The Future Is Here

EP. 7: Art & The Gospel w/ Thomas Terry of Humble Beast

July 22, 2020 UYWI Season 1 Episode 7
The Future Is Here
EP. 7: Art & The Gospel w/ Thomas Terry of Humble Beast
Chapters
The Future Is Here
EP. 7: Art & The Gospel w/ Thomas Terry of Humble Beast
Jul 22, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
UYWI

UYWI believes some of the best art comes from suffering and pain—that it is most affecting when created from the margins of the urban contexts that we are involved with. It is no coincidence then that Christian tradition was birthed out of suffering, that spirituals and many worship songs come from slavery. Even modern music, such as rock & roll and hip hop—for the most part—comes from a place of expressive pain. In this episode of The Future Is Here podcast, our host and CEO Tommy Nixon speaks to Thomas Terry, spoken word artists and founder of label and art collective Humble Beast, to go beyond the surface, to the underground, and bring up the beauty that will shift our perspective on art and the gospel.

Support the show (https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E12333&id=12)

Show Notes Transcript

UYWI believes some of the best art comes from suffering and pain—that it is most affecting when created from the margins of the urban contexts that we are involved with. It is no coincidence then that Christian tradition was birthed out of suffering, that spirituals and many worship songs come from slavery. Even modern music, such as rock & roll and hip hop—for the most part—comes from a place of expressive pain. In this episode of The Future Is Here podcast, our host and CEO Tommy Nixon speaks to Thomas Terry, spoken word artists and founder of label and art collective Humble Beast, to go beyond the surface, to the underground, and bring up the beauty that will shift our perspective on art and the gospel.

Support the show (https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E12333&id=12)

Speaker 1:

Are you listening? Hey fam , welcome to the features here, podcast . This is for the leaders, the dreamers provocateurs misfits, the frustrated frontline leaders who are charging in the kingdom for tired of reactive church. It's time to build a church we dream of now the future is here. So don't get left behind. Are you listening? Let's get into it. Welcome to another episode of the features here, podcast . I'm Tommy Nixon, your host, really excited for today , um , for my guests, which I'll introduce in a minute, but today we're going to be talking about the art and the gospel. So when we talk about the features here, we really believe that the future is young. It's urban and it's multiethnic. And so today we're going to be talking about art and the gospel. I want to set up our conversation for today before I introduce , um, our special guests. But , um, let , let's just make sure we understand this friends is that art is all throughout the Bible and the biblical narrative. Uh , you have Exodus 31 36 through 39 talking about Bezalel who is the main artisan for the tabernacle and , and he was chosen. And so, and he brings all the other artists together. So you have that, you have David , um, you know, in the songs who's, who's this, not only is he a warrior and a King, a shepherd , but he's also an artist I'm writing all this music. He's a , he's a musician as well. You have all this. And then through the history of the church , um , you have art as well. And that's where I want to kind of hone in really quick on. So , um , in the beginning, Jesus returns to heaven. He unleashes the Holy spirit, the church begins. And then you have even , um , maybe some of the first Christian art is that [inaudible] right. It's that it's that fish sign that believers at one time would, would write in the dirt. So that other believers, it was the first Christian logo, if you would. So , uh, they, they saw that and they knew that was together and they're like, Oh, here's another believer. And then you have, you know, through times of persecution, when Christians went underground into the catacombs and you had, you can see Christian art in the catacombs and in caves where they would meet. Um, and then you had this time in three 12, Ady Constantine , uh , quote, unquote, converts to Christianity. And he, it becomes Christianity gets co-opted by the empire. And then you have art coming from that time period on you kind of have Imperial art or you have art that's then , um, uh , paid for, it becomes kind of something for the rich. And so they adorn these, these churches and these cathedrals with Christian art , uh , you can see mosaics and tiles and , and all this stuff going on from there. And from that period on, into the medieval times, Renaissance , um, that's really kind of art really in the world, this Christian religious art, and it's coming from kind of places of power and wealth. Well,

Speaker 2:

We believe, and we believe here at UI WWI , man , Tricia ,

Speaker 1:

