In this episode, Dr. Greg Lee, Associate Professor of Theology and Urban Studies at Wheaton College, discusses Augustine and Mass Incarceration. Much of Dr. Lee’s work appropriates Augustine as a resource for addressing contemporary issues of church and society. A resident of the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, he is especially interested in urban questions of race and class, which he approaches from a distinctly Asian American perspective. WTS student and Wheaton grad Anna Erickson sat down with him.

This conversation comes as a follow-up to the event sponsored by Western Theological Seminary and Hope College‘s Saint Benedict Institute, “An Augustinian Theology of Mass Incarceration.” 

Rev. Dr. Joseph Small talks about church unity, denominations, and living as the Body of Christ:

“There’s something about the faith that impels us into relationship with each other. Now what happens, especially in American culture, is that denominations become institutionalized, become businesses that sell goods and services to their member congregations, become political institutions where significant issues of faith and morals are decided by voting. And of course, voting divides a question into two sides, as if any question that’s worth asking has only two sides… …the very method we have chosen to resolve disputes guarantees that the disputes will continue, because there are winners and losers of every single vote that’s ever taken.”

Today’s guest is Dr. Jana Bennett, Professor of Religion at the University of Dayton. Dr. Bennett is a moral theologian and author of Water is Thicker than Blood: An Augustinian Theology of Marriage and Singleness. Dr. Bennet was on campus for a colloquy hosted by the Girod Chair in Reformed Theology, during which she also participated on a panel discussing “A Theology of Singleness.” WTS student James Schetelich sat down to talk with her about her books and why marriage and singleness are important topics for the church.

When it comes to the work of racial justice, this year’s Stoutemire lecturer Dr. Leah Gunning Francis says two things the church needs are courage, and the will to listen.

“The dominant narrative in our world is ‘everyone has an equal chance of success.’ All you need to do is pull yourself up by the bootstraps and you can be successful just like XYZ person over here. Well we know that’s not true—the playing field is still not equal or level,” she says. “You now are going to have to take the time to listen to people’s experiences and perspectives that you might not be accustomed to listening to.”

Today’s guest is Dr. Amanda Drury, Director of Vision and Innovation at The Brain Kitchen in Marion, Indiana. Dr. Drury is also Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Indiana Wesleyan University where she writes and teaches about testimony, innovation, and youth ministry. Shari Oosting sat down with Amanda to find out how practice and theology meet through cooking, doing homework, and hanging out with kids at the Brain Kitchen.