Archives For Podcasts

David Bentley Hart is back on the podcast to talk about his recent review in the NY Times of the new Tarantino film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” as well as the irrefutability of his new book That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation, guns, and baseball.

Don’t forget to check out our website, www.crackersandgrapejuice.com, where we’ve added a new online store for you to purchase your very own Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirt. And click on support the show too and become a patron of the pod for peanuts.

Enjoy!

 

 

Our guest for episode #229 is my friend David Meyers— along with his fantastic wife, Nicole.

David is a fireman in Albequerque, New Mexico. But that’s just his day job. David is a singer/songwriter. He’s been a worship leader and rock band frontman for groups like Old Man Shattered, and he’s the curator of a project you should check out called A More Beautiful Gospel, dedicated to the goodness of the God who looks like Jesus.

David has a new album project called Of Light and Shadow that I urge you to check out and support to make happen. Check it out here.

You can also go to www.crackersandgrapjuice.com and check out the new online store our producer Tommie has created where you can buy your very own Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirt.

What if the generations of Talmudic interpretation demonstrate an inherently gracious nature to the Jewish Law? What if Protestant Christians are wrong and the Law is not a burdensome command meant to induce repentance but a gracious entry into thinking about everything in the world?

Just in time for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Chaim Saiman, Professor of Law at Villanova University, is back on the podcast to talk about his most recent book, Halakah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law.

Though typically translated as “Jewish law,” the term halakhah is not an easy match for what is usually thought of as law. This is because the rabbinic legal system has rarely wielded the political power to enforce its many detailed rules, nor has it ever been the law of any state. Even more idiosyncratically, the talmudic rabbis claim that the study of halakhah is a holy endeavor that brings a person closer to God―a claim no country makes of its law.

In this panoramic book, Chaim Saiman traces how generations of rabbis have used concepts forged in talmudic disputation to do the work that other societies assign not only to philosophy, political theory, theology, and ethics but also to art, drama, and literature. In the multifaceted world of halakhah where everything is law, law is also everything, and even laws that serve no practical purpose can, when properly studied, provide surprising insights into timeless questions about the very nature of human existence.

What does it mean for legal analysis to connect humans to God? Can spiritual teachings remain meaningful and at the same time rigidly codified? Can a modern state be governed by such law? Guiding readers across two millennia of richly illuminating perspectives, this book shows how halakhah is not just “law” but an entire way of thinking, being, and knowing.

Before you listen—

Go to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com and check out our new online store where you can purchase your very own Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirt. You can also sign up to become a regular patron of the podcast and keep this thing going.

 

 

“If you take nationalism out of the equation for a lot of Trump supporting Christians, than there’d be a mass exodus from the church next Sunday.”

Donald Trump, a thrice-married, no-need-of-forgiveness, blustery billionaire who rarely goes to church, won more Evangelical Christian votes than any candidate in history on his way to winning the 2016 US presidential election. Veteran journalist Angela Denker set out to uncover why, traveling the United States for a year, meeting the people who support Trump, and listening to their rationale.

In Red State Christians, readers will get an honest look at the Christians who gave the presidency to the unlikeliest candidate of all time. From booming, wealthy Orange County megachurches to libertarian farmers in Missouri to a church in Florida where the pastors carry guns to an Evangelical Arab American church in Houston to conservative Catholics on the East Coast–the picture she paints of them is enlightening, at times disturbing, but always empathetic. A must-read for those hoping to truly understand how Donald Trump became president.

Before you listen!

Go to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com. Click on Support the Show to become a Patreon. Or, click on swag and get your very own Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirt.

 

We’re working our way through the alphabet one stained-glass word at a time and we’re nearly done. Here’s the latest episode, the second part of our conversation about God’s name.

 

Our guest today is Samson Turinawe. Samson is the Executive Director of the Universal Love Alliance, a grassroots organization in Uganda which advocates for LGBTQ people.

A Ugandan humanitarian, educator and human rights defender. He believes that “every human being should be respected simply for being who they are, a part of Life’s creation.” Tolerance, inclusiveness, love, compassion, dialogue and reconciliation are all central themes in his work. Through his teaching and activism, he emphasizes that “ignorance can be defeated through education, poverty through hard work and possession of capital, and internal schisms and separatism through unity. Samson is working for a new generation — one that is open-minded, open-hearted, diversity-embracing, and committed to serving all of humanity.

You can find out more about his work here.

And go to www.crackersandgrapcejuice.com to find other episodes and to support the show.

 

We recorded this so long ago I’d forgotten how funny he is in it:

What turns you on?

Lt. Nyota Uhura

What’s your least favorite word?

Donald Trump

What’s your favorite curse word?

Donald Trump

David Bentley Hart is back on the podcast to talk about his new book, which I can say is as irrefutable as it is controversial, That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation. It’s a slim book with a straightforward argument which I would commend to anyone.

Before you listen, while you listen, or after you listen go to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com and click on “Support the Show” to become a patreon (this stuff ain’t free for us, people!). If you do, we’ll send you a free “Incompatible with Christian Teaching” pint glass.

