There are a lot of problematic ideas animating American Christianity today. The false hopes stirred by the prosperity gospel linger. White supremacist and patriarchal readings of scripture continue to deny the Image of God and equal humanity inherent in each person, while contributing to the perpetuation of unjust social structures. The White Nationalism that helped inspire the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol can be heard from many pulpits on Sunday mornings.
To confront and undermine these and other diabolical teachings, Word&Way is launching a new podcast called Dangerous Dogma. Each episode features an interview with a leading Christian thinker or activist that focuses on the perils of certain doctrines. And the conversations look at alternative lessons from Jesus and scripture that challenge listeners to think and live more faithfully.
The podcast is targeted to those who know that there’s a lot of things wrong with the contemporary Christian witness in America and are hungry for a different way of believing and witnessing to the good news found in Jesus Christ.
Dangerous Dogma is hosted and produced by Word&Way’s Editor-in-Chief, the Rev. Dr. Brian Kaylor. He is also the host and producer of Baptist Without an Adjective, a podcast focused on Baptist life that has won multiple awards from industry groups, including being named the top overall show by the Associated Church Press and Baptist Communicators Association.
“Christianity, especially in the United States, finds itself tossed to and fro by dangerous waves that distort the teachings of the Bible and our mission to love our neighbors. These teachings must be challenged,” Kaylor said in describing his hopes for the podcast. “But as we unpack the heresies, we also find that the teachings of Jesus, when taken seriously, lead us to radical and even dangerous ways of living out of faith in our culture today.”
The first episode, released today (June 1), features the anti-apartheid activist and liberation theologian, Allan Boesak. In the interview, Kaylor and Boesak talk about the heresies of apartheid, the threats of global inequality and authoritarianism, the dangers of empire under recent U.S. presidents, and the need to read and preach the Bible in anti-imperial ways.
“I would suggest that White American Christians can no longer read the Bible by themselves,” Boesak said in the episode. “They must call in the brothers and the sisters from the suffering communities, whether they are African American or whether they are Latinos or whether they are illegals or are whatever it is that you call them. Those people read the Bible with different eyes in a way that those with privilege and status and power and wealth can never read the Bible.”
Additional episodes will be released every Tuesday morning, with a few bonus episodes in the early weeks. Upcoming guests include Lindsey Krinks, the Nashville street chaplain and housing advocate, the scholar Kristin Du Mez, the Navajo writer and activist Mark Charles, Baptist Joint Committee head Amanda Tyler, and the theologian J. Todd Billings.