Crackers and Grape Juice

Crackers and Grape Juice

talking faith without stained-glass language
Crackers and Grape Juice




Episode 220 - Will Willimon: Accidental Preacher

Aug 9, 2019 4555


Friend of the podcast, mentor, and muse, Will Willimon joined Teer and Jason to talk about his brand new (wondeful) memoir, Accidental Preacher.

Episode 219 - Stanley Hauerwas: Jesus is Lord and Everything Else is Bullshit

Aug 2, 2019 1769


The Hauerwas Mafia pays homage to our namesake by going back to the vault to share our original interview with the one and only Stanley Hauerwas. Jason is determined to get his theological idol off his familiar tropes and talking points and does so while also at the same time being humbled. To learn more about the podcast and to get your very own Hauerwas Mafia t-shirt, visit

Episode 218 - Phillip Cary: The Meaning of Protestant Theology

Jul 25, 2019 2777


Jason and Teer caught up with Dr. Phillip Cary to talk about Dr. Cary's new latest book, 'The Meaning of Protestant Theology.' Dr. Cary unpacks Luther's gifts to the Protestant Church 500+ years removed from the Reformation and explains why Wesleyan theologians and pastors should not distance themselves too much from Calvin.

Episode 217 - Jeffrey C. Pugh : Send Them Back

Jul 19, 2019 2977


Our guest this week is Dr. Jeffrey Pugh, Professor of Religion at Elon University. Jeffrey is the author of books such as The Devil’s Ink, The Homebrewed Christianity Guide to the End Times, and Religionless Christianity: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Troubled Times. It’s his expertise on Bonhoeffer we turn to in this episode, asking him to reflect on the border crisis, how Christians are to discern when they’re in a “biblical moment” that calls for witness and resistance, the need for another Barmen-type confession.

Episode 216 - Thomas Lynch : Whence and Whither : On Lives and Living

Jul 12, 2019 2893


Friend of the podcast, Thomas Lynch, rejoins us to talk about his new book, Whither and When: On Lives and Living. Thomas is an undertaker and poet whose work has garnered numerous awards, including the National Book Award for his collection of essays The Undertaking: Notes on the Dismal Trade.

Episode 215 - Joel Goza : America's Unholy Ghosts - The Racist Roots of Our Faith and Politics

Jul 5, 2019 3023


For this episode, we talked with Joel Goza who is a Duke Divinity School alumni and now works as a church planter and for a non-profit in the 9th Ward. His new book is an important one, especially on Independence Day weekend. It’s titled America’s Unholy Ghosts: The Racist Roots of Our Faith and Politics.

Episode 213 - Live Podcast: Jeff & Steve Mullinix: B.J. Unity

Jun 28, 2019 3758


For the fourth year in a row, the podcast posse hosted a live pubcast to kick-off annual conference, this time at Ballast Point Brewery in Roanoke where we had over 200 folks attend. Our guests were Jeff and Steve Mullinix, who shared with us their story of growing up in the closet, attending Bob Jones University, and eventually finding one another and marrying. Jeff is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and Steve is a teacher. As Steve told us in an earlier podcast, “I am incompatible with Christian teaching because of my relationship with another man; his name is Adam.” If you’d like to get your own “Incompatible” glass that we passed out to partcipants that night, go to our website to order your own.

Episode 213 - David Fitch : The Church of Us vs. Them - Freedom from a Faith That Feeds on Making Enemies

Jun 21, 2019 2739


Friend of the podcast, the wild and crazy Dr. David Fitch is back to talk about his latest book, “Us vs. Them: “Freedom from a Faith that Feeds on Making Enemies.” Fitch talks with us about how ideological functions to shape our reading of scripture, how we can read scripture locally as community, and how we discern where God is leading us in a way that avoids cultural antagonisms.

Episode 212 - Joshua Retterer— Grace Is For Losers: A Conversation about Robert Farrar Capon

Jun 14, 2019 2537


Jason and Taylor sat down with Joshua Retterer to talk about the late Robert Farrar Capon and his work. Their conversation touches on a number of subjects including eschatological nerve, an affair with a happy ending, laughing in church, and being overwhelmed with morality.

Episode 211 - Winfield Bevins : Ever Ancient Ever New - The Allure of Liturgy for a New Generation

Jun 7, 2019 2738


Fresh on the heels of his Twitter face-off with Jerry Falwell Jr, Jason talked with Winfeld Bevins about his his new book Ever Ancient, Ever New. Actually, no, Jason talked to him months ago, before General Conference even and we’re posting it now to take advantage of the social media scrum. Bevins is an Anglican and a professor of church-planting at Asbury Seminary in the Bluegrass State.

Episode 210 - Christy Thomas : Dripping With Sex

May 31, 2019 3699


She’s back! Friend of the podcast, Christy Thomas joins us to reflect on where the United Methodist Church is at in its present moment somewhere on the timeline between divorce and reconciliation. Christy is a retired United Methodist pastor from Texas, journalist, and blogger at The Thoughtful Pastor.

Episode 209 - Thomas McKenzie : Doing Good is Not the Gospel

May 24, 2019 2833


Thomas McKenzie is a church-planting Anglican priest at Church of the Redeemer in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s also the author of the Anglican Way and a recent Lenten devotional on the Desert Fathers. He also knows, as few seem to know, that Battlestar Galactica is a far superior show to Game of Thrones.

Special Announcement - Live Pubcast

May 22, 2019 213


Jason, Teer, and Taylor are hosting a live podcast at Ballast Point Brewery in Daleville, VA on Wednesday June 19th from 6:30-8pm.

Episode 208 - Amy Laura Hall: Laughing at the Devil

May 17, 2019 3331


In this episode, Jason talks with Amy Laura Hall of Duke University about her upcoming work on muscular Christianity, her most recent book “Laughing at the Devil,” Julian of Norwich, and their mutual affection for Stan the Man.

Episode 206 - Jason Micheli : Living In Sin - Making Marriage Work Between I Do And Death

May 10, 2019 2970


This week is a real treat! We are sharing Jason's unedited live talk from the Mockingbird Annual Conference in New York! A huge thank you to Mockingbird for having Jason speak and for recording it as well!

Episode 205 - Steve Harper : Holy Love: A Biblical Theology for Human Sexuality

May 3, 2019 3362


“Orthodoxy is historically defined according to the creeds, and there is nothing at all in the creeds about human sexuality.” Steve Harper, author of the new book, Holy Love, published today, is our guest for Episode #206. Steve is a former Professor of Historical Theology at Asbury Theological Seminary, which is— mind you— the UMC’s most conservative school. Steve was also a leader in traditionalist movements like Good News and the Confessing Church Movement. In 2015, though, Steve’s understanding of sexuality in light of scripture changed. His new book is a concise primer for all folks but especially those like his former self. He’s a warm and wise man with whom I felt honored to speak. Here’s the blurb I had the opportunity to provide for the publisher: In all our church fighting about what is and is not incompatible with Christian teaching, Christians seem to have forgotten the core of Christian teaching; that is, we’re all incompatible with Christian teaching. Not one of us is found compatible— we are made compatible by God’s grace. In Holy Love, Steve Harper reminds Christians that married love is holy precisely because it’s an arena where life with another exposes the stranger you call you to the unmerited forgiveness of the other who knows your worst self. The experience of such grace makes us holy— different— in a culture premised on merit alone. Marriage, as the wedding rite makes clear, is about sanctification; therefore, to deny committed couples, gay or straignt, marriage deprives them not of a privilege but of a medicine. Holy Love provides pastors and parishioners the biblical and theological resources to have a holy conversation about how that medicine may be administered to same-sex couples too and how their marriages might also serve as parables for how God loves us all. You can order his book from Cokesbury.

Episode 205 - Nick Lannon : Life is Impossible

Apr 26, 2019 2744


In a culture of performancism, virtue-signaling, and enoughness-chasing, Nick Lannon's new book tells us the good news that Life is Impossible (and that's the good news). Nick is an Anglican priest in Louisville, a movie buff and sports buff, and a contributing writer to Mockingbird Ministries and Liberate.

Episode 204 - Chad Bird : Upside-Down Spirituality - The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life

Apr 19, 2019 2074


Martin Luther said that God loves to hide himself behind his opposites. Though we prove time and again to think we need to strive and succeed so that we might be found acceptable by God or, in succeeding, find God in God's glory, the God who condescends to us in the suffering Christ never stops so condescending, meeting us not in our triumphs but in our struggles, suffering, and failures. Friend of the podcast Chad Bird, is back to talk about his new book Upside Down Spirituality: The Nine Essential Failures of a Faithful Life.

Episode 203 - Carrie Willard : Those Damn Lilies

Apr 12, 2019 2374


Episode 202 - David Zahl : Seculosity

Apr 5, 2019 2500


Calvin said the human heart is an idol factory. Augustine said our hearts are restless until they find rest in God. DZ of Mockingbird Ministries and the author of the new book, Seculosity, says we’re more religious than ever before we’re church “in church” in different ways (love, politics, parenting, technology, fitness) searching for “enoughness” from gods that, without the promise of grace, cannot bestow it. Check out his work at and grab a copy of his book over at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Episode 201 - Jerry Herships: Rogue Saints

Mar 29, 2019 2236


Jerry Herships joins the podcast to talk about his newest book, 'Rogue Saints: Spirituality for Good-Hearted Heathens.' In this episode, we talk about what exactly Jerry means by "shitty church," if you are looking for a church how you can avoid one, and if you are a pastor how you can avoid pastoring one. --------------- More on the book: The world is full of good-hearted heathens, those who love people and those who want to do good in the world. They're not against God--they just have little use for church. Church is boring and hypocritical. Plus, who wants to sit through a sermon every week? But while organized religion doesn't appeal to them, these heathens long for a connection to something bigger than themselves: meaning, community, mission. --------------- Jerry Herships is the founding pastor of After Hours Denver, a faith community of rebels and misfits that meets in dives and pubs to talk God and the Holy over drinks while making PB&Js to pass out to the hungry and homeless of downtown Denver. A former bartender turned comedian, Herships was drawn into ministry after realizing that the connections and conversations he had with his customers were deeper and more real than anything he'd ever experienced in church. He is the author of Last Call: From Serving Drinks to Serving Jesus.

Episode 200 - Guy Talk

Mar 22, 2019 2354


200 Episodes!!! Say what?!? Listen as the guys take a trip down memory lane to talk about their favorite episodes, their white whale guests and what's to come for the podcast Crackers and Grape Juice!

Episode 199 - Barbara Brown Taylor: Holy Envy

Mar 15, 2019 2594


Jason crushes on his hero Barbara Brown Taylor while talking with her about her new book, Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others. The author of previous books like the Preaching Life and Leaving Church, Baylor University recognized Taylor as one of the most influential preachers in the English language.

Episode 198 - Mandy McDow: Being A Christian Doesn’t Mean Obsessing Over Someone Else’s Sexuality

Mar 8, 2019 2386


Now that the sting of the UMC Special General Conference is lessening, what is next? How can those who are dissatisfied with the work done by the delegates in St Louis organize and be better prepared for GC2020? Rev. Mandy Sloan McDow is the Senior Minister at First United Methodist Church in LA and is the co-author of the forthcoming book, 'Out of the Depths: Your Companion After Divorce.' Follower her on Twitter -

Episode 197: Emma Green — Because Beth Moore is Their Pastor (GC2019)

Mar 1, 2019 2013


The podcast team caught up with Emma Green to talk about the implications of what occurred at the Special General Conference in St. Louis. Emma argues the storyline coming out of #GC2019 is a common storyline being experience throughout the United States: a breakdown or inability to live in community with people who we disagree with. This struggle to maintain community is causing fracture throughout institutions that once held up our communities. Emma Green is a staff writer at ​The Atlantic, where she covers politics, policy, and religion.

