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TheoTech Podcast

TheoTech Podcast

By Christopher Lim
Technology is constantly reshaping our lives, disrupting the status quo and creating new possibilities. Stay up to date, satisfy your curiosity, and live more intentionally through our mix of interviews with people integrating faith and tech, theological takes on the latest tech news, stories from the frontlines of industry, book summaries, and more. Join us as we apply the theology of technology to all of life and help each other demystify tech to use it for God’s purposes.
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Church Management Systems and the Digital Transformation
What if churches had software tools that went “beyond Sunday” to enhance fellowship, ministry, and outreach? Jeff Hook is the founder and CEO of Communitas Technologies, a new congregant-centered church software platform. Jeff and Chris talk about trends in tech adoption in churches, what digital transformation means, and how technology offers new opportunities for churches to serve and support their members and communities. Join us in conversation about this topic at the TheoTech Forums! If you would like to personally support this podcast, you can sign up at Patreon. Thank you to all of our current Patreons, who make this show possible.
43:60
April 18, 2021
EdTech Lessons on Technology Adoption in the Church
Recently churches around the world have been forced to make sweeping changes to their services and ministries, many operating exclusively online for months. Some of these changes have been fruitful. But as most of us have seen, the innovation of sacred space is a delicate process. How can churches move forward with new technology without resistance or, worse, leaving people behind? Jessica Pilsner is an Education Technology Coordinator at St. Thomas School, and currently studying for a graduate degree with the University of Washington Human Centered Design and Engineering program. In this episode, she and Chris talk about the lessons Educational Technology has for tech adoption in the church. They also discuss a virtual Hackathon event coming up this month called Code for the Kingdom, and how God how God has been at work in Jessica’s career, creating a path she couldn’t have anticipated. Join the discussion on this episode (and others!) at the TheoTech Forum. And to support future podcasts like this one, on the intersection of faith and technology, please visit our Patreon.
30:45
March 12, 2021
First Fruits: Tech Professionals Serving God
How can professionals use their valuable experience and skills to serve God? Silicon Valley Web Developer Matt Chan was driven by this question. Matt is the Co-Founder of Basil Tech, a company where Christian tech professionals can work with non-profit companies and ministries to build sustainable tech solutions. Their San Francisco based team has been working on "projects for the kingdom" around the world for about 5 years now. In this episode Matt talks with Chris about how God led him to this calling, and his insights on building a space where faith and technology based cultures overlap.  To learn more about Matt and his company, visit Basil Tech. You can support Theotech's future episodes on the intersection of faith and technology at Patreon. 
33:28
February 26, 2021
On The Frontier: AI & Missions
James Adams is an AI professional with 12 years experience in foreign missions. In this episode he and Chris discuss ways cutting edge AI technology could be applied to support missions to unreached populations. AI recommendations, AI generated media, and even chatbots could all be used to spread the gospel. If you’re interested in developing tech tools that make a difference for communities and churches, registration is now open for Code For The Kingdom, a virtual 24 hour hackathon on March 20th. The event is free and open to developers, creatives, church workers, and anyone interested. And as mentioned in the episode, you can get reminders to pray for the people in your life with the Ceaseless app, available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. And for free, quality small group discipleship training, be sure to check out Zúme. Thank you to our Patreon supporters, who make this show possible. If you would like to become a patron please visit us at the Patreon website.
39:55
February 8, 2021
Digital Transformation and the Global Church
Are the Christians you know “quick to listen”? They could be, if they followed the Quick to Listen podcast, hosted by Christianity Today’s Global Media Manager Morgan Lee. As the host and producer, Morgan strives to “go beyond the hashtags and hottakes”, unpacking current events with insightful and invested guests. Morgan and Chris also discuss their co-operation in Christianity Today’s Global Initiative, which this year has completed 350 translations into more than 12 languages. Together they’ve been working to improve AI-assisted translation. And of course, Chris and Morgan address the current event of the year, COVID. They explore how the pandemic has forced the church to innovate, finding new ways to come together, fellowship, and serve one another digitally across the world. If you’re interested in working with Christianity Today, they are currently looking for new members to join their Translation Team. Free curriculum on the Church Digital Transformation is available, also check out SPF.IO, a platform for community sourced translation and accessibility. If you would like to personally support this podcast, you can sign up at Patreon. Thank you to all of our current Patreons, who make this show possible.
