Bonus Episode: The Table with Michael Easley and Dr. Darrell Bock

Recently, Dr. E had a chance to sit with Dr. Darrell Bock to be a guest on his podcast, The Table, produced by Dallas Theological Seminary. We hope you enjoy this valuable conversation about the role of the church in our culture.

Our thanks to Dr. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary, and all at The Table Podcast for sharing this episode with us!

Full Transcript

Dr. Darrell Bock
Welcome to the table where we discuss issues of God and culture. I’m Darrell Bock, executive director for cultural engagement at the Hendricks Center at Dallas Theological Seminary. And my guest is just a good old friend.
Dr. Michael Easley
Old? Emphasis on old, yeah.
Dr. Darrell Bock
[Laughs] That’s right; that’s right. Well, you know, you’re just slightly behind me, I think, in age.
Dr. Michael Easley
I’m much younger than you.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, yeah, so – well, people get younger all the time.
Dr. Michael Easley
That’s right.
Dr. Darrell Bock
[Laughs]
Dr. Michael Easley
We’re not getting – what is it? – we’re getting older, not old.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right. So, anyway, Michael Easley who – you’ve done about everything you can do in ministry.
Dr. Michael Easley
Yeah, I can’t land.
Dr. Darrell Bock
You’ve been a pastor.
Dr. Michael Easley
Yes.
Dr. Darrell Bock
You’ve help run a school.
Dr. Michael Easley
Yes.
Dr. Darrell Bock
You’ve been a pastor again.
Dr. Michael Easley
Yes.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And now you’re doing podcasts.
Dr. Michael Easley
You know, when I was at the Moody Bible Institute, they were kind enough to give me a couple of radio programs, and it’s, as you know, such a great platform to talk and interact with folks. And so, we started the podcast Michael Easley in Context after I left Moody, and it’s one of these – the term “organic” – it just keeps growing and growing and growing on iTunes and SoundCloud and different mediums, and it’s just a combination of interviews like you do.
Our byline is “taking the life as a Christian in the context.” So, how do you do this in the context of your life? And then my shtick, of course, is understanding God’s Word and applying it in the context of your life. So, in context of the text, in context in your life, so forth and so on. So, we have a lot of fun doing the podcasts.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Well, we do the same thing. One of the things that we talk about is trying to train leaders to have Biblical agility in shifting times. And so, it’s –
Dr. Michael Easley
Yes, that’s more succinct.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah. [Laughs]
Dr. Michael Easley
You’re better at that.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
I’ll give you – you get one.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And the image is, you know, read and react. And I tell people it’s like the football player spends all week saying, “All right, here’s the pulling guard play, and here’s where the hole is supposed to be.” But then he gets the ball in the game, and he’s gotta read his linemen and the defense to figure out where that hole is gonna be.
Dr. Michael Easley
Right.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And sometimes it’s not in the same place that it was designed to be, and so you gotta be able to react with agility in order to know what’s going on.
Dr. Michael Easley
You see this young African-American kid up in Washington State, high school kid who’s blind?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Huh, no.
Dr. Michael Easley
Who’s killing it? It’s killing it.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Huh, huh.
Dr. Michael Easley
And he says he knows where the hole is based on his team.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Huh, interesting. Yeah, that’s good.
Dr. Michael Easley
Yeah.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Oh, okay. Well, I hope we’re not doing what we do blind, but anyway –
Dr. Michael Easley
Well, we have people helping you.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Exactly right, yeah. Michael and I, we go way back. We were in church together when I was teaching, and he was a student and we’ve just kept up. And so, our topic today is “What’s Going On in the Church?”
But first, before we do that, let’s talk a little bit more about In Context. How long have you been doing it?

Dr. Michael Easley
Well, the reboot of the podcast now has been about five years. In fact, my executive producer asked me, “Please, please, please tell them to go look at michaelincontext.com. We’ve got a new feature called Ask Dr. E.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay, all right.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, we’ve already got a host of questions coming in from all over the map on anything you wanted to ask Dr. E. about. And so, if folks want to – later on want to phone in and leave a phone message, we’ll try to get to all the questions.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Oh, wow. So, you’re gonna build some of the podcasts around those questions in particular?
Dr. Michael Easley
Correct, correct. So, now that we’ve planted a church some time ago, and I’m teaching more regularly week to week, the podcast will be as much Bible teaching, but we’re incorporating more and more of these interviews/interactions. And, of course, what you learn as well with the podcast is involvement of people saying, “Well, what does Darrell think? What does Dr. Bock think about that?”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, which I try not to tell them. [Laughs]
Dr. Michael Easley
Well, yeah, I’m more than happy to.
Dr. Darrell Bock
[Laughs] Yeah, I want them to think through how to think through it, but I don’t want to tell ’em what to do. So, anyway –
Dr. Michael Easley
Well, that’s where we’re different.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
Depressed? Don’t be.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Exactly right, yeah. So, okay. So, our topic is kinda the state of the church. Let’s talk a little bit about what you’re hearing, I mean ’cause you – you’re like me; you’ve got your ear to the ground; you’re listening to what’s going on. How would you describe the state of the church in light of – there’s no doubt that we’re living in very challenging times. So, how do you see the state of the church?
Dr. Michael Easley
Let’s go back to asking about Christianity in America, big umbrella.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, how do we start there?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay.
Dr. Michael Easley
And you and I can look at churches in Texas. We were in Northern Virginia, D.C. for 12 years, Chicago for 4, middle Tennessee for 10 and counting. And I would say each one has a little different aspect and affect. My sense is – I call it “horizontal Christianity” – that evangelicalism, besides the terminology being gummed up and discussed today – “emerging” and “emergent,” “purpose driven,” “seeker sensitive,” so forth – beside evangelical being sort of a tar baby right now, I think one of the challenges is it’s an I/me/my church, “What do I get out of it?”
“My” is about my songs, my worship style. I/me/my – my children, my marriage – those things are important, but I think we’ve made a significant shift, Darrell from a vertical relationship to, “I’m to serve Christ and, with His people, serve people,” to “I/me/my.”

