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Wesley Hill Podcasts

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21 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Wesley Hill. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Wesley Hill, often where they are interviewed.

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21 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Wesley Hill. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Wesley Hill, often where they are interviewed.

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Ep. 37: Jesus bringing great calm to great chaos + new Flip Side book club exploring gay celibate partnerships with Wesley Hill

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Noah introduces the next Flip Side Book Club book, Spiritual Friendship by Wesley HillPick up your copy today and sign up to be a part of the book club here. Spiritual Friendship explores gay celibate friendships or partnerships of Christians who are committed to a high view of Scripture and God's design for sex and marriage to be for a man and a woman. The book club will be a place we can respectfully wrestle with, debate, and converse with Wesley's thought-provoking and challenging ideas. It's more than okay to disagree and give challenges as we sharpen each other in our understanding. Noah will be interviewing Wesley on the podcast in January and book club members will be welcomed to send in their questions for Wesley to answer. 

 
Also of note is Noah's long awaited blog post: Is Masturbation a Sin?
 
The topic of this episode is based around a sermon Noah preached recently on Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35-39. In a chaotic season of COVID-19, racism, and a divisive election, let this passage of Scripture bring peace to these chaotic waters and the daily pain of living in a fallen world. 
 
Email the show at podcast@beyondthebattle.net
Oct 24 2020 · 1hr 11mins
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Wesley Hill: Matthew 21:28-32

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This week, I am absolutely delighted to welcome my dear friend Wesley Hill as our guest host. 


Wes is a teacher, a writer, a godfather, and a priest in the Episoscopal church. He is an associate professor of New Testament at Trinity School for Ministry, and he is one of the most thoughtful and gracious people writing in the American church right now. If you haven’t picked up his book on the Lord’s Prayer, please give yourself a gift and grab it right now! (Might I suggest ordering from the good folks at Hearts and Minds Books?)


Wes also really loves the Bible. His friendship and example have encouraged me to read it more deeply, more slowly, and with more curiosity and hope. I’m so happy that he’s come to share his wonder and his voice with all of us today.


Today's passage is Matthew 21:28-32:

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father[a] went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.


We Wonder is written and hosted by Sarah Dahl, and is produced by Richard Clark and Nick Thompson. You can support this and future seasons of the podcast by joining us as a patron: visit patreon.com/wewonder to learn more. 


Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod to stay in touch, or learn more at www.wewonderpod.com. Thanks for listening!

Sep 30 2020 · 10mins

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S5E3 - Wesley Hill

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Wesley Hill is associate professor of biblical studies at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania and a deacon at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Pittsburgh. His PhD in New Testament is from Durham University in the UK. He is the author of Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality (Zondervan, second edition 2016), Paul and the Trinity: Persons, Relations, and the Pauline Letters (Eerdmans, 2015), Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian (Brazos, 2015), and The Lord's Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father (Lexham, 2019). You can find those books here. A contributing editor for Comment magazine, he writes regularly for Christianity Today, The Living Church, and other publications.

Aug 31 2020 · 54mins
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Wesley Hill on Writing, The Lord's Prayer, and the Trinity

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Show Notes Are Dead. Long Live the Full Transcript. What do you think?

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Jeff Medders: All right, everybody. We'll come back to a another episode of home row. And I'm your host, Jeff Medders. And on today's show, I have author Wesley Hill on the program. He's written all kinds of books and it's just a joy to have him on, especially we're going to talk about, talk about his new book and the Christian essential series, the Lord's prayer, a guide to praying to our Father.

[00:00:36] So Wes, how are you, man?

[00:00:38] Wesley Hill: I'm doing really well. Thanks for having me on the show.

[00:00:40] Jeff Medders: Awesome man. Now, what part of the United States are you in? Are you in the United States? I know you got your PhD from outside of the United States, but I think you're in Pennsylvania, right?

[00:00:47] Wesley Hill: That's right. Yup. I'm just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

[00:00:50] Jeff Medders: Okay. I've been to Pennsylvania. Well, I guess a couple. No, at once, for sure.

[00:00:55]I went to red lion, Pennsylvania.

[00:00:58] Wesley Hill: I'm not even sure where that is, to be honest. I don't, I don't know my own state 

[00:01:02] Jeff Medders: It's, it's up in the Amish country. And I remember going there with, some friends of ours that were missionaries in Thailand and they were in town. And we went to go visit them and we went to the Amish market and all this stuff, and I bought kangaroo jerky.

[00:01:19]I dunno where the Amish are getting kangaroo jerky from, but it's there and fun fact that if you go to the Amish markets and stuff, you can't use your debit card or credit card

[00:01:32]Wesley Hill: Hmm.

[00:01:32] Jeff Medders: cash only.

[00:01:34] Wesley Hill: I would believe that.

[00:01:36] Jeff Medders: That's something you want to, you want to prepare for that ahead of time, which I did not.

[00:01:38] Wesley Hill: That's right. 

[00:01:39] Jeff Medders: not, but thankfully they had an ATM nearby,

[00:01:41] Wesley Hill: So probably really beautiful country to drive through too, I imagine.

[00:01:45] Jeff Medders: Yeah. Very cool. the horse buggies and all that good stuff. And then there was a few guys on rollerblades, which was interesting.

[00:01:51] Wesley Hill: Oh, right. Okay.

[00:01:53] Jeff Medders: so we had to talk about the, you know, it's not a motor, it was a wheels. They were okay with that and OS different stuff. It was interesting.

