Love Is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker

S3 E18 | American Politics, Power, and Human Flourishing with Andy Crouch

November 03, 2020 Andy Crouch Season 3 Episode 18
Love Is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker
S3 E18 | American Politics, Power, and Human Flourishing with Andy Crouch
Chapters
Love Is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker
S3 E18 | American Politics, Power, and Human Flourishing with Andy Crouch
Nov 03, 2020 Season 3 Episode 18
Andy Crouch

As Americans vote in national and local elections, is there hope for power, politics, and privilege to foster human flourishing? Andy Crouch, author of Strong and Weak, talks with Amy Julia about the paradox of authority and vulnerability, how political leaders can use power and risk for the good of humanity, the distinction between blessing and privilege, and pragmatic ways to contribute to human flourishing.

Show Notes:
Andy Crouch is partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship. His two most recent books—2017's The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place and 2016's Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing—build on the vision of faith, culture, and the image of God.

Follow Andy online:

“Authority is the capacity for meaningful action. Vulnerability is the exposure to meaningful risk.”

“Most of the benefits we enjoy come from a tangled legacy of past exercises of power, some of which were highly creative and beneficial and beautiful, and others of which were forceful, coercive, and violent.”

“Things that are called blessing in the Bible often happen at a moment of tremendous vulnerability. Blessing happens in the midst of vulnerability and unto vulnerability.”

“The ultimate risk is love.”

ON THE PODCAST:

Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.

White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 12. Check out free RESOURCESaction guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.

Show Notes Transcript

As Americans vote in national and local elections, is there hope for power, politics, and privilege to foster human flourishing? Andy Crouch, author of Strong and Weak, talks with Amy Julia about the paradox of authority and vulnerability, how political leaders can use power and risk for the good of humanity, the distinction between blessing and privilege, and pragmatic ways to contribute to human flourishing.

Show Notes:
Andy Crouch is partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship. His two most recent books—2017's The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place and 2016's Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing—build on the vision of faith, culture, and the image of God.

Follow Andy online:

“Authority is the capacity for meaningful action. Vulnerability is the exposure to meaningful risk.”

“Most of the benefits we enjoy come from a tangled legacy of past exercises of power, some of which were highly creative and beneficial and beautiful, and others of which were forceful, coercive, and violent.”

“Things that are called blessing in the Bible often happen at a moment of tremendous vulnerability. Blessing happens in the midst of vulnerability and unto vulnerability.”

“The ultimate risk is love.”

ON THE PODCAST:

Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.

White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 12. Check out free RESOURCESaction guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.

Note: This transcript is generated using speech recognition software and does contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print.

0 (0s):
<inaudible>

1 (4s):
Hi friends. I'm Amy Julia Becker and this is Love is stronger than Fear a podcast about pursuing hope and healing in the midst of social division in the season. We're talking about my book White Picket Fences and today I get to talk about privilege and Blessing and Vulnerability and authority and human flourishing. And I get to do that with my friend and the prolific author speaker and teacher Andy Crouch. If you're not familiar with Andy, I think you're in for a treat. If you've heard, Andy speak before, or you have read some of his books, this really is an opportunity to go deeper and explore more. And I will say, especially on this day, or as we enter at the end of a tumultuous national election season, I'm really excited for you to be able to listen to this conversation.

1 (51s):
Andy and I do talk about the election and we talk about the role Politics plays in human flourishing. Even though we don't know how this election is going to turn out, I'm excited about where this conversation lands, because I believe it's highly relevant to our current moment or, and yet also a timeless 'cause it considers all ways. What does it mean to be a human being who is willing to take risks in love and for love? I got so much out of this. I'm actually going to listen to this conversation multiple times, again, for my own benefit, because there was so much wisdom in it. So I'm thrilled to share it with you today.

1 (1m 31s):
Andy Crouch I am so glad that you were here with me and with us and giving us your time today. So welcome.

0 (1m 38s):
It's great to get to talk.

1 (1m 40s):
I just to give our listeners a sense of who you are. I've been reading your work for many years long before I knew you. I read Culture Making write when it first came out and I can literally remember walking around Richmond, Virginia, where I first read it. And when I lived at the time, thinking about who are the 12 people in my life who can help with some around me as I endeavor to become a writer and to communicate these things. So anyway, you have had an influence in me for a long time. I'm pretty sure I've read every other books that you've written. And I have listened to your podcast. I'm like a fan girl here. And in addition to knowing you personally and appreciating your personal counsel over the years, and actually I'm going to add this because I'm not sure there are many people who can say this.

1 (2m 27s):
We have even made our children read your most recent book. Tech Wise Family before they were allowed to petition for a texting account. So we're like a big fan family. So all of this is by way of recommending to any listener, your books or podcasts or other writing. And I certainly will put a link to all of that in the show notes. And I just encourage people to go and check it out because of how you have been thoughtfully communicating about faith and culture for a very long time. But there's one book in particular that I've asked you to here today to talk about, and it's called Strong and Weak I haven't read here. So I'm going to read the subtitle. Embracing a Life of Love Risk and True Flourishing.

1 (3m 8s):
And I loved this book so much, Peter and I talked about it so much. It's, it's a wonderful book too, just because it's a really short and accessible and it really influenced me in writing White Picket Fences I referred to it a lot, even though it doesn't show up by name in the book, because I think it relates to disability education, justice privilege, and the idea that we might participate in healing, our social divisions. So I wanted to start today just by asking you to tell this nurse a little bit about Strong and Weak both in terms of how you decided to write the book and the basic premise behind it. If you could just explore and explain that a bit

2 (3m 46s):
That's of course. I mean, let's start with a basic, the basic idea that it's super simple Its that there are two components to a Flourishing Life Flourishing Family for a Flourishing community. Flourishing in business Flourishing world in a way that they are authority and Vulnerability, and we often think of these as somehow they seem like they might be opposites. Like the more authority you have, the less vulnerable you would be, the more vulnerable you would be. We we might think philosophers, what do you have? But I'm really convinced that they're meant to go together, that they can go together. That there's this kind of paradox that when they go together, those are the best times of our lives.

2 (4m 27s):
If a, if you, if we'd talked with, I think we almost, I went and said, what was the moment when you felt had felt most fully alive? If something came to mind? I think it, as a component of authority, which in the book I define is capacity for meaningful action. So I'm not just talking about having a position of power or a title or a job it's any setting in which you can act. And it matters. If you could say it, it makes a difference, meaningful action. And then in that same peak experience, these best moments of our lives would be Vulnerability, which I define as exposure to meaningful risk, that there is some element of, there really is something that could go wrong that could be lost.

