GCR 5.6 Kenda Creasy Dean and Almost Christian

What are today’s youth saying about their faith? How does what they profess compare to our historic creeds? What are they saying about the beliefs of their parents? Join Derrick Weston as he talks to Kenda Creasy Dean about her book Almost Christian and learn how youth reflect the faith of our communities. Plus, you won’t want to miss the insightful thoughts of the Two Friars and a Fool (Aric Clark, Doug Hagler, and Nick Larson) and Carol Howard Merritt.

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It’s all very complex…

GCR 5.4 Alisa Harris and Raised Right

Have you ever experienced a major shift in how you view politics? How did it happen? How do your faith and political life intersect? How should it intersect? Join Derrick Weston as he talks to Alisa Harris, the author of Raised Right, about these questions and more. We’ll also introduce the Two Friars and a Fool—Aric Clark, Nick Larson, and Doug Hagler–as they reflect on the Occupy Movement.

http://traffic.libsyn.com/gcr/Harris.mp3


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GCR 5.2 Craig Goodwin and A Year of Plenty

Have you ever gotten frustrated with Christmas shopping? Yes? Well, have you ever gotten so irritated with buying Christmas crap that you made a decision that changed your life? Craig and Nancy Goodwin did that… and they ended up with a year of plenty.

Join Derrick as he talks with Craig Goodwin and Carol Howard Merritt about sustainability, thoughtful consumption, and the church

http://traffic.libsyn.com/gcr/Craig_Goodwin.mp3

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GCR 4.8 Julie Clawson and Ryan Kemp-Pappan on Everyday Justice

Where does that coffee come from? What does that chocolate bar have to do with slavery? How do our everyday choices affect the global economy and human rights? Julie Clawson wrote a book on these very things.

Carol Howard Merritt talks to Julie Clawson about her unique perspective on the Emergent Church as well as her book, Everyday Justice. Then Carol talks with Ryan Kemp-Pappan about what Julie had to say.

http://traffic.libsyn.com/gcr/ClawsonRKP.mp3

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GCR 4.7 Rachel Hackenberg and Praying With Your Pen

Rachel Hackenberg and Praying With Your Pen

Join Landon and Carol as they talk with Rachel Hackenberg about her book Writing to God. We explore different prayer disciplines, talk about the “rules of prayer,” and question whether our theology matches with our prayer practices.

Play – Rachel Hackenberg – God Complex Radio – S4E7

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Advent Whispers

When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will reign over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”

Luke 1:26-33 (CEB)

I can’t explain to you the overwhelming emotion that I had after peeing on that little stick and watching the plus sign appear. I had been married for seven years, and my gut longing for a baby was intense. When I was in Target and I heard an infant crying, I had an overwhelming urge to comfort the child. I mean, I had to stop myself from asking the mom if I could just hold her baby for a little bit. Every time an infant was carried into a room, my eyes would follow her beautiful face, and warmth would fill me as I saw her glowing expression. My biological clock felt like a time bomb ticking, because the urgency was so intense.

It’s not that way for every woman. I understand that. But it was for me. And after my experience, I know why women keep having babies, even with the advent of birth control. Even in the midst of war-torn countries. Even when we know about overpopulation. Even when we have incredible careers and no time for dirty diapers. Some of us just have that evolutionary drive within us to create.

I kept a box of those magic sticks in the bathroom and regularly tested to see if just the right mix of hormones would turn that negative into a positive.

Even with my massive baby-shaped vacuum sucking in my soul, we weren’t “trying” to have a child. I knew that would have been irresponsible. Our lives never seemed settled enough to bring someone else into our crazy world. My husband and I were both pastors in small rural congregations, so we never had enough money, and our jobs were never secure. We were always worried that we would have to move. Plus, I didn’t feel fit to be a mother. I mean, I had mountains of laundry that needed to be folded, I skipped breakfast on a regular basis, and sometimes the only nutrition I would partake in was a greasy pizza at 11:00 at night.

So when that second blue line appeared, crossing over the first line, making that negative sign into a positive, my world felt like it was overturning. Even with such longing, I panicked.

The elation, the fear, and the feelings of inadequacy were intense. When I told my husband, I wept. He comforted me, held me, and whispered, “Don’t worry. You’re going to be a great mom,” And he added with curiosity, “I thought you wanted this.”

I always think about that moment when I read this passage. Of course, Mary wasn’t holding a urine-soaked stick, bringing her the good news about the fruit of her womb. A messenger was there, telling her not to fear. But the words seem a lot the same. The angel was coaxing her, letting her know that she was adequate, and God was honoring her. She was going to great. And there would be incredible things in store for the child.

And yet, Mary’s feelings must have been even more intense. The world must have been overturning, as she dreaded facing her fiancé, who was not the father of the baby. Or as she thought about what happened to women in her position. She had to have imagined what would have happened if she were caught. An angry mob would surround her, hurling stones at her, until her brown skin turned black and blue, and she would die along with that great hope in her womb.

In this time of Advent, as we’re pregnant with expectation and all of these intense emotions swirl about us, as we long to see God’s reign, as we hope for a just and peaceful world, it seems that these messages are still important. In our elation, our fear, our inadequacy, and our confusion, we will need to keep holding one another, reminding one another, “Don’t be afraid. God is with you.”

[This post was written as a part of Common English Bible's Advent Blog Tour. Be sure to check out the other postings. They have collected a wonderful group of writers.]

GCR 3.3 John Dominic Crossan and Jennifer Warner: Who is Jesus?


Throughout history, our ideas of Jesus have incited us to war, fear, and peace and comfort. And all of this compel us to keep asking, in different times and different places, “Who is Jesus?”

John Dominic Crossan is one of the world’s leading scholars on the life of Jesus, and we had a chance to talk to him right after he returned from the 25th Anniversary of the Jesus Seminar.

We wondered, what was Dominic thinking 25 years ago when he began the Jesus Seminar? And, what was the effect of opening these scholarly debates to the media and the public?

We also asked him about his beautiful new book, The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord’s Prayer.

GCR 3.2 Brian McLaren and Phil Shepherd: Navigating Shifts in the Church

What do we do with dying churches? Is the emerging church male-dominated? Why? Which is more likely to reform, denominations or evangelicalism? Does Brian McLaren still claim the title “evangelical”?

And perhaps the most burning gender/power question: Should Landon Whitsitt be taken seriously if he calls himself “eye candy”?

These are some questions we asked Brian McLaren (okay… so we didn’t ask him about Landon…). Brian is an author, speaker, and activist. Most recently, he wrote the book A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that Are Transforming the Faith. Join us!

On this episode:
The Eucatastrophe
Whiskey Preacher
Music by John Austin
A New Kind of Christianity
Montreat Conference Center
Emerging Church Wikipedia Site
Reframing Hope

And if you want to hear more from Brian McLaren, check out the Presbyterian Outlook’s  Upcoming Webinar.

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Season 3 Behind the Scenes

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