OnRamp 006: Levels of Racism


Hosted by Kerri Fisher & Shane Blackshear

3 Levels of Racism




*Some groups use other terms such as interpersonal, structural, ideological, etc.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study on How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement

Listen to past episodes of OnRamp at OnRampPodcast.com

A Very Special Episode of Seminary Dropout: Announcing a Brand New Podcast – OnRamp


Hey Seminary Dropout listeners this is a very special episode in which I’m previewing to you the very first episode of a brand new podcast called OnRamp. OnRamp is hosted by myself and my friend Kerri Fisher. It’s an episode about issues surrounding race through the lens of Christian spirituality. This is has been in the works for awhile and I’m very proud of it. It’s by no mean comprehensive in it’s scope and it’s not perfect in it’s execution. I by no means have these issues figured out. It’s just a conversation, and a conversation meant for those who want to understand these issues better, but don’t have a good place to start. This is meant to be a jumping on point or, and “on-ramp”.

If you like Seminary Dropout then I think you’ll love OnRamp. You can help the show launch by 1. Subscribing in iTunes, and 2. Sharing this on social media. Thanks for listening and I hope that Christ meets you as you listen.

OnRamp 003: Diversity


Hosted by Kerri Fisher & Shane Blackshear

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland

Let Justice Roll Down by John Perkins

Subscribe/Rate/Review OnRamp in iTunes

*links to guest books or other products are affiliate links

OnRamp 001: Two Christians Talking About Race


Hi Friend, welcome to On-Ramp.


Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew Hart


Subscribe/Rate/Review OnRamp in iTunes

*links to guest books or other products are affiliate links

Top 5 Books of 2016

I think this may be the first year that my “top list” only includes books actually published this year. Also, it’s important to note that, yes, all of these books were written by Seminary Dropout guests, which may seem self serving, but honestly just reading the books of SD guests (which I must do to conduct the best interviews possible), leaves me little additional time for reading anything else.

5. Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fujimura

Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence, first published in 1966, endures as one of the greatest works of twentieth-century Japanese literature. Its narrative of the persecution of Christians in seventeenth-century Japan raises uncomfortable questions about God and the ambiguity of faith in the midst of suffering and hostility. Endo’s Silence took internationally renowned visual artist Makoto Fujimura on a pilgrimage of grappling with the nature of art, the significance of pain and his own cultural heritage. His artistic faith journey overlaps with Endo’s as he uncovers deep layers of meaning in Japanese history and literature, expressed in art both past and present. He finds connections to how faith is lived in contemporary contexts of trauma and glimpses of how the gospel is conveyed in Christ-hidden cultures. In this world of pain and suffering, God often seems silent. Fujimura’s reflections show that light is yet present in darkness, and that silence speaks with hidden beauty and truth. -From the Publisher

4. Lord Willing by Jessica Kelley


Does God’s perfect plan really include this?

When her young son was diagnosed with brain cancer, Jessica Kelley couldn’t stomach Christian clichés. God’s will? Divine design? The Lord’s perfect plan? In Lord Willing?, Kelley boldly tackles one of the most difficult questions of the Christian life: if God is all-powerful and all-loving, why do we suffer? For Kelley, this question takes an even more painful and personal turn: did God lack the power or the desire to spare her four-year-old son?

For those dissatisfied with easy answers to why evil and tragedy occur, Lord Willing? offers a refreshing, hopeful journey straight to the heart of God. Be prepared for something more beautiful, more pure, and more healing than you can dare to imagine. -From the Publisher

3. Water to Wine by Brian Zahnd


Why would the pastor of a large and successful church risk everything in a quest to find a richer, deeper, fuller Christianity? In Water To Wine Brian Zahnd tells his story of disenchantment with pop Christianity and his search for a more substantive faith.

