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An Oral History of the Church

"An Oral History of the Christian Church," by Adam Christman and Jonathan McCormick, is a conversational history podcast organized by "volume" (season). Check out our companion podcast, "Saints Gone Before"!
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Nov 10, 2017

“A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;

Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;

His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,

On earth is not his equal.”

 

The tenth and final episode of our volume on the Lutheran wing of the Protestant Reformation completes our study by looking at some of the enduring legacy of Martin Luther. We look at his impact on corporate worship, hymnody, Bible translating, clerical marriage, denominations, and the continued divide between Protestants and Catholics.

Stick around to the end of the episode for news on the future of An Oral History of the Church! And if you’re not already subscribed, head on over to your favorite podcast app and subscribe to Saints Gone Before, our weekly audiobook-style podcast where we read selections from Christians in history past. New episodes release every Monday morning.

#Reformation500

An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.

Oct 27, 2017

"Somebody, can you tell me just what make a man feel this way?
Like river without its water, like night without a day.
And it sure 'nuff got cold after the rain fell,
Not from the sky but from my eye."

The ninth episode in our volume on the Lutheran wing of the Reformation focuses on the dark side of Martin Luther. We discuss his character flaws, the afflictions he experienced, and tell the story of his death. In other words, what does a more complete picture of Luther look like? What did he struggle with in his lifetime in his bodily health, mental health, and spiritual life? And how did this giant of the Reformation pass away?

Next time, we try to wrap up this volume with a discussion of the legacy Martin Luther left behind. It may or may not end up long enough to be two episodes, so stay tuned!

**Don't miss our special episode of Saints Gone Before releasing on Monday, October 30th with a full reading of Luther's 95 Theses in honor of their 500th anniversary.**

#Reformation500

An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.

Oct 13, 2017

“We don't need no education.

We don't need no thought control.

No dark sarcasm in the classroom.

Teachers leave them kids alone.”

Luther believed with urgency that every Christian should read and think about the Scriptures for oneself. When that belief grew legs, it walked him through the composition of lectures and two editions of a commentary on Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. Today's episode discusses how Luther handles this Pauline letter. What did he think of it? How did he come at it? How did he explain it? All this and more in our final episode on the works of Martin Luther.

Next time, we discuss the problems of Luther, including his character flaws, the illnesses he suffered, and his death. We're almost at the end of this volume. We're in the home stretch!

#Reformation500

An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.

Sep 29, 2017

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take those sunken eyes and learn to see. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free. Blackbird, fly." Jonathan and Adam talk about several more texts by Martin Luther, the good (including one about the Freedom of a Christian), and the bad. We also answered our first reader question!

Today's episode features The Schmalkald Articles, and On the Freedom of a Christian, among others.

#Reformation500

An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.

Sep 15, 2017

"She had taken his hand. She had become like they are. Come on, baby, don't fear the reaper..." Or, at least, that's one way of restating Luther's advice in one of the texts we discuss in today's episode describing and contextualizing four of this Reformer's works. And this is only part 1 of a two-part miniseries within this volume! Come back on Sept. 29th for more!

And we encourage you to not miss our readings of Luther's "The Babylonian Captivity of the Church" on Saints Gone Before!

#Reformation500

An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.

Sep 1, 2017
I hear the drums echoing tonight,
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation... oh, wait, no, that's just the quill of Martin Luther, scrawling down his 95 Theses, the subject of our latest episode on Luther and the Protestant Reformation! We dig into the document, but we especially focus on context in which it arose, what it challenges, and who it challenges! Come back in 2 weeks for another episode!
Don't miss our readings of Luther's "The Babylonian Captivity of the Church" on Saints Gone Before!
#Reformation500
An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.
Aug 18, 2017

He's the wolf screaming in the lonely night... Shout, shout, shout, shout at the devil! At least, that's what Martin Luther did. In his early years as a monk, Martin Luther became the best monk anyone had ever seen. But it wasn't enough. He struggled with the devil in quiet moments of torture over his sin, but eventually he truly got saved. How did that happen? What was his life like during this period? We discuss the answers to these questions and more in this fourth episode of our volume on the Lutheran Reformation.

Episode 5 releases in two weeks, on September 1st, with our discussion of the contents and context of perhaps Luther's most famous work, the 95 Theses. Don't miss it!

We also produce a second podcast that serves as a companion to this one called "Saints Gone Before." As of the release of this episode of An Oral History of the Church, we've already begun our latest text, Martin Luther's On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church. It's an exciting text. We're having a good time, and hope you join us over there for Lutheran texts and many others with new episodes every Monday morning.

An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.

