• indoubt Podcast
  • ·
  • February 25, 2019

Ep. 163: Top 10 Questions with Chris Price

With Chris Price, , , and Ryan McCurdy

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Question: Where do you go to when you want answers? Do you Google it? Do you ask the people around you? Or do you open your Bible? This week, Ryan asks Chris Price ten quick questions, ranging from how to navigate the complexities in our friendships and dating relationships, to how we need to slow down, unplug, and stop expecting the Bible to be a quick fix. You’ll hear advice on you can better engage with Sabbath rhythms which will help you to find deeper rest in your identity. And, Chris and Ryan talk about how you should live in response, knowing how and why the Bible matters and how your life matters in the middle of it all.

View Transcription

Kourtney Cromwell:
Welcome to the indoubt Podcast where we explore the challenging topics that young adults often face. Each week we talk with guests who help answer questions of faith, life, and culture, connecting them to our daily experiences and God’s word. For more info on indoubt visit indoubt.ca or indoubt.com.

Ryan McCurdy:
Good to be with you. My name is Ryan, and I’m so happy you’re joining us right now. On today’s episode, we listen to a conversation that I had with pastor and author, Chris Price. Chris is the Lead Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. He’s actually in a time of change as he and his family are going to do a church plant in Vancouver city.

Ryan McCurdy:
Chris is an awesome guy, and he’s really easy to talk to. We had an opportunity to talk about a lot of different questions in life and ministry. Around relationships and our faith, and it’s a really fun, light-hearted conversation. He’s an awesome guy. Really easy to talk to, but really deep as well, and so as you listen to this I hope you are encouraged, and that you can even laugh a little bit too.

Ryan McCurdy:
This is Chris. He is the Lead Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church and has been a part of that community for longer than 12 years. So Chris, thanks for being on the show with us today.

Chris Price:
Thanks so much for having me.

Ryan McCurdy:
This is great. This is great, and what I want to try and do, actually, is just, I want to ask you a number of questions.

Chris Price:
Okay.

Ryan McCurdy:
For those who are listening, if you don’t know Chris Price you might know somebody like him where he’s kind of one of those guys that you want to sit at a coffee shop with and just ask him anything because whatever he’s going to bring to the table is going to be something worth talking about. Something worth reflecting on.
So, Chris, I would love to hear. You’re in ministry, and you’re a pastor. What was it like? When did you come to faith, and how did you end up being in pastoral ministry?

Chris Price:
Yeah. I grew up in a family that attended church and was pretty serious about their Christian face, but I was not a follower of Jesus until I was 20, and in my teen years my parents, they kind of forced me to go to church for a time, but I was in a really rebellious phase with drugs and all these kind of dark things that I was doing. Until eventually the bottom fell out of the fun, and I found myself staring into a pit of, I don’t know, discouragement and confusion, and throughout that process was so gracious in I think protecting me, and then drawing me to himself, and so I became a Christian when I was 20, and then I started just kind of serving at the church where I had grown up, and then I became an intern.
I was going to Bible school at the time, doing my degree, and then I became the youth pastor, and then I was associate, and then I’ve been the Lead Pastor for nine years. I’ve been on staff for 15, but you’re catching me in the middle of the biggest change of our lives. So I met my wife at the church I’m at. We’ve been married 10 years. We have two kids, Kaiden and Mila. They’ve both grown up at this church, but we’re transitioning out to do a church plant in Vancouver likely in 2020.

Chris Price:
So, my end date officially is the end of April, and then we’re going into this transitional season of planning and praying and preparing for a move to the city. So there’s a lot more there, but that’s basically where we’re at, but we love our church, and I’ve been on staff here for 15 years, and so it’s been amazing.

Ryan McCurdy:
That’s awesome. Chris, what’s your favourite TV show?

Chris Price:
My favourite TV show of all time is probably The Office. I’ve watched it before it was on Netflix I bought the DVDs.

