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 • 33 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.

    When Your Pen Pal Is Your Son

    When Your Pen Pal Is Your Son

    Sharing Your Faith Is Not A Single Format Opportunity







    Those who know me know I am a talker. The corollary is that I tend to process my thinking out loud. Now you know why posts are sometimes infrequent and my podcast frequency is worse.







    Can We Talk? is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.







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    My penmanship is terrible. Were my maternal grandmother alive, she would be pounding the Like Button. I don’t recall if it was my senior year of high school or my freshman year of college. I had to type a paper for an assignment. Nan, as we called her, offered to type it for me. I dropped it off to her. When I returned to pick it up, she said she would gladly do that again for me but never to leave her a draft with such poor penmanship. 







    Lesson learned. 







    I never took her another draft. Period.







    Who has time to improve their penmanship at that late date?







    Nan had great penmanship. She never sent a birthday card or anniversary card without including a handwritten note. Hallmark could never capture all that she wanted to say. The handwriting in her journals is a work of art.







    My first podcast of the new year is not about perfect handwriting. It is about letter writing. Specifically, my new virtual friend Curtis Freeman wrote Pilgrim Letters: Instruction in The Basic Teaching of Christ. Curtis wanted to talk to his son about faith in Jesus Christ. His son was unsure he was ready for that kind of conversation. Curtis asked his son if he could write him some letters. The result? Pilgrim Letters.







    We all may know someone who prefers to communicate the more serious and particular things of life by handwriting a note. I do. If you do, then you will find my conversation with Curtis helpful. You may even pick up Pilgrim Letters and Pilgrim Journey: Instructions in the Mystery of the Gospel. 







    Enjoy.

    • 36 min
    An Influential Mentor

    An Influential Mentor

    Marv Levy takes his dry humor around the globe in the comedy series The Reluctant Traveler. Levy’s travels leave him perplexed and curious. His episode-ending reflections include themes he picks up along the way. Often sounding surprised, he finds that folks living in Finland enjoy life outdoors, even if it is cold. Smiles greet him, and he cannot figure out why. After a few episodes, you get the feeling that he may enjoy a habit he never dreamed he would.







    Maina Mwara describes his recent book as a project that called him. And after our conversation, I wondered if Howard Hendricks could be described as The Reluctant Mentor. Not resistant but reluctant. 







    Mentoring hit the craze level some years ago in Christian leadership circles. Books on mentoring, how to be a mentor, and successful mentoring became the rage. I recall receiving a free book or two at a conference on the subject. The desire to be a mentor has a dark side. It feeds a nascent narcissism that may be latent in all of us. “You need to listen to me.”







    Like Hendricks to those who saw him as their mentor, my mentors have not self-identified as such. I have recognized they are my mentors. The relationship developed into a mentoring relationship. Rick did not tell me one day as Darth told Luke, “I am your mentor.”







    Reluctant does not mean resistant. Influential does not always mean intentional. Relationships predicated on a contractual arrangement seldom reach the depths of mentoring relationships. And lack of intention does not mean accidental. Christian discipleship is organic, not programmatic. “Don’t pluck the weeds lest you pluck the wheat also.” Time and interactions are the soil in which mentoring relationships emerge.







    Howard Hendricks’s story as an influential mentor rises from within an uncomfortable context, reaching diverse people, and results in an investment that yet survives his short sojourn. Remember, no matter how long we live; it is like a vapor.







    Pick up a copy and observe what it means to be an influential mentor. You don’t need a program. You only need an interest in people.

    • 46 min
    Interrogate the Language

    Interrogate the Language

    We deconstruct everything so why the bugaboo?







    Mark Driscoll famously attacked deconstruction, or Deconstruction, with the caricature that the goal is to reduce everything to its nub so it may be dismissed. He used the schtick to strike fear in those who dared question what they had been taught, particularly at Mars Hill. 







    We all know how that turned out. Just this week, I listened to a sermon where Driscoll was the illustration for the need to deconstruct what preachers say. “God hates sin and the sinner.” It is as if the Serpent returned upon hearing that “God so loved the world” and whispered in the congregation’s ear, “Did Jesus really say he loved the world?”







    My friend Greg Hortin joins me for another conversation on deconstruction, or Deconstruction. When we listen to policymakers and elected officials, how do we discern what they are saying, or not, with the words they choose? This has become important in Oklahoma, given the rhetoric of our State School Superintendent and his constant use of “woke ideology.” Listeners need to interrogate the language – that is, deconstruction or Deconstruction.









    https://traffic.libsyn.com/patheological/HortonDeconstruction.mp3

    • 42 min
    #DEI and Indoctrination?! with Greg Horton

    #DEI and Indoctrination?! with Greg Horton

    Claims that the Woke Left is indoctrinating students in Oklahoma Public Schools have been a talking point of Oklahoma State School Superintendent Ryan Walters since he began his campaign. Once elected, erasing the Woke Agenda has been his ongoing mantra. My friend Greg Horton posted about the claims of indoctrination on his Facebook Page, to which I remarked everyone indoctrinates. We decided to have a conversation about the subject.







    *Greg suggested a warning that he uses salty language in our conversation. Some editing has been done. Other words remain.

    • 41 min
    Healthcare, Theology and Ethics: A Conversation with Dr. Kevin Driver

    Healthcare, Theology and Ethics: A Conversation with Dr. Kevin Driver

    “Is healthcare a right or privilege?”







    Maybe the question needs a better frame.







    Recently I was talking with my friend Marty about healthcare, high deductibles, and treatment costs. Amidst the ongoing cultural battles occupying congressional talking points I wondered on Twitter when would our legislators take up one of the more crucial human needs. Dr. Kevin Driver was quick to respond. He included a willingness to have a podcast conversation on the intersection of theology/ethics and healthcare.







    I dusted off the mic, reminded myself of the best recording settings, and set up the Zoom conversation. What resulted is today’s podcast.







    When we think of the ideas that undergird talking Christian about healthcare what comes to your mind? Give us a listen and hear what Dr. Driver offers.















    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.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    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.

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 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.

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