The Theology Pugcast

The Theology Pugcast

anchor.fm/the-theology-pugcast
The Pugcast is produced by The Logos Center and features Dr. Thomas Price, Dr. Glenn Sunshine, and Pr. C. R. Wiley. The Pugcast is recorded at The Corner Pug—a well-known watering hole in tony West Hartford, Connecticut. (Hence the name, “pugcast”—also the reason there is so much background noise.) The show could be described as “3 over-educated Reformed guys riffing on philosophy, theology, and stuff that bugs them.” Each episode they invite you to take a seat in their booth and listen in on their conversation. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-theology-pugcast/support


The End of Science? Cancel Culture and the Sciences
Aug 10 • 69 min
In today’s show Chris reads from an essay by Colin Wright the Managing Editor of Quillette, the online journal and podcast. He describes his own experience as a liberal scientist with cancel culture. The experience has alarmed him and he despairs for the…
Movies and Shows in a Nihilist Key: How Nihilistic Trends Have Impacted the Movie and Television Industry
Aug 3 • 66 min
Tom introduces the topic by engaging Thomas Hibb’s book: Shows about Nothing. Chris and Glenn join in with many insights and rich analysis. —- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-theology-pugcast/support
A Tale of Two Revolutions
Jul 27 • 65 min
In this episode, Glenn contrasts the secular, Enlightenment-inspired French Revolution with the spiritual revolution that transformed England at roughly the same time. The French Enlightenment was an anti-Christian project that provided a radical critique…
Why Should Christians Care about Self-Driving Cars?
Jul 20 • 64 min
In today’s show Chris introduces the Pugcast crew to Matthew B. Crawford and his book, Why We Drive. Crawford is known for his writing on moral agency and how the manual arts help to develop it. Self-driving cars have the potential for undermining…
On Weeds and Fairy Tales
Jul 13 • 59 min
Glenn starts off the discussion with “On Weeds and Fairy Tales,” an article in Touchstone by Vigen Guroian. Guroian argues that reason and imagination work together to help us make sense of the world, but only imagination lets us get beyond facts into the…
From Impiety to Totalitarianism
Jul 6 • 71 min
In today’s show Chris reads portions of Leon R. Kass’s, The Beginning of Wisdom. The book contains Kass’s reflections on the book of Genesis. Kass is Jewish, and a conservative scholar teaching at the University of Chicago. His reflections on the impiety…
How the Current Cultural Trend Came to Absolutize the Present in Opposition to the Past, Part II
Jun 29 • 84 min
This week Tom follows up his topic last week on Presentism. He introduces the topic of ‘historicism’ and looks at its role in setting the conditions for the current trend of turning against the past in the name of the present. Historicism comes about when…
The New Iconoclasm: Presentism and Its Trendy Enemies
Jun 22 • 72 min
In this episode Tom introduces the topic of the intellectual fashion of making ‘present’ experience that which has utmost significance. He further shows how this idea has been wedded to the notion that the past has little significance other than being an…
Culture to Language or Language to Culture?
