The Holy Post
This is our last episode for 2017… Phil is taking a break to focus on some writing projects... and the holidays with his family!
 
This week!  Phil and Skye talk about their biggest stories of the year and movies they’ve enjoyed recently.  (Plus the movie Phil suggested to his wife that he now regrets!)  Then they’re joined by Koinonia House Ministry Director Nephtali Matta, who shares his story of full-time pastoral ministry, followed by time in prison, followed by a new ministry to ex-cons after his own painful reintegration to society.  Don’t miss it!
 
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What exactly are “vampire churches,” and why does Skye believe they’re sucking the life out of American Christianity?  How can “effectiveness” and “ambition” be the enemies of ministry?  And why can’t Phil stop talking about turtles??  Phil and Skye discuss Skye’s new book, Immeasurable.  And turtles.  This week on the podcast!

(Due to a technical glitch, there is no video on YouTube this week.  Terribly sorry.  Picture us in your minds.  Phil is wearing dark purple.  Skye is bald.  Christian is missing.  Go.)

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It’s a pre-Thanksgiving mailbag podcast, as the gang sits down to answer your questions.  From favorite Thanksgiving foods to thoughts about guns in church and the “Mike Pence Rule.”  Plus… is Phil ready to give up on the label “evangelical,” or is he still holding onto hope??  Grab a turkey leg and listen in!

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Irish composer Keith Getty has been writing modern hymns like “In Christ Alone” for two decades, and now he’s written - wait for it - a BOOK!  About singing!  Keith joins Phil and Skye on the podcast to talk worship music, singing together, and how to stay focused on God when everyone around you wants another HIT worship song.  PLUS - Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K.  Hollywood has been behaving very badly, and Phil and Skye ponder if it’s a new thing, or a very, very old thing made visible in a new way.  Come on along for the ride!

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We’ve all heard the stats about kids leaving the faith when they head for college - but why? And what would have made their faith more “sticky?” Has anyone done any actual research on this? Kara Powell has! Fuller Youth Institute Executive Director Kara Powell joins the gang to discuss her research and her book - Sticky Faith!

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10 kids, no TV, no cell phone, no internet.  Life with the Amish?  A zombie apocalypse?  Nope - just another day in the life of Read Schuchardt, a professor of media ecology who definitely practices what he preaches!  Plus, Phil and Skye discuss a new “giant sucking sound” in American demographics and Phil, yet again, attempts to convince us we really, REALLY don’t want to live on Mars.  This week on the podcast!

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So… Phil and a Croatian Protestant theologian walk into a bar….  Oh, you’ve heard that one?  Author/theologian/Yale professor Miroslav Volf sits down with Phil to talk about Christians in culture and his new book Public Faith in Action: How to Engage with Commitment, Conviction, and Courage.  What follows is a fascinating conversation about Volf’s arguments for religion in a globalized world, plus what discourages and encourages him about the North American church today.  And how his fountain pen explains his view of God and Creation.  He’s a bright guy and it’s a lot of fun!  This week on the podcast!

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Phil and Skye sit down with N.T. Wright for a fun and fascinating conversation with the world-renowned author and theologian.  What does Wright think of the North American church?  Why do modern gender issues remind him of ancient Gnosticism?  Why is Phil singing show tunes to a famous theologian?  What would Wright put on a billboard if he could require everyone to read one message?  What is it he think kids Bibles get wrong that makes him want to write his own?  All this and more!  Plus… Bladerunner 2049 makes Phil think deep thoughts.  And dogs are people too.  Or maybe not.

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Phil interviews film producer Todd Komarnicki of acclaimed Elf fame about his experience as a Christian in Hollywood. This week on the podcast!

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Liz Dong is two things that usually don’t go together - an undocumented immigrant AND an evangelical Christian.  She’s also a immigrant advocate with World Relief, as well as a member of the Evangelical Immigration Table.  Having read a piece she wrote for Time Magazine, we invited Liz to stop by the studio and talk about her life story and the issues involving DACA, immigration and the church.  Plus, we pause for a moment to remember Hugh Hefner.  Okay - that was long enough.

