Conversion, Encounter, and Politics of Communion

Sancta Colloquia episode 106 ft. Nic Don Stanton-Roark

In this episode of Sancta Colloquia, I had the incredible privilege of interviewing my Twitter friend: Nic Don Stanton-Roark (@ExilePolitics). Through our conversation, Nic Don shares the journey he’s been on from Atheism to Theism to Christianity. We get the details of how this journey worked itself out: from the comical episodes to the serious engagements with the dark side of life with suffering. The beauty of (or some of the beauty of) Nic Don’s story is that God is wholly other, one whom we encounter in ways that are external to us: God is made known in the event-encounter of faith. We are drawn out of ourselves towards God and towards others. And Nic Don makes the point that it’s not merely some private encounter, isolated from others people. Rather, not only are other people present to draw us into the story of Christ through faith, but even our ecclesiastical movements in church (the Sacraments, worship, liturgy, etc) are meant to draw us into encounter with God and with others. We never go it alone and it’s an illusion and lie if we think we can. I’m grateful to what Nic Don shared with me thus with you. These stories of God’s movement in our lives encourages us: maybe it’s not as quiet as it feels; God still moves.

Intrigued? You should be. Listen here via Screaming Pods (https://www.screamingpods.com/)

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

Nic Don Stanton-Roark is the archivist for the Church of God (Anderson), a Wesleyan holiness movement that emerged in Northern Indiana in the late 19th century. He has written curriculum for and pastored in the Church of God and attained a master of theological studies from the main seminary of the Church of God, Anderson School of Theology, in 2015, with a focus on political theology.

Books mentioned and recommended:

C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
Frederick Buechner, Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation
Amos Yong, Theology and Down Syndrome
Thomas Reynolds, Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality (Didn’t name the book but referred to it)
William T. Cavanaugh, Torture and Eucharist (didn’t name but referred to) 
Katie Grimes, Christ Divided: Antiblackness as Corporate Vice

I would also list Stanley J. Grenz and Denise Muir Kjesbo, Women in the Church for info on how reform movements will begin egalitarian and then shift toward exclusion of women

Both my twitter and instagram are exilepolitics. My blog is theopolitical.wordpress.com.

 

Body, Religious Trauma, and Hope in Healing

Sancta Colloquia episode 105 ft. Jamie Lee Finch

It took some liquid courage to ask her, but I did ask her and she said yes and I was all: *faints. Jamie Lee Finch (@jamieleefinch) is one of my Twitter crushes if not THE Twitter crush and so having her on my wee podcast was an incredible honor. I love and admire how much freedom she brings to her Tweeps: she sets the captives free tweet after tweet after tweet. I’m all about freedom and liberty and letting people know just how much they are truly and actually loved, that they are wonderfully and marvelously created (bodies are amazing!); Jamie Lee Finch is the queen of this message. In this episode we talk about our bodies, that the body can remember and harbor memories in its flesh, religious trauma, and hope in healing. I’ve found that often times the Church drops the ball when it comes to talking to people as embodied beings yet is quick to judge according to the body. The person (the hearer who has a body) becomes dismembered: two parts, soul and body. The body of the believer gets put through the wringer–it gets neglected, abused, oppressed, ridiculed, and violated (and not merely physically but also: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually). The emphasis on “dying to your self” or “losing yourself” that is part of the Gospel proclamation eclipses the other message that is equally and vitally important: living into and finding oneself. When this inequality shows itself and the proclaimed message becomes tilted in this way, we’ll end up with very vacuous and malnourished believers (if they are even still believers at that point).  I hate to admit that I think to some extent another person being a solid-self is terrifying because of the risk of not being in control (as a parent I wrestle with both encouraging and discouraging my babies to be free-thinkers…what if they leave, what if they disagree, what if they think I’m wrong…). Yet this is exactly what should happen in the event-encounter with God for the hearer. You become more *you* and there’s really nothing more beautiful and the world is better because you are more *you*. Anyway, the show is better than what I’m writing here; Jamie Lee Finch brings so much to the discussion about the necessity of vitality of human beings coming out of traumatic situations, and she offers a much needed challenge to the institution of religion as well as offering her listeners the good way to be with those who have had trauma in their life…so go listen. I hope you are blessed as much as I was but what she said.

Intrigued? You should be. Listen here via Screaming Pods (https://www.screamingpods.com/)

http://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/screamingpods/SanctaColloquia/sanctacolloquia-05.mp3

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

Jamie Lee Finch is a poet, sex witch, intuitive healer, and embodiment coach who specializes in working with people who are recovering form the effects of religious trauma and sexual shame.

