Episode 141: Radical Acts – “What’s Our Price?”

In today’s installment of the Antioch Podcast we continue our series “Radical Acts” the story of the birth of the multiethnic church. In today’s episode, we enter the story as the followers of Jesus flee persecution from Jews. They find shelter among the “half-Jewish” residents of Samaria, whom Jews saw as a lower-caste people. These followers of Jesus begin to reckon with how to reestablish themselves as a movement in this decidedly non-Jewish space, and we watch as a new leader emerges named Phillip, himself an ethic outsider to Judaism. As always, we bring our antiracist lens to our reading of scripture, as we talk about this text.


Willie Jennings Commentary on Acts

Episode 140: Radical Acts – “The Lost Cause of the Hellenistic Jews.”

In today’s episode we continue our series “Radical Acts” the story of the birth of the multiethnic church.  Last episode we left off with the story of Stephen, the Hellenistic Jew.  Stephen was an “ethnic outsider” to the predominantly ethnically Jewish early church, and once in leadership, he went to share the story of Jesus to his own people – other Hellenistic Jews.

But the story of Jesus challenged the norms of the leaders of the Hellenistic Jews, who saw themselves as exceptional members of their ethnic community who in many ways were “more Jewish than the Jewish Jews” – which was what they believed marked them as insiders within Judaism, despite their obvious differences.  As Libby said last episode, Stephen’s sermon laid out that there was a pattern of the people of God getting messages – from God – and not listening to them.  And when he shared that this story included the Hellenistic Jewish people not following the Holy Spirit in the present day, the people dragged him out and put him to death.

In today’s episode, we take a closer look at the content of Stephen’s sermon, as it was recorded in full in Acts 8.  We look at how the sin condition of the people of God in the first Century is very much like the sin condition of people today, in this episode we are calling “The Lost Cause of the Hellenistic Jews.”

Before we get started, observant listeners may hear the periodic chirping of an unreachable smoke detector whose battery was dying in today’s recording.  Our apologies.  This is the recording, and not the smoke detector in your house.


Episode 139: Radical Acts – “The Story of Stephen.”

In today’s episode we continue our series “Radical Acts” the story of the birth of the multiethnic church. In today’s installment, we look at the story of Stephen, one of the newly-appointed leaders of the early church. Stephen was a Hellenistic Jew, which in our previous episode we pointed out, meant that he was an ethnic minority in the newly-forming church. The church at this time still considered itself connected to Judaism, but most Jewish leaders were having difficulty perceiving that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophesies and traditions they had kept for over a thousand years. It is understandably difficult for any institution to adapt to rapid change, and first-century Judaism was no exception.

The story of Stephen is a case in point in looking at how institutions sometimes respond to those who advocate for change. In this episode, we will look at what happened to Stephen, the ethnic outsider, when he begins to share the story of Jesus among the religious leaders of the Hellenistic Jews. Remember, these particular religious leaders were ethnic outsiders to Judaism like himself, who – in spite of their ethnic, cultural and even linguistic differences – still held tightly to the traditional practices and teachings of their Jewish heritage. These leaders emphasized being exceptional members of their institution, and saw Stephen and his message as a threat to the space they had carved out for themselves within the institution of Judaism. As you can imagine, there were fireworks… but don’t take my word for it. Hear it from our team.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.




Willie Jennings Commentary on Acts

The Stoning of Sorayah M.

Episode 138: Radical Acts – “The Choosing of the Seven.”

In today’s episode we return to our series “Radical Acts” the story of the multiethnic church. We will begin with a little-known story referred to as “the choosing of the seven.” This is a story about how the early church dealt with ethnic divisions, economic injustice, and the use of systemic power to address these concerns. So buckle your theological seatbelts! We are going on a ride!

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.


Willie Jennings Commentary on Acts

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd

See No Stranger, Valarie Kaur

Reaching Out, Henri Nouwen

The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown

Episode 137: An Antioch Encore – “Antiracist Inspiration.”

Before we start today’s episode, on behalf of the Antioch Podcast team, I want to thank all of our listeners. The annual Stand Against Racism episode “White Work” has been downloaded and listened to hundreds of times more than any of our previous episodes. We have heard in comments from many of you that you want to hear more episodes like this, and so stay tuned. There will be another live event, White Work 2.0, coming in June, details coming soon.