Or, you can click on “Swag” and get your own Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirt.

If you’re a cheap bastard, then just find us on Facebook or Twitter and share this episode and give us some love.

 

 

We’ve been working our way through the alphabet one stained-glass word at a time, and this week Johanna leads us through a conversation on possibly the most important and elusive word of all, God’s name.

That God will be who and where God will be means there is no way to follow this God apart from the narrative and the narrative community in which this God has disclosed himself.

Here it is…

 

“Authentic Pauline Christianity always stands on the precipice of heresy…”

– Karl Barth, Introduction to Romans, 2nd Edition

Beverly Gaventa is back on the podcast to talk about Paul’s Letter to the Romans and the 100th Anniversary of Karl Barth’s commentary on it. Formerly of Princeton, Dr. Gaventa is a professor of New Testament at Baylor Univesity and is the author of When in Romans, which is now available in paperback.

Check out her lecture on Barth and Romans from Princeton’s 2019 Barth Conference: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p4-r_vUsvEc

Don’t forget! Go to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com and click on SWAG to get your own Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirt. Or, click “Support the Show” to become a patron of the podcast and receive a free “Incompatible with Christian Teaching” pint glass.

You might think advocating for immigrants and refugees and against racism would be lonely work in the Southern Baptist Church. Turns out…it is. Our guest for the latest episode of C&GJ is Alan Cross. Alan is a Southern Baptist pastor from Alabama and currently ministering in California. A frequent contributor to publications, he’s the author of the book When Heaven and Earth Collide: Racism, Southern Evangelicals, and the Better Way of Jesus.

When Heaven and Earth Collide is an investigation into what went wrong in the American South in regard to race and religion—and how things can be and are being made right. Why, in a land filled with Christian churches, was there such racial oppression and division? Why didn’t white evangelicals do more to bring racial reconciliation to the South during the 19th and 20th centuries? These questions are asked and answered through an exploration of history, politics, economics, philosophy, and social and theological studies that uncovers the hidden impetus behind racism and demonstrates how we can still make many of the same errors today—just perhaps in different ways. The investigation finally leads us in hopeful directions involving how to live out the better way of Jesus with an eye on heaven in a world still burdened and broken under the sins of the past.

Before you listen…head to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com. If you become a patron of the podast, we’ll send you a free “Incompatible with Christian Teaching” pint glass. You can also order your very own Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirt.

For #222 of Crackers and Grape Juice, Teer and I talked with Mike Lyon about his new book, a Christian apology, entitled I’m Not Hitler. 

If you think religion is equal to the tooth fairy and Bigfoot, and have been turned off by church, dive into I’m Not Hitler. We all have a death sentence in this life, but do we need to make a decision to play in the next one? I’m Not Hitler explores the mystery and apathy of how a person gets to heaven. In a salty discourse, author Mike Lyon discusses whether a person can be good enough to step through the pearly gates. With plenty of personal anecdotes, the book challenges the broad assumptions that religious, spiritual and non-religious people often conclude.

Fans of the sass of Anne Lamott, David Sedaris and Brené Brown, may find the discourse entertaining. If you’re a Christian and unsure how to discuss God with your friends, the book will be helpful.

Can a person simply pick a religion and do their best? What about a spiritual buffet where the universe serves all you can eat? Who exactly are the bad people who will not enter the big party in the sky?

Find out from someone who believes in God, and listens to Iggy Pop and Johnny Cash while mixing David Mamet with Tim Keller.

Before you listen or while you listen, head over to our website, www.crackersandgrapejuice.com, and click on “Swag.” Now available for sale are our Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirts. Also, if you sign up to become a patron of the podcast, we’ll send you a free “Incompatible with Christian Teaching” pint glass!

 

”As a preacher, I am in over my head on a weekly basis, saying far more than I know for certain, continuously bordering on blasphemy, risking, and fully exposed to contradiction and rejection. It’s a tough way to make a living, but it is the best living worth God’s making.”

Friend of the podcast, mentor, and muse, Will Willimon joined Teer and Jason to talk about his brand new (wondeful) memoir, Accidental Preacher. His answer to the last of the Ten Questions: Q: “Since heaven exists, what do you want to hear God say when you arrive?” A: ”I won’t like it, but it’d be just like God to say “Oh Will, welcome— the Trumps are right over there. They’ve been waiting for you.””

Before you listen, click over to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com where you can support the show by purchasing you’re very own Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirt.

 


God’s grace is a commanding grace, Karl Barth says. The sheer fact that God turns towards us to say anything at all means that revelation IS grace. God’s free forgiveness is inseparable from God’s command and call for us to be his particular people in the world.

Across decades and in over 20 books, Stanley Hauerwas has explicated those sentences above, equipping the Church to be the Church so that the world might learn it’s the “world.” Though as a preacher I work in the medium of wild exaggeration, I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that I give God thanks every day that God put Stanley into my life. Folks like Barth, Fleming, Luther, DBH and others make my Mt. Rushmore, but it’s Stanley that I return to again and again. From him, I’ve learned that the Gospel is that Jesus is Lord and the purpose of the Church is not to make the world come out right but to perform the Gospel so that the lives of Christians might make it intelligible.

