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Well Read Christian

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

An exploration in classic literature and western philosophy from a Christian perspective. Our target audience is anybody interested in living an examined life. We hope to bring beauty, reason and faith to conversations that have endured for all time.

An exploration in classic literature and western philosophy from a Christian perspective. Our target audience is anybody interested in living an examined life. We hope to bring beauty, reason and faith to conversations that have endured for all time.


United States


An exploration in classic literature and western philosophy from a Christian perspective. Our target audience is anybody interested in living an examined life. We hope to bring beauty, reason and faith to conversations that have endured for all time.






Upcoming Changes in 2020 and a 2019 Review!

Happy New Year! Changes are coming to Well Read Christian in 2020, including, (1) a new episode schedule, (2) opportunities for listeners to submit questions and dialogue on the air, and (3) tax-exempt donations are now available. Also, Mark Stanley goes over his favorite moments on the podcast in a review of 2019. Links Visit our website: https://www.wellreadchristian.com Check our our blog: https://www.wellreadchristian.com/blog Facebook:...


Merry Christmas from WRC! (2019 Blooper Reel)

Merry Christmas from Well Read Christian! In case of emergency, Mark Stanley had prepared a blooper reel to run so that you wouldn't feel the cold emptiness of an episode-less Thursday morning. Instead, we decided a holiday was emergency enough. Please enjoy, and we will see you next week!


Dostoyevsky: The Problem of Pain, Part 2 (4/4)

Debating an atheist about evil is one thing, but how could we respond at the bedside of a dying child in the house of a desperate family? Dostoyevsky’s own son died at three years old, and interweaved in his Magnum Opus is a profound reflection on the result of tragedy––and how to keep tragedy from unraveling everything you care about. Portrait of an Unknown Woman Piano Concerto No. 1 (Op. 23) - Allegro Non Troppo E Molto MaestosoLinks Visit our website:...


Dostoyevsky: The Problem of Evil, Part 1 (3/4)

The problem of evil is one of the most cited arguments against Christianity and the existence of God in the modern age. Dostoyevsky’s brilliance articulated a potent blistering assault on the existence of God through Ivan Karamazov, a character who is as brilliant as he is passionate. The sentiment, “God does not exist––and I hate him!” could summarize his views, and the views of many atheists. But is atheism really better equipped to deal with the cruel realities life gives us? Is a tragic...


Dostoyevsky: Does God Expect Too Much From Us? (The Grand Inquisitor) (2/4)

Within The Brothers Karamazov is a chapter so powerful, vivid, and shocking that it has since impacted the course of Western Civilization. The chapter, called The Grand Inquisitor, expresses Dostoyevsky’s worst fears about the human condition, and discusses how man desperately wants to give his free will to any tyrant who will give him food and existential security, regardless of whether that tyrant is the church or the state. In this fascinating chapter, The Grand Inquisitor declares that...


Dostoyevsky: Introduction to The Brothers Karamazov (1/4)

The Brothers Karamazov (1880) is the pinnacle of Dostoyevsky’s literary and intellectual work. His critique of European Enlightenment ideas, including atheism, utilitarianism, socialism and utopianism, find their culmination in this profound tome. Dostoyevsky wrestles with the problem of evil, unlike in his previous major novels, and also perfects his summary of the problem of atheism: “Without God, anything is permissible.” Dostoyevsky also ventures forth into existential territory, asking...


"Why I Am / Why I Am Not a Christian" | Mark Stanley vs Alex Delfoist (11/19/19)

Debate between Mark Stanley and Alex Defoist on November 19th, 2019 on "Why I Am / Why I Am Not a Christian." Link to the Youtube Video. The Gospel Truth https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-DJyBJlGeHvXfUXAojqL7w Links Visit our website: https://www.wellreadchristian.com Check our our blog: https://www.wellreadchristian.com/blog Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wellreadchristian Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/WellReadChrist1 Youtube:...


Dostoyevsky’s Unique Critique of Utopianism (Notes From Underground)

Notes From Underground (1864) is a blistering assault on utopianism, socialism, and Marxism based on Dostoyevsky’s view of human nature. Even if a utopian society was attainable, says Dostoyevsky, we would not be satisfied by endless food, comfort and pleasure. If you satisfied every human desire, we would throw it all away just for something interesting to happen, just to give ourselves a challenge to overcome and prove that we are human beings and not lap dogs. According to Dostoyevsky,...


“All is Vanity!” Ecclesiastes & Chekhov’s The Bet

The prolific Russian author Anton Chekhov (1860–1904) explores the key themes of vanity and the meaninglessness of existence. A young lawyer finds himself in solitary confinement after accepting a bet, and has nothing but time to read every great book written by man. Yet in the end, he realizes that everything will be swallowed by death. The only guarantee is that you will die be completely forgotten. All the pleasures, wealth and prestige you could ever have will amount to nothing....