To all of our new listeners, welcome to the Antioch Podcast, where every week you will get the opportunity to listen in on our multiethnic group of Christian antiracism educators and friends as we have a conversation about Biblical antiracism. When all of us are here, we have two team members who identify as white, two team members who identify as black, and two team members who identify as “middle voices” to capture a limited spectrum of the voices who make up the American racial caste system we all inhabit. No other podcast that we know of talks about faith and race with such a diverse team, and we welcome you to listen in.

Now to our long-time listeners, thank you. Thank you for listening when we were starting out and were small. Thank you for listening when we were finding our voice as we started out, for some of you going back to 2016 when Barack Obama was the president. We didn’t see what was coming, what turned out to be the racial re-awakening that continues to blossom across the United States and in post-colonial spaces all across the globe. As this re-awakening sparked conversations, dialogue and intense emotions in our churches and religious institutions, you listened. As the years continued, we saw that you listened – often more intently – following racial incidents that punctuated the new cycles of the past five years. Thank you for trusting us to be a place that you went to hear honest, thoughtful Christian conversations during these impassioned moments in our nation.

So today, we are going to bring you an Antioch encore, an episode from our archives. For a bit of context, this is an episode from this past fall. We were entering into the winter holidays during the pandemic. The events of the summer of 2020 were still very much on our minds, and we took a moment, in this episode we called “Antiracist Inspiration” to recall the people who inspired us to strive for racial justice during this trying time.

Episode 136: Radical Acts – “Gamaliel the Moderate.”

In today’s episode, we resume our series “Radical Acts”, the story of how the church grew from a monoethnic Jewish sect to a multiethnic religion encompassing the known world.  Today, we have a conversation about the persecution of the early church by leaders of the powerful religious establishment of the day.  To provide a bit of context, followers of Jesus were not yet seen as a separate religion by the Jewish leaders at this point in the story of the early church.  Our conversation centers on one of the Jewish leaders, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, and the speech he gave about how the religious authorities should use their power.  As always, the next hour will be filled with thoughtful commentary, vulnerable storytelling, and end with some challenging ideas.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.



Willie Jennings Commentary on Acts

All One Body: Three queer pastors address the question: What does it look like to have a flourishing church and to share the abundant life?



Episode 135: WHITE WORK – “Antiracism Journeys of White People.”

We are stepping away from our regular series on the book of Acts to bring you the audio from our latest live event, White Work: A Conversation About the Antiracism Journeys of White People. This 90-minute live webinar was recorded on Friday, April 23rd in partnership between the Antioch Podcast and Calvin University, the Christian Reformed Church of North America, and the Grand Rapids chapter of the YWCA. This particular virtual event was the regional 2021 STAND AGAINST RACISM event for the greater Grand Rapids area. STAND AGAINST RACISM events are hosted by the YWCA every year around this time, and it was an honor for the Antioch Podcast Team, and our guests (who have each appeared on the podcast before) to be included in this year’s virtual event.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.


Bell Hooks “All About Love.”

Peter Cha – “Redeeming our Racialized Identities.”

John Biewen SEEING WHITE podcast series

John Biewen SEEING WHITE Ted talk

Willie Jennings WIKIPEDIA

Willie Jennings – The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race

Willie Jennings: European Christian Missionaries and Their False Sense of Progress

CORR (Congregations Organizing for Racial Reconciliation) – Race Caucusing and Understanding Racism workshops

Understanding Gaslighting

How Gaslighting Got Its Name

Me and White Supremacy – Layla Saad

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

Examples of churches with regular, strong, antiracist preaching:

Jemar Tisby: How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice

The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism & Engage in Collective Healing by Anneliese A. Singh PhD, LPC

Episode 134: Radical Acts – “Transformational vs. Transactional Living.”

In today’s episode, we continue our series “Radical Acts”, the story of how the church grew from a monoethnic Jewish sect to a multiethnic religion encompassing the known world. We pick up this episode with a comparison of two stories. The first is a story of how a young follower of the Jesus Way named Barnabas, sold a field and gave all the money to the community. The second is the story of a married couple, Ananias and Saphira, who similarly sold property, keeping part of it for themselves, while telling the disciples that they were donating the entire sale to the community. This story has many things to tell us about our present day, and I won’t spoil anything by telling you that our team had some thoughtful insights to share about how this story has relevance in our racialized world.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.


