In this session, Jess Hugenberg and I talk about two topics that could not be more important as we walk through recovery from all the things that 2020 brought us: spiritual bypassing, spiritual integrity, and the importance of churches being trauma informed. It's important for a number of reasons. 2020 saw many things revealed; political upheaval, church abuse scandals, continued scandals in Hollywood as a result of the Me Too movement, the pandemic which saw many of us face escalations in our personal lives or our mental health. In line with this, it is not only unhelpful but it should be unacceptable for churches to sweep such things under the rug with thought-terminating cliches like "just forgive" or "have faith in God and don't be bitter." We need to be trauma informed. And we need people like Jess who can walk us through how to do better. Enjoy this session!
I've always been of the belief that the best relationships were the ones where partners are able to see and celebrate the evolution that occurs over the lifetime of their spouse. It takes grace, commitment, self-awareness, consideration, selflessness and no one embodies this better than Nia and Katie. Their's is a relationship that started as high school sweethearts, and travelled through churchianity, deconstruction, and one partner coming out as transgender. This is a story that will inspire you to realise that while life isn't always simple, love causes us to go to great heights and great depths for the ones we love. And that is brilliant and beautiful.
Brit Herbert's journey with Christianity started in a rather unique manner, and as a youngster she was quickly plunged into a world of missions work in countries as far flung from Louisiana USA as Russia. It's a powerful story of recognising the good in the bad and the bad in the good, of grappling with our role in spiritual colonialism, deconstructing, finding your feet, and being part of birthing the "Do Better Church" movement. It's a fascinating ride through the thrills and damage of Evangelical egocentricity in an episode that could otherwise be called "The adventures of Brit and Kit."
Dr Anica - Race Positive Approaches to Hard Conversations, and PTSD in the real world (Double Episode)
Sometimes a guest comes along with such an impressive CV that you really have to get her to cover off on two different topics. Dr Anica is that lady. A proud woman of colour, daughter of immigrants, clinical psychologist and general badass, she is the pioneer behind the "Race Positive" program which aims to bring a strengths-based approach to a topic often loaded with deficit language. In life post BLM, its important to keep talking about systemic racism until we can dismantle it! But the reason I found her was another topic altogether, when a listener asked me how I handle my PTSD. It wasn't something I've talked about much, but perhaps I should. Because normalising trauma responses and their treatment matters. And so do you! Thanks for tuning in.
I've long watched on as Jonathan Merritt has penned noteworthy books, and written a swath of articles that have helped me understand and grapple with the big issues in Christianity as I deconstructed from conservative faith to something markedly more progressive and affirming. Yet as I lost faith in the institution we call "church", his work has challenged me that it may yet have something to offer society. It is this idea, along with commentary on the incredibly vast array of historical moments 2020 has served up, that we explore on this episode of unchurchable. Enjoy!
I met Sanny on the great connector called Instagram. I instantly knew we had a lot in common, but also that hers was a perspective on the phenomenon of deconstruction that would be quite different to mine as well. And thus, I knew I wanted to interview her. You see, deconstruction can lead us to question our faith and interaction with church, but it is as individual as we are. The moment we think there is one way to deconstruct, we miss the nuanced and complex ways in which it affects each of us. Sanny brings wit, wisdom, strength and intelligence to this conversation and I just loved hearing what she had to say. Enjoy!
Growing up inside evangelicalism, its likely you knew what "Train up a child in the way he should go" meant. It was clear how parenting should be done. We already knew all the answers - God's way or the highway. Enter deconstruction, and all the things once taken for granted about how we would raise our kids went out the window. Todays guest is a pastor, author and a mother who has been through deconstruction so she knows this territory. Abby Norman sheds some light on how to parent, and how to "person" post deconstruction.
When Tim Fall mentioned that he had some availability for podcast interviews, I was pretty darn quick to put my hand up and say "pick me!" His is a fair, reasonable voice in an often polarised and adversarial world. It stands to reason, then that the man is a judge! What ensued was a conversation about the validity of Judea-Christian claims on ethics, equality in church, and how a Christian should respond when those above us don't act in ways that are ethical or befitting of a Christian. Tune in! Its one you won't want to miss.
When Phil Drysdale first started speaking at churches on the topic of deconstruction, it didn't take him long to realise it was happening in epidemic proportions. Years on, he has devoted his professional life to supporting the people who started pulling at the thread of doctrine and institutional Christianity and ended up holding a ball of twine but finding themselves with nothing to stand on. So what is deconstruction, what does the research say about it, and how do you survive it? Its all on todays session (along with some interesting stuff on the fear of hell!)
Cait West grew up inside a form of Christian patriarchy that many wouldn't have even heard of - the stay-at-home-daughter movement. This form of conservative Christianity protected male headship to the point where courtships were quite strict and women were meant to serve men in the home. Her deconstruction into a more empowered version of faith and femininity involved leaving behind that movement. Now she is a University graduate, a writer taking on big topics, and has a job in publishing - proof that self-empowerment is possible even when the stakes are high.