Jun 15 • 71 min
Glenn starts off by talking about Tolkien and philology, the study of language to understand culture, and looks at its role in creating Middle Earth. He then notes that this idea has largely been reversed in the modern world, where we belief language…
Friendship According to: Aristotle, Aquinas, C. S. Lewis, and the Bible
Jun 8 • 69 min
In today’s episode Chris raises the subject of friendship for consideration. What is it? How many forms of friendship are there? What’s the relationship of friendship to citizenship? Can we have too many friends? What’s a bigger threat to friendship, good…
The Disturbing Embrace of Therapeutic Culture by the Church
Jun 1 • 64 min
Tom introduces the theme of ‘the Psychological Captivity of the Church’, setting the topic in relation to Evangelical Christian practice. Chris and Glenn chime in with a host of supportive details that highlight aspects of how the Church has gotten to…
Chivalry, Howard Finster, and Other Musings
May 25 • 74 min
What is Chivalry and why is it important? Glenn starts out with a history of the concept and its key elements. The group then reflects on the loss and even inversion of those elements within our culture before moving into a discussion of folk artist…
Goldberry & the Art of Redeeming Faerie
May 18 • 65 min
Who is the mysterious River-daughter, and how did Tom Bombadil make such a catch? Chris once thought that Goldberry was an afterthought in the story of Tom Bombadil, but after writing a chapter on her for his book on Bombadil, he’s pretty sure that she’s…
Origen’s Revenge: Contempt for Sex Differences Returns to the Church
May 11 • 74 min
This week the Pugsters interview Brian Patrick Mitchell, Eastern Orthodox theologian, and friend of C. R. Wiley. Dr. Mitchell discusses the role of a peculiar strand of Platonism championed by Origen and later by Maximus the Confessor, and how it…
The Last Closet: An Interview with Moira Greyland Peat
May 4 • 72 min
Moira Greyland Peat is the author of THE LAST CLOSET, a story of survival. She was the only daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley and convicted child molester Walter Breen. Her mother was a bestselling science fiction author, a feminist icon, and the winner…
Good and Bad Kinds of Reality Splitting
Apr 27 • 68 min
Join the Pugcast crew today as they discuss how Christians should think about the relationship between various kinds of reality. —- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-theology-pugcast/support
NeoPagan and Heathen Movements
Apr 20 • 71 min
In today’s show, Glenn raises the subject of neopagan and heathen movements in the western world. Just what is going on with these movements, are they genuine revivals, or are they merely role-playing diversions? And what does any of this have to do with…
The Green Tolkien (and C. S. Lewis, too!) The Inklings and Environmentalism
Apr 13 • 65 min
Today the Pug is joined by Dr. Matthew T. Dickerson, professor at Middlebury College, in Vermont, and author of many books, among them: Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J. R. R. Tolkien. The conversation did get around to Ents (a…
Whistling in the Dark: Christian Hope as God’s Creature
Apr 6 • 64 min
In today’s show Tom talks about how God’s saving presence enters into the full range of our creaturely reality (finite, limited, fallen, with even death) and creates life and hope, not by denying or escaping reality, but by transcending it, in a way only…
Christianity & How to Live through Plague
Mar 30 • 70 min
In today’s show the Pugsters are in lock-down, like the rest of the world. But because of the wonders of modern technology that’s not held them back from recording a show! They’ve dialed in remotely from various undisclosed locations in North America to…
Adiaphora: What’s Indifferent? Less Than You May Suppose.
Mar 23 • 63 min
Today Chris introduces the subject of “Adiaphora”—a term which means “things indifferent”. He notes that it is a fine term, so long as you use it correctly. He addresses its use by the Cynics, and then Glenn discusses briefly how it was used by some of…
It’s the Magic Episode!
Mar 16 • 68 min
Feeling the need for some magic in your life now that you’re stuck at home because of COVID-19? Well, we’ve got the show for you! Today Glenn (aka “The Magic Man”) provides a little history lesson on magic. One of the things that you’ll learn is that…
Divine Simplicity
Mar 9 • 67 min
In today’s show Tom introduces the doctrine of “divine simplicity”. The doctrine itself is simple enough, understanding its implications for theology and the work of the Church and salvation takes a bit of work. Contemporary theologies have turned away…
The Intersectionality Episode
Mar 2 • 67 min
You’ve probably heard of “Intersectionality”. How could you miss it? It is the new magical formula for social justice that promises to make the world a better place. The Pugcast crew are doubtful. In fact, they’re more than doubtful, they don’t like it at…
The Black Death!
