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Crazy Faith Talk

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

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, Pastor Sarah, a Lutheran, and Pastor Steve, who is also 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, Pastor Sarah, a Lutheran, and Pastor Steve, who is also 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, Pastor Sarah, a Lutheran, and Pastor Steve, who is also Lutheran, Crazy Faith Talk is an ecumenical experiment of cross conversation (pun intended).






Episode 276: Exploring Our Call Stories, Part Six--Changes In the Same Place

In this final episode of their series on the way our callings grow and change over time, pastors Erica and Sarah ask colleague Steve about what it is like to have served in ministry in the same place and setting for nearly sixteen years--the joys, the sadnesses, the challenges, and the comforts. And as we look at one pastor's experience in ministry, it opens up an opportunity to see each of our own life stories and how God calls us, not necessarily to different geographic places over time,...


Episode 275: Exploring Our Call Stories, Part Five--Moving On

Sometimes the next step God leads you to take is do what you are already good at, but in a new location. And sometimes, you are led to do something new altogether, not just more of the same in a different location. And, to be sure, sometimes, it's a little of both. As they continue sharing their own call stories and reflections on how our callings from God change over time, pastors Erica and Steve listen in on their colleague Sarah sharing her own reflections on how her call, and her...


Episode 274: Exploring Our Callings, Part Four--Transition in Ministry

Hearing the stories of how people in ministry first listened or discerned for God's call can sound like the end of a journey--but really it's just the beginning. As our series on our calling stories continues, each of our pastoral colleagues around the table will take turns exploring how their own sense of calling has grown, changed, and transformed over time--whether that's moving to a new place, changing the kinds of work we do in the same place, or the ways life helps us grow as...


Episode 273: Exploring Our Call Stories, Part Three

As they continue to share the stories of their own calling to ministry, pastors Sarah, Erica, and Steve take a look at how other people in our lives have the power either to encourage us and open doors for us, or to detour and discourage us. In this episode, Sarah shares her own discernment of calling to ministry, as well as the influences of family members, mentors, and the welcome of a congregation that didn't expect a young stranger at their door one day. They'll also explore how it makes...


Episode 272: Exploring Our Call Stories, Part Two

It's not that God calls SOME people, but NOT others to use their lives in ways that channel God's work in the world. Rather, it's a question of WHAT God is calling EACH of us to do with our lives. God's call sometimes looks like work in the institutional church, whether in pastoral ministry or other kinds of church vocations, but sometimes God's call leads people to classrooms, office buildings, farms, workshops, and almost anywhere else you can imagine. As we take a look this Eastertide at...


Episode 271: Exploring Our Call Stories, Part One

Each week, pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve share conversation talking about OTHER things--theology, Bible, church life, pop culture, and their own takes on the Big Questions of life. But what about their own stories? This Eastertide, our co-hosts on Crazy Faith Talk will take turns sharing their own experiences of calling into ministry, how they have come to where they are now, and how their calls to ministry have changed over time and experience. Check out this new series here!


Episode 270: Diagnosing the Problem, Part Six--From Sin to Salvation

If your problem is a debt, then rescue looks like having your debt paid. If your problem is a sickness, though, what you need is healing. If your problem is a broken relationship, no amount of money or punishment will bring reconcilation. And if your problem is being pointed in the wrong direction, what you need most is to be turned around and pointed in the right way. In other words, our different pictures of what "sin" means will point to different understandings of what "salvation" is all...


Episode 269: Diagnosing the Problem, Part Five--Sin in Negative Terms

In an era when the phrase, "thoughts and prayers" can feel like an empty gesture when not accompanied by action in line with those prayers, or when it's easy (and cheap) to use social media for mere virtue signalling rather than doing something, maybe it's obvious that "sin" includes the things we don't do that we should do. Classic theology has talked about "sins of omission"--what we leave undone--as well as the sins we "commit" in actions, words, and thoughts, too. But how do we navigate...


Episode 268: Diagnosing the Problem, Part Four--Sin, Uncleanness, and Sickness

It's really easy (and tempting) for "religious" voices to equate sickness with sin--as in, "If you're sick, you must have done something wrong." And what's difficult is that there are at least some Biblical passages that give that suggestion, not to mention a long strand of Christian theology that suggests all sickness, maladies, and death are the consequence of human sin, whether now or in our ancestral past. That presents its own set of problems, to be sure, but then again, in some ways...


Episode 267: Diagnosing the Problem, Part Three--Broken Relationship

In their series for Lent, pastors Erica, Sarah and Steve continue to explore what we really mean when we talk about "sin." We've looked at some standard images the Bible uses, like sin as breaking God's law, or incurring debt with the divine, or missing the mark, but now we'll turn to another way of thinking of sin--in terms of relationship. In other words, sin isn't just the breaking of tedious rules, but is what happens when we break relationship with one another, or with God. Or maybe,...