WHITE WORK: the Antiracism Journeys of White People
April 23 from noon-1:30pm EST

The Cold Within – poem by James Patrick Kinney

Episode 133: Radical Acts – “Fixed Mindset/Growth Mindset.”

In today’s episode, we return to our series Radical Acts, the story of how the church grew from a monoethnic Jewish sect to a multiethnic religion that encompassed the known world. We pick up the story in Acts chapter four … but not until we take our time talking about a few stories during our opening question. We take our time getting to the scripture discussion, so hold on – what we talk about in the beginning of the episode informs what we talk about at the end. It’s going to be a great episode.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.


WHITE WORK: the Antiracism Journeys of White People
April 23 from noon-1:30pm EST

Episode 132: Empire and the Kingdom of God – “A Power Analysis of the Temple and the Contemporary Church.”

Today’s episode of the Antioch Podcast is titled EMPIRE AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD: A Power Analysis of the Temple and the Contemporary Church, comparing the center and margins of power from the past to the present. Using a power analysis is a useful way to learn who serves and is served by systems and institutions. It also helps us analyze how to be a more just body of Christ. There is an accompanying video of this section of the podcast, which is offered as a free teaching tool. You can view this video on the Antioch Podcast’s YouTube Channel, by following this link:

Empire and the Kingdom of God

To conclude this episode on centers and margins of power, I’d like to share with you an example of someone who changed his perspective as a leader, the recently sainted Catholic Archbishop, Oscar Romero. I read about his story in a recent article written by Kate Kooyman, and asked her if she would share her article with us on the Antioch Podcast.

Kate Kooyman is a minister in the Reformed Church in America, and works at the CRC’s Office of Social Justice. She is s a regular contributor to the Reformed Journal’s blog, and her writing also can be found on her website www.katekooyman.com. Kate often writes about the intersection of faith and politics.



WHITE WORK: the Antiracism Journeys of White People

April 23 from noon-1:30pm EST






Episode 131: How Could Churches Respond to Incidents of National Racial Violence

Racial violence is, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon in the United States. But the media hasn’t always covered these incidents to the degree that they do now. With the advent of the cell-phone video cameras and social media, now everyday-citizens are able to record incidents of racial violence from their vantage point, and distribute the record of these events with ease to the broader public. This has two effects. On the one hand, these recordings educate the general public about the prevalence and seriousness of racist violence. On the other hand, people of color exposed to the footage often are traumatized by the images.

So how could churches respond? Recent studies show that the American church in general, and majority-white churches in particular, find this topic challenging. While many churches don’t’ talk about race at all, those that do still find it difficult to know how to respond where there are national incidents of racial violence such as the recent shooting of Asian women in Georgia, the rise hate crimes against the AAPI community in the past year, or the numerous racial protests over the past decade in response to the killing of unarmed Black men and women by the police.

Our team gathered around the mics to talk about how churches could respond to national incidents of violence against racialized communities.




WHITE WORK: the Antiracism Journeys of White People

April 23 from noon-1:30pm EST




Episode 130: A Pandemic of Hate Part 2 – “After the Atlanta Mass-Shooting.”

On Tuesday, March 16th, 2021, a white gunman went into 3 Asian Spas in Atlanta, Georgia, massacring a number of staff and patrons, almost all of whom were Asian women. Regular listers will note that we dedicated our last episode to the alarming rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans. We had no idea that the episode would have been so timely. As we have done with regrettably increasing frequency, after a traumatic racial moment in the country, we dedicate an episode to processing together. This time, we invited back our guests, Dr. Pennylyn Dystra Pruim and Dr. Nina Kim Hanson, to talk with us about how we are all responding to these shocking events.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.




Stop AAPI Hate.org

#Hate Is A Virus

The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence by Hsa Hsu

Episode 129: A Pandemic of Hate – “The Alarming Rise of Anti-Asian Violence.”

NOTE: This episode was recorded before the mass-shooting of Asian-American women in Atlanta had occurred.  We will respond to this incident in an upcoming episode.

