Come Alive! Talbot Davis' Message to the Church
October 5, 2023
In this captivating episode, I sit down with renowned author, pastor, and Methodist Church leader, Talbot Davis, to delve into his transformative "Come Alive" series. Davis takes us on a spiritual journey, sharing his profound insights on how to breathe life into our faith and rediscover purpose. With wisdom drawn from years of pastoral experience and his influential role in the Methodist Church, he reveals practical steps for breaking free from spiritual stagnation and embracing the abundant life promised in Scripture. Prepare to "Come Alive" in a whole new way.
Youtube - https://youtu.be/31isUrUQixY
Find out more about Talbot here - https://talbotdavis.com/
Plus, check out the video course on Heaven that I recently released: courses.andymilleriii.com/p/heaven
And don’t forget about my new book Contender, which is available on Amazon!
Five Steps to Deeper Teaching and Preaching - Recently, I updated this PDF document and added a 45-minute teaching video with slides, explaining this tool. It's like a mini-course. If you sign up for my list, I will send this free resource to you. Sign up here - www.AndyMillerIII.com or Five Steps to Deeper Teaching and Preaching.
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Thanks too to Phil Laeger for my podcast music. You can find out about Phil's music at https://www.laeger.net
Welcome to the more, to the story podcast. I'm, so glad that you have come along. Look! We have a great episode for you today, and I'm glad that you're checking this out with an effective password. I've wanted to talk to for a long time. But first, you need to know that this podcast is brought to you by Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches, and we do that through a host of programs from our Wesley Institute, which is for late people, Sunday school teachers, pastors who wanna refresh
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Andy Miller III: their own content and we have a Bible track and a theology track. It's 9 months takes you through every book of the Bible or a host of theological topics.
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Andy Miller III: and it's a real opportunity for me to be able to continue, and the time that I put in to make this all happen. So if you make a donation of $25 or more on my website, you can get your very own more. This story mug. I kinda feel funny saying that. And you can also sign up for my email list at Andy Miller, the third.com. That's Andy Miller. ii.com and I'll send you a
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free tool called 5 steps to deeper teaching and preaching. I have some small group resources that are available there as well, one on the Book of Jude, another one that's just coming out and the beginning of September on heaven. 5 sessions. I'd love for you to check those out alright. I am so glad to welcome into Podcast my new friend.
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Talbot Davis: Talbot Davis, who serves as pastor of Good Shepherd Church in the Charlotte area, Talbot. Welcome to the podcast well, great to be here Andy. Thank you for having me.
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Talbot Davis: I've watched you for a while. We became friends on social media, and I saw you on Twitter, probably before that, and see some of the things that are ha is happening through your ministry at your church, and all that God's doing there. And so I'm interested for the opportunity to finally engage you. Could you just tell us a little about yourself, and how you got to serve in this role at this church? Yeah. Well, II grew up in Dallas. Okay? And then I went to college in New Jersey. And that's where I sort of sense to call the ministry.
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Talbot Davis: And somewhere along the line in in college. I'd heard that if okay, if you're a Methodist, which I kinda was.
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Talbot Davis: even though I wasn't raised in the church at all became a Christian when I was 17. But that, if you're Methodist and you believe in the Bible, you gotta go to Asbury Seminary, and so I. Then I said no to going into ministry, and worked for a few years in the tennis business in New Jersey, and then I Re heard the call all over again, and that's when we packed up my wife and I, we packed up and moved from New Jersey
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Talbot Davis: to Kentucky, cause. You know, the State song of New Jersey is born to run, and there's a line that says it's a death trap. It's a suicide rap. You gotta get out while you're young. So we got out. Why, we're young and and landed in Asbury Seminary
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Talbot Davis: where I where I went for 3 years, and then in during that time connect with a Methodist in Western North Carolina, United Methodist, got ordained.
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Talbot Davis: served the first 9 years in a place called Monroe, North Carolina. Okay? And then, in 1,999, I became the second pastor
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Talbot Davis: at Good Shepard Church, which had started in 91,
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Talbot Davis: and I'm I
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Talbot Davis: took over from the founding pastor, and I've been there ever since. Wow! Now that is a long time to be serving any like a quarter of a century. And
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Talbot Davis: these days, if you if you do look around, whether it's in Western North Carolina or or nationwide.
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Talbot Davis: most churches that are that are less than a favored enough to get large 1,000 people or more. The pastors been there a long time, and and so cause the the at some level. In spite of itineracy, our system learned that long pastoral tenures lead to church health and church health
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Talbot Davis: leads to church growth.
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Andy Miller III: It's just interesting, of course, to make that connection church health to church growth. And II appreciate you saying that because so often the emphasis is on the church growth side, like we want that we want. We want the success. We want to be a large church, a Mega church, whatever it is. I want to be like Andy Stanley, or whoever it is. Draw that connection out a little bit more for me.
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Talbot Davis: I did. I feel like those 2 are tightly connected that that I would never want to focus so much on being healthy that II don't turn outward in what we do. So I mean, I always want us to get bigger. But II also have this recognition that when you are internally healthy.
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Talbot Davis: with healthy relationships and and and emotionally healthy, as far as I can be, and spiritually healthy leader, then that sort of bleeds out into the rest of the system.
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Talbot Davis: And and so we we just have been
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Talbot Davis: the even the the people around me on the kind of the the leadership team of the staff. We all have been in here double digit years. So there's a lot of blessings to continuity.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah, you know, I was in a class. You might know the professor, Ron Crandall, and I had a I remember it was a is attractive to me, because II don't know. At the time when I was serving the Salvation Army the size of most congregations. But my guess is at the time this is early, 2,000,
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Andy Miller III: probably like the average having congregation is somewhere between 30 and 50. That's why II would guess across the country 1,200 churches. So he added, to class and small church evangelism and
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Andy Miller III: the first half of the class for several months. We just talking about the beauty and the wonder of small churches. And like, I was also, I'm like, Yeah, well, in this case established. We're we're in great shape because we got so many of them. And I remember this moment where he he kind of pivoted. I think he probably was playing a bit of a game with us, and he said, But a small church.