Any is best at the margins. Um, it, that's where, and I really believe that's where some of the best art comes from is from suffering and pain. Um, and you think about that even in our Christian , um , tradition with even spirituals coming from , um, you know , uh, these worship songs coming from slavery and, and, and then that then birth gospel, and then got really that music burst really all of our modern music, a lot of rock and roll hip hop comes out of that. And so you have this coming from the margins. And so you've seen throughout history too. You have , um, you have these movements of trying to come back to that. A , an example is maybe William Booth and the salvation army and the 18 hundreds that are going like, alright , we need to teach the gospel, but let's get down to the people. And so they started these brass bands and they they're using music that's used in taverns and dance halls. And , and so they , they formed this, but they put the message of the gospel in there. And then, but then we get to kind of this place to where we're at now, where really Christian art , um , has been kind of maintained in this one , uh, paradigm perspective. And if you didn't check out our last episode , um, or our episode six of the future is here , uh, we talked about the evangelical industry and how that's kind of, and the issues with that, where it's only coming from one point of view. Well, friends, we're in a time period right now where , uh, the future is here, you know, urban young multiethnic. This is the future of the church. And we have this opportunity to really , um, to shape what it looks like. And my hope is, is that we bring back this art from the margins that we, that we bring back , um , this just explosion of art within the church , um, that will not only express the glory of God , um , a worship of him, the gospel. Um , but it will also draw in all these young people that are done with the church they're done with what it's been like, and we have to be that future now. And so I'm actually really excited for our guests today. We have with this. Um, and I think this, this man , um , and his crew really , uh, some of the best at, at not only living in that space of art, the gospel and the margins , um, but, and, and I'm excited to share, you know, for him to share his wisdom, but he also deeply cares about the word of God. He cares deeply about the church. I think he really embodies this movement of what the future of the church looks like. And so today I have my guests, my home boy , my friend Thomas Arie with us also AKA OD Thomas is the founder and executive director of humble beast. I'm also a lead pastor, Trinity church

Speaker 3:

Of Portland, Thomas, my man. Welcome, bro. Thanks so much for being on the show. Yeah, man. Thank you for having me excited to be here. And man, I do love Tommy your heart for , uh, for the future and seeing the gospel of Jesus continue to spread , uh , through exactly what you said, young, urban multiethnic folks , um, yeah. Spreading the gospel through beautiful evangelism. So that's, that's my heart. Yeah, man . Yeah, absolutely. Man. So I'm excited. So let's get into it. When we talk about art and the gospel, you guys, you and your, and the crew at humble beast. Right. Um, how long ago has it been, when did you start that? So we started humble beast , uh, just a little over 11 years ago. Um, uh, started , uh, by way of just talking with one of my homeboys Jason Petty of propaganda. And um, yeah, and then shortly after we decided that we would start this ministry, we , uh, Jason and I both moved up to Portland , uh , just to kind of nest ourselves and think through like, how do we launch this connected with another cat that has been really instrumental in helping apply in your humble beast ? His name is Brian , or he goes by braille. Uh, and yeah, so 11 years we've been in and through that, it's been crazy. We've made a lot of beautiful things and uh, all for the glory of God, so yeah, 11 years strong. So, all right . So 11 years ago you guys were onto something that I think a lot of us just weren't, we weren't on it. Um, and, but, and yet you have this deep care and love for the church and , and the word of God. And , and so , um, tell us a little bit about that journey and, and a little bit about even like your theology or your growth and the understanding that, and why, why do you believe like art is so important? Not only for , for the church body of Christ, but especially in this time, and as we move forward into kind of really shaping what the future of the church looks like. Yeah. We'll give you just a bit of context in terms of , uh, why I'm so passionate about this, and then I'll kind of give you kinda my theological grid for, for this. Uh, so I was saved , uh, around 18. I come out of hip hop culture , uh, for as long as I could remember. Uh, I've just been completely immersed in hip hop culture. I was one of the only white kids surrounded in a sea of other hip hop kids, just doing stuff. And it just really connected with me. I think in many ways I connected with hip hop because I came from a , you know , a broken home and just had a, you know , father died when I was eight years old, my stepfather and I just had a very fragmented relationship. And so I began to connect with hip hop as a , as a way of expression. And , and in many ways, hip hop discipled me. I learned about , uh , culture. I learned about, you know, police, I learned about women , um, sex, everything I learned through the grid of hip hop. Now that wasn't , uh , the healthiest expression of, of , uh, of , of a worldview , but, but my worldview was in strictly connected to hip hop. Uh , so I can just remember what it meant to be homeys , uh, through listening to tribe called quest. Um, I learned, you know, what it meant to, you know, buck against the system through, you know, public enemy. I learned, I just learned all these things by way of hip hop and still at the age of 18, having a completely kind of hip hop worldview , uh , for the very first time I was confronted with the gospel. Uh, and it wasn't surprisingly, it wasn't through like some hip hop cat that could relate really well with me or, or break things down in my language. And I always, I , I love the fact that the Lord used someone completely outside of my context to help me , uh, see the beauty of the gospel , uh, because that , that puts in a perspective that every person who preaches Jesus can be effective no matter what they look like, their education, whether they are culturally relevant, all that stuff. So I basically was approached by a friend of my mom's , um , who , uh , invited me on a picnic and , uh , the truth. I was like, that's the most hip hop thing ever, man, I got invited to a picnic, but the hip hop side of me was like, yo , here's this like 35 year old woman. Who's trying to take me on a picnic. I was like, I where's this going to go? You know? Uh , and so anyway, she, she's very sweet lady. She brought me to this picnic and she shares the gospel with me. And that was the very first time I recognized , uh , that , uh , Jesus died for my sins. If I would embrace him by faith that I could be saved for my sins. Now I knew I was like just a sinner. I knew I was doing dirt. I knew there was this concept of right and wrong. It was kind of written on the code of my, my life. Uh, and I , and I think hip hop helped me to identify it yet. This is dirt and sometimes there's consequences for dirt. So you just have to be sharp with what you're doing or you're going to get caught. And so I had a framework for it. Um , and so this was the first time I realized, Oh, so, so Jesus could pay for all of my dirt. And so really shortly after I kind of embraced Jesus, this lady invited me into a church. And my experience in the church as a, as a baby Christian was, was actually a really awkward one because prior to my experience in church, my whole worldview , uh, my whole way of looking at life was so connected to creativity. Uh, so the ways in which we would express ourselves was done through poetry and rap , uh, the way that I looked at the world, like I could look at graffiti and I could appreciate the artistry and the craftsmanship of graffiti , uh, whereas in my church context, that was just, well, that's, that's sin, you know, that's, that's evil, that's wicked, that's worldly. Uh, and so , um, I really wrestled with , uh, like how to be who God made me to be. And so in some ways, yes, my identity shifted my identity was rooted in Jesus Christ, but I didn't lose everything that God made me to be, but I felt like the church was forcing me to relinquish these things that were really beautiful that God had made me , uh , to be. And so I remember going and talking to one of my, my , uh, pastors at the time and saying, Hey, listen, this is just , um, like , um , I rap, I'm like really into hip hop. And I remember distinctly them saying hip hop is the devil's music. Wow. So you have to really unhinge from, from all those things. And, and , you know, as a baby Christian, I'm like, well word, I don't want to do the devil music. Uh, so really there was a , for lack of better words I had to assimilate from this really like creative person to this very utilitarian , uh, bland , um, cerebral , um , kind of didactic person. And that was really , uh, I felt like I lost some, some years in that space. Um, and as I began to grow as a Christian through discipleship , um, there were some other folks that I ended up challenging me and saying, no , man, God has made you this way. And you should really explore the way that God made you. Uh, and I think it was a strong emphasis on these men who were discipling