[00:01:59] Wesley Hill: Interesting. We'll come to Pittsburgh sometime, but we're, we're pretty fun city too.

[00:02:03] Jeff Medders: Okay. I'll put it on the list now before this turns into an Amish podcast. so Wes, why don't you tell the listeners out there who you are, what you do for work and all that good stuff.

[00:02:14] Wesley Hill: Yeah. Great. well the reason you're having me on your podcast is I am a writer. I've just written a new little book, for Lexam Press on the Lord's prayer. And, I really enjoy writing. I've written a handful of books, as you mentioned. so I view that as part of my calling, part of what I do. but for my day job, so to speak, I am a seminary professor.

[00:02:34]I teach at a small, Anglican Episcopal seminary here in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, which is just Northwest of Pittsburgh. And, I've been here, I'm in my eighth year now. and I teach in the Bible department. I teach New Testament.  I'm also ordained, I do some preaching and, lead Sunday school at my church. so I'm, I'm pretty involved in different kinds of ministries, but that's, that's me in a nutshell.

[00:02:57] Jeff Medders: Yeah. So when, when you're not lecturing, Oh, let me ask just for fun for me. What, what textbook are you using for your new Testament survey?

[00:03:04] Wesley Hill: You know, I'm test driving the new N.T. Wright? One, that he coauthored with Mike Bird. That's come out from Zondervan. It's huge. It's huge. When it arrived on my doorstep, I was like, Oh my gosh, this is like a brick. so we'll see it. It looks really beautifully illustrated. And, I assigned.

[00:03:21] Emails 

[00:03:21] Jeff Medders: from the Edge is a cool feature.

[00:03:23] Wesley Hill: Yeah, exactly.

[00:03:24] Exactly. So, you know, right. It's so engaging in the way he writes. I imagine it will be something that will grip a lot of the students, but, yeah, I'll let you know how it goes.

[00:03:32] Jeff Medders: I bet. Are you having them read the whole thing?

[00:03:34] Wesley Hill: They're not going to read every single page, but they're going to, they're going to read all the chapters devoted to different new Testament books for sure.

[00:03:42] Jeff Medders: that's right. So I'm planning this year, I'm just, I want to read all of the condensed version of Wright's works and then, you know, maybe a couple of the New Testament, you know, summary parts, but then save those for when I'm about to preach through a book or goes or go study a book.

[00:03:57] Wesley Hill: Yeah. Yeah. Great. I mean, I think that that series of books, you know, the, for everyone, commentaries are such a gift to the church. I've heard of so many Bible study groups using those and finding them really beneficials. Yeah. Plenty. A lot of good things to dig into there.

[00:04:11] Jeff Medders: Okay, cool. So, so when you're not lecturing and you're not writing and you're not, you're not preaching, what, what are you doing for fun?

[00:04:18] Wesley Hill: You know? So I have a unique living situation. I live about five blocks from the seminary campus where I work, a Trinity school for ministry. It's called . And, I share a home with a married couple and their two children and a lot of evenings you'll find me playing with their kids. They're, they're my godchildren.

[00:04:36] I've gotten to really enjoy kind of a domestic life. I love cooking now. And, I've, I've loved cooking for a long time. It's been a way to kind of unwind after a day at the writing desk or something like that. but it's, it's a joy to be doing it, you know, with people I love.

[00:04:49]now and, and sharing daily life with them. So yeah, lots of, their, their kids are now, three years old and six months old. So a lot of, playing, playing house and playing with dolls with the, with a three year old girl with Felicity, and, changes in diapers with Solomon. So, yeah, it's, it's been really life giving for me.

[00:05:07] I'm single, and it's just been great to kind of be integrated into the life of a family in that way.

[00:05:12] Jeff Medders: Yeah. That's very cool. Very cool. So how did you know that you wanted to become a writer or that you were a writer? Did I come to you in a, in a vision, like maybe a, a sheet. It's not full of lizards and reptiles, but of keyboards and, you know, journals --take up and take up and, right.

[00:05:32] Wesley Hill: Yeah, well, you know, I, I mean, I, I'm not sure I ever like set out to become a writer, quote, unquote. But I, I do vividly remember, you know, at age, gosh, I was probably 11 or 12 when I just started writing short stories on my family's computer. and I actually wrote a novel, a detective novel, mystery, novel, whatever.

[00:05:51] Over 13. I was so proud of it. I, I still do. I'm, I'm scared to go back and read it, although it'd probably be funny. Yeah. so I, you know, and I remember, I remember submitting a short story to, did you ever read clubhouse magazine put out by focusing on the family? I submitted a short story to them one time.

[00:06:09] And so I think I always kind of had the itch to like, you know, it's a strange thing. I think so many of us, right? But fewer of us have that urge to like, share it with other people and put it out there. And I think I have always kind of had that urge to, to share my writing with others. So, so maybe there's a part of me that has always wanted to be, you know, a writer as, as a, as a job.

[00:06:29]But yeah, so it, it, it sort of emerged out of, I developed a real love for theology and, and just good writing, when I was in high school and then I went to college at Wheaton. And, so I, I kind of developed a sense of calling that I'm, I want to be a teacher in the church. I want to be a theologian.

[00:06:47] And I think the writing piece of it kind of grew out of that for me. But I've always just enjoyed, I was actually talking to a writer friend yesterday about how it seems like a lot of Christians care about getting good ideas out there, but maybe fewer Christians kind of enjoy crafting sentences and playing with words.

