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Faith at the Frontiers

Faith at the Frontiers

By Barnabas Aspray & Carmody Grey
A podcast that confronts challenges to the Christian faith with hope. Hosted by Dr Barnabas Aspray & Dr Carmody Grey. Current series: climate change Previous series: refugees, asylum and immigration. How should Christians think and live in light of the growing number of refugees in the world? Anticipated future series: - The problem of evil/suffering - Violence in the Bible - Religious pluralism - Post-evangelicalism - Conflict, division and unity in the church This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet (
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Populism, Elitism, and healing the divide - Part 2 with Dr Tobias Cremer
How do we stop living in echo chambers that only repeat what we already agree with? How do we ensure everyone's opinion is taken seriously and represented in positions of power? This is Part 2 of the double episode with Dr Tobias Cremer of Oxford University. After some more discussion of Christianity and right-wing populism, the conversation turns to questions of what we do about populism and the elitist backlash against it. It turns out that religious institutions like churches and mosques have a unique capacity to do something here, for reasons you may not have thought of. Thanks to Jamie Maule for audio editing! This episode produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
May 19, 2022
What has right-wing populism to do with Christianity?
Right-wing populism is growing in the West and its members talk a lot about recovering Christian values. But how Christian are they really, what do they mean by Christian values, and does the media tell the truth about who they are? This is part one of a double episode with Dr Tobias Cremer of Oxford University. He surprised us all with his insights about ‘cultural evangelicalism’, the tension within the idea of ‘liberal democracy’ and what right-wing populists say when you ask them ‘What is Christianity?’ This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound editing services!
May 03, 2022
Western culture is not relativist & the Ukraine War proves it
Is Western culture relativistic? Has it ever been relativistic? We were raised with the answer ‘yes’, but now Carmody, Bethany, and I are doubting this claim. The Ukraine War seems to have evoked a strong reaction from everyone that points in the direction of universal moral principles, whether one agrees with them or not.  What do you think? Share your views using the Spotify poll, or tweeting us @atthefrontiers, or emailing us. This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound engineering!
March 28, 2022
Putin’s Crusade: the religious side of the Ukraine War
Barney, Carmody, and Bethany are back for an episode on the Ukraine War. We discuss questions like: What are Putin's real reasons for attacking Ukraine? Are they religious or political?  Why is the media not discussing these reasons? Why does Bethany know how to do Ukrainian dancing? Why does Barney have an icon in his house that came from Putin's confessor? The article from The Tablet that we refer to is here. Tune in to join the conversation! Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound editing. This episode produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
March 11, 2022
Climate refugees in a climate of fear: why catastrophizing makes things worse
Barney, Carmody, and Bethany are back for a third episode on how we conceptualize climate change. We address questions like:  Why is there so much resistance to welcoming migrants? Why do we feel that things are getting worse all the time? Do we expect more comfort and security than we ought? Is climate change a punishment for greed and negligence? Join us for a rollicking ride through these questions! This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for sound engineering!
March 04, 2022
The Limits of Freedom: or, Why it's So Hard to Act on Climate Change
Why is it so hard to believe that our daily actions cause changes to the climate? Why is it so hard to act in ways that are environmentally responsible? How much responsibility do we have as individuals to make ecological choices?  These questions and others are discussed by Carmody, Bethany, and Barney in a follow-up to the previous episode.  This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for the sound editing! 
February 22, 2022
Are we thinking about climate change all wrong?
We tend to think about climate change in terms of crisis, apocalypse, and personal responsibility. But is this the best way to understand what is going on? Barney chats with Drs Carmody Grey and Bethany Sollereder about how we conceptualise the changes that are going on in our world, and how there are other surprising ways to interpret them. The article Carmody mentioned, 'Losing Earth', is available here. Thanks to Jamie Maule for audio editing!  This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
January 25, 2022
Refugees: Opening our eyes to the vulnerable people around us - with Cardinal Michael Czerny
Seeing refugees as a ‘global phenomenon’ is dangerous because it may cause us to lose focus on the needs of particular refugees in our locality, says Cardinal Michael Czerny, under-secretary for the Migrants & Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development at the Vatican. The first step in cultivating a welcoming attitude is to open our eyes to the vulnerable people in our midst, who many things prevent us from seeing. This leads to four verbs of action that characterize how we should respond not only to refugees but to any vulnerable people we encounter: welcome, protect, promote, and integrate.  This is a powerful interview that gets at our heart’s attitude towards those on the margins of society.  Check out the the resources on the Migrants & Refugees Section website. This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.  Many thanks to Jamie Maule for his audio editing! 
December 06, 2021
Refugees: Welcoming the Stranger as Family in the Old Testament - with Mark Glanville
What evidence is there that the Bible is pro-foreigners? What about the xenophobic parts of scripture? Should we only care for ‘legal’ immigrants? How do we live out the biblical vision of the stranger as kindred? Barney puts these questions & others to Professor Mark Glanville of Regent College in a powerful and moving episode that unfolds the beauty of God’s compassion and love for every part of his creation. Check out Mark’s book, Refuge Reimagined. This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for sound editing this episode! 
