Praising the Mundane with Dr. Brent Waters
November 3 2022
Doing little things like washing the dishes and other chores makes a difference. On today’s show, theological ethicist Brent Waters highlights the importance of common virtues in our life.
Youtube - https://youtu.be/0yOdeMsE6Js
Audio - https://andymilleriii.com/media/podcast
Apple - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/more-to-the-story-with-dr-andy-miller/id1569988895?uo=4
Link to Dr. Waters’ book, Common Callings and Ordinary Virtues -
Contender: Going Deeper in the Book of Jude - This all-inclusive small group study on the book of Jude is out now. Check it out on the course page: http://courses.andymilleriii.com
Five Steps to Deeper Teaching and Preaching - I’m excited to share some news with you. 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.
Today’s episode is brought to you by these two sponsors:
Keith Waters and his team at WPO Development do an amazing job helping non-profits and churches through mission planning studies, strategic plans, feasibility studies, and capital campaigns. We are honored to have Keith and WPO on the More to the Story team. You can find out more about them at www.wpodevelopment.com or touch base directly with Keith at Keith.Waters@wpodevelopment.com.
Wesley Biblical Seminary - Interested in going deeper in your faith? Check out our certificate programs, B.A., M.A.s, M.Div., and D.Min degrees. You will study with world-class faculty and the most racially diverse student body in the country. www.wbs.edu
Thanks too to Phil Laeger for the new podcast music. You can find out about Phil's music at https://www.laeger.net
Welcome to the more to the story. Podcast. I am so glad that you have come along today. We have a good show for you. I'm excited to talk about a book that is very important. It talks about the common mundane things of life, and I think you're going to find this really helpful. I'm thankful that Wesley Biblical Seminary is the sponsor of this podcast, where we are training trusted leaders for faithful churches. That means we are training people in the great tradition of the Faith once for all delivered to the saints, and that happens through a variety of programs from bachelor's, masters in doctoral
00:00:38.920 --> 00:01:08.429
Andy Miller III: degrees. Secondly, Oh, well also you need to know you can find out about Wbs, and that is at Wbs. Ed. You. Secondly, I'm. Thankful to Bill Roberts, who is a financial planner who sponsors his podcast. He is a financial planner who helps people think about their futures in a way so that they can start to prepare for even like as early as in their twenties, and he is particularly good with helping people who are in ministry positions. People have to calculate things like housing allowances, and how they prepare for that, so you can find out more about him
00:01:08.440 --> 00:01:22.399
Andy Miller III: at William H. Roberts. Com. You can find information about him in my show notes as well. And finally, I would love to share resources with people if you signed for my email list at Andy Miller, the third dot com that's Andy Miller, I I I
00:01:22.410 --> 00:01:45.420
Andy Miller III: and This little tool that i'll share with you is called five Steps to deeper teaching and preaching. It's a video kind of Mini course that I offer as well as a Pdf. Document that you can use as you prepare yourself to teach and preach, and to do so in a way that connects with your audience effectively. So I am excited now to bring in my guest Dr. Brent Waters, who serves
00:01:45.430 --> 00:01:54.909
Andy Miller III: at um the Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary as the Stead Professor of Christian social ethics. Dr. Waters welcome to the podcast.
00:01:55.030 --> 00:01:56.450
Brent Waters: I don't think you were having me.
00:01:56.560 --> 00:02:10.209
Andy Miller III: Well, you were the second guest on my podcast that I had in my uh, more than one hundred episodes ago, the Captain's corner podcast, and your book uh on capitalism. And it was interesting that
00:02:10.220 --> 00:02:28.569
Andy Miller III: podcasted and we connected a little bit there. You connected me to this stead. Who? The name of the professorship and the center you lead? Um! They became really important people to me and find out and come to find out that they were. Uh, there. He is, a descendant
00:02:28.580 --> 00:02:39.470
Andy Miller III: of Wt. Stead, who was an early uh influence on the Salvation Army. So i'm curious is, uh, do you have much interaction with the stead, or what do they? What do they mean to you?
00:02:39.870 --> 00:02:55.220
Brent Waters: Well, Yes, they would. They were my benefactors at that, you know, having spent twenty one years at at Garrett. Um. They were also very generous, both in their financial support, and their time and and their their uh spiritual support of what I was doing. Um,
00:02:55.230 --> 00:03:07.829
Brent Waters: remarkable people, very generous people. Um! But you know they've they've spent uh time in the corporate world world that they introduced me to that I wasn't familiar with that uh helped me on a number of occasions.
00:03:07.840 --> 00:03:22.219
Brent Waters: Um. My life is just basically very blessed by getting to know the stairs, and i'm very glad that you were able to have that interaction with with well, because they it seems that no matter where they go they do good, and and the place it does better off for having them in there.
00:03:22.610 --> 00:03:52.460
Andy Miller III: Yeah, and it's. It's interesting how that's a part of their family legacy as well like his great-great-grandfather, or whatever the connection is. I'm not quite sure was somebody who worked with William and Kathryn Booth to raise the age of of consent in England. They were. He was somebody who helped him design the in darkest England scheme which the savage army social work today, which is primarily what the salary from is known for is an outgrowth of that program, and it would never happen without,
00:03:52.470 --> 00:04:02.740
Brent Waters: and and one another quick story about them. Have you ever watched a football game as being broadcast from Iowa City, Iowa University of Iowa?