[00:07:06] And I've always enjoyed both aspects. You know, the, the big ideas of theology, but also just trying to find exactly the right way to express them in a way that's going to be engaging and interesting. And, So, yeah, I think that's kind of how it started for me

[00:07:20] Jeff Medders: What's some of  your writing process like, cause obviously like a lot of writers that, you know, were not full time, you know, none of us, none of the people I've interviewed I think, or none of my listeners, you know, weren't evangelical writing.

[00:07:33] And so this is not the kind of writing where you can live off of this stuff. the royalty checks are maybe, you know, we can go out to eat. Like, let's, I'll treat some guys to, you know, some coffee this weekend or wouldn't, you know, sometimes they're very, very puny. Sometimes they're, sometimes they're nice, sometimes they're not.

[00:07:49] But you know, you've, you're teaching, you're, you're pastoring. you've got your church community. I mean, even just got all kinds of stuff. So with all of that, in the, in the balance, how do you find time to, to write.

[00:08:03] Wesley Hill: Yeah. You know, I started, I started my academic career thinking that, Oh my gosh, I've now landed like one of those coveted jobs where I get a couple of months off in the summer and that's going to be like my writing time. I'll, I'll get so much done. And I also get, you know, a big chunk of time off around Christmas.

[00:08:20] That'll be another. Big productive time. And I've realized for me, like that's if I pin all of my writing hopes on those kind of big blocks of time. It just never, it never happens. You know, something will come in to kind of crowd it out. So it has to be more of a weekly or even daily discipline. and I, I sort of learned that.

[00:08:38]you know, early on, I remember Tim Larson who teaches church history at Wheaton, telling me, I asked him, you know, how have you managed to write so much while being a full time teacher at Wheaton? And he said, the key for him is just not, not counting on the holidays, not counting on the sabbaticals, but just kind of chipping away at it in small chunks week by week.

[00:08:57] And I think that's been true for me, you know, so I, I, I'll get up early and right before I have to go to class or I'll come home and, and you know, so, so typically at my seminary, we teach in three hour blocks. So like this morning I was in the classroom from nine to noon, and you know, now I'm here at my home office talking to you, this afternoon, but, but you know, I have a couple of hours after this and I can, I can get some writing done there.

[00:09:20] So I think it's. I think it's just finding those blocks of time, and, and then guarding them. So I'll actually put into my calendar, you know, this two hour chunk this afternoon is blocked off as writing. And then when I, when I see that, I know I can't schedule something else during that time. And, yeah, just kind of, kind of safeguarding those, those moments that you're able to block off, during the week.

[00:09:41] But, but it is, you know, I think, I think there's no way around the fact that it is a sacrifice. I mean, you're giving up. Time to do this, you know, if you care about it, so you're waking up earlier than maybe you would be comfortable for you normally to, to, to try to write something. so yeah, I don't, I don't know that that's anything profound, but that's, that's kinda how it's worked for me.

[00:10:01] Jeff Medders: No, that's great. I think just that little bit of advice just to even put in your own calendar, like writing, and to actually do it and now take appointments, not, you know, not fill it up and to do it. That's

[00:10:10] Wesley Hill: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. To to, to sort of give yourself permission to say, this is worth doing. Therefore, I'm going to like say no to, to other appointments that might arise in order to safeguard that time. I think that's important. Okay.

[00:10:23] Jeff Medders: Do you always write at your home office there, your home study or do you like you go to a coffee shop or seminary library or what's, what's

[00:10:30] Wesley Hill: You know, I, I find that I, I find that I really can't go to the seminary because there's just so many interruptions, like, you know, I mean, colleagues and students will come by and I, and I love that, you know, but I basically ended up just talking the whole time rather than getting work done. So I will. I will go to Starbucks and write.

[00:10:46]a lot of my best writing that I think just happens here at my home office. You know, I've got a, I've got a little space on the third floor of our house where I have all my books and you know, a desk where I can kind of spread out. So that seems to work best for me.

[00:10:58] Jeff Medders: What's your, what's your go to order at Starbucks?

[00:11:02] Wesley Hill: You know, I'm very boring. It's just a tall, dark roast. 

[00:11:05] Jeff Medders: pretty boring.

[00:11:08] Wesley Hill: But the price is right compared to their other

[00:11:10] Jeff Medders: yeah. No kidding. If you want to, if you want to get adventurous, and you haven't tried it yet, the nitro cold brew is 

[00:11:19] Wesley Hill: amazing.

[00:11:19] I do. Yeah. So in the summers I do like the cold brews, and you're right. The nitro is pretty great.

[00:11:24] Jeff Medders: I guess it is cold up there right now. Here I'm in. I'm in Houston, and it's actually cold right now. And so I'll tell you what it is for us. It's 53 degrees right now,

[00:11:33] Wesley Hill: Oh, wow.

[00:11:34] Jeff Medders: is, this is like freezing, you know,

[00:11:37] Wesley Hill: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

[00:11:38] Jeff Medders: big, I took my son to school this morning.

[00:11:39] Everybody's in big puffy jackets and, and hoodies and all this stuff. So this is blistering cold.

[00:11:45] Wesley Hill: I grew up in Arkansas, so I get

[00:11:47] Jeff Medders: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. You got it. Yeah. So I love the nitro cold brew with the salted foam. Oh man, that's amazing. And I got Matt Smethurst at the gospel coalition. I think he's full on addicted to it now as well.

[00:11:59] Wesley Hill: Oh, great. Great.

[00:12:01] Jeff Medders: So, so when you're riding there at your home office, are you using music? are you, you know, I like to pop a vinyl record on if, you know, if I feel like I'm going to be in the, in the groove there, what are you doing?