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It’s a potluck podcast!  Christians predict the world will end… last Saturday?  Plus, the story of two committed Christians in the NFL, both philanthropically active, both known for taking a knee on the field.  Yet one is a hero and the other a villain.  We’re talking about Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick, and it’s a fascinating study of what the American Church values today.  Oh yeah… and the Swiss’s toilets are full of money.  No really.  Money.  This week on the podcast!

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Do we spend too much time trying to know about God, and too little time actually getting to know God?  Author, pastor and spiritual director Jared Patrick Boyd joins the show to talk about experiencing God through the practice of “Imaginative Prayer.”  Plus, Christian is back from France and Phil’s got a bone to pick with an Emmy award-winning show.  This week on the podcast!

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Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?  What are our differences?  What do we have in common?  Author Carl Medearis has been working and living among Muslims in some of the most dangerous places on earth for the last 25 years, and joins the podcast to tell us what he’s learned.  Plus… white Christians are now a minority in America, and Phil and Skye discuss “The Nashville Statement.”  This week on the podcast!

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Raising healthy, happy, godly kids isn’t easy.  This week we asked you for your parenting questions, and invited family ministry expert Elizabeth Smith to join Phil to come up with answers!

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Slavery ended in America with the stroke of a pen in 1865, but the 13th Amendment didn't end institutional racism.  Not even close.  Phil and his law professor brother Rob recently taught a class that touched on the Black Lives Matter movement, asking and attempting to answer the question, “Why so angry?  Isn’t racism over?”  Sure, the 19th century was tough. But what’s happened since then?  Phil mentioned the class on a recent podcast, and numerous listeners wanted to hear more.  So… here we go!  From Reconstruction to Black Lives Matter, we take a look at the last 125 years of race relations in America!

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Christopher Yuan has a captivating story to tell about his struggle with sexual identity, his Chinese immigrant parents, and God.  Oh… and dental school.  And prison.  But not in that order.  He stops by the studio to unpack the whole tale!  Plus… Confederate monuments in the news, Welsh seminarians get their own beer, and, oh yeah… the eclipse as a proof of God?  This week on the podcast!

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Are movies a form of prayer?  Josh Larsen, film critic and host of NPR’s Filmspotting radio show and podcast, joins the gang to talk movies and his new book, Movies Are Prayers, where he looks at movies and finds in them classic forms of Christian prayer.  Also - thoughts about Charlottesville, race, and in the words of one social critic, “What’s wrong with white Christians?”  This week on the podcast!

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Do you know how to see?  Really?  And how does “seeing” affect our faith?  Best-selling author James Gilmore (The Experience Economy) swings by to talk about his new book, Look: A Practical Guide to Improving Your Observational Skills.  Plus, the wedding of the future probably won’t be in a church, and may involve more than two people.  And science disproves the Bible yet again!  Or not.  This week on the podcast!

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What do you mean my church can’t raise my kids for me??  Family ministry expert Rob Rienow joins Phil and Skye to talk about the importance of discipling kids at home, and gives practical advice for doing just that.  Plus, what do Richard Dawkins and The Bible Answer Man have in common?  They’ve been DE-PLATFORMED!  And a new theory suggests our increasing political extremism may be caused - at least partly - by the decline of mainline Protestantism??  Crazy!!

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Enjoy this throwback episode of the crew spending the afternoon with the NY Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet Spy.

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Is technology making it harder for kids to grow into healthy adults?  Is there anything we can do about it?  Author, thinker Andy Crouch stops by to talk about his new book, The Tech-Wise Family, detailing the impact technology is having on American families and what we as parents can do about it.  PLUS - Social media messes up Eugene Peterson’s week, and, it’s finally happened!  Video games are more satisfying than real life!   This week on the podcast!

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It’s a potluck podcast!  A new religion is born in Louisville!  Grizzly bears may be saved by… religious liberty laws??  Hobby Lobby makes an Indiana Jones-style mess, and, in a world where robots and automation are reducing the economic value and employability of millions of regular people, how should the church respond??

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The Luis Palau Association has shared the good news with a billion people around the world, mostly through Billy Graham-style crusades.  Starting in 2008, association president Kevin Palau set out to reimagine the traditional crusade for a new generation, dubbing it "Festival 2.0," and focusing on innovative citywide service initiatives that bring churches together with municipal governments to solve problems that affect whole cities.  Kevin joins the gang in studio to talk evangelism, social engagement, Christian witness in a post-Christian city, and life as the son of one of the world's most famous evangelists.