2 (5m 13s):
And it's when you have authority and Vulnerability together that you have Flourishing Life and, and World, and the book came out of my previous book, which is a, a, a, a much longer book that very much,

1 (5m 28s):
One of the fewer people that have read, I read it

2 (5m 31s):
And called Playing, God redeeming the gift of power, which it, which is kind of a deep, my attempt to go as deep as I could and the topic of power and how to think about it. And, and that book I'm I actually honestly feel like it's my, my, I don't know if I'd say my best book. My my most important books. The book that I cared the most about it is actually my at least read books, because it's a topic that is uncomfortable for people in power and Its long. And so after, after it had been out a little while my editor emailed me, Annie, and he said, a, do you have any, anything that you kind of left on the cutting room floor or anything that's like any, you know, could you just write a short book?

2 (6m 16s):
And I said, well, you know, there's this idea in Playing God about authority. And Vulnerability because I do talk about it in that book. But I had started speaking on this topic and I had started putting it in a graphical form or visual form as a two by two, like the one thing they teach you are a business goal, right? It is, you know, the two by two, where you always want to be up into the right, right. I on two dimensions at once. So when you do that with authority in Vulnerability, you end up with this kind of map where the upper right corner, higher authority I've Vulnerability is his Flourishing, but then there are these three other corners. And I have to say, I was doing all this speaking about the topic of power and all the themes of the book.

2 (6m 56s):
And there's two by two. I just was connecting with other people. And with me, like every time I taught it, I would see something new in it. And I was feeling this huge regret that I hadn't figured it out for that book, because I actually think that book would have done way better if it had a picture of two in it. So I said, Oh, I know exactly the thing. So Strong, and Weak came out of that many more people who've read it. I think that's actually much more helpful than many more people. And honestly, in a Julia you've read it in one form or you've read the form that it got into print, but I keep teaching this. We actually use this as a core element of our training for entrepreneurs at Praxis where I worked now.

2 (7m 36s):
And it's developed even beyond what I saw at the time I finished that book in 2017. So it is of all of the things I've ever written are created. Like this is the one that feels more Most like I discovered something not invented And and that it just keeps giving and unfolding. So

1 (7m 57s):
I think that's why when I mentioned that, like I talked about this in my own life, Peter and I have talked about it in terms of what it means to lead a team. We've talked about it in terms of our family. And again, that simplicity of this four by four, it helps you just to be like, Oh yeah, I remember I can go back to that really easily. So can you map out the four quadrants for people just so that they can try to create a visual map and of course will put an image in the Show Notes but yeah,

2 (8m 21s):
So right now it's hard to do on podcasts I've found, but a Y axis the vertical axis as a authority, that's your capacity for meaningful action. It can be higher, low, and a given situation just to think right now, you and I both in a way that we've created this environment where we both have capacity for meaningful action, right? Like you have a lot because you've prepared, you've thought through the questions, you are the host, but you're also making space for me to have it. So this would be ON high authority situation. Maybe we plot and in our little, at, at at least in certain ways, then the x-axis the vertical Vulnerability. So how much is at risk? And it would actually be interested to ask, like, how vulnerable is it?

2 (9m 1s):
I would, I would say, I always feel vulnerable during these kinds of interviews, because we are, you, you sent me a brief kind of outline, but I don't know what kind of follow-up questions are you going to ask? I don't know how to articulate. I could be a, you know, I'm more aware of a lot of risks as I come into a conversation like this, and probably you feel that to So so up until the right high on both will call Flourishing and then if you go down, you, and now you're in the lower, right. You are high Vulnerability low authority. This will be a situation where you are a lot of is at risk. What you really can't do anything you're maybe you're immobilized in certain ways to prevent it from having capacity for meaningful action.

2 (9m 45s):
And I think the best name for that's a corner, at least initially is suffering. This is by the way, the one corner that the other three, I'm not sure every human being experiences, but I'm pretty sure every single human being has been in a situation, a vulnerability without authority. A at least if you've been through middle school

3 (10m 6s):
And you experienced it,

2 (10m 9s):
So then you go over to the left from there. And now you're in the lower left, which is in some ways, in some ways, the most interesting corner, the, a low Vulnerability low authorities. So you don't have much capacity to act, but there's also not much risk or at least a very little sense of Risk. And I would initially call this corner, and this is a little different from even how it is in the book. I think the best initial name for this year

3 (10m 33s):
Is safety. So safety,

2 (10m 36s):
I see, is it an environment where I don't have to act and I don't have to Risk. Yeah. And in incidentally, we can go more into this if you want. But I would actually say, this is where every healthy human life is meant to begin. And those of us who were our parents, we have to vote so much attention in the early days, weeks, months, years of our children's lives. As to whatever extent we can to create an environment where actually there, there are limited in their authority. We don't just get to them. Don't give you the keys to the car when there are three years old. Right. And then, but we also do all of these things to limit their exposure to risk. If we can, every parent would want to do that for their child. Not every parent can't do that. Every parent can, but every parent would.

2 (11m 16s):
And then finally, just to finish out the map, we go up, up, up from there, and now you have high authority, but low Vulnerability. So here's the other thing that I've realized since the book is so frustrating because the book has another name for it, which we can talk about if you want, but I've realized the real name for that corner, that upper left corner is for sure

3 (11m 35s):
Troll control,

2 (11m 38s):
Which is when I have all the authority I want, but I don't have any Risk it's like the it's almost the definition of control is I can act, I can make things happen, but I know exactly how it's going to turn out. And this is kind of, I think, dream of human life, the, the dream is I wish I could be in a situation where I didn't have to Risk, but I could get everything done. I want to get it done. We're looking for control in a way.

1 (12m 5s):
And you know, and its so interesting. This is taking me a little bit off of our planned conversation already. So I'll take that risk and just say, I have been thinking now for a long time about the phrase that Christians use a lot about God to say that God is in control and about how that interacts with the biblical idea that God is love because Andy the idea of biblical sovereignty. And I think that is really related to what you were saying because I do think it can and there's actually some measure of, I think ultimately false comfort in God being in a place of control with no Vulnerability and I'm saying, you know what?

1 (12m 48s):
He's got it. And I, even if I don't understand it, it's all gonna work out in this almost manipulative or what the tier way, whereas the, that Place of Flourishing, which I think is certainly what God intends for us to be. But even that sense of, I mean, if God came to him to humanity in the person of Jesus and died on a cross, well then Vulnerability is like really a part of the being of God. And so I'm, I'm just really, and again, I don't in any way, I want to say it, God doesn't know what is going to happen or God is kind of powerless or something like that. But I think it's a lot more nuanced and subtle.

1 (13m 27s):
Than the way that phrase God is in control goes out. And so that when you just mentioned changing that quadrant or thinking about that quadrant out of control, that's what it came to mind.