Voices of the General Conference - Christy Thomas: Debriefed in St. Louis

Feb 27, 2019 4124


By a slim margin the 'traditional plan' was selected to be the way forward for the United Methodist Church. Disciplinary action against LGBTQIA clergy will be swifter and without the benefit of due process. In all reality, the plan selected by the Special General Conference does not meet the UMC's constitutional requirements. Just an hour after the Special General Conference was adjourned, Crackers & Grape Juice sat down with our favorite thoughtful pastor, Christy Thomas, the debrief and talk about what is next as the UMC becomes more divided, and LGBTQIA persons are delivered a legislative knife in the back.

Episode 196 - Diana Butler Bass: Birthing Something New (Live: GC2019)

Feb 26, 2019 3569


The team caught up with Diana Butler Bass on the eve of the conclusion of the UMC's Special General Conference. She offers thoughts about the historical and theological significance of a denomination's discernment over human sexuality.

Voices of the General Conference – Jeff Mullinix and Steve Shamblin-Mullinix: You Are a Beloved Child of God

Feb 25, 2019 1689


In an effort to provide honest conversations from the 2019 Special General Conference, the Crackers & Grape Juice team invited supporters of all of the plans being considered by the United Methodist Church’s governing body to explain why the plan they support is the correct plan. Former alumni of Bob Jones University and current members of the West-Ohio Conference, Rev. Jeff Mullinix and Steve Shamblin-Mullinix share their thoughts on the Special UMC General Conference, recalling their calling into ministry and forced removal because of their sexual identity.

Voices of the General Conference - Christy Thomas: How is it with your soul?

Feb 25, 2019 1889


In an effort to provide honest conversations from the 2019 Special General Conference, the Crackers & Grape Juice team invited supporters of all of the plans being considered by the United Methodist Church’s governing body to explain why the plan they support is the correct plan. Rev. Christy Thomas, author of the Thoughtful Pastor blog, offers her reflections after Day 2 of the Special 2019 General Conference of the United Methodist Church. Christy has been a vocal advocate for the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the UMC.

Let's Talk About The Future - (Live: GC2019 Day 2 Debrief)

Feb 25, 2019 778


The team sat down to talk about day two from the Special General Conference in St. Louis...

Voices of the General Conference - Mark Tooley

Feb 25, 2019 1227


In an effort to provide honest conversations from the 2019 Special General Conference, the Crackers & Grape Juice team invited supporters of all of the plans being considered by the United Methodist Church’s governing body to explain why the plan they support is the correct plan. Mark Tooley explains why the Traditional Plan from the Commission on the Way Forward is the best plan to help the United Methodist Church move forward in this ongoing conversation about human sexuality. Mark Tooley is an American Methodist layman and writer. He is a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, who became president of the Washington-D.C. based Institute on Religion and Democracy, in 2009, a conservative religious think tank noted for its opposition to religious and social liberalism.

Voices of the General Conference - Anna Golladay: See the Humanity

Feb 24, 2019 1015


If an effort to provide honest conversations from the 2019 Special General Conference, the Crackers & Grape Juice team invited supporters of all of the plans being considered by the United Methodist Church’s governing body to explain why the plan they support is the correct plan. Anna Golladay was removed from her appointment because she officiated a same-sex wedding. She has traveled to St Louis for the called General Conference as a lay observer, present to ensure the LGBTQ voices in her Bible-belt community are not ignored as the United Methodist Church meets to find a way forward.

Rumors! - (Live: GC 2019 Day 2 Update)

Feb 24, 2019 253


The team talks about the early legislative session from Day 2 of General Conference 2019 as we prepare for the first debates about the proposed plans from The Way Forward.

Episode 195 - Will Willimon: Keep On Muddling (Live: GC 2019)

Feb 24, 2019 1741


The team had a chance to sit down with Bishop Will Willimon to talk about the Special General Conference, hopes, challenges, and the call to keep muddling.

Episode 194 - Love Will Tear Us Apart (Live: GC 2019)

Feb 24, 2019 1641


Why do I get the feeling like we're on the Titanic and we're all acting like Billy Zane? The team from C&GJ is in St. Louis for the United Methodist Church's Special General Conference on human sexuality and this is the first of many uploads about our experience.

Episode 193 - Professor John Goldingay: The First Testament; A New Translation

Feb 22, 2019 1999


Professor John Goldingay has Old Testament at Fuller Seminary and now at Oxford. His most recent work is his translation of the Old Testament.

Episode 192 - Bishop Andy Doyle: The Jesus Heist

Feb 15, 2019 2536


Andy Doyle is the Episcopal bishop of Texas and the author of numerous books including his most recent work, The Jesus Heist.

Episode 191 - Jason Micheli: Cancer is (Still) Funny,: The Paperback Version

Feb 8, 2019 1611


Jason wrote a book. It's out in paperback. Do him a solid and buy a copy for 10 of your favorite people. He'll be eternally grateful. This is not a book for people who have cancer. This is a book for people who are mortal. --Brian Zahnd, Pastor of Word of Life Church

Episode 190 - Martin Doblmeier: Backs Against The Wall - The Howard Thurman Story

Feb 1, 2019 2322


This week the award-winning director and founder of Journey Films, Martin Doblimeier is back to talk about his newest film, Backs Against The Wall: The Howard Thurman Story. Listen as he talks about how the life of theologian, philosopher and civil rights activist, Howard Thurman is relevant and important for today's culture.

Episode 189 - Christy Thomas: I Do Believe The Gospel Will Survive

Jan 25, 2019 2624


This one is a great episode even if it’s a little Methodist-centric. In advance of the Special Sex Conference in St. Louis, Teer and Jason talk with journalist, blogger (The Thoughtful Christian), and former UMC pastor Christy Thomas. Christy breaks down the various proposals before the UMC regarding sexuality, why the Traditionalist Plan is the Mean Girl Plan, and why there’s no future for Teer in the UMC.

Episode 188 - Rolf Jacobson: Israel's In Your Face God

Jan 18, 2019 2493


Ever get confused about the Old Testament? Listen to professor, banjo player, and author of the new book Old Testament: Israel's In Your Face God talk about his new guide through the Old Testament.

Episode 187 - Amy Julia Becker: White Picket Fences

Jan 12, 2019 2337


Episode 186- Jonathan Walton: Lies that Hold America Captive and the Truth that Sets Us Free

Jan 4, 2019 2552


Jonathan is a director for InterVarsity Chrisian Fellowship in NYC. He was named one of Christianity Today’s 33 Under 33 and has published 3 books of poetry.

Episode 185- Fridays with Fleming: Christmas Comes in a Burst

Dec 24, 2018 2749


As Advent turns Christmas, Fleming and Jason talk about Christmas coming in a burst, the light shining most bright in the world’s darkness, and the need for white Christians to listen to the experience of black Christians. The audio is a little wonky in the beginning on her end...bear with it. It’s worth it. Merry Christmas!

Episode 184 - Do You Hear What We Hear? (A Christmas Special)

Dec 21, 2018 2014


Merry Christmas! In this episode we bring you some of our favorite Christmas songs and thoughts about what they mean to us. Songs: The Oh Hello's - Cold Is The Night Tom Waits - Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis The Washington Chorus - The Dream Isaiah Saw Nat King Cole - O Holy Night Sufjan Stevens - Christmas Unicorn

Advent Special Episode - Matt Milliner: Mother of the Debilitated God

Dec 21, 2018 2630


To close out the Advent season, Teer and Jason talk with Dr. Matt Milliner, professor of Art History at Wheaton College, about the Mother of God, finding the subversive IN the tradition, and how God debilitates himself to show us how he loves us. No matter what. Merry Christmas from the gang at Crackers and Grape Juice.

Episode 183 - Jeff Mallinson: Hairy Palms

Dec 14, 2018 2411


Jason and Teer dive into Dr. Jeff Mallinson's book Sexy: The Quest for Erotic Virtue in Perplexing Times. Listen as they talk about the effects of purity culture and how Jeff counters that in his new book.

Episode 182 - Friday's With Fleming: Part 2, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ

Dec 7, 2018 1628


Part 2 of Jason's conversation with fan favorite, Reverend Fleming Rutledge, to talk about her latest book, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ. To dig more into her book and themes, go to to subscribe to C&GJ’s daily Advent devotional.

Advent Special: Unpacking the Stained Glass Language of the Season with Scott Jones

Dec 4, 2018 1748


Friend of the podcast, fellow Princeton alum, and host of the New Persuasive Words podcast, Scott Jones joined Jason for a quick run down unpacking the stained glass language readers have encountered during our daily devotional series “Advent Begins in the Dark,” which you can subscribed to at

Episode 181- Fridays with Fleming - Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ

Nov 30, 2018 1470


Jason sat down with fan favorite, Reverend Fleming Rutledge, to talk about her latest book, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ. To dig more into her book and themes, go to to subscribe to C&GJ’s daily Advent devotional.

Episode 180 - Christian Piatt: Surviving the Bible Part Deux

Nov 23, 2018 2728


Christian Piatt returns to the podcast to talk about the latest installation in his Surviving the Bible series. Christian is: A Contributor to the Huffington Post; A Blogger for Patheos; A Contributor to Red Letter Christians; A Contributor to The Ooze, and; A Contributor to Burnside Writers Collective, among others. Connect with Christian on Twitter or Facebook for the latest news and updates, or contact Christian for more information about his services. From the publisher - A lot of us have tried to read the Bible. And we've failed. Christian Piatt has too. But now, using the annual lectionary as his guide, he has put together a devotional that allows us to read through major parts of the Old and New Testaments and finally understand them in plain English. Every week has several Scripture readings, explanations of confusing terms, a story, a deeper dive into interesting themes, and a closing prayer. You can use it as a weekly study or browse a thematic list for something you're curious about. It's an ideal resource to use with a friend or small group, but it's set up to be accessed by anyone who has enough curiosity, openness, and desire to grow. Start anywhere. Set it down and come back to it. There's no "wrong way" to use Surviving the Bible. Engage ancient texts in new ways that make sense, here and now, maybe for the first time. Any way you use it, it's sure to challenge and inspire.

Episode 179 - Scot McKnight: It Takes a Church to Baptize

Nov 16, 2018 2405


Scot McKnight joins the show to talk about his latest book, 'It Takes a Church to Baptize' From the back jacket - The issue of baptism has troubled Protestants for centuries. Should infants be baptized before their faith is conscious, or does God command the baptism of babies whose parents have been baptized? Popular New Testament scholar Scot McKnight makes a biblical case for infant baptism, exploring its history, meaning, and practice and showing that infant baptism is the most historic Christian way of forming children into the faith. He explains that the church's practice of infant baptism developed straight from the Bible and argues that it must begin with the family and then extend to the church. Baptism is not just an individual profession of faith: it takes a family and a church community to nurture a child into faith over time. McKnight explains infant baptism for readers coming from a tradition that baptizes adults only, and he counters criticisms that fail to consider the role of families in the formation of faith. The book includes a foreword by Todd Hunter and an afterword by Gerald McDermott.

Episode 178- Addison Hodges Hart :James; A Pastor's Commentary

Nov 9, 2018 2780


Addison Hart joins the podcast to talk about his latest book, 'The Letter of James: A Pastoral Commentary'. From the back cover: The Letter of James is perhaps needed more than ever today. In this commentary, Hart argues that the epistle is indeed the work of James of Jerusalem, “the brother of the Lord,” that it was an encyclical letter, and that its chief concern was to combat a distorted version of Paul’s gospel. It is a work with a singular purpose: to bring the churches back to the most basic teachings of Jesus. In its defense of orthopraxy as the primary Christian standard, its denunciation of those with wealth who exploit or neglect the poor, its hard words for those who have taken on the mantel of “teacher” without first learning to restrain their tongues, and above all its exhortation to relearn the truth that “faith without works [of love] is dead,” James could be talking to churches in our own time. This commentary presents James afresh, as a living guide with a perennial message for those who seek to follow Jesus. It is pastoral in intent, written for those who teach and preach, those who desire a more authentic discipleship, and those who practice lectio divina—the meditative reading of Scripture. _____________________ Addison Hodges Hart is a retired priest (of both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches, M.Div.), former college chaplain for Northern Illinois University, teacher, spiritual director, and former ecumenical/interfaith director (for the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois). He is the author of six previous books, published by Eerdmans, the most recent being The Ox-Herder and the Good Shepherd: Finding Christ on the Buddha's Path (2013), Strangers and Pilgrims Once More: Being Disciples of Jesus in a Post-Christendom World (2014), and The Woman, the Hour, and the Garden: A Study of Imagery in the Gospel of John (2016). He currently lives with his wife in Norway, along with two Newfoundland dogs, a herd of cats, and some goats.

