New Creation Conversations Episode 066 - Dr. Mark Teasdale on Participating in and Inviting Others to Join the Abundant Life in Jesus
Welcome to episode sixty-six of New Creation Conversations. I’m excited to be joined in today’s conversation by Dr. Mark Teasdale. Mark is the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Garrett Theological Seminary. Mark is an alum of The American University, has both MDiv and DMin degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary, and has a PhD from Southern Methodist University. Mark has written extensively on evangelism. Our conversation is centered on his most recent book Participating in Abundant Life: Holistic Salvation for a Secular Age – published by IVP Academic.
In his new book, Mark argues that our world is hungry for salvation, but we don't always know how to talk about it. Christians agree that God cares about people's lives both in this world and into eternity. But the ways we describe salvation often separate these two spaces: the spiritual from the material. Many groups emphasize one at the expense of the other, limiting the picture of what God has to offer. Mark works to bridge the gap by taking up Jesus' language of abundant life. The abundant is something Jesus invites us to participate in―to seek both for ourselves and for others. The abundant life is rich and multidimensional, not splitting spirits and minds from bodies and material needs. By connecting a vision of “holistic salvation” to contemporary concepts of well-being, Mark’s book attempts to show how Christians can both better communicate in secular settings as well as partner with all people regardless of their faith to seek the common good.
As Mark and I will discuss, evangelism can be an often-overlooked discipline in the Christian academy, and an overlooked practice in the local church. The abundant life in Christ is not meant to be kept to ourselves, it is meant to be extended to others. I really appreciated Mark’s book and his holistic perspective, and I think you will glean a great deal from our conversation. So, thanks for leaning into this week’s New Creation Conversation.