Resources for Thinking about and Acting Biblically on Race, Culture and Current Events: A Twitter Thread from Dr. Anthony B. Bradley

Today Dr. Anthony Bradley posted a 23-tweet thread that covers just about any and everything you need to consider if you have a question.

Each numbered tweet references a book, post or video worth your time. It’ll take me years to work through it all, but I’m determined to learn.

From @drantbradley Twitter thread from June 25, 2020

  1. Reclaiming my time. Had a dream last night that there was a major evangelical discussion about race and the advert had white, Asian, & Latino males, but for the black person, it was photo of Aunt Jemima. I was ranting on Twitter. I’m taking that as a sign so I’m moving on. Why?
  2. With every podcast, I’m regurgitating points I’ve been making since 1998. Not saying anything new. So, if you’re interested in having a multi-ethnic future for your local church and/or Christian edu, I have a book on that. Do what the appendix says.

Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions Paperback – May 6, 2013 by Anthony B. Bradley

  1. Here are my thoughts on George Floyd, protests, & police reform:

Acton Line podcast: Anthony Bradley on George Floyd, police reform, and riots

  1. The fact that many conservative evangelicals refuse to utter the phrase “Black Lives Matter” reveals that their primary allegiance is to political ideology. It’s neurotic. Jonathan Haidt explains conservative conformity pressure.

Jonathan Haidt Explains Our Contentious Culture February 3, 2012 [Note from Jim Moon Jr – Dr. Carl Ellis Jr’s post “Reflections on Black Lives Matter” is excellent as well.

  1. Evangelicalism is anemic & vacuous at the intersection of faith & culture because of its deep ignorance of 500 years worth of Christian social thought principles. No blog from TGC, T4G, DG, any 600-word op-ed on “the gospel” + random verses, etc will provide you tools for 2020.


  1. Talking to evangelicals who don’t know sphere sovereignty, personalism, eudaimonia, subsidiarity, etc. but want to offer cherry-picked biblicist solutions is a waste of time. They need to study Christian political philosophy.

Political Visions & Illusions: A Survey & Christian Critique of Contemporary Ideologies 2nd Edition by David T. Koyzis (Author), Richard J. Mouw (Foreword)

  1. Christians not operating from a Confession of Faith are wasting time & money trying to connect dots already connected 300/400 years ago. We cannot demand orthopraxis when their orthodoxy has no depth beyond an 8-point “What We Believe” link. Start here>

Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition Paperback – December 12, 2005 by Jaroslav Pelikan  (Author)

  1. Anti-racism is truncated & is an anthropology of negation. It may prevent injustice but that does not provide the conditions needed for black thriving. That’s a discussion about political and economic liberty and black personalism

The Political Economy of Liberation: Thomas Sowell and James Cone on the Black Experience – February 29, 2012 by Anthony Bradley (Author)

  1. For people who have no religion, being anti-racist fills many voids left by leaving faith traditions. It provides a framework for transcendence of the self, sin, redemption, public worship, toppling “idols,” atonement, etc. Christians don’t need it.

“Anti-racism, our flawed new religion”

  1. Black thriving also *must* include moral formation of the whole black person. I have a book coming out on this very soon. It includes chapters from *black female scholars* with PhDs who do more than just Tweet, podcast, & write blog posts. Coming soon is Why Black Lives Matter.


  1. Evangelical’s inability to concede that sinners can create systems in local communities that treat the disliked as “the other” need to read about the systemic injustice against lower class white people of Scots/Irish decent. It happened to blacks too.

Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness by Matt Wray  (Author) [Note from Jim Moon, Jr. – I found White Trash: The 400-year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg]

  1. If your conservative friends are struggling to believe America’s race history, structurally, have them watch this and then tell them to read the book, “The Color of Law.”

Video: Holy Post: Race in America by Phil Vischer


  1. Is America a “racist country?” As a theologian, the answer is “yes.” Why? Because every country that has people in is groupish & others other people. Ergo, every country on the planet earth is “racist.” Does it explain racial disparities everywhere, “no!”

Discrimination and Disparities Hardcover – March 5, 2019 By Thomas Sowell

  1. Does “white privilege” exist? Yes. Does it mean white people have easier lives/don’t have to work for things? “No!” It does mean that whiteness comes with the privilege of not having a range of burdens/liabilities. Class privilege too! These can intersect.

