Episode 118: Creativity, Work, and Theology with Andrew Peterson

This week Lisa interviews Andrew Peterson, a songwriter, musician, and author. You’ve probably heard his music but if not, go listen to Resurrection Letters Vol. 1 as soon as you’ve finished this episode.

They discuss how Andrew conceptualizes different types of albums, how long he considered working on his fiction series before he started writing, how he’s managing social media these days, and his role in The Rabbit Room.

You can find Andrew on Instagram (when he’s there) or on tour.

Loving My Neighbor: How I Get Over the Inconvenience of People

I’ve slowly been discovering that I can’t peel my relationship with God apart from my relationship with other people. You’d think this is Christianity 101, right? But somehow I’ve often reduced my faith down to a list of rules or a collection of doctrinal statements that I affirm that do nothing to change how I interact with these other people who are different from me, who believe differently than I do, who irritate and frustrate me, who inconvenience me and cause me pain. Maybe that’s why I’d like to separate the two, to insist that I can truly love God and walk blindly, unfeelingly, past those around me.

Jesus didn’t mince words about what He wanted. Mark 12:28-32, “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, ‘Which commandment is the most important of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Episode 116: Rejoicing and Weeping with Others

In this week’s episode, Lisa explores a short verse in Romans 12 that insists we are supposed to enter into the joys and sorrows of others. But that can be really hard, can’t it? Lisa finds that remembering that Jesus is the prize helps her celebrate the victories of others and that remembering she isn’t here to be happy helps her enter into the griefs of others.

Vacation and New Creation: Finding Eyes for Eternity

Every September for the past three years, we’ve spent a week at the beach. As you’re reading this (at least if it’s the first week of September when you’re reading it), we’re digging in the sand and wiping mud off little boy faces. The memories linger longer than one week though; I’m reminded of the beach all year. I’ll take the boys on a walk and, when one of them zooms by on a bike, I’ll picture the asphalt sidewalks and our parade of bicycles. We’ll order pizza in the evening and I’ll think about how, most nights at the beach, we put the boys in bed and get take-out for ourselves.

I’ve never been to the new creation. I’d just say “heaven” but for most of that that conjures up thought of some other-worldly place where we sit on clouds and strum harps and that is decidedly not what I mean. I mean the new heavens and earth where God will dwell among us (Revelation 21:3) and be our light and we will reign forever and ever (Revelation 22:5). I’ve never been there but I have seen glimpses. Every flash of beauty, life, peace, joy is a signpost to that future existence. It’s a remembrance of how God made all things to be. It’s the half of reality that exists right along with the brokenness. I, myself, am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), even if I’m not fully like Jesus yet (1 John 3:2). There are tastes, glimpses, just enough in the Bible to know that something familiar and yet completely different is destined.

Learning to Handle Theological Differences

I used to have a “checklist Christianity” mentality. If I do these things and I affirm these doctrinal statements, I’m a good Christian and that means, of course, that I’m a mature believer as well. Right along with that went the belief that all other faithful Christians believed exactly as I did and checked the same things off of their lists (otherwise, heresy!). Since then I have learned that a checklist isn’t a sign of a mature faith or spiritual growth and that many believers I respect have different viewpoints.

There are so many interpretations on every single topic or idea in the Bible, each held by people who think they are being faithful to Jesus and the Bible. If I am going to be involved in the church, and I’m supposed to be, I am going to be interacting with people who believe differently than I do. My reaction is to run away and gather with people who think just like me. I think that’s the reaction of most people because that is most comfortable. We get social validation from people agreeing with us; it makes us feel confident that we are right.