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 64: The Eve Of Destruction?

    June 5th, 2016  |  34 mins 16 secs

    Why are we so interested in post-apocalyptic fiction and film these days? Is it because we sense something about our world is ending? What is it that’s passing away, and why does it matter? Show Notes: We reference a book in this episode: How to Surviv...

  • Episode 63: Looking For Love In All The (Wrong?) Virtual Places

    May 31st, 2016  |  32 mins 31 secs

    In this episode we consider the funny and frightful world of online dating and what it tells us about modern culture and ourselves. Show Notes: This podcast grew out of a piece Scott wrote for Mockingbird. You can find it here:

  • Episode 61: Hell

    May 17th, 2016  |  34 mins 57 secs

    In this episode we take some time to talk about Hell. Who believes in it and why and does it still matter? Show Notes: We reference an essay by George Hunsinger which is found in his book Disruptive Grace. We also reference a book by David Powys,

  • Episode 60: A Church Of Thrones?

    May 11th, 2016  |  35 mins 4 secs

    In this episode we talk about Game of Thrones. Enough said?

  • Episode 59: What’s Scarier Than Us Talking About Science?

    May 2nd, 2016  |  25 mins 22 secs

    The answer to the question that serves as the title to this podcast is…Bill Nye, “the science guy”, talking philosophy. He answers a question from a fan on YouTube about whether to study philosophy in college. And what an answer it is!

  • Episode 58: Solid Gold Jesus: Jesus, By The Velvet Underground

    April 20th, 2016  |  26 mins 56 secs

    We begin the official Top Ten list of the greatest songs about Jesus with a discussion of “Jesus”, by The Velvet Underground.

  • Episode 57: Fighting Fair

    April 17th, 2016  |  35 mins 36 secs

    In this episode we talk about conflict. It’s inevitable in life. The question isn’t whether or not we’ll find ourselves involved in conflict in public and private life. It’s what we will do in the midst of it.

  • Episode 56: Bare Necessities

    April 8th, 2016  |  30 mins 29 secs

    In this podcast, inspired by Dan Carlin, we reflect on the essential commitments and values that we wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) compromise. What are they? How are they formed? When is it OK to change them and why?

  • Episode 55: The Death Of Moral Relativism?

    April 6th, 2016  |  32 mins 32 secs

    In this episode we discuss an article by Jonathan Merrit that appeared in The Atlantic announcing the death of moral relativism and the rise of the new shame based moralism. Show Notes: You can find Jonathan Merritt’s article here.

  • Episode 51: Guilt

    March 16th, 2016  |  34 mins 32 secs

    In this episode of the show we discuss about guilt. We talk about how  it feels and what to do with it when it’s weighing you down.

  • Episode 49: Loss

    March 6th, 2016  |  38 mins 5 secs

    The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths. -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross In this episode we deal with loss.

  • Episode 48: This American Religious Life: Greg Strawbridge

    March 3rd, 2016  |  44 mins 30 secs

    We’re going to do a non-scientific profile of different religious communities and personolaties and how they shape the American religious landscape. We’re not sociologists, but that’s never stopped us before. This is the first edition of the series,

  • Episode 46: Trump Vs. Francis

    February 20th, 2016  |  37 mins 51 secs

    Pope Francis alluded to the fact that Donald Trump might not be a Christian in a recent press conference on his flight back from Mexico. Is he wrong or right? Is it even his place to make these kind of judgments.

  • Episode 39: The Faces of Jesus

    January 12th, 2016  |  32 mins 25 secs

    This [pop culture]  Jesus may be our champion and friend, but he is no one’s mediator. The news he brings may be pleasant, or it may be harsh, but it is not urgent or particularly new—not for those who are perishing. In sum,

  • Episode 36: Is The God Of Muhammad The Father Of Jesus Christ?

    January 1st, 2016  |  28 mins 44 secs

    There’s been some recent controversy at Wheaton College involving a professor who was put on administrative leave for statements she made about the relationship of Christianity and Islam. In response to the controversy Miroslav Volf wrote an op-ed piec...

  • Episode 35: Is This A Wonderful Life?

    December 22nd, 2015  |  32 mins 7 secs

      won·der·ful adjective 1. inspiring delight, pleasure, or admiration; extremely good; marvelous. Is this a wonderful life? It’s the question behind one the great Christmas films of all time. It’s also a question people find themselves asking in a worl...