00:04:02.780 --> 00:04:10.859
Brent Waters: I have not. Well, it sometimes you do that you'll notice particularly at night. They will turn to a building behind the stadium, and they'll all turn on their ipad,
00:04:10.880 --> 00:04:13.980
Brent Waters: the lights, or the iphone lights.
00:04:14.480 --> 00:04:24.560
Brent Waters: What it is is that there's a children's hospital that looks into the football field on a certain floor. Every game they bring the children in to watch the game,
00:04:24.740 --> 00:04:41.270
Brent Waters: and that entire Children's Hospital was built by the stiff Wow, and that's that's the kind of you know generosity that they have but to give something back to their Alma Mater, which is the University of Iowa, and to do it through one of now one of the world's premier children's hospitals
00:04:41.280 --> 00:04:46.379
Andy Miller III: amazing, and I know that part of the way he came in contact with um.
00:04:46.500 --> 00:05:04.230
Andy Miller III: You is through Garrett, and he I know he was a board chair at for a period. So um! And now it's, I I think, even is engaged with the establishment army a certain degree, and it is fascinating people. It's amazing. This is a part of what you're what you and I have talked about both times, even in your capitalism book.
00:05:04.240 --> 00:05:33.359
Andy Miller III: Um, because I remember. And then in this book, too, that we're going to talk about common call callings and ordinary virtues, is recognizing what what sometimes theologians, you know, people like you and me, who are working in the Academy might think our our task is the most important thing, but in some ways it's what's happening uh, for most of people's lives all around them. That's so important in. And I remember you talking to me last time about your father in law, him as a businessman having an influence on you, you recognizing the amount of good
00:05:33.370 --> 00:05:44.210
Andy Miller III: he was doing, and and that's some of this, some of what even is behind. Would you say about me? I'm. I'm reading into a little bit what's even behind this book? Common calling?
00:05:45.180 --> 00:05:46.700
Brent Waters: Yes, I mean,
00:05:47.430 --> 00:06:00.849
Brent Waters: I really wanted to to think through. How how do we love our neighbors? And one of the ways that we meet our neighbors or love our neighbors is to meet their physical and material needs, and that that's a very important process, because
00:06:01.060 --> 00:06:10.879
Brent Waters: none of us can do it on our own. I mean, uh, we, we need one another to you know, to to do that. Either it's in the marketplace or it's in families, or it's an organization
00:06:11.020 --> 00:06:14.890
Brent Waters: Um! It's it's kind of a myth of autonomy.
00:06:15.230 --> 00:06:26.679
Brent Waters: Not really. We're very dependent upon one. Not. And I think God created us that way precisely that way. Uh to to to say Okay, you need one another to learn how to love one another
00:06:27.250 --> 00:06:46.830
Brent Waters: and and and how we do that is, is, through these dating interactions. And what really cemented. That was two things was, I mean. First of all, we we kind of alluded to. It was that as a moral theologian, I spent most of my time thinking about abstractions or thinking about big issues that I never had any first hand experience with. So I began to realize
00:06:46.840 --> 00:06:54.550
Brent Waters: I largely ignore where I live where I spend my time. There's something wrong about this struck me as being intuitively wrong.
00:06:55.110 --> 00:07:11.869
Brent Waters: And then the thing, the the practical one that really cemented. That was having spent a month in the hospital in in recovery and and working with the nurses. As I realized, I was utterly dependent upon people for my most basic needs eating, going to the bathroom because exercising.
00:07:12.020 --> 00:07:15.800
Brent Waters: And I realize, okay, maybe it is for the Monday,
00:07:15.890 --> 00:07:25.239
Brent Waters: the the daily day in and day out out shores that we do exhibit a of of neighbor because we utterly depend upon one another.
00:07:25.670 --> 00:07:28.789
Andy Miller III: Absolutely I I I say, absolutely.
00:07:28.840 --> 00:07:45.859
Andy Miller III: But this is a hard lesson to learn. Okay, And I I wish I like I I agree with you in like there's a way it makes you say Amen. At the same time recognizing the a holiness of every moment, is not something that comes easily.
00:07:45.910 --> 00:08:05.419
Andy Miller III: You have this interesting sentence in um on page eleven. You you say it. It is in the mundane, my numbing, boring, and tedious chores, of taking care of ourselves and others, that we catch glimpses of what God created us to be
00:08:06.050 --> 00:08:21.100
Andy Miller III: really in the boring things is that I I like to think of the big moments like I want to when i'm on stage, or when everybody is recognizing me. But it can it? How does that happen in these these Monday moments that we find this is who God's calls to be?
00:08:22.370 --> 00:08:29.639
Brent Waters: Because I think that's what we find is that's how we really learn to be simultaneously of service and to be hospitable
00:08:30.680 --> 00:08:39.690
Brent Waters: that we really we take people for who they are and what they are, and not try to just simply dismiss them because they get in the way of us being extraordinary.
