Award-winning journalist turned mega-church pastor, John S. Dickerson, is back on the podcast to talk about why skeptics might want to rethink their suspicion about Christianity.
John took his journalistic skills through centuries of history to discover why Christianity isn’t anti-intellectual, why it’s been far more progressive than repressive, and how a skeptical generation may want to rethink its bias against Christians.
Welcome to Episode 311 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
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3 Insights from John
1. Most of the things that have made our world great came from Christians
In Jesus Skeptic, John outlines three of the greatest moral creations in history and how Christianity is responsible for them. The major leaders who abolished slavery and brought the Civil Rights Movement were all Christians, and their major motivation was that it’s wrong to follow Jesus and have slaves.
Christianity is also responsible for the creation of modern universities. If you look at the top ten universities in the world, eight of them have blatantly Christian language in their charters, and the other two were founded by all Christians. The third thing that Christianity is responsible for is modern medicine. Nine of the top ten hospital systems in the world were founded by Christians. The effect that these three major movements have had on our modern lives is almost immeasurable.
2. Many modern Christians are more committed to their mindset, lifestyle, and prosperity than Jesus himself
So easily, we fall into this “who’s right and who’s wrong?” mindset. Many Christians think we always have to be right and we have to prove that we’re right, and we have to prove that the other person is wrong. Even if we are right, that doesn’t help. Nobody cares if we are right if they don’t like us.
John points out that we can easily fall into thinking that Christianity is about making our life perfect here and now, and anyone who threatens that is against us, rather than really seeing what Jesus taught—that his kingdom is not of this world, and that we are here to radically lay down our lives to help others.
3. The people who actually follow Jesus will continue to change the world
When we look throughout history, the people who are devout followers of what Jesus actually said, and not what the Church says, have always been the radical world-changers that add value. These are the people and examples that caused John to have faith in Jesus and his teachings.
The biggest threat to Christianity is the people who claim to be Christians but are actually using their faith to propagate hate and judgment on the world. These were the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, and they are still alive and thriving in our modern world.
Quotes from Episode 311
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Jordan Raynor
Jordan Raynor is a serial entrepreneur who has bought and sold several fast-growing businesses by the time he turned 30. He’s been a Google Fellow and spoken at SXSW, Harvard and TedX. He talks about what makes for a successful launch, the qualities and characteristics that make for great entrepreneurs, and why so much of the career advice people give young leaders is wrong.
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