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Elgin, my oldest son, just turned 11 and he has managed to talk himself into a podcast appearance. Personally I had a blast. It may be a completely new parenting tactic – get your 11 year old Son to record a podcast and they will talk to you about something other than Fortnite for 30 minutes!!

Elgin is a pretty big fan of the National Geographic show MARS and we are currently rocking the second season. It is about an international team of scientists who go on a mission to colonize the red planet. The cool thing about the show is they go back and forth with a not-too-far-ahead future narrative of the first Mars team and cut-ins with info from contemporary scientists or current research connected to the mission. This leads to Elgin asking all sorts of fun questions…some of which we attempt to discuss in the episode.

If you haven’t seen Mars and have a science or Sci-Fi nerd in the house check it out. For those that are going to watch with a very inquisitive offspring, just DVR it so you can pause and discuss as you go through the episode.

For more Mars excitement you can also check out the book the show is based on, How We’ll Live on Mars. It’s extremely readable and quite fun. There is a certain individual in our house who may or may not find the book in a stalking this Christmas.

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Elgin, my oldest son, just turned 11 and he has managed to talk himself into a podcast appearance. Personally I had a blast. It may be a completely new parenting tactic – get your 11 year old Son to record a podcast and they will talk to you about something other than Fortnite for 30 minutes!!

Elgin is a pretty big fan of the National Geographic show MARS and we are currently rocking the second season. It is about an international team of scientists who go on a mission to colonize the red planet. The cool thing about the show is they go back and forth with a not-too-far-ahead future narrative of the first Mars team and cut-ins with info from contemporary scientists or current research connected to the mission. This leads to Elgin asking all sorts of fun questions…some of which we attempt to discuss in the episode.

If you haven’t seen Mars and have a science or Sci-Fi nerd in the house check it out. For those that are going to watch with a very inquisitive offspring, just DVR it so you can pause and discuss as you go through the episode.

For more Mars excitement you can also check out the book the show is based on, How We’ll Live on Mars. It’s extremely readable and quite fun. There is a certain individual in our house who may or may not find the book in a stalking this Christmas.

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Two of my favorite humans on planet earth are named Gareth and Brian. They aren’t my favorites because they are brilliant, creative, wise, or even lots of fun. Gareth and Brain are genuinely kind and passionately invested in the well-being of our planet. That is why I am super pumped that they have written a CHILDREN’S BOOK that is absolutely wonderful.

It is called Cory and the Seventh Story and should be required reading for parents and grand parents with the children in their life.

Don’t worry adults, they didn’t forget about you. They also wrote a version for you that explores the same themes. That’s right, you can also get The Seventh Story: Us, Them, and the End of Violence.

You can also check out my first film and the only one I know of in the “progressive Christian buddy road-trip comedy you could get in trouble for showing at church, but if you watch the entire thing you might cry and not think it is just inappropriate humor” category. It is called The Road to Edmond and this holiday season you can stream it by heading to jesuslovesourmovie.com.

Gareth Higgins was born in Belfast in 1975, grew up during the northern Ireland Troubles, and now lives in North Carolina. He writes and speaks about connection to the earth, cinema and the power of dreams, peace and making justice, and how to take life seriously without believing your own propaganda. He co-founded the Wild Goose Festival, Movies & Meaning, The Porch Magazine, and the New Story Festival. He has experienced violence, and been involved in peace-building; he lives in the US and sees beauty amidst challenge; his greatest hope is that you would find some healing and inspiration in a better story, to find a better life, for you, your community, the world, and everyone else. He’s looking for that too, and he’s happy to be a work in progress. If you’d like to connect with his work, www.garethhiggins.net is the place to go.

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is an Auburn Senior Fellow and a leader in the Convergence Network, through which he is developing an innovative training/mentoring program for pastors, church planters, and lay leaders called Convergence Leadership Project. He works closely with the Center for Progressive Renewal/Convergence, the Wild Goose Festival and the Fair Food Program‘s Faith Working Group.

