Almost Heretical

Two ex-pastors (Nate Hanson and Tim Ritter) daring to question the so-called orthodoxy of American evangelicalism. Conversations on faith, the Bible, church and more. (Email us:

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    31: Authority over her own damn head (1 Corinthians 11:2-16)

    Part 2 in a series on gender and the Bible. Nate and Tim discuss the first of six key New Testament passages pertaining to gender that have traditionally been used to support male authority. What is Paul really getting at about women covering their heads? Does “the head of the woman is man” really mean men are supposed to be in charge? Who gets authority over women’s bodies? And what in the world do angels have to do with any of this? All this and more as Nate and Tim take a closer look and show how most of us were taught that Paul was saying the exact opposite of what he really meant.

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    30: Jesus ended hierarchy

    Part 1 in a series on Jesus and gender: Nate and Tim discuss some prerequisites to looking at New Testament texts pertaining to gender. Jesus explicitly taught that his disciples were to follow his example and abandon all sense of status, power and hierarchy. This was Christianity 101 to the apostles and early church and therefore any interpretation of the gender passages that today seem so offensive to women must acknowledge this overarching Christian ethic. If Jesus said there weren’t even supposed to be positions of status in the church, and Paul believed every Christian was to lay down their power over others, how could the New Testament possibly “teach” that men are supposed to have authority and women are supposed to submit?

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    29: Let's start talking about gender

    Get ready for some episodes talking about gender. The church has a long history of oppressing and silencing women, and using the Bible and Paul to justify that. We are going to push back on that and show that Paul thought the opposite. Tell your friends, tell you dad, tell your mom.

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    28: Immigration and kidnapping the Bible

    Last week Jeff Sessions used the Bible to justify kidnapping children, separating families, and continuing one of the cruelest immigration policies in US history. We're sickened, so we put out an impromptu episode calling BS on that. Our theology matters because it can lead to death or life. Which will you choose?

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    27: Connecting #churchtoo, Kaepernick and Christian nationalism

    What is the connection between rampant pastoral abuse in evangelical churches and evangelicalism’s collusion with conservative politics? Nate and Tim discuss how American slaveholder religion instilled a reverence for authority that is the root of both these issues. Listen in as they touch on #churchtoo, Colin Kaepernick, protecting the status quo, the notion that we’re all just supposed to be grateful for authorities, and more.

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    26: Jesus and self defense

    Tragically, school shootings happen seemingly every week in America these days, and every time they do a debate breaks out over guns and the right to bear arms. Many believe it’s “a God-given right” to own and use a gun, and many think that Jesus affirmed and even commanded armed self-defense. Others insist that Christianity is inherently pacifist and that following Jesus means giving up one’s right to bear arms. This week Tim finally went out to the shed to record an episode looking at where Jesus really stood on self-defense.

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    25: Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove - Slaveholder Religion

    Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove reflects on the painful reality that much of white American Christianity is more akin to slaveholder religion than the Christianity of Christ. He discusses how to distinguish between the two and shares some of his own journey of reconstructing the gospel.

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    24: Post traumatic history disorder

    Acknowledging the truth of our history can be painful, overwhelming and even traumatic. The history itself is also one of traumatization. Nate and Tim continue the conversation about the tragic truth of American church history by reflecting on last week’s discussion with Mark Charles and more.

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    23: Mark Charles - The truth of our history

    Mark Charles retells the founding of America to expose political, social and spiritual implications. You may need to sit and process for a while after this episode. What if we're remembering Abraham Lincoln and our founding all wrong? What if the systemic issues of our national history are still unresolved today?

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    22: The risk of believing differently

    Is it worth losing the certainty you once had to pursue a better picture of God? What if God becomes harder to believe in? Tim and Nate talk about doing better and deeper theology and how that might make for a harder story to believe.

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