Author of “So You Thought You Knew” and “The Secret to Awesomeness”

October 25, 2015

#011 Wm. Paul Young: The Problem of Suffering and the Goodness of God (The Shack, Cross Roads, Eve)

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Why does a GOOD God allow evil and suffering?

In 2007, an unknown author's book was published, and it was like a bomb exploded in the Christian world. Not only did many well-known representatives of the faith embrace the content of the book, there were many others who vehemently criticized it as well, labeling it as heresy.

And boy, did it create a conversation (or should I say many conversations!).

In this episode, I interview Wm. Paul Young. Paul was born a Canadian and raised among a stone-age tribe by his missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea. He is best known for his highly-praised and controversial book The Shack which has sold over 20 million copies to date. Since the success of his first publication, he has written two more books, one being Cross Roads, and most recently, Eve.

IN THIS EPISODE, PAUL ANSWERS THE FOLLOWING:

• Why did The Shack receive so much attention?
• Within Christianity, God is known as a loving Father. Why didn't you portray God in a masculine form?
• Why is it so hard for many religious folks to accept the idea that God loves unconditionally?
• Is the God of The Shack too nice where "He" no longer matches the God of the Bible (especially the OT)?
• Why does a good God allow suffering?
• It seems like "God allows" EVERYTHING to happen. So is God even necessary?
• Does saying things like "God was with you during those horrible times" do more harm than good?
• In The Shack, what did Jesus mean when he said "I will travel any road to find you”?
• Does it matter what a person believes?
• What are some of the themes found in Eve?
• How is Eve different from your other two books? And what did you want people to take away from it?
• Why was Eve was your most difficult book to write?
• I heard The Shack is gonna be a movie. Can you tell us more about that? Who'll be starring in it?
• Is there a book tour for Eve?

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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

wmpaulyoung.com
Eve (FREE AUDIOBOOK w/ 30-day trial membership on Audible [type title in search])
Paul Young on Youtube
Paul Young on Facebook
Paul Young on Twitter


September 28, 2015

#010 Peter Enns: Why Defending the Bible Does More Harm Than Good (The Bible Tells Me So)

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Has defending the Bible made us unable to read it?

What if the Bible isn't meant to be protected and defended? With all the messy, troubling, and weird things found in this ancient book, what if trying to make it behave itself can become a barrier to true faith?

In this episode, I interview Dr. Peter Enns. He's a biblical scholar, theologian, writer and jokester. He's a contributor to the Huffington Post and Patheos. His books include Inspiration and Incarnation, The Evolution of Adam (where he questions the belief that Adam was a historical figure), and The Bible Tells Me So.

IN THIS EPISODE, PETER ANSWERS THE FOLLOWING:

• Where did your desire to study the Bible come from? When did it happen?
• Why is there a lot of fear among Christians to share their honest questions about the Bible?
• Some claim they became atheists because of the Bible. But if the Bible isn't the problem, what is?
• Did your shift in thinking about the Bible affect your faith in God?
• If the Bible isn't a step-by-step manual on how to live, then what value does it have for us today?
• Christians claim to believe in one God. But does the bible affirm that there's only one God?
• If the Bible isn't even clear about big issues like God (!!), should we read the Bible to know God?
• What do you say to someone who tries to justify the violence in the Bible?
• If some of the stories in the Bible aren't historically accurate, what should our approach be to the text?
• How do you feel about Christians apologists defending the Bible? Are they not taking the Bible seriously?
• Should we be surprised by the different versions of the same story in the Bible?
• Are there any contradictions (not just apparent ones) in the four Gospels?
• Do you consider the Bible to be the "Word of God"? If so, in what way?
• Can our "sacred experiences" be added to the "Word of God"?
• If it's not about historical accuracy, what about other religious books, such as the Koran?
• How did Jesus read his Bible? Did he follow it like a rule book?

SUPPORT THIS PODCAST TO HELP KEEP IT RUNNING! 

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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

peteenns.com
Peter Enns on Patheos
The Bible Tells Me So (FREE AUDIOBOOK download on Audible [type title in search])
Peter Enns on Facebook
Peter Enns on Twitter

September 22, 2015

#009 David Hayward (Naked Pastor): Are Questions the Answer?

