100 episodes

patheological aim to offer interviews with a variety of guests covering a wide range of topics the show up at the intersection of pastoral work, pastoral ministry, pastoral care and theology. Todd Littleton, the host of patheological looks for rarely heard from voices with great insights.

patheological: The Podcast for the Pastor Theologian Todd Littleton

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 31 Ratings

patheological aim to offer interviews with a variety of guests covering a wide range of topics the show up at the intersection of pastoral work, pastoral ministry, pastoral care and theology. Todd Littleton, the host of patheological looks for rarely heard from voices with great insights.

    Common Places: A Conversation with Brad Mason

    Common Places: A Conversation with Brad Mason

    I tried to work in one of my favorite lines from Cold Mountain into the title.







    I imagine God is weary of being called down on both sides of an argument. Inman, Cold Mountain







    Next week Messengers to our denominations’ annual meeting may hear proposed Resolutions on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. One feature of the debate over the past couple of years has been working out just how the conception of race as a social construct should inform our awareness of the way racialization has become part of the legal structures of the U.S. legal system thereby making it normal to subordinate non-white people. Some disagree with this assertion having opted for a derivative definition of CRT.







    In this episode, Brad and I talk about my own difficulty understanding and agreeing that race is, in fact, a social construct. What caught my attention is that both those who see the benefit of CRT analysis and those opposed agree – race is a social construct. Even Christians agree. However, at that point it is a matter of disagreement as to who’s side God is on when it comes to the usefulness of such a conclusion. It is here where I would echo Jude Law’s character, Inman.







    Where interests intersect is what some refer to as common places.







    Bradly Mason joins me as we continue our series of conversations on Critical Race Theory. On this episode we discuss the common places, areas where shared interests converge in search of understanding, if not action. I should note here that I have been helped, and indebted to, Brad for taking time out of his schedule to have these conversations.







    In the past week a couple of friends, pastor types, who resisted any benefit of CRT, have found these conversations helpful and admit to drawing conclusions without exploring the original sources and ideas. One young friend sent along a document dated to the Wilberforce era where the conditions that gave rise to CRT, the organized subordination of others, existed before Derrick Bell’s seminal essay just more than 30 years ago.







    If you missed our previous episodes you will find them here:The Danger of Mediating IdeasWhen the Law Does Not DeliverCan Two Walk Together















    If you find the podcast helpful, share it with your friends. Share it with your pastor friends as well as folks you know involved in leadership that touches on the pastoral. Also, consider heading over to iTunes, login, search for patheological and give us a five-star rating and a kind review.

    Copyright © 1999-2018 This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. (Digital Fingerprint: 63c770b5d5a7864a89cf6c2f630094ad)

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Can Two Walk Together? More with Bradly Mason on CRT

    Can Two Walk Together? More with Bradly Mason on CRT

    Near the end of our last conversation on the subject of Critical Race Theory, Bradly Mason remarked that race is a social construct for the subordination of other human beings. His statement did not go without notice. One listener sent a series of questions. If Mason asserted that race was a social construct and Founder’s Ministry agrees with that assertion, then how is it Founder’s views CRT different than Mason. Or, how is it that two agree but cannot walk together?







    Here are a couple of the questions: When did race become a social construct in the United States? When did it stop in the United States?







    During this third episode in our ongoing series on the subject of CRT, we utilize these questions to talk about how race has been used. You might find it interesting that Mason points to a source that describes how the category of race is used by one European group to subordinate another European group where skin color was not the issue. Subordinating one group to another was the economic goal. How is that not what occurred in the United States, I wondered?







    One gnawing matter for me is that when we discover a habit that is inconsistent with the life of Jesus, no matter how I come to learn of its presence within me, how is it I don’t see that as an occasion for sanctification? In other words, if CRT exposes the way other humans beings have been subordinated and that laws intended to change that reality are ineffective, what is wrong with the question, “How did this happen?” Isn’t this the same question post-holocaust philosophers and theologians asked after the efforts to exterminate, subordinate, one group of people by another?







    It is clear that a movement is at work to empty CRT of its origins, its history, and infuse it with all perceived cultural evils that must be avoided at all costs. This has actually been stated as a goal. Most call this obfuscation or watch the hand over here so you don’t see what the hand over there is doing. Even some in my denomination seem firmly entrenched in this position. I have yet to see any leaders address the origins and aspects of CRT. Really all we see is an attempt to make this analytical tool the worst thing to come along. And yet, those same Christian people claim to find analytical value in an atheistic worldview. Confounding, I know.















    If you find the podcast helpful, share it with your friends. Share it with your pastor friends as well as folks you know involved in leadership that touches on the pastoral. Also, consider heading over to iTunes, login, search for patheological and give us a five-star rating and a kind review.

    Copyright © 1999-2018 This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. (Digital Fingerprint: 63c770b5d5a7864a89cf6c2f630094ad)

    • 1 hr 3 min
    When the Law Does Not Deliver: A Conversation with Bradly Mason

    When the Law Does Not Deliver: A Conversation with Bradly Mason

    In our best Schwarzenegger voice, “We said we’d be back!”







