Eps 101: How Racism Came to America, Guest Dr Kendi

Eps 101: How Racism Came to America, Guest Dr Kendi

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 Today my guest is award-winning author and historian Dr Ibram Kendi. He is the 2016 winner of the National Book Award for non fiction and the youngest winner ever in that category. At the time of this interview, he was teaching at the University of Florida, and weeks later became Professor of History and International Relations and the Founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

Dr. Kendi’s book:

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Eps 62: The [Christian] Argument for Absolute Non Violence

Eps 62: The [Christian] Argument for Absolute Non Violence

Today my guest is Preston Sprinkle. Preston is a professor and the Vice President of the Idaho extension of Eternity Bible College. He has written on topics most people are afraid to talk about like Hell, Homosexuality, and Violence.


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MIN 2:00
The 2 reasons why Preston wrote about non violence.

on culture, Christianity, and patriotism

MIN 7:00

Anabaptist – John Howard Yoder

Stanley Hauerwas

Greg Byod

Using violence and not using violence are not the only options in the real world. 1

MIN 11:20
Old Testament genocide and violence

MIN 13:30
The trajectory of violence. God does not accept it and most prophets speak out against it.

MIN 14:30
A Christian cannot build a logical case for violence.

MIN 15:40
Why Preston advocates for absolute for absolute non violence and violence is never justified.

MIN 16:30
The #1 burden is that Evangelicals want to 1st restore to violence.

MIN 18:40
There is a militaristic spirit in Evangelicalism

Andrew Bacevich

American cultural influence

MIN 22:00
What do we do about ISIS?
What causes more violence and death?
Has violence really prevented more violence?

MIN 27:00
Jeremy Courtney
Preemptive Love Coalition

Being agents of ealing and peace. Building a bridge between Christians and Muslims.

MIN 31:30
What personal changes has Preston noticed in his own life as a result on his work on the topic?

MIN 37:30
Theology in the Raw


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EPS 54: Online “Truth Bombs”, Karma & Deeper Grace – Guest Ray Hollenbach

EPS 54: Online “Truth Bombs”, Karma & Deeper Grace – Guest Ray Hollenbach

Today, I’m featuring a returning guest, my friend, Ray Hollenbach: teacher, blogger, writer, former pastor, and now a facilitator of the Deeper Seminars. Ray trains leaders and any one interested in deepening their spiritual maturity and walk of faith in the Fruit of the Spirit in small group settings so lasting transformation is likely.

Included in the show notes are FREE downloads of Ray’s exercises for you (scroll to the bottom to get those). We hope you enjoy them. Be sure to get his powerful book Deeper Grace.


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Click image to get to Ray's website.
Click image to get to Ray’s website.



Grace is a rich word we use a lot and simply go shallow with too much. How do Christians most often get the concept wrong?


Karma is the voice of reason and Grace is the voice of Love.

We want karma for others and grace for ourselves.

Justice and Grace


The oppressor is also oppressed.

Victim and victimizer are both held captive.

MIN 10

Roman 8:1

Offering others assurance of not having condemnation.

MIN 11

on GRACE for Difficult people

MIN 14

The person with the problem is the person who thinks there is a problem.

MIN 16:30

Stewardship (of grace) to not expose others and be brutal online or otherwise.

Love covers a multitude of sins.

MIN 21

The medium of being protected by a screen and not going to someone alone and face-to-face to win over a brother or sister.

MIN 22

Truth Bombs

What do we do with our outrage?


“The anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God”

ASK: How big is your sphere really?

Renevere podcast “not having to have the last word” Dallas Willard

MIN 28


The Deeper Seminars (link)

Relationally combining grace and truth

MIN 32 What “Grace teaches” means

Titus 2:11-12

3 movements of grace

  • salvation – forgiveness
  • how to say no to ungodliness
  • how to live upright sensible lives in this present age

Fruit of the Spirit (link to Ray’s first guest podcast) and the biggest misunderstanding about it.

Not attained but instead or the byproduct (result) that show we are living a life with God (Divine Love).

John chapter 15

FREE=to=Download [PDF] Exercises from Ray.

