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Working the Road – Episode 010

Sattler College Podcast

Working the Road – Episode 010

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David Eicher loves learning. In this episode, he discusses his lifelong passion for learning and a newer passion for literacy. He tells President Johnson how he got into college, then teaching and educational consulting. The journey included dinner conversations about grammar, a blue-collar boss who encouraged his pursuits, and a realization of his life calling. Experience David’s storytelling and learn as they discuss Pascal’s wager and how “new atheism” reflects the religious reactions of the enlightenment.

David has two roles at Sattler: Director of Student Services and Registrar. His job is to keep track of all the student records and documentation, oversee the work program, and develop class schedules that work for everyone. The most important part of his job is to support the success of every student by helping them get access to the resources that they need. David Eicher holds a BA in Pastoral ministries from Allegheny Wesleyan College and is pursuing an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership at the University of Mount Union.

Learn more about studying at Sattler College.

Mentioned in this episode:


0:04 – Exploring the World of Board Games
5:31 – Exploring Historical and Strategy Board Games
11:44 – Family Culture and Life Trajectory
19:53 – Faith, Family, and Blaise Pascal
29:27 – Shift From Belief in God
38:59 – Passion for Literacy and Dyslexia
44:21 – The Importance of Literacy
51:19 – The Importance of Literary Pursuits
1:04:19 – Open House and International Student Deadline


This transcript has been auto generated and likely contains errors.

Zack Johnson: 0:04

It is 21 February 2024 and I’m joined by Mr David Eicher, future doctor. Maybe, hopefully, yeah, hopefully, hey. Thanks for being here with us today. So I’m going to quickly read your bio and then we’re going to have a conversation.

David Eicher: 0:22

Okay, you ready for it? Absolutely Thanks. I look forward to it.

Zack Johnson: 0:26

The calling to Christian service has been a part of David Eicher’s life for as long as he can remember. He graduated from Allegheny Wesleyan College in 2009 with a BA in pastoral ministries. After graduating, he taught middle school for a total of nine years, while also running an educational consulting business that helped small private religious schools throughout the United States and Canada develop intervention programs to identify and remediate children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. He’s currently in a master’s program at the University of Mount Union for an MED in educational leadership. Did you finish that? Yeah, I did finish that. You got it. I’ll take your bio. All right. Coming to Sattler has been a long time dream for David and he is thrilled to be part of the team here. Any addition subtractions from that part?

David Eicher: 1:18

No, it’s not everything I hoped it would be. So, yeah, I think I wrote this my first week here something like that and my feelings have changed since then. Being here has been everything that I hoped it would be.

Zack Johnson: 1:30

So you started like a year and change ago now.

David Eicher: 1:32

It’s been close to two years. June will be two years oh.

Zack Johnson: 1:35

I knew that David and his wife Triva and his son Paschal is that how you say? Yeah, paschal moved from rural southeastern Ohio to urban Boston and they absolutely love it here in this busy, fascinating, fun city. They love sitting in the museum of fine arts, the Boston Aquarium, riding the Charleston ferry and experiencing the incredibly diverse culture here. David’s hobbies include collecting and playing strategy board games. He has over 200 of them we have to talk about this.

David Eicher: 2:05

Yeah, let me talk about this.

Zack Johnson: 2:06

He also loves singing theology and puns. All right, there’s a lot of me. Any addition subtractions before I move on?

David Eicher: 2:14

No, so far, so good.

Zack Johnson: 2:15

All right, so two roles here at Sattler director of student services and registrar. His job is to keep track of all the student records and documentation, oversee the work program for the students and develop class schedules that work for everyone. That’s a hard job, isn’t it? It really is. Yeah, the most important part of his job is to support the success of every student by helping them get access to the resources that they need. Thanks for being here.

David Eicher: 2:42

Love being here.

Zack Johnson: 2:43

So I’m going to start with the juicy part of your bio and maybe work backwards. But where did your love of strategy board games develop and where do you keep 200 board games?

David Eicher: 2:56

Yeah, it’s kind of difficult. You know, 900 square foot apartment we have. I have a wall in the living room of bookshelves, so we have those here. I don’t think people become gamers. I think people are born gamers and they just discover it.

David Eicher: 3:09

Then we read a yard sale when I was a kid probably, I’m going to say late I might have been in my late preteens, 12, 13, I might have been as old as 14, and there was this game there. I didn’t even know this kind of game existed. It was called Frederick the Great and it was about the campaigns of Frederick during the War of Austrian Succession. It had all these tiny cardboard squares now I know they’re called counters with numbers and pictures on them and then a map with hexagon-shaped spaces to move these pieces around. And as a you know, as a in my early teens I didn’t have anybody knew how to play these games. You know, I’m trying to figure out how to play it from the rulebook. I don’t think I ever played. I don’t think I’ve ever actually played the game and played it according to the correct ones. I can never get anybody to do it, but I discovered this whole world existed and that has been a little world of interest. The world of board games Like niche board games.

Zack Johnson: 4:06

Yeah, niche board games.

David Eicher: 4:07

Yeah, you know, everybody knows about Monopoly and RISC and so on, but like to discover. And then, as an adult discovering, there’s conventions. I used to go every year or so to a convention that’s called Origins in Columbus and people would come from Wednesday to Sunday and like 15,000 people would come. There’s a whole convention hall full of people playing games and so on, and it’s a way of exploring the world. It’s a way of understanding the world that we live in, and that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much.

David Eicher: 4:34

I usually have one of two directions that I’ll go. I’ll either discover a new topic that I’m interested in and then look at the Seacout Board games about that. Like right now, one of the things I’m super interested in is the political upheaval in Russia in the early 1900s, and for some reason, soviet Russia has lately just really fascinated me, and so I’ve sought out some. Are there games out there that simulate some of these political things that happened, and then the flip side will also happen. Are there? There are, well, there’s one called Kremlin, which is a little bit of a social deduction game. Everybody secretly identifies the strengths of certain political figures in this game and then, as the game is played out, you start revealing well, I’m actually the one that he’s loyal to, based on the numbers that you’ve given him before. And so there’s this like guessing am I actually going to be able to do? Are people going to be able to come through for me? No, but it’s very much like a social deduction game. There’s one called Descent into Chaos, which I just picked up, and it’s about the fault of the czar and how Russia goes from being this relatively stable although there were a lot of issues and protests and things into this spinning out into a chaotic state that eventually leads to the rise of Joseph Stalin and the purges of the 20s and 30s. And I find those kind of things interesting to see simulated because it can show us not only what did happen but what could have happened, other directions things could have taken.

