Virtue in the Wasteland Podcast (general)

I am exhausted, emotionally and otherwise... hey all, Dan here... just posted this last episode with calls from listeners, and a song at the end with a story that wraps into ViW... So, this is it.  Thank you all.  Check out for where you can find us, now that the curtain has descended on this episode of our life.  Make sure you check out Arnold Mitchem's "Drive" the song "Grace" is featured in this episode.  Jeff will live on at @Taosurfers and its internet cognates. You can find me at 1517, my name dot com, doing the Soul of Christianity podcast... it's the future... you know how to find things on the internet... EGBOK

Direct download: What_We_Learned.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:50pm PDT

So, if the title of the show doesn't give it away.... surprise! After 300+ weeks, 3 continents, dozens of states and hours of conversation, we are hanging up the microphones and turning the lights out on the ViW project.  But, not without a bang.

This is the second to last- we ask that you call the hotline at 844-393-0012 and leave a 60-second message as to what you learned while listening to the show. On this show we discuss the way forward, future plans and the big take away lessons for both of us, from thousands of hours of podcasting together.  Listen up, give us a call (or leave a message on FB or Twitter) and THIS Thursday, Feb 14th we will drop our final show with your calls and questions.  

Direct download: ViW_Penultimate.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16pm PDT

Giving shows their titles is a funny thing. I’ve probably done 250 or so of them, and I rarely think much about it. Also, when I myself look for podcasts, all I care about is the title of the episode.

The very thing I wasn’t paying attention to! Preposition!

To which, I had not paid my attention. My attention bill was late…. you get it.

So this title is descriptive, very descriptive. The kids might even call it descriptive AF, which I will pretend to know nothing about if asked. So you are going to hear us talking very specifically in this show about this one thing that might not sound that exciting: an imperial peace treaty. Well, it was called the “interim” so it didn’t expect to hang around much longer. It was also pegged with the location of Augsburg, the free imperial city that Charles V (Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of Spain and the Netherlands, and Austria. He was also kind of inbred, so that makes all of his stories a little weirder. Get this: his mom’s name was Juanita The Mad. Bad omen, homie.

Nonetheless, Martin Luther had just died and Charles, Chucky 5, decided to put the hurt on the reeling Protestants and impose his will. And his will wasn’t that bad! He wanted to end the religious wears and call the Reformation over. A tie. We’ve got a grand idea to mix Catholics and Lutherans in a way that is sure to disappoint everyone! Today’s show is about that story, that peace treaty and goal for religious peace, and some observations on what we might have learned from this monumental historical event.

Are their links? Nah, but you can always go to 1517 or Dan van Voorhis or Jeff Mallinson or THIS

Also, last week I wrote something at 1517 with you ViWers in mind- check it: Why Ok is Everything

Direct download: Empire_Religion_and_Molech.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:43pm PDT

I used to think it was really cool when people broke the 4th wall.  You know, like, in Fight Club or the original Pink Panther when something happened to remind you that you were indeed watching a film reel.

There is nothing as clever here, but a little twist which might make you take notice.  Usually we banter for a few minutes, talk around the subject, and then dig in. 

Well, it seems to be only once every twenty years the Rams make the Super Bowl, so we spent some time talking about them, the game and a myriad of other things. 


But to get to those hot takes, you need to wade through the actual subject matter. I've moved that 30 minute conversation to the back of our first conversation about dutch radicals, the reformation and the enlightenment. 


And it is probably more interesting than you first think.  We talk a lot about the Reformation and how it has shaped the modern world, but often we miss out on one really important link, the connection between the radical reformation, skepticism, and the modern age.

We talk about the nature of radicalism, and why we all kind of gravitate towards it (and what it might teach us).  Jeff talks about the Trinity.  Dan throws out a few ideas which might lead to further questions.  That's the whole point.  Have those conversations with your friends and co-workers and family and church group.  The point isn't that we come to something like a silly podcast with two professors for all our answers, or to confirm that they have the answers in the back ofd the book too, rather, it's that we start conversations and learn to talk about weighty things that matter with a bit of grace, a sense of humor, and the reminder that everything is going to be ok.


P.s. Because of the way this show was edited, it can be the answer to a trivia question sometime in the future.  The question is: is there a time, after ep 101, that the show didn't end with someone saying EGBOK? Yes, this one.  Because I edited it, 

Direct download: Dutch_Radicals_the_Enlightenment_and_Wackysoup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Sometimes our shows start with really simple ideas.  For instance, one of us might think of something that would be relevant to the podcast and send the article, idea, etc… via text.  We do a little reading, figure out what the “bigger story” at play is, and… voila.  An hour and a half later, plus editing time (we sometimes do that!) and we’ve got another show.


Ok, now you know how the generic sausage is made.  This show, this sausage (?!) is al about the States of the Union.  Having just completed a road trip, Dan being in the middle of his own personal California Renaissance, and Jeff having wandered the earth much of his life, the guys reflect on the nature of these United States with regards to state rankings, biases, federalism, and all of this with two dogs running around the studio.


As we tell you in the beginning, this is a standard “let’s think through this together” show that involves postulating theses, changing them, rethinking them, and then coming together at the end of the show to discuss what we learned from the conversation.  We go on a few tangents, edited a few, but this is a kind of “at home with Jeff and Dan” type show where they talk about their lives, their dogs, the really big questions, and perhaps a Super Bowl prediction or two…

Direct download: The_States_of_the_Union-_An_Experiment_in_Federalism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Time to clear out the old phone machine and respond to some of the more common, or curious questions we received.  

The first half hour of the show has us talking about 2019, Dan's favorite movies of the year, and reading a very revealing and honest email.

the next hour is all your calls- a few notes:

Dan says "American" when talking about a piece of music.... he misspoke, please replace that in your brain with "New World"

Jeff would like you to see this video

Dan says, "Look at THIS"

As always, this is a conversation that might resemble a late night conversation you had in college or might have with friends in a safe and welcoming environment.  Everything is penultimate, God's not angry, and everything is going to be ok.

Thank you for calling, or emailing, if we haven't responded to you, it is all Dan's fault.  Some calls we edited for sound quality, or we combined two or three similar calls with one answer.

