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Lessons in outfoxing religious wolves. We seek to reform religious education so everyone can be spiritually bold, free of manipulation and filled with deep peace. After 20+ years of professional work in religious education and educational nonprofits, hosts Jeff Mallinson (D.Phil. Oxford, philosophy and religion professor, author and speaker) and Stacie Mallinson (former nonprofit development professional, and now certified yoga instructor) realized that how we do religious education leads to ...
 
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show series
 
What happens when you reject the state’s official paperwork and driver’s licenses? When did you begin, and why does that matter politically and spiritually? Who owns you and your biological material? We explore these questions with our old pal Jon David Johnson, with whom Jeff played music back in the day as The Bloodhound Shuffle. He has a unique …
 
Jeff lays out his take on Jesus and freedom, and lays out a summary of the biblical narrative from a Christian Anarchist perspective. One need not commit to a particular perspective on how to apply these ideas to contemporary life. There is value in first examining the moral ideal of Jesus, which invalidates the way of domination, injustice and ine…
 
Ancient Chinese philosophers in the Taoist tradition envisioned a beautiful world that is a template for just the sort of spiritual anarchism we find attractive. We discuss the importance of libertarian thought within the Tao Te Ching and begin to explore whether it is viable for our context today. Later episodes will examine Jesus anarchy and more…
 
After sharing some great musical experiences we had in Portland, we discuss the ways in which cultural and political values affect our relationships with food. We raise some issues about body image & food from our childhoods, but we do so with the desire to understand ourselves and our cultural conditioning. We send our sincere love to family and f…
 
Where you live affects your perspective on the worlds that are possible. Our new season's theme is full spectrum emancipation and the interrelation between financial, spiritual, and emotional freedom. We start with the question of how where we live affects our happiness and freedom. We discuss where and why people are moving to new states in the US…
 
In the aftermath of our son Auggie’s death, we took a few months off from the pod. We are back with a season finale to share with you where we’ve been and how we’ve been doing. We are joined by Auggie’s fiancé Sydnie who is living with us now. We share news about big life changes and how we’ve been working toward spiritual, emotional and financial …
 
This show is a collection of recordings with Jeff and Stacie's son Auggie, who died recently. It includes free form speculation about spirituality, the mythologies behind popular culture artifacts, and what Auggie thought the point of life was. As you'll see, there's a consistency from start to finish. At the end, you can hear a song written by Jef…
 
A lecture Jeff recently gave on the history & significance of end times thinking in the context of the Jesus freaks, the Calvary Chapel movement & church history in general. There’s also a personal application to facing doom and personal death in the second half of the talk. If it didn’t come across perfectly: Jeff’s ultimate point was to confront …
 
In recent years, there’s been an increase in hysteria about Critical Race Theory in the schools. We discuss the nature of this theory, the ways we ought to engage the subject in our current context, and the ways in which the theology of the “Orders of Creation” in Nazi-enabling Lutheran theologians like Paul Althaus shed light on the issue of CRT i…
 
Stacie and Jeff reflect casually on their experiences within the revival of reformed theology in Southern California during the 1990s, then chat with Luca Azuma, alumnus from Concordia University’s history program, who has written on the history of the young, restless and Reformed response to non-denominational evangelicalism, and what this means a…
 
53. Even with only half my wits about me, I would travel the way of the Tao, the only thing to fear is getting off course. For it is a safe, wide open highway. Oh, but men love to get sidetracked. Politicians’ vanity projects get funded while infrastructures crumble, and natural resources get depleted. They wear expensive suits, own trendy status s…
 
What does the controversy about vaccination teach us about civilization, religion and politics, and the effectiveness of legalism as a way to order society? We share our own decisions about vaccination, share briefly our advice to others who want to be healthy and ethical, but ultimately focus on whether one can be a part of the system without obey…
 
A second guided tour through anarchist & anarchist adjacent music that inspires us to hope that another world is possible. These songs educate about freedom & its champions & gives us encouragement as they face down the false gods of money, power & glory. These are some songs to keep us thinking about how we might be a part of that shift from domin…
 
