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His colleague at Duke, Stanley Hauerwas, says that all theology is but preparation for prayer. Almost as an illustration of what Hauerwas means, in Episode #104 theologian Norman Wirzba discusses creation, gratitude, and the food industry, encouraging Christians to exhibit food practices such that when they say grace they can truly say Amen (“May it be so”) to the agricultural and labor processes that led to the food on their table.

Dr. Wirzba convicted me and got me thinking about other interesting questions such as ‘Will there be food in heaven?’ I commend his work, such as his book Food and Faith, to you. You can find his books here.

Raised on a farm in the shadow of the Canadian Rockies, Wirzba is a Professor of Theology and Ecology at Duke University. He writes and makes public presentations on a wide variety of topics ranging from environmental philosophy and ethics to food studies and sustainable agriculture from a theological point of view. He hopes to show that Christian faith is a lot more interesting and compelling than people might think.

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In this episode of the lectionary podcast, we talk about Genesis 28.10-19a, Isaiah 44.6-8, Romans 8.12-25, Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43.

Should the altar call come before or after the sermon? Is it better to be like the stars in the sky or the dust of the earth?

These and more questions on this episode of Strangely Warmed.

You can leave us a review too. Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

“Most of us who go by the name of “Christians” ought to give up the pretense of wanting to be Christian—at least, if by that word one means not simply someone who is baptized or who adheres to a particular set of religious observances and beliefs, but more or less what Nietzsche meant when he said that there has been only one Christian in human history and that he had died on the cross. In that sense, I think it reasonable to ask not whether we are Christians (by that standard, all fall short), but whether in our wildest imaginings we could ever desire to be the kind of persons that the New Testament describes as fitting the pattern of life in Christ. And I think the fairly obvious answer is that we could not…

Most of us would find Christians truly cast in the New Testament mold fairly obnoxious: civically reprobate, ideologically unsound, economically destructive, politically irresponsible, socially discreditable, and really just a bit indecent.”

In this episode, I continue my conversation with my man-crush muse and former teacher, David Bentley Hart. Here, he discusses his upcoming translation of the New Translation, the melodies of McCartney, and baseball as the Platonic Ideal.

Give us a rating and review!!!

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website. If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

In this lectionary conversation, Taylor and I look at Genesis 25.19-34, Isaiah 55.10-13, Romans 8.1-11, Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23.
What if we’re stuck with the soil we’ve got?
What if our entire lives are about wrestling with God?
These questions and more in this episode of Strangely Warmed.

One reviewer in iTunes recently thanked us, saying she “was starved for some adult conversation about what it means to live as a Christian in these times.”

You can leave us a review too. Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

Dr. Doug Powe recently stepped into a new role as the director of the Lewis Center at Wesley Theological Seminary. In this episode, we catch up with Dr. Powe to talk about urban theology and ways churches can rally together in times where most UM churches are trying to brace for what is to come.

From a little venture with Teer and Morgan to nurture my friendships with them, we’ve grown to be one of the top 3.5% of all podcasts on the interwebs. If podcasts were churches, we’d be one of the largest UMC’s out there- and it’s all because of you and your support!

Coming up on the podcast:

We’ve got a cross-over 4th of July podcast with Tripp Fuller of Home-brewed Christianity. 

Stay tuned.

You can download the episode and subscribe to future ones in the iTunes store here

You’ve slacked off on giving us ratings and reviews!!!

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

Podcast partner Teer Hardy and I were guests on Tripp Fuller‘s Home-Brewed Christianity Podcast recently to talk about Patriotism, Idolatry, and Allegiance to Christ our Lord.

Tripp needed some members of the Hauerwas Mafia so obviously he called us.

Check it out here.

 

 

 

My man-crush muse David Bentley Hart asked to return to the podcast so he could get some gripes off his chest about the new president, critics of Pope Francis, and the role Christianity in the public square. DBH’s essay on Donald Trump and the Devil which I quote at the beginning of this episode can be found here.