November 29, 2021
Refugees: Are churches helping asylum seekers ‘game’ the system? Emad Al Swealmeen & the Liverpool bombing - with Anna Rowlands and Dave Smith
Following the Liverpool bombing on November 14th by Emad Al Swealmeen, newspapers like the Telegraph and Express have accused the church of helping potential terrorists to remain in the UK by allowing them to convert to Christianity and helping them ‘game the system’. In this episode, Barney interviews Professor Anna Rowlands and Dave Smith (who we also interviewed in episode 4) to discuss whether these accusations are true, and whether the church should be doing so much to help asylum seekers. Also check out the Broadcasting House coverage of the same event. This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound editing!
November 22, 2021
Refugees: ‘Love the legal immigrant as yourself’: borders, checkpoints, and visas in the Bible & the modern West - with James Hoffmeier
What does the Bible really say about loving the stranger? How can Old Testament law guide our national immigration policy? What criteria should governments use to decide who to admit into their territory? In this episode we put these questions and more to James Hoffmeier, professor of Old Testament and author of The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible (2008), a popular and influential book in its time although currently out of print. This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
November 15, 2021
Refugees: State sovereignty, open borders, and national responsibility for refugees - with Prof. Luke Glanville
The most political episode so far. Should nations have an ‘open borders’ policy? Or do they have the right to restrict entry to whom they choose? Should the secular state be expected to enact Christian principles? In this episode, Barney puts these hard-hitting questions and others to Luke Glanville, Professor of International Relations at Australia National University. It’s a no-nonsense episode that gets straight to the heart of the controversies! Check out Luke’s book, Refuge Reimagined. This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Many thanks to Jamie Maule for his audio editing work!
November 08, 2021
Refugees: Action and Contemplation in the Sermon on the Mount
This is an unusual episode because Barney is not interviewing, but interviewed for a course on 'contemplative well-being' by Nadya Pohran. Nadya asks Barney lots of questions about the Sermon on the Mount and its relation to social action and contemplation. Only the first 30 minutes are about refugees, but the rest is there in case you find it interesting.  First we discuss refugees as those who "hunger and thirst for justice" (Mt 5:6) and as those who are persecuted (Mt 5:11). Then we move on and ask: do you have to be a Christian in order to live by Jesus' teachings? Or can anyone benefit from the Sermon on the Mount whether or not they believe in God? Next, we ask what it really means not to worry about our lives (Mt 6:25) in light of modern psychology and mental health. Finally, we talk about different interpretations of "ask, seek, knock" (Mt 7:7) in the Christian tradition. Hope you enjoy the episode!  This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
November 01, 2021
Refugees: How can churches be effective in welcoming refugees? - with Emily Holden
Barney interviews Emily Holden, co-founder of Welcome Churches, a charity that equips churches to welcome refugees of all kinds. In the face of an often hostile and unwelcoming host country, how can churches offer a different experience, helping refugees to find community and friendship? What about refugees of other faiths or no faith? Can they be welcomed without feeling the pressure to convert? And what is Emily's take on the Nationality & Borders Bill? We hope you enjoy the episode!  You can find the Welcome Churches website here. This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Many thanks to our new sound technician, Jamie Maule, for his audio editing work! 
October 25, 2021
Refugees: Refused Asylum Seekers and the Nationality & Borders Bill - with Dave Smith
Barney interviews Dave Smith, founder of The Boaz Trust and author of The Book of Boaz and Refugee Stories. We talk about what it means to be a failed/refused asylum seeker, the urgent need for accommodation and the poor options currently available, and Dave gives his frank opinion of the upcoming Nationality & Borders Bill in Parliament.  This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
October 18, 2021
Refugees: Focusing on the Future, the Afghanistan Crisis, and avoiding the ‘Savior Mentality’
Barney chats with two representatives of Refugee Education UK: Cat Gladwell, Chief Executive, and Shna Olesczcuk, a trustee and also formerly a refugee herself.  We talk about the importance of hope for refugees, the Afghanistan crisis, problems with the ‘savior mentality’, and the challenges of being a young refugee.  Visit the REUK website here. This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
October 11, 2021
Refugees: Listening to refugees themselves & the struggle to find an identity - with Professor Peter Rona
Barney interviews Professor Peter Rona, a Hungarian refugee from 1956.  It's easy to talk *about* refugees without taking time to listen *to* refugees. In this episode, Peter Rona describes his experiences of being a refugee in the 1950s. We talk about the identity crisis that comes from being forced to be part of a new culture, the kindness of the native population in Austria and America, and how America has changed since then. This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
October 04, 2021
Refugees: Why should any Christian care? With Matthew Soerens
Why are refugees a Christian and biblical issue? Are they a drain on the economy? Should we get involved politically, personally, or both? If so, how? These questions and more are discussed by Barney Aspray and Matthew Soerens.  Relevant links:  - Learn more about World Relief, the organization Matthew works for.  - Learn about the Evangelical Immigration Table of which Matthew is the national coordinator.  - Check out Matthew’s two books, Seeking Refuge and Welcoming the Stranger. This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
September 27, 2021