Faith Seeking Understanding: A Podcast on Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
By Allan R. Bevere
Faith Seeking Understanding: A Podcast on Christian Faith and 21st Century LifeAug 15, 2023
Believing Is Seeing: Christian Faith and Extraterrestrial Intelligence
On this episode of "Believing Is Seeing," Allan converses with the Reverend Professor David Wilkinson, Professor and Principal of St. John's College in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Durham, U.K. Dr. Wilkinson has two Ph.Ds, one in astrophysics and the other in systematic theology. They discuss the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence and what its existence might mean for the truth of Christianity.
Wilkinson's publications can be found here.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Legacy (Episode 15)
On this final episode of "A Prophet with Honor," Pidge and Allan ponder Dietrich's legacy and how it informs discipleship in the 21st century.
Calmly Considered: The Supreme Court-- Guardians of the Constitution or Judicial Legislators?
On this episode of "Calmly Considered" Michael and Allan discuss the Supreme Court of the United States: its history, development and its politicization by politicians throughout the decades.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Scripture (Episode 14)
On this episode of "A Prophet with Honor," Pidge and Allan discuss Dietrich's understanding of the nature of the Bible and how he used it in his theological reflection.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Life Together (Episode 13)
On this episode of "A Prophet with Honor," Pidge and Allan reflect upon Dietrich's understanding of the church formed largely by his time with the underground seminary which resulted in his book Life Together.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer-- Who Is Christ for Us Today? (Episode 12)
Who is Christ for us today? That is the central question in Dietrich's theology. In episode 12, Pidge and Allan reflect upon Bonhoeffer's understanding of Jesus not as an abstract doctrine, but as one who calls his disciples to follow in his way of life, death, and resurrection.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Cost of Discipleship (Episode 11)
On episode 11 of "A Prophet with Honor," Bonhoeffer's book, The Cost of Discipleship is highlighted. Originally lectures he taught at the underground seminary, this book reveals how seriously Dietrich took Jesus' call to discipleship and faithful obedience. "When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die."
Calmly Considered: Managing Tensions, Or How to Keep from Making Stupid Arguments
On this episode of "Calmly Considered," Michael and Allan discuss the importance of polarity management, a way of viewing tensions not as either/or problems to be solved, but both/and tensions to be managed. When tensions are turned into problems as is so often the case in today's politics, stupidity reigns supreme and solutions remain elusive.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Letters and Papers from Prison (Episode 10)
In this episode of "A Prophet with Honor," Pidge and Allan discuss the book, Letters and Papers from Prison which is a compilation of Dietrich's correspondence (published posthumously) while under arrest by the Nazis. These writings reveal a deeply personal side of Bonhoeffer as well as his deep reflections on faith and suffering.
A Prophet with Honor: Bonhoeffer the Assassin? (Episode 9)
It is generally believed that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was involved in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. He certainly knew of plots, but did he in some way participate in the planning? Pidge and Allan discuss the matter.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Stupidity (Episode 8)
In his Letters and Papers from Prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, "Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous." What does Bonhoeffer mean by "stupidity?" Is he referring to those who lack intelligence or is it something more complicated? Who is he referring to in his context of Nazi Germany? Pidge and Allan discuss the matter.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church (Episode 7)
The Confessing Church was formed in Germany in May 1934 as an alternative to the German Nationalist Church which was complicit with Nazism. Dietrich would play a key role in its formation and work.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Harlem (Episode 6)
In 1930, Dietrich spends a year in New York City. He spends time in Harlem with the black community there. One of the shocking incidents that happens to Bonhoeffer is that one night he and an African American friend are refused service at a restaurant because of his friend's skin color. Bonhoeffer cannot fathom this.
In this episode of A Prophet with Honor, Pidge and Allan reflect on Dietrich's time in Harlem and how it transformed his life and theology.