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Andy Miller III: if it's effective in the mission.
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Andy Miller III: won't stay a small church. Yeah, like. And and we're not. We're not trying to say like, that's the goal to get to be achieve a certain number. But it has to be outward facing which necessitates growth.
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Talbot Davis: Yeah, so that's kind of what you found here. Like is like, okay, we have to be both these things. We have to be a healthy church and an outward focused church. I love the old cliche. You can't be a mile wide and an inch deep, and so we've always well. We've always thought that the the deeper the teaching kind of the more applicable it is to everybody. And so
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Talbot Davis: II we don't really follow models of like secret sensitive. Those are so nineties, anyway, we just we we do want to be healthy and alive.
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Andy Miller III: Gotcha. So when you've moved through this process. You guys have like, you're a large church. You've been able to serve there for a while.
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Andy Miller III: One of the thing I wanna get to like what's happening and happening in Methodism as a whole. Yeah, you've written several books, and they're interesting to me. They're they're this come alive series. And I love for people to check these out, and I'm thinking particularly of people training for ministry to like like. I like. I teach a preaching class right now I love for people. Take a look at this book to see kind of a model what ministry look like looks like, but also
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Andy Miller III: how to go about interpreting a passage, how to think of an audience. And then also, what can be used from that content you develop in other venues. Yeah, yeah, thank you for that. So there, there are
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Talbot Davis: currently 6 come alive. Volumes. Okay? And they're published by invite press out of plano and the the cool thing, and the whether it's the Come alive books or the earlier books with Abingdon press. Yeah, II never set out to write a book.
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Talbot Davis: The The Come alive started out as emails
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Talbot Davis: to the guys in my men's life group. Okay? Because I sort of got tired of saying to people.
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Talbot Davis: read the Bible, will you just you know I wanted to take them by the shoulders and read the Bible. And and I realized, instead of shaming people into reading the Bible, I could come alongside them and help them read the Bible.
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Talbot Davis: And so I started out with an email to 14 guys
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Andy Miller III: guys, we're going to go through the gospel of Mark in the next 2 weeks. And I'm going to help you every morning with what we're reading.
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Talbot Davis: Well, that email list just sort of grew and more people got interested. And then I'd I'd mentioned it on a Sunday or 2. And then Covid happened. And I started putting the emails, writing emails and then putting it on Facebook and connected to it on Twitter. And then it really grew. And then Covid kept happening. And I kept mentioning on Sundays. And now that email list that started at 14 people has 2,125 people.
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Talbot Davis: And it used to be called word before the world because the concept was
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Talbot Davis: open. The word
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Talbot Davis: before you encounter the world, everybody begins their days on their devices, and all that does is get you anxious and stressed. And so I was like, start the day in the word, and I'll help you go through
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Talbot Davis: the word.
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Talbot Davis: Well, as it kept growing and mushrooming on on Facebook. And beyond that, honestly, what happened is that the people in Plano would invite resources.
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Talbot Davis: They said, we really like this.
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Talbot Davis: I'd like to turn them into books. Wow! And I was like, I was not trying to write books. I was just trying to help people in the church and beyond
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Talbot Davis: come to love the Bible so that they could adore the Savior. That's that's the that's the purpose of it all. We want people to love the Scripture so they can adore the Savior.
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Andy Miller III: Hello! And and just through a kind of a interesting process
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Talbot Davis: invite, has assembled all these daily prompts
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Talbot Davis: into books on. There's a book on Matthew and Galatians and Ephesians, Philippians and Cautions, Proverbs.
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Talbot Davis: Ecclesiastes. and now in September it's a Ruth of one book on on Ruth Esther and Jonah
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Andy Miller III: interesting now, and looking at the. And I've seen a couple of these books and just looking at each of the days like they're split up in today's like about the 25.
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Andy Miller III: yeah, okay, make sure. I have that right? The 2 I saw I had 25 days. I'm not. But this is interesting, is it? It's not like they. I appreciate the humility, Talbot, like I truly I do and like.
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Andy Miller III: But it's not like it's a small task to write an email walking people through a passage of Scripture. I mean the you've studied. Obviously you've developed some sort of plot line. You have a goal. You kind of the theme line. I mean, there's significant. Tell tell me about the process that you go through to even these emails. Honestly, III wish it wasn't so personal, but the the process was
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Talbot Davis: 4 or 5 years ago. I stopped taking the morning newspaper. I didn't need to know what murders had happened in Charlotte, or where the traffic was bad. I needed to start my day in the word honestly, and and when I made that shift.
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Talbot Davis: and I process my thoughts by writing them.
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Talbot Davis: and and so every I mean I'm up early every morning.
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Talbot Davis: reading and processing those thoughts verbally.
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Talbot Davis: Praying before II process the thoughts and then hitting send.
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Talbot Davis: And yeah, I have a lifetime. An adult lifetime of studying Scripture learned a marvelous Bible study method at Asbury called methodical Bible study great. So I apply all those, all the literary ways of of reading the Scripture and Andy. Here's here's kind of the
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Talbot Davis: sweet spot at which we've landed. It is much heavier than a daily devotion.
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Talbot Davis: Yes, II first wanted to say, these are devotionals for people who hate devotionals because I hate devotion.
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Talbot Davis: but it's so. It's heavier than a devotional. But it's it's lighter than a commentary, for sure. Yeah, yeah. So it is a, it's a hybrid. It's a common dosional.
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Talbot Davis: We we invented a whole new genre. And there you go.
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Talbot Davis: So yeah. And people seem to resonate with that, you know I don't. I don't like that fluffy little
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devotional material, and I'm but I'm not. I didn't go to seminary. I'm not ready for for a commentary, and it does, it seems to have hit a niche.
