Join VeggieTales and What's in the Bible? creator Phil Vischer and co-host Skye Jethani (author, speaker, pastor) for a fast-paced and often funny conversation about pop culture, media, theology, and the fun, fun, fun of living a thoughtful Christian life in an increasingly post-Christian culture.
Based on a decade of research with the Barna Group, David Kinnaman says we’re not in Kansas anymore. We now occupy digital Babylon—a new world where people are discipled by their screens, don’t know how to have meaningful relationships, and distrust organizations. What does this all mean for the church? He talks with Skye about everything from rethinking preaching, the diminishing value of youth ministry, and a backlash against “professional” worship. Also this week, Phil reads from his new Bible and has a dream/nightmare about Donald Trump. Christian asks where we should get our news from. NFL quarterback Drew Brees gets in trouble for appearing in a Focus on the Family video. And research says the church, like politics, is losing moderates.
According to years of research from the Barna Group, only about 10% of young adults raised in the church have a resilient faith. Some may see that as bad news, but not David Kinnaman. He dug deeper to see what was different about these 4 million Millennials and Gen Zers, and he came away deeply encouraged. He talks with Skye about the 5 traits of “resilient disciples” and what it means for the future of the church. Also this week, Phil, Christian, and Skye talk about the wave of Christian leaders abandoning the faith and what it means for labels like “evangelical,” “ex-evangelical,” “fundamentalist,” and “progressive.” Plus, plague-infected prairie dogs and pooping Legos.
Buckle your seatbelts. While promoting his new VeggieTales show, Phil was asked about LGBTs in kids’ media. Now everyone from Ben Shapiro to The Advocate is responding. Phil’s off the cuff remarks have made him a hero to some and a villain to others. This week he explains why he’s neither, and how both sides of the culture war twist things to fit their biases. Then Skye interviews official Holy Post historian, John Fea, about the new Netflix documentary series “The Family.” Is there really a secret society of evangelicals inflitrating world governments? Fea offers both history and perspective on the shadowy group behind the National Prayer Breakfast and explains what the Netflix show gets right and wrong about Christians in politics.
Another celebrity couple’s marriage has ended, but don’t worry—they’re still committed to their pet pigs. New data finds Americans have lost faith in technology to the point that churches are now viewed more favorably than big tech firms. Another survey finds conservative Christians use less porn than other Americans, but they feel way worse about it. Should we continue to stigmatize the sinfulness of pornography? The gang has a lively discussion about it. Also this week, Drew Dyck is back with his latest book recommendations, and he talks with Skye about the flurry of Christian leaders announcing their renunciation of the faith via social media. Plus, Phil wants to know why web algorithms are telling him to buy a cereal called Poop Like a Campion.
American Christianity is fixated on celebrity pastors, spectacular worship, and doing big things for God. But most of our lives aren’t that extraordinary. That’s good news, according to Glenn Packiam. He’s been a megachurch worship leader and pastor, but now he finds God in the most ordinary things. He talks with Skye about his new book, “Blessed, Broken, Given.” Also this week, Phil and Skye reflect on the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Should the Billy Graham Rule apply to police officers? And a German study involving dropping oranges at train stations reveals surprising things about immigrants and discrimination.
Many Christians are lamenting or panicking as the culture becomes increasingly post-Christian, but not Mark Sayers. The Australian church leader and author believes the rise of secularism is good news for the church and its mission. He talks with Skye about his new book and explains how the church has historically found new life amid global crises. Also this week, a new study finds religious children are meaner than secular kids. Archeologists uncover an ancient biblical city. Democrats and Republicans both suffer from “bubblism.” Skye compares pastors to stand-up comics. Phil explains why HBO is evil. And the gang talks about donkey dung, tiny Hindu children, and why time travel is great for white people.
With the implosion of evangelical purity culture, and news that its poster child is getting divorced, many are reevaluating the legacy of the movement that dominated youth ministries in the 80s and 90s. Katelyn Beaty is back to talk about her recent article about the problems with the sexual ethics of both evangelical and secular cultures. Also this week, a Catholic school in Indiana is getting heat for firing a teacher in a gay marriage, and the Evangelical Covenant Church banished a 134-year-old congregation for its LGBT policy. These stories provoke the question: Is it still ok for Christian organizations to enforce Christian beliefs? And what does the future look like when nearly half of millennial evangelicals support same-sex marriage?
Christian is back! She updates us on her travels to France and the status of her new film, “The Girl Who Wore Freedom.” A review of the new documentary “American Heretics” reveals that liberals in Hollywood are begging Christians to follow Jesus. Tim Dalrymple, the new president of Christianity Today, says white Christians need to confront Donald Trump when he takes aim at people of color. Has CT rediscovered its prophetic voice? A former missionary asks why white evangelicals are so eager to help the poor and suffering overseas but are the least likely group to welcome or help them at home? Skye says it’s because the latter makes us feel righteous, while the former requires repentance. And Phil worries that tweeting Christian values will spark a backlash—among Christians!
Should the United States compensate the descendants of African slaves? If so, what should that compensation look like? And what does Christian faith have to say about repentance and reparation for wrongs committed by prior generations? Dr. Theon Hill is back on the show to talk about recent congressional hearings on the matter, and his conversation with Skye might surprise you. Also this week, a church in Indiana is paying off medical debts. For the first time ever, Canada has surpassed the U.S. as the most welcoming country to refugees. That launches Phil and Skye into a history of U.S. immigration policies. Christian singer Nichole Nordeman wrote an open letter to Franklin Graham asking him to send “Operation Christmas Child” shoeboxes to kids in detention centers at the Southern border. Is Graham’s silence a result of his support for Trump and his border policies? And “love” for Donald Trump is causing a rift among evangelicals.
