Hard Questions, No Answers
By Gabriel Lowe
Hard Questions, No AnswersJun 07, 2023
How Do We Engage in Public Discourse as Christians? -Raymond Chang
Raymond Chang is the President of AACC, a pastor, and a writer. He preaches and speaks throughout the country on issues related to Christianity and culture, race, and faith. He currently lives in the Chicagoland and serves as the Executive Director of the TENx10 Collaboration, an initiative of the Fuller Youth Institute at Fuller Seminary to reach 10 million young people over 10 years with the gospel. Join us as we ask questions about how to have difficult conversations with the people we love, what it means to have convictions without over-identifying with political ideologies or parties, and how to be better followers of Christ when we see injustice in our world.
How Do We Understand the Different Parts of Our Personality? -Dr. Brian Kay
Dr. Brian Kay is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in private practice in California. He is also an ordained pastor and church-planter for just over 25 years and has a PhD in historical theology. He has taught theology and psychology of religion courses as an adjunct faculty member at Fuller Seminary, Cal Poly State University and Holy Names University. When he is doing therapy, he is also thinking theologically, and when he is preaching or teaching in Christian settings, he is usually also thinking psychologically! He has a wife and three children and lives in the San Francisco East Bay. Join us as we ask questions about how we understand the pluralities of our own minds, what Christianity and psychology have to say about the nature of human beings, and how we can experience healing in all our different parts.
What Does Liberation Look Like? -Dr. Ericka Roland
Dr. Ericka Roland is an assistant professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Roland’s research focuses on the processes of transformative criticality development through three interconnected lines of inquiry (1) individual and collective lived experiences; (2) organizations and programs around equity and social justice; and (3) leadership development and practices. She centers the pursuit of equity in all of her projects with a commitment to research and practice that cultivates transformative possibilities. Join us as we ask questions about how to balance critique and critical hope, how Afrofuturism can expand our imaginations, and how we can find joy in the midst of struggle.
What is it Like to be Desi and Muslim in America? -Shahjehan Khan
Shahjehan is a voice-over artist, actor, and musician based in Boston. You can hear him as "Matteo" on RomComPods Season 1, which debuted at #1 on Apple Fiction Podcasts, watch him as Humayun in the first-ever virtual staged reading of Rajiv Joseph's Guards at the Taj (produced by Soho Shakes and directed by Kanika Vaish), and listen to his internationally acclaimed South Asian American punk band THE KOMINAS (as featured in RollingStone, The Guardian, PAPER, CNN, Mic). Join us as we talk about identity formation as a cultural minority, being desi and Muslim in a post-9/11 world, and how storytelling can bring us together.
Mike McGarry - Is Youth Ministry Biblical?
Mike McGarry is the Youth Pastor at South Shore Baptist Church in Hingham, MA and is married to Tracy, a public school educator, and is now “Youth Pastor Dad” to one of their kids. He is the author of A Biblical Theology of Youth Ministry, and Lead Them to Jesus. Mike is the founder of Youth Pastor Theologian and also co-hosts the “Thanos to Theos” podcast, a show about comics, culture, theology, and youth ministry. Join us as we explore questions related to what does it mean for churches to care for their youth, what do youth need from church, and what does the Bible say about youth ministry?
What Does Literature Teach Us About Ourselves? - Dr. Amanda Ruud
Dr. Amanda Ruud is a Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow and lecturer in English at Valparaiso University. She is a scholar of the English Renaissance, with a focus on Shakespeare and rhetoric, but she teaches widely in world literature, philosophy, and history through the first year program at Christ College, the honors college at Valparaiso. Whether in a discussion-based literature course or in a writing and research course for Business majors and Engineers, Amanda’s pedagogy encourages students to practice sustained, joyful, and rigorous inquiry, and to value excellence and growth. Outside of the classroom, Amanda seeks to build community around prayer, poetry, and the culinary arts. Join us as we ask questions about how literature engages our emotions and imaginations, how history and tradition influence literature, and how literature speaks to the human condition.
