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Heart Smart: Q&A

• Greg Boyd, Kevin Callaghan, Sue Krautkramer

During our weekend services on November 29 and 30 we hosted Q&A sessions with Greg Boyd, Kevin Callaghan, and Sue Krautkramer. We included all three services, so enjoy listening to ALL the answers.

Sermon Series: Heart Smart

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21 thoughts on “Heart Smart: Q&A

  1. Lindsay Fogarty says:


    that was a tough prank which you handled gracefully, well done. Oh, and thanks for the laugh.

  2. Anthony Krewt says:

    the link won’t work.

  3. Jim LePage says:

    Anthony: You mean the link on the word “before”? Or are you talking about the video? I just tried both and they worked for me. Let me know if you’re still running into issues.

  4. Eric Brooks says:

    Hilariously cruel! You handled that amazingly well. “Unsurpassable worth, unsurpassible worth, unsurpassible worth”. I kept waiting for the gypsies to get up and march around the room!

  5. Robert Button says:

    Love practical jokes… way to go, people! & wow, Greg way to keep it together under fire, well done.

  6. Benjamin says:

    A way for churches to test if their pastor is worth keeping! Good job Greg!

  7. Judith Thomas says:

    Ok. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that practical jokes are for inside the office, not inside the sanctuary…or at least before the service is underway and God is already talking to hearts. It was awkward.

    Of course Greg handled it well. He’s a good-hearted and intelligent person. But it could have been a really ugly scene, which is not something to set your pastor up with. At that point it was our feeling that Greg was already trying to “listen” to God to get the message to be heard and to “land” where it needed to etc. and this “joke” (well meaning, sure) sort of threw a big awkward monkey wrench in the feeling of the sermon. Maybe he was able to focus after that…but…maybe not as well.

    No harm intended,certainly. But, in future: maybe please save it for behind the scenes and let the ministers be free to just relax and listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, which they do so well at Woodland. We love the humor present at church for sure, but felt like this time it could have been placed in such a way that didn’t interfer or send a really bizarre message to visitors (which we sort of had to explain later–no biggie, but still..) Thanks for listening to our two cents!

  8. Bryan says:

    Theres no video

  9. Robin says:

    That was really awkward, and I am so glad it was a prank. I started to worry about how ignorant and self centered people can be.

    Thanks Greg for holding it together, but I was sweating for you and getting ready to tackle the woman. It was a true test of tolerance.

    Luckily your message WAS very important and still stuck with me. Can’t get those percentages out of my head.

    I think about how I can afford to pay a dollar for Redbox Movie, but may not have a dollar for an offering.

    VERY Humbling.

    As far as practical jokes…I hope payback is a B….


  10. Prajeeth says:


    I think it is a waste of time playing pranks with a man of God.

    Jim & Team – Remember, It is not easy for a pastor to stand in the pulpit giving His word to the congregation every week. He prepares very well and shares the same under the unction of the Holy Spirit he speaks to the congregation. Pastor have to be respected and supported from all ends not making him fool in front of the entire congregation.

    Did you think what would be the mindset of the new visitor or heathen who came to your church and they see this kind of pranks?…. 🙁

    I do not know whether you approve & publish my comment, But i want to say these kind of pranks is not biblical for a church having strong beliefs based on scripture.

    Forgive me if i my words have offended you. But this is the truth.

    God Bless – PJ

  11. Tara says:

    This whole “prank” saddened me. The pastor didn’t know this was a joke at first. As a result, the real joke was that it showed his true colors. I was shocked at the initial reaction. What if this was REAL? It’s clear that this mom and her baby were viewed as a nuisance and problem that needed to be dealt with. Get rid of it so we can continue on being holy was the vibe. Where was the compassion? Where were the people jumping up to help this woman and her baby? Was the sermon really more important that stopping and coming down to the woman and comforting her? When the woman is pleading for the pastor’s help because she is feeling mistreated in a church that he’s leading, the dismissive response is “God bless this woman?” And the church claps in agreement?!?! Is this how Jesus would have reacted? Go to the back. Our screens are pretty big. Or would He have given the woman a front row seat and taken the baby from her Himself? Sure this was just a prank. But I know where I am not attending with my baby. God forbid it should cry in YOUR church of “adults only”.

