Jul 5, 2023
My guest this week is Curtis Chang, a theologian,
consulting faculty member at Duke Divinity School and a Senior
Fellow at Fuller Theological Seminary. His ministry experience
includes serving as a senior pastor of an Evangelical Covenant
Church in California, a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian
Fellowship, and engaging in racial reconciliation work in Soweto,
Curtis is the founding Executive Director of
Redeeming Babel, a nonprofit that helps Christians engage the wider
world. He also hosts the Good Faith podcast where he discusses how
Christian faith intersects with culture, law, and politics.
His latest book,
The Anxiety Opportunity: How Worry Is the
Doorway to Your Best Self, was released in
3:26 – Curtis 101
- Curtis has always stood at the intersection between
the world of secular institutions and work and Christian
- He wrote a book about anxiety because it is a
pervasive pandemic, and Christianity has something to say about
7:49 – Shame of anxiety
- In the Christian faith, there’s a tremendous amount
of shame around anxiety. Some see it as a flaw, lack of faith or
- Curtis has suffered from anxiety for his much of
his life. He once had a catastrophic breakdown and had trouble
- Anxiety is the most profound opportunity for
spiritual growth we may have.
12:44 – Anxiety spectrum
- We all exist somewhere on the anxiety
- There’s a difference between anxiety and anxiety
- Anxiety is the fear of loss. An anxiety disorder is
when our response to anxiety is dysfunctional and unhealthy.
19:38 – Avoiding the unavoidable
- Many Christians fall into the trap of thinking that
bad things won’t happen to them because they are believers.
- But Christians experience loss, too. God did not
let you down if you experience a loss.
- You can’t avoid the unavoidable.
23:43 – How to handle loss
- The real promise of the gospel is not loss
avoidance, but loss restoration.
- You have to go through loss to get to future
25:22 – Anxious children
- Your kid’s anxiety can make you anxious.
- Curtis has two daughters. He has tried to jump in
and make their anxiety go away. But that makes them more
- Instead, he holds their loss and empathizes with
35:40 – Anxiety and politics
- Why talk about anxiety and politics? Because you
can’t respond to what’s happening with politics without
acknowledging the pervasive anxiety around it.
- Politics can be a toxic drug.
48:32 – Advice about anxiety
- If you want to lessen anxiety, get curious about
what you’re feeling and experiencing.
The best way to understand me is, I’m someone who has
always stood at the intersection between the world of secular
institutions and work and the Christian faith.
There is a pervasive and growing pandemic – and it is
a mental health pandemic – of anxiety. The Christian faith has
something really helpful to say.
There’s a tremendous amount of shame around
I write as somebody who knows of the painful reality
Anxiety is actually the most profound opportunity for
spiritual growth we may have.