Seminary Dropout 58: Brian Zahnd, Author of ‘A Farewell to Mars’


bzBrian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a Christian congregation located in the heartland of America in Saint Joseph, Missouri. For 31 years, Brian and his wife Peri’s vision for the church has been to be an authentic expression of the Kingdom of Jesus in a modern world. Brian is known for his focus on embracing the deep and long history of the Church and wholeheartedly participating in God’s mission to redeem and restore His world.


affiliate link

Brian used to be ‘that pastor’, you know the stereotype of a southern evangelical pastor. Pro-military and pro-empire. He even hosted a Super Bowl style party when the first Iraq war kicked off in 1990. He and his friends ate pizza and watched Wolf Blitzer host the first ‘televised war’. Now, Brian calls that ‘his worst sin’. That’s just the beginning…





Out THIS WEEK Father Factor: American Christian Men on Fatherhood and Faith
This will be my first time to be published. I’m so honored to be in the company of such a great group of diverse men. Order your copy today!


If you liked this episode then you might also like…

Seminary Dropout 44: Preston Sprinkle, Author of Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence

Have You Accepted President Obama As Your Personal Lord & Savior?


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Seminary Dropout 57: JR. Briggs, Author of ‘FAIL: Finding Hope & Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure’



J.R. Briggs serves as Cultural Cultivator of The Renew Community a Jesus community for skeptics and dreamers in Lansdale, PA – a suburb of Philadelphia, which he helped start. He is the founder and director of Kairos Partnerships an initiative that partners with leaders, pastors and church planters during significant kairos moments in ministry. As part of his time with Kairos Partnerships, he serves on staff with The Ecclesia Network and Fresh Expressions U.S. In addition to these responsibilities he speaks regularly, writes, coaches pastors and church planters and consults with Christian colleges, non-profits, mission agencies, churches and other Christian organizations.

affiliate link

“J.R. Briggs has something to say to pastors about our American obsession with ‘success.’ He holds to the Jesus-endorsed notion that those in ministry are called to faithfulness, not success, and that sometimes faithfulness takes the peculiar form of failure. Fail dares to tell the truth and will bring much-needed clarity and comfort to a multitude of ministers who, though faithful, have drunk from the bitter cup of failure.” -Brian Zahnd




One announcement I forgot: Father Factor: American Christian Men on Fatherhood and Faith
will be available in 4 days!


If you liked this episode then you might also like…

Seminary Dropout 46: ‘Slow Church’ Authors Chris Smith & John Pattison

5 Ways To Be Unsatisfied With Your Church


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Seminary Dropout 56: Kate Wallace of The Junia Project


kwKate Wallace is a co-founder of The Junia Project, Operations Manager for the Wesleyan Holiness Consortium, coordinator for the WHC Freedom Network, and an adjunct professor in political science. She is a committed Christian and millennial feminist who enjoys writing and speaking on the intersection of politics, religion, and gender. Her favorite theologian is Gilbert Bilezikian, and she loves chocolate, dogs, hiking, J.K Rowling, theatre, and political theory. She holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts from Azusa Pacific University.


The Junia Project is a community of women and men advocating for the inclusion of women at all levels of leadership in the Christian church and for mutuality in marriage. We believe that when interpreted correctly, the Bible teaches that both men and women are called to serve at all levels of the Church, and that leadership should be based primarily on gifting and not on gender.

The Junia Project blog serves as the primary platform for our volunteer writing team and guests to communicate their understanding of egalitarian theology and to share experiences and reflections on gender equality.


That Pinterest page we talked about is here.



If you liked this episode then you might also like…

Seminary Dropout 25: Sarah Bessey, Author of Jesus Feminist

Seminary Dropout 31: Halee Gray Scott, Author of Dare Mighty Things

Dear Proverbs 31 Woman


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Seminary Dropout 55: Gary Black Jr. – Co-author of The Divine Conspiracy Continued


gbjDallas Willards ‘The Divine Conspiracy’ focused  on the personal discipleship and transformation, and in the years since it’s release it’s made a profound impact on the lives of thousands of Christ-followers and odds are some of your favorite contemporary Christian authors have a special place in their hearts for The Divine Conspiracy.

Willard along with my guest Gary Black Jr broaden the message of TDC in TDCC, where they
explore how people of faith live out that discipleship and transformation in society & in                       public.

Gary’s Author Page


If you like this episode you’ll also like:

Seminary Dropout 11: Richard Foster

Seminary Dropout 52: James Bryan Smith

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Seminary Dropout 54: Walter Brueggemann Talking – Reality, Grief, Hope


wbIt’s hard to introduce someone like Walter Brueggemann. There are just too many accolades to mention. Yes, he’s got degree’s from Elmhurst College, Eden Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and a doctorate from Saint Louis University.

He’s written books, at least 58 books by my count.

He’s received numerous awards too including the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Union Theological Seminary, and the Luce Theological Fellowship from the Association of Theological Schools. He was named an honorary member of the British Society for Old Testament Study. He received both the Academy of Parish Clergy Book of the Year award and the Catholic Press Association Book of the Year award for Theology of the Old Testament. The Association of Theological Booksellers named Brueggemann’s “An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination” Best Academic Book in 2004. Brueggemann was inducted as an honorary admiral into the Nebraska Navy. Really… the Nebraska Navy!

So yeah he’s done all that but still it doesn’t seem to adequately describe who he is, so I’ll just say that above all else what impresses me most about Walter Brueggemann is that after all these years he is humble enough to sit down and talk with someone like me.

On the show we talk about his new book
Reality, Grief, Hope: Three Urgent Prophetic Tasks.