Feb 24 • 68 min
Drawing inspiration from the Coronavirus, Glenn decided to talk about one of his favorite subjects: The Black Death. He even brought some things for show and tell. There’s a map that looks remarkably like Tolkien’s map of Middle Earth, but the one Glenn…
Ken Boa: Life in the Presence of God
Feb 17 • 59 min
The Pug-crew continue their conversation with Ken Boa. In today’s show the discussion surrounds the theme of Ken’s book, Life in the Presence of God. Talking to Ken is like trying to take a sip from a fire hydrant—you may need to listen to the interview a…
Ken Boa and Shaped by Suffering
Feb 10 • 54 min
The Pugsters are pleased to be joined by Ken Boa for today’s show. Ken is the author of many books, and his most recent book is published by IVP. He’s also a long-time friend of Glenn. Ken was in town for Glenn’s ordination service at First Church of…
Vampires of New England!
Feb 3 • 62 min
In today’s show Glenn takes the Pugcast gang into the folklore and reported sightings of vampires in New England! As Glenn shows, you don’t need to visit Transylvania for vampire legends—we have plenty of material to work with in the good ol’ USA. Tom and…
An Introduction to Robert Nisbet and Paleo-conservatism
Jan 27 • 62 min
In today’s show Chris introduces Glenn and Tom to the work of sociologist and paleo-conservative Robert Nisbet. Nisbet was a sociologist and professor at Columbia, and his work reflects a time when sociologists were liberally educated and could draw on…
Roger Scruton and Beauty
Jan 20 • 62 min
In today’s show the guys join in the lament for the passing of conservative philosopher Sir Roger Scruton. Tom selects a few passages on the nature of beauty from the voluminous body of work that Scruton left with us and the guys spend time reflecting not…
Tolkien the Realist
Jan 13 • 64 min
Glenn is back! And today he brings us the topic of the day—Tolkien and literary realism. Literary realism is one of those question begging movements which advance an argument by assuming the correctness of a particular answer to an unspoken question.…
The Movies and Transcendence
Jan 6 • 63 min
Glenn is still on the road, so Tom and Chris invited their friend Tom Plotkin to talk with them about cinema, or film, or the movies—or whatever you want to call the art form. Tom is a former screen-writer and he worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well…
Bonus Mystery Episode!
Dec 30, 2019 • 56 min
Tom, Glenn, and Chris have the week off this week—but never fear, the Pugcast hasn’t let you down! The Pugsters actually have a show that was recorded months ago and had been believed to be lost. But it’s been found! The guys can’t remember what was about…
What Conservatives Have to Do to Survive in Liberal Academia
Dec 23, 2019 • 67 min
Today’s show comes to you from deep in the Pugcast bunker. This episode is about the illiberal hostility of liberals directed towards conservatives in higher education. Glenn is away with family for Christmas, so Tom and Chris invited Racer X to join…
In Defense of Christmas
Dec 16, 2019 • 61 min
Today Glenn rises to defend a holiday that some pagans and certain Christians love to hate: Christmas. Who could hate Christmas? It is puzzling. There are the folks who claim that there is no justification for December 25th—or January 6th for that…
Aaron Renn of the Masculinist Returns!
Dec 9, 2019 • 69 min
In today’s show Tom, Glenn, and Chris are joined by Aaron Renn, former (but perhaps not), publisher of the newsletter for men with over 5,000 subscribers, The Masculinist. The guys met in New Haven, Connecticut, right down the street from Yale, at Modern…
The Demise of the Shakers & the Dangers of an Over-realized Eschatology
Dec 2, 2019 • 58 min
Today Chris introduces Tom and Glenn to the Shakers—America’s favorite utopian sect. If you know anything about them you probably associate them with furniture, oval nesting boxes, and the song Simple Gifts. At their height during the Second Great…
Machiavelli & Politics in a World without Virtue
Nov 25, 2019 • 58 min
In today’s show Glenn proposes a controversial thesis: Machiavelli’s The Prince wasn’t promoting amoral political opportunism—in it Machiavelli was actually…. Well, it wouldn’t be right to include a spoiler in the show notes, would it? Why not listen and…
The “Greening” of the Church (and we don’t mean for Advent).
