The Two Cities
The Two Cities is a podcast dedicated to Theology, Culture, and Discipleship. Originally beginning as a blog back in 2011 (thetwocities.com), we have extended our eclectic array of theological integration to the world of podcasting. Co-hosts and contributors include: Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Dr. Grace Emmett, Jennifer Guo, Brandon Hurlbert, Stephanie Kate Judd, Grace Sangalang Ng, Dr. Chris Porter, Rev. Daniel Parham, Dr. Kris Song, and Dr. Logan Williams.
Episode #96 - Power Women, Motherhood, and the Academy with Dr. Stephanie Chan & Dr. Christina Lee Kim
In this episode we talk about what it is like to be a mother, an academic, and a Christian all at the same time. Joining us for this conversation are Dr. Stephanie Chan and Dr. Christina Lee Kim, both of whom contributed to the recent volume, Power Women: Stories of Motherhood, Faith, and the Academy (recently published by IVP). Dr. Chan is Associate Professor of Sociology at Biola University and Dr. Kim is Associate Professor of Psychology at Biola University. Over the course of our conversation, Dr. Chan and Dr. Kim talk about the challenges and the joys of being mothers, academics, and Christians, and delve into many relevant issues at the nexus where these three spheres overlap. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Amber Bowen and Grace Sangalang Ng.
November 24, 2021
Episode #95 - Doubt & Deconstruction with Dr. A. J. Swoboda
In this episode we discuss doubt and deconstructing faith with Dr. A. J. Swoboda, who is Assistant Professor of Bible, Theology, and World Christianity at Bushnell University (Eugene, Oregon), and the author of After Doubt: How to Question Your Faith without Losing It (published by Brazos). Over the course of our conversation we talk about what doubt and deconstruction are, and what healthy and unhealthy versions of each can look like. Dr. Swoboda understands doubt as something precipitated by what happens to us, whereas deconstruction is an active undertaking. Along the way we talk about the role of professors and pastors in the work of disorientation and reorientation, and how faith leaders need to begin by displaying to others how they themselves wrestle with the difficult questions of the faith. Dr. Swoboda tells us about how all of his personal heroes of the faith, including C.S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, and Henri Nouwen, etc., all had serious challenges in their life of faith. Swoboda describes his own doubts as sacred thorns that he gets to share with his students who also wrestle with tough issues.We need to practice the ministry of the ear, as Dr. Swoboda says, and we need to give “spiritual consent” before we respond to someone’s doubts and deconstruction, asking someone confiding to us how they’re inviting us to respond. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Amber Bowen and Dr. John Anthony Dunne.
November 17, 2021
Episode #94 - Squid Game Review
In this episode we discuss our appreciation of, and enduring fascination with, Netflix's breakout South Korean horror-drama, Squid Game. Over the course of our wide-ranging conversation we discuss the show's critique of capitalism and connect that critique to the historical and theological insights of Albert Hirschman and Kathryn Tanner. We also delve further into the ways that the show portrays how the economic game leverages gender disparities and corrupts religious adherence. And we conclude with a discussion about a fan theory regarding the father of Gi-Hun (aka player 456). Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Sangalang Ng, Dr. Kris Song, and Dr. Logan Williams.
November 10, 2021
Episode #93 - Dune Movie Review with Matthew William Brake
In this episode we review the new Dune film by Denis Villeneuve with Matthew William Brake, the series editor for the Theology and Pop Culture series published by Fortress and Lexington Press. Over the course of our conversation we talk about our appreciation of the film, how it did as an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, and how it compares to David Lynch’s much-maligned film version from 1984. Key themes that we dig into include: cultural representation and a lack of other-worldliness in the new film, the relationship of individuals to the larger group, Messiah tropes, prophecy, and “future memories,” and what other films might secretly be set within the Dune universe. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Brandon Hurlbert, Dr. Chris Porter, and Dr. Kris Song.
November 3, 2021
Episode #92 - Frankenstein with Dr. Karen Swallow Prior
In this episode we talk about Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein with Dr. Karen Swallow Prior, who is Research Professor of English and Christianity and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books (published by Brazos), and the editor of a series published by B&H called A Guide To Reading and Reflecting, which includes classics like Frankenstein. Over the course of our conversation we discuss the structure of the novel as well as key themes that the story brings out of relationality, and a desire to belong, and how those themes sync up so well with humanity’s deepest theological questions. We also talk about contemporary ambition and technological aspirations, such as transhumanist pursuits, and what Mary Shelley’s novel has to say to them. In the end we turn to the adaptations of the novel and even the broader reception of the Frankenstein story in popular culture. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, and Dr. John Anthony Dunne.
October 27, 2021
Episode #91 - Why Christians Should Watch Horror Movies with Dr. Murray Stiller
In this episode we discuss horror films with Dr. Murray Stiller, who is Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Redeemer University (Hamilton, Ontario). Over the course of our conversation we talk about why horror movies are so popular and why it’s important to be having a discussion like this. We address the tropes and themes that are germane to the genre of horror in its many iterations across literature, film, and art, and it the way the genre has evolved over the years to reflect the greatest fears of the day. We also address where horror films in particular go too far, and why Christians should consider watching these kinds of films. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Dr. Chris Porter.
October 20, 2021
Episode #90 - The Ministry of Women in the New Testament with Revd Canon Professor Dorothy Lee
On this episode we discuss the ministry of women in the New Testament with Revd Canon Professor Dorothy Lee, who is Stewart Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity College, Melbourne, an ordained priest in the Anglican church, and the author of The Ministry of Women in the New Testament: Reclaiming the Biblical Vision for Church Leadership (published by Baker). In our conversation, Prof. Lee tells us about the shape and scope of the book, which is to provide a somewhat canonical overview of all of the relevant material in the NT about the ministry of women. Specifically, we talk about the various ministry activities of women, as well as some of the crucial passages that are often used to deny that women can participate fully in ministry. Along the way we talk about contemporary ordination of women, how Prof. Lee distinguishes her work from a kind of Sachkritik or a social justice endeavor, and we also note fondly our respective connections to the Free Church of Scotland. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities: Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Dr. Chris Porter.
October 13, 2021
Episode #89 - What Jesus Learned From Women with Dr. James F. McGrath
In this episode we’re talking about What Jesus Learned From Women with Dr. James F. McGrath, who is Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, the host of a podcast called ReligionProf, and the author of the book that we’re discussing here, What Jesus Learned From Women (published by Cascade). Dr. McGrath’s thesis is that there are many women in the Gospels who teach Jesus various things. Acknowledging that this is a controversial claim (depending on one’s Christology), Dr. McGrath begins by noting that Jesus obviously learned from Mary, his mother, and that there are other scenes that scholars have pointed to, such as the interaction with the Syrophoenician Woman, as discrete examples of Jesus learning from women. McGrath’s book seeks to build upon those examples and draw together all possible instances of Jesus learning from women presented to us in the Gospels. In our conversation we discuss Mary Magdalene, Jesus' grandmother, the woman caught in adultery, and the woman at the well in particular. When set in modern conversations about gender, Dr. McGrath concludes from this analysis that if Jesus was a feminist at all, he was not a twenty-first century feminist, but rather a first-century Jewish feminist. Thus, Jesus shouldn’t be read as being outside of a patriarchal Jewish perspective. Rather, his views on women arise out of that Jewish context and influence. Team members on episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Dr. Chris Porter.
October 6, 2021
Episode #88 - Apologetics Training & Education with Stephanie Kate Judd, Lauren Ruef, and Clare Williams
As our final episode in our Apologetics series, we conclude by discussing apologetics pedagogy, education, and training with three recent graduates of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, which was formerly associated with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries as its training arm. Joining us to talk about the experience of studying there and their ongoing relationship with apologetics in the aftermath of what was revealed about Ravi Zacharias are: Stephanie Kate Judd, who is a lawyer and researcher funded by Anglican Deaconess Ministries in disability and human dignity based in Australia; Lauren Ruef, who is a freelance writer and editor based in the States; and Clare Williams, who is the founder of Get Real, which is an apologetics ministry based in the UK. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Dr. Chris Porter.
September 29, 2021
Episode #87 - Urban Apologetics & Whitewashing Christianity with Pastor Jerome Gay, Jr.
As the penultimate episode in our Apologetics series, we discuss the need for Urban Apologists in particular to address how Christianity has been whitewashed. For this conversation, we are joined by Pastor Jerome Gay, Jr., who is the founder and pastor of Vision Church in Raleigh, NC, the author of The Whitewashing of Christianity: A Hidden Past, A Hurtful Present, and A Hopeful Future, and one of the contributors to the recent volume on Urban Apologetics (published by Zondervan). As Pastor Jerome explains, whitewashing is the way that Christianity is inaccurately portrayed as being a White religion from the very beginning, including the way that prominent African figures in the early church, including figures like Athanasius and Augustine, are regularly represented as white in Christian art. This is an important issue for many reasons, esp. since it is a hurdle to extending the gospel to black communities. Beyond matters of imagery, Pastor Jerome also speaks to the need to live out the gospel and empathetically enter into the experience of others when doing Urban Apologetics. Team Members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Sangalang Ng, and Rev. Daniel Parham.
September 22, 2021
Episode #86 - Apologetics & the Problem of Christian History with Dr. John Dickson
On this episode we continue our apologetics conversation by specifically talking about the problems throughout Christian history with Dr. John Dickson, who is the Distinguished Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Public Christianity at Ridley College, Melbourne, and the author of a number of books, including most recently, Bullies and Saints: An Honest Look at the Good and Evil of Christian History (Zondervan), as well as the host of a podcast called Undeceptions. Apologetics for John is primarily about making Christ known, and thus he prefers to speak of public Christianity rather than “apologetics.” Given John’s recent book, and his expertise as a historian, we primarily discuss the horrors associated with the Crusades and how Christians should think about this terrible part of the history of their faith. For John, the greatest apologetic is the local church, both because no individual can really make the full case and also because when the church rightly sings the tune of Christ, unlike what we see with the Crusades, that will be the most compelling presentation of the Gospel as true and beautiful. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Dr. Chris Porter.
September 15, 2021
Episode #85 - Humble Apologetics with Dr. John G. Stackhouse, Jr.
Carrying on our conversation on Apologetics, we are joined by Dr. John G. Stackhouse, Jr., who is Samuel J. Mikolaski Professor of Religious Studies at Crandall University in New Brunswick (Canada), and the author of a couple important studies on apologetics, such as, Humble Apologetics: Defending the Faith Today (Oxford University Press) and, more recently, Can I Believe? Christianity for the Hesitant (Oxford University Press). In our conversation Dr. Stackhouse points out how what’s happening in apologetics mirrors what’s happening all around the world with the rise of populism—appealing directly to the masses. Over the course of our conversation we talk about the ethics of platforming and the kinds of motivating impulses that drive the industry, including certain fundamentalist impulses and the nature of Hell. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, and Dr. John Anthony Dunne.
September 8, 2021
Episode #84 - Black Apologetics with Lisa Fields
In this episode of our Apologetics series, we’re joined by Lisa Fields, the founder of the Jude 3 Project, whose mission is “to help the Christian community know what they believe and why they believe it. Distinctive in its strong emphasis in equipping those of African descent in the United States and abroad.” In our conversation, Lisa tells us a little bit of her journey, how she first got into apologetics, and why she decided to start the Jude 3 Project. As Lisa explains, part of the reason is to address the unique apologetic concerns of Black Community. Questions like whether God exists is always an important apologetic discussion, but most Black people in America do believe in God and so more germane topic need to be explored, such as whether Christianity is just “a white man’s religion.” Lisa explain that Jude 3 is also partly an attempt to ensure that Black voices are represented on all the common apologetics concerns and issues. As the conversation progresses we touch on some additional insights that Black Apologetics provides for the broader apologetic enterprise, such as unique insights on the Problem of Evil, drawing upon a history of suffering re: slavery, racism, and systemic oppression. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Amber Bowen, Rev. Daniel Parham, Dr. Chris Porter, and Dr. John Anthony Dunne.
