“The Shack’s” Wm. Paul Young: Where’s God When…

wgwpromoIt’s official; the Piatt household has been declared a biohazard zone. With three of the four of the Piatt clan beaten down by a spring sickness, cohost Slim Moon wisely opted to keep his distance. But dammit, we have an interview just too good to wait, so Amy and Christian muscled through, tissue and drugs in hand (All over the counter, mind you).

Apologies for the atypical structure and abbreviated nature of this one, but if you can’t handle the Piatts hacking and wheezing their way through the first bit, jump ahead to the good stuff.

What good stuff might that be, you ask? Good question.

We’re pleased and honored to welcome Wm. Paul Young, author of the international mega-bestseller THE SHACK back to the CultureCast, along with first-timer Reba Riley, author of “Post Traumatic Church Syndrome, hitting shelves this August, thanks to Simon & Schuster.  Reba, Paul and Christian have a three-way chat session about the upcoming Pacific Northwest tour they’re all doing together called “Where’s God When…

When? When What??? Well you’ll just have to listen, now won’t you? That or click the link above, if’n yer in the cheatin’ kinda mood.

And rest assured that as soon as the local Hazmat team deems the Piatts are allowed back out in public, Slim will rejoin them for your tried-and-true Homebrewed CultureCast shenanigans.

Oh, and if you’ll be in the Portland, OR area on April 28, be sure to CLICK HERE and get one of a handful of remaining tickets to the first-ever LIVE CultureCast. Guests are many, and they include Steve Chalke, Doug Pagitt, Dieter Zander, singer/songwriter Heatherlyn and Portland’s own Justin Ringle and friend from the band, Horse Feathers. Tickets get you in to mingle with these hooligans, while also gracing your empty hands with a Homebrewed CultureCast pint glass and two big-kid beverages of your choosing.

Why so much love for so little? Well, we blush when we admit it, but we kinda like you.


Interviewing Haaz Sleiman: Muslim Star of “Killing Jesus”

killing-jesus-nat-geo-trailer Lots of people know about the new movie, “Killing Jesus,” premiering on Nat Geo Channel on Palm Sunday.

Most everyone who has heard about it has strong feelings about it, given that it’s based – at least sort of – on the book of the same name by Bill O’Reilly.

Some folks are abuzz about the fact that Haaz Sleiman, the star of the movie portraying Jesu, is a Muslim.

Few know that Sleiman grew up in the midst of turmoil in Lebanon, where his brother and mother nearly died in the midst of the fighting. Or how much living in a country surrounded by Syria on two sides and Israel on another informed his understanding of politics, religions and cultural identity. Or how living in a territory occupied, at different times in history, by the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and colonized by the French informed his thinking about what it means to live in occupied land, and what it’s like to flee from occupation and violence for a promise of something new.

That’s the stuff we wanted to know.

Listen in on this Homebrewed CultureCast mini-sode with Actor/Director Haaz Sleiman, who has appeared in projects as diverse as “Nurse Jackie,” “Ricochet” and “24,” as he shares his less-than-heroic story about being shot, how most Muslims actually look at the figure of Jesus, and how he ended up from surviving the Lebanese fight for independence to his current reality as a rising star on the Hollywood  scene.

Check it. Love it. Share it.


Philip Clayton interview CultureCast with Christian, Amy, and Slim

Amy, Christian, and Slim are up to their hijinks again.
Most importantly, theCultureCast-300x300y
decide once and for all – Which is cooler, Star Trek or Star Wars?
 Is it a good thing that J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars VII?
Christian has a timely interview of Philip Clayton to discuss his new books The Predicament of Belief and Confronting the Predicament of Belief.  They talk about their upcoming live show in Portland April 28th. It’s the 10th anniversary of the first statewide marriage equality law in the US.
A long detour into the mainline Christian fear of LGBTQ-friendly Evangelicalism, and a history lesson about the sons of Aaron.  Sadness about Leonard Nimoy’s death, and relief that Harrison Ford’s plane crash wasn’t too serious.
Amy’s fear of the week is drones, but not just any drones…ALL DRONES!



