signs of (political) life

On Saturdays I typically post some newish music, but none has stood out recently.  Any suggestions?

Is anyone else feeling politically worn out these days?  In addition to the economic blame game being played by both parties, the destructive language surrounding the upcoming election is downright depressing.  When it comes to recent politics, looking for signs of life is increasingly challenging.

Which is why last week’s episode of Speaking of Faith was particularly refreshing.  I’ve recommended Krista Tippet’s radio broadcast (and podcast) to you before and am glad to do so again.  In a two-part series, The Life of the Party, Tippet examines how the Republican and Democratic parties understand the role of religion in politics.  Part one features Time Magazine’s Amy Sullivan, an left-leaning evangelical Christian.  Sullivan is a helpful guide in understanding Democrats’ often wary relationship with religion in America.  Her perspective as an evangelical adds significant insight.  I hope to listen to part two, in which Tippet interviews conservative columnist Rod Dreher, this weekend.

If you listen to either or both of these broadcasts I’d enjoy hearing your response.  It’s my view that we need to hear more of this type of nuanced and historical perspective in an era of sound byte news.  Do either of these observers of religion and politics change how you think about the upcoming election?

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.