Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Adam Hamilton, Part Two

I’m joined today for the second of a two-part podcast series with my friend, mentor and pastor, Rev. Adam Hamilton, who serves as the senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS. Our first podcast is HERE.

0:00 Introduction to Pastor Adam Hamilton
0:56 Why are Christians so threatened by other Christians?
2:38 Controversy about his Christianity and World Religions sermons
4:57 The Liberal/Conservative divide and how we’re wired
6:14 Becoming better, together (sharing beliefs without trying to change each other)
9:36 The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, and its lessons for today
(Adam’s upcoming travels to Germany to help people retrace Luther’s steps)
13:22 The beautiful diversity within Christianity
14:32 The exclusive Eucharistic meal: a symbol of our disunity

16:05 What wisdom can we glean from Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, etc.?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Adam Hamilton, Part One

I'm thrilled to be joined in this first of two podcasts with my friend, Rev. Adam Hamilton, who serves as the senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS ( Pastor Adam has been named one of the "Ten People to Watch in America’s Spiritual Landscape" by Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, served on President Barack Obama’s advisory council on faith-based and neighborhood partnerships, and is the author of several books, including his best-selling Making Sense of the Bible. In this first of two podcasts, Adam and I discuss one of his earlier books and upcoming 2018 sermon series, Christianity and World Religions.

This conversation was especially fun for me, as Pastor Adam and I spent two years recording and producing weekly videos for YouTube, found HERE. This time, instead of being behind the camera, it was a treat to be part of the conversation with my wise friend and pastor.

Link on iTunes:

Link on Stitcher:

0:00 Why are there so many different religions?
2:40 Introduction to Pastor Adam Hamilton
3:32 How is God at work in other religions?
6:00 Thoughts on miracles
8:07 Pluralism: Are all religions the same?
11:29 Exclusivism: Does salvation depend on a one-time prayer?
14:35 Inclusivism: Is God’s mercy and love wider than we imagine?
19:10 Is the point of Christianity where we’ll go in the afterlife?
22:05 Are our answers to these questions a reflection on God, or on us?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this conversation in a separate podcast.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sarah Bessey on The Lift

I had the honor of interviewing Sarah Bessey, author of Out of Sorts and Jesus Feminist, on The Lift. Sarah's warmth is contagious and shines through in her voice - talking to her, I felt like I was sitting down with an old friend.
Sarah Bessey is an award-winning author of Jesus Feminist: An invitation to revisit the Bible’s view of women; and Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith. Sarah lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia, with her husband Brian and four children. She writes, blogs and speaks about Christianity in all its complexity, from women’s roles and stained glass ceilings, to social justice, politics, mothering, loss and lament, ecclesiology, stepping on toes, leaving church, circling back, and wrestling – all out, all in – with a God who won’t let go.

Check out our podcast at these links:

In this episode:
0:00  Do questions threaten God?
1:18  About Sarah
2:08  On not having things figured out
4:41  Growing up faith
8:18  The fear of questions (and how they're stifled)
15:26 Tough questions: Is the Bible inerrant?
18:42 Tough questions: Hell?
21:00 Tough questions: Why did Jesus have to die?
25:15 Excerpt from Out of Sorts
26:44 500 year shifts in Christianity
29:20 A "toddling charismatic stumbling along the Canterbury trail"
30:38 The door of grief & lament (and pregnancy loss)
34:41 Jesus Feminist & patriarchy
38:07 Sarah's Word-of-the-Year for 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Brook Allred: Mormonism

Brook Allred joins me today for The Lift Podcast's "Year of Faiths" series to discuss her faith with American roots: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, popularly called Mormonism. Brook is the Relief Society President of the Olathe KS stake, which oversees 11 congregations, or wards. Brook is married with two sons, and in the past has worked at the General Relief Society Office for the LDS Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. Relief Society is the largest women’s organization in the world, comprising nearly seven million members. I appreciate Brook's openness and willingness to explain the basic beliefs of the LDS faith, and dispel some misconceptions.

As I've spent the past month of my "Year of Faiths" journey learning more about the LDS faith (reading the Book of Mormon, abstaining from coffee and alcohol, attending a local "ward", visiting with missionaries and practicing daily scripture reading and Family Home Evening), I've come to especially appreciate its commitment to strengthening families and building community in a world that seems increasingly lonely and disconnected. Though we have different theologies and beliefs about many tenets of Christianity, I have been enriched by my study of the LDS Church, its practical application to life, and its many good people.
Photo credit:

Link on iTunes:

Link on Stitcher:

In this episode:
0:00 Close-knit community among a culture of loneliness
1:44 Introduction to Relief Society President, Brook Allred
2:53 Brook’s family and faith background
4:21 Basic beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
5:14 LDS Church’s similarities & differences with other Christian traditions
6:36 The Book of Mormon
9:30 Stocking two years’ worth of food and provisions: Emergency Preparedness and the LDS faith
11:02 LDS Missions
14:37 The LDS Church’s emphasis on strong families
18:01 How Brook feels the guidance of God/Spirit
19:56 The Mormon Temple
22:07 Beliefs about the afterlife & premortal life
26:27 Genealogy and baptism for the dead
27:46 The LDS women’s Relief Society and role of women

Friday, July 14, 2017

Darryl Burton: 24 yrs falsely imprisoned

image (c) Riverfront Times
I recently had a chance to interview my friend, Darryl Burton, who was falsely imprisoned for 24 years for a crime he didn't commit. I'm always amazed to speak with Darryl, as we work together to coordinate public events to bring his story of injustice, redemption and forgiveness to the world.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sheila Sonnenschein on Judaism

Sheila Sonnenschein recently joined me on the podcast to talk about Judaism. Sheila is a speaker, writer and leader in the Jewish and interfaith communities in Kansas City. She and her husband are the founders of the Mitzvah Garden which produces food for the needy, and started the Table to Table program for the Kosher food pantry, Yachad. Sheila is active in Salaam/Shalom, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Crescent Peace Society, from whom she received the Peace Award. Her work in racial justice has earned her the Heart of Gold for Racial Justice award through the YWCA, and she continues to build bridges – to people of other faiths and to the poor and marginalized, including refugees. Sheila’s family graciously hosted me this year for the most sacred meal of the Jewish faith, the Passover Seder, an experience I’ll forever treasure.

In this episode:
0:00 The Jewish faith and immigrants
2:37 Introduction for Sheila Sonnenschein
3:39 Sheila’s faith growing up
5:35 Judaism & community
6:33 Beliefs about life after death
7:29 How Judaism makes the world better & Tikkun Olam
8:48 Feeling God’s presence – tragedy, nature, synchronicity
11:37 Israel’s meaning for Jewish people
13:20 Antisemitism, solidarity & Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (contact theory)
16:09 History of persecution & how it’s shaped the Jewish people
21:09 The Passover Seder
25:13 Reformed, Conservative and Orthodox traditions in Judaism
27:33 The Jewish holy books & how Sheila approaches scripture
30:50 Conversations between generations (patriarchs AND matriarchs)

31:34 Sheila recites the Sh’ma