The Spiritual Brewpub
Kevin Miller on his films JESUSA & “Hellbound?”

Kevin Miller on his films JESUSA & “Hellbound?”

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. 

LGBTQ Inclusion with Susan Cottrell

LGBTQ Inclusion with Susan Cottrell

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. 

Christy Berghoef’s Spiritual Journey and How to Avoid Toxic Tribalism

Christy Berghoef’s Spiritual Journey and How to Avoid Toxic Tribalism

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 or

How to Make Your Spiritual Evolution Easier: A Former Fundamentalist Turned Enlightened Philosopher

How to Make Your Spiritual Evolution Easier: A Former Fundamentalist Turned Enlightened Philosopher

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.  

Wendy Francisco on Being a Love Heretic

Wendy Francisco on Being a Love Heretic

May 16, 2020

One of the things I love to do is interview really interesting people who have fascinating stories. In this episode, I have a very special guest to interview, Wendy Francisco, a musician, writer, editor, animal-lover, mother, and self-described love heretic who was part of the 1970s and 80s Jesus Movement. She is married to Don Francisco another popular musician from that era. She once had a website called "Mythbusters" that debunked some of the common myths associated with conservative Christianity. Today, she shares stories about deconstructing out of evangelical Christianity and finding a beautiful faith expression absent an abusive theology.

You can find Wendy's provocative and awe-inspiring Love Heretic Facebook community at Love Heretic. To learn more about me, Michael Camp, the host of the podcast, and my books and journey, visit

The Spiritual Brewpub: We give people the historical/scholarly/experiential resources they need to come to terms with a fundamentalist/evangelical past and find a truly inclusive and love-affirming path forward. 

Julie Ferwerda on the Doctrine of Hell Under Fire

Julie Ferwerda on the Doctrine of Hell Under Fire

May 2, 2020

Julie Ferwerda joins Michael for a fascinating conversation on what starts a person's journey to question hell, what stages people go through to finally reject it, and how one's life is changed for the better as a result. Julie shares what led her to see the emotional, logical, biblical, historical, and Jewish cultural evidence that debunks hell and how she was set free from fear-based faith and began to love people naturally. 

She also gives advice to people who are questioning hell or other beliefs, whether secretly or publicly. How does one get through stages of deconstruction? Hear from Julie on that question and more--and her plans for her next book on "the problem of evil." Grab your favorite brew and join us! 

Learn more about Julie and her book, "Raising Hell: Christianity's most controversial doctrine put under fire" at To learn more about me, Michael Camp, the host of the podcast, and my books and journey, visit

Julie Anne Smith on Spiritual Abuse in the Church

Julie Anne Smith on Spiritual Abuse in the Church

May 2, 2019

Sued by her pastor! Tactics of spiritual abusers. How women are most vulnerable. Julie Anne Smith shares with Michael how she got slapped with a $500,000 lawsuit, uncovered abuse in her church and among evangelicals, and how patriarchal theology harms women. Hear this lively conversation as they discuss the prevalence and roots of spiritual abuse, including:

  • Tactics and teachings that cause religious abuse
  • How women are especially harmed
  • Examples of church abuse in Sovereign Grace Ministries, Pastor Mark Driscoll, Bill Gothard, Promise Keepers, the Quiverfull movement, and conservative evangelical churches
  • Narcissists and control freaks in the church
  • How it fuels faith shifts and non-belief
  • Exposing legalistic teachings and helping victims
  • Finding solace and healing from spiritual abuse
  • How historical study helps you rethink traditional views of the Bible
  • Julie Anne’s safe haven for exposing abuse and healing: The Spiritual Sounding Board

Learn about Michael's journey at:

Kathy Escobar on “Faith Shift: Finding your way forward when everything you believe is coming apart”

Kathy Escobar on “Faith Shift: Finding your way forward when everything you believe is coming apart”

March 17, 2019

If you have experienced an evolution in your faith, whether you're going through a faith shift now, or went through one in the past, this interview will encourage you. It will help you learn why you’re not crazy, what stages you go through, and how to come to terms with your change. You are not alone! 

Kathy has really hit on something in her book by the same title of this podcast. This topic is important because today in America, Christianity and spirituality are going through a radical faith shift. People are questioning religious doctrines and practices, rethinking their faith, and leaving the church in droves. The Christian Post cited a study done in 2014, that says 3,500 people leave church per day, 1.2 million a year. Even though some churches still thrive, more and more are becoming revolving doors. 

Particularly if they come out of fundamentalist and evangelical churches, people face fierce opposition from those inside and often struggle to adjust and find a new, more inclusive way. If you feel like a spiritual refugee, a church burnout, or a freedom seeker, this podcast is for you! 

Also visit to learn more. 

Michael Hardin on Rene Girard, Mimetic Theory, Unraveling the Bible, Unconditional Peace, Prison Reform, and Today’s Political Rivalries

Michael Hardin on Rene Girard, Mimetic Theory, Unraveling the Bible, Unconditional Peace, Prison Reform, and Today’s Political Rivalries

March 6, 2019

Author, speaker, and biblical/historical scholar Michael Hardin joins Michael over some virtual craft brews for a lively conversation about the late Rene Girard, a former Stanford professor who is considered “the Darwin of the social sciences.

Hardin explains Girard’s Mimetic Theory and how it is displayed in ancient literature and the Bible. Drawing on his book, Mimetic Theory and Biblical Interpretation, he explains why we see violent and restorative narratives in the Bible often side by side—the former being mythical, violent sacrificial religion and the latter being the first glimpses of the revelation of true grace that culminates in Jesus.

Join the two Michaels as they talk about how to unravel the Bible, the evangelical two-faced God, and Girard’s and Jesus’ call to abandon societal violence and war and extend unconditional peace. Learn how Mimetic Theory plays out in modern society and politics and how these historical ways of looking at revelation can lead to social progress, such as prison reform.

The Bible—A Record of Humanity’s Moral Development: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Bible—A Record of Humanity’s Moral Development: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

February 24, 2019

Coming out of evangelicalism years ago, I always struggled with how to reconcile parts of the Bible. When I started to study history, however, there were several mysteries I solved about the Bible that totally blew me away and helped me finally make sense of most of it. I’m going to share those with you on today’s podcast.

Buckle your seat belts and let’s take a ride together off the mythological Bible Belt Interstate and onto the road-less-traveled historic Bible Byway.

What You Will Learn: 

  • Why the Bible can't be inerrant and an altogether true record of history and God's character
  • Why the Bible should not, however, be viewed as irrelevant for today
  • How the Bible is a collection of dissenting views on the character of God and human morality
  • The ways the Bible critiques itself, e.g. in the sacrificial system and violent retribution narratives
  • The stark contrast in the Bible's narrative of violent sacrificial religion vs. social justice of the prophets and the non-violent love ethic of Jesus and Paul
  • How the Bible can be viewed as a record of humanity's record of moral development
  • What narratives rise to the top that will help our global community overcome conflict, violence, war, and harmful fundamentalist religion

Also, Michael shares plans and hopes of forthcoming interviews. Grab a brew and enjoy responsibly! Be sure to ask questions and make comments, pro or con, at 

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