Eps. 210 Faithful Faith | Guests; Ben Sternke and Matt Tebbe

Today a conversation with pastors and co-founders of Gravity Leadership Ben Sternke and Matt Tebbe about their spiritual formation book.

Use promo code SPARK22 before August 31 at ivpress HERE

and get a special discount on Having the Mind of Christ: Eight Axioms to Cultivate a Robust Faith.

Some amazing extras related to this episode can be found at the links below:

(for newsletter subscribers; free option also available):

PATREON EXTRAS (monthly supporters):

❤️ My Venmo is @lisadelay ❤️

Listen to a recent episode:

• Help this work grow.

1. Share the program with another person today.

2. Leave a Rating/ Write a Review on iTunes HERE. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id988423690&ls)

AND Please!
Don’t forget to pick a free subscription option that is best for you at (sparkmymuse.com) below:

If you can spare just $10 to help me continue this work, it is very appreciated. Thank you. ❤️

• VENMO: venmo.com/lisadelay
• PayPal.me/lisacolondelay

The Spiral Staircase [SSL172]

Today, I’m featuring excerpts on belief and compassion from the memoir by noted religious historian Karen Armstrong The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness . Get access to my notes and other links for this episode at the support page here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/43388956 Listen now with the AUDIO PLAYER:

One more thing! Pre-order my book. You don’t have to shop at the BOOK GIANT-but if you do go to tiny.cc/wildland. You can help an independent bookshop by shopping here: 🥰 tiny.cc/wildINDIE
If you missed the book club discussion with author and international recognized leader, Terence Lester, LIVE Nov 4, 2020 then just Click for the replay: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/spark-my-muse—book powered by Crowdcast (When you support this work (at Patreon) you ease the financial burden I have when creating this work, but you also unlock many extras from years of episodes. You ALSO get sneak peeks on episodes, projects, and news on my book “The Wild Land Within” published with Broadleaf Books – patreon.com/sparkmymuse) SparkMyMuse.com contains over 355+ audio episodes, an online store, and resources. Roam around the website and enjoy!

CONTRIBUTIONS? Some people don’t contribute to the helpful or creative work people do because of a lack of desire or a lack of funds. Most everything I create can be enjoyed for little or nothing. Some people to me they get excited to help out when they find something they enjoy. So here, it’s simple: you can pay-what-you’d-like to help. It’s appreciated. Thank you. ❤️ • VENMO: venmo.com/lisadelay • PayPal.me/lisacolondelay

Listen to a recent episode:

• Spark My Muse can thrive when you help in these two ways:

1. Share the program with another person today. 2. Leave a Rating/ Write a Review on iTunes HERE.
AND! Don’t forget to pick a subscribe option that is best for you at (sparkmymuse.com) below:


Eps: 83 Ryan J. Bell and Life After God

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

• Each FRIDAY, guests join me in a conversation.
• Come back each Wednesday
(on “Hump Day” aka Midweek) for a brief Soul School “lesson”–something for your interior world and common life.


Would you give $5, $10, or $20, today to support the program?
It’s quick and easy and will make me smile.


Today, my guest is a follow podcaster and blogger Ryan J. Bell. Ryan came into some notoriety when he, as a Seventh Day Adventist Pastor, decided to blog about living a year without God and he gained a large following as a columnist on Huffington Press as well. What happened next and what he’s up to now makes for an interesting story. Listen in.


MIN 1:00
Ryan’s blog: yearwithoutgod.com (The Blog)

A year without God at patheos.com

The PODCASTlifeaftergod.org

About Ryan’s religious background, education, and pastoral experience.

humanities studies

7th Day Adventist explained in brief

Restorationist movement mid 19th Century

some Methodist and Deist roots.

• Stone Campbell 

• Churches of Christ (similar off shoot)

prophetic interpretation and end times predictions

lost truths that mainstream Christianity left behind.

MIN 6:00

He started reading theology that differed from the framework he came from. It was less restrictive and exclusive toward others.


