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Crazy Faith Talk

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An engaging, comedic, serious, and hopefully interesting foray into the world of Christianity. Join the discussion...believer, atheist, or skeptic alike! Hosted by Pastor Erica, a Methodist and Pastor Steve, a Lutheran, Crazy Faith Talk is an ecumenical experiment of cross conversation (pun intended).

An engaging, comedic, serious, and hopefully interesting foray into the world of Christianity. Join the discussion...believer, atheist, or skeptic alike! Hosted by Pastor Erica, a Methodist and Pastor Steve, a Lutheran, Crazy Faith Talk is an ecumenical experiment of cross conversation (pun intended).
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An engaging, comedic, serious, and hopefully interesting foray into the world of Christianity. Join the discussion...believer, atheist, or skeptic alike! Hosted by Pastor Erica, a Methodist and Pastor Steve, a Lutheran, Crazy Faith Talk is an ecumenical experiment of cross conversation (pun intended).






Episode 101: Hard Sayings of Jesus, Part 1 (Burying the Dead/Crooked Accouting)

In this first episode of a new series of conversations, pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve take a look at a couple of Jesus' "hard sayings"--things that are either difficult to understand, or easy to understand but hard to live out. As people of faith who wrestle with texts like these, we'll discover that it's worth taking the time to dig into sayings of Jesus that can be challenging, and that the real and living Jesus of the Scriptures is a wilder, richer, deeper, fiercer, and more mysterious...


Episode 100: Epiphany (Or, Introducing Jesus)

As they take a look at several stories of Jesus being introduced to the world--from the visit of the Magi who followed the Star, to Jesus' first miracle, to his first public sermon in his hometown--pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve explore what impressions we are supposed to get about who Jesus is. Of all the things one could say about Jesus, what does it mean that God goes to such great lengths to attract the attention of a bunch of foreign astrologers to see the Christ child, or that God is...


Episode 99: God from Manger to Danger

We have heard the story of the shepherds and the angels, and the child laid in a manger, lots of times before. It may be so familiar to our ears that we can miss the radical idea of a God who becomes vulnerable, which is at the core of the Christmas story. But in the week that follows Christmas, the church also traditionally recalls several stories that remind us that the world into which the Christ was born is a world full of violence and terror, hatred, and pain, as well. And that turns...


Episode 98: Un-Santa-fying God--December 25, 2018

In this Christmas episode, pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve take a look at the way our culture's storytelling about "Santa Claus" affects (or infects) our thinking about God. In this season, we are surrounded by pictures, movies, songs, and storytelling about this magical figure who seems to be all-knowing, can travel around the world in one night, and judges who is worthy of good gifts or bad ones based on how much they believe and how good their behavior is. And it becomes really difficult...


Episode 97: Lives That Catch the Light (Advent Saints), Part 4: Katie Luther

Continuing their series on the lives of older sisters and brothers in faith (we often call them "saints") whose lives are remembered especially during the month of December, pastors and colleagues Erica, Sarah, and Steve look at a figure who isn't "canonized" in any official way, but who is well-known to some branches of the Christian faith: Katerina von Bora Luther, who is also remembered as the wife of Martin Luther. Hers is a story that includes a will-they-won't-they romance,...


Episode 96: Lives that Catch the Light (Advent Saints), Part 3--Lucia

These days, some folks get fussy in December because they see that not everyone celebrates Christmas, or they get upset when someone greets them with "Happy Holidays!" instead of "Merry Christmas," and want to call it the persecution of Christians. But for the first three hundred years of our faith, it was not only dangerous, but also illegal to be a Christian, because following Jesus meant you weren't giving your allegiance to the Empire or to Caesar. And during this time, a young Italian...


Episode 95: Lives That Catch the Light (Advent Saints), Part 2--Nicholas

In their Advent series about the lives of people who reflected the light of God (that we sometimes call "saints"), pastors Sarah, Erica, and Steve take a look at the story of the authentic Nicholas of Myra, a 4th century bishop from what is now modern-day Turkey, and what his life, witness, generosity, and faith have to tell us today. We'll sort out solid history from modern myth, and even explore whether the inspiration behind "Santa Claus" really punche a heretic at the Council of Nicea!...


Episode 94: Lives That Catch the Light (Advent Saints, Part 1)

The church has a funny way of keeping time. We start the year a month or so before everybody else cracks open their new calendars with a season called "Advent," and we talk about those who have gone before us as still somehow connected to us in the present in the "communion of saints." We even remember the stories and lives of some of those older sisters and brothers in the faith on the date of their death, rather than something that might seem cheerier to the wider world, because for the...


Episode 93: Grace and Gratitude

Curiously (maybe?), neither the people of Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures, nor the church of the New Testament, have a single holiday or observance focused on being thankful... but that's because for both the Old and New Testament, all of our lives are meant to be lived in constant gratitude in response to the grace and gifts of God! And often, "Christian" or "religious" discussions of gratitude end up sounding like lectures on manners and politenss that are focuses on us, rather than on the...


