In this episode of Misfit Faith we look to the cross in order to discover exactly what “embracing the void” looks like (turns out it’s a real bummer). We hear from Peter Rollins about the message that Christianity frees us from the expectation of personal fulfillment, and I take a call about what happens after we die. I end the show with a call to all bros to quit being such douchebags.
In this episode I revisit the topic of the lack or void we feel at our core, bringing the principles of quantum theory to bear upon the issue and seeking to show that unknowing lies at the very core of existence itself. I am joined by psychologist and priest Diarmuid O’Murchu (whose name I constantly mispronounce) and we discuss his book, Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics.
In this episode of Misfit Faith I discuss the origins of the American Gospel which promises wholeness and wellbeing to those who jump through the right hoops (hint: its source has a forked tongue). We hear from Peter Rollins about the church as a satanic community, and then I answer a caller’s question about whether we should think of God as a magic genie in the sky. I end the show with an impassioned cry for shopping and buying local, but not for the reasons you might think.
In this episode of Misfit Faith I launch a new series seeking to bring some of the ideas of the thinkers I have been reading for the last several years with my own “Catholish” worldview. We begin with a discussion of the lack or void that we all sense within ourselves, and what we usually do about it (hint, we totally get it wrong). I take a voicemail critiquing my speech patterns, and end the show wishing death upon the world as we know it.
In this episode of Misfit Faith I explore the utter lack of moral and spiritual credibility on the part of American Christianity, especially in the light of the crisis at our border. We hear some thoughts from Brian McLaren on church in the Trump age, as well as hear from a caller asking about Universalism. Our “Jason Needs a Minute” segment touches upon the futility of online political debate.
In this episode of Misfit Faith I reflect on the tragic suicide of Anthony Bourdain as well as engage with the responses to it from Matt Walsh and USA Today. I suggest that perhaps the conservative evangelical approach both lacks compassion (gasp!) as well as fails to address the underlying structures that oppress people and sometimes drive them suicidal. I end the episode with “Jason Makes a Wish,” asking Hollywood to make the most anti-climactic superhero movie ever.
In this episode of Misfit Faith I begin a series exploring Brian McLaren’s latest book, The Great Spiritual Migration. I address whether the Christian faith should be understood as static and unchanging or whether dynamic growth and evolution are possible. We hear from McLaren himself, albeit not in the form of a phone interview unfortunately, and I end the show with a perfectly plausible plan to overcome my road rage.
In this episode of the Misfit Faith show I address the topic of escapism, suggesting that the root of American Christianity’s dismissiveness toward social justice and environmental stewardship is the idea that it’s all gonna burn anyway. I share some material from the Misfit Faith Community, after which I introduce a new segment titled “Jason Makes a Wish.”
In this episode I address another area where American Christianity may need to rethink its stance: science. I suggest that science poses no threat to faith, and yet, we must not allow these scientists to get too big for their britches (or lab coats). I chat with my Drunk Ex-Pastors co-host, Christian Kingery, about the mistrust of science that he was raised with, and then take a listener’s question about cults. I end the show explaining why “loving thy neighbor” is harder for me than for most people.
In this episode of Misfit Faith I suggest that the American church needs to strike a new posture towards the LGBT community if they want to avoid utter cultural obscurity in this post-Christian world of ours. I speak with pastor Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye) about his experience moving his own congregation in an affirming direction over a decade ago. I answer a caller’s question about the nature of love, and end the show bemoaning how bored I get by almost every song I hear.
In this episode I continue our series on what the church needs to do in order to be able to speak meaningfully into the lives of people in a post-Christian culture. I address the problem of evil and the oft-cavalier Christian response to it. I chat with fellow ex-pastor Jonathan Hays about his experience navigating this issue, and then answer a caller’s question about why Jesus’ death was considered a sacrifice. The episode ends with the admission that Intelligent Design might be BS after all.