We do not talk about the following, in any meaningful way:

California Renaissance


A young man saying no thanks to a certain label

The weird book of the Acts of the Apostles

But we promise to, soon.

Direct download: Dvorak_Anti-Natalism_and_Other_Unrelated_Things__We_Take_Your_Calls.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Happy New Year! On today’s show we talk about the biggest and best of 2018 and what we might look forward to in 2019.  It’s an episode with the two guys doing what they love most, chatting with each other about challenges in culture and the church.  We decided to look at the “biggest” and “best” stories of 2018, with Jeff taking the “biggest” stories and Dan covering a few of the “best”. 


Thanks for your support in 2018, in our 5th year we continue to grow in listenership and opportunities to expand.  Thank you also to those who have invited us out (together or individually) to give talks, spend time talking about important things, etc… check out the webpage, or the webpages of each of the guys (their names and a .com) to have them come out to you!


Here’s just a few things we discuss on today’s show:



The Monks of New Skete

Kanye West

Bad priests

Bad elected officials

The ozone Layer

Net Neutrality

Why we can’t seem to get along and argue so much

Prohibition and Cannabis

“Making a Murderer” and “The Innocent Man”

Molech, and more….

Direct download: The_Biggest_and_Best_of_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Little known fact: the original name of Virtue in the Wasteland was “Jeff and Dan’s Vanity Project to Explore Their Hobbies” but we decided to go a little more broad and talk about society and religion and stuff…

Maybe that’s not exactly how it played out, but there is a funny bit of guilt we feel whenever we dive head first into a topic that is seemingly just tickling our fancy as mass entertainment and thus unworthy of critical reflection. But on this show we will argue that R.E.M. is not just one of our favorite bands, but the most important American band of all time. Sound hyperbolic? Check out the show and see if we can pull off the argument and join in on

We recorded this show from the RV somewhere between Athens, GA and Charlottesville, VA after our pilgrimage to the mecca of R.E.M. fan sites. We got to discussing the band, its evolution and role in 80’s and 90’s pop culture. On this show, which was recorded moths ago and feared lost until only a few days ago, we make the audacious argument that R.E.M. is the most significant rock band in U.S. history.


3 caveats: this is not “the best R.E.M. songs” podcast. In fact, if it was, it would suffer from being terribly mundane and uninventive as a “best of”. Doing that, using commercial success and air play to judge significance, would make this super lame and obvious. So the tracks we pick are the hits, but the ones that are indicative of the band, and tell us something about them and the society they reflected.

Caveat # 2: There is a lot of music on this episode! About a minute or so of each song we talk about. Using all the actual music is allowed under the Fair Use Act, as we are playing it to comment on, and use for teaching purposes. In case you were concerned.

Caveat #3 We do not discuss R.E.M. post New Adventures in Hi-Fi. This is not because we dislike later R.E.M. (listen to our show with Dave Zahl, he convinced us to give late R.E.M. more attention in our own lives. We could argue that R.E.M after New Adventures is a different band, as Bill Berry suffered an aneurysm on tour and retired, giving way to a rotating list of drummers and (unfortunately, in this case) drum machines. I have recently picked up an article I’ve been working on ,which ranks every R.E.M. song. Late R.E.M is well represented. On the Spotify list below, you can see some of our picks for post Hi-Fi R.E.M. songs.

Direct download: REMLOSTSHOW.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Andrew Syed (formerly Andrew Paquin) visited Jeff recently, during which time Dan was in Dallas related to the new 1517 Academy (check it out). Andrew was Jeff's colleague at a previous institution, until politics and conceptions of Christian political beliefs resulted in a controversy. Andrew and Jeff explore this backstory, which several news outlets picked up a decade ago. Andrew discusses the negative effects the events and how he sought healing through recognition of the long term effects of trauma. 

Direct download: Jesus_the_Academy_and_Politics.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Christmas movies and carols and traditions and….. we could go on and on. And in fact, we have gone “on and on” for over 5 years now doing a special Christmas show.  On today’s show the guys are back together again in the comfy confines of the ViW Irvine studios and it felt like old times. The thesis of today’s show is that the strange “thrill of hope” we all experience this time of year is no coincidence. 

In fact, we are not thoroughly entangled in any other holiday like we are Christmas. And while we might bemoan the commercialism, or creeping secularism (still not sure what that is, though) or stress, we might also recognize that our grocery store aisles are filled with the music proclaiming good news. While the general tenor of the yer can be rough and go-it-alone, this is the time of year when we soften, the time we become like a child again in the very season God deigned to do the same thing.

Direct download: 2018xmasBetter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

I don’t have any naked baby photos. Frankly, I don’t have any baby photos. I blame either a house fire or parental indifference. Nonetheless, I wonder if I might not start subtitling my talks as “naked baby photos” not because there are, but because when I overshare, that’s the closest thing I can relate to how I’ll probably make you feel when I share publicly about my life.

Like naked baby photos, they are harmless, but show you a side we don’t always put on display. As a matter of fact, you aren’t supposed to be hearing this talk! the deal was that it was only for those in the room. My wife convinced me to figure out a way to edit it in such a way to take out some detail which might frustrate a minor side story, but not the big picture. So, I took my editing fingers to my LogicPro X (the official editing software of ViW!) and I cut out some proper names.

As I was editing it just now, I was listening to it and thinking, “dang, I shared quite a bit, maybe I should edit out that story that doesn’t make me look that good in retrospect” but I didn’t…. This isn’t the story of my delinquency, that’s just a side avenue where we see God at work shining some grace on me in Jesus. This is a talk about EGBOK (everything is going to be ok) and what it means. It’s the most in depth we’ve ever gone into that thing we say at the end of every show.

If you are so inclined to want me to speak at your event, or you want to hear or read or watch more of me you can go to my website HERE

Check out Jeff HERE (and listen to last week’s show wherein we play his HWSS talk)

Oh. please go HERE too and give, if you’re so inclined.

Direct download: The_Theology_of_The_Cross_and_EGBOK_from_HWSS18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

From Here We Still Stand 2018: This is a talk with Jeff blowing up any ideas of works righteousness and refuses to settle with a message that’s just another doctrine to keep straight or moral code to live up to. Maybe you’re a bear, maybe you’re a butterfly, listen to this talk and it will make sense.

