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Podcast Review: Being the Bad Guys

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 18 Mar 2021

Ros Clarke reviews an episode of The Good Book Company podcast featuring Stephen McAlpine.

I’ve really appreciated Stephen McAlpine’s clear thinking and cultural analysis over the past year or so and I’m looking forward to reading his book, “Being the Bad Guys” (The Good Book Company, 2021) so I was delighted to see that he is the February guest on The Good Book Company podcast, hosted by James Cary, in the episode, “Facing Up To The Realities Of Our Post-Christian World”. Stephen himself has a fascinating story, covered briefly in the first few minutes of the podcast: he’s a pastor in Australia who grew up in Iain Paisley’s church in Northern Ireland. He’s a student of literature who has a journalistic passion for the truth.

Christians, McAlpine argues, need to recognise that we are no longer the ‘good guys’ in the world, nor even the ‘generally harmless neutral guys’, but that we have now been positioned as the ‘bad guys’. And so the job of the church leader is to equip and prepare people to go out into an increasingly hostile world: “equip people for the Babylon they face on Monday morning.” There is pressure both from the ‘soft’ power of culture and the ‘hard’ power of politics for us all to conform to secular worldviews, and we need to be ready and willing to count the cost of nonconformity.
McAlpine’s solution is not to attempt to persuade people of the plausibility of Christianity so much as to show pointedly how different it is. We should be ‘repellantly attractive’, that is, while our views may be repellant to people, our lives and our love should be compellingly attractive. We may need to be warriors for Christ in this generation, but we should be happy warriors, contending in Christ’s strength and for his glory!

Listen to this podcast, share it with your pastor, and then read the book!

This review was first published in Evangelicals Now.

Ros Clarke is Associate Director of Church Society

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