If you don’t know already from the blog, David Bentley Hart was my first theology teacher when I was a first year undergrad at UVA and a relatively new Christian. He is the author of significant books such as the Beauty of the Infinite, the Doors of the Sea, and the Experience of God.

Be on the lookout for the second part of this conversation where David discusses his forthcoming translation of the New Translation and what he learned by going back to the Greek text without the presumptions modern translations have given him.

From a little venture with Teer and Morgan to nurture my friendships with them, we’ve grown to be one of the top 3.5% of all podcasts on the interwebs. If podcasts were churches, we’d be one of the largest UMC’s out there- and it’s all because of you and your support!

Coming up on the podcast:

We’ve got a cross-over 4th of July podcast with Tripp Fuller of Home-brewed Christianity. 

Stay tuned.

You can download the episode and subscribe to future ones in the iTunes store here

You’ve slacked off on giving us ratings and reviews!!!

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

The only consistent thing on this podcast has been the soulful voice of Clay Mottley.

I’ve been good friends with Clay Mottley since O.J. was speeding down the highway in his white Ford Bronco. He’s a sensitive and caring friend, but just as important he’s a singular songwriter. Without cliche, simple or forced rhymes, Clay captures the power and the seduction of perfect pop songs.

Clay agreed to an NPR All Songs Considered format where he’d be interviewed AND play/sing whatever occurred to us in the moment.

Including, Cancer is Funny: The Song.

And a depressing version of the Beatles’ Help.

He’s been letting us use his music gratis on the podcast so we thought it would be appropriate that he was our special guest for the #100 Interview.

#100 Interviews?!

WTF.

From a little venture with Teer and Morgan to nurture my friendships with them, we’ve grown to be one of the top 3.5% of all podcasts on the interwebs. If podcasts were churches, we’d be one of the largest UMC’s out there- and it’s all because of you and your support!

Coming up on the podcast:

We’ve got at least 3 maybe more conversations with David Bentley Hart.

We’ve got Lisa Sharon Harper from Sojourners.

We’ve Emma Green the Religion Writer at Atlantic Magazine.

We’ve got the one and only Walter Brueggemann.

Plus my minion intern interviewing our pod-friend Tripp Fuller. Stay tuned.

You can download the episode and subscribe to future ones in the iTunes store here

You’ve slacked off on giving us ratings and reviews!!!

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

Here then is Clay.

For the love of God, go over to his website and buy some music.

In this episode of Strangely Warmed, Taylor and I talk about passive aggressive behavior as the most common Christian sin, slut-shaming, a night of debauchery and violence in seminary (Should we continue in sin so that grace may abound?), and why the sacrifice of Isaac should not be read existentially because God is not a character in Abraham’s head.

The readings we discuss are Genesis 21:8-21 and Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17; Jeremiah 20:7-13 and Psalm 69:7-10, (11-15), 16-18; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 10:24-39

You can download the episode and subscribe to future ones in the iTunes store here

You’ve slacked off on giving us ratings and reviews!!!

With weekly and monthly downloads, we’ve cracked the top 5-6% of all podcasts online. 

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

In what sense does eternal conscious torment for the ungodly in the after life mute the offense of the Gospel that Christ died for the ungodly? If God made all things good, is determined to make them good again, came in Christ for all, and died for all, then does it make sense that the all-powerful God would not in the end get what God wants? If Sin isn’t what we do as much as an anti-god Power, synonymous with Satan, then if all are not saved doesn’t that mean God has chosen not to rescue all?

These points of contention and more:

I was a guest this week on the New Persuasive Words Show hosted by Scott Jones and Bill Borror to debate the doctrine of Hell.

Check it out. If you’re receiving this by email, find it at this link.

