Category: Interviews

Interview: Philip Gulley, Unlearning God

Philip Gulley joins the podcast to discuss his latest book, Unlearning God, with Steve Kimes. The book is described this way:
With his trademark humor and gentle wisdom, Philip Gulley is a spiritual director any wayward pilgrim could warm to. In Unlearning God: HOW UNBELIEVING HELPED ME BELIEVE (Convergent; OSD: 9/25/2018), he invites readers into his own sometimes irreverent, sometimes daunting, but always refreshing journey of soul-deep reconstruction. In addition to lovers of Gulley’s works, this is a book for readers whose faith has been challenged by the world around them. Gulley teaches the reader to let go, or unlearn these burdensome obstacles in their faith so that they can forge a more authentic relationship with God.
Raised in small-town Indiana by a Catholic mother and a Baptist father, and proselytized by Jehovah’s Witness neighbors, young Gulley struggles with the absurdity of all three camps being utterly convinced the other two are doomed. To nearly everyone’s consternation, Phillip grows up to become a Quaker pastor. “Someone else’s faith,” he writes, “is a poor substitute for having our own.” Yet even his own tradition, he discovers, serves best as a way point in the serious, lifelong process of letting go of inherited certainties in order to flourish.
Driven by Gulley’s trademark storytelling and chapters bookmarked by small sections titled “Why this Matters,” Gulley identifies a number of tenants, dogma, and conventions in his religious journey that he has chosen to “unlearn” on his quest for an all-encompassing faith…
Writing in the tradition of Barbara Brown Taylor, Rob Bell and Rachel Held Evans, Gulley showcases his well-loved gift as a narrator of the American religious experience and his acute sensibilities as public theologian in conversations that will charm, provoke, encourage and inspire.
Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor and popular author and speaker. He has written 21 books, including the Harmony fiction series, the Porch Talk series of inspirational essays, If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person (coauthored with James Mulholland), and The Evolution of Faith: How God Is Creating a Better Christianity. Gulley holds a master of divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary. He is co-pastor of Fairfield Friends Meeting in Camby, Indiana.
For more information, please visit: https://www.philipgulley.com

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Interview: Michelle Morrow, LGBTQ Inclusion

Michelle Morrow joins the podcast to talk to Ryan about her own story coming to Anabaptism and her work now with supporting LGBTQ inclusion in the Church. Some questions covered include:

Michelle’s religious background growing up (0:36)
Finding her way to Anabaptism at Fresno Pacific University (1:27)
Transitioning from seeing her future in biblical studies to being in student services and working for LGBTQ inclusion (5:38)
What working for LGBTQ inclusion looks like for her (16:15)
How Anabaptism helps inform what Michelle is doing (21:45)
Whether a church can be loving toward LGBTQ people without being fully affirming (33:30)
Church Clarity and the push for being clear about what a church practices, whether affirming or not (43:19)
Practical tips for those wanting to better include LGBTQ people (52:44)

Links:

Michelle’s website: www.michellefmorrow.com
Anabaptist Collective Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MennoNerds
Church Clarity: https://www.churchclarity.org/

http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-MichelleMorrow--LGBTQInclusion.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Christopher Heuertz, The Sacred Enneagram

Christopher Heuertz joins Steve on the podcast to discuss his book The Sacred Enneagram. The book is described as (via the Gravity Center page):

Move beyond type as mere caricature and learn how to work with the Enneagram for spiritual growth.
Christopher L. Heuertz was first introduced to the Enneagram in the slums of Cambodia. Since then he has trained under some of the great living Enneagram masters including Father Richard Rohr, Russ Hudson, Marion Gilbert, and Helen Palmer, and now teaches the Enneagram in workshops and retreats around the world. Chris is an International Enneagram Association Accredited Professional. He and his wife Phileena live in Omaha with their puppy Basil, and you can join him on Facebook and Twitter in his intentions to love on the margins.
Topics covered in this episode include:

Richard Rohr’s impact on Chris (1:17)
Introducing the theme of the book: finding your true self (5:00)
Introducing the Enneagram itself, not just another personality test to put you in a box (13:49)
Steve’s Enneagram type, Chris’ Enneagram type, and the centers of the Enneagram (24:17)
How to best find out your type, the dangers of typing others, and the ease of being mistyped (33:14)
Contemplative prayer and how that works together with the Enneagram (50:46)

http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-ChristopherHeuertz--TheSacredEnneagram.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Austin Channing Brown, I’m Still Here

Austin Channing joins the podcast to be interviewed by Katelin Hansen about her new book, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness. Some of the topics covered include:

Background for the book (1:38)
Stories from Austin’s experiences in primarily white Christian spaces (4:25)
The intersection of Christianity and white supremacy (20:00)
The readership of the book being broader than anticipated and the pervasiveness of racism across different evolving systems over time (36:35)

(This interview was much more of a back and forth conversation naturally flowing from one idea to the next than most, so separating them into distinct topics was not nearly as easy)
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-AustinChanningBrown--ImStillHere.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Shelley Campagnola, Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support

