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Mixing a cocktail of philosophy, theology, and spirituality. We're a pastor and a philosopher who have discovered that sometimes pastors need philosophy, and sometimes philosophers need pastors. We tackle topics and interview guests that straddle the divide between our interests. Who we are: Randy Knie (Co-Host) - Randy is the founding and Lead Pastor of Brew City Church in Milwaukee, WI. Randy loves his family, the Church, cooking, and the sound of his own voice. He drinks boring pilsners. ...
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Evangelical megachurch pastors saying cringe things is nothing new, right? However, there's a point when cringe turns destructive and abusive. That's what this episode is about. Dallas/Ft. Worth megachurch pastor Josh Howerton said some very ugly and destructive things, and then doubled down with a weak (plagiarized) apology. Our friend Sheila Greg…
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We speak with Bruce Reyes-Chow about his recent book Everything Good about God Is True, a primer on what it means to choose faith in the midst of a bleeding world and an often broken church. We discuss the Christian ethic of loving enemies, listening, having compassion across ideological division, embodying faith in the public square, biblical lite…
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Jeff Cook is back with us to dive deeper into deconstruction, inspired by our interview with Keri Ladouceur, the Executive Director of the Post-Evangelical Collective. We discuss the nature of deconstruction, its corporate, personal, and ethical dimensions, and what it implies about what's next. And because we're nerds, we also touch on ecclesiolog…
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Psychologist and author Richard Beck joins us to discuss his recent book Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age. Richard is an engaging critic of some forms of contemporary "disenchanted" spirituality. He's also a fun dialogue partner and a good sport, who was willing to roll with Kyle's annoying philosophy questions. …
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David Gushee is back on the show to discuss his book Defending Democracy from Its Christian Enemies, an erudite, timely, and disturbing take on American democracy, its struggles with authoritarianism, and its place on the global political stage. We discuss such questions as: How are government and morality related? What does the United States have …
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Believe it or not, this is our 100th episode! And what better way to spend it than diving back in with Peter Rollins, a guest who is unusually suited to the regular themes of our show, while also throwing some wrenches into pretty much everything we do. :-) Picking up with where we left off in Part 1, we explore the sense in which Pete is a trinita…
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Break out your dictionaries folks, this one got in the weeds a bit. But if you're familiar with Peter Rollins, you're probably not too surprised by that. Peter is a philosopher, public intellectual, and self-described anti-guru who writes and speaks extensively about concepts like the death of God, negative theology, "pyrotheology," and Atheism for…
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Trey Ferguson of the New Living Treyslation and Three Black Men podcasts joins us to discuss his new book Theologizin' Bigger: Homilies on Living Freely and Loving Wholly. We talk about the Bible, the difference between "theologizin'" and theology, the racial dynamics of deconstruction, why evangelicals are so obsessed with "facts," why they're pro…
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In this episode, Kyle and Randy discuss the philosophy of the soul and its implications for religious belief, the lived experience of faith, and even ethics. Kyle is a materialist, which means he thinks humans are physical objects, and Randy leans towards dualism, which involves belief in a soul or non-physical part of a human being. Are there any …
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... drinking. This is a more personal episode for us, particularly for Randy. As you know, we like alcohol around here, especially whiskey. In this episode, we chat about that and the presence it's had on our podcast and in our lives. Can we have a "healthy relationship" with alcohol? What does that look like? How does that question get answered fo…
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David Gushee is an influential Christian ethicist who famously changed his mind about LGBTQ Christians. His 2014 book Changing Our Mind (now in its third edition) has been celebrated and widely recommended as an honest and forceful reckoning with the ethical issues surrounding LGBTQ Christians and the church's complicity in their exclusion, neglect…
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Philosopher Aaron Simmons joins us to discuss his new book Camping with Kierkegaard. It's all about living life in a way that is "worthy of your finitude," avoiding becoming an "asshole capitalist," and learning how to value the things in your life with the help of folks like Kierkegaard and Simone de Beauvoir. We discuss living faithfully, being p…
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Where do we engage when we're done with evangelicalism, but we don't want to be done with the church? Thanks be to God, there are new signs of life springing up in the post-evangelical wasteland, and we're so here for it. Keri Ladouceur leads one of those hopeful spaces called the Post Evangelical Collective. Keri is the Executive Director of the P…
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For New Year's, we're re-airing an episode from Season 1 in which we discuss God and love in the context of suffering, abuse, betrayal, and addiction with William Paul Young and Brad Jersak. It remains one of our most popular episodes to date, and we hope re-airing it will introduce it to new listeners. Enjoy! We'll be back on our regular schedule …
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Merry Christmas! Brian Zahnd is back on the show to discuss his Christmas devotional The Anticipated Christ. We talk about why he's "trying to be religious," the difference between Christmas and Advent, the book of Isaiah, the Magnificat, what nonviolence has to do with Advent, the current Israel–Hamas war, and more. We also spend a few minutes at …
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This is such a rich conversation. Dr. Willie James Jennings is an incredible theologian who teaches Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale Divinity School. Dr. Jennings has written influential books like, The Christian Imagination: Theology and Origins of Race, After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging, and a groundbreaking commentary on…