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Are questions the answer?

Well, many who left organized religion--those who are tired of trite answers--seem to think so.

In this episode, I interview David Hayward (aka Naked Pastor). He is one of the most prolific cartoonists of the online world--describing himself as "a graffiti artist on the walls of religion."

He's the author of books such as Without a Vision My People Prosper, The Liberation of Sophia, and his latest one, Questions Are the Answers. He also launched an online community called The Lasting Supper where people can learn and live in spiritual independence.

IN THIS EPISODE, DAVID ANSWERS THE FOLLOWING:

• How did you end up being called "Naked Pastor"?
• When did you get into drawing?
• Is there a tension between "intellectual integrity" and "just believing"?
• What good can questions do for a person that "answers" can't?
• What were the "3 stages of questions" you went through?
• When was your first "crisis of faith" experience?
• At one point you entered a "dark period" in life. What was going on?
• How did your encounter with a street person dramatically impact you?
• Tell us more about what your wife calls your "Gandhi phase."
• How can theology hurt people?
• When you were pastoring, what did your services look like?
• What advice would you give to pastors who are facing a theological crisis?
• When did you realize you were finally done with it all (ministry, attending church)?
• Is it possible to criticize the church and still love it?
• You had a dream where you heard the words "It's time!" What happened?
• What is The Lasting Supper community?

SUPPORT THIS PODCAST TO HELP KEEP IT RUNNING!

Please Support This Podcast by Making a Donation (any amount helps!)

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

nakedpastor.com

thelastingsupper.com

David's new book Questions Are the Answer book

nakedpastor on Facebook

nakedpastor on Instagram

nakedpastor on Youtube

September 20, 2015

#008 Kevin Miller: Hellbound? (Does Hell Exist? If So, Who Ends Up There, And Why?)

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Does hell exist?

If so, how can a loving God allow millions of people to suffer in a place of eternal conscious torment?

In this episode, I interview award-winning screenwriter, director and producer, Kevin Miller. And we discuss his provocative, critically acclaimed documentary Hellbound? which, in Kevin’s words, “seeks to discover why we are so bound to the idea of hell and what our views on hell reveal about how we perceive God, justice, the Bible and, ultimately, ourselves.”

IN THIS EPISODE, KEVIN ANSWERS THE FOLLOWING:

• Why do so many loving Christians still believe in hell?
• When did you start questioning hell?
• I once heard you say that the “belief in hell creates hell.” What did you mean?
• Where does the imagery of hell (fire, darkness, torture) come from?
• If someone believes in the Christian God, does he or she have to believe in hell, too?
• Is hell part of the Christian message?
• What did the early church believe about hell?
• It’s often said that Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. Is that true?
• Why are so many people afraid to question hell?
• Does it makes sense for God to give Hitler a free pass into heaven without any punishment?
• Is eternal conscious torment the only view of the afterlife for Christians to hold to?
• If there’s no eternal hell, then why the need for a savior?
• How did the writers of Scripture know with certainty what happens after we die?
• If there were no Bible, would people still believe in hell?
• If people really believe in hell, then why aren’t they sharing their faith 24/7 to save people from it?
• If we’re all trying to make sense of the world, does the idea of hell really make a good story?
• As you toured the film and did Q&A’s, what were some of the responses?

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

hellboundthemovie.com

Her Gates Will Never Be Shut by Brad Jersak

Kevin's Patheos Blog

Hellbound? Facebook Page

Hellbound? on Twitter

Please Support This Podcast by Making a Donation (any amount helps!)

September 13, 2015

#007 Frank Schaeffer: Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God

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Is it possible to be an atheist and believe in God?

Well, Frank Schaeffer seems to thinks so.

And the description of his new book, Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God, gives us a glimpse into this seemingly contradictory reality:

Caught between the beauty of his grandchildren and grief over a friend’s death, Frank Schaeffer finds himself simultaneously believing and not believing in God—an atheist who prays. Schaeffer wrestles with faith and disbelief, sharing his innermost thoughts with a lyricism that only great writers of literary nonfiction achieve. Schaeffer writes as an imperfect son, husband and grandfather whose love for his family, art and life trumps the ugly theologies of an angry God and the atheist vision of a cold, meaningless universe. Schaeffer writes that only when we abandon our hunt for certainty do we become free to create beauty, give love and find peace.

