Fearless Questions aims to create safe-space for conversations about big questions of life and faith. Believing that following your questions will lead you to freedom...we will share interviews and information from people across a wide-range of society share about their own faith journeys and the issues they've faced along the way. Some people you may have already heard of, while others we will enjoy introducing you to.
Episode 34: Michael Wear
If you are one of the many people who grimace when conversations turn political, I think you’ll enjoy getting the chance to hear a level-headed conversation on politics from someone who has actually served our country from the view of the White House.
Michael Wear is the founder of Public Square Strategies LLC and a leading expert and strategist at the intersection of faith, politics, and American public life. As one of President Barak Obama’s ambassadors to American Christians, Michael directed faith outreach for Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history. Most recently, Michael has released an important book called “Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America”.
Today on the Fearless Questions Podcast, Michael shares his personal stories and experiences of navigating a national conversation on faith and engaging the personal faith of President Obama.
From the back hallways of the White House, Michael shares his political journey through the politics of abortion, elections, and interfaith considerations with great candor and tremendous insight.
Regardless of your political leanings, listening to Michael will encourage you in hope for the future of faith in America and also challenge you to become more involved yourself.
Episode 33: Carolyn Custis James
Today’s guest on the podcast is Carolyn Custis James. Carolyn is a widely respected author and speaker who has a special gift for bringing to life the context and message of Bible stories that often slip through the cracks. I first heard of Carolyn when I was sharing a conversation with author Sarah Bessey last year and then again while listening to Pete Enns this year. When I hear other people whose work I respect referencing the same person, I want to check it out for myself…and I’m so glad I found Carolyn’s work!
Carolyn has just released her newest book entitled ‘Finding God in the Margins: The Book of Ruth’ that we discuss in our conversation today. She’s also written a number of books including ‘Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World’ which was Christianity Today’s 2016 book of the year and also ‘Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women’ which won Outreach Magazines 2016 Resource of the Year.
Listening to Carolyn walk us through the book and story of Ruth is so helpful, because she helps us see that there is so much more going on than what is often portrayed as a Cinderella story. We hear stories of patriarchy, refugees, love, honor, and hope that speaks directly to the same issues and pain we face in our world today. And yet it still IS a love story…and you’ll want to here what that love might look like today.
If you are a American man of faith reading and wondering what a healthy way of engaging the #MeToo movement might look like, I highly encourage you to read this latest book of Carolyn’s. You’ll find principles and examples on display that offer those of us with a lot of privilege on how to manage and share that privilege with others in a meaningful and mutually beneficial way.
I was so impressed with Carolyn’s wise and generous heart. I’m sure that after listening you will be too.
Episode 32: Wayne Jacobsen Returns
Hope you enjoy listening-in today to my friend Wayne Jacobsen as we talk a little about his newest book Beyond Sundays.
When nearly half of Americans who consider themselves people of faith only operate outside of the institutional church…it’s worth talking about why.
I think you’ll find that Wayne offers tremendous insights to the backdrop of this American phenomenon, as well as a ‘what to expect’ for those who might be stepping away themselves.
Episode 31: Dr. John Walton
Our first podcast conversation of 2018 is a bit unique in that I’d like to introduce you to a professor that has really challenged my thinking in how we read the Bible (especially the book of Genesis).
I’ve been stretched by Dr. John Walton’s books and as you listen along today, I hope that your thinking will be stretched significantly as well.
Dr. Walton is an expert in ancient literature and reads the Bible…particularly the Old Testament…through those eyes. While he might challenge some of the mainstream evangelical understandings of Scripture, he does it as someone who holds a high view of Scripture.
My guess is that a few of you might feel a bit uncomfortable with the natural implications of his observations in Genesis, but I hope while listening you can remember the questions and reactions that rise-up in you. In our conversation, John mentions that “We try to make the Bible answer questions it was never intended to”…I do wonder if you will resonate with that thought after listening today.