Why are fewer people getting married? One study says it’s because weddings have become too expensive. Skye isn’t buying it. Phil explains why dads are responsible for our large brains, and gives ammo to social conservatives in the process. And Christian’s back! (Sort of.) In a special segment of “Christian Asks,” she talks with Skye about his recent devotional series about idols. That leads to a conversation about the right and wrong way to read the Bible, the concept of narrative fallacy, and slaughtering turkeys.
Prepare to be offended. Phil has written a new Bible and Skye’s offended at what passes as a “Bible” these days. Jerry Falwell Jr. is offended that Russell Moore has the audacity to comment about moral issues without being a business owner. Everyone else is offended by Falwell. A Christian lawmaker offended non-Christians with her prayer in the Pennsylvania state legislature, and Christians are offended when a Satanist offers the opening prayer at a government meeting in Alaska. Skye discusses these cases with law and religion professor, John Inazu, as well as other recent rulings by the Supreme Court.
According to David Fitch, the contemporary church has become an “enemy-making machine” that thrives by identifying and amplifying threats. He talks with Skye about his new book, “The Church of Us vs Them,” how anger has come to dominate our communities, and the practices that can help us break this pattern. Also this week, Phil shares the unlikely movement of non-religious millennials moving into convents with nuns. That leads to a discussion about Disney-themed gay weddings, babies and bath water, and new research that says millennials are more “spiritual” than older Americans. Plus, scientists use stem cells to grow a nose on a woman’s spine.
Mike Erre is back for the second part of his conversation with Skye on the future of the church in America. This time they talk about the difference between “Cold War” Christianity and “Game of Thrones” Christianity. Plus, why does it feel like everything in the culture—including faith and politics—is being pushed to the extremes? What happened to the middle ground and can it be recovered? Also this week, the Ark Encounter amusement park is suing its insurance provider for not covering flood damage. Gay characters are becoming more common on children’s television which causes Phil to revisit Jerry Falwell’s crusade against Tinky Winky—the ambiguously gay Telletubbie. Plus, Beth Moore is on a mission to shine a light on the sexism and misogyny within the Southern Baptist Convention, but is there more than complementarian theology behind the criticism she’s now receiving?
Friend of the show, Mike Erre (aka, the bald Buckeye with a brain), celebrated the 200th episode of his show—the Vox Podcast—by inviting Skye to join him for a conversation about the future of the church in America. Will we lose tax-exempt status? Will progressive social and sexual views win? And how did the Cold War give us modern evangelicalism? Also this week, is Bill Gates flushing away his fortune by trying to reinvent the toilet? An 80-year Harvard study has finally discovered the key to happiness, but a “happiness expert” in the U.K. disagrees and says we should all stop having children. Plus, why are religious couples more sexually satisfied?
In a number of recent commencement speeches at Christian colleges, Vice President Mike Pence has been warning graduates about the hostility of our culture toward Christians. Historian John Fea is back to talk about what Pence gets right, and what he gets wrong, about the persecution of evangelicals in the U.S. Plus, Fea shares his theory about why regular church attendees are the most likely to still support Trump. Also this week, an evangelical activist is guilty of “astroturfing” Muslims. Airports try to ban Chick-Fil-A and Hollywood studios boycott states passing abortion restrictions. And is conservative politics killing white churches?
Guns kill an average of 105 Americans every day. Shane Claiborne is on a mission to change that with a converted school bus and a forge. He is literally beating guns into gardening tools & challenging our culture’s addiction to violence in the process. He talks with Skye about the legal and spiritual problem we’re facing. Also this week... Experts warned Netflix its series “13 Reasons Why” would cause an increase in teen suicide. That’s exactly what happened but Netflix doesn’t seem to care. Have the Harry Potter books replaced the Bible as Millennials’ foundational text? And why are more Americans impervious to facts?
Are yoga pants causing an increase in liposuction? Phil links the popularity of tight-fitting “athleisure” clothing to rising insecurity about one’s physical appearance. Televangelists are selling gold Trump prayer coins featuring the President and King Cyrus. And the crew talks about the new strict abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. Skye explains why overturning Roe v. Wade won’t solve the issue. And has tribal politics made a common-sense compromise on the issue impossible? Plus, Phil’s VeggieTales partner and voice of Larry the Cucumber, Mike Nawrocki, talks about his newest project. `
Skye often tries to bring economics into the show’s theological discussions. This week his dream comes true with guests Brian Fikkert (an economist) and Kelly Kapic (a theologian), co-authors of “Becoming Whole.” They say our ideas about God’s mission are too entangled with Western materialism on the one hand, and not material enough on the other. This conversation will really challenge your assumptions. Also this week, the IRS says the Satanic Temple is a legitimate religion, The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue now has a model in a burka and hijab, and should we be happy or worried about Kanye West talking a lot about Jesus and leading “Sunday Service” concerts?
Jesus told us to “not judge,” but what does that really mean? In a special segment called “Christian Asks...” normally only available to Holy Post’s Patreon supporters, Skye and Christian discuss what it means to live with discernment but not judgment in a pluralistic culture. While talking about capital punishment, gay marriage, and immigration, they unpack why fundamentalism on both the right and left is so appealing, and why we must avoid both. Also this week—a new parody movie called “Faith-Based” has the crew asking what makes something “faith-based”? And does overlooking Trump’s immorality while condemning Bill Clinton’s make white evangelicals hypocritical Christians or faithful Republicans?
