My 2016 Podcast List

According to the latest Google search results I could find, there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 million shark attacks podcast listeners out there in America. I am one of those people that fills their ear holes with digital delights, typically in the tank mini-van on my travels around the region or in an effort to control the chaos of four young ladies by strapping them into their straight-jackets car-seats in the Chrysler as we meander around the Town and Country (get it!).

I’m going to briefly mention too to tew two podcasts that I listen to consistently and then give a shout out to two new comers (one from 2016 and one from last week).

But first, the generic list of podcasts I’m subscribed to (subscription and active listening are not synonymous)…

  • Kingdom Roots with Scot McKnight
  • The Liturgist Podcast
  • Sidedoor (which I was about to delete but then I saw the next episode came out about a group of lesbian feminists create an entirely new culture, religion and society in the 70s, which is just a catchy tagline, right?)
  • Once Verse Podcast / Liberating Scripture from the Shackles of Religion… One Verse at a time (I’m getting tired of the word “religion” always being used negatively, especially in the mid/younger age faith group)
  • This American Life (classic // hoping to pitch a story of mine I’ve been collecting for the past few years to them in 2017)
  • Signposts with Russell Moore
  • Slate’s Culture Gabfest
  • The Butterfly Moth
  • Invisibilia (they might have canned this podcast and put it in the basement with the green beans and pears)
  • Revisionist History (have used stories in sermons from this one)
  • Seminary Dropout (Hit or miss depending on guest)
  • Rethinking Hell (FUDGE!)
  • Quick to Listen
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour (Glen, you are my fav)
  • Radiolab
  • Hipster Christian Q Podcast
  • The Empire Film Podcast

The next two are my weekly blend. They aren’t for everyone, but I’m okay with that. In my older age I’m learning to appreciate my tastes even if they blah-out other people’s brain palette. (It also helps me to feel more elite and superior than others when I’m in a bad place. Just kidding. no I’m not.) They are both “christian” podcasts, but my new-comers are not, so stayed tuned.



The Phil Vischer podcast (with VIDEO) features the veggie-tales creator and author/speaker Skye Jethani along with Christian Taylor and usually a guest of some sort. This podcast is good because it doesn’t take itself too seriously and yet is thoughtful about the Gospel, the Church, and Culture. I actually support this podcast on Patreon ($5? I’m soooooo stingy generous). It has helped to have Skye post some off shoot stuff like The Movie Proposal Podcast and one-offs like Why Are There So Many Celebrity Pastors? I enjoy Skye’s connectivity between theology, culture, and history. He’s also a grump to balance out Phil’s loony tunes; Christian brings some down to earth, honest, practical questions to sometimes more higher shelf theology conversation.

They can go off the topic often and their audio when the guest is through Skype is annoying (drop-outs and EQ issues). But the thing that bugs me the most (yeah, I even nit-pick the things I like) is that the infamous D.J. Martin (friend) once told me in some non-direct way that I am (or would be) Phil Vischer (with a ruffie melatonin in him) on a Podcast. He’s right… goofy, techy, inquiring, slightly annoying when he talks too much. I’d rather think of myself in the Skye realm… but… I’m not.


I worked with the next guy when I lived on the west coast and was a Project Engineer (sounds fancier and more smarts  than it was) at Logos Bible Software (yeah, we made logos for all the bibles out there). Okay… “worked with” is a stretch… we were in the same department… I mean the same building… okay, okay… originally he was in a building three two doors down, but it was the same company.


The Naked Bible Podcast is the theology podcast of Dr. Michael Heiser (who oddly enough is from my hometown, Lebanon, PA). The premise is to look at the Bible stripped of any kind of modern-cultural, creedal, or denominational tampering. It both enlightens the text and also challenges assumptions you didn’t even know you had. It’s nerdy and has scholarly resources as references. The podcast sometimes focuses on Books (in the middle of Ezekiel now) or theological topics (Baptism, Lord’s Supper) or just a general Q and A. I would suggest starting on a Q and A episode. But there was a recent show that talks about when Jesus was probably born, which was great, and even if you know it wasn’t December 25th already, I can almost guarantee you haven’t heard about it this way.

The show is dry (though the “get naked” catch phrase is fun) and Mike seems to have a chip on his shoulder about the local church that makes me roll my eyes (not that he’s wrong, but just his posture of speech about it constantly) and because he’s very smart can come off as a jerk at times, plus he harps on his soap box of divine counsel worldview all the time (which, granted most Christians don’t even have the thought in their wheel house). But all those things are really minor and have come to really appreciated him and his podcast (even though my wife makes a fake farting snoring noise most times I have it on in the house.)

So…. honorable mentions… kind of…


Last year I also discovered Lore which tells weird, odd, mythical, urban legend stories and interweaves it with some history and psychology at times. It’s a minimalistic podcast with just a voice and some chill Jason Norman Bates music in the back ground, but it’s freaky enough to keep attention.


Lastly… Heavyweight with Jonathan Goldstein of TAL reference. I listened to the Jeremy episode last week about Jonathan being younger and thinking about becoming a matador Rabbi but then it not turning out that way. It was funny and sad and “wrong” and a great story. Jonathan reminds me of a straight, sedated, David Sedaris in his tone.

How about yew you (all 20 of you that read this)? What were some of your favorite podcasts last year and why? What are some new ones on your list?

4 thoughts on “My 2016 Podcast List

  1. Infamous…

    Phil Vischer and Seminary Dropout were my mainstays in the car this year. I occasionally listened to Rethinking Hell, Hipster Christian (lols), and The Liturgists. I’ve had three classes taught by Heiser and need a little break from him before jumping into his podcast (he is super smart).

    I washed dishes all year to the classics – Radiolab and TAL.

    Great post!

  2. Sad about Invisibilia. I wasn’t a super-avid listener, but enjoyed it. (Maybe I’m part of the problem…?)

    My overall podcast consumption has been less of late, but I can say that, in addition to a steady dose of TAL and Radiolab (obvs), I listened most regularly to The Liturgists and Ask Science Mike (get over it). I also dug Serial season 2 (even though post people poo-pooed it), Revisionist History, and More Perfect (by Radiolab).

    I had a brief stint with Spontaneanation, which is absolutely laugh-out-loud-’til-you-cry-or-pee-yourself funny, but Steff doesn’t like it as much as I do, and we typically listen to podcasts together, so… #husbandproblems

    P.S. Justin, you might like Alice Isn’t Dead. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s a first-person fictional story broken into 10 “chapters,” made by the people who do Welcome to Night Vale. Pretty interesting.

    • it would be funny to have a podcast called “Get Over It”
      or a meta podcast called: The Podcast Podcast where you interview other people who do podcasts.

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