Queen of the Sciences

Conversations between a Theologian and Her Dad

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Episodes

3 days ago

Get the audiobook of my first novel, A-Tumblin' Down, direct from Thornbush Press, or from Audible, or pretty much any audiobook retailer of your choice!
Not quite convinced yet? Then listen to these excerpts introducing you to the Abney family: Kitty, Donald, Carmichael, Saul and Asher.
Prefer to read rather than listen to your novels? No problem! Jump here to find links to the book in paperback, hardcover, and ebook.

Vocation vs Bull**** Jobs

Tuesday Jan 17, 2023

Tuesday Jan 17, 2023

Welcome to season 5 of the Queen of the Sciences podcast! Vocation is a topic near and dear to me and Dad, both as a central theological focus of the Lutheran Reformation and also because we just plain take a lot of pleasure in our work. But David Graeber's astonishing book Bullshit Jobs came as a serious wake-up call to us both. In this episode, we review Graeber's case for the precipitous shift from meaningful to meaningless and even actively harmful paid work in the world today, and what it means for an ongoing commitment to the doctrine of vocation.
Notes:
1. Graeber, Bullshit Jobs
2. The short story "Gold" in my collection Protons and Fleurons is a skewed look at vocation, but not as skewed as Graeber's.
3. The classic study of Luther on vocation is Gustav Wingren's appropriately titled Luther on Vocation
4. Related episodes: Hannah Arendt, Cybertech and Personhood
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Tuesday Jan 03, 2023

Dad's second talk for the NALC Atlantic Mission Region's theological conference, "Stand Fast and Be of Good Courage: The Lord Will Fight for You."
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2022 Bonus #5: Divine Violence

Tuesday Dec 27, 2022

Tuesday Dec 27, 2022

Dad's first talk at the NALC Atlantic Mission Region's Theological Conference, "Stand Fast and Be of Good Courage: The Lord Will Fight for You."
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Tuesday Dec 20, 2022

Sarah's lecture at Johannelund Theological School in Uppsala, Sweden, at a daylong conference on Sanctification in Lutheran Perspective.
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Tuesday Dec 13, 2022

Dad's talk at Roanoke College reflecting on his 22 years of service there as a professor of theology.
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Tuesday Dec 06, 2022

What's beyond the land, the earth, and outer space? Heaven and hell. Unless, that is, we don't exit the created cosmos to get to them, but they come to us (preferably the former and not the latter). In this episode, guided by a book from N. T. Wright, Dad and I explore the unexplored and unexplorable territory of the life to come, speculating mildly, not wildly. And that's a wrap for Season 4 of Queen of the Sciences. Thanks for being with us! Bonus episodes coming your way till we resume with Season 5 in January 2023. Meanwhile, brag to your friends about how you listen to the best theology podcast in the known universe!
Notes:
1. Wright, Surprised by Hope
2. Zahl, The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience
3. Becker, Denial of Death
4. Sarah's Pearly Gates
5. Past episodes that relate to this one: Triple Predestination, Resurrection, Cybertech and Personhood
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Outer Space

Tuesday Nov 22, 2022

Tuesday Nov 22, 2022

From the land, to the earth, to infinity and beyond! In this episode Dad and I contemplate the vastness of the universe and the itty-bittiness of subatomic particles, the astonishing rareness of life in any form and the likelihood of meeting aliens, what this cosmos-view does to our God-view, and what it means to be an Earthling, i.e., an "Adam," assisted along the way by science fiction novels, shows, and movies. But most importantly, I finally get to indulge my decades-long desire to crack a joke about "alien righteousness."
Notes:
1. Luther's commentary on Ecclesiastes
2. John Palka's blog Nature's Depths
3. Vainio, Cosmology in Theological Perspective
4. Brooke, Science and Religion
5. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength
6. Russell, The Sparrow
7. Wells, War of the Worlds
8. "Passengers" (2016 film)
9. Le Guin, Worlds of Exile and Illusion, plus see the volume of critical studies edited by Harold Bloom
10. Worthing, God, Creation, and Contemporary Physics
11. Wisnefske, Could God Fail?
12. Check out this episode of the fantastic Enter the Bible podcast talking to Alan Padgett about protological and eschatological science
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The Earth

Tuesday Nov 08, 2022

Tuesday Nov 08, 2022

The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof! We start off this episode with some appreciative words for the agrarian background of the Bible, though also some cautionary words against modern industrial people cheaply romanticizing the agrarian past. But most of this episode is Farmer Paul's personal testimony to his own hands-on care for a neglected and degraded patch of earth, now flourishing under his care. Sleeping flounder, Swiss bears, and runaway honeybees all make an appearance. Plus you get to hear me sing the opening lines of "I've Been Picking These Darn Peas," the "spiritual" that my brother Will and I composed during our childhood bondage to the family garden.
Notes:
1. Wirzba, Agrarian Spirit
2. Davis, Scripture, Culture, And Agriculture
3. Shellenberger, Apocalypse Never
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The Land

Tuesday Oct 25, 2022

Tuesday Oct 25, 2022

The meek shall inherit the earth... or maybe the land. And if the land, which land—the land of Israel, to be exact? In this episode Dad and I admit to lacking anything like a robust theology of the land of Israel for today, despite being rather more theologically robust on this topic when it comes to the biblical writings, as well as having some political convictions about the current state of secular affairs. But do we need to have an active theology of the land of Israel today? To guide us through, we turn to studies by, on the one hand, a Messianic Jewish theologian, and, on the other, a Palestinian Lutheran theologian, and wrestle our way to a conclusion that is guaranteed to satisfy nobody. That's what we're here for.
Notes:
1. Dad's commentary on Joshua
2. My moonlighting on Fresh Text to talk about Psalm 37
3. Article 17 of the Augsburg Confession
4. Kinzer, Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen
5. Isaac, From Land to Lands, from Eden to the Renewed Earth
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Tuesday Oct 11, 2022

This episode started out as an experimental bonus: I asked Dad to think through with me what it can mean to bear witness in these days when a) everything sounds like propaganda, b) public and private are endlessly confused but I'm unwilling to expose to public scrutiny matters that are relevant to public discourse yet intrinisically private, and c) rebuttal and critique automatically vault the rebutted into martyr status. In other words, is it even possible to say truthful things in public anymore? Listen in for our provisional answers.
Notes:
1. Related episodes: Theology and Experience 1, Theology and Experience 2, James
2. Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
3. MacLuhan, The Medium Is the Message (beats me why this is spelled everywhere on Amazon, even the book covers, as "Massage" instead of "Message")
4. Weiss, "Hurts So Good"
5. Coakley, God, Sexuality, and the Self
6. Augustine, Confessions (current favorite translation)
7. Merton, Seven Storey Mountain
8. My "apocalyptic parables": Pearly Gates and Protons and Fleurons
And by the way, if you'd like to support our efforts at truthful public speech, please consider joining our Patreon supporters. Or just tell a friend about podcast. Thanks!

Tuesday Sep 27, 2022

If everything's postmodern, then nothing's postmodern. In fact, according to Dad, postmodernism is actually just modernism continued by other means. Perplexed yet? No worries, that's part of the plan. If you can't conquer the body, then conquer the soul, and the rest will follow. In this episode we sort out postmodernism and its doppelgänger, then explore ways to keep sane and whole amidst the insanity. Surprisingly, I give words of hope, encouragement, and peace. So listen in just for that surprising development!
Notes:
1. Related episodes: Critical Social Theory, Pragmatism, Hannah Arendt, What Is a Person?, Cybertech and Personhood, Bonhoeffer's Life Together, Powers and Principalities
2. Nelson, "The Convening Power of the Pastor," Lutheran Forum 51/1 (2017): 50–51.
3. ed. Helmer, Truth-Telling and Other Ecclesial Practices of Resistance, including Dad's "Complicity and the Christological Path of Ecclesial Resistance"
4. eds. Stjerna and Thompson, On the Apocalyptic and Human Agency: Conversations with Augustine of Hippo and Martin Luther, with Dad's “Augustine, Luther and the Critique of the Sovereign Self”
Hey, have you ever noticed how awesome it is that we don't advertise? I mean, for anything other than ourselves. A major reason that's possible is our equally awesome, highly select band of Patrons. That kind of elitism is really OK, we promise. Join their ranks and support your favorite podcast in remaining stridently independent and advertising-free!

Tuesday Sep 13, 2022

Miracles seem like straightforward things to define, if rare to experience, until you start to think about the topic more deeply. In this episode, Dad and I discuss C. S. Lewis's book Miracles, the danger of accepting the definition of miracle as "violation of natural processes," what the Creator has to do with the Redeemer, how prayer affects providence, and biblical ambivalence about miracles.
Notes:
1. Lewis, Miracles
2. Related episodes: Illness and Healing, Revival and Renewal with the Blumhardts, Nenilava Prophetess of Madagascar
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Faith to the Aid of Science

Tuesday Aug 30, 2022

Tuesday Aug 30, 2022

Already in our first year of podcasting we expressed sympathy with Bonhoeffer's view that the time was coming when faith would need to come to the aid of reason. Three and a half years later, it seems even more acute than that: faith to the aid of science! In this episode we discuss scientific reasoning as an extremely valuable form of reason that nevertheless, like all human forms of reasoning, is subject to both limitations and distortions, not to mention exploitation in the service of authoritarianism. Then Dad walks us through the difference between a worldview and a Godview, why a change in the former makes people feel that they're losing the latter, and what is resilient about a Godview as science continues its necessary task of questioning and challenging received knowledge.
Notes:
1. Have a listen to our previous episodes Faith to the Aid of Reason and The Empiricists Strike Back
2. Knoll, A Brief History of the Earth
3. In Dad's Beloved Community, see the discussion of "creation faith and the scientific understanding of nature" (pp. 735–640), and see also his article "Retrieving Luther on Prayer: Spirituality in the Production of Christian Doctrine" in The T&T Clark Handbook of Christian Prayer
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

A Hegel with All the Fixin’s

Tuesday Aug 16, 2022

Tuesday Aug 16, 2022

Hegel was our first family dog, which probably tells you all you need to know about our family. Before that, Hegel was a German philosopher, famously one of the most impenetrable, and yet weirdly influential for all that. In this episode, Dad shines a light in the fog. Don't worry if you come to this topic with nothing but Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis. I didn't either, but it all made sense in the end. Kind of.
Notes:
1. Related Episodes: St. Paul Among the Philosophers, Critical Social Theory
2. See Dad’s Divine Simplicity and Divine Complexity; plus, with his colleague Adkins, Rethinking Philosophy and Theology with Deleuze
3. Adkins, Death and Desire in Hegel, Heidegger and Deleuze
4. Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion
5. Kojeve, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel
6. O’Regan, The Heterodox Hegel
7. Moltmann, The Crucified God
8. Agamben, The Time That Remains
9. Žižek and Milbank, The Monstrosity of Christ
10. Ayres, Nicaea and its Legacy
11. Małysz, "Hegel's Conception of God and its Application by Isaak Dorner to the Problem of Divine Immutability," Pro Ecclesia XV:4 (2006): 448-471

James, Epistle of Straw?