Nov 18, 2019 • 63 min
In today’s show Tom begins an exploration of the ideology of environmentalism and the ways that the monism underlying it is infiltrating churches and theologies that wish to be seen as “relevant”. Glenn and Chris push the discussion into the works of…
Niceness: Stupid as it Ever Was
Nov 11, 2019 • 62 min
In today’s show Chris and the guys put “niceness” into the Aristotle Virtue Analyzer to see if it makes the grade. They determined that it depends on the political economy you find yourself in. If it is a consumerist global fantasy-land—well, it’s a…
Deconstructing Critical Theory
Nov 4, 2019 • 67 min
In today’s show Glenn explains how some evangelicals have managed to climb onto the critical theory bandwagon. He begins with a quick overview of the modernist-fundamentalist controversy of the late 19th and early 20th century, he then shows how this…
Intellectual Faithfulness
Oct 29, 2019 • 55 min
In today’s show Tom returns to the theme of intellectual faithfulness in a church that has lost any sense of what that means. Glenn and Chris jump in with their thoughts. —- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-theology-pugcast/support
An Education with Class: An Introduction to Classical Education w/ Dr. Ben Merkle
Oct 21, 2019 • 56 min
In today’s show the Pugsters interview Dr. Benjamin Merkle, President of New Saint Andrews College. The show was recorded before an enthusiastic audience and at a different venue than the venerable Corner Pug. In this show the Pugcast invades the renowned…
Leisure Suits the Basis of Culture? (An Introduction to J. Pieper)
Oct 14, 2019 • 63 min
Jokes about the uselessness of a liberal arts education are cliche—they also evidence the absence of a liberal arts education. The whole point of a liberal arts education is the study of things that are good in themselves, not good as a means to enjoying…
Disciple-Making Movements & the Contest w/ Islam in West Africa
Oct 7, 2019 • 60 min
Today we welcome to the show a friend of Glenn Sunshine: Francis Jabba, Disciple Making Coordinator for New Harvest Global Ministries in 16 African countries. Reports of the spectacular growth of Christianity in Africa are well known. What is less known…
Evangelical Humanism Vs. Humanistic Evangelicalism
Sep 30, 2019 • 63 min
In today’s episode Tom asks the rhetorical question, “Who sets the agenda for the Christian faith?” Winsome market-oriented church growth types demonstrate through their methods that they believe people should do that. But maybe people don’t actually know…
Who Is Tom Bombadil?
Sep 23, 2019 • 58 min
Perhaps the most controversial character in all of Tolkien’s writing is Tom Bombadil. People seem to either love him or hate him. But regardless how you feel about him, most people can’t figure out why he’s even in the Lord of the Rings. What’s the point…
Consumerism as Worldview
Sep 16, 2019 • 69 min
Glenn introduces consumer-choice as a kind of worldview in today’s show. Consumer choice is a fine thing when it comes to fast-food and designer clothing, but where does it end? Should we get to choose everything? Is consumer choice the apogee of freedom,…
Theology: From Queen of the Disciplines to Wallflower
Sep 9, 2019 • 60 min
In today’s show, Tom outlines the coup against theology in academe. Believe it or not, once upon a time theology ran the show. We can still see that in the pomp and circumstance at many college graduations—the theology faculty lead the way, followed by…
Are Angels Out of Work?
Sep 2, 2019 • 64 min
In some theologies it seems like God is so sovereign there is nothing left for anyone else to do. Secondary causation and creaturely agency appear to be defined right out of existence. While this leaves people wondering about their agency, it also leaves…
Plato Can Be Your Friend
Aug 26, 2019 • 58 min
Just because someone is wrong about one thing, doesn’t mean he’s wrong about everything. And just because someone is right about many things, doesn’t mean he’s right about everything. Since the days of the Church Fathers Christians have had mixed feelings…
Propaganda Fills the Void Truth Left Behind
Aug 19, 2019 • 64 min
In today’s show Tom raises the specter of propaganda—the form of communication seen in books like 1984 and totalitarian states, and increasingly the contemporary western world. It was inevitable considering the fact that our elites no longer believe in…
Productive Property: What It Is & Why It Is Essential for Liberty
Aug 12, 2019 • 65 min
In today’s show Chris introduces a subject that he’s written a lot about: productive property. Sometimes it is called “real property”—but whatever the name, we’re not talking about your tooth brush here. Where talking about what the Founding Fathers had…
Transhumanism: Frankenstein Returns
Aug 5, 2019 • 58 min
In today’s episode Glenn introduces listeners to “transhumanism”—a philosophy and engineering project concerned with transcending the given limits of human nature. Transhumanists view the body solely as a machine, and the mind is somehow both dependent…
Life After the Welfare State
Jul 29, 2019 • 62 min
In today’s episode Chris begins with a simple truth: since modern welfare states are not the Kingdom of God they will end someday. This leads to a discussion of disincentives for having children in welfare states and why that spells their demise in the…
Liberty or License: What Does it Mean to Be Free?
