Justin Barringer invaded our church family in Lexington when he became a student at Asbury Seminary. His habit of wearing shorts year round and his "Jesus loves porn stars" t shirt made it hard for us to ignore him. Though we tried, instead we grew to love Justin and Rachel genuinely and deeply. They are a beautiful family, in love with a Messiah who loves those on the fringe, who loves those who are misunderstood, who loves those many would like to ignore. Justin's life of authenticity validates his clarion message to love and serve forgotten people. He is a man on a mission. He thinks clearly; he communicates passionately; he loves completely; he challenges deeply. He is worth listening to.
Southside Church of Christ
I speak on a number of biblical, theological, and ethical topics. The ones listed below are my favorite areas to address, but I also have competency in several New Testament books, and many aspects of radical discipleship, and I have a new-found passion for mental health. Fortunately, I have gifted friends with whom I present regularly. They have advanced degrees, years of experience, and a passion to see communities become more just.
War and Peace
My passion has been discussions about nonviolence, just war, and peacemaking. I have spoken to church groups, at academic conferences, and to participants in other organizations about various aspects related to the ethics of war and peace. My first book sought to answer commonly asked question about Christian nonviolence and one of the projects I am currently working on explores the intersection of neoliberal economies and war-making. I continue to examine the unique position that Christians living in America find ourselves in as a nation that claims a civil religion which shares language, symbols, and rituals with Christian faith, while also being the world's single great military power with a defense budget larger than the entire GDP of many small countries. Basically, I try to examine faithful answers to the question: What does it mean to follow the Prince of Peace?
Whole denominations are splitting over issues of sexuality. Christians are either so certain about their particular understanding of Scripture is correct that they demonize those who disagree, or they are so unsure that they adopt an anything goes policy. For several years now I have been studying, discussing, and speaking on topics of sexuality as the Director of Education, and now board member, at LOVEboldly. I speak on topics ranging from walking with congregants through coming out to bridging the gap between traditional and progressive views on LGBT relationships, and discussions on sexual holiness to pornography's damaging effects.
Poverty and Homelessness
As an urban pastor and case worker at the local rescue mission, I spent a lot of my time with people in poverty. I have been working with homeless people, orphans, and other economically marginalized people for most of my adult life, both in this country and abroad. I now speak on various frameworks for understanding poverty, ways to faithfully combat economic injustice, and the mutual growth that can come when people spend time with those outside of their socio-economic group. I especially enjoy offering insight about tangible ways that individuals, small groups, and whole congregations can respond to poverty with a posture that is dignifying to everyone involved. I wrote a short manual for churches seeking to reach out to the marginalized people in their community, it should be out from Seedbed Publications soon.
Hospitality, Community, Friendship
Many churches talk a lot about being the sort of congregation where people feel welcome, but unfortunately many groups do not have the tools to move beyond mere superficial welcome into the realm of deep hospitality. Once a congregation has begun to reflect God's hospitable invitation into relationship, it is possible for community to form, but maintaining a godly community is a messy venture. However, it is a worthwhile pursuit because as we learn to follow Jesus together we can form friendships that point to the certainty of his return. I have been fortunate to write and speak on these topics in a number of venues.
If you would like to have Justin speak at your church or organization please fill out the contact form.