April 11, 2021
Author, podcaster, and retired pastor David Artman joins Michael to discuss his book Grace Saves All: The Necessity of Christian Universalism.
As a child, the first time David attended a church, after he walked out he told his mom, “That place is scary. I’m not going back.” Why? Because this church taught the doctrine of hell with a vengeance.
After a few years, now in the 5th grade, David was evangelized by a pretty six-teen-year-old conservative Christian girl, who told him if he didn’t accept Jesus he would be eternally damned. And, to play it safe, he better accept him that very night. He did, but he knew deep down it was driven by fear. Later still, as a young adult he saw a softer and intellectual side of Christianity in the writings of CS Lewis. But the doctrine of hell still loomed large.
In this episode, you will learn how one man navigated these experiences and through research and seeking finally landed in a place where Christian Universalism—i.e., trusting that all of humanity will ultimately be restored to a God of love—is a necessary belief for anyone who takes Jesus seriously, not merely a legitimate belief.
Join Michael and David in this illuminating conversation on the three major Christian positions on how God views humankind’s destiny—Transactional (Arminianism), Exclusivity (Calvinism), and Inclusivity (Universalism)—and why it’s biblical, historical, logical, and necessary to land on the third position. They also discuss church vs. true spirituality and what is going on in today’s Modern Reformation of “Christian” thought. Learn more about David at davidartman.net and Michael at The Spiritual Brewpub website.
March 13, 2021
When Bart Campolo announced he no longer believed in God, it rocked his father's and family's world, as well as shocked the wider evangelical movement. Yet it also opened a new opportunity--to openly discuss the hard questions and problems with modern Christianity, particularly evangelicalism, but to do so in a respectful way. That's what Bart and his famous evangelical father, Tony, did. In their book, Why I Left, Why I Stayed, and the film, Leaving My Father's Faith, they foster a safe space to agree to disagree agreeably about religious faith and Christianity.
In that spirit, Michael and Bart talk about how Bart evolved out of belief in God, why he calls himself a humanist, and what matters most in living one's life, whether one is a believer or not. Can atheists and theists find common ground? Listen as Michael relates to and agrees with most of the experiences and objections that Bart raises, while coming to a different conclusion about the origin of life, and Bart relays his unique perspective that led him to leave Christianity but become a humanist chaplain at USC and the University of Cincinnati.
To learn more about Bart, the book and film, and listen to his podcast called Humanize Me, visit bartcampolo.org. You can find Michael's content on historical spirituality at The Spiritual Brewpub.
February 28, 2021
Author, professor, and researcher, Martin Prozesky, joins Michael Camp for a illuminating conversation on how to unravel modern Christianity from its dogmatism, exclusivism, and biblicism, to recover the spiritual and ethical revolution begun by Jesus of Nazareth. Goodness, is the fundamental essence of God, argues Prozesky, who grew up in the shadow of apartheid. He makes the case that the revolution that Jesus started should lead humanity on a type of Global Goodness Project, where we pursue generous, boundless love for all based on the pillars of goodness, i.e., love, truth, and freedom.
Hear Prozesky's evaluation of both conservative and liberal Christianity in the light of true goodness. How can conservative Christians claim to be deeply ethical and hold unethical beliefs? How do liberal Christians often not fully reflect God's goodness as modeled by Christ? What is the basis for us all to reject dogmatism, exclusivism, and biblicism and join in this effort to spread goodness across our world?
Check out Martin's non-fiction book, Honest to Goodness: A Spiritual and Ethical Odyssey. You won't be disappointed. Also, he's got a fiction book that sounds amazing called Warring Souls: When Religious Faith is Governed by Ethical Passion and When It Isn't. Learn more about Michael other Spiritual Brewpub interviews at SpiritualBrewpub.com.
January 24, 2021
Feather ruffler and author, Becky Garrison, joins Michael to discuss American colonial history, Christian and other forms of satire, examples of secular spirituality in the Pacific Northwest, and certain virtues that we sorely need today. Becky is an investigative journalist; she writes books on religious deconstruction and she's a former writer for the Christian satire magazine, The Wittenburg Door.
Becky has a fascinating life story and cites some great historical lessons learned in her latest book, Roger Williams' Little Book of Virtues. Williams, a distant relative of Becky and an American religious reformer of the 1600s, was banished from the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony to settle Rhode Island. He is considered the founder of the idea of separation of church and state and was way ahead of his time in his fair and just treatment of indigenous people and ideas around freedom of conscious and speech. Grab your favorite brew and settle in for a fascinating conversation!
Find out more about Becky, her both satirical and serious work, and her new book at beckygarrison.com. Learn more about Michael and The Spiritual Brewpub at spiritualbrewpub.com.
November 24, 2020
Michael interviews Kim O'Reilly on her story coming out of a conservative church movement as a lesbian. Learn how she navigated deconstructing evangelical/fundamentalist theology and how her relationship with her minister father evolved to a more peaceful place despite him still disagreeing with her. Kim is a professor of cultural and diversity studies and a teacher of conflict resolution.
Join us as we discuss her book, "We Love You, But You're Going to Hell: Christians and Homosexuality." It's a non-confrontational study of the conflict surrounding Christian faith, Scriptures, and homosexuality. It addresses the dichotomy of love and condemnation, sincerely expressed by Christians – and the pain experienced by gays and lesbians.
Find answers to why conservative and more liberal Christians and secularists are in conflict. Discover the important historical and cultural contexts of the Bible verses on the topic. See how to move toward a place of empathy and compassion, no matter your stance on biblical interpretation. Learn the original intent of authors of scripture on the topic and how to weigh the prevailing love ethic of Jesus.
