Cultural Engagement with Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer, Wheaton College

I recently talked with Ed Stetzer for “The Stone Chapel Podcasts.”

To hear the podcast (20 minutes) click here.

Ed Stetzer is skilled in cultural engagement.  He is simply wired that way.  He is a professor and dean at Wheaton College where he also serves as Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center.

He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents. 

He has earned two master’s degrees and two doctorates.  He has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books.

Dr. Stetzer is Regional Director for Lausanne North America and is frequently cited in, interviewed by, and writes for news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. 

Ed joins David Capes on The Stone Chapel Podcast to talk about his concerns for the future of the evangelical church and its engagement with western culture. 

In fact, he is finishing up a book about that for InterVarsity Press.  It will be titled, The Future of Evangelicalism. Look for it next year at the Lanier Theological Library. 

America is experiencing a cultural convulsion unlike any we have seen since the 1960s.  And to all observers, America evangelicalism is uniquely influential around the world.

 Rather than thriving in the midst of this time, American evangelicals are themselves convulsing and sorting themselves along ideological lines. 

Stetzer observes: Some have gone “woke.”  Some have gone “political.”  Some have gone full on “Trump.”  Twenty years ago were certainly kinder and gentler times.

Dr. Stetzer is a unique voice for American Christians and has some interesting insights about where America is going and how best to be part of bringing about at least some “Shalom”/Peace for now. 

In the academic year 2022-23 Ed Stetzer is on sabbatical from Wheaton College and will be the guest of the Lanier Foundation staying, along with his wife Donna, at Yarnton Manor. 

He will be teaching two classes for Wycliffe Hall and finishing up yet another book entitled for now, “The Mission to Western Culture.”

You can read more about Ed Stetzer on his webpage: www.edstetzer.com.  He is witty and winsome, and that’s a good thing!  You can follow him on Twitter @edstetzer.

Be sure to stick around for a nugget of wisdom from Ed at the end of the podcast.

One of Ed’s more recent books is Christians in the Age of Outrage. It’s worth a read if we want to be our best when the world is at its worst.

To hear the podcast click here.

For more of cultural engagement at the Lanier Theological Library, click here.

Atheism on Trial with Mark Lanier

Mark Lanier

Mark Lanier stops by to talk about his new bookAtheism on Trial: A Lawyer Examines the Case for Unbelief (IVP, 2022). 

Lanier is one of the top trial attorneys in the nation and he founded the Lanier Theological Library (along with his sweet wife, Becky).  Today, Lanier Foundation governs the mission and practices of this ministry.

Lanier has one foot in the world of law and another in the church. He seems to move seamlessly through both realms.

That’s why it made sense these days as unbelief is trendy and atheism is on the rise for Mark to put atheism, agnosticism, and unbelief on the scales of justice and see if they meet the burden of proof.  

This is book two in a trilogy of books that began with Mark’s first InterVarsity Press book, Christianity on Trial: A Lawyer Examines the Christian Faith(InterVarsity Press, 2015). 

That book has done extremely well since its publication.  Now Mark has submitted his manuscript for the third book in the trilogy.  You have to wait and see who and what is on trial next.

This is what I wrote about the book:

“In Atheism on Trial, Mark Lanier has produced a clear, concise, and worthy companion to Christianity on Trial. With the sensibilities and skills that come with being one of the most successful trial lawyers in US history, Lanier carefully dissects and deconstructs the arguments posed by advocates of atheism and its more congenial sister, agnosticism.  After closing arguments, the underpinnings of atheistic philosophy are found wanting, and a case for the Christian faith prevails.”

Mark will lecture on his book in the Stone Chapel during the weekend of Oct 7-9, 2022.  For more information about the lecture click here.  Be sure to register soon. We expect this lecture to fill up.

Stay tuned to the end of the podcast to hear Mark’s nugget of wisdom.

To see Mark’s 2015 lecture on “Christianity on Trial” click here.

For more books by Mark Lanier, click here.

For more information about attending Mark’s lecture or future lectures at the Library, click here. 

For a transcript of today’s podcast, click here.

To hear the podcast (20 min.) click here.

New Muslim-Christian Commentaries on the Bible with Ida Glaser

The Stone Chapel Podcasts

To hear the podcast click here.

Dr. Ida Glaser, Director of the Oxford Center for Muslim-Christian Studies in Houston, joins David Capes to talk about a new commentary she has just co-authored with her colleague, Anwarul Azad. 

It is entitled Genesis 1-11: Bible Commentaries from Muslim Contexts (Langham Publishing).

Dr. Glaser is series editor for the entire project.  It is a unique series.  It has been 1000 years since serious Christians have attempted to write Bible commentaries alongside and for Muslim culture. 