September 1, 2021
Episode #83 - Resurrection & Rationality with Dr. James T. Turner
Carrying on our broader conversation on Apologetics, we are joined by an analytic theologian, Dr. James T. Turner, who is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Anderson University and the author of On the Resurrection of the Dead: A New Metaphysics of Afterlife for Christian Thought(published by Routledge). In this conversation we touch on the nature of apologetics as an enterprise designed to demonstrate that Christianity is not fundamentally irrational. As Dr. Turner contends, this is all apologetics really ought to be, and he goes further to explain that the idea of removing intellectual objections to the faith won’t actually lead people to bow the knee to King Jesus. Another branch of our conversation then delves into the subject matter of Dr. Turner’s book, which is the resurrection and the nature of the afterlife. Dr. Turner is a hylomorphist, which is the view that everything is comprised of matter and form. The soul, then, is the form of all living organisms (humans, plants, trees, dogs). The form thus can’t float free from the matter, and cannot be separated from it. This has huge implications for popular apologetics that point to near death experiences as an argument for God (usually implicitly given in the form of a narrative, such as books like Heaven Is For Real). Dr. Turner explains that he holds this view because he believes that the Bible places all of its hope on the bodily resurrection of human beings, as well as the physical restoration of creation, not on immaterial souls going off to Heaven after the body dies. Team members from The Two Cities on the episode include: Dr. Amber Bowen and Dr. John Anthony Dunne.
August 25, 2021
Episode #82 - Reimagining Apologetics with Dr. Justin Bailey
Continuing our apologetics series, we are joined by Dr. Justin Bailey, who is Assistant Professor of Theology at Dordt University and the author of Reimagining Apologetics: The Beauty of Faith in a Secular Age(IVP Academic). In our conversation, Dr. Bailey offers his constructive proposal for what apologetics could look like that gets beyond a mere focus on the intellect. Further, he wants to distance his approach to apologetics from what he calls “capital A apologetics,” or magisterial apologetics, which promotes a “sage of the stage” who offers a kind of top-down approach full of defeater arguments. Dr. Bailey is clear that his proposal is not an attempt to get rid of the classical arguments for God’s existence, but rather he wants to open up the realm of what fits into the apologetic enterprise. This expanse needs to include the role of the imagination, which is not infantile or make believe, but rather is oriented towards reality, and specifically what possibilities stand before us, thus helping people see what possibilities are available in the life of faith to those who stand outside of it. And the other key expansive bit is the role of empathy, our ability to entertain the perspectives of others and to recognize what a person needs in that moment of encounter, which might not be a defeater argument. Team members of the episode from The Two Cities includes: Dr. Amber Bowen and Dr. John Anthony Dunne.
August 18, 2021
Episode #81 - Evidence & Disagreement with Dr. Greta Turnbull
On this episode in our apologetics series we address matters of evidence. What counts as “evidence,” and how do we interpret it? Moreover, what do we do when people interpret the evidence differently, or don’t find it to be relevant to the claim being made? Specifically, how should we understand religious disagreement? How should we understand religious experience? Does that count as evidence of God’s existence, God’s goodness, etc? Joining us to address these types of questions is Dr. Greta Turnbull, who is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Gonzaga University. Dr. Turnbull is an expert on evidence and disagreement, and helps us realize that evidence is messy. She calls our attention to the differences between logical apologetic questions and more existential/pastoral questions, and she points out how sometimes apologetics sticks too rigidly to logical matters when pastoral/existential issues are more pressing for people. In that light, we discuss how apologetics thus needs to expand and adapt to what is most salient for a given person, esp. since its ostensible aim is to bring people into faith, which is an inherently personal aim. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Dr. Grace Emmett.
August 11, 2021
Episode #80 - Does Apologetics Help Us Read The New Testament? With Ian Mills
In this installment of our apologetics series we ask the corresponding question to last week’s episode, Does Apologetics Help Us Read the New Testament? For this conversation we are joined by Ian Mills, who is a PhD Candidate in New Testament at Duke University and co-host with Laura Robinson of the New Testament Review podcast. Ian contends that the modern apologetics enterprise both hinders our ability to read the New Testament and makes us worse people. Over the course of our conversation we talk about both of those aspects of Ian’s indictment on the modern apologetics, looking at specific culprits and also specific examples where our reading of New Testament will be negatively impacted. Team members from The Two Cities on the episode include: Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Rev. Daniel Parham, Dr. Chris Porter, and Dr. Logan Williams.
August 4, 2021
Episode #79 - Does Apologetics Help Us Read The Old Testament? With Dr. Brent Strawn
Continuing our conversation on Apologetics we want to take the next two episodes to ask whether apologetics helps us read Scripture. This week we want to ask that question in relation to the Old Testament specifically. We are joined by Dr. Brent Strawn, Professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School and Professor of Law at Duke University. He is the author of The Old Testament Is Dying: A Diagnosis and Recommended Treatment (Baker), and more recently, Lies My Preacher Told Me: An Honest Look at The Old Testament (Westminster John Knox). In our wide-ranging conversation, we talk about a number of issues pertaining to the use of the Old Testament in apologetic discussions. We pose several questions to Dr. Strawn, such as, why is it that apologetics makes it hard for us to read our Bibles, why we are perhaps less open to critical scholarship on the Old Testament than the New Testament, and what we should make of apparent contradictions if we aren’t going to feed the apologetic impulse to “tame” or “fix” the problem? Dr. Strawn contends that we need to see the big picture and put everything into perspective relative to central claims of our faith. He suggests that his approach is more compatible with a classic apologetic that is not mired in modernism and modernist constraints about what counts as facticity, historicity, etc. In the end, Dr. Strawn helpfully calls us to read with the grain of the text and to consider Augustine’s position that good interpretation ought to brings us into greater love of God and love of neighbor. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Brandon Hurlbert.
July 28, 2021
Episode #78 - The End of Apologetics with Dr. Myron Bradley Penner
Kicking off our brand-new series on apologetics we begin with the end! Our first guest is Dr. Myron Bradley Penner, the author of The End of Apologetics: Christian Witness in a Postmodern Context (published by Baker), and the Rector at the Anglican Parish of Saint Paul in the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton, Alberta. Dr. Penner helpfully kick starts this series by asking what the goals of apologetics ought to be? He draws attention to many problems with the modern apologetic enterprise with their goals essentially being to win epistemic standoffs and show a force of rational domination. He highlights that many of the key figures in Christian apologetics are engaged in a project that is ironically secular, drawing as it does upon a modernist frame in order to attempt to win a battle against modernity. In our conversation, we discuss the problems that occur with reducing Christianity to propositions, as is so often done in this mode of apologetics. In our postmodern age, we are rightly skeptical of claims to “objective,” “universal,” and “neutral” knowledge, and so such an apologetic approach is also out of touch in addition to being so often less-than-Christian. Many of the questions that people are asking nowadays are also not the same ones in which classical apologetics first began. For all of these reasons, modern apologetics needs to die; and raised in its place must be something more personal, holistic, relational, and communal. Team members of the episode from The Two Cities includes: Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, and Dr. John Anthony Dunne.
July 21, 2021
Episode #77 - Around the Table: Reflections on Cultural Identity
On this episode we reflect back on our Cultural Identity series and the things that stood out to us the most. We use the analogy of the table to highlight that these conversations need to happen in an egalitarian way, where we all bring something to the table for others to enjoy. The series began with Episode 68 (May 12th) and concludes with Episode 76 (July 7th). Our series includes episodes on Latin American Theology, Asian North American preaching and biblical interpretation, race relations after George Floyd, Critical Race Theory, Masculinity, and Whiteness. What we tried to stress in this series is there is no such thing as an “un-hyphenated theology,” that we all bring our cultural identities and various intersectional backgrounds to the text with us as we attempt to read it. We hoped to stress that we all have particularities that we need to be aware of, and that we also need to learn from others who have a unique access to the text because of their distinct particularities. We also hope that this series highlights how we do not want to universalize our particularities. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities includes: Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Sangalang Ng, Rev. Daniel Parham, and Dr. Chris Porter.
July 14, 2021
Episode #76 - After Whiteness with Dr. Willie James Jennings
Concluding our series on Cultural Identity, we are joined by Dr. Willie James Jennings, who is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale Divinity School, and the author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale University Press), and, more recently, After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging (Eerdmans). Dr. Jennings begins by explaining what Whiteness is and isn’t, and specifically how it has nothing to do with phenotype, cultural heritage, bodily characteristics, biology, etc, but rather is a particular way of seeing the world as revolving around the self and as something to be mastered. Over the course of our conversation we talk about how the church and theological education have been ensconced in Whiteness. Given that dynamic, Dr. Jennings relays to us how to call out its particularities, overcome internalized racism in the academy, and addresses what sort of “crucifixion” white evangelicalism might need to experience to be on the side of resurrection. Throughout his book, After Whiteness, Dr. Jennings interweaves anecdotes with poems that he’s written. As a special treat for us, Dr. Jennings reads one of his unpublished poems that didn’t make its way into the book. In the end, Dr. Jennings provide a beautiful vision of hope for the gathering of the multitudes together as the people of God after Whiteness. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities includes: Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Sangalang Ng, Dr. Chris Porter, and Dr. Logan Williams.
July 7, 2021
Episode #75 - Religion, Race, & Whiteness in New Testament Scholarship with Professor David Horrell
In this penultimate episode in our cultural identity series we discuss the role of whiteness in New Testament scholarship with Prof. David Horrell, who is Professor of New Testament Studies and the Director of the Center for Biblical Studies at the University of Exeter (England), and the author of Solidarity and Difference: A Contemporary Reading of Paul’s Ethics (T&T Clark, 2005), and, more recently, Ethnicity and Inclusion: Religion, Race, and Whiteness in Constructions of Jewish and Christian Identities (Eerdmans, 2020). Over the course of our conversation, Prof. Horrell talks with us about his new book on the particularities that contribute to the modern state of New Testament scholarship, and specifically the particularities that have contributed to New Testament scholarship on the relationship between Judaism and nascent Christianity, that the former is particular and ethnocentric, whereas the latter is non-particular and universal. Prof. Horrell situates this within a Euro-centric perspective that lauds western liberal values, with many implications that continue to impact New Testament Studies. In our conversation Prof. Horrell also reflects on his former research under this light, particularly his studies on Paul’s ethics, and helps us consider how we can come to see the effects of whiteness on New Testament scholarship as “strange” by de-centering white western perspectives on the text. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Dr. Grace Emmett, Dr. Chris Porter, and Dr. Logan Williams.
June 30, 2021
Episode #74 - Multiple Masculinities with Dr. Robert Stegmann
In this episode we carry on our broader discussion on cultural identity with Dr. Robert Stegmann, who is Research Fellow at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and the author of Contested Masculinities: Polysemy and Gender in 1 Thessalonians (Lexington). Over the course of our conversation, Dr. Stegmann explains his work on gender in Paul, in which he contends for multiple possibilities of masculinity in the text rather than a static conception of gender. As he does so from a postcolonial and gender-critical perspective, he is very aware of his own cultural situatedness as a white male New Testament scholar based in South Africa. In drawing attention to his background explicitly and consistently, he provides a great model for what we are trying to stress in this series—self-reflection on our own particularities as we approach the biblical text. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Dr. Grace Emmett, and Dr. Logan Williams.