David Eicher: 6:06

There’s one that I was actually reading about last night that I’m being severely tempted. Obviously, my budget doesn’t allow the continual procurement of more games. I already have 200, but you know, somebody help me out with it. But it’s called the white tribe and it’s about Rhodesia, and I didn’t even know anything about Rhodesia, like South Africa, yeah, yeah, you know, and it was an apartheid state back. The only country that’s also apartheid is South Africa, and it dissolved into chaos as the white minority is trying to suppress the black majority and eventually that’s untenable and the whole country collapses in civil war and violence.

David Eicher: 6:51

And this game takes the places you, as a player, in the position of a prime minister who’s trying to move from this apartheid state to a more equitable state while also maintaining the political stability, which means you’re having to make compromises over the course.

David Eicher: 7:09

So you can’t be too progressive, because if you’re too progressive then you don’t get reelected and everything you know falls, the government falls and so on.

David Eicher: 7:18

And so like trying to thread this needle of looking and see how the world should be and how it is right now, and that practical balance between the two and I find those kinds of things just incredibly fascinating to play and engage with, because we all find ourselves in those kind of situations we see how things should be and we have this conversation. We have this conversation about the Sermon on the Mount. You know Well, if everybody did that well, what would happen. And so we’re all faced the realities of the world we live in, that we always know. Is this really the how do we live out and bring about the world that we wish it was, that we know it should be, and still deal with the practicalities of where we are and what people are able to receive, and so on. And I think that’s something God, through his progressive revelation did as well is taking people where they’re at and bringing us through, ultimately, the revelation Christ.

Zack Johnson: 8:12

All right. So I’m going to ask some quick questions and I’ll change topic.

David Eicher: 8:17

Yeah sure.

Zack Johnson: 8:18

I know there are like probably categories of games you recommend to people. Oh yeah, this for this, this for that, oh for sure. So any recommendations for anyone listening on some of the? I want to ask you your top five, because I’m sure that would be too hard for you. Yeah, I could say like top five. Or I was going to ask what’s a game for community building? What’s a game for your family?

David Eicher: 8:39

Yeah, what’s a game for A game? One game that I think is great for and it’s. Every game is, on some level, group dependent, but concept is a great game. Concept is a. It’s almost more of an activity than a game, but it almost never fails. If I start playing with a small group of people, other people come and get involved and it’s essentially a guessing game. The player who’s leading the game, or whoever’s turn it is, is trying to get everyone else to guess a word or, in some cases, a phrase, and they’re not allowed to say anything but the word yes, and they have. There’s a board that’s a grid, with all kinds of pictures and symbols on it, and you’re placing cubes on these to help guide people’s thinking into how these ideas. You’re creating groups of ideas and then everyone’s trying to guess what it is, and so that’s a really fun group activity. Any number of people can play it, and you can just take terms of drawing cards. Sometimes people just like to think up their own idea of what they want people to guess, and it’s that’s a simple one to learn. It’s, like I said, it’s more almost more of an activity than a game, but it’s that’s a great one.

David Eicher: 9:44

That’s one I recommend, one that I’ve been playing a lot lately that I really really like, is called BIOS Origins, and it’s about the development of human civilization. A lot of times, games like that are about conflict, which conflict happens, but this game is a lot more based around the ideas. So you have cards that you can buy that represent ideas that are like major ideas in human development Everything from the internet to petroleum-based cars, to singing and these ideas basically form foundational ideas within your nation or your culture, and then it enables you to do different actions, and so it’s not just about military conflict In fact, that happens less. There’s also religious conflict that you’re able to send your basically evangelize the other nations and bring them into your culture, or there’s other forms of conflict, and so I find that really interesting to tell the human story, not for this idea of conquerors and nations and military power, but in this idea of this ideas that cultures share, or and it’s a very interesting story that the game tells every time I play it, okay.

Zack Johnson: 10:58

I guess if I ask you that in a year, you probably will change the answer yeah, yeah, for sure. So let’s try to jump back. How does that relate to your pastoral ministries passions? I’m just kidding. So you’ve gone through a little bit of school and then you’ve been in education too, so master’s degree. You taught for nine years at a middle school. Why education?

David Eicher: 11:27

and yeah, so there’s four boys in my family. Okay, I’ve got two older brothers. They’re 11 months apart, and then there’s a nine-year gap and there’s me. So it’s like two different families. And of our four the four boys in my family, I like to say I got the double portion of my father’s spirit.

David Eicher: 11:44

Okay, my father was an editor for Rod and Staff. My whole life he worked from home, which was kind of unusual in our community and he cooked his office every day and I realized now as an adult the kind of discipline that that took to treat going upstairs to his office like a job. Nobody’s there checking on him, nobody’s making sure he does it. He’s in charge of his own schedule and he’s going and working doing textbooks. If you have a Rod and Staff English series, you have the Rod and Staff Mass series. You can look in the front cover there the acknowledgments of my dad, marvin Eicher. His name is there, and so that’s the kind of things we talked about. You talked shop. Dads talk shop with their kids, and so we talked about things like verb tenses and how words work and what sentences. We’d read stories and we talk about how this story could have been better if the words had been chosen differently, or what about the plot? And so this was just a big part of my family culture. My oldest brother works as a I think he does accounting for a business in southern Ohio, and then my two, my second oldest brother, chris, and my younger brother, ryan, worked together in a tire shop and I’m involved in education. So I’m the one that I feel like really took that and continued kind of the life trajectory that my dad did.

David Eicher: 13:08

So I was always interested in going to college and I didn’t know anything about going to college. I didn’t know even where you would begin to start. I was the first person in my church to go to college, the first person in my family, and I will never forget one of the really formative experiences that nudged me along that way. I worked with a man named Jason Weaver and he was, I was doing carpet. I was just kind of his gopher on like 16 or 17, just trying to figure out what I’m doing in my life, and we were in this radio bathroom in Newphilly, ohio and we just chatting while we’re working, I’m running down, getting tools for him, holding him home or whatever and he looks at me sitting there in a tub, working on tile and he looks at me and he says something along the lines of you’ve got a good brain, you don’t need to be doing this, you don’t need to be laying carpet. If you’re interested in going to college, you need to pursue that. You need to make something happen.

David Eicher: 14:03

No-transcript For somebody who I had a lot of respect for. To look at me and see that how old were you again, I was probably 16 or 17 at the time In like encourage that, because there was a lot of discouragement of those ideas in the community where I was. You know it’s like well, you know that’s not. You know there’s like three or four one work options and that’s it. And so to have somebody who who did one of those work options Look at me and say, no, there’s actually a bigger world for you, there’s actually something else you could be doing, that just absolutely meant a lot. So so I wasn’t, I wasn’t sure what to do, where to go. No, and then and this is a whole other, the whole other long story take up the whole podcast just to tell this little piece of my story. But I’ll try to try to summarize. I came into, came into contact with the conservative holiness people, which is a what West Lane? Basically it’s the West Lane tradition, the conservative holiness movement we had.