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Can Christians swear?  Can Christians swear on a podcast?  Can Christians swear on a podcast and find a big audience?  Joey Svendsen, co-host of the “Bad Christian Podcast” joins the show to talk Christian cussing, evil Dungeons & Dragons toys and a life spent recovering from an overly legalistic past.  Plus - Harry Potter turns 20, and overly legalistic Christians rue the day..

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Our favorite Nigerian-British-Minnesotan author/speaker/thinker Jo Saxton returns to the show to talk about church and discipleship in an increasingly post-church world.  If you’re in a community that doesn’t want church services at all, maybe tweaking your church service isn’t the right answer.  But what is??  Jo describes experiments from Sheffield, England that she and others are now applying to the US.  Plus, how denomination accurately predicts a pastor’s political affiliation, and Phil finds a story about space worms and can’t stop talking about it.  Seriously.  He can’t stop.  This week on the podcast!

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Engaging with the world’s leading atheists and skeptics can have an impact on your own beliefs. How so? Let’s ask Justin Brierley! Back from across the pond, our favorite British radio host and atheist whisperer describes how repeated run-ins with Richard Dawkins and other prominent skeptics have affected his faith. Plus Christians indulge in fake news and Orthodox Jews indulge in chicken swinging. Which is worse? We can’t say. On the podcast!

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Why do so many Christians mistrust climate change science?  Does consumerism make us depressed?  Is church good for your health?  Phil brings in a whole mess of news items for this potluck podcast episode!

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Christians have been fighting to change abortion laws for decades now.  What if the solution to abortion wasn’t in politics, but in the local church?  Angie Wezsley joins the podcast to talk about her ministry, “ProGrace,” that seeks to change the dialogue about one of our thorniest cultural topics.  Plus, pastor says, “I can walk on water,” crocodiles say, “No you can’t!"  This week on the podcast!

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What if you could explain the Bible to the whole world?  Visually?  On YouTube?  Timothy Mackie and Jonathan Collins are doing just that with The Bible Project, a theologically rich, crowd-funded visual guide to the Bible that has earned more than 23 million views on YouTube.  We’re big fans, so we’ve got them on the show to tell us what they’re up to and what they’ve learned trying to explain the Bible to, well, everyone on Earth.  PLUS - “faith-based” films.  Does the label help or hurt Christian filmmaking?  This week on the podcast!

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Who is God? No, really. This is the single-most important question determining how we live our lives, according to our guest John Mark Comer, whose book God Has a Name explores the nature of the God of the Bible, how we get him horribly wrong, and why getting him right is so vital. Plus… how do you know if you’ve left evangelicalism? And why was British comedian Stephen Fry just investigated for blasphemy??

Want us to send you the prologue to John Mark Comer’s book for free? Just click here:

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Phil and the gang open the virtual mailbag and answer a host of questions from listeners.  Will social media bring about a new Reformation?  How do you know if a doctrine is “essential?”  Does Skye have anything GOOD to say about the American church?  Favorite faith films, and more!  This week on the podcast!

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Is religion good? Or bad? If we try to get rid of it entirely, does that help? Or just make things worse? And how do so many people get the basic message of Jesus so completely wrong? Today we dive into Skye Jethani's new book – What’s Wrong With Religion? – to wrestle with some absolutely fundamental questions about walking with Jesus.

Plus - education and church attendance might go hand-in-hand after all, and a great worship band might not be what your church needs most. Oh… and muddy jeans as a sign of the end times. Really expensive ones.

You can download the first two chapters of Skye’s new book for free by clicking here. Check it out! Tell your friends! It’s a fun read (with pictures and everything!) that could actually change your life, or the life of someone you love.

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As the culture moves further away from traditional Christianity, some propose Christians need to move further away from culture, taking the "Benedict Option.”  Is a return to more communal Christianity the answer to what ails us?  Also, Americans march for science and against… hmm… what, exactly?  And Fox News has a moral crisis, but do conservative Christians care?   This week on the podcast!