“No Racial Reconciliation Without Intersectionality and Privilege” by ANTHONY BRADLEY • January 13, 2014

  1. Intersectionality/CRT/Marxism are not threats to evangelicalism. Stop being silly. What’s destroyed American evangelicalism is white Christian nationalism. Since Jim Crow, evangelicalism’s gospel has proven no match for *that* syncretism. GenZ rejects it.

Raising Racists: The Socialization of White Children in the Jim Crow South (New Directions In Southern History)Paperback – March 22, 2018 by Kristina DuRocher Ph.D. (Author)

  1. Many people, ergo, believe evangelicalism to actually not be Christian because of the inability of its leaders to show self-critical gospel humility about its history without the hysteria of “becoming Marxist.” Instead you get defensive pride & arrogance.

Mississippi Praying Paperback – September 1, 2015 by N.A. N.A. (Author)

  1. If you’re in the PCA & relying on evangelicalism to help you think about culture. Why? It’s like bringing a Dollar Store mini-screwdriver set to repair a blown head gasket. Why are you not using Covenant Theology, the WCF, Kuyper, Scottish tradition? Why?

Video: “How Evangelicalism Undermined Reformed Applications of Cosmic Redemption” – Dr. Anthony Bradley

  1. If you’re in the PCA, authors with low sacramental views, not in connectional churches, don’t have a Confession of Faith, in networks where celebrity = credibility, dabble in Reformed fruit but reject the roots, cannot help you apply Presbyterianism.

On Being Presbyterian: Our Beliefs, Practices, And Stories By Sean Michael Lucas

  1. If you’re Presbyterian, here’s primer on the intersection of the Bible and the WCF for thinking about personal and social ethics. Seriously, this need to be in every PCA pastor’s library.

Biblical Christian Ethics Paperback – June 1, 1994 By David Clyde Jones (Author)

  1. Local church action on race? Use your church to facilitate transitional justice in your town. Convene local politicians, non-profit leaders, etc. to do this work. Your church should be a community center as well.

“Finally Healing the Wounds of Jim Crow” by Anthony Bradley

  1. If you’re looking for writers to explain how we got here, here’s a start. Read these like you’re an adult: eat the meat & spit out the bones. It doesn’t need to be from a tribal publisher to trust it. Stop being a lazy thinker. God gave you Reason.

  1. I connect all these dots and apply 400 years of Christian social thought principles to issues in American life in this book, if you’d like a model for how this is done. It’s a personalist approach to social issues. It’s about human flourishing.

Something Seems Strange: Critical Essays on Christianity, Public Policy, and Contemporary Culture Paperback – September 21, 2016 by Anthony B. Bradley  (Author)

  1. I’m slowly learning that being non-tribal in a Facebook formed/confirmation bias world get you published/heard nowhere so . . . .

Thank you Dr. Bradley. Many blessings in your teaching and writing ministry!

3 Factors in Quarantine Burnout

I coach and consult with high-capacity leaders, and I’m hearing them express increased levels of irritability and fatigue as the quarantine continues. When normally diligent, gospel-focused, hard-working people report a surprisingly decreased level of energy, it should get our attention. Even with less activity, I see some signs of burnout of a different kind. I feel it in myself too.

What might contribute to our quarantine burnout?

Burnout factor #1: We’re made for whole-person interaction but half-living largely dis-embodied lives.

Prior to the quarantine, our lives flowed between in the flesh interaction and supplemented with digital. Now, we’re stuck in one extreme. We’re cut off from the whole-person kind of interaction for which God created us. We simply are not together in time and space. And it wears on us. We are, in an important manner, literally alienated from work.

One psychiatrist wrote that the anticipation mechanisms in our embodied brains act “like a cell phone that keeps ‘looking’ for cell service… we are much more tired when our bodies can’t find each other in real time and space.” That’s a new type of exhaustion.cellphoneservice

We’re in more video calls between 9-5 than ever, then turn around and get back on for personal leisure time. The dissonance and tension in your brain and body contribute to feeling tired and unlike your normal self. BBC Worklife says that with all this time on video calls, “You cannot relax into conversation[s] naturally.” We never really unwind.