And just from a pastoral hack side of things, what I’ve watched is far more self-orientation – not wholesale, but that’s one of my big concerns is that the church has lost its footing a little bit, need-driven programs, need-driven ministries which can have a place. But if we’re off target about honoring Christ, Christ and His Word, explain the Scripture, making disciples, helping people – truly, not joking – learn to think critically, then we’re off scale.

Dr. Darrell Bock
So, put – you’re talking about kind of the dynamics within the church. Let me wrap some cellophane around that and say how much of that do you think is the fact that we have gone through – now, this is especially true of our generation – we have gone through mammoth changes in the larger culture in our lifetime.
I mean I tell – the way I like to illustrate this is I have two examples. One is the Telstar satellite, which is going way back. M-kay? I like you, by the way, when you illustrate, ’cause you go back to illustrations I get. Okay? They come back from my time.

Dr. Michael Easley
They do.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right exactly.
Dr. Michael Easley
Four track – four track.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Exactly right, vinyl records. I mean that was good. Anyway, so, and the pill. So, just think about those two things. One changed the way in which – the amount of information we get, how often we get it, where we get it from, et cetera. I like to say that the world is both bigger and smaller simultaneously. And the second is the pill changed the consequences of sexual engagement and the options that people had.
And so, I wonder if some of the – even the crying for need, et cetera, isn’t a product, at least in part, of the disorientation that life has introduced into people’s lives.

Dr. Michael Easley
And perhaps the lack of those of us behind a pulpit to know how to move with that.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Exactly.
Dr. Michael Easley
One of our well-loved professors – prof said, “You’re not making the Bible relevant; it is relevant.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right.
Dr. Michael Easley
The challenge, however, is we’ve got a group that is disconnected from the idea of truth and the way you and I learned it and the way we taught it. So, I agree with you that these mores have changed. I disagree with the trend of my peer, many who are jettisoning the Bible, “You don’t really need to go to seminary; you don’t need to exposit Scripture.”
I’m going, “Well, if we leave the truth behind” –

Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, where are we?
Dr. Michael Easley
And it’s – that’s the horizontal Christianity.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, I agree with you in that sense. And where the church perhaps has failed is not keeping its ear to the culture and the old – you know, how do you know a dollar bill? Do you study counterfeits, or do you study the real deal?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right.
Dr. Michael Easley
I’m the guy that says, “Study the real deal, and you can spot the counterfeit.” We’re spending time like businesses, studying the counterfeit. We’re studying the competitor. We’re seeing what’s working down the street. And I still think contextually, if you’re making disciples first, the church will take care of itself.
And where the relational capital’s changed is the way we made disciples. You and I sat under a mentor who taught. Now we must sit at a table and have a dialogue, because that – the mindset today seems to worship dialogue not truth. So, the goal for you and me, as an educator, is to help them dialogue to the truth in an open way, not subterfuge. But to be able to say, “Guys, you can’t just go on your experience; you can’t just go on your feeling. Feelings are valid for as long as you feel that way.”

Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm, fair enough, although let me throw in again a little bit of a wrench.
Dr. Michael Easley
I would be bored if you wouldn’t.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay. And that would be this, that – and here’s what I – part of what I think we’re going through. Traditionally, the church, because it’s been committed to Scripture, and also because it has emerged out of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy, you know, in which standing up for Scripture was obviously very important and a lodestone, and appropriately so, for the Christian movement.
What we’ve tended to do is we’ve analyzed, “Well, here’s what the Scripture says, and here’s where the culture is, and the two things often collide.” The problem is is that life, in a fallen world, is actually pretty messy, so that sometimes what you get are biblical values that also come into tension with each other. “How do I balance these things, because I live in an imperfect world, and I don’t walk into an ideal space?”

And so, I might know how to analyze what the ideas of Scripture are and how that weighs against the failures of the culture. But I still have the problem on the other end of, “How do I relate to someone who’s in that space well, in the midst of trying to get them to either react or respond biblically?”

And so, we’ve – we’ve gone with our ideas as our lead card, which is important. Ideas are a key part of the deal, but you’ve also got to think through relationally how you engage the person so you don’t just shove them away but they actually come to sense, “You’re challenging me because you want my best interests at heart.”

Dr. Michael Easley
Obviously a couple of things. One of my monikers is “we’re broken creatures in a broken context.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
And so, as broken people in a broken world, we all come to that level ground. I guess the differential that maybe you and I are going after is I’m not as concerned about engaging a culture; I’m not trying to engage X. There’s a lot of discussion, “We need to engage this social segment, or this people group, or this sexual identity.”
And my mind says, Darrell, “You gotta serve influence, and there’s some people you have just the communication of life, your travel, your neighbors. Why can’t you just be good human friends to those people and see how God will open those relationships to have and afford that conversation.” And it’s true in the church as well as it is in our communities.

Cindy and I just moved to a new community some time ago. And it’s striking; nobody’s trying to prove anything, ’cause we’re all new. “I have been here for 30 years.”

Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
That thing. And they’re very open to what each other – we’re involved with. And some have children; some don’t. Some have lots of money; some don’t. And it’s more we’re part of a new neighborhood, and let’s have a barbecue, and let’s come over and sit on the back porch and in the winter put a fire in the fireplace.
And I think that just simple, basic community of meeting people where they are – forget about engaging them and understanding their worldview. They got marriages that have broken their hearts, kids that have broken their hearts. They’ve got cancer, they’ve got a tough job situation, upside down financially, that’s the human condition.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
And I don’t think we have to – I don’t overwork it. I’m not as smart as you, Darrell. I don’t have to overwork to the point where I – am I engaging them or not? But when we have that conversation where the fulcrum comes down, my point is not to beat ’em over the head, but say, “You know, I have a view of this book that God spoke, and it’s reliable. And maybe it’s complicated, and maybe there’s an antinomy or a tension there; I’m not afraid to admit that or acknowledge it. There’s a lot more we could talk about that’s pretty simple to understand.”
And I think loving them and being friendly to them and being kind to them, if they brustle back because they find out I’m a Christian or a pastor, I can’t do a lot about that. I really can’t. I mean I’m not an in-your-face kinda guy with the guy in the street. I might be – you and me, we’ll be in our face ’cause we’re on the same – we’re on the same thing.

Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right, right.
Dr. Michael Easley
And that’s part of friendship, too, is can we argue and disagree?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right.
Dr. Michael Easley
Most people, I think, are willing to learn. Some of the Christians maybe have gotten a little, you know, stovepiped in their view. But I just think we make it harder than it has to be.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Interesting. ‘Cause I mean I’m tracking with you all the way. I mean –
Dr. Michael Easley
Until –
Dr. Darrell Bock
Well, no, the point here is is that you’re right, all relationships – I mean, in one sense, all politics is local. You know? And so – and all engagement, in a very real sense, is local. The hard part, I think, in thinking about what the church is is that the church is both a local and a corporate institution. It isn’t just strictly local.
And the credibility of the church and how they care about people, and how they engage with people and all that is wrapped up in the way in which the church functions both as an internal community and the types of things that it’s concerned with.

Dr. Michael Easley
So, as a pastor for almost 40 years on and off now, when you come to me with your program, and I don’t say, “Aw, that’s the best thing since buttered toast, man.”
You know, I say, “Well, that’s great, but we’re doing 112 ministries.”

Dr. Darrell Bock
Yes.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, I push back as a pastor a little bit saying, “The church can’t be this – the church isn’t doing this; the church isn’t doing that; the church should; the church shouldn’t.” And as a defender of His Church, I want to say, “You’ve got a number of resources. You’ve got good and godly people, hopefully, on staff and in leadership; good and godly volunteers serving in different ways. The church can’t do everything.”
For example, we had a church in D.C. that was enormous, 112 ministries. To add one more ministry to that table, you’re talking infrastructure, the money, resources, offices, staffing – the right staffing.” You’ve hired and fired people, getting the right people to serve the Lord.

Dr. Darrell Bock
No, you’re right.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, that’s why I said earlier, the business model has taken over the church in many ways. We use the term “start-up,” “launch,” “Silicon Valley,” “reproducible,” all these things. This is Silicon Valley.
So, I’m going back to what did Jesus say? “Make disciples of all ethnos, and I will build My Church.”

Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah. And I think my response to that would be, “Yes, and I get that, and that’s a local body community that you’re working with. And yet what you have are people in the church who are lawyers and doctors and politicians, et cetera. They work in those spaces and places. In fact, they’re in those spaces and places more time in their lives than they are in you’re building.
Dr. Michael Easley
No question.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And so, then the question becomes, “How do I equip them to be the best representatives of Christ where God has them in those spaces and places?”
Which means they are walking into these spheres and facing these kinds of questions and having to think through, “How do I best represent Christ in this particular challenge that my job is offering me,” and that kind of thing?

Dr. Michael Easley
And that’s the most fun part of ministry.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Exactly right.
Dr. Michael Easley
Because when we lived in D.C., the names I won’t use, but men and women who were in office, elected-appointed officials, judges, attorneys, people that work with campaigns in D.C., you had about a 33 percent turnover every 18 months, ’cause administration was changed, military promotions and retirements.
And when you get to know these people, obviously one person, you can probably handle about 10 or 12 relationships outside of your really tight-knit group.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Right, right.
Dr. Michael Easley
My thesis, okay?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, I’ve got friends in high places. I want to go see where they work. I want to go have lunch in their building.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Exactly.
Dr. Michael Easley
They’re happy to have me down there.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right.
Dr. Michael Easley
I go down there and see the Pentagon, or the Russell Building, or the Cannon Building, or some other thing in the government system. Or in Tennessee where people work, come see your office. I want to just meet your people. And then we go to lunch or coffee, and that, if it’s used contextually, “How do I live as a believer in this?”
And I go, “Man, let’s talk about that.” I don’t have the answer, but I have the relational capital as a friend and a co-follower of Christ to hopefully disciple him or her.

Dr. Darrell Bock
And you have the text of the Scripture to help show what the principles are –
Dr. Michael Easley
Which they don’t –
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s exactly – which – depending – well, again, depending on how much experience they have with the church, they may or may not have it. But the question is, “How does the church prepare people for that level of” – that’s what I consider to be engagement. In other words, I don’t see engagement to be ideology and causes if I can say it that way.
Dr. Michael Easley
Okay, then that’s typically what I hear.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay, and that’s –
Dr. Michael Easley
When you engage X culture –
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right; that’s right.
Dr. Michael Easley
I’m going, “No, we don’t.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
No. We need to help people function –
Dr. Darrell Bock
Well, and corporate entities, because some of these people run entities.
Dr. Michael Easley
Right, but you’re not going in – a friend of mine who owns a very large business, and he and I have very candid conversations about his challenges internally in hiring and firing and money and so forth. I’m not going to go share that with his staff.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right.
Dr. Michael Easley
But he’s asking me as a pastor and a friend and a brother in Christ. And, you know, a lot of times you know what the answer is?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Hmm?
Dr. Michael Easley
“Man, that’s really hard.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right.
Dr. Michael Easley
“I don’t know what to tell you, friend. I’m gonna pray with you.” And you know what? That’s all he needed to hear.
Dr. Darrell Bock
[Laughs]
Dr. Michael Easley
Right? Sometimes.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Well, sometimes, although other times it might be he’s concerned – I’ve met lots of Christian people who are in this situation. They’re running a company or whatever, and they say, “How do I have – how do I create – help to create the right kind of business culture?”
Dr. Darrell Bock
“How do I help people flourish in the job that they’re in? How do I help the person, who doesn’t know what Christ is all about, appreciate the work that they’re doing, what we’re doing, how their service works in such a way that they look at me, at some point, and they might ask, ‘Where does that come from’?”
Dr. Michael Easley
So, my first job out of college was with a government thing called Deep East Texas Council of Government, DETCOG.
Dr. Darrell Bock
[Laughs]
Dr. Michael Easley
DETCOG, acronyms in the government.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, DETCOG.
Dr. Michael Easley
And that was the Regional Alcoholism Services Director, RASD. There were 24 COGs in the state of Texas, DETCOG was one. And as an RASD, I oversaw the money that came from the federal government to help alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers. That crossed halfway houses and all kinds of things.
I had to go around the circuitous route, 13 counties, and see how your tax dollars were helping those counties as a college grad. Ah.

