Absurdity with Ryan Becker

Absurdity with Ryan Becker

theabsurdity.org
Exploring the absurd in faith, culture, and society, seeking to navigate what it means to be a Christian.


A138 First Amendment Law with Josef Ghosn
Jun 18 • 63 min
This week Ryan brings on Josef Ghosn, a First Amendment lawyer in NYC who Ryan happened to grow up alongside! They talk all things First Amendment law, social media, and what things Americans should really be concerned about regarding free speech. Ryan’s…
A137 Racism and Individual Exceptionalism
Jun 1 • 75 min
Tony and Ryan dive into the Amy Cooper situation and the George Floyd case from last week. How does individual exceptionalism and moral superiority perpetuate not just racism, but hatred of all types? What can you do about it? Ryan’s Youtube:…
A136.5 Plans for Absurdity
May 31 • 23 min
Tony and Ryan open up about what led to the decision to take a break and they give you the scoop on what the future of Absurdity will look like. Ryan’s Youtube: https://bit.ly/2XQrnAq Absurdity is a proud member of the Absurd Podcast Network:…
A136 Re: Ahmaud Arbery
May 18 • 86 min
Ryan and Tony return from the break for one special episode regarding the tragedy of Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting and what the battle against racism looks like for those who have the opportunity to make a positive difference and impact the lives of…
A135 What Will the New Church Be?
Apr 20 • 73 min
Matt and Ryan talk a little about burnout and Ryan announces some important changes for Absurdity, and then they discuss some terrible experiences people have had with church and what they hope for the church moving forward.…
A134 Adapting Church Life
Apr 6 • 67 min
With everything going on disrupting the normal flow of church life, Matt and Ryan discuss the different ways churches have been adapting, which ones they prefer or dislike, and what this all means for the church after this is all behind us. Click here to…
A133 The Uncounted Cost
Mar 31 • 62 min
This wave of social distancing and quarantine in response to COVID-19 will have some unintended consequences and side-effects. That doesn’t make it a bad thing, but it does mean we need to be aware of the risks we take by voluntary or compulsory…
A132 What Should the Church Be Doing Right Now?
Mar 23 • 67 min
Coronavirus is dangerous, meetings are cancelled, so what can and should the church be doing right now? Matthew Lucio of the Adventist History Podcast and the Peoria Adventists YouTube channel joins Ryan as the new cohost! They talk various ways churches…
A131 Privilege and the Coronavirus
Mar 16 • 36 min
Today is a throwback episode as Ryan flies solo once again! Tony is taking a break for a bit, so Ryan takes the helm. What do privilege and the coronavirus have to do with each other? What does this mean for us, and how can we utilize this moment to be…
A130 Faith Can Be Beautiful
Mar 11 • 84 min
Henry Johnson saves the day! Originally, we weren’t going to have an episode this week because of difficult schedules last week between Tony and myself, but Henry swooped in this week and we were able to put something together for you! Absurdity is a…
A129 Black History Month
Mar 3 • 68 min
Yes, we know we are late, but it doesn’t make the subject matter any less important! Don’t let Ryan’s poor scheduling and calendar awareness keep you from an important conversation on racism and how we can keep improving in how we treat one another.…
A128 Anti-Immigration Attitudes and Missionary Work
Feb 24 • 69 min
What do Christians with anti-immigration mindsets and beliefs have to do with missionary work? A surprising amount, to be honest. Tony and Ryan talk this week about how Western missionary culture actually perpetuates anti-immigration attitudes and beliefs…
A127 Does Servant Leadership Matter?
Feb 17 • 70 min
Ryan and Tony talk about Servant Leadership and what its role in current society is. Given the recent behavior of Trump and other leaders, what is servant leadership and why does it matter? It turns out, it matters a lot. Absurdity is a proud member of…
A126 Sexism, Immorality, and a Superb Owl
Feb 10 • 71 min
Tony and Ryan talk the Super Bowl, immorality, and why the half time show wasn’t as problematic and immoral as people are making it out to be. Maybe, just maybe, there are worse things around sporting events like the Super Bowl that we should be paying…
A125 Conflict Resolution - Fight with Honor
Feb 3 • 71 min
What a weird 3-parter this has been! But, we’ve talked apologies and forgiveness, so now it’s time to talk about the conflicts themselves and why resolution is so important. We talk myths and misunderstandings, abuses in conflict resolution, and more!…
A124 Making Forgiveness Count
Jan 27 • 65 min
Last week, we talked apologies. This week, we talk about the counterpart of apologies: Forgiveness. What does it look like to actually forgive someone? Do you have to forgive someone when you accept their apology? What if you can’t bring yourself to…
A123 Making Apologies Count
Jan 20 • 79 min
One of the most tragic things in conflict is when someone uses an apology to manipulate or cause further pain to the person they have already offended. Tony and Ryan jump into what makes inappropriate apologies, well, inappropriate. What does it look like…
A122 Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Positivity
Jan 13 • 73 min
