In 2009, Time Magazine named “The New Calvinism” as one of the ten ideas changing the world. In a time when the church in the Western world was declining, millennials were getting interested in theology through Reformed churches and ministries. This happened largely through the use of modern technologies with podcasts, YouTube, social media, and online forums. As a result, there were (and continue to be) conferences that drew hundreds of young adults to come, listen to talks about theology, and engage in discussion about the truths of Scripture. This growth didn’t happen through youth programs or making changes to the worship service to be more in-line with what was popular with young people at that time; it came simply through exposing people to their theology.
When I became a Lutheran, I looked for websites, podcasts, and conferences as I had in the Reformed church, and I quickly found that they did not really exist. While Issues Etc. was a notable exception to this, there was generally a lack of available information for those searching. It was at that realization that I committed myself to changing this. As Lutherans, we have a life-changing theology. We understand the true peace and assurance that comes from God’s promises in Christ which he delivers to us through his Word and Sacraments. This is the message that the world is desperately in need of, and we need to find new ways of bringing others that message.
I established Just and Sinner in 2012 as a blog and podcast to do this. This is a one-hour weekly show which discusses Lutheran theology and practice, and also engages with challenges to the Christian faith in the world today. We have recently decided to do a lot more with Just and Sinner as an organization. We’ve set up a board of directors, established faculty positions for people who are experts in their fields, and are in the process of gaining 501(c)3 status as a non-profit organization. We have five primary areas that we are focusing on at this time: the podcast, YouTube videos, the publication of new materials in both print and ebook formats, the offering of online courses through the Weidner Institute which are taught by the faculty, and a yearly conference. You can find more information about all of these initiatives and more here on our website.
In order to do this, we need your help. There are a few ways you can do this. First, and foremost, we need your prayers. Second, we are in need of donors to fund these initiatives. Third, we would love for you to use our material and share it with others.
Rev. Dr. Jordan B Cooper