by Brady Warren
Since we all were at home for the most part during the shelter in place, I found some new podcasts to enjoy, as I’m sure many of you did as well. World Radio’s “Listening In” was one such podcast. Many of you will remember several years ago when World Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Marvin Olasky, was in Greenwood and spoke at Westminster one Wednesday night. He was here looking at Delta Streets, to see all the benefits this Christian school provides to our community, and in 2017, Delta Streets was awarded World’s “Hope Award for Effective Compassion.” Marvin Olasky has worked tirelessly over the decades to present accurate reporting from a Christian world and life view.
“Listening In” is a World Radio podcast, delivered weekly with Warren Smith. He interviews authors and thinkers from all walks of life. One such author he interviewed in the past couple of months has been English professor, Jeffrey Bilbro. He has recently written a book, “Reading the Times: A Literary and Theological Inquiry into the News,” and this podcast has definitely given me pause as to how I interpret the media. He gives a striking example as to how world events can sometimes paralyze us in our everyday lives. One such example he gives is Mrs. Jellby, a character in Charles Dickens, “Bleak House.” In a nutshell, she becomes obsessed with an overseas ministry that is consuming her time and in the process, she ends bankrupting her family and neglecting her children, who are her primary ministry. Bilbro points out that this is exactly what has happened in media today. We are constantly seeing distant events magnified and this encourages us to ignore the needs around us. He says that our sense of responsibility has been miscalibrated. Warren Smith points out that we may all know what Justin Bieber had for breakfast and have an opinion about it, but we don’t know what our city council voted on. At the end of the interview, he says that to recalibrate our attention we need to see God’s providence, that He is in control and working out His purposes for His glory. Our primary call is to service and obedience, not winning the culture wars. But we are called to be faithful in our sphere of influence.
I hope this has whet your appetite to check out “Listening In” podcasts. There are MANY other biblical thinkers in our day that Warren Smith interviews each week. Please take the time and take a listen!