Are you eager to explore how our faith intersects with the world of ideas and beliefs that shape our lives? Then you won’t want to miss “Isms That Cause Schisms,” the brand-new podcast series from CGN. Hosted by the dynamic duo of Pastor Jeff Gipe and Professor Brian Nixon, this podcast promises to take you on a thought-provoking journey into the heart of some of the most divisive and contentious topics of our time through the lens of the Kingdom of God.
From politics to religion, from culture to philosophy, “Isms That Cause Schisms” will delve into the many ways in which our beliefs and ideologies can both unite and divide us, all while exploring how these issues intersect with the Christian faith. With insightful commentary, personal anecdotes, and a good dose of humor, Pastor Jeff and Professor Brian will challenge your assumptions, expand your understanding of the faith, and help you see the world in a new way that aligns with God’s Kingdom vision.
Listen to episode one here!
A word from Jeff:
“Why are people so divided today? Why is there so much anger and disdain? These are the type of questions that have been ricocheting around in my head for the past few years. In one sense, I understand why the world is divided, but why the church? Why is there so much anger and distain in the church? The concept of unity was in the heart of the apostles and the church fathers. In fact, John Chrysostom (c. 347-407), Archbishop of Constantinople, wrote ‘The name of the Church is not one of separation but of unity and harmony.’ 1
“Having a desire to overcome division for Kingdom unity, I set out on a quest to answer questions like these. I found myself diving into the book of Ecclesiastes. This wonderful book deals with questions that have puzzled philosophers for thousands of years. Unlike philosophers of today, the book of Ecclesiastes gives us answers to questions, not from a philosopher but from a Sovereign Creator. The answers found in Ecclesiastes are certain to restore unity, harmony, and joy in the church.
“In this podcast we will look at eight isms found in the book of Ecclesiastes and how these isms have caused schisms in the church today. What are those isms? Scientism, intellectualism, hedonism, materialism, existentialism, capitalism, religionism, and humanism.
“Considering my background, I knew I could define and discuss such isms as hedonism, materialism, capitalism, and religionism but didn’t feel qualified to speak on the other isms.
“Then one day I was reading a book written by a long-time friend, artist, musician, educator, minister, and a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (DPhil), Brian C. Nixon, titled Tilt: Finding Christ in Culture where he defines the theological principle of common grace: “Common grace refers to the gifts given by God for all of humanity to use and enjoy. These gifts include creation (the natural world and science) and culture (the humanities, arts, and civilization).” 2
“It was at that very moment I knew I had to have him join me on the podcast. When I shared with Brian my idea for the podcast and how my background and his background together would make one whole Solomon, he immediately said yes.
“In this podcast series we try and accomplish three very important things: direct you to scripture text found in Ecclesiastes, define our terms, and discuss the isms at hand.”
Listeners can expect a lively discussion that will challenge their views and invite them to think deeply about the isms that shape our world. Tune in to “Isms That Cause Schisms” to gain a better understanding of the roots of the divisions in our society and church.
New episode every Friday!
1 Thomas P. Halton, The Church: Message of the Fathers, Vol. 4 (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, Inc., 1985), 56.
2 Brian C. Nixon, Tilt: Finding Christ in Culture (Eugene: Cascade Books, 2020), xvii/Introduction.