Ancients Texts and Salvation – Listener Feedback – 050

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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

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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

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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

Diversity of the Christian Worship Experience – I’m Deconstructing the Heart of Worship – 047

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Anyone who has spent significant time in the Christian Church, of any background or denomination, has probably held opinions about their Christian worship experience.  “The music was too loud.” “Did the preacher just really say…?!” “I should have skipped out with the children!” “That really spoke to me.”  During this episode, Jeff, Mona and Allen discuss various aspects of the worship service while reflecting on their own histories, then introduce a new segment to the show and name it Sound Charades. Read More

Responding to the Global Environmental Crisis – Green Eggs and Traffic Jams – 046

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How do we have a meaningful response to the global environmental crisis? Jeff, Mona and Allen wade through a challenging question this week. From their own skepticisms and personal journeys in relating ethically to the earth, they discuss pandas, waste, animal agriculture, calorie costs, and oceans. They try to wrap their minds around the impact we all have as creatures and consumers within larger global ecosystems. The episode concludes with one of the silliest Knowin’ Jemonen segments yet, where the hosts argue about which animal each person would be if they were an animal. Read More

The End of the World As We Know It? – Arma-gettin’ It On – 045

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Perhaps it’s time to leave behind our “Left Behind” theology?  This week Jeff, Mona and Allen talk all things apocalyptic; the end of the world, rapture, tribulation, Revelation, and more are covered in this eschatological conversation.  One thing not left behind, however, is a segment from the past that always makes Allen angry, Sorta Scattergories. Read More

Is the World Getting Better or Worse? – A Feisty Discussion on the Myth of Progress – 044

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For the first episode of 2016, Jeff, Mona and Allen attempt to answer the question: Is the world getting better or worse? What is the purpose of history, humans, and the future? Otherwise known as the ‘Myth of Progress,’ the team touches on philosophy, theology, calculus, and disobedient robots in this week’s somewhat contentious conversation. The episode finishes with a segment where the hosts discuss their New Year’s Resolutions… and the conversation takes an unexpected turn into debating the merits of cannibalism. Enjoy! Read More

Irenicast Family Reunion – Welcome to Our Living Room – 043

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All under one roof for the first time since the podcast began, Jeff, Mona & Allen talk about family… with their family.  The guests at this family reunion consists of Kat (Jeff’s wife), Amy (Mona’s mother and Allen’s aunt) and Vicky (Allen’s wife and Jeff’s Sister).  There are even a couple appearances from Jeff & Kat’s twin girls.  End your 2015 by joining us in the living room for some thoughts on life, love and family. Read More

The Irenicast Super-Sized Holiday Extravaganza – Magic, Media and Mistranslation – 042

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The first annual Irenicast Christmas episode is a massive mishmash holiday extravaganza. This week the three hosts play a Christmas Cheer quiz, talk about magic and the “feeling” of Christmas, discuss favorite gift memories, analyze the “War” on Christmas (apparently, it’s over?), chat about favorite Christmas music and movies, and talk about what Biblical mistranslations in the Luke narrative might mean. Finally, Mona serenades us all for the very first time with a little acoustic version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Happy holidays to all and to all a good night! Read More

Interview with Stomp NYC Cast Member Jesse Armerding – Creativity and Play, Mystery and Faith – 041

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This week Mona has a conversation with her friend Stomp NYC cast member Jesse Armerding. Jesse talks about the importance of creativity in his own life and career. The conversation muses about who is “creative,” the importance of being in the present moment, our human capacity to wander and wonder, and the idea of art as a search for God. Read More

Loneliness and Isolation – Baby It’s Cold Inside – 040

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The holidays are here and they’re bringing cheer! But maybe not for everyone – feelings of loneliness and isolation are sometimes most acute this time of year. So what exactly is loneliness? Are there different kinds of loneliness? Is it avoidable and can we address it? Jeff, Mona & Allen discuss the elements of isolation, open up about their own struggles with feeling alone, and share some helpful ways for making Numero Uno no longer the loneliest number. Then they play an epic first round of “Mind Meld” to foster some intimacy in addition to fun. Read More

Family Relationships – With Guest Co-Host Katie – 039

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A fourth voice, Katie, joins our conversation on family relationships.  Specifically family systems theory and internal family systems theory.  Katie, M.Div., M.S.W., has served as the Director of Children and Youth Ministries at Fourth Presbyterian Church in South Boston since 2013.  Prior to serving at Fourth, she worked as a community organizer with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organzation (GBIO).  Katie received her M.Div. and M.S.W. from Boston University, and was inspired to pursue the dual degrees out of her summers working with Appalachia Service Project, a nonprofit that strives to eradicate substandard housing in Central Appalachia.  Katie helps the team discuss family relationships.  We close out this weeks episode with a round of Jesus Juke. Read More

Understanding Teenagers – Developing Your AdoleSENSE – 038

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With a show hosted by all youth group kids and two former youth pastors we were bound to have an episode on the joys of adolescence eventually.  Understanding teenagers can be a difficult undertaking, especially the further we are removed from our own youth.  This week we look at what adolescence is, how it has changed and how we can help be a part of creating a space for the emerging generation to thrive.  The episode finishes with a new segment called Top 3.  Jeff, Mona and Allen share their top 3 fictional adolescent characters. Read More

Terrorist Attacks in Baghdad, Beirut and Paris – When Peace Eludes Us – 037

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In a 24 hour period there were terrorist attacks in Baghdad, Beirut and Paris by suicide bombers and shooters in what are being attributed to the work of ISIS terrorists. The world is reeling. Countries are debating closing their borders to refugees, communities are dealing with the strains of fear, and we are all left with hard questions. What is going on? What are we going to do about it? What do we do when peace eludes us? And in this episode, listeners weigh in with questions of their own. Read More

Human Trafficking Around the World – The Economics of Evil – 036

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If you or someone you know suspects someone might be a victim of trafficking, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888

This week’s conversation tackles the horrific reality of human trafficking around the world. Jeff, Mona and Allen discuss the realities of forced labor, the underground sex industry, roles that race and patriarchy might play, and offer partial solutions to this global, systemic evil. After such a heavy topic, the co-hosts talk about the ways they care for their own emotional and mental health when confronting the heaviness of the world. Read More