Ep 330: Truth or Tribe? Understanding Tribalism with Patrick Miller

Summary – Truth or Tribe? Understanding Tribalism with Patrick Miller

In this episode, Doug Stuart welcomes Patrick Miller to the show to talk about his book Truth Over Tribe: Pledging Allegiance to the Lamb, Not the Donkey or the Elephant. As the subtitle would suggest, Truth Over Tribe has immense relevance to contemporary political discussions. Patrick believes that much of the polarization we see today can be attributed to tribalism, which we should reject by instead turning to the Kingdom of God and showing people love regardless of their political affiliations.

Unfortunately, polarizations saddening impact on the Church means many Christians are unwilling to abandon their tribal mentalities. As Patrick points out, however, this is not a modern phenomenon: dating back to (at least) the time of Paul, tribalism has long posed a significant roadblock towards church unification, but Christ’s sacrifice tore down said roadblock. Just as the Gospel tore down the tribal wall between Jews and Gentiles, so too can it overpower the tribal divisions of today.

Outside the realm of politics and religion, Doug and Patrick discuss a number of other effects of tribalism, such as how it increases anxiety, how it corresponds with the “my truth” movement, and how it seems to diminish in the face of (free market) social justice initiatives. If you find any of these topics interesting, tune in to this episode today!

Patrick Miller is a pastor and cultural commentator who writes about politics, culture, and technology. His writing contributions can be found in Christianity Today, Newsweek, The Gospel Coalition, and other publications. His podcast, “Truth Over Tribe,” is one of Apple’s top news commentary podcasts, featuring interviews with leading Christian thinkers, writers, and scholars. Patrick is the Co-Director of Digital Relationships and a pastor at his Church “The Crossing” in Columbia, Missouri, where he lives with his wife and two kids. He received a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theology Seminary.

Main Points of Discussion

00:00 Introduction
01:39 What is tribalism?
03:00 Is tribalism natural?
06:55 Can tribalism be good?
07:43 The origin of tribes
11:01 What warrants tribalism?
15:16 Does tribalism increase anxiety?
21:06 Tribalism & the “my truth” movement
29:56 Tribalism & the Gospel
32:55 What about those outside the church?
36:54 Practical applications
40:57 Tribalism vs social justice


Additional Resources

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The Christians for Liberty Network is a project of the Libertarian Christian Institute consisting of shows and hosts offering various perspectives on the intersection of Christianity and libertarianism. Views expressed by hosts and guests do not necessarily reflect the view of the organization, its staff, board members, donors, or any other affiliates (including other hosts or guests on the network). Guest appearances or interviews of any incumbents, officials, or candidates for any political, party, or government office should not be construed as endorsements. The Libertarian Christian Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and does not endorse any political party or candidate for any political, government, or party office. For information about the Libertarian Christian Institute’s core values, please visit this page.

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