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On this episode I am joined by Michael Frost and we talk about his newest book Keep Christianity Weird: Embracing the Discipline of Being Different.  Michael is an internationally recognized missiologist and one of the leading voices in the missional church movement. On top of that he’s is the Vice Principal of Morling College and the founding Director of the Tinsley Institute, a mission study centre located at Morling College in Sydney, Australia.

You can check out his website, follow him on twitter, and even on Facebook.

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Get ready for a mind expanding and assumption challenging episode with the one and only Rupert Sheldrake. When a guest comes to the podcast on recommendation from John Cobb you have to get pumped. Prior to the interview I read two of Sheldrakes books that I would definitely recommend to you.

In this wide-ranging conversation we end discussing the dogmatism of scientific materialists, the nature of consciousness, parapsychology, pets, psychedelics, ritual, pilgrimage, neo-darwinism, the changing shape of religion, epigenetic, creativity in evolution, Bergson, Whitehead, and why Rupert loves the doctrine of the Trinity.

Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, is a biologist and author best known for his hypothesis of morphic resonance. At Cambridge University he worked in developmental biology as a Fellow of Clare College. He was Principal Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and From 2005 to 2010 was Director of the Perrott-Warrick project, Cambridge.

Rupert Sheldrake was not only kind enough to join the podcast, but is coming back for a live session with all the members of the Cosmic Campfire Online Book Group. If you want to join the fun and ask Rupert your own questions then head on over and sign up!

If you want to hear more from Sheldrake here’s a few places to go.

Clearly you want to watch his BANNED TED TALK.

Check out his books Science and Spiritual Practices: Transformative Experiences and Their Effects on Our Bodies, Brains, and Health and Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery. Both are available in physical, digital, and audio versions.

Sheldrake also has a very informative and resource rich website. There you can find links to all the different podcasts that he has released. For a fun introduction to Rupert’s work check out his visit to Russell Brand’s podcast and his conversation with Joe Rogan.

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Ilia Delio, OSF, is the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University, a wide read author, popular speaker, and down right passionate communicator at the intersection of religion, science, and our evolving universe. I had a complete blast talking to her and we covered a bunch of different facets of her work including her journey from molecular biology to the monastery to the academic study of theology. We also tackle:

  • the role of mystery in theology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cyborgs
  • cosmic evolution
  • reconciling God with the scientific world
  • the ecological crisis

At the end of the interview Ilia suggested two places to begin reading her work, The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love and Hunger for Wholeness, A: Soul, Space, and TranscendenceWhen asked what three books she would recommend to dig deeper into the topics we tackled in our conversation she said…

  1. Deeper Than Darwin: The Prospect For Religion In The Age Of Evolution and God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution by John Haught
  2. Christianity and Evolution, by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
  3. Bonaventure’s Soul’s Journey to God which can be found in this most excellent collection of his writings.
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This is a very live and rowdy collection of Baptist Professors of Religion.

In the first segment I am joined by my high school friend and Theology Professor Ryan Newson & gifted homebrewer and Claremont buddy Seth Clark. We talk about Baptist identity in and out of the South.

Then Ryan introduces his friend, colleague at Campbell University, and scholar of the New Testament, Alicia Myers. Our conversation is way too awesome. If you don’t enjoy it you aren’t listening. We talk about…

  • Where did babies come from (in the Bible)?
  • How Aristotle understood bodily fluids.
  • Biblical interpretation in 2nd Temple Period Judaism
  • How Angels had sex just for fun.
  • How the character of Mary the Mother of Jesus is understood in the early church.
  • The changing nature of family and church in the New Testament
  • The experience of women in the life and leadership of the church.
  • Breastfeeding during a worship service
  • The consequences of our hyper-sexualized culture
  • How can we change the place of bodies in spiritual formation
Dr. Alicia Myers

Alicia D. Myers is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Greek at Campbell University Divinity School. Her previous publications include Characterizing Jesus: A Rhetorical Analysis on the Fourth Gospel’s Use of Scripture in Its Presentation of Jesus (2012) and Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John (co-editor, 2015).

I am very grateful that our friends at Newgrass Brewing Co. welcomed the podcast and all the Baptist Professors of Religion to the brewery for the evening. The beer was delicious, so if you are near Shelby, NC then you definitely want to stop by for a pint.

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