Is it OK to Deconstruct? -Maher Salhani
Welcome to the season finale of the Hard Questions, No Answers Podcast, Season 2. My guest today is Maher Salhani, who has had quite a journey having grown up in Islam, then pastoring at a mega church and is now a full-blown de-constructionist running a consulting firm. He has spent over 20 years working with and for marginalized communities both locally and globally, nearly a decade of which was on the streets of North Philadelphia working with leaders and organizations that were passionate about addressing systemic poverty in their neighborhoods. He received his certification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion through the National EIDA center, and currently he provides DEI consulting while working on a Master of Religion degree. Join us as we ask questions like “What do we do with harmful ideologies?”, “How do we think critically without throwing the baby out with the bathwater?”, and “How do we grieve when we go through deconstruction?” We explore themes related to deconstruction, reconstruction, trauma, and certainty.
How Do We Understand Emotions From A Christian Perspective? -Dr. Christin Fort
My guest today is Dr. Christin Fort who is the Director of Integrative Dialogue for Wheaton College’s School of Psychology, Counseling & Family Therapy and Co-Director of the Multicultural Peace & Justice Collaborative Research Lab. She is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College and has written peer-reviewed publications in the areas of clinical psychology, Christian theology, and racial and ethnic identity. Currently, she is contributing a regular column for the Journal of Psychology and Christianity entitled, “Integrating Justice in Teaching, Scholarship, and Practice.” Join us as we ask questions like “How are emotions described in the Bible?”, “Does God experience emotions?”, and “Are emotions part of original sin or original goodness?” We explore themes related to anachronism, divine attributes, empathy, and attachment.
How Do We Be Our Authentic Selves? -Dr. Tracey Shenell
My guest today is Dr. Tracey Shenell, who is a dynamic speaker, insightful life coach, and engaging consultant. As a life coach, she co-journeys with BIPOC women in recovering their identities as they live unapologetically and thrive as their authentic self. As a consultant, she guides her clients as they do the deep internal processing and organizational change needed to cultivate a culture of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organization and beyond. Dr. Tracey has a BA in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from DePaul University, an MDiv, and a DMin from Fuller Seminary, where she focused on Urban Ministries & Studies. She is a certified Personal Development Life Coach and completed her certification in DEI and organizational change. Join us as we ask questions about what self-love really looks like, how we tolerate vulnerability, and how to respond to feedback from others. We explore themes of authenticity, community, and lament.
How Do We Experience Meaning in Work? -Barry Brown
My guest today is Barry Brown. Barry comes from a background of city living where his Midwest roots and Master of Divinity have grown wider in circles of diversity and complexity. He spends his time with his wife Tere, Co-Directing Formation Labs, and enjoying the warming months of San Francisco. Born relationally curious, he spends time listening to people's story to find the intersection of performance, function, and formation. Join us as we ask questions about how our work plays into our formation as human beings, how we craft meaning, and what to do with our weaknesses at work. We explore themes of leadership, connection, and calling.
What Does Gender Parity Look Like in Church? -Rev. Dr. Young Lee Hertig
My guest today is Rev. Dr. Young Lee Hertig, the Executive Director of ISAAC (Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity) and AAWOL (Asian American Women on Leadership) in Los Angeles, California. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of ISAAC's Journal, ChristianityNext. The author of The Tao of Asian American Belonging: A Yinist Spirituality, she coined the term Yinist, in engagement with feminist, womanist, and muherista discourses, and has published widely on Spirituality, Sustainability, and Diversity from a Yinist intersectional perspective. She holds Master of Arts degrees in Counseling Psychology, Theology, and Anthropology, and a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies, and she has taught at Azusa Pacific University, United Theological Seminary, and Fuller Theological Seminary. Join us as we ask questions about what equity looks like in church, cultural and theological intersections with gender, and how do we pursue harmony as a community. We explore themes of identity in unity, mutual particularities, and belonging.
