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Sacred Skeptics

What if C.S. Lewis and Jon Stewart had a love child? We like to think of our podcast as an attempt to embody the best that these men have to offer: uncommon insight and stinging wit. We engage current events, cultural issues and answer spiritual questions. If you don’t like sarcasm, this isn’t the podcast for you. New episodes drop every Wednesday and Thursday. Listen and subscribe.
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Mar 22, 2017

From Bethel Church in Redding, to Hillsong in Australia, many in the evangelical world have gone full fanboy over modern day prophets.  If someone is legitimately a mouthpiece for God, how could that ever be verified?  Is this just a matter of faith, feelings or intuition?   How can we know if someone is legitimate?  Pastors Mike Bell and Rick Henderson jump head first into the murky depths of the weird and sensational claims made by religious people.

Mar 22, 2017

From social interaction to social media, making a political statement or taking a bold stance on a cultural issue feels like stepping into the lion's den.  And yet, we love it when people dare to engage.  In this episode, pastors Rick Henderson and Mike Bell respond to both the friendly and critical members of the Sacred Skeptics community who have written emails and commented online.

Mar 16, 2017

Baronnelle Stutzman is the florist who was thrust into the national spotlight for refusing to design flowers for a same-sex wedding. Alliance Defending Freedom is taking her case to the Supreme Court. Is this another instance of grumpy, hypocritical Christians? Is there a difference between what the law should allow and what Christians should do? Does this case expose liberal hypocrisy? Pastors Mike Bell and Rick Henderson disentangle perception from fact and give their take on this messy issue.

Mar 15, 2017

William Paul Young's uber popular book, The Shack, has sold millions of copies and is now a feature film.  Some are raving fans.  Others resist and even attack it for being heresy -- chock-full of erroneous information about God, Jesus, the Bible etc. Conservative Christian thought leader Albert Mohler says that the book "reveals a disastrous failure of evangelical discernment." Is he right? Pastors Rick Henderson and Mike Bell discuss.

Mar 9, 2017

In a world where it seems like the like the people in charge often act like petulant children, we have to ask, "Where are the adults?"  The Art of Adulting is about living with wisdom and taking responsibility.  This may be hardest with navigating disagreement with those who treat us like enemies.  How do we move forward?  What does it mean to be loving when surrounded by hostility. Pastor Rick Henderson and guest co-host, Rob Lambert discuss.

Mar 8, 2017

Atheism is a belief system, and we can prove it! Everyone and every view is united by the same BIG questions. We're just divided by the answers. Whether you're a strong atheist or a passive disbeliever--we all are responsible to explain why people have dignity or why rape is wrong. Saying, "everyone knows it" is not only not true.  It's a copout. Join Rick Henderson and guest co-host, Rob Lambert as they discuss.

Mar 2, 2017

This is bigger than the controversy surrounding the Texas High School State Wrestling Championships. What is gender and how do we know it? Tucker Carlson debated Zac Petkanas, a senior Democratic National Committee advisor. Petkanas claims gender identity is settled science. Do doctors agree? How could it be caring to help kids live a lifestyle that leads 40% to attempt suicide? Mike Bell and Rick Henderson ask hard questions while sidestepping harsh attitudes.

Mar 1, 2017

In this age of protests, condescension has become a virtue. At a town hall for Senator Bill Cassidy, protesters drew notoriety for shouting during a prayer and pledge to the flag.  At the Oscars, celebrities like Academy Award winner Viola Davis adorned themselves with self-praise. Could it be that there is a common trait, below the surface, that causes us to act wrong when we feel most right?  Pastors Rick Henderson and Mike Bell call on the aid of Tim Keller as they discuss.

Feb 22, 2017

Have you seen the videos of college professors melting down and throwing tantrums at protests?  If you never get emotional you're not human.  If you can't discipline your emotions you're not an adult.  What is the hope for meaningful engagement if we get mean every time someone asks a question that makes us uncomfortable?  Rick Henderson and Mike Bell help us move into discomfort and see how to turn conflict into connection.

Feb 15, 2017

Millions are marching and more are passionately expressing their values.  Among all the disagreement, there is surprising unity: compassion is good, racism is bad, evil should be resisted.  Can we validate these values without a belief in God?  On the Late Show, with Stephen Colbert, Ricky Gervais laughs off the idea God.  He claims science is enough. Mike Bell and Rick Henderson respond.   

Feb 13, 2017

Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, joins the show with Rick Henderson and Mike Bell.  They tackle feminism, doubt and what it really means to follow Jesus.  She shares her experiences with the U.S. Immigration process.  And, in a surprise twist, maybe the Canadians have something to teach us about common sense compassion.

Feb 9, 2017

Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, joins the show with Rick Henderson and Mike Bell.  They tackle feminism, doubt and what it really means to follow Jesus.  She shares her experiences with the U.S. Immigration process.  And, in a surprise twist, maybe the Canadians have something to teach us about common sense compassion.    

