I will admit I’m not a big podcast guy. I’ve just never gotten fully into the trend, though I have checked out some of the more headline-making podcast phenoms (Serial, for instance) from time to time. I know some folks who only listen to podcasts—commute, mowing the yard, in the office, and so on. I simply can’t do it. I’m a music guy for most of those settings. I listen to podcasts the way I read a book—meaning, I am usually sitting still, doing not much of anything, and just listening. This of course limits the number of podcasts I listen to, but I do have some regulars that are almost like “appointment television” each week when a new episode comes out. Aside from a few true crime/mystery podcasts I keep up with, here are the Christian programs that are regular listens for me:
Pastor’s Talk with Jonathan Leeman and Mark Dever
This podcast from the 9Marks org is short but rich. You will see that the first five podcasts listed are conversational in format—I find it grating over time to listen to one-person pundit programming. I like the feel of friends talking, and this podcast from two veteran pastors discussing all kinds of practical and theological issues affecting the local church is a hugely helpful resource. I would recommend this program at the top of the list for every podcast-listening pastor.
Doctrine & Devotion with Joe Thorn and Jimmy Fowler
An old-school favorite for Reformed folk (mostly of the Baptist variety, though not exclusively), it helps that Joe is an old friend. Some folks complain about the “banter.” Knowing the guys, I enjoy it. Usually. D&D drops 2 episodes a week—the first is usually a doctrinal/theological-themed ep (currently they are walking through the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith bit by bit), and the second is usually a more practical, cultural, or “hot topic”-themed ep. If you can handle guys who take theology seriously but don’t take themselves seriously at all, this might be up your alley. And speaking of not taking yourself seriously . . .
The Happy Rant with Barnabas Piper, Ronnie Martin, and Ted Kluck
It’s good to laugh at ourselves. Here are three guys with deep roots in the contempo-evangelical world for whom no cow is sacred. Imagine if the Babylon Bee were smart and still funny. Certainly not for everybody’s taste, but I enjoy every week hearing these guys take the wind out of the evangelical subculture’s self-importance and faux-earnestness. We don’t have to take ourselves too seriously. Occasionally they wax sincere on certain issues—a recent episode on the concept of “bravery” in our day of social-media virtue signaling, for instance—but mostly they’re just being the cool kids in the back of the room snarking on our flubs and foibles. Not recommended for those who struggle with sarcasm, but for the rest of us, it’s fun. (And lest you think I’m just mean for enjoying it, I should mention I am a frequent butt of their jokes myself. Like I said, it’s good to laugh at yourself. I think.)
The Holy Post with Phil Vischer and Skye Jethani (and sometimessss Christiannnnn)
I’m a relative newcomer to this program, the new form of what used to be The Phil Vischer Podcast. Adding author and thinker Skye Jethani and filmmaker Christian Taylor, Vischer now hosts in each episode about 30-35 minutes of very funny but also frequently insightful conversation on news and cultural trends of interest to evangelicals. The next 30-35 minutes is typically a guest interview by Jethani. I’ve become a voracious consumer of this program, mainly for the wit and counter-cultural sanity they represent about stuff going on in the world. Come for their historical analysis and biblical breakdown of evangelical malaise, stay for “News of the Butt.”
The Credo Podcast with Matthew Barrett
This show hosted by Barrett, a colleague of mine at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is associate professor of Christian Theology, features interviews with prominent theologians on all kinds of biblical and doctrinal topics. You have to put your thinking pants on for this show and pay attention, but it is the theological podcast equivalent of a nice steak dinner.
Now to the sermons:
I don’t listen to nearly as much sermon audio as I used to, but here are the two sermon podcasts I return to again and again . . .
Immanuel Church Podcast
Originally featuring founding and former lead pastor Ray Ortlund, Jr., now regularly featuring lead pastor T. J. Tims—and occasionally voices like Sam Allberry and others—I love the preaching coming of out Immanuel Nashville because it is like a direct line of grace. Thick with gospel and rich with pastoral wisdom and love, this is my go-to sermon podcast.
Cutting it Straight with H.B. Charles, Jr.
The sermons of H. B. Charles at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, never fail to bless my socks off. If you’re looking for meat and potatoes exposition coupled with doxological passion, few can rival H. B.