My friend Trey Mowder and I spend this episode trying to narrow down The Beatles' White Album onto a single disc (which means we have to cut out songs, as if such a thing were possible!). On top of that, I also give my year end best of lists (music, TV, films, podcasts) and some highlights for PostConsumer Reports from this past year (2016).
Chris released his Christmas album The Hopes and Fears of All the Years last week on his music page, which you can download for $1 throughout the Christmas season at: chrismarchand.bandcamp.com. This episode features excerpts and commentary on the songs and recording process.
This fall filmmaker Ron Howard released a new documentary Eight Days a Week about the touring years of The Beatles. Trey Mowder and I sat down and discussed what we thought of the film. Part commentary, part movie review, part love letter to the Fab Four, consider this the semi-definitive guide to the new film.
Michelle Van Loon is an author who recently released Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith through Navpress Publishers (click on the link for a free excerpt). A regular contributor for Christianity Today and the Her.meneutics blog, you can find more of her writings on her website: http://michellevanloon.com/ or at her blog: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/pilgrimsroadtrip/. Our interview focuses mainly on the new book, what Christians can learn from the Jewish feast (along with all my many questions about them!), and how we modern people can slow down follow a different order of time.
Pam Destri was on call as a volunteer EMT the night Rich Mullins died and Mitch McVicker got seriously injured. Many fans have wondered for years what happened on that night. While Pam doesn't have all the answers she does offer her experience, what she witnessed on that night, some surprising revelations about that night, and why she thinks God brought her there in those moments. Part of the episode features talks from Chris Marchand and Pastor Mark Schoenhals about Rich Mullins, a talk from Pam, and then an after-talk interview with Pam.
Mitch McVicker is a singer-songwriter and musician who's released 7 full length albums over the span of his career. He won the Dove award for "Song of the Year" for co-writing "My Deliver" with Rich Mullins. In our chat we talked about his latest album The Grey: When black and white fade, about being a do-it-yourself touring musician, and what it was like playing himself in the Ragamuffin film. Find out more at McVicker's website: http://mitchmcvicker.com/
Vicky Matthews is the Executive Director of Choices Women's Clinic in Orlando Florida and the president of Life Steward Ministries (http://www.choiceswomensclinic.com/ & http://www.lifestewardministries.org/). Vicky travels around the country speaking about and raising funds for women's pregnancy centers, while also serving as the director of her own center. In our conversation we discuss the pro-life movement, changes that are being made in pregnancy centers, and the challenge set before the Church to help pregnant women in need and the unborn children in our communities. It's some thought provoking material worthy of consideration.
Dr. Melody Green, Dean of Urbana Theological Seminary, is the organizer of the 5th annual Tolkien Conference. She herself is a literature scholar, having published and researched on the works of Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, and George MacDonald. The 2016 Conference is November 5 at Grace Community Church in Champaign, Illinois. Please visit www.tolkienconference.com for registration info and topics to be presented. This episode's conversation focuses on the conference, the place of Tolkien's work in today's world, and a side chat about Lewis' enigmatic novel Till We Have Faces.
In the latest "Dialogue With Brandon," Brandon and I discuss what it takes to make a great novel. We are both attempting to write a novel and so we hammer out what makes for great plot and great characters. Is it OK to use cliches? Should our characters be composites of real people we know? Should we use brand names of different products and stores? On and on we go in pursuit of the Great American Novel.
Dr. Michael Danner is the Executive Minister of the Illinois Mennonite Conference. I invited him on the podcast to discuss a "liberal Christian" political perspective, but soon realized he was instead offering me an Anabaptist Christian perspective. While discussing pacifism, "socialism", abortion, and free market capitalism, Michael lays out how the Church can declare the coming Kingdom in the political realm by following in the way of Jesus.