This is an old episode, one of our first, in which I failed to get Stan off his usual talking points. Oh well, look for an upcoming episode with Stan and David Hunsicker about David’s new book on The Making of Stanley Hauerwas.

In the meantime, get your very own Stanley T-Shirt emblazoned with his choice quip “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit.”

To learn more about the podcast and to get your very own Hauerwas Mafia t-shirt, visit www.crackersandgrapejuice.com/hauerwas

We’ve been working our way through the alphabet one stained-glass word at a time and now we’re in the crappy letters.

What in the world starts with X?

In this episode, we talk about the word “xeno” the Greek New Testament word for Stranger. As in, “I was a xeno and you welcomed me…” With xenophobia an abiding facet of human sinfulness, it’s always a good idea to reflect upon how God comes to us in the guise of One we’d rather demonize and wall-off from ourselves.

Don’t end up a goat…listen to the latest.

 

“Experiences are nice, but they’re not what the Gospel is about.”

“Faith needs something external to it to which it can cling or one’s faith inevitably becomes faith in one’s faith.”

”Without justification by grace through faith at the heart of the Gospel, every resulting version of Christianity will become a theology of glory and a religion of Law.”

”As much as it might make them uncomfortable, Wesleyans exist downstream from Calvinists— the same stream not an alternate stream.”

You might recognize his mellifluous voice from the lectures he’s given through the Great Courses Library— our guest this week is Dr. Phillip Cary of Eastern University. Cary is the author of a wonderful theological commentary on Jonah. He’s also the author of Good News for Anxious Christians: Ten Practical Things You Don’t Have to Do and the new book that I highly commend The Meaning of Protestant Theology. 

Before you listen, head over to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com and click “Support the Show” to become a patron for peanuts. In short order, you’ll be able to order our “Incompatible” pint glass or our Stanley Hauerwas “Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit” t-shirt.

 

“The truthfulness of Christian convictions can be known only as they are demonstrated through the lives of the faithful.”

Our guest this week is Dr. Jeffrey Pugh, Professor of Religion at Elon University. Jeffrey is the author of books such as The Devil’s Ink, The Homebrewed Christianity Guide to the End Times, and Religionless Christianity: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Troubled Times. It’s his expertise on Bonhoeffer we turn to in this episode, asking him to reflect on the border crisis, how Christians are to discern when they’re in a “biblical moment” that calls for witness and resistance, the need for another Barmen-type confession.

He also gives the best answer to the “What do you want to hear God say when you arrive in heaven?” question.”

A: ”At least you didn’t fuck that up.”

If you’re getting this by email, you can find the audio here.

 

We’ve been working our way through the alphabet one stained-glass word at a time, and today our word is everyone’s favorite Bible word:

Wrath.

Are we just sinners in the hands of an angry God?

Or is there something better, even good news, behind this five-letter scare word?

If you get this by email, you can find the link here.

 

 

Seldom do we hear about the burden our culture of mass-shootings places upon the undertakers who have to go about the painstaking work of putting the victims back together again for their loved ones to bury.

Friend of the podcast, Thomas Lynch, rejoins us to talk about his new book, Whither and When: On Lives and Living. Thomas is an undertaker and poet whose work has garnered numerous awards, including the National Book Award for his collection of essays The Undertaking: Notes on the Dismal Trade.

“Racism is the ideological building block of our nation. Our current politics, our prisons, our inner cities— our system produces exactly the results it seeks by design.”

As we celebrate Independence Day weekend and Democrats re-debate bussing and a new strain of birtherism gets directed at another candidate of color, we talk with with Joel Goza who is a Duke Divinity School alumni and now works as a church planter and for a non-profit in the 5th Ward. His new book is an important one, especially on Independence Day weekend. It’s titled America’s Unholy Ghosts: The Racist Roots of Our Faith and Politics. 

Our awesome producer, Tommie, has also spliced in a couple of tracks by my favorite band, The Drive-By Truckers, one song on Trayvon Martin and another about Charlottesville, as both come up in the course of our conversation with Joel.

Before you listen, help us out. Go to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com and click “Support the Show” and become a patron of the pod for peanuts.

You can also go to Facebook and ‘like’ our page, share something. Or, find us in iTunes and give us a rating and review. Every little bit helps other folks find the program.

God kills and makes alive and through no more frequent means than water. What unsettles us about the Noah story is what God does every time God baptizes, drowning us into Christ’s death and resurrection.

We’re working our way through the alphabet one stained glass word at a time…here’s the latest on Water.

If you’re so inclined, help us out. Go to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com, click on “Support the Show” and become a patron for peanuts. Otherwise, go to our Facebook Page and like it and share something. We’d love it too if you go to iTunes and leave us a rating and review.