Archives For Podcasts

Our guest for our 187th episode is Amy Julia Becker, fellow Princeton alum and author of the new book White Picket Fences. In it and in our conversation, Amy talks about how her experience of mothering a daughter with special needs has been an epiphany, helping her to discover the world of white privilege she enjoys but previously did not appreciate.

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

But wait! This goodness isn’t easy nor is it cheap. Before you listen, help us out:

Go to iTunes, look up Crackers and Grape Juice and give us a rating— it helps others find out about the podcast.

Like our Facebook Page— how easy is that?

Go to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com and click on “Support the Show.”

There you can sign up to be a monthly or one-time donor for PEANUTS.

 

And the Truth that Sets Us Free.

Near the end of 2018, Teer Hardy and I sat down for a conversation with Jonathan Walton about his new book that releases this week, 12 Lies that Hold America Captive. Jonathan is a director with InterVarsity in NYC. Christianity Today named him one of the 33 Under 33. In addition, Jonathan has published 3 volumes of poetry.

Despite him being leery of a podcast named ‘Crackers’ it turned out to be a good conversation. Check it out.

 

As Advent turns to Christmas, Fleming and Jason talk about Christmas coming in a burst, the light shining most bright in the world’s darkness, and the need for white Christians to listen to the experience of black Christians. The audio is a little wonky in the beginning on her end…bear with it. It’s worth it.

Merry Christmas!

To close out the Advent season, Teer and Jason talk with Dr. Matt Milliner, professor of Art History at Wheaton College, about the Mother of God, finding the subversive IN the tradition, and how God debilitates himself to show us how he loves us. No matter what. Merry Christmas from the gang at Crackers and Grape Juice.

I’m so glad that our friend, listener, and patron Joshua Retterer pleaded with Matt to come on the podcast. Matt’s passion and enthusiasm for Christian art and faith are off the charts, making this easily one of my favorite conversations we’ve had on the podcast. I

I know the holiday season is a time you’re hit up for all sorts of causes, but if you’re in the mood and appreciate this podcast then help us out.

Go to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com and click the ‘Support the Show’ tab.

Merry Christmas!

For our latest episdoe, Teer and I talked with Dr. Jeff Mallinson about his recent book Sexy: The Quest for Erotic Virtue in Perplexing Times. In addition to digging up John Wesley’s odd and unhelpful views on being the master of your own domain, Jeff explores how grace is not only good news it’s sexy too. In a culture that can’t really talk about sex in any meaningful way, I think this conversation is one of our more important ones.

Jeff is professor of theology and philosophy at Concordia University-Irvine and is the host of the Virtue in the Wasteland broadcast.

Before you check it out, go over to www.crackersandgrapejuice.com and click on the support tab to become a patron of the program.

 

Part 2 of my conversation with fan favorite, Reverend Fleming Rutledge, to talk about her latest book, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ. To dig more into her book and themes, go to www.adventbeginsinthedark.com to subscribe to C&GJ’s daily Advent devotional.

In this installment, Fleming shares a wonderful anecdote of how hearing MLK’s Dream sermon in real time converted her out of the racism of her growing up years. Plus, she says she needs to have me at her right hand all the time!

Have we ripped off the legs of the stool to beat each other with Tradition or Experience? Meanwhile, scripture lays neglected on the floor.

Stuck in the crappy part of the alphabet and scraping the bottom of the barrel, we talked about “Quadrilateral.” For you non-nerds, it’s what Methodists use to refer to Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Experience.

Hey, unlike grace this podcast ain’t cheap nor is it free. Help us out! You can become a patron for less than I what I require to buy shampoo.

Go to the patreon page and join on our community of donors here.

 

“Forgiveness alone cannot make right.”

I sat down with fan favorite, Reverend Fleming Rutledge, to talk about her latest book, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ.

To dig more into her book and themes, go to www.adventbeginsinthedark.com to subscribe to C&GJ’s daily Advent devotional.

