Last year for my birthday (Jan 13) I received what has become my single favorite material possession. An iPod, or as I sometimes call mine, briPod. Now, if the house were burning down and I could only grab one thing, it’d be the art on our walls, but only because it can’t be replaced. If you were to throw in the caveat that I couldn’t replace my iPod, that would make it a very difficult decision. And here is why: because of my iPod, the countless number of hours I spend in my car throughout the months, time spent
cleaning up the house, straightening up my classroom, making copies, any number of routine jobs are now converted in to hours spent engaged in learning, civil debate and thought experimentation.
2006 was the year of the podcast for me and I am so grateful. The term podcast technically only refers to media files that are distributed to users who subscribe to that particular program, but I use it here to mean any number of lectures, sermons, panel discussions or actual podcasts that I’ve downloaded as MP3s and listened to throughout the year. Here are a few of my favorites.
* Favorite Podcasts of 2006
Arithmetic, Population and Energy — Al Bartlett : "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." That’s a pretty provocative statement and it’s how Bartlett introduces his lecture. He goes on to explain the exponential function and how it relates to population growth and energy consumption.
Incredibly interesting. >> DOWNLOAD HERE
Brian McLaren interview on the Bleeding Purple Podcast : "A primary meaning of the cross is that the Kingdom of God doesn’t come like the kingdoms of this world by inflicting violence and by coercing people, but the Kingdom of God comes through suffering voluntary and willing sacrifice. But in an ironic way, the doctrine of Hell says, ‘Well no, that’s not really true. In the end God gets his way through violence and coercion and intimidation’." So there’s that. >> DOWNLOAD HERE
What Does Public Theology Look Like in 1984? Rethinking Common Grace in an Age of Empire — James K. A. Smith : This one came courtesy of Barry so I’ll borrow his summary as well. Thanks, B. The subtext of Smith’s lecture is that we, in North America,
increasingly find ourselves in something akin to an Orwellian society.
We find ourselves shaped by our daily immersion in what Smith
perceptively calls "secular liturgies" that shape our affections in
ways that run counter to Kingdom of God. Our lives begin to mirror the tragedy of Winston learning to love Big Brother. >> BUY IT HERE
WNYC Radio Lab : These are some wonderfully done radio shows about a variety of topics. I really cannot recommend these highly enough, they are so entertaining. If you’re only going to try one, then download the show about "Morality". That one should get you hooked. >> DOWNLOAD HERE
NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me : One of our favorite NPR programs and a CoppellRhea family tradition on road trips. "Wait Wait" is a hilarious hour-long news quiz show featuring a panel of celebrities who somehow find great ways to make the week’s news entertaining. We’re huge fans. A must for news junkies. >> DOWNLOAD HERE
* Cream of the Crop
Mars Hill Bible Church : The New Exodus I’m choosing this series as the single piece of teaching that has stuck with me throughout the year more than anything else I’ve heard. A wonderful four-part series from Rob Bell (who also wrote one of my favorite books of the year) about the story of the people of Israel and where we find ourselves today as a part of that story. From oppression, to redemption, to oppressor, back to oppression, redemption and…oppressor? >> DOWNLOAD HERE
* Honorable Mentions