Dostoyevsky: "Without God, Anything is Permissible." (3/3)

Christian thinkers have argued for millennia that only God can give objective grounds for the transcendent moral law. Fyodor Dostoyevsky flips that equation in the face of the death of God in Russia, “Without God, anything is permissible.” That is, if God doesn’t exist, there is no such thing as an act that is off limits, immoral or evil. Dostoyevsky warned that if Russia tries to live out the European Enlightenment worldview, then society will quickly realize that a godless universe is a...


Dostoyevsky: The Gospel and Redemption in Crime and Punishment (2/3)

In Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov lives out the logical conclusions of atheism, utilitarianism, and Nietzsche’s view of morality by murdering a useless old pawnbroker. Despite the logical justifications for his crime, Rodion realizes that moral laws are fixed in the universe, and he cannot escape his guilty conscience regardless of his rationalizations. An atheistic worldview says that sin is a construct, and Raskolnikov is a hero. But this is clearly wrong. Will Raskolnikov confess,...


Dostoyevsky: Introduction to Crime and Punishment (1/3)

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881) is often regarded as one of the best novelists to ever live. He is known for his penetrating grasp of psychology, his understanding of the dark side of human nature, and his unbelievably accurate predictions of what the 20th century would hold if the socialist revolutionaries came to power. Dostoyevsky made an enormous impact on the modern worldview, contributing to 20th century realism, existentialism and literary criticism. His unsurpassed delivery of...


Artists, Philosophers and the Power of Narrative

A painter, a philosopher and a poet walk into a bar. The painter already knows what the poet has to say. The poet says it eloquently. Then the philosopher listens, sits down, orders a drink, and spends ten hours figuring out what they meant. This is “the Great Conversation” that Western Civilization has given us and continues to give, as thinkers and visionaries offer their ideas and propel culture forward. These thoughts are often expressed in towering works of fiction, which unveil the...


Did Christianity Make the World A Better Place?

Is Christianity a good or bad influence on society? Did Christianity inspire science, liberty, equality, morality and charity, or was it actually an obstacle to cultural progress? The late Christopher Hitchens said that religion poisons everything. Alvin Schmidt, among others, credit Christianity with the birth and growth of diplomacy, democracy, the sovereignty of the individual, and more. In the quest for truth, goodness can be a powerful witness. Links Visit our website:...


Nietzsche: Why Do People Believe in God? (3/3)

Why do people believe religious ideas? Nietzsche says that belief in God is a fabricated, but simple solution to a variety of complex questions and human desires. The meaning of life, the greater good of suffering, the grounding of morality, the existence of an afterlife, the definition of justice––all of these things are constructs which depend on the belief in God. Nietzsche recognizes Christianity’s utility, but believes the time has come to cast it aside in favor of self generated values...


Nietzsche: Where Does Morality Come From? (2/3)

Is there such a thing as right and wrong, or is morality a fabrication of social and evolutionary design? Enlightenment thinkers, such as Hobbes and Rousseau, believed that morality is a social construct. Contemporary atheist philosophers, like Paul Kurtz and Michael Ruse, are convinced that evolutionary biology is responsible for a sense of morality. Judeo-Christian thinkers throughout millennia have said that moral laws require a moral law giver. And Friedrich Nietzsche dismisses the...


Nietzsche: Introduction to Genealogy of Morals (1/3)

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is one of the most radical, untamed and influential philosophers of all time. Often categorized as an Existentialist, Nietzsche is remembered for his blistering and unapologetic denouncement of religion, especially Christianity. Nietzsche declared that “God is dead” and spent a large portion of his intellectual efforts demolishing the remnants of Christianity’s influence, including the moral framework established by two thousand years of cultural dominance....


Depression, Suicide and the Secret to Happiness

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, and the trends are on the rise. There seems to be a question about whether or not life is worth living that very few are talking about. On October 2nd, 2018, The Thinking Atheist published an episode titled “A Secular Perspective on Suicide,” which, in our estimation, offered little hope. But does Christianity offer a higher calling for suicidal people, or is it actually a contributing cause of their anguish? Is life worth the effort it...


The Beauty of Christianity

John Donne’s (1572-1631) poem The Bait is a poem about the winsome appeal of Jesus Christ, his teachings, message and life. Here at Well Read Christian we take the truth of Christianity’s attractive nature to heart, and even though arguments and critical thinking are essential, there is a beauty to the Christian viewpoint that advocates sometimes forget. We would like to share with you our vision––and the poem––in this episode. EPISODE NOTES Come live with me, and be my love, And we will...


Tolstoy: Free Will, History, and Human Motivation (4/4)

Can human beings determine their own destiny, or are we the inevitable product of our environment and nature? Sam Harris is convinced that free will is an illusion. After all, if the world is just matter and motion, how could there be free will? Not everyone agrees with Harris, however, and many thinkers see free will as a self-evident axiom on which morality is based. The question of free will is one that every serious thinker must consider, and for Tolstoy, this is an essential...