 

My podcast posse at Crackers and Grape Juice are launching a daily devotional for the season called Advent Begins in the Dark: Reflections to Ready Us for the Not Yet. We’ve invited guest contributors like Bishop Will Willimon, Sarah Condon and Joshua Retterer of Mockingbird, and Scott Jones of New Persuasive Words along with a host of others. You can find each day’s offering and subscribe to receive them by email at www.crackersandgrapejuice.com: here. You can also join our private Facebook group for more discussion.

Here’s the first reflection:

It took less than an hour for an Iowa jury to find a 28-year-old Iowa father guilty of murder after his 4-month-old son was found dead in a motorized swing last year.

Zachary Koehn was convicted of first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death. On Aug. 30, 2017, authorities arrived to the home of Koehn and 21-year-old Cheyanne Harris and discovered the lifeless body of their son, Sterling Koehn, in the swing. Autopsy results report that medical examiners found “maggots in various stages of development” in the boy’s “clothing and on his skin.” The diaper’s contents irritated the baby’s skin, causing it to rupture, after which E. coli bacteria set in. 

The prosecutor distilled the shock in his opening statement:

“He died of diaper rash.”

The baby, who weighed less than 5 lbs. at death, was left in the baby swing for over a week. He was not bathed or changed that entire time. The county sheriff told jurors he found maggots and larva when the medical examiner began to remove the layers of urine-soaked blankets and clothing from the child. 

Outside the Church, it’s nearly Thanksgiving. 

A time to give thanks.

For all our many blessings, we say.

Inside the Church, it’s nearly Christ the King Sunday and, with it, and the advent of Advent, the end of the liturgical year and the start of a new one. It’s a pivot point in the calendar when Christians are at their most counter-cultural.

The turning of the Christian year, Fleming Rutledge notes, takes us to “the bottom of the night.”

Advent, says Fleming, begins in the dark and ends on Christmas Day with the infant shepherd’s flock hearing about the monsters that were gathered at his manger.  I remember my homiletics professor at Princeton, James Kay, passing out to us in class a xeoroxed copy of that sermon. I thought then that Fleming was a man.  

Advent begins in the dark— every Advent the prophets of old and the last prophet, John the Baptist, force us to look unblinkingly at the darkness of the human predicament, which is to say the darkness of every human heart. Unlike the culture, gratitude is not why Christians gather this season. Instead it’s a season where Christians bravely insist on practicing something like ungratitude, taking a grim look at the world as we have made it and demanding that God in his “goodness” get his a@# back here— as promised— and make right the wrong we have wrought.  

The final book of the Christian Old Testament is the Book of Malachi, which ends by announcing that all the arrogant and all the evildoers will be burned up on Judgment Day. The Christian Bible turns, in other words, on the longing for a redeemer to rectify not only us in our sin but a creation captive to the Power of Sin. The turning of Christians’ year mimics the turning of our scripture. In Advent we do not— as popularly misunderstood— prepare ourselves for the rehearsal of Christ’s first coming; no, in Advent we rehearse the righteous rage of the prophets who anticipated Christ’s first coming in order to long for his promised coming again. Advent is when the Church takes a grim look at ourselves and the world we’ve made in our own image and we call due the IOU sworn by the second coming. The collect for the First Sunday of Advent prays thusly:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to rectify

Advent is when the Church acknowledges the lack in us, an emptiness which pours out into the darkness of our world.

Advent is when we remind ourselves— or try to convince ourselves— that God gives a crap about it all.

It’s already Advent, Fleming argues, noting how the assigned readings for the Church this time of year already take a turn to the apocalyptic. Just last Sunday Jesus was giving a widow a “bless her heart” for giving a mite out of her lack. In this Sunday’s Gospel lection, Jesus is warning about the coming of the end: 

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birthpangs.”

This must take place, Jesus says as though he too had read that story about little Sterling left to rot and then to die in his swing. 

Forget all the lies told by the Left Behind types and the hucksters on Trinity Broadcasting.

Advent is the season when Christians celebrate that the specter of the end is good news. The God who promises that in Christ there is now nor never any condemnation will not sit idle forever and let us condemn his creation. His cousin was right from the very beginning. The Lamb who took away our sins in his body on a tree will one day return to take away forever the Pharoah called Sin and rectify all the damage done by his reign.

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.