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Talbot Davis: Now do you have in mind that people will take these books, and you have a pass description? They read the passage, and then they read your thoughts on them. Is that the idea? Yes, yeah, on the on the email portion. Of course, the Scriptures hyperlinks. Okay? And in the in the book
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Talbot Davis: it's not hyperlinked, and we don't include the Scripture. But yeah, it's it it and and we do. We don't speed. Read. It's a short more sole each day because we want people savoring over a really good nugget. In that day. It was 90 days through Matthew. That's the longest book. The others are more and 45 days through proverbs the others have been more than 25
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Andy Miller III: to 30 days. Tell me a little bit, and I think people, particularly somebody who's preaching before a larger congregation. There's different type of demand. Tell me about your preaching preparations, you know. I imagine it's similar to the way that you, you know.
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Andy Miller III: process these devotions each day. Oh, wait a commendations, whatever you call them. Yeah, yeah, don't call them devotions.
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Talbot Davis: Well, there is an earlier book, Andy, and that one from Abingdon, called Simplify the message, multiply the impact. Okay? Interesting. That came out in 2020, and which is not a good year to release a book, and and February of 2020 is a worse month to release a book. But that's when Abingdon released that we didn't know pandemic was coming, of course, but that's when that came out.
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Talbot Davis: and it really spells out my preaching process. But
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Talbot Davis: so II work on messages way ahead
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Talbot Davis: like a couple of months ahead. Okay?
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Talbot Davis: And III chart out my series well in advance. And III tend to alternate series between. Ho what I would call vertical series and horizontal series.
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Talbot Davis: So like a horizontal series is dealing with difficult people.
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Talbot Davis: Okay? Yeah. Sure sure call it generically topical, but I like I like this. I don't like that distinction, I don't think had come just before it.
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Talbot Davis: That was the he is series, which was 4 weeks of the IM sayings. So a little more intentional on, on a small section of Scripture and definitely on people's relationship with God followed that, and that built up to Easter Sunday followed that with dealing with difficult people
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Andy Miller III: which hopped around Scripture a little bit.
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Andy Miller III: Okay.
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Talbot Davis: I did not know you'd read the book on preaching, and so forgive me, for I I'll have to tell people to go out and get that I only knew about these other books you had, so I didn't know about the Admin team once. I didn't know you had a book on preaching. Apparently. Apparently I didn't write a book on self promotion there. There were 6 books from Abington, okay.
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Talbot Davis: 5 of them were books
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Talbot Davis: of preaching. Abington turn sermon series into Bible studies, and they had titles like the storm before the call or Crash test dummies, which was a a series on the Book of Judges, where people keep getting in a car and driving into a wall and get out and do it all over again.
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Talbot Davis: And so the 5 books came out that way. And then at the end of that season, they released a book on preaching, which was the one book that I wrote setting out to write a book.
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Talbot Davis: Gotcha. Okay, that really, that simplify the message multiplied the impact. The idea that in our world clarity always triumphs over clutter.
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Andy Miller III: Yes.
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Talbot Davis: it's a little bit of a riff on Andy Stanley's communicating for a change, but going deeper into the types of onepoint sermons. Yes, yeah. And and and how how to preach without notes, and
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Talbot Davis: and how to do a free rule. There's a whole chapter on
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Talbot Davis: on Funeral Preaching. Yeah.
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Talbot Davis: Oh, I'm so glad to hear that I forgive me like II so glad to hear this book exists. Given forgiveness is extended. I kind of think you should use the book as a textbook seminary.
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Andy Miller III: Well, I just might. I just might. You know II use a couple of books and I've used Tom Long's a book, and and and even though there's theologically some things that I tell my students to watch out for. And you know, Tom Long, if you're listening sorry if I'm glad to talk to you about that. Same thing is true, but I also use my preaching. Mentor was Ellsworth Callus and preaching from the soul.
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Talbot Davis: and he taught me a method for preaching without notes, and try to get that through as well. I think this some of these these pieces, and also kind of this, the single point.
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Andy Miller III: a kind of
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Andy Miller III: he centers everything in a title. I think there's something to, and I love to kind of focus on clarity that you're saying as well.
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Talbot Davis: Yeah, it it early on in the book I talked about the the difference between Nike's logo
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Talbot Davis: and the logo of a general generic United Methodist Church, where? Yeah? And you can. And you can tell that E, even taking the cross and flame out, you can tell a lot of local churches. Do Logos trying to make everybody happy?
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Talbot Davis: Right? And so the logo is cluttered. You make everybody happy. You just don't communicate with anybody.
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Talbot Davis: Nike's logo is not cluttered.
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Talbot Davis: It's it's timeless. It's the difference between Yahoo's homepage and Google's homepage.
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Talbot Davis: Sure, yah! Yahoo's is dirty and cluttered and and Google's is one thing, search.
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Talbot Davis: So I applied that concept to preaching. Don't, don't preach. Don't tell me 3 things. Tell me one thing and tell me again and again and again. One thing.
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Andy Miller III: yes, I love it. Okay. So we'll have to have you on something. I have to read your book and then we'll talk. Maybe I have you on again and talk about it. Let me ask you about the book. What's that buy in bulk
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Andy Miller III: for contender going deeper in the book of Jude. Just out with Teleios Press and Francis Asbury Society press from. So let me throw this in there. All right, you're on elevator and you find out you're on there with a bunch of preachers. And you, you have to say to preachers, you get one message, you get 30 s you get to say to them about how they can more effectively preach
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Talbot Davis: what do you say? In those 30 Si would say, don't walk people through a sermon outline. Take them on a sermon adventure. Amen. You walk them through an outline, it puts them to sleep.
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Talbot Davis: You take them through an adventure. They don't know how you're gonna get out of the mess that you're in, or they're gonna get out of the mess that they're in as listeners, and then you deliver the empowering bottom line, and it's like, huh!
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Talbot Davis: That was worth the the anxiety, the stress.
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Talbot Davis: the release of the adventure.
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Talbot Davis: Oh, I love it. That's good. Yeah. And that means you have to build attention, too, doesn't it? Absolutely, you have to create the tension. Yes. And and yeah, and I think the tension could be one of 2 things. It's either tension that you put yourself in as a preacher
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Talbot Davis: like well.