Dr. Darrell Bock
[Laughs]
Dr. Michael Easley
And, of course, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. But I would go and hear these people’s stories. And, you know, I wasn’t very smart, Darrell. I had a big Bible in my office by my coffee cup. I was the first one at work every morning and made the coffee. That was like having a revolver on the table today. In that day it wasn’t.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
In that day. And do you know how many people would come to my office at some point in time and sit down and close the door and say, “Can I ask you a question?”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
And that’s where I think we make Christianity too hard. And so, when we talk about this – I tell people all the time, “You got a sandbox in your office. You have a job, and you get to represent Christ, and nobody can tell you otherwise in your sandbox. You report to someone or some team, but you do your job to the best of your ability. You need help from time to time, you ask people to come alongside you. You have a problem, you complain up, not horizontally. All of these things that we know about how offices should conduct themselves. And just simple things like that, communicating clearly, processing your feelings.”
So, again, I think I can – well, me – I think the Christian can go in and help another businessman or woman in their world. Say, “Do the best job in your sandbox you can for God’s honor and see how He’ll use that.”

Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
And you’ve had this experience, strangers come to you –
Dr. Darrell Bock
Sure.
Dr. Michael Easley
– and say –
Dr. Darrell Bock
The story I like to tell about my first job is I was – I worked in a mailroom at The Galleria in Houston. Okay? So, you know where I’m talking about.
Dr. Michael Easley
I know it.
Dr. Darrell Bock
It’s The Galleria Bank. Okay? That’s where I worked. And that was back in – now again, this is gonna be an illustration that Millennials aren’t gonna get, okay? I worked in an office where most of the people, their job was to file the checks in filing cabinets each month, because each month they mailed those checks back to the person, et cetera.
Dr. Michael Easley
[Whistles]
Dr. Darrell Bock
A mindless job.
Dr. Michael Easley
A mindless job.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay? All right. Absolutely a mind – and we’re down there all day, and we’re in a basement. There are no windows. Okay? So – I mean the more I describe this, the worse it gets. All right?
Dr. Michael Easley
Like seeing an elf –
Dr. Darrell Bock
Exactly.
Dr. Michael Easley
– in the mail room.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And our mail machine was located right off the edge where all these people were working, right over here. And we’re trapped from 9:00 to 5:00 doing this work. Okay? I get to go up and help deliver the mail for a guy who had been there for years, et cetera.
But one day, it dawned on me there was this bulletin board, and on the bulletin board, I decided to put what I called “the verse of the day.” So, I wrote up a verse of the day, but this is how I did it. The first one was, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” And then it was one question, “Does anyone know where this comes from?”

Dr. Michael Easley
How old are you?
Dr. Darrell Bock
I think I’m 18 at the time.
Dr. Michael Easley
Okay, wow.
Dr. Darrell Bock
I’ve just come to the Lord literally.
Dr. Michael Easley
Wow.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay?
Dr. Michael Easley
Gutsy.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay? I’ve just come to the Lord, and underneath it I put a saying on the tower at the University of Texas at Austin. Okay? And then underneath it I put, “Does anyone know where this comes from and what it’s talking about?” Okay? And I leave it there. M-kay?
So, what does it do? It engenders all kinds of guesses. “Well, it’s gotta be about this,” or all kind of – and I’m just enjoying the conversation. Okay? So, I did this for a while, and mostly Proverbs and Psalms is what I would put up there.

And then finally, one day, I decided, “Well, I want to see if this is really working. So, I’m not gonna put up the verse of the day and see if anyone notices. Okay? So, one day came along, and I didn’t put it up there. About 9
30, not too far into the day, “Hey, Darrell, where’s the verse of the day?”
I said, “I was just seeing if it made any difference.”

Dr. Darrell Bock
You know? And, of course, what that did was open up a whole layer of conversation at work that, generally speaking, didn’t take place and caused people pause, and it also communicated a respect for the Scripture.
‘Cause here’s something I deeply believe
I think that the church is oftentimes communicated in a way that says, “It’s true because it’s in the Bible.” Okay? ‘Cause we think the Bible’s inspired; God’s speaking of course. But to someone for whom the Bible doesn’t matter, the way to think about this, “It’s in the Bible because it’s true.” Now, that’s not the same – that’s not the same kind of argument, but it is important in trying to reach people with the content of what Scripture is.
You know, the idea is, “Well, the reason God inspired this is ’cause He wants to tell us something that works.” You know? And so, thinking through it that – so, I’m wrestling with all these relational features that you’re talking about, but thinking about, “How do I do this for people who have – whose perception of what Christianity is has been absorbed by the culture?” And I like to tell people, “Well, if that’s where their impression of Christianity is, we’re probably talking past each other.”

Dr. Michael Easley
We’re in trouble.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right. And so, how do we deal with that? So, it seems to me that giving people, if I can say it, skill in that area – when I think of culture engagement, that’s the skill that I’m talking about. How can I walk into the spaces and places where I function, not just individually, but even corporately in the context of the work that I do or whatever, and ask the question, “What is the best way to be a God-honoring human here? And for the unbeliever, what is the best way to show what life is about here so that the gospel might be attractive?”
Dr. Michael Easley
You know, and I wouldn’t disagree.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
When I hear you say “culture,” I think of these broad stroke segments of engaging this culture and that culture. The terminology I’m using is just, I guess, a synonym to say relational context because it’s not the group necessarily. I’ve got to encourage and help that man or woman in his or her sphere.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
I have a friend that owns a very large set of businesses in D.C. And he’s been very generous to churches, to ministries that we know, and his Christian life is good, but I would not say, “Man, this guy’s really killing it in the marketplace as a believer.”
So, part of my friendship with him over the years has been encouraging him to live out his Christianity. And over the years, he’s offered help for kids to go to private schools. He’s set up funds in his company for, like, if a baby was born with some medical problems or whatever.