It’s a potpourri week on the podcast. Phil sees evidence of God in self-sacrificing insects. Former congresswoman Michelle Bachman calls Trump “highly biblical” and “godly.” Skye would like to reverse engineer what Bible she’s reading. Scientists find a link between fundamentalism and brain damage. Plus, Drew Dyck is back to discuss why democracy is failing everywhere and the magical thinking behind multi-level marketing.
Is it okay for a pastor to wear $5,000 shoes? How about $500 sneakers? What if they were a gift? What if the pastor serves an affluent, brand-savvy community? Phil and Skye engage the “PreachersNSneakers” debate and unpack the cultural nuances. A new survey finds most people believe in God, but church involvement is rapidly declining. The reasons are complex, but Skye says the preaching-focused structure of most churches needs to be rethought in the Internet Age. Also this week, a Florida “saint” wants to destroy the world with his turtle army.
It’s been five years since the conservative Christian revenge fantasy film, God’s Not Dead, hit theaters. The Holy Post crew reflects on its impact and implications. Historian Mark Noll looks at the new shape of world Christianity (hint: it’s a lot less white than it used to be). And Skye talks with songwriter, author, and theologian Michael Card about the inexpressible lovingkindness of God. Oh, and Phil is fascinated by the connection between Earth’s magnetic field and dog poop.
Christian’s finally back! The podcast trio give updates on their recent travels and projects. Phil’s making a new VeggieTales show, Christian’s making a WWII documentary, and Skye missed his ship and ate a frog. They also discuss new research that says cultivating awe makes us into better people. So why does modern Christianity work so hard to make God understandable and the world controllable? Then Skye interviews journalist Julie Roys about her reporting that led to James McDonald’s firing from Harvest Bible Chapel, and the broader challenges facing an evangelicalism driven by money, celebrity, and poor accountability. And are online whistleblowers really helping, or are they becoming a new expression of the same problem—powerful voices with no accountability?
Old Testament professor and friend of the show, Dr. John Walton is back with his latest book in the “Lost World” series. This time he’s tackling common misunderstandings about the Old Testament Law. Walton says modern people incorrectly see the Torah as legislation—laws to be obeyed, but that’s not how Ancient Near Eastern cultures saw it. And the traditional division of OT laws into civil, moral, and ceremonial categories is also misguided. So what does that mean for us? Phil and Skye pepper the prof with questions. Also this week—archeologists find King Josiah under a parking lot (maybe), and herpes in space!
Back in 2009, a widely read article predicted “the coming evangelical collapse” would occur within ten years. Well, it’s 2019 and evangelicals are still here, but where are they heading? Pastor, professor, author, and researcher, Ed Stetzer is back on the show to discuss new data about evangelicalism, the rise of Christian nationalism, and why the growth of secularism may be a good thing for the church. Phil and Skye also talk to him about his book, “Christians in the Age of Outrage,” and what exactly is the difference between Fundamentalists and Evangelicals? Also this week—Azusa Pacific’s LGBT stance confuses everyone, Lifeway bookstores are disappearing, and so are jellyfish anuses.
Skye’s in Hong Kong, Christian is interviewing French senior citizens, and Phil is writing scripts and playing with puppets—so, we have a special episode this week. Last month, Skye was part of a panel discussion on politics at Taylor University. We captured the audio to share with you. The other speakers include Nina Barnes (Vice President of Student Life, University of Northwestern), Alan Noble (Co-founder of Christ & Pop-Culture), and Michael Wear (Chief Strategist for the AND Campaign). We’ll be back next week with a regular episode.
Our culture talks a lot about leadership—both inside and outside the church. With so many conferences and resources dedicated to making Christian leaders, why are we seeing so many scandals? Gene Habecker has given a lot of thought to this problem after leading numerous organizations. You’ll find his perspective illuminating and surprising. Also this week, researchers discover bees can learn math leaving reality TV as the final thing separating humans from animals. Plus, Phil asks why women are more religious than men, and why African-Americans engage the Bible more than any other Americans.
In the past, the transition from childhood to adulthood was just a few awkward years. New research says the transition is now much, much longer. According to Kara Powell and Steve Argue from the Fuller Youth Institute, childhood is ending earlier with 14-year-olds encountering very adult issues, while many 28-year-olds continue to live like teenagers. How do we respond as parents and faith communities to this prolonged adolescence? Powell and Argue are here to discuss their new book, “Growing With,” and their insightful research on the topic. Also this week: Professional female athletes in the UK are accused of bigotry for objecting to transgender women in sports, and Phil gets excited about glitter-farting trolls.
What causes “Trump-fever”? According to Baptist pastor and Trump cheerleader, Robert Jeffress, it’s all about abortion. He calls never-Trump evangelicals “spineless morons” because they won’t admit that Trump has been an effective pro-life president. Is he right? Not according to a new book called “Alienated America” by Timothy Carney. His data says cultural pessimism explains why some Republican towns embraced Trump in the primaries while other rejected him. Could that also explain his evangelical support? And Drew Dyck is back to discuss a new book on how we’ve made a generation of Americans into fragile snowflakes.
Michael Wear has seen the intersection of faith and politics from the inside. Having worked in the White House and for political campaigns, Wear says the current state of politics reveals a crisis of discipleship in the American church. He talks with Skye about the way politics is shaping our faith when it ought to be the other way around. They also discuss the 2020 presidential candidates & their mixed messages about faith. Also this week, Phil and Skye discuss why the Swiss gave up on their plan to send reality TV stars to Mars, cow vigilantes unleash violence in India, and new research indicates religious kids may be nice but dumb.
