Thinking in Place (Montreal)
A Conversation about Ministry in a Secular Age with Dr. Domenic Ruso
One of the things that I’m passionate about is learning how to think about the Church and its witness in an increasingly secular age. This, of course, means understanding two things. First, we need a robust understanding of what the Church actually is. Second, we also need to understand what secularism is. When you work in a deeply secular environments (like I do), you necessarily have to re-think many of the assumptions that you once held. You realize that it is possible, for example, for some Churches to be trying to answer questions that no is actually asking. Or, you may realize that secularism may be very different, and far more complex, than you had thought. Because of all of this, I think it is important to find certain places to think from. These places are ahead of us, in a way. By this I mean that they’ve been wrestling through issues that we are just starting to wrestle with. If we’re wise, we’ll seek out people doing faithful ministry in those areas who can help prepare us for what we are just beginning to encounter, or will soon encounter, in our own spaces and places.
In my most recent podcast (released today), I interviewed my dear friend, Dr. Domenic Ruso. Domenic is a Pastor-Theologian and an important person to engage with as we talk about ministry in secular spaces. Dom holds a PhD in Historical Theology, and is the founder of The 180 Church in Montreal, Quebec. Quebec is fascinating in that it has a deep Christian history, but also in the fact that it is profoundly secular. This presents all kinds of complexities for those doing ministry there. For this reason, “Quebec,” as Dom says, “tends to be a kind of laboratory of learning.” This conversation is hopefully a step in the learning process. This podcast will be released in a couple of installments. You can hear the first today wherever you listen to podcasts (search for Theomagination with Phil Aud). Below are links for several major platforms. I hope you enjoy the conversation!