Episode 266: Diagnosing the Problem, Part Two--Missing the Mark

If all we've ever heard is that our mistakes demand punishment, we'll be constantly afraid of a God who stands over us as judge. But as we're discovering this Lent in this new series from pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve, the Scriptures actually have a number of ways of talking about the problem we call "sin." And while sometimes that includes the language of breaking laws or incurring debts, the Bible also talks about sin as going astray, missing the mark, or going off course. And those...


Episode 265: Diagnosing the Problem, Part One--Speaking of Sin

In a new series for Lent 2022, pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve unpack a BIG IDEA of Christian theology that we rarely think about deeply--what do we actually mean when we talk about "sin"? We probably have some shallow assumptions about what the idea of "sin" is all about, but chances are, we haven't looked more deeply at the surprising variety of understandings the Bible itself employs to talk about the "problem" of sin. Sometimes even realizing that there ARE different ways of...


Episode 264: Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras

Increasingly in church communities, people are familiar with Ash Wednesday as the beginning of the season of Lent for Christians, with its somber call to repentance and fasting, and the characteristic ashes marked on people's foreheads. And even more well-known are the festivities around the world on the day before known as Mardi Gras, Carnival, Fat Tuesday, or--slightly less well-known--Shrove Tuesday. People have a hunch that these two days are connected somehow, but that backstory isn't...


Episode 263: Un-Spiritual Spiritual Practices

Here's a palate-cleanser for your soul. Sure, there are some well-known and long-established traditional practices within Christian spirituality--serious and somber things like contemplative prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, daily devotions, or the daily office of praying the hours. But spirituality doesn't happen only in medieval monasteries or fixed rituals--sometimes we stumble into it by discovering habits that renew us even when we didn't realize God was getting through to us in the midst of...


Episode 262: The Case for Epiphany, Part Six--First Disciples

In a culture where you audition, interview, or apply for positions to try and prove your worth, and where you can be dismissed or voted off the show at a moment's notice if you don't make the cut, Jesus has a surprising way of gathering disciples to share in his work. He seeks them out, not from among the brightest and the best, but from among ordinary people who just had a bad day at work. In this final episode of our Epiphany series getting to know Jesus better, pastors Erica, Sarah, and...


Episode 261: The Case for Epiphany, Part Five--Jesus' First Words

Like newly elected presidents give an inaugural address to lay out their priorities, vision, and the kind of administration they want to lead, the early chapters of each of the four Gospels in the New Testament give us public words from Jesus that lay out his vision and values. The thing is, Jesus' inaugural address reveals a "platform" that takes society's usual expectations and turns them upside-down. Jesus' message subverts the idea of kingdoms and empires, announces God's blessing on the...


Episode 260: The Case for Epiphany, Part Four--The Temptation of Jesus

Immediately after being baptized, having heard a voice from heaven claim him as God's own beloved Son, Jesus heads out into the middle of nowhere to face down the Tempter. And leading the way to drive him toward that confrontation with the devil is the very same Holy Spirit who had descended on him at his baptism. What a strange turn of events--but what does it mean, and how does it introduce us to Jesus? In our continuing series for Epiphanytide, pastors Erica, Sarah, and Steve look at how...


Episode 259: The Case for Epiphany, Part Three--The Baptism of Jesus

Every year, the church's pattern for keeping time sets aside a season--called Epiphanytide--for getting to know Jesus all over again. As we get new angles on introductions to Jesus, today we turn to a story told in some form by each of the Gospel writers, about Jesus' being baptized. Clearly, this is a story that helps introduce who Jesus is--after all, there is a literal booming voice from heaven claming Jesus as "my Son, the Beloved." But what does that mean for each of us today, and why...


Episode 258: The Case for Epiphany, Part 2: Traditions

Although they are less well-known or widely-practiced than the Advent wreaths, nativity scenes, and pageants around Christmas, or the disciplines and ashes of Lent, there are some really beautiful practices to explore in the season of Epiphany for individuals, families, and churches. In today's episode of Crazy Faith Talk, pastors Sarah, Erica, and Steve introduce us to some of them and how they can deepen our faith in this time of the year. From a blessing on our homes done in chalk to a...


Episode 257: The Case for Epiphany

In the earliest centuries of the Christian church, the first celebrations of Jesus' coming were less focused on the manger scene and more on Christ being revealed to all the world, from the visit of the Magi to all the nations of the world. Maybe our ancestors in the faith were onto something: maybe we need to recover a sense of wonder and appreciation that God not only comes to us in Jesus, but that God also chooses to be revealed in Jesus--to show us something of God's own heart, God's...