Learn more about Kim at interculturalsolutions.net and buy her book on Amazon. Learn more about Michael's vision for this podcast at The Spiritual Brewpub.
October 17, 2020
Lang Charters was a highly successful officer in the Air Force when his life was interrupted by a tragic accident that brought him to the brink of death. Lang shares his story of recovery, rehabilitation, and care by a loving community that transformed his life, and along with his deconstruction from conservative theology, taught him lessons for a new paradigm on Jesus and spirituality. Join us for a great conversation about the fragility of life, divine love mirrored in community, empathy for the enemy, pacifism and peacemaking today and in the early church, and yoga wisdom.
Lang is the author of Falling Into Love: The Transformative Power of Community. Learn more about him and read his blog at www.lightlovelang.com. Learn how The Spiritual Brewpub can help you come to terms with and deconstruct conservative Christianity at www.spiritualbrewpub.com.
August 8, 2020
Kevin Miller joins us in a illuminating conversation on his controversial and popular documentary films, particularly his latest JESUSA (2020) and Hellbound? (2012). Michael observes how the first film, according to popular theology, is really about how God supposedly deals with the problem of evil in the world and the second film is how humanity deals with the problem of evil.
Learn Kevin's journey to question, research, and rethink evangelical and fundamentalist theology that led him to write and produce these provocative films. They challenge all Christians and society to embrace a new paradigm on addressing evil through peacemaking, rather than retribution, violence, and threats of eternal damnation.
JESUSA is an in-depth exploration of the relationship between Christianity and American nationalism and the violence that often emerges from it. Far from a new phenomenon, this documentary traces the co-opting of Christianity by the state all the way back to the age of Constantine, when the Christian faith became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Through interviews with a diverse group of scholars, pastors, historians, and activists, this film shows how specific readings of the Bible have led many Christians to confuse their devotion to Jesus with their dedication to the state.
Hellbound? For many people, belief in hell as a place of eternal torment for the wicked is an indisputable tenet of Christian orthodoxy. In their view, rejecting or modifying this belief is tantamount to rejecting Christianity, itself. But a growing number of believers disagree. They argue that we can have a loving God or we can have eternal hell, but we can't have both. "Hellbound?" is a provocative, critically acclaimed documentary that wades right into the center of this debate.
Learn more at Kevin Miller's website and The Spiritual Brewpub's road to spiritual freedom.
July 21, 2020
FreedHearts founder, Susan Cottrell, joins Michael sharing her story choosing her bisexual daughter over conservative Christianity. Her organization helps those in the LBGTQ community deal with family, religious, and community wounds and find a chosen family. They help the non-affirming church be more inclusive and help parents understand their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children, keep their kids safe, and their family strong.
Michael and Susan have a illuminating conversation on what it's like to come out of evangelicalism when forced to choose between a religion and a child. Susan shares how she came to realize something was terribly wrong with the Rulebook approach to interpreting homosexuality in the Bible and what she learned in her research.
Rejected by many family and friends, she evolved into a voice for the wounded, developing courses and content that help people in the LGBTQ community deal with rejection, bullying, and gay bashing. Her work also helps parents, when entrenched in religiously-motivated judgmentalism, to find a new love-affirming paradigm that accepts, includes, and cherishes their gay children.
Visit Susan's FreedHearts to learn more and Michael's Spiritual Brewpub to learn about getting help with deconstructing fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity.
June 26, 2020
After meeting author Christy Berghoef and her husband Bryan at the Wild Goose Festival a few years back, I was fascinated when I heard she does workshops on Common Good Communications. Join us to hear her take on coming out of conservative "Reformed" Christianity and her material on common good, authentic curiosity, and identifying and avoiding toxic tribalism, which sadly is too common in our current religious and political climate.
It's not always easy, but Christy paves a way for us to authentically express ourselves in a meaningful way with new inner convictions we can develop about social intercourse and our common humanity. We can leave our tribal tendencies behind without merely trying to follow rules of civil discourse.
Christy is the author of "Cracking the Pot: Releasing God from the Theologies that Bind Him," which is available on Amazon under Christine Berghoef.
Michael announces he's developing "Freedom Workshops", the first being a "Spiritual Deconstruction" Workshop to help people going through faith shifts to find solid ground through like-minded support, historical research, and philosophical and cognitive techniques that make the transition easier. The first online workshop is coming soon! Stay tuned at www.spiritualbrewpub.com.
May 30, 2020
Our very special guest today is Dr. David Smith, a philosopher and religion scholar at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington (UW). David grew up as a missionary kid (MK) in the world of fundamentalist Christianity. As an adult he gradually moved away from that paradigm and became a religious progressive/skeptic but not an atheist. After earning an M.A. in philosophy of religion, he received a second M.A. and a Ph.D. in religious studies from Temple University. Formerly a faculty member at Central Washington University, at UW he offers independent seminars and non-credit courses in comparative religion and philosophy.
David talks to us about his journey out of fundamentalist Christianity, his insights into comparative religion, how to talk to each other about religion in a respectful way, and how to have civil discourse in our age of polarizing religious, political, and ethical conversations.
You don't want to miss his insights on asking "If then" questions to get through one's religious doubts to find a place of peace as a reasoning spiritual person. David teaches people how to effectively think for themselves in their spiritual/life journey. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating conversation on his story and life lessons.
Learn more about David at www.beliefsandethics.com.