Pastor Writer: Conversations on Reading, Writing, and the Christian Life

Chase Replogle

The Pastor Writer podcast is a series of conversations and reflections on the Christian life through reading and writing. From interviews with authors to thoughts on scripture and culture, Chase Replogle offers a wide range of topics and explorations. Chase is a church pastor and writer. You can follow more of his work at pastorwriter.com

All Episodes

Harold Senkbeil was a parish pastor for 31 years prior to accepting a position as Associate Professor of Ministry and Mission at Concordia Theological Seminary.Since 2008 he has served as Executive Director and Emeritus Director for Spiritual Care for DOXOLOGY: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel and spends his time teaching and encouraging pastors to hone their skills in the ancient art of the cure of souls.Last summer, he released the book, The Care of Souls: Cultivating A Pastor's Heart. The book has since won:The 2020 Christianity Today Book Award for Church/Pastoral Leadership2019 Gospel Coalition Ministry Book of the Year2020 ECPA Christian Book Award Winner for Ministry Resources.Herold has also recently released another new book entitled Christ and Calamity: Grace and Gratitude in the Darkest Valley. He joins me to talk about the success of his book and about pastoring during these challenging times.

Sep 24

42 min

Dane Ortlund is the former chief publishing officer and Bible publisher at Crossway. Recently, he has left Crossway, receiving a call to full-time pastoral ministry. He has served as an editor for the Knowing the Bible series and the Short Studies in Biblical Theology series and is the author of several books, including Edwards on the Christian Life and a book I recently finished reading: Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers.

Sep 16

40 min

Brandon O'Brien is Director of Content Development and Distribution for Redeemer City to City, an organization that supports church planting in global cities.Brandon is the author of several books, including a recently released book entitled Writing for LIfe & Ministry: A Practical Guide to the Writing Process for Teachers & preachers. He lives with his wife, Amy, and two children in Uptown Manhattan.

Sep 9

53 min

Adam Griffin is the lead pastor of Eastside Community Church in East Dallas, Texas. He previously served as an elder and spiritual formation pastor at the Village Church.This month he released a book he co-authored with Matt Chandler entitled, "Family Discipleship: Leading Your Home through Time, Moments, and Milestones." He joined me to talk about how the book came about and how parents can better take responsibility for disciplining their families.

Sep 2

33 min

Eugene Cho is the director of Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision-makers to end hunger at home and abroad. He is also the founder and former Senior Pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural and multigenerational church in Seattle, Washington.Eugene has been featured in multiple news outlets including The New York Times, The Seattle Times, Christianity Today, The Guardian and numerous other media outlets. For his entrepreneurial work and spirit, He was honored as one of 50 Everyday American Heroes and a recipient ofthe Frederick Douglass 200—a list of 200 people around the world who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass,His first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?, released in 2014 and his second book, Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging in Politics, released in March of this year.

Aug 26

45 min

As a pastor and a parent, I know personally how hard it is to keep up with the culture my kids are consuming. I also know the impulse to ignore it and pretend it’s all ok. But the world isn’t that simple. Culture is a complicated mix of opportunities and risks. We have little chance of guiding our kids through that landscape without learning to discern a way first for ourselves. The Pop Culture Parent is the perfect companion for that endeavor. Full of theological and practical help, it belongs on every parent’s nightstand. 

Aug 19

46 min

A few weeks ago I announced I had signed a publishing contract with Zondervan. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the manuscript and due to have it completed by the end of the year. Unfortunately, this past week we received some bad news about the project. 

Aug 12

11 min

Karen Stiller is a freelance editor and writer. You can read her writing in Reader's Digest Canada, The Walrus, and Christianity Today. She is a senior editor of Faith Today (Canada's Christian magazine) and host of the Evangelical Fellowship fo Canada podcast. She lives in Ottawa with her husband Brent who serves as an Anglican priest.She joins me to talk about her new book, The Minister's Wife which was released this past May. In it, she shares her personal experience of faith, doubt, friendship, loneliness, forgiveness, and more

Jul 30

55 min

We so easily occupy ourselves with things too great for us. Psalm 131 is a maintenance psalm, a kind of soul pruning for our hearts and eyes. The psalm teaches us to have hope in God, a kind of hope that leads us to a deeper rest and contentment in him.It is a lesson many of us need to be reminded of. As the world seems to unravel, we focus our hearts and eyes on what matters most. Psalm 131 brings us back to our proper place and offers us hope.  Hope in the Lord, now and forevermore.

