A Better Story is about seeking the sacred and holding it loosely.
We explore the spirituality of authors, artists and scholars, usually with a sense of levity. Guests give us a glimpse of the sacred: those times they were drawn toward living more vibrantly, acting more justly, seeing others more humanely - and into better stories. Along the way, we pick up pieces to build a better faith, and hopefully a better world.
You can also check out A Better Story: B Sides, which explores how the Bible can be sacred in surprising and subversive ways.
#40. Brit Barron: Freedom Over Fear
When Brit Barron fell in love with her wife, she was a pastor at an evangelical megachurch. As you might guess, it wasn't the kind of place that would've allowed, much less nurtured their relationship. She sat down to talk about that experience, and, even more, what it's like to make impossibly hard choices that lead to freedom.
To hear even more of her story, check out her new book Worth It. You can find out what she's up to at https://britbarron.com/.
#39. Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez: Jesus and John Wayne
Why are Donald Trump's most loyal supporters from a group that claims to follow a non-violent, impoverished Middle Eastern man (a.k.a. Jesus)? Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Professor of History and Gender Studies at Calvin University) has a few well-researched suggestions. She unearths years of sexism, racism and militant nationalism within white American Evangelicalism that help us understand how we got here and how we can change it.
We hit the highlights in this conversation, but to get the full picture, check out her book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation. You can see more of her work at https://kristindumez.com/.
#38. Amy and Dr. Jeffrey Olrick: Wired for Connection
From an early age, we're wired to connect, particularly with our parents. Amy (author, advocate) and Jeffrey Olrick (psychologist) join the podcast to talk about how attachment works and how it invites us into more human ways of parenting. Whether you're in the middle of parenting or reflecting on how you were parented, their insights are eye-opening and life-giving.
To dig deeper, make sure to check out their new book The 6 Needs of Every Child: Empowering Parents and Kids Through the Science of Connection. You can find out more about their work at https://www.growingconnected.com/ and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
#37. Karen Gonzalez: Immigration, Refugees and Jesus
In the United States, the last three years have been catastrophic for immigrants and refugees and the systems that are meant to welcome them. With misinformation everywhere, Karen Gonzalez is here to clear a few things up. She helps us understand how “just get in line” isn’t an option for most and how refugees are being intentionally mistreated. She also gives us insights from the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and helps us answer the question, “What can I do to help?”.
Make sure to check out Karen’s book The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong and get in touch with her at https://www.karen-gonzalez.com/.
#36. Andre Henry: Racial Justice, Hope and Nonviolence
Andre Henry is about the work of social change, particularly when it comes to undoing racism. He sat down to talk about that work - push back, hope, nonviolence and more. Along the way, he gives us several history lessons, plenty of reading recommendations, and a new understanding of an old story.
To find more about Andre, visit http://www.andrerhenry.com/ and check out his podcast, Hope and Hard Pills.
Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
Mothers of Massive Resistance by Elizabeth Gillespie McRae
On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis
Blueprint for Revolution by Srdja Popovic
The Radical King by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cornel West (Editor)
This is what an antiracist America would look like. How do we get there? by Ibram X Kendi
#35. Dr. Jennifer Kaalund: Negotiating Identity
Dr. Jennifer Kaalund (womanist scholar, Iona College faculty) helps us understand how identities are negotiated, especially for early Jesus followers. She unpacks the complex identities that made up the recipients of Hebrews and 1 Peter, seeing parallels with the African American Great Migration. Along the way, she helps us understand some of the ugliest passages in the Christian scriptures.
To hear more from her, check out her book, Reading Hebrews and 1 Peter with the African American Great Migration, or find her commentaries on Working Preacher.
Thoughtful interviews with fascinating people. Love the teaching/sermon episodes, too.
I trust Sam to talk to me about God
Sam is one of the few people I trust to talk to me about God. I was privileged to have him on staff at the church I attend a couple years back. Was so sad when he left, and I am so happy to find him on this podcast!
An honest conversation about faith in the 21st Century
A Better Story engages honestly with topics and questions that aren’t always easy to talk about in a faith setting. Hearing these conversations helps me further engage with my faith and my faith community. I look forward to the guests and the content every time a new podcast is released.