David Eicher: 15:01

In 2000, which would have been when I was 14, a family started sending their kids to our school and we had to be really good friends with them. We stayed in touch. They Invited us to come to their youth camp. So I went to the youth camp that year and then they moved away. We kind of lost touch with the people there at the camp and the year I was 17, on a whim, I decided to go visit that church that we used to go to once in a while when my, when our friends lived there and it happened to be the Sunday before their youth camp and they said well, come back next Sunday, we’ll take you to youth camp again. I love to do that. So my brother and I went and the president of the college that I was that I would end up attending was the evangelist there at the camp and he took an interest in me and kind of did what you do, going out recruiting students, and he stayed in touch with me and I ended up going to school then then to college that fall and I’ve always felt a drawing as long as I can remember I felt a drawing to ministry and I don’t like the word.

David Eicher: 16:01

I don’t like the word calling. I think calling is is too strong and ever felt like you know, some people they know exactly what they want to do. I’ve never known exactly what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know that there was some type of service to Christ that’s that went beyond just. You know, we’re all servants of Jesus, but I always felt like there was, like there was something more, and it wasn’t sure exactly what it was, and so I was just trying to follow that. So I ended up going to college Pursuing a degree.

David Eicher: 16:26

At the time I thought I’d be a pastor in that denomination. That was kind of the direction I wanted to go. God made it clear that that wasn’t. That wasn’t really the course he wanted for me, but I felt like he’d open the doors to to go to college there, and so I did, and I was a senior my last semester and like not sure what I’m gonna do now. You know, I talked to seniors here and I’m like I remember being you. You know, I remember all those questions that I don’t know.

David Eicher: 16:53

But I but I had a friend named Jimmy and and he had a little bit of hard time with some of his classes and he was asking me. He said, could you, could you help me study for this test? Could you help me, you know, get prep for this? And I’m like, well, yeah, I know, here’s what I would do in that case. Here’s, here’s how I would approach that. And he comes back to me later. He’s like I tried some of your stuff at work.

David Eicher: 17:12

It was great, you know, I felt really good about the test. I got a good grade on it, whatever, and I realized that’s what I want to do. Hmm, that’s like I love that, that sense of building a bridge here’s where somebody is and here’s where they want to be and figuring out how to build a bridge between here and there. And and so that’s become a Kind of a defining thing of what I find in my life.

David Eicher: 17:34

As a look back, and my first time in Boston I met Finney and you know, kind of I’d heard is, I’d heard who Finney was and who Finney was, but kind of intimidated to actually meet him. And and he asked me you know, what’s your life’s passion? And, like you know, I was like the. You know, if you on your computer. You know the little wheel that spins, you know it’s loading, you know and, oh, it’s your what to say and I kind of I stumbled something I don’t know. But I went home and I thought about it and to to crystallize that and I think the best way that I can could describe it is there’s a song I’m working the road. I don’t know if you know the song working the road to make it easy for those behind it.

Zack Johnson: 18:16

It’s a it’s a.

David Eicher: 18:18

It talks about how it’s, you know, the path to heaven. We’re all, we’re all Seeking to enter into, into heaven, into the ultimate rest, and so I’m doing my best to reach the home of the blast and make it easy for those behind, and that, I think that’s, if I would sum up, what I want to be as a person, who I want to be as a person. I’ll be the kind of person that, wherever I’m going, what I’m doing is making it easier for people that follow me to follow Jesus. And it was for me, and I think that’s another Theme that runs through my life, because my mom was a race in the Christian home. My mom was raised in a very my mom’s family was wild mountain people. They I mean you read the stories of the stills up in a mountain. That explains why, as well as a lift driver told me, he said where you from and I told him he said all I could hear the guitar in your voice. That Happened a little after, but that’s that’s where you hear a little southern accent. That’s where it comes from, as my mom’s family was was from the, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and Some someone sometime, and I don’t know who it was.

David Eicher: 19:23

I won’t know until I hopefully meet him in the Holy City. Somebody went up the hollow where my mom’s family lived and knocked on the door, invited them kiss, come church. And mom started going to church. Some others in her family did too, but she stuck it out. She saw people that had something she wanted and her family opposed it. Her mom would tell her she wasn’t allowed to go to church. Her mom would you know they? She went to church into the where, the coverings, with that, with the strings. Her mom would take her Covering, cut the strings off, tell her quick, quit, wearing a stringer pad on your head and all these, all these things you know.

David Eicher: 19:53

And mom’s, as a, as a 16, 17, 18 year old girl, is is sticking with this and and Saying you know, I want to go with God, no matter, I doesn’t matter if anybody else is going, I want to go with God. And and Because of that, because of her desire and her faithfulness, it’s easier for me to serve Jesus than it was for her. And Now I have a son and hopefully it’s easier for him to make decisions because of the life that I live. So I feel like I have a responsibility, not just for myself, but for what’s been giving me to pass it on to other people, and so I view my work here at Sallar as as an extension of that. That. Whatever I can do to look at these young people that are that are here and say, what can I do to help you To be faithful to Jesus or whatever he’s called you to do, I think is a is another huge strand. That that just has run through my life has one of my big motivations.

Zack Johnson: 20:44

Yeah, your, your son has a unique name. Mm-hmm, can you tell me a little bit about how you and your wife, yeah, yeah there’s.

David Eicher: 20:52

There’s two reasons, and we chose the, the English pronunciation, pascal Because it’s a reference to Easter, as opposed to the Pascal, which which is it’s the French pronunciation. Yeah, and he’s named after blaze Pascal, but we chose the. We chose the English pronunciation because I really like the Easter connection, that, the pascal feast and so on. But blaze Pascal is somebody who I feel a lot of affinity for because he’s a. He’s. He’s incredibly gifted, incredibly talented, young, even as a young man. He, his dad’s a tax collector and he realized his dad’s spent all his time doing these you know these figures, to add these things up. So he invents a physical, mechanical calculator as a, as his teenager, the first mechanical calculator and in in the world, you know. And so he’s. He’s like, really gifted, really talented on that, on a scientific, intellectual level, and he struggles with faith because he likes stuff to make sense, he likes to figure things out and At some point in his life he has this epiphany where God reveals himself to in, in, in some, some indescribable way, and Pascal writes this down, he calls it is, I think he calls it the testimony or the confession, and he Actually keeps a copy of this testimony sewed in the lining of his clothes for the rest of his life. And he, he describes him this experience. He says the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, not the God of the philosophers. And like he’s, he has this, this intense Experience with God, and he realizes this isn’t something about figuring it out, and so that becomes a major component of his philosophy is that, ultimately, we can reason, can take us so far and we can try to figure it out. When you try to cast, you know, cross all the dot across all the T’s and dot all the eyes and all these things, but ultimately we have to look and say I have to believe in something, I must believe in something, and so we place our faith in something that we don’t have complete, like like head knowledge or Confidence, in from a I can have it all figured out from a to z Concept and I find that really inspiring. And if I that’s something, that’s where I’ve had to come many times in my life it’s Lord. You know, I don’t understand, I can’t do this all out, I don’t, I don’t know, and there’s there’s questions that I have. I’ll probably, I’ll probably die with more questions Unanswered than I have answered. But I look at Jesus Christ and I and I have faith in him and I believe in him, and I and I do that knowing that, as someone says, you know, I’m condemned to be free and I must, and I must make some choice. Or Pascal says that in his famous Wager you must choose. You must have some choice to believe, and so here’s why you should choose Christ, and so that’s my hope for my son.

