New Persuasive Words

"The revival in religion will be a rhetorical problem - new persuasive words for defaced or degraded ones." - Thornton Wilder

About the show

New Persuasive Words started as two guys talking about life with what we thought (hoped?) was wit and insight, on our good days anyway. Then...a podcast.

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  • Episode 288: To Be Free Or Not To Be

    February 19th, 2020  |  40 mins 41 secs

    We continue talking about the romance of Christian orthodoxy by looking at some of the ideas and figures that challenged it. This episode deals with one of Augustine's most famous opponents: Pelagius. They debated the nature of original sin and the capacity of human beings to choose the ultimate good, God.

  • Episode 287: American Paganism

    February 12th, 2020  |  38 mins 6 secs

    In this episode, our first one in the "new bunker", we discuss an article from Commonweal Magazine. In it David Albertson, a religion professor at USC, argues that many conservative intellectuals justify supporting Trump in the name of defending Christianity and fighting a new kind of American paganism. But what is paganism. What if it's not what we think it is?

  • Episode 286: Infinite Love?

    January 31st, 2020  |  29 mins 41 secs

    In this episode, joined by our friend Adam Morton, we discuss a controversial tweet that Tim Keller posted about the Trinity and the Cross.

  • Episode 285: The Two Popes

    January 30th, 2020  |  28 mins 9 secs

    In this episode we talk about the recently released Netflix film The Two Popes.

  • Episode 284: Merry Christmas

    December 24th, 2019  |  31 mins 6 secs

    This is our annual Christmas episode. Have a great holiday!

  • Episode 283: Iconoclasm

    December 7th, 2019  |  48 mins 52 secs

    In this episode, joined by Matthew Milliner, we talk about iconoclasm. The Iconoclastic Controversy, was a dispute over the use of religious images (icons) in the Byzantine Empire in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Iconoclasts (those who rejected images) objected to icon veneration for several reasons, including the Old Testament prohibition against images in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:4) and the possibility of idolatry. The defenders of the use of icons insisted on the symbolic nature of images and on the dignity of created matter.

  • Episode 282: Fully Human, Fully Divine

    November 29th, 2019  |  42 mins 35 secs

    We continue our "Romance of Orthodoxy" series. We've been considering the development of Christian orthodoxy and some of the major challenges and debates that helped formulate the heart of the Christian faith. In this episode we consider the Fourth Century controversies that led to the Chalcedonian Council, which declared that Christ had two natures in one person, and the relationship between the natures.

  • Episode 281: Arianism

    November 13th, 2019  |  35 mins 54 secs

    In this episode we continue talking about the Romance of Christian Orthodoxy, considering what many consider to be the grandest heresy of them all: Arianism.

  • Episode 280: No Gnosis is Good Gnosis...

    October 23rd, 2019  |  36 mins 28 secs

    In this episode we continue our series on the Romance of Orthodoxy. We consider the heresy that seems to have perennial appeal in Christian history: Gnosticism.

  • Episode 279: Modalism: The Clark Kent/Superman Trinity

    October 22nd, 2019  |  32 mins 6 secs

    Continuing our series about the Romance of Orthodoxy, we consider the modalist heresy, which holds that Father, Son, and Spirit are really not persons but more like masks or roles God puts on in relationship to the world.

  • Episode 278: Marcion, Thor and YHWH

    October 16th, 2019  |  41 mins 35 secs

    In this episode we continue to talk about the Romance of Orthodoxy. We talk about Marcionism, a heresy that claims the God of the Hebrew Bible is fundamentally different than the God revealed in Jesus Christ. We find a surprising modern example of the position in renowned theologian David Bentley Hart. We consider a recent exchange he had with First Things contributor Peter Leithart.

  • Episode 277: Docetism

    September 30th, 2019  |  36 mins 18 secs

    Continuing our series on the Romance of Orthodoxy, we discuss the "docetic" heresy, which claims that Jesus Christ was divine, but not really human.

  • Episode 276: Jesus, Judaism and the Early Church

    September 24th, 2019  |  31 mins 38 secs

    Continuing our discussion of the romance of orthodoxy, we consider controversies in the history of the church. In this episode we discuss the early church's struggle with the role of Torah observance and the inclusion of Gentiles.

  • Episode 275: The Romance of Orthodoxy

    September 10th, 2019  |  36 mins 7 secs

    Fresh off of our summer vacations, we talk about how Christian orthodoxy has romanced us both and continues to do so.

  • Episode 274: Summer Potpourri

    August 16th, 2019  |  38 mins 51 secs

    We're both looking toward summer vacation! In this episode we mix it up, like the Jeoprady Potpourri category. You never know what's coming next.

  • Episode 273: Guns, God and White Supremacism

    August 6th, 2019  |  32 mins 23 secs

    In this episode we talk about the recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio and how to face what they tell us about ourselves as Americans.