Atheism and the blog “A Year Without God” started in January 2013

9 month break,

Spiritual but not religious, American, individualism version of spiritual experience:  “Everybody is having their own private isolated experience of wonder.”

Religion for Atheists – Alain de Botton

He submitted his idea of “middle space–between belief and non belief” for the Huffington Post Religion Page and it was very popular.


People approached him because they didn’t have anyone to talk to about their doubts and questions.

Space for dark spots of doubt.


Do you hang on to any spiritual practices or vestiges of your old life?

Coming to a centered place in the now and in focused and non judgmental way and noticing feelings.


What have you done with “The Big Other” and the baggage from your upbringing?

Do you have gratitude toward the Big Other, or how is it expressed?

Not locating a destination for his gratitude.


Morality of an atheist. Being good for goodness sake.

A bottom up thinker


Draw to Judaism because it had created a theology around a community not a community out of a theology.

Judaism: Built around love, work, sex, food–the whole life lived.

Norms and wrong & right


Why he started the Life After God podcast

The response to the question:

“How do we community, both online and in person, in both groups and one-on-one, ….to help people around their changing viewpoints.”

Dealing with the challenges and life issues after a life where people stop believing in God.


A community of revolt coheres poorly. -Lisa

Atheists that move into Humanism (a secular moral philosophy to guide life)


• Jennifer Michael Hecht – A LOVE FEST SEGMENT-

Jennifer’s episode on Spark My Muse:

Poetic Atheism (as opposed to what Ryan called “Vulcan Atheism” -a logical-focused (MR. SPOCK from Star Trek) approach to the world)

Denying our humanity by letting beauty shape our decisions at times.

When we deny those things that give us beauty and awe, we are repressing, fighting or resisting the idea that we are deeply emotional creatures.

DOUBT (the book)


Aeon.com What is “soul” – emotional seat in our brains.

Religious words and language. Words can hold larger meanings.

Tad DeLay (Our conversation)

Outside of religious contexts:
• Soul – can mean awareness

• Spiritual – can mean aliveness -Lisa

Part of the human experience is beyond words so we have to use what we have available in bigger ways. -Lisa

Jennifer gives permission to have a deeper (and more artistic) appreciation and ways for living.


Life After God- the Ex-files

We are storytelling creatures and isolation is dangerous for people.

Post religious and post-theistic communities and progressive communities have a exciting times ahead.

Greta Vesper (episode link)

Sunday Assembly and Oasis meet up.

We need to be challenged and comforted regularly.


Curiosity about life and learning


Asking questions

Power systems (or any one who’s trying to sell something) have something to lose if you ask questions because threats to disturb the status quo.



Brian Peck

My Life After God – Insta-journalism


Trying to understand why atheism is attractive to people and why people lose their faith/belief

I have a slew of diverse voices on Spark My Muse. Hear more below!

Pick the best option below!

Eps 74: Anxiety At the Base of Belief – Guest, Tad DeLay

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

Thanks for your generousity.

As you hear and enjoy this episode of Spark My Muse, please remember to contribute something to my out-of-pocket costs to create this material for you.


Have you been EXPECTING DeLays?

DeLayed gratification is good for the soul….but wait no longer!

Today’s guest is TAD DeLAY.

(Tad and I are not related, but we both enjoy the humor that comes along with having an odd last name.)

Tad is interested in the intersections of Continental philosophy, theology, psychoanalysis, critical theory, and politics and is a PhD student (philosophy of religion and theology) at Claremont Graduate University, and holds an MA philosophy and an MA theology. He sees his vocation as aiming to make theory public. His second book, The Cynic & the Fool, will be available in late 2016.


(Share a clip from the show by using the Clammr app below.)


MIN 2:00
“God is Unconscious”

• Sigmund Freud 
Jacques Lacan 

What “God is Unconscious” means.

MIN 5:00
The concept of “The Big Other”

If there is no God nothing is possible anymore -a play on Dostoevsky.

