Rob Asghar is an author and contributor for Forbes Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the Washington Post's "On Faith." Rob joins me this episode to discuss a number of topics including how Christians and churches can honestly and relevantly engage in thought and dialogue about our relationship with the Muslim world. He talk about his experiences growing up in a family of Pakistani-American immigrants and his journey through both Islam and Christianity. We also discuss some of the questions facing scholars today about this historical Jesus, as well as his complicated feelings about scholar, Reza Aslan, author of the book, "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth."
The Force A̶w̶a̶k̶e̶n̶s̶ Cringes! Actress Katie Cofield ("Sleepy Hollow" [FOX], "Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera") joins me this episode to nerd out about the future of the "Star Wars" franchise in anticipation of the release of "The Force Awakens." Katie recently appeared as an elementary school teacher who helps Ichabod Crane on the hit drama, "Sleepy Hollow," on FOX. She shares what it's like being on the set of a major network drama and also offers some behind-the-scenes insights in the competitive field of getting gigs for television and film. We also talk about her recent experience starring in "Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera," and what it was like performing from a pirate ship at Comic-Con!
David LaMotte is an award-winning songwriter, speaker and writer. He has performed over 2,500 concerts and released eleven full-length CDs of primarily original music, touring in forty-eight of the fifty states, as well as extensively in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He is a peacemaking advocate and the founder of Peg Partners - a non-profit that supports schools, libraries and music programs in Guatemala. He is the chair of the AFSC Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Committee and the author of three books, "S.S. Bathtub," "White Flour," and "Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness."
This episode, David joins the podcast to tell stories behind some of my favorite songs and his creative process. He talks about how his new book, "Worldchanging 101," came into being and how he and his wife, Deanna, developed Peg. We nerd out about Biblical interpretation and theology and of course involve you, the listener, in the conversation by answering your social media questions.
The President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians performs magic on the Cringe podcast and discusses the illusion of aggressively polarizing politics. Joe M. Turner has been seen on Good Morning America, Nightline, and CNN Headline News. He is the president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, but before that, he was named him Greater Atlanta’s Magician of the Year by the International Brotherhood three times. He is a columnist for Genii Magazine and has performed Off-Broadway in Monday Night Magic – the longest-running magic show in New York City. He is a member of the Academy of Magical Arts, the Society of American Magicians, the Magic Circle in London, and the first Georgia magician to play all three showrooms in the Magic Castle in Hollywood.
Joe and I disagree about a number of topics politically, theologically, and artistically in real life, but this episode we talk about how the theatrical arts like magic can help people overcome the urge to be vitriolic and engage in healthy communities of dialogue where we can learn from each other. Plus, Joe will read your mind by performing an interactive illusion here on the podcast that you the listener can participate in!
Dr. Marcia Y. Riggs is the J. Erskine Love Professor of Christian Ethics at Columbia Theological Seminary. This episode, Dr. Riggs joins the podcast to discuss helpful ways that people of faith can process and respond in the wake of the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Riggs is interested in the relationship between social oppression and socio-religious ethical praxis, ethical discourse that bridges the gap between womanist religious scholarship and the church`s practice of ministry, the moral foundations for public policy, and the church's role in social justice ministry. She is the Founder of an applied ethics non-profit center called Still Waters: A Center for Ethical Formation and Practices, Inc. Still Waters' mission is to provide education in conflict transformation theory and practices, particularly focusing upon the intersection of religion and violence.
Kathy Fisher from the band, Fisher, joins the Cringe podcast! If you have the soundtrack to the 1998 movie, “Great Expectations," then you have Fisher on your phone or iPod as we speak. Their single, “I Will Love You,” made them the most downloaded band on the internet. That’s not hyperbole – that’s an empirical, calculable fact.
During this episode, Kathy and I go track-by-track, listening to some of my favorite Fisher songs both on their new album, "3," and from the back catalogue, and Kathy shares the stories behind how they were written. I wasn't sure if Kathy would be into talking about the Bible or theology, but she was totally into it, and it's great. We talk in depth about the music that she and her husband, Ron Wasserman, have written for television, film, and the EDM scene. Kathy also explains to Marcel van Grandpa what "EDM" means.
The Real Live Preacher gets ready to Cringe. Gordon Atkinson is the blogger behind the popular RealLivePreacher.com (now GordonAtkinson.net). He is the author of the book by the same name and gives us a sneak peek at the forthcoming second edition. This episode, Gordon talks about writing, creativity, the emotional challenges and processes of his life in ministry, and his decision to finally leave it behind. We also talk in-depth about the Real Live Preacher blog, his fictional character, Foy Davis, as well as what he thinks about "The Last Temptation of Christ." Plus, find out why Gordon nearly became the first guest to get the podcast slapped with a parental advisory sticker!
Author, theologian, and professor, the Rev. Dr. Martha Moore-Keish, joins the Cringe podcast to talk about the question, "What's the deal with prayer?" Why do we pray? Why is it important? Is it important? Is prayer about trying to change God somehow? Is prayer about changing ourselves? Or is there something else going on? During this episode, we also discuss the theology of Stephen Colbert during Lent, her lifelong fascination with India, and the challenges and joys of teaching as a seminary professor. She also finally answers the most elusive mystery at the heart of our theological quandary: Why does a theology professor raise chickens?
The mad scientist of comedy and magic, Mike Bent, joins the Cringe Podcast! Mike Bent has appeared on HBO, Showtime, ABC, NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, and A&E. He was voted Boston’s Best Children’s Entertainer by Nickelodeon, was called one of the world’s best children’s magicians by the Magic Castle in Hollywood. He’s been on the cover of MAGIC Magazine, and he was called “one of the most creative and imaginative people in magic”...by the White House! This episode, we talk about how magic has the potential to be a legitimate art form for communicating real ideas as well as being entertaining...but why so many magicians often get it wrong. I talk about my constant struggle to resist doing magic tricks during worship services, and Mike Bent explains why a youth pastor once called him the devil!
Is community theater important? That's really the question at the heart of this episode's conversation with Eric Bultman, professional actor, director, and executive director of the Sumter Little Theater in Sumter, South Carolina. When it comes to storytelling, what does community theater offer us in a media culture that with alternatives like Broadway, film, and cutting edge television like "Breaking Bad?" Is it possible that community theater is able to create life-changing impact in the local communities that larger entities such as film and Broadway don't...and even can't? That's the question that Eric and I explore in this episode - how local communities can discover their own stories in the theatrical text and how narratives define, shape, and even transform our identities.