0303 - The Christ We Share is More Important than the Politics We Don't (w/ Mark Dever)

FYI: This episode was originally recorded August 2018. Given that we pushed season three back to 2019, we had it scheduled to release in Spring 2019.

Host: Isaac Adams and Trillia Newbell

Overview: "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." (James 1:19-20). 

In this episode, Trillia Newbell and Isaac Adams sit with Mark Dever, Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. The three of them discuss interracial dating, single-issue voting and racial divisions in churches, the American flag in worship gatherings, and other topics as they talk about the importance of understanding and remembering. 

The Lord Jesus Christ told us to take his Supper in remembrance of him (1 Cor. 11:24). As Christians, memory is no mere thing. Dever, who grew up in what was formerly a slave-hold state, speaks to why knowing history is so important. Whether it's the history of George Liele, the first American missionary, or the history of the slave trade ending in the British Empire, or the personal history of a friend, Dever maintains that, "It's very hard to have a meaningful conversation about race and American history if you've not studied much about it." 

As the last two episodes of Season 3 have taken place in Africa, "the continent of lament," as Dever refers to it—join Isaac, Trillia, and Mark as they discuss race, politics, and the local church in the United States. 

Links & Show Notes:

11:45 -- "Why do you think working hard to not oppose either party is the best gospel strategy?" 
14:00 -- Education [on race] is necessary but insufficient. 
22:30 -- The American flag in our worship gatherings? 
32:11 — Prayer

In this episode we referred to our episodes in Africa. Listen to the episode with a Zambian Pastor or a Kenyan Pastor. For more on the importance of American History in the race conversation, check out the episode with Matt Hall

Produced by Josh Deng

0302 - Not Political Correctness But What the Bible Says (w/ Ken Mbugua)


Host: Isaac Adams

Overview: But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress. (Obadiah 12)

Join Isaac as he heads to Kenya to talk with Pastor Ken Mbugua about tribalism and its hidden faults. Kenya, along with some of its churches, has wonderful diversity as there are 42 tribes there. And every five years Kenyan pastors of multi-ethnic churches are reminded of their diversity. Why? 

Because every five years there is an election. 

Mbugua discusses the animosity between tribes such as the Luo and Kikuyu, and how confrontations and conflicts occurred over accusations of rigged elections and police brutality. "Kenya descended into an intense time," Mbugua said, reflecting on the 2017 Presidential Election. 

One tribe felt disenfranchised. Another felt confused and perhaps callous. And Mbugua discusses how he led his church through this difficult time. He explained why, "You need to do a better job convincing me of your plight," is anything but a helpful response. 

Mbugua goes on to talk about Western missionaries and how, though the Lord has used them, some have unwittingly done great harm. Nonetheless, Mbugua takes hope because "the Lord sometimes does a lot of good through us but often despite us."

Links & Show Notes:

3:45 -- The Challenges of Ethnic Diversity
9:22 -- "No one is tribalistic in Kenya"
14:20 -- Kenyan Presidential Election
20:53 -- Strength & Weakness in Addressing the Church
31:24 -- Reflections on the State of Race in America
37:00 -- Missionaries & Race
45:00 -- Prayer

1. Meet Ken Mbugua

Produced by Josh Deng

0301 - My Great-Grandfather Sold Slaves (w/ Saidi Chishimba)


Host: Isaac Adams

Overview: "And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great." (Job 2:13)

Come hear a man reckon with the hard history of his lineage: His family sold slaves. To kick off Season 3, Isaac Adams travels through Africa to pray with and learn from African pastors about race, the local church, and politics.

In this episode, Isaac sits with Pastor Saidi Chishimba, a pastor in Zambia. Chishimba relays his family’s history through the lenses of the sovereignty of God, the complexity of sin, and the power of lament. How can God be sovereign and slavery exist? How can a man sell another man? How can a pastor smooth tribal lines even in his preaching? How can a president make an effort to break tribal lines? Zambia and the Bemba Kingdom might teach us a lesson.

As season three is about politics, race, and the local church, Chishimba offers insights on the relation between tribalism and politics. “Tribal lines…usually hinge on politics,” he suggests, as he goes on to explain the concepts of cousinship and the good that comes from integration.

While much good was discussed, Chishimba and Isaac lament the death of Isaac’s father, and Chishimba explains why silence is good medicine in Zambia. “It’s not how much you hug me or kiss me,” Chishimba says in light of someone’s death, “it’s how long you sit in silence with me.”

If you’ve ever wondered how to wrestle with individual sin vs. corporate sin, Chishimba offers a faithful model. Come pray with these two brothers, that no tribe would be more devoted to their own tribe than to Jesus.

Links & Show Notes:

5:00 – My Great Grandfather, the slave-trader
14:30 – What is “tribalism” and “cousinship”
23:20 – Tribalism & Zambian churches
30:39 – Lament: You are the Chief Mourner
38:05 – How Chishimba responded to his ancestors trading slaves
44:10 – Prayer

1. Central African Baptist College & Seminary | This is the seminary Isaac traveled to in Zambia. They’re doing great work. (Isaac may have called it Central African Bible College in the episode!) 

2. Article: “My Great-Grandfather, The Nigerian Slave Trader” | It’s striking to compare and contrast how Saidi processes the legacy of his family with the author of this piece in The New Yorker.

To learn more about United? We Pray follow us on Twitter or our website. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and subscribe using your favorite podcast client to hear more!

Produced by Josh Deng

0300 - What's Changed & What's the Same

Host: Isaac Adams

Overview: “Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” - Samuel Chadwick

Isaac gives us an overview of Season 3 and its focuses. We say goodbye to some old friends and hello to some new. Also, we’re hiring!

Links & Show Notes:

1. Book: “If God Is For Us: The Everlasting Truth of Our Great Salvation” by Trillia Newbell

2. Karl’s website: kmagnuson.com

To learn more about United? We Pray follow us on Twitter or our website. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and subscribe using your favorite podcast client to hear more!

Produced by Josh Deng