Though it was hard, interviews like this one make me grateful and proud to be doing the podcast with my friends. For Father’s Day, we offer you this conversation that Teer and I did with Jason Jones the author of the new book, Limping But Blessed: Wrestling with God After the Death of a Child. Listening to Jason is painful but rewarding. His story of reaching out from grief to theologians like Jurgen Moltmann is edifying.

Example: His final answer to the 10 Questions.

Q: What do you want to hear God say when you arrive in heaven?

A: I’m sorry.

You can download the episode and subscribe to future ones in the iTunes store here

You’ve slacked off on giving us ratings and reviews!!!

With weekly and monthly downloads, we’ve cracked the top 5-6% of all podcasts online. 

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

The narrative of God’s self-disclosure is not going on in Abraham’s head! Paul asks what can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus BECAUSE THERE ARE POWERS AT WORK TO DO JUST THAT. Naming my Education Building after Donald Trump. Bar Trivia. All this and more.

Taylor and I crack our way into Ordinary Time discussing Genesis 18 and Romans 5 plus the other lectionary readings for this upcoming Sunday.

Check it out. Share the love.

We don’t even follow the lectionary in my congregation- I’m preaching Romans all summer- that’s how much we want to help you.

So share the love.

This podcast is growing and you can help it.

You can subscribe to Strangely Warmed in iTunes. You can find it on our website here.

Help us reach more people: 

Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’s not hard and it makes all the difference. 

We had a great conversation with Dr. Normal Wirzba for the podcast recently. We’ve not edited the audio to post, but I thought I’d give you a peek at the video. In this conversation, Dr. Wirzba talked about food and drink as the means God has given us to experience the Triune life, sacrifice and eating, and scripture as an agrarian book.

Dr. Wirzba is a Professor of Theology at Duke and is the author of many books including Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating.

 

Is social justice just another altar call? Is ‘missional’ another legalism?

Scott Jones of the New Persuasive Words & Give and Take podcasts joined me for a full-fledged bromance session.

In this conversation (and it’s more of a conversation than an interview) we talk about Law vs. Grace, Donald Trump’s Senior Superlatives, Scott’s conversion and call.

Scott is also a pastor at Ascension Church in Philly, a fellow Princeton Alum, and a regular contributor to Mockingbird. Check out his podcasts, and if you’d like to watch the streamed video of our conversation you can find it on our Facebook Page.

We’re doing a live podcast and pub theology event at Bull Island Brewery in Hampton, Virginia on Thursday, June 15th. If you’re in the area, check it out here.

Clay Mottley will be playing tunes for us and Jeffery Pugh is our special guest.

You can download the episode and subscribe to future ones in the iTunes store here

You’ve slacked off on giving us ratings and reviews!!!

With weekly and monthly downloads, we’ve cracked the top 5-6% of all podcasts online. 

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

Laugher, God as Fullness and Creation as Gratuity, and the Absurdity of Hell.

All of it comes as part of our conversation around the Trinity Sunday lectionary readings: Genesis 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, and Matthew 28:16-20.

We don’t even follow the lectionary in my congregation- I’m preaching Romans all summer- that’s how much we want to help you.

So share the love.

This podcast is growing and you can help it.

You can subscribe to Strangely Warmed in iTunes. You can find it on our website here.

Help us reach more people: 

Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’s not hard and it makes all the difference. 

Is it better to say “The Holy Spirit is in you” or because you’ve been made in God’s image that “You are in the Holy Spirit?”

In this episode we talk about the lectionary readings for Pentecost. In addition to discussing ministry threads and whether XOXOXO constitutes spiritual adultery, we complain about confusing the Holy Spirit for your conscience and argue that the way most preachers and pew-sitters speak of the Holy Spirit both ignores the narrative of the Gospels and is blatantly anti-semitic.

You can subscribe to Strangely Warmed in iTunes.

You can find it on our website here.

Help us reach more people: 

Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’s not hard and it makes all the difference. 


In Episode 96, author Matthew Bates joined me to talk about his book Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King. This is a timely interview as we approach Memorial Day Weekend.