Episode #21 of the Misfit Faith Podcast continues our series on how the church can survive in a post-Christian culture. I address the issue of power, showing how American Christianity is just the latest expression of humanity’s age-old principle of “might makes right.” I suggest a better way forward, and then share a clip from Drunk Ex-Pastors in which Christian and I seek to comfort a caller who is stuck in a cycle of guilt and shame. I end the show with a rant against Family Ties. Yeah, the TV show.
Episode #20 of Misfit Faith begins a new series on how Christianity can survive in our twenty-first century postmodern culture. I address the various ways we might respond to this challenge, and then chat with Seth Taylor about the church’s fear of the body and of the material world. I answer a listener’s questions about priestly celibacy and the threat of hell, and end the episode with some straight-talk about how damn old we all are.
In this episode of Misfit Faith I offer a brief reflection on the degree to which many tend to understand the Christian life according to an “economic model” (which basically means it’s all one big eternal quid pro quo where we scratch God’s back by being good and he scratches ours by admitting us into heaven). I chat with author and historian Diana Butler Bass about her new book, Grateful, after which I get a call from a U2 fan. I end the episode by pointing out how lame kids are these days.
In episode #18 of the Misfit Faith podcast I suggest a couple distinct approaches to the issue of resurrection (one I hope is right and the other I expect probably is). I then speak at length with world renowned Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan about his new book, Resurrecting Easter, discussing whether the western Church’s art depicting Easter morning betrays a subtle but important mistake that the Church in the East avoided. Also, suburban churches suck.
In this episode of Misfit Faith I share a few suggestions for how to read the Bible without expecting it to play by the rules of a game it has no stake in (as in, it’s not a history book as we understand that term). I chat with author Derek Flood about his book, Disarming Scripture, and then take a call about why I don’t play my Catholic Card more often. I end the show with a challenge to Hollywood to do a better job mocking us.
Episode #16 of Misfit Faith tackles the issue of the New Testament canon — what good are concepts like biblical inspiration and inerrancy when we can’t even be sure which books to apply them to? I am joined by Mark Shea, who walks us through this thorny issue. I take a call about whether we should be open to including newly-unearthed texts in our existing Bibles (should they be discovered), and end the episode by insisting that I’m not a racist or misogynist, I swear.
In this episode we continue our series on the Bible, exploring issues such as whether God is in the business of mauling little children with bears or murdering innocent people because his prophet lost a bet. We are joined by Jared Byas, who shares his insight into how to tackle some of these Old Testament accounts that depict God as an unhinged maniac. With the help of a caller I rediscover my true pastoral calling, and end the episode with a rant about that thing of when showers just get way too fancy.
Episode #14 of Misfit Faith begins a short series on the Bible in which we will tackle questions like, “How do we know that Scripture’s Table of Contents is accurate?”; “Why doesn’t the New Testament condemn slavery?”; and in this episode, “Why does the God of the Hebrews seem so pissed off most of the time?” I speak with writer and scholar Brad Jersak about this issue, and then answer a listener’s question about Fake News. Lastly, I end the episode by politely declining your request for my tip.
Episode #13 of the Misfit Faith podcast addresses the dangers of the evangelical obsession with high-octane spirituality and in its place suggests pursuing a form of life that is a bit more mundane and earthy. I chat with Matt Polley (1/3 of the Inglorious Pasterds) about the divinity of tobacco and Scotch, after which I answer a listener’s question about Process Theology. Lastly, our “Jason Needs a Minute” segment coins the terms “shell shards” and “nut dust.”
In episode #12 of Misfit Faith we turn our attention to the “new sexual revolution” and the hookup culture it generates. I chat with actor and writer Donna Provencher about her perspective on masculinity, femininity, and whether random relationship-less sex is really satisfying for those who engage in it. I answer a listener’s call about how sexual Jesus actually was, and then end the episode with my “Jason Needs a Minute” segment in which I address the recent school shooting in Florida.
