When you travel as much as I do, you have a lot of opportunities to take advantage of “found time.” Even when I’m not on the road, I can usually get some listening in while I’m cooking or cleaning up the kitchen. Over the last year, I’ve listened to more than 50 podcasts. I looked through my library and picked five of that I felt were important.
In particular, I believe these are important for Christians. As people called from darkness to life, we are to look differently from the world. Yet, in many ways, when I look at my life and the life of the church, I see the adoption of ideas and assumptions that aren’t particularly theological. The following podcasts were important to me because they helped me to create a new framework through which to see the world. They also reminded me what it means to disagree respectfully and to use a gentle word of truth to convey who God is. There is certainly a place for anger in the Christian life, but it seems to me that we are defaulting to outrage too often today. Hopefully these podcasts will help you (as they did me!) think differently.
- “How my Crisis Can Help You Find Meaning in Life” (Ravi Zacharias on The Rubin Report)- I will confess that I seldom listen to those who might be considered “mainstream evangelical,” but this episode peaked my interest because (a) I like The Rubin Report and (b) I had recently been steered toward Ravi Zacharias by a friend. The episode (and Ravi) did not disappoint. The content of the conversation was good, but what really stuck out to me was Ravi Zacharias’s disposition. He was a gentleman. Even when addressing some challenging questions, he was able to engage Rubin while maintaining his convictions. If you want a picture of what evangelical discussion in the public square could look like, you need to listen to this episode of The Rubin Report.
- “Jonathan Haidt: When Good Intentions Go Bad” (The Knowledge Podcast #61)- While I believe that some of the dynamics Haidt describes will be less prominent among the next generations (Gen Z and younger), this podcast is still worth listening to. Haidt has some good insights into youth, as well as some good tips about how to handle social media and the like. Most of all, I think he uncovers some significant behaviors that are feeding some of the difficulties young people are facing today. If you have or work with young people, you really out to check out this podcast.
- “Perkins on Friendship” #33 (Conversing)- I’ve read books by John Perkins, but I heard him speak for the first time in this podcast. His story was compelling. It reminded me of just how wrong the world is, but, more than that, how powerful God’s Grace just really is. The podcast also underscored the importance of friendship in the church and the need for us to be unified in the body of Christ. Don’t pass up this podcast if you have any interest in conversations of race within the body of Christ.
- “An Idea on Land” (Willie James Jennings)- I referenced The Christian Imagination by Jennings in a previous post. In this interview, Jennings talks through some of the points he makes in the book. It was clarifying and insightful. The way he thinks about place has been quite challenging and this interview offers an easy way to be introduced to some of his thinking. He offers new and different categories that need to be considered.
- “Can Your Life Be Meaningful without God?” (The Rubin Report)- While I put this one at #5, I think it falls higher on my list of favorites. It isn’t a traditional episode of The Rubin Report because Dave Rubin is being interviewed with John Lenox. It is such a good discussion full of kindness and dignity. As you listen, consider what it means not simply to have a meaningful life without God, but how as Christians we might demonstrate the immensely greater meaning that comes with God.
I hope you all have a great 2020 and that some of these might get you thinking and inspire you (as they have me!) to think deeply about God and what it means to live for Him.