NICK EICHER, HOST: We’re about half-way through season two of The Olasky Interview podcast. This week WORLD Editor in Chief Marvin Olasky talks with Bible teacher and theologian Paul Miller. Miller is the author of: The J-Curve, WORLD’s 20-19 Book of the Year for accessible theology.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Miller compares the Christian life to the capital letter “J.” So imagine the “J” as the first part of the downward curve, which represents believers called to die to many things.
But through God’s grace, the upward part of the letter, we experience resurrection, and soar into repentance, humility, and hope. Here’s a brief excerpt.
MARVIN OLASKY: We’re talking about the role of the J curve in individuals, towards the end of the book, you go into the story of Jesus’ dying and rising. It’s not just for individuals, it’s for the church as a whole. And we’re hearing so much these days down the drain. It’s all over. How does the J curve work for the evangelical American church at this point as a whole?
PAUL MILLER: We’ve been a proud, self-confident, wealthy church and God has taken us into suffering and we no longer have the cultural megaphone. We’ve lost the cultural narrative. Secular liberalism’s cultural narrative about itself is that we are compassionate, inclusive, accepting, scientific, authentic.
And then the media’s narrative about us, about believers is we’re narrow, tight, old fashioned, judgmental. And so now we live in a world where that’s the branding being placed on us. We don’t control the public square anymore. That means suffering is coming a lot more into our families and that’s the place, that’s the journey God took his son on. And that is the journey that he’s taking us on to prepare the bride for the coming of Jesus to make us beautiful. Because it’s only as you go down to the death that you’re stripped of pride and ego and self-will.
NICK EICHER: That’s Paul Miller. To hear more of this conversation, catch this week’s edition of The Olasky Interview wherever you get your podcasts. We’ll run it in this podcast feed over the weekend.