One day Keihla Rivera had an idea to start a podcast where she talked to people about their psychedelic experiences; whether on hallucinogens, through out of body experiences, or unexpected experiences in everyday life. She was interested in where these transcendent experiences come from and what they point to.
One day her friend, Damon Garcia had an idea to start a podcast where he talked about theology through the lens of today's cultural context. He was interested in what is happening in the changing religious landscape.
None of these ideas were ever executed and were put on the back burner.
One day, Damon quit his job in an Evangelical Church and a sense of urgency took over, now that he was able to talk more freely about spiritual matters without the affiliation of a global denomination.
Damon and Keihla reconnected, and Damon got an idea. He realized his idea for a podcast needed a co-host, and maybe if we can combine our ideas, our curiosities, and our experiences we could have a podcast that we can both be passionate about working on together. Keihla was interested.
Damon went home and wrote a sort of vision document to put all these ideas to paper. After showing Keihla she agreed this podcast needed to be made. And so we did it. And here is that document:
According to Pew Research over the last decade there has been a huge decline in belief in God, importance of religion in one’s life, and attendance at religious services. This is something everyone is aware of. Too many books, conferences, and programs have been created in the Evangelical Church with the mission of keeping young people in the Church. The unfortunate thing is they don’t usually want young people in the Church for what young people can bring to the table, but instead they want to use young people as fuel to keep the old thing going. This isn’t working. Young people are leaving the church because it no longer makes sense to them, and yet they are viewed as a result of a growing rejection of God in our society.
Some statistics that people don’t talk about however reveal a much different story. Frequency of feeling wonder and awe about the universe is on the rise. Frequency of feeling spiritual peace and wellbeing is on the rise. Meditation, of course, is on the rise as well. Young people—and just people in general—are starving for something bigger than themselves, and aren’t getting it in the traditional places that were made to encourage and foster their desire for healthy spirituality.
Clayton Crockett defines theology as “open ended discourse about value and meaning in an ultimate sense.” This definition cracks the whole thing wide open. We are all talking about meaning and value in an ultimate sense. Any positive response to the question “Is there a point to all this?” is deeply theological.
Perhaps the apparent rejection of God in today’s world is actually the rejection of an understanding of God strictly for a world that no longer exists. That kind of rejection is to be celebrated as we welcome in what is to come. That is why this podcast exists. We are part of the larger movement that is welcoming a new era of spirituality, a new way of talking about God, and new communities that can embrace and celebrate this new era together. When we stop worrying about our religious tribes’ self-preservation, stop arguing over doctrines, and stop lamenting about the apparent disappearance of God in our secular age then we are able to listen. And when we listen we discover that everyone is talking about God. And everyone has something to teach us about God. And there is nothing to be afraid of.
Everyone is talking about God.
Everyone has something to teach us about God.
Are you listening?