Studio: Cliff J. Ravenscraft
What It Is
Ravenscraft hosts the show, a free-ranging discussion with his guest about various issues related to Christianity.
Episodes come out whenever the host feels like at this point, which isn’t very often. The show officially wrapped in 2012, but there was a new episode about a year ago and another just a couple of months ago. The show used to be known as About the Church. The most recent fifty episodes are on iTunes. For more, hit up the show’s website.
What About It
My experience with Christian podcasts has been pretty negative really and I will tell you that the early episodes of this show fall into that category as well. Most of the Christian podcasts I’ve listened to reflect a pretty shallow vision of Christianity, not at all the thoughtful take that I prefer and practice. Early in this show’s run, it was pretty typical, but around the time of the title change things changed on the show as well. I will say that I still dislike the title of the series, which makes it sound like an “inspirational” show. It’s not, not anymore. It’s a thoughtful look at interesting issues surrounding faith, mostly focused on working toward a spiritual way of life, rather than a strict adherence to a particular set of dogma. The show is still explicitly Christian, but it’s a show that engages with people pushing at the structures of religion in order to get at the heart of spirituality that those structures were built on. The most recent episode is an interview with Wayne Jacobson, the mind behind The Jesus Lens, a powerful way of recontextualizing the difficult passages of the Bible through the character of Jesus and redefining the Word of God, not as the Bible, but as it is written in the Bible as Jesus Himself. The one before that was a lengthy, thought-provoking discussion of the role of church in the lives of believers. Before that, it was a discussion with Steve Brown, the guy behind the idea of Three Free Sins, a really meaningful way to look at forgiveness and grace in a way both more expansive and yet more compelling. It’s a podcast I really like a lot. But steer clear of the old episodes.
3 ½ stars.
You’re extremely “religious.”
Avoid Like the Plague If
You’re extremely “religious,” and want to stay that way.
Best Entry Point
Talked about this one already, but I’d recommend Faith Still Strong One Year Later, the episode in which Ravenscraft and guest Wayne Jacobson discuss faith outside the realm of attending church. It’s a thoughtful, thought-provoking episode.