Calmly Considered: A Discussion on Deconstruction
On this episode of Calmly Considered, Michael and Allan discuss deconstruction particularly as it relates to religion and faith. What is deconstruction? Is it new or something that's been around for a long time? Is deconstruction present in the Bible? Was Jesus a deconstructionist?
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in America (Episode 5)
In 1930, Dietrich comes to the United States for a year of study at Union Theological Seminary in New York. It will be a formative experience that he will take back to Germany.
In episode five of fifteen, Pidge and Allan reflect on Bonhoeffer’s transformative experience in America.
Courageous Conversations: Immigration, the Bible, and Current Realities
On this episode of Courageous Conversations, we interview Christy Staats of the National Immigration Forum. We discuss the current situation at the border between the United States and Mexico and separate fact from fiction. Christy also offers a Christian perspective on immigration and how the followers of Jesus can respond to those seeking asylum.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer - 1938-1945 (Episode 4)
In 1939, Dietrich Bonhoeffer travels to New York for a second time hoping to avoid being drafted into the German army. When he arrives, he immediately begins to regret it, feeling he has abandoned his friends and the cause of the resistance. Six weeks later, he returns to Germany to continue the struggle.
Episode four of A Prophet with Honor, looks at Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life as a secret agent for the resistance until his imprisonment and execution.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer - 1933-1937 (Episode 3)
In January 1933, Adolf Hitler is made Chancellor of Germany. Two days later, while Dietrich is giving a radio address critical of the Nazis, the broadcast is taken off the air and Bonhoeffer has a direct encounter with Hitler's fascism.
On episode three of A Prophet with Honor, Allan and Pidge highlight the important events of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life from 1933-1937.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer - 1906-1932 (Episode 2)
On April 1, 1933, the Nazis proclaimed a boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany in an attempt to intimidate German Jews and discourage others from doing business with Jews. The morning of April 1st, Dietrich's 91 year old grandmother, Julie went into town passing Nazi guards entering a Jewish owned department store and purchasing what she desired. She said, "No one is going to tell where I can and cannot shop."
In the second of fifteen episodes on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Allan and Pidge converse over the important details of Dietrich's Life from his birth in 1906 to the eve of Hitler's rise to power in Germany.
Calmly Considered: The Mainstream Media-- Purveyors of Truth or Peddlers of Propaganda?
On this episode of Calmly Considered, Michael and Allan discuss today's media in America and whether or not it can be trusted to give to the public a reliable picture of newsworthy events. They also ponder the implications for Christians who believe in telling and discerning the truth in a world of information overload.
A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Post World War I Germany (Episode 1)
In this first of fifteen episodes on the life and witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Allan and Dr. Pidge Bannin discuss the reasons for the rise of Hitler and the Nazis after the First World War (1914-1918), and why Bonhoeffer was able to recognize the threat while many other Christians were not.
Word Revisited: Major Matters on the Minor Prophets
On this episode of Word Revisited, Allan interviews Dr. David W. Baker, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. The conversation centers around the minor prophets. Why are they referred to as minor? What are the major themes of these twelve preachers? What is their relevance for us today?
Dr. Baker is the author and editor of numerous books on the Old Testament which can be found on his Amazon author page.
The Wesleyan Way: Active Faith and Resisting Dangerous Ideologies
On the episode of The Wesleyan Way, Allan interviews Paul Chilcote, Wesleyan historian and theologian on how a Wesleyan theological perspective can help us avoid the dangerous ideologies of legalism, nationalism, dispensationalism, and antinomianism.
Calmly Considered: Global Population-- Will It Become Standing Room Only?
On this episode of Calmly Considered, Michael and Allan discuss the growing global population, its implications for the future and why it's important for the followers of Jesus.
Believing Is Seeing: The Character of Virtue-- A Conversation with Stanley Hauerwas
On this episode of "Seeing Is Believing," Allan interviews Stanley Hauerwas on his book, The Character of Virtue: Letters to a Godson. Among the topics discussed, Stanley wonders if Protestantism still makes sense, and he asks Allan why he remains a United Methodist.