[00:12:10] Wesley Hill: Yes, sometimes. it has to be instrumental music for me. so I, I, I have been on a big Max Richter kick lately, listening to his sleep album, which is just a masterpiece, I think. so yeah, sometimes I'll have music on in the background. Other times I'll just be so much in the zone that I kind of just, I need no distractions at all, including instrumental music.

[00:12:30] But yeah, maybe I'm unusual in that way. I'm not

[00:12:33] Jeff Medders: No, I don't think so. I've heard from all kinds of, you know, people the way they do, like, yeah, I have no music.

[00:12:39]or they use the, there's a website called the coffeeivity where it has like the background, the ambient noise of like a coffee shop.

[00:12:47] Wesley Hill: Yeah, yeah.

[00:12:48]Jeff Medders: Don Whitney was actually the one that showed me, showed me that I think, there's people using, yeah, I like jazz music. So I like to, I like to write to jazz. right now I have the, the hub of Hubbard over there on my, on my record player on my turntable.

[00:13:01] Then I've got, usually Miles Davis, Thelonious monk. Some somethings are the stranger things soundtrack, like something's going to go up there.

[00:13:08] Wesley Hill: Oh, yeah, yeah,

[00:13:09] Jeff Medders: that'd be fun to listen to. Now. Now let's say you're going to sit down to write. cause now I, I know you, you write books, but I feel like I've seen you write articles at websites every now and then.

[00:13:19] Am I mistaken?

[00:13:21] Wesley Hill: No, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. I, I've, I've written for Christianity today and first things and the now sadly defunct books and culture, my favorite place to write for no, no more. But yeah, so I try to, I try to write it for some periodicals as well.

[00:13:35] Jeff Medders: Okay, so let's, let's think about the periodical step before we get into book writing. And you're going to sit down to write an article for a magazine for a website. What is the, how does it begin for you? Do you, do you outline just on a piece of paper? Are you crafting in Evernote? What's the, are you writing in Microsoft word are like, what are you doing?

[00:13:53] Wesley Hill: Yeah. You know? so it often begins with me, noticing a hook for an article. Like I'll, I'll, I'll see a news piece that triggers some line of thought and, and, you know, I carry around a mole skin notebook and I'll, I'll sometimes just jot down a quick. Outline for a piece, and then I'll, I'll come back and open up Microsoft word and, and, and just start writing.

[00:14:17] You know, I'll have the outline in my head and sometimes it really changes, you know, as I go on, I kind of try to, follow what the piece seems to want. if that doesn't sound too esoteric, but just kind of kind of seeing what. How it goes from that point. And, you know, I think, I think I've had to learn, you know, so I got a PhD in, in academic biblical studies, and there's a certain kind of style that's expected for that genre, but it's a very different thing to write for a website or, or a periodical where you're, you're really, Trying to hold the reader's attention. you know, you can't count on the reader's attention in the way that maybe you can, if you've written a monograph that you know, someone who's researching this topic is going to want to read you, you actually have to earn, the reader's trust and convince them that this is, this is worth.

[00:15:02] You know, worth their time. so yeah, for me, it often begins with, with a kind of hook, whether from, from pop culture or something. I'm reading something I've heard, in the news and, and I'll often try to kind of reflect on it theologically or bring some kind of, historical or biblical depth to it, in that sense.

[00:15:22] But, but yeah, so I think it, and I, and I wouldn't claim to be an expert here, but, but it's a very different. Kind of thing to be writing for a popular audience versus an academic audience. And I'm, I'm still, I'm still trying to hone my craft in that regard.

[00:15:36] Jeff Medders: Yeah. Yeah. I can't, I can't imagine the challenges, for all that. I, I mean, I, I can't a little a tad bit, cause

[00:15:43] Wesley Hill: Hmm. Hmm.

[00:15:44] Jeff Medders: written two books, solo, coauthored one, and then, Writing for a popular level, like my most recent book is humble Calvinism.

[00:15:52] That came out with a good book company. And so, you know, writing with with some snap and crackle and pop and some wit and punches is a lot of fun. And then. I'm getting ready for PhD stuff. And so I had to do some, some work before that. And yeah, getting, trying to get more, cause I've never done heavy academic writing or having to, and some of the pre work for that that I've had to do is like, Oh my goodness, this

[00:16:18] Wesley Hill: Yeah, yeah.

[00:16:19] Jeff Medders: way different.

[00:16:21] Wesley Hill: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, having said that, I suppose the flip side is, you know, you read a really well crafted piece of academic writing. it's a reminder that not all academic writing has to be cold and boring and clinical. You know, they're, they're writers. I'm thinking of people like Richard Hayes who write beautiful prose, in a, in a very academic way, or, or NT Wright would be another good example. You know, someone who, who, who writes really well in that mode, so, so, yeah.  I'm always . Just kind of trying to beat the drum for, you know, more of more of us who are trained professionally in the Guild of biblical studies or theology should care about good sentences.

[00:16:55] And like you say, the, the, the snap and the, and the crackle and the whipped and those things.

[00:16:59] Jeff Medders: Yeah, like Kevin Vanhoozer, he's gotta be one of my favorites.

[00:17:02] Wesley Hill: Yeah. Yeah. Our Robert Jensen, the late Robert Jensen, just,

[00:17:06] Jeff Medders: John Webster. I'm like, man, they're just a joy to read. and they just offer so much. And Michael Bird too. Michael Bird is hilarious. And so, yeah. Bird and Writght together. I mean, that's like peanut butter and jelly. This is great. Now. And writing your, your latest book, the Lord's prayer, a guide to praying to our father.