Deeper Grace – Exercise One
Deeper Grace – Exercise Two
Deeper Grace – Exercise Three

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EPS 33: A Muslim talks about Allah, what he says will surprise you

Usama Awan
My guest is a young man who reflects the mission of this project called Spark My Muse. That mission is to be the spark of light and love I (and we) want to see the world.

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Do that HERE.

Usama Awan is a medical Student at Ohio State and a Ahmadiyya Muslim that escaped religious persecution in his native Pakistan with his family when he was a young boy.

Contact him here: muslimperiscope@gmail.com

On Twitter @MuslimPeriscope

Ahmadiyya muslims are a moderate minority sect in the Muslim world and they believe their messiah came already.

The Messiah of the Ahmadiyya sect was Hazrat Mirza Ghulan Ahmad. He was a teacher and he was not divine.

Ahmadiyya believe in an established Khilafat is not a physical dominion but a dominion of the heart.

The website about his sect of Islam

Usama addresses some misconceptions about Islam.

About his wanting to change the perception of Muslims by going live on Periscope to answer questions.

Usama’s story of leaving Pakistan because of religious persecution.

His sect believes in a Messiah of Muslims (who died in 1908) and this belief makes his sect targets for persecution from other Muslims in the Muslim world.

Current leader (the Caliph) is Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad and lives in London. He advocates for peace.

About the belief in Jesus by Muslims.

Three goals of the Muslim Messiah:
1. Revive the teachings of Islam and bring Muslims back to the true teachings of Islam
2. To spread the truth about religion and to get humankind back to its Creator
3. To unite all religions

Worshipping the one true God and Creator.

Allah means God in Arabic. Arab Christians refer to God is Allah because it is the word for God.

Some of God’s attributes.

How names summarize us poorly.

God as male?

What Islam is not:

Terrorism is forbidden.
Life is precious, no matter the faith belief of the person.

Asking Usama, “Do you think most Muslims understand the truth?”

1.6 billion Muslims in the world but most have lost the true teachings of Islam–like a body without a beating heart.
The Muslim Messiah is there to get the heart of Islam to beat again.

The Quran is (usually) misunderstood. It is written in parables and must not be taken literally in ways that it is commonly.

The Calif (leader) is the ultimate authority on the Islamic teachings and there to resolve disputes.

What is the same about people is far more than what is different.

The big curveball question:
Was Mohammad violent and in favor of killing unbelievers?

The wars of Mohammad and were they fought in self-defense?

How the wars in (pagan/polytheistic) Mecca started around 610 AD.

Mohammad moves to Medina and the faith starts to spread.

Book by Karen Armstrong the life of Mohammad as a historical figure.

A history of God

Name Your Link

The religious context in Mecca: It was pagan and in the city of Medina there were some Jews.

The Kaaba, the black box, in Mecca was surrounded by idols and worshiped in a yearly pilgrimage.

Kaaba HD (3)29:00
Religious or spiritual figures are reviled by those in power (Moses, Jesus, etc.)

The economic factors that cause wars throughout history.

Abraham and his son Ishmael.

The Quran says that Abraham is told by God to leave to go to Mecca and leave Ishmael and his mother to make a great nation.

The family fight in the Middle East.

Exclusive truth is claimed by both Christianity and Islam and what can we do about it?

Usama says that his sect of Islam does not claim to have the only way to God. Many prophets have come over time and have told God’s truth.

The return of God is a message in every culture.

Answers the question: What’s the point of being a Muslim if all paths get to God?

The Five Pillars (of Islam) help you lead a godly life.

Jihad means to struggle and keep Satan away.

The Grace of God. Prayer helps us but it is not for God’s benefit or to get his favor. It establishes a link to God.

When people ask, “If God exists why doesn’t he just show himself?”

Belief is to hone in on “spiritual frequency”.

Worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth.

(from Lisa) Christians sometimes think of God as a Christian or of Jesus as a Christian.

Finding common ground to love the world as God wants us to.
Conversations. Service projects. Work together. Volunteer together.

Protecting each other and respect each other and focus on the common ground.

Mary the mother of Jesus is revered in Islam.

To serve God and bring glory to God we need to bring peace and love into the world together.

