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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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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…
 
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Canada shut down this week, in the wake of startling public reports about the heinous deeds of their late founder Ravi Zacharias, world famous apologist (and owner of massage joints). We chat with immigration lawyer, and banjo master Steve Baughman who wrote Coverup in the Kingdom: Phone Sex, Lies, and God’s …
 
Whether you are an atheist or a believer, into Eastern or Western traditions, a physical practice is perhaps the best way to actually experience and realize what it is to surf the Tao. You don’t need to get into some spiritual zone or commune with celestial beings; rather, we’re inviting you time to wake up to reality, allow space for awareness & n…
 
Our guest is a recent alumnus from Concordia University and joins the conversation from Nigeria to discuss his insights about the ways in which people try to oppose hate, racism and injustice in the United States. Sometimes, he suggests, we tend to focus on hating injustice but don’t emphasize loving justice. This may have an effect on our emotiona…
 
We explore coping with trauma and religion through comedy with the help of comedian, writer, actress, and liver-transplant survivor Alyssa Sabo. She shares some of her story and we enjoy reflecting on life in the 90s, purity culture in evangelical America, rollerblading, ghosting church, and the virtues of Costa Rican beaches. Despite being known o…
 
Jeff and Stacie try out a relationship strategy for use especially in the immediate wake of a conflict-producing event in a romantic relationship, religious community, or workplace. In order to “Taosurf” relationships, they suggest that it can be helpful to separate out a) intentions, b) actions, c) reactions, and d) resolutions. This conversation …
 
Grab your favorite beverage and join us for a long form conversation with our new friends Lori and Cliff Lewis (veteran Christian radio DJ and hair metal guitarist respectively), to discuss their experiences with Contemporary Christian Music, Lutheranism, the idea of vocation, and Solomon’s wisdom. The music behind the opening is Lori singing and t…
 
When societies focus on etiquette and the husk of ethical relations, we are often dangerously close to having to turn to coercion and force instead of naturally harmonious interactions. This is where “flexing the muscles” comes in. When folks don’t follow the rules, the enforcers of societal stability have to remind everyone of their punitive power…
 
An interview with Corey Farr, creator of the podcast A Christian Reads the Tao Te Ching. We discuss our favorite and least favorite chapters of the Tao Te Ching. We explore karma, providence, orphanages, and religious education. Farr is a seminary graduate, a Christian Anarchist, a writer, a poet and songwriter. He teaches at a residential school f…
 
Why do many set an “intention” at the start of a contemplative practice or yin yoga session? How does this relate to New Year’s resolutions? Without the normal opportunities for group festivities, Jeff and Stacie spend a quiet evening discussing the advantages and dangers of setting expectations and establishing goals. The discussion gets going aft…
 
This episode shares an international student perspective on American food, work & religion. We interview Jeff’s compelling student Malik, who is an international student who was stuck with us on an empty campus over the winter break. We invited candid observations from our guest, who obliged our questions but is by nature not one to offer unsolicit…
 
We discuss the nature of a true family and the importance of maintaining boundaries, especially in religious contexts in which we believe we have good intentions but are inappropriately trying to fix others. At min 41 we interview Rev. Casey Tinnin, one of Jeff’s favorite students over the years, and someone we think of as family. He shares his sto…
 
Hold fast to the Big Picture and all will be drawn to you. They will not harm you and will join with you in peace upon peace. There will be joyful music and vibrant street food, wayfarers will want to stop and join in the fun. The Tao that is mere talk is bland. Look for it: it is invisible. Listen for it: it is inaudible. Yet, if you embody it, yo…
 
In a world that is clawing for “winner” status and climbing over the “losers” without compassion, Lao Tzu teaches about three treasures he holds dear: compassion, minimalism, and the way of non-domination. Here, there is a sort of anarchy (listen to hear the precise definition of this term in both Taoist and Christian context), and definitely a rej…
 
The concept of wu wei is practically and clearly stated in this chapter. Again, this principle of acting by not acting isn't about disregarding one's duties, nor is it about being a pushover. It's about letting the natural forces of the world flow as they flow without arrogantly assuming we can step in and control the flow through force.…
 
Lao Tzu clearly favors the feminine principle, the negative space, and the faith of a child. This last preference is especially resonant with the teachings of Jesus about being childlike. Over and over, we've been pointing to teachings from Jesus but not to create a syncretistic new way of thinking. Instead we are showing how Jesus and Lao Tzu ofte…
 
Drawing from Lao Tzu chapters 16, 62, 70, snd 71, we explain one of the most important lessons of the Tao Te Ching: that it’s not really that hard to find the truth, but it’s hard to face the truth. This episode discusses the ways in which facing the truth can truly set us free. Most importantly, we become free from the fear that keeps us from trul…
 
Here, Jeff isn’t saying he’s sorry for what he said in Part 1, rather he’s providing an apologia for his perspective on academic freedom within church related schools and universities. Check out the previous part, at least the first ten minutes, before heading to this part, which is more technical and deals especially with the epistemology of Willi…
 
If an academically free space is possible in society, it can only exist at a Christian University. Some folks mistakenly think that the Lutheran Confessions represent a constraint on an individual believer's freedom, or a way to give churches conclusions about Scripture that allow members to bypass the important work of engaging directly with the B…
 
Feeling a deep love for all living beings, the sage is uninterested in besting them at a verbal fight. If others ask for help finding truth, the sage is generous and obliging. If they want to feel superior, the sage is generous and obliging. It’s not that she’s a pushover; it’s that they can’t harm her. She’s not playing her enemies’ games so they …
 
Heather Choate Davis is an author and has created a new album with her network of musical friends called LIFE IN THE KEY OF GOD. We talk about how the Christian contemplative tradition and the recovery of the biblical concept of Sophia (divine wisdom) can help us protect our noggins and bring healing to our culture and churches. Several beautiful t…
 
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