[00:17:26] So. When this, when this project was you, you signed on, okay, we're going to, I'm going to do this book. Was there ever a moment of regret and, and, and this way. I may, I got to try to say something new and fresh on the Lord's prayer. Like, you know, there's tons and tons of books, like, so man, that, that challenge, to, to tackle the Lord's prayer is as a, as a daunting one for such a small, such a small section in the new Testament, you know, nestled there in the sermon on the Mount.

[00:17:56]yeah. So, so tell us about, you know, kind of the process for writing this book and, Then I then I'll, I'll follow up, but just also kind of what your, what your, what your, what you're hoping that disciples of Christ learn as they read this book.

[00:18:08] Wesley Hill: Hmm. Hmm. Yeah. Well, I guess maybe the first thing to say is I didn't set out to ride on the Lord's prayer. I didn't imagine I would ever do that. I mean, I've, I've certainly taught it and continued to teach it at the seminary where I, where I work. but I didn't never imagine writing a book on it.

[00:18:22] Like you say, there's been so much that's been written. but Lexam Press, as you mentioned at the beginning of our conversation today, has a new series they've launched called Christian essentials. And, they're, they're short little books that are designed to be used in churches, you know, in Sunday school classes and kind of catechetical settings.

[00:18:42]so the first one came out, a couple of years ago, I think now the Apostle's creed by the Osprey. The Australian and the alerts and Ben Myers. and, so I, I got an email from, from an editor there, and he said, Hey, would you be interested in contributing to this series? And we talked about what I might do and kind of settled on the Lord's prayer.

[00:19:00]so it felt a little bit like, you know, in my, in my tradition, each Sunday we're, we're given the text to preach from, we don't, we don't choose them. You know, the lectionary chooses them for us. And it sort of felt a bit like that, you know, here I am being handed this text that I didn't necessarily imagine I would be writing on that.

[00:19:15] And now, you know, do I have something to say about it? And, yeah, I mean, you ask about regret there. There was a moment early on in the process where I went to the library and, I was, I was kinda had my breath taken away by just how many individual volumes. Have already been written, all the words, prayer, you know, stretching back to the very earliest days of the church.

[00:19:35] I mean, you know, we have, we have discourses on the Lord's prayer from origin and Augustan and, you know, it's just such a, it's such well-trodden ground. So, you know, I think, I think there was that, that initial kind of shock. And then I thought, you know, every generation needs to ponder this again. So it's, it's not a problem that there would be more, more reflection on the Lord's prayer.

[00:19:57]you know, it's, it's one of those texts that's so foundational for the faith that w we will never not need more meditation on it. so, so yeah, that, that kinda took away some of the pressure and, you know, I was kind of. Praying about what, what, what direction do I need to go here? What angle do I have?

[00:20:14] And, and, you know, I remembered, several years ago, George Hunsinger the, the reformed theologian at Princeton, published a little book on the beatitudes and he, he, in the preface, he says he was kind of in a similar place. He had been asked to give these lectures on the beatitudes and he didn't know kind of which way to go.

[00:20:32] And then he said, you know, what would happen if I, if I approached them Christocentricly and said, you know. Each of these beatitudes is a, is a window into the character in the work of Jesus himself. And and so he does that. He just kind of goes through a beatitude after beatitude and says, how does this point to Christ?

[00:20:48] And I thought, you know what, what, what if I approached the Lord's prayer that way? Obviously Jesus is giving us this prayer for us to pray, but. You know, before that or, or above that or beyond that at all of the, all of the clauses, all of the petitions point to him and tell us something about him. And he, he embodies the prayer.

[00:21:06] I mean, he even even literally praise, praise portions of the prayer, you know, throughout his ministry. like in the garden of Gethsemane, he says, thy will be done, you know, which is straight out of the Lord's prayer. So he himself is embodying this prayer and, and once I kind of. Once I kind of realized that was going to be my theme, it became much easier to kind of get into the prayer from there.

[00:21:25]Jeff Medders: Yeah, man, that's, yeah, that's so beautiful. It reminds me of when, you know, I had Jen Wilkin on the show and you know, she's written written books on the attributes of God, and asked her that is similar.

[00:21:35] Like, Hey, you know, AWP, you got AEW tells you, I mean, you've got a holiness of God, RC Sproul, you know, all kinds. So like, why, again. yeah.  the next generation, 

[00:21:45] Wesley Hill: right.

[00:21:45] Jeff Medders: this era of, of disciples who they're not going to go pick up Origen. They're not going to go pick up Augustine. I guess then are

[00:21:51] Wesley Hill: Although they should.

[00:21:52] Jeff Medders: they should.

[00:21:52] Yeah. They'd be so blessed to it, but yeah, to be ends, maybe some people will be introduced to, to the Lord's

[00:21:58] Wesley Hill: that's right. That's

[00:21:59]Jeff Medders: through this

[00:22:00] Wesley Hill: And that's. No, I should say that's the only thing that made me excited about this series is when, when Todd Haynes at Lexan, was pitching it to me, he said, you know, we, we want these books to be, people's introductions to some of the tradition of the church, you know, so he said, feel free to draw on the church fathers and the Protestant reformers, and, you know, the, the, the, the really great Christian writers of the past.

[00:22:20] And I said, yeah, I mean, that's really exciting to think about a contemporary book being used. As a, as a gateway into some of these treasures of, of centuries past.

