Archives For Podcasts

Steven Paulson says all of American Christianity is a conspiracy to undo baptism. In this latest episode we talk with New Testament scholar and baseball fan and recent convert to Anglicanism, Scot McKnight about his new book, It Takes a Church to Baptize: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1587434164

From the back jacket –

The issue of baptism has troubled Protestants for centuries. Should infants be baptized before their faith is conscious, or does God command the baptism of babies whose parents have been baptized?

Popular New Testament scholar Scot McKnight makes a biblical case for infant baptism, exploring its history, meaning, and practice and showing that infant baptism is the most historic Christian way of forming children into the faith. He explains that the church’s practice of infant baptism developed straight from the Bible and argues that it must begin with the family and then extend to the church. Baptism is not just an individual profession of faith: it takes a family and a church community to nurture a child into faith over time. McKnight explains infant baptism for readers coming from a tradition that baptizes adults only, and he counters criticisms that fail to consider the role of families in the formation of faith. The book includes a foreword by Todd Hunter and an afterword by Gerald McDermott.

And before you listen, we’ll be launching a new project for Advent starting Monday called Advent Begins in the Dark, a serious of daily reflections inspired by Fleming Rutledge’s new book Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ. Reflections will be provided by folks like Will Willimon, Sarah Condon, Scott Jones and more. You can find the devos here.

Addison Hart joins the podcast to talk about his latest book, ‘The Letter of James: A Pastoral Commentary’.

https://www.amazon.com/Letter-James-Pastoral-Commentary/dp/1532650140

From the back cover: The Letter of James is perhaps needed more than ever today. In this commentary, Hart argues that the epistle is indeed the work of James of Jerusalem, “the brother of the Lord,” that it was an encyclical letter, and that its chief concern was to combat a distorted version of Paul’s gospel. It is a work with a singular purpose: to bring the churches back to the most basic teachings of Jesus. In its defense of orthopraxy as the primary Christian standard, its denunciation of those with wealth who exploit or neglect the poor, its hard words for those who have taken on the mantel of “teacher” without first learning to restrain their tongues, and above all its exhortation to relearn the truth that “faith without works [of love] is dead,” James could be talking to churches in our own time. This commentary presents James afresh, as a living guide with a perennial message for those who seek to follow Jesus. It is pastoral in intent, written for those who teach and preach, those who desire a more authentic discipleship, and those who practice lectio divina—the meditative reading of Scripture.
_____________________
Addison Hodges Hart is a retired priest (of both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches, M.Div.), former college chaplain for Northern Illinois University, teacher, spiritual director, and former ecumenical/interfaith director (for the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois). He is the author of six previous books, published by Eerdmans, the most recent being The Ox-Herder and the Good Shepherd: Finding Christ on the Buddha’s Path (2013), Strangers and Pilgrims Once More: Being Disciples of Jesus in a Post-Christendom World (2014), and The Woman, the Hour, and the Garden: A Study of Imagery in the Gospel of John (2016). He currently lives with his wife in Norway, along with two Newfoundland dogs, a herd of cats, and some goats.

Just after election day to insure listeners don’t get their boxers in too much of a twist, here’s the latest episode, working our way alphabetically through the stained-glass language of the faith. Up today– Quietism. What the hell is Quietism? You might still be asking that question after the episode. Hint, it relates to how we relate to the society around us.

And before you listen— just to be fair and balanced- buy one of our C&GJ “Make the Gospel Great Again” t-shirts and we’ll donate the proceeds to Just Neighbors.

Get the shirts here.

 

 

For Election Day, as we all go to the altar polls, I thought it would good to go to the vault and re-release our podcast with my good friend Brad Todd, who is a Republican stategist and campaign manager and author with syndicated columnist and CNN contributor Salena Zito of ‘The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics,’is an in-depth examination of the 2016 presidential election. Brad and Selena examine the why and how of the outcome of the election and then look to how 2016 will influence elections to come.

Playing a big role in all of this was Trump’s conservative-evangelical base. What does this mean for Christian influencers and candidates in elections to come? That and more on this episode of Crackers and Grape Juice.