“I was halfway to ninety—midway through life—and I had reached a full-blown crisis. Call it garden variety mid-life crisis if you want, but it was something more. You might say it was a theological crisis, though that makes it sound too cerebral. The unease I felt came from a deeper place than a mental file labeled “theology.” I was wrestling with the uneasy feeling that the faith I had built my life around was somehow deficient. Not wrong, but lacking. It seemed watery, weak. In my most honest moments I couldn’t help but notice that the faith I knew seemed to lack the kind of robust authenticity that made Jesus so fascinating. And I had always been utterly fascinated by Jesus. What I knew was that the Jesus I believed in warranted a better Christianity than what I was familiar with. I was in Cana and the wine had run out. I needed Jesus to perform a miracle.” –Water To Wine


2. Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue

What do you do when God dies? It’s a question facing millions today, as science reveals a Universe that’s self-creating, as American culture departs from Christian social norms, and the idea of God begins to seem implausible at best and barbaric at worst.

Mike McHargue understands the pain of unraveling belief. In Finding God in the Waves, Mike tells the story of how his Evangelical faith dissolved into atheism as he studied the Bible, a crisis that threatened his identity, his friendships, and even his marriage. Years later, Mike was standing on the shores of the Pacific Ocean when a bewildering, seemingly mystical moment motivated him to take another look. But this time, it wasn’t theology or scripture that led him back to God—it was science.

In Finding God in the Waves, “Science Mike” draws on his personal experience to tell the unlikely story of how science led him back to faith. Among other revelations, we learn what brain scans reveal about what happens when we pray; how fundamentalism affects the psyche; and how God is revealed not only in scripture, but in the night sky, in subatomic particles, and in us.

For the faithful and skeptic alike, Finding God in the Waves is a winsome, lucid, page-turning read about belonging, life’s biggest questions, and the hope of knowing God in an age of science.

                                                                                                     -From The Publisher

1. Trouble I’ve Seen by Drew Hart

What if racial reconciliation doesn’t look like what you expected? The high-profile killings of young black men and women by white police officers, and the protests and violence that ensued, have convinced many white Christians to reexamine their intuitions when it comes to race and justice.

In this provocative book, theologian and blogger Drew G. I. Hart places police brutality, mass incarceration, antiblack stereotypes, poverty, and everyday acts of racism within the larger framework of white supremacy. Leading readers toward Jesus, Hart offers concrete practices for churches that seek solidarity with the oppressed and are committed to racial justice.

What if all Christians listened to the stories of those on the racialized margins? How might the church be changed by the trouble we ve seen?

Key Features:
-Written by well-known theologian and blogger Drew Hart with foreword by Christena Cleveland
-Hard-hitting analysis of racial injustice in the twenty-first century
-Provides a call to action for Christians committed to racial justice and creative proposals for antiracist practices for churches
                                                           -From the Publisher

153: David Fitch Author of ‘Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines that Shape the Church for Mission’


*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.orgdf

David E. Fitch (PhD, Northwestern University) is the B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary. He is also the founding pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community, a missional church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He is the author of The Great Giveaway and The End of Evangelicalism? and is the coauthor of Prodigal Christianity. Fitch coaches a network of church plants in the Christian and Missionary Alliance and he writes, speaks, and lectures on issues the local church must face in mission including cultural engagement, leadership and theology. He has also written numerous articles in periodicals such as Christianity Today, The Other Journal, Missiology as well as various academic journals.

To enter to win a copy of Faithful Presense sign up for my email list at ShaneBlackshear.com (right hand side).



Thank you all for a great 2016! This is the last episode of Seminary Dropout for the year. Stay tuned to hear more about the “secret project” coming in December.

If you liked this episode then you might also like…

Seminary Dropout 126: Nijay Gupta on Bridging the Gap Between Seminary and the Church Pew

Seminary Dropout 115: Natasha Sistrunk Robinson “When We Measure the Church by American Standards… …We Strangle the Beauty of the Cross.”

Subscribe/Rate/Review Seminary Dropout in iTunes

152: Paul Pavao on Cancer, The Early Church, and Living in Intentional Community


*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org

Paul Pavao is a teacher at Rose Creek village, a Christian community. He is married and has six children. Paul is a Mensa member and has studied early CHristian history for over 20 years.

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If you liked this episode then you might also like…

134: Jessica Kelley, Author of “Lord Willing?: Wrestling with God’s Role in My Child’s Death”

140: Frank James, Logos Video Course: “Introducing Church History”

Subscribe/Rate/Review Seminary Dropout in iTunes