September 19, 2020

Two of the Coolest Guys I Met At Cornerstone: Soong-Chan Rah and Richard Twiss + Some Other Guy

Lots of great Cornerstone personality videos at Prof Rah’s You Tube page.

NOTE: Richard Twiss is going to be at Asbury October 15-17.


  1. Wow! Richard Twiss is very impressive! The history of Christianity’s approach to indigenous peoples has always been very negative, so it’s very impressive to see someone who has found a way to keep the native culture while still accepting the Gospel. Good luck to him.

    And yes, I’m one of those people who found his way here via the CSM and “The Coming Evangelical Collapse”. I went and read the original three posts here, and I’ve been reading ever since. Good work!

  2. …well done imonk….good interview…… word : think “Sunbed” …..maybe a pipe?,,,,and lose that cap……..

  3. The color does look like I’m dead. It was a rainy, cloudy day and we’re under a tent. It’s a bit washed out. Sorry.

    Pipe…have ’em, but don’t smoke ’em.

    Lose the cap? Are you kidding me? Not a chance.

  4. Gary Foster says

    Michael, Go get’em Mike. When was still a SBC Pastor (and a calvinist at the time) I too thought looking back at the ancient church was the way forward too. I think your on to something there. I just pretty much agreed with much of what you had to say. And you know…this all did have to change from what it had been didn’t it? Didn’t many of us knew back as far as the 70’s and 80’s that too much of what Evangelicals had become were missing the gravity of previous generations. The river was wide but shallow and I think everyone knew it.
    It all makes me think of “Creative Destruction” that you read about in economics. Maybe, just maybe, when the egg hatches for new expressions of the Church, they just might do something right. The reason I comment is, mostly to commend you Michael and offer more encouragement to your work. God bless you.

  5. Scott Eaton says

    This video is proof that you are committed to “big tent” Christianity. 🙂 Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  6. Thanks, Michael. I enjoyed listening to it all, including “Some Other Guy!”

    It was heartening to hear Richard Twiss because I have read autobiographies and biographies of Native Americans who were forced to change their namesand their language in order to be a “good Christian.” It made me feel sad, and as I read about their spiritual beliefs and practices, it made me wonder if Christians were doing the right thing in evangelizing them. I have some quotations from the Bible on the side of my computer tower, but I also have some from Confucious and also Chief Seattle and a Cherokee Prayer. That one says, “O’ Great Spirit, help me always to speak the truth quietly, to listen with an open mind when others speak, and to remember the peace that may be found in silence.” I think that is beautiful and when I think of the dogma that they are asked to accept instead of their ancient spiritual beliefs, I have to wonder. And the one from Chief Seattle says, ” Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” (Written in 1854). And yet, there is still Jesus out there reaching out to everyone. It would have been wrong to not tell the Native Americans about Jesus. I am happy to hear that Richard Twiss is coming up with a way for Native Americans to be Christian without renouncing their history and their traditions. I will look online to read more about him and what he is doing.

    (By the way, I have an online Native American woman friend and she says she and other Native Americans like to be called Indians. But I was still reluctant to use that term here in case others didn’t realize that that is the preference of many.)

    • I have heard quite the opposite and Richard underlined that for me.

      • Yes, Michael, I would guess that not all Native Americans want to be called “Indians.” I was a little surprised when she said that, but then I heard the same from some other folks. Does RIchard prefer “First Nations” or some other term? Thanks.

      • MIchael, I am reposting my message, (modified probably) because I think it didn’t take it the first time.

        As an “aside” about how to refer to the people who were living on what is now the North American continent before Europeans came here….

        In Maine we have a number of Native American nations. Here is one:
        You can see from there that they refer to themselves as Indians at times, and their home is called Indian Island. But I do tend to call them “The Penobscots.”

        From this page:
        some of the things written there include:
        “Russell Means, the Lakota activist and founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM), has strongly rejected Native American in favor of Indian.”

        “A 1995 Census Bureau Survey of preferences for racial and ethnic terminology (there is no more recent survey) indicated that 49% of Native people preferred being called American Indian, 37% preferred Native American, 3.6% preferred “some other term,” and 5% had no preference.”