39:15
January 19, 2021
Charitable Conversations: Bringing Together Faith, Science, and Academia
Academic life is busy; students, postgrads, and faculty rarely find time to dig into “the big questions” of their work. Dr. Hannah Eagleson is Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, an InterVarsity ministry supporting Christians with an academic vocation. And she believes that people of faith have an invaluable role in academia: making space to pursue these big questions. Chris and Hannah discuss her work in this area, from co-hosting a 500 person digital dinner party on the subject of science and religion, to publishing a book “Science and Faith: Student Questions Explored”. She shares her insights on how “charitable conversation” and “the gift of listening” can help people with seemingly disparate beliefs come together to find common ground and shared truths. To learn more about how the Emerging Scholars Network is encouraging and equipping undergrads, postgrads, postdocs, and faculty you can check out their Website. If you’re interested in the work Dr. Eagleson is doing, you can sign up to attend the Virtual Event she's hosting on December 16th, a relaxed and interactive evening reflecting on God’s work in student ministry at Cornell. And if you would like to support the TheoTech podcast, please visit our Patreon site to become a regular giver.
33:37
December 12, 2020
Management and Trust Building in Software Development
Ask a Software Developer about the hardest part of their job, and you may be surprised by their answer. It probably won’t be “de-bugging” or “deadlines”, you're more likely to hear about “communication” or “people”. In this podcast we speak with Todd White, a Development Manager at Faithlife. Faithlife is an established tech company with over 30 years experience in making Bible software and mobile apps. Todd shares with us the management strategies Faithlife uses to balance autonomy and teamwork, and cultivate a trust-based corporate culture. If you're interested in working for a company that uses technology to help the church grow in light of the Bible, go to their career page to see their current openings. To support Theotech and our discussions on the intersection of faith, technology, and entrepreneurship you can sign up as a regular giver on Patreon.
27:23
December 3, 2020
Fostering Language Diversity in the Church
“The opportunity to glorify God through language diversity is limitless, and as many pastors would testify, it brings tremendous joy to the life of their congregation. Climbing this multi-lingual hill is not easy...but the view will only get better and better because what we are delivering is a foretaste of heaven as described in Revelations 7:9 : A great multitude that no-one could count from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne, before the Lamb.”  “While we may not be able to achieve what heaven will be like, with people from 6,000 tongues worshiping together, we are one step closer each time we add a language translation to our worship service…”  This special podcast episode features content from a speech delivered early this year Kim-Fu Lim, TheoTech’s VP of business development. In this episode Kim-Fu shares scripture on God’s heart for language diversity, and how technology can make a difference. If you’d like to support the work TheoTech does in technology entrepreneurship for the gospel you can sign up as a regular giver on Patreon.  
23:17
November 19, 2020
Connecting the Church in the Digital Age
What does it take to build applications that support ministry? In this episode Chris talks with faith driven tech founders Taylor Doe and Matt Lombardi. Taylor is the Co-Founder of Notebird, a relationship management software that helps organizations invest in their employees. Matt is the founder of Shaar, an online marketplace designed to help churches source freelance ministry talent. They discuss the launch and direction of their respective companies, and the needs of the modern church facing COVID. As Sir Winston Churchill famously said “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.  Chris, Matt, and Taylor talk about how the church can use technology to navigate the crisis, and become more personal and connected. To support Theotech and our discussions on the intersection of faith, technology, and entrepreneurship you can sign up as a regular giver at Patreon.
33:34
October 9, 2020
#mindblown: Communicating for Insight
Digital Media Manager and Photographer Allen Wong talks with Chris about...talking. Chris and Allen share their thoughts on how to do the mental work that allows for big-picture thinking, collaborative communication, and mind-blowing A-Ha moments. Through back in forth discourse they build a word-picture of communication as jazz music, and Chris shares a musical metaphor of his own. If you liked what you heard on this episode, consider supporting TheoTech with a monthly gift on patreon. Your support is vital to TheoTech, we couldn't do it without you!
28:28
September 19, 2020
AI: What does faith have to do with it?