Episode 177 - Austin Fischer: Faith in the Shadows

Nov 2, 2018 2801


The intersection of faith and doubt is viewed either as a badge of honor for some Christians but for others, doubt has no place. In his new book, 'Faith in the Shadows: Finding Christ in the Midst of Doubt,' pastor and author Austin Fischer explores this intersection, drawing on his own experience as a doubting pastor. Austin Fischer is the Teaching Pastor at Vista Community Church. His first book – 'Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed' - was published by Wipf & Stock in January 2014. He writes and speaks and you can follow him on Twitter @austintfischer. www.

Episode 176 - Ruben Rosario Rodriguez: Dogmatics After Babel

Oct 26, 2018 3896


Episode 175 - Charlotte Getz & Stephanie Phillips: Unmapped

Oct 19, 2018 2357


Two longtime Mockingbird writers, Charlotte Getz and Stephanie Phillips, have written a book that features a patchwork of personal essays, pocket liturgies, and pseudo-fictional plays, and not a dull moment between them. Stephanie Phillips and Charlotte Getz never expected to raise their families anywhere but home, in the American South. But then…life happened. Quirky, hilarious, and (mostly) true, UNMAPPED is the tale of two long-distance friends who found home—together and apart—in unexpected exile. This spiritual memoir duet is unlike anything you’ve ever read.

Episode 174 - Luke Norsworthy: God Over Good

Oct 12, 2018 3454


Luke Norsworthy is known for a few things: amazing hair, a CrossFit body most dads dream of, and a keen awareness that what we say about God has implications that go beyond the cliché. In his new book, 'God Over Good,' Luke explores what it means to save your faith by letting go of the expectations we place on God. An excerpt from the book: "God doesn't always seem to be what we would call good. A good father wouldn't make it so difficult to get to know him, would he? And if God is all-powerful, wouldn't God ensure that we never suffer? Either our understanding of God is incorrect, or our definition of good is inadequate. In a world that is messy and a church that is imperfect, it's easy to let our faith be lost. But that doesn't mean we have to lose God. It means we must consider that perhaps our idealized expectations are wrong. With transparency about his own struggles with cynicism and doubt, pastor Luke Norsworthy will help you trade your confinement of God to an anemic definition of good for confidence in the God who is present in everything." uke Norsworthy (MDiv, Abilene Christian University) is the senior pastor of the 1,500-member Westover Hills Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. A frequent speaker at universities, retreats, and conferences, he is the host of the popular Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast on which he has rubbed shoulders with some of the brightest and most prominent voices in theology, including N. T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, Mirsolav Volf, Walter Brueggemann, John Ortberg, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three daughters.

Episode 173 - Natasha Robinson: A Sojourners' Truth

Oct 5, 2018 2921


Natasha S. Robinson joins the podcast to talk about her new book, 'A Sojourner's Truth.' Natasha is a Naval Academy graduate, served in the United States Marine Corps, was the Senior Diversity Admissions Counselor in the Office of Admissions at the Naval Academy, and is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Charlotte. The journey of one of us is the journey of all of us. In these pages we are drawn into the journey of a young African American girl from South Carolina to the United States Naval Academy and then into a calling as a speaker, mentor, writer, and teacher. Intertwined with Natasha Sistrunk Robinson's story is the story of Moses, a young leader who was born into a marginalized people group, resisted injustices of Pharaoh, denied the power of Egypt, and trusted God even when he did not fully understand or know where he was going. Along the way we courageously explore the spiritual and physical tensions of truth-telling, character and leadership development, and bridge building across racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender lines. You are invited to bring along your story as well - to discover your own identity, explore your truth-revealing moments, to live unafraid, and to gain a deeper sense of purpose.

Episode 172 - Lisa Cressman: Backstory Preaching

Sep 28, 2018 2789


Everyone has a backstory, and for preachers, that backstory sets the stage for preaching. Lisa Cressman is the author of 'Backstory Preaching: Integrating Life, Spirituality, and Craft' (The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, 2018), and Craft an Effective Sermon by Friday, (, a guest preacher, preaching instructor, and speaker. Lisa is a Certified Daring Way® Facilitator, holds a BS in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA., and a D.Min. in Practical Theology from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN.

Episode 171 - Parker Palmer: If It's Good Enough For Jesus...

Sep 21, 2018 3016


In this episode Jason talks with Parker Palmer about his new book On The Brink Of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old. In addition to the book they talk about a number of other subjects including community organizing during social unrest, incarnation politics, and treating depression with medication.

Episode 170 - Rolf Jacobson: Law vs. Gospel & the Community of Care

Sep 14, 2018 3044


I met Dr. Rolf Jacobson at the Festival of Homiletics where, eavesdropping on me preaching, he said I sounded more Protestant than any of his students at Luther Seminary. You can check out his sermon here. Dr. Jacobson is the author of Crazy Talk and hosts his own lectionary-based podcast as well. In this episode, he and I talk about the distinction between the Law and the Gospel as a particular emphasis of the Protestant Reformation as well as the role of the Psalms in shaping prayer and giving voice to our emotions before God. In particular, we talk about suffering, his own journey with cancer that’s left him withouth his legs, and the church as a community of care.

Episode 169 - Johanna Hartelius: Preaching from the Pew

Sep 7, 2018 2944


Dr. Johanna Hartelius, host of the (Her)Men*You*Tics podcast, offers her 3 do's and don'ts of preaching. Johanna has a Ph.D. in communication/rhetoric from the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in digital rhetoric, public discourse analysis/criticism, political communication, professional communication skills.

Episode 168 - John Nugent: The Proper Sense of Prophetic

Aug 31, 2018 2510


“Protest that precedes prayer is theologically disordered. “It’s pastorally cruel to exhort unbelievers who do not have the gift of the Holy Spirit to live up to the standards of our baptismal covenant.” ”There’s no urgency in either Testament for God’s People to get involved in the politics of the Principalities and Powers.” John Nugent is professor of Old Testament at Great Lake Christian College and the author of Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church.

Episode 167 - The Elephant in the Room

Aug 24, 2018 1220


A conversation between Teer & Taylor about Taylor's sermon, "The Elephant in the Room" which can be found in the #1 New Release, 'I Like Big Buts.'

Episode 166 - Kendall Soulen & Johanna Hartelius: Names Are Verbal Sacraments

Aug 17, 2018 1246


During our recent live podcast event in Hampton, Virginia we were able to open the space up for questions to our guests Dr. Johanna Hartelius and Dr. Kendall Soulen. In their responses they address kinship language, the fullness of God, proper names, true freedom, and what it means to be the church.

Episode 165 - Kendall Soulen and Johanna Hartelius: We Are God's Echo

Aug 10, 2018 2970


The team hosted a live podcast in Hampton, Virginia and invited Dr. Kendall Soulen and Dr. Johanna Hartelius to join us for a conversation about what we talk about when we talk about God. During the first part of the evening we covered a range of topics including the Doxology, the 10 Questions from Inside The Actor's Studio, theological grammar, the power of words, gendered pronouns, the challenge of active listening, and co-opted speech. Our next next episode will include the Q&A portion of the live event.

Episode 164 - Mark Galli: It Can't Be From The Devil If It Feels So Good

Aug 3, 2018 2641


Mark Galli is the editor in chief at Christianity Today and he recently published a book entitled Karl Barth: An Introductory Biography for Evangelicals. Jason was able to sit down with Mark to talk about the book and in particular the effects of Barth's Romans, the errancy of scripture, moving from the pulpit to the classroom, and weakness in American preaching.

Episode 163 - Patton Dodd & Jana Riess: A New, Old Way To Pray

Jul 27, 2018 1773


In this episode Taylor talks with 2/3 of the writers of The Prayer Wheel (Patton Dodd and Jana Riess). In 2015 a group of rare manuscripts went on display in New York and inside the front cover was a very well worn prayer wheel. Their book unpacks the discovery of the medieval prayer wheel and how it can speak prayerful disciplines into our lives today.

Episode 162 - The Thing NO ONE Wants to Talk About

Jul 20, 2018 1838


What happens when an entire denomination struggles with language regarding human sexuality and three pastors try to ask questions?

Episode 161 - Words and Buts Are Necessary

Jul 16, 2018 1548


Taylor talks with Teer about a sermon Teer contributed to the newly released book from Crackers and Grape Juice. 'I Like Big Buts' is a collection of reflections and sermon from the C&GJ team on Paul's letter to Rome. In this episode Taylor and Teer discussion Teer's sermon "Words Are Always Necessary" From the back cover: It is in Romans that Paul reveals that he is convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor demons nor the present or future—really not anything or any power in all of creation—can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus ([8:38]). And even pithier—I love this one especially—Paul assures us in Romans that if God is for us, who could be against us? ([8:31]).

Episode 160 - I Like Big Buts

Jul 13, 2018 1647


It is in Romans that Paul reveals that he is convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor demons nor the present or future—really not anything or any power in all of creation—can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus ([8:38]). And even pithier—I love this one especially—Paul assures us in Romans that if God is for us, who could be against us? ([8:31]). In this collection of sermons, you’ll find three United Methodist pastors doing what pastors do, sharing the good news. And trying to help us members of the laity get a healthy dose of some blessed catechism. The book is available in paperback or as an ebook. By purchasing the book you help us keep the conversation about faith without stained-glass language flowing.

Episode 159 - Ken Jones: We're All Babylon

Jul 6, 2018 3043


In this episode Jason Micheli talks with Ken Jones, the pastor of Glendale Missionary Baptist Church in Miami, Florida and the co-host of the radio show "The White Horse Inn." They cover a number of subjects including the Scofield Bible, grace over race, serving a church in Compton, the folly of institutional diversity, peculiar speech, and unhealthy alliances.

Episode 158 - We Don't Know What We Don't Know

Jun 29, 2018 1845


Taylor and Teer got together to record an episode shortly before our last live event. Their conversation covers a range of topics including steep learning curves, the challenges of regular preaching, pastoral transitions, the intersection of politics and theology, faithful hospitality, proper boundaries, ecclesial whiplash, sleeping in church, and what it's like to work with the Tamed Cynic (Jason Micheli).

Episode 157 - Erin McKenney: The Bible Is a Story of Immigration

Jun 22, 2018 2525


For Episode #157, we talked with Erin McKenney who is the Executive Director of Just Neighbors, a legal aid and advocacy organization for immigrants in the DC-Northern Virginia Region. We talked to Erin amidst the furor over the administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the border. Erin helps us think about the issue of immigration from a broader systemic perspective as well as biblically in a way that, I think, moves beyond headline hyperbole and avoids perpetuating the cultural antagonisms of Red vs. Blue. 

