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Give and Take
65 minutes | Dec 16, 2021
Episode 257: You're Only Human, with Kelly Kapic
Work. Family. Church. Exercise. Sleep. The list of demands on our time seems to be never ending. It can leave you feeling a little guilty--like you should always be doing one more thing. Rather than sharing better time-management tips to squeeze more hours out of the day, Kelly Kapic takes a different approach in You're Only Human. He offers a better way to make peace with the fact that God didn't create us to do it all. Kapic explores the theology behind seeing our human limitations as a gift rather than a deficiency. He lays out a path to holistic living with healthy self-understanding, life-giving relationships, and meaningful contributions to the world. He frees us from confusing our limitations with sin and instead invites us to rest in the joy and relief of knowing that God can use our limitations to foster freedom, joy, growth, and community. Readers will emerge better equipped to cultivate a life that fosters gratitude, rest, and faithful service to God.Special Guest: Kelly M. Kapic.
59 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
Episode 256: Saving Grace: Speak Your Truth, Stay Centered, and Learn to Coexist with People Who Drive You Nuts, with Kirsten Powers
My guest is Kirsten Powers. Her new book is Saving Grace: Speak Your Truth, Stay Centered, and Learn to Coexist with People Who Drive You Nuts. In it this CNN senior political analyst and USA Today columnist offers a path to navigating the toxic division in our culture without compromising our convictions and emotional well-being, based on her experience as a journalist during the Trump era, interviews with experts, and research on what leads people to actually change their minds.Special Guest: Kirsten Powers.
54 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Episode 255: The Rise of Post-Liberal Man
My guest is Mathis Bitton. He is a student of political theory at Yale University. His writing focuses on liberalism and its discontents, Confucian and Islamic thought, city-states, and institution-building. You can follow him on Twitter at @mlbitton. His recent piece, The Rise of Post-Liberal Man, sparked the conversation. You can read it here: https://quillette.com/2021/07/22/the-rise-of-post-liberal-man/
46 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
Episode 254: The 40 Day Challenge, with Rabbi Mark Wildes
My guest is Mark Wildes. His newest book is The 40 Day Challenge. Sometimes we are spiritually frozen. This book will thaw you out and heat you up - Nissim Black, Rapper and Businessman Written in an approachable, uplifting, and accessible style, The 40 Day Challenge is an invitation for people who believe there is more to life than the daily grind. It offers the reader easily digestible and compact Jewish wisdom, each day for the 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul leading up to Yom Kippur. Each daily reading is followed by a challenge question so it can serve as a spiritual diary as you approach the High Holidays. This year, instead of just “showing up,” prepare yourself with a Torah insight written by MJE Founder Rabbi Mark Wildes, who has spent his life inspiring Jews from all walks of life.Special Guest: Rabbi Mark Wildes.
71 minutes | Jun 19, 2021
Episode 253: Supreme Court Recap, with Steve Krone
My guest is Steve Krone. In addition to being an entertainment lawyer and a prolific film producer, he also was a Supreme Court clerk for Justices William J. Brennan, Jr. and David H. Souter. We talked about the two significant decisions the Supreme Court handed down this week. We also chatted a bit about film. Special Guest: Steve Krone.
68 minutes | May 20, 2021
Episode 252: Talking Politics, Pop-Culture, and Podcasting, with Roifield Brown
In this episode I talk with Roifield Brown. Roifield Brown is an experienced podcaster and media strategist, with an impressive track record of helping companies enhance and grow their media properties to diverse audiences across a wide range of categories, including politics, history, culture and entertainment.Special Guest: Roifield Brown.
46 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
Episode 251: Candles in the Dark, with Rowan Williams
My guest is Rowan Williams. ‘As we contemplate the coming months, not knowing when we can breathe again, it’s worth thinking about how already the foundations have been laid for whatever new opportunities God has for us on the far side of this crisis.’ Rowan Williams offers these words of wisdom and many more in his new book Candles in the Dark. This powerful and timely book brings together the 26 weekly Christian meditations originally posted online from March to September 2020, during lockdown in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, for the congregation of his local parish church. Candles in the Dark is a lovely Christian book of comfort for anyone looking for the light in these dark times. Written with warmth and compassion, these meditations offer us hope and encouragement as we continue to endure the most devastating and disturbing world crisis for over a generation. They will leave you spiritually uplifted and with a strengthened faith to guide you through whatever may come.Special Guest: Rowan Williams.
