125 episodes

Viral Jesus is a podcast from Christianity Today about digital communication and the power of social connections. Join author and communication scholar Heather Thompson Day as she dives deep with ministry leaders, content creators, and social media influencers to find out how they're starting important conversations, building community, and sharing their faith in digital spaces.

Viral Jesus Christianity Today

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 126 Ratings

Viral Jesus is a podcast from Christianity Today about digital communication and the power of social connections. Join author and communication scholar Heather Thompson Day as she dives deep with ministry leaders, content creators, and social media influencers to find out how they're starting important conversations, building community, and sharing their faith in digital spaces.

    The Church Behind Bars Is Alive and Well

    The Church Behind Bars Is Alive and Well

    Today’s episode highlights the work that is being done by Christians for the incarcerated. Heather sits down with the first female president of Prison Fellowship, Heather Rice Minus and discusses what work still needs to be done outside of prisons, and in our communities, to help incarcerated individuals transition after serving their sentence. 
    During today’s episode Heather also provides an update on Viral Jesus and requests your prayer for the future of the show.
    Guest Bio
    Heather Rice Minus is the President and CEO of Prison Fellowship.
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on X, the app formerly known as Twitter at @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday. Receive Heather’s weekly inspirational email every Friday at 7pm EST; sign up at www.heatherthompsonday.com/links.
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    • 42 min
    JS Park: As Long As You Need

    JS Park: As Long As You Need

    Today’s episode is for the person navigating a season of loss or grief, and trying to figure out how long this ache will last. 
    JS Park is a chaplain who has served for nearly 10 years and has held pain for thousands of patients and their families. He believes that our need to rush past pain, only suffocates our grief, and that grief is a voice that needs to be heard. 
    During today’s episode Heather also provides an update on her life ministry, and professional journey. 
    Guest Bio
    J.S. Park is a hospital chaplain, author, and online educator. For eight years he has been an interfaith chaplain at a thousand-plus-bed hospital that is designated a Level 1 Trauma Center. J.S. has an MDiv, completed in 2010, and a BA in Psychology. He also has a sixth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He is also the author of As Long As You Need.
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on X, the app formerly known as Twitter at @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday. Receive Heather’s weekly inspirational email every Friday at 7pm EST; sign up at www.heatherthompsonday.com/links.

    “Viral Jesus” is a production of Christianity Today
    Executive Producer: Matt Stevens
    Host: Heather Thompson Day
    Producer: Loren Joseph
    Associate Producer: McKenzie Hill
    Director of Operations for CT Media: Matt Stevens
    Audio engineering by Loren Joseph
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    • 50 min
    Andrew Farley: 101 Bible Questions And the Surprising Answers You May Not Hear in Church

    Andrew Farley: 101 Bible Questions And the Surprising Answers You May Not Hear in Church

    Are there certain questions you don't feel like you can ask in church about the Bible?
    For today’s episode Heather sits down with Dr. Andrew Farley, a pastor and radio show host, asks him questions he often gets during his live radio show every night about the Bible. Andrew believes in grace, freedom, and the new covenant. If you have felt that religion offered you very little grace, less freedom, and didn’t talk very much about the beauty of the New Covenant, today’s episode is for you. 
    During today’s episode Heather also sits down with Brady Shearer for your social toolkit. Brady Shearer is the director of Pro Church Tools and church software platform Nucleus. He helps churches navigate the biggest communication shift in 500 years. 
    Guest Bio
    Dr. Andrew Farley is a bestselling author of nine books including The Grace
    Message, The Naked Gospel, and Twisted Scripture. He most recently launched the
    “Heartbeat of Faith” podcast on pray.com and released his newest book, 101 Bible
    Questions. He serves as president of The Grace Message, hosts a live, call-in radio program every weeknight, is the lead pastor of The Grace Church, and has been recognized with several awards for his excellence in teaching. Andrew lives in Texas with his wife Katharine and their son Gavin.

    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on X, the app formerly known as Twitter at @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday. Receive Heather’s weekly inspirational email every Friday at 7pm EST; sign up at www.heatherthompsonday.com/links.
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    • 42 min
    Ike Miller: Good Baggage