Stay tuned and thanks to all of you for your support and feedback. We want this to be as strong an offering as we can make it so give us your thoughts.

We’re doing a live podcast and pub theology event at Bull Island Brewery in Hampton, Virginia on Thursday, June 15th. If you’re in the area, check it out here.

Clay Mottley will be playing tunes for us and Jeffery Pugh is our special guest.

You can download the episode and subscribe to future ones in the iTunes store here

You’ve slacked off on giving us ratings and reviews!!!

With weekly and monthly downloads, we’ve cracked the top 5-6% of all podcasts online. 

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

 

At Ascension the creed shifts from the perfect tense to the present. Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father. As in this very moment. A statement intended not as referring to Jesus’ location but his vocation; that is, he’s been given dominion by the Father over the Earth as its rightful Lord and King. Or, as Stanley Hauerwas says, Jesus is Lord and everything else is bullshit.

Ascension Sunday falls on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. Taylor & Jason discuss how the Ascension and Memorial Day can’t be juxtaposed to one another. This week’s lections include: Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47 or Psalm 93, Ephesians 1:15-23, and Luke 24:44-53

All of it is introduced by the soulful tunes of my friend Clay Mottley.

You can subscribe to Strangely Warmed in iTunes.

You can find it on our website here.

Help us reach more people: 

Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’s not hard and it makes all the difference. 

It’s difficult for me to express how grateful (to God) I feel that the inter-webs and something called a podcast would be the means by which I have developed a friendship with Fleming Rutledge. Our regular conversations for Crackers and Grape Juice and correspondence in between have become a surprising and deeply treasured part of my life and vocation.

I caught up with Fleming last week. Here’s the interview. You can also go to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com to view the video of the conversation.

Stay tuned and thanks to all of you for your support and feedback. We want this to be as strong an offering as we can make it so give us your thoughts.

We’re doing a live podcast and pub theology event at Bull Island Brewery in Hampton, Virginia on Thursday, June 15th. If you’re in the area, check it out here.

Clay Mottley will be playing tunes for us and Jeffery Pugh is our special guest.

You can download the episode and subscribe to future ones in the iTunes store here

You’ve slacked off on giving us ratings and reviews!!!

With weekly and monthly downloads, we’ve cracked the top 5-6% of all podcasts online. 

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.

Before you go, here’s a Crucifixion 101 Interview Fleming did recently with Jonathan Merritt.

RNS: I know churches that feel uncomfortable about discussing the cross in all its bloody violence. Why do you think churches avoid preaching about the cross?

FR: One significant reason, as I explain in my book, is reaction against overemphasis on a particular version of “penal substitution,” which became an idée fixe in some Protestant circles. Other reasons may be cultural, since many mainline Protestant churches have associated the preaching of the cross with supposedly less-educated, right-wing Christians — and also, a bloody corpus on the cross was more typical of Spanish and Latino Roman Catholic imagery. A third factor is American optimism, a preference for what makes us feel good, and an unwillingness to talk about the power of Sin — in spite of the persistence of Sin throughout the world.

RNS: I grew up in a religious context that saw “penal substitution” theory of atonement — that Jesus died for our sins to satisfy God’s wrath — as a non-negotiable doctrine. How does your view compare?

FR: I argue strongly against (1) making this model the “non-negotiable” feature of authentic faith; (2) presenting any feature of the Bible as a “theory,” since the Bible deals largely in images and narrative; (3) the rationalized, schematized nature of the penal substitution model as expounded in 19th century Protestantism; 4) any model that splits the Father from the Son.

I do, however, attempt to present the strongest case possible to show that the theme of substitution — in the words of a great hymn, “the slave has sinned, and the Son has suffered” — is embedded in Scripture and tradition and, if discarded, is a serious impoverishment.

RNS: You also embrace “Christus Victor” as an atonement motif. Can you explain this briefly for those who don’t know, and what are you saying about this that’s fresh and perhaps more convincing?