Jul 22

37 min

For several decades the church has given a lot of attention to the topic of leadership. There are conferences, podcasts, books, and academic programs all helping pastors become better leaders. In this episode, we discuss the pastoral interest in leadership and what might be missing from those conversations.In 2015, Jim published the book, Lead So Others Can Follow. It was a call for a different kind of leadership, what he calls “Spiritual Leadership.”

Jul 15

39 min

After graduating from Brigham Young University, Derwin played professional football in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and with the Carolina Panthers. During that time, he and his wife Vicki began their journey with Christ.Derwin and Vicki eventually began an itinerant speaking ministry in 1999 and Derwin went on to graduate from Southern Evangelical Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree, with a concentration in Apologetics.Following God’s call on their lives, the Lord transitioned Derwin from his primary role of an itinerant speaker to serving as the Lead Pastor of Transformation Church in January of 2010.In addition to his role at Transformation Church, Derwin teaches at conferences nationwide and is the author of several books including Hero: Unleashing God’s Power in a Man’s Heart (2010), Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future (2013) and, recently released, The Good Life: What Jesus Teaches About Finding True Happiness (2020).

Jul 8

48 min

Dr. Gene Getz, Host and teacher of Renewal Radio, has been a Senior Pastor, Professor, and is the author of more than 60 books. He has been a church-planting pastor in the Dallas Metroplex since 1972 and has served as an adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. Gene is President of the Center for Church Renewal and serves as Pastor Emeritus of Chase Oaks Church in Plano, Texas.After transitioning from his role as Senior Pastor more than ten years ago, the Life Essentials Study Bible is now the centerpiece of his ministry. Its unique format includes 1500 “principles to live by,” each with a QR code providing access to a total of 250 total hours of video teaching.

Jun 30

44 min

Scott James works as a pediatric physician in Birmingham AL. He also serves as an Elder at The Church at Brook Hills. He and his wife, Jaime, have 4 children.Scott is the author of 2 family worship books, The Expected One: Anticipating All of Jesus in the Advent; Mission Accomplished: A Two-Week Family Easter Devotional, as well as the illustrated children's books The Littlest Watchman(The Good Book Company, 2017) and Where Is Wisdom? (B&H, 2020).He joined me today to talk about writing kids' books and how books can impact the spiritual life of your family.

Jun 24

42 min

Well, I have some big news to share with you at last. I’ve been working for over four years to be able to release this episode. A few weeks ago I received an offer of publication from Zondervan. This past week, I finally signed the contract. But for those of you who have followed the show and know about the Samson book I’ve long worked on, it might surprise you to know that isn’t the book that was purchased, at least not exactly.One of the awkward parts of this podcast has been that I’ve been talking about publishing and writing for the past two and a half years having never published anything in my life. This is the part where I finally get to tell you how I did it; how all my plans have paid off; how you only need to do what I’ve done and… Boda bing, bada boom!The truth is, this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and there have been times when I didn’t know if it would ever happen. There have been some really challenging obstacles and some twists I didn’t expect. My agent admitted it was one of the longest processes she has ever gone through. My path has been unconventional, providential, and generally speaking not something I could have expected or suggest others follow. At least, I hope it isn’t like this for everyone.The other thing you should hear me say right at the beginning is that a publishing contract is not what you think it is and it won’t do for you what you might think it would. That being said it is also a gift and one that I am deeply humbled by and grateful for.During our stay at home orders, I introduced my son to one of my favorite childhood movies, Cool Runnings. The main character was obsessed with making it to the Olympics and taking home a gold medal. His coach offered him a piece of wise advice. I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. “A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.”

Jun 16

20 min

Abdu Murray is Senior Vice President of Ravi Zacharias International MInsitires and is a regular speaker at churches, college campuses, and business and government gatherings. He also hosts the podcast The Defense Rests. Abdu is the author of many articles and three books, including Grand Central Question and Saving Truth: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World.For most of his life, Abdu was a proud Muslim who studied the Qur’an and Islam. After a nine-year investigation into the historical, philosophical, and scientific underpinnings of the major world religions and views, Abdu discovered that the historic Christian faith can answer the questions of the mind and the longings of the heart. Abdu holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. As an attorney, Abdu was named several times in Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyer. He joins me today to talk about the legacy of Ravi Zacharias and about a recently released book he coauthored with Ravi titled Seeing Jesus from the East: A Fresh Look at History's Most influential Figure.