Direct download: The_Bears_and_the_Butterflies-_HWSS2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

David Zahl leads Mockingbird Ministries and has a forthcoming book about secular religion and self-righteousness in America. We talk virtue signaling, popular music, Bob Dylan's Christian era, and Charlottesville, VA.

Pre-order Dave's book HERE!

Direct download: Seculosity_with_David_Zahl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

So, this show was a long time coming.  Since earlier in this year we had been playing phone and email tag with student filmmaker Jessica van der Wyngaard regarding her new documentary project that chronicles the lives of those influenced by Josh Harris, for good or ill.  


The first interveiw is a conversation with the filkmmaker- an Autralian, living in Canada, making a film about a largely American phenomenon.  van der Wyngaard was engaging and willing to take on the critics of her project.  Meanewhile, Josh Harris seemed reluctant to make, or talk about the film, and in our interveiw today, you may learn why.

Check out the film here:

Direct download: ISIKDG_with_RvdW_and_JHarris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:54pm PDT

On this weeks episode we welcome back an old guest of the show: Emily Joy.  Since last being on our show, Emily Joy has contributed to Jeff's book Sexy as well as co-founded the #churchtoo movement and has become something of a lightning rod for issues of abuse in the church.  We interviewed Emily Joy while travelling through Nashville, and when she had told us she had "changed since we last me", we weren't sure what to expect.  Turns out she is the same poet, critic and artist just having raised the volume to 11.  We got an opportunity to sit back and listen to her tell her story, and share her perspective amongst the chirping crickets in the warm Nashville evening.  You can prepare to take notes, and challenge, and set the guest straight... wait, not on this show.  We listen, and we would ask that you would do the same.

Direct download: ViW_with_Emily_Joy_in_Nashville.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On this weeks’ episode we take you back to the 2nd Annual Here We Still Stand conference in beautiful, if slightly milquetoast, San Diego (just kidding San Diego, we love you, as we have recorded at least once a year from your confines only to eventually praise your street food, socio-economic diversity and weather).


Think of it as part of the road trip, as we recorded this show almost immediately upon returning from our road trip.  Stay tuned in the next few weeks as we continue releasing those shows.  On this live show we talk with Debi Winrich on her new podcast “the Soul of Christianity” as well as Dr. Russ McCullough from the Gwartney Institute to discuss his work on Christianity and Capitalism.


If you’re still reading, cool. So we can get a little more serious.  Not really serious, but just more familiar.  This is Dan, I write in the third person plural sometimes, but usually it’s me.  So.... hey.  This conference was super rad and you will be hearing our talks (mine in some edited fashion) soon.  But it was also crazy anxiety inducing for me as it could seem like a kind of intellectual fashion show for a specific type of religious speaker.  I had initially thought that we were doing a show that a few people might watch, but not that we were doing an actual live program.  You see, an hour or so of intellectual-and-otherwise chit chat isn’t that hard, but it’s also not a live performance.  At any rate, I had an acting coach once tell me that the last thing you should do is apologize before a performance.  What did she know, anyway?  Enjoy the show.  Even if it sounds rushed and stilted in the beginning because it was a strange new environment and I felt like a caged animal on display.  But it was fun. For reals!



Direct download: hwssliveshow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52pm PDT

Eric Dorman discusses his personal transition from progressivism to classic conservatism despite being a never Trumper, and the pragmatic nature of Tennessee politics. He works for a nonprofit news source that serves the homeless in Nashville, is a frequent contributor to Mockingbird, and runs his own site called Kept Republic.


Direct download: Going_Conservative_in_an_Age_of_Trump.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

After five plus years of the podcast, we finally get around to a proper discussion of virtue ethics. We do so with the leading active scholar in America today: Christian Miller of Wake Forest University. (The Roman Catholic Alisdair McIntyre and Lutheran Gilbert Meilaender have both recently retired, so we don't think this claim is hyperbolic.) Miller is the author of several books and articles, but his recent book The Character Gap: How Good Are We? is a gem. And it is both good at handling scholarship--including scholarship from the field of social psychology--and presenting it in an understandable way to a non-technical audience.  If you've been listening for a while and want a good presentation of virtue theory, this is the place to go. 

Miller holds a B.A. in philosophy from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. His main areas of research are meta-ethics, moral psychology, moral character, action theory, and philosophy of religion. He is the A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and Philosophy Director of the Beacon Project (, funded by the Templeton Religion Trust. He was the Director of the Character Project (, which was funded by $5.6 million in grants from the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton World Charity Foundation. He is the author of over 80 papers as well as three books with Oxford University Press, Moral Character: An Empirical Theory(2013), Character and Moral Psychology (2014), and The Character Gap: How Good Are We? (forthcoming 2017). He is also the editor or co-editor of Essays in the Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press), Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology (Oxford University Press), Moral Psychology, Volume V: Virtue and Character (MIT Press), Integrity, Honesty, and Truth-Seeking (Oxford University Press), and The Continuum Companion to Ethics (Continuum Press).

Direct download: Character_Matters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show we travel into the deep south, racecar country, to meet up with Fr. Victor Singingeagle to talk about Potowatomi religion and Christianity, the pre-columbian social world of 15th c. America, and life as an outsider looking in.  


We first met Fr. Victor Singingeagle through our friends the Klembara's and Blake Flattely, who met him when they produced their documentary short on Concorida Selma.  The Rev Dr holds two PhDs, one in anthropology and one in English and He is a former administrator and professor at the now defunct Concordia College, Selma, a historically black college. As part of their road trip throughout the American South, Dan and Jeff met up with the good Reverend Dr., for a lively evening of discussion all things Native American, faith and culture.

Direct download: Father_Dr_Victor_Singingeagle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

The #VIWROADTRIP2018 is underway, and this is our first show from the road.  While we are on the trip to visit a few people and places in the south, we started our RV trip in Orlando at the home of one of Jeff's best childhood friends.

