Seminary Dropout 54: Walter Brueggemann Talking – Reality, Greif, 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.


If you liked this episode you’ll also like:

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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Seminary Dropout 48: Author of ‘The Shack’, WM Paul Young


WM paul youngMy guest today is WM Paul Young. Paul grew up as the son a missionaries in what is now West Papua. There he experienced trauma at the hands of the indigenous people, as well as his own family. Paul grew up and worked various jobs, some in ministry, and some outside. Some point along the way he began keeping secrets from everyone around him including his wife and children. When his secrets came to light he was forced to deal with his hidden life, as well as the trauma he faced when he was younger.


The entire experience gave Paul unique lens through which to view the gospel. You may have heard the story – his wife eventually asked him to put into words who God was to him for his children, friends, and family. He wrote The Shack, and made 15 copies at an Office Depot. The copies eventually made their way into the hands of people who would be passionate about publishing it. Like I said, you may have heard that part already. What you haven’t heard is what we discuss on this episode on Seminary Dropout…


Remember the current twitter campaign: #JenOnSD

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Seminary Dropout 47: Carlos Whittaker, Musician, & Author of Moment Maker



My guest today is worship leader, and author Carlos Whittaker. Carlos has been the worship leader for Andy Stanley’s Buckhead Church in Atlanta and is on the leadership team for Catalyst, as well as leading worship at many of their events.




In Moment Maker, Carlos tells stories from his life, showing how he tries to live intentionally and claim moments that touch the lives of others, whether that be his family, his friends, his colleagues, or total strangers.



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


Chris-Smithjohn pattison
As it says on the back cover of ‘Slow Church':

Chris Smith & John Pattison invite us out of franchise faith and back into the kingdom of God, where people know each other well and love one another as Christ loved the church.

Some things we discuss on the show…

  • the McDonaldization of the church and what it’s doing to us
  • some dangerous ramifications of the church growth movements
  • why efficiency in the church may not be a good thing




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book is affiliate link

Seminary Dropout 45: Kerry Weber, Author of ‘Mercy in the City’


kerry weberKerry Weber is a Mercy Associate and Managing Editor of America magazine. She is an alumna of the Mercy Volunteer Corps and of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in New York City.

The Corporal Works of Mercy are 7 acts. Six come from Matthew 25:34-40 and the final one comes from the Book of Tobit.

1. To feed the hungry.
2. To give drink to the thirsty.
3. To clothe the naked.
4. To harbour the harbourless.
5. To visit the sick.
6. To visit the imprisoned.
7. To bury the dead.

Kerry had an apiphany when she realized she never did any of these things. Then, she set out to change that.


affiliate link

Mercy In The City is Kerry’s real life tale of loving God by serving the homeless, meeting with those in prison, giving away clothing, and more. Oh yeah, and the entire time she also gave up sugar and alcohol!! It’s fun, honest, and most of all heartfelt.

Be sure to check out

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Remember you can support Seminary Dropout by clicking the “Support” tab above.