58 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
Episode 250: Everybody Prays, with James Martin
My guest is James Martin, SJ. His newest book is Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone. He is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communications, and author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers "Jesus: A Pilgrimage" and "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything." Among his other books, "My Life with the Saints" and "Between Heaven and Mirth" were named by Publishers Weekly as "Best Books" of the year, and three of his books have received Christopher Awards. Father Martin is a frequent commentator in the national and international media, having appeared on all the major networks, and in such diverse outlets as The Colbert Report, Fresh Air, On Being, Fox & Friends, PBS's NewsHour, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe, as well as on the History Channel, BBC, and Vatican Radio. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988, he graduated from the Wharton School of Business.Special Guest: James Martin.
97 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Episode 249: To Reach the Spring: From Complicity to Consciousness in the Age of Eco-Crisis, with Nathaniel Popkin
My guest is Nathaniel Popkin. His newest book is To Reach the Spring: From Complicity to Consciousness in the Age of Eco-Crisis. In the shadow of an escalating eco-crisis—a looming catastrophe that will dwarf the fallout from COVID-19—how can we explain our society’s failure to act? What will we tell future generations? Are we paralyzed because the problem is so vast in scope, or are there deeper reasons for the widespread passivity? Nathaniel Popkin explores the moral, social, and psychological dimensions of the crisis, outlining a path to a future spring.Special Guest: Nathaniel Popkin.
37 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
Episode 248: Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines, with Jamie Merisotis
As computer technology advances with dizzying speed, human workers face an ever-increasing threat of obsolescence. In Human Work In the Age of Smart Machines, Jamie Merisotis argues that we can—and must—rise to this challenge by preparing to work alongside smart machines doing that which only humans can: thinking critically, reasoning ethically, interacting interpersonally, and serving others with empathy. The president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, Merisotis offers a roadmap for the large-scale, radical changes we must make in order to find abundant and meaningful work for ourselves in the 21st century. His vision centers on developing our unique capabilities as humans through learning opportunities that deliver fair results and offer a broad range of credentials. By challenging long-held assumptions and expanding our concept of work, Merisotis argues that we can harness the population’s potential, encourage a deeper sense of community, and erase a centuries-long system of inequality.Special Guest: Jamie Merisotis .
91 minutes | Jan 3, 2021
Episode 247: The Very Last Interview: with David Shields, Nick Toti, and Rachel Kempf
My guests are David Shields, Nick Toti, and Rachel Kempf. We talk about The Very Last Interview (Shields' forthcoming book), film-adapted by Toti and Kempf and released this month. Shields is the author of over twenty books including Reality Hunger, Other People, How Literature Saved My Life, The Trouble with Men, That Thing You Do With Your Mouth, etc. While The Very Last Interview will not be released until early 2022 by New York Review Books, Toti released the 30 minute short earlier this month via Vimeo. Special Guests: David Shields, Nick Toti, and Rachel Kempf.
52 minutes | Oct 31, 2020
Episode 246: 6 Spiritual Truths that Won’t Change with the Election, with Frederick Schmidt
My guest if Frederick Schmidt. He holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. He's also an Episcopal Priest. He recently wrote a piece entitled "6 Spiritual Truths that Won’t Change with the Election." It's a timely piece for reflection and discussion. Special Guest: Frederick W. Schmidt .
46 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
Episode 245: Presidential Playbook 2020: 16 Nonpartisan Solutions to Save America, with John Burke
My guest is John Burke. His newest book is Presidential Playbook 2020: 16 Nonpartisan Solutions to Save America. “And sometime, at some point, do something for your country.” That quote from Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough resonated so deeply with Trek Bicycle President John Burke that he set out to write a book laying out his vision for the country, an America that can once again be a shining city on a hill. Burke says it’s time to cut through the political fog and deal with the facts: The U.S. is facing serious, long-term problems, and politicians in Washington, D.C. are ignoring them. These critical issues can be resolved, he says, with the determination and shared sacrifice of the American people. From battling climate change to saving Social Security, from reducing the risk of nuclear war to rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges, from campaign finance reform to improving the health of Americans, John Burke offers his 16 Nonpartisan Solutions for putting the United States on a stronger foundation. This is his Presidential Playbook, a plan for America’s future—and a call for all Americans to come together and … do something for our country.Special Guest: John Burke .