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Talbot Davis: judges 16 one. And and Samson saw a prostitute and spent the night with her. Well, that's not my illustrated Children's Christian Children's Bible about Samson.
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Talbot Davis: How's the preacher going to get out of this or the the dilemma. You put the listener in.
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Talbot Davis: The the life things you know are going on in their circles of influence.
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Andy Miller III: Yes, that's really helpful. And and I think that's also true, not just for preachers. And I think you would say this too. I want to encourage, you know, some people might say no. Andy's talking to Tal, but they're both preachers. They're having a great time. Look, this is the exact same thing when you're in a Sunday school class when you're in another environment, even in a small group discussion. If you just come in and fire away your outline, or you come in and you like, tell
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Andy Miller III: tell people what you're gonna tell them, tell them, and then tell them again what you told them. Then pray, and tell God, what you told them. You're gonna miss, the opportunity to take them on the journey that you yourself have already been on. Yes, much better way. And this is actually in the book you go tell them you're gonna tell them something.
00:23:37.210 --> 00:23:44.060
Talbot Davis: and that if they don't get the thing that you're gonna tell them they're gonna die. Ha! And then tell them that thing.
00:23:44.270 --> 00:23:53.890
Talbot Davis: Maybe the stakes aren't quite that high, but that's the concept. Tell tell some I'm going to tell you something in in 7 or 8 min, and if you get this thing that I'm going to tell you.
00:23:54.700 --> 00:24:05.209
Talbot Davis: your relationships will be healthy. You'll you'll have assurance of what happens after you that whatever the promise is, but you do have to build that tension cause. Nobody goes to a movie
00:24:05.360 --> 00:24:10.990
Andy Miller III: to have the the the end of the movie revealed in the first 10 min.
00:24:12.100 --> 00:24:36.930
Andy Miller III: Yep! Oh, we should speak in my language here, Talbot, I love it, and I think like I could see that kind of approach in those in these. Sorry cut the come alive series as well like. I can see that that's what you're trying to do each day in those lessons, and I look at like kind of like the deductive approach to moving from an itch to a scratch like you have to develop a reason why people want to listen to this.
00:24:37.000 --> 00:24:45.269
Talbot Davis: Yes, and and and when it comes to the come, a live book, different than a sermon. II really hope to
00:24:45.380 --> 00:24:52.310
Talbot Davis: grow in the audience. Sort of a wonder and an appreciation for the skill of the Biblical authors.
00:24:52.600 --> 00:25:02.639
Talbot Davis: Yes, and when you understand what a genius John is when he writes, or what how brilliant Paul is when he's pacing around dictating a letter.
00:25:03.540 --> 00:25:22.729
Talbot Davis: or or even how courageous a man like Tychicus. Well, who is Tychicus? He's the delivery guy for Colossians. And when you realize how vital his role is in the whole process. Man, the all of Scripture just opens up. And and again, people, we want people to love the Scripture so they can adore the Savior.
00:25:22.890 --> 00:25:46.189
Andy Miller III: Amen. I love it well, Talbot, one of the other things about your ministry is that you've been obviously engaged for your whole time serving in in a church as a pastor in the United Methodist Church, and we're regularly working with people, you know, here at Wesley Biblical Seminary, and in this tradition a lot of people are still kind of wondering those on the outside, and I haven't person been outside the Methodist church for a long time.
00:25:46.460 --> 00:26:07.650
Talbot Davis: What's going on like, what's ha! What's happening like the church now? I mean, you and I are talking here in late August, but there's big changes coming, and that some churches have already felt. What from your seat, what's been happening with the United Methodist Church and all of this affiliations and the global methods, church, yeah. And I and I having I didn't grow up Christian, much less Methodist.
00:26:07.790 --> 00:26:22.050
Talbot Davis: Okay. And then, when I heard the call to ministry, II sense it was supposed to be within Methodism, and I always thought I'm supposed to help to bring life to this denomination, that even 40 years ago was was struggling, and
00:26:22.420 --> 00:26:31.409
Talbot Davis: and so I was sure that I was gonna be part of a, a, a, a movement of people who are really gonna restore Methodism to theological.
00:26:31.720 --> 00:26:33.640
Talbot Davis: It's theological roots.
00:26:33.670 --> 00:26:40.719
Talbot Davis: and I don't think that's happened in a large scale, and I'm just have to have have had to be very content that it has happened at Good Shepherd.
00:26:41.110 --> 00:26:45.419
Talbot Davis: and not that it was ever wayward. But we have. We have a identity.
00:26:45.610 --> 00:26:51.379
Talbot Davis: And whether it's in preaching or in leading a church clarity.
00:26:51.610 --> 00:26:53.070
Talbot Davis: his kindness.
00:26:53.430 --> 00:27:18.059
Talbot Davis: Yeah. So from the beginning on on the presenting issue within the United Methodist Church we have been lovingly clear, I hope, lovingly clear. I know we've been clear that we believe marriage is for one man and one woman, and we believe that homosexual intercourse is not God's design. We're not mad about it. In fact, right? We love marriage. We. We have a a thing at our church
00:27:18.300 --> 00:27:21.070
Talbot Davis: that there's enough pretty weddings out there.
00:27:21.350 --> 00:27:29.930
Talbot Davis: We're about beautiful marriages, and so we have a whole beautiful marriage movement. Yes, I love that really caught on.
00:27:29.960 --> 00:27:38.570
Talbot Davis: And so it's not so much that we're against one thing, though, though we're, we're God, says, No, we're we. We agree with God.
00:27:38.890 --> 00:27:59.880
Talbot Davis: Amen. We're really for the reason we're against it is because we're so for beautiful marriages. And so in in in our case, there's a lot of cohesion, a lot of clarity, and as we move towards our own ultimate departure from the denomination, you know, I've got a lot of heaviness in my heart and people I've worked with and known for years and years
00:27:59.960 --> 00:28:13.539
Talbot Davis: and yet through it all there's a gospel I love a a Scripture I love, and and a and a and a teaching that I'm proud to be aligned with. What one of the things that I say a lot
00:28:13.830 --> 00:28:20.110
Talbot Davis: when it comes to marriage. I am not smarter than Paul. and I'm not more enlightened than Moses.
