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Lessons in outfoxing religious wolves. We seek to reform religious education so everyone can be spiritually bold, free of manipulation and filled with deep peace. After 20+ years of professional work in religious education and educational nonprofits, hosts Jeff Mallinson (D.Phil. Oxford, philosophy and religion professor, author and speaker) and Stacie Mallinson (former nonprofit development professional, and now certified yoga instructor) realized that how we do religious education leads to ...
 
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show series
 
Jeff and Stacie try out a relationship strategy for use especially in the immediate wake of a conflict-producing event in a romantic relationship, religious community, or workplace. In order to “Taosurf” relationships, they suggest that it can be helpful to separate out a) intentions, b) actions, c) reactions, and d) resolutions. This conversation …
 
Grab your favorite beverage and join us for a long form conversation with our new friends Lori and Cliff Lewis (veteran Christian radio DJ and hair metal guitarist respectively), to discuss their experiences with Contemporary Christian Music, Lutheranism, the idea of vocation, and Solomon’s wisdom. The music behind the opening is Lori singing and t…
 
When societies focus on etiquette and the husk of ethical relations, we are often dangerously close to having to turn to coercion and force instead of naturally harmonious interactions. This is where “flexing the muscles” comes in. When folks don’t follow the rules, the enforcers of societal stability have to remind everyone of their punitive power…
 
An interview with Corey Farr, creator of the podcast A Christian Reads the Tao Te Ching. We discuss our favorite and least favorite chapters of the Tao Te Ching. We explore karma, providence, orphanages, and religious education. Farr is a seminary graduate, a Christian Anarchist, a writer, a poet and songwriter. He teaches at a residential school f…
 
Why do many set an “intention” at the start of a contemplative practice or yin yoga session? How does this relate to New Year’s resolutions? Without the normal opportunities for group festivities, Jeff and Stacie spend a quiet evening discussing the advantages and dangers of setting expectations and establishing goals. The discussion gets going aft…
 
This episode shares an international student perspective on American food, work & religion. We interview Jeff’s compelling student Malik, who is an international student who was stuck with us on an empty campus over the winter break. We invited candid observations from our guest, who obliged our questions but is by nature not one to offer unsolicit…
 
We discuss the nature of a true family and the importance of maintaining boundaries, especially in religious contexts in which we believe we have good intentions but are inappropriately trying to fix others. At min 41 we interview Rev. Casey Tinnin, one of Jeff’s favorite students over the years, and someone we think of as family. He shares his sto…
 
Hold fast to the Big Picture and all will be drawn to you. They will not harm you and will join with you in peace upon peace. There will be joyful music and vibrant street food, wayfarers will want to stop and join in the fun. The Tao that is mere talk is bland. Look for it: it is invisible. Listen for it: it is inaudible. Yet, if you embody it, yo…
 
In a world that is clawing for “winner” status and climbing over the “losers” without compassion, Lao Tzu teaches about three treasures he holds dear: compassion, minimalism, and the way of non-domination. Here, there is a sort of anarchy (listen to hear the precise definition of this term in both Taoist and Christian context), and definitely a rej…
 
The concept of wu wei is practically and clearly stated in this chapter. Again, this principle of acting by not acting isn't about disregarding one's duties, nor is it about being a pushover. It's about letting the natural forces of the world flow as they flow without arrogantly assuming we can step in and control the flow through force.…
 
Lao Tzu clearly favors the feminine principle, the negative space, and the faith of a child. This last preference is especially resonant with the teachings of Jesus about being childlike. Over and over, we've been pointing to teachings from Jesus but not to create a syncretistic new way of thinking. Instead we are showing how Jesus and Lao Tzu ofte…
 
Drawing from Lao Tzu chapters 16, 62, 70, snd 71, we explain one of the most important lessons of the Tao Te Ching: that it’s not really that hard to find the truth, but it’s hard to face the truth. This episode discusses the ways in which facing the truth can truly set us free. Most importantly, we become free from the fear that keeps us from trul…
 
Here, Jeff isn’t saying he’s sorry for what he said in Part 1, rather he’s providing an apologia for his perspective on academic freedom within church related schools and universities. Check out the previous part, at least the first ten minutes, before heading to this part, which is more technical and deals especially with the epistemology of Willi…
 
If an academically free space is possible in society, it can only exist at a Christian University. Some folks mistakenly think that the Lutheran Confessions represent a constraint on an individual believer's freedom, or a way to give churches conclusions about Scripture that allow members to bypass the important work of engaging directly with the B…
 
Feeling a deep love for all living beings, the sage is uninterested in besting them at a verbal fight. If others ask for help finding truth, the sage is generous and obliging. If they want to feel superior, the sage is generous and obliging. It’s not that she’s a pushover; it’s that they can’t harm her. She’s not playing her enemies’ games so they …
 
Heather Choate Davis is an author and has created a new album with her network of musical friends called LIFE IN THE KEY OF GOD. We talk about how the Christian contemplative tradition and the recovery of the biblical concept of Sophia (divine wisdom) can help us protect our noggins and bring healing to our culture and churches. Several beautiful t…
 
17. The best leader goes unnoticed. Second best is the one who’s loved. Third best is the leader who’s feared. The worst is the leader who’s loathed. If you don’t trust people, there’ll be a lack of trust all around. Great leaders choose their words artfully. Then, when they achieve something great, everyone owns the endeavor as if it were their id…
 
Bournes is a poet, hip hop artist & singer. He discusses his experiences in Long Beach public schools and later a conservative Bible college, laments some of the important elements that were lacking, and offers provocative but timely reflections on ways to reimagine education and other systems of society. This was recorded in front of a limited gro…
 
This chapter offers a vivid picture of what it looks like to surf the Tao. This isn’t about mere appearances, façades, or false egos. It’s about the way in which a person of integrity acts as if he or she is being witnessed.The way we treat a delicate flower or helpless baby bird who’s fallen out of a nest, or our neighbor’s lawn when we walk our d…
 
Look, but you can’t see it: it’s vague. Listen, but you can’t hear it: it’s silent. Reach, but you can’t grasp it: it’s intangible. Yet these three longings to perceive lead back to the One. There’s no heaven more wondrous than this. There’s no shadowy world darker than this. It’s everlasting and nameless. Wave upon wave, threads of energy spool ou…
 
The ancient Taosurfers were cool cats. They had poise. They demonstrated balance. They exuded integrity and compassion. But today, Taosurfers seem like bums to some. They seem not to be players. But maybe they’re playing a different game altogether. We discuss chapters 15, 20, and 67 of the Tao Te Ching. Jeff discusses how some racists in his world…
 
12. Focusing on flashy things blinds eyes to beauty. Listening to a cacophony of voices makes it hard to hear the truth. Too many spices will dull your taste buds. Lust for luxury will drive you mad. Riches entice men to evil deeds. Therefore, the Sage attends to essential nourishment instead of mind-numbing diversions. She selects healthy food, ig…
 
This show is dedicated listener question about what to do when you detect that a future pastor is a wolf pup, that is, a potentially dangerous clergy person in the making. How do we nip in the bud potentially abusive behavior without being too intrusive or outrageously in people’s business? We explore the value of asking the question: What are the …
 
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