Bob Jones University didn’t admit black students until the 1970s and didn’t permit interracial dating until 2000. For decades the school was a symbol of white Christian racism, so why did Theon Hill, an African-American who grew up near Chicago, choose to attend BJU? Hill is now a professor at Wheaton College and shares what he learned about faith and racism from his undergraduate years at Bob Jones. Also this week, Phil and Skye discuss the rising popularity of Bible-based diets like the Daniel Plan and why they’re more American than Christian. Some feminist and gay leaders are becoming concerned that the transgender movement is eroding the intellectual foundations of feminism and homosexuality. Plus, new research finds millennials are too lazy to eat cereal.
Does using medicine mean we distrust God? Are all sins really the same? Don’t annihilationists and atheists believe the same thing? You asked and we answer in this week’s special mailbag show. Plus, a Canadian denomination allows an atheist to be a pastor. Can we solve the abortion battle by going for the Democrat’s “Green New Deal? New data says most Christian millennials think evangelism is wrong. Plus, Phil and Skye react to the Super Bowl half-time show and debate who murdered Phil’s ukulele.
An influential pastor has created a controversy by saying the 10 Commandments don’t apply to Christians anymore. Our favorite Buckeye Bible guy, Mike Erre, is back to talk with Skye about how the Old Testament relates to the New. Phil and Skye discuss the latest round of megachurch pastor scandals, Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard apologizes for being raised Catholic, and Karen Pence, the vice president’s wife, ignites moral outrage for teaching at a Christian school that requires their faculty to (hold on to your hats) affirm Christian doctrines?
Jon Ward is back! He’s the senior political correspondent for Yahoo News and the author of the new book Camelot’s End about the 1980 primary fight between Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy. Ward unpacks the current dynamics within the Republican and Democratic parties, and what to expect as we move toward the 2020 election. Also this week: Christians freak out over “McJesus” in Israel, social media freaks out over Catholic teens with MAGA hats in Washington, and is the 400-year-old white Western Christian bubble bursting?
Confused about the current standoff in Washington over the president’s border wall? Matthew Soerens, U.S. Director of Church Mobilization for World Relief and National Coordinator for the Evangelical Immigration Table, is back to help us make sense of it all. He explains how the failure of immigration bills since 2013 got us to this place, and why neither Democrats nor Republicans are pursuing a common sense compromise. He also offers his thoughts on why so many Christians fail to see immigration as a biblical issue. Also this week: Phil pokes Mary Poppins, Trump is evangelicals’ Goliath, and the international competition to build the tallest Jesus statue.
How’s your new year resolution going? Drew Dyck is back to discuss his new book about self-discipline—which we all need more of. Unlike other books on the subject, his combines biblical wisdom with the latest findings from brain science, and Drew used himself as a guinea pig for research. Also this week, a teenage biohacker injected himself with DNA coded from the Bible. Is the lost Ark in Ethiopia? And more evidence political identity is more important that religious identity for white Americans.
Should social media companies be held responsible for the harm users inflict on their platforms? What about pharmaceutical companies marketing opioids? And gun manufacturers? Phil, Skye, and Christian get into a lively discussion about regulation and responsibility. Plus, can evangelical political engagement be explained by the 5 stages of grief? A new article argues white evangelicals will be politically marginalized by 2024, but they may continue to have a disproportionate influence. And a parrot named Rocco warms Phil’s heart.
Do your church leaders want to use you or equip you? Pastor and cultural architect, Dave Gibbons, joins Skye for a conversation about the future of the church. Having experienced everything from fundamentalism, to the seeker megachurch, and urban multiethnic ministry, Gibbons has an interesting take on where things are heading. Hint—its about launching people not institutions. Phil and Skye also discuss Andrew Sullivan’s new article in which he argues that America’s new religion of “progress” is an empty shell that has made our politics worse. Plus, scientists are implanting mice with human mini-brains. What could possibly go wrong? And Phil tries to convince Skye not to learn golf.
Nothing has caused more controversy among Christians in recent years than the advancement of LGBT rights and its implications for religious liberty. Is there a way forward that respects both sides? Gene Robinson, who was elected the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in 2003, and Skye discuss where they find common ground. Also this week, Phil responds to a California university’s “whiteness forum” that declared VeggieTales to be racist. And remember the 69-year-old Dutch man trying to legally reduce his age by 20 years? We have an update.
Last month American missionary John Chau broke the law by venturing to a remote island to share the gospel with an indigenous tribe who killed him. Phil and Skye unpack reactions to the story and what it says about our culture and how Christians now think about missionaries. Also this week, the “War on Christmas” has come to Idaho where a family is battling their neighbors over a live nativity scene complete with camels. Archeologists say they’ve found the ruins of an ancient city in Israel destroyed by a meteor. Is it Sodom? A church in the Netherlands is giving refuge to undocumented refugees with a never-ending worship service. And new research confirms social media is a major contributor to depression and anxiety.
Phil is off this week and Skye is traveling, so we have a special episode featuring a sermon Skye preached earlier this year at Mission Hills Church in San Marco, California. In the message, Skye looks at two ways Christians have viewed cultural engagement in the last century, and how both were rooted in fear and self-interest. He then explains a third, more faithful, option for those seeking to embrace the world with God’s love in the years ahead.
A Dutch man is suing the government to legally lower his age by 20 years. He argues that if we can legally change our gender and our name why not our age? After decades of scandal, the Catholic Church thinks a Pokémon Go style video game is what it needs to reengage young people. Phil and Skye have a few other suggestions. New data says America’s youngest generation is less moral, more self-centered, but less self-aware. Plus, Drew Dyck is back with his latest book and media recommendations.
