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: Faith & Economics. Previous series: Refugees, Climate Change. Anticipated future series: - The problem of evil/suffering - Violence in the Bible - Religious pluralism - Post-evangelicalism This podcast is produced in collaboration with The Tablet (http://thetablet.co.uk)
Is veganism impossible? - a response to listener feedback
This short episode is prompted by a listener who sent us a voice message. He questioned Carmody's point about veganism (made in this episode), and in this episode Carmody responds to the point. Questions discussed in this episode: Is veganism too hard or too expensive for most people? How much can people be held responsible for their buying habits? Is there a difference between concern for animal welfare and concern about climate change? Have something to say? Send us a message and join the conversation! Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound editing!
January 30, 2023
Economy as gift: beyond the capitalist-socialist dichotomy - with Edward Hadas
Carmody & Barney interview Edward Hadas, research fellow in moral economics at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. He tells us what he thinks is wrong with the current way of debating economics and offers a whole new paradigm to help us imagine our labour and consumption differently. Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound editing!
January 16, 2023
Can we really choose how we spend our money?
Barney and Carmody kick off a new series on ‘Christian Economics’, asking difficult questions about the limits of our financial freedom. Our present economic system is neither inevitable nor ethically neutral, but it does have a huge impact on how we spend our money. What might we be able to do about it?
December 19, 2022
Is Viktor Orbán a Genuine Christian? - Faith & Politics in Hungary, with Alex Faludy
Barney interviews Alex Faludy on the religious dimension of Hungarian politics. Alex argues that the Hungarian Prime Minister is not simply using religion as a tool, but has a genuine faith. If we accuse him of being selective about which aspects of Christianity he embraces, we must also look at ourselves to see whether we're not also being selective. Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound engineering!
December 05, 2022
Science & Religion - What we learned
In this final episode of the Science & Religion series, Barney & Emily discuss highlights, unanswered questions, and key takeaways about the whole debate.
November 22, 2022
Witnessing to the trauma of the earth - with Tim Middleton
This episode combines themes from two series: climate change and science/religion. Our interviewee, Tim Middleton, looks at climate change through the lens of trauma. Is the earth traumatised? What would that mean? What sort of call to action does it lead to? Join us to find a powerful new way of looking at our relationship to the planet! Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound engineering skills! This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
November 07, 2022
Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Opportunity? - with Beth Singler
Heard of robot priests? Or robot rabbis who can answer any question about Judaic law? Do these things sound great or scary to you? In this episode we interview Dr Beth Singler about AI, the effect of online space on religious communities, and other interactions between religion and the digital world. This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for sound engineering!
October 24, 2022
Does evolution debunk religious beliefs? - with Christopher Bennett
We interview Chris Bennett, who has researched the ‘evolutionary’ reasons for religious beliefs such as attributing personal agency to storms, trees, etc. What should religious people think of such arguments? How should they respond to them? What about evolutionary accounts of other mental functions, like mathematics, morality, or even the notion of causality that evolutionary explanations themselves depend on? Tune in to hear all these things discussed! This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule as always for his patient and tireless sound editing!
October 10, 2022
Doing science as a Christian Platonist - with Dr Andrew Davison
What is ‘Christian Platonism’ and why is it the best theological position for engaging with science? This episode is all about these two questions. Emily & Barney interview Dr Andrew Davison, who is the Starbridge Associate Professor in Theology and the Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. We ask him tough and challenging questions like: Isn’t it better to be just a Christian than a Christian Platonist? Doesn’t Platonism inhibit scientific research? Why can’t an apple also be an orange? Why can a piece of paper also be a love letter? Check out Dr Davison’s book, Participation in God, which we talk about in the episode. Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound editing! This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
September 27, 2022
What if the quantum multiverse is real? - with Emily Qureshi-Hurst
Barney and Bethany interview Emily on the ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum physics. If there are thousands or millions of versions of you and me in other worlds, each living ever-so-slightly different lives, what does that imply for theology? What does it mean about who God is?
September 13, 2022
Suffering and death before Adam and Eve? - with Bethany Sollereder
Emily and Barney interview Bethany, who has researched the problem of death and suffering from an evolutionary point of view and how that affects our understanding of creation and fall in the book of Genesis. Did God create death? Is death necessary for life? Does this idea conflict with the biblical picture? Did God guide evolution or did animals have a certain freedom in how they evolved? Join us for this episode to discuss these questions and more!
August 29, 2022
Do ‘science’ and ‘religion’ even exist?
Carmody questions whether there is any stable meaning to our definitions of science and religion. Barney & Emily offer various definitions of science and religion, and Carmody knocks them all down! This episode produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound editing!
August 15, 2022
Science & Religion: Mapping the Terrain - with Prof. Alister McGrath
Emily Qureshi-Hurst & Barney interview Professor Alister McGrath on the whole area of science & religion. We discuss questions like: Why do many people think that science has disproved religion? Why do many religious people distrust science? Is science a body of knowledge, or a method of inquiry? Can we trust experts? A fascinating and illuminating episode with one of its greatest practitioners who has made the field what it is today! This episode produced in collaboration with The Tablet, generously supported by the Ian Ramsey Centre. Thanks to Jamie Maule for sound engineering!
August 01, 2022
New series on Science & Religion! - Trailer
Introducing a new series on science & religion, hosted by Barney and Emily Qureshi-Hurst. Science & religion is one of the greatest frontier challenges in today's world. Are they compatible? Do they overlap? What happens when they come into conflict, as with the most famous example of evolution and Genesis 1? What does science reveal about ourselves and our world that Christianity needs to engage with? This series will feature interviews with Alister McGrath, Bethany Sollereder, Beth Singler, Carmody Grey, and others. This episode produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for sound engineering!
July 25, 2022
Rescuing refugees at the Ukraine border - with Rev Ryan Cook
Barney interviews Rev Ryan Cook about his experiences transporting refugees from the Ukraine border to south Germany. We discuss questions like: What’s it like to befriend people when you don’t speak a common language? What are the practical nitty-gritty difficulties of integrating refugees into a new country? What are some of the unexpected challenges? Why does Ryan call love a ‘painful word’? This episode is produced in collaboration with The Tablet. Thanks to Jamie Maule for the sound engineering!
July 13, 2022
Climate change denial and the politics of science - with Dr Ondrej Dyck
We (Barney, Carmody, & Bethany) interview Dr Ondrej Dyck (material science PhD) on whether climate change is really happening and, if so, whether we should care. This episode goes to the heart of questions about how far we should trust science in a world saturated with political agendas and hidden motivations. And even if we agree on the facts, what ought we to do in light of them? That, we all recognise, is not a scientific question at all. Here are links to the two documents we mention in our conversation: - IPCC Mitigation of Climate Change - NIPCC Climate Change Reconsidered Would you like to hear more conversations with Ondrej? Share your views using the Spotify poll, or tweeting us @atthefrontiers, or emailing us. Thanks to Jamie Maule for his sound editing! This episode produced in collaboration with The Tablet.
June 10, 2022
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