John Nugent: We've not been called to make the world a better place, but to be the better place that God has made in this world through Christ.
Karl Vaters: Hi, I'm Karl and I'm a small church pastor, and welcome to this episode of Can This Work in a Small Church. My guest today is John C. Nugent. He's the author of several books, including the book we'll be talking about today, Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church. Yeah, that's a provocative title and it's an important subject. Dr. Nugent is also a professor of Old Testament Studies at Great Lakes Christian College, he's the cohost of the After Class Podcast, and he's a member of a vital and thriving small congregation.
In this episode, we'll be talking about the root of some of the biggest challenges pastors are facing today, starting with, Has the church been called to separate ourselves from the world, to change the world, to fix the world, or something else entirely. John's approach is biblically sound, it's practical, it's very engaging, and it's going to bring us a lot of help for the challenges that we're facing right now.
And don't forget to stick around when the interview is done. I'll come back with an overview of the content and an answer to the question, Can this work in a small church.
Welcome, John, to the podcast today. I sure appreciate your time with us today.
John Nugent: Yeah, thanks for inviting me.
Karl Vaters: You got it. I received your book, Endangered Gospel, from someone at a conference I was speaking at, and it's not unusual to go to a conference and have people hand me their books or books that a friend of theirs wrote. I always appreciate it, I always at least scan those books, but to be honest, I've stopped expecting too much from them. Because it's, Here's a book my friend wrote, and you look at it - and again, I always do, I always appreciate it and I always look through them. It took me a while… I got yours during a busy season so it went on the shelf and it took me a while, maybe a year or two, to finally open it up and crack it. But of course, pandemic and lockdowns gave me a lot of reading time. So when I did grab your book, Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church, it grabbed my attention immediately and it never let it go. I've got the thing here, it is tagged like crazy, and we'll be going to a bunch of those tags through this interview today, but I really appreciated what you had to say in there. So first of all, it's a provocative title, How Fixing the World is Killing the Church. So I thought, Okay, I want to at least hear what the title is about, and you get right to it.