From the publisher – The Great Revolt delves deep into the minds and hearts of the voters the make up this coalition. What emerges is a group of citizens who cannot be described by terms like “angry,” “male,” “rural,” or the often-used “racist.” They span job descriptions, income brackets, education levels, and party allegiances. What unites them is their desire to be part of a movement larger than themselves that puts pragmatism before ideology, localism before globalism, and demands the respect it deserves from Washington.

And before you listen— just to be fair and balanced- buy one of our C&GJ “Make the Gospel Great Again” t-shirts and we’ll donate the proceeds to Just Neighbors.

Get the shirts here.

 

 

Alright, alright, alright— The intersection of faith and doubt is viewed either as a badge of honor for some Christians but for others, doubt has no place.

In his new book, Faith in the Shadows: Finding Christ in the Midst of Doubt, pastor and author— and fellow DBH Fanboy— Austin Fischer (who sounds exactly like Matthew MaconnaHEY) explores this intersection, drawing on his own experience as a doubting pastor.

Check it out here

https://www.ivpress.com/faith-in-the-shadows

Austin Fischer is the Teaching Pastor at Vista Community Church. His first book – ‘Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed’ – was published by Wipf & Stock in January 2014. He writes and speaks and you can follow him on Twitter @austintfischer or check out his website: www.http://austinfischer.com

But wait! Before you listen, help us out. This goodness is free but it ain’t cheap— help us out:

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

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

 

Back on the podast is our friend, my former teacher, Dr. Ruben Rosario Rodriguez. He’s got a new book out called Dogmatics After Babel.

Rubén Rosario Rodríguez addresses the long-standing division between Christian theologies that take revelation as their starting point and focus and those that take human culture as theirs. After introducing these two theological streams that originate with Karl Barth and Paul Tillich, respectively, Rosario asserts that they both seek to respond to the Enlightenment’s critique and rejection of Christianity. In so doing, they have bought into Enlightenment understandings of human reality and the transcendent.

Rosario argues that in order to get beyond the impasse between theologies of the Word and culture, we need a different starting point. He discovers that starting point in two sources: (1) through the work of liberation and contextual theologians on the role of the Holy Spirit, and (2) through a comparative analysis of the teachings on the hiddenness of God from the three “Abrahamic” religions —Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Rosario offers a strong argument for why this third theological starting point represents not just a marginal or niche position but a genuine alternative to the two traditional theological streams. His work will shift readers’ understanding of the options in theological discourse beyond the false alternatives of theologies of the Word and culture.

But wait! Before you listen, help us out. This goodness is free but it ain’t cheap— help us out:

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

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

 

“The Gospel gets a bad rap sometimes because it says you have to die before you can live. That can be a bitter to swallow when you didn’t want to take a pill in the first place.”

After getting lost at sea— I mean, stuck in editing queue— two longtime Mockingbird writers, Charlotte Getz and Stephanie Phillips, have written a book that features a patchwork of personal essays, pocket liturgies, and pseudo-fictional plays, and not a dull moment between them.

Sisters from a different mister, Stephanie Phillips and Charlotte Getz never expected to raise their families anywhere but home, in the American South. But then…life happened.

Quirky, hilarious, and (mostly) true, UNMAPPED is the tale of two long-distance friends who found home—together and apart—in unexpected exile. This spiritual memoir duet is unlike anything you’ve ever read.

Stephanie and Charlotte had the misfortune of being interviewed on the night I packed up my office to move to a new church. Do not take the delay in releasing the podcast as a sign of what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed their book and their candor and wit in the conversation about it.

But wait! Before you listen, help us out. This goodness is free but it ain’t cheap— help us out:

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

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

 

 

 


The posture of prayer, total dependence upon God, is a sign of the maturest of faith. I can say that because I’m s@#$ at prayer.

With Teer in jail without bail for indecent exposure and disorderly conduct, Johanna and Jason discuss an extra P-word: Prayer.

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

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

 

Compared to Luke, I feel like genetic garbage so I don’t know what he’s crabbing about in his new book God Over Good.