Ryan McCurdy:
Okay.

Chris Price:
Back when DVDs were a thing, and I watched through The Office, and then when it came on Netflix I watched it all through again, and so that’s probably my favourite show. It’s great for memes. You can pull a lot of memes out if it, and there’s just so many iconic scenes for me personally. So I love the characters. Yeah, that’s my favourite.

Ryan McCurdy:
Who’s your favourite character in The Office?

Chris Price:
My favourite character is Michael Scott.

Ryan McCurdy:
Absolutely.

Chris Price:
Just because of his uniqueness and even the evolution of the character throughout the seasons to me was very compelling, but who doesn’t like Pam and Jim and their romance.

Ryan McCurdy:
Right.

Chris Price:
As it blossomed over the years. That was a well written, well-developed romance I think.

Ryan McCurdy:
Here’s a question that’s coming out of this conversation. Chris Price, what’s your top dating tip?

Chris Price:
My top dating tip you’re not just dating the girl, you’re dating the family. If she loves her family, so remember that, and also honour, respect, and listen well. There you go.

Ryan McCurdy:
Now that would go both ways. If you’re dating a girl you understand that if she loves her family… If you’re dating a guy also how he treats his family.

Chris Price:
Of course.

Ryan McCurdy:
Honour, respect. And when you say honour and respect, what do you even mean by that? What does that look like?

Chris Price:
Well, I mean, honour and respect, I think I’m talking about being a positive presence in their life. Fighting for them, encouraging them, helping them flourish, and so there’s a sense in which honour and respect is not a selfish endeavour. Those are other-centred kind of works, and so to be there for that person, and to practice the kinds of behaviours and traits that lead to a successful life and marriage together early on, regardless if you’re marrying that person or not you want to be practicing those kinds of habits.

Ryan McCurdy:
I think one of the questions I have that I’d love for you to kind of respond to is if somebody was talking to you, and they were maybe new in the faith, or they were struggling in the faith of, maybe struggling in doubts or questions, where would you direct them in scripture. What kind of places would you go?

Chris Price:
Yeah. I would always, always point them to the gospels. I know everyone always says new believer, you give them the Gospel of John. I’m not so particular. I think you could give them any of the gospels because that’s what I want them to immerse themselves in, the way of Jesus, who he is. What he did, and then get that deep in their kind of hearts, and then move on to some of the epistles and stuff that explain more doctrine and stuff like that. So that’s where I’d point them towards.
Now it depends what their doubts and struggles are. I mean, if they’re reading the gospels and there’s a lot of doubts or struggles arising out of that then there’s good commentaries or a study bible I’d point them towards. If they have very specific questions based on the, I don’t know, authenticity of the stories recorded in scripture or the viability of miracles or trustworthiness of the Bible then there’s ministries, there’s websites. There’s lots of books you could recommend, but mainly, I want them to baptize their imagination with the stories of scripture. The stories of Jesus, how he interacted with people, and what he did, and I just want them to get into that.

Ryan McCurdy:
That’s interesting that you even say that. Baptizing their mind. I think that’s a cool image. Immersing or saturating would be another word of just through and through you are inundated with the information, not the information, but with the story, the lifestyle of Jesus, and that’s one of the questions that I think is asked the wrong way. Here’s what I mean by that.
I think there’s times when people, maybe they struggle in their faith, or they struggle with what they believe, or they struggle with where to go, and when they turn to scripture they’re looking for answers on what to believe, and I think actually that can often times be a masking question of how am I to live? How am I to be, and it sounds like, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like even in this conversation that you’re sharing right now is you’re saying hey, learn the way of Jesus, the rhythm.
The rhythm of his life. The way he interacts with others, and yeah, it’s important to learn some facts and some information and having good theologies is important. Reading the book of Romans to get some good foundation pieces there. Would you see it in the same light, or how would you respond to that?