The Big Other gives us reference to authorizes us to do something.

(you’d second guess everything)

The void that the gods are covering over.

Removing gods doesn’t do as much as you think.

MIN 8:30
The people not afflicted by “the Big Other” are psychotic
They are not liberated.

MIN 10:30
Shared norms and morals the beginnings of society. A collective neurosis. “The Good” “The right” “The gods”

In a sense there is failure of those social rules to regulate those rules in a psychotic.

The Cynic and Fool

Sigmund Frued people engage in repetitive behaviors that don’t work because we appreciate the certainty. There is some pleasure in feeling guilty.

Story of the the compliant good girl
Does the Big Other is dead but does the Big Other know he’s dead

We change the language around but we keep the essential language around of trying to please the Big Other and keep that in place.”

When Identity Signifiers aren’t working in your life.

Rank and identity

MIN 22:00
Psychoanalyst is interested in only what doesn’t work b/c what doesn’t work is what people are enjoying the most.

MIN 23:30
What the Cynic and Fool means and the 3 problems upfront.

The fiction underlying most binaries.

cynic – manipulation, means to an end.
fool – believing directly or wish.

Institutional pressures.

MIN 29:00
Job prospects for seminary students who learn thing their congregations wouldn’t want to believe.

MIN 31:00
A Lacan example:
Leftist foolish desire
Right wing crook honesty

MIN 36:00
A quote related to anxiety.

Paul Tillich theologian.

The base of every ritual- organize into something productive

ontological – the way things are – we will die
moral – we might be guilty
spiritual – we we question whether our life will be meaningless

Eucharistic as an example.
means connection for some
means comfort for some
means justice for others
minimizes anxiety

MIN 40:00
Anxiety never lies.

Anxiety DOES have an object but it’s usually imaginary.

Anxiety THEN doubt. (not the other way)

You don’t have say in what you believe.

Keep anxiety at bay by staying ambiguous.

Anxiety is at the base of religion and rituals and even beliefs themselves.

[ictt-tweet-inline via=””]“Orthodoxy is what you hold on to when you have nothing left to say about the doctrine itself.” -via @taddelay[/ictt-tweet-inline]

(Tweet that amazing quote–just click the blue bird.)

Certainty …holding anxiety at bay….and you feel certain because you are actually ambiguous .

MIN 46:00
The Kettle story

The book of Job and the 3 argument about suffering.

How people deal with suffering.

MIN 52:00
When the book comes out. The Cynic and the Fool – Tad’s AMAZON page

Kester Brewin website

Hear the fantastic conversation– the Spark my Muse episode with Kester Brewin:

Visit Tad’s website: taddelay.com

Listen in to other episodes:

Pick the best option for you below:

Eps 72: Deconstructionists RECAP with Adam & John on Jack Caputo

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

Thanks for your generousity.

Spark My Muse listeners hear quality episodes–twice, each week–and give what they can. YOU ARE THE VERY BEST.


Adam Narloch and John Williamson of the Deconstructionist Podcast!


I put lots of effort into the show notes so they are amazing and helpful for you.
Scroll down for those and enjoy the show!


(You can share an audio clip from the show by using the Clammr app below. Just click the red and white logo

Hear Adam and John the previous time they came on the Spark My Muse show: Episode 59.

SHOW NOTES for Episode 72

It’s a special podcast powwow with Adam and John as we deconstruct / unpack their recent conversation with remarkable guest John D. Caputo!
(often referred to as Jack)

Min 2
“What Would Jesus Deconstruct” by Jack Caputo

(John) On Jack Caputo and his work related to Philosopher Jacques Derrida

The Weakness of God – by Jack Caputo

Other books by John D. Caputojack_Caputo

MIN 3:30

The meaning of “Weak Theology”

(briefly explained)

Tragedies bring out the questions of Theodicy (or so-called “weak theology”) and the questions of why good God would allow humans to suffer. We talk about how we perceive weakness compared to how God might encounter or solve that. It’s a loving term of weakness.