FR: Christus Victor is not really an atonement motif. Paul Ricoeur points out that the Bible speaks of Sin in two essential ways: (1) as a responsible condition for which atonement must be made; and (2) as an Enemy that must be driven from the field. Sin is therefore both a guilt and a Power.

The biblical motifs of substitution and sacrifice address the first problem, and Christus Victor (incorporating the Passover-Exodus imagery from earliest Christian liturgies) depicts Christ the conqueror of the cosmic Powers of Sin and Death. It’s important to hold both of these pictures simultaneously. Taken together, they are the most complete account of the human predicament that we have. Of course, if you don’t think humanity is in a predicament, this won’t mean much to you.

I try in my book to show as clearly as possible that the Christian message is the most universal geo-political worldview that has ever been offered.

RNS: You think churches should embrace the gruesomeness of the crucifixion. Why?

FR: I wouldn’t put it exactly that way. As I point out in my book, the Evangelists don’t dwell on the gruesomeness. I do think it’s important for people in our sanitized society to know what is involved in this method of executing a person, but the shame, degradation, dehumanization, and, above all, godlessness of crucifixion are what’s most important. Those features, I believe, lie at the heart of what Christ suffered, and I argue that it is crucial (“crucial” derives from Latin crux, cross) for the church to ask why God chose to die in that particular way.

RNS: But don’t you think that the cross can be voyeuristic or manipulative? I think of “Passion of the Christ” and the way it uses violence in a kind of evangelistic shock-and-awe campaign.

FR: I know what you mean. I mention in my book that I used to see this manipulative approach used in youth groups. I don’t agree with this technique. I have taken pains to avoid it.

RNS: Why do you believe that Jesus’ crucifixion is the “center of the gospel?” Why not the incarnation and birth of Jesus? Or the resurrection of Jesus?

FR: In my book I emphasize the essential doctrine of the incarnation, because it proclaims that the man who was crucified is none other than God’s own self, God’s Second Person in human flesh. I also make a point of insisting that the crucifixion and resurrection are a single event, incomprehensible if separated. But the cross is the uniquely non-religious feature of the Christian message, and that gives our faith its ultimate grounding. There is nothing remotely like this shocking dénoument in any other faith. In the final analysis, I find this a convincing argument for the truth of the Christian proclamation.

 

 

 

 

 

Full Disclosure:

I was prepared to dismiss Rod Dreher as a d@#%$# bag both for the hysteria generated by his new book among progressives and for the dust jacket of it, which seemed to me overly obsessed with homosexuality.

It turns out Jesus has a sense of humor.

Rod Dreher turned out to be a wonderfully kind and thoughtful guy. His book turned out to be one that could have easily been written by my muse Stanley Hauerwas. And the dust jacket it turns out wasn’t written by him at all.

Here’s our conversation with Rod Dreher on the Benedict Option, his proposal for how Christians in the West should retreat and recover holiness in the face secularism and nihilism. He also blogs regularly at The American Conservative.

Stay tuned and thanks to all of you for your support and feedback. We want this to be as strong an offering as we can make it so give us your thoughts.

We’re doing a live podcast and pub theology event at Bull Island Brewery in Hampton, Virginia on Thursday, June 15th. If you’re in the area, check it out here.

Clay Mottley will be playing tunes for us and Jeffery Pugh is our special guest.

You can download the episode and subscribe to future ones in the iTunes store here

You’ve slacked off on giving us ratings and reviews!!!

With weekly and monthly downloads, we’ve cracked the top 5-6% of all podcasts online. 

Help us reach more people: Give us 4 Stars and a good review there in the iTunes store. 

It’ll make it more likely more strangers and pilgrims will happen upon our meager podcast. ‘Like’ our Facebook Page too. You can find it here.

Oh, wait, you can find everything and ‘like’ everything via our website.

If you’re getting this by email, here’s the link. to this episode.