In this special episode Chris talks with guests David Brenner and Gretchen Huizinga, two founding members of AI and Faith. They explain what AI is, how it’s being used, why people of faith should care, and what a faith perspective can add to the AI ethics discussion. AI and Faith describes itself as a cross-spectrum consortium of faith communities and academic institutions. The AI and Faith organization strives to serve “as a channel for faith-based perspectives to help shape the development of AI in ways that are deeply ethical and life-affirming.” David Brenner worked as an attorney for 25 years, practicing law with a focus in technology and risk management. Having left private practice, he now serves as a founder of AI and Faith. He is also director of SCOPE, a partnership of the University of Washington Global Health Dept., Gondar University in Ethiopia, and the Diocese of Gondar of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which trains village priests as health advocates for mothers and infants and studies the efficacy of this approach. Gretchen Huizinga is the former Executive Producer and Host of the Microsoft Research Podcast and the founder of the Center for Digital Wisdom, a nascent consortium of cultural guardians dedicated to the qualitative search for wisdom in a quantitative world. She is currently completing a PhD exploring voices of faith in the responsible AI conversation. She is also a founding member and Executive Director of AI and Faith. If you want to be a part of making the TheoTech podcast happen, check out our Patreon. To support AI and Faith, visit their website directly to make a tax deductible donation. 
30:49
August 27, 2020
Hacking Together an Open Source Vocation
“What is God actually calling us to do with our lives? How can we use our gifts for His Kingdom?”  Henry Zhu has worked hard to try and answer these questions for himself. From his start as an Industrial Engineering graduate, through his first programming job with Adobe, to his current work as Core Maintainer for Babel (an Open Source Java Script Compiler). He has repeatedly chosen the path-less-taken. In this podcast we discuss his career, and how to take risks in faith.  How can we as Christian technologists integrate our faith and work? How can we build an inclusive culture that challenges and empowers others to do the same? If you want to be a part of making the TheoTech podcast happen, check out our account on Patreon. To support Henry's work you can sponsor him at GitHub or Patreon, and you can hear more of what he has to say on his podcast, Hope In Source. To learn more about Babel check out their site, and consider supporting the project directly on Open Collective.
26:44
July 30, 2020
Supporting Transformation: The Role of Church Government In a Pandemic
Today we're discussing church government and COVID-19 with our guest Eliana Maxim, Seattle Presbytery Co-Executive Presbyter. Eliana shares how Seattle area churches are ministering to their congregations and communities through the pandemic. Churches have been facing new technical problems, like how to have communion during a virtual service. And the solutions aren’t coming from denominations or church governments, but individual church leaders. So the Seattle Presbytery is stepping back to “let the church be the church”, and stepping up to having tough theological conversations that build a framework to support innovation. This new mission-oriented movement could take us in a new direction, away from institutionalism and toward becoming an agile church, able to move "where the Spirit blows". If you want to keep up with the work Eliana and the Seattle Presbytery are doing, you can follow them on Twitter @seapres. And if you love this podcast, please check out our page on Patreon.
28:22
July 9, 2020
Race, identity and the courage to follow God's call
John Johnson is the principal of a branding and design agency called “a small studio”. In this episode we discuss the uniqueness of each person’s story and how that motivates us to continually use our gifts for God’s purposes. As a black business owner, John decided to pause agency work in response to the national pain flowing from the death of George Floyd. His team is now dedicated to bringing peace to people’s lives through giveadose.co, a safe online space for people to learn from other perspectives and reflect on their own racial experiences. Listen in to hear Chris and John get vulnerable about their own sense of identity and calling and how a posture of continually seeking God’s will is the only way forward. Become a Patron at http://patreon.com/theotech Check out John's company "a small studio" and platform "giveadose.co"
36:14
June 23, 2020
3-D Printing PPE & the Rise of the Makers
How are small businesses responding to covid-19? In this episode, we interview Billy Davis, owner of the FabLab, a maker space providing 3D printing services and classes. When covid-19 hit, the FabLab pivoted by creating nearly 4,000 face shields and 600 face masks for medical workers. These 3-d printed masks enable N95 masks to be reused 6 times. We discuss the maker mindset and what churches can learn from maker space culture.   Listen in to hear the story of Billy's entrepreneurial journey and how faith and technology can make a difference in times like these.  Thank you to our patrons for making this episode possible! Support making face masks and face shields: https://gofundme.com/f/masks-and-ppe-for-medical-workers-tacoma The FabLab: https://fablabtacoma.com/ TheoTech Patreon: www.patreon.com/theotech
31:37
May 26, 2020
The Post-Pandemic Future of the Church
What might church look like when quarantine is over? In today's episode, DJ Chuang, strategy consultant for .BIBLE Domain Name Registry, maps out a few predictions of what the future of church could look like post-pandemic. He and Chris also discuss some examples of effective online communities, new formats for connection, and the impact of COVID-19 on Asian-Americans and mental health. Thank you to our patrons for making this episode possible! DJ Chuang's Twitter: https://twitter.com/djchuang DJ's book Multiasian.Church: https://multiasian.church/ DJ's Podcast, Erasing Shame: https://erasingshame.com/ Pittsburgh Virtual Choir: https://www.post-gazette.com/news/faith-religion/2020/04/10/Churches-form-virtual-choir-for-Easter-anthem-coronavirus-covid-19/stories/202004100118 TheoTech Patreon: www.patreon.com/theotech
35:13
April 28, 2020
COVID-19 and Higher Education
How has COVID-19 impacted higher education? What's the most effective way to do remote/virtual learning? Michael Paulus, a professor of information studies at Seattle Pacific University shares his perspective on-the ground, drawing from a historical, pedagogical and theological lens. Listen in to hear how our learnings from higher education help us discern the future of Church. Thank you to our patrons for making this episode possible! Michael Paulus' Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjpaulusjr Michael Paulus Blog: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/digitalwisdom/ TheoTech Patreon: www.patreon.com/theotech
40:09
April 7, 2020
COVID-19: What Can You Do?