A year ago in March, then President Donald Trump began describing the emerging COVID-19 pandemic using anti-Asian rhetoric, like “Kung Flu” and “the China virus.”  In the following days, according to the group Stop AAPI Hate, between March 19, 2020 to December 31, 2020, there were over 2,808​ firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate from 47 states and the District of Columbia.  In 2021 around the Lunar New Year, another spate of anti-Asian hate crime, often perpetrated against elderly Asian-Americans, began being reported.  According to the group #hateisavirus, since the start of the pandemic, hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans have spiked 1900% from the previous year.  Most Americans, however, are unaware of this.  Most American churches, including many multiethnic churches where Asian and Asian Americans worship, also have not mentioned this alarming rise in hate-crimes as a matter for prayer.

This week, the regular members of the Antioch Podcast Team gathered along with several guests to talk about why this is happening, and how congregations  – and Christians of all races –  can respond.


Stop AAPI Hate.org

#Hate Is A Virus

The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence by Hsa Hsu

8 People Shot To Death At Atlanta-Area Massage Parlors; Man Arrested – NPR





Episode 128: Radical Acts – “Look At Us.”

In today’s episode we return to our series Radical Acts, a story of how the early church transformed from a monoethnic religious sect to a multiethnic and multicultural religious movement. In today’s episode, we look at the story in the third chapter of Acts, which opens up with two of Jesus’ disciples, Peter and John interact with a man who was forced to beg in the temple court to support himself, since he was born unable to walk.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.


Coal Black and the Sebben Dwarfs

When Diversity Isn’t Enough by Korrie Little Edwards

Dear Mr. Christian

Episode 127: “Tired.”

Anti-racism is at times emotionally and physically exhausting work, and the causes of this toll are different depending on the person. This week, the members of our team talked about a few of the things that can be wearying about passionately pursuing the work of justice, as well as a few things that we have learned about how to cope more effectively with these periodic situation

Regular listeners to the podcast may notice that we aren’t talking about the book of Acts today, which is strange right after we kicked off the series in episode 125. A number of the members of our team had urgent matters that they needed to attend to the day of our recording, and so as a team we decided to wait to continue our series until a majority of the group was able to be there.

Let’s go now, and listen to this conversation.


CRCNA Hate Mail citation
Mercy and Justice Staff Report Escalating Intimidation

Blackish Episode: What About Garry

Episode 126: Radical Acts – “Everything in Common.”

Beginning this episode, we are starting a new series on the Antioch Podcast looking at the book of Acts. It is the story of how the Holy Spirit took a mono-ethnic group of followers of Jesus (who could all fit into a second-floor apartment) to a multi-ethnic religious community capable of withstanding the centuries-long persecution of an imperial empire. How is this even possible? This episode begins this series with a look at the seeds of this diverse, justice-seeking community in the second chapter of Acts.

NOTE: Regular listeners will notice that we are missing cover art and links. This week the podcast has been struck with a series of computer viruses, which are being attended to. We pray that soon all things are restored. Until then, this “stripped down” version of the podcast is the best we can do. Our apologies for this inconvienience.

Episode 125: “We’re No Jezebels!”

This week the women of the Antioch Podcast team lead us in a conversation about women’s leadership in the church.  Usually on the Antioch Podcast we have conversations about “Biblical” antiracism.  For those of you new to the podcast, we talk about anti-racism, because racism is a form of oppression. An aspect of God’s desire for humanity is that no humans are oppressed. Christians have a special calling to therefore strive to create a world that treats all people as equals, where one group does not profit off the oppression of another group, and were we tend to the loving caretaking of the planet and our communities because we are all equals.  Christians have not always lived up to this calling.  In fact, the history of Christianity is littered with many stories of how we misused our power to do the opposite.  It is true – In the past, as well as the present – people have misused scripture to justify treating people differently, often based on perceived racial differences.  We on the Antioch Podcast stand in firm opposition to that.  It is why we talk about Biblical antiracism, in the hopes that our conversations are one model (albeit a flawed one) of the kinds of conversations we hope Christians have to keep racism from continuing to infect the body of Christ broadly.

Another form of oppression is gender-based oppression.  Again, people in the past and the present misuse scripture to justify creating a world where men are considered superior, and women inferior.  Some would say this is God’s design, but we on the Antioch Podcast stand in solidarity with women, affirming them in the use of their gifts as co-equals with men, to build up the body of Christ broadly.

