#48. David Gungor: Music for Evolving Faith

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What do you do when your faith doesn't match most of the lyrics and style of Christian music? What makes music "Christian" anyway?

David Gungor (The Brilliance) sat down to chat about how his music has changed with his faith, how he can still appreciate some aspects of Christian music, and why the word "God" shows up less and less frequently in his music. Check out more from The Brilliance at http://thebrilliancemusic.com/, and look for new music from them this summer. 

#46. Austin Channing Brown: I'm Still Here

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Racism is pervasive. And it's hard to talk about. Austin Channing Brown is here to help. Austin sat down to talk about racism, white supremacy, "safe" white people and more. She explores all of this in her forthcoming book I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, which is out May 15. Pre-order it now. Seriously. It's vulnerable, truth-telling, beautiful writing, and coincidentally, one of the best books of the year. For real.

You can find more from Austin at http://austinchanning.com/

#44. Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza: Beyond Gender Binaries

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We love binaries, but they never come close to reflecting the nuances of life, especially when it comes to gender. Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza (scholar, activist, theologian) sat down to talk about the spectrum of gender, theological and biblical perspectives that make room for our trans* neighbors, and how meaningful it was to find the language of non-binary trans. 

To hear more from Robyn, check out https://irobyn.com/

#42. Sarah Bessey: Reconstructing Faith and Reclaiming Terms

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Bust out the birthday cake. The podcast turns a year old today! We're celebrating in all kinds of ways, none of which involve clowns. 

First, I'm talking to Sarah Bessey (mystically-minded author and speaker). We're looking at how we begin to reconstruct faith and what it looks like to reclaim some good old fashioned Christian terms...and which ones to leave behind. To hear more from Sarah, check out www.sarahbessey.com and her book Out of Sorts (or just win a copy below). Plus, she and Rachel Held Evans just launched a conference called Evolving Faith. Go to it!

Second, we're celebrating by raising money to prevent refugees from experiencing homelessness in Seattle. 100% goes to refugees, and, if every listener gave $10, 500 refugees would have an extra safety net to keep them housed. We've got this, people. Donate HERE, and pass it on.

Last, it wouldn't be birthday party without presents. We're giving away a set of books from our favorite guests, including:

  1. Womanist Midrash by Wil Gafney
  2. Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey
  3. Healing Spiritual Wounds by Carol Howard Merritt
  4. The Very Good Gospel by Lisa Sharon Harper
  5. Disarming Scripture by Derek Flood

To enter to win, head to A Better Story's Twitter or Facebook pages and share the post from this week's episode, or, if you're avoiding social media, just email me at abetterstorypodcast@gmail.com.

THANK YOU for a great year.

#41. The Rhythm of Resurrection

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In a week when there's a lot of talk about death and resurrection, you may find yourself with a few questions. What exactly is resurrection? Can we know what happens when we die? Isn't Easter just a pagan holiday that Christians repurposed? 

Resurrection may not be exactly what we thought. It might even be more. 

Make sure to listen in next week for the one year anniversary episode! Fun will be had, books will be given away and money will be raised for refugees. 

#40. Dr. Amanda Mbuvi: Race and Identity in Genesis

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Dr. Amanda Mbuvi (High Point University) thinks we've been misreading Genesis, especially when it comes to race. We assume the ancient stories share our modern conception of racial identity. When we look closer, we find something much more nuanced, fluid and perhaps helpful for us as we navigate racial inequity today. 

You can find even more on the topic from Dr. Mbuvi in her book, Belonging in Genesis. Use the discount code BDFW before April 30 for a 30% discount OR get 75% off if you order before March 31 and follow the instructions listed HERE. Keep up with Dr. Mbuvi at www.amandambuvi.com

#39. Adam Hamilton: Unafraid

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When it seems like fear is the fuel most of us run on, Adam Hamilton (pastor, author) offers some pretty excellent alternatives. He looks at fear from practical, spiritual and psychological angles, not to make our fears magically disappear, but to keep them from driving us. 

Adam is the pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the largest mainline church in the country. He has also authored over a dozen books, including his latest, Unafraid, and Making Sense of the Bible, one of the best overviews of the Bible around. 

#35. Carol Howard Merritt: Spiritual Wounds

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Carol Howard Merritt (writer, pastor, speaker) has experienced toxic faith, but she has also found healing. She sat down to talk about some of her story, how we can all tend to our spiritual wounds and some helpful replacements for the faith we leave behind. Our conversation is based on her book Healing Spiritual Wounds. Go read it. Seriously. If you want to hear more from Carol, check out https://www.carolhowardmerritt.org/

#34. Richard Beck: Transgressive Hospitality

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Richard Beck (psychologist, writer) knows that we're not wired to befriend those who are radically different than us. Yet, he still thinks it's worth doing, especially if you're trying to follow Jesus. 

He sat down to talk about why it's so easy to dehumanize others and how we can start to move against that tendency. He even helps prepare you for those contentious political discussions you're going to walk into over the holidays. 

To dig deeper, check out Richard's latest book, Stranger God, as well as his past books Uncleanand Reviving Old Scratch. You can also hear from him weekly at http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com

#32. Lisa Sharon Harper: Very Good News in Bad Times

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Lisa Sharon Harper (author, activist, speaker) thinks much of Christianity has underestimated the good news. In our conversation, she digs into scripture and finds a message that speaks to every area of life, from the spiritual to the political. Our conversation is based off of Lisa's book, The Very Good Gospel, which is most definitely worth your time. To hear more from Lisa, visit freedomroad.us and lisasharonharper.com