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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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Dec 1, 2016

Trump Evangelism is not what you think. It's not about the President-elect. It's about finding what lightning rod issues people are passionate about and reaching out to them on that level to help them see the truth you're trying to convey. In this episode Rick Henderson & Mike Bell tackle the question, "How do you talk about truth with people who believe everyone has their own truth," such as author, activist and philanthropist Glennon Doyle Melton. 

[BONUS MATERIAL] A discussion on political strategist, Donald Trump adviser, and former executive chair at Breitbart , Steve Bannon and the Alt Right. Are the mainstream media fairly describing him as a "white nationalist"?

Nov 17, 2016

What’s more important…HOW you think or WHAT you think?  Instead of offering commentary on recent events, in this episode, Rick Henderson and Mike Bell engage how people are processing information, and expose common logical fallacies along the way.

Nov 10, 2016

The historic election of republican Donald Trump left much of the nation in shock, and much of it celebrating the defeat of democrat Hillary Clinton.

What does this election say about people of faith – as Americans, as evangelicals?  What does it mean to trust the Gospel if your candidate lost?  What does it mean to trust the Gospel if your candidate won? Rick Henderson and Mike Bell explore politics and faith as we look toward the inauguration of President-elect Trump. 

Nov 3, 2016

True to form, Mike Bell and Rick Henderson discuss (and mock) intellectual tyranny, before turning to a more serious topic - the Jen Hatmaker pronouncement that LGBT relationships can be holy. Can they? Can you be in a gay relationship without betraying Biblical principles? 

Oct 27, 2016

Rick Henderson and Mike Bell discuss 7 statements that Christians should stop believing. Plus they wrestle with the question, “Should Christians watch the Walking Dead?” And what is the best response to Halloween, which, let's face it - has its roots in Paganism. Should the faithful celebrate the day of the dead, or not? 

Oct 21, 2016

Rick Henderson gets marital counseling from Mike Bell -- what not to do with your wine? Don't spill it on your wife! The Sacred Skeptics talk about church values in the 21st century, plus apologetics - defending the Christian faith. Are there natural causes for time, space, the universe, the Earth, etc.? 

Oct 13, 2016

Both presidential candidates are riddled with flaws.  Now that even more has been revealed about republican Donald Trump, should we pummel him with shame and pull the lever for democrat Hillary Clinton? Also, the Rick Henderson and Mike Bell discuss well meaning, but unclear and potentially harmful Christian slogans.

Oct 3, 2016

Mike Bell is out of town, so Rick Henderson welcomes former NFL player Eddie Williams to the studio. Williams, who played professional football for five years, is now a pastor in Utah and a coordinator for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

A lot of people disagree on the best way to approach the racial tensions that are gripping the United States. Uber conservatives like Sean Hannity would argue there is no such thing as white privilege or systematic, societal racism. Colin Kaepernick would argue America has never been great for African-Americans. Eddie, as a multi-racial American, says both sides are missing empathy and the Gospel.

Sep 26, 2016

In part two of this series, pastors Mike Bell and Rick Henderson look at emotional health, why people become broken, and why bad things happen to good people. If God can stop evil, why doesn't He do it? When it comes to suffering, what are our options if Christianity is not true? And because it wouldn't be Sacred Skeptics without a little controversy, the guys look at evolution (micro-evolution and macro-evolution) and natural selection and its role in human growth and survival -- would those things still work without love and friendship? 

Sep 19, 2016

Frederick Douglass says it's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men, in the latest quote of the week. Pastors Rick Henderson and Mike Bell agree wholeheartedly, before delving into the meat of the episode: why do bad things happen to good people? Can't God stop evil from happening? If he can, why doesn't He? What do Christians need to know about hard times?  

 

 

Sep 12, 2016

Sometimes good intentions bring unintended consequences, and without killing a sacred cow, Mike Bell and Rick Henderson use famed, canonized Mother Theresa as an example of what that looks like - she wasn't perfect, and we need to be careful not to put people on a pedestal, and make sure our acts of compassion help without hurting. 

Dallas Willard, a pastor and spiritual formation teacher, is behind the latest quote of the week, "Reality is what you bump into when you are wrong." Mike and Rick say this quote is what Sacred Skeptics is all about -- just because you don't like the truth doesn't make reality any less real or truthful. Why can't more people admit when they're wrong -- like libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his unfortunate Aleppo fail. 

 

Sep 5, 2016

Rick Henderson and Mike Bell defend the right of the NFL's Colin Kaepernick to refuse to stand for the National Anthem in protest of the way black Americans are treated, even if they're not convinced he's either understanding the nuance of the injustice and situation, or choosing the best way to express his feelings. Rick doubts that African-Americans can truly claim that they are oppressed in a country with a two-term black president, but the whole debate has opened his eyes to the racist roots of the Star-Spangled Banner. Did you know Francis Scott Key was pro-slavery? The third stanza in particular refers to a black unit (recruited and backed by the British) that defeated Key shortly before he famously wrote about their defeat at the hands of American troops. The guys also dig into a new Satanic group meeting in the region and what that does and does not mean (i.e., theistic Satanists vs. atheistic Satanism, people who believe Satan has divine roots and people who don't.). 