You and I are made for actual, human, embodied interaction and rest. We can’t have it right now.

Burnout factor #2. You’re made by God to win but you’re losing in ways you’ve never lost before.

Think about it: after making mankind in His own image, Genesis 1:28 shows us God intention was for us to win.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion….

Most of us felt stable in our vocations and jobs prior to this disruption. We, in many ways, were used to winning. But not anymore.

We’re losing control. Even if you haven’t lost your life or a loved one, stop and consider this question: what are you losing? Control of schedule, freedom, plans, dreams, graduations, jobs, security, savings and a sense of a stable future. That is a lot to be losing. And I’m sure there is more.

And yet we still feel the performative pressure to subdue, have dominion and succeed. To one degree or another we’ve all experienced emotional loss that leads to low-level exhaustion.

Burnout Factor #3: You’re made to worship God together but sort-of worshiping isn’t satisfying.

Jason, pastor friend of mine, compared virtual worship services to a ‘take out’ meal in a recent sermon. That made me pause and think. Like take-out is okay, it isn’t profoundly satisfying. We are made by God to commune together with Him over a rich, sit-down meal of worship.

Right hand holding a brown paper bag isolated on white with clipping path.

Recorded worship services and Zoom community groups are better than nothing. But you’re yearning to get back to corporate, embodied, gathered worship with God’s family. In quarantine, we can’t expect spiritual fast-food take out to spiritually and emotionally satisfy the hunger and thirst we have for worship with God’s people.

What to do?

  1. Admit the truth. To friends, family, God and yourself admit that you’re simply a human with limits. When I say that out loud, it acts like a hard reset on for my phone. Confession shuts off the background programs that drain me and reminds me that I’m a human, made in the image of God.
  2. Turn from little gods. We all set up false saviors in your own hearts who punish us when we fail them. Thankfully, there is a real God who has had mercy on us all.
  3. Turn to God’s mercy and grace.  Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we are rescued and renewed, even in times of quarantine. In the midst of this confusing season, He knows the plan that is best for you and you can trust Him, rest in Him completely. Totally.I hate waiting
  4. Wait patiently. I admit, I’m more like Indigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. I hate waiting. But I’m learning again and again to not walk away from the Lord when I’m frustrated by circumstance, loss and half-living.

Let’s ask ourselves: what is the Holy Spirit prompting me to believe about Jesus that will change and renew me during this quarantine season?

I’d love to hear what you think.

Two Missional Ideas during Quarantine

‘I don’t know how to reach out and help! Or even if I should?!’

In a season of quarantine and social distancing, how can local churches continue their mission to reach out beyond what are now virtual walls?


As a gospel coach to many pastors and church planters in the US and UK, I’ve heard two good ideas worth trying.

1. Neighborliness Note

Andy W. and his wife, who planted in a very secular city, took the initiative to put a note with their names and phone numbers on the door of every house on their short street. The note simply suggested forming a social media group to stay in touch. Here’s what they found helpful.

  • Suggest an app like WhatsApp or GroupMe.
  • At the beginning, act like a host of a virtual party, asking questions of those that join the group.
  • Ask if anyone is sick or needs help with anything.
  • Let members of the group meet the needs that are shared.
  • Pray for the people in the group privately.
  • Ask your church to pray about starting a group on their street.

Interestingly, this idea wasn’t the brainstorm of a cutting edge church planter. Andy brilliantly did his R&D and ripped off and duplicated the idea from his mother who lives in a small town.


What are the baby steps of missional living? Loving your actual neighbor, right? This is a great time and season to start with a simple note.

2. Cooperate with Local Food Pantries

Sam K, a planter who meets in a local middle school was burdened for the many students who would go without free or reduced-price lunches. With job losses and children out of school the crisis got real quickly for many near his church. So they mobilized to work with a large community-based non-profit that already had infrastructure in place. The life blood of every non-profit are willing volunteers and donations. Here’s what to do:

  • Search for the nearest food pantry.
  • Contact them and find out what how you can help.
  • Spread the word in your church, neighborhood and social circles.
  • If you are healthy, go and serve, while observing appropriate social distancing.