        “As Christina Berry, a Cherokee writer and producer of the website All Things Cherokee, counsels: ‘In the end, the term you choose to use (as an Indian or non-Indian) is your own personal choice. Very few Indians that I know care either way. The recommended method is to refer to a person by their tribe, if that information is known.’ “

  7. Hey, great link! 😉 It was fun doing the interview. Richard is always great. There’s also an interview with John Perkins I would recommend.

    Soong-Chan (

  8. Michael, what a great interview. I’m more excited than ever to read your book. I don’t get to listen to your podcasts all that often. Hearing your voice made you so much more real to me and reminded me that you really are one of my ministers. Thank you for that, sir.

  9. Christiane/L's says

    I wonder what influenced the change?
    From the time when Indians were told ‘Jesus loves you, but we hate your culture.’
    And now, when they can be both Christian and Native?

    There are precedents for humble missionaries from Antioch and Alexandria carrying Christ into other cultures with dignity and respect for those cultures. . 🙂

    “A” plus, to whomever influenced the change. My bet is on the Holy Spirit.

    • Well, you don’t have to go that far back for precedents. Study the way the Orthodox missionaries interacted with the native peoples in Alaska. Vastly different from the way native cultures were treated in the lower 48 or even in Alaska after its sale.

      • Christiane/L's says

        Hi Scott,

        I am a fan of the Russian Orthodox Church. Actually, I am the god-daughter of a woman of Ukrainian descent who is Catholic, not Orthodox, but whose roots are in the Eastern Traditions.

        I believe you completely. There is a humility about the Orthodox, and a spirituality that emphasizes the Divinity of Christ. From this deep Christian humility, the Orthodox would be able to ‘handle’ introducing Christ into a native culture with respect for the heritage of the converts. They would have had the spiritual ‘gravitas’ to do this without the hubris of cultural superiority. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. I’m currently something like 7,000 miles from home on a 30-day assignment, and part of this little journey involves guys like Edward Gilbreath (done), Michael Wittmer (done), and Soong-Chan Rah (p.160). And I’m familiar with Richard Twiss as well (also done – has a prominent place in my library). So I really enjoyed seeing videos with Twiss & Rah.

    But what will be interesting is the journey after the journey; that is, where will this lead once I get home a little over a week from now? Where are Rah, Wittmer, Gilbreath & Twiss (and maybe Brenda Salter McNeil as well) going to lead me? What is in store for me once I get back?

    Cuz right now I’m . . . how should I say this . . . between churches. And I’ve realized over the last few days that once I get back I need to get deliberate about finding a church. And the guys I’ve just seen in these two vidoes (and yes, I mean all three of them) will figure prominently in my search, and in the discussions I might have with any potential pastors.

    So thank you, Michael, for sharing these with us. It means more to me right now than I can possibly put in words.

  11. Glad you met so many interesting people at Cornerstone! I always wanted to go, but never got the chance. Being from Indiana, my church youth group was able to visit JPUSA when I was in high school. The sincerity of those folks helped me to not totally give up on Christianity at a time when I was sorely tempted to.

    Now I want to get out my old Crashdog CDs. Lol.

  12. I met Richard Twiss a few years ago and was really impressed with the work he is doing. I think it’s a “case study” that vividly illustrates many of the principles that are being talked about in the missional church.

  13. Love the quote from Richard that his studies are for his “childrens’ children”. Something about that puts a saner light on things academic. Great interview, he seems like someone I’d love to have over , break bread and pick his native indian brain on ministry and evangelism.

  14. Michael: did you feel this interview did a good job capturing what I-Monk is all about ?? Just wondering if this would be a good reference point to direct to interested others, or if there’s a different interview out there that’s better. I thot it was great, Soong Chan does a great “Phil Russert”.

    Greg R

    • CEC isn’t what I want to be known for. Post-evangelicalism is more what I’m about. Nothing here deals with what the book is going to be about. But it’s a good interview (just colorize me 🙂

  15. greetings,
    both RIchard’s and Soong’s seminars are now online at or in iTunes.