“Soul Stirrings” is Dr. Paul Patton’s 5-7 minute attempt to provide clarifying, maybe even inspiring. nuggets of insight about faith, communication, and culture along the journey of our existence. Paul is Professor Emeritus of Communication and Media at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, a former pastor, theater practitioner, author, and playwright. This podcast, certainly assuming Judeo-Christian presuppositions, draws steadily from the biblical witness. The concept of “soul stirring” is readily tied to Jewish rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s insight that moments of inspiration come and go, yet “having been inspired never passes” (Heschel, Man Is Not Alone, Harper and Row, 1966, p. 78). In other words, if one can retrieve the inspiring insight from literature, from performance art, or even the memorable quip of a friend as circumstances invite clarity and depth, one has an oasis of the mind whenever it is needed. A “soul stirring” is a truth, an insight, an observation that stirs the soul to reconsider its assumptions and reflect on its current course.
The topics covered include the “Fruits of the Spirit,” as laid out in Saint Paul’s letter to the Galatians, nine virtues cultivated over a lifetime in the garden of one’s life. Another over-arching theme is the wise engagement with the title-wave of pop culture, technology, and media entertainment offerings that can inadvertently move us away from a healthy balance of work and rest. As the podcast’s introduction asserts, “where all things regarding faith, communication, and culture are considered.
Ep. 27: Fruit of the Spirit - Faithfulness, Pt. 1
As forgiveness is how the Lord deals with our past and present, faithfulness is how the Lord stabilizes our present and future. The gift of faithfulness interpersonally makes possible relational health. Please join Paul in this first of several podcasts that explore the Fruit of the Spirit known as Faithfulness.
Ep. 26: Fruit of the Spirit - Goodness, Pt. 3
In this podcast, Paul’s emphasis continues to be the sixth “Fruit of the Spirit”—goodness, and the Apostle Paul’s message to the Christians in Rome that “all things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to his purpose,” a letter written seven years before some of those same believers would be thrown to the wild beasts in the Coliseum during Emperor Nero’s persecutions.
Ep. 25: Fruit of the Spirit - Goodness, Pt. 2
In this podcast, Paul’s emphasis continues to be the sixth “Fruit of the Spirit”—goodness, and Saint Peter’s focus on this particular virtue as a foundational fruit in the process of human flourishing. Paul asks why Saint Peter asserted that “goodness” is essentially the first virtue springing from faith in Christ, even preceding further knowledge about God’s saving works. The podcast explores the relationship of knowledge and goodness, noting that knowledge from a biblical perspective is never to be seen as an end in and of itself.
Ep. 24: Fruit of the Spirit - Goodness, Pt. 1
In this podcast, Paul talks about the sixth fruit of the Spirit, goodness, and how it is distinguished, in particular from “kindness.” He also discusses how our English use of the term “good” doesn’t always imply the virtuous “goodness” that makes thriving relationships and healthy community possible.
Ep. 23: Fruit of the Spirit - Kindness, Pt. 4
In this podcast, Paul talks about the natural mental springboards to acts and words of kindness—compassion and empathy. The podcast references some implications from Jesus’ story of the “Good Samaritan” and takes a brief look at one of the late 20th century’s most inspiring moments of interpersonal reconciliation.
Ep. 22: Fruit of the Spirit - Kindness, Pt. 3
In this podcast, Paul continues to explore kindness as a fruit of the Spirit in the garden called our life. Specifically, he ponders the inherent power of kindness to inspire, elevate, and renew redemptive vision. Typically, stories about kindness spur us to more than we’ve been and more than we are—even as we’re experiencing anxiety in these uncertain times.