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Almost Heretical

Author: Tim Ritter & Nate Hanson

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Two former pastors rethinking the so-called orthodoxy of the American evangelical theology they used to teach. The podcast is conversations on faith, the Bible, church, race, gender and more. (Email us: contact@almostheretical.com)
82 Episodes
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82: Why blood?

82: Why blood?

2019-12-0401:04:101

Why the blood? There is actually an important bit of ancient science underlying the whole idea of sacrifice and atonement. Also, what happens if we just can’t believe that science? (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: jpoeticReferences:A Study in Scarlet: The Physiology and Treatment of Blood, Breath, and Fish in Ancient Israel (Paywall)
81: Contagious

81: Contagious

2019-11-1301:06:57

Why sacrifice animals? Why send some people outside the camp? Why all the rules? Nate and Tim discuss how the threat of viral contagion is the primary principal underlying the Levitical system, and how that is why the Torah talks so much about separation and mixture. When anything comes into contact with something “unclean”, the defilement spreads. Therefore, prevention, quarantine and cleansing are the name of the game. But is it possible there’s even more going on? Is it possible something could be so holy that it cannot be defiled? And what if that is precisely how the gospels depict Jesus? (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: jpoetic
80: Cosmic campout

80: Cosmic campout

2019-11-0601:12:31

What all is required in order to camp out with God? And what is holiness anyway? Nate and Tim discuss all this and more, including why there are so many long lists of detailed instructions in the Torah and how to read them. Also, what do the golden calf, Nadab and Abihu, and the tragedy of Uzzah and the cart all have in common? (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: jpoetic
On the 1-year anniversary of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, we sit down with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg. What constitutes a good apology? How do we appreciate both forgiveness and justice at the same time? And what can we learn from the Jewish tradition about how to disagree, change our minds, and embrace both the old and the new? Also, we get into how Jesus might have actually been a Pharisee. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: jpoeticReferences: Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg's website (with links to all her books!)
Did you know that Adam and Eve worked as security guards in the Garden of Eden? And what does it mean to be a priest? And once again, why is there a snake in the garden? Nate and Tim discuss the role of priests and how Genesis 2 depicts Adam as a priest representing Israel. (More)Get the SECOND PART of this episode on Utterly Heretical, just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoetic
77: God might kill us

77: God might kill us

2019-10-1601:00:56

Are we supposed to be afraid of God? Why did the ancient Israelites fear the Lord? What was it that scared them exactly? Nate and Tim discuss how we may have gotten this all very wrong for a long time and maybe we shouldn’t be so scared after all. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoeticReferences: John Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative, A Biblical-theological Commentary
76: Distance and Separation

76: Distance and Separation

2019-10-0901:07:55

The New Testament claims Jesus is helping reconcile humanity and God, but why were they ever separated in the first place? Does God want to separate from us because we’re awful, or is there something entirely different going on? Nate and Tim discuss the biblical authors’ surprising assumptions about why God is so distant and what is actually required to bridge the gap. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. We recently talked about how we changed on the LGBTQ topic, how to parent after deconstruction, and reflected on our time in ministry in San Francisco. You can listen to those bonus episodes here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: jpoetic, Cale HaugenReferences: 
75: Blood and Guilt

75: Blood and Guilt

2019-10-0201:19:15

What were the sacrifices for? What did blood do? What is the main problem which the tabernacle and temple and then Jesus were trying to solve? Nate and Tim introduce a new series on Leviticus, atonement, and the crazy idea of blood as a kind of cosmic insulation. In this first part, they highlight some of the big ideas soon to be discussed and reflect on why it matters. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. We recently talked about how we changed on the LGBTQ topic, how to parent after deconstruction, and reflected on our time in ministry in San Francisco. You can listen to those bonus episodes here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: jpoetic, Cale HaugenReferences:The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ by Fleming RutledgeLeviticus (Continental Commentary) by Jacob Milgrom
This is an episode of Utterly Heretical, Nate and Tim’s second podcast for Patreon supporters. They have a candid conversation about the emotionally complicated topic of going to church. Listen to all of the Utterly Heretical episodes here.Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoetic
Did Jesus really call a Canaanite woman a dog? Was this as heartless and mean as it sounds, or is something else going on? Nate and Tim discuss this startling passage in Matthew 15 and more. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoeticReferences:We don't recommend these articles, but just so you know we're not exaggerating:https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/the-canaanite-whttps://www.cbeinternational.org/resources/article/priscilla-papers/jesus-and-canaanite-womanhttp://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672018000200028
If the Bible is clearly sufficient for all our needs and sufficiently clear so that we can understand it, why doesn’t it feel that way? Nate and Tim discuss the history of these ideas, the role they’ve played, and whether or not they’re still helpful today. Once again it all seems to come down to power - who has it? Or, as they ask in this episode, “Who is the pope?” (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoeticReferences:We don't recommend these articles, but just so you know we're not exaggerating:https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-enticing-sin-of-empathyhttps://www.9marks.org/article/journalsufficiency-scripture/Westminster Confession: https://www.pcaac.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/WCFScriptureProofs.pdf
71: Who is the Bible?

71: Who is the Bible?