Episode #11 begins with a continuation of my reflection on what spirituality would look like if built from the ground up, this time applying the thought-experiment to Catholicism in particular. I chat with pastor and free-thinker Bryan Stupar about which theological ideas have helped him dignify, rather than vilify, the other, and then take question about social justice in Scripture. Lastly, my “Jason Needs a Minute” segment addresses how hard some Christians make it not to drop dead of a massive stroke.
In episode #10 of the Misfit Faith podcast I suggest a thought experiment according to which we build our theology from the ground up rather than it being imposed from the top down. I chat with my Drunk Ex-Pastors co-host, Christian Kingery, and then take a call from a listener about the hypocrisy of the so-called Pro-Life movement. Finally, in my “Jason Needs a Minute” segment I call for a uniform definition of what “bite-sized” actually means, because this is getting ridiculous.
In episode #9 of Misfit Faith I address the topic of a supposedly all-powerful God and the existence of suffering and evil in the world. I chat with the infamous pastor of Eastlake Church, Ryan Meeks, about this issue (and what he has to say may surprise you). I answer a listener’s call about Pope Francis’s recent remarks about the victims of sexual abuse, and our “Jason Needs a Minute” segment laments how damn old I am getting.
In episode #8 of Misfit Faith I tackle the issue of what happens when American Christianity screws the pooch, craps the bed, jumps the shark, or whatever other colorful metaphor you want for losing its credibility and moral authority. I chat with long-time friend John Terranova about his own loss of faith, and then answer a question about so-called divine guidance. Lastly, our “Jason Needs a Minute” segment highlights the plight of the modern day cigar smoker.
When episode #7 drops I will be on the Drunk Ex-Pastors cruise, but rather than leaving you all high and dry I thought I’d dust off an old sermon and put it out there so all of you could mock me. Enjoy!
Our New Year’s Day episode of the Misfit Faith podcast focuses on the issues of unity and division. I share my frustration with my own shortcomings in this department, and receive a free therapy session from my guest, writer and TV personality Cash Peters. I take a call from the 909 about grace and humanity and then share an excerpt from my forthcoming book, “Our Daily Dread.” Lastly, our “Jason Needs a Minute” segment laments how shallow and banal this culture of ours is.
Episode #5 of the Misfit Faith podcast begins with a brief reflection on how the union of heaven and earth that we celebrate at Christmas has some pretty massive ramifications for how we relate to the world around us. I chat with author and church planter Peyton Jones about our former evangelical fear of all things secular, and then take a call about whether God and suffering can co-exist. I end with a rant about how the whole Israel thing just needs to stop.
The first annual Christmas episode of the Misfit Faith podcast begins with a brief meditation on the claim of many to be “spiritual but not religious.” I chat with author and speaker Mark Shea about what a truly earthly-minded religiosity might look like, after which I answer a listener’s question about why Mary is apparently such a big deal. I read an excerpt from my forthcoming devotional, Our Daily Dread, and then end the show with a rant about the so-called “War on Christmas.”
In this episode of the Misfit Faith podcast I focus upon what it means to be a spiritual vagabond and outsider. I chat with Sick Pilgrim founder Jessica Griffith about the community of misfit artists she is a part of, and then take a question from a listener about spiritual abuse. And finally, our “Jason Needs a Minute” segment laments how politicized everything has become in Trump’s America.
In episode #2 of the Misfit Faith podcast I focus on the issues of sin and guilt, reflecting on how the church often mythologizes certain activities by obsessive prohibitions which end up creating a kind of taboo allure. I am joined by Seth Taylor for a brief discussion of guilt and grace, after which I introduce a new segment called “Jason Needs a Minute.” And lastly, I end the show by answering a listener’s question about “Toxic Christianity.”
In episode #1 of the Misfit Faith podcast I recount the “fear of missing out” that initially lured me into the Christian faith. I have a brief discussion about the role of fear with Christian Kingery, and then answer a listener’s question about the value of offering “thoughts and prayers” to those suffering tragedy. I end with a brief entry from my forthcoming devotional, Our Daily Dread, titled “The Virtue of Foolish Atheism.”