Calmly Considered: Does Social Security Have a Future?
On this episode of Calmly Considered, Michael and Allan discuss the sustainability of Social Security and the necessity of seeking the common good.
The Wesleyan Way: Revival-- Real or Ridiculous?
On this episode of The Wesleyan Way, Allan interviews Rev. Dr. Ben Witherington III on the phenomenon of religious revival and specifically the 2023 awakening taking place at Asbury University in Wilmore, KY. What is revival? Is it something to take seriously as a movement of the Holy Spirit, or should it be dismissed as emotional hype?
Rev. Dr. Ben Witherington III is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. He is the author of over sixty book and many, many essays and articles. One of his most recent works is Who God Is: Meditations on the Character of Our God.
Courageous Conversations: Abortion-- Toward a Better Understanding
In this episode of "Calmly Considered," Allan converses with Joy Moore and Michael Gorman on the subject of abortion. How can Christians offer a more robust understanding of abortion that moves beyond the pitting of rights against each other? How does Christian doctrine inform the discussion? If the church is an alternative to the way of society, how do Christians utilize their unique witness to be an incarnational presence to women in difficult pregnancies and the unborn children they carry? How does abortion affect ethnic minorities?
Rev. Dr. Joy J. Moore is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and is the Professor of Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary in St. Paul Minnesota. She participates in two weekly podcasts: "Sermon Brainwave," a conversation on the Revised Common Lectionary readings for the coming Sunday and "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on the Narrative Lectionary readings for the coming Sunday.
Dr. Michael J. Gorman holds the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland. He has written many books including Reading Revelation Responsibly and Paul, a New Covenant Jew: Rethinking Pauline Theology. His Amazon author page has a full listing of his publications.
Calmly Considered: The Sport of Gambling-- Should Christians Take the Bet?
In this episode of "Calmly Considered," Michael and Allan discuss the rise of betting on sports in America and gambling in general. Does legalized gambling boost the economy? What are the challenges gambling presents to communities? Is it appropriate for Christians to gamble?
The Wesleyan Way: Methodist Beginnings Through the Eyes of Women
In this episode of "The Wesleyan Way," we interview Rev. Dr. Donna L. Fowler-Marchant on her book Mothers in Israel: Methodist Beginnings Through the Eyes of Women. Rev. Fowler has done Methodism a great service in writing this book. She demonstrates that women were indeed the backbone of the earliest Methodist movement. These Mothers in Israel as they were called (if you want to know why, read the book) from Suzanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles to Sarah Crosby and others had a formative impact on the first generation of Methodists. Their influence is seen to this day.
Calmly Considered: 2022 Review, 2023 Preview
In this last episode of 2022, Michael and Allan review some of the happenings of 2022 and think ahead to 2023. Among the topics discussed are Ukraine, politics, the economy, immigration and the current worker shortage, scientific discoveries, and the all important prediction of who will win the Super Bowl.
Believing Is Seeing: Pietism-- Heartfelt Faith or Heavenly-Minded Humbug?
In this episode of Believing Is Seeing, we interview Dr. Jason Barnhart, Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. We discuss the topic of pietism, what it is and why heartfelt faith is not heavenly-minded humbug.
Check out Jason's blog, "Brethren Contemplative," here.
Learn more about Ashland Theological Seminary, here.
Calmly Considered: Should Christians Participate in Black Friday?
In this episode of Calmly Considered, Michael and Allan discuss how Christians might think about gift giving in the Christmas season and how to balance living in a culture of material abundance with a life of simplicity.
Word Revisited: Should Protestants Read the Apocrypha?
In this episode of Word Revisited, we interview Rev. Dr. David DeSilva, Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary (Ashland, Ohio) and an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. The interview centers on his book, Introducing the Apocrypha: Message, Context, and Significance. We ask ask him why Protestants should read the Apocrypha and how these writings illuminate the worlds of Jesus and Paul.
