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podcaster_fullListening to podcasts is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to “learn on the go.” I listen to podcasts when I’m driving to the office, walking in the neighborhood, or when doing chores around the house. I usually set the podcast to 1 1/2 speed, to benefit from Apple’s “skipping” technique that speeds the podcast up without making everyone sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Last summer, I listed my seven favorite podcasts. Commenters chimed in with additional recommendations, and I made some new discoveries. Here are some of my favorites this year.

History

cover170x170I’m going to start with the podcast that breaks all the rules about how long your podcast should be, or how frequently you should put out new episodes. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is my favorite find of the past year. Carlin has radio experience, and you can tell from the intensity of his voice and the dramatic flair of his commentary. But where Carlin really excels is in making you feel like you are there, in the shoes of the main players, weighing the same choices. Start with the multi-part series on the Great War raging a century ago – “Blueprint for Armageddon.”

Another history podcast is Stuff You Missed in History Class, a shorter program with a long list of episodes from which to choose. On the Church History front, you can’t beat 5 Minutes in Church History put out by Ligonier. Both of these podcasts are released once a week.

Storytelling

cover170x170 (1)NPR is still king when it comes to masterful storytelling in an audio format. My three favorites in this genre are released weekly or twice a month.

This American Lifelong a staple of public radio, carries over well as a podcast. I don’t listen to every episode, but I rarely go a month without dipping into this series.

Serial set the bar high for riveting storytelling and reporting. The first episode is one of the most compelling and perfectly paced audio documentaries I’ve ever encountered. The rumor is that the next season will focus on the desertion, defection, and rescue of Bowe Bergdahl.

Criminal features a series of stand-alone episodes about odd and eccentric crimes. The earlier episodes are better than the later ones.

Christian Cultural Engagement

The best place to start is still The World and Everything In Ita half hour newsmagazine that summarizes the day’s top news and features commentary from a conservative Christian perspective. The quality is excellent, and you can forward to the next segment in case you’re not interested in what’s being discussed.

There are some other great podcasts for Christians and culture, including Breakpoint This Week with John Stonestreet and Ed Stetzer (released weekly), The Eric Metaxas Show (two segments daily, usually with interesting guests), and The Briefing — Al Mohler’s daily analysis of the news.

Pass the Mic is a weekly program hosted by Jemar Tisby and gives insight into the African-American evangelical community and the pressing issues of the day. The Gospel Coalition podcast is a mix of roundtable conversations and sermons/talks from TGC conferences.

philvischerpodcastFor more in depth conversations about religion, theology and public life, I recommend Mere Fidelity (a good group of guys whose discussions are always thoughtful and whose perspectives are always worth considering). I also recommend the weekly Research on Religion from Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, and the monthly-released Thinking in Public.

When you’re ready for a break from all that thinking, you can enjoy Phil Vischer’s podcast every week. Vischer (creator of VeggieTales and What’s In the Bible?) leads conversations with Skye Jethani and Christian Taylor, where they discuss big and small stuff, and show that it is possible to engage serious issues without losing your sense of humor.

Leadership

leadershipThe 5 Leadership Questions podcast hosted by Barnabas Piper and Todd Adkins never disappoints. This twice-a-week podcast features great topics and guests. Thom Rainer’s podcast is also worth downloading. Rainer talks about different trends he observes in the landscape of churches and ministries in North America. Always food for thought here.

(If you’re a Southern Baptist, you should check out SBC This Weekin which Amy Whitfield and Jonathan Howe provide updates on SBC matters and frequently features guests who are leading in the Convention.)

Your Turn

What about you? What do you recommend?

What podcasts should I should add to my list?


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Comments:


39 thoughts on “Recommending a Few of My Favorite Podcasts”

  1. Great list, Trevin.

    I also enjoy the White Horse Inn with Michael Horton, TGC’s Teach Me the Bible, Wretched Radio, Ask Pastor John, and Up for Debate (for certain topics). The only ones I listen to every episode are The World and Everything in It and Mohler’s The Briefing.

  2. Wayne says:

    Here are a few I like:

    The Village Church Podcast Show (Matt Chandler & Josh Patterson) http://thevillagechurch.net/resources/podcast-show/

    Dr. Russell Moore’s Podcast http://www.russellmoore.com/category/podcast/

    The Church at Brook Hills Audio Podcast
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/church-at-brook-hills-audio/id319699838?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

  3. Doyle Riggan says:

    The Wretched Segment of the Day with Todd Friel. https://www.wretchedradio.com/media/free-podcast
    The Wretched Podcast (subscription to Wretched Radio required) https://www.wretchedradio.com/

    Todd Friel’s show “Wretched” is broadcast daily via Live Streaming from http://www.wretchedradio.com. The vision of Wretched Radio is “We want people to get saved, grow in their love for the Lord through the study of His Word, and get equipped to share the Good News with others.”