Episode 156 - Faithful and Fractured

Jun 15, 2018 1885


If its true that clergy suffer from certain health issues at a rate higher than the general population, the why are pastors in such poor health? And what can be done to help them step into the abundant life God desires for them? We tackle these questions and more with the co-authors of Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis, Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, and Jason Byassee. From the book - "Although anecdotal observations about poor clergy health abound, concrete data from multiple sources supporting this claim hasn't been made accessible--until now. Duke's Clergy Health Initiative (CHI), a major, decade-long research project, provides a true picture of the clergy health crisis over time and demonstrates that improving the health of pastors is possible. Bringing together the best in social science and medical research, this book quantifies the poor health of clergy with theological engagement. Although the study focused on United Methodist ministers, the authors interpret CHI's groundbreaking data for a broad ecumenical readership. In addition to physical health, the book examines mental health and spiritual well-being, and suggests that increasing positive mental health may prevent future physical and mental health problems for clergy. Concrete suggestions tailored to clergy are woven throughout the book."

Episode 155 - Robert Hudson: The Monk's Record Player

Jun 8, 2018 2692


Jason has a conversation with Robert Hudson about his book The Monk's Record Player. They discuss the connections between Bob Dylan's music and Thomas Merton's spirituality in addition to debating whether or not engaging with the wider world is a greater challenge today than ever because we're never really alone.

Episode 154 - One Journey

May 29, 2018 1763


What if we told you 1/123 people were displaced refugees? What if we told you that means there are 65 million people displaced today? Would that have an impact and change the way you think of refugees? Teer had a chance to interview the co-chairs of the One Journey Festival Wendy Chan and Vanda Berninger. They talk refugees, messy book shelves, and why you need to attend the One Journey Festival on June 2 at the National Cathedral.

Episode 153 - Connor Gwin: Doubt is the New Authenticity

May 25, 2018 2307


Teer and Jason talk with Episcopal priest, school chaplain, and Mockingbird writer Connor Gwin about deconstruction, doubt vs. faith vs. authenticity, Stan the Man, formation, and life after near death.

Happy Strangely Warmed Day!

May 24, 2018 158


Happy Strangely Warmed Day!

Episode 152 - Teer, Taylor, Jason, and Johanna: The End Is Music

May 18, 2018 4144


The team got together, in person, to record an episode about music and how it moves us. We talk about a bunch of bands including John Prine, Sufjan Stevens, Radiohead, the North Mississippi Allstars, and more.

Episode 151 - Andy Crouch: Definitely Not Amish

May 11, 2018 2157


Jason was fortunate to have a conversation with Andy Crouch about his book The Tech-Wise Family. Their conversation covers scope of Crouch's book and it includes thoughts on intentional parenting, technology as the framework of the world, pharmaceuticals as idolatry, password sharing, and much more.

Special Announcement - What We Talk About When We Talk About God

May 8, 2018 363


On June 14th, 2018 the team behind Crackers & Grape Juice will be hosting a live event in Hampton, VA. We will be at Bull Island Brewing Company from 6pm - 9pm with special guests to talk about faith and theology without using stained glass language. The event is free (!) and you can learn more at

Episode 150 - Brad Todd: Great Revolt

May 4, 2018 2717


Veteran Republican strategist Brad Todd joined Teer and Jason to talk about a book he co-wrote with syndicated columnist and CNN contributor Salena Zito. 'The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics,'is an in-depth examination of the 2016 presidential election. Brad and Selena examine the why and how of the outcome of the election and then look to how 2016 will influence elections to come. Playing a big role in all of this was Trump's conservative-evangelical base. What does this mean for Christian influencers and candidates in elections to come? That and more on this episode of Crackers and Grape Juice. From the publisher - The Great Revolt delves deep into the minds and hearts of the voters the make up this coalition. What emerges is a group of citizens who cannot be described by terms like "angry," "male," "rural," or the often-used "racist." They span job descriptions, income brackets, education levels, and party allegiances. What unites them is their desire to be part of a movement larger than themselves that puts pragmatism before ideology, localism before globalism, and demands the respect it deserves from Washington.

Episode 149 - Tony Jones: Reverend Hunter

Apr 27, 2018 2522


In a culture where guns are such a fraught and divisive issue, Tony brings his life experience, passion, and theological lens to the subject. Check out his hunting blog -

Episode 148 - Sarah Condon: That's Nice

Apr 20, 2018 3103


Rev. Sarah Condon joins the podcast to talk about progressive Christianity, hitting television preachers with cafeteria trays, and explains how she's experienced God's grace while serving as a hospital chaplain. Sarah is a frequent contributor to Mockingbird, a ministry that seeks to connect the Christian faith with realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways. She is also the author of 'Churchy.'

Episode 147 - David Bentley Hart: The Gloves Come Off

Apr 13, 2018 3784


What happens when you read the Easter story in the present tense? What can we learn about Paul's personality in the original Greek? Who put together the worst translation of the New Testament? These questions and more on this episode of Crackers and Grape Juice with David Bentley Hart.

Episode 146 - David Finnegan-Hosey: Christ on the Psych Ward

Apr 6, 2018 3313


Sharing from his own journey, David Finnegan-Hosey puts into words how faith communities can be present alongside those suffering from mental illness and crises in 'Christ on the Psych Ward.' David Finnegan-Hosey currently serves as a chaplain-in-residence at Georgetown University, having previously worked with campus ministries at American University and the University of Hawaii. He holds an M.Div from Wesley Theological Seminary. In 2011, David was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a series of psychiatric hospitalizations. He now speaks and writes about the intersections among mental illness, mental health, and faith. You can read more of his writing on his blog, Foolish Hosey. David lives in Washington, DC with his wife Leigh and their dog Penny Lane.

Episode 145 - Amy Butler: God and Guns

Mar 30, 2018 2368


Gun violence has increased exponentially in the United States. Can the church play a role in making not only our communities safer but also in thinking theologically about violence, guns, and our calling to live as disciples of Jesus Christ? Pastor Amy Butler is the seventh Senior Minister and the first woman to serve at the helm of the Riverside Church in New York City. She holds degrees from Baylor University, the International Baptist Theological Seminary, and Wesley Theological Seminary. Follow Pastor Amy on her blog or on social media @PastorAmyTRC.

Episode 144 - Chad Bird: Your God is Too Glorious

Mar 23, 2018 2559


In this episode, Jason talks with Chad Bird about his two new books Night Driving and You're God is Too Glorious. An Old Testament PhD and one-time Lutheran Pastor, Chad Bird is a Texas oil-truck driver and prodigal son who knows first hand that the Father's love comes by way of the cross.

Episode 143 - Mark Mattes: Luther's Theology of Beauty (?)

Mar 16, 2018 2352


Dr. Mark Mattes teaches at Grand View University in Iowa. His latest book is Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty. In this episode, we talk about the kenotic love of Christ poured out upon the Cross as the definition of Beauty and the beautiful for the Christian life. Referring to his recent essay in the book The Necessary Distinction, we also discuss how Wesleyans like us Crackers can reconcile 'perfection' with Martin's 'simul.'

Episode 142 - Andy Root: Obsessed With Growing Young

Mar 9, 2018 3166


Joined by Rev. Drew Colby, Teer and Jason interview Dr. Andy Root of Luther Seminary and author of "Faith Formation in a Secular Age: Responding to the Church's Obsession with Youthfulness."

Episode 141 - Mark Lilla: After Identity Politics

Mar 3, 2018 2373


"If progressives want to advance their agenda, they need to relearn how to win elections." In this episode, taped back in the late summer, I talk with Dr. Mark Lilla about his book The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics. Mark Lilla is Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and a prizewinning essayist for the New York Review of Books and other publications worldwide. His books include The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics; The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction; The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West; and The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. VISIT MARKLILLA.COM.

Episode 140 - Chester Johnson: Auden, the Psalms and Me

Feb 23, 2018 3465


One of the members for the retranslation of the Psalms in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, J Chester Johnson shares his experience of not only interpreting the Psalms but also how this poetic form of scripture still speaks for the church today.

Episode 139 - Chaim Saiman: Fact Checking Star Wars

Feb 16, 2018 2833


Jason and Taylor have a conversation with Chaim Saiman about his viral article for The Atlantic titled Why The Last Jedi Is More Spiritual Than Religious. Chaim is a Law Professor at Villanova University and is interested in the intersection between law and faith. The conversation covers a range of topics including Jesus and the Law, growing up in the bible belt, the First Commandment, Jesus as the proto-Christian, the religiosity of Star Wars, and how our faiths and cultures are tied together.

Bonus Live Episode - Teer, Taylor and Jason: You Deserve To Die

Feb 15, 2018 729


The guys talk about Ash Wednesday, Lent, mortality, and repentance.

Bonus Crossover Episode - Johanna, Jason, and Taylor: The Word Made Verb

Feb 13, 2018 2664


Johanna, Jason, and Taylor talk about scripture and the season of Lent on this bonus crossover episode.

Episode 138 - Christy Thomas: Trumping the UMC

Feb 9, 2018 3514


Does the UMC need a Donald Trump to emerge, willing to disrupt the status quo? Can the UMC move beyond the debate of human sexuality, which is really a debate over power and money, and live into is mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?

Episode 137 - Rob Lee: A Sin By Any Other Name

Feb 2, 2018 2282


Rev. Rob Lee announces his recently signed book deal exclusively with Crackers & Grape Juice. Rob opens up about the new role he finds himself in as a public theologian as well as what he has learned about race in America traveling and preaching at churches he once never dreamed of preaching in.

Episode 136 - Tommie Marshell: Backsliding

Jan 26, 2018 1799


Growing up as a PK and being the spouse of someone who has worked in the local church, Tommie Marshall knows what its like not only for those in ministry but also knows the toll the calling to ministry takes on a family. In her new podcast, Backsliding, she explores the questions she, and others, have felt unable to ask of their pastors or of their neighbor in the pew. Subscribe to Backsliding and show some love:

Episode 135 - Gratitude for S-Holes: Diana Butler Bass

Jan 19, 2018 2131


Diana Butler Bass opens up about s-holes like Nazareth and gratitude while co-preaching with Teer and Jason.

Episode 134 - Jason, Teer, and Taylor: 2017 Year In Review

Jan 12, 2018 1392


Jason, Teer, and Taylor sat down to reflect on the interviews from 2017. The conversation covers a range of topics including bad episode titles, District Superintendents, Bishops, blowing up the UMC, final interviews, controversial topics, Jason's nerves, and the Beyoncé of Anglicanism.

Episode 133 - Greg Horton: ExPastor

Jan 5, 2018 2768


Jason's conversation with ExPastor, Greg Horton.

Episode 132 - Josh Larsen: Movies Are Prayers

Dec 29, 2017 3403


In this episode Jason Micheli has a conversation with Josh Larsen about his book Movies Are Prayers: How Films Voice Our Deepest Longings. Josh is also the host of the radio show and podcast Filmspotting and is an editor and film reviewer at Think Christian, an online faith and culture magazine. Their conversation also covers reflections on the death of Sam Shepard, the use of creativity, Christian approaches to film, praying with images, and why Wes Anderson is the best.

Episode 131 - Tripp Fuller & Diana Butler Bass: Advent Q&A [Live]

Dec 23, 2017 1301


The Crackers & Grape Juice team hosted a live podcast event where we invited Tripp Fuller and Diana Butler Bass to offer thoughts about the 1st and 2nd Advents. In this episode Tripp and Diana respond to questions from the live audience including: Why is the 2nd Advent necessary? Why is Advent important for white people in a world full of racial inequality? What's right with the church? Also, the episode ends with a Christmas sing-a-long led by Tripp...

Episode 130 - Diana Butler Bass: Advent Longing [Live]

Dec 22, 2017 1770


The Crackers & Grape Juice team hosted a live podcast event where we invited Tripp Fuller and Diana Butler Bass to offer thoughts about the 1st and 2nd Advents. In this episode Diana reflects on the announcement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the importance of the 2nd Advent, Divine vs. Human Agency, and how to teach our kids about the already but not yet of God's Advent.