Maybe you grew up like we did, and maybe your family or people in your church struggled with movies and books like Harry Potter, Star Wars, and other “secular” media. We wonder if that’s really the best practice. What is the value of those stories…
A121 Embracing the Tension
Jan 6 • 65 min
Bryant Rodriguez, a campus pastor at Crosswalk Chattanooga and social media guru at McKee Foods, joins Ryan to talk about living in the tension between where you are and where you want to be. They dive into the confusion and the pain that causes as well…
A120 A Clash of Politics and Religion
Dec 30, 2019 • 67 min
For our last episode of 2019, Ryan and Tony dive into the wonderful mess that is the overlap of politics and religion! Recently, ChristianityToday has started a bit of a controversy with it’s stance on President Trump’s impeachment and how he has harmed…
A119 Shining a Light on Sexual Assault
Dec 23, 2019 • 69 min
Two weeks ago, Shantel Smith shared a status on her Facebook detailing unwanted sexual advances as well as verbal assault and a physical altercation with a soon-to-be pastor. This status encouraged over 100 women to come forward to her sharing their…
A118 Solving Nobody’s Problems
Dec 17, 2019 • 65 min
When was the last time a sermon on prophecy fixed someone’s overdue bills or helped solve someone’s medical crisis? This episode, Tony and Ryan deal with one big issue: churches are often focused on solving problems that are disconnect from the social and…
A117 LGBTQ+ People in the Church with Nicole Hwang
Dec 9, 2019 • 65 min
Nicole is a second-year med student currently attending school in California. Born and raised in a very conservative home and church, she never expected to be who she is today. Now, she embraces herself and all that has come with it. Nicole and Ryan…
A116 Loving an Addict
Dec 2, 2019 • 92 min
Tony and Ryan dive into the realities and difficulties of loving someone wrestling with addiction, even if that person won’t accept help or admit there is a problem. We recognize there is so much more that can be said about this topic. We also want to…
A115 Sustainable Creativity in the Church with Kevin Christenson
Nov 25, 2019 • 85 min
This week, Kevin Christenson joins Ryan to talk about creative projects and how the church could look to invest for a more direct return on that investment in young adults, their passion projects, and more. They talk about this mainly through the lens of…
A114 Modesty Culture Part 2: Story Time
Nov 18, 2019 • 72 min
A listener called in recently wanting to share her stories of experiencing some of the negative parts of body shaming and modesty culture, but she didn’t feel comfortable being on the podcast. Tony and Ryan do our best to retell her stories and provide…
A113 Good Grief! (and Loss)
Nov 11, 2019 • 73 min
We can’t believe we’ve gone this long without actually talking about this subject, but there’s no time like the present. Tony and Ryan dive into grief and loss as Ryan returns from his grandfather’s funeral. What is grief and how does it work? How can…
A112 Anti-racism Made Practical with Andre Henry
Nov 4, 2019 • 69 min
Remember our Relevant episode, 107? Well, we are back to tackle the next level of that conversation with Andre Henry, the former Managing Editor at Relevant Magazine who wrote the Medium article exposing the toxic culture at Relevant. Andre talks with…
A111 Part 2: So What Now? with Matthew Lucio
Oct 28, 2019 • 78 min
Matthew Lucio, host of Adventist History Podcast and the upcoming Adventists are Weird podcast, sits down with Ryan to talk Annual Council and the practical steps Adventists from all walks of life can engage with the system in order to create the changes…
A111 Part 1: 2019 Annual Council Reactions
Oct 28, 2019 • 79 min
This week we have a two-parter! For part 1, Tony and Ryan recap Annual Council and give their reactions and analysis of the major conversations and votes that took place. We talk Gossip Juice, the abortion statement, the discipline votes, and more.…
A110 Hong Kong and the Privilege of Optional Protest
Oct 21, 2019 • 76 min
We catch you up to speed on the Hong Kong protests, just how serious the situation there is, and how that compares to our experience as Americans regarding protests and rallies that happen around the country. When protesting seems optional to us, how…
A109 SNL, Cancel Culture, and the Harmless Torturer
Oct 14, 2019 • 72 min
In this episode, we talk about Shane Gillis’ recent hiring and immediate firing from SNL. Does a like or a retweet on Twitter pose an actual danger in the real world? Links: Shane Gillis Shane’s Racist Comments The Case of the Harmless Torturer To support…
A108 Shining a Light on Spiritual Abuse with Aaron Mumu
Oct 7, 2019 • 78 min
Aaron Mumu joins Ryan for a conversation on the more secretive realities of outreach schools like SOULS-West, sharing from his personal experience with a school similar to it, SOULS-Northwest. They discuss the good and bad that exists within the culture…
A107 Invited, but not Welcomed
Sep 30, 2019 • 70 min
We jump into the recent viral news regarding the internal culture at RELEVANT Magazine and the toxic behavior and racist attitudes that have existed within it that were perpetuated by the founder and CEO, Cameron Strang. We discuss Former editors’ Andre…
A106 #OUMeToo
Sep 23, 2019 • 69 min
Tony and Ryan address the recent sexual assault controversy at Oakwood University, address their own personal feelings about the topic, and also discuss their own failures and inappropriate behavior. We are also donating 25% of all proceeds given to…
A105 When is a Public Apology Good Enough?