Chris Price:
Yeah. I would think that there’s a danger where you turn. This is a danger in systematic theology where you actually just mine The Bible, different areas of The Bible for certain statements about a certain idea about God, and it’s detached from the story of God in scripture, and I think that the more you immerse yourself in the gospels or in the Biblical story you get a feel for the unfolding drama of salvation, and how God’s working it out in a people, and then you start thinking oh, I’m a character who has a part in this unfolding drama.
And once you know the story then you can start to discover, by the spirit and through the Word, how to live in light of that story, and so the ethics and stuff flow out of that. I think there is this desire, maybe it’s because we’re the Google generation. We have a question. We punch it into Google. We get a bunch of Wikipedia.
So we approach the Bible the same way, and I think it resists that. I think that it’s not as systematic as we want to make it. It is the story that we need to saturate ourselves and situate ourselves in, and then start to live out in our time, in our place, in our context. If that makes sense.

Ryan McCurdy:
Yeah, yeah. I think so, and I think that’s why Tim Mackie and The Bible Project is huge right now, and we’ve had Tim Mackie on indoubt in the past, and even not that this story that he’s able to articulate with through video is so helpful for people. I refer so many people to hey, go watch The Bible Project.

Chris Price:
Yes.

Ryan McCurdy:
Go check them out, and I think that’s where even in referring someone to read a passage of scripture, to find a book in the Bible, is to say, hey, do you know the context? Do you know the story essentially of what’s going on here? Do you know why Jesus was… people didn’t like him. Do you know the backdrop, the setting of it all, and I think that’s oftentimes a huge reason why people have a huge hesitancy to even open the Bible and start reading it. It just feels so big.

Chris Price:
And I would say something else, and maybe this will sound strange, but I’ve said to people pastorally you need to stop reading the Bible. You need to start studying the Bible. Those are different things. Some people all their Bible reading is devotional, and it becomes problematic because I’ve noticed in pastoral ministry even in people who’ve been in the church for years, they solely read the Bible devotionally, just Psalms and get a vibe off it or a feeling.
They’re not actually developing a Biblical world view. They’re not actually understanding the overarching narrative of scripture, and how the book of Galatians fits into that. How the book of Romans fits into that. How Matthew tells the story of Jesus in such a way to see it as the climax of Israel’s story, and all the parallels that so rich and deep and life-giving. You miss all of that if you just do SOAP: scripture, observation, application, prayer.
I believe in that. I encourage that as well, but there comes a point where you got to do The Bible Project thing. Where you hear how it’s the whole story. How it all ties together, and you’re studying the scripture and story, and letting that kind of shape your imagination and discipline your way of thinking about the world.
Well, I really do think that if you only read say the Psalms devotionally you probably are not going to develop a Biblical world view. You’ll develop Biblical language for prayer, which is helpful. The Psalms are like a gymnasium for prayer. So you’ll go for a workout, but you need to situate even that in the whole story, and that’s why The Bible Project guys are so helpful again and again. I hope that doesn’t sound heretical. Read the Bible devotionally and do systematic theology. I’m not against those things, but they’re limited if you’re not studying scripture if you’re not immersing yourself in the story, and then living in response the that.

Ryan McCurdy:
And so the invitation is to say hey, you don’t know why this matters, and know how this can apply to your life. Know how it will apply to the people of the ancient nearest, and you’re in the 21st century. Recognize that there’s a bit of a bridge you need to understand culturally and contextually.

Chris Price:
Yes.

Ryan McCurdy:
And I even think… I don’t hear you saying that one’s right or wrong, but I do hear you saying hey, both need to be… They complement each other.

Chris Price:
Yeah.

Ryan McCurdy:
And they go together to study God’s word, but also to read it devotionally and prayerfully, and so I think of the questions I have is even in that approach and that response, would you say the same thing to churchgoers. Would you say there’s similar pieces to being part of a body of people who are living out the expression of the faith? Or how would you respond to somebody who said similar I don’t know if the church is so important for me?

