Faith Improvised

By Tim Gombis

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Description

Exploring what it means to be faithfully Christian in our always-changing world with its challenges and opportunities. I like to think out loud and talk with friends about biblical texts, books, politics, sports, music, films, and basically anything that interests me. This is all an attempt to be fully alive in God’s good world and to enjoy the liberating reality of the Christian gospel.

Episode Date
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 13
01:00:12
In this episode, I talk about Jesus and how he fits into the biblical story.
Jan 31, 2023
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 12
00:35:13
In this episode, I try to provide some backdrop to the historical dynamics that shaped the culture to which Jesus arrived.
Jan 24, 2023
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 11
00:57:02
In this episode, I finish talking about God’s call of Israel and what that means for God’s aim to reclaim the world for his glory.
Jan 17, 2023
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 10
00:51:37
I recommend Bono’s new memoir called Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story (Knopf, 2022), and I talk about God’s call of Israel and what that means for God’s aim to reclaim the world for his glory.
Jan 10, 2023
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 9
00:43:47
In this episode, I talk about God’s call of Israel and what that means for God’s aim to reclaim the world for his glory.
Nov 29, 2022
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 8
01:03:39
I begin talking about God's plan to reclaim what was lost when humans failed in their commission to manage creation's flourishing.
Nov 15, 2022
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 7
00:54:05
I recommend the book by Justin E. H. Smith, The Internet is Not What You Think It Is: A History, A Philosophy, A Warning (Princeton University Press, 2022), and I talk a bit more about the big story of the Bible. I also mention the soon-to-be-released book by Isaac B. Sharp, The Other Evangelicals: A Story of Liberal, Black, Progressirve, Feminist, and Gay Christians--and the Movement that Pushed Them Out (Eerdmans: 2023).
Nov 08, 2022
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 6
01:03:21
I relay some of the excellent meals I've enjoyed recently, and I continue talking about the big story of the Bible and how humans made a mess of things in Genesis 3.
Nov 01, 2022
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 5
01:05:59
I recommend Jenny Odell's wonderful book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (Melville House, 2020), and I draw out some implications about humanity from Genesis 1-2.
Oct 25, 2022
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 4
01:07:08
In this episode, I recommend Mel Brooks's wonderful memoir, All About Me! My Remarkable Life in Show Business (Ballantine Books, 2021), and I talk about the opening chapter of the biblical story (Genesis 1-2).
Oct 18, 2022
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 3
01:09:52
In this episode, I continue talking about the opening chapter of the Bible’s big story.
Oct 04, 2022
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 2
01:38:22
I recommend Merve Emre's book, The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing (Anchor Books, 2019), and I talk a bit more about the narrative dynamics going on in Genesis 1-2.
Sep 27, 2022
The Big Story of the Bible, Pt. 1
00:59:19
I respond to some questions I've received, I recommend Katelyn Beaty's new book, Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits are Hurting the Church (Brazos Press, 2022), and I begin talking about the big story of the Bible.
Sep 20, 2022
Putting the Testaments Together
01:03:09
In this episode, I recommend a wonderful work of fiction, called Dear Committee Members: A Novel (Doubleday, 2015), and I talk about two approaches to Scripture: Lectio Divina and the Law/Gospel contrast.
Aug 16, 2022
Thinking with Scripture
00:49:00
In this episode, I recommend Hillary McBride's wonderful new book, The Wisdom of Your Body: Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection through Embodied Living (Brazos Press, 2021), and I talk about critical thinking when it comes to engaging with Christian Scripture.
Jul 26, 2022
Introducing Season 4
00:51:00
After a longer layoff than I had anticipated, I begin this fourth season by talking about what I've been up to over the last 3 1/2 months, note some of the books I've been reading, and give an overview of what I intend to explore in the upcoming season.
Jul 19, 2022
Wrapping Up Romans
01:08:50
In this episode, I wrap up season 3 and the exploration of Paul's Letter to the Romans.
Mar 29, 2022
The Closing of Paul's Letter to the Romans
00:57:51
A brief update on two books I'm reading--The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, by David Graeber and David Wengrow, and The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community, by Stephanie Spellers. I also talk about the closing section of Paul's letter to the Roman Christians.
Mar 22, 2022
The Rhetorical Climax of Romans
01:10:08
In this episode, I recommend J. Richard Middleton's wonderful and compelling new book, Abraham’s Silence: The Binding of Isaac, The Suffering of Job, and How to Talk Back to God (Baker Academic, 2021), and I talk about Romans 14:1-15:13, which is the climax of Paul's argument in the letter. Middleton's book is available with free shipping from Baker Book House (https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/260831). Support independent bookstores!
Mar 15, 2022
Submission to Worldly Powers in Romans 13
01:20:11
In this episode, I recommend Daniel Silliman's wonderful new book, Reading Evangelicals: How Christian Fiction Shaped a Culture and a Faith (Eerdmans), and I talk about Paul's exhortations in Romans 13. I also mention Stephen Colbert's thoughts about the relationship of his Christian faith to his comedy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUaWDqDOWPk), and the brilliant fake conspiracy theory 'Birds Aren't Real' (https://birdsarentreal.com/).
Feb 22, 2022
Being God's New Creation Community (Romans 12)
01:08:58
I share a few reflections about exploring how to be Christian, I recommend the PBS documentary on Billy Graham, and I talk about Paul's exhortations to the Roman Christians in Romans 12. You can find the documentary here: https://www.pbs.org/video/billy-graham-tp3vqn/. 
Feb 15, 2022
How to Be Christian and Stay Christian (Even When LGBTQ+ People Exist)
01:21:36
In this episode, I share a few more reflections about conspiracy theories, I recommend Kiese Laymon's book, Heavy: An American Memoir (Scribner), and I talk about what it means to be Christian and how to remain Christian when relating to people who identify as LGBTQ+ inside and outside the church.
Feb 08, 2022
God's Commitment to Save Israel (Romans 11)
00:51:29

