In episode 90 of A Jew and a Gentile walk into a Bar…Mitzvah…the Podcast, the gang welcomes back Sarahbeth Caplin (author, blogger, editor, freelance writer, initiator of interfaith dialogue). (Seriously, check out her website, follow her on Twitter, and get your hands on her books.) We’re just as surprised as you are that she came on our podcast a second time. Check out her first visit on the podcast. The faithful foursome begins a discussion on faith and conversion. What we’re not surprised about is that Rev. Helena, pronounced “Hell-uh-nah,” and Beth knock this episode out of the park sharing their experiences of converting from Judaism to Christianity. What follows is an honest conversation between two women of faith. (Also if you don’t hear me, that’s Rev. Chris, on our next episode it’s because of Rev. Helena beat me near to death for intentionally mispronouncing her name.)
Episode 89 finds the intrepid trio of Charles, Chris, and Helena interviewing the Rev. Tom Warren, Pastor of Peace United Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC. Rev. Warren is also an adjunct professor of sociology at Guilford Tech Community College. This guy is a mensch as he works with Charles and admits it. God’s grace abounds. Rev. Warren talks about his mission trips to Cuba that focus on cultural immersion and solidarity with the Cuban people. Give this episode a listen and if you want to get involved check out Pastors for Peace. Pastors for Peace has a touring Cuba Caravan that may be coming to a city near you. (If you want to skip past our shenanigans and cigar reviews start listening at the 12:32 mark.)
Episode 88 is aptly titled “The Not-so-United Methodist Church following the UMC voting to go with the Traditional plan at a special called session of General Conference. The Traditional Plan continues the denomination’s status quo of anti-LGBTQ discrimination. We are joined this episode by Andrew Mails, Director of the UNC-Greensboro LGBTQ affirming Wesley-Luther campus ministry. Andrew and Rev. Henson are both members of the United Methodist Church. For more information on how persons can stand their holy ground against the Traditional plan visit Reconciling Ministries Network of the United Methodist Church. (FYI, if you want to skip some outtakes and our usual cigar bit start listening at the 13:50 mark.)
Episode 87 of "A Jew and a Gentile Walk into a Bar...Mitzvah: The Podcast." In the second part of a series exploring the interconnectedness of Western-European-American (read “White”) Christianity and African-American Christianity, The Rev., The Dr., and The Ampersand of Reason are joined by Rev. Derrick Weston, Director of Programs & Volunteering at Hope Springs. We discuss the long history of African-Americans finding their own identity in a religion imposed on them, how this community of Christians transformed a religion of oppression into a religion of liberation, what lessons Western-European American Christianity can learn from this transformation, and how to it without committing their favorite pastime of cultural appropriation. We also smoke cigars, drink some whiskey, and drop a few F*bombs.
Episode 86 finds Dr. Charles, Rev. Chris, and Mother Helena…she said I could call her that in this episode… Anyway, we discuss cigars…big shocker there. Then we comment on the State of the Union address. And we talk about the similarities and differences between the Law and the Beatitudes. Does Jesus fulfill the law? Does Jesus make a departure from the Law? Be a mensch and give it a listen.
In episode 85, The InterfaithED Triumvirate discuss the significant differences between the Ten Commandments we all think we know and the first 10 commandments in Sh’mot 20:1-15. Is this the first in a 613 part series? Stay tuned for music from our Indy House Band “Decalogue and the Beatitudes.”
Episode 84 finds the intrepid trio discussing “how evangelicals, once culturally confident, became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory.” The not-nearly-so holy trinity (we’ll let you figure out who is who) makes a deep dive in an article that appeared in The Atlantic (April 2018 by Michael Gerson. (That’s where we stole that pithy quote at the beginning of this blurb.) This episode was also informed by an article in Salon magazine by Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a Yale Psychiatrist. And to add some levity, even if it is gallows humor, an article in Huffington Post that the Jew found that the Gentile swore came from the Onion.
Episode 83 finds Charles, Chris, and Helena talking about the season of Advent. We hit all the major talking points: War on Christmas, coming of Christ, the 2nd coming of Christ, and Chris making a pretty clever play on words… “Advent is the antidote for the opiate.” Yes, he so referenced Karl Marx on that one. Anyway, be a mensch and give it a listen.
In Episode 82, Chris, Charles, and Helena are joined by Russ Jennings, of Love in a Dangerous Time podcast and Wild Goose Festival’s Goosecast Stage, and consider a new term, “Liminal Christianity.” Cited as part of this discussion is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letter to Ebehard Bethge dated April 30, 1944. In this letter, Bonhoeffer introduces the world to the notion of “Religionless Christianity” Click HERE to download a copy of the letter.
