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Strange New World
20 minutes | May 4, 2021
The Bible and Climate Change - Part Two: Jesus
Part Two of our two-part series, “The Bible and Climate Change” - exploring what Jesus has to do with climate change, zeroing in on his last public teaching, the final words he wants ringing in our ears. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
29 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
The Bible and Climate Change - Part One
Rethinking the Bible from the ground up, in the face of the greatest global challenge in human history. In this episode, we start with Genesis, and uncover how "climate change" - though it's never mentioned in the Bible's pages - is on virtually every page. Drop us a line at email@example.com.
23 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Understanding Easter - Part Seven: Rethinking Easter
In the concluding episode of our seven-part series, “Understanding Easter,” we rethink the holiday from the ground up, with help from Mary Magdalene and one of the most harrowing, fascinating stories in scripture: the story of Rizpah.
20 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Understanding Easter - Part Six: The Challenge of Palm Sunday
This episode tackles the challenge of Palm Sunday, a story brimming with an ancient idea about how scripture works, and what it's for. Why do the crowds welcome Jesus so warmly - only to turn on him in just a few days? And what's with all the palm branches, anyway? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
23 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Understanding Easter - Part Five: What Resurrection Is For
How should we think about the mystery of resurrection? Is it actual resuscitation? Or a symbolic story? Or somehow both? With the Gospel of John and the prophet Jeremiah as our guides, we unpack this ancient mystery - with some surprising results. Drop us a line at email@example.com.
22 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
Understanding Easter - Part Four: The Great Reversal
The Easter story is full of big, bold reversals - but there's one in particular that's hidden under the skin of the story, and it just might be the most subversive of them all. Exploring it takes us to Japan, seventeenth-century England, 1980's New York City, and Nazi Germany - all to understand how the cross both epitomizes and proclaims The Great Reversal. And along the way, we'll visit one of the most famous - and misunderstood - verses in the New Testament (John 3:16), and one of the strangest stories in the Bible's library (Numbers 21).
25 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Understanding Easter - Part Three: Why Was Jesus Killed?
Why was Jesus killed? Why did the Roman empire, arguably the most powerful force in the world, execute an unarmed, peasant rabbi from Nazareth? And what did it have to do with one of the most dramatic episodes in Jesus' life: when he fiercely drove the money changers from the Jerusalem Temple? Turns out this mystery goes all the way back to the story of Cain and Abel... Contact SNW at firstname.lastname@example.org.
29 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Understanding Easter - Part Two: Ten Ways of Looking at the Cross
An overview of ten historic, evocative ways of looking at the Christian cross - including a warning about how they can be misunderstood, and a case for how they add up to more than the sum of their parts. BONUS: A cameo from the Buddha, and a surprising idea from John Calvin (for all you Calvin nerds, it's in the Institutes, 2.16.2). Drop us a line at email@example.com.
32 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Understanding Easter - Part One
At the heart of Christianity is the mystery of Easter - and to understand it, it’s best to start at the beginning: the Book of Genesis and the original covenant between God and humanity, and the oldest of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Mark. In this episode, we do a deep dive into the story of Noah's Ark and the story of Jesus' baptism, uncovering hidden connections that help lay groundwork for understanding the mystery of Easter.
27 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
Understanding Christmas - Part Four
A fresh, surprising look at the most familiar Christmas stories (Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the angels, and the visiting Magi), uncovering how Christmas is an epic, multigenerational love story - and how sometimes interpreting the Bible means citing "scripture against scripture." This is the concluding episode of our four-part series, "Understanding Christmas."
21 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
Understanding Christmas - Part Three
How the Gospel of Luke's story of Mary's song (the "Magnificat") portrays Mary as brilliant, bold, and deeply educated in the Jewish tradition. Along the way, we explore how the essence of Christmas is joy, and how the Bible is not just something to "think about," but also to "think through." The quote from Henri Nouwen is from The Heart of Henri Nouwen. Feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
23 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
Understanding Christmas - Part Two
What’s Christmas really all about? Last week, we saw how Christmas begins with hope against hope - but it’s end, the goal to which it points, is peace. The Gospel of Mark's opening lines function as Mark's "Christmas story," a story not of Jesus' birth, but rather his adoption, at his baptism. Mark casts this good news as a peaceful alternative to the "gospel" of military triumph, or the birth of Caesar Augustus - and so frames Jesus' ministry as a matter of war and peace. The famous "Christmas Truce" during World War I serves as an icon for this view of Christmas as armistice. And along the way, we see how the Bible works: not as a "book," but as a library, as Mark artfully echoes ancient patterns from Genesis, Exodus, and Ezekiel. Finally, we also reveal the story behind the name for this podcast, “Strange New World,” from a famous essay written about a hundred years ago by Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, which can be read here.If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
18 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
Understanding Christmas - Part One
Former Harvard Divinity School professor Matthew Myer Boulton introduces the "Strange New World" podcast, and explores how the Gospel of Mark helps us understand the essence of the Advent and Christmas season. Includes an argument about how and why the Bible is both the most influential and the most misunderstood book in history. A close reading of Mark 13 helps show how the Advent season, and the Christmas season generally, begin in the shadows of disaster and "apocalypse" (from an ancient Greek word for "unveiling" or "revealing"). Christmas begins, it turns out, not with tinsel and lights and presents and feasting, but in the shadows of struggle and hope - even when all hope seems lost.If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.“Strange New World” is a production of SALT Project.
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