Rightly Divided: Millennial Faith in the Face of American Christianity

By A. Trae McMaken

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Description

While many Christians in America battle for political and cultural ascendancy, the humility that paves the way for witness is often left by the wayside along with the souls of my generation. Many in my generation have walked away from the church. I've spent some time thinking about why I haven't. After all, I saw the same things, went through the same struggles to come to terms with faith in the face of an American brand of Christianity that seemed to put America before Christ. This podcast follows that struggle and analyzes how we can make things different for my generation and those to come -- and why, ultimately, I stayed. .

Episode Date
Episode 10: How to Live in a Crazy World
16:03

Wouldn't it be great to have a simple, explicit explanation of what is required of us as Christians? What if there is?

This episode explores the concept of how to live surrounded by a crazy world. 

Sep 28, 2021
Episode 9: Why I Stayed
27:34

In this penultimate episode, I share why I stayed in the Church. Despite all that has come before, I am still here. Not only that, I share why I love the Church. The story relates how I was ministered to by a southern Pentecostal African-American man and later, unexpectedly became partners with a Nigerian evangelist as I journeyed towards a greater understanding of the Church.

Mar 12, 2021
Episode 8: Republicans vs. Democrats vs. Christ
40:01

What about abortion? What about socialism? What about gay marriage? The party wars are so embedded within the framework of the American church that political conservatism is sometimes treated as equivocal to Christianity. We need to re-imagine our relationship to politics if we are to reach the millennial generation. 

Mar 06, 2021
Episode 7: The Testimony of 2020
28:27

The year 2020 brought into glaring focus just how broken our society is, and just how desperate many in my generation are for change. Working as a nurse during 2020, it was the year that I once more lost faith in the decency or progression of human society. This episode covers the racial, physiological, and social pain that tore through the country and left its mark both within and outside the church.

Mar 01, 2021
Episode 6: Encountering God
22:08

Why do we believe? Is it because of human arguments? Is it because we were raised in a particular family or culture or era? This episode follows the story of a Saudi Arabian student I knew and examines the basis for faith and conversion. 

Feb 27, 2021
Episode 5: Humility: The Gospel Mandate
22:40

The need for intellectual humility isn’t just a philosophical idea, it is a gospel mandate. In this episode, I examine how Paul made intellectual humility a central tenet of his gospel ministry. Paul strove to know nothing but Christ and him crucified. If the American Church is to better reach the lost of my generation, they must embrace this central principle.

Feb 26, 2021
Episode 4: Intellectual Humility: A Framework
25:40

In the presence of fundamentalist certainty, questions were not always well-received. This episode dives into the theory of human intellectual weakness and the basis of human reason and logic. Ultimately, humans are much less intelligent than we might think, and this episode lays the groundwork for why that is -- from the ways our brains work to deceive us to the ways we fall prey to conspiracy. If we are to engage the most college-educated generation in history -- millennials -- we must face some hard facts about our own limitations.

Feb 24, 2021
Episode 3: The Breakdown
26:01

Even as I participated and even led in ministry, I was wracked with questions. As I looked out at the world and looked within myself, my prayer became, “God, I do not know how you can be good. But you’re all I have. Please help me.” This episode examines my lowest point in my struggle with faith, mental health, and physical health. It was a journey that I believe many in my generation shared.

Feb 21, 2021
Episode 2: God vs. the American Dream
24:55

Many in the millennial generation, like myself, were taught to follow our dreams. Some Christian leaders went further -- they told us that if we pursued our God-given dreams, God would empower us to fulfill them. We were taught to look within ourselves for these dreams. But is this at all what the gospel teaches? And what were the results for millennials?

**Content Warning: For the sake of storytelling accuracy, there is foul language in a section of this episode.**

Feb 21, 2021
Introduction and Episode 1: A New Millennia of War
40:50

This episode introduces the podcast series and dives into the nationalism and wars that served as a backdrop for the coming-of-age of the millennial generation. American patriotism was interlaced with Christianity in my upbringing, and it served as one of the original points of questioning in my journey to come to grips with faith. 

**Content Warning: This episode contains a historical recording from war that contains offensive language.**

Feb 20, 2021