Andy Miller III
Cover Image for Don’t Follow Your Heart with Thaddeus Williams

Don’t Follow Your Heart with Thaddeus Williams

January 25, 2024

“Today we are told to be true to ourselves, look within for answers, and follow our hearts. But when we put our own happiness first, we experience record-breaking levels of aimlessness, loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Self-centeredness always fails to deliver on its promises.”

On Today’s podcast, I talk to Thaddeus Williams about his new book ‘Don’t Follow Your Heart,’ which “debunks the ‘ten commandments of self-worship,’ calling on a new generation of mavericks and renegades, heretics who refuse to march in unison with the self-obsessed herd.” 

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Welcome to the more, to the story of podcast. I'm, so glad you have come along for this important episode, and I think this is gonna be something that'll be important for everybody who's kind of taking in some of the popular messages in our culture. And so I think you'll find this author helpful to you. He's been helpful to me. I'm I'm thankful for his book, but I'm gonna introduce him to you in just a second. But first, I want, you know, this podcast comes to you

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from Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches, and we've never had more students than we have right now. This is an exciting time in the life of our seminary, particularly with the emergence of the global Methodist Church.

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Andy Miller III: And we're privileged to be able to serve so many pastors who are serving in that church. But on top of that, people from all kinds of denominations, independent churches across the country. So we have. Across the country, across the world we have a bachelor's master's doctoral degrees lay initiatives. We'd love for you to check

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Andy Miller III: Also, I'm thankful to my friends at Wpo Development. They're a group that comes alongside churches and institutions, organizations, nonprofits, and and they help them come up with a plan that they can actualize, particularly as it relates, like capital campaigns so often. People just want to come in and raise a bunch of money, and they actually don't think about who they are and what it means to present yourself in a community. So I encourage you

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Andy Miller III: to check out Wpo, and you'll find some information about them in my show notes. Also, I have several things available to you for you from Andy Miller. That's Andy Miller. If you sign up for my email list. I'll send you this, a tool called 5 steps to deeper teaching and preaching.

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Andy Miller III: It's a 45 min teaching session and a document that you can use to prepare your messages, or like just basic Sunday school class presentations that you might have. I'd love to send that to you if you sign up for my email list. In addition to that, I have a couple of forces, small group studies, my books and things that are available at that site. I love you check for you to check that out at Andy Miller, the third

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Andy Miller III: dot com. All right. I am glad to welcome in the podcast fad. Williams, who serves as a professor of theology at Biola University, and he's written a new book called Don't Follow your heart fad. Welcome to the podcast hey, it's a joy to be with you, Andy.

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Andy Miller III: hey? So that before we get going too far, I just love to hear a little bit about you. I've I've seen some talks that you've done online and appreciate the work that you're doing, and particularly the way it speaks into this cultural moment. But I don't know really anything about you. Besides the fact that you teach at Biola. So just tell us who that is. Sure professional, interpretive dancer world, ranked body builder.

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thaddeusw: Well, that's obvious. Obviously, no, I I'm a theologian. Slash apologist. I teach it. Talbot school of theology. Biola University.

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thaddeusw: Okay? I've really sort of my bread and butter, the apologetics.

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thaddeusw: Christianity and culture.

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thaddeusw: I come from the Kiperian tradition. I did my Phd. At the free University of Amsterdam. So, kudos to you for allowing the Calvinist on your show, really driven by the conviction that I'm sure you shared that

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thaddeusw: All truth is Christ truth, Jesus is

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thaddeusw: Lord over every square inch of reality. So he should be lord over how we think of business and philosophy and psychology, and

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thaddeusw: brewing coffee and anything else you could possibly imagine. So that's really the heartbeat of my ministry is turning people onto the lordship of Jesus over every square inch.

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Andy Miller III: Amen. I think even Wesley, I'm gonna affirm all those things that's great. My son. My 14 year old son went away to a ski retreat. I have 16 and 14 sons, and they he came back, and he texted me early in the morning, and he said, Dad, I was up till 2 am like, Oh, my goodness, I will worry about! Why were you up till 2 am. And he said I was debating with the Calvinist.

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thaddeusw: and that's like, you know, as a somebody works in theology. I was like, you know, you have your first date first dance first kiss from like ha! Sign congratulations.

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Andy Miller III: That's right, and and you might say same thing it. It. It's a great moment for him and hit to think about what he believes, and II want him just like I think we all want for our children to like to pursue truth. And I said we we might be wrong. We might. We check this out. Check this out. So.

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Andy Miller III: oh, yeah, just for clarity. Yeah, I have a 7 year, old boy, and he came home from baseball practice the other day, and he didn't say you just debated in our Mini, and he said, I just owned a Pelagian. I respect that. You know. What what are they teaching you on that T-ball team? You know

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Andy Miller III: theologians children should get together. They have some interesting stories to share, theologians, children debating. I love it. Tell me about your academic research. Tell me your dissertation. Did you do it on Kuiper?

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thaddeusw: Not quite so I did the problem of evil, and it was about a 4 year research project for the Dissertation, when all said and done from conception to public defense.

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thaddeusw: Pretty much solve the problem of evil, I think congratulations first year. So

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thaddeusw: process we we could check that box. It just it's just solved. So it's really zooming in on the

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thaddeusw: the free will defense specifically the relational free will defense. God didn't want a universe populated with chatty Cathy dolls and robots who

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thaddeusw: just recite a preprogrammed. I love you. He wants authentic love, and as the argument goes, libertarian, free will is a precondition of authentic love.

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thaddeusw: And so that is the relational free will defense. You find it in in Cs. Lewis. I find versions of it as far back as as Plato and Aristotle.

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thaddeusw: Augustine. Early Augustine gives a version of the argument, and it's a it's wildly popular today. Maybe the most popular

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thaddeusw: Christian response to the problem of evil. And so I approached the relational free will defense philosophically. biblically and pastorally, and show that it doesn't work.

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thaddeusw: Hello, okay, the way you were explained. There, I thought you were saying, you're going to defend it. And I thought, Well, I thought I thought you said you're a Calvinist. So there you go. Yeah, II think there's there's some better ways to to

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thaddeusw: if you push the logic of the relational free will defense.

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thaddeusw: No? Yeah. Yeah. And let's say, I have

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thaddeusw: a Buddy, whose marriage is struggling.

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thaddeusw: Yeah. And I know that. There's some some anti love patterns and habits that are giving

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thaddeusw: him and his wife a hard time

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thaddeusw: the way I would pray for them is similar to the way. Paul would pray in, say, first, Thessalonians, 3, 12, when he says, May God

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thaddeusw: cause you to increase and abound in love. or if I have a a non-believing neighbor

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thaddeusw: who has 0 affection for Jesus doesn't know

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thaddeusw: his or her Creator. I would pray for them

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thaddeusw: pretty definitively to increase and abound in love for their Creator.

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thaddeusw: And so I would argue that God, part of God being God, is, he has a unique and sovereign access to the human heart to reorder our affections

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thaddeusw: so that we can love authentically. And he can do that because he's God without reducing us to robots. Hmm, so all all that research is in a book with leximpress called God reforms, hearts.

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thaddeusw: God reforms hearts, rethinking free will

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thaddeusw: and the problem of evil

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Andy Miller III: interesting. I had one of my one of my professors people fostered. I appreciate Jerry Walls, and he wrote,

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Andy Miller III: I one of it, he he responded to album planning as a free will argument. And there was a place where you know I think it was. The article would might have been something like, Why, Alvin, planic yeah, hasn't gone far enough, or something with a free Wh. What free will defenses go far enough. Maybe you've seen the article, he, what I read in class this album planet does a response. And it just said. At 1 point he finally said.

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thaddeusw: Jerry Walls is right about this of that, and then it says, but he misses. But he just stopped right there. Jerry Walls is right.

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thaddeusw: Him and Scott Burson did sort of a biopic on

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thaddeusw: Cs. Lewis and Francis Schaefer. Yeah. And then I didn't he write? Why, I'm not a Calvinist or something like that. Yeah. So I interact quite a bit with Jerry walls. I have a lot of respect for him. Yeah.

