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En Route: Journeys in Faith and Modern Life

News & Politics Podcasts

En Route is a podcast on the journeys in faith and modern life. Come along for the ride as we see where religion intersects with politics, science and culture.

En Route is a podcast on the journeys in faith and modern life. Come along for the ride as we see where religion intersects with politics, science and culture.


United States


En Route is a podcast on the journeys in faith and modern life. Come along for the ride as we see where religion intersects with politics, science and culture.




Episode 93: Ryan Panzer on the Digital Reformation

Like it or not, technology, including social media is here with us to stay. The question is how do we use it, especially faith communities? How does online worship help the wider church? How do we use Facebook and Instagram in creative ways that reach out to both near and far? Today's guest is Ryan Panzer. Panzer is a learning and leadership development professional in the technology industry and a speaker and consultant on technology for ministry. A student of digital media and its...


Episode 92: Being United Methodist In a Time of Schism

On May 1, a new denomination launched. The Global Methodist Church started, splitting off from the United Methodist Church. The split was the result of years if not decades of fighting over the issue of homosexuality. For this episode, I look at this from the standpoint of a United Methodist pastor on the ground as events happened. I decided to chat with the Reverend Joe Tognetti. Joe has been the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Rio City, Texas and will soon be the pastor of St....


Episode 91: Abortion: What Does the Lord Require with Frederick Schmidt

In 1973 the Supreme Court voted 7-2 in favor of abortion rights nationwide. This began a nearly 50-year battle on the issue of abortion rights. Last week, a someone leak a draft opinion written in February that appeared to overturn Roe v. Wade. This would send the issue of abortion to the states where a number of states are already crafting legislation that would either radically expand abortion rights, or dramatically restrict abortion. Where does the church stand in the midst of this? In...


Episode 90: The "Opposite Problem" in Mainline Protestantism with Frederick Schmidt

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church will consider an important proposal this summer. The measure proposed by the Diocese of Northern California would repeal canon law that requires those who receive communion must be baptized. “We believe that all the people are God’s people, so it’s not just the gifts of God for just baptized people,” said Martin Heatlie, speaking in favor of the resolution. Hospitality and inclusion are the values that are pushing the resolution. Those are two...


Episode 89: Is There Hope for Liberal Christianity with Geoff Mitchell (Rewind)

This interview originally aired in July 2021. In the 1950s, Mainline Protestants were the largest group of Protestants in the United States. Since then, the churches have seen a decline and their footprint in American culture has shrunk. Some people think this tradition is doomed and will die in a few decades. We talked to Geoff Mitchell, Senior Pastor of Lindenwood Christian Church in Memphis, TN and ask, is that really the story? Is the Mainline tradition worth saving? What caused the...


Episode 88: A Gay Dude Talks About Abortion

In this unplanned solo episode, Dennis talks about the recent leak of a draft of an opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, the Supreme Court case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the ruling that allowed for abortion rights nationwide. Dennis, acknowledging he is a man, shares his criticisms of pro-choice and pro-life Christians and how we as a society should have a balanced views on the woman and the unborn child. Dennis then talks about a proposal to be taken up at the General...


Episode 87: What Is Pietism with Christopher Gehrz

What comes to mind when I use the word piety or pious? I’m guessing you are thinking of a person who is outwardly religious and believes they are better than anyone else around them. For people of a certain age it might be Dana Carvey’s Church Lady. But instead of thinking of a smirking and prim guy wearing a dress and a wig, you might want to think of John Wesley, the founder of what became Methodism and had an experience at a church in London where his heart was strangely warmed. Today, I...


Episode 86: Preaching in a Post-Trust Age with Brian Christopher Coulter

Methodist Bishop and writer, Will Willomon has this to say about preaching. “Preaching is an attack - it is an invasion from Jesus into an unbelieving world.” Willomon is right that preaching is about an invading Jesus into an unbelieving world, but how do you do that in an age where people don’t trust institutions like the church? For Pastor Brian Christopher Coulter, preaching means restoring trust. Brian is the pastor of First Presbyterian in Ft. Worth. He’s a Minister of Word and...


Episode 85: (Rewind) The Art of Faith with Steve Thomason

This is a re-broadcast of an episode from January 2022. Today we are chatting with Lutheran pastor Steve Thomason, who also happens to be an artist. Steve loves to draw and paint and it has been his passion since he was a child. He is the author and artist behind the cartoonist guide to the Bible. Steve is on a mission to use his art to tell the story of faith. “It is my mission to use art to create resources that help people grow deeper in God's love,” he says on his website. In the...