“My God is not waiting inside a church or sitting above the temple’s steps. My God is the refugee’s breath as she’s running…is living in the starving child’s belly…is the heartbeat of the protest. My God does not rest between pages written by holy men. My God lives between the sweaty thighs of women’s bodies sold for money…was last seen washing the homeless man’s feet. My God is not as unreachable as they’d like you to think. My God is beating inside us infinitely”― Rupi Kaur, “The Sun and Her Flowers”
In episode 81, the Jew and the Gentile, plus Rev. Helena, join Becky and Callie of the Twisted Sisterds on their podcast. The quintet discuss Christian purity culture in light of Joshua Harris discontinuing his work “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” Personally, Josh can kiss our collective asses goodbye.
Episode 80 finds the Jew and the Gentile interviewing author, J. Dana Trent. (Yes, we’re as amazed as you are that she still sullies herself with the likes of us.) JDT talks about her latest book “One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation.” JDT reframes meditation for those who are skeptical because (1) they doubt their ability to be still and quiet and (2) they doubt the validity of meditation as a Christian spiritual practice. Using scripture, theology, and examples from the early church, her latest book challenges Christians’ prayer habits that leave little room for enough silence to experience and listen for God. Using five approaches—breath meditation, lectio divina, centering meditation, loving-kindness meditation, and devotional meditation, One Breath at a Time provides a practical, 40-day guide to beginning and sustaining a Christian meditation practice in an often chaotic world. (And again, we’re happy she admits to know us in public.)
In episode 79, the irreverent trio returns with more mishigas than you can shake a cigar at… Eventually, we discuss the midterm election results and Christian nationalism. Click HERE to read the article we reference from the Huff Post.
In the face of the latest crisis that again exposes humanity’s disunity, this episode finds us seeking solace in community. Dr. Charles and Rev. Chris are again joined by Rev. Helena as they process the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting.
He’s better than Jack Skellington and the Great Pumpkin put together. Episode 77 the Depressive Duo are joined by Phil “Freaking” Wyman! Phil discusses his latest book “The Reformation of Halloween.” Way back in 1999 Phil Wyman moved to Salem, MA. Since then, a wild story of Christian Outreach and working with the city of Salem has unfolded. Phil’s work on the streets of Salem has been covered by the WSJ, PBS, Christianity Today, and movies such as “Furious Love.” If anyone has an insight on the intersections culture, faith, and the holiday known as Halloween it’s Phil.
In episode 76 of a Jew and a Gentile the Podcast, the depressive duo are joined by Rev. Helena Epstein to discuss Christianity’s cultural appropriation of Judaism. Rev. Epstein brings her keen theological mind and her personal faith journey that includes a conversion from Judaism to Christianity.
The Jew and the Gentile celebrate a milestone in producing their 75th podcast. A milestone that is millstone to those long-suffering listeners. Episode 75 is our diamond episode because just as a diamond is the hardest material, listening to our schtick is equally as hard. The Jew and the Gentile reflect on their favorite guests and episodes. They also introduce two new party games: Prooftexting and Bibles Against Humanity. The Gentile even censors himself twice in one episode.
September is suicide prevention awareness month, so the Jew and the Gentile revisit the subject of faith and suicide. For our previous discussion of this subject take a listen to Episode 43. What starts out as the good Dr. interviewing the very right Rev. about his experience with suicide soon becomes an invitation to follow the Rev. and his faith journey many years after, and some 31 episodes later, his attempt.
In our latest episode, we talk with Sarabeth Caplin about her journey from journey from Reform Judaism to the Episcopal church.
Author and syndicated NPR personality Byron Williams joins The Jew and the Gentile to discuss how, in the current era of resistance, Progressive White Christians can learn from African-American Christianity without it leading to cultural appropriation. This episode is the first of a special series on this topic.
Episode 71 is from the Goosecast Stage at the Wild Goose Festival 2018. The Jew and the Gentile are joined by J Dana Trent, a Baptist minister and author, with her spouse Fred Eaker, a devout Hindu and a former monk (you have to get Dana’s book Saffron Cross to read about their story). They are joined by 1/3 of the Twisted Sisterds podcast, Becky Seville. We discuss this year’s Wild Goose Festival, a first time for Fred and Becky, and how we might take the spirit of the Goose with us. We also ask, “what is the future of the church?” Did I mention that we are joined by a live studio audience? (Special thanks to Russ Jennings for making the Goosecast Stage happen… You should also check out his podcast Love in a Dangerous Time.)