimothy
1 hr 21 min
The Gospel Coalition, Collin Hansen
Russell Moore: How to Stand When the World Is Falling
If I want to read anyone’s reflections on recent years, it’s Russell Moore. The president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC hasn’t been as visible or vocal as he was before 2017, at least until the last week following the attack on the U.S. Capitol. But his newest book, _The Courage to Stand: Facing Your Fear Without Losing Your Soul_, published by B&H, is even better than a tell-all memoir. It’s a grace-infused reflection on where and how to stand tall when it feels like the world is going to crush you. Moore says, “The courage to stand is the courage to be crucified.” Indeed, Jesus sets the tone for this book. And if you’re going to worship and follow a Savior who submitted to the cross, you’re not going to follow the world’s typical mode of courage. I see this book as seeking to reclaim Jesus, or at least his reputation and authority, among evangelicals. Moore observes, “An entire generation is watching what goes on under the name of American religion, wondering if there is something real to it, or if it is just another useful tool to herd people, to elect allies, to make money.” Elsewhere he writes, “I’m not surprised now when I see Jesus used as a mascot to prop up some identity politics or power agenda, or even to cover up private immorality or public injustice.” We’ve seen that recently with the Jericho March, and then the protests-turned-attack at the Capitol. Moore joins me on Gospelbound to tell us what scares him, how to lead when no one seems to be following, ambition masquerading as conviction, and much more. This episode of Gospelbound is sponsored by The Good Book Company, publisher of _Meals with Jesus _by Ed Drew. These simple 10-minute family devotions in Luke’s Gospel explore Jesus’ character through nine meals that he shared with people. More information at thegoodbook.com.
50 min
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