How Do We Celebrate Our Cultural Identity? -Dr. Michelle Ami Reyes
My guest today is Dr. Michelle Ami Reyes, who is the Vice President of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and Co-Executive Director of Pax. She is the Scholar in Residence at Hope Community Church and author of Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two amazing kids. Join us as we ask questions about how to make space for each other’s stories, what are barriers to cross-cultural connections, and how do we celebrate our cultural identities. We explore themes of multicultural diversity, scarcity mindsets, and cultural humility.
What Does the Bible Say About Racial Justice? -Eric Stiller
My guest today is Eric Stiller who is the founding pastor of Central West End Church, a 5-year-old church in the city of St. Louis. Their vision is to see the city made new by the gospel: spiritually, socially, and culturally. That includes a passion for pursuing justice for the most vulnerable in society, a passion that I saw him express many times from the pulpit. Join us as we ask questions about what is the role of the church in pursuing justice, how does Scripture inform an understanding of racial injustice, and what are our social responsibilities as Christians. We explore themes of cultural idolatry, racial reconciliation, and social injustice.
How Important is Cultural Intelligence for Leaders? -Dr. Robert Kim
My guest today is Dr. Robert Kim, a professor at Covenant Theological Seminary in Saint Louis. Robert sits in the Phillip and Rebecca Douglass Chair of Applied Theology and Christian Formation. He has been married to Wonmin for 21 years, they have three children, and a dog named mission. He grew up in Southern California, spent the last 13 years in Philadelphia, and now resides in the Midwest. Join us as we ask questions about what cultural intelligence is, how important multicultural diversity is in organizations, and how leaders can balance the demands of their positions. We explore themes related to cultural curiosity, power dynamics, and discernment in leadership.
How Do We Find Belonging? -Dr. Kristie Knows His Gun
My guest today is Dr. Kristie Knows His Gun who is a board-certified licensed psychologist. I had the pleasure of meeting her when she was an Associate Professor at George Fox University, where she served as the Director of the Primary Care Track and the Internship Training Director. In addition, she supervised doctoral students who provided clinical services to those attending Chemawa Indian School as well provided services through her own private practice. Join us as we ask questions about how our identities our formed, how we cope with insecurity, and how our relational wounds can be healed. We explore themes of attachment theory, resilience, and self-compassion.
What Do Atheism and Christianity Have In Common? -Dr. Kutter Callaway
My guest today is Dr. Kutter Callaway who is associate professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary and co-director of Reel Spirituality. He is actively engaged in writing and speaking on the interaction between theology and culture—particularly in film, television, and online media, and his podcast, The Kutter Callaway Podcast is an ongoing conversation with artists, writers, thought leaders, and experts exploring the various ways in which culture and faith inform and give rise to one another. Additionally, he has authored and co-authored several books including The Aesthetics of Atheism: Theology and Imagination in Contemporary Culture, which will be the focus of our conversation today. Join us as we ask questions about the interaction between faith and doubt, the problem of evil, and where our conceptions of beauty come from. We explore themes of certainty and uncertainty, moral humility, and shared narratives.
What Value Does Art Bring to the Church? -Christina Lee Chan
My guest today is Christina Lee Chan who was classically trained in both performance and visual art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has particular affinities towards mediums such as dance, painting, and photography, and she is passionate about integrating art more into the life of the church. Join us as we talk about what it means to value art and artists, the purpose of art, and how it can bring people together. We explore themes related to vocation, diversity, and inclusivity.
How Do We Foster a Sociological Imagination? -Sado Park
My guest today is Sado Park who currently lives in Saudi Arabia. He is an entrepreneur and co-founder of TARA Eyewear and also, a consultant for business-to-business and government-to-government projects connecting opportunities between Saudi, Korea, and the US. Sado is known in the Middle East and on Instagram as @SadoArabia, and you can follow his startup journey on Instagram @TaraEyewear. Join us as we ask questions about adjusting to new cultural contexts, developing a sociological imagination, and overcoming prejudices and stereotypes. We explore themes related to cultural humility, hospitality, and cross-cultural relationships.