Jun 9

52 min

Alex Bryant has been in full-time ministry since 2000, serving Churches around the country and formerly as the Director of the St. Louis Dream Center. At the Dream Center, he worked to help make a difference in the inner city of St. Louis by meeting people's physical needs in an effort to introduce them to Jesus.He is married and has 5 kids. He and his wife Angie are both licensed ministers and together they lead Alex Bryant Ministries which exists to help reconcile people with God, themselves, and their fellow man.Alex just released a new book entitled Let's Start Again: A Biracial Couple's View on Race, Racial Ignorance, And Racial Insensitivity.

Jun 3

46 min

Jonathan Dodson is the founding pastor of City Life Church in Austin, TX.He is also the founder of Gospel-Centered Discipleship and is author of a number of books including Here in Spirit, The Unbelievable Gospel, and the book he joined me to talk about Our Good Crisis: Overcoming Moral Chaos with the Beatitudes.He joined me to talk about the meaning of crisis and how the beatitudes are a tool for overcoming moral chaos.

May 15

54 min

Chuck DeGroat is professor of pastoral care and Christian Spirituality at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He is also a senior fellow at the Newbigin House of Studies in San Francisco. He served as a pastor at churches in Orlando and San Francisco and founded two church-based counseling centers.He is a licensed therapist, spiritual director, and the author of Toughest People to Love, Wholeheartedness, and the recently released book When Narcissism Comes to Church: Healing Your Community From Emotional and Spiritual Abuse.

May 6

43 min

Ron Dart teaches in the Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He has authored or coauthored thirty-five books that deal with the interface between literature, spirituality, and politics, including The North American High Tory Tradition and Christianity and Pluralism.He joined me today to talk about a recently released book for which he served as editor and contributor. The books is Myth and Meaning in Jordan Peterson: A Christian Perspective.

Apr 28

61 min

Dr. Phil Collins is currently the co-executive director at Taylor University’s Center for Scripture Engagement. As a part of his work, Dr. Collins has lead workshops on how to effectively engage with the Bible. He holds his B.A. in Bible Literature and Christian Education from Taylor University, an M.A. in Christian Education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Purdue University. Ordained in 1994, Dr. Collins served 6 years in youth ministry with Youth for Christ as well as 10 years of ministry as Youth Pastor in a church setting.In addition to his role as the general editor for The Abide Bible, Dr. Collins has been a full-time Christian Ministries professor at Taylor University since 1999. He joins me today to talk about the Abide Bible. The Abide Bible is a unique tool for discovering Scripture at a deeper level. Specially crafted prompts guide readers to engage biblical passages with more depth and imagination than ever before. By considering scriptural truth via classic art, journaling, and praying biblical texts, readers enjoy fresh, life-altering encounters with God and His Word.

Apr 22

43 min

I've long wanted to do an episode on poetry. Unfortunately, many had a bad experience and long ago concluded they just aren't the poetic type. But Jeff Munroe was the perfect guest to help explain why an appreciation of poetry is critical for reading the Bible and why its worth a second chance.Jeff Munroe is an executive vice president at Western Theological Seminary, where he also teaches writing. He was a charter member of the advisory board of the Buechner Institute of Faith and Culture, and is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America.He is the author of 2019 book, Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher. Jeff is also a poet, blogger, and essayist. His work has appeared in Christianity Today, The Christian Century, US Catholic, and The Reformed Journal.And as his bio says, he’s the only guy on his block who knows both who played shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949 and the closing lines of MiddlemarchPoems Discussed:What do poems do? by Brian DoyleThe Summer Day by Mary OliverThe Way it Is by William StaffordThe Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Apr 15

65 min

The Villiage Church is one of the leaders in innovating Christian education opportunities for all believers. Mason King currently serves as the Director of The Village Church Institute, overseeing adult theological training within the local church. Those environments train disciples to know their sacred text firsthand, and pursue formation into the way of Jesus.He joined me to talk about the state of Christian education and how pastors, believers, and churches can continue to learn and grow.In the last decade of ministry, Mason has helped launch two church campuses and served as an elder and Spiritual Formation Pastor at The Village Church Fort Worth. He earned a B.A. in Speech Communication from Texas A&M, a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary, a DMin in Executive Leadership from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he wrote on forming Christian disciples. And he is currently working on a PhD in Church History from The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, focusing on the work of Jonathan Edwards.