00:08:44.880 --> 00:08:51.130
Brent Waters: So it's it's really in those those moments I mean I to me again. One of those early experiences was, you know,
00:08:51.560 --> 00:09:02.849
Brent Waters: I had to change a diaper, you know. Here I am as a trained theologian, and I have to really, you know, spend my time changing, you know. But then I realized Well, this is how I love my daughter at the same.
00:09:02.860 --> 00:09:19.229
Brent Waters: Yeah, that's really meeting what What is her need? Um: So I think, yeah, I and I it i'm also remembering that you know I I I taught in the seminary, and one of the things I wish I had been I caught on to this earlier was the same root of the word ordinary. It's the same root of the word ordination.
00:09:19.420 --> 00:09:26.740
Andy Miller III: Oh, interesting. I never thought of that. Yeah. So maybe maybe ordination means is we teach you how to be faithfully ordinary.
00:09:27.030 --> 00:09:28.120
Andy Miller III: Wow,
00:09:28.410 --> 00:09:32.799
Brent Waters: um! Which means day in and day out. You're there to serve the needs of your people.
00:09:34.120 --> 00:09:41.550
Andy Miller III: This is starting to make more sense to me. Last time we talked I remember um. We talked about capitalism, and
00:09:41.560 --> 00:10:00.410
Andy Miller III: uh, we talk about the the nature of markets, and how they can be used for the good. And this is this is really really helpful for me to think about even helping people. When I was serving full time in this. Obviously I mean helping people get up homelessness and like. And I I asked you um Well, what what's next like? How is this connected to something else in in
00:10:00.420 --> 00:10:03.029
Andy Miller III: you say you said
00:10:03.040 --> 00:10:20.979
Andy Miller III: my next projects to really look at the significance of doing the dishes with my wife and her. It reminded me of George W. Bush. When he retired he said that uh, Laura said to him, Now it's a time for my next domestic agenda, and she handed him uh a a a towel,
00:10:21.060 --> 00:10:25.950
Andy Miller III: is it? Is that what? And uh, are there things that we can do
00:10:26.020 --> 00:10:31.950
Andy Miller III: while we do these mundane things to help us see their significance.
00:10:33.220 --> 00:10:45.489
Brent Waters: Yeah, I think there is. I mean, It's just sit back and and and and pay attention to what's going on around you, I mean as as that's the beauty of someone like you know what Iris Murdoch talks about are being attended to. The neighbor
00:10:45.820 --> 00:11:03.919
Brent Waters: is the best way to be attentive is to really focus on and try to discover what are the real needs of this neighbor that i'm. I'm. Now in contact with. And I think you know, Murdoch wrote, I think, one of the most memorable sentences in twentieth century moral Philosophy, and she says, The great enemy
00:11:04.000 --> 00:11:09.160
Brent Waters: of of of of of ethics is the strat, relentless eagle,
00:11:10.910 --> 00:11:14.240
Brent Waters: and and we have to learn to unself
00:11:14.690 --> 00:11:16.680
Brent Waters: in order to serve the neighbor.
00:11:16.880 --> 00:11:22.949
Brent Waters: And I think that that's you know, one of the ways we learn what the others needs are is to really focus. Okay? Well,
00:11:22.980 --> 00:11:27.460
Brent Waters: what are their most basic physical needs? What are they, you know. I mean,
00:11:27.720 --> 00:11:45.190
Brent Waters: I think it's very hard to evangelize with someone's hungry, you know. The first thing you need to do is feed them. You know um. People need sleep, they need rest. They need all these kinds of things, and I think you know, living in households of other people. You begin to learn how how basic these needs are. Um,
00:11:45.930 --> 00:11:56.149
Brent Waters: I mean one of the things I discovered. I mean, we talked privately about this, you know, in the in twenty one years that I I worked in Evans, and I still lived in Pittsburgh, so I commuted
00:11:56.380 --> 00:12:09.280
Brent Waters: my my wife wasn't really happy about that. But she did say, Well, your domestic skills have improved considerably in in making this arrangement, because I quickly discovered, you know those dishes. Just don't get magically washed on their own.
00:12:09.300 --> 00:12:18.409
Brent Waters: Hmm. You've got You've got to do them. And then I I was thinking through. Okay, you're not only doing this for yourself, but you're doing it for other people who might be in the house,
00:12:19.420 --> 00:12:38.109
Brent Waters: or or preparing for guests, or something like that. So it's it's almost everything we do. I think there there's some component where it does serve the neighbor, and and we need to be mindful of that and be attentive to that, and to realize that you know the things that we may dismiss as being tedious and boring can actually be
00:12:38.300 --> 00:12:41.200
Brent Waters: profoundly revelatory. Wow!
00:12:41.840 --> 00:12:59.999
Andy Miller III: Um! It It can be ordained, so to speak. This is a If I saw, like a repeated words, certainly a word that comes up time and time again is mundane. If I saw a repeated name in your book, Murdoch is one that comes up regularly. So this is a new author to me.
00:13:00.010 --> 00:13:13.259
Andy Miller III: So could you talk to me about my I use as Iris Murdoch in that line. So tell me a little bit about um. I imagine this a female Irish
00:13:13.270 --> 00:13:20.169
Brent Waters: She was Trans. This philosopher at Oxford University uh and I I kind of Anglo-irish uh woman,
00:13:20.320 --> 00:13:27.390
Brent Waters: she um wrote, I think, four or five books in formal philosophy but ended up running around twenty, four or twenty-five novels.
