For all the thinking we do, we usually don’t think twice about the preconceived notions we use to keep life simple. We like to place ideas into categories and give everyone a label according to their personality type or their social leanings. It’s a sort of shorthand, relieving us of the effort it takes to explore other people or ideas in full. It’s easier to apply the categories we’ve already figured out to make sense of every mystery or unknown. While it may be easier, such rigid thinking can trivialize the important.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue their Ready, Set, Think! series by inviting Jen Pollock Michel to the conversation. Together, they explore the benefits of thinking twice about issues and ideas that deserve a second thought. Jen defines today’s context as an “Either-Or World,” one in which we run to the extremes and look for security in certitude. Try as we may, it’s impossible to eliminate the gray areas of daily life! Faith is required. Referencing her forthcoming book, Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of “And” in an Either-Or World (May 2019, InterVarsity Press), Jen explains the beauty and wonder of paradox in the life of a Christian and how its embrace allows us to be at rest in a tumultuous age. Because the way we think affects how we engage with our neighbors and cultivate grace in the world, it’s crucial to think twice about how we think in order to grow and bear hope to a desperate world.

Listen in for dialogue on questions like these, then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.


Erin Straza: Web / Twitter
Hannah Anderson: Web / Twitter

Twitter: @PersuasionCAPC
Instagram: @PersuasionCAPC
Facebook: /Persuasioncapc

Persuasion 157 Resources & Links

Jen Pollock Michel: / Twitter @jenpmichel
Persuasion 110 | Keeping Place with Jen Pollock Michel
Persuasion | You Go Girl! Desire and Ambition in the Life of Faith

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give these a listen:

Persuasion 156 | Thinking It Through
Persuasion 96: The Abundance of Childlessness, with Karen Swallow Prior
Persuasion 31 | Goodbye Clutter and Chores, Hello Joy and Beauty

Theme music by Maiden Name.


  1. How to faithfully interpret Scripture and how to maintain fellowship when convictions differ as Methodist seek The Way Forward

  2. I just started listening to this podcast yesterday. I had the privilege of meeting Hannah and Erin at the Leaf Institute in Greenville, SC a few months ago. I wanted to say that I was challenged and moved by this podcast today. I do believe that these conversations are ones that Satan does not want us to have. He wants us to blindly accept our own thoughts and the thoughts of others without researching what is actually going on in our hearts. There is a deepness in this conversation and I pray that God continues to bless it and give you all clarity as you seek to communicate this. I do have a question when it comes to relationships and communication. I am going to attempt to be vague, but I hope I can describe well the messiness of this situation. A decision was made that is not a right or wrong decision, but caused pain and disagreement between 2 or more Christians. One side wants to agree to disagree and grow the relationship but the other, doesn’t seem like the relationship can continue unless they can understand the reason for the decision and then return to explain to the other side their view. What if there is no clear vision. What if someone’s reason “why” isn’t the answer we want. Is this a matter of pride or an acceptance of differences?

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