Archives For Podcasts

Calvin said the human heart is an idol factory. Augustine said our hearts are restless until they find rest in God. DZ of Mockingbird Ministries and the author of the new book, Seculosity, says we’re more religious than ever before we’re church “in church” in different ways.

Love, politics, parenting, technology, fitness are not secular alternatives to religion. They are, says DZ, secular ways of being religious. We’re never not in church now says David, but because the Church of Politics or Soul Cycle are inherently religions of Law, we’re increasingly exhausted, self-righteous, and cruel. We’er searching for “enoughness” from gods that, without the promise of grace, cannot bestow it.

Check out his work at www.mbird.com and grab a copy of his book over at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

And after you do David a solid, pay it forward by helping us out at the podcast to keep delivering you conversations about faith without using stained-glass language. Go to our website (www.crackersandgrapejuice.com) and click on “Support the Show” to become a patreon for chump change.

For this latest episode, I get to crush on talk with my hero Barbara Brown Taylor while talking with her about her new book, Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others. The author of previous books like the Preaching Life and Leaving Church, Baylor University recognized Taylor as one of the most influential preachers in the English language. I think you’ll enjoy this one.

You can get her latest book here.

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.

 

I know, it’s Ash Wednesday.

Whatever. We’re working our way through the alphabet and we thought “Trinity” would be a little unwiedly for a 20 minute conversation. So this week’s word is Transfiguration and as always Johanna is asking the hard questions. Let’s just hope her comparing Jesus to Freddie Mercury doesn’t get her struck by lightening.

 

 

The podcast team caught up with Emma Green from The Atlantic to talk about the implications of what occurred at the Special General Conference in St. Louis. Emma argues the storyline coming out of #GC2019 is a common storyline being experience throughout the United States: a breakdown or inability to live in community with people who we disagree with. This struggle to maintain community is causing fracture throughout institutions that once held up our communities.

Emma Green is a staff writer at ​The Atlantic, where she covers politics, policy, and religion.

https://www.theatlantic.com/author/emma-green/
https://twitter.com/emmaogreen

Our coverage from General Conference was only made possible because of our tribe of generous donors.

Pay it forward and become a patron of the podcast. CLICK OVER. DO IT NOW.

I feel like we’re on the Titanic and all of us are acting like Billy Zane, po’d about who’s sleeping with whom.

The posse from the podcast arrived in St. Louis yesterday for the Special General Conference of the UMC, called for the purpose of finding a way forward through our impasse over the issue of sexuality. As I pulled up to the airport yesterday morning, NPR was a playing a story about the conference. The woman in front of me on the flight, a lawyer, was reading a Wall Street Journal story about the conference. The man across the aisle was playing an NCAA game too loud on his phone, and reading a Washington Post story about the conference.

About how United Methodists will or will not include in its ministry those gay Christians in its Body.

Oh, and the usual crowd of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church are here with their bullhorns and their “God Hates Fags” placards.

As I mention below, it’s hard for me to think about this issue from anything other than a personal perspective. I might not be a pastor were it not for the influence of my first theology professor in college, Dr. Eugene Rogers, a conservative Karl Barth scholar who also happened to be gay. I think too of my friend Andy, clearly called by God to ministry and went all the way through seminary before coming out and culling himself from the ordination process before a committee of strangers did it for him. I think too of the various congregations I’ve served, all of which had LGBTQ folks in them and about whom none of these local churches needed lobbyists and bureaucrats from the larger institution telling them how to do their ministry.

Off my soapbox.

The posse recorded our initial thoughts about being here, below, and then we sat down for whiskey with Bishop Will Willimon last night. Here’s Will’s wisdom in a nutshell: “There’s a difference between a problem (which has a solution) and a condition (which does not). Methodism doesn’t have a problem; it has a condition. Maybe the best way forward is for the larger church to allow local churches to continue to muddle their way through this issue.”

Here are those episodes:

 

 

Soylent Green may be people, but old geezers are among my favorite guests on the podcast. Not only is Dr. John Goldingay an Oxford professor and the author of a new translation of the Old Testament, he’s a fan of Wilco, saw the Beatles perform live, and showed touching devotion to his late wife.