00:13:27.530 --> 00:13:37.179
Brent Waters: She really found fiction as a way, as a as a good way. And what? What's! Amazing about her her fiction is, how much she pays attention to the common ordinary details
00:13:37.870 --> 00:13:51.780
Brent Waters: and brings out alive, because then you realize well, she's really talking about you, how you and I live, and in her moral philosophy which I find. Okay, I'm not. I'm not going to try to say that she was a closet Christian she wasn't,
00:13:51.920 --> 00:14:03.750
Brent Waters: but she was one of those those, those wise philosophers that you can kind of plunder to help you understand your your your Christianity better, and I think the one one of her message is very congenial, was was
00:14:03.770 --> 00:14:06.400
Brent Waters: when she's dealing with with people.
00:14:06.550 --> 00:14:10.549
Brent Waters: Um! She spends a lot of time talking about good and evil, but
00:14:10.920 --> 00:14:14.779
Brent Waters: the characters you encounter in a Murdoch novel. They are usually not waking.
00:14:14.930 --> 00:14:17.970
Brent Waters: They're usually just morally clumsy.
00:14:18.160 --> 00:14:27.089
Brent Waters: Hmm. And it has, I think, that echoes augustine's teaching about disorder. Desire, like What gets us into trouble is that we desire good things badly,
00:14:27.350 --> 00:14:46.999
Brent Waters: Mhm and because and I think a lot of it is again, we Don't pay attention to the details, and that fat, relentless ego gets in the way of everything, and we really want people to serve us better than being a tenant of their needs and serving them. So that's that's why, you know, I think, with Murdoch I keep going back to her because she gives gives these insights, and then and then
00:14:47.010 --> 00:15:02.190
Brent Waters: um! And in in her novels. I've used them to teach Christian ethics because it's It's a way of tricking students into thinking theologically, you have to kind of unpack the story that's going on there. What? Which which novel would you recommend first
00:15:02.550 --> 00:15:04.510
Andy Miller III: prefers, or one or two of them
00:15:05.440 --> 00:15:11.420
Brent Waters: the bill. It's one of her early novels, and that's That's about a a community that
00:15:11.810 --> 00:15:14.550
Brent Waters: falls apart because it doesn't know how to be a community.
00:15:14.600 --> 00:15:18.910
Brent Waters: Um, you know It's a good object. That's the good and the nice,
00:15:19.400 --> 00:15:25.459
Brent Waters: because those two don't equipment and then uh an accident, old man, I think.
00:15:26.100 --> 00:15:52.409
Andy Miller III: Yeah, thank you for sharing that I want. I want to check those out. I'm interested to like. I've already brought to uh doing the dishes, but you said something about what I like. You repeat this line, we we We started to go on the podcast once, and I had a little uh audio trouble, but you mentioned this line I want to make sure to get into the in about when we get to heaven. We might be surprised about what Guy brings up about election night.
00:15:52.570 --> 00:15:58.419
Brent Waters: We have this view of God that somehow God's only interested in the extraordinary, when, in fact, I think you know
00:15:58.600 --> 00:16:08.189
Brent Waters: God to kind of laugh and say, Well, I'm the only one that's extraordinary. Um. Those are actually quite ordinary. And then, therefore, you know, How are we? How are we faithfully ordinary.
00:16:08.200 --> 00:16:24.909
Brent Waters: Hmm. So what I would what I would um tell my students, and sometimes to say, You know, on the day of Judgment, when we stand before God, we may be surprised, and maybe even a little irritated, that we're not asked. Who did you vote for in the tumultuous election of two thousand and twenty,
00:16:24.940 --> 00:16:37.569
Brent Waters: and I said, very surprised when we were commended for that evening that we had forgotten about when um it wasn't our turn to do the dishes, but we did them anyway, because our spouse was tired and needed to rest.
00:16:38.290 --> 00:16:42.659
Brent Waters: And that's what's really commanded in what we do not Not the extraordinary things I mean
00:16:42.780 --> 00:16:47.000
Brent Waters: I mean i'm quite certain God is not going to commend me for any lecture I've ever given.
00:16:48.880 --> 00:16:55.060
Brent Waters: Oh, I don't think that's true. We'll find them.
00:16:55.070 --> 00:17:24.250
Andy Miller III: I've never heard you lecture, but I mean certainly your books, I mean there there is, I imagine, and not uh you're writing, you know, when you're having a really good footnote. Um, there's something to that that is mundane right that you might not really want to do, or even the scholarly discipline that you've entered into. I mean I would. Um. This is my trying to exhort you a little bit in Jesus name. And again, I mean encourage is like some of the way as an academic that you serve the world.