The beginning of the show is a little different than others, as we did this in the RV while driving- Dan opens the show with a bit of the "thesis" of the show and then the guys go into Star Wars, religion, walking away from what we once loved, devotion despite criticism, and other things that swing in both the direction of Star Wars and the Church.  From Sep 28-Oct 10 the guys will br checking in daily from the road and you can find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Direct download: Star_Wars_and_Jesus_in_Orlando.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Oh, that title almost sounds cynical. You know, like the kind of show that goes “you know that one incredibly popular thing? yeah? We, and God, disapprove”. That’s not our vibe, so, if you’re looking to slam on the Enneagram, that’s not what’s happening. In fact, you might be surprised at what we find as we dig into this popular, kinda-historical, emotional and psychological mapping system. We have some fun, talk about the popularity of these kinds of tests, and give you some info on our upcoming tour through the South.

Direct download: The_Not-So-Sacred_Enneagram_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22am PDT

On today's show we talk about heroes and superheroes as an entrance into talking about one of the great lost "superhero" stories of all time: the Heliand.  This story, a kind of Beowulf meets King Arthur meets the Gospels, was super important during a few critical times in our history.  The story is good, but it could be dangerous.  Do our heroes fall prey to the dark side of the myth? Tune in and check it out.

Direct download: On_Superheroes_and_the_Heliand.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

So, last week we gave you a show that clocked in at over two hours- we always recommend that you break the show up in to bits, and so it might take some time for you to get to this next show. But fear not, this one is a shorter show, comprised of a few questions and calls from listeners.

Lest you think that a breezy call in show would allow us to dodge topics and pick easy questions like: best pizza topping? Or Unicorns or Bigfoot? But we want to let the show go where you, the listener, are interested. And this often leads to provocative questions and answers- we aren’t trying to be “edgy” but think through, in a non BS way, how we might want to respond and think.

Direct download: History_Sex_and_Community__Your_Phone_Calls_Sept_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:20pm PDT

Whoa boy, this is a long one.  But well worth it, and we hope you will agree.  Break it up into a few listens, the show consists of three long form interviews.   A few weeks ago we played the stunningly raw April Kirby discuss her own story of abuse in the church, but we didn't head down to a creative collective outside of Dallas to hear that story (though we are glad we did).  We came down to do some work with our friends that Klembara's and record at their studio- The TX Studio- to record some classes and promotional materials.  While there, we interviewed a number of people we found at the co-op that had really interesting work and work stories.  We thought, what better time than when we are all getting back into the grind to hear some stories of people who got out of the common daily grind to find their calling.

This doesn't mean that working a 9-5 is less, but we are seeing that when it comes to jobs, there are more and more than we thought.  But how might we find these jobs that our high school or college counselors never told us about?  That is the direction we go with all three interviews, and we think you will find their stories inspiring. 

Direct download: Back_to_School_Special_V.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Ok, so we have these interviews, and we have listener calls, and we wanted to get to all or most of these things this week.  And then things changed, unfortunately.  On this episode we talk about the place of public mourning, we answer your pressing questions on tyrannosaurus procreation, talk about the place and power of forgiveness, and some personal things for public processing (because that seems to be what we do to a fault).

Direct download: Death_Sex_and_McCain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

So this is show 300. And it's recorded on location in Dallas, TX.  This interview was going to be in a series of interviews on craftsmanship, vocation and creativity.  And trust us, April is one talented woman.  You can check out her stuff on she tells stories, makes videos, and helps to document important life events.

But, it's a little different than we thought.  Dan met April and her husband Clint about a year ago here in Dallas and was dranw to their particular journey in the creative world and the church.  So, the interview started by talking about the church, and didn't really leave that topic.  But it wasn't the conversation we were expecting.  It was more timely and important than we could have thought.  A quick note about the subject matter: this isn't a show for kids, and it touches on some issues of sexual abuse in the church.    

Ultimately, we want to foster the kind of listening that allows victims of abuse to feel safe, comfortable and worthy of sharing their story.   

Direct download: How_To_Listen_Tension_Faith_and_Art.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:16pm PDT

Seriously, a show about animals.  Which, of course would be interesting to a large majority of people given the fact we have an entire television networks devoted to animals.  The problem is, neither of these two Drs are a zoologist, and we're pretty sure Dan couldn't tell you the difference between any two closely related animals (try him, ask him the difference between a seagull and a dove).  But this show is not about zoology, but rather the imagery (sometimes from the zoo) that humankind has used to identify and explain itself to others.

We have an eye on the history of some of the more rich metaphors we have made as a species, from spirit animals to college mascots.  On today's show the guys discuss everything from mascots, to pets, spirit animals, and images of redemption in the animal kingdom. Enjoy the show.

Direct download: Spirit_Animal_in_the_Sky.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

"Why don't you guys talk about [fill in the blank] more often?"

We've gotten this comment throughout the years, and as a show about everything, it's hard to give all of our topics the appropriate time.  So- we opened the Virtue in the Wasteland Hotline at 1-844-393-0012.  And, as you may have heard before, we dedicate shows to answering whatever burning questions you might have for your two favorite professors.

Or us. 

Enjoy the show.

And call in with your own question (90 second maximum)


Direct download: summercallinshow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:37pm PDT

On today's show we have another summertime special on which Dan is furiously overcompensating for Jeff being gone.  And you win! That's right, another guest and two different topics, almost too much show.


In the beginning of the show Dan talks about fear and immigration and then brings on policy analyst Joe Laughon to discuss the facts about what is happening on our border.  And then, there is a summer time treat, a live talk given by Dan a few months ago in North Dakota.  Dan sets it all up on this last of shows without our pal Jeff. Godspeed, good buddy.



Direct download: Fear_Immigration_etc..._updated.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

"If the Gospel is For Everyone, Why Is Everyone Around Me So White?" This was a question asked on today's episode by one of our guests, Doug Klembara.  It led to our conversation on the short documentary his wife and friend just made, and leads us into the conversation Dan has with @Lex_Lutheran of Twitter fame, he's a man who digs his church but sees major racial issues to be discussed and combatted.  

Sure, when we talk about the college closing everything is "alleged" and these are nothing but initial thoughts on how to think and talk about the issue.  As we always say, if you want to play "gotcha!", you will win.  Help us formulate our thoughts, recommend books, or just listen along with us as we delve into a topic that makes us all a little uncomfortable.