Can I Be Christian and LGBTQ+ Affirming? -Dr. Ken Fong
My guest today is Dr. Ken Fong, who is a 3rd generation Chinese American born and raised in Sacramento, CA. He pioneered several cutting-edge ministries, not the least of which was to extend God’s kingdom-hospitality to AAPI Christians who identify as LGBTQ+. He pastored at Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles, was the main Bible expositor at Urbana 2000, and has served on the boards of several non-profits. He retired from pastoring in July 2017 but continues to teach as an affiliate associate professor of Asian American church studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. Since May 2015 he has served as the host and co-producer of “Asian America: The Ken Fong Podcast”, which has attracted listeners throughout the U.S. and in over 100 countries. Join us as we ask questions about what it means to be an LGBTQ+ ally, how do we reconcile theological differences, and what do people who are sexual and gender minorities have to offer the church. We explore themes related to privilege and marginalization, hypocrisy, and practical theology.
How Does Being Jewish and Christian Intersect? -Jon Lash
My guest today is Jon Lash, who is the pastor of Greenhouse Church down in South Florida. Growing up in a Jewish home with interfaith parents, Jon often describes himself as a 'Jewish pastor at a Christian church'. He is passionately seated in the intersection of these two faiths, cultures and worldviews, and seeks to build bridges of understanding across the divide. We ask questions about what Jewish culture has to do with Christianity, what Christianity can learn from Jewish culture, and how to bridge gaps between culture, religion, and ideologies. Join us as we explore themes related to historical theology, anti-Semitism, and epistemic humility.
How Do We Deal with Shame? -DJ Chuang
My guest today is DJ Chuang who is currently working as an internet engineer, actively engaging with people through social media & podcasting, and lives in Orange County, California. He is an Asian American of Chinese descent, and very grateful for the help he's had to support his personal struggle with bipolar disorder. He has two podcasts entitled “Erasing Shame” and “Generous Asian American Christians.” Join us as we ask questions about what contributes to shame, how social media interacts with shame, and how shame impacts mental health. We explore themes of stigma, vulnerability, and the model minority myth.
How Do We Love People Who are Difficult to Love? -Matt Creacy
My guest today is Matt Creacy who is a practicing therapist at Avenues Counseling Center in Saint Louis, Missouri, and a recent graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary. Despite holding two Masters degrees, Matt prefers to describe himself as a jack of all trades, master of none. Join us as we ask questions about what does loving others really mean, how do we navigate power dynamics, and what does “love” mean in the context of social injustice. We explore themes of empathy, self-sacrifice, and generosity.
How Do We Hold Brokenness and Beauty Together? -Vanessa Stricker
My guest today is Vanessa Stricker who is the Pastor of Peacemaking & Justice at One Life City Church in Fullerton, CA. Previously, she spent a decade working for the non-profit organization Solidarity, which equips Latino, immigrant families in under-resourced neighborhoods. She also writes a blog called On the Side of Grace and writes a column at Patheos called In All Things Love. Join us as we ask questions about how we overcome our prejudices, how do we resist black-and-white thinking, and how do we build bridges in a polarized world. We explore themes of living out values, balancing different emotions, and developing nuanced perspectives.
How Do We Deal With Benevolent Sexism? -Dr. Kerry Horrell
My guest today is Dr. Kerry Horrell. She is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine and a staff psychologist at The Menninger Clinic. She graduated with her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University, where she wrote her dissertation on benevolent sexism and flourishing in the Evangelical population. Join us as we ask questions about what benevolent sexism is, how does it affect us, and what can we do about it. We explore themes of gender equality, bridging difficult dialogues, and religion and sexuality.