Shelley Campagnola from Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support joins the podcast to talk about their work and the current state of refugee acceptance in Canada and the United States. For more on MCRS, visit mcrs.ca.
Topics include:

How MCRS supports refugee claimants and why these claimants are seeking help (1:15)
The Mennonite roots of MCRS (4:06)
Other help for refugees in the Kitchener-Waterloo area (5:30)
The Christian/biblical basis for helping refugees (7:45)
The general process for a refugee in Canada (10:12)
Main differences between Canada and the U.S. and how they welcome refugees (20:40)
The length of the refugee claim process (25:12)
The safe third country agreement and how that impacts refugees to Canada and the U.S. (27:31)
Increasing fear of the “other”, including refugees, in North America (31:26)
How to help MCRS in their work (44:26)

http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-ShelleyCampagnola--MennoniteCoalitionforRefugeeSupport.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Benjamin Corey, Unafraid

Fellow MennoNerd Benjamin Corey comes on the podcast to talk with Steve about his life, his work, and his newest book Unafraid. A description of the book via HarperCollins says this:

The creator of the popular Formerly Fundie blog on Patheos explains how the “American Christianity” we are currently taught is actually a fear-saturated distortion of biblical faith.
Benjamin L. Corey thought he was suffering a crisis of faith, but it turned out to be a spiritual awakening.
Corey became aware that the constant fear of hell and judgment that defined his Christian faith was out of sync with the idea that God acts from love, and promises to deliver us from fear. In the wake of this realization came newfound insights—from reading the Bible to re-examining American life and the church’s role in the wider world. Corey learned that what he had been taught was a distorted version of Christianity that was not only untrue but caused real spiritual harm.
He also discovered that he wasn’t alone. Many Christians are yearning to distinguish between the Christianity that has become a rigid American civil religion and the authentic Christian faith embodied in Jesus. As he recounts his own spiritual journey, Corey offers a powerful and inspiring message of hope for every Christian increasingly frustrated with the church today. Do not be discouraged, he assures them. You do not need to give up your faith; you can rediscover the reality of a vibrant Christianity that delivers us from fear and inspires and guides us all today.

http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-BenjaminCorey--Unafraid.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Rachel Halder, Sacred, Sexy, and Whole

Rachel Halder joins the podcast to discuss healthy sexuality in general and her book Sacred, Sexy, and Whole in particular. Some topics include:

Introducing Rachel and her history studying sexuality (0:54)
What purity culture means and some of its implications (6:30)
The extent to which purity culture comes out of a long history vs being a new construction (10:42)
Consequences of purity culture (13:45)
Advice for people who are dealing with the harm of purity culture, including the value of masturbation as a way to learn about yourself (18:10)
Resources to help people exploring these questions (22:01)
What’s in the book (25:07)
General responses to the book (28:53)
Trauma that results from purity culture and generational passing down of purity culture (31:42)
Rachel’s relationship with her Mennonite history (35:54)
Neuroscience and sexuality (39:22)
What’s next for Rachel and her work (41:45)
Vision for the Church (43:48)

http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-RachelHalder--SacredSexyAndWhole.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Ben Goossen, Chosen Nation

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Ben Goossen joins the podcast to talk about his book Chosen Nation. From Ben’s biography:
Ben Goossen is a global historian of religion and science. He is the author of Chosen Nation: Mennonites and Germany in a Global Era (Princeton University Press, 2017), which examines the relationship between Mennonites and German nationalism during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Ranging from Poland to Paraguay, Chosen Nation engages questions of warfare and pacifism, theology and political activism, gender, genocide, and anti-Semitism to explore new methods of narrating the processes of nationalization and global diaspora. Goossen’s current project, “The Year of the Earth (1957-1958): Cold War Science and the Making of Planetary Consciousness,” is an interpretive history of the International Geophysical Year. Drawing on research conducted on six continents, it illuminates the intersections of science and geopolitics—including Antarctic law, the rise of Big Data, plate tectonic theory, and the discovery of global warming—at the dawn of the space age.
Goossen has held fellowships from the Fulbright Commission and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and he is a Beinecke Scholar. He has received awards for excellence in teaching and scholarship from the Kansas Historical Foundation, the Associated Church Press, the Canadian Church Press, Swarthmore College, and Harvard University. He edits the German Mennonite Sources Databaseand is a co-founder of Anabaptist Historians. His essays and reviews appear in publications ranging from Nova Religio and Waging Nonviolence to the Journal of the History of Ideas blog.
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-BenGoossen--ChosenNation.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Osheta Moore, Shalom Sistas

MennoNerd author Osheta Moore joins Katelin on the podcast to discuss her new book Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World – which she describes as her love letter to every woman who wants to see peace in her everyday life but feels like she’s not good enough or has no idea where to begin – as well as shalom in general. Osheta is an Anabaptist, podcaster, blogger, and mom to three kids ages 15, 12, 11.  Her husband (also a MennoNerds author) is a pastor of a church and they are in the thick of moving their family from L.A. to Saint Paul. Osheta believes everything is better after a nap, brunch with girlfriends is a necessity, and nothing beats a good Netflix binge. At the top of her bucket list is dance in a flash mob—all the better if it’s to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or Pharrell’s “Happy.” You can connect with Osheta at Shalominthecity.com.
Topics covered on this podcast include:

Some of Osheta’s journey to bring her to this point, including her first encounters with the word “shalom” (1:31)
How Osheta’s understanding of shalom has changed over time. (6:11)
Practically, what does it look like to seek shalom? (9:01)
The tension of seeing the really big peacemaking gestures and wondering how we can live that in our simpler lives (13:26)
The three aspects of shalom: with God, with ourselves, with the world (23:16)
What it means to be wholehearted in a brokenhearted world (27:56)
What is the difference between a peacemaker and a peacekeeper? (36:52)
What are shalom steps? (43:38)
How shalom interacts with other fruits of the spirit (50:22)

http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-OshetaMoore--ShalomSistas.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Hannah Eagleson, Emerging Scholars Network

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Hannah Eagleson joins the podcast to talk about her life and her work with the Emerging Scholars Network of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship.

Hannah’s church background (0:59)
Why did Hannah get a Ph.D.? (6:34)
How did Hannah get connected with the Emerging Scholars Network? (9:11)
What is ESN? What is it trying to do? (11:52)
What is Scholar’s Compass? (17:44)
What do we do with this idea that we have to protect God from our minds? (22:03)
The relationship between academia and the Church (25:06)
What would you want academia to know about the Church or Christians in academia? (33:52)
What would you want congregations or pastors to understand about academia? (36:57)
What’s next for ESN? (47:20)
How can people get involved with ESN? (53:30)

View the ESN blog at blog.emergingscholars.org.
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-HannahEagleson--EmergingScholarsNetwork.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Carol Penner, Feminist Theology and More

Carol Penner joins the podcast to discuss a few topics with Katelin, including feminist theology, abuse, pastoral theology, and writing worship resources. From Carol’s bio:
Carol Penner teaches and writes in the area of practical theology.  After many years as a pastor in various Mennonite congregations, she is joining the faculty of CGUC [Conrad Grebel University College] this year. Her research interests include feminist theology and Mennonite peace theology, and abuse issues. She has a popular blog of her worship resources at www.leadinginworship.com
Some of the topics covered include:

Carol’s background in both pastoring and academia. (1:23)
How Carol’s pastoral experience is used in academia and what the average person is thinking about as theological questions. A major one is money. (5:38)
Violence on a personal level, especially violence against women, not only seeing violence as “what would you do if called to war?” (14:21)
How our theology and our Scripture contribute to questions of abuse. (17:41)
Things Carol found helpful in feminist theology. (21:33)
Pastoral abuse and how Mennonite churches don’t do a good enough job talking about it. (32:34)
Why Mennonite churches talked more about abuse in the 90s but then stopped. (39:59)
Why Carol writes worship resources online. (44:15)

Links
Leading in Worship blog by Carol Penner
Carol’s academic bio from University of Waterloo
MennoNerds Interview: Into Account (YouTube)
Mennonite Central Committee Canada – Abuse Prevention
Our Stories Untold
 
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-CarolPenner--FeministTheologyandMore.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God (Part 2)

Image via Waterbrook Multnomah
Brian Zahnd joins the podcast to discuss his new book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. In part 2, they focus on understanding the cross and Hell through the lens of a loving and nonviolent Jesus:

The idea tracing back to Anselm that God is satisfying his wrath, punishing Jesus, in order to gain the capital that allows God to forgive. (0:16)
The kind of justice which takes place at the cross. (6:42)
The view of wrath striking Jesus on the cross, and how we should see wrath instead. (14:11)
Hell and its various meanings which are not from Scripture. (23:16)
The parables of the sheep and the goats and of Lazarus and the rich man. (32:52)
How Brian preaches Hell. (36:48)
Interpreting the book of Revelation. (41:04)
The centrality of love. (45:31)
Brian’s hope for the book. (49:46)
Closing prayer. (50:42)

Links:
Word of Life Church
Brian Zahnd (website)
Brian Zahnd (Twitter)
Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-BrianZahnd--SinnersintheHandsofaLovingGod-Part2.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God (Part 1)

Book image via Waterbrook Multnomah
Brian Zahnd joins the podcast to discuss his new book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. In part 1, they focus on Brian’s story and the nature of the Bible:

Brian’s work with Word of Life Church in St. Joseph’s, Missouri. (1:09)
Writing theology at a pastoral level. (4:39)
The artwork on the cover of Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. (9:21)

Brian’s fascination with the infamous sermon of Jonathan Edward, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, including how that sermon is not representative of Edward’s ministry. (12:59)
Why we should not see God as angry, spiteful and abhorring of sinners. (22:50)
How we got to this place where the Bible is understood the way it is. (29:26)
Interpreting the Transfiguration. (37:20)
What the Bible is, if it isn’t an end in itself. (44:44)

Links:
Word of Life Church
Brian Zahnd (website)
Brian Zahnd (Twitter)
Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-BrianZahnd--SinnersintheHandsofaLovingGod-Part1.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

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