As cities, states, and countries are going into lockdown in response to coronavirus, many of us feel anxious to do something. What can we do? In this bonus episode, Chris interviews Tiffany Borbón, an MD PhD student (and a TheoTech Patron :-)). Tiffany explains why quarantine is important and shares a few practical things we can do to help in the fight against COVID-19. COVID-19 Prayer Topics: Follow @ceaselessprayer on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook to get the topics. Church Bleeds Love: https://www.facebook.com/thechurchbleedslove/ TheoTech Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theotech
31:37
March 23, 2020
Growing through Building Tech for Scripture Memory
Meet Calvin Freitas, a senior frontend engineer and creator of a scripture memory app called Verses for Life. Hear his story of how he’s grown as a software developer through his work and side projects like Verses for Life. Learn about what inspired him to build the app and how he hopes it helps fellow believers to engage with the Bible. Chris and Calvin also chat about how side projects can level up your coding skills, the Bible licensing hurdles when it comes to building Christian apps, entrepreneurship challenges, and goals in the new year. Thank you to our patrons for making this episode possible! Get Verses for Life: https://verses.life/ Connect with Calvin: http://calvinf.com/ Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theotech Visit our site: https://theotech.org
39:03
March 9, 2020
When Bias in AI is Necessary
How do you teach AI so it performs better than random chance? What does "bias in AI" mean and can AI really be "bias-free"? George Montañez is a computer science professor at Harvey Mudd College researching these questions. Listen as he and Chris discuss his talk at the COSM Technology conference and the surprising connections between the latest AI research and age-old philosophical questions. Hear as George also shares about his journey of faith in academia and why he explicitly states, "I love Jesus" in his profile. Thank you to our patrons for making this episode possible! Connect with George Montañez: https://www.cs.hmc.edu/~montanez/ Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theotech Visit our site: https://theotech.org
32:27
February 26, 2020
Data in the Fight Against Human Trafficking
Melissa Birchfield is an undergraduate student who wanted to find the connection where her Computer Science major could drive real impact for the Kingdom of God. This desire led her to write the book Data for Dignity, which explores the ways non-profits are leveraging technology to combat human trafficking. Listen in as she shares eye-opening stories from the frontlines of the fight against human trafficking and how her faith informed her journey toward publishing this book. Also, hear about how she hopes to inspire the next generation to use their skills for a greater purpose. Thank you to our patrons for making this episode possible! Get the book, Data for Dignity (affiliate link) Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theotech Visit our site: https://theotech.org
28:08
February 12, 2020
Why theology of technology?