Aug 4, 2017

Mood swings. Dramatic statements. Eating incredible volumes of food. You know, typical teenager stuff. Well, Martin Luther was no exception, as you'll hear in our new episode on this man's youth and his conversion story. We also hit you up with solid resources on the subject from primary to secondary even to tertiary sources (which you'll know how to use if you followed our previous volume on historiography)!

Episode 4 will release two weeks after this current episode, on August 18th. In that conversation, we'll discuss Martin Luther's dramatic turn from (relatively) quiet monk to shouty/wordy/angry Reformer! Don't miss that one.

If you listened to episode 3 by now, you'll know we promised you a link to find out more about that trail in Erfurt. Well, here it is: https://www.erfurt-tourismus.de/en/all-about-erfurt/main-topics/luther-2017/luther-trail-in-erfurt/

We also produce a second podcast that serves as a companion to this one called "Saints Gone Before." As of the release of this episode of An Oral History of the Church, we've already begun our latest text, Martin Luther's On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church. It's an exciting text. We're having a good time, and hope you join us over there for Lutheran texts and many others with new episodes every Monday morning.

An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.

Jul 21, 2017

Ah, the lights. The music! The acting! Film connects us with its subjects in a special way. We're still celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Thus, this time around, Jonathan and Adam talk about representations of Martin Luther's story in film, especially focused on the Joseph Fiennes movie "Luther" from 2003. The guys discuss their merits and suggested audiences for any viewing you may host for them.

The 3rd episode of this volume releases on August 4th. It will feature a conversation about the origin story of Martin Luther... Luther Begins! ("DO I LOOK LIKE A COP?!?") Look for episode 3, "Martin Luther's Youth and Conversion," in 2 weeks.

And because we just enjoy it so much, I'll mention it again: we produce a podcast that serves as a companion to this one called "Saints Gone Before." As of the release of this episode of An Oral History of the Church, we've already begun our latest text, Martin Luther's On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church. It's an exciting text filled with accusations, biblical arguments, insults, biblical arguments, sarcasm, and more biblical arguments! We're having a good time, and hope you join us over there for Lutheran texts and many others with new episodes every Monday morning.

An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.

Jul 7, 2017

The boys are back in...recording mode as we launch volume 3 of An Oral History of the Church! If you're new to us, we have prepared a conversational church history podcast for our listeners. This time around, we're celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with a volume devoted to a look at the Lutheran wing of the Reformation.

Episode 1 features a discussion of the four major wings of the Reformation, their significant thinkers, geographical locations, and distinct contributions to the period. In this way, we hope to paint a background in which we can set the Lutheran Reformation for the rest of this volume.On July 21st, episode 2 features a discussion of the Lutheran Reformation in film. That conversation is primarily centered around the 2003 film Luther, which we mistakenly attributed to actor Ralph Fiennes when we recorded episode 1. It actually stars his brother Joseph Fiennes. It was very late at night when we recorded this! Insert other excuses here.

We're still producing and promoting our companion podcast "Saints Gone Before"! With new episodes every Monday morning, you get a commute-length episode of one of us reading a text from Christian history past. We're finishing up a lengthy essay by BB Warfield this Monday, but the following week begins a distinctly Lutheran series in which we read The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. That, and many more texts, are already available wherever you download An Oral History of the Church if you search for "Saints Gone Before."

An Oral History of the Church is co-hosted by Jonathan McCormick and Adam Christman. It is edited and produced by Adam Christman.

Feb 10, 2017

Unkar Plutt rewards you double portions today with the final episode of our volume on historiography!

We dive deep into a brief biography of Augustine (chapter 1 of Gerald Bray's Augustine on the Christian Life) as well as a paper Adam wrote 4 years ago (ah! sunrise, sunset). We also chase a rabbit trail on Gospel chronology. Plus: other things!

We're excited and pleased to present to you the eighth and final episode of volume 2 of An Oral History of the Church.

Questions? Comments? Drop us a line at churchhistorypodcast@gmail.com, or tweet us @OralHistoryPod, or look us up on Facebook. 

If you're willing, we'd appreciate a review or a rating on your podcast app of choice. It helps potential listeners know what you like about what we're doing here.

"Saints Gone Before" is our companion podcast featuring audiobook readings with no commentary. We're set to finish Martin Luther's "Concerning Christian Liberty" on Monday, February 13th. New episodes release every Monday.

Coming in July 2017: we're taking a hiatus to prepare the next volume of An Oral History of the Church. In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we're taking a long look at Martin Luther's life, thought, and legacy. We're planning a good number of episodes, but plan to finish by the end of the calendar year. See you then!

Jan 27, 2017

What is history, and what is history writing? Is there a difference? What is the best way of writing history?

