A Jew and a Gentile Walk into a Bar…Mitzvah

Charles Bretan and Chris Henson

Author: Charles Bretan and Chris Henson

2 gentlemen, 1 Jewish & 1 Christian, blogging and podcasting about faith, cigars, mental health, cigars, social justice, cigars, and other interfaith issues. Oh, and cigars.

In our podcast we focus on faith, mental health, and cigars. We approach these subjects from many directions: personal, academic, theological, and philosophical. However, we are less than enthusiastic with the description of our blog, our podcast, and even our relationship as “interfaith.” Interfaith is such a constricting term, so we created a new moniker for what we do—interfaithED. We want anyone wishing to join in our discussions to understand our goal, to share our respect for each other and The Other. In order to learn grow, and expand our view requires we put ourselves in uncomfortable situations, that we expose ourselves to “dangerous” ideas, but that learning only happens when we are uncomfortable, and ideas only seem dangerous because they come from The Other.

Episode 86: The Law and the Beatitudes

Episode 86 finds Dr. Charles, Rev. Chris, and Mother Helena…she said I could call her that in this episode… Anyway, we discuss cigars…big shocker there. Then we comment on the State of the Union address. And we talk about the similarities and differences between the Law and the Beatitudes. Does Jesus fulfill the law? Does Jesus make a departure from the Law? Be a mensch and give it a listen.

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Episode 85: The Decalogue & Beatitudes: The Ten Commandments in Popular Culture v. the Bible

In episode 85, The InterfaithED Triumvirate discuss the significant differences between the Ten Commandments we all think we know and the first 10 commandments in Sh’mot 20:1-15. Is this the first in a 613 part series? Stay tuned for music from our Indy House Band “Decalogue and the Beatitudes.”

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Episode 84: The Last Temptation of Trump

Episode 84 finds the intrepid trio discussing “how evangelicals, once culturally confident, became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory.” The not-nearly-so holy trinity (we’ll let you figure out who is who) makes a deep dive in an article that appeared in The Atlantic (April 2018 by Michael Gerson. (That’s where we stole that pithy quote at the beginning of this blurb.) This episode was also informed by an article in Salon magazine by Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a Yale Psychiatrist. And to add some levity, even if it is gallows humor, an article in Huffington Post that the Jew found that the Gentile swore came from the Onion.

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Episode 82: Liminal Christianity

In Episode 82, Chris, Charles, and Helena are joined by Russ Jennings, of Love in a Dangerous Time podcast and Wild Goose Festival’s Goosecast Stage, and consider a new term, “Liminal Christianity.”  Cited as part of this discussion is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letter to Ebehard Bethge dated April 30, 1944. In this letter, Bonhoeffer introduces the world to the notion of “Religionless Christianity” Click HERE to download a copy of the letter.

“My God is not waiting inside a church or sitting above the temple’s steps. My God is the refugee’s breath as she’s running…is living in the starving child’s belly…is the heartbeat of the protest. My God does not rest between pages written by holy men. My God lives between the sweaty thighs of women’s bodies sold for money…was last seen washing the homeless man’s feet. My God is not as unreachable as they’d like you to think. My God is beating inside us infinitely”― Rupi Kaur, “The Sun and Her Flowers”

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Episode 80: One Breath at a Time

Episode 80 finds the Jew and the Gentile interviewing author, J. Dana Trent. (Yes, we’re as amazed as you are that she still sullies herself with the likes of us.) JDT talks about her latest book “One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation.” JDT reframes meditation for those who are skeptical because (1) they doubt their ability to be still and quiet and (2) they doubt the validity of meditation as a Christian spiritual practice. Using scripture, theology, and examples from the early church, her latest book challenges Christians’ prayer habits that leave little room for enough silence to experience and listen for God. Using five approaches—breath meditation, lectio divina, centering meditation, loving-kindness meditation, and devotional meditation, One Breath at a Time provides a practical, 40-day guide to beginning and sustaining a Christian meditation practice in an often chaotic world. (And again, we’re happy she admits to know us in public.)

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Episode 77: The Reformation of Halloween

He’s better than Jack Skellington and the Great Pumpkin put together. Episode 77 the Depressive Duo are joined by Phil “Freaking” Wyman! Phil discusses his latest book “The Reformation of Halloween.” Way back in 1999 Phil Wyman moved to Salem, MA. Since then, a wild story of Christian Outreach and working with the city of Salem has unfolded. Phil’s work on the streets of Salem has been covered by the WSJ, PBS, Christianity Today, and movies such as “Furious Love.” If anyone has an insight on the intersections culture, faith, and the holiday known as Halloween it’s Phil.

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Episode 75: The Ghost of Podcasts Past

The Jew and the Gentile celebrate a milestone in producing their 75th podcast. A milestone that is millstone to those long-suffering listeners. Episode 75 is our diamond episode because just as a diamond is the hardest material, listening to our schtick is equally as hard. The Jew and the Gentile reflect on their favorite guests and episodes. They also introduce two new party games: Prooftexting and Bibles Against Humanity. The Gentile even censors himself twice in one episode.

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