5 Podcasts I Love

Most people close to me have probably heard me spouting off about something or other I heard on a podcast. I got into podcasts originally because I loved listening to tabletop gaming shows while I was doing data entry work, and then slowly moved away from them to more faith-related shows that I listen to in all kinds of situations.

Podcasts seem to be increasing in popularity in general, but for those unfamiliar with them, they are essentially free audio entertainment that you can get through the Apple podcasts app, Spotify (though not as many are on it), and various other iOS and Android apps. Most of them are recorded talks or conversations by one or more hosts, and there are podcasts on pretty much every topic you can think of.

While all the main episodes are free, many podcasts have some kind of subscription where you can choose how much you give, and there’ll be bonuses depending on what you give. I’ll chat more about that with the shows that I subscribe to, though I listen to most for free.

In this post, I’m going to introduce you to my favourite shows, and if one takes your fancy, why not give it a try?

Bad Christian

What is it? Bad Christian is a weekly (or more) show presented by three friends, Joey Svendsen (a pastor at Seacoast Church in South Carolina), Matt Carter and Toby Morrell (both musicians in the band Emery). They have at least one guest on most weeks.

What’s it about? Matt, Toby and Joey are three Christians who talk about everything. Nothing is off limits. They are honest about their questions, doubts and failings, and try to build a culture where others can do the same. They challenge themselves and others to see their own hypocrisy, and to let go of the pretenses that plague Christians today.

What’s my experience? Bad Christian was the first faith-related podcast I found, and I saw it because I follow a musician, Aaron Gillespie (The Almost, Underoath) on Facebook, and he advertised it when he appeared as a guest. It’s safe to say that Bad Christian has been a massive challenge and transformative influence in my own faith. I love what they’re doing, and I love the way they encourage me to think. I’ve signed up to their BC Club for a few dollars a month, and doing so lets me get their hilarious and often outrageous bonus episode, and access to the BC Club Facebook group, which is an incredible community of people, believers and nonbelievers alike.

What are the last 3 episodes (as of Jan 2017)?

  • Destroying the patriarchy with Stephanie Drury
  • Conservatives, patriotism, and the Liberal with Dan Koch
  • No jokes are off limits? (with Propaganda)

Pastor With No Answers (PNWA)

What is it? PWNA is a weekly podcast presented by Joey Svendsen of Bad Christian, and his brother Jared. They tend to have at least two guests on each week.

What’s it about? The show has the same format most weeks. Joey and Jared will pick a topic, normally related in some way to Christianity, and get two or more guests on who have opposing views on that topic. Through discussion and interview-style questions, the hosts and guests will tend to explore a topic in a reasonable amount of depth over 60-90 minutes.

What’s my experience? PWNA is probably the podcast week to week that most gets me thinking. It engages with a lot of topics that I find fascinating, often with a more theological bent, and probably challenges my own views with even more regularity than Bad Christian. The balance of hosts and guests is normally really good, and I think they do a good job of giving different sides of an argument fair hearing. For Christians looking for deeper engagement on theological topics, I really recommend this one.

What are the last 3 episodes (as of Jan 2017)?

  • Deconstructing isn’t voluntary, with Nate Henry
  • Falling in love, porn, affairs, getting kinky in marriage, with Chip Judd
  • Scriptural and theological cases for and against the gift(s) of tongues

The Liturgists

What is it? The Liturgists is a weekly show that runs in seasons, presented by Science Mike (an author and speaker) and Michael Gungor (a musician in the band, Gungor).

What’s it about? With the help of a wide array of guests, Science Mike and Michael Gungor discuss different issues through the lenses of faith, art and science. They are definitely not orthodox in their beliefs (by Western Christian standards) and some people listening to them would probably call them heretics. But they’re passionate about what they talk about, and they discuss with all sorts of difficult topics in a warm, funny and engaging way.

What’s my experience? All I can say is that I have been moved to awe of God more times by this podcast than with any of the others that I’m going to talk about. Mike and Michael stretch my mind and challenge my views time and again, and I keep going back for more. This is the other podcast that I support financially, giving them a few dollars a month via Patreon, and receiving an extra episode most weeks.

What are the last 3 episodes (as of Jan 2017)?

  • Parenting and deconstruction
  • A Christmas story of sorts
  • Sufffering (three part series)

Ask Science Mike

What is it? Ask Science Mike is a weekly show presented by Mike McHargue, aka Science Mike.

What’s it about? Science Mike takes listener questions about science, faith and life, and answers them as best he can, referencing good scientific research where possible.

What’s my experience? I’m a bit of science fan, and I like thinking about faith, so Ask Science Mike is pretty much the perfect blend of the two. Mike started the podcast as a way to plug the scientific holes that a lot of Western Christians have, but it quickly turned into a much deeper and more insightful show, where hard questions about science and faith are looked at. Mike engages with his listeners in a kind, loving way, and all I can say about him is that I hear Jesus in his answers.

What are the last three episodes (as of Jan 2017)?

  • Windmills, angry atheists, and why the big bang is just marketing.
  • Questions, questions and more questions.
  • Books, books and more books.

Theology in the Raw

What is it? Theology in the Raw is a regular show (more than weekly, less than daily) presented by Dr Preston Sprinkle (an author and lecturer).

What’s it about? Similarly to Ask Science Mike, Preston takes audience questions and answers them. However, his show is focused completely on theology and church-related questions. Recently he’s been doing more shows with guests.

What’s my experience? I like Theology in the Raw, but the sheer volume of episodes means that I don’t listen to all of them. I tend to return every now and then to listen to a couple that look interesting. Of all the hosts I’ve mentioned, Preston Sprinkle is easily the most orthodox, so he might be a more comfortable listen for some. That said, he’s not afraid to challenge ideas, especially when it comes to the church and what function that it has in the 21st century.

What are the last three episodes (as of Jan 2017)?

  • Joey Svendsen – “A mentally ill, obsessive compulsive, legalistic youth group kid turned pastor”
  • Francis Chan – “I should have run for president!”
  • Beth Moore – “You got to stay in the Scriptures!”

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Johannes says:

    I would certainly add Homebrewed Christianity and Newsworthy with Norsworthy.

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