Jake Meador, Editor-in-Chief at Mere Orthodoxy, joins Matt and Derek to discuss religious institutions. Listen in to hear discussions on what makes institutions different than websites, how to avoid institutional drift, what to do when charismatic figures effectively function as the institution itself, and more.

This episode is sponsored by our friends at Lexham Press, and also features a new special: Mere Fidelity’s Lexham Book of the Month.

For the month of October, our listeners will get a 25% discount on their purchase of Dual Citizens: Politics and American Evangelicalism, edited by Timothy Padgett. Dual Citizens is a collection of essays originally published in Christianity Today which reveals a variety of evangelical thought towards political developments from 1956-2016.

Be sure to visit the link above to automatically apply the 25% discount to your purchase or use the promo code MEREFIDELITYOCT as you checkout.

Finally, if you find this discussion on institutions of value, please consider supporting the Mere Orthodoxy Kickstarter campaign which is seeking to raise funds in order to start a print magazine as well as other media channels for continued theological and cultural reflection.


What are institutions, and how are they different than websites? [0:00 – 11:50]

Institutional drift and how to avoid it [11:50 – 15:24]

The necessity of discipline in institutions [15:24 – 24:05]

When a charismatic figure functionally is the institution [24:05 – 26:25]

The difference between fundamental commitments and bylaws [26:25 – 29:42]

When cultural moments and secondary doctrines become the telos of an institution [29:42 – 36:07]

How can people inside of institutions who are not running them best conduct themselves? [36:07 – 43:30]

Resources mentioned:

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin

To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James Davidson Hunter

If you’re interested in supporting the show financially, you can check out our Patreon here.

Finally, as always, follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.


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Posted by Caleb Wait

Caleb Wait (MATS, Westminster Seminary California) is a writer and the producer of Mere Fidelity. He and his wife Kristin have two children and live in Northern California. You can follow him on Twitter @calebwait and he invites you to email him at ciwait93@gmail.com.

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