Jul 25, 2019 • 52 min
In today’s episode Glenn discusses an important distinction that is lost on most people today—the difference between liberty and license. The Founding Fathers of the United States understood the difference, and they did their best to structure American…
The Barmen Declaration & Saying “No!” to Cultural Accommodation
Jul 15, 2019 • 55 min
In today’s show, Tom introduces listeners to the Barmen Declaration of 1934. He then helps listeners understand what genuine resistance to the Nazis looked like at the time, and how many German churches had been coopted by cultural trends. In our…
Underground LGBT Networks in Evangelical Institutions
Jul 8, 2019 • 55 min
Today’s show begins with Chris’s memories of three LGBT networks that existed in evangelical institutions. These are not hearsay stories, the people involved remain nameless, but Chris knew them personally. Most troubling was the way these networks…
A Conversation with Aaron Renn
Jul 1, 2019 • 74 min
Chris is in Dallas, and Glenn is on the road, and Tom feels too lonely to record a show. So, we dig into Chris’s personal vault of recorded stuff this week for a conversation with Aaron Renn, publisher of the Masculinist. Chris and Aaron are joined by…
Fighting Back: Protestant Resistance Theory
Jun 24, 2019 • 57 min
In today’s show Glenn provides an introduction to Protestant Resistance Theory. You may have wondered, are Christians the doormats of human history? Do we always turn the other cheek? Do you ever run out of cheeks? Is punching back ever justified, not…
Blue Collar Intellectuals
Jun 17, 2019 • 52 min
In today’s show Chris introduces listeners to two of his favorite writers—Matthew Crawford, author of Shop Class as Soulcraft, and Eric Hoffer, author of The True Believer. Both men could be described as “blue collar intellectuals” because they actually…
Can Enchantment Come with Air-Conditioning?
Jun 11, 2019 • 59 min
In today’s show Tom returns to the theme on technology but this time with an eye toward responding to Glenn’s thoughts on enchantment. Is it possible to have the best of both—or must we choose between a world of creature comforts made possible by…
True Enchantment and the Consequences of Disenchantment
Jun 3, 2019 • 49 min
In today’s show Glenn begins with a marvelous series of word studies ranging all the way from “enchantment” to “cosmology”. His point is that our language is full of words that reflect a time when the world was full of meaning and words were spells that…
C. S. Lewis, Christian Platonist (and that’s a good thing)
May 27, 2019 • 58 min
In today’s show Chris raises the subject of C. S. Lewis and metaphysics. The evidence is overwhelming that C. S. Lewis was a Platonist—there are passages throughout his fiction in particular that demonstrate it. Tom and Glenn note that it shouldn’t…
Technology: What Are We Really Making?
May 20, 2019 • 50 min
Tom continues his reflection on the theological implications of technology. Are there any lines here? If it can be done, must it be done? What happened at Babel? And what about Cain’s sons? They’re identified in the Bible as the fathers of the arts. As…
Are Evangelicals Crypto-Secularists?