Tuesday Aug 02, 2022

Tuesday Aug 02, 2022

Yikes. You know the end is nigh when a couple of Lutheran theologians produce an episode on James longer than the one they did on Romans. In this episode, we first sort out what Luther did and didn't say about James, "epistle of straw," clearing up a lot of misapprehensions and faulty inferences, but either way we strongly suggest that the rest of the history of interpretation of James need not be controlled by a few remarks of the reformer early in his career.
From there, we discuss at length why there is so little plainly said about Jesus in this five-chapter letter—though there is a lot about God the Father, and there's no Father without a Son! We also argue that Paul and James really were addressing different errors in their respective discussions of faith and works, so pitting them against each other is neither exegetically nor spiritually illuminating.
All right, let's just admit it: we both like this book. You should, too.
Notes:
1. If you insist on making Luther's comments continue to determine the course of James interpretation, you can find them in Luther's Works vol. 35.
2. The other podcasts I mentioned are Fresh Text and The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.
3. Other relevant episodes from us are: How to Hack the Law, Justification by Faith, Faith to the Aid of Reason, The Certainty of Faith, Justification by Faith Revisited, and Faith. Just Faith.
4. L. T. Johnson, The Letter of James
5. If you enjoy Woe-itudes, check this out
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you cool stuff. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday Jul 19, 2022

After three and a half years of dropping not-so-subtle hints, Dad finally persuaded me to read Reinhold Niebuhr's The Nature and Destiny of Man... though in this episode we cover only vol. 1, the "Nature" part. (Stick around with us in Season 5 and you might just get vol. 2!) In this episode we examine Niebuhr's sweeping summation of Western intellectual history and whether it holds up to scrutiny, how the divorce of Renaissance and Reformation gave us all the intractable problems of modernity, the difference between universal sin and unequal guilt, and zero in on the one place where Niebuhr talks more about God than man.
Notes:
1. Reinhold Niebuhr, The Nature and Destiny of Man; see also his Moral Man and Immoral Society
2. James, Varieties of Religious Experience
3. Related episodes: Hannah Arendt, On Putin's Invasion of Ukraine
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Cybertech and Personhood

Tuesday Jul 05, 2022

Tuesday Jul 05, 2022

Robots are not people, information does not want to be free, and the internet has no consciousness of its own. Meanwhile, human society trades on outrage and no one can tell what is true and what is false. Among the many enduring themes of human experience is how we create tools that in turn re-create us, and the past couple decades are only an accelerated and amplified version of that. With the help of tech critic Jaron Lanier, in this episode Dad and I explore the roots of how the whole world has gone mad, what it means to be and remain a person in the midst of it, and the urgency of doing so. Otherwise, "those who make them become like them," as Psalm 135 puts it.
Notes:
1. All of Lanier's books are highly recommended: You Are Not a Gadget, Who Owns the Future?, and Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.
2. Scott, Seeing Like a State
3. Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
4. Asimov, "Robbie," in I, Robot
5. For more on this topic, see my blog post "Quitting Facebook... Again," our previous QotS episodes What Is a Person? and How to Hack the Law, and my new podcast with my husband Andrew, The Disentanglement Podcast, with explanations of digital tech and practical tips for getting free of its tentacles.
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Philemon

Tuesday Jun 21, 2022

Tuesday Jun 21, 2022

Lincoln observed that both slaveholders and abolitionists appealed to the Bible to make their case—but who was right, and why? Slaves appear throughout the Old Testament, yet the core story is the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. The Pauline and Petrine letters exhort peace and fair treatment between masters and slaves, but do not openly advocate for manumission. In Paul's shortest letter, a personal address to Philemon, he sends home a (runaway?) slave, Onesimus, not making it clear what Philemon ought to do with him—and yet, at the same exact time, Paul radically transforms the relationship between Philemon and Onesimus, and between the two of them and Paul, too. Joyful exchanges abound in these twenty-five verses, which proved to be a leaven in the lump of toxic human social systems.
Notes:
1. Saarinen, The Pastoral Epistles with Philemon and Jude
2. Fitzmyer, The Letter to Philemon
3. Ruden, Paul among the People
4. Kreider, The Patient Ferment of the Early Church
5. Here's a few of me moonlight on Fresh Text podcast (highly recommended if you're a lectionary preacher): Psalm 37, 2 Corinthians 5, James 5.
6. Zahl, The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Abraham Lincoln, Theologian

Tuesday Jun 07, 2022

Tuesday Jun 07, 2022

In this episode we turn to the great emancipator—not that he started out with that intention. From the covenant between the States in one Union to the painful perception of necessary bloodshed for the North as well as the South on account of its collusion, Lincoln out-Jeffersoned Jefferson, invoking the equality of all human beings according to the Declaration over against the evasion of the slavery issue in the Constitution. And yet, young Lincoln has about as much regard for orthodox Christianity as Jefferson did. What was that brought about such different results in conscience and action? What did Lincoln perceive of God that others could not, as he expressed so powerfully in the Second Inaugural?
Notes:
1. Lincoln, Speeches and Writings (Library of America). See in particular: 1860 Speech at the Cooper Institute, 1861 First Inaugural, 1862 Annual Message to Congress, 1862 Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day, 1863 Gettysburg Address, 1865 Second Inaugural
2. See Dad’s essay, “Lincoln’s Theology of the Republic According to the Second Inaugural Address,” The Cresset (May 2002: LXV/6) 7-14
3. Guelzo, Mr. Lincoln and Redeemer President
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Dad Weighs in on My Novel

Friday Jun 03, 2022

Friday Jun 03, 2022

One last bonus episode! Dad and I talk about his impressions so far of A-Tumblin' Down, six chapters in and just through the devastating tragedy that scared me off of writing the book for nearly 15 years. Also, what is it exactly that has caused the book of Joshua to haunt our lives for so long?!
Subscribe now to the serialization of the novel—it starts next week!

Thursday Jun 02, 2022

Last chance to subscribe to the serialization of my novel A-Tumblin' Down about the lives, tragedies, and triumphs of a Lutheran pastor and his family in the late 1980s. The story begins on June 6, so don't delay! On today's bonus episode, meet Carmichael Abney, English professor, pastor's wife, and mother of three, content with her life--that is, until alternate versions of herself appear and demand her dissatisfaction...

Tuesday May 31, 2022

Another installment for Queen of the Sciences listeners! Subscribe to the serialization of my novel A-Tumblin' Down  about the lives, tragedies, and triumphs of a Lutheran pastor and his family in the late 1980s. On today's bonus episode, meet Saul and Asher Abney, brothers born within a year of each other but with diametrically opposed personalities...

Friday May 27, 2022

Another sneak preview--or rather prehear--for Queen of the Sciences listeners! Subscribe to the serialization of my novel A-Tumblin' Down  about the lives, tragedies, and triumphs of a Lutheran pastor and his family in the late 1980s. On today's bonus episode, meet Donald Abney, gentle grandson of a fiery revivalist, afflicted by the one and only appearance of the Book of Joshua in the Common Lectionary...

Thomas Jefferson, Theologian

Tuesday May 24, 2022

Tuesday May 24, 2022

Being great afficionados of great thinkers who are impossible contradictions, we turn our attention to American founding father Thomas Jefferson: the man who penned the stirring words of the Declaration of Independence that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" ... and yet, in his lifetime, owned over 600 slaves including a (for lack of a better term) concubine, Sally Hemings (who also happened to be his deceased wife's half-sister...!!), manumitted only two of those slaves and none of them his own children by Sally until after his death according to his will, and made at best lackluster gestures toward the injustice of it all, not to mention its moral corruption of slaveholders. In this episode, we try to make sense of this "American sphinx" and especially his revisionist attitude toward Christianity, producing a variation on the faith with no power to set slaves free—or Jefferson himself.
Notes:
1. Ellis, American Sphinx
2. Meacham, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
3. Jefferson, Writings (Library of America). See in particular the following: Notes on the State of Virginia, 1787 letter to Peter Carr, 1803 letter to Joseph Priestley, 1803 letter to Benjamin Rush, 1813 letter to John Adams, 1816 letter to Charles Thomson, 1819 and 1820 letters to William Short, 1822 letter to Benjamin Waterhouse, 1826 letter to James Heaton.
4. Locke, Second Treatise of Government and Letter concerning Toleration
5. Havel, “The Power of the Powerless”
6. Manseau, The Jefferson Bible
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Friday May 20, 2022

Sneak preview--or rather prehear--for Queen of the Sciences listeners! Subscribe to the serialization of my novel A-Tumblin' Down  about the lives, tragedies, and triumphs of a Lutheran pastor and his family in the late 1980s. On today's bonus episode, meet Kitty Abney, an 11-year-old about to learn some shocking news concerning her grandparents. And there is more yet to come...

The Saul Saga

Tuesday May 10, 2022

Tuesday May 10, 2022

Experience of God is all very well and good... until your experience is being afflicted by an evil spirit from the Lord. Especially after first being called to be the first king of Israel, and then having that calling revoked. And yet still being king while a new king has been anointed, this new king respecting your former kingship more than the Lord God Almighty. Yikes! In this episode, we explore the saga of King Saul, ask whether his story is one of tragedy or just deserts or something else, and whether and how to read the Old Testament's Saul in conversation with the New Testament Saul-also-known-as-Paul.
Notes:
1. Here is the series of sermons on I Samuel that I preached last year
2. Murphy, I Samuel
3. Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel
4. Sign up here for Theology & a Recipe—I’ll do an issue on the two Sauls later in 2022! (plus, you get all the other great issues in the meanwhile)
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday Apr 26, 2022

Continuing on in a loose sequence of explorations of our experience of church, this time we turn to Dietrich Bonhoeffer's record as well as recommendation for Christian life together as he experienced (and very much formed) it at the illegal seminary of Finkenwalde. Heartening words for hard times!
Just one note: we worked from the edition in the collected Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 5: Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible.
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Theology and Experience 2

Tuesday Apr 12, 2022

Tuesday Apr 12, 2022

After losing our way and tangling ourselves up last time, in this second episode on theology and experience we once again get off to an inauspicious start with a serious attack of the giggles (and if you've never heard Dad giggle, well, you're in for a treat). Having gotten that out of our systems, we sketch out some of the reasons in Western intellectual history for the problematic place of reason and then explore some rubrics for interpreting "incorrigible experience" (Cornell West) fruitfully for life and faith alike. Also: do theologians actually believe what they teach?
Related episodes: American Revivalism, Pragmatism, The Empiricists Strike Back, Critical Social Theory, Faith to the Aid of Reason.
Notes:
1. DescarTTTTTes [sic], Meditations on First Philosophy
2. Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding
3. Havel, "The Power of the Powerless"
4. Wolterstorff, John Locke and the Ethics of Belief
5. Gadamer, Truth and Method
6. Mother Theresa, Come Be My Light
7. Warnock, The Divided Mind of the Black Church
8. We mentioned my fiction several times: here's a book of parables, Pearly Gates, and my recent book of short stories, Protons and Fleurons, and keep an eye out for a novel later this year!
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Theology and Experience 1

Tuesday Mar 29, 2022

Tuesday Mar 29, 2022

Experience is everything, so talking about experience is impossible. Nevertheless in this episode Dad and I attempt to do so, with the result of tangling ourselves in knots and occasionally losing our composure. If you ever wondered why experience was the most contentious of sources, methods, and goals for theology, well, here it is, case in point.
Notes:
1. Methodist Quadrilateral
2. Driver, Patterns of Grace
3. Theologia Germanica
4. Kolb, Bound Choice, Election, and Wittenberg Theological Method
5. Bayer, Martin Luther's Theology
6. Charry, "Experience"
7. Zahl, The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience
8. See also our previous episodes on Athanasius, the Blumhardts, Nenilava, and American Revivalism
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Wednesday Mar 16, 2022

Dad and I discuss Putin's invasion of Ukraine in two kingdoms perspective.
Notes:
1. Related episodes: Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague; The 8th Commandment in Cancel Culture; Two Kingdoms 16th-Century Edition; Two Kingdoms 20th and 21st-Century Edition; Samuel Stefan Osusky (Dad’s Slovakia book); I Am a Brave Bridge (Sarah’s Slovakia book); Athanasius Against the World
2. Check out Dad’s book Before Auschwitz: What Christian Theology Must Learn from the Rise of Nazism
3. The Wolfhart Pannenberg quote comes from his Systematic Theology, vol. 2
4. What we’re calling the Orthodox Barmen Declaration: “A Declaration on the Russian World Teaching”
5. Aleksandr Dugin
6. Reinhold Niebuhr, Why the Christian Church Is Not Pacifist

