Monday, September 02, 2013

Seven Great Religion Podcasts

I have more time to listen to podcasts now that I walk the dog a few times per day. I've been discovering some great podcasts along the way, which I share here. Would love to have readers share their favorites also.

1. Revs Podcast

Beth and Scott are pastors married to each other podcasting about church, family and God. In their most recent podcast, after discussing their varying reactions to the election of Elizabeth Eaton as new presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, they discuss Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

I think my favorite thing about Beth and Scott's podcast is their transparency. Listening to Beth talk about Lean In, you hear how her experience as a woman pastor shapes how well she understands the continuing gender bias in our culture. Scott, on the other hand, though sensitive, still has his experience colored by being a male pastor. So though he tries to understand, he doesn't really understand. Listening to the two of them talk together about it, the listener gets inspired to read the book, and experiences how profound the challenge continues to be for females in leadership.

2. Homebrewed Christianity

Equipping grassroots theologians for creative thinking, engaging, and living. Homebrewed's most recent podcast is a panel discussion at the Wild Goose Festival on the 50th anniversary of the civil right's march in Washington D.C.

3. Pray As You Go

A Jesuit resource, daily prayer for your mp3 player. Lots of podcasts attempt to be conversations, interviews with talent, thought leaders, and more. This podcast accompanies listeners in their prayer life. It is, as it were, a prayer-cast. Given that prayer is an under-emphasized mode in social media more generally, it's refreshing to have a podcast that doesn't just talk about prayer, but prays.

4. On Being

"On Being is a spacious conversation — and an evolving media space — about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient traditions of the human spirit. The program began as an occasional series on Minnesota Public Radio in 1999, then became a monthly national program in September 2001, and launched as a weekly program titled Speaking of Faith in the summer of 2003.

On Being, as the show was re-named in 2010, is now heard on hundreds of public radio stations in the U.S. and globally via Internet and podcast. In 2008, the program was awarded the highest honors in both broadcasting and electronic media — the Peabodyand their second Webby Award. On Being is the only public radio program in the U.S. to achieve this distinction.

Krista envisions a program that would draw out the intellectual and spiritual content of religion that should nourish our common life, but that is often obscured precisely when religion enters the news. Their sustained growth as a show has also been nurtured by a cultural shift that seeks conversation, shared life, and problem-solving within and across religious traditions and across categories of belief and non-belief. On Being has both responded and contributed to a growing acknowledgement that there are basic questions of meaning that pertain to the entire human experience. The particular dramas and dynamics of the 21st century — ecological, political, cultural, technological, and economic — are bringing this into relief."

5. God Complex Radio 

"It has been said that preachers should preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. However, Carol Howard Merritt and Derrick Weston are more likely to read the Bible on their iPhones with Google News open in a computer browser window. As young pastors in a historic mainline Christian denomination, the partners of God Complex Radio are determined to lead Christianity into the 21st century and translate the values of the Christian faith to the next generation.
Through the production of a podcast and the development of media, join Carol and Derrick as they welcome writers, speakers, thinkers, musicians, and poets who are (and are destined to become) the voices of the next generation of the faith."

Recent interviews include a conversation with Meredith Gould on her new book, The Social Media Gospel, and Bruce Reyes-Chow on religion and faith.

6. White Horse Inn

A multi-media catalyst for reformation. The most recent podcast is an interview with Os Guiness on the case for civility. Michael Horton, the host, also happens to be an incredibly prolific author, most recently a systematic theology for modern day pilgrims.

7. David Housholder

David is a Libertarian, a Luthercostal pastor in Huntingdon Beach, a surfer, and more. He comes at many topics from a fresh perspective. We don't always agree on specifics, but we always agree that we enjoy the back and forth of conversation even in our differences.


I would be re-miss not to at least mention that our church has a podcast as well, of our weekly Sunday sermons. You can subscribe on iTunes:

And here's a brief advance idea, for those who have read this far. I'm thinking of podcasting Kierkegaard this next year, reading him out loud as he hoped to be read. So if this interests you, let me know. I'd love to know if people are interested in hearing great literature read out loud in manageable portions.


  1. These are all great podcasts and/or books.

    Let me just add ONE:

    Collins, Francis S. MD, PhD. BELIEF. Readings on Reasons for Faith. HarperCollins, 2010.


    TOC here:


  2. So glad you included God Complex Radio! I've been a guest three times, once at the near-to-last minute when someone flaked. Questions are always great and interaction is always delightful. I typically end up laughing and, even more importantly, make Carol Howard and Derrick Weston laugh along with me. Down with grim piety! Up with joy!

    1. Agreed! We like the show so much we made some study guides:

  3. Thanks so much for the mention, Clint. It has been a fun challenge for us to discuss these things in public, so to speak. One of our next shows will be interviewing our bishop, who we think is awesome. Thanks for listening, and for these other great suggestions as well.