Chris Price:
I’d want to get to the bottom of why they’re saying that because maybe there’s deep hurt there or disappointment that you want to minister to and speak into and journey with them through, but sometimes it’s not that. They just think Sunday morning service is boring or whatever it is, and if that’s the case, then I’d say look, all the letters in the New Testament, even those that are written to a person, are actually written to a people, to a church, and God’s always been after people, which includes just persons and individuals, but a people. He’s creating a people, and we are made in the image of a triune God.
We’re made for relationship, righteous is just relatedness. To be righteous is to be right related to God, and to be right related to one another, and it implies a relationship again and again throughout scripture, and I just really wish that our generation, the upcoming generation would learn to love the church, and to love the church is to be a part of the church. To be a part of the body.
There’s all those one another in scripture, right. Love one another. Forgive one another, serve one another. There’s over 50 of them. You can’t one another one another if you’re not with one another.

Ryan McCurdy:
Right.

Chris Price:
You cannot authentically live out the Christian life in any way that resembles the New Testament apart from being in relationship with people, but I hope we learn to love the church. To be a Christian is to have a perfect Father in heaven, and an imperfect family on Earth, and I know we will rail about hypocrisy, but man, if you’re looking for a place where everyone is perfectly consistent and always lives up their ideals, you will be looking forever. There’s no such group.
And I think too, part of it’s recognizing the brokenness we bring as persons to any people, right, and the church to be a place where we work on that together, and journey together and practice the spiritual disciplines together and live out the story together. We’re talking about the story of God. We can’t live out the story alone, and we were never, ever meant to.

Ryan McCurdy:
My question is well how do you live out community? What does that look like?

Chris Price:
For me a key thing, and this is in the church world, but small groups have been huge for me. Weekly gatherings with people outside of a big service where you’re actually in one another’s lives, face to face, praying for one another, encouraging one another, and out of that also flows other kind of opportunities for relationship, for serving one another, for helping each other move, for showing up, for babysitting each other’s kids, for showing up in a medical emergency.
That’s been a source of great connection in my life. In the end, it’s always intentional. No one trips and falls and stumbles into intimacy. There’s also… Intimacy always requires intention, right. You have to cultivate it, and so it’s even scheduling into your week times when you’re going to be phone-free, and you’re going to engage with people, right, and so it’s just a priority thing. It’s a scheduling thing. It’s being intentional and not expecting intimacy or closeness in relationships to just happen.
I think too, C.S. Lewis talked about friendship, and he said friendship’s always about something. He said those, and this sounds a little bit kind of mean, he said those who just sit around and whine about how they never have friends will never have friends. Friendship has to be about something, about shared activities.
So those who are pursuing interests are interesting, and then they find friends and community around those interests, around those hobbies, around those common faith commitments or something, right. So again, that comes back to the intentionality of it.
Yeah, it’s easier to go on your phone. Yeah, it’s less vulnerable. Yeah, it’s less messy. It’s all those things, but it’s not as rich. It’s not as life-giving. It’s not going to help you in crisis, and so a local author from Abbotsford, Sarah Bessey, she talked about Jesus… She talked about garden friends, and the idea there was that Jesus had 12 disciples, and then he had his three friends who came to the garden.
And so we all need the 12, I think, to cultivate the 12. That’s maybe my small group, but we need to be intentional about the three. Who are the garden friends who are going to show up for you in a crisis? Who are going to be at your bedside in the end? Who are going to be with you if you have a miscarriage? Those friends, and to cultivate those relationships, and to see them as the gift they are from God, and to not neglect those kinds of relationships.
I even think of in those kinds of concentric circles you have the people where you have relationships based on affinity or stage of life, and it’s great for a time, but then you have those kinds of garden friends.