Jeff Mallinson explains how ancient Taoists and early Christians both faced worlds that were uncertain, violent & riddled with factionalism & war. According to him, both approaches to life encouraged a sort of spiritual anarchism, which is the central topic of this outside lecture in the CUI Heritage Garden. Anarchism here refers to the idea that t…
 
An overview of the history and contemporary landscape of yoga. Is it something worth considering for folks who are wary of uncritical religious ideas, cults, or worship of strange deities? Is it bad for your health or wholesome? What about terms associated with Hinduism like namaste, used in most practices? What forms of yoga are there? How might y…
 
We explore the historical background of the dietary traditions and rules of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, AKA Mormons. Learn about fry sauce, root beer, and dirty soda, along with some general background on the history and development of a quintessentially American religion, and its well-known food and beverage practices.…
 
In honor of the emancipatory work of laborers who stood up against power to obtain at least some level of decency in the modern capitalist system, we share twelve tunes that represent anarchist themes, especially when they also integrate spiritual and biblical . Some tunes may be familiar, others may not. Some are from agnostics, others are from Ch…
 
Jeff discusses the positives and pitfalls of the liberal arts, the Western classical tradition, and anarchist ideas about schooling, then shares the audio of his opening convocation address this week at Concordia University Irvine, in which he shares ways in which church related universities can offer a liberating experience, given the right commit…
 
We got wind of an odd idea in American evangelicalism: some are provocatively and or implicitly saying that empathy is a sin. It leads, it seems, to too much tolerance and not enough doctrinal purity. We discuss this, a negative article written about Jeff and his views on science at church related universities, and why we had to take bit of a pause…
 
Reflection on Stacie’s hypothesis that American Christian beliefs about hierarchy and inequality in the home are negatively affecting the sex lives of evangelicals and others whose ideologies or theologies reject the basic equality of all partners in a sexual relationship. Also a discussion of why people fight at campsites and the conditions in whi…
 
Two outsiders’ assessment of initial inquiry into this ancient Indian esoteric tradition related to using food as medicine. We seek valuable wisdom from the tradition but also note the problems of ideological and religious dogmatism, the nutritional dangers of uncritical acceptance of authority, and the scientific evaluation of ancient Indian princ…
 
About a 1/4 of the world’s population has a religious restriction against pork. For other cultures, pork represents a sustainable way to find food independence, apart from empire. We discuss scholarly and intuitive hypotheses related to the reason why the Hebrew Bible and later rabbinic and Islamic traditions refrain from eating certain animals. We…
 
We discuss some ways in which a macrobiotic diet-- which consists of consuming locally sourced, organic, sustainable produce commonly in the form of brown rice, fruit, vegetables, seeds, soy products, buckwheat noodles, beans, etc.--expounded for Westerners via George Ohsawa (1893-1966) & adapted in an allegedly criminal way by Italian food cult le…
 
Discussion of news stories reporting on allegations of sexual assault, misconduct, and mismanagement of a hyper sexualized culture at Concordia Preparatory School, near Baltimore.We laud the courage of the young women who have spoken out bravely about their experiences. How does this all demonstrate system justification theory? What lessons can con…
 
In the course of life and death, three in ten are cautious disciples of life. Three in ten are reckless disciples of death. Three in ten chase life but actually veer toward death. Why is this? By worrying too much about staying alive and consuming life’s treasures, they never truly live, yet death catches up with them. Still, I’ve heard of rare ind…
 
The Sage is not closed-minded but considers what ordinary folks have on their minds. I am good to those who are good. I am good to those who are not good. This is the goodness of Te. I hope in those who are hopeful. I hope in those who are hopeless. This is the hope of Te. The Sage is engaged with the world. She brings balance to the world by caref…
 
A discussion of the spirituality of art and whether we ought to pay attention to art created by narcissistic creeps. We discuss the differences between Dali; and Bosch, and between his possible nihilism and what we find wholesome about Taoist artistic depictions of nature. This discussion comes on the heels of our visit to a Dali exposition in Mont…
 
Seek academic knowledge and you can accumulate facts day by day. Seek the wisdom of the Tao and you’ll release junk from your life, day by day. Let go of more and more so you can surf the Tao. Surfing the Tao allows you to accomplish anything without forcing everything. If you want to flourish in the world don’t try to control the world. Indeed, if…
 