Broken Covenants, Killing Rock Stars and Cask-Strength Fears

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 2.12.50 PMWell kids, we’ve got good news and bad news…

On a sad note, we bid a fond farewell to Andy Campbell, who is taking leave to focus on his family and his awesome new gig as a professor at George Fox. He has been a great partner and friend of the show, and he has an open invite to come back and sit in any time he has something on his mind to talk up.

Now the good news: we’re excited to welcome Slim Moon as our new cohost! Slim is a Unitarian Universalist seminarian with an incredibly rich backstory. Aside from starting Kill Rock Stars Records, playing gigs with the likes of The Melvins and Nirvana back in the day and helping break out bands like Elliott Smith, The Decemberists and Sleater Kinney…well, just listen, learn and be amazed.

We also interview Adam Phillips, pastor of Christ Church: Portland which just had $90,000 in funding and their affiliation with the Evangelical Church denomination stripped because of their open advocacy for the inclusion of LGBTQ people. But as karma would have it, the story has gone viral, grabbing the attention of NPR, Glenn Beck, TIME, Washington Post and others. Seems the culture (and according to Phillips, the Holy Spirit) is moving within this movement, and once again, the Church faces the choice to consider their blindness on the related justice issues, or be left in the dust once again.

In the Echo Chamber, we talk up Serena William’s recent TIME Magazine editorial, the perceived snub of Selma’s director and lead actor in the Oscars, and the murders of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, NC.

We raise the bar in our Recommendations section with a Bona Fide pop culture guru on board, and Amy dusts off a cask-strength, barrel-aged Fear of the Week that I bet you’ve never considered being afraid of…until now.

It’s a doozy folks, so hang on.



Charlie Hebdo, NAACP Bombing, SELMA, and…Naked Yoga?

reconcileNew year, new office(s)… The HBCultureCast crew occupy a new recording space, Amy talks about a big change she recently made, yet other things haven’t changed. 2015 is off to a rough start with the massacre of a dozen people at the French satire magazine “Charlie Hebdo” and a bombing at the NAACP office in Colorado Springs. John Stewart recently expressed hope that this year would see an end to the violence that marked 2014, but will it?.

Our interview is with John Paul Lederach about his book Reconcile. Many of our regular listeners will recall that we first aired this piece back in September of 2014, but the content is so timely we felt it deserved another listen. If 2015 is going to be a year of peace, we must actively work for it. Lederach tells us what that work looks like.

In the Echo Chamber, Amy, Christian, and Andy reflect on the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, the lack of press regarding the NAACP bombing in Colorado, and the timeliness of the film SELMA. As they turn to Amy’s Fear of the Week things get a little ragey and a little weird… naked yoga, anyone?

selma-movie-posterFinally, the crew recommends a couple films that you might wanna check out. SELMA promises to be one of the most important films of 2015 and oh so timely. It was just released nationally in theaters. SALINGER offers an in-depth look at the reclusive author’s life, with interviews from people who knew him or were inspired by him. J.D. Salinger was a deeply troubled man and this film explores the events that shaped him. Christian also lets us know that you can sign up now to receive updates on his Jesus Project – just go to myjesusproject.com


A.J. Jacobs, Sony, Summer Camps, & Semi-Nude Skyping

A. J. JacobsAfter a, um, hiatus of sorts Christian, Amy, and Andy are back to talk about all things important… like summer camp for asthmatics, Beer and Hymns protests, and semi-nude Skype conversations.

This episode’s interview is with A.J. Jacobs – author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers, including The Year of Living Biblically. He and Christian talk about A.J’s. new global family reunion project, in which he tries to show that we’re all related, quite literally. The project is culminating in a huge gathering in New York on June 6, 2015, and you’re invited! Along the way, they discuss Christian’s new Jesus project – an ambitious year of figuring out what it takes to seriously live like Jesus lived. A.J. has some great advice for Christian as he embarks on this new undertaking. See more of what A.J is up to at his website: http://ajjacobs.com/

In the Echo Chamber, the team weighs in on some important questions: Is the hack on Sony a blessing in disguise? What did the Pope have to do with making Cuba and U.S. kiss and make up? Is there a difference in saying “Black Lives Matter” versus “All Lives Matter”? What should the response of the White Christian Church be?