Episode 129 - Tripp Fuller: Make Advent Great Again [Live]

Dec 21, 2017 2151


The Crackers & Grape Juice team hosted a live podcast event where we invited Tripp Fuller and Diana Butler Bass to offer thoughts about the 1st and 2nd Advents. In this episode Tripp reflects on what it means to Make Advent Great Again, the inherent politics of Advent, the virgin birth, and how to teach children about the importance of this liturgical season.

Episode 128 - Why Did Jesus Come?

Dec 21, 2017 3524


Tim Keller caused a stir this week on Twitter when he wrote, "Jesus didn't come primarily to solve the economic, political, and social problems of the world. He came to forgive our sins." Did Jesus come to save us from our sin? Was the purpose of the incarnation to correct the economic, political, and social problems of the world?

Episode 127 - David French: Evangelicals, Where Is Your Faith

Dec 12, 2017 3989


With the soon to be election day dilemma for conservative evangelicals across Alabama, David French questions where the faith of evangelicals has gone. In this episode, Teer and Jason interview French discussing trends in media and entertainment in the era of Trump, the evangelical dilemma, and the negative polarization of America.

Episode 126 - Christian Piatt: Surviving the Bible

Dec 8, 2017 2878


Reading the Bible does not have to suck. That might sound like news to many. The Bible is a book that begs to be read critically and read often but if you've been told you're not allowed to read it or that your reading is 'wrong,' you might have put it down. Christian Piatt's new book 'Surviving the Bible: A Devotional for the Church Year 2018,' is a weekly devotional grounded in the Lectionary and he joins us to talk about reading the Bible in plain English and how we need to recapture the practice of hermeneutics.

Episode 125 - Donna Claycomb Sokol: New Day in the City

Dec 1, 2017 2508


Church revival is not an easy task. While it took Jesus 3 days to overcome death, revival within the church takes more time. Donna Claycomb Sokol, pastor of Mount Vernon Place UMC in Washington, D.C., is leading her congregation in a revival. Donna co-wrote A New Day In The City, about this transformation alongside L. Roger Owens. In the interview Teer talked with Donna about Mount Vernon Place's public repentance for its role in white supremacy, as well as prophetic preaching. On its 100th anniversary, October 2017, the historic congregation, located along busy Massachusetts Ave., repented for its history of being a "representative church". This particular portion of the interview is important because the banner signed by members of the congregation was displayed outside, along the busy streets of Washington, D.C. This was not only a public display of repentance but it was also a prophetic statement in the midst of white supremacists becoming more emboldened and less afraid of sharing their hatred publically. Fast forward to November 27, when this banner outside the church were vandalized. If the events of Charlottesville, VA were not reminder enough that white supremacy, and the accompanying hatred is alive and strong in America, let the vandalism at Mount Vernon Place remind us all. We hope you enjoy this episode of C&GJ.

Episode 124 - Emma Green: Do Democrats Have a Religion Problem?

Nov 24, 2017 2683


In this interview Jason talks with Emma Green of The Atlantic. Green is a staff writer at ​The Atlantic, where she covers politics, policy, and religion. She's also responsible for the viral video based on what one of her articles, "Do Democrats Have a Religion Problem?" She and Jason discuss that question, the Trump administration, race in Southern Baptist Church, and the role of religion in the public square.

Episode 123 - Theology Beer Camp: The Odd Couple

Nov 17, 2017 1849


Todd Littleton joined to team for this interview with Adam Clark and Christian Piatt at the Theology Beer Camp in January. While the interview was over 9 months ago, who would've thought that the conversation would STILL resonate today as we deal with issues of race and social justice.

Episode 122 - Mike McCurry: From West Wing To Wesley

Nov 3, 2017 3693


Jason had the opportunity to sit down for a conversation with Mike McCurry, the White House Press Secretary during the Clinton administration. Their conversation covers a range of topics including CJ Cregg on the West Wing, the cynicism that comes with working for the government, fighting Newt Gingrich, the absence of faith in politics, and thoughts on A Way Forward for the United Methodist Church.

Episode 121 - Fleming Rutledge: The Lord Makes Us Worthy

Nov 1, 2017 4199


500th Anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses, Jason, Teer, and Johanna talk with the Beyonce of Anglicanism, Fleming Rutledge, about ongoing relevance of Protestantism’s primary message of grace and God’s agency.

Episode 120 - Bishop Sharma Lewis - The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

Oct 27, 2017 3072


Teer and Taylor traveled to the Conference Office in Glen Allen, VA to interview Bishop Lewis. Their conversation covers a range of topics including the vision of the Annual Conference, how to respond to racism, and Bishop Lewis even shares her thoughts about Jason's book Cancer Is Funny.

Episode 119 - Ruben Rosario Rodriguez: Christian Martyrdom and Political Violence, Part 2

Oct 20, 2017 3069


Back in the day, Ruben taught Jason Barth for the first time. Now, they're both black sheep, closet Reformation guys in Catholic and Wesleyan folds respectively. Ruben Rosario Rodriguez teaches theology at St. Louis University and is the author of the powerful new book Christian Martyrdom and Political Violence. Jason and Ruben talk about racism, liberation theology, the limits of post-liberalism, and martyrdom as a necessary possibility to any definition of Christian 'witness.'

Episode 118 - Ruben Rosario Rodriguez: Christian Martyrdom and Political Violence, Part 1

Oct 13, 2017 2899


Back in the day, Ruben taught Jason Barth for the first time. Now, they're both black sheep, closet Reformation guys in Catholic and Wesleyan folds respectively. Ruben Rosario Rodriguez teaches theology at St. Louis University and is the author of the powerful new book Christian Martyrdom and Political Violence. Jason and Ruben talk about racism, liberation theology, the limits of post-liberalism, and martyrdom as a necessary possibility to any definition of Christian 'witness.'

Episode 117 - Threesome: Sex and Preaching

Oct 6, 2017 2252


In this episode Jason, Teer, and Taylor talk about preaching every week. However, the conversation also covers a range of other topics including negative podcast reviews on iTunes, puberty, talking about sex in church, and more. As always, you can find out more about the podcast and connect with the team at, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Episode 116 - Brian Zahnd: Sinners In The Hands Of A Loving God

Sep 29, 2017 3316


Fresh off the Camino, Brian Zahnd believes that while we are yet sinners, God loves us. In this new book, "Sinners In The Hands Of A Loving God" seeks to explain if God is primarily wrathful towards us or if God's nature towards us is loving.

Episode 115 - Beverly Gaventa: When in Romans

Sep 22, 2017 2982


Beverly Gaventa joined the podcast to discuss her book, "When in Romans: An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel According to Paul." With a Ph.d. from Duke, Beverly is a Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Baylor University.

Episode 114 - Ellen Blue: Lessons From Katrina

Sep 15, 2017 2613


Morgan chatted with Dr. Ellen Blue about her book, 'In Case Of Katrina', which describes lessons learned by New Orleans churches trying to rebuild after the hurricane.

Episode 113 - Questions for David Bentley Hart (Part 2)

Sep 8, 2017 2550


Jason talks with the philosophical theologian David Bentley Hart about a series of questions submitted by his fans. Part 2 includes the questions: "What do you think about Stanley Hauerwas and pacifism?" "What do you make of apocalyptic readings of Paul?" "What is hell?" "What do you think about designated hitters in baseball?" and more.

Episode 112 - Questions for David Bentley Hart (Part 1)

Aug 31, 2017 2126


Jason talks with the philosophical theologian David Bentley Hart about a series of questions submitted by his fans. Part 1 includes the questions: "When are you going to pay me back?" (from his brother Addison Hart), "What would you talk about with Christopher Hitchens?", "What advice would you offer those about to begin college?" and more.

Episode 111 - Praying with Your Feet: The One Thousand Ministers March

Aug 29, 2017 2072


With their press credentials in hand, Teer, Jason, and Camden interviewed clergy attending the Ministers March For Justice on August 28, 2017. They interviewed Rabbis, ministers, and clergy across the Christian spectrum. At the end of the episode you will hear from Martin Luther King III and his son. Why were they marching? What were these clergy hoping to take back to their congregations?

Episode 110 - Walter Brueggemann: Sabbath Requires Work

Aug 24, 2017 2846


In this episode Jason, Teer, and Taylor talk with the Old Testament theologian Walter Brueggemann whose books can be found on just about every pastors' shelves. Dr. Brueggemann shares what it means to be a community of resistance, the challenge of sabbath, and his favorite word to use when describing the biblical encounter between David and Bathsheba.

Episode 109: Pub Theology (Part 2) - What's Right With The Church?

Aug 18, 2017 1972


Jason, Teer, Taylor, and Morgan host Pub Theology at the Virginia Annual Conference 2017 with special guest Jeffrey Pugh (Part 2)

Episode 108: Pub Theology (Part 1) - Trump Isn't Hitler

Aug 17, 2017 2676


Jason, Teer, Taylor, and Morgan host Pub Theology at the Virginia Annual Conference 2017 with special guest Jeffrey Pugh (Part 1)

Unite the Right(eous): Live Cross-Podcast Conversation about Charlottesville

Aug 14, 2017 4638


Cross-Podcast Conversation with Jeffrey Pugh et al about the Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally and Counter-Protest.

Episode 107 - Rob Lee : Stained Glass Millennials

Aug 10, 2017 3386


Millennials are a segment of our population that appears to be the unicorn most churches cannot seem to catch. From hiring staff who look the part to inserting young clergy into communities, hoping to attract young people, most churches do not know what do with or how to minister to millennials. While some argue it is time to abandon millennials, Pastor Rob Lee argues otherwise. Rob believes millennials are willing to invest their lives in the institution because they believe in the church’s resurrecting power, but the question is, do our communities believe in the people they say they are trying to serve?

Episode 106 - Lisa Sharon Harper: Can Evangelicalism Be Redeemed?

Aug 3, 2017 3640


Lisa Sharon Harper thinks it can. In this episode, she talks with Morgan about how radical and beautiful 19th century evangelicalism was in its contributions to the abolitionist and suffragist movement. And she shares why she thinks that Genesis 1 is the key to understanding the Christian gospel.

Episode 105 - Brad Todd: Pace Your Rage

Jul 27, 2017 3312


As a Republican political media consultant Brad Todd is the guest you'd expect on C&GJ. Brad knows the Bible, knows what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and has some church insights we all need to hear.

Episode 104 - Norman Wirzba: You are What You Eat

Jul 20, 2017 3325


Norman Wirzba, in addition to being an author and professor at Duke Divinity, he is also an eco-theologian. Raised on a farm in Southern Alberta, Norman went on to study history at the University of Lethbridge, theology at Yale University Divinity School, and philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. Since then he has taught at Saint Thomas More College/University of Saskatchewan, Georgetown College (KY), and Duke University Divinity School. He’s the father of four children and is married to Gretchen Ziegenhals. He likes to bake, cook and make things with wood. He also enjoys playing the guitar. He used to be a good athlete! He enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his family and friends. He tries to grow some food. “According to Scripture, the world we live in is God’s creation. It is the visual, fragrant, audible, touchable, and tastable manifestation of God’s love, the place where God’s desire that others be and be well finds earthly expression.”

Episode 103- David Bentley Hart: We Would Not Want to be Christian

Jul 13, 2017 3112


"Most of us who go by the name of “Christians” ought to give up the pretense of wanting to be Christian—at least, if by that word one means not simply someone who is baptized or who adheres to a particular set of religious observances and beliefs, but more or less what Nietzsche meant when he said that there has been only one Christian in human history and that he had died on the cross. In that sense, I think it reasonable to ask not whether we are Christians (by that standard, all fall short), but whether in our wildest imaginings we could ever desire to be the kind of persons that the New Testament describes as fitting the pattern of life in Christ. And I think the fairly obvious answer is that we could not... Most of us would find Christians truly cast in the New Testament mold fairly obnoxious: civically reprobate, ideologically unsound, economically destructive, politically irresponsible, socially discreditable, and really just a bit indecent."