Kick off 2020 with Chris Lim and Natasha Lim as they get back to basics and discuss what theology of technology is, why it's important in the life of a believer, and examples of how it makes a difference. Hear the vision for the podcast this year and how you can be a part of shaping the conversation. If you're new the podcast or aren't sure what theology of technology really means, this is the episode for you. Thank you to our patrons for making this episode possible! Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theotech Visit our site: https://theotech.org
33:32
January 29, 2020
Social Media and Serving God
How is social media changing how we communicate, and how can it help shape our faith? Erin Dienst is the Global Social Media Community Manager at Cru. Her passion for digital communication inspired her to join others to use it for God’s work. Listen in as Erin and Chris discuss how various aspects of social media, from aesthetics, the originality of your posts, to the demographics of your online audience, contribute to how we portray ourselves and our faith online. Connect with Erin Dienst on Instagram @edienst
31:29
November 16, 2019
God’s Calling from Unemployment to Entrepreneurship
How are entrepreneurs pursuing faith making a difference? Phil Kono was jobless before starting his company, Maranatha Technologies. An impression to follow his faith and God’s direction in his job search led him to become an entrepreneur. In this new episode Chris and Phil discuss faith integration in entrepreneurship, and how tech is offering solutions to spread the gospel throughout the world. Phil shares his business ownership journey and how his faith helped him navigate challenges and risks associated with it. Connect with Phil Kono: philk@maranatec.com Link to things mentioned in this episode: Scatter by Andrew Scott (affiliate link) TheoTech Podcast Patreon
39:21
October 14, 2019
Polity & Tech: The Glue that Keeps Churches Connected
How does a presbytery connect local churches and why is it important? At 13 years old, Rev. Neema Cyrus Franklin was already serving as a ruling elder in her Presbyterian church. This opportunity led her to her current calling as the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Pacific. In this episode, Neema shares how her childhood experience equipped her to embrace diversity in the church. Listen in as Neema shares with Chris the challenges that a presbytery faces as they develop connectedness with congregations and clergy people while using technology platforms like spf.io. Connect with us: TheoTech Podcast Patreon Links to things mentioned in this episode: spf.io, an event translation and accessibility software.
27:41
September 25, 2019
Introversion, Fear, and Competition in an Extroverted World
Can an introvert be a public speaker? Referring to Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (affiliate link), Natasha and Chris (Theotech co-founders) discuss what introversion has looked like in their own personal experiences and its impact on dealing with fear and competition. Join them as they explore introversion and the theology of competition in today’s technology  infused world. Connect with us: TheoTech Podcast Patreon
39:58
August 19, 2019
A Second Reformation?
Technology has created the opportunity to communicate more broadly, while people are beginning to discover that vocation means serving God in all of life. Every person in every sphere of society can live out their calling from God. What would it look like around the world as people catch what it is to serve God in all areas of our lives? What would it mean for our churches to experience a Second Reformation? Read the talk manuscript: https://meritandgrace.com/a-second-reformation/ Tweet Chris: https://twitter.com/meritandgrace Learn about Kiros: www.kiros.org Support TheoTech’s work towards a Second Reformation: https://www.patreon.com/theotech Listen to the talk on YouTube and subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2txYFRFU9E
30:45
May 26, 2019
From picking coffee to picking minds: The Grace of Education
Kimani picked coffee beans for $2 a day since he was four. Most adults and children in his village lacked the funds necessary for secondary school. Thanks to the Hilde Back Education Fund, Kimani not only attended secondary school but was featured in an HBO documentary, A Small Act, which led a US Benefactor to sponsor his college education at Northwest University in Communications. Hear firsthand the challenges of living on $2 a day and how learning to trust God in all things from his mother profoundly shaped him. Listen in as Kimani shares his entrepreneurial dreams for Kenya by increasing technology access.
32:18
May 23, 2019
Bridging the Cultural Divide through Christ
How do we form healthy, Christ-centered communities with people from vastly different cultures? And how does the gospel bring us together when our languages and cultural norms tend to separate us? We discuss these questions and more in this episode with Todd Blackhurst, pastor of Taichung International Fellowship.
44:42
April 18, 2019
Don’t Code in Vain, Code for the Kingdom
Have you ever felt like your work was in vain? Or wondered how to grow in your faith and work? In this episode with Eric Gan, a software engineer at Microsoft, we discuss what it means to work for the kingdom of God, and the promise Christians can cling to in the bleakest times.
25:04
April 7, 2019
How the Gospel Unleashes Entrepreneurship
How does the gospel unleashes entrepreneurship? How is pursuing profit different than the love of money? How does cultural context affect economic policy? All these questions and more are discussed in this episode of the TheoTech Podcast.
39:44
March 26, 2019
The Biblical Basis for Diversity and Reconciliation
In this interview with Pastor Samuel Son we discuss the biblical basis for diversity and reconciliation. Touring through Acts, Galatians, Romans and Ephesians we discovered some often (intentionally?) overlooked, but powerful truths along the way.We also talk about the role technology plays in bridging the barriers of language and culture that have long divided the church. Listen in to hear the reason behind common barriers churches face when it comes to diversity and reconciliation as well as one simple phrase that opens doors for transformation.
40:27
March 14, 2019