Finding the Divine in a Modern World


Episode Description

Is our modern, disenchanted world making us blind to the spiritual realms depicted in scripture? On this episode of Ryan and Brian’s Bible Bistro, we discuss how the vivid imagery of Revelation contrasts sharply with today’s secular perspectives. We also discuss Ryan Burge’s latest survey data suggesting the rise of the religiously unaffiliated may be stabilizing, and what this trend might mean for the future of religious affiliation in America.

How do we reconcile the spiritual claims of scripture with our modern, often secular worldview? We discuss the challenge of embracing passages like James 5:13-15 on prayer and healing in an age where medical interventions often take precedence over divine healing. From prayer and eucharist to baptism, we explore how these core practices are meant to bridge the spiritual and physical realms, and examine how contemporary interpretations of demons and spiritual warfare have evolved, reflecting our increasingly secular mindset.

Inspired by Nijay Gupta’s “Strange Religion,” we dive into the transformative communion early Christians had with God, a stark contrast to pagan practices of the time. We share personal anecdotes on the importance of mystical experiences in nurturing our spiritual lives and emphasize the need to reconnect with spiritual disciplines. We also highlight the rich traditions of Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Orthodoxy, discussing how they foster a deeper sense of belonging and faith, preparing us for transcendent encounters with God. Join us as we explore these profound themes and rediscover the enchantment of spirituality in a secular world.


(00:11) Trends in Religious Affiliation and Enchantment

Ryan and Brian’s Bible Bistro discusses the conclusion of Revelation, modern society’s disconnection from the spiritual realm, and plateauing religious affiliation in America.

(11:48) Spiritual Realms and Belief in Scripture

Reconciling secular views with spiritual claims in scripture, incorporating secular practices in prayer, and evolving interpretations of demons.

(26:36) Reclaiming the Strangeness of Christianity

Early Christianity’s unique communion with God, modern challenges in maintaining faith’s transcendent elements, and reconnecting with spiritual disciplines.

(34:38) Embracing the Spiritual Realms

Maintaining spiritual significance in sacraments through historical and communal connections, scripture, and preparation for transcendent encounters.


Strange Religion

How the First Christians Were Weird, Dangerous, and Compelling

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