In this episode I recommend Randall Balmer's new book, Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right (Eerdmans), and I talk about the conclusion to Paul's argument regarding Israel in Romans 11.

Feb 01, 2022
How the Church Harms LGBTQ Christians
00:17:04

In this shorter-than-normal episode, I share a few reflections and recommend Bridget Eileen Rivera’s book, Heavy Burdens: Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church (Brazos Press).

Jan 25, 2022
Israel and the Gentiles in Rome
01:02:39

I share some updates on what I've been doing over the break, I recommend Gregory Alan Thornbury's really interesting book, Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock (Convergent), and I talk about Paul’s argument regarding Israel in Romans 10.

I also mentioned this article: "'An American Tradition': Lessons from a year covering conspiracy theories," Jose A. Del Real, The Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2021.

Jan 18, 2022
Election and God's Prerogative in Romans 9
01:15:05
I recommend J. Russell Hawkins's excellent new book, The Bible Told Them So: How Southern Evangelicals Fought to Preserve White Supremacy, and I talk about Paul's argument in Romans 9.
Dec 14, 2021
The Climax of Paul's Argument in Romans 8
01:14:51
I offer some reflections on random topics, but especially about the notion of 'kayfabe' as a way of understanding behaviors in the world. I refer to Gregory Thornbury's article "On Metaphor and Kayfabe," which can be found here (https://daviddark.substack.com/p/on-metaphor-and-kayfabe). And I talk about the conclusion to Paul's second major movement in Romans 8.
Dec 07, 2021
Questions about Romans and Mark
00:36:23

In this episode I offer some thoughts on whether Romans 7 can help Christians who struggle with addictions, and consider Jesus' abrasive and insulting statement to the Syrian-Phoenician woman in Mark 7.

Nov 30, 2021
The Mosaic Law and the Cosmic Power of Sin (Romans 7)
01:03:54

I recommend Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry's insightful book, Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States, and I talk about Paul's argument in Romans 7.

Nov 16, 2021
The Cosmic Scope of Paul's Exhortations in Romans 6
01:03:08

I recommend Danté Stewart's brilliant memoir, Shoutin' in the Fire: An American Epistle, and I talk about the communal and cosmic shape of Paul's exhortations in Romans 6.

Nov 10, 2021
The Roman Conflict in Cosmic Perspective
01:43:19

In this episode, I give an update of what I've been up to on my little hiatus, I list a few books I'm currently enjoying, and I begin talking about the second major movement of Paul's argument, which starts in Romans 5:12-21.