And little by little, he’s got his camel’s nose in the tent to say, “I can be a Christian, after all, I own this company. I employ all these people; I pay them all their salaries.” I don’t know that he put a verse on his office door, but they know that he’s a believer.

The part of it that’s helping him mature – I asked him one time, I said, “Why don’t you have a Bible study for all your top-tier people?” And he was very nervous about that idea.

And he said, “Well, I don’t know if I could teach it.”

I said, “Well, that’s fair enough. What if we got somebody to help you?”

And the more he thought about it, he said, “Well, if I do that, and then people come for the wrong reasons” – so, now we’re into the ethics of how you run a business as a believer.

So, to your point, then, I think there are lots of ways – and I don’t put the church as this amoeba that has to do all this. I put this back on guys like you and me and other men and women who know the Bible to be able to say, “This is exciting to see how God would use you in your sphere of influence. You don’t have to be afraid; you don’t have to cower; you don’t have to worry about being politically correct. You can say, ‘I’m sorry.’ And if you’re kind and loving and smile at the future, you’re probably gonna have a pretty good opportunity to encourage those people toward Christ.”

Dr. Darrell Bock
So, the issues of – to me, the issues of church leadership is about equipping people.
Dr. Michael Easley
Yes.
Dr. Darrell Bock
It could be people for ministry. And so, if you do that, you’re going to – they’re going to be interacting in these spheres. A pastor who pursues this will end up learning a lot about where his parishioners are.
Dr. Michael Easley
Oh, my word.
Dr. Darrell Bock
You know?
Dr. Michael Easley
When I started out with my first pastor job, Selectric typewriter, that was the computer of the day.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right, exactly.
Dr. Michael Easley
I had a 8.5 by 11 thumb tacked out of graph paper on my wall. I drew a little hand bell curve. I put “young disenfranchised teenager that won’t go to youth group,” “widow/widower.” And over weeks and months, I filled it in; I put adjectives that described them – lonely, hurt, worn out with a mom with three children, empty nesters feeling lonely and excited. And I had this thing – I wish I still had the document. It was over months, because when Michael was typing a sermon with real books and my Greek text and my Bible out –
Dr. Darrell Bock
You can thank us for that. [Laughs]
Dr. Michael Easley
But I was not preaching to, in this category, a 61-year-old man with four grown children, three of whom are adopted, with two grandchildren, and a partridge in a pear tree. I was looking at – these are the people that God has sitting in that room. And the other thing I tell you in pastors is now preach to the people you want.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Michael Easley
Not just identify who’s coming, but who do you want them to be?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, it sounds kind of strange, Darrell, but it’s probably true for you as well, because I use medical terminology, because I’ve been through four back surgeries, and I tend to know a little bit more about medicine than I should – I’m dangerous – I have a lot of medical professional friends. Guess where they come to church?
You run with attorneys, you talk to attorneys, you have interest in politics, interest in sports; those spheres of influence are so easy. And if you’re – the term used “cultural engagement” – to me, I’m engaging a culture of people that have an interest in medicine, in sports, in computers and technology. And I’m like you; I want to go see where they work, because when I come back to the books, I can see that guy in his office, at his university, or his medical center, and I know, “That’s where he’s 40-50 hours a week.”

Dr. Darrell Bock
And if I hear the two or three things that he’s really wrestling with, I’m in a much better position to speak to his life.
Dr. Michael Easley
And I mention in the sermon, “I was talking to a friend this week, and he shared with me that he doubts about his salvation. This is a true story.” And I said to the congregation, “You know, I remember years doubting if I was saved or not. How many of you have doubted with whether or not you were saved?” They raise their hands.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yep, yeah, yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
And all of a sudden, that guy feels like –
Dr. Darrell Bock
“I’m not alone.”
Dr. Michael Easley
“I’m not alone; it’s normal. You know what? It’s okay to doubt. Now, what did Jesus say about doubting?” You know? Take me there. That to me isn’t – why do they make it hard? Why does a church have to make a program? When they can just relationally, through God’s Word, God’s Spirit, God’s people engage them.
Dr. Darrell Bock
But notice the other element that’s in that which is you’ve made an effort to get – what I call this is getting a spiritual GPS on your audience. You know? You’re figuring out what drives them. You’re figuring out where their concerns are, where their tensions are, what they’re wrestling with. You get to know them. That’s really what you’re doing; you’re getting to know them.
And then it’s having enough background or, if you don’t have the background, knowing where to go to help get it, to be able to help speak into that. And even at points, as you’re right, sometimes you’ll end up and say, “Man, that’s a good question. I don’t know what the answer to that is.” But it probably wouldn’t hurt us to stop and think through and wrestle with, “What are our options here? You know? And what will best represent what Christ is, et cetera?”

To me, that’s part of what engagement is about. And when you communicate – when you communicate to people that you care, and even if they’re in the midst of making a bad decision, if you communicate in the midst of them you care, and they get that, they will care more about your challenge to them about the way to live.

Dr. Michael Easley
Oh, absolutely.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, for a number of years I taught a young adults ministry, and it was 60 percent women, 40 percent men. The women – this is seven or eight years ago now or longer – the women were doing master’s degrees, Ph.D.s, M.D.s, physical therapy. The guys were playing video games and sort of like living as post-college, college flop-outs – drop-outs, sorry.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay. [Laughs]
Dr. Michael Easley
And it’s part of delayed adolescence.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Delayed adolescence, yeah, yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
And part of it’s just social awkwardness. So, I would teach, and after I would teach, I would hang around till 10:00 at night. And you know who’s standing there talking to me? These young women.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, I’ve got three daughters, Cindy and I, almost 39 years of marriage. You know, we’re thick as thieves. She knows about this. My oldest daughter’s very involved with me in all of this. And Hanna says to me – my daughter, she says, “Dad, you’ve got, like, 40 daughters; you know that?”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
And so, they’re coming to me because I’m the safe old guy. Now, in this cultural context, and Me Too, and you can’t touch anybody, I can’t – so, these young women would come to me, and door open, all that type of thing, my secretary and assistant down the hall. I don’t counsel women. I’ll see ’em once, but in this evening session, we’re talking for hours. And so, it was like 7:00 to 8:00, and they would stay till 10:00.
So, I’m sitting there with a couple of staff, and wholesome conversations, and these young women asking me questions, looking for that father to love ’em and encourage ’em. This is how weird it got.