Tuesday Mar 15, 2022

From the sublimity of the Blumhardts and Nenilava to the ridiculousness of American revivalism. Let's face it, a revival is never honored in its own country. In this episode, these two American theologians trace the irritating history of how Heinrich Bullinger of Zurich (where else?) corrupted Luther's doctrine of the new birth, setting off a chain reaction that bounced from stark Puritan double predestination to the hysterical self-determination of American revival religion, and pretty much everything else American, too. Like it or not, we're all revivalists now.
Notes:
1. Dad's article "The Doctrine of the New Birth from Bullinger to Edwards" explains all
2. Check out The Book of Concord and do a word search on "regeneration"... prepare to be amazed
3. Gritsch, Born Againism
4. Phil Cary, Good News for Anxious Christians
5. Sealed—if you haven't yet, go back and listen to our bonus episode on this amazing memoir from (as of last month) the Rev. Katie Langston!
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan, and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday Mar 01, 2022

And you thought the Blumhardts would push the limits of your Lutheranism! Have we ever got a prophetess for you. In this episode, we recount the wondrous life and ministry of Nenilava, a lay evangelist, exorcist, and eventually crowned prophetess of the Malagasy Lutheran Church. Along the way we discuss what it means for Western Christians to encounter, understand, absorb, and critique such models of mission from newer Christian churches, how to think about evil spirits, and what emergent offices of ministry in the mission field might offer to tired-out Christendom.
Notes:
1. In addition to the Blumhardt episode, check out Perpetua and Felicitas for some surprising overlap between them and Nenilava, and also the episode on Gudina Tumsa, the Ethiopian Bonhoeffer
2. Now in print! (and ebook too) Nenilava, Prophetess of Madagascar, edited by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson and James B. Vigen
3. For more about the Royová sisters of Slovakia whom Dad mentioned on the show, see here
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan, and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Luke, Part 2

Tuesday Feb 15, 2022

Tuesday Feb 15, 2022

After our overview of Luke and the conception/birth stories in Part 1, now in Part 2 we dig deeper into Luke's unique parables (Good Samaritan, Lost Sheep-Coin-Son(s), Rich Man and Lazarus, Dishonest Steward etc), teachings (inviting those who cannot pay you back, Pilate's bloodletting of Galileans and the tower of Siloam), and narrative episodes (boy Jesus in the temple, the many women, Zaccheus, Emmaus, distinctive Ascension story). We wrap up noting commonalities between Luke and John, and also Luke and Paul.
No special notes for this one, but see the notes for the last episode.
Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Luke, Part 1

Tuesday Feb 01, 2022

Tuesday Feb 01, 2022

Following on our previous two-parters covering the Gospels of Mark (part one, part two) and John (part one, part two), in this episode we finally get around to covering the prequel to the Book of Acts (also covered in two parts), namely the Gospel of Luke. We discuss whether Luke was a Jew or a Gentile and what difference that would make, what he left out of Mark and why, what he took from Matthew or possibly Q, how not to read the bits about purity and Pharisees anti-Judaically, and the unique Lukan portrait of John's and Jesus' conception and birth, starring Elizabeth and Mary. Plus, I try to pin Dad down on the Virgin Birth.
Notes:
1. Levine and Witherington III, The Gospel of Luke
2. Thiessen, Jesus and the Forces of Death
3. Kinzer, Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen
4. Here's an article I wrote years ago reflecting on the infertility and adoption stories of the Bible
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan, and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday Jan 18, 2022

So apparently we're all still the Puritans that The Scarlet Letter taught us to revile: eager to shun, vilify, condemn, and label. Is this an American thing, a Christian thing, or a human thing? Is social condemnation the best bulwark against political condemnation or the gateway to it? How do we assess the difference between false witness and accurate witness to unhappy truths? Does "putting the best construction on everything" make suckers of us, easily manipulated and gaslit? And if we oppose cancellation, should we then cancel the cancellers?
Notes:
1. Luther gives his explanation of the 8th Commandment in the Small Catechism
2. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago and "Live Not by Lies"
3. Havel, "The Power of the Powerless"
4. Bonhoeffer, Ethics
5. See Dad on MLK in Beloved Community, pp. 348–54, and also this exposition of "the Hinlicky rule"
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan, and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday Jan 11, 2022

In which I tell you a bit about my new short story collection, Protons and Fleurons: Twenty-Two Elements of Fiction, and then read you one of them, "Cobalt: A Mystery," which features among other delights Henry Melchior Muhlenberg as the detective, and me doing a German accent.
Read more about mystagogical realism here.
Season 4 of Queen of the Sciences starts next week with an episode on The Eighth Commandment in Cancel Culture!

Friday Dec 31, 2021

One last bonus episode for 2021! Katie Langston is a convert from Mormonism to Christianity. She tells her story in Sealed, published this year by Thornbush Press. An amazing story for all fans of amazing grace!
Support us on Patreon!

Tuesday Dec 28, 2021

Dad gives a Bible study on Hebrews (as you may have surmised from the episode title). Many thanks to Pastor David Drebes of College Lutheran Church in Salem, Virginia, for arranging and assisting in the production of this bonus episode!
Support us on Patreon!

Tuesday Dec 21, 2021

Michael Chan of the outstanding Gospel Beautiful Podcast talks with Dad and me about Dad's long-awaited commentary on the book of Joshua. If you like Queen of the Sciences, you'll like Gospel Beautiful, so be sure to add it to your podcast feed!
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Tuesday Dec 14, 2021

Sarah's talk for the 2020/2021 conference of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology.
Check out Sarah's "poetic paraphrase" of the Sermon on the Mount.
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Tuesday Dec 07, 2021

Dad gives a Bible study on Galatians (as you may have surmised from the episode title). Many thanks to Pastor David Drebes of College Lutheran Church in Salem, Virginia, for arranging and assisting in the production of this bonus episode!
Support us on Patreon!

The Book of Revelation

Tuesday Nov 30, 2021

Tuesday Nov 30, 2021

We're ending the third season of the Queen of the Sciences with an apocalyptic bang! Whether you're a fanatical dispensationalist stockpiling canned goods against a rapture that might just leave you behind, or a sniffily disapproving enlightened sort with your own fanatical visions of making the world a better place, we have good news for you: Jesus. History is in his hands, not yours, and you can trust him to bring all things to a place where death and Hades are no more. In the meanwhile, dive into Revelation (no -s at the end, please) for tonic christology, stereoscopic vision, a lament for lost civilizations, and a cure for lukewarmness.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and talk to you in 2022! (But don't worry—there will be a number of bonus episodes between now and then.)
Notes:
1. All this and more in my Theology & a Recipe issue on "Radical Amillennialism: Or, an Open Letter to the Book of Revelation." And while you're there, sign up for Theology & a Recipe!
2. Check out Dad's Joshua commentary, his book on Slovak theologian Osusky entitled Between Humanist Philosophy and Apocalyptic Theology (and our episode about Osusky, too), and his detailed discussion of demythologization vs. deliteralization in Beloved Community pp. 34–36 and elsewhere.
3. Top picks for commentaries on Revelation are those by Mangina and Koester.
4. I read out from the Second and Third Petitions of the Lord's Prayer in my "Memorizing Edition" of the Small Catechism.
5. My book of "parables at the final threshold" was inspired by the vision of the 12 gates of the New Jerusalem standing permanently open: see the book Pearly Gates or listen to our episode about it.
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan, and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday Nov 16, 2021

Of course we could have covered the two (or three) Uses of the Law, but what fun would that be? Instead, in this episode, we explore the patterned consistency of all law-based systems—scientific, psychological, jurisprudential, and religious—and why we not only need them, but can't even function without them; yet also, how that exact patterned consistency makes all laws hackable, gameable, and manipulable. How then to have an honorable relationship to the law, especially if the law—and others who ought to be obeying it—don't always deal honorably with you? Hint: Jesus has something to do with it.
Notes:
1. Check out Dad's article, “Antinomianism—The Lutheran 'Heresy',” in On Secular Governance
2. For some case law in action, as well as how to cope with attempts to hack the gospel as offered in the sacraments, see my new book To Baptize or Not to Baptize
3. Bonhoeffer's critique of Kant on lying can be found in Ethics, pp. 279–80.
4. Plato's dialogue Euthyphro
5. Related episodes: Law and Gospel 1, Law and Gospel 2, Learning to Love Leviticus, An Unlikely Marriage
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan, and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Powers and Principalities

Tuesday Nov 02, 2021

Tuesday Nov 02, 2021

We are not fighting against flesh and blood. No, really, NOT flesh and blood! But if not that, then what? In this episode, Dad and I establish what the "powers and principalities" of Ephesians 6 (and other passages) are not and circle around what possibly they are—but, more importantly, what it means to arm ourselves with the gospel to identify and resist them, confident in the victory of Christ over all. Plus, a side dish of atonement theory.
Notes:
1. Moberly, The God of the Old Testament
2. Pannenberg, Introduction to Systematic Theology and the three volumes of Systematic Theology
3. Witherington, Isaiah Old and New
4. Wink, Naming the Powers and Engaging the Powers
5. Wright, “Paul and Caesar: A New Reading of Romans” in A Royal Priesthood
6. Barclay, Pauline Churches and Diaspora Jews
7. See Dad's article "The 'Powers and Principalities': Problems and Prospects for Christian Doctrine Today" in Life amid the Principalities and, in his Beloved Community, pp. 783–806.
8. In case you weren't otherwise sold on my memoir I Am a Brave Bridge about being a foolish teenager in emergent Slovakia, let me reassure you there's a stiff dose of nationalism, empire, communism, capitalism, Nazism... in, around, and between the adolescent foolishness.
9. The current prime minister of Hungary is Viktor Orbán, but the admirable Hungarian Lutheran pastor persecuted under communism was Lajos Ordass.
10. Related episodes: Galatians 1, Galatians 2, Two Kingdoms 16th Century Edition, Two Kingdoms 20th and 21st Century Edition, Joshua, Isaiah, Hannah Arendt.
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday Oct 19, 2021

There I was, living my tidy little mainstream Protestant life, when Karl Barth sprung the Blumhardts on me. Took a few years (or decades) to follow up, but now I (and even Dad) have become fans of these indigenous German Lutheran revivalists. In this episode we discuss the difference between revivals stemming from European Pietist roots and from American roots, cover the lives of Johann Christoph Blumhardt (who proclaimed Christ's victory over the devil) and his son Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (who proclaimed Christ's victory over the Christian), reflect on the complementary roles and mutual need of church and revival for one another, and speculate that "renewal" might after all be a better term than revival, in more ways than one.
Notes:
1. Ising, Johann Christoph Blumhardt, Life and Work
2. Zahl, Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (and by all means check out his newer book, The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience)
3. Winn, Jesus Is Victor! The Significance of the Blumhardts for the Theology of Karl Barth
4. Weiss, Jesus' Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
5. Among my writings on these topics, see: A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans; "How Is Your Revival Going?"; blog posts in my Lutheran saint series on Johann Christoph Blumhardt and Gottlieben Dittus, and Christoph Friedrich; and keep your eyes open for a forthcoming book on Nenilava, the prophetess of Madagascar!
6. Related episodes: Revival and Church; Illness and Healing; All About Prayer
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan, and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Evangelical Hagiography