2 (13m 39s):
Yeah, totally. And I think, I mean, I, I certainly myself believe in the sovereignty of God, you, you can't really be a, you can say a small, an Orthodox Christian without believing that in some sense. And it is also true that, you know, when we talk about risk, we're talking about unknowns related to time. That is for you, you know, it's, it's often we're imagining the future. Is this going to work out for me or does it not going to work out? Am I going to win? Am I going to lose it? And that it involves the unknowability of a future for us. And we don't believe because God is not bound to a time. The way we human beings are, we don't believe that God experiences. That kind of Risk.

2 (14m 19s):
So in that sense, God God is not confused or uncertain about what's going to happen. But if you think about risk as the possibility of loss, to me, that's the very active creation a at least, at least. Well, first of all, that just so two things first God actually, it turns out, never created a mechanical universe, even if, even before you have human beings in it, you know, the Newtonian idea of the universe was a World that worked like a clock and this, you know, so you are watching the divine, the great watch maker, right? This is a very complex system, but it's all mechanical. It all proceeds by rules.

2 (14m 59s):
You can, you could in principle, chart out all the mathematics of it. Well, we now know for the last a hundred years because of the quantum mechanics at the, the world actually doesn't operate like a mechanism in that way. Those Newtonian laws apply at very large scales, but they don't apply at the smallest scale. And then you have a bunch of other complexities that my wife has a physicist actually understands and I just drafted log, but then you have the So the world was built with a kind of possibility and probability at its very hard. So that's what quantum mechanics tells us. And then you introduce into this human beings whose brains, by the way, are the most complex thing. And the universe whose brains actually function on quantum mechanical levels And and who are given, even if we didn't know how our brains function or long before we knew that we know that God gave us a kind of freedom.

2 (15m 49s):
Right? Right. And the man, the woman in the biblical story are put in the garden and God absence himself. You could say God Steps away and creates the space for them to be free. Well, at that moment, God is opening himself up to the possibility of loss. So, and Oh, and then a vulnerable, ultimately it comes from a Latin word <inaudible>, which means wound and it means wounded goal. And so is God wound as well. We have a definitive answer as Christians. God is not only wound to a book that God is a wound down

1 (16m 19s):
And within all of that, to his, the sense of God's humility, that that's not only something we can see in Jesus, which again is very evident in Jesus's life, as well as in our, you know, new Testament, understanding of the person of Jesus Christ, not just the person of Jesus, but Christ in terms of what he chooses to do in an eternal sense. But then I think that sense of the act of humility in creation, the act of humility, even I, in scripture, I'm in a kind of interesting human's with so much of the work of what God is doing. Yeah. So anyway, we're all in the same page about all of us, I think, but it's really cool to have some other ways to think about that.

1 (17m 1s):
And I'm one of the quotations. This is from M well on page 45 of Strong and Weak you talk about that when you reflect the image of God in our authority over creation and in our Vulnerability in the midst of creation, which I think just kind of echoes where you were just describing. And I'm wondering if you can give a little bit of just a vision for human flourishing, like what are the necessary conditions for Flourishing can you say, are there examples of Flourishing why don't we live and to that, when do we live into that? You know, kind of any of those directions?

2 (17m 40s):
Well, I mean, so maybe we can initially just think about how the Bible shows the first Human couple they're in a garden, which is it's like a human scale environment where, where human beings can make a difference. So if you put human beings in total wilderness, that actually how much authority do we really have in the wilderness? You know, I mean, there was a place for going to the wilderness in realizing I am a very small and I can do anything for this mountain or this ocean or whatever, but God actually prepares an environment that's the right scale for them to exercise authority. So that's kind of interesting, but then it's, and, and in a way that they start out in that safety corner, right?

2 (18m 21s):
Because it's fairly insulated aside from the presence of serpents apparently, but, but then the divine command, his be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth. So they are not meant to stay in this safe environment. They are actually meant to gradually, I would say garden the world that is move out into all the different biomes as we call them all the different ecosystems. And in each one respond, ideally if they were fully baring the image of God with, with deep attention to the possibilities of that, Place create Culture in that place. You'd end up with all of the multiplicity of human cultures naturally this way, because every human Culture responds to its environment. Okay. So the Scandinavians to come up with, is it called it, is that like the very cozy right?

2 (19m 3s):
While the cozy is not really what you need and like the Polynesian islands, you know, so, you know, we might end up with a cultural diversity and that will all be humans in a way, exercising their authority over the world. But of course that would also involve the vulnerability of leaving that, that safe environment and moving out. So it was built in from the very beginning, but we were meant to have to move out beyond where we were. So are you asking me, what does Flourishing look like? And I think it looks like when you move out beyond the safety, that was your initial condition. If you were fortunate, and if you're parents were able to provide that environment and you move kind of to the edge of, of possibility of discovery, and this can happen in some way, you know, now my wife could do this at the time.

2 (19m 50s):
I do it with a microscope in a sense like a, she can stay in one place, but go deeper and deeper down to the smallest, the coldest, shortest the things in the world and examine them as a human being and discovered that there's possibility there that's waiting for human beings to describe it and then create in response to it, all of this involves risk and you don't know what you're going to find at the edge. So anytime we do that, so I mean another very obvious thing. And, and it's one of the things that I've most loved about your writing is parenting, you know, at our children, especially of course, C are the authority that we have is parents when they are small in particular, but the moment that child is born and before even a it's so vulnerable.

2 (20m 41s):
And it's just both at the same time, like I, I get to shape the World of my children, especially in their early years with unmatched authority, which is terrifying in a way, right. But I'm also exposed to the possibility of loss. Like no other relationship I can think of a even, even marriage and some ways. So I think it, it doesn't have quite the same quality of just a, of total authority and total like, Oh my goodness, my heart leaves the house. Every time my daughter goes off to kindergarten. So yeah, all the, all of the best moments, those two things together.

1 (21m 21s):
Alright, so this is a bit of a pivot, but it's also in relation to this idea of authority in Vulnerability. We are speaking right now, we're recording this conversation on November 2nd. It will come out into the world on November 3rd, which is to say the day of the United States presidential election. And I am thinking about the political realm when it comes to applying these ideas. And, and there is a part of Strong and Weak where you were speaking specifically about in writing specifically about leaders. So are we looking for leaders who have authority and Vulnerability like, is that it kind of a way to, I don't know. And I don't know if evaluates the right word, because one of the things you also talk about it is like the significance of sometimes having to protect that Vulnerability from peoples' from seeing it.

1 (22m 9s):
I'm curious, how, how do they apply? How can we apply this to the political realm? How do we think about these things when we're looking at Politics?