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Andy Miller III: Well, so the tradition I'm in the kind of evangelical Wesley and world. A lot of folks who are connected him through Asbury Theological Seminary, and then also, like Wesley Biblical Seminary, we're kind of in that same

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Andy Miller III: kind of lane in Wesleyanism which is in an interesting moment. Now, as there is this break with United Methodism, where most evangelical methods most, I say most are a part of some type of new denomination. So is is thinkers like that who have been really helpful in in somebody like that, with a clear philosophical foundation that's helped even identify some of these

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Andy Miller III: realities, particularly like things about the nature of heaven and hell. So anyways, it's it's I'm glad I'm glad that he's his Ryan's main way to to use. It's a rare bird in these debates. Who can? Who's conversant with the underlying

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thaddeusw: issues and analytic philosophy and the Biblical acts of Jesus end of it? He's one of those rare birds. So yeah.

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Andy Miller III: right? It's great. Well, I'm I know. Tell me real briefly, you mentioned one son playing t-ball. Any other children? Yeah, yeah. So little little Hendrick.

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thaddeusw: Hendrik is 7,

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thaddeusw: and he's a a giant chiefs fan, so he's really happy. I don't know when this will air, but he's pretty pumped that we. We inched out the the bills just just last night.

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So we're going to the division playoffs. He loves the chiefs. He loves monster trucks. He loves

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thaddeusw: race cars he's he's sort of an all American boy.

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thaddeusw: And he just told my wife about a week ago. said, mommy. I love Jesus so much. I just love Jesus so much. Can Daddy baptize me?

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thaddeusw: So that was like one of those highlight moments of of ever so there's little Henry, and then he's got a big sister who just turned 10 like a week ago. That's Harlow

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thaddeusw: Carlos, like the little uber genius of the family. When she was 3 years old

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thaddeusw: I was putting her to bed.

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thaddeusw: and I was praying. You know, Jesus, thank you for making Harlow so beautiful and so smart, and so silly, and so ticklish, and so Smiley. Amen! And 3 year old Harlow looks up at me and says, Dad, you forgot to mention erudite.

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thaddeusw: So after I Googled area diet, I was like, Oh, yeah, extremely intelligent. Yeah, that track. So she's she's a little genius. We have

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thaddeusw: Holland, who we call Dutch for short. She's actually on the cover of the book, that's her, I would say. That's her

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thaddeusw: book cover modeling debut. But I managed to sneak the kids somewhere on the cover of all of my books. So this is her, I guess her fifth

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thaddeusw: cover modeling gig

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thaddeusw: she is into volleyball and loves Jesus. I got to baptize her on father's day this last June, which is pretty incredible. And then we have a 19 year old Gracie

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thaddeusw: Graceland, and she is applying her skills at Barista in right now and hopefully. She'll be at Biola here in the next year.

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thaddeusw: studying under her, old man.

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Andy Miller III: There you go. That'll be interesting. Well, thanks for sharing. Like to get to know people a little bit before you get. I imagine your kids might even been behind a wine to write a book like this. Now having a 19 year old, every chapters begins with a hashtag. So this this. II really I think this is a pro. I mean, it's a great time for a book like this to come out. Of course, this these ideas have been present for a while. It's called. Don't follow your heart boldly breaking the 10 commandments of self worship.

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thaddeusw: So tell tell us, kind of what was the context for you wanting to pursue this project? Yeah, a lot of it was just being a dad, you know, my wife and I looking at the the propaganda coming at our kids from virtually every direction.

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thaddeusw: Yeah. Where you have sort of the the traditional

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thaddeusw: Disney plotline coming from the classics from the vault like Cinderella.

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thaddeusw: There's a way that kindness

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thaddeusw: and humility and gentleness, triumph over vanity and cruelty.

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thaddeusw: Pinocchio. The way to become a real boy is through courage, Pinocchio sacrificing his life to save Chippeto from the Sea Monster Monstro but

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thaddeusw: the more he lies, the less real boy-like he becomes, the more tree-like he becomes right. His nose turns into a tree branch, he goes off to Pleasure Island and makes a literal ass out of himself, sprouting donkey ears and a donkey tail.

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thaddeusw: So

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thaddeusw: the traditional Disney corpus that we were probably raised on

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thaddeusw: these stories unfold within a morally structured universe.

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thaddeusw: Where there's a way to flourish and thrive as human being, and a way to be less than a real boy or a real girl. Well, I notice

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thaddeusw: I was riding in my backyard. We have this little courtyard. and

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thaddeusw: I was working on an article, and I could overhear in our living room. That's right behind me. Here

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thaddeusw: the kids were watching. The girls were watching the my little pony movie. and it has a song called Time to be Awesome. and the lyrics are, you know, take this Storm King's rules and toss them. It's time to be you time to be awesome. It's sort of this anthem to

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thaddeusw: to self definition, to to asserting be being authentic to your own feelings and emotions. And as that song is playing

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thaddeusw: to my right, to my left a car pulls into our little street and is blasting the anthem. The overplayed anthem from frozen. Let it go, let it go

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thaddeusw: with the famous line, no right, no wrong, no rules for me. I'm free. And so this this new ideology of self rule.

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thaddeusw: autonomy.

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thaddeusw: follow your heart. Be true to yourself, you. Do you live your best life, Yolo?

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thaddeusw: I saw that this is coming at kids from very tender ages. and so by the time they grow up and end up in the university. It's just

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thaddeusw: the the indoctrination has largely occur occurred. And so my job as a university professors often to sort of detox students to inoculate them, to to immunize them to this false gospel of self worship that they've been getting from every direction.

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Andy Miller III: Yes.

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Andy Miller III: it I was a at A, with a research group at the University of Manchester this past summer, and there was a a colleague of mine who is there who, grown up in a similar tradition as mine and

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Andy Miller III: but I but had, since it were not recently kind of liberalized on all of the key points of of culture at this point, from same-sex marriage to the existence of truth and all I mean. It just is all there and and this is describing for me his journey, and then next day we are going to an event together, and he had a shirt on.

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Andy Miller III: and the shirt was a pitcher, a silhouette of himself

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thaddeusw: smoking a cigar.

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Andy Miller III: and then I didn't know it was actually of him, and below it it had his last name, Ology. So like for me, Miller, like Miller Ology. So I said to us, so what's what's up with your shirt, I mean is that you? What's the deal? He said. No, no, this is my, this is my new perspective, you know, like we both grew up in the holiness movement. Holiness, tradition, he's like can't be all that stuff is like. Now, like, this is my.

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Andy Miller III: this is the way I approach life now, like it is. That's exactly it. So so I mean, like doing. Realize, like what you're taking. And now it doesn't have to be. Theology could be biology. It could be any other thing. But what is it? That's what is it that's being exalted? It's the self. It's like the individual. And

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Andy Miller III: yeah.

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thaddeusw: which which? Let me let me sort of frame your your buddy's shirt theologically.

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thaddeusw: gk, Chesterton, you know the great Roman Catholic humorist and

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thaddeusw: novelist crime novel author and just theologian extraordinaire, he said. Christianity came into the world. Firstly, in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards.

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thaddeusw: to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm, a divine company, and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with their inner light, but definitely recognized. An outer light fares the sun.

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thaddeusw: Umhm, and so II love the way Cheshire and sets it up right out of the gate is, Look, Christian is the antithesis of this

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thaddeusw: Millerology or Williams Ology, where, if I'm looking within for answers which I document in the book, over 90% of Americans

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thaddeusw: said. If you want answers, look within.

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thaddeusw: If you look within, you don't find answers, you. You end up with a bad case of claustrophobia. You're trapped in your own head. Right? You

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thaddeusw: David Foster Wallace, the great post modern novelist, said that we become kings and queens of our tiny skull sized kingdoms. We're we're trapped in our own little skull sized kingdoms. And I'm arguing that.

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thaddeusw: you know, I just this.

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thaddeusw: A week ago today, actually, I was in Minnesota.

