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The Beached White Male Podcast with Ken Kemp
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The Beached White Male Podcast with Ken Kemp

Author: Ken Kemp

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Religion and Politics - subjects we avoid in polite society. But not here. Stories and people who challenge our assumptions and blaze new trails. Inspiring. Challenging. Out of the box. For Blog and Official BWM site, go to www.thebeachedwhitemale.com.
355 Episodes
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Ken welcomes back Dr. Scott Chesebro. Just last week, Ken and Scott spent two days walking the streets of Hyde Park and the University of Chicago there on the South Side. Scott and Ken we classmates and fast friends, living in the city for three years and a second summer in the late 60s and early 70s. Scott became a sociologist and college professor with the Ph.D. he earned at Notre Dame. For over four decades, Scott was Executive Director of the Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture, wel...
For Easter Week, Ken and Carla begin on a very personal note - Carla's departed husband, Fritz would be celebrating his birthday on the day of this recording. They reminisce about Fritz who, like Ken, went o seminary and served as a pastor. Carla shares the story of their romance. The two reflect on the meaning of this season of resurrection. Turning to the headlines, Joe Biden acknowledges that the Russian assault on Ukraine is genocide. The war crimes accumulate. Ken shares his reading - Am...
Amanda Munroe shares her personal journey of life and faith; justice and pluralism. She currently serves as Director of Restorative Practices for Engaged Pluralism at Vassar College in Upstate New York. (Founded in 1861 as the second degree-granting institution of higher education for women in the United States, Vassar became coed in 1969.) Amanda is a specialist in conflict resolution, conducting faculty and student workshops on her campus and beyond. She has a rich academic background, begi...
In 1997, when Philip Yancey submitted his manuscript to his publisher, he had serious doubts that his new offering (which followed his popular book, The Jesus I Never Knew) would find an audience. He knew his evangelical readers. In Yancey’s mind, the chapters on a Democrat President (Bill Clinton) and a fellow author who “came out” as gay (Mel White), would not set well - especially when he called for “grace.” To his surprise, What’s So Amazing About Grace became his best-seller. Today, 25 y...
Ken welcomes Christine Talbot who recently retired from her significant role as Senior Vice President for Human Resources at the highly regarded global relief non-profit, World Vision. During her eight-year tenure, she worked closely with CEO Richard Stearns in Federal Way, Washington. Ken asks Christine to share her unique philosophy that is not only rooted in her years at World Vision but also as Vice President for Human Resources at the high-profile healthcare giant, Kaiser Permanente. She...
Continuing the conversation around the first-ever criminal conviction of the former President, Ken reaches out to Ken Fong. The two podcasters further explore the implications of this watershed, historical moment. Fong opens the podcast by quoting Fox sports writer Colin Cowherd on the trial’s outcome. The MAGA Republican spin masters (including Mike Johnson, John Cornyn, Steve Scalese, Elyse Stefanik and many others) are working overtime to convince the American people that the verdict is me...
With the verdict declared to the world, Ken calls Betsey in for an unscheduled Beach Talk. This relatively brief conversation recounts the moment the news came to them both: the 45th President is guilty of all 34 counts - a unanimous decision of the twelve jurors after five grueling weeks of testimony. At long last, there is accountability. The two compare and contrast the moment the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced in 1994. Republican Trump supporters (including those who the former Presid...
Ken welcomes writer, teacher, preacher and justice advocate, Jim Wallis. Rev. Wallis’ new book, The False White Gospel: Rejecting Christian Nationalism, Reclaiming True Faith, and Refounding Democracy is getting high marks and a wide reading. It’s a timely and prophetic challenge in an era of polarization and worse, the advancement in America of what Jim calls an heretical version of The Gospel. Wallis calls this a “Bonhoeffer moment.” Silence is not an option. Ken and Jim reminisce over thei...
Laura Bullard on Vox, suggests that the UMC tells us something about America. Recently, the denomination voted, by policy, to be fully inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community, eliminating any and all restrictions regarding membership, leadership in the church and ordination for clergy roles. The vote tallied in at 479 to 203 in favor of the historic change. Bullard posits that in America, most of the population would agree - and yet, in conservative Christian churches and denominations, there remai...
After comparing notes on Mother’s Day, Ken and Betsey dive into Ken’s most recent Substack. Bart Ehrman, a fellow graduate of Ken’s Bible School, gave up his Christian faith over the problem of evil. He’s not alone. Theologian Thomas Oord has written a book that addresses the problem. He proposes that we focus not on an Omnipotent (all-powerful) God but on a God of Love. Betsey shares her personal crisis of faith as she watched the Twin Towers fall on 9/11. Then they turn to the headlines: th...