In this candid interview, Frank pulls no punches and points out what many of us sometimes think and feel--whether we wanna acknowledge it or not.

So give yourself a break from trying to believe all the "right" things for a moment, and think about whether or not your beliefs now inspire you to give love, create beauty and find peace.

Enjoy the show!

IN THIS EPISODE, FRANK ANSWERED THE FOLLOWING:

• Isn't calling yourself an "atheist who believes in God" a contradiction?
• How has embracing paradox and uncertainty brought healing into your life?
• Doesn't certainty give people hope?
• Do you pray to a God on some days and live as an atheist on other days?
• You feel connected to something bigger than yourself whenever you paint. Would you call that God?
• Where do you find meaning? Is meaning something we create ourselves, or something we discover?
• Why did you join the Greek Orthodox Church? Do you still go to church?
• You talk a lot about your wife. What's her reaction to your theological evolution?

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

frankschaeffer.com

frankschaefferart.com

Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God

Frank's Facebook Page

Frank's Youtube Channel

Frank's Twitter

Frank's Google Talk

FREE AUDIOBOOK download when you try Audible for 30 days

Order Signed Copies of So You Thought You Knew: Letting Go of Religion

Please support this podcast by making a donation at my Patreon page (any amount helps!)

September 6, 2015

#006 Darrel Ray: Sex and God (How Religion Distorts Sexuality)

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What is the impact of religion on human sexuality?

You see, growing up in the church, I was told all the dos and don'ts of sexuality for "Bible-believing" Christians. Yet, ironically, some of the preachers I'd listen to would contradict one another when it came to "how far" one can go sexually, both before and after marriage. And some would even commit the very "sins" they'd passionately condemn at the pulpit.

Why was there so much hypocrisy going on in the church?
And why were so many of my [natural] sexual desires considered "sinful" in the eyes of God?

In this episode, I have an honest chat with psychologist and author, Dr. Darrel Ray. And let me tell ya, we don't shy away from any topics here.

So put your kids to sleep (if you have any) ... and let's talk about sex, baby.

IN THIS EPISODE, DARREL ANSWERED THE FOLLOWING:

• Why are so many people afraid to talk about sex?
• How has religion shaped our culture and sexual development?
• How is religion often an excuse for bad behavior?
• What's the difference between guilt and shame?
• Why do even non-religious people struggle with guilt and shame when it comes to sexuality?
• Talk about masturbation for a bit. Are there any benefits to it?
• What are some ways parents can address the topic of sex to their kids?
• What have you discovered in your research about porn and porn addiction?
• What would you tell someone who's struggling with shame right now?

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Recoveringfromreligion.org

Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality (FREE when you try Audible for 30 days)

The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture

Darrel’s Talk on “The Myth of Sex Addiction”

Sex Education For All Ages Interview With Dr. Melanie Davis

Kindle Countdown Promo for The Secret to Awesomeness (only for a limited time!)

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August 31, 2015

#005 Ryan Bell: A Year Without God - What Does He Believe Now?

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A Year Without God?

Yup, at the end of 2013, former pastor Ryan Bell announced he was gonna "try on" atheism for a year. And boy, it didn't take too long for the media to take notice.

So what made a life-long Christian, who pastored for nearly 20 years, do such a thing?

Well, it's been over a year since his experiment began, and I had the opportunity to chat with him at his home in Pasadena, California.

So get ready ... this episode is sure to get you thinking.

IN THIS EPISODE, RYAN ANSWERED THE FOLLOWING:

• What events led to your  "Year Without God"?
• What difference does God make?
• How do you respond to skeptics?
• Did you ever "pray" during your atheist experiment?
• Why not "A Year Without Christianity?" instead of God?
• Why atheism? Why not deism? Pantheism?
• How would you define the God you reject?
• How did your "year without God" affect your family?
• How did the atheist community influence your journey?
• Do you ever miss the old notion of God you used to have? (e.g., a loving father, provider)
• Do you ever feel like your religious years were all a waste?
• What would it take for you to believe in God again?