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thaddeusw: speaking for Martin Luther, King, Junior Day Event, and an Eb free Conference out there.

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thaddeusw: and it was minus 7 degrees, which is a Southern California boy, I'm not so used to wind chill. Put it at minus 30 degrees. So

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thaddeusw: once I thought out with God's frozen chosen up there. Can you say? Frozen chosen. So anyway, I had the there's about a hundred 50

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thaddeusw: church leaders and pastors there, and I talked for a little bit about expressive individualism, this cult of self worship that's all around us. And that's really sort of the context we find ourselves in.

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thaddeusw: And I said, You know. Turn to your neighbor and say, you're awesome.

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thaddeusw: Umhm. And they all had a blast of that. Turning to each other. You're awesome. And I'm like, Yeah, theologically. You're sitting next to an image bearer of God. Cs. Lewis famously said you you never have met a mere mortal right ever every image bearer of God you're you're interacting with awesomely eternal beings.

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Andy Miller III: Now, I said.

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thaddeusw: Turn to your neighbor and say you're nowhere near as awesome as God, and they had a blast with that telling each other you're nowhere near as awesome as God. And so that's really one of the the driving arguments of the book is that self worship and the final analysis robs us of awe.

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thaddeusw: were designed to be awestruck by something, or rather someone infinitely more interesting

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thaddeusw: than we are.

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thaddeusw: And if I'm swept up with Williams ology, or you know, a devotee to millerology or your buddies, you know self-obsession.

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thaddeusw: it it sounds it. It markets itself as cool and edgy and trendy. It's really just robbing us of off, or literally the most awesome being in existence.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, I love how at 1 point in the book you end up saying, like not to look in, but to look up. Not that it has to be kind of like a spatially driven type of thing as if God is up or down. But just one thing I love about the book that you do

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thaddeusw: is there's a chapter where you work through the details, philosophical assumptions, theological sums, and then you have a testimony in each chapter of somebody who has walked beyond that particular lie, or that particular guy should call like the the you know, the 1010 Commandments of the but then II love. I'll I forget what's called heretics something like a heretics guy.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, here's yeah. It's you get, you get out of it. And 1 one of those is just like to go and just be in all like to go and look up. You know, to seeing how great thou art, seeing holy, holy, holy is. Are those type of practices antidotes to this problem.

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thaddeusw: Yeah, that in many ways there's there's a lot of, there's a growing field of positive psychology. Studying awe. What are the effects of being awestruck by something bigger than yourself

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thaddeusw: on the Human Psyche.

00:23:25.470 --> 00:23:31.060
thaddeusw: And so out of Arizona State University, there's a researcher named Michelle Shiota.

00:23:31.300 --> 00:23:35.240
thaddeusw: and she documents that you know, 35,000 people a year

00:23:35.550 --> 00:23:51.490
thaddeusw: make the inconvenient trek to Nepal, to to gaze upon the majesty of Mount Everest. 35,000 threefive 1 million a year. Go to Yosemite to marvel at, say, Half Dome.

00:23:51.820 --> 00:23:57.390
thaddeusw: 4.5 1 million. Go to the Grand Canyon.

00:23:57.480 --> 00:24:13.009
thaddeusw: and and nobody goes to the Grand Canyon, or Half Dome, or Mount Everest to feel big about themselves right. Nobody stands on on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Behold me and all of my you go to feel small.

00:24:13.230 --> 00:24:14.850
thaddeusw: to be so

00:24:15.340 --> 00:24:31.210
thaddeusw: again, awestruck at something bigger than yourself. There's something really, really freeing in the self forgetfulness that comes from being awestruck. And so in in Sheoda's research she found that in a mental state of awe

00:24:31.870 --> 00:24:33.420
thaddeusw: people are

00:24:33.780 --> 00:24:37.629
thaddeusw: Their cognitive faculties

00:24:37.970 --> 00:24:44.189
thaddeusw: function way. Better so. She would have her study subjects read of

00:24:44.250 --> 00:24:55.340
thaddeusw: an article or something just riddled with fallacies and falsehoods and then she would subject them to what she called elicitors of awe. and people were harder to dupe.

00:24:55.520 --> 00:25:09.160
thaddeusw: People could think more clearly. They could spot bad arguments. There's a researcher in positive psychology studying all out here where I am in Southern California. At Uci a guy named Paul Piff, and he's found that

00:25:09.350 --> 00:25:21.279
thaddeusw: by subjecting people to elicitors of awe, they become more what he calls prosocial. They love their neighbors better, they care more about the environment or God's creation. Just the

00:25:21.400 --> 00:25:28.209
thaddeusw: the science is slowly catching up to the Scriptures. Right Scriptures have been telling us

00:25:28.500 --> 00:25:36.279
thaddeusw: for millennia that we are designed for in Hebrew. Yerah! Yerah! Is reverence. Aw

00:25:36.330 --> 00:25:37.890
thaddeusw: the fear of the Lord.

00:25:38.230 --> 00:25:43.770
thaddeusw: And so it seems like the the Bible's had it right all along.

00:25:43.810 --> 00:25:57.820
thaddeusw: That's really an antidote to. And there's documentation on this, that if you are depressed, if you're trapped in your skull, size, kingdom, if you're suffering panic, anxiety, things like that.

00:25:57.960 --> 00:26:04.920
thaddeusw: one of the most basic remedies is getting out into nature, getting out into God's creation.

00:26:05.010 --> 00:26:11.249
thaddeusw: stopping to smell the flowers, you know, watching the the cloud formations float across the sky.

00:26:11.360 --> 00:26:17.610
thaddeusw: Watching the the blue sky turned dark purple, and the clouds turned

00:26:17.700 --> 00:26:34.679
thaddeusw: dark orange and pink, and then the stars come out that has a demonstrable, measurable effect in reducing rates of depression and anxiety. So yeah, every chapter ends with here's some some tips that today you could go out and

00:26:34.840 --> 00:26:47.439
thaddeusw: live with more reverence for God and be more countercultural in the book. I say, be a heretic against the cult of self worship. And so the book has probably 50

00:26:47.460 --> 00:26:51.840
thaddeusw: sort of daily liturgies you can practice to to

00:26:52.030 --> 00:26:55.910
thaddeusw: help resist the draw of narcissism.

00:26:56.130 --> 00:27:13.469
Andy Miller III: Yeah, I love how you have a a heretics prayer, too, in that. And it's all this kind of turning things just in in the opposite direction. I think that helps me in your book. Help me think through that a little better. II also. I enjoyed thinking of this skull, sized reality that we can experience.

00:27:13.470 --> 00:27:27.720
Andy Miller III: I I'm a fan of Rich Mullins, and I had as biographer. James Brian Smith on my, on my Podcast last year. So but I had. II can't remember the song that you quote here at the beginning of the follow your heart. Chapter

00:27:27.720 --> 00:27:36.070
Andy Miller III: but it's a similar idea. They they said, boy, you must follow your heart. but my heart just led me into my chest.

00:27:36.410 --> 00:27:41.439
Andy Miller III: But the Father of Hearts, he is the one I've chosen, and I will follow him.

00:27:41.710 --> 00:27:54.909
thaddeusw: I love that like it just leads us leads us inward, and that's gonna happen. And and, as you said, my, my favorite part of the book personally is the end of every chapter. As you pointed out, I have

00:27:55.020 --> 00:27:57.729
thaddeusw: sort of a heretics confession.

00:27:57.870 --> 00:28:09.480
thaddeusw: Ii recruited some of my favorite heretics who are rebelling against the cult of self worship. So you're Gonna hear stories from the great apologist Josh. Mcdowell.

00:28:09.600 --> 00:28:13.540
thaddeusw: and how he he found freedom from following his heart.

00:28:13.740 --> 00:28:18.270
thaddeusw: My personal mentor, dear friend JP. Morland.

00:28:18.400 --> 00:28:23.839
thaddeusw: My colleague at Talbot, talking about how he found freedom from the burden of self.