Episode 102 - Doug Powe: Urban Theology & the Lewis Center

Jul 6, 2017 3448


Dr. Doug Powe recently stepped into a new role as the director of the Lewis Center at Wesley Theological Seminary. In this episode, Teer & Morgan catch up with Dr. Powe to talk about urban theology and ways churches can rally together in times where most UM churches are trying to brace for what is to come.

Making 'Merica Great Again: Bonus Crossover Episode with Home-Brewed Christianity

Jul 6, 2017 3729


Get ready for all the freedom, liberty, and patriotic stuff you can handle! In this episode the Hauerwasian Mafia sent Jason and Teer to talk with Tripp Fuller of HBC about the predicament of faith, freedom, and the conflicting calls to allegiance that color the American landscape.

Episode 101- David Bentley Hart: Donald in the Devil's Likeness

Jun 29, 2017 2058


Jason's man-crush and former teacher, David Bentley Hart, returns to the podcast to dish on Donald Trump, conservatives who complain about Pope Francis, and Christian charity in the public square.

Episode 100 - Clay Mottley: The Royalty Check Is In The Mail

Jun 22, 2017 4953


The only consistent thing on this podcast has been the soulful voice of Clay Mottley. Clay is a worship leader, singer/songwriter, and an all-around good guy. Check out his music on iTunes or

Episode 99 - Jason Jones: Limping But Blessed

Jun 15, 2017 3260


In his memoir, "Limping But Blessed: Wrestling with God after the Death of a Child ", Jason Jones discusses his struggles with faith after the loss of his son Jacob in June of 2011. In our conversation with Jason he opened up about his darkest days, bargaining with God, and how he is moving forward since.

Episode 98 - Scott Jones: The Meaty Part of the Curve

Jun 8, 2017 4141


Scott Jones of the New Persuasive Words & Give and Take podcasts joined Jason for a full-fledged bromance session. Scott is also a pastor at Ascension Church in Philly, a fellow Princeton Alum, and a regular contributor to Mockingbird.

Episode 96 - Matthew Bates: Salvation by Allegiance

May 25, 2017 3334


Author Matthew Bates joined Jason to talk about his book "Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King". This is a timely interview as we approach Memorial Day Weekend.

Episode 95 - Fleming Rutledge: 23 Easters Left

May 19, 2017 3639


Jason Micheli catches up with podcast favorite Fleming Rutledge.

Episode 94 - Rod Dreher: The Benedict Option

May 18, 2017 4578


Author and senior editor of The American Conservative, Rod Dreher, joined Teer & Jason do discuss his new book, "The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation".

Episode 93 - David Fitch: "The Fitch Option"

May 11, 2017 2932


Author and professor David Fitch joined Jason & Morgan to talk about "The Fitch Option"or the "Saint Patrick Option", which is outlined in his new book, "Faithful Presence: Seven Discipline That Shape the Church For Mission". The opposite of the Benedict Option, David offers us disciplines that will shape the church for its mission.

Episode 92 - Robert Jenson: Don't Thank Me, Thank the Holy Spirit

May 4, 2017 3215


Podcast regular Kenneth Tanner, along with Chris Green had the pleasure of interviewing Robert Jenson. Jenson was described as the greatest living theologian by Stanley Hauerwas, and as "one of the most original and knowledgeable theologians of our time" by Wolfhart Pannenberg.

Episode 91- Christy Thomas: Its Time. Blow Up The UMC

Apr 27, 2017 3750


Christy Thomas is a retired UMC elder, author, and journalist. On her blog, 'The Thoughtful Pastor', she argues it is time to blow up the UMC based on structural issues that have become all too obvious during the UMC's inability to find common ground in regards to human sexuality.

Episode 90 - Martin Doblemeir: Searching for a New Niebuhr

Apr 20, 2017 3979


Jason caught up with the founder and president of Journey Films to talk about their latest project, "An American Conscience: The Niebuhr Story" From Journey Films: "An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story examines the career and global impact of renowned American-born theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who became a voice of conscience to a country reaching the pinnacle of its economic and political power. As the Great Depression gripped America, he rocked the liberal Christian community with 'Moral Man and Immoral Society,' which challenged the idea of inherent progress and justice in history. During and after the war, Niebuhr helped establish the infrastructure that gave Christian churches and thinkers a voice in postwar politics, and proved instrumental in the effort to form the World Council of Churches."

Episode 89 - Drew Colby: I'm a Racist (and So Can You!)

Apr 13, 2017 3483


Drew Colby is a UMC elder, pastor, and one of the podcast's biggest fans. He joined Teer & Jason to talk about racism from his white-liberal perspective.

Episode 88 - Scot McKnight: Angels Are Real

Apr 6, 2017 3517


Kenneth Tanner and Morgan Guyton checked in with podcast favorite Scot McKnight. Topics covered include a little ribbing on Jason, politics, and Scot's latest books, "Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science" and "The Hum of Angels: Listening for the Messengers of God Around Us".

Episode 87 - Melissa Febos: Eucharist is Erotic

Mar 30, 2017 3460


When the other guys on the podcast posse found out Jason's guest, Melissa Febos, had written a memoir about her time as a dominatrix in NYC, they all got gun shy. Their loss. I'm grateful to consider Melissa an (e) friend now. Not gonna lie- and you can give us your feedback- but I think this conversation with Melissa is the best we've had yet on the podcast, ranging from writing, bodies as objects and bodies as sacraments, Woody Allen, grace, shame, mercy, and the eucharist as an erotic act. Melissa Febos is the author of the acclaimed Whip Smart and the new memoir Abandon Me. Her work has been widely anthologized and appears in publications including Tin House, Granta, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Guernica, Post Road, Salon, The New York Times, Hunger Mountain, Portland Review, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, Bitch Magazine, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Drunken Boat, and Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. She has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN, Anderson Cooper Live, and elsewhere. Her essays have twice received special mention from the Best American Essays anthology and have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, and The Center for Women Writers. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The MacDowell Colony. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University.

Special Preview: John Cleese Does Our Exit!

Mar 23, 2017 52


Just a flesh wound... John Cleese does our exit bit.

Episode 86: Addison Hodges Hart - Winsome to the World

Mar 23, 2017 3289


Alternate Title: "Beard Envy" Jason enjoyed a wide-ranging conversation with Addison Hodges Hart, the elder brother of David Bentley Hart- who was his student- and the author of the great books Strangers and Pilgrims and Taking Jesus at his Word. Not only does Addison sound just like DBH, he speaks at length of the contemplative life, how to rethink the faith in a post-Christian culture, and the ins and outs of how he leads bible study for the curious and unchurched. Takeaway from this episode: Addison thinks Christians need to learn how to become winsome to the world again.

Episode 85: Daniel Kirk- A Man Attested By God

Mar 16, 2017 3751


Daniel Kirk is a Ph.d., author, and host of the LectioCast podcast. His book, "A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels", argues that we should read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke as stories about Jesus as an idealized human figure.

Episode 84: Ched Myers - Binding the Strong Man

Mar 10, 2017 3494


Morgan interviews Ched Myers to discuss what solidarity and resistance look like in the age of Trump and social media. Ched is an activist theologian, biblical scholar, popular educator, author, organizer and advocate who has for 35 years been challenging and supporting Christians to engage in peace and justice work and radical discipleship.

Episode 83 - Bishop Sharma Lewis: First Name Basis Part 2

Mar 2, 2017 1527


As the appointment season continues, here is part 2 of the conversation we had with the best bishop anyone could ask for! Bishop Sharma Lewis, resident bishop of the Richmond episcopal area, became the first African-American woman to be elected bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church in 2016. A graduate of Mercer University (B.S., Biology, 1985), the University of West Georgia (M.S., Biology, 1988) and Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (M.Div., 1999), Bishop Lewis worked as a research biologist and chemist prior to surrendering to God’s call upon her life.

Episode 82 - Rabbi Hayim Herring: JC Isn't Jason's Only Rabbi

Feb 23, 2017 3115


At a time when our communities are more connected than ever, why is it that faith communities feel disconnected from one another and their larger community? Rabbi Hayim Herring, co-author of "Leading Congregations and Non-Profits in a Connected World", tells us why this is happening and offers ways faith communities can reconnect. Rabbi Hayim Herring, Ph.D. is CEO of, whose mission is “preparing today’s leaders for tomorrow’s organizations.” He is an organizational futurist, presenter and author. Herring collaborated with Dr. Terri Elton, associate professor of leadership at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, on his recently released book, Leading Congregations and Nonprofit Organizations in a Connected World: Platforms, People and Purpose (Rowman and Littlefield, November 2016). Together, they provide story, theory and practice on how clergy and volunteer leaders of both established and startup congregations and nonprofits in the Jewish and Protestant communities are leading their communities through disruptive times.

Episode 81 - Bishop Sharma Lewis: First Name Basis Part 1 (Before We Told Her We Were Recording)

Feb 20, 2017 2748


What better way to suck up at the beginning of the appointment season than with a conversation we had with the best bishop anyone could ask for! Bishop Sharma Lewis, resident bishop of the Richmond episcopal area, became the first African-American woman to be elected bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church in 2016. A graduate of Mercer University (B.S., Biology, 1985), the University of West Georgia (M.S., Biology, 1988) and Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (M.Div., 1999), Bishop Lewis worked as a research biologist and chemist prior to surrendering to God’s call upon her life.

Episode 80 - Laura Paige Mertins: The Potter And The Clay

Feb 17, 2017 2968


Taylor talks with his youngest sister, Laura Paige Mertins, about her works as a ceramicist, what it means to be a faithful millennial, and how art can help the church. You can find LP's work here - and connect with her on Instagram at @lpmpottery

Episode 79 - Alice Connor: Fierce Ass Women

Feb 14, 2017 3838


Pastor Alice Connor and her book 'Fierce: Women of the Bible and Their Stories of Violence, Mercy, Bravery, Wisdom, Sex, and Salvation'.

Episode 78 - John Nugent: America Has Two State Churches, Red and Blue

Feb 9, 2017 2778


Author & professor John Nugent speaks to Donald Trump's Executive Order regarding immigrants and refugees from the perspective of his terrific new book Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church.

Episode 77: Mona, Our Muslim Friend- Christians Are Bringing Sharia Law to America

Feb 7, 2017 3741


Our guest, Mona, discusses the consequences President Trump's Muslim travel ban has had and will have on her and our fellow Muslim American brothers and sisters. With all the talk of travel and immigration bans there have been real consequences. American citizens who are Muslim have been forced to have tough conversations with their neighbors and children. Xenophobia is creating fear throughout our nation rather than embracing the diversity we have in our country.

Episode 76: Jeffrey Pugh: The World Come of Age

Feb 3, 2017 3567


Jeffrey Pugh, Professor of Religion at Elon University, is a vulgar, profane, urgent son of a bitch. In other words, he’s quickly becoming a friend of the podcast. In addition to his recent book, the Home-Brewed Christianity Guide to the End Times, Jeffery is the author of Religionless Christianity: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Troubled Times. For these troubled times when our culture is torn into polarities and our politics are in chaos, Bonhoeffer is a helpful guide for Christians to discern how to survey the landscape of their nation, determine what is nonnegotiable, and stand up as a confessing community.

Episode 75 - James Younger: The Story of God

Jan 31, 2017 1610


James Younger, executive producer of National Geographic’s The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, joins the show to discuss faith, religion, and all things Story of God. You can watch The Story of God with Morgan Freeman on Monday evenings at 9 PM EST on the National Geographic Channel.

Episode 74 - Barry Taylor: A Lovers Breath Upon the Ear

Jan 26, 2017 1684


At the Theology Beer Camp hosted by Tripp Fuller and Homebrewed Christianity Teer and Jason caught up with pastor, professor, and former AC/DC sound roadie Barry Taylor. Barry is currently an Adjunct Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and a co-host on 'The Story of God-Cast' which is the official after show of the hit NatGeo series 'The Story of God'.

