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Twenty-First Century Jesus
35 minutes | Nov 4, 2019
Hollywood, Elf, and Screenwriting with Todd Komarnicki
Todd Komarnicki is an author, playwright, a Hollywood screenwriter and a producer. He’s responsible for such movies as the modern Christmas classic Elf (starring Will Ferrell and directed by Jon Faverau) and Sully, the story about the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane landing (starring Tom Hanks and directed by Clint Eastwood). He’s also a committed Christian who has lost out on projects because of his faith. Todd explains the process of how films go from script-to-screen, dealing with difficult personalities, and how he ultimately defines success, both on screen and off.
51 minutes | Oct 28, 2019
Guns, The Death Penalty, and Living Like Mother Teresa with Shane Claiborne
Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, Christian activist, and best-selling author. 25 years ago he served alongside Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India and upon returning to the States, founded a New Monastic community in Philadelphia called The Simple Way. Shane heads up Red Letter Christians, a movement of people committed to living as if Jesus meant the things he said. He calls himself “a champion for grace” which has led him to jail while advocating for the homeless, and to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to stand against war. His current passions include working to end the death penalty and helping stop gun violence, all of which we discuss with him during this week’s episode.Shane’s books include Jesus for President, Red Letter Revolution, Executing Grace, and his newest book, Beating Guns.
39 minutes | Oct 21, 2019
Brian Dawkins on Life and Struggles in the NFL
Former Philadelphia Eagles football player Brian Dawkins is widely regarded as one of the hardest hitting defensive players in NFL history. A nine-time Pro Bowler, Dawkins started off as a not-so-heralded second round draft pick, and went on to become a legendary all-time great. Known for his aggressive play, Brian shares how he fell in love with the game as a teenager, his struggles with depression early in his career, the pain of being traded toward the end of his time in the NFL, and the role that his faith played in his life and career. This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Royersford, PA.
53 minutes | Oct 14, 2019
Embracing Minimalism with Colin Wright
Colin Wright seemed to have it all. A successful, multi-millionaire by the age of 24, he realized there was way more he wanted to accomplish in life than just making as much money as possible. In 2009, he sold everything he owned that wouldn’t fit into a carry-on suitcase (EVERYTHING!), scaled his business down, and started a blog called Exile Lifestyle where he would ask his readers to vote on what country he should move to and live in every four months. Over the next 10 years, Colin lived in Argentina, New Zealand, Thailand, Iceland, India, Romania, the Czech Republic, and the Philippines. He visited 60 other countries as well all 48 contiguous states (twice), road tripped through South America, explored Europe by train – he kept his promise to himself to live as simply as possible so he could focus on the things that mattered most. Colin has written multiple books including How To Travel Full-Time and hosts his own podcast called Let’s Know Things.
38 minutes | Oct 7, 2019
Confronting Westboro Baptist Church Pastor Steve Drain
Steve Drain is a member of Westboro Baptist Church, a small group of extreme protestors based out of Topeka, Kansas. Founded in 1955, WBC considers itself an “Old School Primitive Baptist Church,” but has no official affiliation with any mainstream Baptist organizations, which have all publicly distanced themselves from the group. Known for their “picketing ministry,” we attempted to have a conversation with Mr. Drain about the motivation behind their demonstrations. As you’ll hear in this episode, things didn’t quite go the way we had planned.
39 minutes | Sep 30, 2019
Overcome Anxiety with Dr. Matthew Stanford
Dr. Matthew Stanford is the CEO of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute in Houston, Texas, and serves as an adjunct professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine. He’s an expert on the interplay between psychology and issues of faith, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, as well as many news websites including Fox, MSNBC, Yahoo, and US News & World Report. Dr. Stanford is the author of two books, Grace for the Afflicted and also The Biology of Sin: Grace, Hope, and Healing for Those Who Feel Trapped. Additional resources for this episode can be found online at https://mentalhealthgateway.org/.
37 minutes | Sep 22, 2019
Is Islam a Religion of Peace? with Dr. Shabir Ally
Dr. Shabir Ally is a Muslim Imam and serves as the President of the Islamic Information & Dawah Centre in Toronto, Canada. He teaches courses on Arabic, the Quran, and Islam at the University of Toronto, and is known around the world as an expert in Islamic debate and interfaith dialogue. Recorded in front of a live audience, Dr. Ally explains how Muslims view Jesus vs. Mohammed, discusses the problem of Islamic extremism and whether the Quran advocates violence, and details instances of prejudice he’s faced as a Muslim living in North America post-9/11.
34 minutes | Sep 16, 2019
Wait…You Saw Bigfoot?! with Tom Fodi
Tom Fodi is a pastor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He’s a former Air Force Chaplain, has a Masters of Divinity degree, he’s a family man – the kind of person you would want in your corner if you ever needed a credible witness to vouch for you. He also claims to be an eyewitness to Bigfoot (a claim that he says included multiple other witnesses). Whether you believe in Bigfoot, aliens, the Loch Ness Monster, or you’re 100% convinced that none of these things are real, listen as Tom shares the first-person account of his encounter with the unknown on this episode of the Twenty-First Century Jesus Podcast.
41 minutes | Sep 9, 2019
“Coming Out” As Christian to Gay Parents with Caleb Kaltenbach
Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family. But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian, and later a pastor. As Caleb sees it, Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself doesn’t have an exception clause for a gay “neighbor”— or for that matter, any other “neighbor” we might find hard to relate to. Hear Him explain Jesus’ example for how to love people and yet still hold on to your beliefs, even when things get messy.
