Interviews

In January, I participated in a conversation with Chris C. J. Kingdom Grier, Mark Charles, and Mary Hulst about lament, cancer, and cancerous racism at the Calvin Symposium on Worship in Grand Rapids, MI. The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship collected our remarks from the panel and our written responses all in one place and I am grateful to share a part of this conversation here: "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen, Nobody knows but Jesus, Nobody knows the trouble I've seen, Glory, hallelujah! Like the psalmist, the singer of this African American spiritual comes before the Lord and readily names the open wound of grief. “Nobody knows” expresses the gathered people’s alienating and unspeakable grief and anger over injustice—of a husband whose wife and children were sold away in slavery, of governments that repeatedly fail in promises that guarantee the freedom of black Americans, of yet another black youth killed by police brutality. And yet, Christ...

Christian Wiman and I have an odd kinship: we were both diagnosed with incurable cancers at the age of 39. Our cancers are very similar, so we can talk shop about chemo, side effects and the bizarre experience of hearing that our lifespan has likely been chopped by decades. We're both parents of young children. And we've both written about our Christian faith in light of our cancer journey -- with Wiman, My Bright Abyss, and with me, Rejoicing in Lament. A few months ago we discussed incurable cancer together as part of an event at Western Theological Seminary. Christian is a poet (former editor of Poetry Magazine), and I am a theologian. In our books, we both turn to poetry in our season of suffering and theological reflection. Christian turned to George Herbert and a score of contemporary poets. I turned to the poetry of the Psalms and Job. Why did we turn to poetry?...

Posted on May 15, with Jonathan Merritt on the Religious News Service website. Click here, for a link to their website where you will find my latest thoughts on my diagnosis and some further theological reflections including responses to religious skeptics....

In this podcast, I join the "Mere Orthodoxy" staff in discussing the nature and meaning of lament and why our culture may not leave much room for it.  It was a pleasure to join Derek Rishmawy, Alastair Roberts, and Matthew Lee Anderson for this conversation! Click here to listen....

“God’s story does not annihilate our personal stories, but God incorporates us into a larger drama in which darkness will not have the final word,” Billings says. “This leaves us with raw, unanswered questions. But it also points us toward a durable hope.” Click here to read the interview with Publisher's Weekly....

In this podcast, I join Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd  on an episode of "The Mortification of Spin." Here is a description of the conversation from their website: "When You Know You're Dying" Today our hosts have a meaningful, sober conversation with Todd Billings: author, pastor, and professor at Western Theological Seminary. Todd has been diagnosed with a rare, and for him terminal, form of cancer: Multiple Myeloma. He shares some of his experience and hope amidst acute awareness of his mortality, and how to, with strength and godliness, face death. Cancer affects some of us, either directly or indirectly, so Todd's words of trust in God's providence, Scripture, and prayer are helpful and relevant. Touching on points he raises in his book, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ, Todd lends insights on ways to encourage those suffering with serious illness. This is a conversation you're...

In this interview by Matthew Barrett on Jan 17, 2012 J.Todd Billings addresses difficult questions related to the theology of salvation as adoption and total depravity using themes from his book Union with Christ. For a link to the article, click here....