speaking of faith with john polkinghorne

While riding the el to a lunch meeting on Tuesday I listened to Quarks and Creation, an episode of Speaking of Faith. The hour-long interview features host Krista Tippet talking with John Polkinghorne who, among other notable achievements, was a Cambridge professor of physics and is now the Cannon Theologian of Liverpool Cathedral. The man is very, very smart.

This interview defies summation: Polkinghorne talks about physics, the nature of Christ, evil, evolution, the inherent wonder of the universe, and more. Aspects of his theology will trouble some and parts of his science will bother others. However, his belief that both science and faith are necessary to understand the universe is articulated with such humility that most will find plenty of valuable ideas amid any disagreement. I listen to a few podcasts each week, and this is the best I’ve heard in a long time. Let me know if you get a chance to listen.


regular podcast listening (2)

Last week I pointed out three of my favorite podcasts. Here are my other three favorites and a few that I have recently discovered.

  • All Songs Considered. This is the one podcast I will never miss. I don’t have time to listen to each episode of every podcast I subscribe to, but I’ll always find time for All Songs. The half-hour format combined with host Bob Boilen’s crazy knowledge about music makes this an engaging and quick listen each week. If there is a better way to discover new music I don’t know about it. I discovered my current favorite, Bon Iver, on an All Songs show about SXSW. The producers of the show also put together an eclectic live concerts podcast that is often worth the listen.
  • This American Life. I’m a raving fan of this show. Ira Glass and his fellow contributors are story-telling wizards. They have the ability to take ordinary people’s experiences and tell them in a way that peels back significant (at times transcendent) layers of meaning. The most recent example of this comes from an episode earlier this month. The Giant Pool of Money tells the story of the current credit/mortgage crisis in a way that completely held my attention for an hour. Seriously… check it out for yourself.
  • New Community Covenant Church. As I was transitioning from my job/community at PCC to my current role in Chicago, I spent time listening to NC3’s sermon podcast. Listening to Peter and Michael preach to the church we would be joining was helpful for me. The caliber of preaching is good enough that I would recommend it to anyone… just be prepared to be occasionally uncomfortable. Peter preached about politics our second Sunday at the church and had just about everyone squirming at some point during the sermon. Nice.


regular (podcast) listening

A week or so ago I mentioned a podcast I recorded with some guys for Leadership Journal. Larry commented that he would reveal his favorite podcasts if I point out some of the ones I listen to regularly. I’m taking you up on it Larry.

Most of my podcast listening used to happen on walks around Lake Ellyn, but since our move into Chicago it seems that bus and El rides will be the ideal time.

There are 6 podcasts that I listen to regularly. Here are the first 3:

  • Sound Opinions. Hosted by Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun Times and Greg Kot of the Tribune, Sound Opinions bills itself as a rock and roll talk show. Covering music news and new releases, the show also features interviews with musicians and the occasional live performance. Half the fun of this show is the Siskel and Ebert-style banter between two guys whose knowledge of music is ridiculously huge.
  • Mars Hill Bible Church. Typically Rob Bell does the preaching, but the church invites other creative communicators to share the teaching. This is the one podcasts that really makes me want to preach more. Bell in particular gets me thinking about Biblical passages and themes that seem worth exploring.
  • The Kindlings. I’ve been less regular with these conversations and interviews hosted by Dick Staub, but I’d still recommend it. Staub gets some very creative folks on his show, most who share his Christ-centered perspective of the world.