So, some of them came to work for us at the church. One woman was 30-something years old; she was a schoolteacher. She taught a couple of years, hated it. [Laughs] Hated teaching.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Well, it’s demanding.
Dr. Michael Easley
Wasn’t her calling.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Horribly demanding.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, she comes to work for us. And she would come in once in a while, and she’d obviously done her hair. Now, you have daughters.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Uh-huh.
Dr. Michael Easley
You know what this involves.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
Doing their hair. Okay? She put makeup on. And I would tease her, “Do you have an interview today?” And she’d laugh. And this is literally what I would say to her, Darrell, I would say, “You know I’m like your father. I am a man. If I compliment your hair and say you look nice today, is that sexist?”
And they would say, “Of course not, Dr. E.” And they would want to hug me. Now, we’re in the wholesome nature of Christianity; to a young man, to a young woman we encourage them. But what happened? I listened to their story.

I wasn’t afraid to talk to ’em, and it was always the same thing. It was heartbreaks. It was stupid boyfriends. It was, you know, whatever. Their friends were getting married, on and on and on. Some of them had been hurt when they were young, and you’re just trying to love ’em as Christ loves ’em. I just think the sphere of influence that people have, we underestimate how easy it is just to be open and kind and say, “Man, I’m sorry.”

Dr. Darrell Bock
Yep, which is why the fruit of the Spirit is primarily relational. You know, I mean, what we are – what we’re talking about is however we may view where the church is conceptually, et cetera, what the church really needs is a good heavy dose of biblical, relational engagement.
And sometimes that means – well, one of my favorite passages is being – you may not know it from the podcast – “being slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen.” You know?

Dr. Michael Easley
Slow to anger?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Sorry, didn’t mean to – didn’t mean to step on your toes and say – yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
Only certain people make me really [laughter covers speaker]. Slow to anger with most people.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Well, then I won’t go to “love your enemies,” okay?
Dr. Darrell Bock
But seriously, what we’re – my – if someone were to ask me why I think the church is hurting, in part its credibility. I mean the church will always hurt with its credibility with the world. Jesus spent the entire second half of His ministry telling His disciples, “You follow Me, the world’s gonna push back.” But sometimes we help ourselves in this regard.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah. And if you ask what enables us – what can push in the opposite direction, it’s that the other person would have a sense that we’re at least making an effort when Jesus says, “Love your enemies and pray for them,” et cetera, that there’s some sense of communicating to someone different than me, “The reason sometimes I challenge you is ’cause I actually do care about you.” You know?
Dr. Michael Easley
Yeah.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And when we remove that element, that personal relational element, and we just simply take a stand, people can sniff that out. Millennials are really good at sniffing that out.
Dr. Michael Easley
They’re very smart.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah. And that damages our credibility in terms of our core message which is, “God is loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. You know, He cared enough to step down, when we were all rebellious, without exception” –
Dr. Michael Easley
Were you Crusade background?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, Young Life.
Dr. Michael Easley
Okay.
Dr. Darrell Bock
You know?
Dr. Michael Easley
That explains a lot.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, yeah. Well, it’s more than you realize. And so – but I’ll talk to my therapist about that later.
Dr. Michael Easley
Oh, you should.
Dr. Darrell Bock
[Laughs] And so, that’s kind of where we find ourselves. And I find that our tone sometimes is problematic, not because we shouldn’t be confronting, and not because we shouldn’t have convictions, but the way you do your confronting is as important as your confronting.
Dr. Michael Easley
Agreed. And one thing Cindy and I have talked about in recent months, and we all go through conflict and challenges, and there was something that happened to us in recent months, and this person was very unhappy with me, and they posted it on social media, which is always a helpful way to express your emotions.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s exactly right.
Dr. Michael Easley
And so – and I’ve made my share of social media stick in the eyes. I think I’ve gotten better. But I wrote a very kind, neutral response. And I said, “I’m really sorry this happened.”
And they responded back with a, “Well, you need to do better.” Like a paragraph. You know? They were still mad.

Dr. Darrell Bock
How to fix your life.
Dr. Michael Easley
And, of course, my wife and daughter were talking to me about, “You should do this, and you should do that.”
And I said, “You know, I don’t know her. She’s hurt. Her story is unknown to us. To say the right answer is not going to change” – I learned this years ago, you can’t fact away someone’s feeling. And hopefully, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a little more gentle toward people that are mad at me, or angry at something, or angry at the church.

I say, “Wait a minute, they’re probably hurt. Somebody bit ’em; they were abused; some church took advantage of them; they were in a harsh, legalistic background – who knows? – fill in the blank. But just to see them as a wounded co-struggler as opposed to a person who’s wrong – in this case they were; they were wrong and unkind in the post. But I can’t get into a – well, you can; you can get into a jousting match on social media; it doesn’t work.

Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right; it doesn’t do you a bit of good.
Dr. Michael Easley
It doesn’t prove anyone right; it just makes a bunch of people mad.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right. So, the way – the way we relate to one another and the way we relate particularly in the context of conflict, which, of course, is inevitable in the world that we live in is an important lesson that people have to learn. And it’s a hard lesson, and yet it’s probably – we just went through Luke 6 in my Gospel of Luke class.
And the point that I made is is that the point that Jesus is making in the section where He says, “Love your enemies,” is is what will mark out the church as being distinctive will be a different kind of love. And if we don’t show that, we’re no different than anybody else. And if the church – I think this is the lesson of liberalism – if the church is no different than the psychologist down the street, then why do I go to church?