00:28:23.860 --> 00:28:36.800
thaddeusw: You have, Johnny Eric Sentata, who's just a brilliant, brilliant theologian, Christian mind, author and artist. How Jesus set her free from the cult of self worship. Carl Truman adds his voice to the list.

00:28:36.850 --> 00:28:48.060
thaddeusw: So yeah, I was. I was pretty honored at some of the voices willing to step up and and share their their own sort of heretic stories. And then it all sort of culminates in the end.

00:28:48.080 --> 00:28:52.069
thaddeusw: The final chapter is what I call the heretics manifesto.

00:28:52.230 --> 00:28:54.420
Andy Miller III: which has gotten

00:28:55.270 --> 00:28:59.380
thaddeusw: somewhere around a thousand signatures, but if and it's

00:28:59.420 --> 00:29:29.230
thaddeusw: it's growing by the day. But if listeners want to check it out and sort of get a sneak peek at, you can read the whole manifesto. You can watch, some videos, some podcast. Read some articles, some supplementary material to the book. If you just go to join the hereticscom. Join theherticscom. It's got all the resources there at your fingertips. And you can read the manifesto and add your name to the growing list so

00:29:29.240 --> 00:29:30.300
Andy Miller III: awesome.

00:29:30.470 --> 00:29:46.200
thaddeusw: Join the heretics. Let's do it. Jp. More. I had Jp. Morgan last year. I talked about his book on miracles, and so I'll just turn you over to his hands, as it relates to human freedom. So have a 20 year long

00:29:46.200 --> 00:30:02.759
Andy Miller III: running feud over the free will question. We have a lot of fun together. I'm sure you do. Oh, I so appreciate. And I you know his recent stuff to my human constitution. I you know he's just been such a gifted church. So what a what a blessing for you to be able work with him! We're good pals!

00:30:02.860 --> 00:30:16.829
thaddeusw: I want to. II love. Okay, before I want to get into a few of the actual hashtag chapters. Let me just interject real quick cause it. It ties in Jp. Morland with what we were just talking.

00:30:17.060 --> 00:30:28.860
thaddeusw: his. His office is about a first down away from mine, you know, about 1010 yards apart, and so I just saw him. I bumped into him last Wednesday.

00:30:29.200 --> 00:30:31.700
thaddeusw: and the typical greeting

00:30:32.010 --> 00:30:45.770
thaddeusw: from him will be something like Good morning, idiot, or how you doing moron? And you know, here's Jp. Morland, one of the top 50, according to Time Magazine, one of the top 50 living thinkers and philosophers.

00:30:45.940 --> 00:30:52.310
thaddeusw: and here he is, you know, calling me an idiot, fairly, regularly. And

00:30:52.400 --> 00:30:55.680
thaddeusw: before listeners think. Oh, well, Jp. Belongs on.

00:30:55.700 --> 00:31:02.450
thaddeusw: you know, Time magazine's top 50 living and sensitive jerks. List, let me explain what he means.

00:31:03.030 --> 00:31:09.640
thaddeusw: it's actually a blessing. JP. Understands. And this is part of what I'm arguing in the book

00:31:09.890 --> 00:31:20.159
thaddeusw: that when you take God seriously, it frees you up from having to take yourself that seriously right? And it's what GK. Chesterton.

00:31:20.370 --> 00:31:35.690
thaddeusw: Excuse me what GK. Chesterton was after when he said, angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly. Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly and so so Jp. Is a

00:31:35.760 --> 00:31:44.650
thaddeusw: healthy weekly reminder. Hey, Williams, don't take yourself so seriously like you're an idiot. Then, compared to the infinite

00:31:44.660 --> 00:31:53.160
thaddeusw: omniscience, all powerful sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe. You're an idiot. And so it's okay to laugh at yourself. And that's

00:31:53.450 --> 00:32:06.089
thaddeusw: part of what I'm up to in the book is trying to pass on that freedom from the burden of self. When you take God more seriously when you follow God's heart instead of your heart.

00:32:06.360 --> 00:32:11.829
thaddeusw: yeah, life gets exponentially easier because you're not center stage trying to prove anything

00:32:12.090 --> 00:32:17.020
Andy Miller III: right. Amen. You, my dad said this line

00:32:17.080 --> 00:32:26.109
Andy Miller III: long before I heard Dave Ramsey say it on a radio show, but when people ask him how he's doing, he he always responds. I'm doing better than I deserve.

00:32:26.250 --> 00:32:37.999
thaddeusw: And so there's like this sense, that of putting yourself in the in a proper position. Even when you answer a question like that that's great.

00:32:38.200 --> 00:32:50.340
Andy Miller III: III love this little section that you have. It caught me by surprise, and I forget which chapters in. But you have a imaginary dialogue with Foo Co. And this is a big part of what you're doing in the book and

00:32:51.000 --> 00:33:11.120
thaddeusw: of of interacting with these kind of key players, key thinkers and finding their contemporary voices as well. But you went right. You kind of imagine going back in 1,984. Tell tell me a little bit about that, and maybe even describe what you're trying to do in that conversation is.

00:33:11.520 --> 00:33:22.519
thaddeusw: you know, if if let's take a hypothetical teenager. Let's call him. I don't know. Chaz and Chaz is a

00:33:22.580 --> 00:33:30.550
thaddeusw: you know. He's washed his his fair share of follow your heart propaganda. and he finds himself

00:33:31.650 --> 00:33:35.160
thaddeusw: with a desire.

00:33:35.180 --> 00:33:39.670
thaddeusw: But let's say Chaz is growing up in North Ireland.

00:33:39.780 --> 00:33:41.370
thaddeusw: near Belfast.

00:33:42.000 --> 00:33:46.059
thaddeusw: and Chaz finds within himself a desire to

00:33:46.660 --> 00:33:47.770
thaddeusw: to fight

00:33:48.800 --> 00:33:53.969
thaddeusw: and somebody comes along and says, Follow your heart.

00:33:54.740 --> 00:33:58.270
thaddeusw: He may think he's being true to himself.

00:33:59.490 --> 00:34:05.189
thaddeusw: because he finds within himself emotions for for aggression and courage, and

00:34:05.320 --> 00:34:13.880
thaddeusw: the the will to fight. But if you pick little Chaz up by the scruff scruff of his neck and you drop him in

00:34:14.260 --> 00:34:18.780
thaddeusw: I don't know. The gender studies department at Berkeley.

00:34:19.820 --> 00:34:26.529
thaddeusw: and now he finds within himself this desire to explore his inner interpretive dancer.

00:34:26.770 --> 00:34:39.729
thaddeusw: Or explore. You know his gender identity. Maybe he needs to. You know, Rebrand himself is is Chasalina or something, and and and change his pronouns. And

00:34:40.020 --> 00:34:47.249
thaddeusw: now he's gonna zoom in on wait. There's these certain classically feminine emotions that I'm experiencing.

00:34:47.429 --> 00:34:55.469
thaddeusw: So so in both scenarios. little Chas will be convinced he's following his heart. In reality

00:34:55.790 --> 00:35:04.119
thaddeusw: he's actually doing the bidding of ideologues, in whatever plausibility structure he finds himself within.

00:35:04.150 --> 00:35:26.260
thaddeusw: Who are who have turned him into a good little obedient cow to borrow Nietzsche's terminology. He's just joined the herd, whatever's around him all the while. Duped into thinking he's being ubermotch he's being the superman. He's charting his own path. He's really just just moving in in obedience to wherever he finds himself. And so

00:35:26.450 --> 00:35:31.590
thaddeusw: folks who are following their hearts. Hashtag, following their hearts.

00:35:31.750 --> 00:35:34.009
thaddeusw: tend to be doing the bidding

00:35:34.230 --> 00:35:46.560
thaddeusw: oftentimes of ideal logs. They've never even heard of right? Right? Right? Right? And so, you know, maybe they've never heard of Jean-paul Sart, in his existential philosophy, saying, you just exist.

00:35:46.590 --> 00:36:00.780
thaddeusw: Now it's on you to create your essence through an act of will power, you create your own reality. They might have never read being and nothingness, but they are marching like good little cows, in obedience to to the ideology of Saint Sart.