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.

“All of us in the Episcopal Church are praying for you guys.”

A friend of Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon is a friend of mine.

We’re 8 away from #200 and I’m talking with Bishop Andy Boyle, the Episcopal honcho for the State of Texas. Given the state of the UMC, this episode doubles as a job interview. Bishop Doyle is the author of many books including his most recent The Jesus Heist. 

 

I’d bet 3/4 of you at some time or another have said something like: ‘God has a plan for____________.’ And even if you’re never uttered that at the wrong time, you believe it. You think it’s true- that God has a plan for each of us.

Notice, both Job and his friends think its true. They believe Job’s suffering is a part of God’s larger plan. Both of them assume a world of tight causality, a world without randomness, a world where everything is the outworking of God’s will. And maybe Job et al (and you and me)- maybe we assume that because the opposite is too frightening.

Maybe it’s frightening to think that our lives are every bit as vulnerable and fragile as they can sometimes feel. Maybe it’s too frightening to think that the question ‘Why?’ has no answer. Maybe it’s too scary to admit that things can happen to us with out warning, for no reason and from which no good will ever come.

It’s understandable that we’d want there to be a plan for each of us, (as though we were characters on Lost) but the logical outcome to that way of thinking makes God a monster.

Pay attention.

What’s scary is that at the end of the Book of Job, 38 chapters later, after Job has cursed the day he was born, cursed God, questioned God’s justice, complained about God’s absence, accused God of abuse, and indicted God for being no better than a criminal on trial- at the end of the book, when God finally shows up and speaks, Job isn’t the one God condemns.

It’s Job’s well-meaning, religious friends.

I’ve been a pastor long enough to know that in our attempts to comfort and answer and explain sometimes we push people away from God., And I’ve stood at enough gravesides and bedsides to know: that the only thing worse than suffering with no reason, no explanation, is suffering without God. And for that reason, here’s my piece of advice is always: when there’s nothing to say, say nothing.

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.

 

“We are at a place in our culture where everything needs to be rethought and reimagined.”

This week the award-winning director and founder of Journey Films, Martin Doblemeier is back on the podcast to talk about his newest film, Backs Against The Wall: The Howard Thurman Story. Listen as he talks about how the life of theologian, philosopher and civil rights activist. Howard Thurman is relevant and important for today’s culture.

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.

 

Jesus doesn’t do miracles in John’s Gospel. He does “SIGNS.” And his first sign is an abundance of choice wine for a bunch of party-goers who are on a three-day bender, probably yakking in the outhouse. And as an aside, do you think the disciples thought Mary was a drag 3rd-wheeling with them to the hoe-down in Cana?

This week Jason and Johanna talk about the importance and significance of Signs. Listen in as we work our way through the alphabet one stained glass word at a time.

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.

“Teer, there’s no future for you in the UMC.”

It ended on a such a dour, heavy, foreboding note we didn’t even ask her the Ten Questions.

This one is a great episode even if it’s a little Methodist-centric. In advance of the Special Sex Conference in St. Louis, Teer and I talk with journalist, blogger (The Thoughtful Christian), and former UMC pastor Christy Thomas. Christy breaks down the various proposals before the UMC regarding sexuality, why the Traditionalist Plan is the Mean Girl Plan, and why there’s no future for Teer in the UMC.

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.

 

 

 

‘The sermon is the means by which the Holy Spirit, through a preacher, speaks a Word of the Lord into a hearer’s earballs, killing them in order to make them alive.”

– Rolf Jacobson

“The preaching of the word of God IS the Word of God.”

– The Heidelberg Catechism

After a long Christmas hiatus (ie, Johanna is lazy), the gang is back, working our way through the alphabet one stained glass word at a time. Up next: ‘Sermon.’

Ever get confused about the Old Testament? Listen to professor, banjo player, and author of the new book Old Testament: Israel’s In Your Face God talk about his new guide through the Old Testament. Bonus for preachers: He’s got a kick-ass idea for a Christmas sermon based on Isaiah.

Order his book here.

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.

 

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.