Be part of the solution for families and children in crisis. Your church can be truly helpful in this time of crisis.

What are the baby steps of missional living? Loving your neighbors, right? It’s a great time and season to start with donating time and food to those in distress.

How is your church being missional? Let me know. I’d love to hear more good news.

Big Island Update

Most of you know that through CMM, the ministry where I serve, I’ve been very involved in a church planting and renewal movement in a big island south of Florida. I can’t say much for security reasons, but I wanted to share a little in word, picture and a quote.

My last trip was amazingly good! I was super encouraged by how the national leaders are expanding the work (see stats below). Three more key towns and cities receive training this month – in spite of the challenges of transportation issues. How is gospel coaching impacting this island?

One key pastor told me, “I’m using gospel coaching in all kinds of conversations now. I’ve learned to listen better and I always have the gospel tools in mind whether it is an intentional appointment or an informal conversation.

I want to train all of our pastors and wives in gospel coaching. Their ministries are hard and they are isolated, so we need to develop networks of gospel coaching all across our city, province and the whole country!”

My last trip was amazingly hard. Would you pray for my friends/colleagues who endure daily difficulties? It breaks my heart to hear their struggles in health, personal economics and powerlessness. But they challenge me when I see them trusting the Lord in ways that I/we do not. These believers on the big island depend on Jesus in prayer. They live inter-dependently. They obey the Lord. They suffer well. Lift them up!

As CMM trained leaders in the US and other countries, the Lord is moving. How? Men and women were learning the heart of gospel coaching – confessing sin and their need for Jesus and being empowered by what Jesus is doing and has done for them! To varying degrees, the Spirit of God wrecks and rebuilds the hearts and minds of the trainees and trainers too!

Please pray for me to trust Jesus and not my own abilities! Pray for safe travel, for my wife while I’m gone and for powerful Holy Spirit transformation of the people I encounter. And me too!

Here are 8 of the 10 fully trained, equipped and certified staff-level trainers on the big island. This photo represents 5 years of profound love, language-learning in our 50s and joyful, life-changing labor together. This year, these trainers directly impact more than 20 cities and towns with the gospel of Jesus! And they have plans to transform people in every province! Dear friends! Thank you for your prayers and support of us and them!

Below are 30 of the 55+ currently certified trainers and gospel coaches! There are another 150+ in the training process!

In the US, gospel coaching is growing into so many other denominations, networks and churches! In this picture of a recent training in Atlanta, there are eight groups represented from Baptist, Episcopalian, Pentecostal, and the PCA in Canada, SE Asia and Mexico. What an answer to prayer!

To the King!

Exhausted Leaders

Exhausted I’m so busy! It’s all good stuff, but between work and family and serving the church, I’m exhausted.

How many times have you heard this from a high-capacity leader? Or thought something similarly to yourself? I know I have.

Exhaustion is the preceding problem to many bigger issues in organizations and individual lives. It should be an alarming warning light you take seriously.

So, why do leaders work near the edge of exhaustion?

As a coach to high-capacity leaders, I’ve seen a few common reasons. Here are two:

  1. High commitment to work hard with low commitment to basic spirituality.

High-capacity leaders get affirmed and rewarded for hard work and an ability to produce. I can do many things well all at the same time. It seems, at least initially, that perpetual busyness pays off!

But does it pay off? If you’ve been leading for more than a decade, you know it doesn’t. Even if you won’t admit it to yourself. High-capacity leaders get exhausted and it leads to bigger problems.

I hate this quote from Eugene Peterson so much I have it taped to my monitor.

Busyness is the enemy of spirituality. It is essentially laziness…. filling our time with our own actions instead of paying attention to God’s actions.

I hate it because he’s right.

God says rest one day in seven. I think it’s a trick to keep me from doing my job with excellence. God tells us to pray and meditate on Him and His Word. I can think of 15 more urgent things to get done yesterday. Over the long haul, endless hard work without biblical spirituality sets you up to feeling exhausted.

  1. High capacity to make things happen with low capacity to trust what has happened.

My first management job at age 21 was on the road leading five other young men on tour with a music production company out of St. Petersburg FL. The mission was: “Make It Happen!” Literally, the shows had to go on no matter what!

