One of the most fun and unexpected parts of hopping on the Jesus train has been finding podcasts. Here are my favorites:
Unbelievable? This is the most serious podcast I listen to. The host, Justin, brings people with different perspectives together, often a Christian and an atheist, but not exclusively, and has them debate about a topic. It is British, so it is very civilized. I often find myself agreeing with the non-believer in the episode, but it’s all very kind. Favorite episodes: Why atheists should go to church, Does God or Naturalism best explain the Universe?, Why we left Mormonism. The last one has some guests being unkind to Mormons; I don’t endorse that.
Word of Life Church Podcast. My church doesn’t really have sermons. We usually have dialogues, which are amazing. Growing up Southern Baptist, I kind of love sermons. Brian Zahnd is my favorite preacher. (I want to thank the guy who introduced me to him, a real friend on this journey.) My favorite: What About the Violence of the Cross?
Good Christian Fun is the latest podcast I’ve found. It is upbeat and funny and really hits home for people who were raised in deep religious culture in the 80s and 90s, especially if they fell away. Their interview with Rachel Held Evans is great.
Sunday School Dropouts is my podcast I look most forward to each week. It is sometimes off, but when it is on, it is the best. Warning: it will be offensive to many people. It is not a Bible study podcast. It is an ex-Christian and secular “kind of Jew” (their words) reading every book of the Bible and a lot of apocryphal words and talking about them while cracking jokes about them. During the podcast, they got married – I like to imagine they fell in love doing the podcast. Their characterization of Paul is the definitive one for me. My favorite: Acts with Patricia Lockwell.
The Bible for Normal People. Really gentle and loving podcast taking on problematic aspects of the Bible and the struggles many modern Christians face with the faith of their youth. My favorites: Jen Hatmaker - Changing Your Mind About the Bible and AJ Jacobs - Jesus, Judaism, and Christianity. So many episodes are great, though.
Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People. This is not specifically a Christian podcast, but I enjoy it so much through the heart of Jesus. Chris Gethard talks to a stranger for an hour about their life, with no names or way to follow up. It’s such an insight and way to practice loving strangers. I secretly want to be on this podcast. Picking favorites is so hard for this one, so I’m going to pick the first three I think of: Charlottesville, Cadavar Epiphany, The Puppet Master. That last one is so silly that I recommend you don’t listen to it while driving. You will laugh too hard and have a wreck.