One (of many) fascinating observations Dr. Walton makes is that when talking about the traditional story of Adam and Eve, people often bundle a few issues together that he thinks should not be. They include:
– the Biological Material Origins of Humankind
– the actual Historicity of Adam and Eve
– the Nature of the Image of God
– the Origins of Sin
For some people, this might seem like a theological conversation best left to seminaries, but one of the real pleasures of Dr. Walton’s work is that while holding a high view of scripture, he is also able to make observations of the text from a non-religious technical and historical viewpoint.
Walton’s work is the sort that has motivated well-known scientists like Francis Collins (head of the Human genome project) to advocate the way that Walton “elevates Scripture to a new level of respectable understanding, and eliminates any conflict between scientific and scriptural descriptions of origin.”
For any of you who have questioned the ability to hold a reasonable reading of Scripture together with today’s world of science, I think you’ll be grateful to get to know John Walton’s heart and research.
Remember: You’re going to want to jot down a few questions or thoughts you have during today’s show to return to after listening!
Episode 30: Carlos Whittaker
Today on the Fearless Questions podcast we have the chance to talk with our friend Carlos Whittaker. Carlos is a popular speaker, writer, musical artist, and People’s Choice Award winner who you will really enjoy getting to know.
Carlos has just released a new book called Kill The Spider that dives into the difference between dealing with behavior modification and the root causes of behavior. You’ll hear him share personal stories from his journey that will drive home the (sometimes funny and sometimes painful) real-life situations that force us all, and especially those operating from a faith worldview, to move beyond the ‘cobwebs’ that are keeping us from living our best life available.
From accidentally ‘becoming a Christian’ at a church hosted magic show to navigating the pain and recovery from real trauma, Carlos gives us a behind the scenes perspective of a man cleaning out the corners of his heart as he looks to come fully alive.
Links from the show:
Episode 29: Justin Brierley
Today, from the far side of the Atlantic Ocean, we are welcoming in Justin Brierley. Justin is the Senior Editor of Premier Christianity Magazine in the United Kingdom and also host of the globally successful radio show and podcast called ‘Unbelievable?’.
In my conversation with Justin, we spend significant time talking about his experience of these past 12 years facilitating conversations between people of faith and atheists. Justin has heard the best arguments against holding a Christian worldview, and yet…after all these years, he continues to argue his Christian faith makes the best sense of life as experienced in this world. From mind-bending debates surrounding Stephen Hawking’s multiverse theory to pressing well-known atheist Richard Dawkins on his views of morality, I know you’ll be interested to hear Justin’s first hand experiences of discussing the biggest issues of faith, science, and God with many of the world’s foremost experts.
You’ll want to listen in and hear from this genuinely kind and open man who has shown the courage to seek truth regardless of where it leads him.
You’ll also want to pick-up a copy of Justin’s new book “Unbelievable?…Why After Ten Years Of Talking With Atheists I’m Still A Christian”. It’s a unique view into Justin’s personal experience of wrestling with the big issues of faith that he can’t always share on air. (You can also read the first chapter of his book for free by going to the book’s website (listed below).
It was a real pleasure speaking with Justin and I’m sure you will enjoy getting to know him and his work if you haven’t already.
Links from the show:
Follow Justin Brierley on Twitter @UnbelievableJB
Unbelievable Book Site: unbelievablebook.co.uk (or Amazon)
Justin’s radio show / podcast: premierchristianradio.com/unbelievable
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A Podcast for Truth Detangling
Jeff is an untangler of what is truth. His podcast is eye opening and so helpful. It's the perfect safe space to expolore your deepest angsts and questions about God.
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I always look forward to tuning in to Fearless Questions. Without fail, I walk away feeling encouraged, challenged and among friends. In a world with so many differing topics and viewpoints, Jeff does an amazing job of finding common ground and fostering a safe place for life’s tough questions to be asked. His interviews are so valuable and expose me to different authors and speakers who have so much to offer. If you’re looking for a new favorite podcast, look no further.