00:36:00.910 --> 00:36:06.959
thaddeusw: Maybe they couldn't quote the spake. They'reathustra. They they don't know how to

00:36:07.170 --> 00:36:09.639
thaddeusw: properly, pronounced Frederick Nietzsche

00:36:09.780 --> 00:36:12.089
Andy Miller III: right, but they are

00:36:12.130 --> 00:36:21.670
thaddeusw: buying into his ideology that you need to devour traditional morality, and you need to assert your will to power and be your authentic self.

00:36:21.790 --> 00:36:27.519
thaddeusw: Foucault is one of the big ones. Foucault sort of sexualizes Nietzsche

00:36:27.530 --> 00:36:38.079
thaddeusw: for Nietzsche, you know, by by spitting on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed up by shopkeepers cows democrats and other Christians. That's a Nietzschi quote.

00:36:38.200 --> 00:36:44.699
thaddeusw: Foucault says, well, the way to spit at that contemptible, outdated morality

00:36:44.720 --> 00:36:46.100
thaddeusw: is by

00:36:46.130 --> 00:37:00.950
thaddeusw: spitting on traditional sexual morality, and so through acts that culture would consider sexually deviant. you are enacting this kind of Nietzschian revolution, and you are.

00:37:01.580 --> 00:37:12.650
thaddeusw: Foucault says, flat out that sex is worth dying for. So sexual expression becomes now the way to follow your heart. So if you have a desire.

00:37:13.030 --> 00:37:20.020
thaddeusw: let's say somebody's watching. I don't know fight club, and they see Brad Pitt with no shirt on.

00:37:21.460 --> 00:37:27.349
thaddeusw: 20 years ago. Maybe if you're a dude watching that, you'd think there's an attractive dude.

00:37:27.730 --> 00:37:30.040
thaddeusw: and you sort of go on with your life

00:37:30.390 --> 00:37:44.770
thaddeusw: now under Foucault's and the other gender theorists like Judith Butler and John Money and Wilhelm Reich and Harry Benjamin and Alfred Kinsey. These these thinkers who have shaped our moment

00:37:44.990 --> 00:37:46.760
thaddeusw: now it's like Whoa!

00:37:47.040 --> 00:38:02.569
thaddeusw: I just thought Brad Pitt look good with the shirt off. I need to really press into that feeling, and I have. I have to be as obedient to my emotions as the Muslim is to the Quran or the Christian is to the Scriptures. So what does this mean about? So now, it's not just a fleeting

00:38:02.610 --> 00:38:09.559
thaddeusw: moment of attraction. Now, this is my identity, and to be authentic. I need to obey

00:38:09.880 --> 00:38:29.639
thaddeusw: that version of myself, or I'm living a lie and, man. I could just tell you, once people start thinking about everything in terms of this is my identity. This emotion defines me, you know they they have never heard of Michel Foucault for the most part, but they are good, faithful devotees

00:38:29.650 --> 00:38:33.109
thaddeusw: to this ideologue. And if you look at

00:38:33.400 --> 00:38:43.160
thaddeusw: the architects of this expressive individualism and the sexualized version of that. you could scarcely find a more miserable bunch.

00:38:43.650 --> 00:38:48.439
thaddeusw: Luco was suicidal throughout his adult life.

00:38:48.650 --> 00:38:51.400
He was sado masochist.

00:38:51.480 --> 00:39:02.730
thaddeusw: He, after he knew he had contracted aids sadly in the early 80 S. He was one of the first sort of public figures to get. HIV. He continued

00:39:02.830 --> 00:39:14.810
thaddeusw: to indulge his to live out his false gospel of sexual indulgence. And who knows how many people? He ended up killing in the process. If you look at

00:39:14.990 --> 00:39:16.710
thaddeusw: Jean-paul sart

00:39:16.750 --> 00:39:45.779
thaddeusw: he was a pill popper. Where? He said, towards the end of his life, you know he would. He would hide vodka behind his books in his library, and he would you know, pop dozens of pills every day? He was a miserable man, with a long trail of carnage behind him, of women that he would he was a sexual predator. If you look at at John money, if you look at Jacques Derrida, if if you look at the actual

00:39:46.060 --> 00:39:48.960
thaddeusw: people who thought up what is now being

00:39:49.240 --> 00:40:02.760
thaddeusw: put to catchy tunes in Disney films, you will again. It's hard to find a more miserable bunch, and the folks who are following in their footsteps are inheriting the the same misery.

00:40:02.880 --> 00:40:18.800
thaddeusw: There's a reason that that anxiety and depression and suicidality are those rates are breaking records, and it has a lot to do with. I mean, there's not a single explanation. But one of the factors, I would argue, is, we bought into this

00:40:18.950 --> 00:40:26.599
thaddeusw: age old lie of the serpent in Genesis? 3. That you can define your own reality, that you could be the center point of your own existence.

00:40:26.880 --> 00:40:39.909
Andy Miller III: Right? That I thank you for apple laying that out. And it was really I just encourage people to find this book, and then to find that that chapter, particularly where you lay out this conversation of you just going back and forth

00:40:39.910 --> 00:41:02.020
Andy Miller III: with Foucault. And also just I appreciate you. Highlighting like this is what's going to come from all that. And sadly, we're probably about the same age kids, similar age. Anticipating that my children and and me in my older years I'll be dealing with us as somebody else has identified the the refugees of the sexual.

00:41:02.020 --> 00:41:07.209
Andy Miller III: We're dealing with the reality that that people will have destroyed their bodies

00:41:07.280 --> 00:41:22.360
Andy Miller III: because of listening to these voices and listening to these leaders, even if they're not the one even they don't read it themselves. Even. They just picked up on it from Elsa and any other Disney character along the way. This is this is a wild time, and there's a sense

00:41:22.370 --> 00:41:35.289
Andy Miller III: they this, this, your book is helping us just identify these lies at the front. So especially for parents, for parents who are raising kids in this cultural moment.

00:41:35.320 --> 00:41:53.739
thaddeusw: I think they will particularly find helpful. The the habits through routines, the the liturgies that I recommend at the end of every chapter. So something I do literally on the dinner table right behind me. We do some basic liturgies where em every Monday

00:41:53.870 --> 00:42:21.649
thaddeusw: we call it magnificent Monday, and we go around the dinner table. What's something magnificent about God? You know what? What's something that makes God awesome now we do terrible Tuesdays. What's something terrible in the world or in in your life, or in your friend's life, or somebody's life that we can pray for. And then we do wicked Wednesdays, wicked Wednesdays. It's not the kids favorite. But it's pretty central, because it's a time for family confession. We go around. And here's

00:42:21.670 --> 00:42:32.910
thaddeusw: here's something I really messed up this week. Here was a sin that I gave into this week. And so they're learning that they are not the moral authority in the universe. They're learning that

00:42:33.060 --> 00:42:42.229
thaddeusw: that God is the moral authority, and that we fail to follow his heart. And so we we can confess and take that to the cross together. Then we do thankful Thursdays.

00:42:42.690 --> 00:42:52.490
thaddeusw: Where do you know what's something? We're grateful to God for this week. It could be, you know, the taste of this burrito right now. It could be you know

00:42:52.620 --> 00:43:03.929
thaddeusw: the sunrise this morning, whatever it might be, and then we do. Freaked out Fridays freaked out. Friday. What's something freaking you out? What's something that's got you anxious and nervous, and that way they learn. Because.

00:43:03.970 --> 00:43:08.209
thaddeusw: man, follow your heart. If you look at the anxiety

00:43:08.300 --> 00:43:34.409
thaddeusw: rates and how they've skyrocketed, you know John Height and Greg Lukanov document as well in the book coddling in the American mind. anxiety rates have hit historic high. So if you're telling somebody follow your heart and they look within. It's just this tangled mess of anxiety. What? What terrible advice! It's just mean. And and the final analysis is just mean, because people buckle under the impossible weight

00:43:34.420 --> 00:43:50.120
thaddeusw: of constructing and then sustaining their own identity. That's a God sized task. God's much better at authoring our lives than we are so freaked out Fridays were able to say, Look, here's what's actually in our hearts. We got all these irrational fears. Let's bring them before the sovereignty of God.