And so, there’s this core relational thing that the Spirit of God is trying to implant within us – that’s why we get it; that’s why the fruit of the Spirit is so relational – that is important to the DNA of any church community it seems to me.

Dr. Michael Easley
I refer to it, probably not super accurately, as Paul’s great commission in Colossians 1:28 and 29, “For we proclaim Him, admonishing every man, and teaching every man with all wisdom so that-purpose clause-we may present every man complete in Christ” – and then I love this – “for this purpose we also labor, striving” – agónizomai –
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Michael Easley
– agónizomai – “according to His power which works mightily within me.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Exactly.
Dr. Michael Easley
And to me that’s – that to me is the church. And I’ve been accused of being too Pauline in my view of church. Go figure that. But the proclamation of admonishment – and that goes back to we both know Rosaria Butterfield –
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right, right.
Dr. Michael Easley
– a good friend.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right.
Dr. Michael Easley
Rosaria, who’s come out of the LGBTQ discussion and is married and has children today and does a lot of good work, trying to help people –
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yep, we’ve had her on podcast.
Dr. Michael Easley
– and Rosaria says, “If you don’t call out a sinner to repent, you don’t love them.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
Now, Rosaria can stand there and say that in a way that you nor I can.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
But I can still be friends with a person who’s LGBTQ and not be mad at them or screaming at them. But when they’re screaming at the believer, and they’re mad at the believer, then our poise – yes, we’re to love, but help me, Dr. Bock, where, when something encroaches what we know is sinful and wrong behavior that is being sanctioned as okay, are you loving if you just say, “I want to understand how you feel?”
Dr. Darrell Bock
No, it’s gotta be more than that. It’s absolutely gotta be more than that. But it – you know, without getting to know the person and where they are coming from and how, perhaps, where those desires have come – I mean anything that I can do that can help me in those areas can also help me wrestle with how do I best communicate to this someone so that the care that I have for them comes alongside the challenge.
I like to say that the challenge of any engagement is always a tension with regard to anything having to do with the gospel and God’s truth is the tension between the challenge of what the gospel says about all our lives. ‘Cause God is constantly challenging all of us to be more and to be better. I mean, you know, even the Thessalonians are doing well. I want you to love even better.

And the hope that’s built into the gospel – ’cause at the end, you know, when Peter, in that great passage in 1 Peter 3, where it says, “Be prepared to give a defense for the hope that is in…” He has all kinds of words he could choose to summarize what the faith is about, and he chooses the word “hope.” I’m defending a hope. There is something very – there’s something very good newsy about the gospel. There’s something good about the gospel. So, how do I do that in such a way so that a person doesn’t just hear the critique, but they see that what’s being extended to them is an invitation? The 2 Corinthians 5 language says, “We beg you, be reconciled to God and Christ.”

And the tone of that is interesting. See, God’s pay grade is to deal with the heart and fix the person in terms of response; that’s not my deal. So, the pressure’s off me. All I need to do is be faithful in delivering that. And so, figuring out how to do that, even when someone is pushing as hard in rebellion as they can is I think a tough assignment – I’m not saying it’s easy; it’s a tough assignment – but it’s the call of the church.

Dr. Michael Easley
The one line – and maybe we agree or disagree on this – is I think when it starts to injure other people, when it’s false, I can empathize and get to know them and see their background. But if it’s error or hurting other people, then I will call an –
Dr. Darrell Bock
It has to be called out, absolutely.
Dr. Michael Easley
Yeah, I will call, and I will say, “It’s wrong,” and call it out. You know, we all have family systems, and we have friends who’ve had to ask their children to leave.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right.
Dr. Michael Easley
And the hardest thing a parent will ever do is say, “There’s the door, honey; there’s the door, son, and you can’t live that way, and we’re not gonna underwrite your sin. We have done all these things for years. You know where we stand. I’m not gonna preach a sermon to you; I’m not gonna make you go to youth group anymore. That is not even the issue. The issue is you’ve chosen a life, a path that you know is wrong, and there’s the way you live it, not here.” That’s hard stuff, but I still think you can do it in a loving way, but it doesn’t feel like love.
Dr. Darrell Bock
No. Well, ’cause confrontation sometimes doesn’t feel like love. I mean I think it’s important to do, and I think there are times to think about doing it, and then there are times to think – wrestle with what – when do you send the signal to that child who walks out the door, and you treat ’em like the prodigal, “I’m always here for you”?
Dr. Michael Easley
Which we tell parents all the time.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right.
Dr. Michael Easley
“I’m always here, but there’s gotta be some behavioral attitudinal change before you can come back and make this your hotel again.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, right, yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
“We’re not gonna be doing drugs,” or whatever the situation was. And yes, you know, not to get too personal, but that very conversation has come from Cindy and me on a number of occasions. We love you; we haven’t gone anywhere; we’re here.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah. I know it. I mean I’ve had the same – I had the same conversation with a sibling who asked me to participate in a service, and I couldn’t do what they were asking to do because of the context in which they were coming out of. And I sat there and said, “This hurts me to do it.” I was crying while I told her. You know? But I said, “I can’t do this.”
And so, I know what those conversations are, too. But the one thing that has to come with that – absolutely has to come with that is the communication of, “This is being done out of love. This is not being – this is not retribution. You know? This is being done out of – this is because I care about you.”