00:28:20.810 --> 00:28:30.329
Talbot Davis: and neither one of them gave us any wiggle room when it comes to. and and even when Jesus could have redefined it
00:28:30.580 --> 00:28:32.760
Talbot Davis: right, he reinforced it.
00:28:32.990 --> 00:28:46.699
Talbot Davis: Yes, and so those are those. I don't want to go against those 3. Matthew, Paul or Jesus. So we're we're quite content, being in a good mood about it, but quite content with where we're headed
00:28:46.830 --> 00:29:03.500
Andy Miller III: earlier. You brought up the methodical Bible study. Sometimes we use a language inductive Bible study. That's what we call it here. I know there was a period where it's called English Bible, but it's this school that comes from the teaching of Doctor Robert Traina. It's in handout. Oh, man, yeah.
00:29:03.530 --> 00:29:28.500
Andy Miller III: And then, you know, Dr. David Bauer, Joe Donjil, David Thompson, yeah. And our contacts, Gary cockrol and and then also Rick boy, who teaches on our faculty. And now a younger scholar, Murray Vassar. So like this is this a part tradition, and and I learned that tradition too, and and we, we think of this as the prime way, that we are the our hermeneutical perspective from west to Biblical seminar, and one of the pieces in there is. It moves through
00:29:28.500 --> 00:29:41.689
Andy Miller III: through various steps from observation of the text. Interpret a you know what I'm going, but evaluation is is one of the steps in in that step you look at the evaluation of others, but you you also evaluate
00:29:42.360 --> 00:30:03.499
Andy Miller III: Scripture in light of the canonical dialogue. David Thompson's particular slay on that maybe you know that if we both know David Thomps. So then a what he said, I remember one day on, as I relate to human sexuality, he said. There is no dialogue on this matter. There is a monologue
00:30:03.870 --> 00:30:17.730
Talbot Davis: that stuck with me, and I think that's a helpful piece. And what that's what you've just highlighted facile FACI. LA weak argument to to parallel it, to like
00:30:18.110 --> 00:30:27.959
Talbot Davis: ordination of women cause within Scripture. There's conversation on the role of women and ministry. So conversation within means conversation beyond.
00:30:28.490 --> 00:30:31.680
Talbot Davis: But on human sexuality there's consensus within.
00:30:31.760 --> 00:30:34.530
Talbot Davis: Yeah. And I think that leads to obedience beyond.
00:30:34.770 --> 00:30:59.549
Andy Miller III: Yes, absolutely. And and and you're right. II think you presented this really well, thinking about these themes, like even saying the word, the concept of a presenting issue, and I love the kind of 3 word kind, almost like, probably come coming from your context of how you prepare and think about sermons. Clarity is kindness. Talk to me more about that. II think there's a lot to that.
00:30:59.840 --> 00:31:15.409
Talbot Davis: Well, I would much. It's it's a hard earned lesson especially in leading like a church staff, where II early on as a much younger pastor, with much less experience leading people
00:31:15.840 --> 00:31:24.969
Talbot Davis: I mean, I always. I always had some confidence that I could do the Sunday thing. Okay, it was just like the Monday through Saturday. I thought I might struggle more, and I think I did.
00:31:25.220 --> 00:31:39.220
Talbot Davis: because I didn't set expectations and and and through some trial, and and quite a bit of error. I realize when when you hire people. You need to set the expectations upfront
00:31:39.860 --> 00:32:02.379
Talbot Davis: with clarity, and that clarity is kindness that way. They can know whether this is a job they want. They can know early on wh. How they're whether they're living up to your expectations or not, and sort of my personality, especially in those early years, was to to bury my frustrations, and soon that simmers out and bubbles over and and
00:32:02.380 --> 00:32:10.300
Talbot Davis: turns into confrontation. And I realize it was all me they didn't. I had internalize my expectations instead of clarifying them?
00:32:10.320 --> 00:32:26.539
Andy Miller III: That's amazing to be able to say that II do think, is it to to have that realization that this is your forgive me your fault like this. You are the your lack of expectations, your lack of clarity led them to be in conflict with you. Yeah, is that me problem.
00:32:26.730 --> 00:32:34.150
Talbot Davis: And and and now we we document things. Here's what's expected. Here's what it's like. Here's what you can and can't do. And it's
00:32:34.170 --> 00:32:40.089
Talbot Davis: and another thing that I've learned, I don't hire for talent anymore. I hire for team.
00:32:40.710 --> 00:32:42.970
Andy Miller III: Hello, okay, what does that mean?
00:32:43.160 --> 00:32:57.539
Talbot Davis: Well, instead of being seduced by, not in the sexual sense, but attracted to glittery, shiny, talented people, and trying to assemble a team of really talented folks
00:32:57.550 --> 00:33:01.690
Talbot Davis: that just you. You just get a lot of different egos going their own way.
00:33:01.850 --> 00:33:07.329
Talbot Davis: But we we have people on our staff who just bleed what good Shepherd is about.
00:33:07.610 --> 00:33:18.529
Talbot Davis: and because they believe that their own talent has emerged. but it has emerged in the context of they already have credibility as great teammates.
00:33:18.540 --> 00:33:36.710
Andy Miller III: Interesting. Oh, man. II think that's really helpful. Now you you said that line which I think is really good is staff development expectations. But you said that line in the context of the challenges of the Methodist Church and the presenting issues that you have apply there. Sure, sure you
00:33:36.760 --> 00:33:41.039
Talbot Davis: at our church, for example, if you want to join, there's a membership covenant.
00:33:41.660 --> 00:33:48.329
Talbot Davis: And in the membership covenant we actually contain the language we're not interested in anyone's past.
