Woke Preachers and the Goodness of Humanity (Podcast Episode 55)

Woke Preachers and the Goodness of Humanity (Podcast Episode 55)


The term “woke” has been thrown about with such frequency (and often with such disdain) that the term has almost seemed to have lost its meaning. For many conservatives, “wokeness” has become more of a buzzword for anything liberal––and often radically so. 

When this kind of name calling finds its way into the church, it often hinders the furthering of any kind of conversations regarding how we might reimagine the ways we present the gospel to an ever-changing world. This is never more present than in Twitter accounts like Woke Preacher Clips.

In this episode of the podcast, we discuss one instance where a “woke preacher” contemplates how we might tell the gospel story differently. Rather than starting with Genesis 3 (“You’re a sinner”), might it be more effective to start with Genesis 1 (“You are created in the image of God”)?

In our discussion, we wrestle with whether repackaging important biblical themes to fit our cultural context is a concession to a sinful world or a legitimate recontextualization of timeless truths.

We also look to some older sources of theological wisdom from the patristic era to see how the reformation has informed our understanding of what it means to be human (for good or for ill). 

Here are the links to the resources we reference in this episode.
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If you have any questions you’d like to submit about this episode or have other topics of conversation you’d like us to explore in future episodes, you can connect with us over on our contact page. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and we’re excited to journey with you!


I couldn't have predicted that this term 'woke,' could so quickly go from being a phrase that was mainly used in the Black community to a huge blanket term to mean anything progressive. Click To TweetWe don't live in a moralistic age where we need to prove people to be sinners. We live in an anxious age where we need to prove to people they're worth something. (@SamAllberry) Click To TweetMy parents' generation, whether they're Christians or not, the meaning of life is to be good. Today the meaning of life is to be true to yourself. I just don't think that our church today has any way of dealing with that. (@timkellernyc) Click To TweetGod created humanity as very good. And so we should have something to say about that, because that is also part of the good news. Click To TweetThe idea of redemption is bringing you BACK to something. Click To TweetIn the west, and particularly in America, we seem to be moving away from a guilt/innocence understanding of the world and more of an honor/shame culture. Click To TweetWhen we have church cultures built up entirely around purity of doctrine, any deviation not only from the theology, but even from a particular phrasing of that theology is seen as a departure from the faith itself. Click To TweetTotal depravity isn't the sum total of what it means to be human. Click To TweetWe have collective memories of what being fully human is supposed to mean and look like. The only question is how on earth we can make the ideal a reality. And the answer is that we can't apart from Jesus. Click To TweetDo not despise the wonder that is in you. For you are small in your own reckoning, but the Word will disclose that you are great...Learn well your own dignity. (St. Basil the Great) Click To TweetThe idea that humans are uniquely valuable, regardless of their state in life, is a uniquely Christian idea. Click To TweetWithout thinking, folks routinely identify ‘human nature’ as...the source of all the world’s troubles...How then can we still affirm our human dignity or the human dignity of others? (Nonna Verna Harrison) Click To TweetWe have an entirely too negative view of what it means to be human. Click To TweetWhat's holiest and what's healthiest are often more closely related than we give credit to. Click To TweetWe are often told that we can't trust ourselves and that we need to trust scripture alone. But usually what the person saying that means is that we need to trust their particular interpretation of scripture. Click To TweetThere is something within us that God saw as worth saving. Click To Tweet

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