And sometimes I think, in our pursuit to be right, we sometimes –

Dr. Michael Easley
We’ll sacrifice.
Dr. Darrell Bock
– lose the modulation, if you will, that communicates that other element. And then the risk is we do damage.
Dr. Michael Easley
I think it’s easier with the unbelieving community than the believing community. Because when the fall happens between believers that have different opinions – you know, we all have shopworn this passage, as Paul says, “If possible, so far as it depends upon you, be at peace with all men.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right, right. Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
Implication? It’s not always possible.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right.
Dr. Michael Easley
You can – I had it when I was –
Dr. Darrell Bock
But the onus is on you to do everything you can to go there.
Dr. Michael Easley
Yeah, yeah. I was at – when I was at Moody, and, you know, in leadership positions you make a lot of – I mean no matter what decision you make, you’re going to make this group furious and this group happy.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right, right.
Dr. Michael Easley
That’s leadership. And I remember a “mantra” that I developed – bad word – a theorem I – it was, “Do the right thing in the right way and go home.” And I would teach this when I would teach leadership conferences and pastors’ conferences. And each one is very important. You have to do the right thing, but you can sure do it in the wrong way.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right, and then it’s still wrong.
Dr. Michael Easley
Exactly. You can do the wrong thing in the right way –
Dr. Darrell Bock
And that’s still wrong.
Dr. Michael Easley
But if you do the right thing in the right way – and the last one I learned later was – go home.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
Because tomorrow’s gonna be there.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
You can’t fix all these problems. You can’t even fix your own problems. And the local church, to her defense, it’s Christ’s church, not ours. We have sinful men and women leading it. And this is why – you’ve been an elder –
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
– you know this – I tell people when they are asked or going to be voted on, I said, “I would think about that long and hard, ’cause you’ve just stamped the word “example” on your forehead and walked out the door and said, ‘Live like I live; that’s how a good Christian lives’” And you’re also responsible for shepherding these people to live that way. And so, doing the right thing in the right way and going home as a Christian leader is, “It’s gonna be there tomorrow, Lord. I can’t fix it all today, but as best I could, with counsel, with wisdom, with Scripture, with experience, I did the right thing. I tried to do it the right way and the right time.”
Go home because the church is His bride, the church is His responsibility. We’re ambassadors – right? – and we can muck it up.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Yep.
Dr. Michael Easley
But what church wasn’t mucked up?
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right. And to the extent that we always remember that we’re in a fallen world, and that this will be a tension-filled process until Christ finally fixes it all and ultimate vindication comes, we have to learn how to live with tension.
And I do think that one of the effects of our culture today that is a little bit misleading is you get the impression that every problem is what I call a 30-minute and 2-commercial problem. You know, I can fix it with the right – in 30 minutes. No, most – there are many things in life that aren’t that easily resolvable.

Dr. Michael Easley
And for our younger generation, they don’t even understand 30 minutes. Our younger generation is a social media blast, and it’s – I don’t know if it’s true here at Dallas, but one of the number one – the highest trending hashtags in academics is TLDR – too long, didn’t read. They don’t even use notebooks anymore; it’s done on the phone.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Michael Easley
And so, if it’s too long, they’re not gonna read just information; they’re gonna react to a corpus of people that they follow, they like; they’re in some social community with. And that’s where I do think the clarion back to, “Let’s get our nose in a book. Let’s read it and see if we can figure it out and learn together.”
I tell people the story whenever I go somewhere, whether it’s in a small group or a businessman or a lunch, and I’ll say a couple of things, “Can I share something that I’ve read this morning?” No one’s ever said no. And another thing they’ve never said no to me, whether it’s a hospital or a lunch appointment or leaving their office, “Hey, can I pray for you before I leave?”

Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, that’s a good one. Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
No one’s ever told me no.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Nope, that’s right.
Dr. Michael Easley
I’ll do it in a pre-op surgery, when they’re all coming in to wheel out this person. I go, “Hey, can I pray for you guys for just a minute?” No one has ever told me no.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And many times, when you’re all done, they’ll say, “Thank you.”
Dr. Michael Easley
Oh, they’ll be crying.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
They’ll be crying. I had this one, not too long ago, and I prayed for the – and I pray for the physician, the anesthesiologist, the staff; I pray it’ll go textbook; I pray they’ll have a great day; and I thank ’em for their training and their hours.” And I’ll have nurses and doctors saying, “I wish all my patients would pray for me like that.”
I have a Jewish surgeon that I know, and he’s done work on me, and he lost his wife. Forty-two years of age, she died. And I went to see him for a follow-up, and I said, “Dr. So-and-so, is this indelicate? And if this is improper patient/doctor thing, you stop me. I’m just really sad for you.”

And his shoulders slumped, and he sat there, and I asked him a few questions, and I said, “I’m a Goyim Christian, and I know you’re Jewish. Can I pray for you?”

He said, “I would like that.”

I just think we make it too hard. I think we construct these monsters in our mind that may or may not be real, and the compassion, the connection, the caring about those people – so, all that to say, you know, I think we’re afraid to walk around with big Bibles anymore for a lot of reasons, but at the end of the day, if this isn’t His Word, it doesn’t matter.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, and the only thing else I have in response is, “Amen,” and the only – we make it hard sometimes because we aren’t willing to invest the personal commitment and relational capital to make it easy.
Dr. Michael Easley
It takes time –
Dr. Darrell Bock
To make it easy.
Dr. Michael Easley
And in the young mindset, you’re right, they’re smarter; they’re quicker; they’re far more courageous than you and I were.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And usually more sensitive.
Dr. Michael Easley
Yep. And they have been – I mean they our progeny.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yep.
Dr. Michael Easley
So, a part of that is understanding what we did and didn’t do –
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right.
Dr. Michael Easley
– as we groom them to become young adults. And so, in this whole process of the body of Christ – I mean wasn’t there always a generation gap?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michael Easley
The ’60s – you know, antidisestablishmentarianism –
Dr. Darrell Bock
I can’t wait for my grandkids. They’ll be like us.
Dr. Michael Easley
What’s the bumper sticker – “Have grandchildren first” – right?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, exactly right. Well, Michael, I thank you for coming in and talking to us about this. I think this has been fascinating. I know I’ve enjoyed it very, very much.
Dr. Michael Easley
Dr. Bock, I appreciate your ministry.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Hey, well, likewise, and it’s great to just sit across the table and just, you know, shoot a little theological breeze and see what happens.
Dr. Michael Easley
We’ll do it.
Dr. Darrell Bock
All right.
Dr. Michael Easley
Blessings.
Dr. Darrell Bock
All right, thanks. And we thank you for being a part of the table and hope you’ll join us again soon.

Michael Easley

About Michael Easley

Michael is husband to one, dad to four, and host of Michael Easley inContext.



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