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The Christian Civics Podcast

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Empowering Christians to think, speak and act differently in the public square.

Empowering Christians to think, speak and act differently in the public square.
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Empowering Christians to think, speak and act differently in the public square.






What's Good About Politics? (with Rev. Charles Drew)

Pastor Charles Drew shares where his concern for the church in the face of political polarization comes from, and why he thinks Christians shouldn't let fear of excess prevent them from learning to engage politics responsibly. We also share the first of several upcoming events, and how you can join us for that event even if you aren't in the DC area. A transcript and shownotes will be on the Christian Civics website on Monday, April 22, 2019.


Stories from the Shutdown: An Interview with a Pastor on Capitol Hill

How often does a quarter of a church get laid off simultaneously? We talk with Pastor Matthew Watson of Christ City Church in Washington, DC, about how the body of Christ reacts when a city's major industry grinds to a halt. For more information on Matt, his church and other upcoming events, visit us online at Shownotes for this episode will be available at noon on Friday, February 15.


Joshua Harris on Saying You're Wrong in Public

In politics, people usually double down when they're afraid they might be wrong. Joshua Harris, author of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," discusses withdrawing his most well-known book and shares what it was like to say he was wrong in a very public setting.


An Invitation, A Prayer and Assorted Housekeeping

An invitation to meet the Christian Civics team in Washington, DC, plus an exclusive prayer from our newsletter and information on how to support our mission this Christmas season.


Rethinking Incarceration (with pastor Dominique DuBois Gilliard)

Last week, the White House signaled support for bipartisan criminal justice reform, a stark departure from the Justice Department's position just a month earlier. The story of how that happened is a long and winding one, but the issue itself is central to how we understand the Christian faith. Pastor Dominique DuBois Gilliard, author of the provocative RETHINKING INCARCERATION, joins us to share a little bit about why this issue seems to frustrate so many people across the political spectrum...


Where Shaped Your Vote?

For the next few weeks, pundits are going to love discussing the voting patterns of suburban voters, urban voters, rural voters. But all of that analysis is going to be inherently limited unless it takes into account that those aren't just the places we vote—they also might be the reasons we vote the way we do. Author and theologian Craig Bartholomew and pastor William McGee help us get a fuller understanding of our relationships to our towns.


"Why Will The Poor Always Be With Us?" (Bonus Content from a Recent Conference)

If the only evidence of Christian growth in our lives is that it is changing the way we deal with politics, then we aren't actually experiencing Christian growth—we're impersonating it. This episode features exclusive content that didn't make it into Christian Civics Executive Director Rick Barry's recent presentation at the Gospel Coalition Mid-Atlantic Conference. The topic of his talk was "Radical Responsibility: Fostering a Culture of Mercy in a Representative Democracy." For more...


"Losing Power Is Painful" (an interview with Bill Henson)

This week, we welcome Bill Henson, Founder and President of Lead Them Home, to talk about what it feels like to lose to power, lose relevancy, yet still maintain your witness and your confidence. More information on Bill, on Lead Them Home, and a full transcript of the interview are available online at CONTENTS 00:00-09:15 Introduction, terms of conversation, power. 09:20-27:45 Interview 27:55-32:30 A foreign country 32:32-35:15 Prayer 35:17-37:46 Bonus episode, endnotes


Refuge and Asylum (with Pastor Chris Sicks)

A Virginia pastor shares the story of how his church engaged with a national questions in a personal way. The latest episode of the Christian Civics Podcast features pastor Chris Sicks of Alexandria Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA. Chris shares stories and insights from years of shepherding a congregation that accidentally incubated a robust community of refugees and asylum-seekers, and accidentally witnessed to their town and the world in the process. 00:00-01:07 Intro 01:07-04:35...