38 minutes | Sep 26, 2020
Episode 244: Healing Politics: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic, Abdul El-Sayed
My guest is Abdul El-Sayed. His new book is Healing Politics: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic. From a rising voice in progressive politics, a combination of memoir, science, and public policy, diagnosing the challenges facing America and laying out a way forward A child of immigrants, Abdul El-Sayed grew up feeling a responsibility to help others. He threw himself into the study of medicine and excelled—winning a Rhodes Scholarship, earning two advanced degrees, and landing a tenure-track position at Columbia University. At 30, he became the youngest city health official in America, tasked with rebuilding Detroit's health department after years of austerity policies. But El-Sayed found himself disillusioned. He could heal the sick—even build healthier and safer communities—but that wouldn’t address the social and economic conditions causing illness in the first place. So he left health for politics, running for Governor of Michigan and earning the support of progressive champions like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders. In Healing Politics, El-Sayed traces the life of a young idealist, weaving together powerful personal stories and fascinating forays into history and science. Marrying his unique perspective with the science of epidemiology, El-Sayed diagnoses an underlying epidemic afflicting our country, an epidemic of insecurity. And to heal the rifts this epidemic has created, he lays out a new direction for the progressive movement. This is a bold, personal, and compellingly original book from a prominent young leader.Special Guest: Abdul El-Sayed.
51 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
Episode 243: Breaking Bread With The Dead, with Alan Jacobs
My guest is Alan Jacobs. His newest book is Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader's Guide to a More Tranquil Mind. W. H. Auden once wrote that "art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead." In his brilliant and compulsively readable new treatise, Breaking Bread with the Dead, Alan Jacobs shows us that engaging with the strange and wonderful writings of the past might help us live less anxiously in the present--and increase what Thomas Pynchon once called our "personal density." Today we are battling too much information in a society changing at lightning speed, with algorithms aimed at shaping our every thought--plus a sense that history offers no resources, only impediments to overcome or ignore. The modern solution to our problems is to surround ourselves only with what we know and what brings us instant comfort. Jacobs's answer is the opposite: to be in conversation with, and challenged by, those from the past who can tell us what we never thought we needed to know. What can Homer teach us about force? How does Frederick Douglass deal with the massive blind spots of America's Founding Fathers? And what can we learn from modern authors who engage passionately and profoundly with the past? How can Ursula K. Le Guin show us truths about Virgil's female characters that Virgil himself could never have seen? In Breaking Bread with the Dead, a gifted scholar draws us into close and sympathetic engagement with texts from across the ages, including the work of Anita Desai, Henrik Ibsen, Jean Rhys, Simone Weil, Edith Wharton, Amitav Ghosh, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Italo Calvino, and many more. By hearing the voices of the past, we can expand our consciousness, our sympathies, and our wisdom far beyond what our present moment can offer.Special Guest: Alan Jacobs.
44 minutes | Sep 22, 2020
Episode 242: Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife, with Ariel Sabar
My guest is Ariel Sabar. His newest book is Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife. In 2012, Dr. Karen King, a star professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced a blockbuster discovery at a scholarly conference just steps from the Vatican: She had found an ancient fragment of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene "my wife." The tattered manuscript made international headlines. If early Christians believed Jesus was married, it would upend the 2,000-year history of the world's predominant faith, threatening not just the celibate, all-male priesthood but sacred teachings on marriage, sex and women's leadership. Biblical scholars were in an uproar, but King had impeccable credentials as a world-renowned authority on female figures in the lost Christian texts from Egypt known as the Gnostic gospels. "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife"--as she provocatively titled her discovery--was both a crowning career achievement and powerful proof for her arguments that Christianity from its start embraced alternative, and far more inclusive, voices. As debates over the manuscript's authenticity raged, award-winning journalist Ariel Sabar set out to investigate a baffling mystery: where did this tiny scrap of papyrus come from? His search for answers is an international detective story--leading from the factory districts of Berlin to the former headquarters of the East German Stasi before winding up in rural Florida, where he discovered an internet pornographer with a prophetess wife, a fascination with the Pharaohs and a tortured relationship with the Catholic Church. VERITAS is a tale of fierce intellectual rivalries at the highest levels of academia, a piercing psychological portrait of a disillusioned college dropout whose life had reached a breaking point, and a tragedy about a brilliant scholar handed a piece of scripture that embodied her greatest hopes for Christianity--but forced a reckoning with fundamental questions about the nature of truth and the line between reason and faith.Special Guest: Ariel Sabar.
