Podcast for the Soul

It was Rex McDaniel, the former pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church in South Pasadena, who first turned me on to podcasts.  He recommended I check out The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish.  One episode turned into ten, and soon I was listening to Parrish’s show regularly.  Not long after the Knox Men’s book group had read Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved, I checked out Bowler’s podcast, Everything Happens – and was soon hooked.  These days, if you ask me which podcasts are my favorite, there are three I list.  Naturally, all of them are connected to friends from the Knox community.

With & For 

This podcast was just launched in 2024 and has fast become a favorite.  It comes out of the Thrive Center for Human Development over at nearby Fuller Theological Seminary.  The show is hosted by psychology professor and longtime Knoxie Pam King and explores how psychology and spirituality can contribute to human thriving.  I find it fascinating to hear how scientific insights from psychology can inform Christian spiritual practices.  And I have appreciated how the show deftly incorporates themes of racial justice as well.  Favorite episode so far: Pam’s interview with Cynthia Eriksson on trauma, lament, resilience, and dealing faithfully with big feelings – podcast gold.

Spiritual Life and Leadership

I first met the show’s host, Marcus Watson, during a Credo conference for Presbyterian Pastors.  He was serving a congregation in San Diego at the time, and I enjoyed long conversations with him about the joys and challenges of pastoral leadership.  The honesty and vulnerability I experienced in Marcus has now been brought to the world of podcasts, and has led to a host of meaningful conversations with pastors, authors, artists, scholars, and nonprofit leaders.  This is now the official podcast of the Fuller Church Leadership Institute, whose executive director is Knox’s own Tod Bolsinger.  Favorite episode: just about any of the quick conversations with Tod.  In a few minutes, Marcus and Tod dig deep on an insight about the Christian faith, like the quote from Alexia Salvatierra, “If you don’t listen, you can’t see what God is doing.”

Talkin’ Politics and Religion Without Killin’ Each Other

When he is not helping Knox navigate sensitive personnel issues as part of our human resources committee, Corey Nathan hosts a podcast that he started over the pandemic.  It has now gained quite a following and continues to bravely tackle notoriously divisive topics with respect, a listening ear, and a healthy dose of humor.  I have been grateful for Corey’s ability to truly listen attentively to his guests and be honest about his own Christian faith in the dialogue.  Favorite episode so far: other than the one where he interviews me? It would have to be the one with author David Brooks. The two reflect on what it was like to grow up in Jewish households, convert to Christianity, and continue to experience meaningful connections to their Jewish heritage.

~Pastor Matt