  12. Tara, thanks for your note and expressing your concerns. I’m on staff in our Communications area and want to try and address them. It sounds like you haven’t been to a service at our church before, so I can certainly understand how some of the culture around here didn’t come through in the video. I can assure you that families are absolutely welcome at our church, and when Greg referred to going in the back of the worship center, he was actually talking about a room specifically set aside for parents and active children/babies. They can still see and hear the service through video, but that way others around them don’t get distracted. We have done our best to provide an environment here where anyone who shows up for a service can have a good experience (whether they’re parents, children, or adults without kids).

    As for Greg’s response, I think he handled it extremely well. But I can see how you may have misinterpreted his responses. For example, when he says, “God bless this woman,” and the congregation claps, I believe that was authentic and not meant as dismissive. As a church we regularly talk about how one of our main jobs as Kingdom people is to bless others in any and all circumstances. And if you had a chance get to know Greg’s personality, you would understand that he wasn’t wanting to get back to being holy. His style as a speaker (and ours as a church) is extremely casual. (Though again, I can understand how that nuance wouldn’t be apparent to someone who doesn’t attend services here regularly.)

    Also, three different people got up to try and help the mother. Only one of them was a part of the prank, which to me was an indication that people in our congregation did want to help her and her child. However, as a part of the setup we asked her to be defiant and specifically cause a stir. In a situation where someone is willfully disrupting a service, we have other staff and volunteers on hand to handle the issue with comfort and love. If this had been real, over 1000 people would have been held hostage by her behavior. I can assure you that she would have been met with respect, concern and care, but I think in just about any church she would have been asked to move to a different place so that she wasn’t putting her preference about where to participate in the service above the experience of hundreds of other people. In circumstances like these we need to balance what’s best for the group with the wishes of an individual.

    Again, thanks for raising your concerns. Hopefully some of this helps explain the context and culture of our church community. If you have any other questions or if I can try to help clarify anything I mentioned here, feel free to email me at cswanson@whchurch.org.

  13. Greg Boyd says:

    Thanks for the feedback everyone as well as for the kudos. Janice, our Executive Pastor, is rather famous for her carefully planned, ingenious pranks on me (this is #5, I believe). She’s had some spectacular ones, but this one takes the cake! She never intends these in any kind of mean-spirited way. In fact, kidding around like this is a sort of “love language” of hers. Though it was unsettling at the time, looking back on it I honestly find the prank to be absolutely hilarious. From some of the feedback we’ve gotten, however, I think its clear that this one, during a church service and all, was a wee bit “over the top.” We’ve talked about it and Janice agrees.

    I’m sure I”ll get punked again, sooner or later. But I assure you it won’t ever be in this sort of large venue again.

    Thanks again for all your input!

  14. Vince says:

    I’m not sure how to take all this. So much intellect but what does it all mean? Does it mean that since we know more now about how our brains work that we are more equipped than every generation before ours to resolve problems? Many of the answers didn’t seem to address the individuals asking the questions and how they need to love like Jesus loves, but rather analyzed the faults of the person who was the party being talked about. I didn’t come away with Jesus, and a deeper relationship with Him is sufficient. What am I missing?

  15. Dave Pritchard says:

    Hey Vince,

    I was thinking some of the same thoughts here after tuning into this series. I think possibly though that the format itself (which was much more casually conversational and improv) could lead one to sense a kind of applicable division between Greg’s normally scripturally didactic and empathetic style, as apposed to a more “clinical” analysis of these issues presented.

    There’s really an awesome article by Ken Wallace (although somewhat dated) on the topic of integrating Psychology and Christianity via the North Forest site that addresses some of these concerns.

    Integrating Psychology & Christianity — North Forest

    Striking a balance (if possible) between the redemptive and dynamic work of the Holy Spirit and the acknowledgement of the physiological /mechanical aspects of our own minds, seems to be the crux of the matter. A reliance on perhaps either side too heavily, will lead to a less than optimal outcome for the person and or situation at hand (?)