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How do you process your identity and theology if you feel invisible as a person? What if your story, history, and experience are largely rejected and excluded from the culture you're a part of? How does that shape the way you see God and the world? Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim is a Korean-American theologian who works in liberation and feminist theology an…
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Jeff joins us to ask some questions about evil and get into the philosophical weeds a bit. What is the connection between God's nature and suffering? Can we say that suffering is meaningless? What was up with Leibniz? And a lot more. If you'd like to ask a question about a recent episode to be featured on one of these bonus segments, email us at pa…
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We discuss the history of evangelicalism with Isaac B. Sharp. Or rather, the alternative history of evangelicalism, for it differs in some significant ways from what you may have heard about how evangelicalism in America developed, and how most of us understand what it is today. Would it surprise you to learn there were once proud theologically lib…
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We wrap our discussion of evil and suffering with a look at some other sorts of responses to the problem and a reflection on where we land personally. If you haven't heard part 1, start there first. Due to the subject and the tone of this conversation, these episodes do not include a beverage tasting. Content note: this conversation includes discus…
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How can people who believe in a good God account for the existence of pervasive suffering and evil? This is the oldest and most powerful objection to both belief in God's existence and religious practice, and it has been the subject of philosophical discussion and theological speculation spanning many religious traditions for thousands of years. We…
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Elliot has a few more questions about AI following our conversation with Derek Schuurman. Is AI a Tower of Babel moment? Is there any real reason for concern? Will it go so great that it makes us all soft? If you could live forever, would you? What about the end of the world? Big questions! We do our best for answering on the fly. If you'd like to …
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The rise of artificial intelligence has happened at a startlingly rapid rate, and it seems like it's only accelerating by the month. Whether it's AI writing (plagiarizing) college papers and lazy pastors' sermons, potentially curing horrific diseases, making fake humans, or taking over the world, we all have an endless amount of questions when it c…
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Our friend Jeff Cook joins us for a new Q&A segment to reflect on our conversation with Rob Schenck (see parts 1 and 2 of that conversation here and here). This is our second installment of what will become a regular bonus segment with Jeff unpacking the content of certain episodes. You can hear the first installment, on LQBTQ affirmation and the c…
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In the second part of our interview with Rob Schenck, a former Washington insider and heavy hitter in the evangelical pro-life lobbying industry, we discuss gun culture among American Christians and how asking questions about it ultimately cost him the organization he built and led for decades and led to him being ostracized by longtime friends and…
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Season 4 is here! To kick it off, we've got a 2-parter for you with Rob Schenck, a former Washington insider and heavy hitter in the evangelical Christian lobbying industry. Rob was an influential voice in the pro-life movement for decades, but lost his position, and his funding, when he began to question the consistency of the evangelical position…
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We speak with Dr. Bradley Onishi, a religion scholar whose latest book, Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism and What Comes Next, explores the rise of the extremist religious right in America and its evolution from the 1960s through the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. We discuss his personal transf…
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Many Protestants don't understand or appreciate how transformational Vatican II was for the Catholic Church and the whole global Christian Church in general. Our friend and Catholic theologian Shaun Blanchard co-wrote a book called Vatican II: A Very Short Introduction. In this episode, we chat with Shaun about the size, scope, and impact of Vatica…
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If you're an American evangelical or used to be, there's a good chance you've heard of the Enneagram. You may have even run into it in another context or heard about it from friends who are really into personality tests. We've discussed it briefly on the show before, and we've wanted to eventually give it its own episode because Randy has found it …
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Tom Oord is back! Dr. Thomas Oord and his daughter Alexa compiled and edited a book called Why the Church of the Nazarene Should be Fully LGBTQ+ Affirming." We wanted to talk to them about the book because everyone in the church (not just the Church of the Nazarene) is talking about human sexuality and whether or not the church should be LGBTQ+ aff…
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We speak with theologian and philosopher (and former pastor) Thomas Jay Oord about his new book The Death of Omnipotence and the Birth of Amipotence. We cover Tom's objections to the classical idea that God is all powerful, including that it's unbiblical, philosophically unsound, and makes the problem of evil impossible to solve. It's a fun intervi…
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If you heard our recent episode on hell and universalism, you may recall that Randy mentioned having Keith DeRose, a philosopher at Yale, on the show at some point to respond to some of the objections Kyle had to universalism (the idea that everyone is eventually reconciled to God). Well, we reached out to Keith and he graciously agreed to chat wit…
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Sheila Gregoire is an author who has written several books that break the mold of Christian books about sex and marriage. Her latest book, She Deserves Better, is about raising girls as followers of Christ in ways that leave purity culture and teaching about modesty in the dust while showing us a better way. We also talked to Sheila about her 2021 …