Sep 21, 2019 • 71 min
When is a public apology good enough, and how do we begin to identify and fix blind spots in our beliefs? With the Mississippi wedding venue news that’s been circulating on social media, we had the perfect opportunity to deep dive into both of these…
A104 Faith Comes with Accountability
Sep 9, 2019 • 67 min
This week we dive into two surprisingly related topics we’ve encountered a lot recently: The differences of God between the Old and New Testaments and the movement of “Jesus>Religion.” Rather than specifically provide an answer for these things, we…
A103 The Mass Shootings Conversation
Sep 2, 2019 • 77 min
Tony and Ryan jump right into the conversation mass shootings after the tragic shootings in Dayton and El Paso. They discuss the conversation itself, how it’s happening, and how that is both good and bad. They also try to provide some suggestions for how…
A102 When Leaders Leave Faith
Aug 26, 2019 • 70 min
This week we dive into Josh Harris and Marty Sampson announcing their departure from Christianity as well as John Cooper’s (Skillet) response. We dive into the specific claims and arguments made, their validity, and how we personally feel in the whole…
A101 Rediscovering Faith with Matt Mendez
Aug 19, 2019 • 71 min
Today, Matt Mendez, Ryan’s childhood friend, joins Ryan to talk about his journey with faith. They dive into childhood, what leaving faith was like, and now his recent return to faith. It’s a story that’s still being written, and we are privileged to hear…
A100 Regional Conference Reality with Evan Willis
Aug 11, 2019 • 72 min
WE MADE IT TO 100! We thought about doing something different for this episode, but we wanted to give you the content that brought us here and that you listen for. We’ve brought on Evan Willis, a regional conference pastor in Charlotte, NC, to school us…
A99 Church Actions vs. Church Values
Aug 5, 2019 • 75 min
We are one away from episode 100! This week, we dive into what the Church says it values vs. what the Church’s actions indicate it values. Do these two things line up? If they don’t, how do we change that, and if they do, how do we keep it that way? Music…
A98 Body Shaming and Modesty Culture
Jul 29, 2019 • 63 min
We talk about the Swansboro Methodist Church of an older church leader confronting a young worship leader about her style of dress that escalates to swearing and resulted in a viral video. From there, we dive into modesty culture and the issues around…
A97 Avoiding Sin at All Costs
Jul 22, 2019 • 77 min
This week, we talk about the temptation to put up such strong boundaries to keep ourselves from sinning, that we often lose sight of the “abundant life” Jesus claimed we would have. We talk about a cohabitation motion from the 2015 General Conference…
A96 Can Christianity Peacefully Coexist? with Stephen Hall
Jul 15, 2019 • 89 min
This is the last week of our Wakonda Recordings! Tony came to visit for the weekend, so he, Stephen, and I sat down for a conversation on Christianity’s historical impact on the world around it. Christianity, throughout history, has seemed like it’s never…
A95 Antisemistism and How Prejudice Drives Theology with Zack Payne
Jul 8, 2019 • 81 min
The Wakonda Recordings part 3! Zack Payne, a pastor in Wisconsin, joins Stephen Hall and me to discuss the true motivations and historical reasons the Sabbath was changed, the rampant antisemitism in Christianity’s history, how prejudice is currently…
A94 Abuse Mentality with Sarah McDugal
Jul 1, 2019 • 83 min
The Wakonda Recordings continue! Sarah McDugal, an abuse survivor herself, shares the stories of abuse victims she has spoken with, we talk about the myths around forgiveness and reconciliation in regards to abuse, and we address the oft-cited “Matthew 18…
A93 Fighting Sexual Abuse in the Church with Jennifer Jill Schwirzer
Jun 24, 2019 • 64 min
A long-awaited guest joins us this week thanks to a serendipitous meeting in Wisconsin! Jennifer Jill Schwirzer is a licensed counselor and someone who has seen firsthand the damage that sexual abuse and assault causes. She works with an organization…
A92 Can We Trust Independent Ministries
Jun 17, 2019 • 73 min
We dive into the world of Independent Ministries! These are ministries not officially run by the denomination itself, but run alongside them. We talk about what they are, their pros and cons, their role in the church and in influencing church culture, and…
A91 19th Century Framework in a 21st Century World
Jun 10, 2019 • 67 min
Missiology is defined as “the study of religious (typically Christian) missions and their methods and purposes.” We talk about Adventism’s mission and methods and discuss what we wish Adventism would update in its rhetoric, function, form, and beliefs.…
A90 Intergenerational Mentorship with Rick Anderson, Jr.