[00:22:30] Jeff Medders: Yeah. I love it. I think it's great. Was there, were there any parts of the book that you found maybe one, one chapter to be more, more challenging than other others that you can remember?

[00:22:42] Wesley Hill: You know, I found the, the, the petition lead us not into temptation or save us from the time of trial. You know, it gets, it gets translated in different ways. I found that really challenging. you know, partly because it's been in the headlines, it's actually been in the news because Pope Francis, you know, is supposedly advocating this, this change in the petition.

[00:22:59] Because, you know, we don't want to imply that God is the one who leads us into temptation. And so I just, I, I struggled with how to, how to kind of address that in a way that wouldn't be too technical. but that would kind of lead people into the heart of it. And, and, and again, you know, Jesus himself, he, he says to his followers, you know, they're right before he's arrested in the garden of Gethsemane.

[00:23:20] He says, pray that you will be spared from the time of trial. So he's, he's teaching them exactly how to pray this and what it means to pray this. And, and, so I, I, I wrestled with how to go about that, and I think I'm kind of happy with the result, but it was, it was a really challenging chapter to write.

[00:23:38] Jeff Medders: I love, I love the Lord's prayer, obviously, for, for all kinds of reasons, but there's one element of it that I just have really come to appreciate, recently as I've been preaching through the gospel, according to Matthew

[00:23:48]You know? And Jesus tells them to pray like this.

[00:23:52] Wesley Hill: Hmm.

[00:23:53] Jeff Medders: so what he gives them doesn't even take 30 seconds to say.

[00:23:59] Wesley Hill: Yeah.

[00:23:59] Jeff Medders: And I think sometimes, and we're know trying to follow Christ and everyone laments, you know, their their prayer "life".  Everyone wishes we had more robust and longer prayer times and longer seasons and prayer, which opposite.

[00:24:14] We see awesome modeled by the Lord Jesus. But I just find a. A peculiar comfort that he says, pray like this, and he gives us a 32nd short

[00:24:24] Wesley Hill: yeah, yeah,

[00:24:25] Jeff Medders: to really just validate all those times where we just say, I don't even know what the brother, than just Lord help me, or, God just bless me today. I need direction. I need guidance. And we feel like, ah, the shortchanged prayers, like I'm so unspiritual, but Jesus gives us a good model here.

[00:24:41] Wesley Hill: That's right. Well, and what a contrast to, you know, we, we have these examples in the gospels of the religious leaders of Jesus' day that he's disputing with, that seemed to love these very long theatrical kinds of prayer. And, and, you know, Jesus is offering something really simple as a contrast to that.

[00:25:00] And like you say, there's something comforting in that.

[00:25:02] Jeff Medders: Yeah. Yeah. I love it. Now, you've written, a lot, lots of theological works and, and, and magazines and articles, periodicals and, and all that kind of good stuff.

[00:25:12] And you've also written on the Trinity, Paul and the Trinity. Was that your dissertation or was it just another academic venture?

[00:25:19] Wesley Hill: Yeah, no, that, that book was a revised version of my doctoral dissertation, which I completed at Durham university in the UK, so yeah.

[00:25:27] Jeff Medders: great. Now, so what are, so how come, let's, let's go Trinitarian. How come the, the Trinity isn't like an Apple, and are like an egg or like H 2 O I mean, I just don't understand. 

[00:25:40] Wesley Hill: Yeah, yeah. Gosh. I mean, you know, I, I'm not, I'm not going to say I would never use one of those analogies, but they're, they're so, they're so fraught with potential for misunderstanding. Exactly.

[00:25:52] Jeff Medders: Yeah. I tell people at our church, you know, we didn't know theology class and stuff. I just said, the reason why we can't find and apt analogy for the Trinity is because there is literally nothing else like it. in the universe. and heaven on earth and above the earth and places invisible, and visible.

[00:26:08] There's nothing else like the Trinity. So, so outside of the, just destined to crumble apple analogy and egg analogy and all that stuff. What are you would say some of the major, I guess short-sightedness of Trinitarianism, today and maybe you see it with students or, or maybe just the way we think about the Trinity, that you wish, pastors and writers, and church leaders, small group leaders, Bible, women's Bible study leaders,  maybe, you know, could grow and shore up in.

[00:26:40] Wesley Hill: Yeah. Boy, that's a really good

[00:26:42] Jeff Medders: Yeah. Not, not to be too broad or

[00:26:45] Wesley Hill: Yeah. No, I think, so, so I'm, I'm, I'm currently reading through for the second time, a really beautiful book volume, one of systematic theology by Catherine Zonda rager, who's kind of working in the reformed, tradition, kind of, kind of working with Carl Bart and how he modified the tradition.

[00:27:04] And. she's clearly, you know, Trinitarian in this volume, but she, she talks about, how she kind of gets worried sometimes that the way modern theologians treat the Trinity as if it's like the only Christian doctrine. Like everything is Trinity. And she's, she's kinda calling us back to recognize the, the fundamental.

[00:27:25] Oneness and unity of God. You know, so we, we confess God existing eternally in three persons, but we, we confess one God, there aren't three gods. you know, we, we use this analogy of three persons in a dance or facing one another to try to, you know, get some PR. Just on the Trinity. But ultimately we're talking, like you say, about the transcendent reality of God, which even into all eternity, we will never plumb the depths of, you know, I, I love, I love Jonathan Edwards, vision of heaven that will never get to the end of exploring new, new beauties in God.