2 (22m 16s):
So a couple of thoughts. One is I think, I think it's understandable. And it's also a mysterious given that we were, we were made for Vulnerability. Mmm. But we, we have this very deep instinct that says I'd actually rather not have that. And I don't think that's necessary. So, so the serpent picks up on this in the garden and And the serpent says, ah, you know why you haven't a tree that for the tree and the one that says, well, because it will die. So she has a sense of Vulnerability with respect to the tree, she has a sense of vulnerability with this respect to her maker in a way that the service is, Oh, no, no, no, God knows.

2 (23m 3s):
If you eat that, you are going to know good and evil. So you're going to have way more authority than you currently have. You'll be light. God the server. It says, and you shall not surely die. In other words, you're not as dependent. You are not as mortal. You are not as frail as God is trying to tell you. And the woman in the man take that part in there, like, Oh, that sounds good. Be like God authority, higher authority, but we won't actually die. In other words, lower Vulnerability right. So that's a preface to say that in every human individual and in every human system, there is a, for some reason, a I'm not sure. I totally know why a flight from Vulnerability.

2 (23m 44s):
There is a desire be told by someone whispering in our ear or shouting, I suppose you can be in control or you can be safe. You can go to choose your corner, or do you want to go high authority? Then you can be in control or do you just want to be safe? Like, and, and when you look at what politicians promise, it's very rare that they promised vulnerability. It's very rare that they say, you know what, for us to flourish as a nation, it's going to take a risk. It's much more common for them directly or indirectly to say, vote for me. And we'll be in control and in charge or vote for me.

2 (24m 26s):
And you'll be safe and protected. And there are, there are versions of this on both sides of any given partisan line, because this is the, this promise can play out in different ways. But, but the other thing you have to introduce into this is that politics is ultimately about force it's about, this is a mock favor, as the sociologist said, that the one thing that the state so-called the nation state claims for itself is a legitimate monopoly on force or a monopoly on legitimate force. The state is the one entity in our society that can force you to do something you don't want to do. And when you think about where do you get control from Its from the ability to make things happen, not invite things to happen or not wish for things to happen.

2 (25m 16s):
You get control of when you can make things happen. And that always or very often involves force. So what's at stake in almost every election. There are, there are Moe. There are moments when we have leaders in American life and, and other nations who actually do that up into the right thing. So Lincoln Sara second inaugural address. He is in the midst of prosecuting of a terrible war. A war that he in, many people thought was necessary that I would say was almost certainly necessary. And in the midst of that, he gives the second inaugural address in which he, he disavows any claim that God is on one side of the other. He says the almighty has his own purposes.

2 (25m 58s):
They are very mysterious. And honestly, we are all under a judgment if or if the judgment extends that that a drop has drawn for this sword from every dropped that's been brought up for the last week, we would still say that judgments of the Lord are just, he refuses to se you know, a vote for me at on our side will be in charge. And that will be good, even though he believes the civil war is necessary, right? John F. Kennedy at rice university. And I forgot the exact year, the source of the Sputnik here, it goes, this famous, a speech where he launches THE the mission of the moon and at the most famous line in that speech, as we choose to do those things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard and hear again, you have someone saying, we're going to take this massive risk, huge financial investment, huge like technical challenge that we don't know if we can do it, we're going to say it really human beings to this satellite of our planet.

2 (26m 51s):
And he was like, we're going to do it because it's hard to me that, and, and so you noticed I've got to a Republican, a Democrat and you can look at both sides can do this, but yeah, it's so rare and what's much more common. We could leave to listeners to fill in the details, or if you want to make me feel it, I get it. But most of our leaders, we actually want them to play out for us authority without Vulnerability. And I think it's clear that happens in presidential elections as well as at many other levels. And Politics

1 (27m 25s):
Yeah, I actually don't think we need to fill in any bid on that. I think it's really helpful though, as a framework for thinking about what's going on right now, but then my next question is, so if we're talking about human flourishing in a nation, in a society, Flourishing how much do I, like, how much does the national election matter? Like what, what, I mean, obviously we can look for those leaders who are unusual in that ability to articulate a desire for Risk, but even in the examples you gave, they weren't campaigning on Risk right. They were like already in their there and doing, I mean, I don't know what they were campaigning on, but, but I'm also thinking about one of the things I do think national politics really matter.

1 (28m 9s):
I'd also have been convicted in recent years of my knowledge on the national level and lack of knowledge on the local level were, and I wonder how much that same dynamic plays out or not when it becomes more local, where there is more of a sense of like, because what I was thinking about when you were talking about that removal, why it is that we as humans don't want to be vulnerable. I was thinking about the ways in which Vulnerability and love and relationships are like tied up in each other. Where are the only way I think, to be giving and receiving Love with whether that's with God or with another person, or even with some aspect of the creation, is that through some measure of Vulnerability.

1 (28m 55s):
So yes, able to be wounded, but also like that, that opening and that position of like humility and of receptivity. And so I do wonder where it's like the national, like the farther you get away from those relationships and the more likely you are to get away from that Vulnerability yeah. And then the more you bring and the relationships, and again, local level that's, you know, it's like, I know literally like actually know the people who are running for both sides, quote, unquote of the aisle in terms of being the first selectman in my town and the first selectman, our first select a woman in my town. Right. So I think they are just some vulnerability that comes simply in those relationships.

1 (29m 38s):
And I wonder whether that actually those are the places where, when it comes to Politics, there's more likelihood for that. Flourishing I don't know. That's just what comes to mind.

2 (29m 49s):
Well, I think that's so right. And I mean, the, you know, one of the macro stories of American political life is the increase in it. There's all these inputs to it. It was going on. It's been going on for at least two generations now is the constant, the increase in concentration of power, actual effective. Power a first of all at the federal level and instead of the local level, and then also in the executive branch of government, as opposed to the legislative branch. Right. And when you think about it in the world, the framers of our constitution designed M first of all, it was a local in ways we can't even imagine the federal government had so little Power, you know, which is reflected by the way, in some ways I think Doris Kearns Goodwin, a observes this, that before the civil war, the United States was a plural.

2 (30m 40s):
Now the United States are such and such, and it wasn't till after the civil war, which did establish kind of a new level of federal power that it becomes the United States is it became a singular thing. There was also always the States that happened to have United under this constitution, right? So Power was very local. We have this Federalist system that one of its great strengths arguably as is the devolving of power to state. And we're seeing that even like an coronavirus response right there, actually the CDC actually has no power, the state government. So the ones that tell you, are you under quarantine or not? You know, it's this, it's the governor of your state who can, who can tell you that or not the president of the United States let alone on the CDC.