But, not all Christians feel this way.  Women with leadership gifts often find it difficult to use their gifts, find employment in religious spaces, or be perceived by some Christian men and women to be as authoritative as men.

Vice President Kamala Harris is running into similar issues as the first female Vice President of the United States.  Some Southern Baptist ministers are calling her a modern-day Jezebel.

Our team had something to say about that.  All three female cohosts of the Antioch Podcast team preach and teach regularly in their home churches and in other institutions, and they took this moment, to talk about their experiences openly on this recording, with us all.  Pastor Reggie was unable to be present at the start of our recording session, but you will hear his voice part-way through as he was able to join us mid-way through the conversation.


FREE WEBINAR: Black History White Memory – Tuesday, Feb 23 12:00-1:00EST



Episode 124: “Kinism and Church Culture.”

On February 1st, 2021 Christ the King Reformed Church in Charlotte, Michigan was formally classified as a white nationalist group in an annual report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This church was formerly a part of the Christian Reformed Church of North America, the denominational home for most of the members of the Antioch Podcast Team. Christ the King Reformed Church (and it’s now former pastor) left the denomination because the church had been espousing the ideology of Kinism. Kinism teaches that the races should be kept separate in racially pure “religio-ethnic states,” supporting white supremacy. Put more simply, Kinism is essentially a white nationalist interpretation of Christianity. This teaching was declared a heresy by the CRCNA in 2019.

Reggie Smith was one of several staff of the CRCNA initially involved in the Christian Reformed Church’s denominational response to Christ the King and its Kinist ideology back in 2019. In hearing that the church was recently declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, he shared his thoughts with the rest of our team, sparking a deeper discussion about the similarities and differences between Kinist ideology and the white dominant culture that pervades many monoracial and multiracial churches in the present day.

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.

FREE WEBINAR: Black History White Memory – Tuesday, Feb 23 12:00-1:00EST



Charlotte Church Identified as a White Nationalist Group By Southern Poverty Law Center

Kinism Is A Grievous Sin

5 Things to Know About Kinism

Willie Jennings – After Whiteness

Time Magazine: Ibram X Kendi: This is the Black Renaissance

Winter Soups:
Libby: Vegan Peanut Stew. Libby says, “Instead of tomato paste, I substitute diced tomatoes, fresh, canned, or canned with chilies.”

Susie: Italian Lentil Soup

Eric: Tom Yum Gai

Reggie: Campbell’s Sausage Jambalaya

Episode 123: “Racial Reconciliation Reluctance.”

A recent Lifeway Research study on the American church was released this past week. The study revealed that more pastors believe that they would receive pushback if they spoke on the topic of racial reconciliation than they would have the year before the Trump presidency. While it is true that white Evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump at rates higher than white Americans in general, it is noteworthy that this now seems to correlate with an increased sense that preaching on the Biblical topic of racial reconciliation is less welcome than it has been in the recent past.

Our team had a few thoughts about this which you’ll hear when you listen.



CT News January 2021: Pastors More Reluctant to Preach on Race, Lifeway Research

Photo Gallery: “What would be the title of your autobiography?”


Episode 122: Christianity & Critical Race Theory – “Let’s Talk About White Privilege.”

Over the past few episodes, our team has been discussing the article by Dr. Kelly Hamren called “Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism, and Biblical Ethics.” This episode, sadly, is our last conversation based on this article where we talk about one final argument some people give for rejecting the Black Lives Matter movement. This argument goes as follows:

“The concept of “white privilege” is unjust because it blames white people today for atrocities, such as slavery and segregation, that were set up generations ago and they had no hand in creating. It also suggests that white people today should feel guilty for racism even if they are not racists themselves.”

Sound like a conversation you might have had before? It certainly sounds like some familiar talking points for me… so what would our multiethnic group of Christian antiracism educators and friends have to say? You are about to find out!

Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism, and Biblical EthicsLooking at Marxism and Critical Race Theory in light of the problem of racism in America.

Cheerios commercial featuring mixed-race child

The Expanse TV Series


LISTENING GUIDE QUESTIONS (with approximate minute markers):

(10) When you hear the phrase “white privilege,” what feelings do you have?

(11) What examples of white privilege have you observed?  When have you seen white people being given “the benefit of the doubt” that other groups of people may not get as often?

(16) How might white people maintain their privilege when they are no longer the numeric majority in the USA?  What justice issues does Michelle mention to make her point about this?