Nov 02, 2021
A Brief Hiatus
00:00:38
I'm taking a little break from the podcast and plan to be back at it soon!
Sep 21, 2021
The Roman Christians' Transformed Identity
01:03:51

I recommend Tim Otto's beautiful and hope-filled book, Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict Over Gay Relationships, and I talk about the final passage in the first major movement of Paul’s argument in Romans (Rom 5:1-11).

Sep 14, 2021
Paul Sends Abraham to Rome
01:08:14

I recommend Rebekah Eklund's wonderful new book, The Beatitudes Throughout The Ages, and I talk about how Paul argues for the unity of the Roman Christians by citing Abraham in Romans 4.

Sep 07, 2021
Paul Unites the Romans in Justification
01:07:53

I recommend The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale University Press), one of the most brilliant and breathtaking books I've ever read, and I talk about Paul's argument in Romans 3:21-31.

Aug 31, 2021
Paul Unites the Romans in Cosmic Enslavement
01:33:19

I recommend Spencer Ackerman's new book, Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump, and I talk about the conclusion to Paul's opening argument in Romans 3:1-20.

Aug 24, 2021
Paul Confronts the Judging Group in Rome (Romans 2)
01:30:02

I recommend Michael Gormans excellent book Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness: Following the Lamb into the New Creation, and I talk about how Paul's argument progresses in Romans 2, in which he confronts the group in the Roman churches that is passing judgment from a sense of moral superiority.

Aug 17, 2021
Paul's Rhetorical Trap (Romans 1:18-32)
01:08:52

I recommend an excellent work on the Book of Acts, Kavin Rowe's World Upside Down: Reading Acts in the Graeco-Roman Age (Oxford University Press), and I talk about Paul's opening rhetorical move in Romans 1:18-32.

Aug 10, 2021
The Narrative Sub-Structure of Romans
01:29:35

I recommend Beverly Roberts Gaventa's wonderful book, When In Romans: An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel According to Paul (Baker Academic), and I start talking about Paul's opening rhetorical move in Romans 1:18-32.

I also mention the following podcasts and books:

"The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill"

"The Ezra Klein Show"

Stanley Stowers, A Rereading of Romans: Justice, Jews, and Gentiles (Yale University Press).

Sigve K. Tonstad, The Letter to the Romans: Paul Among the Ecologists (Sheffield Phoenix Press).

Aug 03, 2021
Paul Greets The Romans
01:43:31

In this episode, I recommend Chuck DeGroat's timely and wonderful book, When Narcissism Comes to Church: Healing Your Community from Emotional and Spiritual Abuse, and I talk about the introduction of Paul's letter to the Romans.

I also talk a bit about identity politics, responding to Charles Murray's article, “Identity Crisis: How the Politics of Race Will Wreck America,” published this month in The Spectator.

Jul 27, 2021
An Overview of Romans
01:13:21

In this episode I recommend David Fromkin's masterful and fascinating work, A Peace To End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, and I give an overview of how I see the major movements of Paul's argument in his letter to the Roman house churches.

Jul 20, 2021
Wandering Through Romans
01:06:17

I recommend Lisa Bowens's compelling new book, African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation (Eerdmans), and I talk about where I intend to go with the podcast in this third season (and beyond), reporting on my research in Paul's letter to the Romans. 

Jul 13, 2021
The Church Is God's Social Justice
01:43:57

In this episode, I recommend a great new book by Brian Brock called, Disability: Living Into The Diversity Of Christ's Body, and I talk about social justice, the gospel, and how the church does not merely have some kind of relationship to social justice, but rather, according to Paul, the church is God’s social justice.

Jun 08, 2021
Death of God, Etc.
01:17:26

I have a discussion with my friend Steve Watkins about a load of stuff, but especially about some of the impulses behind death of God thinkers, which I find really fascinating.

Jun 01, 2021
The Grammar of the Gospel
01:14:26

I recommend an excellent new book, Reparations: A Call for Repentance and Repair, by Duke L. Kwon and Gregory Thompson, and I talk about the grammar of the gospel and compare that to the grammar of evangelicalism.

May 25, 2021
The Problem of Men in Ministry
02:07:06

I recommend Ijeoma Oluo’s new book, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, and I respond to a question about women in ministry by sort of flipping the script and reflecting on the problem of men in ministry.