  16. Vince says:

    Thanks for the article Dave. I agree with you that balance is the key here. For instance, we heard examples of several couples who were having relationship issues during the q&a’s. I think it isa tremendous advantage to gain an understanding of how our minds work so we might be able to understand why we react to certain things this way or that. This helps in determining the cause, and maybe even the cure for broken relationships. That said, it would also be very helpful to bring God’s wisdom into these same issues. For instance, it would be helpful to know if those couples who are hurting are activity involved in a home group. Sometimes (or maybe always ?) it helps when a couple is directing their life outward by loving and serving others who are in a close knit group of believers, rather than directed inward on their own personal needs and entitlements. I was surprised that this was not clearly presented when discussing solutions, since it seems so clear from scripture that this type of behavior (denying self and ascribing value to others) is so often encouraged and commanded in scripture. How the mind works when in “self mode” would almost certainly be far less effective than when it is in “others mode”, wouldn’t it? I think those ideas were lightly touched on, but I’m not sure there was enough about the transformation of our natural state and tendencies that occurs when we are surrendering or lives to Jesus in the context of home group living.

  17. Peter says:

    One aspect that is of concern when some of these types of issues are discussed in Q&As is whether what is being addressed are symptoms or causes. If they are symptoms….and that is what most people’s attention is drawn to in the first instance….are we placing a ‘bandage’ over a ‘scratch’, a ‘cut’ or a ‘mortal wound’? When we see a medical doctor with, say (simplistically), a headache, he is not so much concerned with the symptoms, but their cause, as he knows if he is able to cure the cause then the symptoms will go away. If he prescribes say aspirin to alleviate the symptoms and not address the cause, he may have a patient for life.

    As a general observation for counselling (encompassing psychology and psychiatry and related sciences), from a Christian viewpoint, counselling probably falls into two camps either ‘secular’ (non Christian) or Biblical counselling. Secular counselling largely deals with ‘horizontal’ counselling while Biblical counselling deals with both ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ counselling. The interesting thing here is that secular counselling as such, does not acknowledge God but employs systems and techniques to achieve an end which may vary over time, depending largely what techniques happen to be in vogue. Secular counselling systems can sometimes involve the use of behavioural therapy and/or drugs.

    In this latter regard, I noticed the latest edition of “Scientific American Mind” has as its main theme ‘What’s next in Brain Health’. One article mentions,
    “Antidepressant use among Americans is skyrocketing. Adults in the U.S. Consumed four times more antidepressants in the late 2000s than they did in the early 1990s…….Through the early 2000s pharmaceutical companies were aggressively testing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the dominant class of depression drug, for a variety of disorders……One motivating factor is that SSRIs are a safe option for altering brain chemistry. Because we know so little about mental illness, many clinicians reason, we might as well try the pills already on the shelf.”

    While the conclusion is somewhat staggering, one cannot help but see here that symptoms are being treated and not the cause (even though the clinician probably thinks he is treating the cause…the brain) and that goes largely to a lot of the other therapies employed.

    The reason why secular counselling tends to be symptom focussed is that it rarely deals with man’s guilt or underlying guilt that has led to the mental illness or behavioural issues (and this is a vast subject that cannot be covered in two or three lines). However, there is only one true cure for guilt and it doesn’t come in a bottle.

    In broad terms Biblical counselling is premised on the basis that man is created in the image of God and that his fall from his created role and purpose, has left him at odds with the creation and his fellow man. The focus of the Christian counsellor is to know God so that he can then know what man should be and with that wisdom (‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’), ideally, lead a person to restoration, so that ultimately the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17 will be fulfilled,

    “…….. that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

    As stated, the issue of counselling is vast, but the cause of impediments for Christian and non Christian can only be be truly dealt with on the Cross, where Jesus took upon Himself the sin of us all for our healing per Isaiah 53:4-6,

    “Surely he took up our pain
        and bore our suffering,
    yet we considered him punished by God,
        stricken by him, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
        he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
        and by his wounds we are healed.
    6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
        each of us has turned to our own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
        the iniquity of us all.”