He wasn’t a megachurch leader, nor was he a Christian celebrity, but a small church pastor with a love for the Bible managed to impact the faith of millions. This week we’re joined by J.R. Briggs to talk about the ministry and legacy of his friend, Eugene Peterson. Plus, Phil and Skye breakdown the midterm elections, why are racists claiming there’s a “white genocide,” and a Bible professor explains why Trump is not like King Cyrus in the Old Testament.
In the wake of the terrible mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, more churches are debating whether or not to arm themselves in self-defense. Is armed security a faithful way to protect the flock, or do guns in church create more problems than solutions? Skye answers listener questions about the issue. Also this week, HBO wants to protect its actors from the harm caused by trivialized sex scenes while creating more shows that trivialize sex, new research on what makes for a happy marriage, and who stole a giant inflatable colon?
Christianity teaches that Jesus took our sins upon himself and endured the punishment of death we deserve. Some critics of that view, however, claim a God who pours out his wrath upon his innocent Son is a moral monster. Friend of the show, Mike Erre, is back to set the record straight and explains what the “divine child abuse” critique of the cross gets wrong. Also this week, Christian and Skye try to explain anti-semitism to Phil, new research says evangelicals don’t have diverse friends but teenagers do, and witchcraft is on the rise among millennials. Thanks, Harry Potter.
Since the 2016 election the statistic that a record-breaking 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump has been widely cited. But is it correct? Katelyn Beaty is back to unpack new research done by Lifeway and the Billy Graham Center on the issue, but does it really “debunk” the 81% stat? And why did so many white evangelicals pick Trump? Hint—it wasn’t because of abortion. Plus, Phil and Skye discuss why some Christian prayers are really incantations, and the risk of death by selfie.
Much of the Evangelical Industrial Complex has been created to make Christianity relevant, acceptable, and attractive to our consumer culture. Author and missional expert, Michael Frost, says this is a mistake. Instead, we should be emphasizing our faith’s weirdness and call more Christians to be eccentric—literally “off center.” Also this week: Phil and Skye take on “The Good Place,” a TV show about heaven without God or religion, the UK’s Supreme Court rules in favor of a Christian baker, and (fake) butt news from a Hawaiian seal hospital.
The gang’s all here for a potluck episode. Drug News: A restaurant in Maine has mercy on lobsters by getting them high on marijuana before boiling them alive, and Coca-Cola plans to sell marijuana infused drinks. #MeToo News: Beth Moore confronts the misogyny within evangelicalism and pays the price. Political News: Liberty University produces a film about a “prophet” claiming Trump will launch Nuremberg-style trials in the U.S. against liberal Satanists, and research shows evangelicals who attend church regularly are more politically moderate. Plus, Phil, Skye, and Christian answer your mailbag questions.
Human dignity is one of Christianity’s greatest gifts to the world, says author Daniel Darling. His new book pushes Christians to think beyond the “us vs them” tribalism of our culture, and calls us back to a prophetic posture of defending what’s right even when it means supporting the other political party. He talks with Skye about why churches have abandoned discipleship to the news media, and how short-term wins for Christians in Washington may lead to long-term losses. Also this week, there may be new evidence for the exodus, and why are millennial marriages so much stronger than those of older generations? Plus, Phil wants to create a “kindhearted terrorist organization” to stop Japanese blood babies, and is Christian becoming a Nazi sympathizer?
Americans love freedom. We sing about it, demand it, and fight for it. But what exactly is it? Os Guinness says we’ve become confused about what freedom really means and argues our un-American and unbiblical vision of freedom may be our undoing. Phil and Skye discuss what it means for America to be a “potluck nation,” and what happens if someone brings poisoned chicken salad. Plus, how have corporations redefined Americans’ understanding of happiness? Get your star-spangled snorkel, it’s a deep dive into America’s values.
Why did a pastor in Alabama cut up his Nikes during a worship service? Drew Dyck is back with Skye to talk about the controversy over Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad, and why Americans now look to corporations rather than churches for moral guidance. Phil explores the resurgence of Black cinema, kindergarten pole dancers in China, and why sperm counts have plunged 60 percent. Plus, Phil and Skye plot a publicity stunt to become married Catholic priests.
What is the relationship between the gospel and social justice? Some Christians are stirring controversy with a new statement arguing curing social ills is a distraction from the church’s core mission to save souls. Dr. Russell Moore is back to discuss why this topic is rooted in America’s history of racism, and why those on the extreme right and the extreme left both get it wrong. Plus, millennial evangelicals are rejecting the Christian nationalism of their parents. And why are churches in Montreal in love with cheeses but not Jesus?
Many Christians have elevated knowledge as the key to personal transformation which is why we’ve made sermons the center of many church gatherings. Aaron Niequist is back to challenge that assumption in favor of a practice-based faith. As a worship leader and liturgist, Niequist has discovered that transformation takes more than knowledge, and worship is more than celebration. Plus, Mike Pence offers NASA a space sermon, Phil found an atheist professor who says religion is good, and Christian slept in a Nazi bunker.
Our culture is rapidly losing it’s spiritual vocabulary. Words like grace, virtue, sin, and righteousness have fallen out of use. Why does it matter? Because language shapes the way our brains work and how we see the world. Author and journalist Jonathan Merritt is back to discuss his new book about learning to use God language again. Plus, why are people getting plastic surgery to resemble Snapchat filters, and Phil is worried the world is running out of Japanese people.
Did God predestine every individual for eternal paradise or punishment before time began? It’s one of the most confusing doctrines of Christianity, but pastor, podcaster, and proud Buckeye Mike Erre is here to help us make sense of predestination. The problem, he says, isn’t the doctrine itself or the Bible, but our modern, individualistic way of reading it. Plus, a shark named Helen was stolen in Texas, manna is from Iran not heaven, and a survey by Captain Obvious finds non-religious people don’t talk about religion.