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Bob and Larry make a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live and the Prime Minister of Great Britain gripes that her Easter eggs have been replaced with “seasonal” eggs!  Plus Phil and the gang talk about hearing from God through quiet reflection with wood chopping Portland author Paul Pastor (not to be confused with Phil’s non-wood-chopping puppet Pastor Paul).  This week on the podcast!

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Skye and Phil sit down with writer, director and actor Tim Gregory to talk about his new Chicago stage play based on the life of - believe it or not - Chuck Colson!  Plus Christians have some strange beliefs in the UK and what NOT to put in your DJ mix in the Middle East!

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Were Adam and Eve the first people?  Were they even real people at all?  Should modern genomics influence how we interpret Genesis?  Bible scholar and author Scot Scot McKnight joins the podcast to discuss his new book Adam and Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science.

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Should churches remove Confederate flags?  Should Americans be more afraid of terrorists, ladders or husbands?  Should Wonder Woman shave her armpits?  It’s a potluck podcast as Phil, Christian and Skye bring the stories of their choice - and yes, things get a little nutty.

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Skye steals Phil’s ukulele, sending Phil into an emotional tailspin.  And Trevin Wax joins the podcast to talk about the lies we pick up from our culture, the longings we find beneath the lies, and how the gospel and the local church help us cut through the noise to offer real answers to our deepest longings.

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Is curiosity a threat to faith?  Or is it actually a key attribute of a healthy Christian life?  Happy Rant podcast host Barnabas Piper joins the crew to talk through his new book, The Curious Christian.  Plus - evangelicals and discrimination, and Phil & Skye offer Russell Moore a job!

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At the age of 20, Michael Wear became one of the youngest White House staffers in history, working in President Obama’s office of faith-based initiative.  Michael joins Phil and Skye to talk about life as an evangelical Christian in Obama’s White House and his hope for the future of Christians and political engagement.  Plus, Disney ruffles feathers with gay characters.  This week on the podcast!

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Why do black and white evangelicals see the world so differently?  Race and religion in the age of Trump, with professor Theon Hill.

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Former Christian radio personality Melinda Schmidt joins Phil and Skye to talk about Christian radio, movies, TV, and whether Christian media stunts spiritual growth in the name of retaining an audience.  Plus, The Atlantic writes about evangelicals losing jobs for opposing Trump!

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Can a Buddhist follow Jesus and still be a Buddhist?  What about a Muslim?  Fuller Seminary professor William Dyrness joins Phil and Christian to talk about the “insider movement,” where people become Jesus followers without leaving their cultures and religious communities behind.

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What is “power?”  Is it good, or bad?  Is it worth pursuing?  And what if the evangelical church is going about it all wrong?  Pastor Jamin Goggin and professor Kyle Strobel talk power and their new book, “The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb.”  Plus - horse diapers and religious liberty.  No, really.  This week on the podcast!

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It’s a potluck podcast as our friend Drew Dyck swings by for a visit and we tackle a bunch of stories!  Could pigs have people parts??  Could there be great Christian movies Christians just won’t see??  Would Jesus send refugees packing?  Plus Drew’s favorite snack food turns on him!  It’s a sign of the apocalypse for sure!

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She grew up in London, has African heritage, and now lives in Minnesota!  AND she co-pastors a church in a coffeeshop!  She’s Jo Saxton, and she joins us to talk about her life in ministry and her book, “More Than Enchanting” -  the value of female leadership in the world and in the church.  Plus - which religious group is the most committed to their jobs?  You’ll be surprised!

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Was the apostle Paul sexist?  Racist?  Homophobic?  In other words, a real jerk??  Paul has been accused of many things, so Bible scholar Brandon O’Brien joins us to discuss his new book, “Paul Behaving Badly.”  Plus, is a trip to Disney World actually a religious pilgrimage??  This week on the podcast!

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How geography, TV shows and voting go hand in hand, how Star Wars got it’s mojo back by getting it’s religion back, and how Lent can change your life - with Aaron Damiani, author of “The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent.”  This week on the podcast!
 
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What kind of God would send people to Hell?  Judge people?  Call for “holy war?”  Portland, OR Pastor/Author Joshua Ryan Butler joins the podcast for a discussion of some of the more perplexing parts of Christian theology and his appropriately titled book, The Skeletons in God’s Closet.

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