I also recommend Nijay Gupta's excellent blog series, "Why I Believe in Women in Ministry," an index to which is found here (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/cruxsola/2019/06/why-i-believe-in-women-in-ministry-gupta/).

May 18, 2021
Love the Evangelical, Hate the Evangelicalism
01:18:51
May 11, 2021
Thinking Again, Again
00:58:48

I recommend Ta-Nehisi Coates's brilliant book, Between the World and Me, an absolutely powerful memoir that’s a personal letter to his son, and I intended to talk about a few recent articles on the contemporary state of American evangelicalism, but ended up extending some thoughts on the sorts of things I routinely re-think.

May 04, 2021
What Did Jesus Know & When Did He Know It?
01:00:41

I recommend Jared Yates Sexton's compelling new book, American Rule: How A Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People, and I talk about reckoning with the narrative shape of the Gospels, how they theologize about Jesus as a character, and how certain theological conceptions can get in the way of our understanding, especially an assumption about God's "omniscience."

I also mention Jeannine Brown's excellent book, The Gospels as Stories: A Narrative Approach to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Apr 27, 2021
The Joy of Being Wrong
01:16:01

I talk about Adam Grant's new book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know, and how it sheds light on creative Christian postures of humility and curiosity. I also mention Beth Allison Barr's new release, The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth. And I make minor note of Daniel Boorstin's classic work, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America.

Apr 20, 2021
Baseball & Golf, Science & Faith
00:13:37

In this short episode I talk about the Cubs' brutal start to the season, the Masters tournament from last week, and I recommend Edward Larson's brilliant book, Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion.

Apr 13, 2021
Reconnecting with a Friend
00:50:33

I reflect a bit about why this is my favorite week of the year, I talk about Molly Worthen’s book, Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism, and I share a personal story about reconnecting with an old friend.

Apr 06, 2021
Exvangelicals & Deconstruction
01:12:14

I recommend a powerful new book by Anthea Butler called White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America, and I reflect for a bit about the terms “exvangelical” and “deconstruction.”

I also mention a few other books: Adam Grant, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know; Crystal M. Fleming, How To Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide; Ijeoma Oluo, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America.

Mar 30, 2021
The Church as God's Public Justice
01:11:34

I share some random observations from the past week, I recommend Educated: A Memoir, which is a brilliant and quite compelling coming of age narrative, and I talk about Paul’s vision of the church as God’s public justice.

Mar 23, 2021
The Conversion of Paul's Ministry Imagination
01:14:13

I share some thoughts from the past week, I recommend Heather McGhee's brilliant new book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, in which she elaborates the zero-sum logic that distorts our racial and political imaginations, and I share some ideas from my book, Power in Weakness: Paul's Transformed Vision for Ministry, especially how Paul experienced a conversion of his ministry imagination.

Mar 16, 2021
White Evangelicals & Abortion Politics
01:12:52

In this episode I share some random observations, I recommend Jason Hickel's brilliant book, The Divide: Global Inequality from Conquest to Free Markets, and I talk about the politics of abortion and how this issue has shaped the culture of white evangelicalism in America.

Mar 09, 2021
Just Briefly
00:20:31

In this brief episode, I share some thoughts from the past week and I recommend Jason Stanley's fascinating book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them

Mar 02, 2021
Sovereignty, Suffering, Sports, Etc.
01:22:06

I offer some reflections on music, sports, and the challenge of self-awareness among athletes, I recommend Daniel Radosh's fun and enlightening book, Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture, and I respond to some questions about what I've been saying about God's sovereignty and what that looks like in our world.

Feb 23, 2021
More on Sovereignty and Suffering
01:18:27

I respond to a bunch of questions I received based on the previous episode, and I recommend Kate Bowler's wonderful memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved, which is a personal and theological reflection on so many of the poor ways Christians have come to think about God in relation to human suffering.

Feb 16, 2021
God's Sovereignty and Human Suffering
01:21:28

I reflect on the character of antagonism and how patterns in evangelical culture make evangelicals susceptible to being drawn easily into antagonistic postures and patterns in the larger culture. I also recommend Manoush Zomorodi's fascinating book, Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self, and I talk about how the Bible depicts God's sovereignty and how that relates to human suffering, among other dynamics in our experience.

