In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorites (authors, preachers, places, etc.) Today we will begin with five of my favorite podcasts:
These various and wide-ranging “casual conversations about things that count” are presented by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. Episodes are kept relatively brief (usually between 20-40 minutes) and strike a wonderful balance between focused, insightful content and free flowing conversation. The good-natured banter between Carl Trueman, Aimee Byrd, and Todd Pruitt provides a winsome and edifying context for topics that may otherwise seem daunting or heavy to consider during your podcast-listening down time each week.
Sample episode: Discussing Andy Stanley’s infamous claims that Christian’s should “unhitch” themselves from the Old Testament.
Dan Carlin provocatively and poignantly immerses the listener into the world of history’s grand turning points, mercurial rulers, and tide-turning battles. In wondrous contrast to our hot take, insta-gratifying online world, each installment of Hardcore History is an invitation to ride along for a multiple hour train of thought – allowing the ideas to slowly seep in and ruminate. Released several months apart, Carlin takes the time to pinpoint the key questions and ethical dilemmas of a historical moment and has a way of making the listener squirm just enough to keep non-history buffs (like me) interested for several hours at a time.
Sample episode: Dan talks about the birth of the nuclear age and the ripple effects that continue to dictate world politics to this day.
[Disclaimer: Bill and his guests use bad language]
It’s comfort food for sports lovers – like hanging out at a sports bar with the most dedicated, creative, and witty fans you know. Simmons occasionally becomes a bit of a meme of himself these days, but still consistently brings a glorious blend of honest sports fan bias, clear-headed statistical analytics, and hilarious takes on overall sports culture. Easily the most mainstream of all the podcasts on this list, Simmons has a large enough audience that he regularly lands long form interviews with A-list sports superstars. This provides an insightful look into the lives and worldview of some of the most influential people in the modern world.
Sample episode: Kevin Durant discusses his coming free agency, the rising stars of the NBA, and the nature of life for a basketball superstar.
Prominent economists, biologists, philosophers, authors, politicians, entrepreneurs, and others all sit across from Dave Rubin for hour long conversations about many of the key issues of our time. As a welcome and refreshing antidote to the hot-blooded resentment that dominates the majority of media on both sides, these interviews seek genuine understanding and consensus building. Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, The Rubin Report will gently provoke your thoughts and challenge your presuppositions.
Sample episode: Dave interviews Thomas Sowell on economics.
Yes, the name of the podcast is kinda silly. But the host, Brett McKay, does a phenomenal job at bringing in knowledgeable and articulate guests on an array of overlooked issues and allows them to carry the conversation. It is a podcast by men and for men, but the majority of the episodes are accessible and beneficial for anyone. Along the lines of the overall vision of The Art of Manliness, the content of these interviews cover a range of topics that together can contribute to living a strenuous life as a modern renaissance man.
Sample episode: A discussion on the characteristics of a compelling story, and how to tell better stories.