[00:27:59] You know, we'll, we'll never comprehend God fully. so I think, I, I think I would, I would want to say to pastors and Bible study leaders who feel like. Wow. The tr, everybody's talking about the Trinity now. The Trinity is so important. I have to really know all the ins and outs of all the doctrinal controversies, and I have to, I have to always be speaking in like a, a communal idiom.

[00:28:21] Like God is a community of persons. You know, I have to, I have to always be thinking that way. I think there are some dangers there. And you know, I think we need to remember that. we're, we're, we're using the language that God has revealed to us in his word of Father, Son, and Holy spirit. But that does not mean that we're talking about something that we would know of as a, as a community of, of three separate individuals.

[00:28:43] You know, we're talking about one God. we're talking about the one God of Israel who's now been known to us, been revealed to us as, as Father, Son, and Spirit. And I think, I think the other thing I would say, honestly, when I teach the doctrine of the Trinity, you know, in, in, in, in church settings and Sunday school settings and things like that, I try to remind people that you may not know all the technical terminology that the logins use for it, but you are already a Trinitarian if you pray as a Christian, I mean to, to bring this back to the Lord's prayer. You know, if you pray the Lord's prayer, you are already participating in the, the mystery of the triune God. Because what you're doing is you're calling out to God the Father in the name of, God, the Son whose words you're using.

[00:29:27] You know, he's the one who gave you the words of this prayer to pray, and you're being born along and carried along by the energy and power and prompting of the Holy spirit. so. It really, you know, the, the doctrine of the Trinity is an effort to say theologically what has to be true, if, if that lived experience of prayer is, is real and true.

[00:29:48] So, so the doctrine in a sense is there to clarify, it's there to kind of safeguard and to ward off error. But actually the, the getting the doctrinal formulations, right, is not the main event. The main event is actually this. This, this relation we get to enjoy with God through, through price and the Holy spirit.

[00:30:06] You know, this relation of intimacy and prayer. yeah. So I don't know if that's helpful,

[00:30:10] Jeff Medders: Oh, that's good. Yeah. Amen.

[00:30:12] Wesley Hill: that,

[00:30:13] Jeff Medders: Amen. Amen. When, let's say maybe a student, I'm sure you read and you get to grade all kinds of papers and, and you've seen good papers, you've seen good essays, you've seen really bad ones. what, what are some things that you would tell to a student you would tell to a, a blossoming writer?

[00:30:29]Hey, do these two to three things. and I think you're really grow as a writer.

[00:30:34]Wesley Hill: Hmm. Yeah. So I think, I think the first thing I would say, and this, this comes straight out of my own autobiography. I mean, I, I, this is how I feel like I learned to write is, is find the best writers, you can and read them. just, just immerse yourself in, in good writing. and ask yourself, you know, what, what, what makes it tick?

[00:30:55] I mean, I've, I've literally like grabbed, an Alan Jacobs essay some sometimes, or a James Wood essay, and said, man, the prose is so good. Let me actually just. Pay attention to this paragraph, like how did they structure it? Here's one long sentence with a couple of dependent clauses. Here's a shorter sentence.

[00:31:09] You know, like, how did they do it? How did it work? So I think just, you know, reading a lot, is key. And, you know, I, I think none of us should be so arrogant to think that we have. Something to say, unless we're filling ourselves up with, with good, good writing, you know, good, good thinking. I think that good writing often begins with, with receptivity, you know, with us, with us, receiving, with us, taking in, before we have something to offer in writing.

[00:31:36] So, yeah. And it, you know, it doesn't, it doesn't have to be, I think sometimes students feel intimidated. Oh, there's so much good writing in the world. Like, you know, where do I even start? But I would say just, just, you know, to borrow a line from Alan Jacobs, read at whim, you know, read, read what strikes you, read what grips you.

[00:31:52]and, and, and the more you read, I think it will, it will help your own writing. So, so be a reader. I think it would be the first thing. And, now the flip side of that, the second thing I would say is, I have a lot of students who. Frankly, kind of clutter their essays with quotations from other writers.

[00:32:10]Jeff Medders: takes up space for the page count

[00:32:12] Wesley Hill: Yeah. Well, exactly, exactly. And, Hey, I'm, I'm an offender myself. I, I, my editors regularly have to trim out quotations from others for me. But, but I would say, you know, don't plagiarize, but also just don't, don't rely on other words to fill out your argument. You know, you try to figure out how to say it in your idiom.

[00:32:32] with your voice and you know, certainly pay your, pay your intellectual debts by footnoting the people that you know have influenced you and shaped the argument that you're, that you're writing, but, but try to find your own voice and, and that, that only emerges through practice. You know, you have to write and rewrite and rewrite.

[00:32:48] And, so yeah, those are, those are a couple of things that I say to my students that maybe it would be helpful for your listeners too.

[00:32:56] Jeff Medders: totally. What are some, some, some of the people that you just love to read? And you mentioned like good reading, good writing. you know, a couple that you can like, man, I love their, I love their writing.

[00:33:05] Wesley Hill: Yeah. Yeah. You know, someone I have just admired more and more in recent years is the way that the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, writes for popular audiences. I mean, he's, he's long been known as a, as a very serious academic theologian, but he's published, you know, volume. Sermons recently and just these little books.

[00:33:26] He has a little book with urbans called being Christian and a follow up volume called being disciples, and they're so winsome to me because they're, they're obviously built on a lot of research and a lot of deep learning and study and prayer, but he writes so accessibly, like he throws out the academic jargon.