Looking at Jesus dying on the cross as a metaphor for weakness. (sacrifice)

Violence begets more violence.
The solution is a surprising one.

MIN 6:30


[ictt-tweet-inline via=””]Foolishness of God is the great reversal and is the premise of weak theology.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

Michel Foucault on knowledge and power

MIN 8:20
Why the Deconstructionist podcast is not heterodox or counter-orthodoxy or heretical:

[ictt-tweet-inline via=””]Theology isn’t something you can capture and freeze.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

Beliefs are constructed through history are relatively stable (this is why they last throughout time) but they are also relatively unstable then too. It’s both dangerous to mess with the beliefs and dangerous to keep them frozen too.

MIN 10

(John) The nugget John found in the conversation:

[ictt-tweet-inline via=””]Deconstruction is not a drive-by shooting.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

• Karen Armstrong’s work – (books)

Ancient people, scribes, leaders, and rabbi’s were always struggling with how to interpret scripture.

MIN 13:00
The cultural legacy of a modernity mindset is to think that the Bible could be seen as inerrant.

The re-imagining of the Scriptures.

MIN 13:30



It’s not that we have to destroy it but we have to continue to to image and expose the Scripture to its own future.

MIN 15:00

[ictt-tweet-inline via=””]If Justice or Hospitality exists, it calls to us. It’s something we imagine and pray for and long for. God doesn’t exist, God insists.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

MIN 16:30

“You can’t be a fascist of knowledge.” -Adam Narloch

MIN 17:30
Some people think deconstructing is negative and a dead end. Why deconstructing is not a dead end but rather life-giving.

[ictt-tweet-inline via=””]The desire beyond desire. It calls us to the next thing. We mistake desire for the thing.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

MIN 18:30


Further up and further in…

the thing calling us forward. The beyond the beyond. The deconstructive process continues and we have to keep opening it up.

MIN 20:00

(John) Being comfortable of the Mystery of God.

[ictt-tweet-inline via=””]Who created God? you realize is the wrong question.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

MIN 23:30

(Lisa) My own deconstructing the image of Jesus, of God, and the mystery of understanding how our brains understand reality through constructions.

MIN 25:00


The alien orb. Sphere a Michael Crighton novel.

The Anthropomorphic problem – people make things people-like.

Jewish people are iconoclastic. No graven images. Images don’t capture the meaning.

Jesus is iconoclastic because he comes as divine coming in human form.

The temple curtain is torn revealing that nothing was there behind it because there was more to be revealed.

MIN 29:00


[ictt-tweet-inline via=””]Pluralism helps us deconstructs and helps take us to deeper truth.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

MIN 32:00

Wrestling with God is our “calling” (as humans). In other words, it’s our most basic human experience.

Hear Robcast with Rabbi Joel.

MIN 33 (Adam)

[ictt-tweet-inline via=””]Enlightenment has co-opted inside religion to take the wrestling [with God] out.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

MIN 33:30


on their podcast being referred to as “dangerous”

Heresy in the Middle Ages related to power and government structures (not spirituality).

The influence of the famous women mystics threatened power structures more than personal spiritual devotion in the lives of people.

MIN 36:00

• Revisionist History podcast Malcom Galdwell.

Do a revisionist history on the church heretics.

Check out Pelagius and see if maybe he wasn’t a heretic.

MIN 39:00

on Paul’s letters (which became part of collection of books now know as The Holy Bible) were the documents that were preserved the best (and most shaped what is now Christianity)

MIN 43:00

Paul’s authority.

The scandal of turning Paul’s letters into a new law would have deeply grieved Paul.

The Fidelity of Betrayal – Peter Rollins

• Peter Rollins’ books

Hear Episode 18 of the Deconstructionist Podcast featuring Jack Caputo here.

Hear the most recent episodes of Spark My Muse:

Pick an option below for the next amazing episode!