Luke Norsworthy is known for a few things: amazing hair, a CrossFit body most dads dream of, and a keen awareness that what we say about God has implications that go beyond the cliché. In his new book, ‘God Over Good,’ Luke explores what it means to save your faith by letting go of the expectations we place on God.

An excerpt from the book:

“God doesn’t always seem to be what we would call good. A good father wouldn’t make it so difficult to get to know him, would he? And if God is all-powerful, wouldn’t God ensure that we never suffer? Either our understanding of God is incorrect, or our definition of good is inadequate.

In a world that is messy and a church that is imperfect, it’s easy to let our faith be lost. But that doesn’t mean we have to lose God. It means we must consider that perhaps our idealized expectations are wrong.

With transparency about his own struggles with cynicism and doubt, pastor Luke Norsworthy will help you trade your confinement of God to an anemic definition of good for confidence in the God who is present in everything.”

Luke Norsworthy (MDiv, Abilene Christian University) is the senior pastor of the 1,500-member Westover Hills Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. A frequent speaker at universities, retreats, and conferences, he is the host of the popular Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast on which he has rubbed shoulders with some of the brightest and most prominent voices in theology, including N. T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, Mirsolav Volf, Walter Brueggemann, John Ortberg, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three daughters.

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/god-over-good/390350

It is often said that one of the GREATEST ideas to come out of the Reformation was the priesthood of all believers. But what does that actually mean? Come to think of it what does priest and priesthood actually mean? Plus, Johanna doesn’t want a man telling her what to do.

Here’s the latest installment of (Her)Men*you*tics, working our way through the alphabet one stained glass word at a time.

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

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

 

After a summer hiatus (the trouble when 1/3 of your podcast posse is from Sweden), the (Her)Men*You*tics ‘channel’ of Crackers and Grape Juice is back. We’re working our way through the alphabet, one stained glass word at a time. We left off with the letter ‘P’ so we’ve got ‘Pentecost’ for you this week and ‘Priest’ next week.

What’s the difference between spirit and the Spirit? What’s the role of religious experience and is religious experience by virtue of being a religious experience the work of the Holy Spirit? How do so often miss that Jesus teaches the Holy Spirit’s chief function will be to convict us of our sin and convince us of what scripture testifies about him?

Before the interview…Help support the show! 

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

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

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Turns out the quote everyone attributes to Parker Palmer was never uttered by Parker Palmer.
Other lessons learned in this episode: Community organizing during social unrest, Thomas Merton saving the bacon, communism working in the monastery, incarnation politics, internal work, being on the brink of everything and getting old, the ambivalence of “meaning,” contemplative time, depression and medication.

For episode #171, I had the honor of talking with Parker Palmer about his new book On The Brink Of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old.

Before the interview…Help support the show! 

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

I met Dr. Rolf Jacobson at the Festival of Homiletics where, eavesdropping on me preaching, he said I sounded more Protestant than any of his students at Luther Seminary. You can check out his sermon here.

Dr. Jacobson is the author of Crazy Talk and hosts his own lectionary-based podcast as well. In this episode, he and I talk about the distinction between the Law and the Gospel as a particular emphasis of the Protestant Reformation as well as the role of the Psalms in shaping prayer and giving voice to our emotions before God. In particular, we talk about suffering, his own journey with cancer that’s left him withouth his legs, and the church as a community of care.

It’s a good conversation. Enjoy.

Before the interview…Help support the show! 

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

 

 

What does preaching sound like from the pew? What do listeners think of a preacher’s preaching?

Not only is Johanna Hartelius my best friend, she is the host of our sister podcast (Her)Men*You*tics. Johanna is also a professor of rhetoric and communication at the University of Texas, Austin. An expert, she offer’s here 3 Do’s and Don’ts for preaching for preachers to consider and for lay people to expect of their preachers.

Before the interview…Help support the show! 

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

 

 

“It’s a misuse of the word ‘prophetic’ to describe any speech Christians proclaim or exhort to unbelievers. It’s non-biblical. Only those who haven’t read the prophets would so describe ‘prophetic.’