Jun 3, 2019 • 66 min
Today, my good friend and my boss, Rick Anderson, Jr., joins me to talk about being a mentee and being a mentor. We share our perspectives, experiences, and how we respond when we have negative experiences with it. Check out The Scratch here! Check out…
A89 Conspiracies
May 27, 2019 • 75 min
This week we dive into conspiracies. What is the motivation for them, why do people buy into them so much, and what do we do about? Also a new promise to you: We know ads can be annoying, so we have extended our recording time to compensate for any…
A88 The Christian Persecution Complex
May 20, 2019 • 70 min
We talk about Steven Anderson’s recent ban from Ireland (among other countries) and how Christians tend to respond to things like this happening. How should we respond when we face resistance, and is resistance and having detractors really evidence that…
A87 The Scratch, Faith, and Creativity with Kevin Christenson
May 13, 2019 • 85 min
Kevin Christenson joins us today to talk about the history of his and Ryan’s new project: The Scratch! The Scratch is a weekly SDA news agregator that is designed to condense macro-level SDA news down into one single article that will only take a few…
A86 The Way We Do Church
May 6, 2019 • 74 min
We spend the first ten minutes of today giving Ryan’s final ADHD update and saying farewell to an amazing woman of God, theologian, and human being—Rachel Held Evans. She passed away May 4 and the Christian world will absolutely miss her voice of love,…
A85 Preachers, Sneakers, and Kanye
Apr 29, 2019 • 70 min
We dive into Kanye’s new Sunday Service, the preachersnsneakers instagram account, and the lack of accountability that ministry leaders have with their people. What is church and does Kanye’s new movement count? What is appropriate for a pastor to buy or…
A84 Embracing Your Identity with Ev Milliner
Apr 22, 2019 • 76 min
Ev Milliner, a student at Andrews University, joins us to talk about her journey of embracing who she is, breaking out of her shell, and becoming an outspoken advocate for those around her. We talk about everything from race to sex today, so get ready to…
A83 Is a Church Really Necessary?
Apr 15, 2019 • 65 min
Today we dive into church’s transgorming how they function so they can make enough money to stay open. We question if it’s even worth trying to stay open and our experience with it all.…
A82 Denomination Battle Lines
Apr 8, 2019 • 63 min
Denominations! What is their value in today’s culture, if they hold any value at all? How do we relate to people and were denominations always an inevitable reality of Christianity? Tony and I deep dive into denominations while also exploring why we…
A81 The Beauty in Genres with Max Aka of KOZEN
Apr 1, 2019 • 73 min
Max Aka joins us for today’s Absurdity to talk about his band, KOZEN, and to discuss hardcore, metal, jazz, and everything in-between. Max is a seminary student at Andrews graduating in May 2019. He is a brilliant mind and doing some amazing things…
A80 A Hopeful Future with Kaleb Eisele
Mar 25, 2019 • 76 min
This week is a bit different! Ryan opens up about the last three weeks with his mental health dilemma and Tony interviews Kaleb Eisele to see what he’s been up to over the last year and how his experiences have impacted his view of the church. Interview…
A79 Muslims, Christchurch, and Responding to Hatred
Mar 18, 2019 • 72 min
Tony and Ryan deep dive not just into the Christchurch shooting, but into the very attitudes that led to this shooting, what role our individual actions and words play into this reality, and what perspectives exist in a post-9/11 society that has only…
A78 Ryan’s Confession and Ageism in the Faith Community
Mar 11, 2019 • 69 min
Ryan makes a rather large admission here and we dive into the problem of ageism in faith. This is specifically tied to assuming the relevance or capability of a person to contribute to the church based on their age. It’s a surprisingly easy trap for…
A77 Let’s Play Taboos
Mar 4, 2019 • 79 min
You asked for it, we brought it. It’s time to go through the taboos! Tony and I talk about everything from tattoos to swearing and let you know our honest thoughts on these topics. It’s important to remember this isn’t a Bible Study. We aren’t out here…
A76 Denominational Superiority
Feb 25, 2019 • 65 min
We all want to belong to the group that we think has things the “most correct.” What happens when we start believing that our correctness actually makes us superior to those outside our group, tribe, or community? How do we combat denominational…
A75 Embracing Creativity in Christianity
Feb 18, 2019 • 71 min
Tony and I deep dive into creativity in Christianity, innovation, and how artists and creatives are treated and valued within the institution. If we are made in God’s image, and we first meet God as the Creator, what does that mean for us? Check out our…
A74 Defining Discipleship with Luke Steen
Feb 11, 2019 • 72 min
Luke Steen has joined us before way back near the beginning to talk about Nonviolent Peacemaking. He’s currently the Associate Pastor at Marietta Adventist Church in Atlanta, GA. On this episode, we dive into practical discipleship, defining poor…
A73 Some Testimonies are Better than Others
Feb 4, 2019 • 67 min
Tony and I do a deep dive on Testimony Culture in the Church. Are there testimonies that are better than others? What even is a proper testimony? Do we glorify poor decisions, radical danger, and extreme situations? Or do we glorify the God that brings us…
A72 Clapbacks, Gillette, and Threatened Masculinity
Jan 28, 2019 • 65 min
This week, Tony and I talk about Gillette’s new advertisement targeting toxic masculinity and calling men to be better and behave better. Not only that but for the first half of the episode we dive into a piece of church news that you may not hear…
A71 Grief, Pain, and Identity with Stephanie Johnson and James Johnson
Jan 21, 2019 • 67 min
We get personal this week. Two of my first-ever mentors, Stephanie Johnson and her son, James, join me at Prayer Conference in High Springs, FL as we talk about some of the events revolving around my year of intense grief and loss, we talk about bullying,…
A70 Projection, Denial, and Self-Defense
Jan 14, 2019 • 72 min
This week we do a deep dive on projection. It’s not just done in friendships and relationships, it’s done on a systemic level. We do it for policy, we do it against ethnic and social groups, we enfore laws based on projections. Why do people project,…
A69 Can Pastors Question Their Faith?