(17) What is meritocracy?  If you don’t know, Google it or look it up in a dictionary.  Share what definitions you discover.

(21) How do white people use Black conservatives like Candace Owns to reinforce their prejudices?

(23) During reconstruction, white northerners and white southerners felt a strong urge to “forgive each other.”  Who does Pastor Reggie say was left out of this “forgiveness conversation?”  Where do you see this happening in modern times?  How is this different from how the Jews remember the Exodus?

(26) How are racism and money connected in the past and today?  How does Eric say money and racism may be linked for some white people?

(31) How does the 1776 Project want to change the historical narrative around slavery in its attempt to tell a “patriotic” history of the United States?

(36) What kinds of government assistance is give out in the United States which disproportionately helps white Americans?  In reflecting on this, what do you feel emotionally?  Have you learned about the laws written over the years explicitly benefiting white people?  Why do you think most white people are unaware of this part of American legal history?

(40) What does Michelle say is the difference between white people and whiteness?  How is this distinction helpful in discussing issues of racism?

(42) Many of the examples of privilege Michelle mentions are mentioned  in the now “classic” article on antiracism education called White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack By Peggy McIntosh.  If you have not read this article, click on the link above.  It would be well-worth discussing this article with a small group.

(46) “White people … read themselves as Jews and not Romans.”  What makes it comfortable for people to read themselves into the story as the “good guys?”  How might we grow when we read the story and identify with the “bad guys?”  How did it affect Susie to do this?  How did it affect Michelle?  How might it affect you?

(51) “White privilege is being able to cast yourself in a role where you are not the bad guy, where you are not the bad woman, and no one challenges you on casting yourself this way.”  How do you respond to this insight?  “Not having white privilege is desiring to cast yourself as the good guy, the good gal, and nobody allows you to own that story because they are challenging you on your right to be a good person.”  How does this statement strike you?

(53) Representation.  Why do you think this matters for people of color?  What did Michelle and Susie say about how representation affects their imaginations?  How did it affect them emotionally recently watching Hamilton?  Why do you think this happened?  How similar or dis-similar is their experience from yours when you watch TV, movies or go to the theater?

(59) “I want to point out the white privilege to learn about racism from a book or a podcast, and then turn it off and forget about it.”  When Libby said this, what does it make you think about?


Episode 121: Dr. Kelly Hamren – “Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism & Biblical Ethics.”

Over the past few episodes, our team has been discussing the article by Dr. Kelly Hamren called “Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism, and Biblical Ethics.”  So it is with pleasure that we welcomed the author herself to join us on the podcast to talk about this article.  For a little background, Kelly Hamren serves as an assistant professor at Liberty University. She began her career in English and has specialized in this area with a focus on Russian literature and world literatures in general. Her dissertation focused on twentieth-century Russian poetry, with an emphasis on the horrors resulting from Marxist-Leninist ideology in the Soviet Union.


Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.




Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism, and Biblical Ethics: Looking at Marxism and Critical Race Theory in light of the problem of racism in America. KELLY HAMREN

Every Square Inch Podcast



What Marvel character would you be an why:

Michelle: Ramonda, Queen of Wakanda … of course wearing one of her hats!

Libby: Wolverine

Reggie: Not just Spiderman … Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman!

Susie: Magneto

Eric: Everett K. Ross (a.k.a. “Colonizer”)

Dr. Kelly Harmen: Mantis


Image Credits:









Everett K. Ross









Episode 120: An Antioch Special Episode – “Before Unity.”

This past week, the nation watched as a group of protesters, some of which are self-avowed white nationalists, lay siege to the US Capitol Building carrying with them Confederate flags, Trump Flags and Christian flags and crosses.  It is not a stretch to say that most Americans never thought they would see a day when something like this happened, and that symbols of racism and Christianity would be so much a part of it.  Because of these events, the Antioch Podcast is releasing this episode ahead of schedule, in place of the episode we would normally release each Thursday.

Our multiethnic team took time to reflect together, and share some of our thoughts here.    

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.

Episode 119: Christianity & Critical Race Theory: “BLM & Traditional Biblical Sexuality.”

This is the fourth episode in our five-part miniseries on Christianity and Critical Race Theory or CRT for short. If you missed our opening episode, go back to episode 115 to begin the series before returning to this one.