David Eicher: 23:45

I remember when he was a baby, rocking him and singing One of my favorite songs. Has come gracious spirit and the second verse, the light of truth to us display. Make us know and choose thy way. Plant holy fear in every heart. We from God may depart, and remember singing that song again and again to him. Plant that God, and just begging God that he would plant that fear, because that’s that’s what I want for him is that God would put something in him that that steers him toward God.

David Eicher: 24:16

We can do so much, we can try to do all the things right and ultimately it’s a work of God that he does in our hearts that we’ve got to respond to that, you know, in in faith. And so I think I see Pascal as a, as a rebuke to the rationalism at this time that we can. We can have everything figured out. I think it’s so easy to do that it’s really easy to do that in academic environment to think, you know, we like our data and we like all these things, but ultimately there’s something mysterious, something Magical, if you will, that that has to happen. That’s above all of our planning and all of our thinking, that that that underlies it all, and that to me, is, is what Pascal was was Striking at, and that’s that’s what I want for my son.

Zack Johnson: 25:03

That’s my prayer for my son is that he can find that same thing when I was kind of up to follow up conversations, when I Forget when I was when I learned this. Somebody also mentions that Pascal invented net present value calculations. Have you heard this? I’m not sure if I have, so there’s. There’s this calculation you make called NPV or net present value, and when I was learning it, my teacher the teacher, it was in a secular environment said it was actually invented by a religious man called Blaise Pascal, where you multiply the amount by the probability and then you add up, add up all the, you know the, the sum product, to get the net present value of an investment. It happens all the time. Yeah, and so Pascal’s wager. I actually think we don’t talk about it enough, mm-hmm in apologetics, do you not? Do you know it well enough?

David Eicher: 25:59

Yeah, I’m familiar.

Zack Johnson: 26:01

You don’t have to like Lay it out but what is his famous wager? And and then walk us through it.

David Eicher: 26:08

Yeah, so basically he’s his. The claim he’s making is either there’s a God or there isn’t, right, and so you have two options you can believe that there’s a God or you cannot, and so that creates a matrix either you believe in a God and Act accordingly, and it turns out there isn’t one. You believe in God and there is one. You don’t believe in there is one, or you don’t believe in there isn’t one, and so then his, his calculation is so if you believe in God and turns out there isn’t one, you’ll be dead and you won’t know it. So it’s not that you know you might be, you might be a little bit. You know you forego some pleasures, you forego some things that you could have had, but in the end You’ll be dead and it won’t matter like.

Zack Johnson: 26:49

So the worst case scenario is you believe in the Bible and you, you follow it and you miss out on some sort of you, yeah, some sort of early pleasure that the Bible I’ll just use the word prohibits, for lack of a better term.

David Eicher: 27:07

Yeah, you deny yourself and you follow Christ, and it turns out that that wasn’t that.

Zack Johnson: 27:11

then your life is just not as fun.

David Eicher: 27:14

Right, not as great as it would have been, or maybe you’re martyred, you lay down your life, but at the end of the time you’re gone and so there is no life to come. You don’t know it. You’ve lost some type of finite value. On the other hand, if you believe in God and it turns out that your belief is well placed, there’s infinite value because you receive life and eternity with Christ and so on, and you have so. So there’s the proposition On the flip side.

David Eicher: 27:44

If you fail to believe in Him and there’s not, your outcome is the same. You have a small temporal gain because you had some things that you know that, hey, you live for yourself instead of living for others or whatever. You live for yourselves instead of living for Him. So that’s great, you know you gained that. But in the end, once again, you’re dead and you know that’s it. You had your experience and now it’s gone. But ultimately, if you say there isn’t one and turns out that there is, now, you’ve lost an infinite value because you die and then you face the judgment of what you should have done and you chose not to. So, ultimately, the wise thing to do with the you know, the net present value is that you should choose to believe in Him, because that provides you the best probability with the best outcome. So that’s his logical rationale in walking through that.

Zack Johnson: 28:38

I heard my calculus teacher in high school laid up Pascal’s wager. I think it was like a junior in high school and I remember sitting there being very compelled by that wager. I was a little bit teetering on at that point in my life, I think, as a whatever 17-year-old thinking to myself interesting. But you said something interesting where there’s something mysterious about God and it’s not like data-based or logic-based, but the butt that I have is I actually think the belief in God is very, very logical.

Zack Johnson: 29:14

Well absolutely, absolutely and it’s I’m probably my siblings can tell you this.

Zack Johnson: 29:18

I’m probably more on the we wish we were more mysterious-like and not so logic-driven and kind of thought more spiritually. But I guess the question I have the following up more about a commentary on current society, on like someone like Blaise Pascal and I’ve been talking to our sort of our biologists about this question what has happened that the leaders of something like Blaise Pascal, who invents the first calculator he’s doing all of this, he’s doing mathematics sort of a leading edge thinker comes up with a strong belief in God? And that was like the lead thinkers were all finding God through I’ll just call it the Academy right, not through the Academy, but it supported the belief in God, as is now. It feels like I’m not an anthropologist, but it almost seems like there’s been a reversal and the new priest the new priest is the scientist. Maybe the scientist or maybe a politician, I’m not sure you could argue that. So why are we seeing this reversal in academics and generally in secular society, where it’s like, oh, science leads to not the belief in God, whereas what reversal has happened?

David Eicher: 30:38

I think there’s a couple things that have happened and obviously it’s any conversation you have like this is going to be oversimplified. But you see this in two places, at least from my perspective. Then you see this with the rise of the age of enlightenment and this rejection of the supernatural and this is a big thing in America’s founding A lot of the founding fathers are, if they’re Christian in all their deists, they believe in the God that wound the clock and then let things go. There’s some power that set things in order, but then after that they don’t believe in any kind of supernatural intervention. Thomas Jefferson famously edits the Bible and takes out all the miracles and things he liked in teachings of Jesus and so on, but he didn’t like the miracles of those pieces.