High-capacity leaders get addicted to making it happen because we get our value and identity out of doing. But this short-changes the profound truth that leaders are human beings, created in the image of God.

High-capacity leaders are human beings, not a human doings.

You’re made to thrive in a relationship with God, other people and His creation. And all that was done for you by God through Jesus.

What is the risk of exhausted high-capacity leaders?

You tell me. You’ve seen it. What happens when leaders are exhausted?

Some complain, some quit, others quit and don’t tell you. Others burnout and some make catastrophically bad decisions that impact everyone around them.

Exhausted leaders have a problem that can be addressed. If you see yourself headed in this direction, a gospel coach can help you learn to live based on what Jesus has done.

Gospel coaches help high-capacity leaders do well in work but not at the expense of your soul and the things you truly value like family, ministry and health.

CMM can help you find a gospel coach and even train you to coach other high-capacity leaders. Let us know how we can help.

What’s at the Top of the Leader Chart?

You made it to top-leader status!
Finally! You worked your way up to top-level leadership. This is what you’ve worked for and always wanted, right? How does it feel to be at the top of the org chart? In many ways, if you’re geared for high level leadership, it is great!
As a coach, I have conversations with top leaders in their organizations or churches. If you are a top leader, you know one other common feeling is loneliness.
Lonely for two reasons.
1. On your way up, you were a leader among peers. You likely were a good team player and led within the rank and file. Many other people shared a similar perspective on the organization. You had access to collaborators and sounding boards. And you didn’t have to make the tough calls.
But now you are the church planter. Or the pastor. Or the president. Who is your peer? Nobody. Who has to set the direction and make tough calls? You. Just you.
2. No way to practice top leadership. The skills developed within an organization are different than the skills necessary for guiding leadership. You just don’t know exactly what you need to know until you need to know.
Someone in your corner
Like a boxer in a match, a gospel coach helps pastors, leaders and church planters develop skills for top leadership while you are a top leader during the fight. The relationship is confidential, so a top leader can honestly confess weakness and struggle to someone outside of the supervisory structure in the organization.

Don’t be foolish and proud. If you are planting a church, starting a revitalization work in an existing church or tackling a new job in a not-for-profit, don’t try to lead without a coach. Everyone needs a coach. Everyone needs the gospel.

Coaching ‘large’ leaders into team leaders: three challenges

Before it became a meme and part of the urban dictionary, the phrase, “large and in charge” was a compliment for a leader. Generally it still is when used in books and pop culture. By wiktionary’s account, it means a leader who is ‘dominating or controlling a situation with confidence and aplomb’. Are you a large and in charge leader?
If you are, large and in charge leaders must form and work with a team to reach max potential. Gospel coaching helps leaders like you overcome three challenges.
1. Leaders like you think team members are like them. I’ve made this mistake. Just because you are committed and focused doesn’t automatically transfer to team players. Your team players have different drives, capacities, priorities, gifts and personalities. Leader, how well do you know yourself and your team?
I was coaching one strong key leader and it was clear that he expected everyone to have the same level of intensity and clarity he did. Even though he was a pastor, he didn’t want to be bothered with people who weren’t on the same page. This can lead to frustration on everyone’s part. Gospel coaching has transformed him as we worked through his motives and idolatry.
2. Leaders like you assume that telling someone how = delegating. Not so. Delegating has at least two more steps between giving directions and have a responsibility delegated well. Many times in ministry, leaders skip two vital steps. You must coach and encourage your team players.
Consider how you were trained. If you went to school formally, you will tend to make everything a class and assume that knowledge equals ability. If you want to train more disciples and leaders, you have to learn a new skill, which takes practice and repetition and encouragement from an experienced coach.
3. Leaders like you don’t know what to look for in team players. It takes a certain amount of wisdom and assessment to discern who should be on a ministry team. Patrick Lencioni says an ideal team player is humble, hungry and smart. All three are important.
If you are a leader and you want to evangelize and disciple more people, you need a gospel coach who is going to work through how to recruit, train and lead a team.