June 23, 2021
Episode #73 - Asian American Biblical Interpretation with Dr. Janette Hur Ok
On this episode in the Cultural Identity series we are joined by Dr. Janette Hur Ok, who is associate professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary and the author of the forthcoming monograph Constructing Ethnic Identity in 1 Peter: Who You Are No Longer in the Library of New Testament Studies series. Dr. Ok addresses a number of key issues related to contextualized readings of the New Testament, noting first of all that western biblical scholarship is also contextualized. In other words, there’s no such thing as an a-contextualized reading of Scripture. As such, Dr. Ok tells us a bit about how she developed her own Asian American approach to biblical studies, and we talk about her forthcoming monograph on 1 Peter in particular, which provides an interesting approach to the issue of ethnicity in the letter. As the conversation continues we discuss a range of important topics that help to round out our series, such as various issues of intersectionality, like Asian American feminist scholarship. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Jennifer Guo, Grace Sangalang Ng, and Dr. Kris Song.
June 16, 2021
Episode #72 - Latin American Theology & Identity with Norlan Hernandez
Continuing our series on Cultural Identity, we are joined by Norlan Hernandez, who is the Director of the Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership at Vanguard University and a PhD Candidate in Intercultural Studies at the Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola University. Norlan joins us on the podcast for a second episode on Latin American Theology, following on from last week’s more historically-focused episode with Dr. Octavio Esqueda (Episode #71 – “Journeying Through Latin American Theology”). In this episode we discuss more about how cultural identity is crucial to the task of theology. In our conversation we note the importance and inevitability of contextualization, the communal dynamics of Hispanic culture relative to the institutional nature of the church, epistemologies of the South, and the holistic nature of Hispanic theology and spirituality. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities includes Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Rev. Daniel Parham.
June 9, 2021
Episode #71 - Journeying Through Latin American Theology with Dr. Octavio Esqueda
Continuing our series on Cultural Identity we are joined by Dr. Octavio Esqueda for a discussion on Latin American Theology. Dr. Esqueda is Professor of Christian Higher Education and the Director of the EdD and PhD programs at Biola University. As an expert in higher education and the Spanish Reformation, Dr. Esqueda provides a helpful overview of the history of Latin American Theology as well as some of the key tenets of Hispanic Evangelical Theology, which includes the importance of communal theology, a holistic sense of mission, an inclination towards hope, and an intentional positioning as a theology from the margins. As part of this discussion, Dr. Esqueda helpfully explains that justice is always social, and that Spanish Bible readers are more inclined to recognize this than English readers of the Bible because the key Greek and Hebrew terms translated sometimes as “justice” and sometimes as “righteousness” in English are all translated with cognates related to justice in Spanish. Along the way Dr. Esqueda provides a nice mix of the anecdotal to go along with the historical, incorporating stories about his own personal faith journey growing up in Mexico and also some of the insights he gained while doing his doctoral work on theological education in Cuba. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Grace Sangalang Ng.
June 2, 2021
Episode #70 - George Floyd: Reflections on Race One Year Later with Dr. Walter Augustine
In our third episode on Cultural Identity, we are joined by Dr. Walter Augustine, who is the Director of Intercultural Education and Research in the Division of Diversity and Inclusion at BIOLA University, to discuss the topic of race one year after the dehumanizing murder of George Floyd. To start Dr. Augustine shares some encouraging developments since last year, but also some of his frustrations. And we discuss whether the guilty verdict given to Derek Chauvin was an instance of justice or accountability, noting an important difference between retributive and restorative justice. This then led us to a discussion on reparations in which Dr. Augustine provides a helpful theological framework in terms of repentance. In appealing to a biblical paradigm, Dr. Augustine looks at Zaccaeus as a great example of restorative justice, and even a kind of reparation. But Dr. Augustine also notes that reparations should not be thought about strictly in financial terms. As the conversation continues we discuss both the fear and fascination of the white gaze upon black bodies, reducing the black experience to “a single story” of physicality; we note examples of this from history, sports, and even American reception of the biblical character Samson. In the end, Dr. Augustine provides some hopeful words for the road ahead, drawing upon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words about the need for reciprocal mutuality to foster true human flourishing. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Sangalang Ng, and Rev. Daniel Parham.
May 26, 2021
Episode #69 - Critical Race Theory & The Gospel with Dr. Nathan Cartagena, Dr. Jeff Liou, and Dr. Robert Chao Romero
Continuing our series on Cultural Identity, we turn to discuss Critical Race Theory and its potential for intersection with the gospel. In previous episodes on Critical Theory (CT) and Critical Race Theory (CRT), we have primarily focused on the common characterizations and misunderstandings of the movement, the theories, etc. In this episode we are joined by scholars who make use of CRT in an intentionally Christian way. Our guests include, Dr. Nathan Cartagena, who is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College, Dr. Jeff Liou, who is the Director of Theological Formative at Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the co-founder of the Asian American Christian Collaborative, and Dr. Robert Chao Romero, who is Associate Professor of Chicano/Chicana Studies and Asian American Studies at UCLA. Over the course of the conversation, Dr. Cartagena, Dr. Liou, and Dr. Romero explain how CRT relates to the goof news of Jesus Christ and how CRT helps the spread of the gospel through evangelism in racially minoritized communities. This episode contains many powerful challenges for the church to boldly engage in the work of antiracism for the sake of the gospel. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Sangalang Ng, Rev. Daniel Parham, Dr. Chris Porter, and Dr. Logan Williams.
May 19, 2021
Episode #68 - Asian North American Preaching with Dr. Matthew Kim and Dr. Daniel Wong
Kicking of our series on Cultural Identity, we are joined by Dr. Matthew Kim and Dr. Daniel Wong, the authors of Finding our Voice: A Vision Asian North American Preaching (Lexham Press). Dr. Kim is George F. Bennett Chair of Preaching and Practical Theology at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and Dr. Wong recently retired from his position as Associate Professor of Christian Ministries at Tyndale University (Canada). In our conversation Dr. Kim and Dr. Wong talk to us about various issues pertaining to hermeneutics and homiletics from the bi-cultural perspective of being Asian and North American. We talk about what a distinctly bi-cultural hermeneutic might look like, how the incarnation is a helpful model for thinking about bi-cultural identity, how we become aware of our own cultural influences, the role of honor and shame in Asian North American contexts, and what the broader church can learn from an Asian North American perspective. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Grace Sangalang Ng.
May 12, 2021
Episode #67 - Leadership and Abuse in the Church with Aimee Byrd and Dr. Michael Bird
In this episode we talk about the recent scandals committed by major leaders in the church, most notably Ravi Zacharias. For this conversation we are joined by Aimee Byrd, the author of Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (published by Zondervan), and Dr. Michael Bird, who is Academic Dean and Lecturer in Theology at Ridley College, Melbourne. We wanted to have Aimee and Mike on with us because they have been having robust and lively conversations together on YouTube called "Birds of a Feather," and we wanted to be a part of one of their interesting conversations on The Two Cities. Over the course of our discussion we talk about various reactions to the Ravi Zacharias scandal in particular, and more generally we reflect on the cultural factors in the evangelical world that might lead to abuse and how to have systems set in place within the church and within denominations to properly handle situations of abuse. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Jennifer Guo, Grace Sangalang Ng, and Dr. Chris Porter.
May 5, 2021
Episode #66 - Reframing Sexual Addiction with Dr. Samuel Perry
(CW: Adult Themes). On this episode we discuss sexual addiction with Dr. Samuel Perry, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Oklahoma and the author of Addicted to Lust: Pornography in the Lives of Conservative Protestants (published by Oxford University Press). Our discussion begins by addressing the original claim made by the Atlanta shooter, who said that he was motivated to violence by a "sexual addiction." Dr. Perry, who is an expert on sexual addiction from a sociological perspective, directly addresses that claim, but also looks more widely at how we talk about sexual addiction and lust in the church. In particular, we discuss the way pornography and masturbation are often regarded as the worst kinds of problems in the church, which Dr. Perry calls a “sexual exceptionalism.” Dr. Perry further highlights how gendered this conversation typically is in the church as well, leaving women without any resources or recourse to address these issues in their own lives. The conversation as a whole helpfully contextualizes sexual addiction in many ways. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include: Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Emmett, Dr. Chris Porter, and Dr. Logan Williams.
April 28, 2021
Episode #65 - Art & Film with Dr. Kutter Callaway
Concluding our Art & Culture series with our fifth and final episode, we turn to discuss the artistic nature of film with Dr. Kutter Callaway, who is Associate Professor of Theology and the co-director of Reel Spirituality at Fuller Seminary. With the 93rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony (“the Oscars”) just around the corner, we discuss in particular the artistry of the Best Picture Nominees from the past year (spoilers throughout). After discussing why Christians should care about film, and after lamenting our various experiences with Christian approaches to film exemplified by organizations like Plugged In, we turn to chat about key themes across the Best Picture Nominees, and how these films are suited to our current moment. In the end, Dr. Callaway stresses the importance of empathy that films uniquely foster in us. As he says, “Art traffics in empathy,” and thus an “ethic of viewership” requires empathy from us or else the art is “stillborn.” Team members from The Two Cities on the episode include Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Brandon Hurlbert, and Kris Song.
April 21, 2021
Episode #64 - Art & Cultural Engagement with Dr. Greg Thornbury
For the penultimate episode in our Art & Culture series we are joined by Dr. Greg Thornbury to discuss Art & Cultural Engagement. Dr. Thornbury is Vice President for Development at the New York Academy of Art in New York City and the author of Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock. Over the course of the conversation we talk about problematic ways of conceiving of “cultural engagement,” bad forms of Christian art, and why the rock star Larry Norman was such a helpful model for what it means to be a Christian in the arts. One of the more intriguing aspects of the conversation is the notion of ”kayfabe,” which comes from the arena of professional wrestling, referring to the illusions of real fighting, but actually isn’t. Dr. Thornbury uses this concept as a fascinating metaphor for dishonest art. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Rev. Daniel Parham, and Dr. Logan Williams.
April 14, 2021
Episode #63 - Art & Biblical Literature with Dr. Matthew Mullins
In the third installment of our series on Art & Culture, we are joined by Dr. Matthew Mullins for a conversation on Art & Biblical Literature. Dr. Mullins is Associate Professor of English and History of Ideas as well as Associate Dean for Academic Advising at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC), and he is the author of Enjoying the Bible: Literary Approaches to Loving the Bible (Baker, 2021). Throughout the conversation we talk about the importance of approaching the Bible from a literary standpoint in order to understand it at a deeper affective level that goes beyond the cerebral. Team members from The Two Cities on the episode include: Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Emmett, and Dr. Chris Porter.
April 7, 2021
Episode #62 - Art & Faith with Makoto Fujimura
Continuing our series on Art and Culture, we are joined by Makoto Fujimura, who is the founder of the International Arts Movements and the Fujimura Institute and the author of Art and Faith: A Theology of Making (with Yale University Press). Over the course of our conversation we talk about the relationship of art to modernism, beauty and subjectivity, and the notion of abstract art. As we discuss art from a faith perspective, our discussion turns to focus on reflections on art in the midst of loss and grief and what that teaches us theologically about grieving alongside Jesus (cf. John 11:35) and what the nature of the new creation will be. Team members on the episode include Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Grace Sangalang Ng.
March 31, 2021
Episode #61 - Art & Knowing with Dr. Esther Meek
To kick off our series on Art & Culture we are joined by Dr. Esther Meek, who is Professor of Philosophy at Geneva College, and the author of a number of important works on epistemology, including Longing to Know: The Philosophy of Knowledge for Ordinary People (with Brazos) and Loving to Know: Introducing Covenant Epistemology (with Cascade). In this episode Dr. Meek addresses the relationship between Art and Knowing. Over the course of our conversation we discuss how modernism has sidelined philosophy along with art, which has really taken away a key facet of what it means to be human in the world. Along the way as we discuss everything from boredom to Harry Potter to the Enneagram and the Night Blooming Cereus, Dr. Meek models a lively and exuberant appreciation for reality and an approach to knowing that is inherently creative, integrative, and beautiful. Team members on the episode include Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, and Dr. John Anthony Dunne.