The entire volume has culminated to this point, folks. We've looked at the individual tasks that make up the historian's work. Now comes the discussion on the philosophy of history. We talk through different perspectives on the issue, then present our own. We have quite a list of book recommendations for you this time, as well. 

In two weeks, on February 10th, we will release the FINAL EPISODE of this volume. We've had a lot of fun, but it's time to wrap this one up before we move on to the next. Our final episode puts the spotlight on practicum: how did these history writings do well, and how can they grow? One text will be a piece written by co-host Adam Christman. The other is chapter 1 of Gerald Bray's "Augustine: On the Christian Life: Transformed by the Power of God." So if you'd like to read Bray's chapter in advance, get your hands on a copy and be prepared for us to discuss how he goes about writing the history of the life and times of Augustine of Hippo.

Questions or comments? E-mail us at churchhistorypodcast@gmail.com, tweet us at @OralHistoryPod, or contact us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/oralhistoryofthechurch .

"Saints Gone Before" is our companion podcast featuring audiobook readings with no commentary. We're in the middle of Martin Luther's "Concerning Christian Liberty" at the moment. New episodes release every Monday.

Jan 13, 2017

What is the role of the social sciences as they relate to history? Aren't they just one and the same? We dig into this subject as deep as we can this week. It builds on the last several episodes - the use of primary, secondary, and even tertiary sources. Come back next week for our discussion of history writing!

Questions or comments? Please contact us at churchhistorypodcast@gmail.com or on Twitter @OralHistoryPod and we might answer them on the show! We hope to hear from you.

Our next volume is coming soon, and it will focus on the Protestant Reformation. If you have questions about that, you are welcome to send them in now and we will try to work those in, as well. 

"Saints Gone Before" started releasing episodes in early December 2016. You can find weekly episodes there in all the same subscription options as An Oral History of the Church, including texts from the Radical Reformation and Martin Luther.

Dec 30, 2016

The fifth episode of this volume focuses on dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, and bibliographies. What are they, and what are their uses for research? Join us next time for a discussion of the Social Sciences and Historiography. 

Dec 16, 2016

What are primary sources and secondary sources? How do they fit into academic work, especially the work of the historian? And how do they fit with the Three Canons we discussed last time? We discuss these questions and more in the fourth episode of our second volume of An Oral History of the Church.

Don't miss our new companion podcast, Saints Gone Before, available now! It's all primary sources all the time. *cue sunglasses*

Episode 5 of this volume features a conversation about Tertiary Sources. See you then!

Dec 2, 2016

Jonathan breaks down the three canons, or tools, of the historian. We also get into materialism and anti-materialism, and more!

P.S., we have a new companion podcast releasing on Monday, December 5th: "Saints Gone Before"! However you get our current podcast, you can also get our new one. It is an audio book style podcast in 10-20 minute episodes where Adam or Jonathan reads a Christian text (sermon or hymn or treatise, etc). Make sure you check in on our facebook page for the announcement so you know you can pick up the first one!

Nov 18, 2016

This time around, we discuss the two schools for interpreting Biblical Historiography, as well as a comment about American Christian Historiography. This is the last one of our episodes discussing the worldview part of what supports the work of a historian. Next up, on Dec. 2nd, is our episode on The Three Canons! (Cue dramatic music!) These will be the three tools a historian uses in his or her work.

Don't forget to keep an eye out for our new companion podcast, Saints Gone Before, coming on Monday, Dec. 5th!

Nov 5, 2016

Welcome back to An Oral History of the Church! This episode kicks off our new 'volume' or season, in which we focus on the subject, "What is history?" 

This season is a study of how history is written. How do historians decide to include this, but not that? Why isn't every history book on, say, the inception of the Anglican church ten thousand pages long? Why is it important to know Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times, but we don't know what he had for breakfast?

Episode 1 is a discussion of four schools of thought on how to write history. More schools of thought will be covered in the second episode of this volume.

Make sure you stick around to the end of the episode for a special announcement! See you in two weeks!

Sep 23, 2016

Somebody stick a fork in this oral history because it is DONE. Episode 17 features an interview with co-host Jonathan McCormick, an alumnus of GGBTS and current Regional Librarian of the San Francisco Campus of Gateway Seminary. Jonathan makes a case for viewing the relocation of the seminary as a form of gentrification for Mill Valley/Tiburon that listeners may find particularly interesting.

While this episode marks the end of the GGBTS Campus Relocation Project, it does not mark the end of the podcast! Keep your subscriptions on because we return in November with the beginning of Volume 2!

We want to thank all of our listeners over the course of this project. Your downloads and feedback are greatly appreciated. If you want to discuss anything with Adam and Jonathan, e-mail churchhistorypodcast@gmail.com.