    Ike Miller: Good Baggage

    Is there such a thing as Good Baggage?
    For today’s episode Heather sits down with Ike Miller and discusses the baggage that we experience in our past that sometimes impacts our present and future. But, is it possible that seeing our parents' parent, or do marriage, or live out their faith, can reveal to us how we can do things differently? Ike believes that his upbringing is what gave him a passion to pursue a different path for himself. What if some baggage can be good?
    On today’s social toolkit, Heather discusses Elyse Meyers and her apparent social media break after being targeted by Operation Watermelon. Operation Watermelon is where a group of internet users target a single creator and try to take over their platform by commenting en masse on the tragedy impacting the middle east between Israel and Palestine. Elyse Meyers shutdown her Tik Tok with over 7 million followers and many users suspect it is because she was targeted by this peer pressure tactic. Should influencers make statements on cultural issues? Heather discusses her thoughts on this and adds a tool to your social toolkit.
    Guest Bio
    Ike Miller is the founding and lead pastor of Bright City Church in Durham NC. Ike writes regularly about the intersection of theology and mental health. His newest book is titled Good Baggage.
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on X, the app formerly known as Twitter at @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday. Receive Heather’s weekly inspirational email every Friday at 7pm EST; sign up at www.heatherthompsonday.com/links
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    • 39 min
    Brad Hill: AI and Its Impact On The Church

    Brad Hill: AI and Its Impact On The Church

    Welcome to part two of our two part series on technology, church and culture.
    For today’s episode Heather sits down with Brad Hill who is the Chief Solutions Officer at GLOO, where they’ve just developed a new initiative that helps churches navigate AI. What is AI? How is it impacting church culture? And should we be concerned as Christians about its potential? Heather gets answers to these questions and more during today’s conversation.
    Heather also discusses deepfake videos and AI manipulation as it relates to the Princess Catherine cancer video during today’s social toolkit. Here is an article Heather found by the Washington Post about conspiracy theories and AI. 
    Guest Bio
    Brad Hill is the Chief Solutions Officer at Gloo, a technology platform for ministry leaders that recently launched its new AI & the Church Initiative to empower the Big C Church to navigate and engage AI responsibly. With partners like Barna, Carey Nieuwhof, YouVersion, and more, they’re initiating a connected conversation around AI and faith for Christians. Brad has been deeply involved in solving technology challenges for the Church for over 20 years. 
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on X, the app formerly known as Twitter at @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday. Receive Heather’s weekly inspirational email every Friday at 7pm EST; sign up at www.heatherthompsonday.com/links.
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    • 44 min
    John-Michael Bout and Jacob Valk: Breaking Free of Porn Addiction

    John-Michael Bout and Jacob Valk: Breaking Free of Porn Addiction

    Welcome to part one of our two part series on Technology, Church and Culture. On today’s episode Heather finally has a conversation she has been wanting to have since season 1, and that is on the topic of pornography. According to the Youth Pornography Addiction Center, 93 % of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to internet pornography before the age of 18. To discuss porns impact and what resources may be available to help a user who wants to quit, Heather sits down with John Michael Bout and Jacob Valk who created the documentary Into the Light, which helps people navigate and break free porn addiction.
    Heather also sits down with investigative reporter on technology and culture, Taylor Lorenz to discuss the 12-page bill, known as the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, aimed to "protect the national security of the United States from the threat posed by foreign adversary controlled applications" like TikTok. Taylor walks us through what we need to know about the Tik Tok ban and adds another tool to our social toolkit, You can order her latest book, Extremely Online here.
    Guest Bio
    Jacob Valk holds a degree in Advertising from Mohawk College and a B.A. in Humanities from Brock University. He worked various roles in advertising/film in Toronto, co-produced the documentaries Ordinary Commission and Into The Light, and runs the podcast Chats Under The Sun. He is finishing an M.Div. at SBTS in Louisville, Kentucky, where he lives and works at the ReCenter homeless shelter. 
    John-Michael Bout holds a B.A. in Classics from Brock University and is working on an M.Div. at SBTS in Louisville, Kentucky. He co-produced Ordinary Commission and Into The Light. He is married to his lovely wife Jessica with their two sons Roman and Andrew. 
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on X, the app formerly known as Twitter at @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday. Receive Heather’s weekly inspirational email every Friday at 7pm EST; sign up at www.heatherthompsonday.com/links.
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    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
126 Ratings

126 Ratings

Madeline Quinones ,

Actually engaging with the world we live in

Heather was one of my instructors in college, and I’ve been following her on social media for years, so I was delighted to realize that she had her own podcast. I love how she is always looking to tackle issues of the world we live in, and issues of the modern church. Listening to this show, I feel like I’m actually getting the advice I need so badly in how to live my life in faith with all the challenges that this day and age give us. I’m so glad this show exists.

Geny#123 ,

LOVE THIS PODCAST

I got into podcast by listen to these episodes thank you for having hard conversations is the Adventist world!

Girlyreading ,

The God of little by little

When I heard this episode… mind blown, It spoke to so many areas of my life I felt this so deep inside my heart, it answered so many questions I’ve been asking God.. Thank you Heather your incredible

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