37 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
Episode 241: Spiritual Directions and Spiritual Direction, with David Norling
My guest is David Norling. He is a California native, an evangelical refugee, and has a deep interest in spirituality, spiritual direction, and human flourishing. We spend time talking about his own spiritual biography and journey. We also talk narrative therapy and spiritual direction. Special Guest: David Norling .
63 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
Episode 240: You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass), with Mike McHargue
My guest is Mike McHargue. His newest book is You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass). Why is there such a gap between what you want to do and what you actually do? The host of Ask Science Mike explains why our desires and our real lives are so wildly different—and what you can do to close the gap, in this his newest book. For thousands of years, scientists, philosophers, and self-help gurus have wrestled with one of the basic conundrums of human life: Why do we do the things we do? Or, rather, why do we so often not do the things we want to do? As a podcast host whose voice goes out to millions each month, Mike McHargue gets countless emails from people seeking to understand their own misbehavior—why we binge on Netflix when we know taking a walk outside would be better for us, or why we argue politics on Facebook when our real friends live just down the street. Everyone wants to be a good person, but few of us, twenty years into the new millennium, have any idea how to do that. In You’re a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass), McHargue addresses these issues. We like to think we’re in control of our thoughts and decisions, he writes, but science has shown that a host of competing impulses, emotions, and environmental factors are at play in every action we undertake. Touching on his podcast listeners’ most pressing questions, from relationships and ethics to stress and mental health, and sharing some of the biggest triumphs and hardships from his own life, McHargue shows us how some of our qualities that seem most frustrating—including “negative” emotions like sadness, anger, and anxiety—are actually key to helping humans survive and thrive. In doing so, he invites us on a path of self-understanding and, ultimately, self-acceptance. You’re a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass) is a guided tour through the mystery of human consciousness, showing readers how to live more at peace with themselves in a complex world.Special Guest: Mike McHargue.
34 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
Episode 239: The Campaign of Miner Bo, with Todd Drezner
My guest is Todd Drezner. His newest film is The Campaign of Miner Bo. It’s probably safe to say that Bo Copley never expected to run for U.S. Senate. A lifelong resident of Mingo County, West Virginia, Copley worked in the coal industry for 11 years until he was laid off on September 18, 2015. In May of 2016, Copley was invited to join a roundtable discussion with Hillary Clinton, who was campaigning in West Virginia before the state’s presidential primary. Copley, his voice breaking, showed Clinton a picture of his three children and challenged her assertion that she was a friend to coal miners. Copley’s raw emotion broke through the usual campaign chatter, and throughout the campaign, he was a regular on cable news. Copley tried to take advantage of his surprise political celebrity by running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018. But without money, experience, or a traditional campaign infrastructure, he quickly discovered that being a politician is harder than it looks. The Campaign of Miner Bo documents that fight and shows how this most unlikely political campaign changed its most unlikely candidate.Special Guest: Todd Drezner.
69 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
Episode 238: Break It Up, with Richard Kreitner
My guest is Richard Kreitner. His new book is Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America's Imperfect Union. The novel and fiery thesis of Break It Up is simple: The United States has never lived up to its name—and never will. The disunionist impulse may have found its greatest expression in the Civil War, but as Break It Up shows, the seduction of secession wasn’t limited to the South or the nineteenth century. It was there at our founding and has never gone away. With a scholar’s command and a journalist’s curiosity, Richard Kreitner takes readers on a revolutionary journey through American history, revealing the power and persistence of disunion movements in every era and region. Each New England town after Plymouth was a secession from another; the thirteen colonies viewed their Union as a means to the end of securing independence, not an end in itself; George Washington feared separatism west of the Alleghenies; Aaron Burr schemed to set up a new empire; John Quincy Adams brought a Massachusetts town’s petition for dissolving the United States to the floor of Congress; and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison denounced the Constitution as a pro-slavery pact with the devil. From the “cold civil war” that pits partisans against one another to the modern secession movements in California and Texas, the divisions that threaten to tear America apart today have centuries-old roots in the earliest days of our Republic. Richly researched and persuasively argued, Break It Up will help readers make fresh sense of our fractured age.Special Guest: Richard Kreitner .
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