34 minutes | Sep 1, 2019
Second Chances with baseball legend Pete Rose
“No one in the clubhouse knew I was betting on games.” – Pete RoseShould Pete Rose be allowed into the Hall of Fame? Rose, recognized as one of Major League Baseball’s all-time greatest players, holds the league’s records for most hits (4,256), most games played (3,562) and most career at-bats (14,053). In 1989, he was permanently banned from baseball (including the Hall of Fame) as a result of allegations that he bet on baseball games while manager of the Cincinnati Reds, a clear violation of Major League Baseball’s rules. In 2004, Rose admitted these charges were true in his autobiography, My Prison Without Bars. To this day, he remains banished from the game he once dominated.Recorded in front of a live audience, Pete sits down and discusses his childhood, his relationship with his father, his march toward baseball immortality, and his desire for a second chance. 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of Rose’s banishment from the game as well as the fifteen years since his admission of guilt. Yet, while players who took performance-enhancing drugs have been welcomed back to the game, Pete still remains an outcast.
46 minutes | Aug 19, 2019
Racial (In)justice? with Sean Palmer
"I actually think that President Trump got a bad rap in Charlottesville.” – Sean PalmerSean Palmer is the Teaching Pastor at Ecclesia Houston, one of America’s most innovative and vibrant multi-site churches. Sean co-hosts the “Not So Black and White” podcast, is the author of Unarmed Empire: In Search of Beloved Community and is a leading voice on how the church should deal with issues of race in the twenty-first century.From police violence against unarmed youth to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem, Sean offers his thoughts on various issues related to race and how the first-century Jesus would react to issues facing Americans of all backgrounds in the twenty-first century.Here’s a somewhat surprising answer Sean gave when asked about President Trump not condemning white supremacists in Charlottesville: “I actually think that President Trump got a bad rap in Charlottesville (referring to Trump’s comments that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the white supremacist march in 2017). If people read the entire statement, he does condemn white supremacists. It's later on, in that press conference, when he's asked a question and says there were very fine people on both sides. ...There are a lot of other things that he has said and done throughout the years where people may choose or not choose to draw connections, but those were two different statements. One was about the white supremacists and the other was about the other group of people, who may or may not have been there in support of the white supremacists. I just think that's a statement that needs a little bit more parsing than it normally gets.”The heartbeat behind the Twenty-First Century Jesus podcast are the questions: If Jesus were here today, what interesting people would He talk to, what important conversations would He have, and what urgent causes would He care about? Sean Palmer would certainly be one of those interesting people, and the topic of race in America would be one He would have a conversation about.
38 minutes | Aug 19, 2019
Tackling Depression with Dr. Tom Whiteman
“It's all about what resources will help… bring you out of this funk.” – Dr. Tom WhitemanDr. Tom Whiteman is a Philadelphia-area psychologist and co-author of more than a dozen books, including, Starting Over, The Fresh Start Divorce Recovery Workbook, Stress Test, and Your Kids and Divorce. In this interview, Tom explains the difference between general sadness and clinical depression, the correlation between being depressed and experiencing anxiety, why having a strong community is one of the most helpful aspects to your mental well-being, and when to know if you should consider taking medication.When speaking about how to find help from a Christian perspective vs. a non-Christian one, Dr. Whiteman points out, “One of the reasons I started a Christian counseling agency was because I wanted to tap into people's resources. I would ask, ‘How important is your faith to you?’ And sometimes the answer was, ‘Well, you know, God is the center of my life.’ ‘Well, then let's talk about that. Let's start with that,’ if that's the source that you draw from, let's talk specifically about that. But I had clients who would say, ‘I don't want to talk about God.’ I'd say, ‘Okay, that's fine. Then let's talk about other resources,’ and they'd say, ‘Well, I live for my kids.’ ‘Okay. So, what kind of dad do you want to be? Do you want to be a dad who's a victim? And, you know, lays in bed on Saturday and doesn't do anything around the house? Or do you want to get up and show the kids that you're vibrant and you're capable?’ It's all about what resources will help, that you can tap into to help you bring you out of this funk.”One of the main goals of the Twenty-First Century Jesus Podcast is to provide helpful resources for people at all different stages of life. Whether you’ve dealt with depression in the past, are dealing with it now, or know someone who is dealing with it currently, you’ll certainly find tremendous value by listening to Dr. Whiteman’s wisdom and advice.
44 minutes | Aug 19, 2019
Christian Cannabis with Craig Gross
“Weed is just a plant growing out of the ground. I don't need a prescription for that.” – Craig Gross Craig Gross is the founder of XXXChurch.com and the new website ChristianCannabis.com, a site designed to start “A conversation that isn’t being had amongst believers who are both seeking to be faithful to the word of God and interested in what, exactly, this whole ‘weed thing’ is all about.”In this wide-ranging conversation, hear Craig share his history from foundingXXXChurch.com, how and why he first started using cannabis, his thoughts on how marijuana products compare to drinking alcohol, and much more.One of Craig’s main challenges is whether marijuana should even be considered a “drug.” He argues, “We've been fed a bunch of lies… weed is a plant growing out of the ground. I don't need a prescription for that. It's been there, and it's for us. And I think it's good. …It could be abused, just like we can eat too much of something from the Garden (of Eden). You’ve got to be responsible, and you’ve got to figure out like, ‘What's your intent, and what are you searching for? What do you want to learn?’"As with every episode of the Twenty-First Century Jesus Podcast, the goal is to have respectful and helpful conversations with people from all different perspectives and walks of life. Ultimately, the question is: what would a first-century Jesus say to a twenty-first century world, and for the purposes of this specific discussion, what would he say to his followers about smoking marijuana?
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