David Eicher: 31:29

All these parts are cut out. So his gospel ends with Jesus being taken to a hill and crucified and that’s the end of the story. None of the other supernatural stuff happens. But this is all happening in enlightenment, in a reaction to the events of the previous century, where Europe tears itself apart and these gruesome, some of the worst, fighting bloody wars, and it’s all using religion as a pretext for their political ambitions. We have the Protestant Reformation that creates the fractures in society because the church and the state are working together. And now, with this new form of belief, now it would be crass for me to kill you because I want your stuff. But if I want your stuff and you believe in the wrong version of God and you’re leading people to hell, then you should be killed. And so, like this whole the heretic hunting, the witch hunts, all of these things that spill over into the 30 years of war where Europe is just an agony of people.

David Eicher: 32:32

And so these Enlightenment thinkers look and they’re like this is not making sense, this religion thing is going to kill us all, because people aren’t being rational. They’re arguing over their interpretation of this 2000-year-old book. What’s that about? And so, in response to that, they come up with other ways of explaining the world. They come up with. It’s very appealing, the alignment’s very appealing. We’re going to rise above all these base arguments and things. The same thing then happens. And if you listen to what the new atheism, if you will and I think that’s actually the term some of them use they’ll tell you the same thing that 9-11 was their moment of waking up and saying atheism is the new gospel, because this religion thing is going to kill us all.

David Eicher: 33:21

This idea that suppose that rational people, because you have a different set of beliefs than me, that makes it worth killing you over that’s. We’ve got to stamp this out. This is going to kill us all. And I think it’s the same response.

David Eicher: 33:38

Which is one of the reasons I find Kingdom Christianity so compelling is because our response to that is well, you’re reading the book wrong. You need to. The religion isn’t supposed to have those outcomes. If your religious understanding is leading you to attack and fight and kill other people because they understand God differently than you, you’ve missed the very openings Jesus teaching in Matthew 5, secret evidence and so on. And so I feel like the. I feel like the move from Pascal and his faith being so closely connected to his scientific pursuits was not was due to a change in society because of the way Christians by and large misused and missed the boat, and I think that that’s one of the reasons that I find this idea of Jesus Christ as the king of a peaceful kingdom I know it’s your line no blood, but our own is such a compelling response to that.

Zack Johnson: 34:47

I’m confused. That line Too bad for him. That’s the problem.

David Eicher: 34:49

Oh yeah, so that’s. I think that’s the response that the world needs, and I do think the pendulum is swinging and people are realizing materialism, the natural explanation, like there’s something missing. Once again, we’re getting back to the Right, we’re getting back to the technicalness behind this. We don’t understand necessarily what it is, but it’s not. Pure mechanical knowledge is not enough to explain what we see in the universe.

Zack Johnson: 35:20

Yeah, and the other thing that I think is really compelling to think about with Pascal’s wager is something that actually ran into teaching statistics here that you know, byron, maybe I don’t know if I’m allowed to share his name, don’t edit it out, but if you’re listening, thanks for this, byron. He gives a talk about basically certainty versus confidence in faith. Yeah, and I think a lot of us are raised in this world where, as soon as a doubt creeps into your faith, like it undoes it’s like an undoing.

Zack Johnson: 35:56

But with Pascal, he’s very rational and he’s saying hey, there’s actually some likelihoods here that you, anytime you hear someone say I’m 100% certain, I would. Just I challenge you to be like you can’t be. You can barely be 100% certain about anything.

Zack Johnson: 36:16

There’s a little bit of room for wiggle room there but we approaching faith in terms of confidence levels as opposed to certainties is really. I think it’s really. It opens the door for learning new information and then updating your belief system as you progress through life. And I’m not trying to be too like, oh, tomorrow you could wake up and learn that you’re a cat or whatever. I’m not trying to get yeah.

David Eicher: 36:43

No, I completely agree and I think that’s been something that’s been super helpful for me in approaching some of the theological issues, even some of the big thorny issues that I grow up thinking it is only one way to see this in the Bible, whether it’s the fate of the wicked or whatever how exactly God brought the world into existence. And these are like major issues in the world and to look and say, well, we can be reasonably confident, like I’m confident that God made the world. I’m less confident that it happened this way, and you can have different layers of confidence rather than it’s like an all-or-nothing proposition. I’m either 100% right or everything is wrong.

Zack Johnson: 37:28

Yeah, and I just the line of thinking. You’re saying I’m going to talk about this because I don’t think I can get in trouble on my own podcast. No, I’m sure I can. I got a letter in the mail that basically reviewed the current events of the last year with Israel and Hamas and basically implored me to release a statement, a very binary statement.

Zack Johnson: 37:53

Whether you support this side or you support this side, there’s nothing in the middle and with our worldview, the one that I have fallen into, you kind of describe it’s.

Zack Johnson: 38:06

You can’t pitch binary choices to people like that and just have to say, hey, you have to side with this side, or you have to side with this side, and if you don’t, then you’re basically a no-good person who can’t think, and this whole idea that the world is in binary and there’s this third way with Jesus, like, hey, well, maybe there’s a way where I can still describe the political world and have rational thoughts about what’s right and wrong and spectrums of evil and spectrums of good, while still saying the best way is to bow down to the Messiah and feel him, which neither of those two sides are doing. Anyway, yeah, that was a change, that was a very I’m not trying to be too detailed just in case I don’t want to lose my presidency. Right, I love their presidency. Let’s talk about something you mentioned earlier and you said you’re passionate about literacy and I’d love to hear you talk about what that passion is and what it means to you.

David Eicher: 39:14

Yeah, yeah, no-transcript, basically, and I’ll tell you a little bit of how I got into it, and it’s the same way that Adam got into it. Really, my wife got me into it, adam. Yeah, you know, in the Bible, you know, adam. Oh, so how you get into this? And he’s like, well, my wife got me into it, got it, but I thought so.

David Eicher: 39:36

So we’d gotten married in 2010, and I was teaching school and so I’m looking for something to do, as I like to say, to support my teaching habit. And so and Trey does like she’s been involved in literacy and tutoring and things like that. And she tells me she says this this Susan Barton that she follows is she’s a literacy guru and she’s going to be in Columbus, which is like two hours from us, and she said I really, really want to go and be trained by her because she knows how to, she can teach me how to screen for dyslexia and so on, and I’ve always been interested in and this is an opportunity I don’t want to miss. So it’s like I don’t know. We just got married. We got married six months, you know, and she’s talking about being gone a week and I was like I don’t know and it was a lot of money and especially, you think about the hotel, because you’re not going to drive two hours one way every day, so you have to get a hotel for those days and everything. And so we went back and forth about it and she said she. Then the idea came why don’t you come too, you know, during the summer? So that’s, you know it’s not an issue with work schedule, because you know I was doing something different in the summer.