me to really cherish God's word and to sink into it and to think critically about what God's word has to say about all of life, which includes like the morals, you know, like, yeah, we should think about , uh, our moral framework. We should think about holiness, but , uh , they challenged me to think about what does the scripture say about beauty? What does the scripture say about creativity? And that began to become for lack of better words, my journey in exploring what God has to say in his word about creativity and something that I never really thought through. And I think most Christians don't think this through is the primary means by which God identifies himself at the very beginning of God's word, Genesis one , uh , God chooses to identify himself to his people as a creative. And so God speaks all of creation into existence by the power of his words. He strings everything together, this colorful and beautiful world. He creates the skies and the seas and the lands and all kinds of creatures. And then we come to the apex of his beautiful creation, his beautiful artistry, where he creates men and an after he creates all of these things, what does he say? He says, it is good. Amen. And that tells you something about the heart and character of God and that a, he is a creative God, but that he also finds satisfaction in that, which he creates. And then as you begin to look at scripture from Genesis on what you begin to see as God creating this one story, it's a narrative of this beautiful story that is filled with smaller, crazy stories, all , uh , giving you imagery and , and smaller stories. That's pointing to this one central theme, which is Jesus, all of scripture points you to Jesus and God is using this tapestry of different cultural experiences. And , uh, and just story after story, after story, and you get lost in it. If you just approach the Bible as this textbook, the whole of God's word is beauty. I mean, you alluded to it when you're talking about , uh, you know, the , the , the scripture is filled with poetry and it's filled with narrative, you get to revelation. And what you see as this kind of apocalyptic poetry using this crazy imagery to draw you into the character of God. You , you see that , uh , from, from David and, and , uh , you know, his beautiful poetry, his penmanship, and he writes all of it speaks to the person of Jesus. And that's fascinating. And that began to reframe , uh, my perspective of beauty and creativity and artistry. When you get to know God, the creator, the fact that we say God is the creator. That creator means that we as image bearers to function properly as the created ones must in some way, image that creativity. And I think where the church lost it. Cause I think throughout, throughout church history, you've seen expressions of it and that's just how the church goes. Sure. But you've seen expressions of it. But I think especially in, in, in , um , you know, kind of Western Christian culture and I could be wrong, but I think we lost it right around the time of the culture war. Um , and I think that what ended up happening was , um, Christians began to identify predominantly , uh, not with who we are as Christians, but what we are against that's right. So we begin to paint these hard lines that says, listen, y'all are crazy when it comes to the art stuff. And that, that in, when you're doing art, there's a certain level of subjectiveness that makes us afraid. And so we would rather just be completely objective, right? So let's just sever off anything. That's remotely questionable that we can't say, ah , this is morally wrong. Let's just cut it all off and live in these very safe spaces. And so as a result, what you, what you have is, is, is somewhat of a council , um, determining what is creatively acceptable and what is creatively taboo. And that has really hurt the church in so many ways. Um, so, so now fast forward where we're kind of the culture Wars over the Christians lost it. That's, you know, there is no debate and that we lost the culture war , uh, in , in losing the culture war. We also lost the prize and God's designed for creativity in what I think is happening now is that every human, because every human is made in the image of God, has within them in their, in their DNA, in our code, in her , in their Mo in there in the center of their heart, this longing for beauty, this longing for transcendence, this longing for creativity. That's why we are all enchanted with stories, right? We all love story . That's why music and , uh, books and, and film like has the most influence on our culture because we're made that way. The church has severed that off because in their mind, it's too scary. They'd rather be safe than explore the ways that God has made us. And so we, we are, we're losing, we're losing. And so really what my, my hope is for the church is that reconnect with the way that God has programmed us to be, that we began to use beauty and creativity as the new apologetic. Like there is something and not to say that we forsake truth, not to say that we first sake , um, uh, you know, like orthodoxy, no creativity can exist , um , in this spaces of absolute truth. And in the spaces of orthodoxy, God does give us freedom to explore those aspects, but we just have to be willing to say, okay, let's do it. Let's go. And I think one of the greatest ways in which we, as Christians can impact the culture today is to say, let's use creativity. Let's take the beauty of God's word because on its own, it's beautiful. Let's take it. Let's accentuate all the creative components of it. And let's also use our personal stories to point people to the primary story, rooted in scripture as a vehicle to help people become enchanted with, with God who is beyond, you know , he's both beyond, but he's near that, right. There is a crazy creative concept. How the God who created the universe, who is distant and far beyond us is also extremely close and near and personal and intimate like that is mindblowing creativity that God would , uh, would send Jesus to invade human history and the way by which he reconciles us to a Holy God is through this beautiful picture of laying down his life, bleeding for those whom he cares so deeply for. I mean, that is, that is beautiful poetry, but when you segment it off and you just use it as some kind of theological theological utility of , or abstract , um, you know , concept, this is just to be , um, processed intellectually. You miss it, experientially. The fact that God died for you, you and the fact that God changes you through that, that life, death and resurrection, and creates something new. The fact that he chisels away, hearts of stone into beautiful new hearts is something so magnificently compelling and beautiful Christians are failing at telling that story. Instead, we're just fighting again, it's a new culture war, and we're kind of talking about, you know, what can we do? What can't we do? And we're just, we're losing again. You know, we're losing