March 24, 2021
Episode #60 - Anger Amidst Lament: Reactions to Atlanta
In this episode we process the horrific events that took place in Atlanta earlier this week in which a twenty-one year old white male attacked three Asian-owned business, including spas and massage parlors in the broader metro area. We also address the narrative that has emerged about the motivation for the murders. Was this a racialized hate crime? Or was it a sexualized crime rooted in the shooter’s “sexual temptation”? We affirm that this is in fact a false dichotomy and that intersectional thinking is required to do justice to the full complexity of the issues at play here. Over the course of the conversation we address the rise of Asian American hate crimes since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, evangelical purity culture, and also the fact that this shooter was a Christian and how Christians have responded too quickly to denounce any significance to that fact. Team members on the episode include: Jennifer Guo, Grace Sangalang Ng, Dr. Josh Carrol, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Brandon Hurlbert, Rev. Daniel Parham, Dr. Chris Porter, and Dr. Logan Williams. Links to reports and articles mentioned in the episode listed below: Stop AAPI Hate National Report Albert Tate's Good News Today - March 18, 2021 After “The China Virus” Went Viral: Racially Charged Coronavirus Coverage and Trends in Bias Against Asian Americans by Sean Darling-Hammond, Eli K. Michaels, Amani M. Allen, David H. Chae, Marilyn D. Thomas, Thu T. Nguyen, Mahasin M. Mujahid, Rucker C. Johnson “The Atlanta massacre is yet another reminder we desperately need race-conscious discipleship” by Raymond Chang Responding to anti-Asian Violence with Creativity from the Margins by Dr. Michelle Ami Reyes
March 19, 2021
Episode #59 - Reflections on the Gender Series
In this episode we recap and reflect on the gender series that we’ve been doing since mid-November 2020. The series spans eighteen episodes, beginning with “Paul and Masculinity with Grace Emmett” (November 11, 2020) and ending with “The Great Sex Rescue with Sheila Wray Gregoire” (March 10, 2020). As we explain in this conversation, we regard every episode in between these two episodes as being part of the series, including the ones on racial matters, such as, “Whiteness in Biblical Scholarship with Dr. Ekaputra Tupamahu,” “Critical Theory: Fact, Fiction, or Fallacy? With Dr. Matthew Arbo and Dr. Scott Coley,” and “African American Readings of Paul with Dr. Lisa Bowens.” Over the course of the episode, we debrief some of our highlights from the series, some connections and themes that we noticed across the episodes, some reactions and responses we received from people who tuned in, and we also extended the discussion further to emphasize the importance and implications of these conversations for current events related to violence against women in the light of the murder of Sarah Everard in London in early March 2021. Contributors on the episode from The Two Cities include Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Emmett, Brandon Hurlbert, Grace Sangalang Ng, Dr. Chris Porter, Dr. Logan Williams, and our newest contributor, Jennifer Guo, who is a PhD student in New Testament at the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN).
March 17, 2021
Episode #58 - The Great Sex Rescue with Sheila Wray Gregoire
(CW: Mature Content and Abuse) On today’s episode we talk about sex with Sheila Wray Gregoire, a well-known speaker, blogger, podcaster, and author of several books on sex, including the recently published The Great Sex Rescue: The Lies You’ve Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended (with Baker). In our conversation we talk about lies that we tell in the evangelical church about sex, particularly gendered tropes for men and women respectively. Sheila informs us that these lies impact lots of things, including sexual satisfaction in marriage. She was able to determine loads of fascinating information like this from conducting the largest survey of Christian women regarding sexuality (over 20,000 women were surveyed). Along the way Sheila also chats with us about purity culture, vaginismus, evangelical sexual scandals, and more. Team members on the episode include: Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Emmett, Grace Sangalang Ng, Dr. Chris Porter, and Dr. Logan Williams.
March 10, 2021
Episode #57 - The Making of Biblical Womanhood with Dr. Beth Allison Barr
In this episode we discuss the concept of “Biblical Womanhood” from a historical perspective. To do so we are joined by Dr. Beth Allison Barr, who is Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of History at Baylor University (Waco, TX), and the author of the forthcoming book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth (with Brazos). In her new book, Dr. Barr contends that “Biblical Womanhood” isn’t biblical at all, but rather is the product of people. She relays to us in our conversation some of the ways that she defends that thesis in her book, some key insights and motivations behind writing the book, and also some of the plans she originally had for certain chapters. Along the way we make reference to Jordan Peterson, whether a concept like “Biblical Womanhood” can be salvaged and reinvested with new meaning, the cultural tensions of patriarchy and feminism, and the implications of Dr. Barr’s new book for recent sexual abuse scandals that have come to light regarding Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Team members on the episode from The Two Cities include Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Emmett, and Dr. Chris Porter.
March 3, 2021
Episode #56 - Gender & The Trinity with Dr. Madison Pierce
On this episode we discuss various topics related to gender and the Trinity, including: the gendered language about the family of God (i.e. “sons”) and the gendered language for the persons of the Trinity (i.e. Father and Son), the representation of God with maternal imagery in the Bible, and the topic of the Eternal Functional Subordination of the Son (EFS), which is a proxy discussion for a complementarian approach to gender. For this discussion we are joined by Dr. Madison Pierce, who is assistant professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Illinois), and the author of Divine Discourse in the Epistle to the Hebrews: The Recontextualization of Spoke Quotations of Scripture (Cambridge University Press, 2020). After digging into these topics related to God and gender, we close out our conversation with some reflections on gender representation in theological education and Dr. Pierce's Enneagram type. Team members from The Two Cities podcast on the episode include: Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Dr. Chris Porter.
February 24, 2021
Episode #55 - Ecological Grief with Hannah Malcolm
On today’s episode we begin the season of Lent with a discussion on ecological grief with our guest, Hannah Malcolm, who is PhD Candidate in Theology at Durham University studying ecological grief as a form of theological knowledge. She is also the editor of Words for a Dying World: Stories of Grief and Courage from the Global Church (SCM Press, 2020) containing essays, poems, and anecdotes related to our ecological crisis. Over the course of the episode, Hannah helps us understand the nature of ecological grief relative to other forms of trauma. We chat about what prevents evangelicals from participating in this process of grieving, noting some important distinctions on this issue in American and British contexts respectively. Hannah also addresses some of the insufficiencies for how the church resources Scripture and how the church often chooses to address the issue collectively. She informs us about gendered components to this issue re: political leadership in helping to ameliorate the problem, whether men or women are more likely to take ecological action, and who is most culpable and also most vulnerable to climate crisis. Team members from The Two Cities on the episode include Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Dr. Grace Emmett, and Dr. Logan Williams.
February 17, 2021
Episode #54 - Gender in 1 Timothy with Dr. Cynthia Long Westfall
In this episode we are joined by Dr. Cynthia Long Westfall, Associate Professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College (Hamilton, Ontario) and the author of Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle's Vision for Men and Women in Christ (Baker, 2016). Our the course of our conversation we discuss a number of historical and cultural background issues, including, the Artemis cult at Ephesus, Paul's Hellenistic background, whether Paul wrote 1 Timothy (and if that has any bearing on how we should handle 1 Timothy as a whole), and maternal mortality. Textually, we dive into the meaning of a number of exegetical and lexical issues in 1 Timothy 2, including the meaning of "saved through childbearing" (1 Tim. 2.15), how Adam and Eve relate to the exhortations that Paul is giving related to his command that women ought to learn, and whether the passage is directed to husband and wife dynamics in the home or to a worship context. Team members from The Two Cities on the episode include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Dr. Grace Emmett, Grace Sangalang Ng, and Dr. Logan Williams.
February 10, 2021
Episode #53 - Gender in Romans with Dr. Beverly Roberts Gaventa
In this episode of The Two Cities podcast we are joined by Dr. Beverly Roberts Gaventa, who is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Baylor University (Waco, TX), and the author of When in Romans: An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel According to Paul (Baker, 2016). Over the course of our conversation we talk about Dr. Gaventa’s current research on Romans for the New Testament Library series, noting some distinctive features of her reading of Romans, including an emphasis on apocalyptic images in the text. She also tells us what elements of Romans that she imagines would stand out to the original hearers among the Roman congregations as it was read aloud. Furthermore, we discuss with her about the possibility that the letter was originally read aloud by Phoebe, the deacon and benefactor that Paul mentions at the start of Romans 16 and most likely the original letter carrier who brought the letter of Romans to Rome. From here we talk about the other prominent women mentioned at the end of the letter, notably Prisca and Junia. Dr. Gaventa informs us about the roles and titles attributed to these women, and also what we can learn about their leadership in the early church. Team members on the episode include: Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Dr. Grace Emmett, and Dr. Logan Williams.
February 3, 2021
Episode #52 - Jesus and John Wayne with Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez
In this episode of The Two Cities podcast we talk with Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, professor of history at Calvin University, about her book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted A Faith and Fractured A Nation (Liveright, 2020). Over the course of the conversation Dr. Du Mez tells us about some of the most shocking findings from her book, how Jesus and John Wayne fits within her longstanding research interests in militant Christian masculinity in the US, and how those themes can be traced through the teachings of key Christian leaders like James Dobson, John Eldridge, Douglas Wilson, Doug Phillips, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Jerry Falwell Sr., and Jerry Falwell Jr., among others. We also go beyond the book in connecting the insights from it to the events of January 6, the insurrection at the Capitol building, and the recent attempts to overthrow American democracy. The Two Cities team members on the episode include Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Emmett, Grace Sangalang Ng, Rev. Daniel Parham, Chris Porter, and Dr. Logan Williams.
January 27, 2021
Episode #51 - African American Readings of Paul with Dr. Lisa Bowens
In this episode Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Emmett, Grace Sangalang Ng, and Rev. Daniel Parham are joined by Dr. Lisa Bowens, associate professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, and the author of African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation, which was published by Eerdmans in 2020. In this episode Dr. Bowens talks to us about her research on the primary sources from the 18th century on through the Civil Rights movement, chronicling some key insights in the interpretation of Paul in slave petitions, essays, speeches, sermons, conversion narratives, etc. In particular, she describes the diversity of African-American pauline hermeneutics, the way that white slaveholders used Scripture to impose slavery, how African Americans read Scripture through the lens of liberty, how that liberative reading of Paul in regards to slavery led to additional liberation for women as well, and how reading Paul in a liberative manner led enslaved African Americans to reinterpret the significance and value of their own bodies.
January 20, 2021
Episode #50 - Critical Theory: Fact, Fiction or Fallacy? With Dr. Matthew Arbo and Dr. Scott Coley
Back by popular demand, Dr. Matthew Arbo and Dr. Scott Coley join Amber Bowen and Dr. John Anthony Dunne for a joint discussion on Critical Theory. Dr. Arbo is Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Oklahoma Baptist University and was previously on our podcast episode entitled “Critical Theory and Ethics”; Dr. Coley is Lecturer of Philosophy and the Director of the Global Encounters program at Mount St. Mary’s University, and he was on our podcast episode entitled “Understanding Critical Theory.” In this episode we discuss whether some of the most common objections to Critical Theory (and particularly Critical Race Theory) constitute “Fact, Fiction, or Fallacy” (or some combination of the three). This episode was recorded Epiphany, the day of the violent insurrection against the US Capitol in Washington DC by pro-Trump extremists attempting to undermine our democracy while Congress was certifying the Electoral College votes. This blatant display of white privilege is an important backdrop to the conversation that we need to name explicitly and reject unequivocally.
