The Allender Center Podcast

Today we’re revisiting a conversation that Dr. Dan Allender had a few years ago with Dr. Chelle Stearns, Associate Professor of Theology at The Seattle School, exploring her ongoing work of developing a theology of abuse. She believes that as a theologian, an artist, and a witness of other artists, she is called—and we are called—to hold together immense sorrow and stunning beauty. Ultimately, Chelle invites us to wrestle with how we address trauma in view of the embodied life of Christ, and how this might change the way we tend to the stories of harm in our own lives and communities. 


Read “Let the Lament Come” by Heather Stringer

Direct download: TAC298-ChelleReshare-v1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

This week, we’re re-sharing the second half of a series Rachael Clinton Chen and Dr. Dan Allender recorded last year on the particulars of spiritual abuse. Throughout their conversation, you’ll hear them discuss the effects that spiritual abuse has on our bodies, including dissociation and shame. Because spiritually abusive leaders rarely stop with mind control, they work to create a system in which they can control every aspect—including the bodies—of the people under their authority. Rachael and Dan also explore the long, slow movement of healing in the wake of abuse and the work of tending to small areas of growth, trusting that God is contending for us in the big areas.

No matter how long it takes, how can we begin reclaiming our minds and moving back into our bodies? What are the small steps we can take on the long road to healing? As we attune to that which is beautiful and true, and to that which honors the dignity in who we were created to be, we may begin living into the hope that trauma, death, and spiritual abuse do not have to have the last word.


Direct download: TAC297-SpiritualAbuseReshare2-v1_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Last year, Rachael Clinton Chen and Dr. Dan Allender dove into a series on the dynamics of spiritual abuse and forms of trauma that can emerge in situations of spiritual abuse. This week, we’re sharing with you their conversation about some of the particulars of spiritual abuse including mind control, dogmatism, suspicion, and loyalty. One of the first categories you’ll hear them unpack is mind control, including the implications and consequences of abusive mind control which distorts desire for attunement in order to grow suspicion and mistrust. 


All of these systems and categories, however, are ultimately about control—structuring power and authority in such a way that spiritually abusive leaders have total control over the minds and bodies of those in their communities. Ultimately, though, Dan and Rachael invite us back to that which spiritual abuse most fundamentally sabotages: hope.


Read a blog post, “Tuning in to the Unseen”

Direct download: TAC296-SpiritualAbuseReshare-v1_03.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Dr. Dan Allender and Rachael Clinton Chen welcome back former podcast guest Jimmy McGee, President and CEO of The Impact Movement, to have a conversation about the final two qualities of a well-lived story: curiosity and commitment. According to Dan, Jimmy is one of the most curious people (and voracious readers) that he knows. As they talk with one another about these two qualities of a well-lived story, you’ll hear how Jimmy came to be so deeply curious and his commitments to wholeness and formation and to passing on the gifts that he has been given. 


Learn more about pioneer civil rights organizer C.T. Vivian

Direct download: TAC295-QualitiesOfAWellLivedStory3-v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am PDT