Episode 16 – It’s Apophatic, not Apathetic, Prayer

Shownotes Episode 16 – Apophatic prayer explained in a conversation with Dr. Laurie Mellinger.


Laurie Mellinger, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation and Christian Theology
Dean of Academic Programs
B.A. Millersville University; M.A.R. Evangelical School of Theology; Ph.D. The Catholic University of America

Get your spiffy guide to the ancient Christian prayer practice of praying using Scripture called Lectio Divina (latin for “sacred reading”). It’s the perfect go-to reference and resource to get started with the four movements of Lectio that lead us to praying without words and listening to God.

A donation of 50¢ or more will get you this essential Lectio Divina resource.
Click HERE to download it now!

Encountering and examining Apophatic (contemplative) Prayer

Conversation Notes

MINUTE 2:00 Apophatic not to be confused with apathetic


2 main ways of understanding God

Via Eminencia -The way of eminence

The highest of something we know as humans and elevating it. Power, strength “The most powerful”, omnipotent)

Via Negativa – The way of negation (Denying the limited or bad we can observe. God is Immortal (NOT mortal).


Katophatic (or cataphatic) vs. Apophatic Prayer

Katophatic  – What we can see and say in prayer.

Apophatic – We we cannot see and bri; and without our senses.

6:00 Meditation and how it relates to apophatic prayer

6:30 What is Lectio Divina

Reading scripture and prayer as we seek relationship with God

The four movements of this form of prayer.


Eastern vs. Western styles of Meditation

Experiencing vs. Word-driven forms


Contemplation 2 going definitions

1. To observe

2. Contemplative to look at with continued attention.


Contemplative vs. Discursive prayer


Breath prayer


Apophatic prayer as a way to pray without ceasing


Allowing God to be in every moment, even with every breath.

Laurie’s experience with the Jesus Prayer

Being carried along through pain knowing experiencing that God was with her.

Celebration of Discipline-Richard Foster


Prayer as a habit that changes you.

…Like holding hands as you walk…


What happens after the questions like: “I’m I allow to do this?”

The distractions and a flood of thoughts become the hardest part.

How to help that…

Examples: “eye floaters”, “balloons”


on being patience with yourself


Brian McClaren getting distracted and quoting from the dessert fathers.

28:30 Turning our face back to God





The discipline of being attentive to God allows us to be more present and attentive with others as well. 


People crave presence and can even be (un)used to it.


Learning how to listen. Simone Weil.



How we are over-stimulated. Children get overstimulated and need naps which means they get silence and solitude and lack of stimulation. Silence and solitude are restorative.


The demons we encounter in solitude or in the desert.


A clean and swept room, removed of clutter makes us more aware of new things that might be wrong.


New Testament Professor Douglas Buckwalter


Spiritual formation is not doing disciplines.

One kind of prayer isn’t better (per se), but God is forming and reform and transforms us back into the image of Christ. God must reform us. In God’s presence we will feel more loved and acceptance and he might put his finger on something to take care of.

Luke 11:24-26

24“When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25“And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26“Then it goes and takes alongseven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”


on…The messy interior work needed to be more like Jesus.

Letting God dig around.


Helpful and practical advice for getting started with apophatic and contemplative prayer.

Practice reading the Bible and using the text to help you pray and wait.  (Lectio Divina)

“That waiting (in prayer) is the entry into apophatic prayer.”

Breath Prayer

Centering Prayer (using a word to focus)

“Be patience with yourself. Just do it and God will meet you there”

Using a candle to bring our attention back.


Good focus is ill-fitting at first until you commit to the process.

Leonard Sweet

(paraphrase) “If you are still counting the steps, you aren’t dancing yet. You are still learning to dance.”


Prayer can become flow.


Union with God – The traditional understand of the goal of apophatic prayer.


God invites us corporately and individually as human beings into that (triune) relational and our participation in that relationship is what I mean by union with God.”

Sensing the presence and love of God more fully, and more and more fully. This is union with God.


Western goal in Christianity is often understand (first) as Salvation in terms of Penal Atonement and payment for sin. It is a more judicial angle compared to what Eastern Christians do. It’s much more about relationship restored.

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