David Eicher: 40:57

And so she’s, she’s like talking to me to to convince me. You know that’s what we should do. And so I asked her. I said do you think this? She said I think this is something big. I think this is something people need to know. No, I think if we learn this, there will be people out that we can. You know, we can use this as a side business, you know, like I said, as support teaching. And so I said do you really believe in this? Because if you believe in it, it’s good enough for me. And she said, yeah, you know, let’s do it.

David Eicher: 41:27

So we got the hotel for for a week. We paid for two tickets for us and you know it was a couple thousand dollars, which is a lot. You know, it’s a lot of money for us now Definitely a lot of money for us, just having gotten married and we went and bought the second day of this six day seminar. We went back to the hotel and I was just like everybody needs to know this, because she taught for more years than I had at that point. Triva, yeah, no, no, no, no, no. She taught, for I’m actually. I actually have her beat now. She taught for eight, I taught for nine, so my my first year when I took a sabbatical, and then we came back and taught again and she taught the same year to keep us even, and then I taught one more year. So I guess I would be no, except she’s homeschooling past school. So I guess that should count, shouldn’t it?

Zack Johnson: 42:11

So I guess for still you. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

David Eicher: 42:17

So so we, we look at you know this. This is describing students behaviors, like, as she’s talking, students names and faces are coming to mind. I’m like, wow, that’s why so, and so does that. That’s why I deal with the summer classroom, because there’s these underlying issues to this reading that they don’t understand and it’s like it has this incredible explanatory power and everybody needs to know this. Everybody needs to understand this.

David Eicher: 42:45

And so we, we started a business where we would travel to schools. I would talk to the community about dyslexia, what it is, how to recognize it, what you can do about it, and the Barton system, which is what we recommend. That it’s Susan Barton developed. It was designed for parents and tutors to be able to teach themselves, so you didn’t have to go and get a lot of training. You could buy this, this, this program, and it would lay out from the very beginning like pre-literacy skills, and a student could go in a couple of years from being basically very, very poor to no reading skills at all to be able to read at grade level, and we’d watch this over the course of 10, it’s been over 10 years now that we’ve been doing it and we’ve watched students do this.

David Eicher: 43:29

We’ve watched children go through this process and so seeing the difference that literacy makes a people’s lives, and then realizing the importance of literacy culturally and especially spending time in in grad school. My initial stint in grad school was a Malone University and I was studying to be an intervention specialist. So we’re talking a lot about learning disabilities and we’re talking about then also, because I was pursuing teacher licensure just some of the fundamental things about teaching, like post-literacy, and I hear a lot about this idea of a post-literate society because we don’t need to be able to read books anymore because we have YouTube, we have TikTok you can bleep that word out in the post edit we have all these other forms that we don’t need to be able to read anymore, and this is a really common idea.

Zack Johnson: 44:21

It’s like culturally grown past the need to read like actual reading, because you still need to be able to read. You still use those tools. I’ve heard that you don’t need to memorize anymore because you have instant access to the internet with the basis of information, but I’m not familiar with the literacy part of it.

David Eicher: 44:45

Yeah Well, it’s not so much. I don’t think there’s anybody out there saying you don’t need to know how to read anymore, but it’s like a functional illiteracy to actually have the mental space to pick up a book and read it without all the visual aids, without running commentary and so on, like this whole thing is becoming a lost art and the importance of literacy, however important you think literacy is, it’s more important than that it used to be. That literacy means your ability to read a writer or a name, and if you could do that, you were literate. And now you know that there’s like.

David Eicher: 45:21

The UN is obviously looking at literacy as a way of raising the standard of living in the world, and so they define between strictly illiteracy and functional literacy, the ability to read and write a couple of sentences describing your personal life, the events of your day and so on. And what’s interesting about illiteracy is, in many studies, because of the strong link between poverty, between homelessness, between, all you know, a whole variety of societal ills, some of these things aren’t measurable, and so if they find that they’re not measurable, illiteracy matches it so closely that it can be used as a proxy number in studies to assume these other numbers. Schools states what will use reading scores fourth grade reading scores as part of their calculation for how many prison cells they’re going to need as they think about what’s the occupancy of our prison now, as opposed to, you know, are we going to build a new prison, how many cells should be in it? And they have these calculations to how many can we assume are going to be, you know, are based on literacy and literacy is part of that calculation. And so, for a lot of reasons, like the ability to pick up and read or it’s Augustine, you know, take up and read the ability to do that is it’s more than just you know, moving your eyes across the words and more than figuring it out. It’s like a whole range of skills that changes somebody’s life to be able to do and that, like that, jesus reveals himself to us as the word in the beginning was the word Vieth in his book Reading Between the Lines, which I highly recommend.

David Eicher: 47:10

It was one of the few textbooks that I read in my undergrad that I could barely put down A lot of my read because I wanted the reading grade, but this one I’ve read multiple times since then. That’s my book recommendation Reading Between the Lines and he talks about. He has a whole chapter called the word versus the image and how God had prohibitions in the Old Testament. He’s like don’t depict me. You don’t know what I look like. Don’t make pictures of me. I’ve revealed myself to you through, as a voice, as words, and he talks about how this understanding of God is still important, that we have this humanly, we have this love for images, we have, like, a desire for what could be pictured, and that there’s something that’s at odds between a picture and text. A picture is neither true or false, it just is.

David Eicher: 47:59

And you know that’s advertising wouldn’t work otherwise. You think about all the ads that you see and the implicit messages that they send. For instance, you have the well, they don’t have them so much anymore. But when I was growing up he had the moral board of cowboy, you know, and he’s going to cigarette and then he’s riding his horse in the sunset and whatever. And the message of the ad is you know, if you want to be cool and manly like this cowboy, then you should smoke our cigarettes. Now when you say it out loud it sounds silly, like of course. That doesn’t make any sense. But they’re not selling a truth claim, they’re selling a feeling. They’re selling something that it’s an emotional claim.

Zack Johnson: 48:41

Maybe I should get you into marketing here. I’m just kidding.

David Eicher: 48:46

No, I get where you’re going with this and yeah, and so literacy is the fight for literacy is a fight for clear thinking, if you will, the, you know, the sound mind, as opposed to being ruled by our passions and ruled by our emotional selves, and ruled by things that we respond to this early. It’s like reading slows us down and think about. What claims are being made here, what argument is being made here? What am I being told to believe in? It’s a different way of thinking. It’s a different way of viewing the world. I think we’re losing it.

Zack Johnson: 49:18

And so when you talk about literacy, it’s I don’t want to put words in your mouth it’s sort of this ability to sit down with a big idea, in the form of a book usually, and digest it and know what that book said, as opposed to the sound bites. Yeah, informing ourselves with sound bite here, sound bite here, sound bite here, sound bite here. Yeah, yeah, I get it.