2 (31m 20s):
So, so first they had this incredible local conception of power with only specific powers and numerated for the federal government, most powers we're at the state level, at that relational level, more relational second, they had three branches. And it's interesting how now, and we say a national election. I know what, what I think and what every listener immediately thinks is the president, the president line, while you're also going to be voting a for sure, for your house of representatives, probably for a member of the Senate, from your state, but we have sidelined those legislative roles. And, and now so much has concentrated for that.

2 (32m 1s):
And this is real life. There is real concentration of power on the presidency and, and think about how much more vulnerable legislation is than executive order, right? So legislation in fall, it does involve relationship. It involves compromise. It involves debate where you get on the floor of the Senate or the house and you make your case, but then someone else has to stand up after you. But when the president issues an executive order, it's, it's done. If it's within the scope of his powers or her powers it's done. And I think that's actually part of why we become fixated on the president, because we want that person in control. Yeah. I think that's

1 (32m 40s):
Really fascinating to think about just the possibility for the Flourishing when it comes to legislation, which is essentially what you just said, but I agree. And I think it's really important for us to recognize as much as who is president does matter. There's also, there are so many other ways in which we can be approaching this question of what does that mean for our nation?

4 (33m 2s):
Yes, yes, yes.

1 (33m 5s):
So I want to move to the topic of privilege and I shared with you my working definition of privilege ahead of time. And you said I would get to hear yours when we spoke. So I'm good. Just read my definition, our listeners, who may are, you may not have heard me say this before, and then I'm going to do so because, and here's what I'm thinking about it. I'm thinking about that quadrant, that you've called safety up until this point of view, where you got low authority, low Vulnerability. But one of the things you write about in Strong and Weak is that there are people who could be Flourishing, but who, who had that authority, the potential for high authority and high Vulnerability, but they choose not to.

1 (33m 46s):
And they choose to revert to that quadrant of safety and you call that withdrawal. And that is like a place where I just feel like I resonate a lot with the potential for withdrawal. I mean, I, anyone who has been following me on Instagram knows that I, when I was preparing for this interview last week, I put a photo op of myself having take a risk, taking a run in the rain. And it was like 40 degrees and rainy. And literally if I had not read Strong and Weak, I would not have taken that run, but I was like, so I am prepared for an interview with the Andy Crouch I'm going to take the risk and I'm going to run it. And it was great. It was glorious. But it just that I am, I am one of the people who are, and you can like swaddle myself in the bubble wrap and go into that withdrawing stance.

1 (34m 31s):
Right. Like, yup. So, but I do think there's a sense of, there is both pacivity that can come there, but there are also can be a sense of helplessness. Like there's not my, I don't, there's a S there can be a sense of not having authority when we're in that place. So all of this gets back to privilege in the sense that what I tend to, how I think of privilege is a set of unearned social advantages that lead to an unjust social division. So if we were like really perfect human beings, even if I got something that was unearned an advantage to me, I would just figure out a way to share it.

1 (35m 12s):
So I'm not sure that under all circumstances, but under the circumstances of our broken sinful conditions, Hey, we don't think that those advantages are unearned. Like we'd like to look around them and be, we might even not think that there are advantages, right? So, but I know as a white educated person who is born into married parents in affluence, in all of this stuff that I got, lots of advantages I didn't earn. And that, that then led to me in not when I didn't recognize that. And even to some degree, as I do participating in unjust social division. So that's how I think it was a privilege. And I think that many people of privilege could choose Flourishing right.

1 (35m 57s):
To be in a place of high authority, high Vulnerability. And instead myself included choose withdrawal. Totally. So I'm going to kind of hand it over to you to talk a little bit about how have you seen privilege if you want too, but also what's going on in that withdrawal, in that sense of passivity, helplessness, all those things. Right,

2 (36m 20s):
Right. So good. I think of course, what you're naming they're with that, with that definition His is very real and very powerful and very important. So I'll give you the way I've thought about privilege, which is, I actually think is quite congruent with what you're saying. It just puts it on a, maybe a slightly different context or maybe a bigger context. So here's how I've tended to define privilege. I wrote about this in Playing God I have a whole chapter on it, just with people who want to go and read more, or if you don't say this clearly right now, I, I tended to find it as the ongoing benefits of past successful exercises of Power the ongoing benefits of past successful exercise as a Power.

2 (37m 11s):
So privilege are the things that come to me today because of some successful exercise of power in the past. Now I have to unpack that a little bit to get it, to connect to your definition what it does. So the thing that, so a couple of things as well, the, the, the thing about exercising power is I actually think anytime you exercise power, you end up with Risk. So now when we think of power, we almost always think of coercion. First, we think of making something happen Andy and that can definitely can be part of power, but I would also want to include in power are very much the act of creation.

2 (37m 52s):
So coercion is making something happen, using existing stuff. It's like rearranging stuff in the world, the way you want it creation is bringing something into being that doesn't exist yet. And that's also, I would actually say that's a much deeper form of power than, than making people do things. So, yeah, so, so Power can be created. Creative power can be coercive. And then within course of theirs there's force, which is neutral there's coercion, which is against resistance. And there is violence, which is actually a violation of others, or either even of Things of violating their intended purpose to get them to do what you want. So even, even coercion is not, of course the power is not always just one thing.

2 (38m 34s):
And, and you have, those are a Risk. So even if you're a Lieutenant in the army where you have command and control power is over your I'm sorry, I don't know the military while you're a squadron or whatever. The level of the unit is, you get an order, right? And in the military system, like pretty much that order has to be obeyed. But in fact, there's Al there's always a risk that the people that are giving orders to have guns, they can turn around and say no way, and they can shoot you. Right? So even, even high coercion situations, there's risk involved in the exercise of power in the moment, let alone in environments of creative Power, I'm like writing a book, for example, where you're taking all kinds of risks at every stage of creation, let alone parenting a child, right?

2 (39m 20s):
So here's why I'm going with this in the moment of exercising power. You're always at risk, but you can exercise power in such a way that, that, that the act recedes into the past, but the benefits continue. So I wrote a book called Strong and Weak, and it came out in 2017. All the risk is in the rear view mirror from it, like it was risky to write that book. It was a risk for my publisher to write me a check and kill trees and so forth all that's, you know, for years, three, three to four years behind us. And Today, Amy, Julia, Becker wants to talk about my book and, and introduce her audience to me and have a conversation with me.

2 (40m 5s):
What is that the way that is privilege? That's an ongoing benefit of a risk. I took two years ago now, even more, let me just put a finer point out at that book has done. Okay. And it did better than the publisher expected. So they gave me an advance on my royalties, right. That has to be paid back by earnings from the book. Well, as it happens, it sold enough copies that it's we call it made back it's advanced. Yep. So every October it's just to have the three days ago, I got a check from my publisher of money that are my royalties in excess of the advanced. Yeah. And I did nothing to earn that. Right. It just appeared in my bank account.

