Top 10 Summer Podcasts

I could kiss the inventor of podcasts. Thanks to podcasts, my time spent on mundane, hands-on tasks is enlivened with intellectual stimulation, redeemed through challenging teaching, and encouraged with jokes and laughter. And let’s get to the bottom line: books are great, but podcasts are FREE! Here are my top 10 podcasts you should listen to on your next vacation car trip. Ask Pastor John

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It’s only fitting to begin a list of podcasts with John Piper, or JP as my friend likes to call him. With almost daily episodes, and hundreds in the archives, John Piper addresses listener-asked questions on a wide variety of issues such as “Should Christians be Patriotic?,” “Spanking is Illegal in My Country – Now What?,” and “How do I Delight Myself in the Trinity?” Each episode is about 10 minutes long, but packed with Piper’s fatherly, godly wisdom.

The Briefing

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I, admittedly, am a news junkie. In “The Briefing,” Al Mohler provides “a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.” These daily, 20-minute episodes focus on two to three newsworthy events and how Christians should respond. This podcast is currently on a break, but go ahead and subscribe, so you can sound knowledgeable about current events when it starts again in August.

Honorable mentions:

The World and Everything in It – a daily, 30-minute news broadcast from World Magazine.

The Happy Rant

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This podcast, hosted by Barnabas Piper, Ted Kluck, and Ronnie Martin, accomplishes the title beautifully by happily ranting about random things. As they interact around their opinions, I mentally interject my own. And they make me laugh, ending every episode with the same sign-off, “Rachel the Held Evans.”

Honorable Mention: 5 Leadership Questions – Also hosted by Barnabas Piper and includes interviews with men and women in leadership in which they answer 5 questions on… you guessed it, leadership.

The Village Church Show

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Hosted by Matt Chandler and Josh Patterson, this podcast examines ministry, theology, and culture and often features special guests like Gloria Furman, Tim Keller, and Jen Wilkin. Episodes last about 30 minutes and air twice a month.

The Mortification of Spin

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It’s always encouraging to me to see sharp women interacting with sharp men around challenges the Church faces and what counts in the Christian life. Aimee Byrd, Carl Trueman, and Todd Pruitt thoughtfully and humorously converse around these issues in this weekly podcast.

Focus on the Family

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FOTF provides a wealth of podcasts, from their Daily Radio Broadcast to ones specifically on marriage and parenting. They also produce “The Official Adventures in Odyssey” podcast, which gives behind-the-scenes information on AiO. This really is a podcast the whole family can enjoy! I recently enjoyed hearing Tim and Kathy Keller interviewed in an episode on their book, The Meaning of Marriage.

Honorable Mention: At Home with Sally – 30 minute, weekly episodes hosted by Sally Clarkson and Kristen Kill on biblical womanhood in real life.

The Gospel Coalition

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Like the organization’s overall vision, this podcast includes pastors and leaders from across denominational, ethnic, and class lines interacting around issues in our culture and how the gospel informs the Church’s response. From topics on “How to Grow a Gospel Culture in Your Church” to “You are Not Your Sexuality,” to sermons by Don Carson and David Platt, these episodes encourage and challenge.

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

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Being a woman, I do love to listen to podcasts by women, for women. This one is new to me, but I’ve enjoyed the conversations and feel like I’m sitting in a room with friends as I listen. Each week, Jamie invites a different co-host, like Jen Hatmaker or Lauren Chandler, to chat about marriage, faith, children, parenting, grief, joy, justice, books, and more, in no particular order.

Serial

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Y’all. This podcast got me addicted to the world of podcasts. Like the best crime drama on Netflix, but can be carted around with you in the car, washing dishes, exercising at the gym, this story will have you hooked. In each season, Sarah Koenig tells a true story week-by-week, leading you deeper into the plot and lives of the characters. Trigger Alert: This is not a Christian podcast and there IS unfortunate language and heavy crime-drama-ish accounts.

Honorable Mention: This American Life – creators of “Serial” who create shows around interesting topics like “Choosing Wrong – Stories of people who make the wrong choice even though the right one is staring them in the face.” Same Trigger Alert as above applies.

Freakonomics Radio

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Like the book, each episode listens-in on conversations that explore “the secret side of everything.” This weekly podcast will leave you seeing everything in a new light.

Honorable Mention: Stuff You Should Know – Hosts explore what you should know about everything from The Gettysburg Address to why disembodied feet are washing ashore in British Columbia.

With this list, you have no excuse to get started. No time? Redeem that time in the car on the way to work or while you mop the floors. (Although, I’m not sure I can reference listening to “Serial” as “redeeming the time.) No money? No worries, they’re free! So throw out your excuses, start listening, and let me know your favorites to add to my list!