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Mike Cosper on Church Hurt and Church Hope

Confusion and anxiety. Narcissistic tendencies. Spiritual abuses. As the host of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, CT’s director of media Mike Cosper explored how these themes can wreak havoc in a church. Now, he’s sharing his own experiences with harm and healing in church life through his latest book, Land of My Sojourn: The Landscape of a Faith Lost and Found.

On this episode of The Russell Moore Show, Moore hosts Cosper for a discussion of hurt and hope. They talk about Cosper’s work in church ministry, in his book, and while hosting the podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. Their conversation covers church polity, planting, and pastoring. Moore and Cosper talk about the importance of humility in an era of narcissistic spiritual leaders and discuss the importance of wisdom and suffering in tempering idealism.

Cosper and Moore talk about reconciling stories of hospitality and kindness about figures like Mark Driscoll with the damage and trauma they’ve inflicted on others. They respond to the critique that The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill has made pastoring more difficult and encourage listeners to consider the importance of telling the truth even—perhaps especially—when the truth is hard to accept.

Tune in for a discussion that is honest about the harm some churches have caused and hopeful about the church as a place of healing.

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

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“The Russell Moore Show” is a production of Christianity Today

Executive Producers: Erik Petrik, Russell Moore, and Mike Cosper

Host: Russell Moore

Producer: Ashley Hales

Associate Producers: Abby Perry and McKenzie Hill

Director of Operations for CT Media: Matt Stevens

Audio engineering by Dan Phelps

Video producer: Abby Egan

Theme Song: “Dusty Delta Day” by Lennon Hutton

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).