To what degree do we have control over what we believe? Of course, we are influenced by our experience and circumstance, but do you have "ultimate" control whereby you can decide whether to believe something?

In this episode, we explore the ethics of belief, the role we have in belief formation, and how a certain view on the matter might lend itself to more easily practicing the intellectual virtues.

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June 14, 2021

Beauty and Creativity

What are we saying when we say something is "beautiful"? We are all interested in having beauty be part of our lives, which has led many to wonder whether some things are objectively more beautiful than other things. We discuss this in the context of various creative arts and the power beauty has in our lives.

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Neuralink, Synthetic Biology, and Advanced Audio/Visual AI.  Each come with amazing benefits to society, and yet there is reason to be concerned about their widespread adoption.  Sadly, our ethical considerations often lag behind the arrival of new tech, so let this episode be one step in the direction of preparing our hearts and minds for surprising technologies that are right around the corner.

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June 2, 2021

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero's Journey has been regarded as THE story, the monomyth, the archetype of archetypes, the grand narrative, in which all narratives find their home.

At the most basic level, it is the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth or starting from the known, venturing out into the unknown, and returning to the known again.  We take the 30,000 ft. view of the Hero's Journey, try to understand in the context of prominent films and literature, and apply it to our everyday lives.  

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Thanks for writing in to the show! We love interacting with our audience.  We discuss the desirability of heaven, value or disvalue of natural theology, and how to think about the relationship between inerrancy and historicity.

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May 18, 2021

Did Jesus Have to Die?

Did Jesus have to die on the cross and what did he accomplish in doing so? Various atonement theories attempt to answer this such as Penal Substitution, Christus Victor, Moral Exemplar, Ransom Theory, and Announcement Theory among others. We discuss each one briefly and assess the merits of each.

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We all have a unique perspective. Our life experience influences how we think and the wisdom we can bring to a conversation, even a theological one.

Yet, we can still wonder about the projects known by their reference to identity such as black theology, queer theology, feminist theology, and disability theology among others.

How should we think about these labels and what do they really mean? To what extent do these projects carry specific political commitments to the table in their theologizing and hermeneutics?

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Political division and polarization in America have reached a fever pitch. Civic discourse has become a landscape nearly devoid of the intellectual virtues.  And in the midst of this, we still make our decisions in a largely democratic fashion where hardly anyone actually is informed on any important topics.  Could these negative phenomena be the result of a more systemic problem in how we govern ourselves - that is, is democracy itself to blame?

Our guest Dr. Jason Brennan, professor at Georgetown University, explores alternatives to democracy that may in fact produce more of the good results we actually care about.  We discuss the traditional reasons democracy has been praised and supported, and examine ways it falls short, and notable alternatives to it.  We closely look at epistocracy, or rule by the knowers, that perhaps the most informed among us should have the greatest say in policy.

For a more detailed treatment, check out Jason's book Against Democracy anywhere books are sold.

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Have you ever had a new experience or idea that has led you to have even more questions about something in the Bible? Or wondered about what the Bible even is? Or what to do with it? We sure have and our guest Dr. Pete Enns has too! Pete has been a spiritual luminary for us as we have navigated our shifting ideas regarding faith, theology, and the Bible. 

We talk all about the impact and consequences of exploring new ideas regarding the Bible, how to raise your kids and lead others in the midst of deconstruction, the messiness of the Bible, and what we are supposed to be doing with it.  

Pete's latest book How the Bible Actually Works is a fantastic, accessible piece for thinking about the challenges and joys of biblical interpretation.  Make sure to get your copy today!

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April 20, 2021

Is the Bible Myth?

Some streams of modern biblical scholarship have pointed out the mythological nature of certain biblical texts and have attempted to "demythologize" them - to sift out the supernatural, wild bits in order to find the moral, theological principles embedded in the stories.  Is this the right interpretative method?

Maybe at times.  We'll talk about a few of these.  But maybe not at others.  That is, something significant may be lost when we do this.  We'll talk about a few of these too - including the resurrection of Jesus.

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