What is Wisdom? -Dr. Mark McMinn
Dr. Mark McMinn is Professor Emeritus and Scholar in Residence at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. Dr. McMinn is a fellow and former president of APA’s Division 36, the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, and he is board certified in clinical psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology. He has authored several books, the latest of which is, Embodying Integration: A Fresh Look at Christianity in the Counseling Room. He is currently working on a book on the topic of wisdom, which is focus of our conversation today. Join us as we ask questions about what wisdom is, how do we study wisdom, and how does wisdom translate into action. We explore themes of epistemic humility, biases, and dialectical tension.
HQNA Podcast Season 2 Trailer
The "Hard Questions, No Answers" Podcast is coming back with Season 2 starting Wednesday, July 21st. I know it's been a little while, but I've got twice as many episodes for you to sink your teeth into.
My goal this season was to broaden and deepen, meaning I made an effort to diversify the guests and topics that I invited on to the show. And if you thought last season's questions were hard, just wait until you hear this season. We get into politics, religion race, sexuality, relationship issues, all the things we're not supposed to talk about.
I know it's uncomfortable to go there, but that's precisely why I made this podcast. Now more than ever, our world needs people who are willing to lean into the discomfort with humility rather than answers, people who are willing to get their hands dirty wrestling with questions that challenge our perceptions.
This podcast is a forum to celebrate the messy stories that make us human. It is a place to invite the unanswerable questions because often, it is precisely these types of questions that push us to dig deeper, to think harder, and to refine our approach to life. So, if you get to the end of an episode and you still have lots of questions, then I've done my job. I'm Dr. Gabe Lowe, and I invite you on the pursuit of no answers.
How Do We Relate to God In Our Mental Illness? -Rev. Dr. Curtis Lowe
In this final episode of Season 1, I sit down with my dad, Rev. Dr. Curtis Lowe. He is currently the English Pastor at the Chinese Christian Church of Thousand Oaks and co-founder of the Enlighten Mental Health Ministry, a resource ministry whose goal is to encourage, educate, and empower individuals and families facing mental illness. He received his Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Formation from Azusa Pacific University and is also a certified Spiritual Director. Join us as we ask questions about dealing with mental illness as a pastor, helping others in our communities suffering from mental illness, and how mental illness impacts our relationship with God. We explore themes of mental health, hope, and redemption.
How Do We Overcome Imposter Syndrome? -Dr. Aundrea Paxton
Dr. Aundrea Paxton is a faculty member and Associate Director of Clinical Training at George Fox University. She is currently researching ways to enhance clinical training of psychology doctoral students, and her general interest is to make any psychological topic relatable and understandable to all, including her students. She is in a new state, a new mom, and in a new position in academia so she has plenty of opportunities to relate to the topic she picked: imposter syndrome. Join us as we ask questions about what makes us feel like an imposter, where do these feelings come from, and what can we do about them. We explore themes of competence, confidence, and humility.
How Do We Know Our Calling? -Abigail Oduol
Abigail Oduol is an Individual Gifts Officer at an environmental nonprofit. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California Irvine in Political Science followed by a Master’s in Transformational Urban Leadership. Her experiences have spanned the globe from attending a humanitarian mission in Ecuador, to studying at St. Paul’s University in Kenya, and fundraising with Akiba Mashinani Trust on land rights and advocacy for clean water and sanitation facilities for urban slums. She also worked with Church World Service, an international full-service humanitarian development agency, first as a curriculum development intern, then as a refugee resettlement caseworker, and finally as a Field Team Leader across Kenya, Ethiopia, and Chad. Join us as we talk about identifying calling in our lives, the roles we play in other people's calling, and how calling can change over time. We explore themes of vocation, affinities, and circumstantial adaption.