Feb 09, 2021
Pappy O'Daniel Power Hour
01:01:09

I have a conversation with my friend Steve Watkins about a variety of topics: how our thinking has developed over the years, what to do about misinformation and conspiracy theories, and we drop some Coen references along the way. I also recommend Anne Applebaum's important new book, Twilight of Democracy.

Feb 02, 2021
The Importance of Listening to *Others*
01:11:33

I offer some ruminations from the past week, I talk about Bruce Longenecker's wonderful book, The Lost Letters of Pergamum, which is one of the best resources for getting into the world of the New Testament, and I reflect on the strategic importance of listening to those our culture *others*, especially when it comes to realities like cruciformity.

Jan 26, 2021
It's a Putsch!
01:05:13

In this first episode of season 2, I answer a question about evangelical engagement with the Bible, I talk about my new book, Power in Weakness, which is about Paul as a pastor, and I reflect a bit on current events, especially the attempted putsch on January 6 and what that portends for America in coming days.

Jan 19, 2021
Paul's Apparently "Clear" Teaching About Christian Families
00:42:43

I offer a few observations and reflections from the past week, I recommend Seth Dowland's fascinating book, Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right, and I talk about the Household Code in Ephesians 5-6 as an instance of how modern Bible readers can misread an apparently clear passage when they don't understand ancient and modern historical contexts.

Dec 22, 2020
The (un)Gospel of Mark, Pt. 8
01:05:45

I reflect a bit on evangelical faulty logic that keeps us from loving our neighbors, I talk about a wonderful resource for understanding Mark in its Jewish context, and I conclude my series on Mark's Gospel.

Dec 15, 2020
Race, Patriarchy, the SBC, and Lessons We Don't Learn
00:53:31

I talk about the statement issued by SBC seminary presidents rejecting Critical Race Theory and why that signals a resistance to the difficult but life-giving work of gospel-oriented justice. I also talk about Beth Allison Barr’s upcoming book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood, which is a brilliant analysis of how evangelical patriarchy uses the Bible to endorse gender hierarchies that the gospel deconstructs.

Dec 08, 2020
The (un)Gospel of Mark, Pt. 7
01:05:10

I offer a few reflections and observations from the past week, I recommend Luke Timothy Johnson's new book on Paul's letters and theology, and I talk about the narrative dynamics of what is going on in chapter 14 of Mark's Gospel.

Dec 01, 2020
The (un)Gospel of Mark, Pt. 6
01:01:03

I talk about some events of the recent week, along with offering a few other random thoughts, I recommend Scot McKnight's book, Reading Romans Backwards, and I explore some of what is going on in Mark 13, which has huge implications for being Christian while a pandemic is raging.

Nov 24, 2020
The (un)Gospel of Mark, Pt. 5
01:10:51

I share some thoughts about the bizarre nature of the past week, I commend Esau McCaulley's excellent new book, Reading While Black, and I talk about some of the narrative dynamics of Mark 11-12.

Nov 17, 2020
The (un)Gospel of Mark, Pt. 4
01:39:25

I share some reflections from the past week's events, respond to an interesting question about relating to God, talk a little about Grand Rapids Theological Seminary where I teach, and I draw out some of the narrative dynamics up and running in Mark 8-10.

Nov 10, 2020
The (un)Gospel of Mark, Pt. 3
01:24:09

I reflect a bit on events of the past week, I recommend Jill Lepore's excellent and insightful work, These Truths: A History of the United States, and I talk about the narrative dynamics of Mark 4-8.

Nov 03, 2020
The (un)Gospel of Mark, Pt. 2
01:14:55

I recommend Jeannine Brown's excellent new book on the Gospels and I continue talking about the subversive Gospel of Mark, focusing on how Jesus's parable of the sower and the seed in 4:1-20 sets the table for the rest of the narrative.

Oct 27, 2020
The (un)Gospel of Mark, Pt. 1
01:02:48

I talk about Matthew Avery Sutton's brilliant book, American Apocalypse, which is now the standard work on the history of modern fundamentalism / evangelicalism in America, and I start a series exploring Mark's mystifying and thoroughly unsettling Gospel.

Oct 20, 2020
How Christian Identity Works, Pt. 3
00:58:41

I share some random thoughts and reflections, answer a few emails, talk about Harry Frankfurt's brilliant book, On Bullshit, and wrap up a discussion of how cruciformity determines the identity of Christians.