Ryan McCurdy:
That’s a great way of putting it, and even as you said that, the intentionality of just doing something. Hey, you’re not in the community that you’re longing for or hoping for, so what are you going to do about it? Make an effort. Do the inventory of yourself. Am I putting myself in those environments where I’m with people of common interest, common goals, common faith commitments, but then also am I the kind of friend, going back to this dating piece, am I the kind of friend that is going to garner those types of relationships? Am I going to be a friend that’s for those people?

Chris Price:
And these are all really complex things. There’s people who have mental health struggles, who find that very challenging. There’s people who’ve been hurt in relationships. I think relationships are often our greatest source of pain and our greatest source of healing, and so there’s so much complexity around that, and there’s obviously situations where that’s great advice.
You need to be the kind of friend you want to see. There’s that quote where it’s like be the change you want to see in the world. I don’t know who said it, but it’s almost like be the type of friend you’d like to have, and that’s good advice because it doesn’t make you passive. It doesn’t make you just a victim. It empowers you to change, but then there’s also… So this is the complexity. That could turn into an unhealthy situation where you’re always the giver, and that person’s always the taker, and you actually need to find other givers, right?
You will always have relationships that take more than you give. You can’t avoid that, and in fact, you should have relationships like that if you’re serving people I think personally, but you must also have relationships that give, give, give too. That restore your soul. That refresh you. That encourages you because when people get that out of balance. When they have more takers than givers in their lives their emotional health just bottoms out really quickly, and then they can’t even be a good friend anymore, and they can even in extreme cases get in an abusive situation.
So yeah, it’s a complex thing, but I think there’s a lot there that people need to think through.

Ryan McCurdy:
Okay. I want to ask one final question for, and this is a question that as best you can just express how we can take again simple steps to hopefully bring about change. What are some things that would help individuals find rest in their faith?

Chris Price:
Well, I would want to… I’m really big on the ancient practices and the spiritual disciplines that Jesus himself engaged in his ministry, two of which being Sabbath in the sense of a day of rest where your only rule is to not do what feels like work. We were talking about things that drain you and things that refresh you, and so I really am a firm believer in that kind of ancient wisdom in the Hebrew scriptures, this day of rest, and on that day I go, I identify in my life what drains me, and what fills me because that’s a helpful exercise for anyone to do.
But on that day, once a week, every week, I do the things that drain… Sorry, not drain me, that refresh me and restore my soul. So that might be things that are very overtly spiritual like reading scripture, journaling, prayer, or it could be really Frisbee golf. I don’t play Frisbee golf. I don’t know why I said that as an example, but something that’s just really fun. A barbecue with friends can really replenish you and restore you and is in itself very spiritual and can be very honouring and glorifying to God, right.
So I’d say Sabbath rhythms are huge for those looking for rest, but I think Sabbath also challenges the deeper thing in us that wants to justify our existence and justify our sense of worth by impressing others by getting perfect marks. By going over and above, and that’s what’s actually exhausting us. That’s actually what’s weary to our soul. This sense of living out of a place of insecurity, living for the approval of others in whatever form we take that to come, and really the answer to that is resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ who on the cross did all that was necessary for our salvation, paid the price in full, and secured our identity as beloved children of God.