In today’s episode, our team gathered around the mics to talk about Dr. Kelly Harmen’s article she wrote for Christianity Today in July of 2020 entitled “Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism, and Biblical Ethics.” In this part of her article she describes and counters an argument she has heard from people who disparage Critical Race Theory. She describes this argument as “The Black Lives Matter movement is Marxist and supportive of the LGBTQ community’s attempts to criminalize traditional, biblical views of sexuality.”

Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.

Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism, and Biblical Ethics
Looking at Marxism and Critical Race Theory in light of the problem of racism in America.


Plant Based and Slayed

Love Thy Neighbor Merchandise from the Happy Givers
Love Thy Neighbor

Episode 118: “Searching for Hope” & “Thoughts on Whiteness and Antiracism.”

Today’s podcast is an intermission between the episodes of our five-part miniseries on Christianity and Critical Race Theory or CRT.  Don’t worry, we will be back with the remaining episodes very soon.  We wanted as many of our contributors as possible to be present as we tackled the remaining two episodes in our CRT series.

So, while some of our team couldn’t make it to record this week, those of us who were around took some time to gather around the mics to have not one … but TWO conversations about Biblical Antiracism!

In the first conversation, Pastor Reggie, Libby and I gathered to check in with one another about this tenuous space we find ourselves in – a place caught between an outgoing presidential administration, and the unanswered questions about a new one administration coming in.  Pastor Reggie had put some of his thoughts down in an article he titled, “Searching for Hope”, which appeared in the blog Do Justice.  We talked about this blog post together.

In the second-half of this episode, I sat down with Libby to talk about the seemingly paradoxical place of being a white person involved in antiracism education.  She talks about some of the places she finds herself as a white antiracism educator who knows she is believed by other white people, and yet wants these same people to listen to and believe the many people of color who have been talking about these same things – seemingly forever – and yet have not garnered the audiences white people seem able to do when talking about the same issues.


Searching for Hope, Reggie Smith

Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation, New York Times, July 30, 2020, John Lewis https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/opinion/john-lewis-civil-rights-america.html?referringSource=articleShare

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

How Democracies Die, Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt


Episode 117: Christianity & Critical Race Theory – “Marxism and Biblical Justice.”

This is the second episode in our five-part miniseries on Christianity and Critical Race Theory or CRT for short.  If you missed our opening episode, go back to episode 115 to begin the series before returning to this one.

In today’s episode, our team gathered around the mics to talk about Dr. Kelly Harmen’s article she wrote for Christianity Today in July of 2020 entitled “Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism, and Biblical Ethics” discussing the first argument she posits which reads as follows: Quote: “Argument #2: Like all sin, racism originates in the human heart.  Therefore, the solution to racism is for people’s hears to change.  ‘Systemic Racism.’ on the other hand, is a Marxist idea.”  End quote.  In typical Antioch Podcast fashion, we had a lot to say about this, and some of it may come as a surprise, or … perhaps not.  I’ll let you decide for yourself.


Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Marxism, and Biblical Ethics

Looking at Marxism and Critical Race Theory in light of the problem of racism in America.




If Grace Is So Amazing, Why Don’t We Like It? 2009, Donald McCullough



Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded?: Helping (Not Hurting) Those with Emotional Difficulties, 1994, Dwight L. Carlson.





(Approximate minute markers noted in parenthesis)

(12)     In the episode, the Antioch team puts forth the idea that parts of Marxism are antithetical to the Gospel and other parts are useful.  Rather than categorizing ideas as either “completely good” or “completely bad”, this kind of discernment uses the strategy of thinking of ideas as “more useful” or “less useful.”  What might be gained from using this kind of discernment strategy?  What may be difficult about using this more nuanced strategy?

(13)     What does the term “common grace” mean?  How could you imagine this theological idea informing the process of discernment?

(14)     Kelly Harmon says about Marxism “As a Christian scholar, I will not agree with all of its tenets… [but] Marx was not wrong about absolutely everything.  Very few thinkers are…”.  What two ideas does she agree with Marx on?

(18)     Reforming sinful systems can be rewarding and difficult.  Share a story from your life of a time you tried to correct or improve upon a routine way of doing something.  What was challenging for you?  What helped you move forward?  If it ended badly, what might you do to improve your attempt at reform next time?