The Wesleyan Way: An Interview with Bishop William H. Willimon
In this premiere episode of The Wesleyan Way, Allan interviews United Methodist Bishop William H. Willimon on his latest book, Don't Look Back: Methodist Hope for What Comes Next. They discuss such questions as "How have Methodists lost their essential character as a mission?" "What must be done to revitalize a Methodism that is currently aging out of existence?" "Why do Jurisdictional Conferences ask the wrong questions of episcopal candidates?" "What is the hope for what comes next?"
Calmly Considered: The Mid-Term Election and Voting as a Christian
In this episode of "Calmly Considered," Michael and Allan discuss the upcoming mid-term election. They offer some thoughts on the current political landscape and make some predictions, which are probably wrong. They also reflect on how Christians might think about voting as it relates to their faith.
Word Revisited: John Among the Gospels
In our premiere episode of "Word Revisited," we speak with Dr. Paul Anderson on the Gospel of John. Is John history? Is it theology? Both? Neither? How is the Fourth Gospel similar to and different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke?
Dr. Anderson is Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. He also serves as Extraordinary Professor of Religion at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
His books can be found on his Amazon author page, here.
Calmly Considered: Student Loan Forgiveness and Thinking Christianly
Michael and Allan discuss student loan forgiveness and how the followers of Jesus can posture themselves to think about it in a Christian manner.
Believing Is Seeing: Does God Know the Future and Other Open Questions
In this premiere episode of "Believing Is Seeing," Allan interviews Thomas Jay Oord, theologian and cross-disciplinary scholar on his book, Open and Relational Theology: An Introduction to Life-Changing Ideas. In addition to the question of what God knows about the future, Allan asks Tom whether God is all-powerful and all knowing, and whether or not prayer matters. It is one fascinating hour-long conversation.
Calmly Considered: Christian Nationalism-- Christ AND Caesar?
Michael and Allan discuss the nature of Christian Nationalism and ask such questions as Can a Christian be patriotic but not a Nationalist? What is the place of the Church in a Nationalist context? Would Jesus affirm Christian Nationalism? How does the New Testament inform the discussion? What about the Kingdom of God?
Courageous Conversations: American Mythologies-- The Cover Stories We Tell Ourselves
In this first episode of "Courageous Conversations," Dan Hawk is our guest. The topic of discussion is cultural narratives or the cover stories societies tell themselves to brand their history and minimize its unsavory events. What narrative lenses do we wear that assist us in crafting the myths of our place in the world?
Check out Dan's latest book, The Violence of the Biblical God, here.
Calmly Considered: What's Up with Inflation?
In the July 2021 installment of "Calmly Considered," Michael and Allan discuss what causes inflation, who or what is responsible, and how might Christians respond to rising prices on the most vulnerable? Join us as we get beyond the memes and the political talking points in order to understand our current situation.
The Web Portal to all things "Faith Seeking Understanding," can be found at allanrbevere.org.
Calmly Considered: Gun Violence in America
America is awash in gun violence. Why? What can be done about it? Is there a Christian response?
"It's a Wonderful Life" (Acts 26:24-32)
The Wonderful Life of Following Jesus. Last Sermon before Retirement.
"Babbling No More" (Acts 2:1-21)
A sermon on Pentecost and moving out in mission.
"Finding Good Trouble" (Acts 16:16-34)
A sermon on the trouble-making nature of the gospel.
"When Cleanliness is Next to Godliness" (Acts 11:1-18)
A sermon on the universal welcome of salvation.
"Remember Your Baptism" (Romans 6:1-11)
A sermon on baptism and the Christian life.
Calmly Considered: The Demise of Democracy and the Rise of Authoritarianism
Democracy is receding in the world and authoritarianism is on the rise. Why is this? What is authoritarianism and what are the circumstances that lead people to trust their futures to authoritarians? How do we recognize authoritarian figures? Is character necessary for good leadership? How might the Bible inform the discussion?
"Hearing Voices" (Acts 9:1-20)
A sermon on hearing the voice of God