Brisbane traffic can be a long, slow roll at a third of the speed limit, especially at peak times. I’ve got nothing against having a little quiet time—in a house of 3 boys, there’s not exactly a surplus of silence— but I like to make the most of my time on the commute. To that end I have around a dozen podcasts that I listen to regularly. These include sermons (Grace to You, North Pine Baptist Church), Christian Ethics & Engagement (Countermoves, Al Mohler’s The Briefing), Conference Addresses (The Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel), and others of various kinds. Here are five specific podcasts that I’m really enjoying at the moment, and maybe you will too.
(run time: approx 25-35 minutes)
I read a lot. I try to write a lot. Mostly about Christian-y things but I’ve recently re-ignited a love for fiction, history, memoirs, and other quality non-fiction works. Reading Writers is exactly what the name implies: Christian authors getting together to discuss what they’re currently writing, reading (and sometimes how movies ruined that) and how the joy of reading widely can help us as Christians in many and varied ways.
5 Minutes in Church History
(run time: approx 5 minutes)
I took at least 3 church history classes during my M.Div, and left every lecture wanting more. Dr. Stephen Nichols helps to keep that hunger under control by throwing me 5 minute tid-bits that are packed full of value and interest about the people, places, and events of the church throughout history. I love this podcast because—like the intro says—for the Christian it’s not just a long list of disconnected things that happened in a different place and time, but this is our story, our family history. Learning from these episodes enriches my life, enlarges my understanding of God, and engages my worship for the great God who orchestrates history.
(run time: approx 20 minutes)
This is a very handy podcast wherein each episode Brandon Smith and Trevin Wax explore one of the most confusing passages in the Bible. I find this podcast helpful overagainst other similar discussions, because as well as working through a confusing or controversial passage, Brandon and Trevin discuss the popular interpretations (some right, some less so), offer potential solutions, and finish by talking through practical ways to teach the passage, which serves to help me not just in discipling others, but in proper practical application to my own life.
The Happy Rant
(run time: approx 45 minutes)
These are semi-serious conversations between intelligent people that aren’t too proud to laugh at themselves and their tribe, or rant about how Christianity intersects with culture, entertainment, and sports with varying degrees of success and humor. The Happy Rant always makes me laugh, makes me think, and gives me a break from the (often depressing) deluge of disasters and devastion that the world suffers through today. In short, Barnabas Piper, Ted Kluck, and Ronnie Martin cheerfully rant about things that don’t matter all that much and a few that do. They also have a coffee blend named for them, and I can personally attest that it is delicious.
Questions Kids Ask
(run time: approx 15-20 minutes)
This is a fun, easy listen with a different guest each week sharing about how discipleship looks with their kids, what the best parenting advice they’ve received has been, and talking out how they’d answer tough questions about God. Host Mary C. Wiley holds Bachelor degrees in Theology and English, and is pursuing a Masters in Theological Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Juggling studies with her role as Women’s and Kids Book Strategist at B&H Publishing Group, plus her 2 kids under 3 means she’s well-equipped to offer help with working out how to fit big theological concepts into packages that little minds can understand.
So there are 5 podcasts that are a regular companion in my car at the moment. Maybe you’re listening to something similar to these, or maybe you’re into something completely different. I’m always interested in recommendations, and I’d love to hear from you.