Jan 7, 2019 • 69 min
Happy New Year! This episode we bring some cool Patreon announcements for 2019, and Tony and I discuss what the current church atmosphere is for pastors who go through a crisis of faith and have to ask difficult questions. As people in ministry, this is…
A68 The Music Conversation You Never Heard with Henry Johnson
Dec 31, 2018 • 77 min
We made it through 2018! Thank you for your support this year! For our final episode, Henry Johnson joins us once again to talk about the biblical and historical treatment of music in Christianity. Perhaps we have approached the “Worship War” all wrong…
A67 Absurdistack Christmas Special Part 2!
Dec 25, 2018 • 42 min
STOP! If you haven’t listened to Part 1 on Burn The Haystack’s podcast, you won’t know what’s going on! This Christmas, Absurdity and Burn the Haystack have partnered to create a 2-part Christmas special. We talk gifts, tradition, and experiences each of…
A66 I Don’t Like Church with Lauren Brooks
Dec 17, 2018 • 83 min
A good friend of ours, Lauren Brooks, joins us to talk about a recent post she made on her blog about church. We dive into current church culture and community and we try to answer the question: Is it better to sit disengaged in the service or not to…
A65 Avoiding Dirty Texts
Dec 10, 2018 • 66 min
If you think this is about phones, sorry to disappoint! This episode, we dive in to ways pastors are avoiding talking about the “dirty texts” of Sciptures and why it’s a dangerous and harmful trap to fall into. It turns out, in the same way you can miss…
A64 Unity Video with Jose Briones
Dec 3, 2018 • 75 min
We are sure you’ve seen the Unity video, so Jose, Tony, and I talk about the video, how it was made, and all the issues we have with it. what a more fitting time to talkabout this video than after our Adventist Revolution episode, which the Unity video is…
A63 An Adventist Revolution?
Nov 26, 2018 • 63 min
Tony and I talk about Michael Polite’s recent call to arms for Adventists in North America to recommit themselves to local mission, re-engage with what’s happening in the church, and stand up to institutional injustice. We share a breakdown of all the…
BONUS EPISODE A Movement Toward Awakening with Ryan Hodgins
Nov 21, 2018 • 39 min
Pastor Ryan Hodgins joins me to talk about youg adult ministry, his journey as a pastor, and a new Young Adult initiative happening in Charlotte, NC. We address the rumors regarding Awaken happening near the same time as GYC, talk about Awaken’s goals,…
A62 Mental Health, Counseling, and Stigmas
Nov 19, 2018 • 70 min
Tony and I share some of our own counseling experiences, fears, and perspectives on the stigmas of counseling. We delve into some of our own struggles and battles we face, and we hope this episode can be an encouragement for you to find someone to talk to…
A61 The NAD Strikes Back and Dan Jackson’s Had Enough
Nov 12, 2018 • 70 min
The North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists met in early November to discuss Division matters in general, but also to figure out how to respond to the recent Annual Council issues. If you want to know about those, head back to A57 and A58 to…
A60 Church Hospitality
Nov 5, 2018 • 70 min
Tony and I talk about church hospitality, our beef with greeting and how we integrate guests into church life, and ways we believe things can be improved. Check out Awaken Conference in Charlotte, NC: awakennc.com Check out our sponsors for this episode:…
A59 Pittsburgh, Mission, and How Actions Matter
Oct 29, 2018 • 70 min
Tony and I talk about the World Series, Ted Wilson’s response to Regional Conference President criticisms, a new young adult conference coming to Charlotte. At about 10 minutes, we dive in to the real meat of this episode as we discuss the Synagogue…
A58 Annual Council, Compliance, and Unity Part 2 Reaction
Oct 22, 2018 • 67 min
Tony and I are back with part 2 of our series on 2018 Fall Annual Council. This is an Adventist-focused episode, so sorry to my listeners from other faith traditions! If you haven’t been following what’s happening at Annual Council, go back and listen to…
A57 Annual Council, Compliance, and Unity Part 1
Oct 15, 2018 • 80 min
Tony and I give an explanation for what was being discussed on Sunday, October 14. This does not contain our reaction to the actual vote itself, as this episode was recorded prior to the vote. But if you want to understand exactly what is going on and…
A56 Institutional Branding and Identity
Oct 8, 2018 • 64 min
Tony and I talk about branding and identity today. Not just individually, or as a whole church, but as local congregations as well. We also talk about the new SDA logo and the implications of some push to integrate it into the local church context. Click…
A55 How Do We Find Our Calling
Oct 1, 2018 • 67 min
Tony and I talk about calling. After moving states and changing jobs, I’ve been thinking a lot about calling, how it works, and how we find our own. We hope this conversation is valuable for you on your own journey to discover your purpose. Check out our…
A54 …So About Nike
Sep 17, 2018 • 73 min
Tony and I talk about the new Kaepernick ad from Nike that has everyone in an uproar. We talk about the business motivations behind the decision, the impact of it, the response to it, and what it means for us. Check out our sponsors for this episode:…
