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Notes on Shepherding the Spiritual Cynic

March 2nd, 2020 | 9 min read

By Jake Meador

If you’re like me, as the deluge of stories of betrayed trust in churches rose ever higher and higher, you had a list in your mind of people who, were they found to be abusive, would be particularly devastating to you. It’s a coping technique, I suppose. It’s the desire to buffer yourself against cynicism and despair by always identifying that one person who is good.

“Would you spare the western church for the sake of fifty good men, Lord?” we wonder. Then we, like Abraham before us, think a bit more and revise our number downward accordingly. Jean Vanier was one of the men on my list. Likely he was on many others as well. And then the news came:

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Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play and he has written or contributed to several books, including "In Search of the Common Good," "What Are Christians For?" (both with InterVarsity Press), "A Protestant Christendom?" (with Davenant Press), and "Telling the Stories Right" (with the Front Porch Republic Press).