David Eicher: 49:42

And when you think that this is this is probably the thing when I want to give a talk about literacy. It, this is the thing that blows my mind all the time. Because if you believe in inspiration, which I do, I believe that 2000 years ago and longer, the Bible says in 1 Peter holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit and so that, if you imagine how it must have been, paul’s sitting down, peter’s sitting down, and they’re going to write a letter to their friends and this Peter or Paul or whoever he’s going to like, to them, they were writing a letter, and yet the Holy Spirit somehow comes and does something like, imbues this letter with something more. And so here’s the apostle’s thoughts, and then the Holy Spirit inspires those thoughts. So they’re more than just a man’s thoughts, they’re man and God’s thoughts, and he, he’s writing these ideas down and you know the letter goes out and they read him and they’re now thinking the same thoughts that God gave the apostle. And then you know it gets translated and it gets re-translated.

David Eicher: 50:38

And now, today, I pick up my Bible and over 2000 years ago, these thoughts that were given to Paul, I’m now thinking the same thoughts that were inspired by the Holy Ghost to Paul all those years ago, and that’s the power of literacy. That’s what literacy does is it gives us that ability to connect, over time and over place and across the centuries, to those times when God revealed himself to his prophets through his, through his inspiration, and ultimately, that’s how Jesus you know, one of the terms Jesus used to reveal himself was, in the beginning, was, was the word. And so, to me, that’s the ultimate goal of literacy is to provide that, that avenue that connects us with God’s revelation through Christ.

Zack Johnson: 51:19

Yeah, and I. I just want to throw a pitch out for Sattler because I’m allowed to, but in my college years I didn’t the number of books that I consumed start to finish to try to grasp an idea that were assigned to me was pretty small. Not I did have some professors do it, but our humanities program really has people trying to chew on some of these bigger works and I I would just wholeheartedly agree that this, this idea of being able to sit down with a big idea, look at it, spend time with it, consume it, understand its implications, it’s just a general skill that we need and if we can tie it to it would actually helps us understand God, because we understand God through being technically, through a little bit of literacy, especially somebody in our midst being being literate.

David Eicher: 52:13


Zack Johnson: 52:13

I just threw that on, and I even say that when you look at people in in history, I read a big biography of Abraham Lincoln and he was from Kentucky. Have you ever read about him?

David Eicher: 52:26

Yeah, absolutely, and he was studying about firelight and and walking miles for a book.

Zack Johnson: 52:32

And he, he would, and he every book he got a hold of he would, just, it would become his best friends and their their stories of his room. He would like scratch notes all over his room over and over again because he could only get access to one book at a time. And you think about that and the implications it had for his. I would just say his potential later was really high and then later on in his presidency get this for a hobby. He once got a hold of the Euclid. I don’t know, have you heard of the Euclid? It’s like one of the original works of mathematics. You just like sit there at night and and solve some problems in the Euclid, just for kissing giggles.

David Eicher: 53:10


Zack Johnson: 53:11

Yeah right, isn’t that wild? And I’m like as a president that’s wild. But it gets back to this idea of just being able to spend time with something. And then I guess the one question I have to use I love pushing that on people, but I also have people in my life the thought of sitting down with. I’ll just say, if I were to hand them a book akin to something like how to read a book have you read that book? I think so, about how it’s kind of like how to become literate and really understand the Aryan’s text. It’s a hard book to get through. Yeah, a lot of people, it seems like. Can we really prescribe that across humanity and Christianity, like this idea of being purely academics, and how do you think about the different levels of people and their pursuit of big ideas?

David Eicher: 54:10

Yeah, absolutely Well, I think, first of all, it’s important to remember that for the first 1500 years of Christianity, the majority of people were illiterate. That’s right, and so they came to church, partly to hear the word of God read, because that was the only access to it, and so literacy is something that we can all take part in. But just the use of the word and understanding words thinking in terms of language as opposed to images, I think is important, given, as you said, the different levels. Different people have different propensities.

David Eicher: 54:45

Now, one of the things that I’ve often been frustrated by with this topic is people. You know, well, all I need is the Bible. You know I need to read all these other books and you read the Bible. You know that’s because if you can’t understand literature and other books, how are you going to understand the book of books? I feel like all of our literary pursuits that are lesser. It’s like to me saying that is akin to somebody in medical school saying, well, I don’t want to operate on cadavers. I came to medical school to learn how to operate on people. Well, great, I mean, that’s your ultimate point, but hopefully you can start with something that it doesn’t hurt if you cut the wrong thing.

David Eicher: 55:22

And I think the same is true with our literary pursuits. You know, if I’m reading a comic book or I’m reading some work of literature, if I’m reading something like Homer and I misunderstand what Homer had to say and I don’t understand it completely, or I understand the implications incorrectly, it doesn’t make that big of a difference. But if I can practice those skills on the less it works. Hopefully I’ve honed my skills, so when I come to the word of God I have a deeper understanding. So I don’t think, in answer to your broader question, I don’t think it’s something we have to prescribe to everybody, but I think it’s something we can call people to and to the level that you’re able. We should be looking at this pursuit of the word as something that is for all of us, is incumbent on us in some way, to the level of our ability.

Zack Johnson: 56:11

Yeah, I guess what I was hoping to get at is that there’s some sort of danger of becoming a hyper-intellectual people who can’t relate to the people around us. And I do think that there’s somewhat of a danger where we’re like it’s all about literacy, it’s all about reading and these things, but I don’t. I just want people to know that. I don’t think that you’re getting it.

David Eicher: 56:33

Yeah, it’s definitely not what I’m getting it and, like I said, the thing that I often come back to when I start being tempted to go that way is, as I said, for 1500 years, most people couldn’t. If they could read it, they couldn’t afford to own it, and so then the importance is finding the word is still important, but you can be a good Christian and not know how to read or not be of the propensity to be able to read the deep book or so on. Absolutely.

Zack Johnson: 57:05

Well, I’ll wrap up with a couple of questions here. One I always talk about pearls. We have this moment pearls of wisdom. Is there generally a pearl of wisdom that you like to talk about? Is there a wisdom that you like to talk about with people that has shaped you? I’ve heard a couple in the stories you’ve shared, but anything else that you might have to talk about?