00:43:50.180 --> 00:43:56.429
thaddeusw: And so just basic day in, day out, liturgies that remind us that

00:43:56.540 --> 00:44:02.309
thaddeusw: we aren't. The center point of existence is how you raise the next generation of heretics.

00:44:03.100 --> 00:44:16.610
Andy Miller III: I love it. The. I appreciate one of the disciplines that you had at the end of the chapter for the chapter on II have it here. The answers are within hashtag. The answers are within is to just go through that list

00:44:16.610 --> 00:44:33.260
Andy Miller III: from height, and Lukanoff to just look at those 9 things and say which one of these, which which which which are these happy day in my life, so like emotional reasoning, catastrophicizing over generalizing. Thank you for

00:44:33.260 --> 00:44:55.609
Andy Miller III: Mindy, labeling, negative filtering, the discounting positives, blaming, going through these. I think it it's a helpful thing because these are tendencies that we have, and in our in the Wessex Introduction. One thing to like to emphasize through band meetings and class meetings that John Wesley put in a place, and I'm part of one of these that meets every Thursday at 7 Am.

00:44:55.610 --> 00:45:03.920
Andy Miller III: One of the we asked, like the the guys in the group in a band meetings like 3 to 5 people, and you you all of the same gender.

00:45:04.090 --> 00:45:19.169
Andy Miller III: And so you come and you ask 5 questions of each other, and one of them is, where have I send this week? And then, are there any secrets that I'm with holding right to to trying to give an opportunity for this to come out at some point. So,

00:45:19.170 --> 00:45:37.599
thaddeusw: you know, I like that. You have an opportunity to go ahead and call these things out. Where? Where am I? And allowing this culture to come in and and allowing myself to seek to find answers within myself. Yeah, exactly. And it's important to see, too, Andy, that it's not

00:45:39.050 --> 00:45:43.919
thaddeusw: The the book isn't just a polemic against self worship

00:45:44.300 --> 00:46:10.630
thaddeusw: or an apologetic for god worship. It's it's in in traditional theological categories. It would be called an a lanc. It's not a word we use much anymore. But Francis Turretton wrote the Institutes of a Lancet Theology and a Lanc is simultaneously a polemic against something and an apologetic for something. So you're doing both at the same time. And so I'm arguing both against self worship and for God worship

00:46:10.710 --> 00:46:12.640
thaddeusw: in a way that's

00:46:13.090 --> 00:46:21.750
thaddeusw: That isn't. That doesn't leave the reader just sort of floating in abstraction.

00:46:21.840 --> 00:46:36.379
thaddeusw: But here's we aren't in outer space here. How does this re-enter the atmosphere and come down to the real world where we live and breathe. And so, yeah, I think it's it's a helpful resources, I know, for

00:46:36.590 --> 00:46:41.170
thaddeusw: I got a message from a dear friend of mine up in Minnesota.

00:46:41.330 --> 00:47:00.319
thaddeusw: who said, his daughter's 13 year old daughter is going through, and she says she's she's eating it up. She's loving it. So it's it's written in a way that a 13 year old could could it just be a page, Turner, and also for for parents to to strike a a wide wide range of folks out there who can.

00:47:00.910 --> 00:47:04.649
thaddeusw: I mean? And let's face it. What's the alternative? In the culture

00:47:04.670 --> 00:47:08.990
thaddeusw: as people are buckling under the impossible weight of self worship.

00:47:10.220 --> 00:47:21.969
thaddeusw: Where? Where else do you go? Some folks would say, Okay, well, I'm going to turn from the self. If myself is inadequate. History has taught us that oftentimes in seasons of

00:47:22.020 --> 00:47:24.940
thaddeusw: radical autonomy and self-definition.

00:47:25.680 --> 00:47:39.409
thaddeusw: they're frequently followed by Syrians. By by seasons of looking to the State as the ultimate meaning maker. So there's this pendulum swing. You can see it in ancient Greece.

00:47:39.610 --> 00:47:43.360
thaddeusw: You can see it in 1930. S. Germany?

00:47:43.390 --> 00:48:10.229
thaddeusw: You could see it in Mao's China installing Soviet Union, where an over emphasis on self leads to this pendulum swing, where, as Chesterton said, once, you abolish God, the government becomes God right? So there is this sort of totalitarian swing, and II dive into that in the sort of companion book we were talking before the show confronting injustice without compromising truth.

00:48:10.510 --> 00:48:25.179
thaddeusw: it's sort of written in tandem with this one where that one dives into the social justice questions of the age and this one really zooms in on what's underneath a lot of the social justice ideology is

00:48:25.290 --> 00:48:29.269
thaddeusw: this bad theology that puts the self-centered stage

00:48:29.330 --> 00:48:34.089
Andy Miller III: interesting? I wonder, too, about a hermeneutical

00:48:34.500 --> 00:49:03.590
Andy Miller III: foundation for this, too, with with reference to Scripture. So I bet. I think I think by Ola Talbot has, like a statement on Aaron C. As does Seminary, and that's not actually common within the Wesleyan tradition to have that perspective. But it should be if if we were following we Wesley as a whole. But do you think that there is a connection with affirming Scriptures authority with this direction? II have an idea. And and

00:49:03.590 --> 00:49:10.050
and I'm just curious to flesh that out here with you a little bit. Do you see see a connection between us affirming

00:49:10.050 --> 00:49:15.369
thaddeusw: a source of truth outside of ourselves.

00:49:15.390 --> 00:49:24.629
thaddeusw: friends who, once they budge on an errand. See, one of the first steps is they find passages that that rub them the wrong way.

00:49:24.660 --> 00:49:30.739
thaddeusw: Yeah, passages they they don't like. And and so that reveals an underlying

00:49:31.000 --> 00:49:40.729
thaddeusw: epistemology that their final authority in the last analysis is, does this jive with my emotions, and so they'll say, you know. Well.

00:49:40.850 --> 00:49:47.490
thaddeusw: you know, I'll be a partial inherentist, you know. Some of it's inspired, but but not all of it. Okay, well.

00:49:47.650 --> 00:50:04.220
thaddeusw: what's the part that these would say isn't the authoritative word of God? And lo and behold, it's all the parts they don't like. And so you end up now, epistemologically, what's in the driver's seat? It's the fallen emotion emotional states of

00:50:04.340 --> 00:50:10.669
thaddeusw: of the interpreter. And so absolutely understand. You know, the biggest shifts in the history of culture.

00:50:10.700 --> 00:50:19.610
thaddeusw: before their artistic shifts, before their architectural shifts, before their economic shifts. They tend to be

00:50:19.750 --> 00:50:21.100

00:50:21.350 --> 00:50:32.390
thaddeusw: epistemological shifts, how shifts in how we know what we know. And so the Reformation. There's a reason of the 5 solas that solos Scriptura's put first.

00:50:32.540 --> 00:50:41.990
thaddeusw: You have to start with the epistemology. Where do I go for truth? For ultimate truth and final authoritative answers solo. Scripture is Scripture alone.

00:50:42.050 --> 00:50:48.569
thaddeusw: That that is a clean epistemological break from the epistemology of well Scripture plus tradition.

00:50:48.750 --> 00:50:55.589
thaddeusw: right when when Descartes comes around with his famous Kajito. I think, therefore, I am

00:50:55.740 --> 00:51:05.500
Andy Miller III: right. He's ushering in an epistemological shift, where the autonomous self is the starting point of knowledge. Right when the postmoderns come along and

00:51:05.570 --> 00:51:09.160
thaddeusw: and destroy or deconstruct all Meta narratives

00:51:09.490 --> 00:51:17.299
thaddeusw: and say that really you're you're trapped in your skull, size, kingdom, the the self, the the emotion becomes

00:51:17.360 --> 00:51:19.579
thaddeusw: the the final word on reality.

