194: Rebecca McLaughlin | Intellects Are Christians Too

Rebecca McLaughlin | Intellects Are Christians Too

Rebecca McLaughlin | Intellects Are Christians Too

Rebecca McLaughlin holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature from Cambridge University and a theology degree from Oak Hill College in London.

She is the author of Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion (2019), which was named book of the year by Christianity Today, and of 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity (2021), The Secular Creed: Engaging 5 Contemporary Claims (2021), and Is Christmas Unbelievable? Four Questions Everyone Should Ask About the World’s Most Famous Story (2021) and Jesus Through The Eyes of Women.

She lives in Cambridge Massachusetts with her husband Bryan, and their three children.

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Rebecca McLaughlin and Amber discuss the value of intellectual curiosity for the Christian, engaging secular literature to enrich one’s belief in Jesus, sexual ethics in our post Christian world, and more.

Questions Discussed During Intellects Are Christians Too:

  1. (3:50) You’ve¬† said, “My parents gave me such a strong sense growing up that Christians should be the most intellectually curious people in town. I was not in any way raised with the anti intellectualism that can be characteristic of American evangelicalism…” Will you expound on that a little bit and why you have found that to be crucial to your faith when people do object to it?
  2. (11:20) Something I appreciate about your work as an Apologist is the humility with which you engage difficult questions of the faith.¬† It is a tone that is often missing in the world of Christian apologetics. What’s it like to engage in the world of apologetics with more of a humble heart toward the difficult topics?
  3. (17:51) How do you encourage Christians to engage thoughtfully on the topic, of purity, same sex attraction, etc. in our current culture?
  4. (29:52) What did you hope the reader would take away from one of your more recent books, Jesus Through the Eyes of Women?
  5. (33:30) Why do you believe engaging in secular stories, as well as the Bible, enriches your belief in Jesus vs. leading you astray?
  6. (37:59) Let’s close with, outside of God’s Word, what are some books/authors/fellow Christians who have helped shape you into the follower of Jesus you are today?

Intellects Are Christians Too Quotes to Remember:

“I know that God who made the universe and everything, and everyone in it, wrote the most beautiful books…of all time with the most compelling and stunning poetry and the most powerful stories. He’s not intimidated by the university.”

“I’ve no desire, personally, to sort of protect my kids from other ideas. I think…if we’re truly showing our kids who Jesus is, he’s only going to shine more brightly in comparison to any other gods, religious or secular.”

“We must hold on to the reality that God is the sole creator of all people and all things….[T]hat’s the thing we need to hold on to, like we hold on to life itself, not the specifics of how God created but God’s role as creator.”

“One of the things that’s striking to me is that the people in the gospels who can see who Jesus is, are the people who come on their knees.”

“We need to be able to recognize and acknowledge…the sins of our own tribe [Christian tribe]. And to not think that the recognizing them undermines the gospel, because the gospel is not, we’re such good people come and be like us. The gospel is we’re such bad people. Jesus needed to die for us. Come and cling to Him.”

“Rediscover for ourselves what Christian marriage is actually about. In scriptural terms, it is about modeling or being like a tiny little picture of Jesus’s love for His church.”

“But actually, if we look at the New Testament, we see a vision of friendship, which is not less than sexual or romantic love. If Jesus is right, which I believe he is, it’s the love in which there is no greater love….[T]he night that he was betrayed, he said, This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that he laid down his life for his friends.”

“We’re not asking people to turn away from same sex, sexual relationships in order to be lonely. We’re asking people to turn away from same sex, sexual relationships to experience the richness of Jesus’s love as it’s shared between us in the Christian family. We should be calling them to better, more beautiful same sex relationships than the sexual relationship that they might believing.”

“Sin is always calling us to something less, God is never robbing us of something good. Even though it can feel like that.”

“The thing we most need is Jesus. and one of the ways in which we experience Jesus is through his body on Earth, which is his people. So we can experience in Christian friendship, something of the love of Jesus for us, and it’s beautiful.”

“The ability to communicate in beautiful language, the use of metaphors, and powerful stories is something that should feel very much like Christian territory to us rather than like alien territory.”

Scripture References

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes:

This episode is dedicated to:

I know that God who made the universe and everything, and everyone in it, wrote the most beautiful books...of all time with the most compelling and stunning poetry and the most powerful stories. He's not intimidated by the university.
We need to be able to recognize and acknowledge...the sins of our own tribe [Christian tribe]. And to not think that recognizing them undermines the gospel, because the gospel is not, We're such good people come and be like us. The gospel is we're such bad people. Jesus needed to die for us. Come and cling to Him.
Sin is always calling us to something less, God is never robbing us of something good. Even though it can feel like that.

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