00:17:24.260 --> 00:17:25.849
Andy Miller III: It's like, maybe it's not
00:17:26.000 --> 00:17:28.100
Andy Miller III: primarily, even just
00:17:28.109 --> 00:17:53.969
Andy Miller III: who read your books. It's like the people who read your books, and then take your ideas and hopefully try to communicate them, and then realize that there's something important about doing the dishes. Uh. So in in that came through a mundane process of moral uh theology that you've entered into it, and you've given your life to. So I just want to commend you that, like there is something important about what you're working. It's helping me see, like i'm i'm one who just
00:17:54.310 --> 00:18:09.200
Andy Miller III: maybe I have my to do list, and I want to get it done. I want to. I want to move through those mundane things. But you're causing me to think there's something more I need to, maybe look around and see what's going on as I do that What God's saying to me in the midst of that
00:18:09.250 --> 00:18:25.260
Andy Miller III: you mentioned um. One of the chapters you have has to do, and I was surprised to see it. Manners that mayors are in our way. We describe this now. I I was. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and talk to me about that. I won't. Just give my impression of I'm: i'm curious to you. Talk about that Manners Chapter. Why, those are important.
00:18:25.360 --> 00:18:36.799
Brent Waters: Yeah, I mean, and that I I approach that chapter with a lot of trepidation. Because I i'm. I'm very aware that manners can be misused. We we use it to keep people in their place,
00:18:36.810 --> 00:18:46.549
Brent Waters: and that's a misuse of manners. I mean manners were invented to make people feel at ease to feel comfortable, so that there were ground rules. So you know you. You you knew
00:18:46.560 --> 00:18:58.540
Brent Waters: to use your knife and fork at the table, and not to, you know. Use your hands and throw people and throw food at each other. So it was a way of of of just doing that. But I think manners are are more or more important from standpoint, that
00:18:58.890 --> 00:19:09.910
Brent Waters: if virtue is habitual behavior, then matters is the precursor to virtue, because it teaches, I mean, because habits and manners only become effective when they become habitual.
00:19:10.400 --> 00:19:18.089
Brent Waters: Um. So that if you're if you're taught at a young age that you always respect your elders, then that just becomes second nature,
00:19:18.950 --> 00:19:32.649
Brent Waters: and you know later in life you you don't even hesitate. You. You help that that elderly lady cross the street. If she needs it, it needs help. It's not something you think about. It's just part of your life, or how you treat uh
00:19:32.660 --> 00:19:39.030
Brent Waters: so people so I think manners are. I have been neglected, and I think that you know we're We're paying a price right now.
00:19:39.270 --> 00:19:41.389
Andy Miller III: Wow! How are we paying the price,
00:19:42.340 --> 00:19:47.250
Brent Waters: I think, a an incivility which is now passing as normal, unacceptable
00:19:47.320 --> 00:19:53.849
Brent Waters: Umhm! Kind of uh callousness toward one another, a a a a profound disrespect.
00:19:54.010 --> 00:20:13.120
Brent Waters: Um! And it's becoming acceptable. And I think you know some of that social media. But but I think a lot of it is. It's simply two people we just we like we. We let children off off the hook when they, you know, hack in ways they ought not to act because it's the old mandered. And
00:20:13.130 --> 00:20:16.780
Brent Waters: yeah, So like I said, I, I think you do pay a price for these things.
00:20:17.360 --> 00:20:29.510
Andy Miller III: Yeah, I think it's interesting that you say, like uh the relationship of manners and habits, manners and habits. Then lead there. Uh, maybe I had the wrong word. You have wrong her. But about precursor to verge you.
00:20:29.680 --> 00:20:37.609
Andy Miller III: So those things are kind of like the rhythms that you have that enable virtue to
00:20:37.650 --> 00:20:46.080
Brent Waters: and and and to be, and to be formed because you have. In a sense you've done the preliminary work.
00:20:46.550 --> 00:20:49.390
Andy Miller III: Yeah, for example. Um,
00:20:50.120 --> 00:21:10.310
Brent Waters: you know, in in the virtue of prudence, which is doing the right things for the right reasons. Um is one of the things you learn in in in manner is to respect those who are giving an opinion, and you learn to listen to that opinion, and to way to judge it. Um! Well, that's a precursor to what prudence is, because you you talk to people who are wise in order to make, make make your decisions
00:21:10.320 --> 00:21:16.969
Brent Waters: so. I think you know I think it's easier to teach virtues to people who have been taught manners
00:21:17.270 --> 00:21:21.390
Brent Waters: than it is, you know, just trying to teach them cold, tricky. What a virtue is.
00:21:22.460 --> 00:21:28.710
Brent Waters: Yeah, that makes sense.
00:21:36.690 --> 00:21:58.239
Andy Miller III: What? What are some of the I mean? There's a lot. What are the devices you have in mind that need to be avoided? You talked a little bit about about the kind of caustic nature of social media and those, but are other other things that you see other vices that, having the appropriate manners or valuing the mundane, can be a guard against.
00:21:58.750 --> 00:22:02.989
Brent Waters: Yeah. Well, I mean, of course, the the two biggest vices are pride and gluttony,
00:22:03.590 --> 00:22:08.299
Brent Waters: and and those are perennial, and and we always have to fight against those. I I think
00:22:08.510 --> 00:22:18.120
Brent Waters: you know there's a whole list of devices in there, you know. Lust is another one. And how do you control that? Um, my favorite vice that's hard to ever mentioned anymore. The bang glory,
00:22:18.350 --> 00:22:31.779
Brent Waters: you know, the being, the being glorious person who wants to always attract attention to to himself and and and take credit for things that really are not to take credit for um. And now the interesting thing about vice is that
00:22:31.820 --> 00:22:33.810
Brent Waters: it's much more entertaining.