Tuesday Oct 05, 2021

Tuesday Oct 05, 2021

Hagiography happens. Even if you're Protestant. In this episode, we review the history of the saints as both products of the gospel and pathways to the modern practices of science and biography, make the case for why Lutherans and other Protestants should embrace hagiography in an evangelical key, disambiguate veneration from invocation, and, of course, we mention Bonhoeffer.
Notes:
1. Among the things I've written on this topic, see "Saints for Sinners," "Luther's Hagiographical Reformation of the Doctrine of Sanctification in His Lectures on Genesis," and my Lutheran Saints series.
2. See also Dad's inadvertent hagiography, Between Humanist Philosophy and Apocalyptic Theology: The Twentieth Century Sojourn of Samuel Stefan Osusky
3. Bartlett, Why Can the Dead Do Such Great Things?
4. Brown, The Body and Society
5. The One Mediator, the Saints, and Mary (Lutheran-Catholic dialogue statement)
6. Haynes, The Bonhoeffer Phenomenon
7. Hendrix, The Faithful Spy
8. Melanchthon, Augsburg Confession and Apology Article XXI on the saints
9. Delehaye, The Legends of the Saints
10. Mattox, Defender of the Most Holy Matriarchs
11. For All the Saints (evangelical Lutheran breviary)
12. I didn't mention it but also see Kolb's study For All the Saints
13. Related episodes: Perpetua and Felicitas, Athanasius against the World, Faith Just Faith, Justification by Faith Revisited, Faith to the Aid of Reason, The Empiricists Strike Back, Slovak Theologian Samuel Stefan Osusky
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday Sep 21, 2021

Why cover justification by faith once when you can do it twice? In this episode we look at the "faith(fulness) of Christ" controversy, how much it's rooted in a faulty understanding of what Luther meant by "faith," what Luther really did mean by "faith," and how that pretty much solves the problem. Whew. Also, why good works don't justify but also why love doesn't justify, either.
Notes:
1. Bird and Sprinkle eds., The Faith of Jesus Christ
2. Vainio, Justification and Participation in Christ
3. From the Book of Concord: Augsburg Confession, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Formula of Concord
4. From Luther: Galatians commentary, Preface to Romans, Freedom of a Christian, Small Catechism-Apostles' Creed-Third Article (all easy to find online)
5. From Barth's Church Dogmatics: II/2 and IV/1
6. Thanks a lot Pope Leo for your lousy semi-Nestorian Tome
7. More again this time from Morgan, Roman Faith and Christian Faith
8. Stendahl, "The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West"
9. From Dad: Paths Not Taken, Luther for Evangelicals
10. Previous episodes related to this one: Justification by Faith, Romans, Galatians
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan, and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Faith. Just Faith.

Tuesday Sep 07, 2021

Tuesday Sep 07, 2021

The distinguishing quality of Christians is that they believe in Christ... a point that seems almost too obvious to make. But in fact, having belief as the central and distinguishing feature of a religion is so rare and weird that religious scholars have pushed back against the study of other religions through the lens of faith—to the point of not even wanting to study Christianity through that lens. What gives? In this episode, we walk through the findings of a new study on how exactly faith functioned in the Greco-Roman setting of early Christinaity and why it is rightly the defining feature of Christianity, with implications for the life of the church today.
Notes:
1. The key book we discuss here is Morgan, Roman Faith and Christian Faith
2. Very relevant to the discussion at hand is Dad's Divine Complexity
3. Other episodes related to this one: Justification by Faith, Augustine's City of God
And hey! If you've made it this far in the show notes, you're probably a super fan, and should consider declaring yourself as one on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month (which is basically a buck an episode). Give more monthly and you get swag. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Jonah

Tuesday Aug 24, 2021

Tuesday Aug 24, 2021

The story of a prophet wherein the cows get the last word! Dad and I enthuse over this simultaneously hilarious and deep little book, ranging from hyperomnipresence to mutable immutability to the self-defeating prophecy and the spiritual dangers of resenting God's mercy.
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Notes:
1. Luther's commentary on Jonah in LW 19
2. Steiger, Jonas Propheta
3. Sonderegger, Systematic Theology vol. 1
4. For a good example of putting your money where your prophetic mouth is, see the Simon-Ehrlich wager
5. Check out our previous episode on Athanasius dealing with God's dilemma
6. Here are my sermons on Jonah 1, Jonah 2, Jonah 3, and Jonah 4, plus scroll down this page to #6 to see my cartoony take on the Jonah story
More about us at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Pastoral Authority

Tuesday Aug 10, 2021

Tuesday Aug 10, 2021

The pastoral ministry doesn't have the social clout it used to, but it's hardly alone. "Vocations of judgment," as we term them in this episode, are under siege everywhere, as the understandable suspicion of human fallibility leads more and more to an outsourcing of human judgment to regulations, bureaucracy, and AI. We hope you'll agree that this is hardly an improvement. In this episode, we try to get a handle on the problem across the vocations, then zero in on what exactly does (and does not) constitute pastoral authority, hoping in the process to encourage and embolden besieged pastors with the true strength of their calling.
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Notes:
1. Related episodes are: What Is (Not) the Job of a Pastor?; How to Be a Congregation; Hannah Arendt
2. My new book, which also discusses pastoral authority, is To Baptize or Not to Baptize: A Practical Guide for Clergy, new from Thornbush Press!
3. Kant, Critique of Judgement
4. Critical fiction of the bureaucratic and machine era: just about anything by Kafka, the film "Brazil," and the Matrix trilogy.
5. Dad's essay "Complicity and the Christological Path of Ecclesial Resistance: Summons to a New Catechesis for a Time of Despair" appears in Truth-Telling and Other Ecclesial Practices of Resistance, ed. Christine Helmer
6. Vaclav Havel, "The Power of the Powerless"
7. A particularly good read on pastoral ministry is Eugene Peterson's The Pastor
8. And if you by chance are on Twitter, see if you can make #judiciousness go viral!
More about us at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday Aug 03, 2021

Dad and I talk over my new book, To Baptize or Not to Baptize: A Practical Guide for Clergy.
Pick it up at the vendor of your choice!

Tuesday Jul 27, 2021

And here I was wondering if anything could beat justification for being a great idea hidden behind a lousy word. Well, pragmatism, you win. Dad renders this unpromising term lively and insightful, shows how its approach avoids the extremes of both rationalism and empiricism, and can prove to be a helpful handmaiden to theology (but, of course, not a foundation. Heavens no). Also, how to cope with the hell of the irrevocable.
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Notes:
1. West, Prophecy Deliverance!
2. Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
3. Niebuhr, The Irony of American History
4. James, The Varieties of Religious Experience
5. Thiemann, Revelation and Theology
6. Peirce, How to Make Our Ideas Clear
7. Royce, The Problem of Christianity
8. Habermas, Knowledge and Human Interests
9. Hinlicky, Luther and the Beloved Community and Beloved Community
More about us on sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Galatians, Part 2

Tuesday Jul 13, 2021

Tuesday Jul 13, 2021

You can't get too much of a good thing! Picking up where we left off in the last episode, we discuss why "rectification" may be preferable to "justification," what human faith has to do with the faith(fulness) of Jesus, forgiveness vs. the defeat of the dominating power of sin, what on earth Paul is talking about with the "powers," and whether he is in fact suggesting an undoing of all the distinctions that make up the creation according to Genesis 1.
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Notes:
1. Check out these other related episodes: Justification by Faith, Romans, The First Two-Thirds of Acts, and The Last Third of Acts.
2. Dad's Luther vs. Pope Leo brings John Wesley to the rescue (whom we discuss also in this episode).
3. Luther's "How Christians Should Regard Moses" talks about the use of OT law in Gentile and Christian settings—and is not nearly as hostile as you might expect.
4. We both got the number of Jewish mitzvot wrong. It's 613.
More about us on sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Galatians, Part 1

Tuesday Jun 29, 2021

Tuesday Jun 29, 2021

In this episode we only begin to tackle the myriad of issues in this searing, white-hot, impassioned blast from our favorite apostle early in his career. Who were these Galatians, and more importantly, who weren't they? Who were the interloping Teachers, and why does it turn out that sola gratia isn't specific enough? If the law is so treacherous in Paul's reading, why can he turn around and talk about "the law of Christ"? This and many more enigmas, plus ways of interpreting Galatians for good and for ill from Paul's own epistle to the Romans to more recent commentators.
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Notes:
1. Martyn, Galatians
2. Luther, Lectures on Galatians 1–4 and Lectures on Galatians 5–6
3. See in particular our previous episodes on John Part 1 and John Part 2, Romans, and Law and Gospel Part 1 and Part 2.
More about us at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

The New Language of the Spirit

Tuesday Jun 15, 2021

Tuesday Jun 15, 2021

What to do when there is no longer common faith or common facts? Reversing the tide of history is not an option, but the church recentering itself on its task of being conformed to Christ and learning to speak in the new language of the Spirit is. In this episode, we review what we've covered in the past two, why they run aground, and how Christian speech in the public square can aid civil discourse without illegitimately demanding assent to Christian faith.
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Notes:
1. More from Dad on this topic: "Luther's Anti-Docetism in the Disputatio de divinitate et humanitate Christi (1540)," in Creator est creatura; "Metaphorical Truth and the Language of Christian Theology," in Indicative of Grace–Imperative of Freedom; and Beloved Community, pp. 72–84.
2. Relevant to this topic from me: "Martin Luther, Pacifist?"
3. Pannenberg discusses the "disputability" of the Christian claim in vol. 1 of his Systematic Theology
More about us at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

The Empiricists Strike Back

Tuesday Jun 01, 2021

Tuesday Jun 01, 2021

In matters civic, we have great sympathies with empiricist and classical-liberal critics of the recent woke madness induced by Critical Social Theory. And yet...
In this episode we distinguish among the many children of the Enlightenment, point out the strengths of the empiricist/liberal tradition but also its corresponding weaknesses that CST exploits, and exhort secular empiricists to reconsider the moral, spiritual, and theological roots of the intellectual tradition that they rightly see as critically endangered. So have a listen, and then share this episode with an empiricist near you!
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Notes:
1. Pluckrose and Lindsay, Cynical Theories
2. Spinoza, Principles of Cartesian Philosophy
3. Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy
4. Sharp, Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization
5. Locke, Second Treatise of Government
6. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea
7. Rectenwald, Springtime for Snowflakes
8. Also check out our episode on Faith to the Aid of Reason
More about us at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Critical Social Theory

Tuesday May 18, 2021

Tuesday May 18, 2021

Hot diggity dog! Here we go, investigating the obscure Marxist theory beloved of academics that has gone viral in the past year... in both senses of the word. In this episode you'll get an effective innoculation, for the good health of your own mind as well as the polis at large.
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Notes:
1. Hedges, "Cancel Culture: Where Liberalism Goes to Die"
2. Marx, “Theses on Feuerbach,” in Karl Marx on Religion
3. Adorno and Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment
4. Tillich, The Socialist Decision
5. Simpson, Critical Social Theory
6. Marcuse, Eros and Civilization
7. Derrida, The Gift of Death
8. Brown, Undoing the Demos
9. Foucault, The History of Sexuality
10. Orwell, 1984
11. Carter, Race
12. Mitchell, American Awakening
13. Other episodes you might like related to this one: The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas, What Is a Person?, Two Kingdoms: Sixteenth Century Edition, and Two Kingdoms: Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Edition.
14. For my further reflections on Marxism and its impact, see these blog posts on The Bitter Price of Making the World a Better Place and Three Memoirs of Slovak Communism, as well as my book I Am a Brave Bridge (the January and February chapters in particular).
15. Dad on these topics: “Luther and Heidegger,” Lutheran Quarterly (Spring 2008); “The Spirit of Christ amid the Spirits of the Post-Modern World” Lutheran Quarterly (Winter 2000); “Sin, Death, and Derrida,” Lutheran Forum (Summer 2010).
More about us at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Tuesday May 04, 2021

Second-century bishop and theologian Irenaeus of Lyon is famous for his teaching on recapitulation—how Christ our head redoes everything Adam and the rest of us did wrong—and so, in our worst pun yet, in this episode we recapitulate his teaching. Also, why heresy is not so much a deviation as a dead-end, how redemption is not getting airlifted out of creation, and how my dogma outran your karma.
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Notes:
1. Irenaeus's work is the five books of Against Heresies, but as Dad advises in this episode, you're best off focusing on books 2, 3, and 4.
2. Related episodes to this one you might enjoy are Ignatius in Chains, Poor Anselm, and Athanasius Against the World.
More about us at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

Friday Apr 23, 2021

Five years in the writing, and more than a quarter-century after the fact, I Am a Brave Bridge: An American Girl's Hilarious and Heartbreaking Year in the Fledgling Republic of Slovakia recounts the first year that the Hinlicky family spent as missionaries in Slovakia in 1993 (the year of Slovakia's independence) and 1994. In this bonus episode, Dad and I talk about the theological themes embedded among the hijinks of cross-cultural romance, the difference between omnipotence and totalitarianism, how to talk about sexuality and love from the perspective of faith without being creepy or cheesy, and the experience of relearning the faith from those who have counted the cost and willingly paid it.
Read the complete prologue on my website or jump right in and get a copy of your own!

