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Thinking Religion

Baptist Talk

Thinking Religion is a podcast hosted by Rev. Sam Harrelson and tackles various topics that deal with the intersection of religion, the Bible, faith, and culture.

Thinking Religion is a podcast hosted by Rev. Sam Harrelson and tackles various topics that deal with the intersection of religion, the Bible, faith, and culture.


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Thinking Religion is a podcast hosted by Rev. Sam Harrelson and tackles various topics that deal with the intersection of religion, the Bible, faith, and culture.




Episode 165: Jonah 3:10-4:11

We'll get back to Genesis, but here's a test recording I did when we were reading through Jonah for Thinking Religion. Here are some quick thoughts on Jonah's final encounter with God after Nineveh proves to be a little more receptive than first thought... Text available here:


Episode 164: Genesis 5: Before The Flood

Another creation story, how we get from Adam to Noah, and Sumerian King List (with a little Dylan)


Episode 163: Genesis 4:17-26: Lamech and Seth and Polygamy From the Start

SC voting stuff, iOS 14 is out, I'm making steaks tonight, and we get into the origins of civilizations with ... polyamory. Lamech and Seth.


Episode 162: Genesis 4:1-16: Cain and Abel

Today, we go over salmon recipes, Documentary Hypothesis, J's and G's in German, our new farming unit at homeschool with the 4 year old, and the tragic story of Cain and Abel and the Mark of Cain. Where did Cain's wife come from?? Listen and let's find out.


Episode 161: Genesis 3:20-24: East of Eden

Q&A and follow up from Gen 3:20-24 post


Episode 160: Gesticulating Wildly

This week we take a look back on a fascinating week of religion news and discuss how to talk to people who don't think the same way you do before closing out with a little history lesson on Acts 4-5.


Episode 159: You Can't Get a Babysitter For Church

Merianna and Sam discuss church schedules, life of the pastor's spouse, missing Sunday morning worship, Micah 6:8, and high church baptists.


Episode 158: We Don't Talk About That in Church

This week, Revs. Merianna Neely Harrelson and Sam Harrelson discuss canonization, the politics of commentaries, Jonah's Whale, interpretation history, Doomsday Clock, Harrowing of Hell, and masturbation lessons from Sunday School.


"The Next Day" Sermon

Bonus episode here as the main show will be coming out a little later this week. This is audio from Sam's sermon on John 1:29-42 this past Sunday at Garden of Grace UCC in Columbia, SC about sin, community, identity, and why he started going to church.


Episode 157: Talking To Our Younger Selves about Religion

Sam is joined by The Rev. Merianna Neely Harrelson to discuss how she approaches Acts in church Bible studies, canonization, ascension vs resurrection vs transfiguration, the problem with a seminary education, and 4 listener questions. Music from "Ancient Rite" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (


Episode 156: You Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don't Take - Wayne Gretzky - Michael Scott

Sam is joined by Matthew Klippenstein this week to discuss fracturing of denominations, late dating of biblical texts, what an American has to learn from a Canadian, why the Dalai Lama might want to consider the lilies, and why ACTS might be the best book in the New Testament. Special Guest: Matthew Klippenstein.


Episode 155: Back to Weekly

Big news in this one… we’re coming back weekly for 2020! Starting around New Year’s Day, we’ll be back with all new guests and voices (and voices of guests) as well as some fun book giveaways, and a number of insider downloads drawing from the show’s past (and present and future). Merry Christmas from Merianna, Sam, and the Harrelson family and more soon! (We also have an exciting new podcast studio that we'll be discussing)...


Episode 154: What's the Point?

Merianna and Sam discuss cultural transitions and how churches of all sizes and shapes are positioning themselves in the midst of societal shifts.


Episode 153: The Myth of Needed Experience

Merianna and Sam discuss the notion of generational divides in politics, mattress buying, and church attendance.


The Moral Checklist

Merianna and Sam discuss old friends, new parenting techniques while attempting to figure out what makes the church different from the garden club.


Episode 151: Debating Narrative Preaching

Merianna and Sam (and newborn Baby Girl) discuss insider language in denominations, the LGBTQ question facing the United Methodist Church, narrative preaching, and the difficulties of studying for a sermon in 2019 in the age of unlimited entertainment.


Episode 150: True Love Waits For Instagram Stories to Load

Merianna and Sam tackle Instagram Stories, performative social media, and generational gender divides in reading the Scripture.


Episode 149: Insta Bible Study

Merianna and Sam discuss Instagram Bible studies, reading the whole Bible in a year, and the search for authenticity in a time of societal shifts.


Episode 148: Faith Is a Boomerang

The Rev. Lauren Larkin joins Sam to discuss birthing pangs in Genesis, the merits of demythologizing, and Dialectical Theology in the 21st Century. Special Guest: Lauren R.E. Larkin.


Episode 147: Thinking Religion Again

Ready for the next episode? Here we go! THINKING RELIGION is coming back in August :)