Yesterday, I promised that I would give a brief review of some more of my favorite new podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio. Here are the podcasts that I heartily recommend, in the order that I like them.
1. A Word From the Holy Fathers, by Dn. Matthew Steenberg. Dn. Matthew is a patristics scholar who teaches at Oxford University. He is also a deacon in the Russian Orthodox Church in England. Each week, Dn. Matthew reads a brief excerpt from the writings of one of the Fathers and then comments on it, with an emphasis on life application. Both the patristic readings and Dn. Matthew’s comments on them are powerful. And, he has a beautiful British accent to boot! The intro and concluding music are also terrific.
2. Steve the Builder, by Steve Robinson. Most of you know Steve Robinson as the author of the delightful Pithless Thoughts blog and as the host of the Our Life in Christ podcast, the most popular Orthodox podcast ever. Steve’s co-host Bill Gould has become increasingly busy with his job in the last few months, and due in part to this, Our Life in Christ is on temporary hiatus (except for re-releasing old programs). So, Steve has begun his own podcast, and it is fantastic. Each week, Steve reflects on the practical side of being an Orthodox Christian working in a secular environment. He gives practical tips for how to live out the Orthodox faith in your day-to-day life. The most recent episode, which deals with the homeless, is extremely powerful.
3. At the Intersection of East and West, by Dn. Michael Hyatt. Dn. Michael converted to Orthodoxy about 25 years ago, and he has served as an Orthodox deacon for many years. But he is also the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest evangelical Christian publishing company in the world (and also the publisher of the Orthodox Study Bible). Being in these two roles gives him a unique and well-informed perspective on how to communicate the Orthodox faith to evangelicals. The podcasts are recordings of Dn. Michael’s inquirers class at the parish where he serves (St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Franklin, Tennessee). The podcasts are primarily aimed at people who are not yet Orthodox but want to learn more about the Ancient Faith. Nevertheless, they would be helpful for all Orthdox Christians as well. I especially enjoyed the series on marriage and the one on the seven Ecumenical Councils.
4. Musing on Mission, by Fr. Gabriel Rochelle. Fr. Gabriel is a former Lutheran pastor who later converted to Orthodoxy. He has a fascinating background, having worked in the past as a theology professor, a parish priest, and even a baker. A couple of years ago, Fr. Gabriel and his wife left their home and parish to move to Las Cruces, New Mexico, to start an Orthodox mission. In each podcast, he shares one facet of the great enterprise of starting a mission from scratch. But his reflections are more than just about staring a mission; they are practical guidelines for living the Orthodox faith in the workaday world. As a former church planter myself, I especially enjoy this podcast.
5. Spread the Word, by Fr. Constantine Nasr and Dn. Ezra Ham. The hosts of this podcast are the pastor and deacon at St. Elijah Antiocian Orthodox Church, one of the largest and most outeach-focused Antiochian Orthodox parishes in the United States. Each week, they talk about things their parish has done to share the Gospel of Christ with their community. All Christians and all parishes are responsible to take the Gospel to the unbelieving world (Matt. 28:18-20); Fr. Constantine and Dn. Ezra give us practical strategies for doing so. This podcast is especially helpful for pastors and other church leaders.
So there they are. If you only have time to listen to a couple of them, then make the first two a priority, because they’re both powerful and short.
And before I leave the subject of podcasts, I hope you won’t mind if I give my own podcast, Thy Word, one more plug. Thy Word is a live recording of my adult Sunday School class at St. Joseph’s, and it features verse-by-verse Bible study from an Orthodox Christian perspective. Occasionally, it will feature homilies that I have preached and/or talks that I give outside of St. Joseph’s (such as the talk I recently gave at the Festival of Icons at St. Jonah of Manchuria Orthodox Church).
If you would like to listen to Thy Word, you have two options: 1. My unprofessional, homemade version, with no real intro or conclusion, which you can access by clicking on the link at the top left corner of the home page of this blog (or click here, if you prefer). 2. (Better) The more professional version, with a snappy intro and conclusion, which you can find at the Icon New Media Network (or click here). If you do listen to Thy Word, please leave a comment and let me know what you think about it. Thank you.