106. Confronting Modernity's Wager, with Mark Lau Branson, co-author of Leadership, God's Agency, and Disruptions


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Mark Lau Branson is the co-author of Leadership, God's Agency, and Disruptions. In this episode, Mark discusses the question raised by "Modernity's Wager." That question is, "Can life be lived well without God?" While most of us would say, "No," the sad truth is that we often live and lead as though God is neither active nor present.

  • Mark Lau Branson is the Homer L. Goddard Professor of the Ministry of the Laity at Fuller Theological Seminary, as well as the co-author (together with Alan Roxburgh) of Leadership, God’s Agency, and Disruptions.
  • Mark Lau Branson explains the meaning of “modernity’s wager,” which argues that life can be lived well without God.
  • Christian leaders operate within a framework that puts the onus of “success” on them. This leads to ways of leading rooted in power and control.
  • Strategic planning is totally dependent on humans being objects who can be manipulated toward ends. But ministry leaders do this unconsciously.
  • Churches look at their neighbors as objects who need something. And the church’s job is to deliver it.
  • Mark Lau Branson states that God is constantly disrupting throughout the Bible and walking with his people amid disruptions.
  • Markus Watson and Mark Lau Branson discuss the way the Gospel of Matthew presents learning communities as one of the key ways the church discovers its calling and purpose.
  • We can truly only learn through reflection in conversation.
  • Whenever Jesus had a meal with someone, he was always a guest. Mark Lau Branson says that the disciples learned from this that hospitality for the Gospel means you’re a guest. And then you listen because you’re a guest.
  • Mark Lau Branson and Markus Watson discuss the Four Spiritual Laws as a commodity designed to control a conversation and elicit a particular outcome.
  • Mark Lau Branson explains the social construction framework. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, is challenging the social construction of both his time and our time.


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