00:33:48.350 --> 00:33:54.929
Talbot Davis: But the membership covenant does contain from that moment that you're on the platform declaring Jesus as Lord and Savior.
00:33:54.950 --> 00:34:03.770
Talbot Davis: that has an implication for your sexuality, and we spell it out singleness, selvacing, singleness, faithfulness, and marriage between a man and a woman.
00:34:03.870 --> 00:34:10.679
Talbot Davis: And so that's the kind of clarity we again we don't. That's not the first thing we say right.
00:34:10.770 --> 00:34:15.550
Talbot Davis: but it's not the last, and we don't say it infrequently
00:34:15.840 --> 00:34:19.609
Talbot Davis: cause, you know. First Corinthians 6,
00:34:20.000 --> 00:34:34.550
Talbot Davis: 15 are in the same book. Hello, and and so so if sexuality in your body is important. In chapter 6, the resurrection body you're going to get in Chapter 15 is tightly connected.
00:34:34.630 --> 00:34:40.840
Talbot Davis: and so the the the thought, oh, it's a social issue. No.
00:34:41.520 --> 00:34:48.530
Talbot Davis: no, it's it's a deeply, it's a theological issue. It's a salvation issue. It's the heart of everything. And
00:34:48.560 --> 00:34:56.280
Talbot Davis: and so we're gonna say that with Paul, cause, remember, Andy, I'm not smarter than Paul, and I'm not more enlightened than Moses, right?
00:34:56.360 --> 00:35:10.730
Andy Miller III: And yeah, and neither represent divine. You know. Those represent divine revelation. This is how God has revealed Himself. And if people who identify ourselves and put ourselves under the authority of Scripture. Then, then, suggesting
00:35:10.730 --> 00:35:34.599
Andy Miller III: that God has, without air Co. Communicated who He is, what his purposes are for the world, we're gonna submit ourselves to that. And then that reminds you. A few about 2 months ago I had Robert Gagnon on the podcast talking about rather, not, we should. Somebody should attend gay wedding, and it's interesting. He pulls it all back. You brought first Corinthian 6, which I appreciate. He went back to First Corinthians 5,
00:35:34.600 --> 00:35:44.130
Andy Miller III: thinking of the problem of the incestuous man, a man who has been an incest, and he sees that as the best analogous
00:35:44.140 --> 00:35:51.049
Andy Miller III: moment, maybe within Scripture, to think of what to do with somebody living in sexual sin, and how you're to handle that situation.
00:35:51.050 --> 00:36:14.759
Andy Miller III: And then, as a result of that, we get to first Corinthian 6, and then, of course, pushing that all way forward to the resurrection of the body as well. So I think there's something really helpful for us to think about love being something that leads people to the best that God has for them, and clarity as kindness can be a part of that story like, if we're really gonna love people.
00:36:14.760 --> 00:36:19.560
Andy Miller III: we want to be clear with what God has laid out in Scripture for their lives.
00:36:19.620 --> 00:36:26.990
Talbot Davis: In the same way that clarity is kind of loving is never lying. There's a lot of lying to people in the name of love.
00:36:27.420 --> 00:36:34.250
Andy Miller III: Wow! How else do you see that like. I mean, I'm sure that that's an idea you've developed be even beyond the sexual ethics piece.
00:36:34.300 --> 00:36:41.670
Talbot Davis: Yeah. Well, II think, and I and I did talk about this this past Sunday at Good Shepherd Church, that the the whole.
00:36:41.820 --> 00:36:56.100
Talbot Davis: and you the the whole trans ideology and the mutilation of adolescents. And you the the marvelous thing is that you don't have to be a Christian to understand how sad all that is.
00:36:56.370 --> 00:37:20.179
Talbot Davis: and the leading voices on social media on that issue happened to be Jewish and atheist, and I'm glad to come alongside them in this case. But there's there's so much. Oh, oh, you're you're depressed, adolescent teenagers. So the solution to your depression is the erasure of your gender. Well, that does not pass to say it out loud test. And yet people have bought it.
00:37:20.360 --> 00:37:26.879
Talbot Davis: and it's it's time for us to say lovingly, yet emphatically, people are lying to you.
00:37:27.390 --> 00:37:29.279
Talbot Davis: Don't believe the lie
00:37:29.560 --> 00:37:41.849
Talbot Davis: you were. Your gender was created. It's woven into every cell of your DNA, and it's not just good. It's very good. Amen. And what? Why would we shy away from telling that truth.
00:37:42.630 --> 00:37:47.249
Talbot Davis: so that kind of clarity is kindness, and and lying is never loving
00:37:47.830 --> 00:38:12.790
Andy Miller III: my family. We're we have like a a family prayer time each night, and we do a a time where we will read books out loud. My team, my kids are a little older now. They're 1614, and 12, so they can take a little bit more in depth sort of reading. So we've been reading Francis Shapers. How then, shall we live? Interesting? Now, it's pretty intense book, philosophically. And I've kind of wonder are we really are doing the right thing. But it's interesting, like when he's confused.
00:38:12.790 --> 00:38:21.639
Andy Miller III: fronting the issues from the 19 sixtys and seventys with truth, and rather not like, as he would say, there's a true truth.
00:38:21.640 --> 00:38:22.450
Andy Miller III: it's
00:38:22.690 --> 00:38:31.549
Andy Miller III: amazing how the transgender situation has, and you know, predicament. I don't know. Situations right? Where do you? How it makes it so clear to them
00:38:31.810 --> 00:38:51.720
Andy Miller III: like it? It. It's so clear that this concept of rather not. We can make up our own truth. We have this perfect example that they're we're all having to live through at this time, or we have likely you do, too, like I have friends who have transitioned, and I'm like working through that praying for them at the same time. So this is an interesting moment, because
00:38:51.720 --> 00:39:03.899
Andy Miller III: the the idea of loving is not lying mean, loving means. We're going to deal with truth where it is. I'm I'm a I actually think it gives us a really clear way to talk about truth.
00:39:03.900 --> 00:39:09.349
Andy Miller III: Yeah, yeah, your your body's not lying to your PE. People are lying to you. Yeah, yeah.