00:51:19.630 --> 00:51:27.360
thaddeusw: And so yes, all of these shifts are epistemologically rooted. and so to affirm, a good

00:51:27.460 --> 00:51:38.910
thaddeusw: safeguard against the expressive individualism is a strong, ringing affirmation of inerrancy and not just on paper. I'm all for

00:51:39.110 --> 00:51:44.070
thaddeusw: statements and and and creeds and and declarations. Those are great.

00:51:44.080 --> 00:51:50.710
thaddeusw: but on a deeper level. An epistemology isn't just how you would answer a question on a philosophy

00:51:50.730 --> 00:51:57.490
thaddeusw: exam. But your epistemology is what you live out day in and day out.

00:51:57.980 --> 00:52:10.579
thaddeusw: Am I trusting my emotions and what they say about me? Or am am I going to the word and preaching to my emotions, and setting my emotions straight in light of the word. So let me give just one quick example. Here.

00:52:10.940 --> 00:52:14.340
thaddeusw: Ii give a list on a

00:52:14.640 --> 00:52:28.659
thaddeusw: on page 42, I say, you know, go through this list and tell me any of these feelings that maybe you had today. So I felt pretty much nothing like an emotionally dead fish. I felt deeply secure in who I am in my life mission.

00:52:28.800 --> 00:52:46.089
thaddeusw: I felt panicky and unsure of myself. I felt angry at myself. I felt confused, jumbled up inside. I felt confident, optimistic, overwhelmed, drained fun, attractive, isolated, lonesome. I go through these emotions and I say, okay, on any given day you're going to have

00:52:46.240 --> 00:52:48.170
thaddeusw: these vacillating.

00:52:48.670 --> 00:52:54.039
thaddeusw: self referential emotions, ways you feel about yourself that are

00:52:54.180 --> 00:52:55.490
thaddeusw: in flux.

00:52:55.650 --> 00:52:56.420
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

00:52:56.870 --> 00:53:01.670
thaddeusw: And so let's say, you wake up one day and you just feel

00:53:01.720 --> 00:53:07.910
thaddeusw: terrible like a big waste of space or something an ho! Hum! Nobody loves me. I'm just

00:53:08.350 --> 00:53:10.900
thaddeusw: big waste of space. And then

00:53:11.290 --> 00:53:16.179
thaddeusw: talking about, you know, a lived epistemology. You go to the Scripture.

00:53:17.180 --> 00:53:23.950
thaddeusw: and you say you know what I'm going to distrust my emotions because they are not infallible. They are not inerrant.

00:53:24.040 --> 00:53:26.709
thaddeusw: And let's say you open up, John 17

00:53:26.940 --> 00:53:48.159
thaddeusw: in your reading along. And here's we get to eavesdrop on this intra Trinitarian conversation right? It's the son addressing the Father the night before his execution, and John 17. And Jesus says, You know I'm not just praying for my apostles. I'm praying for everyone through the echelons of time. Who will believe in me through their word? That's us. He's praying for us.

00:53:48.220 --> 00:53:58.919
thaddeusw: and he prays for our oneness that we would be in him as he is in the Father, and the Father's in Him. And then in John 17, Jesus makes a staggering claim where he says.

00:53:59.040 --> 00:54:03.229
thaddeusw: Father, you loved them. Yeah, referring to us.

00:54:03.700 --> 00:54:05.169
thaddeusw: and it's a little Greek

00:54:05.550 --> 00:54:15.410
thaddeusw: phrase, Cathos. You love them, Cathos, you loved me, you love them even as to the same extent that equivalent to how you love me.

00:54:16.150 --> 00:54:27.759
thaddeusw: And so now I'm living my epistemology. I'm saying, Ok, I'm going to push back on my emotions here. I'm going to meditate on what God is saying here, and take God's Word more seriously than I take my fallen emotions.

00:54:27.840 --> 00:54:32.759
thaddeusw: How does God love the son? If I'm loved, even as the father loves a son

00:54:32.870 --> 00:54:48.930
thaddeusw: well, the father loves a son infinitely, and he loves a son irreversibly and unapologetically, and with the full weight of his divine perfections. And and now I'm pondering that I'm letting Scripture be the ultimate authority. And so I start thinking, Okay, if I'm loved

00:54:49.100 --> 00:54:52.919
thaddeusw: even as the father loves a son. How am I loved! I am loved

00:54:53.120 --> 00:55:08.060
thaddeusw: infinitely. I am loved unapologetically, irreversibly. I am loved with the full weight of divine perfections. And now I'm at a crossroads. Who do I take more seriously my fallen ho! Hum emotions?

00:55:08.330 --> 00:55:10.040
thaddeusw: Do I follow my heart

00:55:10.320 --> 00:55:26.239
thaddeusw: and and let that define me? Or do I follow God's heart? And what God says is authoritatively true about me. To to sum it up, what God says is true about you is infinitely more trustworthy than anything you're falling emotionally. Say about you, Amen.

00:55:26.350 --> 00:55:51.810
Andy Miller III: And that exists outside of us, you know, like it's not something. It's not something that we create. And when the interpretive process begins with us and our experience as opposed to a reality that's found in the. And you know, when we're talking about Scripture, what W. What we know about God. Things like in the text, like the text, becomes a foundation outside of any of our any of our projections, you know. Even

00:55:51.810 --> 00:56:03.570
Andy Miller III: god identifies himself to Moses. II am that I am. I will be, I will be. I exist outside. This isn't dependent whether you feel it or not. Yes.

00:56:03.660 --> 00:56:08.170
Andy Miller III: I love II this the privileges.

00:56:10.520 --> 00:56:31.640
thaddeusw: Go ahead. Go ahead. Sorry you cut out on me. There you're talking, I was just gonna say, and all all the privileges, all the privileges of our salvation. You know our adoption, our our new identity, is adopted. Cherish sons and daughters of God. That is objectively true of us, as the Word of God declares it, whether you feel like a cherished, adopted son or daughter or not.

00:56:31.650 --> 00:56:42.639
thaddeusw: Your your justification, your forever not guilty sentence. The fact that the righteousness of Christ is credited to your account, and all of your unrighteousness

00:56:42.720 --> 00:57:01.909
thaddeusw: was credited to his account, and that great substitution on the cross. That is true, price imputed righteousness is yours, whether you feel it or not. And so isn't that freeing to not limit my scope of reality to what I can emotionally access in the moment?

00:57:01.950 --> 00:57:09.019
thaddeusw: And again, I think a strong affirmation of the authority and trustworthiness of Scripture helps

00:57:09.120 --> 00:57:11.799
thaddeusw: break us out of that skull-sized prison.

00:57:11.910 --> 00:57:40.479
Andy Miller III: Yes, I love it, that this book is so helpful. As we've talked about it, and I hope, as my listeners are, you know, just being in on this conversation, that we're having those of you with children. I think this would be a great thing to do to take to your dinner table like our day, or take to your family prayer times just to go over there. I'm gonna just read that this the names of all the chapters. So people can get a feel for things you cover, and these the 10 Commandments that need to be boldly broken. Live your best life

00:57:40.480 --> 00:57:55.720
Andy Miller III: thou shalt always act in accordance with your chief end, to glorify, enjoy yourself forever. Nice play there. Okay, Boomer, thou shalt never be outdated, but always be on the edge of the new hashtag. Follow your heart.

00:57:55.720 --> 00:58:04.099
Andy Miller III: We already talked about. That one hashtag. Be true to yourself now shall be courageous enough to defy other people's expectations.

00:58:04.360 --> 00:58:10.030
Andy Miller III: Hashtag you, do you? Thou shalt live your truth, and let others live theirs.

00:58:10.200 --> 00:58:26.610
Andy Miller III: Hashtag. Yolo, thou shalt pursue the rush of boundary. Free experience hashtag the answers are within, thou shalt trust yourself. Never let in anyone oppress you with the antiquated notion of being a quote sinner.

00:58:26.960 --> 00:58:44.669
Andy Miller III: hashtag authentic, thou shalt invent and advertise thine own identity. Hashtag live the dream, thou shalt force the universe to bend to your desires. Hashtag love, Islove, thou shalt celebrate all lifestyles and love lot, and love lives as equally valid.