We are on the go and in 3 timezones, so mic quality could be better but the quality of conversation makes up for it- we'll be back in our regular studio next week.

Direct download: Red_and_Yellow_Black_and_White_They_Are_Precious.....mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:20pm PDT

The title makes it sound like this is a serious show. It really isn't. Mostly filled with Dan and Jeff messing around, but that's part of the point. Plus, they do get to a serious bit 3/4 of the way in, about the importance of letting go of the tyranny of leisure... the idea we have to "do" something instead of receiving the gift of existing, releasing our pain and resentment, and setting aside ego and fear. That's where things end up: ten things we refuse to do even though we know it will be good for us.


Direct download: Summertime_Spirituality.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

It's another live show! This time with a bunch of high school kids who had spent the week at Concordia University, Irvine for the annual Crosswise Institute.  They heard world class lectures and discussed really difficult and rewarding topics pertaining to the nature of God, the brain, science and drugs.  On the final day of the institute, Jeff and Dan (Jeff is one of many behind the scenes for the institute at CUI), set up for a live show with a guest audience, a musical guest and a game.  It's a summer time special, a live show- enjoy!

Direct download: Live_at_Crosswise_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show the guys take a little break from their recent shows on history and power (all the moloch business) to answer questions you have and listen to comments you've made on our ViW hotline.  Enjoy the show!

Direct download: The_Wrath_of_God_Calvin_Hobbes_and_More_of_Your_Calls_Edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show we are back discussing old-timey people and old fashioned ideas.  Not because we think making them old makes them good, in fact, some of our characters are downright scoundrels.  But we are looking for ways in which we might engage both the state and religious institutions in creating a compassionate, faithful, and flourishing state.  This is, in part, a reflection of the joint research the guys have undertaken for their first joint publication. Enjoy the Show!

Direct download: Charles_in_Charge-_Were_Going_Medieval.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show the guys get into some of the content of their latest research for the upcoming book.  As the guys are looking for thoughtful ways to address contentious issues they sometimes come across a book that shakes things up a bit.  In this case, it was Peter Leithart's Defending Constantine. Jeff and Dan discuss the book, the emperor and more importantly, what any of it means for us today.

Direct download: Constantinian_Craving_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Hey, it's our 5 year anniversary show! And rather than simply talk about the show, we decided to do the mother of all "what did we learn" segments.  If you've been traveling with us, you know it has been a wild ride and we have tried to be very open own our discussions with all of you. On this show we discuss the big take aways from over 275 consecutive weeks of broadcasting

Direct download: 10_Things_Weve_Learned_in_5_Years.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show the guys discuss some big news and talk about the upcoming, very special, 5 year anniversary show.  We talk about Reinhold Niebuhr, Roseanne, and a few other things that will set the course for the rest of this year.  Listen up, and enjoy the show! 

note: this show has been edited from its original. If you don't know why, it's not a big deal.  If you do know why... it's not really a big deal either.

Direct download: Power_the_Church_and_the_Way_of_Jesus-_Introducing_a_ViW_Manifesto.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:08pm PDT

Yeah, you read that right.  It's not a typo. On today's show we discuss a small asian community that is thousands of years old and has remained hidden from American eyes until recently.  After some of the more shameful events in the later years of the Vietnam War, many Hmong (then in Laos as exiles, and then mercenaries) came to America.  By 1980 the Hmong were allowed to become citizens and have since founded two rather large communities in California and Minnesota.  How do the Hmong deal with the "American" aspects of Christianity and how do they see they're own tribal and sometimes animistic faith in light of being baptized.  To talk through these interesting people, we have another immigrant but from Korea, Prof. Tom Park.  Prof Park is doing his doctoral studies on the faith and culture of these people he has lived amongst and served. Enjoy the show!

Direct download: Hmong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show we discuss one of the root causes of the Russian troll attacks, our willingness to give out all of our most private information, often times only to have a computer guess your age, compare you to a Disney princess, or explain why you and your coworker don't get along.

We do this by talking about, and taking the Proust Questionnaire- listen up!

Direct download: proust_questionnaire.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

It's a slightly different show today in that our guest is... well, Dan! He has recently published a full length historical monograph through 1517 Publishing and is promoting it around the web in various places.  And so Jeff decided to put on his interview hat and treat Dan like a guest. This lasted all of 15 minutes.  The guys end up discussing what Jeff is drinking, which historical duo we'd like to be, and of course, the Prophet of Lutheran Pietism, Johann Arndt. Dan's research on Arndt not only affected his own spiritual life and theological self understanding, but also offered him a way to look at problems within Lutheranism that persist to today.  Enjoy the show!



Direct download: Arndt_You_Glad_You_Listened.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm PDT

Following in our now 5 year tradition, today's episode is a Graduation Special! We think about the world today, and what we woulds day to grads on their way into the real world!

Direct download: Graduation_Special-_EGBOK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm PDT

On today's show we take your calls! (You can call in on our voicemail line 844-393-0012) We take a range of questions from callers today, from the recent show we did on the poor, to some comparative religions and talk a little bit about surfing the Tao from some unlikely sources



0000014C 0000014C 00004F12 00004F12 0052F3D1 0052F3D1 00008171 00008171 004E5D39 004E5D39

Direct download: Real_Callers_Real_Questions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's episode we book end last weeks episode on why people leave the church.  On this episode we hear from a caller, discuss why we haven't left the church ourselves and talk about why we stick around. 

Direct download: Hell_or_High_Water_Part_2-_Before_You_Leave.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's episode we talk about an upcoming podcast on the 1517 network of podcasts.  We are talking about why people live the church- something about which there has been no end to the writing of books.  So we want to try and whittle down the question: why do people leave thus church? And we want to be sympathetic and open to correction.  George Barna and others have spent the past decade telling us about the Millennials and Gen-Z, so what do we do about it?

Direct download: hell_and_high_water_redux.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:35pm PDT

On today's show we start by discussing a tent city for the homeless in Dan's hometown.  We move on to discuss the centrality of the poor throughout the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.  What are the "options" in how we might think about the poor and poverty?  What does the Reformation tradition show us? Listen up, we get deep and challenge ourselves on this episode.