00:39:09.470 --> 00:39:29.679
Andy Miller III: okay, this is really a helpful conversation. I hope people will listen into the clear way the way clarity you're talking about this now with the Methodist Church and church? And wh where do you think things are going like? Where? What's your hope? For 10 years from now? From these, with these groups that have disaffiliated with these churches that this affiliated
00:39:31.230 --> 00:39:55.010
Talbot Davis: wow? That's a big question I know pretty well. I'm just like into writing daily emails for for people and preaching sermons. My, what do you hope for, Good Shepherd? How about that? Okay, for Good Shepherd, and 10 years from now, Good shepherd, if if indeed it works. Do you guys end up this disaffiliating? Yeah, II believe we will be
00:39:55.280 --> 00:40:04.329
Talbot Davis: Methodist in the most generalized of senses, not in a very specific sense. We will. We will always believe in free will.
00:40:05.270 --> 00:40:10.709
Talbot Davis: We we will likely always be all millennialists.
00:40:10.920 --> 00:40:21.800
Talbot Davis: Hello! We we won't be dispensationalists. Gotcha beyond that. W. We'll we will always lift up the Scriptures, inspired and eternal and true.
00:40:22.580 --> 00:40:27.250
Talbot Davis: We'll always baptize believers and not babies.
00:40:27.320 --> 00:40:39.840
Talbot Davis: Okay, so so that's so in in. So that's how you all have operated. Yeah, we'll we'll always believe in the priesthood of believers when it comes to communion.
00:40:39.960 --> 00:41:08.529
Talbot Davis: we. We're kind of kind of resistant to the idea. Well, or what? At what level are you ordained? And and can you preside over communion in, in, in that setting, but not that setting, and it that just seems so alien to what Jesus was all about. When he was at the table. He was about tearing walls down, not erecting barriers of credentialing. And maybe we're wrong on that. But that's the that's the the
00:41:08.650 --> 00:41:11.170
Talbot Davis: the ethos that we have around here.
00:41:11.540 --> 00:41:18.940
Talbot Davis: and I believe that in in 10 years or so, 12 years or so, you know, I'll I will have a successor.
00:41:19.070 --> 00:41:24.889
Talbot Davis: but my my prayers is that that successor will love the Scripture so that people will adore the Savior
00:41:25.050 --> 00:41:33.010
Talbot Davis: W. We'll be a Bible lifting Church the one moment of liturgy we have every Sunday is, we lift up our Bibles together.
00:41:33.340 --> 00:41:39.669
Talbot Davis: and we call it a moment of oddity that shapes our identity as a community
00:41:39.780 --> 00:41:41.329
Talbot Davis: moment of oddity.
00:41:41.370 --> 00:41:52.329
Talbot Davis: It shapes our identity as a community as a community. Yeah. So yeah, hey, cause
00:41:52.730 --> 00:41:55.020
Talbot Davis: I'll talk about the
00:41:55.350 --> 00:42:06.550
Talbot Davis: talk real. I don't read the Scripture before the sermon. I say, find this place in your Bible. If your Bible is not here, it's going to be up on the screen, and but everybody has the Bible on their phone. So find this place. We're going to be going there.
00:42:06.600 --> 00:42:10.509
Talbot Davis: But until we get there, just want you to know, we believe
00:42:10.560 --> 00:42:20.519
Talbot Davis: it's not a book. It's a library. but it's the only library like it on planet Earth. We believe God breathed His life into its words. It's truth onto its pages.
00:42:20.550 --> 00:42:27.589
Talbot Davis: It's inspired, eternal and true. You may not believe that yet. but we just want you know what kind of church we are.
00:42:27.780 --> 00:42:33.570
Talbot Davis: cause. Clarity is kindness, and then we'll we'll say out of that. Conviction is this custom
00:42:34.140 --> 00:42:38.530
Talbot Davis: that's gonna seem strange if you've never seen it before. But we lift our Bibles up in the air.
00:42:39.290 --> 00:42:51.450
Talbot Davis: And then, I say, we, we discovered that some moment of oddity that shapes our identity as a community. Does the congregation say that line with you, you know I say it.
00:42:51.960 --> 00:42:53.300
Talbot Davis: It's yeah.
00:42:53.440 --> 00:43:12.169
Andy Miller III: I love how baked into all of that is keeping new people aware of what's happening, helping them understand the oddity? Yes, yeah. And and naming. Hey, you're gonna think this is weird. II you try not to say weird. But I oh, yeah, you're gonna think this is unusual.
00:43:12.170 --> 00:43:40.370
Talbot Davis: But so many people told me have told me through the years when you all did that, I decided that was my church. Wow! I you wanna talk about odd denomination in a my, the tradition I came up in. I know I'm I've transferred my ministry pencils to the global Methodist church. Oh, good for you. Okay, yeah. For 15 years. I was with the Salvation Army, and still consider myself in most ways a salvation is like that's I. The same theology that I had as a salvation as a company is to the
00:43:40.370 --> 00:43:50.830
Andy Miller III: you know, the global Methodist church and I still serve in variety functions with the Salvation Army. But it did the odd side. You know, the Salvation Army. We
00:43:50.830 --> 00:43:59.149
Andy Miller III: wear uniforms and people are committed becoming a members. And sometimes there'll be a congregation where there could be
00:43:59.170 --> 00:44:25.869
Andy Miller III: 25%. Maybe 50% of the people in uniform, and that's a deeply symbolic act to put a uniform on. You're a part of this community for greater purpose and could be a wonderful. It'd be a wonderful thing for some people who particularly, who haven't dressed up in their life. And they have this uniform, this identity. But it's incredibly awkward for new people to come in and see somebody in uniform, and I always tried to do something like what you did.
00:44:25.870 --> 00:44:51.370
Andy Miller III: This may seem funny that there's some people here in your form. Well, this is what that is. This is simple of their, but still it's so good to kind of keep that in mind. I love that you do that even with reading Scripture. So that's helpful. O, okay, so that that's good to keep in. Interesting to think of, like what might happen now, I have to admit, when II never imagined that you would talk about millennial eschatology as your second point. So I just wanna give you some.