Here’s the video I did with Liam Miller on Love, Rinse, Repeat

Here are the books Jamie Lee Finch mentioned in the recording:

 

The body keeps the score – bessel van der kolk

Waking the tiger – peter levine

When I spoke in tongues – jessica wilbanks

Numbers and Reckoning with God’s Self-Disclosure

Sancta Colloquia episode 104 ft. Liam Miller

This isn’t the first time I’ve had the privilege of talking with Liam Miller (Twitter: @liammiller87). Earlier this year I was honored to be a guest speaker for his Jesus 12/24 online conference. I had a blast, thus, when an opportunity presented itself for me to have another dialogue with Liam, I took it. In this episode, Liam and I are talking about the book of Numbers, the fourth book of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, the fourth of five books that make up Israel’s Torah. Liam does an excellent job walking us through large portions of the book of Numbers or, as he refers to it, “The Book of the Wilderness.” What was supposed to be a relatively short(ish) travel through the wilderness, turns into an epic journey that is repeatedly marked by God’s radical self-disclosure, the Israelites hard and stubborn hearts (and their craving for leeks), and the encounter of the two. But while there are plenty of hard things to face in the book of Numbers, things that don’t make sense, Liam guides us to the goal: hope. Hope that is embedded in recognizing, as Liam says, “the inscrutability of our own lives.” We are dependent completely on God, this God who is not to be objectified. And while this could seem terrifying, it’s not. We are undone and redone over and over again as we dare to walk forward into so much unknown and be encountered by the oncoming future; we find ourselves not swallowed up unto the pit of the earth, but into the encounter with God in the event of faith that leads to through death to life, where we find ourselves new creations and utterly human and completely beautiful.

Intrigued? You should be. Listen here via Screaming Pods (https://www.screamingpods.com/)

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

Liam Miller is the Uniting Church in Australia Chaplain at Macquarie University. He is just weeks away from completing his MDiv and Pilgrim Theological College, and is a candidate for minister of the Word in the Very same Uniting Church. He trained and (sometimes) worked as an actor, and before trading stage lights for Christ candles. He lives in a house with his wife, 18 month old daughter,, brother, and a dog called Zeus who is afraid of thunder.

Here’s the video I reference in the introduction to the show from Liam’s YouTube channel featuring Dr. David Congdon.

And here are two more interviews I highly recommend:

Here are some resources from Liam for further reading and studying and ways to connect with more of Liam’s work:

The Heart of Torah vol.2: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Rabbi Shai Held

Numbers, Dennis Olson (Interpretation Series)

Womanist Midrash, Wilda Gafney

Systematic Theology vol 1. The Doctrine of God, Katherine Sonderegger

Bewilderments, Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg

Biblical Truths by Dale Martin

Twitter: @liammiller87
Website: www.loverinserepeat.com
Podcast: Love Rinse Repeat
Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/LiamMQUT

Purity Culture and Toxic Theology

Sancta Colloquia episode 103 ft. Anastasia Satterfield

In this episode I get the opportunity to have my first in depth, voice-to-voice conversation with my new friend Anastasia Satterfield (Twitter: @the_stasia_bug). Anastasia and I have bonded over the Twitters via tweets about American Evangelicalism obsession with purity culture and the toxic application of theology that supports and surrounds it. We both agree that the impact of purity culture on the mind and body of any person (especially women) is not only devastating but also deeply damaging. Anastasia does an excellent job in this episode of detailing out and driving home just how bad the toxic application of theology can be by using her own story about her journey in American Evangelicalism and purity culture and her exit from–what she’d call her deconstruction. But her story doesn’t stop there; she doesn’t just walk (which has its place in the healing journey). She joins a *good* one and begins to experience what good theology is and embraces the healing that comes with being ministered to in such a way (both the comfort and the pain of relearning). She is clearly in the process of reconstruction and boy do we benefit from this: she’s an articulate teacher, wise beyond her years, passionate about people and good theology, and cares deeply about your journey and assisting you in your flourishing. Well, at least that was how I felt when I was finished talking with her.

Intrigued? You should be. Listen here via Screaming Pods (https://www.screamingpods.com/)

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

Anastasia Satterfield is from sunny and flat Central Valley in Northern California. She loves her church in San Francisco, traveling, working her three jobs, reading books about theology, and playing the piano whenever and wherever possible. She’s a college dropout, a deconstructing/reconstructing exvangelical, and is trying to figure out how to do this whole life thing without being crushed by the financial and mental/emotional weight of Capitalism. She lives on Twitter and love active, encouraging, and positive engagement from her followers who are also trying to work through their trauma and live life well.