Apr 7

50 min

Jay Kim serves on staff at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, overseeing teaching and leadership. He also serves on the leadership team of The ReGeneration Project. His first book, Analog Church, released this month from InterVarsity Press.Jay recently released Analog Church: Why We Need Real People, Places, and Thinkings in the Digital Age. It's one of the most important books I've read this year and the conversation couldn't have been more formational and practical to our current context of separation. I hope everyone listens to this conversation.

Mar 27

55 min

Karen Swallow Prior is an award-winning Professor of English at Liberty University. She earned her Ph.D. in English at SUNY Buffalo. Her writing has appeared at The Atlantic, Christianity Today, Washington Post, Vox, First Things, Sojourners, Relevant, and Think Christian. She is a Senior Fellow at the Trinity Forum, a Senior Fellow at Liberty University's Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement, and a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States. She and her husband live on a 100-year old homestead in central Virginia with sundry horses, dogs, and chickens. And lots of books.Karen joined me to talk about her new project, a set of classic books she is curating and editing with B&H Publishing. In addition to the highest quality hardback binding, Karen has provided introductions and discussion questions to these classics. 

Mar 23

42 min

Seth’s first book Coming Clean: A Story of Faith received a Christianity Today Award of Merit in the publication’s 2016 book awards. Seth’s poetry and prose have been featured in various publications, including In Touch Magazine, Fathom Magazine, and on his personal website at SethHaines.com. He makes his home in the Ozarks with his wife, and their four sons.Seth joined me to talk about his recently released work, The Book of Waking Up: Experiencing the Divine Love That Reorders a Life.

Mar 17

54 min

Max Lucado says he “writes books for people who don’t read books.’ But even so, his best-selling books have sold over 100 million copies across 54 languages worldwide. Perhaps Lucado is converting non-readers with his poetic storytelling and homespun humor. Perhaps readers can sense that his encouraging words flow from the heart of a pastor.Every trade book Max Lucado has written during the last 30 years began as a sermon series for his home church Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.Since his first book On the Anvil was published in 1985, Max Lucado has been sharing the promises of God in sermons, books, articles and media interviews. His writing is also featured in videos, devotionals, songs, plush toys, greeting cards, booklets, Bible studies, and Bible commentaries. 130 million of these products have been sold around the globe. His books regularly appear on national bestseller lists including the New York Times.National press has noted the global influence of this unassuming Texas pastor. Max Lucado was dubbed “America’s Pastor” by Christianity Today, and Reader’s Digest called him “The Best Preacher in America.” The New York Times has named Max one of the most influential leaders in social media. He has been featured on countless media outlets including USA Today, “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” NPR, CNN, and “Fox & Friends.”

Mar 9

32 min

Peter Leithart is President of the Theopolis Institute, a Christian study center and leadership training institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is author of numerous books, including The End of Protestantism, Deep Exegesis, Delivered from the Elements of the World, and of commentaries on 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, and Revelation.He joins me to talk about his recently released book on the Ten Commandments and how Jesus fulfills these 10 Words.