(20)     Eric remarked that the church re-invents itself every 500 years.  Have you heard this idea before?  What three major events in church history occurred at 500-year intervals since the birth of the church (If you don’t know, look them up!)?  How does the notion of being in a period of theological reform affect you emotionally?  Explain your emotional response, if possible.

(21)     Have you ever observed times when power was used to oppress others unjustly?  Describe these times.  When has the church used its power to oppress others unjustly in church history?  Have you ever observed the church using its power to oppress others in your lifetime?  For example, what groups of people may be treated without dignity or respect (by churches in the USA?  How might the church use its power to oppress people, beyond the use of “strong language”?

(23)     God cares about Justice.  Jesus cared about injustice.  What injustices does God care about that fall outside of your political bias or the political bias of your church?  This can be hard to think about or talk about if partisan political affiliation is a strong part of your identity.  For example, in your opinion, what injustices might Republican Christians overlook that Democratic Christians get right?  In other instances, what injustices may Democratic Christians ignore that Republican Christians see more clearly?  Lastly, what injustices (there are many) do you imagine that Christians of both political parties fail to address, or remain complicit in?  Reflect on these questions for a few minutes privately before answering, since as American Christians we tend not to take time to consider another person or party’s point of view.

(25)     Biblical justice.  What are your favorite passages in scripture that address this major Biblical Theme?  Eric did not know many of these passages, and needed to re-read scripture to notice how plentiful these passages were in scripture.  Why do you think he needed to re-read scripture to see this?  Do you know many passages that talk about this?  Does your faith tradition talk about these passages?  What do you think the reasons are for the way your faith tradition handles this Biblical theme in the way that it does?  (NOTE: This may make for some interesting reading to find out why your church does or does not have a strong tradition of seeking Biblical justice.  Most church traditions have strong historical reasons why they do or do not talk about this theme much.)

(27)     What social programs are you aware of in the book of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, as well as the book of Acts that are mentioned in this episode?  Are you aware of others?  What might these regulatory measures have taught the people about the values and personhood of God?  (NOTE: If you are unfamiliar with these parts of the Bible, do some reading to better educate yourself.  Consider using the book Acts: A Theological Commentary on the Bible (Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible) 2017   https://www.amazon.com/Acts-Theological-Commentary-Bible-Belief/dp/0664234003 to get started.)

(33)     Pastor Reggie said, “The rest of the world reads scripture together.”  Consider the area of “personal devotions.”  How might we be formed by scripture differently if we had our daily devotions in community?  Consider how experiencing scripture like a support group could be different from other ways we read scripture when we are alone – as if scripture was somewhat like a novel, an instruction manual or a book of inspirational quotes.

(34)     What are the overall demographic characteristics of those at the center of power at your church?  Often the center of power in a church are the pastors, elders and deacons, church staff and the wealthiest people who give large sums of money to the church.  How would your church respond if someone prominently voiced a Biblical critique of the ethics of one or more of those people at the church’s center of power?  Have you ever seen this happen?  If so, describe what that was like.  Have you ever seen this happen in another church?

(40)     What things may Christians say to explain why they don’t do more to help the poor?  If we are honest with ourselves, why is it often difficult for each of us as Americans to follow Jesus’ commands on giving to the poor?  What might happen if we as Christians believed that all money is God’s money?

(44)     What are ways that “fairness” is different from Biblical justice?  Describe an example that shows these differences.  What examples do the podcast team mention in this episode?

(46)     Is grace fair?  How might our ethics change if we understood God’s grace more?  If we better understood how to be “like Christ” in our desires and our actions, how might an outside observer notice a difference in how we each individually embodied God’s grace compared to the world around us?  How might the same outside observer notice how our church advocated for grace-filled public policies?  Give an example of what you imagine a grace-filled policy or change in the law could look like.

(50)     If we understood grace deeply, how would we care for the poor differently as a society than we do now?  How might Christians care for the poor differently than we do now?  Compare this to the parable of the workers in the field (Matthew 20:1-16).  Reflect on where we see ourselves in the story.

(54)     How does the Antioch Podcast’s practice of “reading together” differ from an individualistic practice of reading in private?  What do you notice are distinctive characteristics of their conversations?  What do you think they may do to foster these kinds of vulnerable cross-racial conversations?