Kaya Oakes (journalist, author, professor) had a hunch that the Nones, those who don’t associate with a religion, weren’t awash in a sea of meaninglessness and immorality. A few years ago she sat down and recorded many of their stories, which became her book The Nones Are Alright. She came on to talk about what she found and the changing landscape of religion.
Sometimes it seems like the Apostle Paul is an ass, or at least overly confident. Sometimes though, it turns out his letters may help us hold two contradictory ideas together and give us some spiritual guidance.
Sikhism is an empowering, justice-oriented and generous religion, whose story deserves to be more widely told. Fortunately for us, Inderpreet Kaur from the Sikh Coalition is here to help. She sat down to talk about beliefs, history and practices of Sikhs. After this conversation, you’ll definitely want to check out the work of the Sikh Coalition at https://www.sikhcoalition.org/. Donate, learn and get involved in the great work they’re doing.
Photo courtesy of the Sikh Coalition.
Dr. Tom Oord is back on the podcast to talk about his new book God Can’t. If you’ve ever wondered why God hasn’t prevented tragedy, are tired of cliche answers, and you don’t want to read volumes of dense theology, this is your book. Plus, Tom talks about some of the quirkier things in Christianity: healing, demons, heaven, hell, the second coming and more!
Keep up with Tom at http://thomasjayoord.com/.
Why are millions of people so invested in the sex life of an ancient Hebrew teenager? There has to be more to the virgin birth than what could be taught in sex ed. With a lighter approach and a whole lot of context, we may find a few options.
Image: Lake George Reflection by Georgia O’Keeffe
Politics and religion. The topics you aren’t supposed to talk about, but can’t ignore these days. Nish Weiseth (author, speaker, podcast host) is on to help us understand the disturbing relationship between Evangelicals and right wing politicians in the U.S. and what a faithful response could look like.
Nish, along with Amy Sullivan, is the co-host of Impolite Company, a podcast that covers religions and politics with depth and insight. Nish’s op-ed pieces have been featured in Cosmopolitan and Christianity Today, and she authored the book Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World. Check out more from Nish at https://www.nishweiseth.com/.
Prophecy gets an understandably bad wrap. But, it doesn’t have to be as strange as we’ve made it. Instead of crystal balls or proofs for Jesus, it may actually be something much more empowering and helpful.
How do you raise kids in a Christian environment without leaving them with loads of spiritual baggage? Cindy Wang Brandt is here to help. Cindy is a writer and speaker with a focus on empowering children to develop their own healthy spirituality. Between interviewing experts, curating conversations with thousands of parents, and raising her own kids, she brings wisdom and insight for parents and non-parents alike.
A huge thank you to Leigh Thomas for the crisp new logo. Check out more of her work at https://www.leighkthomas.com. Don't forget to head over to Theology Corner for like-minded voices, and check out Light Theory if you enjoyed the intro and outro music.
The Good Samaritan. It's a famous story with a simple message: a neighbor is someone who helps when needed. Then why is it so hard to imitate? Sociology, psychology and even prank TV shows may help us out.
Image: The Good Samaritan, after Delacroix by van Gogh
Whether you're changing out old pieces of your faith or just wanting to create a better world, you'll love the work of Catherine Keller (Drew University). Catherine sat down to talk about some of the big ideas she has explored (process theology, mysticism, politics, the environment, the apocalypse), and give us tools for exploring the sacred and building a more just, beautiful and playful world. If you enjoy our conversation, make sure to pick up one of her many books.
Judas might be the most hated figure in Christianity, or at least a close second behind Satan (Is that really better though?). But what we've done to Judas says a lot more about us than it does about him. When we humanize him, his story might even have something to offer us.
Kaitlin Curtice (author, mystic) doesn't think mysticism should be an intimidating word. It's less about drawn out spiritual practices and more about paying attention. She sat down to talk about the sacred, noting the gifts of her Potawatomi roots in experiencing God.
The rise of tyrants and narcissists is alarming, but not new. Since history tends to repeat itself, an old story may give us wisdom for when an empire tries to demand too much from us.
Does belief in God make sense in a world where terrible things happen? Or in the midst of an ever evolving scientific knowledge of the universe? Dr. Tripp Fuller (Homebrewed Christianity) thinks process theology has some pretty helpful tools for exploring those questions. He sat down to talk about process theology, an understanding of the cross that isn't terrible, the Bible in process and the resurgence of God as "ground of being".
Make sure to check out Homebrewed Christianity, in particular their upcoming Theologies of Resistance class with our friend Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza. Don't miss Tripp's upcoming movie, The Road to Edmond, which premiers at the end of July.
Being told not to do something doesn't seem to help us avoid it. So why would the Bible have so many lists of things to avoid? What would make a long list of no no's sacred? A little context goes a long way in answering that question.
God is love. So, when we define love narrowly, we miss a lot of God. Thankfully, queerness can help us expand our understanding of love, and of God. Mihee Kim-Kort sat down to talk about how queerness is deeply spiritual and deeply Christian.
To hear more from Mihee, make sure to check out her forthcoming book, Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Will Transform Your Faith, available July 1. You can keep up with her at miheekimkort.com or on Twitter.
"I don't care about truth." That one short statement led to this entire episode. An old poem and a bunch of words in dead languages offer us guidance, but no easy answers when we think about truth. As with most things, it's a lot bigger than we may have first thought.
What do you do when your faith doesn't match most of the lyrics and style of Christian music? What makes music "Christian" anyway?
David Gungor (The Brilliance) sat down to chat about how his music has changed with his faith, how he can still appreciate some aspects of Christian music, and why the word "God" shows up less and less frequently in his music. Check out more from The Brilliance at http://thebrilliancemusic.com/, and look for new music from them this summer.
Also, make sure to check out Theology Corner for some really great podcasts and blogs.