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@ Sea with Justin McRoberts

Philosophy Podcasts

@Sea with Justin McRoberts is a bi-monthly interview show with culture makers and shakers. Each installment, host Justin McRoberts talks with artists, creatives, policymakers, and theologians that are striving and pushing for humanity to reach new heights.

@Sea with Justin McRoberts is a bi-monthly interview show with culture makers and shakers. Each installment, host Justin McRoberts talks with artists, creatives, policymakers, and theologians that are striving and pushing for humanity to reach new heights.


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@Sea with Justin McRoberts is a bi-monthly interview show with culture makers and shakers. Each installment, host Justin McRoberts talks with artists, creatives, policymakers, and theologians that are striving and pushing for humanity to reach new heights.




War Stories

I've never really enjoyed fighting. And while I know there might be some folks who come to a different conclusion, depending on their experience of me, the reality is that while I certainly did Hone some skills in the art of argumentation, I've always actually hated what it's cost me to fight. Which brings me to the question, what is worth fighting for? And the truth of the matter is, for the most part, I've lacked a really clear or wisely discerned answer to that question. I could reason...


Why Let Go?

My social landscape does not look the way I expected it to a few years ago. Some of that comes on the heels of religious difference or political disagreement. And as sad as that stuff can be, it's also a bit cliche and predictable. If I'm being honest, what's been harder, is recognizing that the more I've grown into who I am, and the more distance I've experienced between myself and people I was once connected to - those connections have been harder to let go of, as has been the...


Art As Self-Discovery (and the new EP)

When I first started playing music professionally, it wasn't the beginning of a dream. It wasn't the culmination of a wish from my youth, not really. I thought of playing music. I thought it would be cool. But it's probably most true to say about that moment, the moment in which I decided to see what it would be like to have a career in music was that it was another step. And a long trajectory of vocational decision-making that wasn't about a particular career. So it wasn't about I really...


Changing the Narrative About Church Attendance

So I've been really enjoying this new feature of the podcast, taking a question from my Monday q&a sessions at Instagram, and digging just a tad deeper into one of those questions, specifically, those questions when you seem to resonate with those questions and my response. This past week, I got a question that I've been around and asked a lot as a question by somebody who asked "Why do churches struggle with attendance?" It's like I said; it's a question I've been around for a long time. I...


Frog and Toad and Work and Rest

You've probably had the bad experience that I had recently, that I'm about to tell you a story about, in which when your mind is already focused on something. You're already thinking about something regularly, and you start noticing it or connections to it everywhere. That happened the other night while I was reading a book to my daughter to help get her to sleep. I am in the process of editing and finishing this book called Sacred Strides, which will come out in 2023, about belovedness,...


Work/Life Balance

I want to spend a few moments dissecting and maybe even dismantling this phrase. This idea that comes up in coaching conversations and has come up for a long, long time. In my 20-plus years in pastoral ministry as an artist and is the phrase work-life balance. I've got a lot of issues with this. And not just theoretical, but more so as a practical reality. So I'll start where I'm going to end and basically say that there is no such thing as a work-life balance, and more to the point, that...


Mike Edel

Mike Edel is a very talented singer, songwriter, and producer from Canada. And full disclosure a dear friend of mine, he's also which is a gift to me, a client. He's someone I've had the privilege of coaching over the last couple of years. And as I am with many of my clients, I'm really proud of the work they do, the work they've done. And the way they have over the course of last year and a half to two years navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. It's been a tough time to be an artist. In the...



Last week, I introduced a new element to the podcast; namely, bringing part of my Instagram Q&A sessions to this space and providing a longer answer to some of the deeper or, in my opinion, more pressing questions. On Monday, during the Q&A, this question really stuck out to me: “How do we manage over-pouring ourselves when there is an unending well available?” It might be worth noting here, particularly for listeners who aren’t as familiar with some religious terminologies, that this “...


Is Going To Church A Priority?

Part of how I answered the question on Instagram was to say that it depends on what my priorities are. Here’s what I mean: “Church,” as I understand it, is largely a way to intentionally practice the Divine gift of life with other people. Certainly, there are facets of regular church attendance that means I can “worship” God, particularly in music and that I can learn or be taught. I also get to join other people in efforts to act justly in the world. But those aspects of what we’ve called...