David Eicher: 57:25

I have three great truths, that I call them the three great truths, and they’re not the only truths, but they’re ones that I need to be reminded of and they’re kind of tied together. The first one is the prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on are punished Most of the time. The problems that you’re going to encounter in your life are things you could have foreseen if you would have been paying attention. And the second is like under the first, which is your success in life is in direct proportion to the number of uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have. And I’ve looked at myself and said that to myself different times when I’ve been dreading a conversation. Look, you talk about this because if you can foresee what’s going to happen and you realize, oh, this is a conversation we didn’t have with him and it’s not going to be enjoyable, it’s not going to be happy and fun times. But the more you’re willing to push yourself to have those tough conversations, the more successful you’re going to be in your relationships, whether it’s your relationships in the workplace, whether it’s your relationships in the brotherhood of believers or with your family, with your wife, wherever, being willing to have the uncomfortable conversations is going to dramatically improve your success in life. And then, something my father would say all the time when I was growing up.

David Eicher: 58:49

Probably, if you would ask me what’s the thing that you’ll learn from your dad, it would be you don’t have to condemn everybody, but you don’t have to join everybody, and I think that’s a really easy thing, especially as Christians. You know, we’re trying to figure out what does God want from me, and it can be easy. Well, they’re doing it, so it must be okay. Well, maybe they are and maybe it’s okay for them. But you don’t have to look at them and say well, they’re definitely. What they’re doing is definitely wrong, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. You have to look for yourself at where you are, and so it’s been something that’s been a really good guiding prism for my life is looking and just saying I need to decide what works for me and where I am in life. What is God trying to teach me? Where has God placed me? And I can do that and gain insights from other people without simply thinking oh, if they’re doing it, then that must be something I should do too, or that must be okay for me.

Zack Johnson: 59:40

Yeah, one of the when I teach a piece. The third one there, when I teach peacemaking. One of the I write down at the beginning of the class. One of the skills and then Anayman’s skills for Jews is you need to learn how to turn observations into questions, not judgments, because it’s a very similar thing where you see people and you can either judge or you can ask a question which actually bleeds into your. Second Are you willing to actually understand people? I love those. You call them the three truths. Yeah, three great truths. All right, three great truths. Maybe we need to do a separate episode on that. No, I’m just kidding. And then the last question I’ll ask before, just like the final, anything else is there anything you consume on a regular basis in terms of, maybe, content, recommendable content to the audience, that you think is beneficial for people to check out?

David Eicher: 1:00:33

If you’re a history buff, there’s a YouTube channel called Montemire how do you spell that? M-o-n-t-e-m-a-y-o-r. And it’s not a very big channel. It’s not made 15 or 20 videos on it tops and it is some of the most interesting historical content I’ve ever seen. He does really in-depth descriptions and one of the things that’s really neat is he has one of the battle midway and he has animations to show what the different ships did in the planes and so on. And then at times he’ll pause his animations and fade in a photo that was taken during the battle and all the ships are where they’re supposed to be all planes and everything. But he just does it for apparently just for fun is something he enjoys doing. His channel’s not monetized or anything, but his videos are always an insta-watch for me. I’m subscribed to his channel and I absolutely love his in-depth coverage. I think it’s a perfect example of somebody that’s just doing something for the joy of doing it.

David Eicher: 1:01:37

As far as other recommendations, everybody should read Black Duck. Black Duck is probably my most recommended book. It’s a young adult book and I had the privilege of meeting the author last year. She invited me to come down to her community and she showed me around the setting of the book. I get to visit most of the places where stuff happened in the book and unfortunately she passed away, actually in October, so if I hadn’t had the chance to do it, did she interact with some of the species? Yeah, she came and did the guest lecture for her last year, but it’s such a like I could do a whole podcast of Black Duck.

David Eicher: 1:02:13

I’ve read it. I can tell you how many times I’ve read it. I cry almost every time I read it. It’s a really moving book about friendship, about relationships, about secrets, how our lives affect one another. By Jeanette Lyle. Janet Tavile Lyle yeah, janet Tavile Lyle. So yeah, I highly recommend it. It’s been a really formative book for me. For a Christian read, I recommend Paul Among the People by Sarah Rudin One more time Paul Among the People.

David Eicher: 1:02:43

She’s a classical scholar. She reads Greek and Latin as an academic. She got interested one day as a Christian. What would it be like for these Greek and Roman poets that I read every day for my academic work? What if one of them had picked up Paul’s letters? What would he have thought? What would it have sounded like to him? What would it have meant in his culture?

David Eicher: 1:03:04

And she had a very, took a very dim view of Paul. She said one of her professors referred to the apostle Paul as Paul Grumpy Pants. You know, in this view that Jesus had all the fun teachings and it was all great and wonderful. Then Paul came around along at ruin at all Very progressive kind of idea, and she said that’s what I thought. You know, I read Paul and I like some of the stuff he said and he seemed kind of grumpy. So you know, and she said I started reading it and I was like wow, what this would have meant. This was like dynamite in first century Rome, first century Greek culture. And so she lays that out and so she hits all the hot button topics. She hits women’s roles.

David Eicher: 1:03:38

She has a whole chapter in the head covering which is worth the price of the whole book. She has a chapter on slavery and the Roman Empire and what it meant and what the culture around it was like, the household of faith and how Christian community was this alternative to the Roman household system. And this there was this desire in Roman culture to be part of a household, like to matter, and that the church offered an opportunity to enter a household that wasn’t a household that you had to be born into or be lucky enough. It was something you could enter by faith and how, or shaking this idea of a community believer. Anyway, every one of the chapters worth the price of the whole book and it’s like, yeah, you can get it on Amazon for like ten bucks, so at that price it’s bad stewardship not to really All right.

Zack Johnson: 1:04:19

Good, and that’s by Sarah Rudin, sarah Rudin, sarah Rudin. Yeah, somehow it’s on my list, but I haven’t read it yet. But I’m sure it goes to. We have talked about it before. And then, lastly, is there anything else that we didn’t, that you want to mention at the end of the conversation, before we close out here?

David Eicher: 1:04:36

No, I think it’s been a super enjoyable conversation Me Tom, yeah, absolutely Glad to have. Thanks for having me on.

Zack Johnson: 1:04:42

Yeah, well, at the end here, the date’s coming up, so we have an open up house coming up and that is I should have this memorized here March 21st or something. March 21st is an open house. It’s a Friday, saturday, and so, if you’re interested in Sattler, open house is awesome. We come and spend a day on campus and then we do some Boston-based things, and that’s what we didn’t talk about. Oh yeah, absolutely, but I’ll show you around Boston. They will show you around Boston and his list of things there.

Zack Johnson: 1:05:14

I just heard you trying to recruit someone to the MFA. That’s right. That’s right. That’s right all the time. And then March 15th is our international student deadline, which is really important. We have students from five continents here right now, which is phenomenal. You’ve been a huge part of that and we’re hoping I have a goal to get every livable continent someday Right. Actually, four continents I take it back. Yeah, four continents, we’re missing two Four, two livable ones. All right, thanks so much, dave for joining us. Yeah, absolutely, thanks for having me. Thanks for having me here, thank you.

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