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Ryan's Bell Blog "A Year Without God"

Ryan's Facebook

(FREE Audiobook Download) God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything 

Help support this podcast to keep it going (any amount helps!)

August 25, 2015

#004 The Real Reasons Why We Believe

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What do you believe?

Wait a minute, let me ask that question again. What do you really believe?

In other words, have you ever claimed to “believe” in a particular idea or creed, yet in your heart, you really didn’t believe?

Or have you ever tried to believe in something because you were supposed to believe in it, yet in your mind, it didn’t make any sense to you at all?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR:

• The senior project on “Christianity” that changed my life
• Some possible reasons why we believe
• Whether or not we choose our beliefs
• How to recognize our blind spots
• How our environment influences our beliefs?
• Two powerful factors that impact a person’s belief
• Is a God who demands you to “believe or burn” being unfair?

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 FREE audiobook download + 30 day free trial at Audible.com (any book of your choice!)

 • Become a Patron and help support this podcast to keep it going (any amount helps!)

August 18, 2015

#003 The Hidden Message Behind Religion

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What is behind every message you hear?

In other words, what drives a person to share what they wanna share?

And once a person responds to a certain message, what motivates him or her to do what they do?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR:

• The sad (yet funny) story of when I was "left behind"
• How much of organized religion is running things
• The problem with the "good news"
• Why the so-called "unconditional" love of God is really conditional
• The different motivations for belief
• Why the "Christian" God is schizophrenic

Please support this podcast: https://www.patreon.com/JoshuaTongol

August 5, 2015

#002: Religious Passion Without Compassion

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Religion.

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear that word?

God?
Love?
Faith?

Have you ever had someone share their "religion" with you? If so, how was their approach?

Have you ever shared your ideas with someone else? If so, how was your approach?

Does a person's approach even matter? Or is it all about a person's content?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR:

• The incident of the two passionate men to who tried converting me
• A discussion about passion, truth, and sincerity
• Examples of ineffective approaches to conversations
• Whether it's "right" or "wrong" to make judgments
• If tolerance is always the answer to disagreements

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Brendon James' Artwork
Russell Brand Interviews Westboro Baptist Church

Please support this podcast: https://www.patreon.com/JoshuaTongol

July 29, 2015

#001: Why I Started This Show … and Asking the Big “What If?”

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Yup, that's right! I created a new podcast called The Flipside.

New title.
New style.
New everything.

Why? Well, you gotta listen to find out!

In this first episode you'll hear:

• Why I decided to create a new podcast
• A bit of my journey (for all the newbies)
• Why I've been on the "down-low" these days
• My goal for the show

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

• My books So You Thought You Knew and The Secret to Awesomeness

Please support this podcast: https://www.patreon.com/JoshuaTongol

June 24, 2015

The Power of THOUGHT & The Secret Laws of The Universe!

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I was recently interviewed by Coach Carla on the Vibrant Living Show. We discuss the laws of the universe, the power of our minds, and the ability to create reality.

Listen in and be encouraged today!

June 8, 2015

How To Beat Procrastination Like A Boss!

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We can spend a lot of time convincing ourselves that that "thing" we wanna do ... that "thing" that gets us "pumped up" and excited ... could wait. And we come up with a bunch of reasons of why we can't do it now.

Procrastination.

Here's how to beat it. (watch video)

June 1, 2015

How to Overcome Fear In Seconds

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Do you sometimes fear the future? Worry about money? Become anxious about life? Well, I have a simple tip that can help you overcome your fear in seconds.

May 25, 2015

How to Make a Difference in the World EVERY DAY (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

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Sometimes watching the news on television can sometimes make it feel like the world is a horrible place to live in. And it can even sometimes make you wonder if there's any hope for humanity at all.

We all wanna make a difference in this world--which is good--but some of us just don't know where to start.

Well ... it's simple. Here's what you can do (watch video)

May 18, 2015

You Are Good Enough!

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“Im not good enough.”

Have YOU ever felt that way? I know I have. And so has everyone else.

 Check out this encouraging message to help start off your week.