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Thinking with Sam Harrelson

Baptist Talk

Thinking with Sam Harrelson approaches various topics that deal with the intersection of business, marketing, technology, science, history, and culture.

Thinking with Sam Harrelson approaches various topics that deal with the intersection of business, marketing, technology, science, history, and culture.


United States


Thinking with Sam Harrelson approaches various topics that deal with the intersection of business, marketing, technology, science, history, and culture.




Episode 169: Dave Maxfield

Sam is joined by Dave Maxfield, a consumer protection attorney in Columbia, SC to discuss how he applies lessons from other businesses to his own law firm. The discuss revenue, average unit values, throughput rates, cycle time, the concept of the block, Trello, and productivity. This is a fascinating discussion of how to do business better! Topics Discussed: Thinking Differently About Revenue How to Structure Getting Paid in a New Way Developing Your Own Formula for Understanding Profit...


Episode 168: Matthew Klippenstein

Matthew Klippenstein is an Engineer écrivain (technical writing, not PR) in the electric vehicle and clean energy space from British Columbia. Sam discusses demographics, religiosity in pandemics, the boom in clean energy, and the concept of ClimateTech with Matthew this week. Special Guest: Matthew Klippenstein.


Episode 167: Thomas Whitley

Thomas Whitley is the Chief of Staff for Mayor John Dailey's office in Tallahassee, Florida. In this episode, we discuss what Tallahassee is doing to help citizens and small businesses deal with the economic impacts of Covid as well as marketing efforts that the Mayor's Office is undertaking to get the word out about those efforts.


Episode 166: Specialized Marketing and Morning Light with Merianna

Today I'm thinking about specialized marketing. As a case study, we look at Morning Light. This is a new book of poetry (or a devotional) from The Rev. Merianna Neely Harrelson looking to address a variety of audiences looking for a similar value proposition. Let's think about how each of our marketing efforts impact what we're trying to accomplish and how well we're actually doing what needs to be done. Special Guest: Merianna Neely Harrelson.


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.