Speaker 4:

You like what you're hearing, keep listening, but also make sure to check out our newest leadership, the leadership journey by hitting up our website, a UI wwi.org ,

Speaker 1:

Couple of things that stood out to me, man. And if you're listening to this, like you, I hope you're taking notes because one, I love, I love that in the beginning, Elohim and I love that you brought that up, man, strong creator. Um, and not only that friends , but we teach here, you know, a theology of work that says incredibly God goes, not only am I the strong creator that from my word I create, but I'm inviting you to cocreate with me. Like, that's what blows my mind is . I'm it's like, God's like, and I'm always like, ah , but I don't want to mess it up. And I almost feel like that's kind of the church right now. I was like, well, we don't want to mess it up. We want to be right and eat , you know, on these boxes. And , and what's not good. And what's , and so we don't want to make a mistake in it or, or, and , and that just hampers our creativity. And I think God's just gone, guys, what are you doing? Like, I gave you this freedom. I gave you this creativity. And so I love that. And then I love to what you said about kind of like this , uh, you know, where, where even in your own story, it was about kind of this bland, like, just follow the rules. It's like what we're again . So it's like objective, you know, all that. And what I love about this , this next generation coming up is they've just called us on it. They just go, Nope. I'm not with it. In fact, if you look up like, okay, Christian artists, right . I was looking this up before our , this podcast. And I'm like looking at Christian art, you know, who comes up for right now, Thomas Kinkaid and Thomas can get, and if you don't know who Thomas Kincade is, and you know, if you're a big fan of , you know, send me an angry email, but that is such a good example of this kind of bland kind of art where, you know, his whole thing is about, he's a , he's a fine artist and he paints and it's about these points of light, but it'll be like pictures of like these cottages, you know , uh , like the, like this place is that for us in the urban put in the urban center where like , uh , I don't connect with that at all. It's so safe. It's so bland. It's so, and in the art world, it's, they, they look at that as kitsch, right? It's like kitschy , like, like why would you even spend money on that? Right. And so it's interesting when you talk about that, and then this idea that, you know, the cultural war piece was genius. I love that idea. But when you describe , when you were describing Thomas, the Bible, how you see it as a creator, God as he's and the story, and as when you talk about it, it sounds beautiful. And when you talk about it, it sounds like what this generation needs, where they're like, I want an , I want authenticity. I want beauty. I want story. I want to be significant. I want to be, to be honest, they're also like, I want to be in that story. Like, that's, you know, it's all about selfies and Instagram and IgE and Snapchat and right. It's like how, you know, and, and yet the story that they're, that they're living, that they're trying to create , um, will never be fully what it was supposed to be without Christ, without this creator. God just, just infusing him. So I love that brother. So tell me this man, like help me continue giving us a picture of what, what it could look like. And maybe that's sharing a little bit, what you guys have been doing at Homebase . Maybe it's like what you're doing at Trinity. Maybe it's what , uh, you know, you guys started something called canvas, which is like a full conference about this. Right? Give us, give me some, some vision here, give our listeners some vision about, well, what could that look like? And what do we need to start pressing into , um, to , to see that reality. Cause when you describe it, I'm like, I want to be a part of that church. I want, I want my church to embody that and continue to do that. And for some of you guys out there, you, you just need permission to say it's okay. Like it's okay to start thinking that way, using your giftings and all that. So can you help us with that a little bit? Yeah. Yeah. So I , so I think that the, the greatest way that we can help to serve the church is through intentional discipleship. Right? And I think discipling them with the grid that makes room for creativity. So I'll give you an example. Um, Christian creatives, inevitably, without discipleship and without theology will come to a point where they say , uh, Christianity is not very enchanting. It's not very, it's just not beautiful. I'm tired of existing in a space that is, you know, it's only like cerebral, you know, they're there , they're , they're in many ways, there's something that they're longing for that is not being satisfied in the church. And the thing is God has made them to want to experience those things. But in our Western way of thinking, we segment it. It's , it's , it's made Christianity purely intellectual and non experiential. And so if you look at the , the climate of creative Christians , um , there's just kind of this pattern where the more they explore their creativity, the more they unhinge from the local church and the more they begin to walk on dangerous grounds. And so ultimately