Oct 13, 2020
How Christian Identity Works, Pt. 2
01:09:36

I share some reflections, including a lament about the Cubs' early departure from the baseball postseason, I talk about Pankaj Mishra's excellent and insightful book, Age of Anger, and I continue describing the way Scripture constructs Christian identity, focusing on cruciformity.

Oct 06, 2020
How Christian Identity Works, Pt. 1
01:14:17

I offer a few random observations, recommend Robert P. Jones's excellent new book, White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, and begin a series about Christian identity, focusing on cruciformity.

Sep 29, 2020
The Powers and Authorities and Christian Discernment of Culture
01:38:27

I share a few random observations, I talk about a lovely book I've read recently, and I elaborate on the larger theological framework that shapes my engagement with cultural criticism and gives some background as to why I think Critical Race Theory is so helpful for Christians.

Sep 22, 2020
Critical Race Theory and Evangelical Fear
01:12:21

I respond to an interesting question about my posture toward the church, I talk about probably my all-time favorite book, and I elaborate a bit on Critical Race Theory, why evangelical leaders are sowing fear about it, and why Christians have nothing to fear about this or any other analytical tool for discerning power dynamics of oppression in our culture.

Sep 15, 2020
“Make America Great Again” is a Call to Turn Our Backs to the Gospel
01:12:50

I respond to a question about the nature of salvation, I talk about Nijay Gupta's great new book on how Paul uses "faith" language in his letters, and I reflect on how the resonance among white evangelicals with the current president's campaign slogan reveals something fundamentally problematic about the culture of white evangelicalism.

Sep 08, 2020
How To Be Humble
01:43:59

I catch up on some discussion and questions about evangelism, talk about Tom Nichols's wonderful book, The Death of Expertise, and I reflect a bit on the character of humility and arrogance.

Sep 01, 2020
Alpha Male Myths & Violence in Our World
01:22:15

In this episode, I reflect on the role that "the Great Commission" plays in evangelical culture, I talk about Sarah Posner's brilliant new book, "Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump," and I share a conversation with my friend Steve Watkins. He's a former Navy SEAL whose experience and study has changed his thinking about the military and violence. We also talk about Alpha & Beta males and there's a Fargo reference dropped in for good measure.

Aug 25, 2020
Is the “Great Commission” Even a Thing!?
01:17:42

A conversation with Kristen Johnson on the surprising history of the phrase that has been so central to evangelical identity, mission, and practice. It's perhaps time to reassess the outsize role Matthew 28:19-20 plays in our thinking, and just as importantly, to actually look at what the passage says!

Aug 18, 2020
Jesus and John Wayne, with Kristin Du Mez
01:11:05

This week, I respond to a few questions about individualism, I talk a little about Bruce Longenecker's book, In Stone and Story, and I have a discussion with Kristin Kobes Du Mez, author of the new book, Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.

Aug 11, 2020
Christian Nationalism is Idolatry
01:16:42

In this episode I respond to some questions I received, commend the super-fun book Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness, by Melissa Dahl, and talk about the idolatrous notion that America is a Christian nation.

Aug 04, 2020
BLM, the Kingdom of God, and White Evangelicalism's Gospel Problem
01:03:15

In this episode I share a few ideas in response to a question asking what we can do about our individualized gospel, I recommend Lee Camp's sparkling new book, Scandalous Witness: A Little Political Manifesto for Christians, and I elaborate some of the dynamics of the Kingdom of God in Scripture that conservative white evangelicals are missing, captive as that culture is to a shrunken version of the gospel.  

Jul 28, 2020
Christian Identity & Race
01:09:43

In this episode I respond to some questions I received about evangelism from the first episode, I talk about Kristin Kobes Du Mez's wonderful new book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, and I share a conversation I had about race with Max Botner, my New Testament colleague at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. We hit a few things we've learned from the book White Fragility and about some criticisms of it, and we touched on some aspects of Christian identity that drive us to learn about and discuss matters of race.

Jul 21, 2020
Here Goes Nothin'
00:41:08

In this first episode, I explain why I’m jumping into podcasting and what I hope to explore. I talk a little about Chanequa Walker-Barnes’s new book, I Bring the Voices of My People, and I explore a bit further how I came to change my thinking about a Christian posture toward others, both at an individual level and cultural one.

Jul 14, 2020