Mar 6

50 min

My son Will is five and my Daughter Charlotte just turned three. One of their favorite games is to endlessly repeat whatever my wife and I say. My daughter will even try to imitate my deeper voice. Every kid plays this game. Mimicking is actually a necessary part of growing up.As Carrie Shrier, writing for Michigan State University, put it:“Infants love to copy facial expressions. In fact, babies as young as just a few hours old can copy an adult who sticks their tongue out. If you smile, they will try to smile back. As babies get older, they get even better at copying your actions. Holding the phone as you do, brushing your hair, mimicking your actions, and copying your words and tone of voice.”Honestly, I find it terrifying. What comes out of my mouth soon comes out of theirs. And watching my son grow up is strangely like looking at some sort of time machine mirror. I constantly catch glimpses of myself. You come to realize just how much you shape their earliest self-identity.But eventually, my son and daughter will learn their own voice, their own vocabulary and experiences, and traits. There will always be something of our family there, a foundation beneath them, but parents want to see their kids grow into their own voice and lives. What’s cute at three seems stunted by if still the same at twenty-three.We often talk about voice when we describe the way a person writes or speaks. It’s more than the sound vibrating vocal cords, we are speaking about the uniqueness of that person's perspective and the way in which they express themselves. Voice is something we all recognize and love about our favorite writers and preachers, but after almost 100 interviews with writers, I’ve met very few who enjoy talking about it. When I ask about voice, it's like I’m asking what their wearing... it's strongly too personal. I feel it too.As critical as it is, having a unique voice, it still sounds awkward and superficial to talk about. Early on as a writer and a pastor, I thought a lot more about it. What I wanted to sound like, what kind of writer I wanted to be. Eventually, though, you come to realize that a voice is not something you can construct but something which must be uncovered, something there but too often shuffled to the back, forced out by more pressing expectations and insecurities. What I mean is, the work of cultivating voice is really a process of subtraction, not addition. You must get all the stuff out of the way. 

Feb 27

23 min

Jeremey is the lead campus pastor at Woodside Bible Church's Plymouth Michigan campus where you'll find him preaching most Sundays. He is also the Executive Director for Gospel-Centered Discipleship, a resourcing ministry that exists to help make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus.As a writer, he's been published in several books, as well as writing for publications like He Reads Truth, Christ and Pop Culture,and For The Church.

Feb 17

46 min

Jeff Munroe is the executive vice president at Western Theological Seminary, where he also teaches writing. He was a charter member of the advisory board of the Buechner Institute of Faith and Culture, and is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America.He is also the author of 2019 book, Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher. I named the book one of my top reads of 2019. Jeff's book is a wonderful introduction to Buechner's work. Our conversation motivated me to pick up new books and add some Buechner novels to my 2020 reading. 

Feb 10

42 min

Philip Yancey worked for 10 years as an Editor and then Publisher for Campus Life magazine.In 1980 he and his wife Janet moved to downtown Chicago where he began a career as a freelance writer.In 1992, they moved to the foothills of Colorado, where Philip continues to write today, now having written over 30 books, most of them still in print.Three of those books he coauthored with Dr. Paul Brand, who he has said influenced him more than any single person.You are no doubt familiar with many of his books including, What's so amazing about Grace, The Jesus I Never Knew, Where's God When It Hurts, Prayer, and his recently released book, Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of bearing God's ImagePhilip describes himself as a pilgrim, still "in recovery" from a bad church upbringing, searching for a faith that makes its followers larger and not smaller.

Feb 3

50 min

For more than 15 years, J.R. Briggs served in pastoral roles in mega-churches, church plants, and house church networks.In 2011 he started Kairos Partnerships to serve hungry leaders through leadership coaching, consulting, speaking, teaching, equipping and writing. Since starting Kairos Partnerships, JR has served and invested in pastors and kingdom leaders in 28 states and Canada in over 40 denominations.He is the author, co-author or contributor of ten books and Bible studies on a wide variety of topics. He has also published articles in publications including Christianity Today, Huffington Post, Preaching Today, American Bible Society, N.T. Wright Online, Missio Alliance, Relevant Magazine, Outreach Magazine, and Faith & Leadership, among others.He is the co-host of the Monday Morning Pastor podcast.One of the books that is on my must-read list for pastors is one he published in 2014 entitled, Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure. Don't take my word for it, it comes with a foreword by Eugene Peterson.J.R. joins me to talk about the role of failure and how to handle it. How do you know when a challenge is God calling you to persevere faithfully or call it quits?