January 13, 2021
Episode #49 - Women in the Patristic Era with Dr. Lynn Cohick
As part of our broader series on gender in biblical scholarship, Christian tradition, and the contemporary church, we turn to discuss Women in the Patristic Era. In this episode, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Sangalang Ng, and Dr. Chris Porter are joined by Dr. Lynn Cohick, who is Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs, and Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lisle, Illinois. We begin by hearing how Dr. Cohick first became interested in the broader topic by studying the visions and spirituality of Julian of Norwich. As the conversation progresses, Dr. Cohick informs us about several prominent women in the early church, such as the martyr Perpetua, and St. Thecla and the cult that emerged in her remembrance. Dr. Cohick also responds to our questions regarding the way asceticism may have shaped the relative roles of women in the early church, how early Christians were reading the New Testament in regard to what it says about women, whether women in the early church held the same ministerial titles that we see in the New Testament, and whether the early church continues a liberative trajectory, such as the one Robert Webb sees in the development from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
January 6, 2021
Episode #48 - Neither Complementarian Nor Egalitarian with Dr. Michelle Lee-Barnewall
Continuing our conversation on gender dynamics in Scripture and the Church, in this podcast episode we talk about the binary of Complementarianism and Egalitarianism regarding how to conceive of the relationship of men and women in marriage and in the church. Has the entrenchment of the binary led us to miss aspects of the text? For this conversation, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Emmett, and Grace Sangalang Ng are joined by Dr. Michelle Lee-Barnewall, Associate Professor of New Testament at Biola University in La Mirada, CA and author of Neither Complementarian nor Egalitarian: A Kingdom Corrective To The Evangelical Gender Debate (with Baker in 2016). Over the course of the conversation Dr. Lee-Barnewall tells us what she finds to be deficient in both Complementarianism and Egalitarianism, what is often missing from and overemphasized in the debate, how her unique approach fits in church contexts, how Complementarians and Egalitarians alike have responded to her book, how her books fits into contemporary gender identity and gender discourse, and how to think of her ideas in the light of broader cultural interests in diversity of all sorts.
December 30, 2020
Episode #47 - Women in Matthew's Genealogy of Jesus with Dr. Jeannine Brown
In this episode we talk about the significance of the women mentioned in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus. For this conversation, Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Brandon Hurlbert are joined by Dr. Jeannine Brown, Professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary (St. Paul, MN), member of the NIV Translation Committee, and author of a few commentaries on Matthew. We talk about why genealogies are worth digging into rather than skipping, why it's significant that women are mentioned at all in a genealogy in the Bible, and what's significant about the four named women in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and "the wife of Uriah"). Some read these four women in terms of the sexual scandals associated with their stories, but Dr. Brown calls our attention to their whole stories and how they are seen as paragons of faithfulness in the contexts of their stories. Additionally, Dr. Brown notes the ethnic commonalities between the four women as Gentiles. We also discuss the similarities and differences between Luke and Matthew's genealogies, as well as the differences between their respect infancy narratives and whether Matthew's Magi should be included in Nativity sets for Christmas.
December 23, 2020
Episode #46 - Women in 1 Corinthians with Dr. Lucy Peppiatt
Carrying on in our conversation on gender, we turn to discuss women in 1 Corinthians with particular attention given to the passage about head coverings in 1 Cor. 11 and women being silent in the church in 1 Cor. 14. In this episode, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Brandon Hurlbert, and Dr. Logan Williams are joined by Dr. Lucy Peppiatt, who is Principal of Westminster Theological Centre in the UK and author of a number of related books, including Women and Worship at Corinth (Cascade, 2015), Unveiling Paul's Women (Cascade, 2018), and Rediscovering Scripture's Vision for Women (IVP, 2019). Dr. Peppiatt's background is in Systematic Theology, so she identifies herself as coming to the text as a theologian rather than a Pauline scholar. In her reading of 1 Cor. 11.2–16—the passage that speaks of head coverings and kind of sounds like women are inferior to men—these verses are not Paul's words, but rather part of rhetorical response to the perspective of the Corinthians. Dr. Peppiatt explains that she does not think that Paul believes these words, and that, if he did, the only legitimate interpretation in her view would be that Paul affirms the subordination of women both functionally and ontologically. She notes that this is how one scholar, Michael Lakie, reads the passage does, suggesting that Paul views women as subordinate and less than men. See Michael Lakie, Image and Glory of God: 1 Corinthians 11:2–16 As A Case Study in Bible, Gender, and Hermeneutics (LNTS 418; London: T&T Clark, 2010). On its face, Dr. Peppiatt does not disagree with Lakie's interpretation of 1 Cor. 11.2–16; she disagrees with him regarding who's perspective it is. She affirms that that theology is in the text, but she contends that it's the perspective of the Corinthians. If it were Paul's perspective, it would not fit what Paul says elsewhere in his letters, or what Jesus says in the Gospels, or indeed what we know from the rest of the Bible. For these reasons and more Dr. Peppiatt reads the passage as a rhetorical interaction with the Corinthian perspective. Such a reading benefits from the fact that Paul does quote “Corinthian slogans” elsewhere in 1 Corinthians, and so Dr. Peppiatt extends this phenomenon to include 1 Cor. 11.2–16. Otherwise, Dr. Peppiatt explains that there's also no reason for women to refrain from wearing head coverings either. At this point in the conversation we had a little bit of fun commenting on who was and wasn’t wearing head coverings during the recording of the podcast. From there we shift to 1 Corinthians 14 and the passage about women being silent in church. We talk about the interesting text-critical possibility that Paul did not write 1 Cor. 14.33b–36, and that these verses were inserted later by a scribe, but Dr. Peppiatt explains why she does believe that Paul wrote those words originally. We then discuss some practical matters about how to engage with people who are committed, on the basis of conscience and a sense of Scripture's authority, with reading 1 Corinthians 11 as teaching that head coverings are mandatory and women are subordinate to men ontologically. And further we conclude with hearing from Dr. Peppiatt on how people should address this topic further who want to see more women in ministry, but feel like they cannot get beyond what they see as the implications of 1 Cor. 11.
December 16, 2020
Episode #45 - Paul & Masculinity Revisited with Dr. Valérie Nicolet
In this episode, Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Grace Emmett are joined by Dr. Valérie Nicolet, Associate Professor of New Testament at the Protestant Institute of Theology in Paris, to continue an earlier podcast conversation on Paul and masculinity. Our conversation begins with Paul's self-presentation, esp. in Galatians, and then extends to address the fuzziness of gender categories in antiquity, as seen with Thecla from the Acts of Paul and Thecla. Dr. Nicolet addresses her "feminine masculinity" in the text and the implications of her baptizing herself. From the there the conversation becomes more meta, with a focus on the gendered culture of New Testament scholarship, which is so androcentric. As the conversation progresses, the episode reflects our most recent podcast with Dr. Ekaputra Tupamahu on the other default category in biblical scholarship of whiteness.
December 9, 2020
Episode #44 - Whiteness in Biblical Scholarship with Dr. Ekaputra Tupamahu
In this episode a group of team members from The Two Cities (Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Emmett, Grace Sangalang Ng, Rev. Daniel Parham, Dr. Chris Porter, Dr. Logan Williams) are joined by Dr. Ekaputra Tupamahu, who is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Portland Seminary, to discuss his recent piece published with the Public Theology Network, entitled, “The Stubborn Invisibility of Whiteness in Biblical Scholarship” (Here is the link: https://politicaltheology.com/the-stubborn-invisibility-of-whiteness-in-biblical-scholarship/). Dr. Tupamahu explains that the key to resisting the imposition of whiteness onto others, Christian scholars ought to bring the church’s questions to scholarship rather than taking the scholarly nuggets to the church. Scholars are asking different questions than those in the church, but, more importantly, scholars also tend to be asking the questions of white European-Americans. One of the common issues in biblical studies that Dr. Tupamahu situates within the particular concerns of whiteness is the Synoptic Problem, which he contends is generated by the rise of the printing press in the West. Given this situatedness, Dr. Tupamahu provides some advice on how to teach Synoptic Problem as a uniquely European-American concern. Dr. Tupamahu also provides us with a sneak peek on how his own current research resists the concerns of whiteness, telling us that his current book project with OUP on “tongues" and “languages" in 1 Corinthians situates the discussion within the immigrant context of Corinth in which multiple languages would have been spoken. He explains how in the whole discussion on tongues Paul is insisting on monolingual order in a multilingual context. Dr. Tupamahu’s piece is part of a series of essays at the Public Theology Network, which are also worth checking out: Jacqueline Hidalgo, “Occupying Whiteness: A Reflection in 2020” (link: https://politicaltheology.com/occupying-whiteness-a-reflection-in-2020/). Angela Parker, “Invoking Paul’s μὴ γένοιτο and Sofia’s ‘Hell No’ Against the Stubborn Whiteness of Biblical Scholarship” (link: https://politicaltheology.com/invoking-pauls-%ce%bc%e1%bd%b4-%ce%b3%ce%ad%ce%bd%ce%bf%ce%b9%cf%84%ce%bf-and-sofias-hell-no-against-the-stubborn-whiteness-of-biblical-scholarship/).
December 2, 2020
Episode #43 - Recovering From Biblical Manhood & Womanhood with Aimee Byrd
Carrying on with our series on gender and the Bible, Amber Bowen and Dr. John Anthony Dunne are joined by Aimee Byrd, who is the author of several books, including Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Zondervan Academic, 2020). In this episode Aimee explains that, despite what one might suspect from her outspoken detractors, her book is ultimately about discipleship. She critiques the movement that appeals to "biblical manhood and womanhood" as truncating biblical gender down to discrete "roles" that are primarily defined in terms of leadership and submission. The result is a "biblical" portrait that is narrow and damaging. Further, she calls out the "fractional" approach to complementarity that views men and women as two halves respectively that only create a single whole when together. Instead, Aimee points to an "integral" complementarity, where marriage is seen as a process in which two "wholes" come together to generatively create something new. Although she is critical of the complementarian approach, in this podcast she explains her reasons for not being an egalitarian. And at the end of the conversation, Aimee gives us a sneak peek on her new writing project on gender-related matters.
November 25, 2020
Episode #42 - Preaching & Gender
Continuing our discussion on gender from last week with Grace Emmett ("Paul & Masculinity"), we turn to look at the relationship between preaching and gender. In this episode, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Grace Sangalang Ng, Rev. Daniel Parham, and Dr. Chris Porter reflect on this topic from the vantage point of our different cultural and ecclesial contexts. Rather than debate particular texts and their meaning in a prescriptive manner, we discuss how various cultural factors have contributed to the relative normativity of gender diversity in preaching in our various denominational settings.
November 18, 2020
Episode #41 - Paul & Masculinity with Grace Emmett
Kicking off a discussion on gender in the Bible and how this syncs up the Western Church and broader culture, Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Dr. Logan Williams chat with Grace Emmett, a PhD Candidate in New Testament at King's College, London, who recently submitted a thesis entitled, "Becoming A Man: Unmanly/Manly Self-Presentation in the Pauline Epistles." In this episode we discuss masculinity as presented in the Pauline epistles and reflected in ancient culture, including questions of whether Paul is subversive or imitative of his surrounding culture. Grace highlights several unique features of Paul, such as maternal metaphors that he applies to himself, but ultimately contends that Paul should not be read as neither a chauvinist nor a proto-feminist. Given the ramifications that this conversation has for the contemporary Western church, we address matters of gender neutrality in biblical translation, concerns of the feminization of the church, and also the usefulness of gendered church events (i.e. Men's night), gendered Christian resources (i.e. Women's Study Bibles), and gendered conferences (i.e. Promise Keepers).