A53 Balancing Religious Sides with Ross Knight
Sep 10, 2018 • 71 min
Can religious conservatives and liberals get along? Can they find common ground and unity within the Church and figure out how to work together? Pastor Ross Knight joins me to talk about this and more as we share our own experiences and dream about a…
A52 Burning Haystacks in New Zealand
Sep 3, 2018 • 67 min
Josh Stothers and Jesse Herford from the Burn the Haystack podcast to talk about the differences in Adventism from America and New Zealand, then we talk about ministry, leading churches at the beginning of our careers, and setting boundaries as leaders. I…
A51 Christian Celebrity Culture
Aug 27, 2018 • 70 min
Tony and I talk about Christian Celebrity culture, the current reality of it, what has created it, and what we can, should, and shouldn’t do about it. Check out our sponsor: www.thehaystack.org Music by Justin Janetzko Twitter: @ryan180becker,…
A50 Christianity and Nerd Culture
Aug 20, 2018 • 71 min
We did it! We made it to 50 episodes! Thank you guys so much for being on this journey with me. Tony and I talk about nerd culture and talk a lot about how nerd culture has impacted our lives, what it is, and why it’s not such a bad thing in regards to…
A49 Church Discipline and Restoration
Aug 13, 2018 • 69 min
Tony and I chat about Church Discipline, what its purpose is, why it’s done certain ways, and howe we believe it can be improved. Church Discipline is a hard topic, and no one likes being on either end of it, so how can we make it a more redemptive…
A48 Building Healthy Community
Aug 6, 2018 • 74 min
What are the hallmarks of an unhealthy community and a healthy one? How do we build a healthy community from unhealthiness and what will it cost us? Music by Justin Janetzko Twitter: @ryan180becker, @tony_anobile Facebook: facebook.com/Absurditypodcast/…
A47 Pride and Why I’m Awesome
Jul 30, 2018 • 67 min
Pride. A less-talked about sin that plagues churches and people everywhere. Tony and I talk about the difference between pride and arrogance, why pride is so hard to identify, and how it impacts our friendships and relationships. Music by Justin Janetzko…
A46 A Few of Our Favorite Things
Jul 23, 2018 • 73 min
Tony and I battle morning voice and hay fever to talk about some of our favorite things about Adventism and being Adventist. We often discuss things we don’t like that are happening and we wanted to highlight some of the awesome things that we experience…
A45 Mental Illness and Suicide
Jul 16, 2018 • 80 min
WARNING: This episode talks a lot about mental illness and suicide. If you are struggling with either of these, we encourage you to get help ASAP! Tony and I talk about mental illness, some of the ways it has impacted our lives, and the negative stigmas…
A44 Immigration is Controversial
Jul 9, 2018 • 70 min
Let’s talk immigration. Is it talked about in the Bible? Do we have any obligation as Christians to talk about this issue on a policy level? Is it ethical? Tony and I attempt to answer these questions and share our own opinions on how we should regard and…
A43 Putting ‘Fun’ in the Fundamentals with TJ Sands
Jul 2, 2018 • 71 min
Adventism has 28 Fundamental Beliefs with a famous preamble setting them apart from creeds. While they explain what Adventists believe, how many does one need to believe in order to be considered an Adventist? Beyond that, how have they been misused,…
A42 Sexism and Advocacy with Anna Bennett
Jun 24, 2018 • 85 min
Anna Bennett joins Tony and myself to talk about Sexism in the church, specifically how we experience it in the Adventist denomination. We also talk about how men can advocate for equality in ministry and can empower their female colleagues in ministry.…
A41 Adventist Exceptionalism with AJ Valcin
Jun 17, 2018 • 68 min
AJ Valcin joins me to talk about Adventist Exceptionalism! This is what happens when Adventists approach the rest of the world with an “us vs. them” mindset. So how has Adventist Exceptionalism affected our church? What’s the remedy? Why is it so…
A40 Secular Vs. Sacred Smackdown with Henry Johnson
Jun 10, 2018 • 79 min
Henry Johnson joins me to talk about the line between secular and sacred! We talk the history of the terms, what they mean, and how they have impacted our church today. We also talk culture and how religion and society in general interact with culture.…
A39 Fear of Failure
Jun 3, 2018 • 67 min
How do you define failure? How do you deal with it and navigate it? What do success and failure teach us about ourselves and about others? Tony and I attempt to navigate some of this and things get a little bit more real than either of us expected. Music…
A38 Healthy Boundaries
May 27, 2018 • 68 min
Let’s talk about boundaries! What are they? Are they good? And what do boundaries, or a lack thereof, tell us about ourselves and each other? While we reference physical boundaries a bit, this episode is mainly talking about social and emotional…
A37 “This is Not Who We Are”
May 21, 2018 • 70 min
Any time a racist moment happens in a company or institution, their response is always some form of “This is not who we are!” Well, when is that not true anymore? At what point does that become exactly who you are, and how has this idea impacted the…
A36 What is Worship?