Jan 29

57 min

Dan Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC). Dan is a bestselling author of several books, The Dignity Revolution, The Characters of Christmas and the forthcoming, A Way With Words, releasing in September 2020.Dan is a prolific writer for a wide variety of publications, including contributions to In Touch Magazine, Made to Flourish, Core Christianity, Christianity Today, Facts and Trends, and The Gospel Coalition. His op-eds have appeared in USA Today, CNN, Washington Times, Time, Huffington Post, National Review, Washington Post and First Things. He has also appeared on CNN, FOX and on MSNBC.He hosts the popular weekly podcast, The Way Home, where he interviews Christian leaders, politicians, and journalists.Dan also continues to serve the church. He has served churches in Illinois and Tennessee. He and his wife Angela have four children and reside in the Nashville area. They attend Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet. There, Dan serves as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

Jan 22

49 min

Michael grew up in Brisbane, Australia before joining the Army and serving as a paratrooper, intelligence operator, and then chaplain's assistant. It was during his time in the military that he came to faith from a non-Christian background, and soon felt a call to ministry.He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Queensland and currently serves on the faculty at Ridley as a lecturer in Theology since 2013.As a researcher, Michael has written and edited over thirty books in the fields of Septuagint, Historical Jesus, the Gospels, St Paul, Biblical Theology, and Systematic Theology. Its also worth checking out his blog, euangelion.He joins me to talk about his latest work, a New Testament introduction written with N. T. Wright.

Jan 15

42 min

Our culture considers a person’s ability to speak their opinion not just a right but a kind of necessity. To not have an opinion is to be dull at best and irrelevant and transparent at worst. If a person chooses not to speak are they even still a person? In the digital age, maybe not.The question is not whether we should speak or not speak, it's, have we cultivated the wisdom to even recognize we have the choice.How do we read James' advice in the age of the internet? "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."

Jan 6

17 min

Curtis Sergeant is an MK (missionary kid) from Asia who served with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board as a missionary among unreached people groups in China and as a global trainer in missions. He has also served as a VP (for Global Strategy) with the IMB before leaving to help start the P.E.A.C.E. Plan at Saddleback Church where he directed their church planting efforts for five years. He served as a VP with e3 Partners Ministry for three years before moving to Alabama. He continues to serve with them as a consultant along with a number of other organizations for which he conducts training.He recently released a new book entitled, The Only One: Living Fully In, By, and For God, which is available for free at theonlyonebook.com.Curtis joins me to talk about his work in global church planting, discipleship movements, and what we can learn from them.

Dec 2019

45 min

Nathan Foster is the Director of Community Life at Renovaré as well as a licensed clinical social worker and certified addictions counselor. Prior to Renovaré he was an associate professor and Andrews Chair in Spiritual Formation at Spring Arbor University.Nathan hosts Renovaré's Ordinary Life with God podcast which airs each Monday.Nathan is the author of The Making of An Ordinary Saint: My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines (2014) and Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet (2010).He joins me to talk about his relationship with his father's work and how it led him to a season of living out the spiritual disciplines.

Nov 2019

39 min

Matt Carter serves as the Pastor of Preaching & Vision of The Austin Stone Community Church.In addition to pastoring at The Austin Stone, Matt is a cancer survivor, author, and speaker for camps and conferences nationwide. He holds an MDiv from Southwestern Seminary. His writing has ranged from a commentary on the Gospel of John to a historical fiction book exploring the relationship of Charles Spurgeon and his unlikely friendship with the former slave and missionary Thomas Johnson.He joins me to talk about his recently released book The Long Walk Home: Discovering the Fullness of Life in the Love of the Father.

Nov 2019

29 min

Combining their interest in history and passion for ministry, Joel & Troy have set out to revive long-forgotten sermons. From Augustine to Whitfield, the two are recording long-forgotten sermons form some of history's greatest preachers and sharing them through their podcast, Riving Thoughts.They join me to talk about the show, preaching, and how these historical thoughts can rescue us from the feedback loop of our modern times. Check out their show: Reviving Thoughts Podcast

Nov 2019

39 min

Harold Senkbeil was born and raised on a Minnesota farm and his rural background has shaped his approach to work and people.He was a parish pastor for 31 years prior to accepting a position as Associate Professor of Ministry and Mission at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana.Since 2008 he has served as Executive Director for Spiritual Care for DOXOLOGY: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel and spends his time teaching and encouraging pastors to hone their skills in the ancient art of the cure of souls.This summer, he released a new book, The Care of Souls: Cultivating A Pastor's Heart. He joined me to talk about the book and how the church has confused its model of pastoral ministry.I can't recommend Harold's book more and I found this conversation to be deeply impactful. I think it's one of the most important conversations I've had on the podcast.