November 11, 2020
Episode #40 - Fake News & Misinformation with Rachel Wightman
Concluding our series on the intersection of faith and politics we turn to address fake news and the spread of misinformation. In this episode Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Dr. Chris Porter are joined by Rachel Wightman, who is Associate Director for Instruction and Outreach at the library at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Over the course of our conversation we discuss what makes misinformation so problematic, what unique factors in our communication today have caused the surge in disinformation, how confirmation bias causes misinformation to be so appealing, why people of faith in particular should be concerned about not spreading misinformation, whether Christians are uniquely susceptible to misinformation, and how we should engage friends/family who are spreading false information online. Along the way, Rachel gives us some practical advice for recognizing fake news stories and for evaluating whether a bit of news is legitimate, including when "experts" appear to be spreading misinformation (e.g. the Fresno doctors who downplayed COVID, the doctors who announced that hydroxychloroquine cures COVID, the Plandemic documentary, etc). She also helps us recognize that bias in journalism does not equate with "Fake News."
November 4, 2020
Episode #39 - Abortion & Single Issue Voting with Jennie Riley
As another installment in our series on faith and politics, we discuss abortion and single issue voting in the United States. Joining Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Brandon Hurlbert, Tim McNutt, and Dr. Chris Porter for this discussion is our special guest, Jennie Riley, who recently submitted her PhD thesis in Theology at Durham University (England), focusing on the relationship between Evangelical Christianity and Medial Practice. As she explains in the episode, for her doctoral research she interviewed several medical doctors in the UK, who all self-identify as evangelical, about a whole host of issues from the more mundane to medical ethics. As it pertains to abortion, Jennie relays to us the stories of three doctors that had a formative role in shaping her own mindset about the complexities of abortion. Jennie provides us with her academic perspective from a British context, drawing upon the qualitative research of her thesis, but also reflects upon that further from her own Christian perspective for the sake of our broader political conversation. In doing so, Jennie models for us how we can discuss a heavy and complicated topic with kindness, empathy, and charity, even when we might disagree on such important political and ethical matters.
November 2, 2020
Episode #38 - Watchmen & 2020 Politics with Matthew William Brake
In the run up to Election Day in the United States (Tuesday, November 3rd), here at The Two Cities we've been doing a series of political podcasts. This episode extends that conversation further, but situates it as part of a conversation with a major pop-cultural artifact—Watchmen. Originally a comic series in the mid-1980s, Watchmen is revered as one of the best graphic novels of all time. It was made into a (much-derided) film in the mid 2000s by Zack Snyder, but more recently Damon Lindelof extended the storyline in his adaptation of the story for HBO. Set in 2019, the Emmy Award Winning TV show Watchmen addresses relevant political issues in our day just as the original graphic novel did in the 80s. In particular, the show addresses systemic racism, suppressed racial history, and policing. In this episode, Dr. John Anthony Dunne chats with Matthew William Brake, who is the series editor of Theology and Pop Culture (Fortress/Lexington Press) and Religion and Comic Books (Claremont Press), and who also runs a blog called Pop Culture and Theology (popularcultureandtheology.com). Over the course of our conversation we talk about the original graphic novel, how Lindelof handles the original material in the new TV show, and how relevant both stories are for thinking about politics.
October 28, 2020
Episode #37 - Social Identity & Political Discourse
Continuing further our recent conversations on politics and political engagement from a Christian perspective (cf. the episodes entitled, "Faith and Politics with Rev. Baroness Maeve Sherlock" and "War & Political Theology with Michael Spalione"), Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Dr. Chris Porter discuss social identity theory and how our social identity shapes our present lack of bi-partisanship in the States and the degrading nature of our political discourse with those in the "out group." Chris explains that the theory originates with Henri Tajfel, noting some of his interesting experiments that show how much we favor the various "in groups" of which we are a part to the detriment of perceived "out groups." Along the way we discuss stereotyping and categorization, the metrics of "normative fit" (emphasizing who "we" are) and "comparative fit" (noting who "we" are not by comparison to an "out group"), the difficulty of compromise from a social identity perspective, and the implications that this all has for nuanced thinking that is regarded as deviant from the "normative fit" of the "in group." All the while Chris shares his perspective on the 2020 US election season from his unique vantage point in Australia.
October 21, 2020
Episode #36 - War & Political Theology with Michael Spalione
Continuing our conversation on the role of faith in our political discourse and political engagement, in the present episode Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Brandon Hurlbert talk with Michael Spalione about his doctoral research on the topic of war within political theology. Having just recently passed his viva in pursuit of a PhD in political theology from Trinity College, Bristol through the University of Aberdeen, Michael helps us think about the topic of war from a Christian perspective in a way that gets beyond partisan emphases on strong militaries, etc, and builds upon a perspective that attempts to be consistently and holistically pro-life. Rooted in the "ecclesial turn," Michael explains that the church is a kingdom with its own political system that needs to be recognized. Throughout the episode Michael draws upon his thesis and incorporates some of its theological, philosophical, and exegetical insights into our discussion. We cover quite a bit of ground: everything from the pacifistic influences of metal and hardcore music to what cannibalism can teach us about compromise and moderation.
October 14, 2020
Episode #35 - Faith and Politics with Rev. Baroness Maeve Sherlock
In this tumultuous election season in the States, in which partisan entrenchment often leads to a lack of kindness and respect across the aisle, we have brought in a guest from across the pond to help sort us out. Joining Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Brandon Hurlbert is special guest Rev. Baroness Maeve Sherlock, who is Curate at St. Nics Durham in England, and is also a member of the House of Lords in the British Parliament. In this episode we discuss the differences between British and American politics, the legitimacy of one-issue voting, the separation of church and state, and how our voting energy as Christians ought to be invigorated by a desire for human flourishing.
October 7, 2020
Episode #34 - The Gospel of Jesus's Wife with Dr. Christian Askeland
In 2012 there was global interest in a small Coptic fragment the size of a business card that records Jesus saying the words "my wife." The fragment was presented to a group of scholars at a Coptology conference in Rome by Dr. Karen King of Harvard Divinity School, who herself had received it from a private collector. This presentation naturally drew immediate media attention. Very soon after this, it was discerned to be a forgery. But the story of how that was progressively uncovered, and also how some at Harvard, including King, resisted such a conclusion, is nothing short of remarkable. Recently, a journalist named Ariel Sabar, who was there in Rome back in 2012, and who had been chronicling all of the unfolding events for years, finally wrote it all up in a book, called Veritas: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife (New York: Doubleday, 2020). It's a remarkable read, full of so many weird twists and turns. Sabar originally wrote a much shorter piece for the Atlantic back in 2016, which contains the original unveiling of the secret identity of the private collector who gave the manuscript to King, who was also quite likely the forger of the document—Walter Fritz. Here is the link to that Atlantic piece. One of the significant scholarly contributions along the way in determining that the Gospel of Jesus's Wife was a forgery came from Dr. Christian Askeland, who earned a PhD from Cambridge University in New Testament textual criticism with a focus on the Coptic manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Dr. Askeland was able to definitively prove that a separate Coptic fragment, which also came from Mr. Fritz, was certainly a forgery. In this episode, Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Dr. Logan Williams are joined by Dr. Askeland to discuss his involvement in, and his perspective on, this crazy saga.
September 30, 2020
Episode #33 - The Enneagram, Childhood Wounds, and Attachment Theory with Dr. Eurice Lee-Seo
Continuing our conversation on the Enneagram, we wanted to dive deeper into some of the lesser known aspects of the popular personal formation tool. In particular, we wanted to discuss the issue of Childhood Wounds, which essentially deal with the way that our personality types were shaped by experiences that we had with our primary care givers as kids. Taking this a step further, in this episode we wanted to explore this issue of the Enneagram in dialogue with Attachment Theory. Towards that end Dr. Josh Caroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Grace Ng are joined by Dr. Eurice Lee-Seo (PsyD, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University), who is a clinical psychologist at the Southern Oregon Veteran Affairs. Over the course of our integrative dialogue we explain Attachment Theory and the Childhood Wounds of the Enneagram in their own right, and then we turn to see explore how therapies inspired by Attachment Theory might relate to the path forward for the nine Enneagram types in the light of their Childhood Wounds, and also whether certain Enneagram types naturally relate more closely with the respective attachment styles. The key study referenced in this episode by Arthur and Allen that integrates Attachment Theory with the Enneagram can be found at this link.
September 23, 2020
Episode #32 - The Enneagram & Stress in 2020
In this episode we carry on our conversation on the Enneagram from last week ("The Enneagram—What Is It?") by diving more deeply into how we have all responded to the unique challenges of 2020. Engaging this topic is our largest panel of team members to date on The Two Cities podcast: Amber Bowen (Type 4), Dr. Josh Carroll (Type 7), Dr. John Anthony Dunne (Type 7), Paloma Herrera (Type 7), Brandon Hurlbert (Type 1), Grace Sangalang Ng (Type 6), Rev. Daniel Parham (Type 3), and Dr. Chris Porter (Type 3). Over the course of the episode we cover multiple topics from movements in stress, how our wings impact our management of stress, etc. In the end we emphasize the importance of thinking about the Enneagram in the context of community, and also the importance of community for seeing how people of various Enneagram types contribute to the richness of our experiences. In particular, we reflect on this dynamic as academics in relation to the annual international conferences every November—another thing that the global pandemic has significantly altered for us in 2020.
September 16, 2020
Episode #31 - The Enneagram—What Is It?
The Enneagram is a well-known "personality test." For many, it is used as a simple means of compartmentalizing people. For others, it is a helpful tool to raise personal awareness and promote healthy growth. In this initial episode on the Enneagram, Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Brandon Hurlbert, and Rev. Daniel Parham promote the idea of viewing the Enneagram as a tool rather than a test. We begin by overviewing the nine types, situating them within the three intelligence centers (8, 9, and 1 in the body center, 2, 3, and 4 in the heart center, and 5, 6, and 7 in the mental center). From there we discuss the concept of "wings," and how the adjacent types inform and temper our dominant types. We also address how the Enneagram is not static, and that it takes into account what our types look like in times of health (integration) and stress (disintegration). We conclude by reflecting on how we all came to learn about the Enneagram in the first place. This episode is meant to introduce people to the Enneagram, but also to establish an important way to think about it relative to some common misperceptions. This will serve to set up future episodes on the Enneagram as well.
September 9, 2020
Episode #30 - Disability, Autism, and the Church with Brittany Hurlbert
In this episode we discuss how churches can be more inclusive of people with disability and varying ability. John Anthony Dunne talks with Brittany Hurlbert, whose work is in educational and therapeutic settings, working primarily with people who have autism. After explaining what autism is, what its relationship to asperger's is, and some general misconceptions, we discuss some biblical principles for thinking about our differing abilities. Topics addressed include the issues of how we should think about "cures," what ministering with those with disabilities can look like, and what people with disabilities can teach us directly. Throughout the conversation we briefly acknowledge some scholarship from Grant Macaskill and Amos Yong on these topics.
September 2, 2020
Episode #29 - Science & Faith with Seth Price
Presently in our global situation, science is playing a crucial role in helping to squash the pandemic. Some, however, are skeptical of scientific expertise and tend to favor fringe ideas and conspiracy theories. In this episode, we wanted to take a step back and talk about the relationship between science and faith more broadly. It seems that many of the scientific skepticism flows downstream from a rejection of evolution, climate change, and other scientific consensuses. Joining Dr. John Anthony Dunne and Brandon Hurlbert to discuss this issue is Seth Price, a PhD Candidate in Physics at Durham University, who shares his story about being a person of faith and a scientist, and who helps us think through issues like intellectual humility, the relationship between the Bible and science, and the concept of the "God of the Gaps."
