Navigating Faith & Ministry In A Secular World with Dr. Andrew Root


Episode Description

Join us at the Bible Bistro as we welcome Dr. Andrew Root, known as Andy, from Luther Seminary, to discuss faith and secular challenges. We dive into Andy’s insights from his academic work and life in a small church community. Our conversation revolves around Charles Taylor’s “A Secular Age” and Andy’s books, “The Church in an Age of Secular Mysticism” and “When Church Stops Working.” We examine the challenges facing faith communities today and explore ways to navigate faith formation in our secular society.

Listen as Andy discusses the role of divine action in ministry and its relevance for our audience’s faith engagement. We also consider the tension between secular pressures and transcendent faith experiences. Through personal stories and philosophical insights from Taylor, we explore the difficulty and potential of connecting believers with the divine.

We delve into the theology of the cross and how stories of suffering can lead to moral and spiritual transformation. Andy helps us understand the impact of secularism on faith practices and offers ways to cultivate congregational life that acknowledges God’s transformative work.

In concluding our time with Andy, we address the pressing issue of church renewal in a challenging era. Reflecting on the exhaustion of competing with secular attractions, Andy advises a focus on genuine divine engagement. We discuss the implications for church leaders and present “When Church Stops Working,” which aims to simplify complex ideas for a wider audience.

Andy shares how small church communities have provided support through significant life events and how culture informs pastoral care. We also talk about secular mysticism, the rise of personal guilt in today’s performance culture, and the influence of his writings on pastors seeking to rejuvenate their ministry amidst the growth of the “nones.”


(00:11) Discussion on Charles Taylor’s Influence

Dr. Andy Root discusses his latest books on secularism and faith formation, drawing from Charles Taylor’s work.

(09:42) Discovering Divine Action in Ministry

Taylor’s ideas on secular age and ministry’s role in connecting with the divine in a resistant society.

(16:31) Theology of the Cross and Transformation

Cruciformity and the theology of the cross lead to ontological transformation, shaping moral visions and impacting faith in the secular age.

(21:44) God’s Action in Ministry

Ministry as participation in God’s work, transformative experience, impact on pastors, cultural challenges, and influence on preaching and ministry.

(29:28) Church Renewal in a Secular Age

Ministry leaders face burnout in a secular age, striving for innovation and authentic engagement with God.

(40:16) Pastoral Care and Cultural References

Small church communities support individuals through life’s sacred moments, including illness and grief, while also discussing the impact of pop culture in writing.

(44:28) Secular Mysticism and Guilt in Writing

Exploring YouTube content consumption, writing as a spiritual practice, secular mysticism, and modern guilt in the secular age.


When Church Stop Working

A Future for Your Congregation
beyond More Money, Programs,
and Innovation

Explore Dr. Roots other books: click here

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