Kevin Sweeney

My son and I recently went to see the most recent Marvel release. It's a movie about Dr. Strange. He's one of the primary characters in the Marvel Universe. And he is, according to his title, a master of the Mystic Arts, which begs a little bit of a question about what mystic is. See in the films, him being the master of mystic arts is manifested in the ability to open portals to different universes or cast spells that send power waves that knock over buildings or enemies. My son and I had a...


Natalie Toon Patten

While the experiences of displacement and disorientation play such a significant role in conversations about cultural place, institutional belonging, and even interpersonal relationship. I am moved and inspired not only by the stories of those who endure and triumph over that sense of displacement or dislocation but in fact sometimes even choose displacement and the adventure of relocation in order to awaken some kind of new spirit in them and in the world around them. My guest Natalie Toon...


John J Thompson

For a number of years, my favorite event in the country was The Festival of Faith and Music in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The festival host, a gentleman named Ken Hefner would stand up in front of headlining artists' audiences and challenge those audiences to be as prepared for the show, as the band that we were about to see. He would say, "That you would expect this band to have brought their A-game with regard to performance. I'm asking you if you brought your A-game with regards to...


Bodies, Dancing and Bad Religion

One of my favorite characters in all of literature is from a Dostoevsky novel called The Brothers Karamazov. The character's name is Father Zosima. Father Zosima doles out wisdom throughout the course of the book and its particular instance stands out to me, it's one of the moments that solidifies him as a favorite character. He's counseling. a congregant, who is not just detached from and losing touch with theologically, a sense for the resurrection or even the embodied incarnation of...


Camille Sutton

One of the surprising benefits changes fruits in me, that have come from partnering with folks who work in the anti trafficking world has been a different understanding and a deeper understanding what it means to live in the body, or in a body. For instance, partnering with Amy Lynch here in the San Francisco Bay Area, who through her organization helps to create pathways to healing for girls who've been rescued out of trafficking. One of the things she said during our conversations was...


Reinvention, Art, and Good Religion

A few episodes ago, I shared a short story about being what I called misnamed at an event. The organizer called me a singer/songwriter when I was there to speak. Now, part of that setup for me emotionally was I was actually in the process of reinventing. I had been playing music for many, many years. And I had been speaking a little bit at the time but paying attention to what was going on in me, honoring what was happening in me, and honoring the things that people around me were responding...


Christa Wells

Reinvention is one of the hallmarks of a long-term career as an artist. The ability and the desire, the capacity to take something that used to work a certain way during a certain season and do something new, something different with that same material with that same pattern with those same skills. One of the things I've admired about Christa Wells, in her career is her ability and her capacity to not just reinvent as a writer, a songwriter, a podcaster as a guide, but to do so in a way...


LGBTQ folks and Church Practice

In the introduction to last week’s episode, I mentioned that in the years I spent as a pastor in an evangelical setting, the conversation about the place of LGBTQ folks in a local church was a regular and often difficult one. That the Biblical image I kept coming back to was of Moses and his people stuck between the uncrossable waters in front of them and the violent forces behind them. The tensions felt are often theological and institutional. But the cost, the main cost, was and is...


Staci Frenes

During my time as a pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church, I was in an ongoing conversation about the relationship between LGBTQ folks and local churches. And over the years, regardless of all the different kinds of settings in which that conversation was happening, it kept bringing me back to this very particular biblical imagery. Moses and his people were on the edge of a body of water that they could not safely cross with the armies of Egypt, bearing down on them from behind an...


Episode 100

Hello, and welcome to episode 100 of the @Sea podcast. We launched this thing on April 30th, 2016. And 100 episodes later, here we are. I want to pause right here at Episode 100; you do a couple of things, two things very specifically. The first one is simply to say thank you, thank you for listening for paying attention, I do not take for granted at all, not for a moment, that you offer your attention your time to this podcast, anything that I do, but specifically today, this podcast,...


Enneagram and Being Named

A few years ago, I was invited to participate in this event. I don't remember what the event was, as a speaker, I was there to story tell, tell some stories and teach. And when the organizer introduced me, he said singer, songwriter, musician, Justin McRoberts. And I remember like, I wasn't mad, but I remember feeling like misnamed, or, like, I wasn't even offended, but like, it just didn't feel right. His context for me has had been music like he listened to a lot of my music growing up,...