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Every now and then we like to talk to someone who is an expert in something we know almost nothing about. What better topic than philosophy and neuroscience? Andy Clark is Professor of Cognitive Philosophy at the University of Sussex, and is a well-known voice within philosophy of mind, pushing the boundaries of how we conceive of the brain, its co…
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Do you keep a healthy distance between yourself and the book of Revelation? Have a loved one who believes super weird things about Revelation? If so, you're in good company. Scot McKnight wrote a brilliant book called Revelation for the Rest of Us that turns all of those weird ways of interpreting Revelation on their heads and shows us what Revelat…
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In this special Easter episode, Kyle and Randy discuss all their questions about resurrection. They cover its significance to them, its coherence, whether it makes any sense to hope for it, apologetic approaches to it, how much it matters, and why Randy finds conversations about it kind of frustrating. Happy Easter! Extra resources (including those…
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Who will be saved in the end? Does the Bible support eternal conscious torment, annihilationism, or ultimate reconciliation (or all three)? Can a good God condemn a majority of human beings who've ever lived to eternal hell? In this episode we tackle these questions and more, and we find out that Randy and Kyle don't quite agree on this one. In thi…
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Are science and religion compatible? Should there be any crossover whatsoever? Why is it dangerous when we try to make our science fit into our religion? These are questions that Randy and Kyle chat about in our latest episode. Kyle strongly thinks that science and religion are in completely different categories and should almost never mix. Randy l…
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Bonnie Kristian is a journalist who writes for Christianity Today and has been published in The New York Times, The Week, CNN, The Daily Beast, and many more. Bonnie wrote the book Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community. The title says it all. How can we have good faith co…
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Brad Jersak is an Eastern Orthodox theologian, author, and great friend of this podcast. Brad recently published a book called Out of the Embers: Faith After the Great Deconstruction. In this interview, we chat about what Brad calls the Great Deconstruction, the history and tradition of deconstruction within and outside of our faith tradition, why …
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Humility is one of those fleeting virtues in our world, and it feels like we need a healthy dose. Being comfortable with what we know and what we don't know, what we're good at and what we're not, and not trying to live in hubris and pretense. It's not easy, but it is really important. In this episode, Randy and Kyle talk about humility, pride, cer…
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Randy S. Woodley is a Native American theologian, community builder, and seed farmer, and sees little difference between those vocations. We speak with him about the relationship between Christianity, Judaism, and Native American religion, the contrasts and similarities between indigenous and Western worldviews, why he thinks the Bible shouldn't ha…
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For New Year's, we're re-airing an episode from Season 1 in which we discuss the question "What is truth?" We think it's as timely now as it was when we first released it and probably deserves a bit more attention than it got then. We hope you enjoy re-listening or perhaps catching it for the first time. We'll be back on our regular schedule with n…
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Merry Christmas! In this episode, we talk with Kelley Nikondeha about her book The First Advent in Palestine: Reversals, Resistance, and the Ongoing Complexity of Hope. Kelley helps us reimagine the meaning of Advent by taking us into the complex political, religious, and ethnic landscape that forms the backdrop of the Christmas story, and encourag…
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Dave Lutz is a therapist in Seattle who works with families, couples, men, youth, and more. He's also a former college pastor at a mega-church whose faith journey has evolved and simplified into a spacious and beautiful place. And he's Randy's former college pastor who is in many ways to blame for who Randy is and what he's doing on this podcast. D…
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We were raised in the church, and now it's our turn to parent our kids and figure out how to pass on a healthy spiritual journey to them. We don't really know how to do it, but we know we don't want to do it in ways that we were raised on in the church. Does that sound familiar? Bekah McNeel wrote Bringing Up Kids When the Church Lets You Down from…
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Our second political episode ever! Does it have anything to do with the elections occurring next week? You bet! Did we invite this guest on the show to trash nationalism some more? Sure did! BUT: Paul Miller is not our typical guest. For one thing, he's a self-described conservative patriot. He's a professor of International Affairs at Georgetown U…
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Austen Hartke is a transgender Christian man who wrote the book Transforming: the Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians. The book is a gift to the trans Christian community, as well as to parents, church leaders, and the church in general. While the church and politicians debate and degrade transgender people's existence, they are trying to…
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Sometimes it's appropriate to carefully weigh all sides of an issue, patiently sorting through reasons, listening to perspectives, and respectfully dialoging with people who believe differently. We spend most of our time on this podcast trying to commend and practice that sort of thing. On the other hand, sometimes ideas are just bad, and it's appr…
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This one is for the whiskey geeks. In this special bonus episode, we join our friends TJ, Chuck, and Brian at the Power of Bourbon YouTube channel for a blind-tasting of six exquisite whiskies. Along the way, we also find time to chat a bit about our podcast and introduce ourselves to their subscribers. And now we're sharing the experience with you…
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