[00:33:45] And he just, he just writes like he's sitting across from you at a coffee shop talking with you. And I, I just am kind of in awe of that, you know, as someone who. you know, one of the things that getting a PhD does is it, it, it kind of invites you to write in a very jargony style. and, and for someone who's, who has gone through that kind of training to then be able to say, no, I'm not going to do that.

[00:34:05] I'm going to, I'm going to write in a way that's more accessible. It's, it's, it's both like really instructive for me. And it's also really inspiring. another writer who I just hugely, hugely admired just for the, the sheer. A beauty and zest of his sentences is Francis buffer. he's written a great little kind of apologetic for Christianity called, ironically, unapologetic. And he's recently published his first novel, called golden Hill. and he's just an absolute delight to read. So he's, he's a, he's a Christian and the church of England. He, he was an atheist for many years and kind of came back to faith. and he's told me that he's working on some, some more Christian writing, more explicitly Christian writing.

[00:34:44] So I'm, I'm really looking forward to seeing what that will be in the years to come.

[00:34:48] Jeff Medders: Yeah. Very cool. Well, yeah, listeners, be sure to go to the show notes there and you'll see links to Amazon and you'll find, all of, of, of Wesley Hills books there, the Lord's prayer, Paul and the Trinity, spiritual friendship and more, you'll, you'll find everything there. and Wesley, if  people wanted to keep up with you on social media, where would you tell them to go? If

[00:35:10] Wesley Hill: Yeah. Yeah. Unfortunately, I'm still hanging out on Twitter. I can't seem to quit it. So, I'm just Wesley

[00:35:17] Jeff Medders: Twitter to break up with me first. I need you. I need Twitter to quit me

[00:35:20] Wesley Hill: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. But I try to, you know, if I write something online, I try to post it there so you can find my, my writing and things there. and I also have a little, my own little blog is Wesleyhill.tumblr.com.

[00:35:33] Jeff Medders: Thanks so much for coming on the show, man, and just giving your wisdom on writing. It's a really beneficial and I'm really grateful.

[00:35:42] Wesley Hill: Well, thanks for having me. I really enjoyed the conversation.

[00:35:45] Jeff Medders: Great, and as always, listeners remember, let's just keep writing.

Apr 15 2020 · 36mins
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Spiritual Friendship w/ Wesley Hill

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This week we are SUPER excited to bring you a fascinating discussion with Wesley Hill, author of "Spiritual Friendship" and "Washed and Waiting". We hear Wesley's perspective on deep and abiding intimacy in the church and how it can exist without sex, marriage, or dating.

You can follow Wes on The Bad Website (twitter) at twitter.com/wesleyhill

You can follow us on The 'Gram at instagram.com/staycuriouspod

Or on The Bad Website over at twitter.com/staycuriouscast

Apr 08 2020 · 44mins
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#782 - Gay Christian, Celibacy, and the Lord's Prayer: Dr. Wesley Hill

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Preston sits down with one of his "mentors from a distance"--the one and only, Wes Hill. Wes is a celibate gay Christian (or a Christian who happens to be attracted to the same sex and not the opposite sex) and a biblical scholar. Wes and Preston talk a lot about the phrase "gay Christian" and why it's become so volatile in some evangelical circles. They also talk about Wes' most recent book "The Lord's Prayer" and what the prayer means in the context of Matthew's gospel.

Wesley Hill is associate professor of biblical studies at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania and an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church. He is the author of Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality (Zondervan, second edition 2016), Paul and the Trinity: Persons, Relations, and the Pauline Letters (Eerdmans, 2015), Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian (Brazos, 2015), and The Lord's Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father (Lexham, 2019). A contributing editor for Comment magazine, he writes regularly for Christianity Today, The Living Church, and other publications, including SpiritualFriendship.org which he co-founded.

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Connect with Preston

Twitter | @PrestonSprinkle

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Check out his website prestonsprinkle.com

If you enjoy the podcast, be sure to leave a review.

Mar 09 2020 ·
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"The Lord's Prayer," with Dr. Wesley Hill

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How do we pray to our Father? Dr. Wesley Hill joins Matt, Derek, and Alastair to discuss his latest book, "The Lord's Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father." Is the prayer an exact model or more of a paradigm for Christians? What are the implications of spiritual warfare in the prayer? Will we not be forgiven unless we also forgive others? In conversation with the Christian tradition, Dr. Hill draws out the significance of Jesus' words to answer these questions and more.
Feb 19 2020 · 37mins
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Episode 184 | Home Bodies, with Wesley Hill

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You can’t think about home without thinking about the people in it. Our most formative and important relationships are rooted here, an inextricable part of what we conceive of when we think about home. In our modern society, home is most often associated with the nuclear family: parents and children. This modern conception isn’t the only framework available to us, however, nor does it provide home for all people.

Feb 12 2020 · 44mins
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Persuasion 184 | Home Bodies, with Wesley Hill

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You can’t think about home without thinking about the people in it. Our most formative and important relationships are rooted here, an inextricable part of what we conceive of when we think about home. In our modern society, home is most often associated with the nuclear family: parents and children. This modern conception isn’t the only framework available to us, however, nor does it provide home for all people.

Feb 12 2020 · 44mins
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322: Wesley Hill - The Lord's Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father

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In this episode, I sit down with Wesley Hill to discuss his book The Lord's Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father from Lexham Press' Christian Essentials series.

For additional show notes, visit ShaunTabatt.com/322.

The Shaun Tabatt Show is part of the Destiny Image Podcast Network.

Dec 29 2019 · 34mins
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