Aug 29, 2016

The quote of the week comes from Tim Keller, a well-known pastor and author, who says "If Christianity is really true, it will be offending and correcting you somewhere."

Speaking from the position that the Christian worldview is the best explanation for reality, Sacred Skeptics Mike Bell and Rick Henderson look inward to expose what it's like when your instinct is to punch your neighbor rather than love them. Is the Holy Spirit trying to tell you something? Truth should matter more to you than your feelings and emotions. After all, following Jesus isn't always easy.   

Aug 22, 2016

What does it mean to be orthodox? Who decides who is a heretic and who is a faithful true follower? Rick Henderson and Mike Bell dig into the difference between heresy and orthodoxy, teachings that amount to aberrant theology and teachings that are simply misunderstandings, and they start with speaking in tongues -- from a Biblical perspective but also from modern claims. Can you be wrong without necessarily being a heretic? Certainly the wrong teaching can still do damage, so where's the line? 

Aug 17, 2016

What does it mean to be orthodox when it comes to the Christian faith? What’s the difference between heresy, aberrant teachings and teachings that are just misunderstandings? Join Mike Bell and Rick Henderson as they get real and maybe even a little provocative in this take on Christian orthodoxy.

Aug 8, 2016

Few get to vote for their first choice in this election, with democrat Hillary Clinton turning off some voters, and republican Donald Trump turning off others. Some are going with the lesser of two evils. Others are guided by the notion that it’s better to go with the devil you know over the devil you don’t. This week, we engage a Christian leader who says exactly that, and we interview Lis Kraus (College Professor, Christian and Hillary supporter).

Aug 1, 2016

In the 2016 election for president of the United States, for some either Hillary or The Donald are the first choice. For most, they are simply the two candidates we are stuck with. How do you pick between Hillary Clinton, a democrat with a storied pedigree but also a controversial history, and Donald Trump, the real estate mogul, reality TV star and crass communicator with strong views on immigration? For voters, does it really come down to the lesser of two evils on Election Day? 

Jul 25, 2016

Rick Henderson and Mike Bell continue their discussion on race relations, both from a white and a black perspective. An African-American pastor shared the conversation he had with his son about how to behave if he was pulled over in his new car. Do white parents have to have those same conversations with their children about respect for police? Is profiling ever OK? 

Jul 18, 2016

Our country is currently embroiled in a debate over justice and race. Is it possible that the white community and black community are united by an understanding that neither has yet realized?

Jul 11, 2016

Is it wrong to judge people? If you say yes, aren't you judging people for judging? If you say no, aren't you being unloving? After all, Jesus said, "Don't judge." We explore what being judgmental truly means and how to love others without looking down on them.  Rick Henderson and Mike Bell discuss.

Jul 2, 2016

Who’s to blame for the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando?  Is it true that Christians have contributed to a culture of hate?  Wouldn’t that make Christians complicit…at least a little guilty for violence against the LGBT community? Mike Bell and Rick Henderson explore the issue of tolerance and whether disagreeing with a lifestyle is akin to hating people.

Jul 2, 2016

What do you do when you don't like what you believe? What happens when you don't like your own faith? Do you leave the church? Do you hide your thoughts and feelings and keep on doing the religion thing? Do you redefine what Christianity means to you? Mike Bell and Rick Henderson discuss. 

Jun 22, 2016

The guys take on some mental gymnastics; do you find yourself arguing in circles or just repeating the same old points? Am I being a good listener? Am I really taking into account what others are saying? If you are not open to changing your mind, you may have a closed mind. You may be a bigot.

Mike Bell comes "out of the closet" to reveal he identifies as a nudist. Rick Henderson identifies as a never-nude. The Netherlands voted to stop classifying gender identity issues as a mental illness. Do mental health professionals need to follow suit around the world, or is the transgender issue about the mind? 

This episode was recorded BEFORE the tragedy at the night club in Orlando. It is in no way a response to that shooting, and Mike and Rick's hearts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones. 

Jun 10, 2016

People are incensed with the perceived injustice in the Stanford Rape case.  Are they right?  What would lead a judge to hand down such a light sentence?  How should we talk to our sons and daughters about drinking, partying and sexual assault?

Jun 4, 2016

People are going ape over the death of Harambe, a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. What should we think about that? Also, the majority of U.S. adults agree with these six statements - and so do most Christians. Find out what they are and why Mike Bell and Rick Henderson think they're wrong.

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