Nestled amid the farms and wind turbines of Iowa, Phil and Skye are in Okoboji—the “Cancun of the North”—for their annual pilgrimage to the Okoboji Bible Conference. Joining them is Phil’s brother Rob, Harvard Law School graduate and dean of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis, to discuss how Christians should think about the Supreme Court, and what’s behind the Pope’s decision to oppose the death penalty in all cases? Plus, initial thoughts on the unfolding drama at Willow Creek.
Phil and Skye are at the Okoboji Bible Conference this week, so we have a special episode featuring a message Skye preached a few weeks ago at Wellspring Alliance Church. Based on John 9, Skye looks at why the most religious, most theologically educated people rejected Jesus. Drawing from research conducted by a psychologist in the 1950s, Skye shows that the more certain we are the more blind we become and why certainty, not doubt, is actually the opposite of faith.
The new documentary about Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” has adults crying in theaters and has sparked a Mr. Rogers revival across the country. Skye is joined by co-host of The Movie Proposal, Josh Lindsay, to discuss the film and why it should be required viewing for everyone in America, and how Mr. Rogers should inspire Christians to worry less about being relevant and more about being kind. Plus, Josh recommends other inspiring and thoughtful films while Skye doesn’t. It’s a special Movie Proposal episode of the Holy Post. Something Old: Josh’s: Thin Blue Line: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096257/ Skye’s: Speed: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111257/ Something New: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7681902/ Josh’s Proposal: The filmmakers of Won’t You Be My Neighbor were wise to focus on the message rather than the man himself. Skye’s Proposal: This film reveals why Christians, and evangelicals in particular, should be much, much less concerned about being relevant. Something Borrowed: https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-features/rob-sheffield-mr-rogers-doc-697288/ Something Blew: Josh’s: Planet Earth: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0795176/ Skye’s: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2314952/ Jason’s: https://twitter.com/garywhitta/status/1019759979916476416?s=21
Church scandals are nothing new, but why do they keep making the same mistakes over and over? Katelyn Beaty is back to dissect a few recent, high profile stories of churches mishandling accusations against leaders, and she offers lessons we can all learn from their mistakes. Plus, New Yorkers are appalled by a proposal to have men and women only days at a public beach, and what do fertility rates have to do with Millennials leaving the church?
The gospel is about going to heaven when we die, right? Wrong. Christian and Skye discuss the many popular but false ideas about heaven, death, and the gospel in a new addition of “Christian Asks.” Plus, a liberal writer freaks out over the Supreme Court saying evangelicals want to control women’s bodies. Skye disagrees arguing he can hardly control his own. Phil unpacks new research that says “find your passion” is really bad career advice. And Christian has travel tips if you’re ever in Normandy—aka, the Mississippi of France.
Some think Donald Trump’s record-breaking support among white evangelicals is abnormal, but not historian John Fea. He unpacks 200 years of American church history to show why so many evangelicals favored Trump over other conservative, Christian candidates. Plus, Phil, Christian, and Skye deconstruct Chris Pratt’s brilliant mini-sermon at the MTV Awards, and wonder why Christians in Nevada are supporting “America’s #1 Pimp” for the state legislature. It’s politics, Pratt, and pimps on the Holy Post!
Christian’s back from France! Her report from Normandy raises a question: should old Nazi veterans be included in D-Day commemorations? The gang discusses the future of Roe v. Wade, and Phil (finally) offers his take on NFL players kneeling during the anthem. Plus, Drew Dyck is back with his review of Jordan Peterson’s best-seller, “12 Rules for Life.”
What would (cartoon) Jesus do? Europe doesn’t have a great track record with cartoon depictions of religious leaders. Will an animated Jesus TV show for adults change that? The Miss America pageant announced it’s ending the swimsuit competition, so Phil explores how Christians went from denouncing the pageant in the 1920s to celebrating it by the 1960s. Finally, Skye responds to listener questions about worship and how he thinks about women in ministry.
Phil offers an impromptu history of European banking while insulting the French. Skye reports back from Disneyland and the #MeToo renovation of Pirates of the Caribbean. Dr. David Fitch says evangelicals have gotten church leadership all wrong. Rather than a hierarchy or democracy he says we need a pneumatocracy. (You’ll have to listen to find out what that means.) Plus, Phil ponders new research that says your “butt brain” may help with memory.
What’s so special about January 10, 2013? That’s the day Skye believes Christianity ceased to be viewed as a moral belief system in the U.S. Based on his new article, he talks about the three factors that conspired to fundamentally shift the way nonbelievers see the faith, and why it requires a new approach to ministry. Plus, research says American atheists are more religious than European Christians, the opioid epidemic has reached mollusks, & Phil discovers we have a second brain—you’ll never guess where.
Our friend from across the pond and host of “Unbelievable,” Justin Brierley, is back. He discusses why Christians are infatuated with Jordan Peterson, and why even secular Brits have given up on the New Atheists. Phil and Skye dissect the Supreme Court’s decision in the Colorado wedding cake case, and debate whether they’d rather be Mr. Rogers or Clint Eastwood after new research says testosterone is a barrier to faith.
Some Christians are rethinking the “purity culture” of their youths, but are they going too far? Katelyn Beaty is back to talk about what’s good, and what’s not so good, about progressive Christians building a sexual ethic on consent alone. Plus, youth pastors don’t want to talk about science, Christians don’t want to talk about faith, and Phil wants to talk about frozen frog urine.
