Podcast Season 4

Episode #4: Karen Swallow Prior

When much of contemporary Christianity is suffering an identity crisis, how do we engage well with cultural conversations? As followers of Jesus, we need to return to Christianity’s rich DNA and uncover the ‘why’ behind the vision for our lives and the lives of others.

We are welcoming author, professor and long-term activist Karen Swallow Prior back to the Being Human podcast! A renowned social commentator, Karen’s dedication to bridging the gaps between faith, culture and literature has left an incredible mark. With a nuanced and compassionate voice, her writing has appeared in Christianity Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Gospel Coalition, to mention a few.

Join Jo and Peter in this interview as they dive into the themes of Karen’s most recent book – The Evangelical Imagination: How Stories, Images, and Metaphors Created a Culture in Crisis – and chat activism, imagination and finding Jesus in some of life’s greatest challenges.

To discover more about Karen Swallow Prior and order your copy of The Evangelical Imagination, head to: karenswallowprior.com

Part one (00:00)
02:25 – Introducing Karen’s inspiration for The Evangelical Imagination: when much of evangelical culture is more Victorian than biblical, how do we faithfully distinguish cultural values from biblical ones?
04:41 – In recent years ‘evangelical’ has become a controversial and contested term – what does it actually mean to be one?
07:48 – Why activism is in the DNA of evangelicalism.
10:44 – What is our ‘social imaginary’? Engaging with cultural conversations and uncovering the ‘why’ behind our actions and vision for our lives.

Part two (13:50)
14:18 –What do we do when cultural and biblical values are entangled? How do healthily examine and separate them?
19:36 – The ‘before and after’ storyline: exploring the cross-over in contemporary Christianity between the language of conversion and the language of self-help.
23:48 – What can metaphors teach us about spiritual realities and the character of God? Learning from Karen’s experience of being hit by a bus and the stories of abused women in the church.
28:15 – Being human is a ‘sign act’ – something that points to another, greater thing and prepares us for eternity. Therefore, as we look to Jesus who redeems all things, pain doesn’t have to be the end to somebody’s story.

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