Barth Ain't So Bad

Tuesday Apr 20, 2021

Tuesday Apr 20, 2021

Among a certain kind of Lutheran theologian, liking Barth just isn't done. We are not that kind. In this episode, Dad walks us through the theological development of the great Swiss Reformed theologian, why Lutherans made it difficult for Barth to receive Luther and what Barth nevertheless gained from Luther, and highlights of Barth's massive theological oeuvre. And we once again discuss the distinction between law and gospel, because what else would we do?
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Notes:
1. Barth is not the easiest read, but if you're feeling inspired to try, here are some suggestions. For absolute beginners, Evangelical Theology and Prayer. Next step up, try his Anselm: Fides Quaerens Intellectum. When you're ready to tackle the Church Dogmatics, any of these three: volume I/1 on the Word of God, volume II/2 on election, or volume IV/1 on reconciliation.
2. Excellent secondary studies on Barth: McCormack, Barth's Critically Realistic Dialectical Theology; Hunsinger, Disruptive Grace; and Jenson, God after God.
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Nehemiah as Memoir

Tuesday Apr 06, 2021

Tuesday Apr 06, 2021

All memoirs are meditations on providence—so I learned from writing one of my own (see Note #1 below!). I used to think that all Christian memoirs went back to Augustine, but it turns out he had a biblical precedent: Nehemiah, who most unusually in the canon of Scripture reported his own acts and motives in the first person. In this episode, Dad and I consider the advantages of drama over concepts in depicting the interplay of divine and human agency, how to think about Nehemiah's prohibition on intermarriage and the challenges to minority communities, and what good walls and  buildings do for the community of faith, despite all their inherent problems.
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Notes:
1. The long-awaited memoir! I Am a Brave Bridge: An American Girl's Hilarious and Heartbreaking Year in the Fledgling Republic of Slovakia is pretty much what it sounds like. Also, you can find out how Dad parented a teenage girl, why God is omnipotent but not totalitarian, and how to always be homesick for somewhere else. Plus, there are recipes. Order print from Amazon, an ebook from pretty much any provider, or an ebook direct from Thornbush Press!
2. The two commentaries I studied in preparation for this episode are Throntveit, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Myers, Ezra-Nehemiah.
3. Relevant previous episodes: Is Scripture Holy?, Law & Gospel Part 1, Law & Gospel Part 2, Learning to Love Leviticus, Joshua.
4. See Dad's Beloved Community on conscience, pp. 613–630, and for the Christian revision of metaphysics, see his Divine Complexity and Divine Simplicity.
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Making Ecumenism Sexy Again

Tuesday Mar 23, 2021

Tuesday Mar 23, 2021

Now is the winter of our discontent... or is it the winter of our ecumenism? Either way, the mission-motivated drive to reconcile bitterly divided Christians has succeeded so well that all the frisson has vanished right out of it, but hasn't succeeded enough to actually make us one as Jesus and his Father are one. So in this episode, Dad and I talk through our own interest in and commitment to the search for Christian unity, what unity is not, how an ecumenical document differs from a confessional document, and the lively but relatively unknown history of this 110-year-old movement. Also, a few unguarded opinions.
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Notes:
1. Tons of resources about ecumenism at the Institute for Ecumenical Research.
2. Some of the ecumenical documents we mention in this episode: Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, Healing Memories, Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, Unto the Churches of Christ Everywhere, Mortalium Animos, Unitatis Redintegratio.
3. Not mentioned by name but highly relevant are the document Lutherans and Pentecostals in Dialogue and the new ecumenical outfit Global Christian Forum.
4. Dad on ecumenism: “Staying Lutheran in the Changing Church(es)” in Changing Churches; Luther vs. Pope Leo; “Scripture as Matrix, Christ as Content” in Luther Refracted; Luther for Evangelicals; “Theological Anthropology: Towards Integrating Theosis and Justification by Faith," Journal of Ecumenical Studies 34/1 (1997): 38–73; and “Process, Convergence, Declaration: Reflections on Doctrinal Dialogue,” The Cresset 64/6 (2001): 13-18.
5. Me on ecumenism: "Reflections Five Years into Ecumenism," "Six Ways Ecumenical Progress Is Possible" Concordia Journal 39/4 (2013): 310–32, entries on "Ecumenical Movement" and "Pentecostalism, Global" in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Martin Luther, and A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans.
6. And heck, let's get the whole family in on the fun: check out my husband Andrew's book Here I Walk: A Thousand Miles on Foot to Rome with Luther tracing our pilgrimage on the 500th anniversary of Luther's. (Except it was the 499th... we found out too late.)
7. If you want to take up the catechetical call at the end of the episode, why not try the Small Catechism: Memorizing Edition?
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Hannah Arendt

Tuesday Mar 09, 2021

Tuesday Mar 09, 2021

After a recent dive into the theological, philosophical, and political writings of Hannah Arendt, I found her so disturbingly prescient that I wanted to talk her ideas over with Dad—only to discover that Arendt was one of his earliest and most formative influences, and still is now, in ways that he only realized as we talked. So, in this episode, much about her writings and why Eichmann in Jerusalem elicited such a firestorm, why you should never say "it can't happen here," and that, contrary to popular belief, the most troublesome of all pronouns is "we."
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Notes:
1. Books by Hannah Arendt discussed in this episode: Love and Saint Augustine, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Eichmann in Jerusalem, On Violence
2. Two movies: Hannah Arendt and Vita Activa
3. See Dad's Before Auschwitz and his recent article "Hitler's Theology: A Cautionary Tale for Today's Peril"
4. Kušnieriková, Acting for Others: Trinitarian Communion and Christological Agency
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The Gospel of John, Part 2

Tuesday Feb 23, 2021

Tuesday Feb 23, 2021

After setting the stage in our last episode with the distinctives and circumstances of John's Gospel, here we turn to its message: being born again (or is it from above?), how the Father and the Son can be one and yet the Father greater than the Son, whether John's commendation of love of friends is a retrogression from Paul's enemy-love, and how the confrontation with Pilate and the powers functions as the mega-exorcism consolidating the individual exorcism accounts in the Synoptics.
And if every one of things that Jesus did were recorded, the internet itself could not contain the podcasts that would be published.
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Notes:
1. Bultmann, "Eschatology of the Gospel of John" (1928) in Faith and Understanding, 165-183
2. Käsemann, The Testament of Jesus
3. Hill, Paul and the Trinity
4. Twelftree, In the Name of Jesus
5. For Dad on John, see Divine Complexity, 69–96
6. For me on John, see "Law and Gospel (With Some Help from St. John)," a sermon on "Doubting Thomas," and the Winter 2020 issue of Theology & a Recipe, "Latkes for Jesus"
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The Gospel of John, Part 1

Tuesday Feb 09, 2021

Tuesday Feb 09, 2021

One of these kids is not like the other... and among the New Testament Gospels, that weirdo kid is John. He drops the parables and the Sermon on the Mount and the exorcisms, shifts the cleansing of the temple from the end to the beginning, turns poor Lazarus in Abraham's bosom into a dead man walking out of a tomb, and is totally unfazed by Gentiles but levels constants accusations against "the Jews"... even though most of his heroes are Jews, too. What gives? In this episode, Dad and I talk through the Johannine distinctives and the theories as to why this Gospel turned out so different, in the process voting for our favorite. No spoilers here... you gotta listen all the way through to find out.
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Notes:
1. Brown, An Introduction to the Gospel of John (among others)
2. Bultmann, The Gospel of John
3. Martyn, History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel
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Tuesday Jan 26, 2021

In which Sarah unloads a jeremiad on the Revised Common Lectionary and Dad mostly stands at the side of the road and watches. Also, ways to work around lectionary limitations, and whether you should preach "with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other."
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Notes:
1. Revelant previous episodes of ours include What Is (Not) the Job of a Pastor?, Learning to Love Leviticus, The Relationship between the Old and New Testaments, and Is Scripture Holy?
2. This jeremiad pretty much follows the course of the jeremiah I wrote for Mockingbird, "The Top Ten Reasons the Lectionary Sucks and Five Half-Assed Solutions." Lots of relevant links in the notes there.
3. A good podcast for lectionary preachers, hosted my old friend John Drury, is Fresh Text. I'll be in an upcoming episode (where I manage to restrain my RCL disdain reasonably well).
4. Strawn, The Old Testament Is Dying
5. Niebuhr, The Nature and Destiny of Man
6. You can find my sermon series on Romans on my YouTube channel.
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The Certainty of Faith

Tuesday Jan 12, 2021

Tuesday Jan 12, 2021

Welcome to Season 3 of Queen of the Sciences!
To kick off the most welcome new year in recent memory, we tackle the question of the certainty of faith. What does it even mean to be "certain" where something like "faith" is concerned? Can we have the same certainty as, say, apostles and early Christians, or as folks before various revolutions in science and historical study? Where does doubt fit in, or hard questions? Is faith something that you have or something that has you? All this and more!
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Notes:
1. Relevant previous episodes include Justification by Faith, Faith to the Aid of Reason, and The Freedom of a Christian.
2. Here's the Council of Trent criticizing what it took to be the Reformation doctrine of faith.
3. For Tillich on faith as being grasped by ultimate concern, since his Systematic Theology, vol. 3, pp. 129-134
4. For Barth on prayer, see the Church Dogmatics III/4:87-115 and Karl Barth: His Life from Letters and Autobiographical Texts
5. See Dad's Beloved Community for an example of "critical dogmatics" in action, and also his forthcoming article "Retrieving Luther on Prayer" in The T&T Clark Companion to Christian Prayer
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Friday Dec 25, 2020

In which Dad and I read aloud a series of questions I put to him in a notebook on Christmas 1990, and discover that the more things change the more they stay the same. You can read the transcript on my website. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday Dec 15, 2020

This is Dad's talk for the Virginia Synod's annual Power in the Spirit conference, from July 2020. You can also watch the video version with questions and answers from Pr. David Drebes on YouTube.
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Augustine's City of God