Direct download: The_Poor_You_Will_Always_Have_with_You.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show we examine the idea of a "narrative of decline" and how it might impact how we view the church.  This show is a thought experiment that began when Dan had an idea he wanted to work through.  This show is an exercise in thinking, looking at optimism and pessimism, and learning to understand how the gospel of hope fits in.

Direct download: Is_it_Getting_Worse.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's episode we play actual calls from actual listeners who bring up topics from gun control, the popularity of Jordan Peterson and our religious convictions.  Check it out, and call us at 844-393-0012 to leave your question as a message

On today's episode we dig into the national conversation on gun control after the recent tragedy in Parkland, FLA.  But don't expect the kind of conversation you might be used to.  The guys talk about the history and the constitution but then press on to a deeper answer (if it exists).

Direct download: Stickin_to_Our_Guns.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Today's show is in two acts.  In act 1 the guys reflect on Cuba, talk about a few current events and talk about running to extreme positions in theology, politics and in general.  The second act is an interview with our friends Marcos and Mark a week after our trip to Cuba to reflect on what we learned there.

Direct download: Cuba_part_2_full_show_final_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On todays show we play clips from an interview we did with Marcos Ruiz and Mark Norman.  We discuss cuban politics, religion and the state of travel to the once forbidden isle.



Direct download: Virtue_in_Cuba_part_1_corrected.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34pm PDT

On today's episode we pick up the theme from last week and discuss the ancient figure of Moloch, the importance of calling out religions of cruel power, and the surprisingly anti-intuitive actions of Jesus.

Direct download: the_molech_v_jesus_epic.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's episode we discuss an ancient religion with modern implications.

Direct download: A_Religion_of_Cruel_Power.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show we answer actual questions from actual listeners.  We talk about tragedy, reproductive issues and ethics, the #metoo movement and the question Dan gets more than any other. Enjoy the show!

Direct download: Metoo_the_Media_and_more_Burning_Questions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On Today's show we discuss current events coming out of the Vatican and with Evangelical leader Franklin Graham on current events.  We then look at a brief history of the papacy, church authority in civil matters, and why we have an inclination to find figureheads who speak publicly for us.

Direct download: I_Love_It_When_You_Call_Me_Big_Papa_on_Italian_and_American_Popes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show the guys talk about the most compelling arguments against the church and discuss ways in which we can take these criticisms (from Marx, Freud, etc... ) and build stronger arguments for the importance of religious life today.

Direct download: Godless_Criticism_Compressed_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show we go to a number of recent polls that tell us number of fascinating, hopeful, and curious things.  We discuss the nature of the American job market, vocational opportunities, millennials, and a few numbers that remind us that everything is going to be ok.

Direct download: Lies_Damned_Lies_and_Statistics.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's episode we hand out awards for our favorites of 2017 and look at some of the bigger stories of the past year and discuss how they might effect 2018.

Direct download: The_Yearbook_audio_fixed_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

An overview of the Gospel according to Luke with special attention to the concept of the Temple and the idea of cleaning the house of faith to make room for Jesus' kingdom. Political elements are particularly emphasized. 

Direct download: Cleaning_House_with_Luke.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am PDT

Direct download: Art_Money_and_Life_with_Dan_Siedell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

This year's Christmas special was recorded live at the Boathouse Collective in Costa Mesa, California.  We were stoked to have Blake Flattley and his band lead the evening with a collection of interviews and musical performances.  

Direct download: ViW_LIVE_Christmas_Party.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On today's show we welcome author Rebecca Lemke who came out joined us here in studio from her regular base in Oklahoma.  Rebecca has written The Scarlet Virgins: When Sex Replaces Salvation.  Rebecca led us through a complicated and sometimes very difficult episode about sexual predators in the church, the role of purity culture in American evangelicalism and where we might find some hope in our preoccupation with all things sex, culture and church.  Check out for links and an article by Jeff from his recently published book, Sexy.

Direct download: Sex_and_Purity_Culture_with_Rebecca_Lemke.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

On Feelings: A Quick Guide to Navigating Your Inner Life Jeff and Dan discuss the ways in which our feelings, thoughts and behaviors affect our search for a virtuous life.  It may not be going in the direction you think!

Direct download: Feelings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

It’s Thanksgiving and we do well to take a few minutes out of our day to remind ourselves why we love America.  The divisiveness of the last Presidential campaign and the vitriol coming through our TV boxes and ear buds has made being thankful difficult.  So, here are a few things, whether you are on the left or right, that you can be thankful about.




Direct download: Thanks_America-_A_ViW_Thanksgiving_Special.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

A bonus episode in which the guys follow their discussion of the best movies to portray Sex, Drugs and Religion with their top songs in those categories.  There is a 30 second gap between U2's 40 and Kendrick Lamar's Swimming Pools. Despite that little gaffe, we really dig this show and had a great time recording it.

Direct download: sex_drugs_religion_music_episode_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33pm PDT

On today's episode we count down our favorite films (or most poignant films) in the categories of Sex, Drugs, and Religion.  This is part 1 of a two part series.  The second part where we count down our top songs in these categories comes out on Friday.  Check out the show page to read Dan's article on Pornography, Methamphetamines and Jesus.

Direct download: Sex_Drugs_Religion_at_the_movies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

We look at the rise of the Occult in our post recession anxiety, the roots of occultism with the Rosicrucian movement in the 16th century, new religious movements in the 19th and 20th century, the curious case of Josephine Paladin, and why we shouldn't be afraid of the rise of occultism today.



Direct download: Sex_and_Magic-_The_Rise_of_the_New_Occultism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Dan's back for a discussion of his reading of David Foster Wallace and Søren Kierkegaard in the hospital. Hope and despair in an anxious age. Defense of the so-called snowflake millennials and their plight.


Direct download: Sickness_unto_Death.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:02pm PDT

Jeff Mallinson's lecture on the implications of Luther's concept of the freedom of the Christian. How we can love the unlovable and forgive the unforgivable. How we can stop worrying about legalistic works to earn our standing before God: once we are freed from acts of religiosity that are no good to our neighbor, we can spill out the unconditional love of God for others. Freed from worrying about looking bad by being associated with sinners, we can serve those sinners and bear the burden of their sin. 