00:22:34.210 --> 00:22:37.990
Brent Waters: Otherwise it wouldn't be tempting
00:22:38.010 --> 00:22:45.889
Brent Waters: interesting. It's much easier, uh and and you know, because if we really recognize vice and or by it, then it wouldn't be a problem.
00:22:45.910 --> 00:22:53.849
Brent Waters: But that's that. That's the That's the ins ins insidious nature of temptation is that you're being tempted by things which are actually very pleasant.
00:22:54.030 --> 00:22:58.980
Andy Miller III: Wow! I draw you in. I was um. I've just
00:22:59.210 --> 00:23:14.230
Andy Miller III: done a study on the Book of Jude, and the reason I've done that is that it gives a clear way to speak toward the sexual revolution, and it's impact on our society. And so it's a six-week series that I put together. Um and
00:23:14.240 --> 00:23:37.420
Andy Miller III: uh Michael Green. He's a New Testament scholar and an apologist. Um, he! He said. Something interesting there it like he, Lust is a huge issue in Jude is hard to see see it, because it comes through in the comparisons that Jude uses. But this little line that Michael Green uses uh, really helpful to me. He said that a lust
00:23:37.430 --> 00:23:46.310
Andy Miller III: in itself is self-defeating. Less in itself is self-defeating
00:23:46.320 --> 00:24:00.440
Andy Miller III: even though it's appealing whatever it is. Devices, then glory right if I could just have that. Then i'll be in good shape. If I could just have the attention given to me, then i'll have what I deserve again, that going back to pride, but at the same time you have this like
00:24:00.450 --> 00:24:07.859
Andy Miller III: desire. It's something that you want like. It looks good, but if you actually get it, it's going to hurt you.
00:24:07.910 --> 00:24:12.340
Brent Waters: Yes, and and I think also, the thing that remember about vice is that the
00:24:12.780 --> 00:24:16.470
Brent Waters: appetite, the desire, can never be satisfied.
00:24:17.650 --> 00:24:19.660
Brent Waters: There There is always more,
00:24:20.560 --> 00:24:25.169
Brent Waters: and that's a very frustrating life to live when you can never be satisfied
00:24:25.440 --> 00:24:26.400
00:24:26.660 --> 00:24:35.780
Andy Miller III: And in my work with those who have um, and with with the savage army working with those who are dealing with addictions, it just was so clear. Um,
00:24:35.790 --> 00:25:05.010
Andy Miller III: it is. The Salvation Army is a as a denomination is a teetotaling denomination. And so, if people who join as members and as passers, you know, commit to not drink, but a a lot of there's a lot of resistance to that, as there is any t tolling group. Uh, and but I think the reason it's held in the Salvation Army is not because of some prohibitionist cause. I think it's because most savvish army congregations where there are testimonies
00:25:05.050 --> 00:25:08.399
Andy Miller III: you're interacting with people who have.
00:25:08.420 --> 00:25:13.089
Andy Miller III: Um, And this is my experience like I was hearing every Sunday of my life
00:25:13.100 --> 00:25:40.450
Andy Miller III: pretty much somebody whose life is ruined by drugs and alcohol, and and so I think that that's why that's maintained is because, uh, what's happened, is It's not? It's not going to be. It's going to continue to be present. It's never going to be satisfied like you said So it is it in recognizing the holiness of the mundane that we can even have um a tonic for these vices?
00:25:40.770 --> 00:25:42.880
Andy Miller III: Is that what you're suggesting throughout this book.
00:25:42.900 --> 00:25:46.999
Brent Waters: I think so. And and it. This is where I really
00:25:47.520 --> 00:25:50.960
Brent Waters: need a a stronger doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
00:25:51.160 --> 00:25:53.230
Brent Waters: Okay, Um,
00:25:53.460 --> 00:26:05.299
Brent Waters: because it's That's where I think that that work, I mean. I would even go so far as to say it's it's in dealing with the mundane. You're on the road towards sanctification. Um, and
00:26:05.480 --> 00:26:13.359
Brent Waters: you know, and that's why to be. To be faithful to the mundane to the ordinary is really a a
00:26:14.260 --> 00:26:16.809
Brent Waters: to school and holiness
00:26:17.250 --> 00:26:18.710
Brent Waters: and okay,
00:26:18.960 --> 00:26:26.199
Brent Waters: Um, like, I said. Now, I'm I'm. I'm not very articulate on this because I out of my tradition. You know we we
00:26:26.700 --> 00:26:44.350
Brent Waters: we're we're very skeptical of anything that smacks of enthusiasm. So um it's. And and this is what tradition that I what what tradition do you come from? Uh well, basically. Uh, Congregational. Okay, Yeah. So um
00:26:44.630 --> 00:26:49.579
Brent Waters: um. So it's. It's part of that notion that I think you know
00:26:50.350 --> 00:27:07.479
Brent Waters: my next step on this would be to have some conversations with with with the you know. People come out for tradition with the Holy Spirit plays more of a role. You know the the charismatic, the Pentecostal um. And to really say, Okay, what? Where do we need to incorporate the life of the spirit and the life of the ordinary?