Chris Price:
And to live out of that place of gift is to find rest for your soul. It gives you the ability to say no to all the extra things that you’d be tempted to do if you were trying to prove your worth, validate your existence, and impress other people. You’re no longer enslaved to people’s opinion and approval of you, which is what’s driving people into the ground in relationships and in work.
You’re starting to step into the liberating experience of knowing by the Spirit experientially that you’re a beloved son or daughter of God, and if you doubt that you look to the cross where Jesus paid it all. So that’s the deeper rest, and if you don’t have that rest, you probably can’t even Sabbath anyways. You can’t have solitude that’s restorative anyways, and so really I think the ultimate solution is an ever-growing understanding of the Gospel and how it applies to areas of rest.
So Tim Keller says the gospel’s not the ABCs that we move beyond as we mature. No, it’s the A to Z. The Gospel has innumerable applications for our lives, and it certainly speaks to our fatigue because it’s a soul weariness in this generation. It’s not just a physical weariness, and frankly, social media contributes to that where we’re always posting to get validation and to get likes, and we’re frustrated when we don’t get as many was we want to. We pull that picture, and we whatever, right.
That is not the path to rest. That is not the path to joy. That is not the path to fulfillment. The gospel is, and an ever increasing awareness and understanding of its implications. That turned into a little bit of a preach there. I don’t know… I just went on a run there, but I think that… yeah.
S o then I just add to that. That’s the deeper thing, but the rhythms of Sabbath and solitude I think are huge for this generation. Solitude where you actually unplug from social media for a time, and just get with the Lord, and invite him to speak to you and minister to you. The deep places in you I think is huge.

Ryan McCurdy:
This is great, Chris. I feel like we could continue talking, and I’ve got a list of questions I want to ask you, and so maybe we’ll have to call you back another time, and have your insight because even in all of this I think there’s a lot of density here that we could unpack and apply into our lives, and would actually bring about the good things that we hope for, and whether it’s in relationships or in community and church life, in our own personal life with God or dating, whatever it is, I think one of the things that’s important is that God is deeply concerned with how we live, and so these practical application things, they actually matter for how we live, and how we affect change in the word, positively or negatively, and hopefully it’s positively, and for His Kingdom, and yeah, it’s been a great pleasure to have this time to chat with you, and so thanks for being on with us today.

Chris Price:
Thanks for having me.

Ryan McCurdy:
Thank you for joining us on this episode of indoubt with Chris Price. We talked about a handful of different things in this episode, and if you have any questions from it, or you’d like to go deeper into anything we talked about you can always send us a message, and I’ll take the time to get into it on an upcoming episode. If you’d like to follow Chris Price on social media we’ll have that info in our episode links section of our website, and I want to take a second to ask you if you’re willing, and if indoubt has encouraged you, to partner with us financially. As we continue to provide resources we depend on the generosity of people just like you to help communicate the Good News of who Jesus is to a world that desperately needs him.
Y our financial partnership, whether it’s big or small goes a really long way in helping us continue to achieve our goal. To find out more about indoubt you can go to indoubt.ca if you’re in Canada, and indoubt.com if you’re in the United States. Download our app and follow us on social media. We would love to hear from you, and if you would like to share your story of how indoubt has impacted you, e-mail us at info@indoubt.ca. Stay connected with us for next week’s episode as we talk with Andrew Marcus.

Kourtney Cromwell:
Thanks so much for listening. If you want to hear more subscribe on Itunes and Spotify or visit us online at indoubt.ca or indoubt.com. We’re also on social media so make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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ep-163-featured-top-10-questions-with-chris-price

Who's Our Guest?

Chris Price

Chris Price is the Lead Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church. With a Masters in Christian Studies and a BA in Biblical studies, Chris’ love for teaching the Bible can be found in his Sunday messages. He is the author of Radical Hope: Resurrection Hope in a Hurting World, Suffering With God: A Thoughtful Reflection on Evil, Suffering, and Finding Hope Beyond Band-aid Solutions. Chris loves to spend time with his family, and he enjoys the lively conversations that come with being a dedicated fan of the Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Cavaliers.
ep-163-featured-top-10-questions-with-chris-price

Who's Our Guest?

Chris Price

Chris Price is the Lead Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church. With a Masters in Christian Studies and a BA in Biblical studies, Chris’ love for teaching the Bible can be found in his Sunday messages. He is the author of Radical Hope: Resurrection Hope in a Hurting World, Suffering With God: A Thoughtful Reflection on Evil, Suffering, and Finding Hope Beyond Band-aid Solutions. Chris loves to spend time with his family, and he enjoys the lively conversations that come with being a dedicated fan of the Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Cavaliers.