Gender Inclusive Bathrooms – Your Business Is Now Everyone’s Business – 061


North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill” HB2 is at the center of a national conversation over gender inclusive bathrooms, gender discrimination and public safety. States are facing economic retaliation, people are getting ejected from restrooms, and it seems doing our “business” is quickly becoming everyone’s business. So where do we land when things like transgender suicide hotlines take in more than double their normal calls and bills overturn years of civil rights work? Jeff, Mona and Allen talk radical hospitality, brutalis effect?, assumption of guilt, and safety for all people, cis and transgender alike. They then look to the lighter side of things with a round of “Wacky News.” Read More

A Conversation with Benjamin L. Corey – 060


This week Jeff, Mona and Allen have a conversation with Benjamin L. Corey.   Benjamin is a leading voice among post-evangelical and progressive Christians, the author of both the blog Formerly Fundie and the book Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, as well as a co-host for his own podcast That God Show with Matthew Paul Turner.  In this episode Ben shares with us his personal journey, which includes the challenges of things like overnight notoriety and the loss of community. He also shares about his doctoral work in trauma after-care, the reception of his recent series on Hell and the Atonement, and thinks out loud about his commitment to pacifism.  Finally, Ben joins the team for a good ol’ fashioned round of Jesus or Jay-Z? Read More

Why Did Jesus Die? – Standing at the Foot of Atonement Theology – 059


The cross has to be one of the most talked about, debated and sacred aspects of the life of Jesus.  Why Did Jesus Die?  Amazingly enough, Irenicast has yet to dip it’s proverbial toe into the pool that is the “Atonement,” so hosts Jeff, Mona and Allen jump in. They discuss different views and theories and conclude with surprising cohesion on what the death of Jesus means for them personally.  Then they indulge in another round of Sorta Scattergories. Read More

Getting Intelligent About Emotions – A Review of Inside Out – 058


In a slight change of course from their usual approach to discussions on faith and culture, the Irenicast team gives a movie analysis and review of Inside Out.  The conversation digs into elements of filmmaking, emotional intelligence, and the roles that faith communities sometimes play in shaping emotional pathways.  The segment this week features each host’s cast and script for the hypothetical blockbuster, Irenicast: The Movie. Read More

Body Image and Self Struggle – Interview with Health Coach Kayla Michelle – 057


This week Mona brings an interview with her friend Kayla Michelle.  Kayla is a former runway model who became a fitness expert and competitive bodybuilder through an amazing journey of self discovery.  The two share a vulnerable conversation about body image.  Particularly the ways women are taught to see and treat their own form.  They talk about what has been meaningful in learning how to accept and celebrate strength. Read More

Breaking Bread – Beyond Calories In Calories Out – 056


When we discuss faith and culture long enough, we’ll inevitably have  a conversation about food.  This is that conversation.  Food not only provides us with the physical stuff that keeps us moving and breathing, it can bring a mysterious depth to our way of life.  Food is art, culture and community.  There is power in breaking bread with one another.  This week’s conversation ends with a Knowin’ Jemonen segment in which Jeff, Mona and Allen share the foods they love to hate, love to make, and love to eat. Read More

Is Humility Antiquated? – Know Thy Selfie – 055


Does a concept of humility help or ultimately hurt people? Is humility antiquated?  Jeff, Mona and Allen explore different definitions of the classic virtue, wonder aloud if the word should be decommissioned, share a little bit about their own relationship to it, and end up with much to think about. After the conversation, the co-hosts indulge in the new segment Title Me This. Read More

What the Heck is Community Organizing? – An Interview with Seth and Joe, Professional Organizers – 054


Social transformation might look like an accident to less scrutinizing observers, but there are always people behind the issues, behind the transformation. Professional community organizers Joe and Seth join Irenicast for this episode to share about their work. Read More

Do Our Thoughts on Free Will Matter? – Choosy Moms Choose Determinism – 053


Scientists, theologians and philosophers have wrestled for millennia over questions of determinism and the freedom of the human person. The Irenicast co-hosts, on the other hand, sidestep most of this in order to discuss the effects of embracing one view or another. Do our thoughts on free will matter? Do our views on this specific topic influence the way we live? In any case, Jeff, Mona & Allen exercise their agency at the end of the episode in an old fashioned game of Would You Rather? Read More

Politics in the Church – Dialogue Over Debate – 052


A super episode for Super Tuesday 2016! Jeff, Mona and Allen discuss the place of politics in the church, the way politics has polarized people of faith, and the promise of dialogue for doing things differently. In the spirit of public discourse, each of them have needlessly censored a soundbite from politicians in their new segment Out of Context. Read More

That Time You Accidentally Go Vegetarian

Allen Reviews The Year of the Flood

I read a ton of books last year. It was my New Year’s resolution to devour as many as I could. Read one and done. Move on, keep going.

That was the plan and it went smoothly, until I slammed into the wall called The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. At first glance it seemed like an easy read; it was fiction, in the local library, and evinced all the elements of a dystopian sci-fi. Read More

The Stories Behind the Rhetoric – An Interview with Immigration Lawyer Amber Heffner – 051


The topic of immigration has become more polarizing than ever during this year’s election cycle.  To help gain some clarity and perspective Jeff sits down with immigration lawyer, Amber Heffner.  She sheds light on some of the myths and misunderstandings about this issue and reminds us that there are real people, good people, behind the political rhetoric, headlines and facebook updates. Read More

Ancients Texts and Salvation – Listener Feedback – 050


In honor of our fiftieth episode, we have opened the floodgates for listener feedback and questions. By happenstance, all of the questions have theological themes around scripture, the nature of salvation, and faith reconstruction and deconstruction. The hosts dive into a personal discussion of these issues and conclude with a hard conversation on both the death of Justice Scalia and what it means to love your enemies. Read More

Joey Aszterbaum Interview – Skypark, Deconstruction and Sloths – 049


In this episode Allen interviews the one and only Joey Aszterbaum. You may have heard Joey playing guitar for the Christian band Skypark in the 90’s, or read his work on faith, art, and justice at the Charismanglican, or saw him on television marching against the anti-immigration protesters in Murrieta, CA – Joey has been an outspoken advocate of peace, family, and (more recently) Bernie Sanders and “sloths.” His story takes us through the processes of deconstruction and testing, a rebirth of sorts as he encounters helpful people along the way, and on into the merits of the wider Christian faith and the Episcopal tradition. Read More

Gratitude and Privilege – A Grate(ful) Moral Dilemma – 048


Is it moral to be grateful for privilege? This week the hosts try to answer what seems to be a paradox: gratitude and privilege. Covering topics from thankfulness, entitlement, wealth and leisure, wonder and a theology of being, Jeff, Mona and Allen try to get to the bottom of this unsettling question. The episode ends with a game called Good News, Bad News where they may or may not tease out a hypothetical scenario where Mona goes on a date with Donald Trump. Read More