The crew then talks about UnTappd, Interstellar, Hawking, Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead, Disunity in Christ, God of the Oppressed and The Cross and the Lynching Tree in the Recommendations segment of the show. Finally, Amy’s Fear of the Week Last Three Months is a doozy…


Beer, Hymns, Protesters and PostChristian in Tulsa? Oh yeah.

Beer and Hymns ProtestersOn Christian’s recent “postChristian” book tour stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he caused quite a stir. No, folks weren’t distressed by his claims of the decline of Christian empire, or his challenges to the religious powers that be…

They were up in arms about serving 3.2 percent beer in (GASP!) church.

The weekend culminated in a Beer and Hymns event at East Side Christian Church (DOC), followed by this live CultureCast recording with Christian, Phillips Theological Seminary’s own Josh Linton, and Amy via Skype. But it also welcomed four local news channels who covered the event, after a local Fox affiliate, and then CNN, took the scandalous story national.

Oh, and aside from the low-point beer, here’s a taste of what we had on tap during the show:

  • A Lesbian universalist minister singing a song on behalf of marriage equality;
  • A discussion about the theological and justice implications of marijuana;
  • A remote “ten in the den,” quiz show, in which Pastor Mark Driscoll features prominently;
  • A handful of Church Sign Epic Fails, and;
  • Amy’s double dose of her Fear of the Week.

We tried to get some of the street protesters picketing outside (no joke) to come join us on the show, but to no avail. So the photo above will have to suffice.

Ahh Tulsa, I love ya, you nut.


Lederach’s Peace Train…And Coloring with Satan! (CultureCast)

Reconcile CoverThis week on the CultureCast, we welcome special guest John Paul Lederach, international peace activist and negotiator, and author of the popular nonviolence book, “Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians” this book, just reissued with a new foreword from Bill and Lynne Hybels, tells amazing stories, like when rebels groups in central America threatened to kidnap his daughter and how it changed his understanding of scripture forever. He offers some practical advice for how we, too, can live out real reconciliation in our midst, here at home.

Then we get Buddhist on your ass and talk about the Dalai Lama’s recent announcement that, just maybe we don’t need another successor after him. We explore the prospects for the first female NFL commissioner (it’s the consensus in the CultureCast crew that Roger Goodell’s days are numbered), and what happens when you put Rain Man in charge of a wine collection worth six figures.

We also talk about why it is that Florida schools have some new children’s literature circulating about with connect-the-dot pentagrams and goat-head color-by-numbers. Yes, kids, the satanic coloring books are here!

Oh, and of course, Amy has a fear of the week. And guess what…you’re it!


Ray Rice, Driscoll on Ice and ISIS’ Rise

mark-driscollIt seems this episode is dedicated to all the bad boys out there. Not that we planned it, but between talking about the Ray Rice abuse scandal, Mark Driscoll being on the outs with Mars Hill (and every woman on the planet) and our interview with photojournalist Gregg Brekke, who just got back from Northern Iraq, it seems we’re up to our necks in evildoers.

Thanks George Dubya, for that little gem.

Gregg shares some fascinating stories about his time with the World Council of Churches, preparing a report for the U.N. about displaced Christians – and non-Christians, for that matter – as ISIS plunders their way through one town after another. We get the real scoop on what Iraqi citizens think about U.S. intervention, and we talk about how challenging nonviolence becomes when your family’s life is at risk.

Check out some of Gregg’s incredible photo work from the trip HERE.

Then we move on to the interesting similarities between Ray Rice and Mark Driscoll, or at least between the institutions that have a knack for protecting such destructive behavior when it benefits them. Yeah, Church, I just compared you to the NFL. Suck that bitter medicine down…and like it!

We break out some TV, book and beer recommendations toward the end of the show, bust out a shiny new fear of the week, and Christian shows off his fancy-pants new beer flight sampler trays. His neighbor says he’s now taking orders, so no need to be jealous. Get your own!