August 26, 2020
Episode #28 - Women in the Academy with Dr. Jill Firth and Dr. Christa McKirland
In this all-women episode, Amber Bowen discusses the unique experiences of women in the theological academy, including the challenges that women have to navigate as well as the particular benefits that they bring to the theological task. Joining Amber for this rich conversation are two special guests to The Two Cities: Dr. Jill Firth (PhD, Ridley College), who is Lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia, and Dr. Christa McKirland (PhD, University of St Andrews), who is Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Carey Baptist College in Auckland, New Zealand. The episode is filled with personal reflection, theological insight, and deep encouragement regarding the importance of women being equal contributors in the academy. Here is the link to the BYU Magazine article on women that Dr. Christa McKirland mentioned on the podcast, “When Women Don’t Speak.” Here is the link to Logia's webpage: http://logos.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/logia/ The edited volume that Dr. Jill Firth mentioned is called, Grounded in the Body, in Time and Place, in Scripture: Papers by Australian Women Scholars in the Evangelical Tradition, edited by Jill Firth and Denise Cooper-Clarke.
August 19, 2020
Episode #27 - PhDs & the Preaching Life
Following up on an earlier episode, “PhDs & The Devotional Life," from April 22nd, 2020, John Anthony Dunne and Brandon Hurlbert discuss the dynamics of preaching in the local church with PhD level education. How does a PhD help one prepare for preaching? In what ways does it hinder preaching? How can we ensure that we are genuinely connecting with the people in our churches and not simply preaching 'at them'?
August 12, 2020
Episode #26 - Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution with Dr. Tony Merida
To put it as understatedly as possible: conflicts have characterized much of 2020. From the conflicts that have emerged while being cooped up with family during quarantine, to the conflicts with extended family who share their abrasive political opinions on social media, and finally to the massive racial reckoning that has emerged in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, conflicts have been pervasive, unavoidable, and disheartening. Of course, deep down we all know that as we get closer to November things will only get worse. Towards a more productive approach to handling conflict, Amber Bowen, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, and Rev. Daniel Parham are joined by Dr. Tony Merida, Pastor for Preaching at Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, North Carolina and Dean of Grimké Seminary, to talk about his new book, Christ-Centered Conflict Resolution: A Guide for Turbulent Times (B&H, 2020). In this episode we discuss conflict resolution, conflict avoidance, and the power of forgiveness.
August 5, 2020
Episode #25 - Law and Order with Dr. Aaron Griffith
In this episode Amber Bowen and John Anthony Dunne are joined by Dr. Aaron Griffith (Th.D., M.Div., Duke Divinity), who is currently Assistant Professor of History at Sattler College (Boston, MA), to discuss his upcoming book God's Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020). Over the course of our conversation we discuss the history of the evangelical posture towards criminal punishment, the way that the criminal justice system began to be politicized in America, evangelical attitudes towards capital punishment and the tension between retributive and restorative approaches to justice respectively, and the rhetorical strategy behind politicians appealing to "law and order."
July 29, 2020
Episode #24 - Critical Race Theory & The Church
Continuing our conversation on Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory (CRT), we conclude our series with some ecclesial reflections as it pertains to pastoral concerns and the nature of Christian engagement with CRT. Along the way we talk about what it means to be a Christian peacemaker, whether evangelical quest for political power is an objective good worth pursuing, and if the Bible contains hegemonic discourse. This episode, which builds upon the previous episodes with philosopher Dr. Scott Coley (“Understanding Critical Theory") and ethicist Dr. Matthew Arbo (“Critical Theory & Ethics"), contains final reflections from five Two Cities team members: Amber Bowen, Dr. Josh Carroll, Dr. John Anthony Dunne, Rev. Daniel Parham, and Dr. Logan Williams.
July 22, 2020
Episode #23 - Critical Theory & Ethics with Dr. Matthew Arbo
Following up on our previous conversation on Critical Theory from last week ("Understanding Critical Theory with Dr. Scott Coley"), in this episode Amber Bowen, John Anthony Dunne, and Logan Williams are joined by ethicist and political theologian, Dr. Matthew Arbo, who is Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Oklahoma Baptist University. Over the course of our conversation we explore the ethics of Critical Theory (and Critical Race Theory), noting its relationship to ideologies such as capitalism and marxism, and how it manifests itself in society through avenues like activism.
July 15, 2020
Episode #22 - Understanding Critical Theory with Dr. Scott Coley
In this episode, Amber Bowen and John Anthony Dunne discuss Critical Theory with special guest Dr. Scott Coley, who is Lecturer in Philosophy and Director of the Global Encounters program at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Over the course of the conversation we address the history and origin of Critical Theory, including its chief aim to upend Modernity's conviction that empirical science is the ultimate arbiter of truth, splitting apart all statements into facts and opinions, and thus relegating issues of morality to the latter category. As we provide some context for Critical Theory, we then transition to understand how Critical Race Theory (CRT) relates to Critical Theory, and address what CRT's unique perspective is. There's been a lot of noise on social media, esp. recently in the midst of the present racial reckoning in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, about whether CRT is incompatible with evangelical Christianity. We discuss some strengths and weaknesses to the theory as well as some problems with the way that evangelical responses to CRT typically take shape.
July 8, 2020
Episode #21 - Transcultural Identity
There are many ongoing debates about “Black Lives Matter” v. “All Lives Matter,” though it does seem that, broadly-speaking, people have been coming around to recognizing what the slogan “Black Lives Matter” truly means, and why it’s crucial that we all affirm it without qualification. Yet, some disputes obviously persist. As a possible way forward, we discuss the topic of Transcultural Identity. Transcultural Identity is about the ways in which our identities are sometimes not so easily placed within neat categories or boundaries. In this episode, Dr. Christopher Porter and Dr. John Anthony Dunne discuss Transcultural Identity as a helpful way to address both the universalism and particularism of all people in the midst of the ongoing racial concerns and hang ups in the aftermath of the racial revolution inspired by the murder of George Floyd. Along the way we discuss Paul’s letter to the Galatians and the way that Paul navigates the unity of Jews and Gentiles in Christ vis-à-vis their continual ethnic and cultural differences. We also address the example of Peter, who retreated from eating with Gentiles in Antioch out of fear for how that might look to Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, and Paul’s desire to be “all things to all people,” as expressed in 1 Corinthians 9.
July 1, 2020
Episode #20 - Immigration, DACA, and SCOTUS with Jon Garcia
Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled 5–4 against President Trump's attempt to repeal former President Obama's executive order on Immigration, known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). In this episode, John Anthony Dunne and Rev. Daniel Parham are joined by Jon Garcia, a PhD student in Religion at USC. Over the course of our conversation we talk about the implications of this ruling, President Trump's possible determination to try to repeal DACA once more, the relationship between immigration policy and growing nationalism in America, the nature of the conservative argument in favor of voting for Trump in 2016 on the grounds of gaining conservative justices given the two rulings from last week that went against certain conservative positions (i.e. regarding LGBT rights and immigration), and how certain cultural and societal trends have particularly led white evangelicals to be disinclined towards seeing immigration as a subject worth Christian reflection and action.
June 24, 2020
Episode #19 - Memes, Confirmation Bias, and Discernment
Our newsfeeds are inundated with memes and videos promoting all sorts of ideological perspectives, and much of that is curated by the networks that we choose to incorporate into the spheres of our respective social media accounts. As a result, it's easy to create insular and isolated social bubbles that keep us from understanding where others outside those bubbles are coming from, or from knowing what's truly going on in the world. In this episode, Amber Bowen, John Anthony Dunne, and Rev. Daniel Parham discuss some of these dynamics, such as the use of memes by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X to critique present-day protests, and the arguments against kneeling as a form of protest by contending that kneeling should only be reserved for God. For many of us, these memes are helpful because they are short and easy-to-understand, but given the echo chamber of social media, these memes often serve to reinforce a confirmation bias where we're likely to passively consume rather than critically engage what passes through our newsfeeds because the memes cohere with what we already think or because they align with what we would like to think about the world. Given our general human inclination to approve of what we prefer to be true rather than what's actually true, we turn our discussion in this episode to address the importance of cultivating a habit of discernment. As our discussion unfolds, we articulate that being a discerning person looks like: (A) being suspicious and skeptical, and allowing our curiosity to drive us to dig deeper, (B) utilizing and engaging a variety of sources, (C) seeking wise counsel from others, (D) checking our heart attitudes, and (E) prayerfully committing ourselves to the heart of God in service of others.
June 17, 2020
Episode #18 - Systemic Racism with Dr. Walter Augustine
Following upon our conversation on "Racial Justice" in the previous episode, John Anthony Dunne and Grace Sangalang Ng are joined by Dr. Walter Augustine, Director of Intercultural Education and Research in the Division of Diversity and Inclusion at Biola University and an adjunct professor of theology and ethics at Talbot School of Theology. In this episode we extend our theological reflections on racial justice from the previous episode with further conversation on related issues of systemic racism, white privilege, “Black Lives Matter," the role of the church in the present racial tension, and the reasons to be hopeful regarding change and reform.
June 10, 2020
Episode #17 - Racial Justice with Rev. Daniel Parham
In the wake of horrific events from last week in Minneapolis with the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day by a police officer and the subsequent series of protests and riots throughout the United States, we discuss the need to think theologically about racial justice. Rev. Daniel Parham joins John Anthony Dunne and Grace Sangalang Ng to address gaps in our theological education regarding racism, the cliché of "colorblindness" as an apathetic reaction to the necessity of properly addressing racism, and the importance of racial justice as a component of our Christian orthopraxy. Resources mentioned in this episode can be found below: Books Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in American to Confront Racism and Injustice by Eric Mason One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love by John Perkins Videos Interconnected: Confronting Racial Prejudice Between Asian American and African American Communities Organizations Be the Bridge
June 3, 2020
Episode #16 - Philosophy and the Good Life with Dr. J. Aaron Simmons
What value does Philosophy have in our lives? In a time of crisis like the present global pandemic in which we find ourselves, we might be particularly convinced that Philosophy is irrelevant or unhelpful. Broader societal trends seem to confirm this line of thought with the way that we privilege a certain kind of productivity over against living a well-lived life of purpose and meaning. Joining us to advocate for the inherent practicality of Philosophy and its crucial importance for us right now is Dr. J. Aaron Simmons, Professor of Philosophy at Furman University in South Carolina. In this episode, Amber Bowen and John Anthony Dunne chat with Dr. Simmons about the role of Philosophy in higher education and the present crisis. Particular stress is placed on the value of thinking well about all things, even leisure activities like playing the drums and trout fishing.
May 27, 2020
Episode #15 - N.T. Wright Interview About His New Book, God and the Pandemic
N.T. Wright joins The Two Cities podcast for a special interview episode about his upcoming new book, God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and Its Aftermath (London: SPCK / Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2020). His new book is an expansion and development of a short article that he wrote for TIME magazine on March 29th, entitled, “Christianity Offers No Answers About The Coronavirus: It's Not Supposed To." In this episode, John Anthony Dunne talks with Prof. Wright about his new book, the biblical conceptions of lament, whether the coronavirus should be viewed as part of God's end-time tribulational judgment, and what the message of hope needs to be at the present time.
May 20, 2020
Episode #14 - Kierkegaard & “The Leap of Faith"
Building further upon our previous conversations on the podcast about the nature of the gospel and the nature of faith (“Talking About The Gospel" and "Believing in the Gospel"), in this episode Amber Bowen and John Anthony Dunne discuss the popular notion of Faith as it has become famously expressed in the phrase, "A Leap of Faith." In this common recognition of what Faith is and does, it is an irrational exercise that seems to ignore evidence. This concept is often attributed to the great Danish philosopher of the 19th century, Søren Kierkegaard. This “Leap of Faith" is based, however, on a mistranslation as well as a misunderstanding of what Kierkegaard originally meant. Instead of what Faith does (i.e. leaps away from evidence), Faith is understood like a realm that one moves towards (as a kind of destination). Along the way the present discussion includes the reception of Kierkegaard among evangelicals, particularly evidentialist and classical apologists, reference to a popular interaction with this discrepancy in understanding Kierkegaard in the popular TV Show centered on ethics and the afterlife, The Good Place (Cf. Season 2, Episode 8 “Leap To Faith"), and finally the portrait of Faith as a crazy man on the top of a mountain in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling. Amber explains that ultimately for Kierkegaard, Faith is a realm that we move into, and then come back from, with new eyes to see beyond the closed finite horizon in which Faith will inevitably be perceived as crazy, isolating, and solipsistic.
