MARY REICHARD, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It, a preview of this week’s Listening In.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Matt Chandler is one of the country’s best known and most influential pastors. In addition to leading his own congregation, he serves as president of the Acts 29 Network, a church-planting organization.
Chandler has also authored several books. The latest is Take Heart: Christian Courage in an Age of Unbelief.
WORLD Radio’s J.C. Derrick is sitting in for Warren Smith this week and spoke to Matt Chandler at The Village Church in Dallas.
DERRICK: Let’s start with your new book, Take Heart. Why did you write it?
CHANDLER: The short answer is I was in Rome doing an Acts 29 European conference. And the last day, I got to walk through the ruins of the Colosseum. And to me, that was a profoundly spiritual moment—that here I was in the ruins of the greatest empire the world has ever known, that for about 300 years, set all its might and desire on the destruction of Christ’s church and failed. And now here I am, you know, a pastor from a church in a land that they didn’t even know existed, who’s helping plant churches all over what used to be their empire. And so I was super encouraged that the reality is the Bible’s true and the church of Jesus Christ won’t be stopped. And then when I came home there was a ton of fear in the air as Christians are perceiving, and rightly perceiving, that there’s margin—increased marginalization going on. And so I became really incited to try to help the men and women of The Village Church really lean into what appears to be a coming storm with a great deal of confidence in who God is, rather than who we are. And then it resonated really well here. And so from there we just turned it into a book in the hopes that it would help more.
DERRICK: And in the book you talk early on about four different approaches, responses to this current cultural moment, three of which you say are largely problematic. Can you just give us a rundown of those four?
CHANDLER: Yeah, well, you see these all the time. You see people that kind of get into a culture-war mentality where they’re trying to kind of take us backwards to some perceived glory day that, in all honesty, never really existed. And then you’ve got a group that tends to conform to culture, and so they will start to read their Bible differently than the church has read their Bible for thousands of years, and then where I want to try to get people to look and marvel and lean into is to gaze upon the might and power of God and then to walk in generous hospitality with coworkers, neighbors, friends, and the world, regardless of how hostile it gets.
REICHARD: That’s Pastor Matt Chandler talking to J.C. Derrick. To hear the rest of their conversation, be sure to check out Listening In. The new edition goes live tomorrow, and it’s available on your favorite podcast platform.