Gospel Coaching Changes Leaders

My job as Coaching Catalyst at CMM gives me the chance to work closely with a lot of amazing leaders. In one case, it’s a place few people in the US have visited in the last 50-60 years.
Just south of Florida, there is a movement of the gospel where thousands are coming to faith and where there’s a hunger for leadership training and gospel coaching among pastors and disciples young and old.
Four years ago, I had the privilege of offering the first Gospel Coach training there to a group of 20 young Christians in a city on the island. I was so nervous. My ability to speak seemed like a barrier. I had no idea how it would be received. Then, to top it off, due to technical limits, CMM’s normal method for practicums (video conferencing) was impossible. So the groups agreed to practice on their own. I was skeptical.

When I came back six months later, I was surprised to hear the results. More than half of these volunteer leaders in this new church met every 3-4 weeks to practice Gospel coaching together. One man hitchhiked from an hour away to meet with his group. They said things like,
  • I knew a lot before from previous classes, but Gospel Coaching brought all the things I’ve learned all together.
  • This is a brand new way to approach discipleship.
  • Gospel coaching has changed our marriage.
  • I’ve never shared some of the things that I’ve shared with anyone before. And Iam still loved.
  • This is changing the culture of our leadership.
By intentionally gathering and practicing the skill of coaching the gospel, this group of young Christians learned to help each other apply the biblical doctrines of grace in each other’s lives. Profoundly.

Broken Pastor

Talking to a pastor friend the other day. Reminded me of what I wrote a few years ago.

I’m a Broken Pastor. Some think it is a downer or a bummer, like they should be sorry for me. Like brokenness is permanently bad.

It was bad, but it is good now. SO GOOD!

brokenness pic

A wild horse, a rebellious son and a stubborn pastor all need to be broken to be made whole. Broken to the point where blood is spilt. Blood must be sacrificed for restoration. The gospel requires brokenness.

I am more sinful than I ever dared consider. I’m am not that good. Nor am I better than anyone else.

But I’m loved. More loved than I’ve ever dared imagine.

That makes the brokenness so worth it. The love of God has been proven by the brokenness of Christ.

Now I’m ruined for anything other than what King Jesus wants of me. He broke me out of kindness. And I’m grateful. Yes it hurt – but oh, the glory of the restoration is better!

As a friend of mine always say, you’re never beyond mending.

The mending process has been great. It’s the beginning of the second half of my life and I’m thrilled to be a Broken Pastor.

Pastor Pro Tip: after Easter

Pro Tip: Often after resurrection comes doubt

Doubt and despair have a funny way of sneaking in the backdoor after hours. 

[Note: Didn’t expect it, but I’m jumping back in. Preaching on Easter Sunday tomorrow. First time in Spanish, translating myself into English. Wow, I need to be reminded of God’s grace and power again. Pray for me!]

I’ve preached Easter sermons 13 out of the last 15 years. Most of those years, right after celebrating Easter, I would get hit by lies and doubts and want to quit. Sometimes on the way home from service, other times that night when I was wrung out. I am the worst at tying my performance to my happiness. Even Jesus’ followers had their doubts after His resurrection (Thomas, Peter).

If you feel that way on Sunday or Monday, it’s a normal temptation. But it’s also one from the pit of hell and smells like smoke. Be quick to repent and run to the truth of Jesus’ love. If you can’t remember, call until you find someone who will remind you. Call me and I’ll remind you!

Reminder for Easter and after

You are beloved. NOT based on how well your Easter sermon goes or how smart you are or how many people attended or how many of them think you are awesome or how much (insert name of your worst critic here) thinks you stink.

You are beloved simply because God loves you. Because Jesus died for you and was raised again and by the faith the Father gives you, you receive his life and righteousness! Prepare and preach like a warrior remembering your acceptability is BASED ON WHAT JESUS DID!!!

Revel in this: you GET to be part of the in-breaking of GOD’s Kingdom as you preach and pastor/plant JESUS’ church. It isn’t your church. Or even technically your sermon. The Holy Spirit preaches the gospel as you preach. He is the power!

One other pro tip: Don’t take yourself too seriously. My colleague Tom Wood wrote a great post about an Easter sermon illustration he used one year. I dare you to use it. I want to hear the stories!

As a planter and a coach for church planters with CMM, I have to say I’m proud of all of you who preaching the gospel in church plants on Resurrection Sunday. Its our big day as Christians!