May 14, 2018 • 70 min
Tony and I talk about the meaning of worship in our modern-day Church services and Church life. We discuss what it means to worship, how it impacts our lives, and why leading people in worship needs to be an intentional matter. Music by Justin Janetzko…
A35 Sex, Purity, and Innocence
May 7, 2018 • 74 min
Tony and I dive into purity culture, some of the flaws in the way churches and families handle sex education (we believe) improperly. We talk about what it means to be pure and dive into if there is a difference between being pure and being innocent. We…
A34 Finding Unity and Reconciliation with Andrew Anobile
Apr 30, 2018 • 76 min
Welcome to the final part of our Michigan Recordings! Andrew Anobile, not to be confused with Tony, who regularly appears on Absurdity, is another one of my closest friends and someone who has been a powerful influence in my life. Today, we talk about…
A33 Money Money Money
Apr 23, 2018 • 74 min
This is part 4 of our Michigan Recordings.This week Tony and I talk about how the church handles money, asks for money, and just how transparent churches should be regarding their finances. We talk about some of the things that bother us and some things…
A32 Who Are You Trying to Reach?
Apr 16, 2018 • 75 min
This is Part 3 of our Michigan Recordings. Tony and I talk about what audiences churches are catering to, the dangers of only playing to our own audiences, and what it means for each of us. This is a talk about ministry and one of the many things we…
A31 Porn Stars are People, Too
Apr 9, 2018 • 56 min
Tony Anobile and I talk about Stormy Daniels’ reception after her 60 Minutes interview, others in the sex industry who have faced unnecessary ridicule, and how we can regard and treat people better. I am running a giveaway until May 1, 2018! Make sure to…
A30 Victim Shaming
Apr 2, 2018 • 61 min
I was in Michigan over Easter weekend and had the opportunity to record several episodes with Tony Anobile. This week’s episode is talking about victim shaming and how it has impacted our culture. We also discuss the intent it’s often done with, how it is…
A29 Adventism’s Cling to Relevancy
Mar 26, 2018 • 45 min
I look at 4 different examples of how Adventists (individually and corporately) jump on celebrities and the most basic media attention in order to justify our presence and relevancy. I also talk about why this is damaging and a potential reason for why…
A28 Leaving Faith with Jase Cara
Mar 19, 2018 • 77 min
This week is the first episode in an ongoing series we will be doing called “Leaving Faith” where we explore the stories and experiences of people who have left Christianity. This episode, one of my best friends, Jase Cara, joins me as we stroll down…
A27 I Wish You Would Man Up
Mar 12, 2018 • 86 min
Tony Anobile joins me this week to talk about masculinity in 2018. We wonder if there needs to be a renewed conversation on masculinity and really what it means to be a man and have holistic masculinity. This conversation only scratches the surface and I…
A26 Let’s Talk About Guns with Austin Holloway
Mar 4, 2018 • 61 min
A huge thank you goes out to Austin Holloway for being willing to just teach me about guns and dialogue a little about the state of the gun discussion in America. Austin has grown up around guns, is a concealed carry permit holder, and is a childhood…
A25 Humans of Adventism with Kaleb Eisele
Feb 26, 2018 • 70 min
Kaleb Eisele joins me this week to talk about the power of stories, how he has explored engaging in constructive conversation and learned how to listen, and how we can embrace stories better. Find Humans of Adventism at: adventisthumans.com or…
A24 Mission Mindsets with Tony Anobile
Feb 19, 2018 • 82 min
Tony joins me again for a conversation about how our churches engage with our communities. Also included is the full audio from Southern’s official response to the Racism on campus. Check out the video in the link below. SAU Racism Response Video:…
A23 Addressing Racism at Southern Part 2 with Joëlle Kanyana
Feb 12, 2018 • 42 min
February 3, there was another racist incident on Southern’s campus. I graduated from there in 2015, so I am no longer the one to have an insider’s perspective, but I wanted to share the perspectives of those who were there. This is part 2 of our series on…
A22 Addressing Racism at Southern Part 1 with Phillip Warfield
Feb 9, 2018 • 37 min
February 3, there was another racist incident on Southern’s campus. I graduated from there in 2015, so I am no longer the one to have an insider’s perspective, but I wanted to share the perspectives of those who were there. This will be a two part series,…
A21 No Country for Single People
Feb 5, 2018 • 46 min
Time for another solo episode! This week I dive into the marriage culture in the Adventist Church and how it has unintentionally left little to no space for single people. I also look at how this culture of expectation and marriage excludes particular…
A20.5 Birthday Episode! My Critical Adventism
Feb 2, 2018 • 33 min
Welcome to this Special Birthday episode of Absurdity! I turn 25 today. I wanted to share a little bit about why I am an Adventist and why I criticize as much as I do. Thanks for listening! Thanks to Justin Janetzko for our Intro Music! Go check out our…
A20 Music, Labels, and Christianity with Davis Absolute
Jan 29, 2018 • 40 min
This week Davis Absolute is on the podcast talking about his experience as an artist who also exists in the Christian subculture. I was really grateful for him taking the time out of work (occasionally you can hear a door close behind him because of it).…
A19 Fostering Dependency with Tony Anobile, Jr.