Practicing for Heaven (Dr. Curt Thompson, Part Three)

The third and final part of our conversation with Dr. Curt Thompson. In the first two parts of our conversation with Dr. Curt Thompson, we discussed why it is important to have "embodied encounters" with our civic systems and our political opponents, and what Good Friday can teach us about dealing with the challenges those encounters present. In this third part of our interview, Dr. Thompson gets into what Christian eschatology means for our attempts to deal with political diversity in the...


Good Friday, Families, Hospitality (Curt Thompson, Part 2)

We continue our conversation with Dr. Curt Thompson, exploring what Good Friday has to do with hard conversations about politics in the church, and why our reaction to our political opponents often has as much to do with our relationship to our families as it does to our parties.


Embodied Encounters (Dr. Curt Thompson, Part One)

The Christian Civics Podcast returns with an interview with psychiatrist and ministry leader Dr. Curt Thompson. In this episode, Dr. Thompson discusses why it's important for Christians to have face-to-face, real-life conversations with our political opponents, and how we can get better at those kinds of conversations by understanding how God has made our brains to work. Contents 00:00–03:59 Introduction 04:04–23:40 Interview 23:43–29:28 Assessing our desires, practicing, and sports....


Interrupting the Rhythms Of Our Lives

Chelsea Geyer, executive director of DC 127, stops by to talk about foster care and what it can teach us about demonstrating our faith in the public square. Then Center for Christian Civics executive director Rick Barry connects those ideas to the Advent season and leads us in prayer. 00:14 Introduction 06:03 Interview 25:34 Restoration is coming 27:18 It's okay to be weird 30:14 Letting yourself be inconvenienced 33:27 Prayer 36:07 Further reading


How do we endure? with guest Steve Park

This autumn has pummeled us with so much bad news that just thinking about what our responsibilities might be to the wider world has to feel intimidating and exhausting. This week, we welcome Steve Park, head of Little Lights Urban Ministries, to talk about how he's managed to stay active and motivated to do some very hard, dispiriting work for over twenty years. Then we will call specific attention to a few ideas that came up during the interview before we get led in prayer by Rev. Charles...


Q Commons Highlights: Living Locally; Responding to Injustice

If you couldn't join us for Q Commons in Washington, DC, last week, we want to share some of the highlights with you. This episode features two presentations recorded at last week's event, along with commentary and prayer from Center for Christian Civics executive director Rick Barry. Shownotes will be available at later this week.


Is Citizenship Biblical? Can It Be Christian?

We share excerpts from one of our workshops, translate those ideas into prayer, and let our DC-area friends know about a major upcoming event!


One First-Person Perspective on Charlottesville

It's been nearly a month since the so-called "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA, erupted into violence, culminating in a member of the demonstration driving into a crowd of protesters. A little over two weeks ago, we spoke with a pastor from Charlottesville who was on the scene to hear his account of what happened. EPISODE OUTLINE: Intro: Defining various terms. Interview: Rev. Seth Wispelwey of Congregate Charlottesville Follow-Up: Engaging with powers and prinicipalities...


Praying After Charlottesville

Violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Getting our bearings amidst the onslaught of breaking news and the flurry of punditry can be difficult. While we are not claiming to have the entire answer about how to think and feel about everything you hear or read this weekend, we do want to offer an invitation to begin by praying with us for what this event might mean for our country, our communities, and the people most personally affected.


Faith, Politics and Persecution, Part Two

We bring in two guests for a follow-up conversation after our interview with D; we briefly look at the difference between government and politics; and pastor Charles Drew leads us in prayer. Theme music is by Sonic Weapon Fence. Shownotes and links to related material can be found at The opinions expressed in this podcast by Ben O'Dell are his own and do not reflect the view of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the Department of Health and Human...


Faith, Politics and Persecution (Part One: Overseas)

In part one of a two-part episode, we bring you an interview with "D," a long-term missionary to Bosnia, a formerly socialist country whose political and governmental system is strikingly different from what we usually think of when we think of democracy. In our next episode, we'll start to draw connections between various parts of this interview and our own public discipleship in the US--please be sure to subscribe to get that second part as soon as it's released. Our theme music is by...