00:58:44.790 --> 00:58:59.360
Andy Miller III: So just to give people a flavor that maybe we have time. Is there one of those that you wanna just like drop a little line about, or something? Your interest. I was planning to go through a few more invite or run out of time. But II love that. You're tackling all these ideas.

00:58:59.570 --> 00:59:04.990
thaddeusw: Yeah. Just the the live, the dream, I think, is

00:59:05.890 --> 00:59:10.610
thaddeusw: This concept that I argue in chapter 2, that

00:59:10.740 --> 00:59:19.470
thaddeusw: this idea of creating your own reality is through an act of will power. It. It loves to market itself as cutting edge and

00:59:19.660 --> 00:59:27.700
thaddeusw: and and trendy. And so avant garde. And I argue, look, man. This is the literally the oldest lie in the book, and Genesis 3,

00:59:27.760 --> 00:59:40.350
thaddeusw: verse 5. The serpent is, you know, coaxing Eve to eat the fruit, and he makes us promise you'll be like God, knowing good and evil. And I unpack some of the

00:59:40.620 --> 00:59:50.350
thaddeusw: the Hebrew of what's going on there, that it's basically Hebrew shorthand for hey, Eve? By eating the fruit you can become godlike in

00:59:50.800 --> 01:00:03.210
thaddeusw: in becoming the sovereign meaning maker of all of reality. You can define the meaning of biology. You can define the meaning of your body, you can define the meaning of marriage, you can find the meaning of life. It's all on you. Now you get to to

01:00:03.260 --> 01:00:08.200
thaddeusw: take the mantle, take the the sovereign scepter over existence.

01:00:08.320 --> 01:00:10.619
thaddeusw: and so I argue in a

01:00:11.130 --> 01:00:16.870
thaddeusw: in the chapter about bending the universe around your desires

01:00:16.930 --> 01:00:29.780
thaddeusw: to live, the dream that when you, when you break reality, when you break the structure of reality, when you transgress the givenness of things as set up and determined by the God who's actually sovereign

01:00:31.300 --> 01:00:36.470
thaddeusw: reality has a way of breaking us back. So so

01:00:37.080 --> 01:00:47.389
thaddeusw: II give a few. The whole book is sort of peppered with with Pop culture references and and songs and movies and whatnot and if if you think of

01:00:47.670 --> 01:00:53.610
thaddeusw: the movie break or the the show, I should say the 5 season series breaking bad.

01:00:53.890 --> 01:01:16.179
thaddeusw: you know. Spoiler alerts any listeners but you get this sort of beta mail high school chemistry teacher, who's sort of an underachiever, and he gets a terrible terminal cancer diagnosis, and so he decides to support his family. He's gonna break the structure of moral reality by cooking meth.

01:01:16.270 --> 01:01:18.769
thaddeusw: and he rises to become

01:01:18.970 --> 01:01:27.539
thaddeusw: sort of the the king of his little meth Empire in in New Mexico. And it's a fascinating story. It's very, very well written.

01:01:27.660 --> 01:01:28.780
thaddeusw: and

01:01:29.330 --> 01:01:41.739
thaddeusw: the the plot line of those 5 seasons tells the truth moral truth, that as Walt Whites breaks the moral structure of reality, reality breaks him back.

01:01:41.990 --> 01:01:52.989
thaddeusw: and so by the end, again, spoiler, alert, he ends up miserable. He's completely alienated from his family. He's alienated the only friend he ever had.

01:01:53.080 --> 01:02:03.830
thaddeusw: and and that just is a deep Biblical theme that the more you break reality as set up by God, the more reality breaks you back. And so

01:02:03.860 --> 01:02:20.119
thaddeusw: there's something to real joy and real meaning and real purpose that we tap into when, instead of trying to author our own reality and and running against the flow of the universe? We step into a position of obedience, and and really letting God

01:02:20.470 --> 01:02:25.659
thaddeusw: be God living in within what philosophers they have a phrase

01:02:25.970 --> 01:02:35.899
thaddeusw: Carving the universe up at the joints is something philosophers have talked about for a long time. It's the idea of your life actually aligns with the contours and structure of reality.

01:02:36.100 --> 01:02:43.289
thaddeusw: and when we live in honesty, authenticity before the fact that God is God and we are not

01:02:43.600 --> 01:02:54.520
thaddeusw: There's nothing else like it, man. There's just nothing better in the universe than to live the Creator, creature distinction. God is infinitely better at being God than we are.

01:02:54.640 --> 01:03:08.899
Andy Miller III: Yeah. Amen. Did it. One of my favorite authors older authors is a man who's missionary to India named East Stanley Jones. And he he had this saying, it said like, if sin were natural.

01:03:09.630 --> 01:03:11.170
Andy Miller III: it would feed us.

01:03:11.190 --> 01:03:26.770
Andy Miller III: he says, but the opposite is true. It will bleed us, will will be broken. It will break with the the moral reality of the universe. When you, when you move against it, no matter where you are, it will break. Yeah, that's really helpful.

01:03:26.770 --> 01:03:51.429
That it's been so helpful. I have you on the podcast and encouraging to me, even though this is like hard things to talk about. One of the things about my podcast is that it's called more to the story, and I have a theological reason for that, in the sense that it, our seminary we emphasize sanctifying grace is more than just getting your sense, forgiven. But also I love to hear about more story of other people. Is there is there more this story and fad? You, you've probably been on a lot of podcasts on things. There's something you don't talk about.

01:03:51.500 --> 01:03:53.810
A hobby you have, or something like that.

01:03:53.990 --> 01:03:59.389
thaddeusw: Sure? Yeah, I, the publisher, came to me and said.

01:03:59.900 --> 01:04:03.409
thaddeusw: Hey, we're we're trying to have some incentives

01:04:03.470 --> 01:04:05.670
thaddeusw: for pre orders.

01:04:06.150 --> 01:04:12.560
thaddeusw: and you got any ideas, and I thought you know it'd be kind of fun to release an album

01:04:12.620 --> 01:04:13.900
thaddeusw: with the Book

01:04:14.060 --> 01:04:25.120
thaddeusw: of Original Songs, and that that tap into the themes of the book. So if if listeners go to join theherticscom.

01:04:25.200 --> 01:04:45.490
thaddeusw: I think they can click on on offers or bonuses, or something like that. And there's a way there that they can access. Or you know frankly, you can hop on spotify or Amazon music wherever music is streamed and just type in my name, Thaddeus Williams, there's an album called heretics.

01:04:45.650 --> 01:04:55.659
thaddeusw: That is all original tombs that's encourage people to follow God's heart instead of theirs. Is this your music? Yeah.

01:04:55.770 --> 01:05:01.869
thaddeusw: Awesome. Yeah. Songs recorded it in my in my own garage.

01:05:01.890 --> 01:05:23.690
Andy Miller III: Awesome. Well, interesting. You talk about heretics. You've you quoted like 4 or 5 times, Chesterton here, and my version of orthoxy also has heretics at the front of it. So, and that that's both both books so helpful to me. I hadn't even thought about that connection of like dealing with with heresies. Did you have that in mind? A little bit, too, for sure.

01:05:23.690 --> 01:05:42.770
thaddeusw: Awesome thanks. So much. I hope I hope we get to be in the same room some time. Get shake your hand, have a cup of coffee. But yeah, I love this conversation and appreciate when we have the ultimate Calvinism versus Westlandism showdown like the. There's been enough books and

01:05:43.120 --> 01:05:47.740
thaddeusw: conversations and debates. I say, just straight up cage match

01:05:47.800 --> 01:06:03.649
Andy Miller III: Fred Sanders, and just one or 2 elbow drops, and Sanders is out.

01:06:03.960 --> 01:06:16.009
Andy Miller III: Okay, get him on the the top rope, doing the turn buckle, fly, and and we'll settle this thing, man. Oh, man, this would be fun looking forward, looking forward to that day.

01:06:16.070 --> 01:06:19.829
thaddeusw: That's so good. Thanks so much

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