We introduce our theme which is about the spirituality, ethics, religious guilt, and joys of food and what we take into our bodies. We discuss our almost vegan diet experiment, with the definite exception of oysters. We preview some future topics which will include food cults, fasting, dietary regulations in religious texts, booze, and pharmaceutic…
 
The last in our 12-part series takes us to the question of whether we can heal the world. If we can help heal the world—even as we can’t control it or remake it according to our own clever designs—then how is this to be accomplished by a Taosurfer? Turns out part of the plan of action for the Tao Te Ching is a form of anarchism. We’ll explain a bit…
 
We sit down with filmmaker Joshua Salzberg and Rev. Matthew González of Lutherans for Racial Justice to talk about racism and the need for diversity and reconciliation in America in general and in the Lutheran world in particular. How ought Christians engage civic life, cultivate hospitality and work toward healing in our churches and the world at …
 
You can know the world without walking out your door. You can glimpse the celestial Tao without looking out your window. The further you run from yourself the less you will know. So the Sage gains insight without needing to travel abroad, knows what’s up before the official story gets published, and wins without playing games.…
 
Peace, joy, happiness & whether we’ve been so focused on bad guys in religious circles that we might be only hostile to institutional religion. After a brief discussion of a student question, we focus (starting min 40) on a poignant email exchange with Tim, who was kind enough to let us reply to his emails verbally, so we could give it the attentio…
 
The grand system seems defective. But, it will never malfunction. Grand abundance seems empty. But, it is inexhaustible. Grand justice seems crooked. Grand virtuosity seems unskilled. Grand eloquence seems unlearned. Motion warms us when it’s cold. Stillness cools us when it’s hot. Clarity and stillness bring the world into alignment.…
 
We discuss the journey of Greg Eilers, which involves gender dysphoria growing up, successful work at a conservative Lutheran pastor, resignation from the pastoral office to pursue full transition, including a full range of surgeries and legal name change to Gina, and finally a detransition. This is not an exercise in trans denial. Rather it helps …
 
Many of us know people who have been infected by blatant falsehood. Guest Sean Nowlan, a student at Jeff’s university, helps break down what’s going on with foreign powers using online technology to sow disinformation and divide their rival nation. We discussing the connection between American evangelical belief and receptivity to disinformation. W…
 
Understanding and confronting sexual abuse in the church. Emily Joy was instrumental in starting the Twitter hashtag #CHURCHTOO & has written a book by that same name. We discuss her perspective on the various ways in which American evangelicalism’s way of thinking makes abusive relationships more likely, harder to address, and more painful for tho…
 
Jeff reads an abridgement of Isaac Frazee, Evolove: The Quest and Findings of an Efficiency Expert (1929). This book explores several themes related to the emphases of our podcast. Frazee’s work is largely unknown today but reflects interesting challenges to industrialism, unquestioned capitalism, and religiosity that gets in the way of the way of …
 
Anyone who’s come this far with the Tao Te Ching will surely be familiar with the central concept of this chapter. Flowing subtly past obstacles, like water around a boulder, is a natural illustration of a greater principle. Water shows up as a classic example of one of the “softest things” since our ancestors all knew the power of water when it ca…
 
Our guest today is Jonathan Hoyt, who is a Kantor and organist in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and who also happens to be gay and celibate. Learn how Jonathan has come to exist between two cultural worlds, how he reconciles his faith and sexuality, and why he calls himself gay rather than “same-sex attracted”. This is an exercise in listenin…
 
A keynote lecture Jeff gave to the TriCampus Undergraduate Conference, a collaborative effort of Concordia U., Irvine, Fresno Pacific U., and Pepperdine U. It took place on Saturday, 2/27. Jeff explains how a college education, properly done, can be a helpful tool in pushing back against the crisis of truth and the global gaslighting the powers tha…
 
Following up on last' week’s interview with Steve Baughman, we use comments on Steve Baughman’s video about Ravi Zacharias’ scandalous behavior to illustrate ten informal fallacies. This is not a rehashing of the scandal itself but a closer look at the lack of critical thinking among religious supporters, which enables dangerous behaviors to go unc…
 
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