Informed Imagination - An Interview with Ian Nagata

By Liz Voboril
Podcast Episode

This is the fourth and final episode of our Advent series called, "Joy of Every Longing Heart." Liz Voboril and Jon Hori interview Ian Nagata, a missionary in Japan who serves both as an associate pastor and musician. You've heard Ian's music as it opens and closes each podcast episode!

"In his book The Pastor’s Kid, Barnabas Piper writes, 'I grew up knowing of Jesus as God and man. I knew all the stories of His life. But it wasn't until I began to understand the depth of Jesus’ humanity that I began to love Him truly.' And I think that captures how we know all these different Bible stories, but often have not really entered into the story with our imaginations. Not imagination like reading stuff into the story... but informed imagination, to really draw it out.”

"It wasn't just rediscovering the gospel again - it was rediscovering the heart of Jesus."

"There's a phrase in Japanese that we use here is called 'Kuuki wo yomu' which means 'to read the air' or “'to read the atmosphere.' It's an art form in itself, like when do you say something and when don't you say something? You're reading people's faces and it's like a slight twitch in their eyebrow - what might that mean? What are they trying to communicate? It's so subtle. It's not that Jesus can't read the air, it's just He chooses not to so many times -- that always kind of gets people excited I think."