Jan 22, 2018 • 85 min
Tony Anobile, one of my best friends, joins me to talk about how churches often stifle their members’ growth by leaving them in a state of need and never letting them reach God’s ideal for their lives and what we can do about it from all sides. In case…
A18 Regional Conferences, Racism, and Friendship with Evan Willis
Jan 15, 2018 • 75 min
This week Evan Willis comes on the podcast to talk about Regional Conferences. Thanks to this being the first episode where we didn’t use an episode outline, we get majorly off-topic! That’s okay because this was an awesome conversation! Evan Willis will…
A17 When Leadership Falls Short
Jan 8, 2018 • 43 min
On this episode we dive into the recent GC Annual Council, what it means for us, and how we respond when leadership doesn’t live up to its expectations. Thanks again to Justin Janetzko for our intro music! Check out Absurdity’s official Patreon at…
A16 Happy New Year! Stewarding Technology with Justin Janetzko
Jan 1, 2018 • 88 min
Happy New Year! We are back with new episodes, a brand new look, a new intro, a new podcast host in Blubrry, and new equipment! This week we have Justin Janetzko on the cast to talk about screen-time technology like phones, tablets, computers, and TVs,…
S2A7 - Arguing Well with Anthony Bosman
Dec 6, 2017 • 60 min
This week Anthony Bosman joins me to talk about arguing well. With the arrival of social media and a more connected world than ever, perhaps there is a need for re-examining how we argue with each other and recapture the beautiful growth that takes place…
S2A8 - Season Finale! Misunderstood Miracles
Dec 6, 2017 • 38 min
Welcome to the Finale of Season 2! In about a month we will return with some brand new things! In the meantime, go back and catch episodes you may have missed! This week, there is no guest. I talk about the Christian culture we have built around miracles…
S2A5 - Selfish Mission Work with Ben Kreiter
Dec 6, 2017 • 64 min
Join me as I talk with Ben Kreiter about Short-term Mission trips and disaster relief and how we may have poisoned our effectiveness by approaching them with a consumer mindset. We love mission work and we love missionaries. We just want to re-frame…
S2A6 - Nonviolent Peacemakers with Luke Steen
Dec 6, 2017 • 82 min
Luke Steen has been on a pretty big journey lately. He is embracing the idea of Nonviolent Peacemaking. What is it? How does it work? How does it harmonize with the violence we find in Scripture that is seemingly God-ordained? Also, make sure to check out…
S2A4 - Becoming a Learner with Garrison Hayes
Dec 6, 2017 • 69 min
Garrison Hayes is our guest on the show this week. We talk about his experience with white supremacy, why he prefers to reframe the conversation around a different term than racism, and how everyone can approach this controversial issue more respectfully…
S2A2 - Charlottesville, Racism, and Response with Zach Hunter
Dec 6, 2017 • 72 min
This week, Zach Hunter joins me in a discussion about Charlottesville and racism in general. I am super excited to have him on the show and I can’t wait for you to hear what we delve into a bit. We rant, rave, and make jokes about slow-cookers! Both of us…
S2A3 - What is a Salvation Issue? with Pastor Jeff Carlson
Dec 6, 2017 • 56 min
This week I have Pastor Jeff Carlson with me to talk about how we use the term “Salvation Issue” to deflect the importance of controversial topics. Join us as we talk about loving the “other side” better and exploring how we can better communicate in hard…
S2A1 - Listening Part 2 — He Started It
Dec 6, 2017 • 27 min
We are back! In this week’s episode, I explore three different ways we commonly cause damage to other people when we discuss controversial issues. I also explore some possible solutions in order to avoid these common pitfalls with others. I am also making…
A7 An Absurd Seat
Sep 22, 2016 • 21 min
On this week’s episode I discuss the importance of being consistent and appropriate in protest and discuss some of the realities faced by those who are fighting for or against any cause. I discuss a bit of Colin Kaepernick’s protest as well as other…
A6 The Art of Listening
Sep 16, 2016 • 17 min
On this episode I talk about the importance of really trying to listen and understand someone’s experience rather than simply trying to prove them wrong. Social media takes away the benefit of nonverbal communication to help us understand each other, so…
A5 An Absurd Church with Stephen Hall
Sep 6, 2016 • 52 min
This episode, Stephen Hall and I discuss how local churches can and should respond to social justice issues and tragedies that happen in and out of their communities. Shout-outs this episode go out to Eddie Cornejo, Angelo Grasso, Manny Arteaga of Kaleo…
A4 An Absurd Gray
Sep 1, 2016 • 35 min
This episode I dive into how we as a church can approach LGBTQ+ conversations in more contructive, practical, and sensitive ways. Ultimately, this subject isn’t as clear-cut in Scripture as we want it to be, and that fact should lead us to be intentional…
A3 An Absurd Apathy with Jerome Masilamony
Aug 30, 2016 • 58 min
This week I talk to an old friend, Jerome Masilamony, about the current climate regarding social reaction to issues and tragedy. It’s important to find ways we can change that attitude and start to be bothered by what is going on around us.
A2 An Absurd Confession
Jul 21, 2016 • 33 min
This episode explores a little bit about what it means to benefit from white privilege and the different forms of Racism which exist today.
The Absurdity Episode 1
Jul 14, 2016 • 28 min
Welcome to The Absurdity Podcast with Ryan Becker. Join me as I seek to navigate in that space where people are hurting and are treated unequally and seek to find solutions and create conversation revolving equality and injustice in our society today. I…