A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

The podcast where we mix a sometimes weird but always delicious cocktail of philosophy, theology, and spirituality. We're a pastor and a philosopher who have discovered that sometimes pastors need philosophy, and sometimes philosophers need pastors. We tackle topics and interview guests that straddle the divide between our interests. Who we are: Randy Knie (Co-Host) - Randy is the founding and Lead Pastor of Brew City Church in Milwaukee, WI. Randy loves his family, the Church, cooking, and the sound of his own voice. He drinks boring pilsners. Kyle Whitaker (Co-Host) - Kyle is a philosophy PhD and an expert in disagreement and philosophy of religion. Kyle loves his wife, sarcasm, kindness, and making fun of pop psychology. He drinks childish slushy beers. Elliot Lund (Producer) - Elliot is a recovering fundamentalist. His favorite people are his wife and three boys, and his favorite things are computers and hamburgers. Elliot loves mixing with a variety of ingredients, including rye, compression, EQ, and bitters.


September 22, 2023 81 mins

The rise of artificial intelligence has happened at a startlingly rapid rate, and it seems like it's only accelerating by the month. Whether it's AI writing (plagiarizing) college papers and lazy pastors' sermons,  potentially curing horrific diseases, making fake humans, or taking over the world, we all have an endless amount of questions when it comes to what to expect from AI.

Dr. Derek C. Schuurman is a ...

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Our friend Jeff Cook joins us for a new Q&A segment to reflect on our conversation with Rob Schenck (see parts 1 and 2 of that conversation here and here). This is our second installment of what will become a regular bonus segment with Jeff unpacking the content of certain episodes. You can hear the first installment, on LQBTQ affirmation and the church, at our Patreon (free for everyone!) here.

If you'd like to a...

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In the second part of our interview with Rob Schenck, a former Washington insider and heavy hitter in the evangelical pro-life lobbying industry, we discuss gun culture among American Christians and how asking questions about it ultimately cost him the organization he built and led for decades and led to him being ostracized by longtime friends and colleagues. Why are so many Christians so obsessed with guns to the point that they&...

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Season 4 is here! To kick it off, we've got a 2-parter for you with Rob Schenck, a former Washington insider and heavy hitter in the evangelical Christian lobbying industry. Rob was an influential voice in the pro-life movement for decades, but lost his position, and his funding, when he began to question the consistency of the evangelical position on guns with their stated pro-life convictions. His story is featured in the Em...

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We speak with Dr. Bradley Onishi, a religion scholar whose latest book, Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism and What Comes Next, explores the rise of the extremist religious right in America and its evolution from the 1960s through the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

We discuss his personal transformation from conservative Christian to scholar to unbeliever, his insights ...

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July 28, 2023 80 mins

Many Protestants don't understand or appreciate how transformational Vatican II was for the Catholic Church and the whole global Christian Church in general. Our friend and Catholic theologian Shaun Blanchard co-wrote a book called Vatican II: A Very Short Introduction. In this episode, we chat with Shaun about the size, scope, and impact of Vatican II in the 1960s, and we wonder about when the next changes at the next Vatican...

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July 14, 2023 75 mins

If you're an American evangelical or used to be, there's a good chance you've heard of the Enneagram. You may have even run into it in another context or heard about it from friends who are really into personality tests. We've discussed it briefly on the show before, and we've wanted to eventually give it its own episode because Randy has found it really beneficial and Kyle is a bit of a skeptic.


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Tom Oord is back! Dr. Thomas Oord and his daughter Alexa compiled and edited a book called Why the Church of the Nazarene Should be Fully LGBTQ+ Affirming."  We wanted to talk to them about the book because everyone in the church (not just the Church of the Nazarene) is talking about human sexuality and whether or not the church should be LGBTQ+ affirming.

LGBTQ+ inclusion and affirmation is something that's rea...

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We speak with theologian and philosopher (and former pastor) Thomas Jay Oord about his new book The Death of Omnipotence and the Birth of Amipotence. We cover Tom's objections to the classical idea that God is all powerful, including that it's unbiblical, philosophically unsound, and makes the problem of evil impossible to solve.

It's a fun interview and Tom is a good sport about putting up with Kyle's ...

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If you heard our recent episode on hell and universalism, you may recall that Randy mentioned having Keith DeRose, a philosopher at Yale, on the show at some point to respond to some of the objections Kyle had to universalism (the idea that everyone is eventually reconciled to God). Well, we reached out to Keith and he graciously agreed to chat with us. Our conversation covers more ground than just universalism though; we also disc...

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Sheila Gregoire is an author who has written several books that break the mold of Christian books about sex and marriage. Her latest book, She Deserves Better, is about raising girls as followers of Christ in ways that leave purity culture and teaching about modesty in the dust while showing us a better way. We also talked to Sheila about her 2021 book The Great Sex Rescue, in which she points out the inherent misogyny in a vast ma...

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Every now and then we like to talk to someone who is an expert in something we know almost nothing about. What better topic than philosophy and neuroscience? Andy Clark is Professor of Cognitive Philosophy at the University of Sussex, and is a well-known voice within philosophy of mind, pushing the boundaries of how we conceive of the brain, its connections with our environment, and in his new book, how it actively constructs our e...

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April 21, 2023 61 mins

Do you keep a healthy distance between yourself and the book of Revelation? Have a loved one who believes super weird things about Revelation? If so, you're in good company.

Scot McKnight wrote a brilliant book called Revelation for the Rest of Us that turns all of those weird ways of interpreting Revelation on their heads and shows us what Revelation truly is.  It turns out that the book of Revelation is a brilliant...

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April 6, 2023 65 mins

In this special Easter episode, Kyle and Randy discuss all their questions about resurrection. They cover its significance to them, its coherence, whether it makes any sense to hope for it, apologetic approaches to it, how much it matters, and why Randy finds conversations about it kind of frustrating. Happy Easter!

Extra resources (including those mentioned in the episode):

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March 24, 2023 73 mins

Who will be saved in the end? Does the Bible support eternal conscious torment, annihilationism, or ultimate reconciliation (or all three)? Can a good God condemn a majority of human beings who've ever lived to eternal hell? In this episode we tackle these questions and more, and we find out that Randy and Kyle don't quite agree on this one.

In this episode, we tasted both Kinnickinnic Whiskey by Great Lakes Dist...

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March 9, 2023 60 mins

Are science and religion compatible? Should there be any crossover whatsoever? Why is it dangerous when we try to make our science fit into our religion? These are questions that Randy and Kyle chat about in our latest episode. Kyle strongly thinks that science and religion are in completely different categories and should almost never mix. Randy likes the "almost" in that statement.

The guys really, honestly tri...

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February 24, 2023 77 mins

Bonnie Kristian is a journalist who writes for Christianity Today and has been published in The New York Times, The Week, CNN, The Daily Beast, and many more. Bonnie wrote the book Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community. The title says it all. How can we have good faith conversations and dialogue when we're dealing with "alternative facts" a...

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Brad Jersak is an Eastern Orthodox theologian, author, and great friend of this podcast. Brad recently published a book called Out of the Embers: Faith After the Great Deconstruction. In this interview, we chat about what Brad calls the Great Deconstruction, the history and tradition of deconstruction within and outside of our faith tradition, why Brad is a devotee of Simone Weil, and how to move forward in your faith after deconst...

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January 27, 2023 62 mins

Humility is one of those fleeting virtues in our world, and it feels like we need a healthy dose. Being comfortable with what we know and what we don't know, what we're good at and what we're not, and not trying to live in hubris and pretense. It's not easy, but it is really important.

In this episode, Randy and Kyle talk about humility, pride, certainty, apophatic theology, and more. In the most humble...

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Randy S. Woodley is a Native American theologian, community builder, and seed farmer, and sees little difference between those vocations. We speak with him about the relationship between Christianity, Judaism, and Native American religion, the contrasts and similarities between indigenous and Western worldviews, why he thinks the Bible shouldn't have been translated into indigenous languages, and what a sweat lodge is like. He...

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