    Sojourner’s interviewed Nathan Cartagena on teaching Critical Race Theory to Evangelicals. When asked about the different assumptions students have when taking a class on critical race theory now that CRT is such a lightning rod subject he noted,







    Oh yes. When I first started teaching, most people had never heard of critical race theory, and they certainly weren’t familiar with an acronym. Now, the teaching is harder. People are carrying a whole host of ideas about CRT, the overwhelming majority of which are completely false.Why Nathan Cartagena Teaches Critical Race Theory to Evangelicals







    What would it mean if pastors and church leaders paused to explore the roots of a theory that grew out of trying to answer the question, “How is it the new law did not make the difference it promised?” Wouldn’t there be a bit more sympathy knowing that this is also a question that could have well originated with the Apostle Paul who wrote to Roman Christians pointing out that,







    For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.Romans 8:3







    On today’s podcast I am joined once again by Bradly Mason, @AlsoaCarpenter. We take up the task to give a genealogy of ideas, the “Where did this come from?” by looking at Derrick Bell’s essay, Serving Two Masters: Integration Ideals and Client Interests in School Desegregation Litigation found in Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement. For those, like me, that recall when your public school district desegrated, you know that desegregation did not necessarily obtain integration. If you carry that further, one may realize that the educational goals aimed for in desegregation rules did not materialize. Civil Rights advacates, and Critical Legal Scholars, began wondering how is it the law did not accomplish its aim.







    Litigation ensued to insist the goals remain at the forefront and not the simple satisfaction that white and black students attended school in the same building. Going back to legal decisions led to a critical look at laws past that seemed unable to achieve their end and a theory as to what happened resulted. Nothing nefarious. But, the questions remain uncomfortable in light of the annual statistics that leave some wrongly concluding that the issue rests solely with the person and not with the structure. And this will hopefully whet your appetite to understand the intellectual history that developed in light of our social history.







    For pastors wondering about the helpfulness, or not, of the insights into our legal system consider again what enabled the Apostle to see the ineffectual nature of the law to overcome the Powers of Sin and Death. Until Revelation came, Saul was content to let things be as they were. What if, the way things are, keep us from seeing what could be when a legal theory revealed to us ways we ourselves were blind to the other, to our neighbor? At least give us a look-see or listen.







    if you missed our first conversation, here is the link: a href="http://www.toddlittleton.net/?feed-stats-url=aHR0cDovL3d3dy50b2RkbGl0dGxldG9uLm5ldC90aGUt...

    • 1 hr 12 min
    The Dangers of Mediating Ideas: A Conversation with Bradly Mason

    The Dangers of Mediating Ideas: A Conversation with Bradly Mason

    Pastor, do you have time to read the near 500 pages of Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement?” Maybe you have time between weekly sermon preparation, pastoral responsibilities, and any administrative tasks that accompany your particular ministry setting. Try as we might to be aware and versed in every developing subject, it is not possible.







    Think of it like this. Many of us entered seminary with the goal of learning the Biblical languages. We enter small church pastorates where the time needed to translate and exegete those passages diminished as we served as preacher, pastor, music leader, and discipleship coordinator while giving time to our families. Bible software like Accordance and Logos provide us with quick tools, shortcuts, to those textual resources. We trust the developers to take account of the most recent scholarship with regular updates of our preferred Greek New Testament, for example. Should we learn their product offers shoddy parsing or less than robust dictionary entries, we look elsewhere; or not.







    At this point we are assigning those sources with an authority on which we plan sermons, Bible studies, and other writing where we will take up textual nuance as important. We do this with other subjects about which we know little.







    Take for instance the current controversies circulating around Critical Race Theory. We look for those from whom we may learn since we don’t have the time to give to reading original sources. What matters is who we choose as our authority on the subject. If our authority has never read an original source then maybe we should look for another.







    Enter Bradly Mason. The pandemic gave Mason the opportunity to give a year to reading original sources related to Critical Race Theory. EDIT: Bradly has been writing on Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory for at least two years. This past year provided more time than usual given the pandemic restrictions. It should also be noted here that per my last podcast episode with Carl Raschke, Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory have different genealogies (origins). Armed with a degree in philosophy and logic he has assessed the brouhaha over CRT and found it lacking in substantive critique. The issue: many are critiquing something about which they know too little. As you will find in our first conversation, it seems quite an ethical tar baby to at once offer a critique of something you read about from secondary sources who utilize ideas for an altogether different purpose.







    Think of bearing false witness. Mason wants no part of breaking that commandment, even if @Asloacarpenter has been accused of such in the Twitterverse. Most of the pushback on Mason has come from those who have read his articles. And, it is also true that his critics have inspired him to respond with posts that address specific issues.







    Here are some places you may find Bradly’s writing:







    Bradly Mason’s personal website: https://alsoacarpenter.comFront Porch Series on CRT begins here: The Christian and Critical Race Theory (A Series)Bradly Mason on Twitter

    • 51 min
    Listening and Forgiveness: A Conversation with Carl Raschke

    Listening and Forgiveness: A Conversation with Carl Raschke

    “The just shall live by faith,” represents the Scriptural hammer of the Reformation. Five hundred years later many Evangelicals have decided they are the hammer and everything else is a nail.







    Rooting out the greatest dangers to Christianity has become a favorite past time, if not as cottage industry, among some in my own Christian tribe. It calls back to the days of my childhood and youth where we were always on the lookout for the Antichrist, never reasoning with John’s description that antichirsts have already gone out into the world. Numerology and a hermeneutic given to fearing the worst rather than facing the future with love and trusting God for our future meant advertising signs and symbols and backward masking on LPs were scrutinized while hunger and racial conflict were for others to solve.







    Seventeen years ago Carl Raschke sought to get the attention of Evangelicals with his book, The Next Reformation: Why Evangelicals Must Embrace Postmodernity. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary reviewed the book in an edition of its journal. Introducing post-structural thought and how it could be useful when speaking to wider culture was strongly resisted.







    Today the gravest issue to threaten the Church today, according to some, is Critical Race Theory (CRT). Enter Carl Raschke, again. Five years ago Carl wrote, Critical Theology: Introducing an Agenda for an Age of Global Crisis. Last year InterVarsity Press remaindered this little book and I was able to catch it on the cheap. Circumstances beyond Carl’s control left this project dwindling in obscurity. Sad.







    I reached out to Carl to talk about this book that offers a great intellectual history of Critical Theory (CT). Many today conflate CT with CRT. As Carl and I were discussing what to talk about he made a point to note this and suggested our conversation might be more profitable to talk about CRT, the Church and a new trend in global conversations, decoloniality.







    Thanks to Carl for coming on the podcast to discuss these issues and challenge us toward a Radical Incarnation characterized by listening and forgiveness. And you thought philosophers had nothing to contribute to a theology that supports faith.







    Here are some titles from Carl that are worth checking out, including a soon to be released book.







    The End of TheologyThe Next Reformation: What Evangelicalism Must Embrace PostmodernityGloboChrist: The Great Commission Takes a Postmodern TurnCritical Theology: Introducing an Agenda for an Age of Global CrisisPostmodern Theology: A BiopicNeoliberalism and Political Theology: From Kant to Identity Politics (Soon to be released)















    If you find the podcast helpful, share it with your friends.

    • 53 min
    Missional Theology – Not Just An Adjective: A Conversation with John Franke

    Missional Theology – Not Just An Adjective: A Conversation with John Franke

    One of my friends once pointed out that any time -al is added to describe a theological perspective the emphasis is on the adjective more than on talk about God. Practically time is given to explain the adjective and what often gets obscured is the god/God under consideration. Enter John R. Franke.

    In his new book, released last year, John R., Franke proposes that the nature of God is missional, or put another way, Mission is God’s nature. While John would not argue that it is all that we can say about God, he would suggest that when we look at God’s activity we discover that God has always been on mission. Thus for John, -al, in missional does not detract from talk about God but instead is central to assessing the activity of God from beginning to end – from the Garden to the Eschaton.

    Today on the podcast I take up a conversation with John. We met in the early 2000s while he was at Biblical Seminary. One of the last times we were together was during a special installation service held for him at Biblical. There were two keynote speakers – Darrel Guder and Scot McKnight. Franke leans heavily on Guder who may be the instigator of the missional turn with his book, The Missional Church. My introduction to Guder was in his book, The Continual Conversion of the Church. McKnight was encouraging. When John’s book dropped, Scot remarked in his blog post, “Finally!” That is exactly how I felt.

    We never know whose path we will cross along the way. I am glad that our paths crossed those years ago. I found this interview the best way to shake off the cobwebs of the podcast with a view to getting back on track, or on mission if you will.

    Here are some titles from John that you may want to check out AFTER you order his newest book, Missional Theology: An Introduction.

    Beyond Foundationalism (with the last Stan Grenz)

    Manifold Witness

    Barth for Armchair Theologians



    If you find the podcast helpful, share it with your friends. Share it with your pastor friends as well as folks you know involved in leadership that touches on the pastoral. Also, consider heading over to iTunes, login, search for patheological and give us a five-star rating and a kind review.



    Copyright © 1999-2018 This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. (Digital Fingerprint: 63c770b5d5a7864a89cf6c2f630094ad)

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

Sims A. ,

Pastorally & Theologically Delightful

Very well thought out. Todd asks insightful questions, and leads his listeners into thinking and reflecting theologically and pastorally on important issues/topics.

Josh Claridon ,

Need more!

Such a great podcast, Todd is awesome! I want more episodes!

Shawn6107 ,

Sorting through the chaff

Todd does a great job of sorting through the theological chaff to get at the real grain of religion, culture and relationships. If you’re serious about theological application, this is the show for you.

Top Podcasts In Religion & Spirituality

Listeners Also Subscribed To