2 (40m 46s):
Right. It, and do you know what for human beings, that's like magic. It's like, Oh my goodness. I didn't have to take any risk. I can stay in my basement. And that check would still arrive.

1 (40m 59s):
So this is my question on your definition, in terms of the idea of the successful exercise of power. Because if someone, like, it seems as though successful exercise of power can be just or unjust. Yes.

2 (41m 14s):
So it can, it can be completely successful just in the sense that you got that. Right.

1 (41m 21s):
Right. But, so in other words, was that privilege that you were describing is a great one and everyone would be like, you, Hey, you're getting your royalties. Right. Like that. I think it's just like, terrific. Whereas there are other exercises of power, like for a benefits that go forward. This is part of what is tearing us apart. Right now I'm thinking about and trying to wrestle with, because they either came from a place of injustice, can perpetuate some measure of injustice, et cetera. Okay. So yeah, that's,

2 (41m 52s):
Notes so that's, that's the next step is realizing most of the benefits. So, so I'm, I'm framing privilege, first of all, as actually a good a in principal, a good thing, its benefits, its good, its good thing. And it's good that we were having this conversation today and, and I would very naturally say it. It would come naturally to me, just say, it's a privilege to get to talk to you. Like why would you use the word that way? Meaning it really is a good thing, but it didn't come because I took a huge amount of Risk in the present. It comes from Risk in the past. But most of the benefits we enjoy come from a tangled legacy of past exercises of power, some of which were highly creative and beneficial and, and beautiful and others of which were forceful course of or violent.

2 (42m 39s):
And this is where privilege gets complex because all right, my grandparents at my, you and I share a heritage in the American South, my, my mom is from Georgia. My grandparents, I would say were very, I mean they had their issues, but they were caring, loving people who were among other things is very frugal and, and passed on to me as a small, but real amount of financial wealth. But it helped me graduate from college, you know, and that is in large part because they loved me because they loved me in a way more than their own needs.

2 (43m 21s):
They were not people of, of that anyone would have thought of as great wealth, but they just, they allocated their research and such a way to care for me. So they exercised a kind of Power in doing that. And that side of my inheritance from my grandparents is, is a good exercise of power. At the same time they were, as we call it white southerners when my, my grandmother died or I guess it was my, my grandfather died after my grandmother, I was looking through Family papers. I found papers from the 19th century with the name of the slave that my ancestors owned. Now, my ancestors didn't own a plantation. It didn't have hundreds of sites, but, but my, one of my ancestors owned at least one person who was enslaved to that ancestor.

2 (44m 4s):
And that is also an input into the world that made it possible for my parents, my grandparents, to save their money while the African-American families who have lived at literally on the next plot of land, had no opportunity to say accumulate and saved that guy money. Now I just get the money. What do I do with that? So one reaction is like total guilt and say, Oh, that comes ultimately from an unjust system. Absolutely true, but only partially true. The other is to say, I'm not responsible for enslavement. Back in the 19th century, my grandparents were good loving people. They were good, honest middle-class Americans.

2 (44m 44s):
They saved to the grandpa grandsons. You can go to college and that's to only focus on the positives exercise of power. But in fact, what I've inherited is totally tangled up. And I can't tell you which dollars come from the enslavement and the injustice of the American South and which come from the incredible discipline and character and love of my grandparents. It all comes in a package and this is what I actually think. It's, ah, it's a little misleading too, to focus on privilege only as the unjust side, because actually what I'm tempted to do with all of it, wherever it came from His retreat from Risk So that royalty that I get, which lets just say for the moment that that came from a totally beneficial exercise Power I don't actually think that's true.

2 (45m 32s):
Why did I get to write that book and say other authors who have incredible things to say that you never got the opportunity? There's actually some unjust systems even in my guide to write Strong and Weak right. Yeah. So, but, but even the part that comes from totally good things for me becomes an invitation to say a, like the rich guy in Jesus's parable, S a, he says to his soul soul, you have plenty of stuff. You have plenty of benefits from your past work as a farmer. Now just build a big barn and settle down, eat, drink, and be married. And God's like, Oh, you are a fool to think you can withdraw from your responsibility to your neighbor's from your responsibility to continue to create in the world.

2 (46m 15s):
And indeed at some point you are going to face the ultimate Vulnerability of death and judgment and you're not ready. And instead the guy saying I'm, I'm set I've, I've got everything I need. And what privilege does is it gives us the option to head to the left side of the two by two to either go to control or go to safety. And then, because we really want to be there. We will happily erect and perpetuate systems of injustice that keep us there. And, and that's how it connects to your definition. 'cause actually in my desire, even just to keep the good things I've been given, I will gladly participate in systems that allow me to enjoy those things over on the left side of the graph, rather than putting, putting my, my life at everything that I have back at risk in order for me and others to flourish.

1 (47m 6s):
Yeah. That is so helpful. And I do want to just follow up in something we've talked about before in terms of how easy it is to confuse Blessing and privilege. And I think what you just said helps me, even in my thought of that, I write about, and White, Picket, Fences just the sense that for so much of my life, I had said that the fact that my husband got this job under these, what seemed to me unusual circumstances was, you know, an answer to prayer or in various other ways I got into this school that was an answer to prayer. And it's like, yeah. And your parents didn't need to have you fill out financial aid forms. Like, so is that really an answer to prayer?

1 (47m 47s):
Or is this a sign of the fact that you have some unearned social advantages? And I don't think it's so easy as I should in any way to the example of you just gave, say it's one or the other. And yet I do want to just ask what is, how do you understand Blessing as distinct from privilege and what is that I have to do with Flourishing? How are Blessing and Flourishing if, if at all related to each other.

2 (48m 13s):
Oh my goodness. That's very deep. I'm actually about to try to write on this too. So maybe its good that you're asking me this question. I think we misunderstand Blessing so I have a couple thoughts. One is there are two threads in the biblical tradition that, that we often are unwilling to read together and they, they, they both come in. What's called the wisdom literature of the Bible. One thread is mostly found in Proverbs and it says if you're a good person, well it's as if you fear the Lord and therefore act with a kind of integrity and uprightness, then prosperity will come to you.