Do you like Seminary Dropout? Have you benefitted from one or more of the interviews you’ve heard here? Then consider supporting Seminary Dropout. We’ve just launched a new and fun way to support the show through a new venue called ‘Patreon’. it’s similar to Kick-starter but it’s for things that are created on an ongoing basis, like podcasts! There are rewards for donating and goals that will improve the show once we meet them.

Please go to to see it for yourself. Even if you can’t contribute, it’s worth it just to watch the video some past Seminary Dropout guests helped me make.


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Seminary Dropout 41: Bruxy Cavey

Seminary Dropout 22: Philip Yancey

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Seminary Dropout 53: Jason Boyett on The Apocolypse, & Salvation


jbJason Boyett has a knack for boiling down complicated concepts and making them easy to understand to the average person. He displays this most notably in his ‘Pocket Guide’ book series. A.J. Jacobs, the author of The Year of Living Biblically called the Pocket Guides ‘smart’ & ‘hilarious’.  He’s written other things too, including a spiritual memoir called ‘O Me of Little Faith’, it’s shockingly honest, and pretty funny too.

You can find Jason at



If you like this episode you’ll also like:

Seminary Dropout 27: Greg Boyd

Seminary Dropout 16: Jeff Goins


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Seminary Dropout 52: James Bryan Smith, Author of The Apprentice Series.


JBSDallas Willard, Richard Foster are names you probably know, they’ve both been on the forefront on modern Christian spiritual development with books like ‘The Celebration of Discipline’ by Foster and ‘The Spirit of the Disciplines’ by Willard just to name a few. Well if you don’t know James Bryan Smith, you should, he and his works were heavily influenced by Willard & Foster. He’s written among other things a trilogy of books that are somewhat devotional in nature, called The Good & Beautiful God, The Good & Beautiful Life, & The Good and Beautiful Community. James is also a professor of Theology at Friends University in Witchita, Kansas, as well as the director of the Apprentice Institute.

Be sure to check out The Apprentice Institute!

The Apprentice Series:


If you like this episode you’ll also like:

Seminary Dropout 011: Richard Foster

Seminary Dropout 43: David Leo Schultz, Director & Producer of ‘Ragamuffin’


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Seminary Dropout 51: Michael Gungor Talks Creation, Music, & Art.



You’ve probably known who Michael Gungor is for a long time. Maybe you first remember hearing him in The Michael Gungor  bands  song ‘White Man’ on the Ancient Skies album. Michaels music is constantly evolving and eventually he went from The Michael Gungor band to a collective simply known as Gungor. The band has released 5 albums so far. Gungor’s latest album is called ‘I am Mountain’, and a deluxe version just released this July. 



Michael joined me on Seminary Dropout to talk about that whole creation scandal, the changes in his music throughout the years, and how he’s playing catch up with the music he never listened to as a kid.





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Seminary Dropout 50: Margot Starbuck on God, Writing & Public Speaking


Margot Starbuck

Throughout the years Margot Starbuck has worn many hats, she’s been a chaplain to people with intellectual and physical disabilities, she painted and sold plungers, she’s swam next to a guy with epilepsy so he wouldn’t drown. I did say she wore many hats.
Today you probably know her from one or more of her many books, her contributions to publications like Today’s Christian Woman or Red Letter Christianity, or maybe you’ve heard her one of her many speaking engagements. Margot speaks about God’s love with fresh honesty, love and compassion.


Some memorable moments from the show:

I think a lot of us are walking around just slathered in shame. Tweet: 'I think a lot of us are walking around just slathered in shame' -Margot Starbuck

#AdultsDontThinkLittleKidsCanWalkBigDogsButTheyTotallyCanTweet: #AdultsDontThinkLittleKidsCanWalkBigDogsButTheyTotallyCan

Karate belts & ribbon cost money, words are free.Tweet: 'Karate belts & ribbon cost money, words are free.'

Margot’s latest book is Not Who I Imagined: Surprised by a Loving God.

From our earliest days we long for love and acceptance. First from our parents, then from peers, and eventually from romantic interests. We look into their faces, searching for a smile, a look that says, I love you exactly as you are. Don’t change. We long for the same gracious acceptance from God. But despite the Christian gospel of unearned grace and unconditional love, too many of us feel as though we’re still not quite good enough as we are. We can’t believe that God accepts us. And often this is because those who represent God to us on earth–our parents, other Christians–have not looked upon us as we are with expressions of unrelenting love. -Publishers Description-

Remember our current twitter campaign:

Hey @JenHatmaker, I’d love to hear you on Seminary Dropout! #JenOnSDTweet: Hey @JenHatmaker, I'd love to hear you on Seminary Dropout! #JenOnSD

 Are you coming to the Seminary Dropout Google Hangout tonight (8/20/14) at 7pm CST?
RSVP or just show up here.


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Seminary Dropout 49: Michael Leary talking Mad Men & the Psalms


Michael Leary, is an Adjunct Instructor of Religious Studies at Fontbonne University as well as being a lecturer at Emmaus Bible College in Sydney, Australia, so naturally I have him here on the show to talk about AMC’s television show Mad Men.



Michael writes for the website Filmwell and recently wrote a few pieces on the biblical imagery in Mad Men. My friends know that I love Mad Men, and want nothing more but to constantly talk about Mad Men all day everyday, especially as it relates to the gospel and redemption. If your not a viewer of the show then I think there’s still something in the show for you, but be warned, there are spoilers in this episode.


I forgot to mention it in the podcast, but remember our current twitter campaign that we launched in last weeks episode. #JenOnSD

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