Tuesday Dec 01, 2020

Tuesday Dec 01, 2020

To wrap up season 2 of Queen of the Sciences, not to mention wrapping up an exceptionally fraught election year (at least for those of you in the U.S.), we tackle St. Augustine's magnum opus, The City of God against the Pagans. Turns out there isn't actually very much about the two cities at all, but we range with Augustine across a wide assortment of issues: theodicy, providence, human community, the uses of history, and the nature of evil.
Fun fact: the Roman empire never actually fell, and certainly not due to barbarian invasions. It just sort of petered out due to its own stupid infighting. Food for thought, eh?
By the way, we had a technical glitch, so my audio track is pretty muffled, but Dad's is fine, and fortunately he did more of the talking on this one anyway.
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Notes:
1. I quote from Dyson's translation of The City of God; this is the abridged one Dad mentioned; you may want to check out newer translations by New City Press; and this is the audiobook version I listened to, which was pretty well narrated except for the occasional pronunciation error, as in "the tropical interpretation of Scripture." Pretty sure he meant "tropological."
2. For a mind-blowing take on what really happened to the Roman empire under Christianity, check out Peter Brown's The Rise of Western Christendom.
3. Dad discusses the nature of evil in his Beloved Community, pp. 783–790. See also his forthcoming Joshua commentary on the nature of human community.
4. The accounts of evil that aim not only to harm the body but to destroy the soul that I mention toward the end of the episode are Endo's Silence, Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, and Orwell's 1984.
5. Earlier in 2020 I did an issue of Theology & a Recipe on Augustine, called "Late Have I Loved Thee," imagining a late-in-life encounter between Augustine and his concubine. I didn't realize at the time John Updike had already done this; if I may so, I think my version is a lot more faithful to the principals and ultimately the more compelling. Judge for yourself, and then sign up for Theology & a Recipe on my website!
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An Unlikely Marriage

Tuesday Nov 17, 2020

Tuesday Nov 17, 2020

The eponymous unlikely marriage is that of marriage—with Christianity. After assembling an impressive number of reasons why we should have expected the Christian faith to want nothing whatsoever to do with exclusive sexual pairing, we then change directions and show why, after all, Christianity opted for marriage, and in so doing once again engaged in a doctrinal revision of inherited notions of God. In light of which, we then engage a contemporary Catholic theologian's take on Christian marriage. Spoiler alert: we don't even go near the usual hot-button topics. If you feel the need for outrage, Twitter is waiting for you.
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Notes:
1. Some relevant stuff I've written: "Marriage Matters," "Blessed Are the Barren," and "Luther's Hagiographical Reformation of the Doctrine of Sanctification in His Lectures on Genesis"
2. See also Dad's Luther and the Beloved Community, ch. 8 on "The Redemption of the Body: Luther on Marriage"
3. Kant ruined Christian ethics with The Critique of Practical Reason
4. For the range of Luther's take on the nature of divine and Christian love, see the Heidelberg Disputation (esp. #28) and his explanations of the Fourth and Sixth Commandments in the Large Catechism
5. Sarah Ruden, Paul among the People
6. Matthew Levering, Engaging the Doctrine of Marriage
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Illness and Healing

Tuesday Nov 03, 2020

Tuesday Nov 03, 2020

From a Tokyo street parade advertising the services of a shady prosperity church to the global pandemic, with pit stops in pain, death, suffering, and theodicy, this episode is sure to be a real crowd pleaser. Also, why you should go to the emergency room for a broken bone or infected wound but try Jesus for chronic conditions, death being the most chronic condition of all.
 
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Notes:
1. Here's a short article I wrote on the International Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue's meeting in Madagascar in 2019, where we discussed the topic of healing and deliverance. God willing and the creek don't rise, the final report will be released in 2021. You may also like the chapter on "Prosperity" in my book A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans
2. A whole slew of OT studies by Claus Westermann
3. Becker, The Denial of Death
4. The first of Luther's 95 Theses issues a call to lifelong repentance
5. Dad takes up the theme of "purgatory now!" in Luther vs. Pope Leo
6. On the Blumhardts, father and son, see respectively Ising's Johann Christoph Blumhardt: Life and Work and Zahl's Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
7. Not a whole lot on Nenilava just yet, but I'm working on it—look for the first-ever full-length work on her next year. Meanwhile, check out the entry on the fabulous online Dictionary of African Christian Biography.
8. Dad refers to the "service of the word for healing" in the Lutheran Book of Worship—it's actually in the companion to that hymnal, called Occasional Services
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The Last Third of Acts

Tuesday Oct 20, 2020

Tuesday Oct 20, 2020

After a lonnnnng delay, we finally finish up the Acts of the Apostles! Check out our previous episode on the First Two-Thirds of Acts, then dive in to this one for the riveting topic of... wait for it... rule of law and due process. No, really, it's good stuff. Plus, why Paul appeals to Caesar but never actually meets him, or, how to avoid soteriological confusion.
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Notes:
1. Ferdinand Christian Baur on Acts
2. This is my favorite map of the missionary journeys of Paul
3. We refer to this excellent article by my friend the NT scholar Troy Troftgruben, "Slow Sailing in Acts: Suspense in the Final Sea Journey (Acts 27:1–28:15)” JBL 136/4 (2017). See also James R. Edwards, “Parallels and Patterns between Luke and Acts,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 27/4 (2017).
4. I double-dipped on this topic... it was the subject of my e-newsletter Theology & a Recipe earlier this year. Check it out (and then subscribe!).
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Tuesday Oct 13, 2020

Dad talks to Sarah about the inspiration for and design of her new translation of Luther's Small Catechism, specifically intended for memorization.
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Tuesday Oct 06, 2020

Friedrich Nietzsche demolished the traditional foundations of religious belief. Does that make him a foe—or possibly a friend? One way or another, we can't get away from him. In this episode Dad walks us through Nietzsche's tirades against all forms of fake religious assurances and insidious social control to find, surprisingly, compelling reasons to embrace the crucified and risen one.
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Notes:
1. You can find translations of everything Nietzsche wrote without any trouble online. In this episode we talked in particular about The Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morals, and The Antichrist.
2. Dad and his co-author Brendt Adkins engage with Nietzsche's philosophy in their book Rethinking Philosophy and Theology with Deleuze.
3. The book about saints and their radical will to power that I mentioned is E. M. Cioran's Tears and Saints.
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Tuesday Sep 29, 2020

Dad talks to me about my "weird little stories" in Pearly Gates: Parables from the Final Threshold.
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Tuesday Sep 22, 2020

Possibly the best thing Luther ever wrote (for my money only the Large Catechism offers the best competition for that claim), "The Freedom of a Christian" turns 500 this year and accordingly merits even more attention than usual. In this episode Dad and I explore the two halves of the treatise, one each for "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none" and "A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all," drawing out the powers of faith and joyful exchanges that illuminate the apparent contradiction—and how to live as both a lord and a servant half a millennium later.
 
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Notes:
1. You can find older public domain translations of "The Freedom of a Christian" online (often under the title "On Christian Liberty"). In print, try the Luther's Works translation (which is what we read from in this episode) or the newer translation by Mark Tranvik. We also discuss in passing the Large Catechism, Small Catechism, and 1519 Galatians commentary.
2. This is the Luther seminar I teach every November in Wittenberg
3. Dad's one and only work of fiction: Luther vs. Pope Leo (I admit I was skeptical at first, but it's actually really good—and if we have any Methodist listeners out there, you'll be amused to learn that John Wesley saves the day... sort of)
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Tuesday Sep 15, 2020

I talk to Dad about his book Luther for Evangelicals: A Reintroduction. (Non-Evangelicals warmly invited to eavesdrop.)
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How to Be a Congregation

Tuesday Sep 08, 2020

Tuesday Sep 08, 2020

Last time we talked about the job of the pastor, so this time we're discussing the job of the congregation, which is a bit like the old Atari video game Pitfall—look out for those alligators, especially if you're one of Jesus' sheep. But most of the time it's just the sheep learning to bear with one another, and bear one another's burdens: a whole zooful of grace, evidently. Also, what to think about the roof, and how to navigate the inevitable requirement these days of being a church shopper.
 
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Notes:
1. Hari, Lost Connections
2. For background on this episode, have a (re-)listen to One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church: The Worst Thing in the Best Words.
3. Dad has been talking about beloved community for a long time now: see Luther and the Beloved Community and plain ol' Beloved Community
4. Luther, without a trace of irony, calls the church "a little holy group and congregation of pure saints, under one head, even Christ, called together by the Holy Ghost in one faith, one mind, and understanding, with manifold gifts, yet agreeing in love, without sects or schisms" in the Large Catechism.
5. H. R. Niebuhr, The Social Sources of Denominationalism
6. Not discussed here but relevant: The Church Has Left the Building; Rebuilt; Christianity Rediscovered
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Tuesday Sep 01, 2020

Dad talks to me about my "poetic paraphrase" of the Sermon on the Mount.
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Tuesday Aug 25, 2020

Less obvious than you might think! The pastoral office functions like a magnet, attracting an infinity of valuable tasks without knowing how to shed them when it gets to be too much. In this episode we address the distinction between lay and ordained ministries, attempt to clear away some of the aforementioned well-intentioned clutter, and chart out a triage approach to the pastor's true calling. Hopefully helpful to burned-out and compassion-fatigued pastors, lay folks may also appreciate this reminder of what their pastors are actually for.
 
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1. Dobbs, “The Coming Pastoral Crash”
2. Stephen Ministries
3. Forde, Theology Is for Proclamation
4. Heinrich Heine, not Voltaire, said: “of course God will forgive me; that’s His job”
5. Jan-Olav Henriksen, Christianity as Distinct Practices: A Complicated Relationship
6. Check out what our gifted friend Pastor Natalie Hall is doing at St. Mary Magadalene Lutheran Episcopal Church as well as her excellent confirmation curriculum.
7. See Dad’s book of sermons, Preaching God's Word according to Luther's Doctrine in America Today, and his discussion of issues surrounding the pastoral ministry in Beloved Community pp. 355–382
8. You might be interested in my essay on “Sources of Authority according to the Lutheran Confessions” and a rather melancholic rumination on my first call in The Church Has Left the Building. My sermons for Tokyo Lutheran Church are on YouTube.
9. We didn’t get around to discussing these, but two of my favorite books for re-envisioning a faithful pastoral ministry in the midst of hugely different cultural settings are Vincent Donovan’s Christianity Rediscovered (lousy title: it should be more like Church Reimagined) and Michael White and Tom Corcoran’s Rebuilt, both by Catholic clergy.
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Isaiah

Tuesday Aug 11, 2020

Tuesday Aug 11, 2020

How could anyone possibly feel "meh" about Isaiah? Well, that was me, before digging in deep to prepare for this episode. I have since come around (whew) and, if not quite as excited as about Leviticus, I'm still pretty jazzed now about both the prophet Isaiah and the book named for him. In this episode Dad and I discuss both the text in its own time and the text in the hands of Jesus and the apostles, and wrap up with ruminations on how not to exploit Isaiah and other prophets as a soapbox for a preacher's pet concerns.
 
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Notes:
1. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho
2. Fredriksen, Augustine and the Jews
3. Dad on Divine Simplicity
4. Hays, Reading Backwards
5. Sawyer, The Fifth Gospel
6. Dahl, Jesus the Christ
7. Juel, Messianic Exegesis
8. Witherington, Isaiah Old and New
9. Childs, The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture
10. The Septuagint (LXX) is the Greek translation(s) of the Old Testament, which took its final form in the first century after Christ’s birth. Here is one common English translation.
11. Stuhlmacher, The Suffering Servant
12. I recently did a short sermon series on: Isaiah 6, 9, and 25; Isaiah 43, 52–53, and 55; and Isaiah 56, 61, and 66.
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Tuesday Aug 04, 2020

I get Dad to talk about his new book, Lutheran Theology: A Critical Introduction. Fact: Lutheran theology is NOT the same as Luther's theology! Shocker, right?
 