Jeff would like to apologize for not clearly concluding his point, but hopefully there are some inspiring themes that you can apply. The main point is that instead of treating people how they deserve, we are free to treat others like God treats us.

Direct download: Free_to_Serve_and_Bear_the_Sins_of_Others.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am PDT

Music! Reformation! Reformation Music! Oh, ok... so maybe I say "look at this slide".  And you are all, "I can't see with my ears, dummy". And then I am like, "they were bad slides and would have confused you more". Problem solved.

Today's show is on another Reformation theme and taken from a lecture Dan gave on the eve of the Reformation a few years ago. 

Also, there might be a ticket or two for you last stragglers to join the crew in San Diego this weekend (Oct. 19 2017).  Go here to see what you can get!

Direct download: Reformation_Music_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:46pm PDT

Scratching the surface of a longer conversation regarding the nature of the demonic and mental health. Stay tuned for more detailed conversation with psychologists and biblical scholars in the weeks to come.


Direct download: Mental_Health_and_the_Demonic.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Mental health, mental illness, social stigma related to such things, and the way we fund health care.

Dan starts by talking through his trip to the hospital and life for a few days in a psychiatric ward. Following this, the dudes discuss the lessons learned from the experience related to the way American's fund health care.

Direct download: Health_Care_and_Dans_Trip_to_The_Basement.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:46pm PDT

Jeff interviews newly minted PhD and former student Dr. Ryan Tafilowski about his research into the theologians in Germany under the Third Reich. Some opposed the Nazis, some cooperated. Is the two kingdom's theory to blame? Find out.

Direct download: Theologians_and_the_Nazis_with_Dr_Ryan_Tafilowski.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Dr. Wade Johnston discusses historical and current cultural and ideological reasons why Lutherans have a long history of not getting along.

Johnston has degrees from Martin Luther College, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Central Michigan University, and Erasmus University Rotterdam. He serves as assistant professor of theology at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and served for ten years in parish ministry in Saginaw, Michigan.

He also has a podcast: 

Direct download: Lutheran_Identity_Crises.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

How pyramid schemes operate like new religious movements. The history of direct marketing. Tupperware. Herbalife. Multi-level marketing. Capitalism. John Stuart Mill and classical liberalism. Regulations and the public good. 

Direct download: The_American_Dream_and_Pyramid_Schemes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Jeff interviews Christian and Chelsea Tuttle, outside their home (a Cold-War era six wheel drive: a 1982 Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer 712W) to discuss the ways in which this young couple has sought adventure, met new people, and lived life deliberately.

(The cold open uses ear buds; don't worry, the audio get's better after the opening music.)

They discuss the importance of travel, the ways in which people have been surprisingly decent along the road, and how one might choose the best vehicle for a roving lifestyle. (There are short reviews of a few types of modified vehicles).

Check out their blog site: 

Chelsea's a professional photographer, whose website is here: 

Some of their friends: 

The Facebook page Jeff mentions at the start of the show. 

We mention Mauricio and Abigail Parra, whose site is here: 


For other shows: 

Direct download: Travel_is_Fatal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

A candid and uncensored conversation with Shannon, who grew up in the church but discusses the perplexing difficulties of reconciling her upbringing with the new rules of dating at age 33, especially in Manhattan. Perhaps the most valuable part of the conversation is the unique dangers for people--perhaps especially women--who live in the emotional aftermath of a divorce, and may become susceptible to manipulative people who want to capitalize on it for their own power and gratification.

Listed as explicit for adult language. Whether or not you agree with Shannon's response to her life situation, her candid explanation of how she feels will perhaps help you understand yourself, your loved ones, and even your romantic enemies a bit better. 

Direct download: Vulnerability_in_the_Wake_of_a_Divorce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

What was the civil war about? How ought we remember it? What about Confederate monuments and statues? 

Direct download: The_Civil_War_and_its_Monuments.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:44pm PDT

Perhaps the greatest difficulty today is learning how to speak to one another without a shared canon, a shared set of values, or a shared way of seeking goodness truth and beauty. We discuss the nature of our postmodern context and how ethics and aesthetics might lead us out of the present cultural quagmire. 

See the show notes for links to the various projects in Baja California, Mexico, overseen by Mauricio and Abigail Parra, who we discuss in the first part of the show.


Direct download: Our_Fragmented_Culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Micah is back! He's coming out with a new hip hop album that will rattle some cages. Where is the line between art, religion, politics, and freedom? 

Direct download: Hip_Hop_Non_Prophet.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Listener questions answered.

What's burning, and what's at stake these days in the lives of Dan and Jeff as they return home from travels and speaking.

Direct download: Burning_Questions_Summer_2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we address the many ways in which Martin Luther has been mischaracterized, by friends and foes alike.

Dan and Jeff are joined by Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto, author of The Fabricated Luther (Concordia Publishing) and founder and director emeritus of the League of Faithful Masks. They are also joined by 1517's own Dr. Scott Keith, who wrote his dissertation on Luther's successor, Melanchthon.


Direct download: Will_The_Real_Martin_Luther_Please_Stand_Up.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

The historical importance of the concept of heresy. A discussion of Dan's odd travels and flight cancellations. Addiction as a sin but not as a moral failing. Gnosticism, Pelagianism, Donatism, and the importance of understanding that understanding heresy is a defense against the dark arts, not an excuse to poke people in the eye.


Direct download: Heresy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

This podcast discussion took place in France, where LFM founder, lay theologian, and renowned journalist, Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto tends to spend his summers. He joined us to discuss the vocations of voters, the way we consume and sift through media, and what that says for Kurt Winrich's business--investment. He is on the board of 1517 but also a principle at WCM Investments. Note: no investment advice is given; rather we discuss the real world importance of getting the news right.


Direct download: Voters_Investors_and_the_Media.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

At the end of a thoughtful and enriching week (Jeff was a speaker and MC of the weeklong experience at Concordia University Irvine), the guys brought the podcast to the live audience to reflect on issues related to transhumanism, the future economy, and careers that will remain in a world of increasing AI and automation.  We had a lot of fun. We play a game about robots, and interact with some very interesting young people, who got the chance to hear from some theologians, but also from Zoltan Istvan, California's upcoming Libertarian gubernatorial candidate and internationally known transhumanist.