Episode 84: Just War Theory with H. David Baer

The war in Ukraine has made people think again about Christians and war. When is it possible for a Christian to take up arms? Are all wars okay, or are there wars that are totally unjust? Is it time for a revival of the just war movement? Today,I talk with H. David Baer is a professor at Texas Lutheran University where he teaches theology, philosophy, and ethics. He is also the author of the book Recovering Christian Realism: Just War Theory as a Political Ethic. He writes frequently about...


Episode 83: Mainline Church Planting

On Easter Sunday a congregation in south Minneapolis will hold its last worship service after 105 years. This closing has a lot of meaning for me because it was the church that I interned at when I was in seminary. Mainline Protestant churches seem to be closing at a faster clip than their evangelical counterparts. Can more progressive faith traditions still plant churches? Today I talk to Paul Moore, the pastor of Chain of Lakes Presbyterian Church in Blaine, Minnesota. Working through...


En Route Excursions: Martin Luther on the Second Cold War

In this EnRoute Excursions episode, Dennis reads an article he wrote on the advent of the Second Cold War and the fear of nuclear war. He ends sharing his husband's thoughts about planting a tree in this uncertain time. Leave a tip: https://www.tipsmack.com/artist/tipjar/qzuq1 Join the mailing list: Show Notes: Ukraine and the Second Cold War-by Dennis Sanders website: Leave a Review: Email:


Episode 81: Faith, Hope and the Republican Party

Last month in Washington, there was a gathering of mostly NeverTrump Conservatives called Principles First. People came from across the nation to discuss the current state of conservatism and how to beat back Trumpism. Among the many speakers was Reed Howard. Reed is the Director of Communications at the Institute of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University. He served as minister at Central United Methodist in Atlanta and received his Masters of Divinity at the Candler School of...


Epsiode 80: Vladimir Putin's Holy War

This special episode of En Route looks at the religious roots of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Vladimir Putin working with leaders in the Russian Orthodox Church to use the Christian faith in the service of Russian nationalism. Help to support relief efforts in Poland to help Ukrainian refugees. Sources Used for this Podcast


Episode 79: Silence and Scream in Ukraine

Dan Buttry is an American Baptist minister that has worked in peacemaking efforts for several decades. In 2020 he retired from his role as the Global Consultant for Peace and Justice for International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches. I talk to Dan about his experiences in Ukraine, what he's learned and how that relates to the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. Leave a tip: https://www.tipsmack.com/artist/tipjar/qzuq1 Show Notes: Shawnee, KS (named after Dan and his wife...


Episode 78: Finding God in the Mundane with Corey Nathan

I know you’re going to enjoy today’s episode with Corey Nathan. We had a wide ranging conversation on theology and culture and life in general. It’s a little different than recent interviews that has a specific focus on an issue. Instead it’s more of a conversation about faith, civility, respect and gratitude. Leave a tip: https://www.tipsmack.com/artist/tipjar/qzuq1 Show Notes: website: Leave a Review: Email:


Episode 77: How the War in Ukraine Changes Everything

Today, we are talking about the war between Ukraine and Russia and how it is changing everything. Joining me is Andrew Donaldson, the host of the Heard Tell Podcast. We talk about how this war ends the post Cold War order, about the new order that replaces it, about how leadership will change, how Russia will shape this new order with or without Vladamir Putin and the role of the United States in this new world. Leave a tip: https://www.tipsmack.com/artist/tipjar/qzuq1 website: Leave a...


Episode 76: From Russia With Loathing

In a few hours or a few days, we might see Russia invade its neighbor to the South, Ukraine. President Biden said intelligence indicates Russian President Vladimir Putin has made up his mind to invade Ukraine and he’s set the capital Kyiv in his sights. In 2016, Putin passed a law that basically made all religions and Christian sects illegal unless they were registered by the government. The Russian Orthodox Church was exempt from this law. In this episode we talk about the state of...


Episode 75: A Year of Living Dangerously

In this solo episode, Dennis talks about the reason China is hosting the Winter Olympics in spite of its horrible human rights record, the frustrations of leading a church at this time and why 1983 was the year the world almost ended and why God isn't coming to save us from the horrors of this world. website: enroutepodcast.org Leave a Review: https://ratethispodcast.com/churchandmain Email: reverendpodcast@gmail.com Facebook Twitter YouTube Show Notes: God Will Not Protect You Why...


Episode 74: COVID Isn't Done With You

We are coming up to the 2 year mark since COVID became a daily part of our lives. With little fanfare, America passed 900,000 lives lost to the virus. After two very long years, everyone is tired. We are tried of wearing masks, we are tired of events canceled, we are tired of the culture war- we are just tired. Journalist Barri Weiss recently proclaimed she was “done with COVID.” But is Weiss right? No, says Methodist Pastor Drew McIntrye. McIntyre is the pastor of Grace United Methodist...