How Do We Lead in a Pandemic? -Margaret Yu
Margaret Yu is the National Director of Epic Movement, the Asian American ministry of Cru and has served with Cru’s Campus Ministry for over 30 years. Her campus experiences span the globe from Milwaukee to Berkeley, to East Asia to Uzbekistan or to Los Angeles where she currently resides. Margaret loves college students and her passion is to see God form many more culturally competent leaders for His kingdom. Join us as we talk about what leadership looks like among the most recent generation (Gen-Z), how the pandemic has made the role of leadership even more challenging, and what skills are needed to lead in an increasingly polarized and ambiguous cultural landscape. We explore themes of integrated leadership, meeting diverse needs, and self-care for leaders.
How Do We Have A Whole, Flourishing Life Amid Uncertainty? - Dr. Michael Bischof
Dr. Michael Bischof is the founder and President of Souleader Resources, a non-profit whose mission is to empower wholeness in pastors, leaders, churches, and organizations. He addresses a variety of topics on formation from a holistic perspective – spiritual, emotional, relational, mental, physical, cultural & missional and he is passionate about self-awareness and integration as it relates to leadership and spiritual growth. Join us as we ask questions about what it means to experience wholeness or flourishing, how do we deal with uncertainty or doubt, and how do we use our self-awareness to enact healthy change. We explore themes of deconstruction and reconstruction, control and acceptance, and faith and certainty.
How Do We Face The Things We Dread? - Dr. Earl Bland
Dr. Earl Bland is a licensed clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, and professor of psychology, at the Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University in La Mirada, California. Currently, he is a 4th year psychoanalytic candidate at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles and a faculty member at the Brookhaven Institute for Psychoanalysis and Christian Theology. He writes and presents in the areas of psychoanalytic treatment, self psychology, and the intersection of psychoanalysis & religion. Join us as we ask questions about the differences between dread and anxiety, what keeps us in repetitive patterns, and how do we experience real change. We explore themes of therapeutic change, the unconscious, and emotional maturity.
How Does Cognition Shape Spiritual Development? - Dr. Brad Strawn
Dr. Brad Strawn is the Evelyn and Frank Freed Professor for the Integration of Psychology and Theology at the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Seminary. He holds degrees in theology and psychology and has advanced training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Along with maintaining a private practice as a licensed psychologist, he also serves on the pastoral staff at Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene. Join us as we ask questions about how we push the boundaries of our understanding and what role our cognitive capacities play in our spiritual growth. We explore themes of turning theory into practice, Christian community, and embodied spirituality.
Where is God in Our Suffering? - Dr. Steve Porter
Dr. Steve Porter is a professor of theology and philosophy at Biola University and teaches on the dynamics of human change from psychological, philosophical, and theological perspectives. He is also the cofounder of the Intellectual Virtues Academy of Long Beach which is a grade 6-12 charter school committed to an intellectual virtues model of education. Join us as we ask questions about where God is in the midst of our suffering, how to understand the problem of evil, and how spiritual growth can occur in painful situations. In this episode, we explore themes of theodicy, spiritual growth, and resilience.
How Do We Make Meaning Out of Grief? - Dr. David Wang
Dr. David Wang is a licensed psychologist, pastor, and associate professor of psychology and pastoral counseling. He teaches and speaks internationally, maintains a small private practice, and has been involved with non-profit organizations locally and internationally such as Joya Scholars (joyascholars.org) and International Justice Mission (ijm.org). Join us as we ask questions about what grief looks in our current Covid world, how grief impacts our mental health, and what gets in the way of grieving. In this episode, we explore themes of the meaning-making process, engaging spiritual communities, and supporting one another in difficult times.
HQNA Podcast Trailer
Welcome to the "Hard Questions, No Answers" Podcast, the show that is less interested in answering life's difficult questions and more interested in the process of wrestling with them. Join me in this first season as I sit down to talk with people about their journeys of wrestling through tough questions on topics of grief, calling, suffering, wholeness, and so much more. This podcast is a forum to celebrate the messiness that makes us human. It is a place to invite the unanswerable questions because often, it is precisely these types of questions that push us to dig deeper, to think harder, and to refine our approach to life. So, if you get to the end of an episode and you still have lots of questions, then I've done my job. I invite you on the pursuit of no answers.