The goal is to put the Bible into conversation with the Qur’an.  Many of the stories in Genesis 1-11 are found in the Qur’an and Muslim tradition, although they often also differ. 

So one goal of the series, and of this commentary is to put the Christian Scriptures alongside the holy book of Islam. 

Because Muslim-background believers will certainly have these accounts in mind when they read them in the Christian Bible.

Ida’s co-editor for the series is Martin Accad, a Lebanese scholar.  Tragically, Ida’s co-author for this book Anwarul Azad died with Covid not long after he completed his portion of the manuscript.

Most Bible commentaries written in the west do not help Muslim-believers because they are written against a background and for people who come from very different backgrounds.  And western commentaries do not fit their contexts. 

Here is what one Old Testament scholar from Canada says of the book:

“This commentary on Genesis represents the fruit of deep conversation between the Abrahamic faiths. Accessible to the reader without avoiding challenging issues, it provides a fresh encounter with this foundational biblical text. An engaging read for all.”

MARK J. BODA, PhD. McMaster Divinity College, Canada

Be sure to stay for a nugget of wisdom from Ida at the end.

For a transcript of today’s podcast, click here.

Dr. Glaser joined David Capes on an earlier podcast to discuss the mission and history of the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies at Oxford.  To hear that podcast click here.

To learn about the Center for Muslim-Christian Studies, Houston, click here.

To read about the Center for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford, click here.

For more books by Ida Glaser, click here.

Click here for videos by Ida Glaser.

Artificial Intelligence with John Lennox

Prof John Lennox

John Lennox, retired Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, joins David Capes to talk about his book, 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. 

Dr. Lennox was born in northern Ireland to remarkable parents who were Christians. They  allowed him to read and search widely for himself.

In a climate of violence his parents treated everyone—Catholic and Protestant—with dignity. 

Lennox is an outstanding Bible teacher and scientist.  He has written dozens of books that have been translated into many different languages.  To learn more about John, see his webpage: www.johnlennox.org.

The title of John’s book, 2084, has a not-so-cryptic nod to George Orwell’s book 1984.  Many of Orwell’s “predictions” have come true: universal surveillance, use of technology to suppress the population, etc.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all around us and is raising questions in thoughtful minds.  In particular: what implications does it have for the future of humanity? 

There are two kinds of AI: narrow AI which is a system that functions to do one thing that, in the past, humans could do.  And because it is crunching a ton of data, it can do that one thing often better than humans do. 

But there are those who are interested in creating  an advanced AI that can do everything that humans can do and do it better. 

Whether that is achievable or not, we must wait and see. But it begs the question: what is a human being? 

Lennox is convinced of the biblical worldview that holds that humans bear the image of God in a unique way that cannot be shared with a machine. 

So, there are ethical problems in thinking about the limits of AI.  As with a lot of things, the technological advances are ahead of our ability to think ethically about it. 

John is already updating his book.  Because technology is moving so quickly, he is trying to keep his book up to date.  Look for a new edition in two to three years.

To hear the podcast (20 minutes) click here.

Why I Trust the Bible with Bill Mounce

Bill Mounce

Dr. William D. “Bill” Mounce  joins David Capes on the Stone Chapel to talk about his new book, Why Should I Trust the Bible? Answers to Real Questions and Doubts People Have about the Bible (Zondervan, 2021).  In this podcast he talks about his book which is for 17 year olds and their parents. 

Unfortunately, church often teaches people that they  should not ask certain questions.  But Bill insists that we should have freedom to ask all questions in the church.  This book is to help equip parents and church leaders to answer those questions.  

When people say the Bible is full of errors, Bill asks: “show me one.” He knows that they are just parroting what they heard in class or on cable channels.  

For Bill doubt is not the opposite of faith; instead doubt helps us to learn. Faith often grows and succeeds through genuine doubts.  

Bill is president of BiblicalTraining.org, a non-profit organization offering excellent educational resources to local churches. 

 Dr. Mounce has been an educator, a pastor, a writer, a Bible translator (English Standard Version and New International Version) and is affectionately known as “Mr. Greek” to hundreds of thousands of his students who have used his Greek textbook, Basics of Biblical Greek.  

In his lecture at the Lanier Library in April 2022) he met head on the challenges people often face when thinking about whether they should trust the Bible.   

 To read more about Bill, go to his website: BillMounce.com  

To hear the podcast (20 minutes) click here.

Bill Mounce appeared on “Exegetically Speaking,” a podcast of the friends and faculty of Wheaton College, to talk about BiblicalTraining.org.  To hear that podcast (8 minutes) click here.

To watch Dr. Mounce’s lecture at the Stone Chapel click here.