Episode 92: Engaging Problematic Texts on Women's Leadership

In the final episode of their series, "Heroes for All," pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve zoom in to spend some time looking deeper at the context of several biblical passages often used or cited to forbid women's leadership in the church (or even in civil roles as well). When they spend some time in some of the frequently-quoted passages on the subject in 1 Corinthians and in 1 Timothy, a more complex picture arises than mere proof-texting suggests. We find that Paul, whom we have already...


Episode 91: Apostles, Preachers, and Church Leaders--New Testament Women

In their ongoing series looking at Heroes for All from the Bible, pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve dig into some New Testament passages where women are named in some pretty significant roles leading the early community of Jesus' followers. Paul names a woman named Junia as an "apostle"--in fact, a rather outstanding one of all the apostles he has worked with, in Romans. And the biblical evidence suggests that it was a woman named Phoebe who carried the original text of Romans to its...


Episode 90: Mary, the Mother of Jesus (Heroes for All, Part 6)

What happens after the manger scene? Well, the baby Jesus doesn't stay there--and therefore, neither does his mother, Mary. In our ongoing series looking at models of faith, courage, and love from the Bible called Heroes for All, pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve look at Mary the Mother of Jesus throughout her appearances in the Gospels. She is not only the woman who sings about God's table-turning power in the Magnificat, but she is also the one who persuades Jesus to respond when the wine...


Episode 89: Mary Magdalene (Heroes For All, Part 5)

As they continue looking at the stories of women in the Bible who are examples of faith, courage, and compassion, pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve turn to the New Testament to the figure of Mary Magdalene. Mary is presented as one of several women who both supported Jesus' ministry while he was announcing the Reign of God, and also a disciple of Jesus along with those other women. And then when Jesus is buried and the women are going to the tomb to anoint his body but find the tomb empty,...


Episode 88: Deborah and Jael--Not Debbie Who Bakes Cakes (Heroes for All #4)

As their series looking at strong and daring women in the Bible continues, pastors Erica, Steve, and new colleague Sarah take a look at two women whose stories are told in the book of Judges--Deborah and Jael. Deborah was already a prophet and a civil leader of her community, and when an invading army came near, she coralled her own neighbors to go into battle and defeat the invaders, even when men were afraid to go on their own. Deborah had courage, wisdom, intelligence, and a willingness...


Episode 87: Miriam and the Midwives (Heroes for All)

In their ongoing series looking at strong and fierce women who are remembered as heroes for all in the Bible, pastors Erica and Steve welcome a new voice to the table, a fellow colleague in ministry Sarah, to look at two stories of strong, courageous women, and the roles they played in keeping God's people safe and on their way to freedom in the story of the slavery in Egypt and the Exodus. Two of the women in today's conversation, midwives named Shiphrah and Puah, refused to do what Pharaoh...


Episode 86: Esther (Heroes for All, Part Two)

It's easy (relatively speaking) to be a hero when everyone is applauding for what you do--to rescue the puppies, to save the children from the burning house, or when Superman stop the masked bank robbers. It is harder to be a hero when people are actively criticizing you, trying to silence you, or threatening your life for the stand you are taking. That kind of courage is a powerful (and much needed!) example for everybody these days, men and women. So join pastors Erica and Steve for a...


Episode 85: Ruth (Heroes for All, Part One)

In a new series, pastors Erica and Steve look at heroic figures in the Bible who show us courage, faith, love, and justice without fireworks or special effects. Here to start things off, join in a conversation about the story of Ruth, an outsider to the people of Israel who yet becomes a powerful example of the "lovingkindness" and "steadfast faithfulness" that Israel's God, Yahweh, was known for. It's a powerful story where God only shows up behind the scenes and in ordinary human...


Episode 84: The Lord's Prayer, Part 7--Delivered from Evil, Sent into Trouble

In this concluding episode of their conversation on the Lord's Prayer, pastors Erica and Steve look at the concluding phrases, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (or the evil one)," and what this means for people who follow Jesus. While it can be tempting (no pun intended) to think Jesus is offering us the right religous formula for how to have a life free from "bad things" happening, that doesn't seem to be what Jesus really has in mind. In fact, if anything, Jesus...


Episode 83: The Lord's Prayer, Part 6--Forgiveness As A Way of Life

As they continue their series looking at the Lord's Prayer, pastors Erica and Steve explore what it means to be forgiven people who forgive others, and who see our whole lives together in community as a giving-and-taking of forgiveness and of starting over with one another, refusing to weaponize the past or to be defined by it. As we look at other teachings of Jesus on how we forgive, and how God has forgiven us as well, we see a whole way of life unfolding. Join us for our ongoing...


Episode 82: The Lord's Prayer, Part Five--Fed Day by Day

As they continue looking at the Lord's Prayer, pastors Erica and Steve explore what it means to pray for "daily bread." The same God who once fed a nation of escaped slaves in the wilderness beyond Egypt with daily bread called "manna" is the same God to whom we call to provide us what we need. And if we take a look at the roots of these stories of "daily bread," we'll see that Jesus is shaping us to be people who seek the well-being of all people, who learn how not to hoard, and who dare to...