How do we define success in the Christian life? Jon Tyson is back to talk about his new book, The Burden is Light, and how we’ve let American ideas of success warp our vision of faith and ministry. Plus, Swedes are stealing owls, Trump is making women into witches, and Phil and Skye talk about the Democrats’ “God Gap.”
Phil, Skye, and Christian celebrate the big 3-0-0 by reminiscing about the launch of the podcast six years ago, recalling their favorite guests, and sharing how the world has changed since the show began. They also reveal the show’s new name, new theme song, and plans for the future. Don’t miss this episode!
Christian’s back! And she helps Phil and Skye unpack new research on what Americans really believe about God, and you may be surprised to learn which Americans’ beliefs align closest to the Bible. Drew Dyck returns for his latest must-read book recommendations, Disney World cancels its annual Christian music concert, and Phil exposes New Jersey’s “pooperintendent” of schools.
Let’s be honest, our culture’s understanding of sexuality and gender is a hot mess. The moment you feel like you’ve got a grasp of the issues, everything changes again. Dr. Preston Sprinkle is back to help us make sense of the conversation and prepare us for what’s next. Plus, Skye reports on the meeting of evangelical leaders at Wheaton College, and Phil defends the legal rights of creative monkeys.
It's become a very contentious issue, but few Christians know the surprising origins of religious liberty in the U.S. Author and church historian Brandon O'Brien is back to talk about a little known Baptist leader who shaped the First Amendment. Plus, why are so many atheists joining the Alt-Right movement, and what should we do about sexist 1980's movies in the era of #MeToo?
This week Skye answers theology questions from our Patreon supporters like, is social justice biblical? And, when did the “gospel” become about my salvation rather than the kingdom of God? Phil and Skye discuss the fragility of megachurches and whether some celebrity pastors have become too big to fail. Plus, Phil takes a journey through the digestive system of the African elephant.
Jon Ward is the senior political correspondent for Yahoo News. He joins Skye for a conversation about what's broken with our politics, how to fix it, and the role of faith in Washington. Phil also unpacks new research on Christian nationalism, why is atheist Richard Dawkins worried about the decline of Christianity, and iguanas!
Our favorite Old Testament professor is back! Dr. John Walton has written a new book about Noah’s flood, and he comes to some surprising conclusions. Was there really a worldwide deluge, or was it a smaller, local event? Plus, Phil and Skye ask why Christmas is so much bigger than Easter? Did the Pope deny the existence of hell? And did Jesus break into a Pizza Hut?
Phil’s busy writing and Skye’s on vacation, so for Holy Week we’re posting a special episode featuring a sermon Skye preached on March 11, 2018. (Please don’t tell Read Schuchardt.) Skye looks at a dimension of the cross we often overlook and why the cross, not culture, is what unites the church.
Communications professor, Dr. Theon Hill, is back for a fascinating conversation about our post-truth, fake news culture. Hill believes for Christians to survive the deterioration of truth they should adopt the rhetorical strategies historically used by persecuted minorities including the black church. Plus, the gang discusses Evangelicalism. What is it? What was it? And what is the future of the Evangelical movement.
The country music industry lost its mind when conservative Mike Huckabee was appointed to the CMA Foundation board. Is it a sign that even red states are becoming blue? Christian campus ministries are being accused of discrimination because they want their leaders to be Christians. Plus, Drew Dyck is back with his best book picks, and the gang tackles mental health and lizard brains.
Communications professor Read Schuchard is back to tell us how podcasting is replacing, and hurting, the church. Why should we bother to show up on Sunday if we can get the sermon anytime/anywhere? Plus, the gang discusses a meeting of evangelical and Muslim leaders in D.C., and why are strippers so popular Chinese funerals.
The passing of Billy Graham has triggered an avalanche of articles about the famed evangelist. Many are tributes but some are rebukes. Phil, Skye, and Christian try to make sense of it all and discuss why Graham was most often attacked by conservatives during his life but liberals after his death. And what will be the future of the evangelical movement he helped create?
Is the passing of Billy Graham symbolic of the passing of American evangelicalism? Skye discusses that with Drew Dyck along with a new book about how social media does more harm than good. Plus, Phil and the gang talk about Christians giving a pass to Donald Trump, and why are so many more teens identifying as LGBT.
If you don’t believe in hell are you guaranteed to go there? Which view of the atonement is right? And can pastors who behave really badly be restored? Skye answers your theology questions this week, plus the gang discusses deadly Amish buggies, lady Doritos, and the latest ridiculous claims made by evangelicalism’s crazy uncles (and aunts).
Is heaven really the goal of the Christian life? Did Jesus really come to rescue us from an earth doomed to destruction? Skye and Christian discuss how many popular ideas about heaven are rooted in false beliefs from Greek and medieval mythologies rather than the New Testament. Also, Phil’s back to talk about beavers, monkeys, and religious liberty for Satanists. Patreon.com/philvischer https://youtu.be/Zy2AQlK6C5k
Headlines erupted when an evangelical megachurch gave a standing ovation to a pastor who confessed to sexual misconduct with a teenager. Are evangelicals really that out of touch with the #MeToo movement? Guest Katelyn Beaty brings clarity and wisdom to the conversation. Plus, Botox for camels, the spread of Islam, and a brief history of chain migration.
Should cannabis churches that claim marijuana is a sacrament be protected by the law? Why are megachurches so white, almost all led by men, and very unclear about their stance on LGBTs? Phil, Skye, and Christian unpack new research. Plus, Skye discusses what the “wall of separation” between church and state really means.