2 (49m 0s):
And there's a lot of this and especially in the Hebrew Bible and then right next to it is another book of wisdom, literature, the book of job, which is about someone who is completely righteous. And yet for reasons he certainly can't perceive falls into a terror. Something terrible happens to him and his friends come in, they offer the standard wisdom response as well. You must've done something wrong because the righteous flourish on the wicked perish and the whole book of Chubb is this like beautiful, poetic refutation of that idea. So that's one thought is I think we, we ha we all, every one of us lives with an implicit prosperity gospel, which is if I'm a good, which can include, I pray to get into Princeton or whatever the God we'll hear my prayer, if I'm a good person and I'm really sincerely praying and God will bless me.

2 (49m 55s):
And the Bible just doesn't actually in the end, underwrite that simple of you, even though it is also true, that righteousness is seen by God and is in some way rewarded. So the other thought I have about Blessing though, is it, this is what I'd been thinking about recently. It's very interesting to see a lot of things that are actually called Blessing in the Bible happened at a moment of tremendous vulnerability. So maybe the anchor text for Blessing in the Bible is, is the blessings of the patriarchs on their, each of them are the next generation. So you think about the Jacobs who at that point he is known as Israel who's he blesses all the different sons and w what's the occasion for this while he's about to die.

2 (50m 44s):
Right? So he is, and of course we know when Abraham all the way, which son is it, who tricks? Isaac is the one who, who, who gets old and Jacob and Esau, Jacob comes and kind of gets the Blessing when his father, his So infirmed, that he can't distinguish that the two suns from each other, right there is an incredible Vulnerability here. I think we think when God blesses us, it reduces our Vulnerability. I think actually Blessing happens in the midst of vulnerability and unto vulnerability and, and say, Oh, Oh, another really important Blessing taxed is a Jacob.

2 (51m 25s):
And Esau end up with a C you know, surprise, surprise, not the greatest relationship. And Esau gets really rich and powerful. And he, they run into each other basically. And Jacob is like, Oh, Phil in the blank. I, I am about to meet my very angry, older brother that I stole the Blessing from And. So he does this whole manipulative thing of sending all these gifts since I think all of his package it had, but that he's left alone by this river at, at midnight, he meets this man who he wrestles with all night and neither one can really win. And he says, I won't let you go until you bless me. And the, and the Blessing is, you've been called to Jacob, but you're not going to be called Israel.

2 (52m 6s):
Which means the one who contends with God or the one with whom God contends the one who struggles with the one with whom God startles. And then the guy that just touches him on his hip. And now he limps for the rest of it is

5 (52m 19s):
What are you doing? Well, so think about that.

2 (52m 28s):
So what was God doing in getting Peter that job and getting you that admission? It is very possible. God was acting in, open up, opening up those opportunities for you, but God, if it was really biblical Blessing God knew that God's intention was at least that this open you up two new kinds of Risk and Vulnerability yeah. And then you have to choose whether to narrate it that way or to narrate at the prosperity gospel way and say, Oh, I was a good girl. And now I got the good things and that will make me safe or makes me in control. Whichever you prefer today.

2 (53m 8s):
Instead of no, I was given this and what is the limp in this that I met? Like, what's the burden that comes with this. What's the work of reconciliation to be done because that's what Jacob has to do next is go meet his brother. And he has this kind of amazing reconciliation with his brother. So that for me, a way to not completely disavow the idea that God was acting beneficially to you, Blessing you in those things. But God's plans for that were it's like when Peter first meets Jesus, right? Jesus like, Hey, go out, set your boat out. Let's try some fish fishing and Jesus, and appears like a Lauren. We have been fishing all night and they take in this huge hall of fish.

2 (53m 50s):
Gee, Peter is just to have the most prosperity gospel moment of his life. Write that Kuching like the slot machine has just delivered maximum number of fish and just like, okay, now I'm going to teach it to fish for people like you. So you've seen how much Blessing I can give, but actually I have this way deeper thing.

1 (54m 6s):
And I'm thinking about also the be attitudes in terms of what Jesus name's as blessed and the way a sermon. My pastor recently pointed out how the beatitudes go from almost like a passive to active in the sense of plus that are the meek blessed are those who are in the sense of hope to those who are peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness and justice, right? Like, yeah. So anyway, I think that's also related to that sense of Blessing are the vulnerable as they move into that place of authority. And guess what you are going to limp like that. I don't know if that just really resonates with me. I have one kind of final question on all of this.

1 (54m 48s):
And then I want to ask a little bit about what's coming ahead for you, but on just a very pragmatic level, I'm thinking about people like me who are tempted to withdraw or to the left side and have the means to do that. What are ways to challenge ourselves or to accept the invitation? What, however we want to frame it to participate in Flourishing like pragmatic steps, you know, a lot of running in the rain, but what else?

2 (55m 17s):
What can we, yeah, I, I always worry about pragmatic Steps because, you know, ultimately it's about responding to what God has before you. And it's so different for different people, but it surely, I mean the ultimate risk, I mean, you mentioned this a The ultimate risk is love. So I guess there's two categories who have, who do I know already I've been given to love and what risk is needed to love them better. So this involves All.

2 (55m 58s):
If there are a person with a kind of, if there an adult, a typical adult, it certainly involves conversation, right? Involves listening. It involves asking the question. You don't know the answer to, or disclosing something you'd rather not disclose. So it's just, it's taking the next step towards Love with the people that you've already been given. And you know, who, who is my neighbor? Well a who is the wounded person that you could pass by? There's none of us are insulated enough.

2 (56m 38s):
None of us are purchased enough bubble wrap that we don't pass by visibly injured people and communities. And we are in the course of a week. I bet even in COVID time, really, because that can be on your streets. I live on this beautiful, beautiful street where every house has had a marriage fail. I look out at my kitchen window and I think every house that I can see is had a marriage fail, maybe one exception. That can be the fact that I drive to interstate 95 from my house. And I go through the city of Chester or a post-industrial city that has the highest level of violence in My in our state has a gun violence.

2 (57m 22s):
You have a neighbor who you don't know yet, who you probably need to get to know and include in the circle of love. I mean, there's lots of other things, also running in the rain. You know, there are so many other things and there are all these kind of disciplines that prepare us to be available to that neighbor. But I think it comes down to when I finish this interview, I've got to go upstairs. And my wife and my, my daughter is home from college for a couple of days, they are going to be here. Do I take a risk or do I just withdraw and get my tea and scuttle back down to the basement and you know, does it, do I love, or do I withdraw? And then where do I go today? Who do I see today?

2 (58m 2s):
Who do I include in my circle today? Who was not in my circle? Normally to me, that's, that's ultimately what, what it's going to come down to. And then of course, what is unfolded in response to those risks? I take we'll tell me what my next step is for the people, for that community, for the systems I'm embedded.

