March 3, 2020
Dr. Josh McNall, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, knows that the Church needs to be asking tough questions. He’s ready to do just that.
McNall is launching a brand-new podcast, Outpost Theology, in which he attempts to wrestle with those cultural issues the church most often finds itself having to deal with. Through conversations with writers, scholars, and movers in the church, McNall hopes to provide a quality resource for Christian audiences seeking to take part in the broader cultural discussion.
“My hope is that they get some theological resources to think more biblically and live more faithfully in whatever context they’re in,” McNall said.
His vision for the project is reflected in the name. “An outpost is a place that sits out on the frontier,” he said. “The way we’re trying to think about the podcast is that it’s situated on the frontier between theology, culture, and the church. We’re trying to bridge that gap.”
Each episode of the podcast will feature an in-depth conversation with a guest, usually focused on a specific theme or question. In the inaugural episode, McNall sits down with Lucy Peppiatt, Principal of Westminster Theological Centre in the UK, to discuss her new book, Rediscovering Scripture’s Vision for Women: Fresh Perspectives on Disputed Texts.
For McNall, it’s this aspect of the process that’s been the most enjoyable. “One fun thing is just getting to know some authors better as people,” he said. “You read books, you get to know somebody’s work, but the fun thing has been to actually get to sit down with people who I’ve read but never met, and then have a conversation about their work and get to know them as people.”
The podcast, while dealing with and featuring key players in Christian academia, is angled towards a casual audience, something McNall is intentional about. “I wanted to translate their work to a non-academic audience,” he said, noting that the podcast mirrors what he views as the proper relationship between the church and Christian universities.
“The role of a Christian university is to serve the church. One of the ways a university serves the church is by reminding the church that one of the ways we worship God is with our minds, helping the church to think more carefully or more biblically about particular issues,” he said. “On the flip side… the church is also reminding the university that there are other things that matter too. Evangelism, or worship, or community, or service. They both need each other.”