“Protest that precedes prayer is theologically disordered.

“It’s pastorally cruel to exhort unbelievers who do not have the gift of the Holy Spirit to live up to scripture’s standards of justice.”

”There’s no urgency in either Testament for God’s People to get involved in the politics of the Principalities and Powers.”

”The Gospel is a gift. Christians cannot coerce the Kingdom, mandating its values upon the nation.”

”The prophets preached against injustice to fellow believers not to the unbelieving nations.”

John Nugent is professor of Old Testament at Great Lake Christian College and the author of Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church.  

In this episode John Nugent lays down all kinds of tweet bombs as he talks about preaching and politics, the proper role of prophetic preaching, and the current immigration crisis in America.

Before the interview…Help support the show! 

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

 

 

During our recent live podcast event in Hampton, Virginia we were able to open the space up for questions to our guests Dr. Johanna Hartelius and Dr. Kendall Soulen. In their responses they address kinship language, the fullness of God, proper names, true freedom, and what it means to be the church.

Before the interview…Help support the show! 

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

Earlier this summer, Crackers and Grape Juice hosted a Live Podcast in Hampton, Va at Bull Island Brewery. Over 100 folks came out for our guests theologian Kendall Soulen from Emory University and Johanna Hartelius, Professor of Rhetoric at University of Texas Austin. Johanna and Kendall helped us reflect on what we talk about when we talk about God.

Frankly, Kendall giving preachers caution about how easy it is to preach our politics rather than attending to the Word and Johanna’s decontruction of ‘inclusive language’ were worth the night- as was (I’m biased, she’s my best friend) her talking about praying with her son. Part 2 of the Live Podcast will post next week.

Before the interview…Help support the show! 

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

I first heard about a theologian named Karl Barth when, having been a Christian for just more than a year, I was a freshman at the University of Virginia. I dumped a class on Chaucer and added something called ‘Elements of Christian Thought’ taught by David Bentley Hart. DBH and, through him, KB changed my life just as profoundly as Woodlake UMC had in the time leading up to college.

For the uninitiated, Karl Barth is inarguably the most consequential theologian of the 2oth century- at least the 20th century. His theology, starting with his commentary on Romans, declared NEIN to the modern liberal theolgy in which he’d been schooled and in which most Protestant denominations today still exist. He synthethized Luther and Calvin in a way that bypassed the evangelical fundamentalism of his day and ours. He resisted Nazism not through political means but through insistence on Jesus Christ as Lord and as the One Word which God speaks. All the wihle, his personal life personified his insistence on the primacy of grace over law.

Barth reframed sanctifcation as ‘vocation’ in a way, I believe, that allows those in the Wesleyan tradition to reclaim their place in the Protestant family.

I think you’ll enjoy the conversation I had with Mark Galli about KB. Mark is the Editor of Christianity Today, the most read Christian magazine. Also an author, Mark recently wrote an introdcutory biography about Karl Barth for evangelicals. You should know, evangelicals have always cast a suspicious eye towards Barth, who was neither a biblical literlalist nor an unabashed subscriber to a penal substitionary understanding of the atonement. Barth’s marriage (you’ll hear in the podcast) was but another reason to dismiss him. Still, Barth has exercised enornous influence over pastors and theologians of recent decades so, by default, he’s influenced congregations as well.

Barth’s massive work is the long form of, a pupil, Stanley Hauerwas’ maxim:

Jesus is Lord, and everything else is bullshit.

Check out Mark’s Author Page. 

Before the interview…Help support the show! 

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

What happens when an entire denomination struggles with language regarding human sexuality and three pastors try to ask questions? Teer, Taylor, and I grabbed a spot in the hotel lobby at Annual Conference recently to talk about the sexuality debate in the United Methodist Church.

Help support the show! 

Go to Amazon and buy a paperback or e-book of Crackers and Grape Juice’s new book,

I Like Big Buts: Reflections on Paul’s Letter to the Roman. 

All proceeds go to support the podcast.

 My podcast, Crackers and Grape Juice, has released an ebook, available in paperback too, as a fundraiser to cover the costs of the show. Below is a little teaser from a reflection I wrote on Romans 3.