1 (58m 21s):
And it will become more and more to your point early on that it is also a Flourishing is risky, but not in a why don't you go jump off a cliff type of way, where you're just going to get harmed. You're opening yourself up, but you're also opening yourself up to wonder and delight and connection and beauty. And so I think as we actually like, kind of do practice that and live into it and the risk is to use maybe an overused phrase or something, but worth it, like it's like, yes, I, yes, it's meaningful. There you go. Nice. Actually. Yeah. Well, what coming to the end of our time?

1 (59m 2s):
And I want to finish just by asking you to speak a little bit about the book that you're working on, just to give us a little a sense of what you were thinking about. 'em and then I also want to talk about a book that is coming out in a couple of weeks, but will come back to that.

2 (59m 17s):
Yeah. So I'm taking the risk. I'm trying to write a short book about massive topic, which is basically Technology really two massive topics technology and what it is to be a person, a small, small thieves, what it is to be a person, because we've ended up with basically with a very powerful world because of technology and technology, by the way, as the way that we ultimately realized this dream of control, it's all built on control, really, because we discovered Things enough about the World to be able to control parts of the world. That is what Technology lets us do. An Technology also makes us very safe and certain ways it allows us to withdraw. Okay. So we've ended up a very powerful and very lonely and is living actually in a very impersonal world, I would say.

2 (1h 0m 1s):
And I think it's because of what we've wanted the technology to do, and that we've wanted it to do something that is it that actually the world was never meant to do, which is give us control and safety. So this is a book about how we got to be so lonely, how we can actually redesign our World for him, for real people, for persons really, and, and, and incidentally, there's a whole chapter on the difference between being charmed and being blessed. And a lot of the book is about how technology promises to let us do magic. And magic says, you can have what you want just like without any risk or just with the blink of an eye or the uttering of a spell or something.

2 (1h 0m 42s):
And so then the flip side is a actually building our lives around those who, for whom magic doesn't work. And so this includes people with disabilities. This includes the oldest members of our community, the youngest, the people who basically a like scramble, our sense of control are actually the people who teach us how to be persons. So last night,

1 (1h 1m 7s):
Yeah, I just interviewed someone named Sara Hendron a couple of weeks.

2 (1h 1m 11s):
Oh yeah. What about it? He wants are, what, what about a body can do? What, what about the continuum?

1 (1h 1m 17s):
But she has a quote in her book saying that, and not from a Christian perspective, saying that disability is fundamental to humanity. And I, and I really think about that idea. So I'm excited and certainly for this next book of yours, but also I have learned from you that your daughter, Amy has a book coming out, which seems in some ways related to what you were working on it, but also related to your book. Tech Wise Family will you just tell us about that for a sec?

2 (1h 1m 46s):
Yeah. Maybe in the number one thing that parents have said, when they've read the Tech Wise Family is, do you have something my kids can read from a kids' point of view? So a lot of families of what you've done it, you know,

1 (1h 1m 55s):
I think it made their children, they liked it. I mean, it was, you know, a decent,

2 (1h 2m 2s):
So I think there's a whole generation of kids now because this is my bestselling book. Tech Wise Family I think there's this whole journey for kids, for whom that terrible red book that their parents read, cover that their parents made them read or made them live by it. They're going to resent the name of Andy Crouch for the rest of the lines. But what they said, His, you know, you're a book is for the, the parents have said is, but, but its not written from a kid's play for you. Is there anything from a kids' point of view? And so Amy my daughter, a son who is now 20, uhh, wrote the forward to The Tech Wise Family it's this beautiful little three page. Hey, you wanna hear what it is like for a kids' point of view and our friend, Tish Warren, as a writer, she said to me a couple years ago, she said, you really should get your daughter to write the followup book.

2 (1h 2m 43s):
And we actually did. So it's called My Tech Wise Life growing up and making Choices in the world of Devices and it's mostly by Amy. She wrote it when she was 19, she just turned 20. So it's the teenager's point of view on growing up in a family that did, you know, did some things differently, but she's also had all the normal experiences because we were not anti-tech in the end, you know? So she's, she's lived with all these things that her whole cohort generation and lives with and its a beautiful book about all the ways it can mess us up and all the ways that we can be rescued from it. And then I write little letters to her at the end of each chapter, just kind of responding, but it's 80 to 90% my daughter's book

1 (1h 3m 27s):
And coming out in November,

2 (1h 3m 29s):
November 17th, you know, on my Tech Wise Life this way. Yeah, it's excited.

1 (1h 3m 36s):
I can't wait to read it and see it. I will be on the lookout and I am excited that you guys got to do that together. That's so fun. And my kid's will be decided to marry really, especially because she was not a forced to read the Tech Wise Family so this is young enough that she will get to read the teenager version. Well, Andy, thank you so much. I really personally benefited from this conversation, but I'm sure that listeners will say the same and especially in a time of so many questions, lots of angst, to be able to think about what it means to be people who flourish both in and of ourselves, but also on behalf of, and kind of for And within other people before and within God's loving care.

1 (1h 4m 21s):
I'm really grateful for that. Today wow.

2 (1h 4m 23s):
Thank you so much for the invitation to talk.

1 (1h 4m 26s):
No, my pleasure. Thanks. Thanks so much for listening to love is stronger than fear. As a final note, we have a few weeks left this Season in this podcast. So if you're a listener, I would love to hear from you. I'm thinking about starting a new season in a few months and I would love to know what has been valuable to you in the conversations that have been offered so far, you can reach out to me directly. My email is Amy Julia Becker [email protected] You can also find a contact [email protected] or just leave a review on this podcast, wherever you get it. I'll see that you could share this podcast online and just tag me on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter.

1 (1h 5m 10s):
And then I'll see what you have to say about whether we should keep having these conversations. And if so, what really matters to you? What's been valuable value of all to you in what I have been able to talk to people about. I'm also grateful to our hosts Breaking Ground and I do. I want to mention I of an essay with Breaking Ground that I mentioned in the show today, it's an essay about God and love and control in the election. So if you wanna hear more about that, part of the conversation today are going to read more about it. You can find that at breaking ground dot U S and as always, I have to say thank you to Jake Hansen for doing a masterful job of editing this podcast.

1 (1h 5m 51s):
And in this case, I'm a very short notice to Amber Berry, my social media coordinator, who has just handled everything so well, she does more far more above and beyond. I could ever ask for her. And I'm so grateful for her. And I will tell you the next week I'm going to be talking with David Bailey, the director of Aerobahn. And he was actually on an episode, one of the Season of the Love have stronger than Fear podcast and we are going to circle back to him after the election and see what's going on in what he's thinking about. And we're going to talk about acting justly and loving mercy. So I hope you'll join us next week. Finally, as you go into your day to day, I hope you will carry with you. The peace that comes from believing that love is stronger than fear.

6 (1h 6m 36s):
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