Feb 8, 2017

President Trump sparked controversy with his Executive Order, spinning airports, agencies and the courts into chaos.  How do we open our borders to those seeking help and close our borders to those seeking harm?  It's not just refugees that need to be vetted, it's how we think that needs to be scoured as well.  Mike Bell and Rick Henderson tackle the hard questions and propose possibly radical solutions.  

Feb 8, 2017

Is it the media's job to tell us what is right, or is it the media's job tell us what is true?  In the second, of this this two part series, Rick Henderson and Mike Bell continue their discussion with Jasen Lee.  He has been a journalist for over 20 years and is the co-host of Voices of Reason.  The conversation shifts from simply examining the media to exploring the responsibility of media consumers.  

Feb 2, 2017

Here's just a hint of the rest of our conversation with Jasen Lee, a journalist and co-host of the podcast Voices of Reason. A reporter for the Deseret News, Jasen takes Pastor Rick Henderson and Mike Bell to task for their views, but also allows the Sacred Skeptics to push back on his opinions about journalism, accountability, credibility and fake news. We'll be posting the rest of the discussion soon! 

Feb 1, 2017

President Donald Trump's suspension of immigration and refugee acceptance has sparked concern and outrage from all sides. Is the mainstream media guilty of influencing thought before informing minds? Mike Bell and Rick Henderson interview journalist, Jasen Lee, a reporter at the Deseret News and the co-host of Voices of Reason. Before tackling the news, in this two-part series, they address where to get news and how to tell the difference between information and indoctrination.  

Jan 26, 2017

In the last episode, Mike Bell and Rick Henderson reacted with emotional hostility to the question, "Are you a feminist?"  In this episode they take a look at the true history of feminism and react to the perspective of Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, a pro-life, Christian who believes the Bible teaches all of us to embrace rights for women as followers of Christ.  Will Mike and Rick change their tune and admit that they were wrong?  

Jan 25, 2017

Millions of women marched in Washington and in cities around the U.S., but for what exactly? Abortion? Equal pay? Equality in education? An end to oppression? Senator Claire McCaskill said her stated goal was to get people to go to her website.  Is that all this is -- a power play and fundraiser opportunity? People are angry and the next wave of feminism is rolling in.  After being asked, "Are you a feminist?"  Pastor Rick Henderson and Mike Bell give their raw, gut level reaction to this question. Make sure you listen to both episodes of this two part series.

 

 

Jan 19, 2017

Martin Scorsese directed and released Silence, a film starting Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver.  More than a stellar movie, it tells the story of brutally persecuted Jesuit priests and Japanese Christians in 17th century Japan.  The film compels the Jesus follower to ask the question, where is God in our pain and suffering?  Why does he allow evil?  Pastors Mike Bell and Rick Henderson respond.  We promise, no spoilers if you haven't seen the movie yet.  

Jan 18, 2017

Congressman John Lewis and many other politicians and public figures are boycotting the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump.  Jennifer Holliday is the latest celebrity to back out.  Are people standing up for their convictions or settling for hypocrisy?  Do liberals and conservatives afford each other the same courtesy?  The price tag of this moral and intellectual could be the loss of freedom of speech.  Rick Henderson and Mike Bell discuss.

Jan 12, 2017

Prominent CNN news personality, Don Lemon, said that acts displayed in the infamous Facebook torture video were not, "evil." Rather, it's just "bad home training." Is he right? Did he misspeak? Does it matter what we call this kind of abuse?  Mike Bell and pastor Rick Henderson discuss this and its possible relationship to white privilege.

Jan 11, 2017

Exactly who are the clergy on stage at Donald Trump's presidential inauguration? What does this tell us about them?  What does this tell us about our president elect?  The spiritual adviser with most influence seems to be controversial, prosperity gospel preacher Paula White (giving us an excuse to play our favorite Benny Hinn audio clip). Rick Henderson and Mike Bell discuss her role, along with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and Rev. Franklin Graham. 

Jan 5, 2017

We love interactions on social media and getting emails from listeners. Pastor Rick Henderson gives a fun and heavy handed response to an anonymous emailer who attacked him, his commentary and even his knowledge of the Bible. Enjoy the rant and his full throated attack of the Prosperity Gospel, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen.

Jan 4, 2017

There is a reason that so many people are misinformed or duped into believing what is not true.  The reason...agnotology.  A term coined by Robert Proctor.  Rick Henderson and Mike Bell discuss the science and business of strategically keeping people confused and ignorant for the purposes of gaining or keeping power.  Don't let your motto be, "Often wrong, never in doubt."

Dec 8, 2016

How should we engage people who disagree with us? Can you articulate another person's point of view in such a way that they would say you've done them justice? In this episode, Mike Bell and Rick Henderson tackle emotional fragility and intellectual strength.  Plus, we wade into the "Pizzagate" story (John Podesta's strange emails & Comet Ping Pong Pizza to name a few elements), and the controversy over what constitutes "fake news". 

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