the shape of leadership

Closing the Sanctification Gap

Christian Miller shares insights from theology, philosophy and psychology about how to shorten the distance between who we are and who we ought to be

Influence Magazine on May 7, 2018

People — including practicing Christians — are neither as morally good as they should be nor as morally bad as they could be. This is the sanctification gap, the distance between who we are and who we should be.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, executive editor George P. Wood talks to Christian Miller about how to close that gap. Miller is A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and director of the Character Project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton World Charity. He is also author of The Character Gap: How Good Are We? (Oxford University Press).

Episode 137 Notes

  • 00:00 Introduction of podcast topic
  • 00:52 Senior Adult Ministries Conference sponsor ad
  • 01:32 Introduction to Christian Miller
  • 02:07 What is character? Why is it so important for sanctification?
  • 05:45 Three ways of doing ethics, and why character is essential
  • 11:31 Humanity as a moral middle: neither as good as we should be nor as bad as we could be
  • 16:05 How biblical teaching and psychological studies align
  • 19:24 Psychological insights into why we do (or don’t do) what we should do
  • 25:15 Psychologically based, or common-sense strategies for improving character
  • 30:26 Specifically Christian strategies for improving character
  • 37:55 How as a Christian philosopher at a secular university, how do you stay faithful to Jesus but open to new academic insights?
  • 43:37 Conclusion
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