Christian is back with Phil and Skye to discuss new research that says evangelicals aren’t as anti-science as we’ve been led to believe. Plus, Phil discovers something disturbing about avocados. Skye then interviews journalist Jonathan Merritt about the biggest stories of 2017—including the growing number of evangelical leaders now affirming same-sex marriage and the split between elite and populist Christians over Trump. Will these trends continue in 2018?
Too much artistic expression in America lives at the extremes - either completely secular or overwhelmingly, explicitly Christian. What about stories from the middle? Stories iIlluminated by the Christian narrative without being so, you know, “Christiany?” Singer/songwriter/author Andrew Peterson and his producing partner Chris Wall join Phil and Skye to talk about Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga fantasy books and the effort to bring them to the screen as an animated series. Plus… Phil and Skye discuss nostalgia for Christian pop culture, and a secret message from the past hidden in a very strange place. (No video this week - listen to it with your ears!)
This is our last episode for 2017… Phil is taking a break to focus on some writing projects... and the holidays with his family! This week! Phil and Skye talk about their biggest stories of the year and movies they’ve enjoyed recently. (Plus the movie Phil suggested to his wife that he now regrets!) Then they’re joined by Koinonia House Ministry Director Nephtali Matta, who shares his story of full-time pastoral ministry, followed by time in prison, followed by a new ministry to ex-cons after his own painful reintegration to society. Don’t miss it!
What exactly are “vampire churches,” and why does Skye believe they’re sucking the life out of American Christianity? How can “effectiveness” and “ambition” be the enemies of ministry? And why can’t Phil stop talking about turtles?? Phil and Skye discuss Skye’s new book, Immeasurable. And turtles. This week on the podcast! (Due to a technical glitch, there is no video on YouTube this week. Terribly sorry. Picture us in your minds. Phil is wearing dark purple. Skye is bald. Christian is missing. Go.)
It’s a pre-Thanksgiving mailbag podcast, as the gang sits down to answer your questions. From favorite Thanksgiving foods to thoughts about guns in church and the “Mike Pence Rule.” Plus… is Phil ready to give up on the label “evangelical,” or is he still holding onto hope?? Grab a turkey leg and listen in!
Irish composer Keith Getty has been writing modern hymns like “In Christ Alone” for two decades, and now he’s written - wait for it - a BOOK! About singing! Keith joins Phil and Skye on the podcast to talk worship music, singing together, and how to stay focused on God when everyone around you wants another HIT worship song. PLUS - Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. Hollywood has been behaving very badly, and Phil and Skye ponder if it’s a new thing, or a very, very old thing made visible in a new way. Come on along for the ride!
We’ve all heard the stats about kids leaving the faith when they head for college - but why? And what would have made their faith more “sticky?” Has anyone done any actual research on this? Kara Powell has! Fuller Youth Institute Executive Director Kara Powell joins the gang to discuss her research and her book - Sticky Faith!
10 kids, no TV, no cell phone, no internet. Life with the Amish? A zombie apocalypse? Nope - just another day in the life of Read Schuchardt, a professor of media ecology who definitely practices what he preaches! Plus, Phil and Skye discuss a new “giant sucking sound” in American demographics and Phil, yet again, attempts to convince us we really, REALLY don’t want to live on Mars. This week on the podcast!
So… Phil and a Croatian Protestant theologian walk into a bar…. Oh, you’ve heard that one? Author/theologian/Yale professor Miroslav Volf sits down with Phil to talk about Christians in culture and his new book Public Faith in Action: How to Engage with Commitment, Conviction, and Courage. What follows is a fascinating conversation about Volf’s arguments for religion in a globalized world, plus what discourages and encourages him about the North American church today. And how his fountain pen explains his view of God and Creation. He’s a bright guy and it’s a lot of fun! This week on the podcast!
Phil and Skye sit down with N.T. Wright for a fun and fascinating conversation with the world-renowned author and theologian. What does Wright think of the North American church? Why do modern gender issues remind him of ancient Gnosticism? Why is Phil singing show tunes to a famous theologian? What would Wright put on a billboard if he could require everyone to read one message? What is it he think kids Bibles get wrong that makes him want to write his own? All this and more! Plus… Bladerunner 2049 makes Phil think deep thoughts. And dogs are people too. Or maybe not.
Liz Dong is two things that usually don’t go together - an undocumented immigrant AND an evangelical Christian. She’s also a immigrant advocate with World Relief, as well as a member of the Evangelical Immigration Table. Having read a piece she wrote for Time Magazine, we invited Liz to stop by the studio and talk about her life story and the issues involving DACA, immigration and the church. Plus, we pause for a moment to remember Hugh Hefner. Okay - that was long enough.
It’s a potluck podcast! Christians predict the world will end… last Saturday? Plus, the story of two committed Christians in the NFL, both philanthropically active, both known for taking a knee on the field. Yet one is a hero and the other a villain. We’re talking about Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick, and it’s a fascinating study of what the American Church values today. Oh yeah… and the Swiss’s toilets are full of money. No really. Money. This week on the podcast!
Do we spend too much time trying to know about God, and too little time actually getting to know God? Author, pastor and spiritual director Jared Patrick Boyd joins the show to talk about experiencing God through the practice of “Imaginative Prayer.” Plus, Christian is back from France and Phil’s got a bone to pick with an Emmy award-winning show. This week on the podcast!
Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? What are our differences? What do we have in common? Author Carl Medearis has been working and living among Muslims in some of the most dangerous places on earth for the last 25 years, and joins the podcast to tell us what he’s learned. Plus… white Christians are now a minority in America, and Phil and Skye discuss “The Nashville Statement.” This week on the podcast!