A Christian Assessment of News Consumption (with Jeffrey Bilbro)

In a world in which our consumption of news is increasingly polarized and sensational, and disinformation is all too common, how do we combat such unhealthy habits to form a better relationship with the news? And what, after all, is the news even for? What is a particularly Christian mode of engaging and consuming news? In his book, Reading the Times: A Literary and Theological Inquiry Into the News, Jeffrey Bilbro provides a theological, even historical, perspective on the function and impact of the news in our lives, a diagnosis of our problem, and a reframing of how we might construct alternative practices.

Access the episode here. (Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and more.)

Some key concepts and ideas from the book:

  1. “Macademized minds” (or fragmented attention)

Our attentions are overloaded; we are unable to attend in meaningful ways because there’s too much to attend to.

As a result, presentations of the news become competingly sensational in order to compete for our distracted attention.

Thus, we need to develop better habits for shaping what we give our attention to.

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Cultivating Wisdom in the Information Age (with Brett McCracken)

Do you ever feel like the constant bombardment of technology and social media is making us dumber, or maybe even more foolish? Or does truth feel ever more elusive to you in an age of increasing options, viral conspiracy theories, and personally curated newsfeeds? How are we to navigate this post-truth world? Brett McCracken joins Kirk for a conversation about his most recent book, The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World. Listen in as Brett gives us guidance on finding wisdom and feeding our souls amidst the information gluttony, perpetual novelty, and “look within” autonomy.

Access the episode here. (Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and more.)

Ecclesiology (Church) in the Midst of a Pandemic (Coronavirus, Ep. 3)

As churches move online in the face of Sunday closures, it should cause us to ask, “What is the church in the midst of a pandemic?” Our current circumstances raise questions about what it means to be the church–questions that have always existed, with an underlying theology that’s always been at play, but are now being forced into our immediate purview in light of our situation.

Access the episode here (available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and more).

See all episodes in this series.

This episode is brought to you by Logos Bible Software, with special discounts available to listeners of this podcast.

Some Thoughts on Social Media

Disclaimer: Please note, by pointing out the following, I do not mean to suggest that I have used social media perfectly at all times. These are simply some observations and lessons learned from my own personal experience.


  • First and foremost, most people enjoy social media because we are social people and we like to stay in touch.
  • The tremendous opportunity and potential:
    • Our culture is extremely bound up with social media. (If you disagree, you’re living under a rock; sorry.) Therefore, for Christians to abandon this new realm of social media would be, in a large sense, to disengage themselves from a significant sphere of our culture.
    • In a similar way to how Christians used the invention of the printing press to advance the Gospel and Biblical thinking, the emergence of social media (obviously less significant than the invention of the printing press, but nonetheless–) provides us with a tremendous tool to do the same–advance the Gospel and Biblical thinking. Social media can be used to challenge and encourage other Christians and articulate the Gospel and other biblical truths to the lost. By simply creating a Facebook account, Twitter account, etc. (and assuming that you have some people who will “add” or “follow” you), you automatically have a “platform of influence,” a “public voice,” at least on some level. Whereas in previous times, to get something in print on a public level was somewhat difficult, now anyone can do it, which is both scary (con) and amazing (pro).

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