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Tuesday Jul 28, 2020

Generally you should run screaming in the opposite direction when someone starts talking about her dissertation, but we promise this is a good one. French Orthodox theologian Elisabeth Behr-Sigel (1907–2005) knew pretty much every important Orthodox theologian of the 20th century, pioneered Russian hagiography, co-edited a journal, was active in the ecumenical movement, and supported the possibility of the ordination of women in the Orthodox church. Wait, what? Yes—but not until she was 75! And she kept at it until her death at the age of 98. We review her atypical support for women in ministry (atypical in many ways) and draw out some larger lessons for thinking about sex and gender in light of the Christian faith today.
 
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Notes:
1. Some useful background to this episode was already covered in our earlier episode on What Is a Person?
2. Among the books by Elisabeth Behr-Sigel, check out: The Ministry of Women in the Church, The Place of the Heart, Discerning the Signs of the Times, The Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church (with Kallistos Ware), and Lev Gillet: A Monk of the Eastern Church.
3. Olga Lossky has written a wonderful biography of Behr-Sigel entitled Toward the Endless Day, which I reviewed here.
4. My book is entitled Woman, Women, and the Priesthood in the Trinitarian Theology of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel; there’s an interview with me about it here. I co-edited a collection of essays about Behr-Sigel entitled A Communion in Faith and Love, which includes Elisabeth Parmentier’s essay about Behr-Sigel’s education at the University of Strasbourg and one from me on “Behr-Sigel’s ‘New’ Hagiography and Its Ecumenical Potential.” I’ve more recently contributed to Women and Ordination in the Orthodox Church with the essay “Elisabeth Behr-Sigel’s Trinitarian Case for the Ordination of Women.” I created an archive of my collection of Behr-Sigel’s books and articles at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France.
5. Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (5 vols)
6. Among the other Orthodox theologians mentioned in this episode are Alexander Schmemann, Kallistos Ware, John Meyendorff, and John Behr.
7. Our friend Michael Plekon is the author of (among other things): Living Icons, Uncommon Prayer, Saints as They Really Are, The World as Sacrament, and Hidden Holiness
8. Paul Evdokimov’s main books on women are Woman and the Salvation of the World and The Sacrament of Love
9. See Dad’s essay “Whose Church? Which Ministry?” in Lutheran Forum 42/4 (Winter 2008): 48–53
10. For further detail on some of the topics discussed here, see my contribution to the Lutherjahrbuch 2017 and also the Lutheran Forum essays “The Epistle of Eutyche,” “The Face of Jesus, Part One” and “The Face of Jesus, Part Two,” and “Where Have All the Women Gone?”
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The Wrath of God

Tuesday Jul 14, 2020

Tuesday Jul 14, 2020

The party never stops at the Queen of the Sciences podcast! Coasting on the generally optimistic, cheerful, and devil-may-care attitude of a world gripped by pandemic and the various cultural and political responses to it, we break out our kazoos and streamers for the wrath of God. In this episode we talk about what it is, why it matters still to talk about it, and why (gasp) it may even be a good thing.
 
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Notes:
1. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America
2. The hymn I mentioned is “He Is Arisen, Glorious Word”
3. Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God
4. If you haven’t already listened to them, you'll find our episodes on Anselm and Kazoh Kitamori deal with some of these same issues. 
5. Lactantius, De Ira Dei
6. See in Dad’s Divine Complexity the subsection entitled, “Theology of Redemption,” chapter 6, pp. 212–222, and in Beloved Community the subsection entitled “God is the Eschaton of Judgment” in the Conclusion pp. 865–878, which take up these topics further
7. See also my final sermon on the Sermon on the Mount and essay “Peace, Peace, Where There Is No Peace” 
8. Oswald Bayer talks about God’s Umsturz in Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation, p. 215
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Ignatius in Chains

Tuesday Jun 30, 2020

Tuesday Jun 30, 2020

No, not a glam metal band, but a martyr of the second century and one of the first post-New Testament writers whose works survive. In the episode we take a look at the first heresies to erupt in Christianity—first analyzing just what counts as a "heresy" and why the concept remains a useful one—namely, Ebionitism and Docetism. Ignatius en route to Rome as a prisoner elucidates for us just why it matter so much that God really took flesh in Jesus Christ, and that his flesh was really crucified, and that his crucified flesh was really raised... just as Ignatius himself was really in chains and was really going to be devoured by the wild beasts.
 
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Notes:
1. You can read the seven extant letters of Ignatius here. Note that only the shorter version of each paragraph is authentic—the longer version is probably an expansion by later authors/editors.
2. Dad's Divine Complexity, ch. 2, discusses the formation of the New Testament canon in light of the martyrological witness, not least of all Ignatius's. If you've been interested in picking up one of Dad's books but don't know where to start (or are nervous about committing to 900 pages), start with this one—it'll give you a great overall read on the development of Christian theology and how it completely remade the way we think about God.
3. For a little taste of my learning about the nature of the church from being a missionary in Japan, take a look at this short piece, "Dispatch from a Bewildered Missionary in Japan."
4. Here's some info on the exchange between Pliny the Younger and Emperor Trajan about the wacky sect of Christians.
5. We talked more about martyrdom's "agency" in the face of suffering in the episode on Perpetua and Felicitas. See also the Martyrdom of Polycarp.
6. William R. Farmer and Denis M. Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon
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Saturday Jun 20, 2020

The terrible killing of George Floyd and the resulting protests and riots around the country have prompted us to record this bonus episode, in which we reflect on our experiences and theological interpretations of being "white," American, and Christian.
 
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Notes:
1. Much of what we say in this episode presumes topics we've covered already; you may want to check out What Is a Person?, Faith to the Aid of Reason, Two Kingdoms: 16th-Century Edition & Two Kingdoms: 20th- and 21st-Century Edition, and The First Two-Thirds of Acts.
2. See Dad's Mission to the Catskills: A History of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Delhi, New York and his discussion of Martin Luther King Jr in Luther and the Beloved Community, informed by teaching a course on MLK for many years at Roanoke College.
3. A little info about my forthcoming memoir here
4. Review of Albion's Seed
5. This is a thoughtful reflection from a Christian in the South coming to terms with his ancestors and their history.
6. Bonhoeffer talks about the ultimate and penultimate in Ethics
7. Cornel West, Race Matters
8. James Cone, God of the Oppressed
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The Resurrection

Tuesday Jun 16, 2020

Tuesday Jun 16, 2020

We bet you still have a hangover from the crucifixion episode with which we opened this season. Well, you had to wait longer than three days, but here it is at last: the counterpart episode on the resurrection. For we consider the sufferings of the crucifixion episode are not worth comparing to the glory that is this resurrection episode.
We cover a range of questions here, from what is even meant by resurrection (and just as importantly what is not) to what an event like this means in the stream of creaturely history to the ultimate question of what the resurrection of the crucified one means within the life of God.
Plus, some fun verbs.
 
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Notes:
1. Jesus Christ Superstar. I wouldn't go as far as to call it a "timeless" work as the advertising fluff on the homepage says—it's pretty obviously the product of its time—but still well worth the listen. Pilate gets to me every time.
2. Two essays by N. T. Wright addressing the meaning of "resurrection" and considerations for its historicity: "Christian Origins and the Resurrection of Jesus" and "Jesus' Resurrection and Christian Origins."
3. Bodily boundedness is discussed at greater length in our Leviticus episode
4. Pannenberg, Jesus: God and Man
5. My article on "The Verbs of the Resurrection"
6. Käsemann, Commentary on Romans
7. Theissen, The Miracle Stories of the Early Christian Tradition
8. For Dad vs. Bultmann, see: Divine Complexity ch. 2 for an extensive discussion of the resurrection and its metaphysical implications for God; Beloved Community on the difference between demythologization and deliteralization (easiest thing here is just to look at the index for all listings); the forthcoming Joshua commentary from Brazos, which will also deal extensively with this topic; and finally "The Theology of the Martyrs," in Martyrdom and the Suffering of the Righteous, 87–110.
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Holy Communion: Doctrine

Tuesday Jun 02, 2020

Tuesday Jun 02, 2020

Following on our last episode about eucharistic discipline, in this one we actually dig into the doctrine, discussing what and who it is in, with, and under the Lord's Supper and what it even means to talk about Christ's presence therein. Lots of fun terminology (see below). Then some liturgical advisories on bread vs. wafers, I momentarily lose it over how people approach their shot glasses, and we (perhaps a bit disappointingly) argue less about the eucharistic prayer than either of us anticipated.
 
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Notes:
1. Luther's writings referred to in this episode are: The Small Catechism, Confession Concerning Christ's Supper, the Jonah commentary, and (obliquely) the Babylonian Captivity of the Church.
2. Some of us because theologians because we're enchanted by the vocabulary. Here are some good ones that were or weren't mentioned in this episode pertaining to the Lord's Supper that you can have fun googling: alleosis, capernaitism, epiclesis, ubivolipraesens, transubstantiation, consubstantiation (just so long as you promise not to use it to describe the Lutheran doctrine of the the Lord's Supper), and extracalvinisticum (N.B. I first fell in love with my husband because of a prank involving the extracalvinisticum, so, you know, there's more than one reason to master theological vocabulary).
3. I talk more about gospel imperatives in this bonus episode, and reflect on unusual sacramental circumstances in "The Sacraments in Time, Space, and Matter."
4. Dad discusses the Lord's Supper in detail in Beloved Community, pp. 476–509.
5. Sacramentine sisters
6. For a good survey of early church practice and Reformation response on the eucharistic prayer and the words of institution, see Dorothea Wendebourg, "Traveled the Full Extent of Rome's Erroneous Path?" Lutheran Forum 44/4 (2010): 18–33.
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Holy Communion: Discipline

Tuesday May 19, 2020

Tuesday May 19, 2020

We put the cart ahead of the horse in this one: after a good start in I Corinthians, we gallop off into matters of eucharistic discipline, but not to worry, we decide to keep going in the next episode, in which we'll back up and deal with the doctrine. In the meanwhile, if you get really exercised about questions of who's in and who's out, you're either going to love this episode... or unsubscribe. Either way, enjoy!
 
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Notes:
1. Dennis Di Mauro, "For You, For Many, For All People?" Lutheran Forum 50/4 (2016): 20–23.
2. We never did get around to infant communion, but here's an article I wrote on the topic called "Mildly Opposed to Infant Communion." A bit off topic but related to something that came up in this episode, I critique C. S. Lewis's doctrine of purgatory in "A Lutheran Reflection on C. S. Lewis."
3. For a study of early liturgical history that doesn't annoy me, see Paul F. Bradshaw and Maxwell E. Johnson's The Origin of Feasts, Fasts, and Seasons in Early Christianity
4. The Vatican II statement on ecumenism is Unitatis Redintegratio; see especially section 3 on "Churches and Ecclesial Communities Separated from the Roman Apostolic See."
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Luther and the Jews

Tuesday May 05, 2020

Tuesday May 05, 2020

Christianity has had a 1900+ year bad history with (rabbinic) Judaism, with devastating consequences for the lives of Jews and theological bankruptcy for Christians. We hone in on the problem within our own tradition by looking at Luther's contorted and confusing attitude to Jews—from being the first person in about 1000 years to propose toleration and speak well of them, to his famously horrific suggestions to drive them out, steal their books, and burn their synagogues. Yet Luther proves to be not unique but representative in his anti-Judaism, so we also address wider concerns such as the not-always-tenable difference between anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism, and to what extent the roots of Christian anti-Judaism lie in our Scripture, Old and New Testament alike. Romans chs. 9–11 guide us through this mare's nest of issues.
 