May 13, 2020
Episode #13 - Believing in the Gospel
In this episode, we discuss what it means to believe the gospel, following up on our previous episode discussing recent debates on the blogosphere about what the gospel is and isn't ("Talking about the Gospel"). Building upon that previous conversation, Amber Bowen, John Anthony Dunne, and Logan Williams discuss binary thinking that impairs how we conceive of what faith is, and then address more helpful ways beyond that restrictive way of thinking that is more in line with how the Greek words for “faith” (πίστις; pistis) and “believing” (πιστεύω; pisteuō) were used and understood in the New Testament—as expressions of trust.
May 6, 2020
Episode #12 - Talking About The Gospel
How should we define the gospel? Recently, there have been some heated discussions about the nature of the gospel. What should the central identifying feature be? Should it be the legal declaration of Justification by Faith? Or should it be the regal proclamation that Jesus is King? In this episode, Amber Bowen, John Anthony Dunne, Chris Porter, Kris Song, and Logan Williams call into question whether identifying a "center" to the gospel is even helpful in the first place, and draw attention to the broader implications about what tends to happen in our theological discourse when we talk about what the gospel is and is not. The way the gospel is often addressed in these kinds of conversations have implications for creating insiders and outsiders. In the end, we attempt to provide an account of what the gospel is in ten words or less, but conclude with the observation that the personal nature of the gospel and a relational understanding of the truth of the gospel breaks beyond reductionistic propositions.
April 29, 2020
Episode #11 - PhDs & the Devotional Life
Getting a PhD is tough. What are the unique challenges that come with getting a PhD in theology? In particular, how can we maintain a vital devotional life in the midst of the stresses of a PhD program? In this episode John Anthony Dunne talks with The Two Cities team member Brandon Hurlbert to discuss this tricky subject; John went through a PhD program in New Testament at the University of St Andrews (Scotland), and Brandon is currently in the midst of a PhD program in Old Testament at Durham University (England) under the supervision of Professor Walter Moberly.
April 22, 2020
Episode #10 - Are We Living In A Black Mirror Episode?
With the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) continuing to spread throughout the world, all around the world we are turning to technology like never before to facilitate our regular lives—our work, our church life, our interpersonal relationships, etc. For some of us, the majority of the people that we typically interact with are now confined to our screens and laptops, mediated through FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype. It sort of feels like we're living in a strange episode of Black Mirror. In this podcast episode, John Anthony Dunne, Brandon Hurlbert, and Amber Bowen discuss this dystopian anthology TV show about our daily (ab)use of technology. Amber is a PhD Candidate in Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland), and Brandon is a PhD Candidate in Old Testament at Durham University (England). Presently, Amber and John are co-editing and contributing to a book on the show called Black Mirror & Theology (Fortress/Lexington Press), and Brandon is also contributing an essay of his own. As part of this episode's conversation, Amber and Brandon discuss their essay topics, which each bring a particular episode (5.1 "Striking Vipers" for Amber and 2.2 "White Bear" for Brandon) into conversation with Kierkegaard and the Old Testament book of Judges respectively.
April 15, 2020
Episode #9 - Twin Peaks: The Theme of Dreams – Part Two
Today (April 8, 2020) marks the 30th anniversary of when the classic TV show Twin Peaks first aired. In our previous episode ("Twin Peaks: Why We Love It – Part One"), John Anthony Dunne and Kris Song discussed the cultural phenomenon that is Twin Peaks. In this episode, we discuss further how dreams function within the show as well as the broader work of David Lynch.
April 8, 2020
Episode #8 - Twin Peaks: Why We Love It – Part One
Today (April 8, 2020) marks the 30th anniversary of when the hit TV show Twin Peaks first hit our television sets. Twin Peaks was a major cultural phenomenon in the early 1990s. As an innovative TV show, it was a victim of its own success, being canceled after its second season. TV viewers coming out of the 80s, accustomed to Soaps and episodic storytelling, were simply not ready for a long form narrative spanning multiple episodes without resolution to the central inciting mystery—who killed Laura Palmer? Additionally, being in part the product of filmmaker David Lynch, famous for quirky, creepy, and bizarre films, TV viewers of the time did not have the palette for Lynch's niche vision of the world. After the show was canceled, Lynch made a prequel film in 1992 called Fire Walk With Me, which was summarily booed and trashed at the Cannes film festival. At the time that seemed to be the final nail in the coffin. However, in the summer of 2017, after the improbable growth of a cult following of Twin Peaks—thanks in part to the rise of the internet, the publication of a fan magazine called Wrapped in Plastic, and some annual fan summer festivals—the show returned to Showtime for a third season. In this episode, John Anthony Dunne chats with The Two Cities team member Kris Song about their love of this show that is both wonderful and strange.
April 8, 2020
Episode #7 - Gathering Together Virtually: Communion Conversation Continued
This is a follow up podcast on our earlier conversation called “Is Virtual Communion Valid?" (posted on March 25th, 2020). In that discussion we talked through the tricky issues of taking communion during this time of social distancing in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). We addressed how we should frame the conversation in terms of "less ideal and more ideal," and that even though taking communion in our homes under normal circumstances would not be recommended, in this difficult time where we long to be together, there are good reasons to continue the practice of communion in order to maintain Jesus' commandment. There are some who contend that the Lord's Supper ceases to be the Lord's Supper unless it is taken while we are gathered together, as Paul prescribes in 1 Corinthians 11 (see Bobby Jamieson, “Can Baptism and the Lord's Supper Go Online?" The Gospel Coalition posted on March 25, 2020). In this episode, John Anthony Dunne, Josh Carroll, Logan Williams, Brandon Hurlbert, and Chris Porter address whether it is legitimate to conceive of churches gathering together in a virtual space during online church services, which would meet that criterion of 1 Corinthians 11. The discussions extends from the implications for trans-local gatherings to trans-temporal ones as well.
April 6, 2020
Episode #6 - Diet & the Coronavirus with Christina Fehrenbach
During this Coronavirus pandemic many of us are practicing social distancing, self-quarantining, and sheltering in place. It's a stressful time existentially and economically, and as a result, what we eat might not seem like much of a concern. Many of us have stocked up on non-perishable food items in case we need to stay tucked away for a few weeks or longer. During this time is it possible that there are better strategies for stocking up that might actually be beneficial for us? In this episode, John Anthony Dunne discusses these things with his sister Christina Fehrenbach, RND, LD, who is a clinical dietitian. Recipes/shopping list can be found below. A) Tina’s healthy non-perishable shopping list Dried or low sodium canned beans and lentils Low sodium canned tuna/chicken Dried whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, whole grain dried noodles) Seeds (chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds) Peanut butter/ almond butter powders Dried fruits and vegetables Low sodium broth/stocks (vegetable, chicken) Whole wheat tortillas/whole grain breads Frozen foods are also a great option (Frozen vegetables, fruits, meats, fish; remember to freeze fresh foods as able before they expire) B) Tina’s Immune boosting Egg Scramble (Serves two) Ingredients 2 teaspoons olive oil 1/4 cup diced yellow onion 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper ¼ cup diced red bell pepper 1/2 cup diced cremini mushrooms 1 cup baby spinach 4 large eggs, beaten (substitute egg white for a low fat/calorie option) Directions · Using a large non-stick skillet with olive oil, heat pan over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until vegetables are softened · Add spinach and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add eggs and stir mixture. A silicone spatula works best. Cook until eggs are done and reach a temp of 165 degrees. · Serve with a side of roasted sweet potatoes for added nutrition! (cube fresh sweet potatoes, place in sheet pan with olive oil and bake for about 45 minutes on 375 degrees). Nutrition Facts (estimated): 220 calories, 15 g fat (less for egg white variation), 5 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein. C) Tina’s immune boosting chili recipe (Servings: 8) Ingredients: 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion - diced 1 yellow bell pepper - diced 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 medium jalapeño seeded - finely chopped 1 (12 oz) bag rainbow baby carrots, chopped 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes 3-4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree 1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (substitute 8 oz ground turkey - fully cooked for meat option) 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin ½ teaspoon cinnamon 2 teaspoons ground turmeric 1 teaspoon dried oregano Directions: In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add bell pepper and carrots, jalapeño and sauté for another 5-8 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, pumpkin, and stir. Add beans, turkey, spices and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low-medium and let simmer for about 1 hour or until carrots are slightly softened. Nutrition Facts (estimated): 254 calories, 5.3 g fat, 37 g carbohydrate, 14 g protein, 130% Vitamin A, 80% vitamin C.
April 1, 2020
Episode #5 - Sports & the Coronavirus with Jacob Dunne
The sports world is in disarray during this global pandemic. For many, sports are a perennial source of conversation and entertainment. But when there's no sports to watch, but everyone's stuck at home, that makes for a sad state of affairs in an already horrible situation. In this episode, John Anthony Dunne chats with his brother Jacob Dunne about current storylines, future possibilities, and media coverage of this phenomenon. Jacob co-runs a fantasy basketball podcast (Take A Ride) and writes for fantasy basketball and fantasy baseball blogs as well.
April 1, 2020
Episode #4 - Is Virtual Communion Valid?
In this episode we discuss the difficulty of doing church and being the church in the midst of the present Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). To what extent is virtual communion valid? Given the mandates around the world to practice social distancing, and in some sectors sheltering in place, what does the communion of the saints look like in isolation? Additionally, what does the sacramental practice of communion, or the Eucharist, look like during these days? Representing different ecclesial traditions from Baptist to Presbyterian to Anglican, a panel of team members from The Two Cities, including John Anthony Dunne, Kris Song, Logan Williams, Brandon Hurlbert, and Josh Carroll, discuss more ideal and less ideal approaches to virtual communion.
March 25, 2020
Episode #3 - Reading the Book of Judges as Scripture
The Book of Judges from the Old Testament is quite puzzling from the vantage point of Jesus' teachings. It is full of characters who do not represent the paragons of morality that we might expect from the Bible. In fact, it is perhaps the most violent and sexual of all the texts in the biblical canon. What are we to make of this as Christians? Can we read the Book of Judges as Christian Scripture? In this episode John Anthony Dunne discusses this topic with Brandon Hurlbert, a PhD Candidate at Durham University who is doing his thesis on the Book of Judges under the supervision of Prof. Walter Moberly.
March 18, 2020
Episode #2 - Parasite (Movie Review)
Parasite (dir. Bong Joon-ho) is a Korean black comedy about wealth disparity, and is the winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, which made history since it was the first international film in a foreign language to do so. In this episode John Anthony Dunne, Kris Song, and Brandon Hurlbert discuss the themes of hope, wealth, and metaphors in the film.
March 18, 2020
Episode #1 - What is Apocalyptic Theology?
Apocalpytic is a term that evokes particular images today that are foreign to what ancient apocalypticism was concerned about. At present, certain scholars and theologians use the label of apocalyptic to describe their theological projects and readings of scripture. In this episode, John Anthony Dunne talks with Paloma Herrera, who is a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen, studying apocalyptic theology under Professor Grant Macaskill.
March 18, 2020
The Two Cities, which began as a blog in 2011 (thetwocities.com) is launching a new podcast all about Theology, Culture, and Discipleship. You can expect an eclectic array of theological integration on this podcast by professors, PhD students, and pastors around the world.
March 9, 2020