Episode 73 - Amy Butler: Prophetic Outage is a Faithful Response

Jan 25, 2017 2931


Morgan and Teer had a chance to catch up with Pastor Amy Butler the week prior to President Trump's inauguration. Amy explains why she is seeking to use the pulpit as a place for a faithful response to what so far has been a tremulous first few days of the Trump presidency.

Episode 72 - Will Willimon: The Idolatry of Race

Jan 21, 2017 3005


Taylor and Teer caught up with Duke Divinity professor and retired UMC Bishop Will Willimon to talk about racism, the Donald, and how we can look forward as America's dirty little secret surfaces again. "Who Lynched Willie Earle?: Preaching to Confront Racism" is available February 2017.

Episode 71 - Butt-Kissing: A Conversation With the Best DS Ever (Besides Jeff Mickle, Dave Rochford, and Wayne Snead of course)

Jan 14, 2017 2839


Taylor and Jason sat down for a conversation with Rev. Alex Joyner, author and a District Superintendent in the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Joyner was ordained a deacon in 1989 and elder in 1993. He has served appointments in Dallas, Texas; York, England; Unionville and Charlottesville. Joyner served as campus minister at the Wesley Foundation at the University of Virginia. He was appointed to Franktown UMC in 2005. Prior to entering the ordained ministry, Joyner was a radio news director and on-air personality in the Charlottesville area. Joyner holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, a Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Texas, and an additional Masters in Religious Studies while at UVA. He’s the author of several publications including Where Do I Go Now, God?, a vocational discernment curriculum and DVD for young adults published by Abingdon Press. He is a regular contributor to the FaithLink adult curriculum from the United Methodist Publishing House, and teaches in the Course of Study program at Perkins.

Episode 70 - Liberal Canadians Are to Blame For Church Decline

Jan 10, 2017 3549


A recent study released by the Review of Religious Research titled "Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Mainline Protestant Church Attendees and Clergy", argues that across Canada theologically conservative churches are growing while their liberal counterparts are experiencing decline. This study was brought to our attention by way of a Washington Post article. In the latest episode of Crackers & Grape Juice we tackle this topic from the context of local UMC congregations and campus ministry. At one point we are even able to correlate the decline of liberal churches with the decline of Duke basketball.

Episode 69 - Danielle Shroyer: Why People Don't Need Jesus

Jan 6, 2017 3086


Original sin, as descried by Danielle Shroyer is the 'red sock' in our theological laundry. In her new book, 'Original Blessing, Putting Sin in Its Place', Shroyer explores how we are not born separated from God as God has chosen fidelity over separation. We are not separate from God, and if we are, it's on our end.

Episode 68 - Thomas Jay Oord: Suckling at Jesus' Teet

Jan 4, 2017 2908


Actually, that's not a good title. Thomas Jay Oord didn't say that about Jesus' breastmilk; however, it does come up when Taylor and Jason talk with him about his new book The Uncontrolling Love of God.

Episode 67 - Melissa Greene: Savor Life

Dec 29, 2016 2542


Morgan & Teer were able to catch up with Melissa Greene at the OPEN Faith conference. Melissa is the co-pastor of GracePointe Church in Franklin, TN, a former member of the Grammy-nominate group Avalon, and Hope Curator at Timothy's Gift.

Episode 66 - William Cavanaugh: You Can't Be Whatever You Want (and that's a good thing)

Dec 27, 2016 2961


Taylor and Jason speak with William Cavanaugh, author of The Myth of Religious Violence, Torture and the Eucharist, and Being Consumed.

Episode 65: Fridays with Fleming (Rutledge): Preach It Like You Believe It

Dec 23, 2016 2340


Jason talks with Fleming Rutledge about the message of Advent and preaching the word of Truth in a post-truth culture.

Episode 64 - Colby Martin: Unclobber

Dec 22, 2016 2872


He's got the best head of hair in Progressive Christianity and we've got him to talk about his new book, 'Unclobber: Rethinking our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality'. Endorsed by Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and Glennon Doyle Melton, Colby Martin works his way through the 'clobber' passages often used to denounce and dehumanize our LGBT brothers and sisters. He talks with the voice of a theologian while using a pastoral tone.

Episode 63 - Brian McLaren: The Great Spiritual Migration

Dec 20, 2016 3540


Teer & Morgan caught up with Brian McLaren to discuss Brian's latest book, "The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian." Is it time for a migration within Christianity? Author and pastor Brian McLaren believes so. He calls for three migrations: spiritual, theological, and missional.

Episode 62 - Father James Martin: Heaven and Mirth

Dec 15, 2016 3457


You probably know him from the Colbert Catechism and his many appearances on the Colbert Report. Here in Episode 62, Teer and I talk with Father James Martin is a Jesuit who serves as the Editor of America Magazine, My Life with the Saints, and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. Not only did James give me an idea for my All Saints sermon and not only is he a friend of UVA’s own Father Fogarty (my old undergrad advisor), he shares a bit with us about his own prayer life.

Episode 61: AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez and Alicia Crosby decolonize their Christianity

Dec 14, 2016 2799


AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez and Alicia Crosby share stories from the Standing Rock gathering as Christian women of color decolonizing their faith.

Episode 60 - Advent 2016 - "F*@# That Sh*t"

Dec 13, 2016 2555


Why does the church spend so much time talking about Advent? Isn't Christmas about fighting the culture wars and getting upset about the cups at Starbucks? There could be more to Advent than what you're being told on Sunday mornings.

Episode 59: "Science Mike" McHargue - Finding God in the Waves

Dec 9, 2016 2277


Morgan and Mike talk about growing up as weird nerdy kids. Mike shares about his loss of faith and powerful encounter with Jesus on the beach that brought him back to Christianity. Then Mike talks about the brain science of fundamentalism and other nerdy topics.

Episode 58 - Mike Morrell- The Divine Dance

Dec 6, 2016 2398


For Episode 58, Teer and Morgan caught up with Mike Morrell to talk about his new book with Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance.

Episode 57 - Cancer Is Funny: with Tony Jones, Jeffrey Pugh, Kendall Soulen, Todd Littleton, and JC Herz

Dec 1, 2016 3289


Teer linked up with an all-star lineup for a conversation about Jason's new book, "Cancer is Funny." JC Herz, Tony Jones, Todd Littleton, Jeff Pugh, and Kendall Soulen chimed in on why cancer is funny and why this book is needed in our theological discussions. All of the guests know Jason from different arenas of Jason's life and because of that you will hear differing perspectives on Jason's newest book.

Episode 56 - Purging Gay-Affirming Leaders: Max Kuecker and Jane Liu

Nov 29, 2016 2052


Max Kuecker and Jane Liu worked for years with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, an evangelical college ministry that recently decided to purge its LGBT-affirming leadership. Max and Jane have launched Incarnation Ministries, an LGBT-affirming evangelical college ministry.

Episode 55: Trumping the Demon of Racism

Nov 26, 2016 2436


In the wake of the 2016 election, Morgan talks with Suhuey and Jen, United Methodist Hispanic Youth, about how racism recently intruded upon a gathering of youth in North Carolina.

Episode 54: Becca Stevens - Consider the Thistle

Nov 22, 2016 2815


In one of our best conversations yet, Jason and Taylor talk with Becca Stevens. Becca is an Episcopal priest at Vanderbilt Chapel in Nashville, Tennessee, author of Snake Oil and many other books, and, most importantly, she is the founder of Thistle Farms, the largest social enterprise in the U.S. run by survivors of sex trafficking. She's also up for CNN's Hero award. Voting is open until 12/6 and you can vote as many as 10x/day - please support this impressive endeavor. I don't throw around the term 'blessed' very often but that's how I felt for having gotten the change to talk with Becca.

Episode 53 - Fridays with Fleming: Don't Preach Lettuce Sermons

Nov 18, 2016 4405


In this episode, Jason and Taylor talk with Kenneth Tanner and Fleming Rutledge about a variety of subjects including preaching preparation, Black Lives Matter, difficult sermons, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Episode 52 - David Fitch: Fired Up About Faithful Presence

Nov 15, 2016 3246


Somehow Teer & Jason got David Fitch fired up about Faithful Presence. In Faithful Presence, noted pastor and scholar David Fitch offers a new vision for the witness of the church in the world. He argues that we have lost the intent and practice of the sacramental ways of the historic church, and he recovers seven disciplines that have been with us since the birth of the church.

Episode 51 - Live Post Election Edition of Fridays with Fleming

Nov 12, 2016 4053


Jason, Teer, and Fleming react to Tuesday's election. Fleming reflects on Daniel's prayer and helps us understand how we are agents of God.


Nov 10, 2016 2245


We've made it! On episode 50 the guys look back on their favorite and funniest moments. We also consider who their favorite guests were and who we wish we could interview. Todd Littleton & Tripp Fuller check in to congratulate the team as well as bust our balls a bit. Future episodes include David Fitch, Avalon's Melissa Green, Colby Martin, and Jason will be releasing a book. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project. It was unimaginable last year that this podcast would turn into the resource it has become for us and our listeners.

Episode 49: Luke Norsworthy- A Noteworthy Conversation

Nov 8, 2016 2993


Jason sits down with Luke Norsworthy, host of the popular Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast. Not only is his podcast miles ahead of Crackers and Grape Juice, compared to Luke Jason looks like genetic garbage. Luke also keeps it weird as the pastor of Westover Hills Church in Austin, Texas. You can check out his podcast here:

Episode 48 - Kenneth Tanner, Our Biggest Fan

Nov 3, 2016 2427


Who is Kenneth Tanner? Ken is best known for his Facebook memes. No, they are not memes about cats playing a piano but instead are of the theological flavor. Ken has found a way to utilize what is normally a means of poking fun or ridiculing someone, to now be a way of sharing theological ideas in a way that is more accessible than most blogs.

Episode 47 - Fred Schmidt Part 2

Nov 1, 2016 1546


Are you planning an election day prayer service at your church? Are you planning to serve communion in your community on election day to "unify" the community or to pray for our nation? If you answered yes to either of these questions our latest guest, Fred Schmidt, has a few words for you.

Episode 46 - Joseph Mangina: Karl Barth for Dummies

Oct 27, 2016 3802


In this episode, Teer and Jason talk with Joseph Mangina. A professor of theology at Wycliffe College in Toronto, he is the author of Karl Barth: Theologian of Christian Witness as well as a recent theological commentary on the Book of Revelation. He also serves as the editor of the journal Pro Ecclesia.

Episode 45 - Ian McFarland: Creation(from nothing)ism

Oct 25, 2016 3066


The author of 'From Nothing: A Theology of Creation, Professor Ian McFarland frames for us what Christians mean when they talk about creation. He even took a last minute jab at the end of the conversation at the UMC seminary system.

Episode 44 - Thomas Lynch: Every Cradle Asks Us Whence And Every Coffin Whither

Oct 20, 2016 3411


Death, dying, and writing with Thomas Lynch.

Episode 43 - Fridays with Fleming: My Son the Theologian

Oct 19, 2016 4628


Friday's Fleming Rutledge is back! This time on Tuesday. Whether it is through Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Paul, or even Christ himself God is speaking and working through their stories.

Episode 42 - Fred Schmidt: Stained Glass Language

Oct 13, 2016 2665


Teer & Jason caught up with Fred Schmidt. Fred is a professor in the field of spiritual formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. In part 1 of their conversation, we focus in on Fred's expertise in the field of spiritual formation and prayer. Part 2 is when you might hear Morgan's head explode so you won't want to miss that.

Episode 41 - Steve Austin: Don't be a Dumbass Christian

Oct 11, 2016 3167


Teer and Jason talk about porn addiction, shame, sex abuse, and suicide with Steve Austin, author of From Pastor to a Psych Ward.