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Notes:
1. David Nirenberg, Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition
2. The chief texts of Luther relevant to his Janus-like relationship with the Jews are: “That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew” (1523; Luther’s Works vol. 45), “Against the Sabbatarians” (1539; Luther’s Works vol. 47), and “On the Jews and Their Lies” (1543; Luther’s Works vol. 47)
3. The book that popularly made the case in America for the direct lineage between Hitler and Luther was William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Uwe Siemon-Netto wrote a rebuttal to this claim in his The Fabricated Luther: Refuting Nazi Connections and Other Modern Myths.
4. My choice for the best place to examine this issue is in Thomas Kaufmann’s Luther’s Jews: A Journey into Anti-Semitism. Here's a review I wrote of it.
5. See Dad’s review of the excellent book by Peter Ochs, Another Reformation: Postliberal Christianity and the Jews in The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning 13/2 (2014) and in his book Beloved Community the “Excursus: on Jewish perplexity as a principle internal to Christology” on pp. 416–428. Also, check out his book Before Auschwitz, which analyzes various Christian theological positions regarding Jews and Judaism and how they were able to resist Nazi ideology or, conversely, fell right in step with it.
6. A few things I’ve written dealing with these issues: “Still Reckoning with Luther” in The Christian Century; commentary on Mark 12:28–34 for Working Preacher; my chapter “Tradition: A Lutheran Perspective” in the collection The Idea of Tradition in the Late Modern World; and a chapter in my ebook Luther, Thrice, available by signing up for the Theology & a Recipe newsletter on my website.
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Romans

Tuesday Apr 21, 2020

Tuesday Apr 21, 2020

Following hot on the heels of our last episode about St. Paul among the Philosophers, in this episode we take up his magnum opus, the Epistle to the Romans. Positioned first in the New Testament, it is actually the last extant letter he wrote. Hugely influential, it is densely packed, tightly argued, and generally impenetrable to a casual reading. So with the excellent aid of the brilliant interpreter Ernst Käsemann we walk through most of Romans (leaving chs. 9–11 for next time) to discover the power of the gospel, the ungodliness of the godly, and God's justification of precisely those ungodly people by His Son and Spirit.
 
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Notes:
1. Käsemann, Commentary on Romans
2. Melanchthon, Loci Communes
3. Paulson, Lutheran Theology
4. J. L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words
5. Dad talks about baptism extensively in Beloved Community
6. Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle; I wrote a review of it for the late great Books & Culture
 
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Thursday Apr 09, 2020

There we were, calmly recording our regularly scheduled episodes during our pandemic-imposed quiet, including a couple on holy communion for later this spring... when a good old-fashioned theological controversy erupted under our feet. We weigh in on the question of whether holy communion can be consecrated via the internet (spoiler alert: no) and why we think so; but we also lift up the great things that can be done to foster and uplift the Christian community by digital means during this time of distancing and eucharistic fasting. Just in time for Maundy Thursday 2020!
 
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Notes:
 
1. Dad's statement, "Why Virtual Communion Is Not Nearly Radical Enough"
 
2. Yeago, "Word, Sacrament, and Quarantine"
 
3. Lange, "Digital Worship and Sacramental Life in a Time of Pandemic" on the Lutheran World Federation website
 
4. Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration 7
 
5. Kleinhans, Schroeder, and Peterson, "Concerning Online Communion"
 
6. Thompson, "Christ Is Really Present Virtually: A Proposal for Virtual Communion." See also her book The Virtual Body of Christ in a Suffering World
 
7. Jorgenson, "Corona and Communion"
 
8. If you aren't already deluged with online options for worship and sermons, you can check out my YouTube sermon channel
 
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Tuesday Apr 07, 2020

The apostle Paul gets a bad rap as the repressive, restrictive jerk who turned the hippie religion of Jesus into a metaphysical mess of religion about Jesus. Strangely enough, Christians seem to be the primary exponents of this misleading interpretation. But across the way in the realms of secular and socialist philosophy, Paul is enjoying a revival of sorts; and in some cases is even the object of envious longing. What gives? In this episode we offer a brief introduction to Paul (apostle, not Dad) and then Paul (Dad, not apostle) walks us through three contemporary philosophers' takes on this figure so important to the Christian faith.
 
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Notes:
1. Nietzsche, The Antichrist
2. Stuhlmacher, Reconciliation, Law, Righteousness: Essays in Biblical Theology and Revisting Paul’s Doctrine of Justification: A Challenge to the New Perspective
3. Bultmann’s existentalist interpretation of the resurrection is found in Theology of the New Testament and draws on Heidegger’s Being and Time
4. Käsemann, Commentary on Romans
5. Stendahl, Paul among Jews and Gentiles
6. Dunn, “The New Perspective on Paul,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 65 (1983): 95–122
7. J. Louis Martyn, Galatians
8. N. T. Wright, The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology
9. Žižek and Millbank, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?
10. Badiou, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism
11. Dad co-authored a book with Brent Adkins called Rethinking Theology and Philosophy with Deleuze which deals with some of these thinkers
12. Agamben, The Time That Remains
13. Benjamin and Agamben, Towards the Critique of Violence
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Friday Mar 27, 2020

Once again Luther proves his surprising relevance with his treatise "Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague." In light of the metastasizing coronavirus pandemic, Dad and I talk about the treatise and then offer our own reflections on how believers can and should respond.
 
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Notes:
1. Luther's treatise is published in Luther's Works vol. 43 and you can also read it here.
2. Bonhoeffer discusses "natural life" in his Ethics
3. We refer in this episode to a previous episode we did on Faith to the Aid of Reason
4. I discussed at length what I learned about dealing with uncertainty and non-knowledge from the Book of Revelation in my latest issue of Theology & a Recipe (which includes recipes for Seven Bowls of Snacks)
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Tuesday Mar 24, 2020

Following on our last two episodes exploring the Lutheran doctrine of the "two kingdoms," in this one we dive deeply into the life of two extraordinary Ethiopian Lutherans. Gudina Tumsa was a pastor and the General Secretary of the Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus until his assassination by the communist Derg regime in 1979. His wife Tsehay Tolessa, an active evangelist, was arrested after his death, tortured, and imprisoned without trial or sentence for ten years. Only after the fall of the regime was Gudina's death confirmed and his body identified, exhumed, and given a Christian burial.
In addition to discussing their remarkable life stories and witness to Christ, we delve into Gudina's writings during his time of leadership in the ECMY, including his reflections on ecclesiology, wholistic mission, and the role of a Christian in public life, especially when faced with a hostile government. The parallels to Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life and witness earned Gudina the moniker "the Ethiopian Bonhoeffer," and he and Tsehay alike deserve wider renown.
One other item: we hit a milestone in the life of every podcast with this episode, namely, the Technical Glitch. As a result, the sound quality is poorer than usual. We apologize and have exorcised the relevant demons from the equipment, and expect that from now on the sound will be up to its usual standards.
 
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Notes:
1. The book mentioned in the episode is The Life, Works, and Witness of Tsehay Tolessa and Gudina Tumsa, the Ethiopian Bonhoeffer, edited by me (Sarah) and my friend Samuel Yonas Deressa.
2. You can also read some of the papers of the Journal of the Gudina Tumsa Forum here and here (I have a paper in the latter).
3. Gudina Tumsa Foundation on Facebook and US branch of the Gudina Tumsa Foundation
4. Original English translation of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship
5. Dad wrote an entry on "Martin Luther in Karl Marx" for The Oxford Encyclopedia of Martin Luther
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Tuesday Mar 10, 2020

Can a distinction between the religious and governmental realms hashed out in the sixteenth century be remotely useful for us today? Well, we give it an honest try. If in the past the danger was religion invading the realm of the state and making use of violent coercion to advance its ultimate goals, today the danger (at least in the parts of the world we've lived in) is the other way around: the state attempting to assert itself in realms of conscience, mind, and ultimate salvation. We explore totalizing ideologies and share our insights on how to keep on distinguishing the two kingdoms for the good of all people, whatever their religion or politics.
 
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Notes:
1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes about secularism and the French vs. American revolutions in “Inheritance and Decay” in Ethics
2. Alasdair MacIntyre observes how “we’re all liberals now” in Whose Justice? Which Rationality?
3. John Locke’s political essays mentioned in this episode are the Second Treatise on Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration
4. Dad calls Robert Benne a liberal in his essay “Luther and Liberalism” in A Report from the Front Lines: Conversations on Public Theology, A Festschrift in Honor of Robert Benne
5. John Witte Jr. discusses early Lutheran political theology in Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation
6. Robert P. Ericksen, Theologians under Hitler
7. Martin Luther reminds us that the kingdom of God will come regardless of our efforts or obstructions in the Small Catechism
8. The excerpt of the song goes “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” and it’s from “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who. If you didn’t already know that, you should probably drop everything and go listen to the album Who’s Next
9. Here’s a link to info about the memoir I mentioned (still forthcoming, but if you sign up for my Theology & a Recipe e-newsletter you’ll be notified about publication details… plus, of course, you’ll get Theology & a Recipe), as well as an article I wrote called “A Primer on Luther’s Politics”
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Tuesday Feb 25, 2020

You think it's obvious to keep religion and government separate—but for nearly all of human history, it's been anything but that! In this episode Dad and I sort through the landscape of 16th century Europe to scout out the source of Luther's distinction between the "two kingdoms": the lefthand kingdom where God rules by law, coercion, and public authority, and the righthand kingdom where God rules by the gospel of Jesus Christ through word and sacrament. There are so many ways to do church-and-state wrong that we barely scratch the surface! So stay tuned for the next episode, when we'll bring the two kingdoms into the 20th and 21st centuries to see what mischief (to say the least) has come about by failing to distinguish them properly closer to our time.
 
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Notes
1. Ulrich Duchrow, Christenheit und Weltverantwortung
2. Augustine, The City of God
3. Martin Luther's writings on this topic include: On Temporal Authority; Admonition to Peace; Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved; On War against the Turk. See also his eight Invocavit sermons on returning to Karlstadt's violent reforms in Wittenberg while Luther was impounded in the Wartburg. All available in the Luther's Works series.
4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "Heritage and Decay," in Ethics
5. Paul R. Hinlicky, Luther vs. Pope Leo
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Learning to Love Leviticus

Tuesday Feb 11, 2020

Tuesday Feb 11, 2020

And you thought Joshua was bad! In this episode I undertake to persuade Dad that the other-least-popular book of the Old Testament is not just an arcane collection of burnt offerings and sin offerings and wave offerings but in fact is the metaphysical substrate of the gospel itself. (Spoiler alert: he is won over.) Have a listen for a new perspective on "detestable" animals, mixed fibers, death on account of blasphemy, liver lobes, and so much more!
 
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Notes:
1. As mentioned before, Dad has a forthcoming commentary in the Brazos series on the book of Joshua.
2. Dad mentions the stroke he had two years ago in this episode; in case you missed it, a bonus episode from last year recounts that experience
3. Ephraim Radner, Leviticus
4. Luther’s commentary on Deuteronomy (specifically ch. 7) deals with the question of who exactly the commands in the Bible are addressed to
5. The only two appearances of Leviticus in the Revised Common Lectionary are Epiphany 7 and Proper 25, both in Year A, both from ch. 19
6. Mary Douglas, Leviticus as Literature
7. The hymn is indeed “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood” but the author is William Cowper, not Isaac Watts.
8. More enthusing from me about Leviticus: “Learning to Love Leviticus” (yup, I loved the alliteration so much I stole it from myself to give this episode the same title); a brief review of Douglas’s Leviticus as Literature (scroll to the bottom of the page); commentary on the intra-Pentateuchal discussion between Jesus and the scribe in Mark 12:28–34; and an issue of my e-newsletter Theology & a Recipe devoted to “Discerning Walls with Leviticus” (plus an awesome pair of recipes for Hot Quiche and Cold Tomato Soup!).
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