00:44:54.800 --> 00:44:57.109
Talbot Davis: Yeah, we we
00:44:57.620 --> 00:45:00.190
Talbot Davis: and you just froze up. I don't know if you.
00:45:11.430 --> 00:45:41.159
Talbot Davis: I will go ahead and answer your question about millennial eschatology as part of our broadly Methodist history. We we have a pretty strong charismatic strain, I would say, and so I've always been leery, not only of the of the chart predictions and dispensational theology. But how? They're cessationists. So we're not cessationists when it comes to the gift of the Holy Spirit. And we're not predictionists when it comes to the return of Jesus. And and so II very much hope my successor will be the same.
00:47:01.000 --> 00:47:19.320
Andy Miller III: You're muted now. Okay. Oh, man, I'm so II have never. I've recorded probably 200 podcasts. I've never had that happen. Huh? So I'm so sorry. I got on a different wireless router. I wonder if I'm have it? Well, maybe I'm enjoying this conversation. Maybe we can. Just I can come in and out.
00:47:19.440 --> 00:47:26.429
Andy Miller III: I have somebody helps me to edit this, and I can still give an end. I did give an answer. Did you? Did you see the answer I gave
00:47:26.860 --> 00:47:34.550
Andy Miller III: to the millennial question, no, how about we pick up there? Yeah. Okay. Alright, I'll count 3, 2, one.
00:47:34.600 --> 00:47:53.910
Talbot Davis: Yeah, that is unusual, Andy. But at Good Shepherd as part of our being sort of broadly methods. We also have a a strong charismatic strain. So when I think in terms of dispensationalism, it's not just how they are predictionists
00:47:54.150 --> 00:47:59.259
Andy Miller III: on Jesus return. They are cessationists about the gifts of the spirit.
00:47:59.330 --> 00:48:09.140
Talbot Davis: And we're neither one of those we're. We're not cessationists. We have healing services. We have many people who pray in tongues at our church. We're not a charismatic church.
00:48:09.340 --> 00:48:11.910
Talbot Davis: but we're a church with a lot of charismatic people.
00:48:12.200 --> 00:48:26.089
Talbot Davis: And and then when it comes to Esk the the end times fees that we're we're we're not predictionists. So we're not cessationists. And we're not predictionists. So that's why I hope and pray that my successor will embody those kind of
00:48:26.950 --> 00:48:43.730
Andy Miller III: yeah. It's so so by saying, I'm millennial. It's like, it's almost saying we're middle of the road here, like we're not. We're not trying to. We're not. We're not trying to be. I don't mean that as a negative way, but it it. But you're you're not trying to claim any particular view, particularly a predictionist sort of view.
00:48:43.770 --> 00:48:53.950
Talbot Davis: No, but if I had to claim review for myself, I would say, I'm a pretty strong millennialist. But yeah, you could be a historic premillennialist, and and it would work out here.
00:48:54.870 --> 00:49:06.620
Andy Miller III: Good. I'd like to think I have a place there. No, I don't think you could be a post millennial. Listen, workout here, cause that's just that's looney tunes.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah. Well, that's a, I guess this is another podcast. But II think it's interesting, though, that that's I think that's helpful, too. I think people are looking. Ha! Here's a word again. Clarity, they're looking clarity from a a church as pretty clear if they're coming from a Christian environment already. So
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Andy Miller III: I think that's helpful and interesting. I'm sure I developed a lot of these stronger convictions on that when left behind was quite popular.
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Andy Miller III: right?
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Andy Miller III: And in your in the South East, and you know, over the Texas as well where you're from. Like these things. Some people equate dispensational pre millennialism and rapture, theology with evangelicalism, and I think, in general like you. Everything you've described is the Evangelical Wesleyan denomination. But some people would take your
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Andy Miller III: Evangelical Cred Street cred if you don't. If you don't believe in a rapture right? Right? Right?
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Andy Miller III: This is really helpful man. I had no idea what I was getting into at this conversation, and I've so enjoyed it. Tal. But thank you so much for your time. Yeah, thank you. Andy, I always ask a question. My podcast called more to the story and meaning that there's, I think of that in a theological context, that there is a more to the story than just having our sins forgiven. There's God sanctifying grace by the power of spirit that's available to us. But on top of that I like to think there's more to this
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Andy Miller III: story of individuals I interview. So I wonder, is there more to the story of Talbot than, as normally told? Maybe on a podcast interview or something? You don't get to talk about very much.
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Talbot Davis: Well, there, there's something I talk about a lot, but maybe not on podcast and and I did grow up playing tennis. And I was the 2 time Texas State Champion, and a little bit of pro tennis afterwards.
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Talbot Davis: And I don't play anymore. But I love it and follow it. And the tennis channels. My favorite channel.
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Andy Miller III: Who's your favorite tennis player of all time of all time? Federer. Okay, okay.
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Talbot Davis: Who'd you have a Borg or Mac and Roll at the time, Borg, and in retrospect, Mac and Row. Oh, interesting! Why is that? Because I'm I'm I was an attacking offensive player, and that's what Mac and Row was, and that's what Federer was. And and so I just that's when tennis becomes
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Talbot Davis: not just a war of attrition, but a work of art. Okay, that's that's the kind of tennis I like to watch. I don't think it's the kind of tennis I played, but it's what I like to watch. Oh, interesting. You know, being a state champion, Texas. That's saying something. I mean, it kind of was a little bit yeah.
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Talbot Davis: to beat all the I mean all those areas. There's some such big schools. Well, that's so interesting. Well, Talbot, it's such a blessing to get to know you. I'm so thankful that I can hopefully introduce you to some of the people in the Wesley Biblical Seminary world, and everybody will be interested in your preaching book and look for that. In addition, these other books, which will link to in the show notes. Thanks so much, Talbot, for coming. Thank you. See, Andy.