Today, Ken shares his most recent Substack post. You'll find the full text here.Amipotence over Omnipotence - Love over ControlA fellow graduate of the Moody Bible Institute, Dr. Bart Ehrman, when he explains why he is no longer a Christian, points to the problem of theodicy. After years of academic study of the Christian Bible, for Ehrman, it was the problem of evil that pushed him right over the line. Like me, you know the conundrum - how can a God of love and absolute power co-exist with p...
John Jay Alvaro is Lead Pastor of the historic First Baptist Church of Pasadena. A friend of the Center for Restorative Justice, John Jay opened the door for the Center to move their offices into the church facility. The website puts it this way: “First Baptist Pasadena is a passionate, diverse, quirky, and kind congregation. We know that God loves this world, so we love fiercely, too. Spend some time among us and you will see what we mean.” When Ken and Betsey Newenhuyse visited the church w...
Ken welcomes back historian and author Michael Jimenez, the History Department Chair at Vanguard University in Southern California. He has published several articles focussing on the iconic United Farm Workers Union organizer from the Civil Rights era in the 1960s and 70s. He believes that Cesar Chavez should be considered the Latinex Martin Luther King. Like King, Chavez’s life and work are rooted in his deep and abiding Christian faith. Jimenez joins with his friend and colleague, Dr. Rober...
Betsey returns to her home on the north side of Chicago. She and Ken reminisce over her 3rd Annual trek to Southern California. Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, surprises the nation and the world as he stands up to the Freedom Caucus (led by Marjorie Taylor Green, Matt Gaetz, and their Republican friends). He garners bi-partisan support releasing necessary and long-delayed funding for Ukraine, Israel, and humanitarian aid for Gaza. Meanwhile, the former president stews in a Manhattan court...
Award-winning author, journalist, and fellow podcaster Brian T. Kaylor joins Ken to talk about his soon-to-be-released (June 6, 2024) book, Baptizing America: How Mainline Protestants Helped Build Christian Nationalism. Brian adds a significant contribution to the discussion about the pervasive Christian Nationalism so prevalent today - the movement that became highly visible in the January 6th assault on our nation’s Capitol. It’s a little-discussed fact that the foundation for Christian Nat...
Andy Wells returns to the podcast with an update on his popular book, Tried to be Straight. The first two-part interview with Andy has been one of the most popular BWM episodes to date. In that episode, Andy shares his journey growing up in church (All Saints Episcopal Church and Lake Avenue Congregational Church both in Pasadena, CA) where he served in leadership roles - and on to college and graduate school where he earned a Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics at Biola University. After...
Ken Fong and Betsey Newenhuyse join Ken Kemp for a special edition - The Two Kens and Beach Talk. Betsey made her third annual trip to California and the studios of the Beached White Male podcast. The three friends join together to interact over their weekend and a conversation is triggered by an unlikely Atlantic article (April 3, 2024, Issue) they all read - The True Cost of The Church Going Bust by self-described agnostic, Derek Thompson. In it, Thompson writes, “More than one-quarter of A...
Dr. Peter Enns returns to the podcast to discuss his new book Curve-ball - When Your Faith Takes Turns You Never Saw Coming* or How I Stumbled and Tripped My Way to Finding a Bigger God. Pete admits it's the longest title in the history of publishing. The popular professor, author (see show notes for his many other books), and podcaster (The Bible for Normal People) drops his guard like never before sharing his spiritual and intellectual journey from his days as an aspiring baseball player to...
Author, pastor, educator, counselor and storyteller Jeffrey Munroe shares his new book, Telling Stories in the Dark: Finding Healing and Hope in Sharing our Sadness, Grief, Trauma, and Pain. Jeff draws on a lifetime of ministry in churches, universities, and Young Life both in the USA and Europe. He’s concluded that spiritual health is not so much about right beliefs as it is about telling our stories in an environment of safety and affirmation. In a chapter entitled, “I’ll Go First,” h...
On the 56th Anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Ken shares his final in the Substack series - Biblical Authority. On this day, we remember the tragedy and the legacy of the Civil Rights champion. While the Bible has been and is today abused and weaponized, there’s a beauty we dare not miss. MLK illustrates the point.Ken’s Substack Page - Biblical Authority Part IV - A Thing of Beauty is a Joy ForeverFrom my book My Creed: An Unauthorized Rewrite of the Generally Accepted E...
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