00:27:07.790 --> 00:27:10.519
Brent Waters: And my hunch is that they're not too far away.
00:27:10.750 --> 00:27:15.530
Brent Waters: Umhm. I mean. I think we've made an artificial divide between the two
00:27:15.670 --> 00:27:22.379
Brent Waters: Um, which which and we always get in trouble when we make artificial devices like when we try to provide Sunday from Monday,
00:27:22.480 --> 00:27:37.479
Brent Waters: when we try to try and work from leisure, and then, and those kinds of things with those there are official, and then they don't really help us. My hunch is the same thing as when we try to divide the life, the spirit of spiritual life and life and the ordinary and the mundane. We're actually going to run into trouble.
00:27:37.530 --> 00:27:40.699
Andy Miller III: Hmm. Because, after all, it is one life that we live.
00:27:42.160 --> 00:28:11.810
Andy Miller III: I I think if there's something to that with that connection with you and you're saying holiness um! You think of holiness also being connected to wholeness like the the complete work. And in in my tradition that we think of holiness is something that comes as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit being actively engaged in all all of life, it it get on to another chapter you have like, if we're thinking that all of life matters the Monday matters. This is all a part of what is holy,
00:28:11.820 --> 00:28:27.619
Andy Miller III: and in the the experience of sanctification is a part of that expression. Um, you have a You have a chapter on appearance where you talk about clothing, and I just want to read a little section. I I thought, this is a good that the things I love about your
00:28:27.630 --> 00:28:38.340
Andy Miller III: both the books I've read of yours is that they have little zingers like this that catch me off guard, so somebody is to see me reading it. They'll just see me start to giggle to myself. I don't know giggles the right word. But so, for instance,
00:28:38.460 --> 00:28:57.990
Andy Miller III: clothing is a I'm. Reading here from page two hundred and two. If somebody wants to find it. Clothing is a primary instrument of such mediation, our lives. And there's a philosophical say about our lives unfold over time within clothing. And then this very important footnote: I assume there are exceptions to this general rule,
00:28:58.000 --> 00:29:02.570
Andy Miller III: such as nudist and naked sleepers. There it is.
00:29:03.030 --> 00:29:09.180
Andy Miller III: And what's important about our clothing? This is into our clothing, actually communicates our ethics and our holiness.
00:29:09.440 --> 00:29:28.399
Brent Waters: Yeah, I think it does. I think it. It communicates at least to the very minimum the esteem that we hold others. I mean, I I don't think I think the notion that you dress for success is actually wrong. Actually, what you dress for is how you want to honor the people that you're with, and and and the level of respect that you hold for them.
00:29:28.410 --> 00:29:41.649
Brent Waters: So the example I think I I use in the book is that if I show up to class every day with a dirty t-shirt and a pair of jeans. What i'm really telling my students is? I don't hold them very high esteem, because I don't even I don't even take the time to, you know. Get dressed
00:29:42.020 --> 00:30:00.159
Brent Waters: uh where. That's why I went out on my way to always come to class, you know. Code entire suit to say, you know. Uh, this is important what we're talking about, and I hold you in, you know, uh, as as as to a level that I want want to engage you as as as people who I care about.
00:30:00.170 --> 00:30:05.909
Brent Waters: Hmm. And and I think you know it. It clothing is the first step in and and portraying that
00:30:06.300 --> 00:30:24.369
Andy Miller III: right? This is one of those things like you, said we. We we spend most of our time we spend all of our time, except for nudist colonies and naked sleepers in close, and our our clothes communicate. I mean, I this is, I never thought I would read a chapter
00:30:24.380 --> 00:30:29.960
Andy Miller III: uh and theological ethics about how our our
00:30:29.970 --> 00:30:59.960
Andy Miller III: communicate a theological message, and I think it's true, so that That's what I really encouraged by this book, and it makes me and and i'm just highlighting a few of the areas you walk through like the um relationships, and the way that our the regularity of our relationships communicate these ideas. But then also the activities of work, household, uh homework, manners, appearance. I talked about those eating le le leisure. All of these things are
00:30:59.970 --> 00:31:11.170
Andy Miller III: part of the way that we um express the like that god's called us to live. So I thank you so much for writing this book, and I encourage people to get it. Um at Baker Academic.
00:31:11.280 --> 00:31:16.710
Andy Miller III: One of the questions I always ask Dr. Waters. Is that in my podcast I I asked folks
00:31:16.900 --> 00:31:46.880
Andy Miller III: um with the name of my podcast more to the story. If there is more to the story of Brent waters. Then you normally get to say like, maybe it's a hobby. Maybe it's one of these ordinary things that you don't get to talk about um very often, and I I have a double two reasons for that. One is, I. I call it more to story, because I look at it as a part of sanctification. There's more to the story of salvation than just getting our sense forgiven. But also I just love the idea of like hearing something a little bit more about you than you normally get to tell. So Is there more to story of Brent? One?