For more information on the institute: 



Direct download: Live_at_Crosswise_Institute.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

The world got you down? Freaked out? Nothing new under the sun. First half: a discussion of Jeff's experience traveling to Madrid to view Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" and other pieces. What was he saying with this bizarre work? Second half: a discussion of how echo chambers cause us to beat down people of principle. The example we primarily use is the case of leftist hysteria at Evergreen State College, but it can apply to most other groups that get into their own loops without generously listening to others in the world.

Direct download: Mad_World.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

The newest mask Blake Flattley joins the show to talk about liturgy, art, music, emotion, and the tricky music industry.  

Direct download: Sacred_and_Profane_Music.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Hold on to your hats kids! You might be in for some cognitive dissonance depending on where your sensibilities might be found. How about we talk about Trump, Jesus, and Reefer Madness. Listen up. Unless you are a sensitive type who can't abide by perplexing questions and evidence that we might all be wrong. Enjoy the Show!

Direct download: Baseball_Mom_on_Jesus_Trump_and_Reefer_Madness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm PDT

Marcos Ruiz introduces, then joins the show for the second live podcast of the Sexy/Monsters summer tour. There are few venues as cool for this sort of thing as Cubaocho, in Little Havana, Miami. Art, cocktails, music and dancing abound. So does good conversation.

On this show, Jeff and Dan discuss the spiritual peace we call "blood orange" and explain how the best way to get there is to confront what Jung described as the shadow self, and what Dan calls monsters. Then there's an interview with Marcos Ruiz, founder of the El Lector feast, talking about Cuban Americans and changing relations with Cuba itself these days. Finally, we take questions about sex drugs and religion from the audience, using the new Virtue in the Wasteland wheel. 

Direct download: Blood_Oranges_and_the_Shadow_Self_at_El_Lector.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Marcos Ruiz brought the guys out to Miami Florida, to a pig roast at Grenada Presbyterian Church for a live recording, to launch the books Sexy and Monsters. Audience Q&A.


Direct download: Sex_Drugs_Religion_Live.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

What if we stopped focussing on abstractions and ideologies, and took a moment to consider virtue? Virtue is often defined literally as manliness--the Romans equated virtue with heroic human excellence. Since manliness means something a bit different, we discuss being humane, and consider how our culture could benefit from humanizing issues that are otherwise seen as abstractions. We go through an exercise where we consider several classic virtues and see whether Trump exhibits them. All in good fun.


Direct download: Virtue_Means_Humanliness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Factors related to whether you or someone you care about should go on to a formal BA or grad degree, now that you've graduated. What college alternatives exist? What about going to Europe? Should you take a gap year?

Dan and Jeff won't answer these questions for you, but they will invite you to freely ask yourself who you really are and what that means for the next phase of life.

Direct download: Fourth_Annual_Graduation_Special.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Dan and Jeff do a short introductory discussion about divorce and the difference between Pharisees and Jesus on this matter. Some follow up about Dan's relationship and the status of the books. Then they shift to a long form interview with the girlfriend of Jeff's son Auggie (who you heard back in the old days from time to time, and the bass player in the opening/closing music). Her name is Sydnie, was the child of divorce, and didn't tell us exactly how she would answer questions before we pushed "record." So check out what she says. This ain't theory, but rather an honest reflection on life after a broken marriage.

Direct download: Divorce_and_Its_Effects.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

This is part two of a new focus, and this is where it gets a bit heavy. Don't give in to despair.

Check out for more information on Sexy: The Quest for Erotic Virtue in Perplexing Times and for more information on Monsters: Addiction, Hope, Ex-Girlfriends, and Other Dangerous Things.




Direct download: If_Books_Could_Kill_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:01pm PDT

After four years, Virtue in the Wasteland reboots, starting a new focus on sex, drugs, and religion, with a conversation between Jeff and Stacie Mallinson and Dan and Beth Anne van Voorhis, in the Gramercy Park Hotel, in New York.

The first part gives some of the back story and there's some playfulness. The second part may get a bit more uncomfortable. But despite the changes long time listeners might notice, the end should be familiar. Take heart.

Check out for show notes and cool links.

Direct download: If_Books_Could_Kill_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Sometimes, we feel the need to defend great artifacts and contributors to culture. But why not let them speak for themselves, whatever the critics may think?

We return to some reflections on a Father John Misty concert, discuss the cultural significance of Saturday Night live, explore the importance of a sixteenth century painter who's wilder than Dali.  Enjoy.

Direct download: No_Excuses_Needed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Joel talks about the upcoming Crosswise Institute event in Irvine, transhumanism, robots, embodiment, and his trip to Iceland.

Direct download: Robot_Salad_and_the_Importance_in_Virtue_in_the_Coming_Age.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Father John Misty (the moniker for Josh Tillman, former drummer of the Fleet Foxes) dropped his third album Pure Comedy, through Sub Pop records this last week. Dan and Jeff discuss the cultural significance of this album, which is a contribution to the conversation about religion, politics, and technological culture today. Tillman reportedly was reading Zizek's Living in the End Times during the recording of the album. That book was part of a Virtue in the Wasteland "class" Dan and Jeff taught last year. Thus, it brings together ViW's favorite themes: where we are going culturally, whether everything will indeed be ok in the end, religion, philosophy, ideology, politics, and well-written pop music.

This may not be for everyone, but you may want to listen even if Father John Misty isn't your style. This is because he taps into a very real concern young people (but not just young people) are raising about why it seems so often that conservative religious people act "like godless animals."

By the way, the album cover is interesting: it is like a modern take on Hieronymus Bosch.


Direct download: Pure_Comedy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

This wraps up our series on the Reformation outside of German lands.

Direct download: Going_Dutch_Hard_Core_Calvinism_and_the_Spanish_Inquisition_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

This was supposed to be a serious, high-brow, educational show. It turned into something hard to categorize. We had fun at least.

Direct download: The_Karate_Kid_John_Calvin_and_the_King_of_France.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Part two in our series on the history of the reformations that took place outside of Germany. Henry VIII, Mary I, Elizabeth I, the Book of Common Prayer, and Anglicanism as a middle way between Wittenberg and Geneva.


Direct download: English_Reformation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT