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 theology, philosophy, 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.

Episodes

September 23, 2022 57 min

We speak with philosopher James (Jamie) K.A. Smith about his new book How to Inhabit Time: Understanding the Past, Facing the Future, Living Faithfully Now. It's a contemplative exploration of what it means to be a temporal creature, a being constituted by a past and oriented toward a future. If that sounds heady, it's honestly one of the most spiritual and restful books we've featured on the show, and it's also phi...

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Stanley Hauerwas. Do we need to say more? The man is the preeminent living American theologian and has formed and shaped Christian thought and practice for decades. Stanley is a gift to the Church, and we loved chatting with him. We talked about sola scriptura, Kierkegaard, pacifism, how to be a Christian in America today, and much more. The audio for this episode is not to our regular standard. We apologize for that, and hope you ...

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In this episode, we chat with John Walton, one of the foremost evangelical Old Testament scholars alive. Dr. Walton teaches Old Testament at Wheaton College in Illinois. John has also written groundbreaking books about Genesis 1 and 2, commentaries on Genesis and Job and many more books. We chat about creation, ancient people groups and cultures that the Bible was written in, inspiration and much more.

We sampled Toast by the always...

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Why is "bar" part of the theme of our show (besides the obvious joke)? Kyle and Randy break this down with the help of an excellent article by Rich Manning called "The Complicated Journey from Holy Studies to Hospitality," which interviews various bartenders about their experiences in the seemingly contrasting spaces of the hospitality industry and the church.

The article gives us occasion to discuss why we do adult ...

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August 12, 2022 58 min

Deconstruction. What is it, why are so many doing it, and why are so many others apparently so threatened by it? We've said a few times on the show that we don't want to be just another deconstruction podcast, but we've never quite fully explained what we mean. So we sat down to work through our own experiences with deconstruction and what we've heard from others, to try to put our finger on what it is about it that...

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Brian McLaren is at it again, writing a book for people on the edge of Christianity, just barely holding on. Do I Stay Christian? is a brilliant book that takes a very honest look at Christianity, ponders reasons to go, and reasons to stay, while presenting us with a new kind of Christianity...one that's more Christ-like and rooted in this moment and on this earth we find ourselves on. I know...weird, right?

In this episode, we ...

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Our first discussion with Beth Allison Barr and Scot McKnight at the end of Season 1 was so popular and helpful that they wanted to come back a second time to answer more questions about biblical translations, gender, and bias. We cover the editing process, translation committees, trusting the right experts, different translation styles, why translations aren't more diverse, what Beth and Scot are up to next, and more. These tw...

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Buckle up, friends...this is a major episode.

Lisa Sharon Harper wrote Fortune, which dives into and details the history of her ancestors from Africa, to slave ships, to plantations and displaced and colonized Native Americans, all the way through to her own lived experience and the trauma, bravery, and resilience she carries in her own body through her ancestors. The book details the history and making of America in brutally hones...

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Does God move supernaturally in our world today? Should we expect miracles? These are questions that New Testament scholar Craig Keener investigated, documented, and wrote about in his book Miracles Today. The book is fascinating...and a bit frustrating, but also compelling and deeply researched. Dr. Keener has also written a ridiculous amount of scholarly work on the New Testament, and we go into some of that expertise for our Pat...

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In this episode, we speak with science writer and award-winning journalist Jessica Nordell about her book The End of Bias: A Beginning. It's an extraordinarily well-researched and compellingly written explanation of the science of implicit bias, covering its manifestations in many areas, including sexism, racism, policing, and more. Our conversation tackles how to understand implicit bias, as well as evidence-based methods of a...

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In this episode, we reflect on the documentary from Discovery Plus, Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed.  If you haven't watched the three part miniseries, it's gross, tragic, and maddening, and yet it feels like many of us in the church find a part of our story in this broken story of manipulation, abuse, and consumerism.

We talk about the fine line between being welcoming and being manipulative, how easy it is to abuse "vo...

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We speak with philosopher Scott Coley about the phenomenon of pastors and internet theobrogians publicly critiquing the work of credentialed scholars. Why is this so popular, how are those that do it so confident, and how are normal people fooled by it? As Scott asks in an article, "What conditions make it possible for otherwise reasonable people to believe that the carefully considered arguments of accomplished scholars are vu...

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We've been excited to talk to a Jewish scholar for some time now...and not just for the obvious episode title opportunity, either. For those of us who consider ourselves Christians, to understand Judaism is to understand the roots of our faith tradition.

In this episode, we interview Rabbi Or Rose from Hebrew College in Boston, MA. Rabbi Rose specializes in inter-religious studies and takes us into the world of inter-religious ...

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April 7, 2022 42 min

There's a little secret pretty much every pastor has that they can't share with their congregation. Well, actually, a number of secrets. We're not talking about dark and hidden sins (hopefully, at least). We're talking about things your pastor believes or thinks that they don't feel safe enough to share with your church. Pretty much all pastors have beliefs and opinions that they feel passionate about, but if th...

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In the conclusion of our four-part series on LGBTQ people and the church, we speak with Drs. Dawne Moon, a sociologist, and Theresa Tobin, a philosopher, who research and write collaboratively about the experiences of LGBTQ Christians in non-affirming church spaces. This conversation is frank, profound, heartbreaking, and, somehow, funny. We discuss their concept of "sacramental shame" and how it's used against LGBTQ pe...
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We return for part two of our interview with Bridget Eileen Rivera, the author of Heavy Burdens: Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church. In the conclusion, we discuss the common claim that the Bible is "clear" when it comes to LGBTQ issues, when (and why) the word "homosexual" was added to the Bible, what the Greek actually does and doesn't say, how sex was understood in the Roman world, trans...

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Bridget Eileen Rivera wrote one of the most important books we've read. Period.

The book is Heavy Burdens: Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church, and it's a doozy. We had so much important stuff to talk about that we made this episode a two parter. We chat about the awful stories of trauma and abuse that Queer Christians experience on a regular basis in the church, how the Protestant Reformation changed e...

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February 10, 2022 69 min

Finally, we talk about sexuality, the queer community, and why we're affirming.

This is a very personal episode (as much as it can be for a couple of straight white dudes). In this episode, we chat about where we came from, where we are now, and how we got there. Within that conversation, we touch on the Bible, philosophy, science, reason, the beauty in the LGBTQ community, and much more.

This episode begins a four episode mini...

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This one's fun. Thi Nguyen is a philosopher from the University of Utah and studies epistemology and philosophy of art, community, and games. He also used to be a food critic and enjoys great whiskey. A man after our own hearts.

In this episode, we talk about things like the seduction of clarity, moral outrage porn, epistemic bubbles, echo chambers, expertise, and our gamified world. Seriously fascinating stuff. You can find Thi...

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Buckle up for this one, friends, because Dominique DuBois Gilliard brings straight fire. Dominique's book is, "Subversive Witness: Scripture's Call to Leverage Privilege", and it's a good one. In this episode, we talk about using privilege on behalf of the marginalized, giving power away, what it's like to be Black in America (and in the Church in America) and many more topics. Make sure to share this on the...

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