00:31:46.890 --> 00:31:47.620
00:31:49.880 --> 00:31:53.570
Brent Waters: well, I suppose there there is, I mean,
00:31:53.850 --> 00:31:58.649
Brent Waters: okay, One of the things that I did in this book too consciously was I drew almost
00:31:58.790 --> 00:32:03.569
Brent Waters: the best majority of my illustrations. I I drew from a novel from fiction
00:32:04.360 --> 00:32:07.390
Brent Waters: and um, and I think it's because
00:32:07.450 --> 00:32:18.849
Brent Waters: stories are terribly important stories we tell the stories we read. So I think in many respects i'm frustrated novels. Okay, um. And maybe in retirement,
00:32:18.970 --> 00:32:26.000
Brent Waters: I mean, since many of my colleagues, when I was on the faculty, already accused me of writing fiction. I might as well go,
00:32:26.090 --> 00:32:39.160
Brent Waters: you know. Try to write a novel, so I don't know. I mean, I i'm gonna to toy with that. I don't know, but it's um. But I think what at at the very least, what's more to the more the story is basically story.
00:32:39.530 --> 00:32:52.049
Brent Waters: Hmm. That How do How do we live our lives as a staple stories? So one of the things I'm dealing with, and I think is partly because of my age, too. I'm. Dealing with questions of attitude, mortality, And those are not morbid topics
00:32:52.110 --> 00:33:00.560
Brent Waters: is really in the notion of saying, Okay, How? How how do we bring our lives to a fitting end, and it's like a story. You know you've got to have that good final chapter.
00:33:00.990 --> 00:33:17.179
Brent Waters: Um, really really make the story successful. So How how do you know what are the things now that I want to order my life life around, You know, because I realized, since i'm no longer on the sunny side of the mortality slope. Um, quick quit saying someday, if it's important to do it. Wow!
00:33:18.140 --> 00:33:30.340
Andy Miller III: So what um! What are some of those happening here. I'm forty two years old trying to figure out how I do that. You know I have um. What are those things you're not saying some day to anymore
00:33:32.270 --> 00:33:33.610
Brent Waters: Um,
00:33:34.380 --> 00:33:35.580
Brent Waters: certain
00:33:35.950 --> 00:33:43.230
Brent Waters: certain kinds of I mean just again ordinary things. Um, you know, my wife and I, we want to do some traveling,
00:33:47.580 --> 00:33:56.820
Brent Waters: find the time to do it. Um other kinds of things I can't put off my knee replacement surgery anymore, so that's coming down in a few weeks.
00:33:56.830 --> 00:34:16.769
Brent Waters: So it's it's it's now. It's not so much a sense of urgency, but also but the sense of saying i'm not going to spend my time doing other things that I used to think we're important by now. See them as distractions. So, um! Am I terribly worried about? You know my academic reputation anymore. No, not really.
00:34:16.780 --> 00:34:18.050
Brent Waters: Um, you know
00:34:18.100 --> 00:34:29.219
Brent Waters: It's not that I I discount that, but it's just not that high on the list priorities anymore. It's It's more of just spending time with people that I love and enjoy.
00:34:29.360 --> 00:34:30.479
Andy Miller III: Yeah,
00:34:30.900 --> 00:35:00.889
Andy Miller III: I I I think that all I know I haven't ever had a quick. When I asked that question every podcast, and sometimes I've had people talk about Ufos and Scuba diving, or that type of thing. But I've never had the question dovetail so well uh to the subject that I've I've talked about as as when you answer it there. I mean it just fits in with what this call is in General, I think it's funny to you like um. You said that your your colleagues accuse your Brian fiction that your book on capitalism I think it would. A A section is like two and a half cheers for capital.
00:35:00.900 --> 00:35:08.110
Andy Miller III: It was a not what you'd expect uh uh somebody teaching a theological faculty to write this
00:35:08.300 --> 00:35:16.820
Andy Miller III: pretty much positive view on capitalism. But it was I mean it was it. I just encourage people to find that book, too, that honestly, I came out of
00:35:16.900 --> 00:35:31.489
Andy Miller III: I, my own educational process, almost like this strange Socialist of sorts where I was, I thought I was going to redistribute the wealth and all these sort of things, and that was the nature of savage army. Just give everything but what I really and you, you help me see this like
00:35:31.700 --> 00:35:38.500
Andy Miller III: um the way people get out of poverty, and in the way that we actually show preferential treatment to the poor.
00:35:38.660 --> 00:35:58.570
Andy Miller III: And this great Christian tradition is by helping them get access to the market, and then that gives the opportunity to witness to me. So again thank you for that insight and the insight from this book, too. Um, I appreciate your work, and i'm glad that you don't care as much about your academic reputation that you're going to spend time doing the dishes, and doing those mundane things to the glory of God.
00:35:59.300 --> 00:36:05.269
Brent Waters: Right well I would. Yes, I will, I I that's that's the plan, anyway.
00:36:05.990 --> 00:36:11.799
Andy Miller III: Well, thanks for your time, Dr. Waters. It means a lot to me to have you on this podcast, and I appreciate your time and your work.
00:36:12.090 --> 00:36:13.049
Brent Waters: Thank you.