Author Archives: John Poelstra

Next episode: Monday July 25

Unfortunately we are breaking form our every-other-week publishing routine today for the first time since episode #100.

Our next episode publishes one week from today on July 25, 2016. We’re skipping this week due to illness and personal scheduling challenges.

Hopefully you’ll find interesting some un-listened to episodes in the back catalog should you be disappointed not to find a new episode today. ūüôā

Problematic Praise Music (123)

This week’s episode is sparked by a satirical¬†post titled Worship Leader Caught In Infinite Loop Between Bridge And Chorus¬†from the Babylon Bee.

This leads to a critical discussion of¬†two songs–How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin and I’ll Obey¬†(author unknown).

Gregg asserts that worship music should more accurately articulate God and the wider message of Christianity instead of trite, simplistic phrases that point to incredibly complex subjects about the same things.

John also references a book he recently finished titled Fleeing Fundamentalism: A Minister’s Wife Examines Faith¬†which he resonated with.



69: Why Didn’t I See God Today?

John poses a question to Gregg about his lack of “experiencing God,” but first begins by explaining his personal routines and how this question came about through a book called The MIracle Morning. John shares about his morning and evening routines, both of which include an aspect of reflection and journaling.

In his evening routine, John has been looking to record the experiences of God he’s had in a given day and coming up empty. John wonders if he’s going about this the wrong way while also reflecting on a book he recently read called Start With Why by Simon Sinek that examines customer loyalty, individual drive and purpose.¬† Using these ideas, John wonders if he’s adopted someone else’s “why” when it comes to Christianity.

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56: Confidence or Arrogance | Listener Feedback

In this episode John and Gregg discuss listener feedback from Eric in the comments for Episode #41.¬† Eric believes John and Gregg have been overly critical of The Misunderstood God by Darin Hufford in a way that is unnecessary and misses the value others have found in Hufford’s message.

John and Gregg reflect on this feedback and consider why they are being critical and detail oriented. Gregg comments on this in the context of his current experiences at Swiss L’Abri where new arrivals often complain that discussions about God are overly complex or major on minor ideas. If people stay for a while this perspective often changes.

Gregg notes that putting valid or questionable details into an orientation that doesn’t work may take you to the wrong destination. This has been Gregg’s concern with The Misunderstood God.
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50: Retrospective | Looking Back and Looking Forward

50 episodes of the Untangling Christianity

This week John and Gregg¬†kick things off by reading an iTunes review that summarizes well what they¬†are trying to do. ¬†This being the¬†50th¬†episode it’s also a good time¬†to reflect again on how the podcast is going. ¬†Gregg’s “high light” is that, really, there have been no “low lights.” ¬†John relates some mixed feelings about how many new topics we’ve opened up without necessarily closing the ones we’ve already started.

Next the conversation turns to the different topics they have explored (or want to explore in more depth) as well as John’s reflections on the speed of his own journey to untangle Christianity.

John wonders where¬†Gregg sees things going 50 episodes from now, when we get to Episode #100. ¬†Gregg hopes to become¬†clearer and clearer about what Christianity is¬†and what it is NOT. ¬†He also believes that¬†we’ll continue to uncover¬†the complexity of many of these issues–how¬†they are not a simple as many people make them out to be.

John shares his hopes for the road to episode #100.  John thinks out loud about trying to systematize the subjects we are discussing and trying to make sense of in a way that would be more accessible to others, like an eBook or a longer document, without getting too carried away or attempting to create another systematic theology.
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