Here are some resources from Anastasia for further reading and studying–she also includes a list of Twitter accounts that I would consider to be “must-follows”:

Books mentioned on the podcast:
Sinners In the Hands of a Loving God, Brian Zahnd
Sermon series relating to the book:
Sex, God, and the Conservative Church, Dr. Tina Sellers
Brain Zahnd’s sermon series on deconstruction:
City Church San Francisco recommended sermons (by Fred Harrell):
“A Church Rooted In Blessing”:
Rooted Series:
Follow list for twitter:
@lllogansays
@BrianZahnd
@fredharrell
@dwcongdon
@orthoheterodox1
@hannahpaasch
@GarrettEaglin
@pneumajustice
@CityChurchSF
@danandstephinsf
@existentialtheo
@danremps
@jrdkirk
@theboyonthebike
@zechareyah

Stoicism, Resistance, and Equity

Sancta Colloquia episode 102 ft. John-Marc Ormechea

In this episode I talk with my friend and philosophical and theological interlocutor John-Marc Ormechea (Twitter: @EpicTillich), and we discussed all things Stoicism, how Stoicism is inherently situated to stand against oppressive systems, and the emphasis within Stoicism that we all fit together (equity). I have to tell you that I know practically nothing about Stoicism; this conversation was mostly selfish: I wanted to learn about this philosophical school. Simultaneously, John-Marc is a person I admire in many regards and Stoicism for him is a way of life; according to the way he loves and has compassion and works–brick by brick and day by day–to build a better world, how could I not want to know more? How could I not share what we discussed with you?  Whatever version of Stoicism I had in my narrow-minded view of Stoicism was quickly and efficiently dispelled my John-Marc’s passion and expertise; he’s truly a great teacher. From what I learned from John-Marc, this isn’t your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great…great grand-father’s Stoicism.

Intrigued? You should be. Listen here via Screaming Pods (https://www.screamingpods.com/):

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

A heads up that I sound a bit like I’m talking on a phone, from the middle of a jungle on a remote island. This is because my computer picked up my blue-tooth mic on my headphones rather than the mic I use for podcasting *grumbles (read: no fault of my wonderful producer). I promise, I’ll double check this in the future 🙂

To hear and see a different conversation I had with John-Marc about my love for all things Luther, watch this video:

John-Marc Ormechea works for a Rehabilitation Hospital. He considers himself to be a lay systematic theologian and philosopher who is primarily influenced by the work of Paul Tillich as well as classical and modern Stoicism. He not only talks the Stoic talk, he walks the Stoic walk.

Here are some resources from John-Marc for further reading and studying:

Besides this incredible introduction Massimo has this incredible blog as well:
Core Cannon:
Incredible 2ndary Sources:

White Supremacy, Mysticism, and Feminism

Welcome to Sancta Colloquia episode 101 ft. Kate Hanch

In this episode, I talk with my friend and colleague Rev. Kate Hanch (Twitter: @katehanch) and we discuss mysticism, feminism, and white-supremacy.  It’s clear that in this conversation I am wading into unknown theological waters, and Kate proves to be a good swim coach and life guard. She deftly moves me from my default to skepticism of mysticism into a “hot-damn!-Maybe-I-should-rethink-this” mindset. The way in which Kate engages medieval female  mystics rightly challenges my average (mis?)conceptions about Mysticism. She reveals that mysticism isn’t only about our vertical relation with God, but also about participating in the horizontal actively and politically. So, if you’ve ever thought mysticism was merely a means for Christians to “Jesus-Juke” out-of-body experiences, think again. Mysticism has been and continues to be a means to combat and overhaul oppressive systems in society and challenge the status-quo.

Intrigued? You should be. Listen here via Screaming Pods (https://www.screamingpods.com/):

A huge THANK YOU to my friend and producer Sean Duregger (Twitter: @seanCduregger) and Screaming Pods (Twitter: @ScreamingPods) for hosting Sancta Colloquia (Twitter: @SanctaColloquia). Also, a big hug to my friend Danielle Larson (Twitter: @DanielleELarson) for helping me record a test run.

To hear (and see) more from Kate about medieval female mystics, specifically on Julian of Norwich, watch this video by Dr. W. Travis McMaken (Twitter: @WTravisMcMaken):

The Rev. Kate Hanch is studying theology at Garrett Evangelical seminary, and is also ordained in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.  Kate specifically studies medieval female mystics and 19th century black female mystical preachers.