  4. Michael says:

    Mortification of Spin with Carl Trueman, Amiee Byrd, and Todd Pruitt – http://www.alliancenet.org/mos

  5. Jeff Stemm says:

    I also recommend Village Podcast Show, and Ask Pastor John. I would add Grammar Girl for writers.

  6. The Bookmonger with John J. Miller
    99% Invisible
    Story and Star Wars
    The History of English Podcast
    Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      Never heard of any of these, which makes me curious to check them out. Thanks!

  7. martin says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. I do a lot of driving in in Upstate NY and throughout the East Coast. Podcasts are a lifeline to information and different points of view. Some of my favs:

    HuffPost Religion
    Homebrewed Christianity
    Interfaith Voices
    Star Talk
    Interplanetary Radio: Space Exploration
    The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor
    Quirks and Quarks
    Tapestry from CBC
    APM: Performance Today … Piano Puzzler
    Design Matters with Debbie Millman

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      Great list, variety of perspective! I will add some of these to my list.

  8. Richard Worden Wilson says:

    Greg Boyd’s stuff is my favorite road trip fodder.

  9. Adam johnston says:

    I really like Greg Laurie harvest podcast for bible teaching.

    The art of manliness is a great podcast: All manly topics and discussions. Interviews with men on how to become a better man.

    Up for debate: Julie Roys hosts this weekly show were guests debate over Christian issues. What a great example this show is to believers on how to conduct ourselves in a loving way with fellow believers we disagree with.

  10. Bill Pence says:

    You list my top two. The Briefing is required listening for me each morning. The Eric Metaxas Show has been an excellent edition this year. I also enjoy Steve Brown, Etc. for interesting interviews/humor.

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      Steve does a great job as an interviewer. Thanks for recommending.

  11. Justin says:

    Can’t go wrong with some daily preaching and diving into the word. These are my top two preachers:
    James MacDonald give some daily hard truths to leave living the Christian life (like only he can). https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/james-macdonald-walk-in-word/id74411103?mt=2
    Greg Laurie provides a evangelical jump into Christian living that is a little on the lighter side.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-beginning-greg-laurie/id80693391?mt=2
    Focus on the Family and Family Life Radio both provide a great mix of daily discussions and authors targeted toward improving the Christian life in our homes.

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      I didn’t know Greg Laurie had a podcast. Thanks for the recommendations.

  12. Bryan says:

    “The Happy Rant” podcast with Ted Kluck, Stephen Altrogge, and Barnabas Piper. The three guys “who cheerfully rant about all the things that don’t matter all that much”, are all pretty funny and discuss a range of topics from sports, celebrities, Christian culture, books, and just funny observations of people. Specifically episodes #37 and #38 were about the last Gospel Coalition Conference and are especially funny in my opinion.

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      I’m very familiar with Barnabas’ sense of humor (he works across the hall from me!). I need to put that podcast on my list!

  13. jehu says:

    unbelievable radio from UK.

  14. Gary Netherton says:

    1. Three Martini Lunch with Jim Geraghty – a witty and conservative take on poloitcs.
    2. Key Life – Steve Brown’s daily 15 minute teaching program.
    3. Here’s a gem; a radio show from WIBC in Indianapolis called the Greg Garrison Show. But you need to listen to the last guest on alnost every Friday. It is Victor Davis Hanson and he is the most insightful social commentator that I know.

  15. Frank says:

    I enjoy History of the Christian Church (Communio Sanctorum), TGC Help me teach the Bible, and my local church Sovereign Grace Gilbert Podcast.

    I will definitely be checking out the ones in the article along with some mentioned in the comments!

    Thank you everyone for the suggestions!

    1. Nathan Taylor says:

      I second The Comunio Sanctorum History of the Chrisian Church podcast suggestion. Great stuff!

  16. Matthew Linder says:

    Seeing & Believing
    Sunday Oldskool
    NYT Popcast
    Radiolab
    Snap Judgment
    The Smell of Music
    Switched on Pop

  17. Persuasion on Christ and Pop Culture: http://christandpopculture.com/category/podcast/persuasion/
    Current events and issues discussed from women’s perspective.