Oct 2019

46 min

The past years have seen a massive spike in debates, articles, and books on the topic of masculinity, most centered around a call to redefine what masculinity means. What does it mean to be a man?We call for it constantly. Be a man. Act like a man. Man up. Real men don’t…But it’s worth asking yourself, do you have a good definition for it? How would you define what it means to be a man?Prefer to read the blog: A Good (Definition of) Man Is Hard to Find

Oct 2019

30 min

Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer joins me to talk about his newest book, Hearers & Doers. The book aims to help pastors better form disciples through theology and doctrine. It provides a great combination of theological reflection, scripture, and cultural awareness. Dr. Vanhoozer's writing draws from a deep appreciation for the arts. In our conversation, we talk about what it means to "do theology" and how pastor's are being pulled away from their true vocation. I think pastors and any thoughtful believer will find the conversation both challenging and fascinating.

Oct 2019

45 min

I do realize that for two years I've been talking about writing, publishing, and my own book on Samson. For two years you've listened to me give ask and talk about proposals, agents, and publishers. The obvious question is, am I ever going to publish anything? I wanted to take a pause from our interviews to give you an update and offer some of the lessons I've been learning along the way, the primary lesson being: writing is waiting.

Oct 2019

27 min

Chad Allen is a full-time writer, editor, speaker, and writing coach. His background is in the traditional publishing industry, where he spent over 20 years as an editor, acquisitions editor, and the last seven as editorial director for Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.He is also the creator of Book Proposal Academy and BookCamp.Chad joins me to talk about the components of a strong book project. Particularly, we talk about a book's concept—its hook. The concept is a critical part of the book and can always be stronger.

Sep 2019

39 min

Scott Kedersha serves as the Director of Marriage Ministry at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. He writes about marriage, family, leadership, and ministry, and is the author of Ready or Knot? 12 Conversations Every Couple Needs to Have before Marriage.Writing is long and hard work. It requires time, attention, and often money. But few of us write with unlimited quantities of those categories. We take up this new work in the context of relationships and pre-existing responsibilities. Important writing—even Christian writing—is no excuse for sacrificing our greater priorities. Scott joins me to discusses how to approach writing within these relationships. 

Sep 2019

42 min

Andrew Peterson is a recording artist, songwriter, producer, filmmaker, publisher and award-winning author of The Wingfeather Saga.He is also the founder and president of The Rabbit Room, which fosters Christ-centered community and spiritual formation through music, story and art.Peterson has also been named “one of the foremost singer/songwriters around” and has received multiple “best album of the year” nods from critics along with two Dove Award nominations.Taking his hits and fan favorites on the road, Peterson’s touring draws capacity crowds at venues around the world, including several sold-out events at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.I had a chance to review an advance copy of his soon to be released book, Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making. Andrew joins me to talk about creativity, community, writing, and the mystery of making.

Sep 2019

49 min

Frank Viola is a speaker, blogger, and bestselling author. You might be familiar with his books, Pagan Christianity, Insurgence, From Eternity to Here. His blog—frankviola.org—is regularly ranked in the top 5 of all Christian blogs on the Web and his podcast - Christ is All - has ranked #1 in Canada and #2 in the USA on iTunes.He is committed to helping serious followers of Jesus know their Lord more deeply so they can experience real transformation and make a lasting impact.Viola's writing is characterized by boldness and a passion for changing conventions. In our conversation, we talk about how he approaches his writing and how he knows when he has an idea worth writing about.

Aug 2019

46 min

Dr. Jim Denison is the CEO of Denison Forum. His Daily Article and podcast globally reach over 160,000 subscribers. Dr. Denison guides readers to discern today’s news—biblically. He is the author of multiple books and has taught on the philosophy of religion and apologetics at several seminaries.Prior to launching Denison Forum in 2009, he pastored churches in Texas and Georgia. He holds a Ph.D and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.He joins me to talk about writing to culture and his process for producing a daily article. For more than two decades, Dr. Denison has been using his writing to shape culture. I hope our conversation helps you think about how your writing might do the same.

Aug 2019

40 min

Jared C. Wilson is a prolific author of both fiction and non-fiction. He is an Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Spurgeon College and is an Author in Residence at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also services General Editor of For The Church.Jared joins me to talk about his career in writing and pastoral ministry. We discuss the role of writers in the work of the church and how writers can sustain the work even against a complicated and overwhelming publishing process. 

Aug 2019

65 min

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