You can listen to a podcast the guys did about the book with out me below.

Go to Amazon and get the book. Even better, leave us a review there. It’ll help people find the book.

As many of you know, I do a lot of my work at Starbucks.  I have my reasons. For one thing, I get more accomplished without Dennis pestering me to show him how his computer works. But to be honest, the main reason I go to Starbucks…is because I like to eavesdrop. It’s true. What ice cream and cheesecake were to the Golden Girls eavesdropping is to me. 

     At Starbucks I’m like a fly on the wall with a moleskin notebook under his wing. I’ve been dropping eaves at coffee shops for as long as I’ve been a pastor and, until this week at least, I’ve never been caught. 

     This week I sat down at a little round table and started to sketch out a funeral sermon. At the table to my left was a 20-something guy with ear phones in and an iPad out and a man-purse slung across his shoulder. At the table to my right were two middle-aged women. They had a bible and a couple of Beth Moore books on the table between them. And a copy of the Mt Vernon Gazette. 

     The first thing I noticed though was their perfume. It was strong I could taste it in my coffee. 

     Now, in my defense I don’t think I could properly be accused of eavesdropping considering just how loud the two women were talking. Like they wanted to be heard. Their ‘bible study’ or whatever it had been was apparently over because the woman by the window closed the bible and then commented out loud: 

‘I really do need to get a new bible. This one’s worn out completely. I’ve just read it so much.’

     Not to be outdone, the woman across from her, parried, saying just as loudly: 

‘I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t spend time in the Word every day. 

I don’t know what people do without the Lord.’ 

     “They do whatever they want” her friend by the window said. 

     And I said- to myself- ‘Geez, I’ve sat next to two Flannery O’Connor characters.’

     I assumed that since they were actually reading the bible there was no way they attended this church, but just to make sure I gave them a double-take. They had perfectly permed hair flecked with frosted highlights. And they had nails in which I could see the reflection of their large, costume jewelry. 

     “Baptists” I thought to myself. 

     They continued chatting over their lattes as the woman by the window flipped through the Mt Vernon Gazette. She stopped at a page and shook her head in disapproval.  

     Whether she actually said ‘Tsk, tsk, tsk,’ or I imagined it I can’t be sure. 

     The other woman looked down at the paper and said: ‘Oh, I heard about that. He was only 31.’ 

     ‘Did you hear it was an overdose?’ the woman by the window said like a kid on Christmas morning. 

     And that’s when I knew who they were gossiping about. I knew because I was sitting next to them writing that young man’s funeral sermon. 

     ‘Did he know the Lord?’ the woman asked. 

     ‘Probably not considering the lifestyle’ the woman by the window said without pause. 

     They went on gossiping from there.  They used words like ‘shameful.’ They did not, I noticed, use words like ‘sad’ or ‘tragic’ or ‘unfortunate.’ 

     It wasn’t long before the circumference of their conversation spun its way to encompass things like ‘society and what’s wrong with it,’ how parents need to pray their kids into the straight and narrow, and how this is what happens when our culture turns its back on God.’ 

     After a while they came to a lull in their conversation and the woman opposite the window, the one with the gaudy bedazzled cross on her neck, gazed down at the Mt Vernon Gazette and wondered out loud: 

    ‘What do you say at a funeral like that?’ 

     And without even looking at them, and with a volume that surprised me, I said: ‘The same damn thing that’ll be said at your funeral.’ 

     They didn’t even blush. But they did look at me awkwardly. 

     ‘I hardly think so’ the woman by the window said, sizing me up and not looking very impressed with the sum of what she saw. 

     And so I laid my cards down: ‘Well, I probably won’t be preaching your funeral, but I will be preaching his.’ 

     And then I pointed at her theatrically worn bible, the one resting on top of her copy of A Heart Like His by Beth Moore, and I said: ‘If you actually took that seriously you’d shut up right now.’

     “No one is righteous, not one,” St. Paul indicts us all in Romans 3.

   Go get the book now!

    

     ‘.