  18. Kevin says:

    For Tolkien fans, the Tolkien Professor has a lot of insightful stuff:
    https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-tolkien-professor/id320513707?mt=2

  19. greg says:

    Econtalk, hosted by Russell Roberts, whow was one of my favorite professors way back in undergrad. Wide range of topics, mostly about human behavior, hardly at all about dollars and cents. His guests range from vegetable farmers to Nobel laureates.

    Way off topic, but in the rotation, Men in Blazers, and Extra Time Radio…because in my old age i’ve inexplicably developed a taste for mediocre soccer.

    1. Only4Barca+Jesu says:

      You beat me to one of the great podcasts! Econtalk is righteous in its breadth and scope. Russ Roberts is a great interviewer. Art of Manliness is very good, but the Art of Charm is very good, too. Some of The Art of Charm material is not downright Christian, but their life skill advice and many of their guests are all blue chip products. For lovers of the legal, sociological, and economics of soccer, look no further than Beyond the Pitch.

  20. Daniel says:

    White Horse Inn
    The Mockingpulpit
    The Boundless Show
    Ask Pastor John (Piper)
    Heidelcast
    Office Hours (Westminster Seminary California)
    Stand to Reason

  21. 99% Invisible
    CBC – Under The Influence
    CBC – Ideas (only the topics that peak my interest)
    NPR – Planet Money
    Radiolab
    First Things podcast
    Mere Fidelity
    White Horse Inn
    Serial
    This American Life
    The Briefing (or as I like to call it “Al Mohler Reads the News” )

  22. Clarissa Saunders says:

    Thanks for posting this great list! Look forward to trying some of your suggestions. Some others you may like:

    1. Oneplace.com–choose from a vast number of Christian teachers and topics. Focus on the Family and Family Life Today are invaluable tools for the Christian care and nurturing of marriage and children..
    2. Econtalk.org–hosted by Russ Roberts. Each program is about an hour long. Russ is a very skilled, smart interviewer and he covers a broad swath of topics that go far beyond economics in their scope. Fascinating, smart content time and again.
    3. Veritas.org–apologetics, usually done on college campuses in a cordial debate style; also faith-journey stories, usually by those who were part of atheist academia prior to conversion.
    4. Larry Arnn of Hillsdale College ongoing history interviews with Hugh Hewitt available on the Hillsdale College website. Dr. Arnn is a fascinating, articulate, detailed teacher.
    5. Uncommonknowledge, with host Peter Robinson, available at Hoover.org. Mr. Robinson’s talented interview skills allow him to get into the weeds with experts on a variety of political and foreign affairs topics. Sophisticated and informative programming that educates without being boring.

  23. Corey Watson says:

    History of Rome has been a nice more in-depth follow up to Carlin’s Hardcore History for me.

  24. Les Steubing says:

    The Gospel Friends Podcast is really, really good. It’s a great mix of silly and serious, and has a great “spectrum” of conservative opinions that contribute to quality discussions.

    Thanks for the list!

  25. Liz McC. says:

    As often as it’s available, I listen to the Cedarville University Chapel Podcast.

    I also love Apex Community Church’s Podcast.
    I will often catch Allistair Begg’s Podcast as well.

    For exercise: I like to listen to Dennis Mellon’s Incycling (spin class put on podcast!!!)

  26. Jason Norris says:

    Thom Rainer on Leadership is a good one.

    Also listen some to the Andy Stanley leadership podcast.

    Good tech and social media tips from the Social Media Church Podcast.

    I’d like to see more churches making their own podcasts, so in an effort to help, we’re working on a podcast about church podcasts at our network.

  27. Chris Bowers says:

    Not a Christian podcast, but The Ben Shapiro show is great. He analyzes the day’s national and local headlines, particularly politics, and advocates traditional American values. He’s an Orthodox Jew so many of his values line up with Christian values.

  28. Chris Bowers says:

    Also, though not a podcast, I highly recommend listening to podcasts via Overcast on iOS. It has a feature called Smart Speed that speeds up the podcast through deadspace and then slows it back down to normal during the talking portions. Saves a little bit of time in the moment and a lot of time over the long haul.

  29. Eric Baldwin says:

    I’m a huge podcast fan myself. I recently found The Happy Rant Podcast and love it!! (“Until next time….Rachel The Held Evans.”

  30. Mary Beth Peach says:

    White Horse Inn and The Bible Project, also their webiste: jointhebibleproject.com with Time Macky at Western Seminary in Portland. They have the best short video overviews of Bible books and themes.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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