  18. Vince says:

    Excellent point!

  19. Donald says:

    While I realize that there is some sort of scientific background for this idea of brain = mind, I struggle with Christians who’ve bitten off and teach some of Darwin’s materialism. Several Sunday AM speakers have referred to “thinking with your brain.” I ask, Is this possible? When Moses appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and cogently conversed with Jesus, his brain in his grave had centuries previously reverted to dust. He had no need of a brain to think and, of course, he had no resurrection body yet. When God tells us that the mind is one function of spirit (Rom 8:27), – whether our own or God’s Holy Spirit – how is it also physical? Darwinian evolutionists teach that thinking itself involves brain synapses firing, etc, etc, but this simply doesn’t fit Scripture in any conceivable way, does it? It just seems that this is a part of secular humanistic materialism that’s sneaked into our theology. Anybody comment?

  20. Dave Pritchard says:


    You’ve brought to the surface some really interesting questions in your comment. If by “Darwin’s Materialism” you mean [the sole & exclusive] use of “Neuropsychiatry” by some Christians in the treatment or mental disorders and or related diseases to be somewhat suspect, I would agree. But obviously, most “Christian therapists” – [those worth their salt anyway] would absolutely acknowledge and accept a Spiritual Dimension to the aliments of their clients/patients – otherwise why purport to call themselves “Christian” (?) However, many Neuroscientists, Therapists and Psychiatric Specialists can easily embrace the biomechanical functions of the human brain without jettisoning the deeper and profound truths of their personal faith in Christ. So for them, equating the “Brain” exclusively with the “Mind” [=] would be limiting and impeding treatment.

    There is the mind/brain “Monism” debate that’s been going on for years where some see them not as discrete entities but rather as inextricably woven together and therefore they see all aspects of cognition as being essentially biological in origin. “Psychiatry” normally deals with outside the body influences, where as “Neurology” deals with internal or genetic causation. The two are absolutely linked – for example you might receive an injury to your “Occipital Lobe” (that part that regulates visual perception and interpretation) resulting in delusions where you see vicious snarling dogs where there are ducks! This can result in an acute anxiety complex and paranoia about being bit or attacked thus you may need medication and or Psychiatric help – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is “Spiritual Warfare” attack on you – could be though?

    I see what you’re saying about Moses’ brain but the “Transfiguration” was really a very special and unique event, from which I’m not sure we can draw those conclusions. Most theologians see it as a preview and or an anticipation of the Resurrection to come, as well as demonstrating a contrast between the authority of Jesus and “The Law” [Moses] and “The Prophets” [Elijah]

    Luke 9:35 –

    “A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

    If you’re in the “Soul Sleep” camp though you might have a problem with this but if they were truly there in bodily form as the scripture seems to teach rather than just a “Horama”, then it seems that it was more of a special and unique exception, then the rule (?)

    However, reconciling aspects Darwinian evolution with the Biblical narrative of Creation – now there’s a “Battle of Five Armies” – Ha! If I understand it correctly, in Romans 8:27 where it speaks of – “He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. [ESV version] It’s not speaking primarily about our own physical minds [brains] being a function of The Spirit, but rather, “He” – God, while searching our hearts – [our thoughts] knows the mind of The Spirit – [The Holy Spirit – our intercessor in verse 26 just before] who functions for us on our behalf [because we are weak & fallen] in accordance with God’s will. He speaks for us even when we can’t find the words. Talk about being involved in something beautiful!!! So even in a “Saved” state or position by being drawn to and accepting God’s free gift of Salvation at The Cross, we are still mentally helpless and hapless without our Holy internal “Paraclete” working in our 3.3lbs of senseless lard between our ears.

    “Secular humanism” isn’t the Boogie Man it once was. Adopting and adapting the vocabulary of Freudian Psychology and Neuroscience doesn’t necessarily erode the power of individual Believers in Jesus, but rather informs them to a greater extent on how the Kingdoms of this world operate and the schemata they employ.

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