Get Your Stoic On

Sancta Colloquia Episode 205 ft. Juan Torres

In this episode Juan Torres (@orthoheterodox1) and I talk about his recent pursuit of understanding Stoicism. What’s neat about this episode is that it’s a different perspective and a different discussion than the one I had with John Marc Ormechea (Season 1, Episode 2, linked below). I met John-Marc as is: a Stoic. But I met Juan as a dyed in the wool Moltmannian protestant and now, three years later, he’s deep in Stoicism. I was intrigued with what looked like a shift to me. So, I decided why not talk to Juan and figure this out. And Juan demonstrated the deep connection that Stoicism has with things like a basic understanding of the New Testament and that one of his favorites (Rudolf Bultmann) engaged with the concepts of Stoicism. Juan says, “Bultmann compares Christian understanding of freedom with the stoic understanding of freedom.” So, he started tracking down this line of thought. And he makes many valid arguments for the inclusion of the study of Stoicism to have a well-rounded engagement with the bible. Juan explains that Stoicism is about freedom based on reasoning one’s way through life by making the best possible choices in life, and that virtue is the only good. We are, according to Juan, to do what is right. But not in an individual way. He demonstrates that in Stoicism there’s a strong social aspect and this social aspect influences our use of our reason. Stoicism was originally a communal endeavor like “church”, the young stoic was always guided by the older and wiser stoics. At the end of the day, Juan is trying to give the philosophers a fair hearing and implement their thought into his daily life in practice. What I love about this conversation is that Juan demonstrates what it is to be truly openminded and a full-embodied student to the nth degree. He reminded me: stoicism was first to the scene and then Christianity; when it comes to borrowing it’s only in one direction, Christianity borrows from Stoicism ::micdrop::

Intrigued? You should be. Listen here via Screaming Pods (

A huge THANK YOU to my friend and producer Sean Duregger (@seanCduregger) and Screaming Pods (@ScreamingPods) for hosting Sancta Colloquia (@SanctaColloquia).

Juan C. Torres is nothing more and nothing less than what some call a ‘lay-theologian”. He’s never gone to bible college, seminary, or on of those fancy religion/philosophy scholars’ conferences. All he has is an abiding interest/concern for the core matters of the Christian faith, in particular, he has always been immersed in theodicy and eschatology. Main thinkers who have molded his thought: Barth, Bultmann, Moltmann, Pannenberg, Tillich, etc. (Yes, he has read books/articles by women and people of color, but not the extent that he can list them and talk about their work.) By trade, he is a middle school math teacher. By passion, he is a theologian (in the broadest sense of the word) and most recently a stumbling but practicing Stoic.
You can find more by Juan Torres (and do some extra reading and listening) by visiting his blog and podcast: (Twitter: @CheerfulStoic1)

Reading List Summer/Fall 2019

The following is my reading list for this summer and into the fall…Reading isn’t restricted to this and I may update the list. I’ll be updating the list marking selections “Read” (etc.) and adding new books (if needed). But for now, for those who may be interested in what I’m tackling over the next few months…Here you go:

Moral Philosophy:

Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics

Augustine, City of God (Books: 1, 2, 13, 14, 19)

Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Immanuel Kant The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

Hegel The Philosophy of Right

Marx Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of Karl Marx READ

Engles Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy READ

Marx and Engels Communist Manifesto READ

Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil Reading

John Stuart Mill On Liberty

Rand Anthem

Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince READ

Plato   Phaedo READ

            Protagoras READ

            Meno READ


For the Dissertation:

In English:

Karl Barth The Church and The War 1944 READ

Travis McMaken The Sign of the Gospel READ

Philip Ziegler Militant Grace READ

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Ethics READ

In German:

Friedrich Gogarten Politische Ethik 1932 Reading

Friedrich Gogarten Die Verkündigung Jesu Christi 1948

Friedrich Gogarten Der Mensch zwischen Gott und Welt 1956



Stephen D. Morrison Jürgen Moltmann in Plain English READ

James Cone Martin and Malcom READ

Tripp Fuller Jesus: Lord, Liar, Lunatic…or Awesome? READ

McMaken/Congdon Karl Barth in Conversation READ

Albert Camus The Myth of Sisyphus READ

Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex

Søren Kierkegaard  Fear and Trembling READ

Sickness unto Death READ

Bultmann This World and Beyond

Tina Schermer Sellers Sex, God & The Conservative Church READ



Jeanette Parker, Instructional Strategies for Teaching the Gifted READ