Podcasts

Interview: Benjamin Corey, Unafraid

Unafraid book coverFellow 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.

Some topics include:

  • Defining “progressive Christianity”. (1:36)
  • The evolution of our theologies and losing church, friends, and family over that evolution. (6:27)
  • Being unafraid of God and how the fear of God is so damaging. (11:57)
  • God the puppy-slayer. (19:22)
  • Does wisdom begin with the fear of God? (21:02)
  • A proper understanding of Marcionism. (24:50)
  • Dealing with Jesus’ words around Gehenna and other scary elements of God. (26:40)
  • Talking to oppressors, whether they are doing it knowledgeably or not, and relating to churches that portray God in fear-inspiring ways (33:32)

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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)

Links

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Interview: Ben Goossen, Chosen Nation

Cover of the book Chosen NationPlease help us out by filling out a survey on our podcasts.

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 HistoriansHis essays and reviews appear in publications ranging from Nova Religio and Waging Nonviolence to the Journal of the History of Ideas blog.

Topics in this podcast include:

  • Ben’s Mennonite background and his appreciation of history (0:54)
  • Overview of Chosen Nation (5:12)
  • Motivation for researching this topic, with the history of Mennonites and their relationship to nationalism (6:33)
  • How people reconcile Mennonite history with nationalism (8:55)
  • How speaking to Mennonites all over the world informed the book (11:50)
  • The double-meaning of the phrase “Chosen Nation” (13:59)
  • How Mennonite nationalist identities formed (16:47)
  • How early Germany reacted to Mennonites (20:41)
  • Implications for Mennonites of color today (23:45)
  • Mennonites during the rise of the Nazis and WW2 (27:31)
  • How a better understanding of Mennonite reactions during Nazi Germany can inform us today (32:35)
  • The audience of the book (44:32)
  • Hopes for takeaways from the book, or from this podcast (52:12)
  • Teaser for Ben’s next book about the international geophysical year (56:25)

Links:

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Interview: Osheta Moore, Shalom Sistas

Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World (book cover)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)

Links:

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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.

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