Sep 16, 2016

The GGBTS Campus Relocation Project finale begins! First up, we continue our methodology to interview co-host Adam Christman for his perspective on the relocation. We laughed, we cried, we lost 5 pounds.

Come back next time for the second half of the GGBTS Campus Relocation Project finale! Yes, we will try to make that name longer! Oh, and it features an interview with co-host Jonathan McCormick, as well as overall reflection on the project, and the announcement of volumes 2 and 3 of An Oral History of the Church.

Sep 9, 2016

No need to be shushed, dear listener! This episode features the coolest librarian around. Dr. Kelly Campbell contributes her perspective to our oral history this week. She is the Associate Dean of Information Services and Director of the Library at Columbia Theological Seminary, and previous Library Director for Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary's Northern California Campus, located in Mill Valley.

Dr. Campbell provides yet another angle on the campus relocation, especially as regards the library from 2003 to 2013 as well as GGBTS' work with alumni. The interview is conducted only by Jonathan, as Adam was unavailable at the time. We commend it to you as another helpful entry in this series, and the last episode to feature an interview with a guest.

Episode 16 is our next episode, and it features a debriefing interview with co-host Adam Christman. We will follow the same methodology and questions for this interview, and the final interview. The final interview is with co-host Jonathan McCormick, and will feature both an interview with Jonathan and an overall comment on the study by Jonathan and Adam.

But that's not the last episode of the podcast! Our next volume will be announced soon, and it will begin airing in late Fall 2016.

Sep 2, 2016

The 14th episode in our GGBTS Campus Relocation project has finally arrived! This interview features Dr. Brice Butler, pastor of Tiburon Baptist Church and two-time alumnus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. As the pastor of TBC, Dr. Butler is another Marin County local looking on as the seminary relocates. In some ways, Brice's experiences are similar to our 7th episode in this volume, in which we interviewed Kent and Katie Philpott. Brice comes at the relocation from his own angle, however, so we commend it to you now.

If you're keeping up with the project, you should know we are in our final stretch of episodes! The GGBTS Campus Relocation project will total 17 episodes in all. Next week, you can expect to find an episode interviewing Dr. Kelly Campbell, a previous Library Director for GGBTS who served on staff for 10 years! The final two episodes will feature debriefing interviews with your co-hosts Adam and then Jonathan. In those episodes, you will find our own take on each of these questions as we stick to our methodology, and a commentary on the overall project.

But this is not the end of An Oral History of the Church! To the contrary, volume 2 will begin in November of 2016! Stay tuned to find out the subject of that volume, or swing by adamwchristman.com/oral-history-podcast .

Aug 13, 2016

We're back with a brand new addition, an interview with GGBTS alumnus Marc Jantomaso! Marc is a church planter whose story demonstrates the kind of grounded, hard-working ministry you can see exhibited in seminary student after seminary student. We think you'll enjoy his story.

The audio on this episode is a bit different. We recorded Marc by phone, and we also recorded our bookend commentary by phone, so you'll notice a difference this time around.

The next episode is with Dr. Brice Butler, two-time alumnus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and senior pastor of Tiburon Baptist Church, a congregation local to the Mill Valley campus recently sold by the seminary. You'll want to subscribe to us so you don't miss that interview coming in two weeks!

Jul 29, 2016

Miguel Rodriguez is an alumnus and prior staff member of Gateway Seminary (nee Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary), as well as a pastor local to Marin County, where the Northern California campus of GGBTS was located for decades up until recently. Miguel gives us a wealth of insight on the seminary in recent years, stretching as far back as the 1980s, when as a child he accompanied his mother to GGBTS classes.

If you would like to hear more from Miguel Rodriguez, you can visit Lincoln Hill Community Church in San Rafael, CA, and their website (lincolnhillcommunitychurch.com) to learn more about them and hear his sermons.

Our next episode arrives in two weeks! We are returning to a bi-monthly format for the near term and possibly the long term as Jonathan and Adam sort out their new schedules. Episode 13 features GGBTS alumn Marc Jantomaso, church planter and minister currently based in Virginia. You can expect that episode on August 12th.

Jul 22, 2016

Steve and Grace Howell sat down with Jonathan and Adam for a rich discussion of GGBTS' now-closed music department, more about the preschool, and their return to GGBTS for Steve's second degree before they came on staff at a church near the seminary's Mill Valley campus.

There's one more Friday left in July, our month for a flood of weekly episodes. Episode 12 features pastor Miguel Rodriguez, set to release on July 29th. Miguel is an alumnus of GGBTS, a previous staff member of GGBTS in a vital program yet to be discussed on this podcast, and the pastor of Lincoln Hill Community Church in San Rafael, CA, which sits just a few minutes north of the seminary's Mill Valley campus.

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