“Believing takes practice.” ― Madeleine L'Engle
Over the last 10 years, I have watched as my beliefs have changed.
My beliefs about what my life would look like.
My beliefs about how the world works.
And my beliefs about God.
When our beliefs change, it’s not like watching a Jenga tower fall. It doesn’t happen all at once.
Instead, it’s a slow process. You’re just going through your normal life when, one day, something happens. You hear somebody’s words or read an article online, and a tint of confusion or unrest hits you. It’s nothing at first. But in reality, it’s the beginning of everything. That small thing made a crack. Over time, that crack would release all of your frustration and open you up to a whole new journey of discovery.
I can’t tell you what made that first crack for me. But what I can tell you is that you’re not alone. Whether you call it doubt, deconstruction, wandering, back-sliding, or anything else – the fact is that there are many others on the journey with you. And the number is growing daily. Tens of thousands of Christians are searching for a truer faith. An unbarred, unencumbered space where they can ask the difficult questions and hear from people who will not condemn their journey – but encourage it.
That space is still forming. In the meantime, I want to recommend 10 podcasts that will journey alongside you as you transition from hope to hope, and cling to Jesus all along the way.
Mission: The Deconstructionists Podcast is a place to wrestle with belief and unbelief. It's a place to listen to conversations and perspectives that push you out of your comfort zone. It's a place to be authentic and honest.
I love the rawness of their conversations. There are no guidelines, no artificial fences to keep us from wandering – just humans asking difficult questions about the God they want to know, and the Jesus they want to follow.
Description: Matt, Toby and Joey discuss funny, controversial, and personal stuff with guests from the music business, leaders in the Christian world, and interesting folks from well outside of the Christian world.
Their podcast is a like a digital watering hole. You’re going to hear (and learn) a little bit about everything. Some of it will make you uncomfortable and that’s a good thing!
The description tells you everything you need to know: “The only God-ordained podcast on the internet. Serious talk about the sacred book.”
The host, Pete Enns, brings a rare combination of humor and academic excellence to their investigation of Scripture. This podcast is not for the faint of heart, but I guarantee its worth your time.
Mission: Our national discourse is more divided than ever. Host Dan Koch moderates discussions with brilliant guests, using reason and storytelling to improve arguments on both sides, create empathy, and build bridges.
Imagine listening to a podcast about politics that doesn’t leave you feeling dirty afterwards? In some miraculous way, Depolaize accomplishes this week in and week out. If you’re looking for a more intelligent way to engage during this divisive season, give this podcast a listen.
Mission: The Liturgists are a collective of artists and creators who create sacred art and experiences for the spiritually homeless and frustrated.
This was one of the first podcasts recommended to me when I first started to feel my faith growing out of its old form. Listening to it felt like my soul was drinking a cup of iced tea on a summer day. The fact that they are as much artists as they are theologians creates a truly unique experience for the listener.
Description: The RobCast is a weekly podcast hosted by Rob Bell.
The description doesn’t do the podcast any justice. Imagine having a weekly master class on how to think differently about Christianity, the Bible, and God – that’s what Rob Bell accomplishes with his show. Of course, I don’t agree with everything he says but he’s an excellent thinker and communicator and I continue to learn a ton from his perspective.
Mission: Nomad Podcast is a chance to explore Christian community, mission and the future of the church. Join two ordinary pilgrims as they stumble through the post-Christendom wilderness, looking for signs of hope.
This is one of my newest discoveries, but I am loving Tim and Dave’s approach. Two things stand out about them from my listening so far. First, their from the UK so they’re automatically one of my favorite people to listen to. Second, they ask excellent questions (as in they usually ask the exact thing I’m wondering about…it’s both creepy and inspiring!).
8. Two Fab
Description: Luci and Jordan are two Christian feminists annotating the Bible, chapter by chapter, week by week. We are feminists and we are Christians, so we take Scripture seriously but not literally. We strive for an intersectional lens as we take a look at the holy text.
Do you remember that scene in the Matrix where Neo first chooses to take the red pill, enters a mind-boggling scene which reveals how unaware he was about the truth of his world, and then throws up right before passes out on the floor? That’s what it feels like the first time you get a good taste of feminist Biblical scholarship. And once you get a glimpse, you can never unsee it. Luci and Jordan do an excellent job of inviting you into this reading of Scripture, while making you feel strangely okay with having your world shaken.
Desciption: In October of 2015, Mike Erre launched the VOX Podcast upon a season of struggling with the church's efforts to represent who Jesus is, what he's done, and what he is doing on this earth today. Committed to Talk About Anything, Mike quickly engaged into many of culture's most challenging conversations around the LGBTQ community, American politics, church politics, and Christian culture's catastrophe of marginalizing the very people that Jesus himself would associate with.
Mike Erre is doing an excellent job of not only pointing at the church and saying “hey I don’t think we’re going this right” but coming along side guests who are actually pursuing and creating solutions. Episode 62 “The Mystery of Spiritual Maturity” is a great place to start (seriously, go download that episode right now).
10. Seminary Dropout
Description: Seminary Dropout is an interview format podcast that exists somewhere between seminary and youth camp. Not full on academia but no trust falls either. SD is fun, insightful, personal, thoughtful and engaging. It’s two friends talking over coffee about your creations, theology, life, and the church.
Honest, intimate, curious. The only way to describe this podcast is that after listening to an episode or two, you’re going to want Shane to be your best-friend. The guy just gets it. He carries a heart for Jesus, he opens his hands for people, and he challenges his mind to think critically.
I hope you find some (or all) of the podcasts on this list helpful on your journey. Remember, believing takes practice. And anything worth doing is worth doing slowly (Mae West) – like changing the way you think about the God who knows you by name, and the faith that attempts to reveal Him to the world.