So… what is this, exactly?

Welcome to the new online home for the Everything Just Changed Podcast and all future related projects! As we’ve delved into what it means to “follow Jesus in a post-Christian and post-pandemic world,” we’ve realized that the root of so many challenges facing the church (from the so-called “Rise of the Nones” and failure to hold leaders accountable, to Racial Injustice and the Culture Wars) is a spiritualized Individualism that makes the achievement of one’s identity the highest pursuit, to be protected at all costs. The resulting polarization only enables and exacerbates that posture, so if Bryce and I were going to have any hope of making a difference (or seeing more clearly ourselves), the podcast had to evolve and expand proportionately.

A Community…

Getting past and seeing ourselves more clearly is an impossible individual endeavor, but an unavoidable result of honest and earnest community. In a society increasingly shaped by the incentive structures of disembodied and (ironically) depersonalized social media, good faith participation is a lost art. Only through diligent exercise can an anemic muscle return to strength. In that spirit, we’re creating this space to explore a Covenantal both/and alternative to the Evangelical and Secular false dichotomies pushing conversation to the extremes.

… and Conversation…

That is not to say this will be a libertarian free-for-all: bad faith engagement will be promptly banished to the Facebook/Twitter hell that it came from. But it will be a grace-saturated conversation where humble, good faith attempts to engage with truth and love are both encouraged and forgiven when we (and I do mean “we”) fall short of that mark.

… Committed to the Common Good.

The reduction of the Missio Dei merely to the Great Commission, has resulted with a Christian cultural, social, and political engagement that rarely gets beyond evangelism within those spheres. Rarely, if ever, does that framework lead to cooperation or benefit beyond our own tribe. This is far from the standard of Christ’s command to “love your neighbor as yourselves.”

The greek word for “hospitality” is philoxenia, or more literally “love (philo) of the other/alien (xenia).” To be committed to the Common Good means to have a hospitable posture in all our individual and institutional engagement within civil society. Scaling hospitality through systems is both the distinctly Christian and unavoidably socio-political endeavor of persuasion. As the evangelical church’s complicity in the culture wars draws it (us) further away from Gospel-centered hospitality, “the other” whom we disagree with has become an enemy to be demonized. Because one doesn’t persuade enemies through truth with love or good-faith compromise, you coerce them through the exercise of political power and… well… cultural warfare. To “love your enemies” (Mt 5:43-47) and “bless those who persecute you” (Rom 12:44) must at least mean working toward the common good flourishing of both society and church.

Our “Hunch” & The Hidden Tribes Report

In 2018, a stunningly insightful and prescient report came out called “The Hidden Tribes,” with the thesis (backed up by copious amounts of demographic and survey data) that our society’s polarization is largely the result of the combination of two dynamics…

  1. A very vocal (and very small) minority on the extreme right and left wings of the cultural-political spectrum are polarized and amplified by incentive structures inherent in cable and social media. That part isn’t news to most of us in principle, but it did convincingly show that the 3 most extreme “tribes” on the left and right combined add up to only about 1/3 of the total population, which leads to…

  2. The 2/3 of the population (made up of 4 more moderate tribes) make up an “Exhausted Majority” who are overwhelmed or at a loss on how to meaningfully participate in national conversations that lack any space for beliefs or convictions between the poles. In other words, “friendly fire” has taken it’s psychological toll on our ability to engage, never mind discern fact from fiction from among those who do…

It is our “hunch” that if this “Exhausted Majority” were energized and equipped to more fully participate, it would force the left and right wing “tribes” to listen, slow their sprint to the extremes, and stop demonizing those who disagree with them for fear of losing moderate support or involvement. We suspect that there are countless people (Christians and otherwise) longing for a “3rd way” path cleared that reignites our cultural imaginations and gets beyond those two extremes.

Toward that end, we will post resources, examples, and original articles beyond (but related to) what we cover in Everything Just Changed to equip and encourage the “Exhausted Majority” to engage with truth and love - within both the church and broader society. The more we can do to highlight and celebrate others working toward Shalom within the Culture Wars, the more the King is glorified and the more His Kingdom makes this world it’s Home.

We hope you’ll join us in this urgent endeavor and join the ongoing conversation.