Here are some resources from Kate for further reading and studying:

Andrews, William. Sisters of the Spirit: Three Black Women’s Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.
Bostic, Joy R. African American Female Mysticism: Nineteenth-Century Religious Activism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.  This is the book, more than any others, that challenged and changed my view of mysticism.
Crawley, Ashon T. Blackpentecostal Breath: the Aesthetics of Possibility. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017.
McGinn, Bernard, ed. The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism. Modern ed. New York: Modern Library, 2006.
Newman, Barbara. “Annihilation and Authorship: Three Women Mystics of the 1290s.” Speculum 91, no. 3 (July 2016): 591–630.

Pelphrey, Brendan, and Julia Bolton Holloway. Lo, How I Love Thee! Divine Love in Julian of Norwich.  Spring Deer Studio, 2012.

Ruffing, J.K. ed. Mysticism and Social Transformation. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2001.
Washington, Margaret. Sojourner Truth’s America. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011

Sancta Colloquia: Sacred Conversations

Ezeruncaged is laid to rest, but I’m not. Welcome to my newest podcast project: Sancta Colloquia.

“Sancta Colloquia” is latin for: Sacred Conversations.

Some of my favorite episodes of Ezeruncaged were the times friends were invited to participate. The different voices added to our familiar tones, the varying view points highlighted where co-hosts had become too similar. So, when Ezeruncaged dissolved, I thought to myself: why not create a podcast that was comprised of just conversations with other people? I know a bunch of really interesting people; access to potentially great dialogues and conversations is no further than a few key strokes away. In reality, it’s just making public some of the cool conversations I’m already having day to day in various venues. Simple enough.

But, in order to have really good conversations, the space in which those conversations occur has to be safe, it needs to be valued as sacred. And making and maintaining safe spaces is something I know I’m good at. I’m hardwired to create safe spaces for those around me, be it pastorally (in the classroom with my high-school students who are learning to express themselves theologically and philosophically), maternally (making sure my children feel at ease in their environments as they grow in various ways), or relationally (I’m that friend who is not afraid to sit with you in whatever condition you may be in). Human beings are remarkable and amazing creatures. Every time we come into contact with each other, it is an opportunity for that interaction to become an event-encounter, where the divine is present and experienced, and an opportunity for that space to become sacred. With presence and orientation toward the other, that space and that event-encounter are protected and safe. And there’s no better place than from there to have a really good conversation.

I want to be clear, though, about what I mean by “safe place” because, certainly, “safe place” has also become code for: I get to say and do whatever I want no matter how cruel and mean it is. I’ve seen “safe place” and “gospel freedom” used to justify therapeutic hedonism, the type of activity that only ever eventually becomes another law unto itself. In this type of “freedom” and “safe space” the only activity that is allowed is that which lacks virtue and is merely a means to do all the things you’d never do and say all the things you’d never say  irl or in relation to another living, breathing, flesh and bone human beings. Here, in this type of false free and safe place, the territorial flags of “Vitriol” and “Condemnation” wave at full mast.

In the past, I’ve been face to face with such therapeutic hedonism and abuse of freedom and safety and even though it bothered me to no end, I remained silent. In the past I’ve also participated in this type of “freedom” and “safety” and, well, the only thing I have from participation is regret. Immense regret. Bearing the name of Christ, being a disciple there in and labeled a Christian, I have no right to partake in any such behavior or do I have any right to be silent in the midst of such behavior. To love Christ is to love others both when I’m face to face with them and when I’m not. (Full Stop)

Thus, this safe place is for conversation that brings life not only to those participating directly in the conversation, but also to those who choose to listen in. This freedom is for sharing pain and healing, discouragement and encouragement, anger and joy, bondage and freedom, the good and the bad, all with the goal that maybe, just maybe, someone else out there needs to hear these very words. This podcast is and these conversations are a safe place for building up and encouraging and empowering other people.

The only tearing down that will occur will be the tearing down of oppressive and abusive systems that we’ve grown all too accustomed to tolerating in our society and in our churches. Using story and experience, dialogue and conversation, vulnerability and authenticity, community and individuality, questions and answers or silence, my hope is that this podcast will expose (unto life) where we are lacking and exhort us to better activity in the world, activity based in and founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news, the proclamation of the Cross.

So, with that said: Welcome to Sancta Colloquia; I’m glad you’re here.

Twitter: @SanctaColloquia