2019-09-0401:17:08

When we say, “The Bible says,” what do we really mean? Who exactly are we talking about? Nate and Tim try to answer that question and more as they discuss the relationship between the people who wrote the Bible and our own modern ethics. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoetic
What if many of the texts are written in order to place us at a crossroads between two valid interpretations? And how does understanding the Bible as a mosaic of texts help us deal with troubling passages in the OT? Nate and Tim reflect on why reading the Bible is more complicated than taking it “literally” or not. LISTEN TO THE PARENTING EPISODES HERE. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoetic
Does the Bible condone rape? What some of the texts condemn reveals some disturbing insight into what they seem to condone. So, what do we do? Nate and Tim continue their conversation on the topic of rape in the Bible. LISTEN TO TIM'S LIST HERE. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoeticReferences:Reading "Rape" in the Hebrew Bible: A Consideration of Language by Sandie GravettRape in the Syntax of 2 Samuel 11:4 by Jennifer Andruska
Is there any evidence that David raped Bathsheba? Let's look a bit closer. This is the first part of a conversation about rape in the Bible. Nate and Tim discuss the role of rape stories in the Hebrew Bible, the issue of power, reading in context, and more. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoeticReferences:Reading "Rape" in the Hebrew Bible: A Consideration of Language by Sandie GravettRape in the Syntax of 2 Samuel 11:4 by Jennifer Andruska
At some point we have to ask ourselves do I really want to be free? Freedom is no longer caring whether we’re crossing the lines that other people are creating for us.Nate and Tim sit down with renowned scholar Dr. Christena Cleveland. They discuss getting free from toxic Christianity, finding sustenance for a life of activism, what the gospel really is and much more. Dr. Cleveland also shares what she believes the gospel is for black trans women. It’s brilliant and beautiful! (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoeticReferences: Dr. Cleveland's websiteSupport her on Patreon!Center for Justice and Renewal
Did God really define marriage? Or is it just something people have often done? And what did Jesus really say about men and women? Nate and Tim continue the conversation about whether the Bible ever asserts a divine ideal for marriage. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoeticReferences: "Therefore a Man Leaves His Father and His Mother and Clings to His Wife": Marriage and Intermarriage in Genesis 2:24 by Megan Warner
Is the Bible even about a return to original ideals? Or is the idea that of a forward march through history where humans partner with God to usher in new and unknown territory? Nate and Tim begin a discussion on sexuality and gender, asking whether the so-called divine ideal for marriage is really a good argument in defense of traditional views. (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoetic
We ask Rob Bell what it felt like to hear "Farewell Rob Bell" by John Piper and what he wants to be remembered as when he's gone. Plus, we get to lots of our Patron's questions, like what does Rob think the word "Christian" means? (More)We have a second podcast called Utterly Heretical just for supporters of the show. You can listen to that here!Hosts: Nate Hanson / Tim RitterMusic: Cale Haugen, jpoetic
Rachel Held Evans tribute

Rachel Held Evans tribute

2019-05-0501:15:181

In memory of Rachel Held Evans. Woman of Valor. #becauseofRHE #SaintRachel Please donate to Dan and her two children here: https://www.gofundme.com/supporting-rachel-held-evans
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Comments (12)

Harley

good grief. nobody says only evangelicals go to heaven. (interesting that Catholics, Jews, etc. never get that accusation.) We go to heaven when we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior and that He is the only way to heaven. Muslims by definition do not accept Jesus. If you're implying Jesus' sacrifice was not enough and that you can get to heaven via orher means, you're lying and deliberately leading people away from Jesus. also, while I greatly enjoy the gender discussions, you guys and your guests are pretty judgmental yourselves of anyone who isn't your denomination. You seem to think your bad experiences with bad evangelicals is the norm. None I've ever attended (about 4) have ever preached what you say.

Dec 4th
Reply (1)

Harley

gee, I wonder why white countries show white Jesus. could it possibly be for the same reason black countries have black Jesus and native Americans have native American Jesus and east Asian countries have Asian Jesus? 🤔😂

Nov 13th
Reply (1)

Harley

sorry? not being Catholic because they worship people who aren't Jesus is a very, very valid reason. it had absolutely nothing to do with gender. Weirdly, the fact that Catholics idolize the male saints and angels didn't get brought up (or how staunchly patriachal Catholicism and orthodox are).

Nov 9th
Reply

Tamar Barnousky

While I realize that this episode is specifically aimed at evangelicals with a gun fetish, I feel like saying that self-defense is NEVER acceptable under Christianity has implications that take us some ugly places. I can't--as a straight-passing white woman--say to anyone else "self-defense is bad and you should feel bad" in good conscience. It's too easy a claim to make when it isn't your life, children's lives, or property on the line.

Jul 7th
Reply (2)

Steff Probert

really interesting thought provoking stuff. nothing I'v heard so far scares me too much but enjoying the added insight. roll on pod 4 for me

Dec 5th
Reply

Almost Heretical

Hey friends! So cool to have you listening along. :) If the show triggers any questions, we’d love to hear them! almostheretical.com -Nate

Aug 16th
Reply (1)

Brendan Acebo

I absolutely love and appreciate the thoughtful work that goes into the content presented in this podcast. These are things Christians need to be wrestling with, there's so much more beauty to the Gospel than what we thought we were allowed to believe

May 15th
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