Episode 40 - Eric Hall: Giving Up Faith (in Sola Scriptura)

Oct 6, 2016 3725


For this episode, Jason talks with Eric Hall, author of the forthcoming The Home-brewed Christianity Guide to God. Eric is a Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Carroll College in Helena, Montana. In his book, he narrates a bit of his own journey from Pentecostalism to Catholicism and the beauty of ancient Christianity that become available to him once he gave up on sola scriptura. You can order Eric's book at or on Amazon.

Episode 39 - Jerry Herships: So That We Can Be The Body of Christ In the World

Oct 4, 2016 3078


Episode 38 - Rob Bell Bonus - It's Not About Me

Sep 30, 2016 501


Episode 37 - Catching the Unicorn: Millennials and the Church

Sep 29, 2016 3058


Jason, Morgan, and Teer catch up on all things millennial and the church. You know, millennials, the unicorn the most mainline churches cannot seem to catch.

Episode 36 - Rob Bell Part 2 - Information is One Part of This

Sep 27, 2016 891


Episode 35 - Part 1 With Rob Bell - Under Attack by Ideas

Sep 20, 2016 2584


Episode 34 - David Bentley Hart: All Creation Afire as a Burning Bush

Sep 13, 2016 4242


Jason sits down with David Bentley Hart, his former teacher, his idol, and his man-crush all in one. David Hart may well prove to have been the most significant theologian of the 21st century. He is the author of The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?, The Beauty of the Infinite, Atheist Delusions, and the Experience of God. And, as you'll hear, he's just translated the New Testament for Yale University Press. With his famous dog Roland at his feet, DBH discusses the Church's loss of classical theism, the (evil) God most Christians worship, the logical incoherence of Process Theology, Hell, Christian Freedom, Reformed (mis)translations of Scripture, and his own personal suffering.

Episode 32 -Satan, Beyonce, and Jesus the Problematic Fave

Sep 6, 2016 2454


Is Satan a real person? How do we know the difference between acting satanic and acting Christlike when Jesus can be such a problematic fave sometimes? And how does Beyonce factor into the answers to all these questions?

Episode 33 - John Nugent: Stop Trying to Change the World

Sep 4, 2016 3692


Eric Clapton may be called to change the world, but Jesus doesn't call Christians to do so. According to John Nugent, Christians are not to make the world a better place. Rather, we're called to be the better place God through Christ has made possible. In this interview, Jason talks with John about John's new book Endangered Gospel: How Fixing the World is Killing the Church. Try this quote on for size: "The most dangerous religion is not Islam nor is it Atheism but it is a form of Christianity that uses Jesus' name to keep people happy but doesn't call them into a community that displays God's Kingdom.

Episode 31 - Nathan Gilmour: Divine Comedy for Business Majors

Aug 30, 2016 3145


Jason and Teer talk about the theologically significance of studying the humanities with Dr. Nathan Gilmour, host of the Christian Humanist Podcast.

Epidsode 30 - Is Jesus the Only Way?

Aug 23, 2016 2861


Jason, Morgan & Teer have an early morning conversation about the exclusivity of Jesus. So is Jesus really the only way?

Episode 29 - What is the Gospel?

Aug 16, 2016 3161


Episode 28 - Jeffrey Pugh: Leaving Left Behind Behind

Aug 10, 2016 3744


Teer and Jason talk with Jeff Pugh about his new book: The Home-brewed Christianity Guide to the End Times.

Episode 27 - Will Willimon: Stopping the Obsession with Clergy Coitus

Aug 4, 2016 3130


Episode 26 - Breakfast With the Ordinands

Aug 2, 2016 2580


Episode 25 - Wild Goose (the second) Week: Emily Joy’s poetic heart

Jul 28, 2016 1874


Morgan’s fifth Wild Goose interview was with Emily Joy, an incredible poet who lives in Nashville. Emily grew up homeschooled in a fundamentalist family. She went to Moody Bible Institute where she was one of a handful of women to major in theology (in this decade). They discussed online feminism, intersectionality, and the importance of listening to your heart. Then Emily closed with her viral poem “How To Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin: Five Easy Steps.”

Episode 24 - Wild Geese (the second) Week: Bec Cranford speaks in tongues

Jul 26, 2016 2280


Morgan’s fourth Wild Goose interview was with Bec Cranford, the volunteer director at the Gateway Center for homeless people in Atlanta. Bec is a heavily tattooed progressive Pentecostal wonder-woman. On the interview, she shared powerful stories of a tough life journey that has left her full of empathy. Everything was going well until she started speaking in tongues.

Episode 23 - Wild Geese Week: Brandan Robertson wanders and wonders

Jul 22, 2016 2652


Morgan’s third Wild Goose interview was with Brandan Robertson, the author of 'Nomad: A Spirituality for Traveling Light.' His original book contract was rescinded when he came out as queer, so he had to republish with a UK publisher. Brandan was a fundamentalist street preacher in the Baltimore Inner Harbor at the age of 13. He went to Moody Bible Institute where he was almost expelled for doing a radio interview with Brian McLaren. It was refreshing to hear how little bitterness Brandan has for his past and how he seeks to integrate all the phases of his spiritual journey as he wanders and wonders into the future.

Episode 22 - Wild Geese Week: Sarah Heath’s contagious love

Jul 20, 2016 2691


Morgan’s second Wild Goose interview was with Sarah Heath, the pastor of First United Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, California. Sarah’s pure, Christlike heart is contagious. She talked a lot about the beautiful, eclectic mix of people in her church and how sad she would be if the United Methodists decided to split.

Episode 21 - Wild Goose Week: Alicia Crosby expands the church

Jul 18, 2016 1756


Morgan’s first Wild Goose interview was with Alicia Crosby, the co-founder and co-director of the Center for Inclusivity in Chicago. In our interview, she talked a lot about expanding the concept of church. She makes the point that while Jesus spent some time in the temple, most of where he did church was in people’s houses and on the streets. Alicia and Morgan also discussed what holiness looks like for an inclusive Christian and how the church should be responding to police violence against black people.

Episode 20 - Fridays With Fleming - Praying for the Victimizer

Jul 15, 2016 2610


Episode 19 - Stanley Hauerwas: Jason Gets Hauerwas'd

Jul 14, 2016 1797


Jason is determined to get his theological idol, Stanley Hauerwas, off his familiar tropes and talking points.

Episode 18 - Pub Theology Part 2: Jason Loves the Newsboys

Jul 12, 2016 3172


Episode 17 - Live Podcast: Pub Theology (Part 1)

Jul 8, 2016 2731


Here's part 1 of our conversation at the Annual Conference of the Virginia Annual Conference of the UMC.

Episode 16 - David Fitch: Reclaiming the Gospel

Jul 5, 2016 2912


Jason talks again with one of his favorite guests David Fitch of Northern Seminary and the Theology on Mission Podcast.

From the Vault: David Fitch

Jun 30, 2016 3404


Here's an old interview with David Fitch from Teer and Jason's maiden podcasting effort several years ago. See how far we've come! We've got a brand new interview with David in the queue waiting for editing so be on the lookout.

Episode 15 - Fridays with Fleming: The Holy Spirit Bloweth Where It Will

Jun 23, 2016 2282


If we are urged to have faith in Christ, who is doing the urging? Sorry ahead of time about Jason's office phone ringing. Johanna and Fleming call out bad preachers/sermon series too.

Episode 14 - Fridays with Fleming: "Maybe Somethings Shouldn't Be Forgiven"

Jun 21, 2016 2243


Jason and Teer are joined by Johanna Hartelius as they check in with Fleming Rutledge. This is part 1 of a 2 part conversation. If you notice some sighs or scoffs, that's just Teer & Johanna noticing how much Jason is kissing up to Fleming.

Episode 13 - NT Wright: Still No 'Um'

Jun 14, 2016 1772


Lucky episode #13. Here is part 2 of our conversation with NT Wright.

Episode 12 - N.T. Wright, Part 1 - He Never Says Um

Jun 10, 2016 2088


This is part 1 of our conversation with N.T. Wright. We cover the New Perspective, Substitutionary Atonement, the historic accuracy of the Bible vs. the overarching story of the Biblical story, and America's divide along justification by faith & Kingdom building through a social agenda. Bishop Wright pushes back against Apocalyptic theology and America's obsession with proving the historical accuracy of Scripture. He believes we have been conned by the skeptics.

Episode 11 - Gnostics Are Better Than John Piper

Jun 7, 2016 2560


Last week the Gospel Coalition posted a video describing the ‘mysterious’ ways God ordains tragedy to bring about ‘good'. This created a stir in Jason, and then in a weirder turn of events made Morgan semi-sympathetic to what position the GC presented. Listen in as Jason and Morgan hash it all out with Teer being the lone voice of reason.

Episode 10: Fridays with Fleming- Sin in the Hands of a Wrathful God

Jun 3, 2016 2071


In part 2 of our conversation with Pastor Fleming Ruthledge we begin with God's wrath (we eased into this one didn't we?!?!) and wrap up with apocalyptic theology. Can you believe we made it to episode 10? We can't either!

Episode 9 - Fridays with Fleming (Rutledge): Preaching Against the Powers

May 26, 2016 3050


In part 1 of a 2 part conversation with author & pastor Fleming Rutledge, the conversation began with some of the problems around the term "inclusion" and finished with the do's and don'ts of bad preaching.

Episode 8 - Jason Man-Crushing With Todd Littleton

May 24, 2016 3087


Ever feel like the third-wheel on a date? Well that's how Teer must have felt during the recording of this C&GJ episode! Two out of the three members of the C&GJ team interviewed pastor, blogger, and podcaster Todd Littleton. The topics ranged from how good-looking Todd is to the prophetic role pastors play. Jason even had the tables turned on him and became the interviewee as Todd & Teer investigated how friendly pastors can be with their parishioners.

Episode 7 - Tony Jones is Stangely Warmed

May 19, 2016 2484


An early consultant in this podcast, Tony Jones is a theologian and church self-described church proctologist. Teer & Tony had a chance to catch up and discuss the United Methodist quadrennial gathering, Progressive Christianity, and even (just because it's Tony Jones) a little atonement theology.

Episode 6 - General Conference With Tom Berlin

May 17, 2016 2352


This is raw, unfiltered Crackers & Grape Juice. Morgan had a chance to catch up with Episcopal candidate Rev. Tom Berlin while at the 2016 General Conference. Morgan and Tom had a chance to chat about the issue of human sexuality which is currently being debated in Portland. In addition, Tom filled us in some of the committee work being done which is not getting as much social media attention.

Episode 5 - United Methodist Church General Conference Preview

May 10, 2016 3182


It's hard to have conversations in the local church about the easy stuff: choosing which hymns to sing, what color to paint the hallway, and what kind of coffee to serve. Is it any surprise then that the UMC still cannot have a conversation about human sexuality that doesn't become reduced to name calling? Are we surprised that we spit out talking points quickly and fail to realize that we are talking about actual people with real lives?

Episode 4 - Stop His Heresy

May 4, 2016 2013


Morgan is on a book tour! In their first attempt to record a live podcast the guys stumble, recover, lose cell phone coverage, and recover again as they talk about Morgan's new book.

Episode 3 - Will Willimon: Fear of the Other

Apr 27, 2016 3215


Just imagine for a moment that Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson actually walked into a bar. Then on top of that awkward moment, a retired UMC Bishop calls them out. Well, here we go.

Episode 2 - Brian Zahnd: Easy, Cheesy, Cotton Candy Christianity Part 2

Apr 22, 2016 1628


Episode 1 - Brian Zahnd: Easy, Cheesy, Cotton Candy Christianity

Apr 12, 2016 1934


Episode 2 is part 1 of a conversation with pastor & author Brian Zahnd. In this episode, Teer & Jason talk with Brian about his latest book, "Water Into Wine". Part 2 of the conversation will be released in the next week or 2.