Speaker 3:

Where they end up is Intuit in a space where it's either a complete abandonment of orthodoxy because the church hasn't helped them think through these things. Or it's a, it's a complete rejection of the faith in general because they think this is the way I made. And the, and the God that you present to me seems like far from, from what I experienced . And so that requires a certain level of discipleship. And so , uh , I think the first thing is that pastors, whether they're creative or not , um , must begin to do the hard work of making creativity, safe for them and exploring these things theologically , uh, so that the creative can begin to have a conversation about it because really they're just processing it in their own head. They're not really drawing a healthy conclusions. They're just saying, well, I look at the church and like, you guys just make wax stuff and you, you, you just, you do bogus PowerPoint. Um, and you have, you know, stupid , uh, you know, sanctuary decorations or it's just like, it's just , uh , all of the council , again, that council concept of like things to be socially acceptable in a church. And so the creators are just like, Oh , that's bogus. Let's do something that far surpasses what's been approved by the kind of, you know, consumeristic church model. Uh , you begin to disciple creatives and give them a theological grid for the way that God has made them. And you give them the freedom to explore that creativity in a safe way. They will make magnificent things that testify of the , this magnificent God that they worship. I mean, you've seen that historically , uh, in the church, there has been like a commissioning of the church , uh, for artists to explore like things that are transcended, right. You've seen that over and over again. There's been a full on abandoning of that in , uh , in our modern context. And so I think discipleship is key. If so there is a very real , uh, reality that Christian creatives in many ways , uh , suffer from not having it a theological framework for their creativity. Yeah. And there's also sadly, a lot of theologians that have, so dichotomized creativity and theology that they continue to perpetuate the problem. And so really I, myself and , uh , theological or systematic theology professor Ryan list decided man, both camps are doing it really wrong. And so how can we in some way marry these things so that the theologian can to prize creativity and , and explore the creative , uh , facets of God's beautiful design in his word, and then how do we help the creative to prized theology? And so we decided we would create this thing called canvas conference, where we would begin to create this intersection of theology and creativity. Um, and , and really what we found is that when the theologian finds himself in the middle and begins to understand and value creativity and the creative finds himself in the middle where he prizes the ology, that's where you really find , uh , Christian creative flourishing. Uh , so that's been like our aim. It's just discipleship, disciple , disciple, disciple. And here's the thing , uh, I don't think creativity and no way am I saying that creativity saves not at all that people , uh, are saved through the person and work of Jesus Christ, but there is something unique about our culture right now that they interpret truth morals, meaning , uh, you know, everything through the grit of creativity. You see that very simply as it's played out on Instagram, when people curate beautiful things , uh, then people identify, Oh, that, that , that makes me feel a particular way, or that's true because it looks beautiful. Or , uh, artists like , uh, you know, hip hop artists or singer songwriters basically communicate to the world. This is true. And the world eats it up because it's, it's carried in beauty, it's carried in creativity. And so the church would be wise to think through the absolute truth, the truth that's contained in scripture, the church would be wise to carry that in a beautiful, in a beautiful package, in a beautiful presentation, because that's the way the world digests it. Now in no way, does that minimize the power of the gospel? That's something supernatural that can only happen to the power of the gospel, but we would be wise to , to present it in a beautiful way, because God, through his word has presented it in a beautiful way. And I think that would be, that would be really helpful for our culture. So that's what we're trying to model. If you're a healthy as a creative and , and you think about your creativity through the grit of theology , uh, under the protection and support of the word and the local church, you could really engage culture in a way that is revolutionary because that's the way the culture interprets truth. Oh my gosh. If you're listening to this, I hope you're picking up what Thomas is saying. When

Speaker 1:

You think about the church of the future, doesn't that sound amazing? Think about all our churches were just that like, like could, could live in that space, what I would call that radical middle of. And I love how you shared that brother. Like, like you have to have the theology and the creativity and it's coming together. Um , and I love, I love that. You said what you said is you said they prize each other, right? Like, like, Oh man, that's a , that's a gift, like receive that , um, couple of things you said, man, I really love Nick one. Um, we have to disciple creatives, like, but, but I think here's what you're saying as well. Like the danger is trying to disciple them like they like, and I, I know they're well, meaning and they loved you, but like those early pastors of yours try to do where they tried to disciple you, but within a certain framework of what you can and can't do, they , they stifled the creativity part of who you are, man, you are mad creative. Right? So, so I love that. So we have to disciple creatives, we have to make creativity safe. That was the number two that I heard make creativity safe. And we have to create a theological grid or framework for that. That means friends that you gotta do some work. You , you gotta, you got to go back to the scripture. You gotta, you gotta understand that you gotta go to things like the canvas conference. You got to search these things out. You gotta take this framework that Thomas is talking about and has lived for a long time as God has given him this. And they've shaped this. Um, what does that look like in your own life? And I'm telling you, if we are going to reach this next generation, we have got to understand this. This is so, so important. Um, but I, what I love about you Thomas, is that you're staying right in that tension space where I've seen so many brothers and sisters, like on the creative side, go that route and then, you know, take that journey and find themselves progressing their way right out of Jesus , because they're just like, they can't even imagine a theological framework that would even receive that. Right. Um, and, and that's all important. Um, and so I love humanity . Genuine Christianity is consistently lived in not attention, no matter how you dice it. People are either prone to comfort or they're prone to fear. And so that forces them to either move back into their comfortable spaces or fear that which they're , uh, you know, or just fear what could potentially happen. But real Christianity is lived in attention . You're should be , uh , wrestling. Uh , there should be a, I'm uncomfortable with this reality because God is maturing and he's sanctifying you. Um , that is real Christianity, but we have, so dichotomized our Christian experience and said, well, this is safe. We don't want to do any of that because we don't, we don't want to risk anything. And so Christians are actually not living. Um , and that's, that's a really sad state Christianity in , in , in , in a, in a, in an effective way should live in the tension. They just should, dude. I'm I'm with you brother. I do. Yeah . I think there's a couple more conversations that we need to have as we continue down the road. But man, thank you so much friends. If you are listening today , um, I really hope that , uh , that you, you hear this and that you realize God has called you, you know, part of our UIW , iwi community, those of you who are already living in the tension, this is you, you were so primed to live what Thomas is talking about. And I believe that not only are you the leaders of the church today, but you are forming the leaders of the church of tomorrow. And that's why we want you to understand this. So Thomas, where else can they go to , um , like you've , we've just gotten a little bit into it, right. You know, they they've stoked it. We're giving people freedom. You have the freedom. Like you can live in both of those spaces together in the tension. Where can they go to find out more like maybe, you know, it might be just to see examples of it, humble beast or canvas , like share a little bit where they can check this out . You can always go to the movies . You could go to the humble beast.com . You could go to the canvas conference.com. There's also another community called the rabbit room , uh , which is very helpful. They're they're processing some of these concepts. Um, yeah, I think , uh, yeah, follow us on, on Instagram that might help we'll oftentimes point you to various people who are doing really beautiful things. Part of what we do at humble beast is to put on display people who are doing a really good job, sitting in attention, making a view , making beautiful things with a strong theological conviction and high love for the church. Uh , so yeah, just follow us on Instagram. We'll we'll point you in the right places. So yeah , that's awesome. Thomas, thank you so much. My brother for being on, thank you, friends for joining. Another episode of the future is here. Uh , we're excited about what God's up to. Every conversation I'm like, that's the church I want to be a part of, but here's the, here's the beautiful thing. God has asked us to cocreate that with him. So we get to be the creators of that with God, as he continues to be faithful to his body, to the church , uh , to his word and the gospel. So it's on us friends and , and instead of feeling a burden of that, I feel like excited. I , I feel joy. I love , uh , Thomas , as you said , talk about it. Um, how enchanting it is, how beautiful it is. And I think we miss that sometimes. So brother, thank you so much for being on. Join us for the next episode of the future is here. Thanks for joining us friends face. If you enjoyed what you heard today, we don't

Speaker 4:

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