May 13, 2019 • 48 min
The best kept secrets are the ones that you are keep from yourself. In today’s show Glenn shares his thoughts on evangelical secularism—in other words, there are assumptions and biases that many evangelicals have that actually have their origins in a…
The Case for Recovering Two Classical Virtues: Pietas & Gravitas
May 6, 2019 • 52 min
In today’s show Chris introduces two virtues that he has written about elsewhere—pietas and gravitas. These virtues are at one and the same time alien to the contemporary world, yet longed for. What’s more, there is a sense of recognition when people see…
Technology: The Promise and the Peril
Apr 29, 2019 • 47 min
In today’s show Tom introduces the subject of technology and its uses and abuses. While technology is an expression of God’s image in human beings, it also can be used to deconstruct that image—or at least deface it in some way. So, do we use technology…
Meaning in a Cathedral
Apr 22, 2019 • 43 min
In this episode Glenn Sunshine shares his memories of Notre Dame from his time in Paris, as well as his thoughts on the art of interpreting the meaning embedded in the structure of a cathedral. Following the recent fire at Notre Dame there were disturbing…
C. S. Lewis, H. P. Lovecraft, and Aliens
Apr 15, 2019 • 46 min
Today the guys get into a little literary criticism as they discuss an article that Chris wrote for Touchstone Magazine years ago comparing C. S. Lewis and H. P Lovecraft. Most listeners to The Theology Pugcast are likely to be familiar with C. S. Lewis…
More On Sins of the Tongue
Apr 8, 2019 • 44 min
Tom continues his reflections on his Oxford mentor’s essay on sins of speech. Glen and Chris speak up when they have something to say, all the while hoping that they are telling the truth. —- Support this podcast:…
Sins of the Tongue
Apr 1, 2019 • 43 min
In our time of campus speech codes and hectoring for “misgendering” someone, it is tempting to downplay the fact that you really can do harm with your speech. Two of the Ten Commandments prohibit forms of speech—blasphemy and false witness. A case could…
The Image of God: Male and Female
Mar 25, 2019 • 42 min
Today Glenn shares some of his reflections on how the image of God is reflected in creation by the respective roles of men and women. Using the pattern of “forming and filling” from Genesis chapter one, Glenn notes that these correspond to the respective…
Welcome to Babel: Evangelicals and the Pragmatic De-construction of Language
Mar 17, 2019 • 39 min
In today’s show C. R Wiley raises the question, “Can Christians be Pragmatists?” Quotations from William James and Richard Rorty, two of the 20th centuries greatest pragmatists, show how pragmatism is hostile to the classical Christian understanding of…
Nature and Names—Does Anything Mean Anything?
Mar 10, 2019 • 42 min
Today Tom Price shares an article by the English theologian Oliver O’Donovan entitled, The Natural Ethic. The discussion gets into late medieval developments in philosophy—specifically voluntarism and nominalism. Glenn raises some historical…
Undressing Transgenderism
Mar 4, 2019 • 37 min
In today’s show, Glenn analyzes the phenomenon of transgenderism and its meteoric rise to cause celebre’. Using “cultural marxism” to understand the phenomenon Glenn discusses both its appeal and its use of intimidation to force normalization. Tom looks…
The End of Complementarianism? Aaron Renn and the Masculinist #30
Feb 25, 2019 • 52 min
Chris gives an overview of the newsletter The Masculinist, and its creator Aaron Renn. Then he introduces the controversial claim made in the latest edition that “Complementarianism” (the belief that men and women have different roles in the household and…
Creation from Nothing Means Something
Feb 19, 2019 • 42 min
In today’s show, Dr. Thomas Price shares an article written by his old mentor at Oxford, Dr. John Webster. The article is entitled: “Love is Also a Lover of Life: creatio ex nihilo and Creaturely Goodness.” After Tom explains the importance of…
“Cultural Marxism”: An Emerging Worldview
Feb 13, 2019 • 37 min
Dr. Glenn Sunshine speaks with Dr. Thomas Price and C. R. Wiley about his recent article at BreakPoint entitled: An Emerging Worldview.” Although none of the Theology Pugcast team like the term “Cultural Marxism,” it is useful for understanding at least…