I like podcasts. I like them so much that a friend and I started one! I still like to listen to them because I can learn things on-the-go. I’ll give you eight of my favorites, but I’ll break them down into three categories: News & Social Commentary, Information & Education, and Lifestyle & Culture. I usually listen to them at 1.5x speed for efficiency and I use the Overcast app to subscribe to them.
I’ll also offer some of my opinions on each and hopefully it’s helpful.
I am a conservative. I am biased. You’re biased too. I pretty much get my news from the Daily Wire. And no, I don’t agree always with everything they say, but I’ve found them to be an honest news source. I’m not a paid subscriber to the Daily Wire but their free content is sufficient for me.
1) The Ben Shapiro show
Ben Shapiro’s show often gets into the fine points of government, more so than other podcasts on the Daily Wire. He’s a super intelligent guy, a good debater, and a fast talker. He’s great with breaking down the logic or lack thereof in things and explaining fallacious things. He’s very “legal” sounding (Being a lawyer, it’s to be expected, I guess), which I find helpful. It’s a good program. He first earned my respect with his equity. He is willing to call out people who’s policy he likes, when they say or do something he doesn’t like. That’s an increasingly rare quality.
2) The Matt Walsh Show
Matt Walsh comments on social issues mostly. He’s less political than some of his counterparts, so I find it helpful to follow his program for different reasons than Ben Shapiro’s show. He is probably most known for his great commentary on abortion and third-wave feminism. He’s certainly snarky and cynical, which I find kind of entertaining if I’m honest. His sense of humor is great! It’s a useful show for gaining insight into social issue apologetics. He’s extremely direct and his responses to things often cut right to the heart of issues. While he claims to be a Christian, it’s unclear if his soteriology is Biblical. It really doesn’t seem to be. He does support many Christian ideas but he seems to come across like all KJV people are like crazy Ruckmanites, and that personal standards of holiness more strict than his are stupid and fanatical.
3) The Michael Knowles Show
Like Matt Walsh, this host professes to be a Christian, but he is avowedly Catholic whereas Walsh seems loosely Catholic. His soteriology seems to be one of good works. Unlike Walsh, he seems more orthodox about Catholic traditions. I don’t believe one can think salvation is by grace and also by personal merits. It can’t be both, yet he sometimes seem to go back and forth. One might find Knowles’ Christian talking points very appealing, but like Walsh, his soteriology seems more akin the doctrine of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, which is probably one of the most subtle legalistic theologies in existence. By “legalistic,” I mean salvation by the keeping of good deeds. It’s most subtle because unlike traditional legalism, it introduces a “conversion experience”, which can make the undiscerning think they’re referring to being born again. Knowles even tells of such a moment in his own life, but doesn’t seem to assert that salvation was at that moment but rather is secured via a process of good deeds over time.
As for his political and social commentary, he is very astute and well-read, often seeming to quote lengthy passages from heavy writers of religion and philosophy and sometimes the Bible. It’s less the quotes themselves I’m lauding and more just his ability to do all of that from memory.
Thankfully, these men deal mostly with political and social issues than with theology. I don’t think I’d care to tune in if that were the other way around.
4) Stuff You Should Know
These guys are fun to listen to, but watch out for the Leftist undertones. These guys are unabashed panderers whenever something political or social comes up. They seem genuinely afraid of the outrage mob. The reason I include it in my top podcasts is because in between the revisionist history and the subtle jabs at Christians, there are informative episodes to be found. It’s funny to watch them try to keep up with the things that we aren’t allowed to say anymore. Some episodes are just so full of wrong interpretations of history that it’s best to just skip them. The backlog is huge because they are one of the longest running shows out there.
5) Car Talk
I like learning about cars. This podcast makes it really hilarious. These two brothers used to do this as a radio show which eventually became released as a podcast as well. No new episodes are being made since one the brothers passed away a few years ago. You can still go back and listen to the nineteen hundred some-odd episodes available. These are really fun!
6) The Art of Manliness
The AOM Podcast is good, but hit-or-miss. He simply invites a guest author whose book he’s read and found interesting. The subjects covered often seem to delve into Greek philosophy and also psychology. I’m not a fan of either of those subjects, but he sometimes has a practical guest in, for instance James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, and Cal Newport who wrote Deep Work and Digital Minimalism. It’s worth checking through the archive for interesting topics.
Lifestyle and culture Podcasts
These two podcasts are sort of a way to keep current about how other people of my age group are going about things in internet culture, but yet these are not “stupid” podcasts.
7) Hello Internet
The hosts on this show are both Youtube content creators, and they are quite knowledgeable of internet culture. Not all of their episodes are super interesting to me, though. Honestly, sometimes I wonder why I’m listening, then I delete the episode before finishing it. I only recommend it here because it is sometimes helpful to hear tech tips, resources, and current internet cultural trends out there presented in an interesting dynamic between men who are virtually nothing alike.
8) No Dumb Questions
I probably have more to say about this show than the others. I’ve never missed an episode of this show, and yet I still wonder what it’s about because the topics are so varied. I think I could venture a guess though, and it has nothing to do with the topics they cover. The hosts seem to desire that their podcast be a refreshing place on the internet without all the bickering, divisiveness, and lack of courtesy common to pretty much everywhere else online. Respectful disagreement, and restoration of civil conversation seem to be their emphasis. And that’s a great thing. Those who see this as the point of the show are said to “get it” and those who are still argumentative basically don’t.
One host is an Evangelical Pastor and is now doing I think mostly his Youtube channel as well as other things that are in the works still. The other host is an Engineer but primarily a Youtube content creator and seemingly a bunch of other things too. I guess you could say that despite wearing the same hat all the time, he wears many different “hats”. Their dynamic together is hilarious. It makes me wish Independent Baptists were better at being friends with each other.
I often don’t know what to make of their emphasis, though. Because, at what point does even a civil disagreement get viewed as divisive and the disagreer get branded as someone who just doesn’t “get it”. I wonder if there are people they’d view as divisive no matter how polite because the hosts might view the topic itself as divisive. If they say a polite and respectful person doesn’t “get it” simply because they view the topic he brings up as divisive, are they then suggesting that some things should not be talked about? If so, how would that jive with the title of the podcast?
I actually had a face-to-face conversation with one of the hosts (before the podcast existed) several years ago in which he told me his church might be a little Calvinistic for my liking. I asked what he thought about that topic, and he brushed it off as not worthy of discussion. I didn’t want to fight with him over it. I really just wanted to know what he thought about it. He’s a really nice guy and I was trying to get to know him, but that topic was seemingly off-limits presumably because it is seen as divisive. Perhaps I seemed like a guy who’d want to fight about it? Who knows?
Of all the podcasts I’ve mentioned here, this one is probably my favorite, but I often think there is a fine line between trying to not be divisive and not standing up for something firmly enough. And I think the placement of that line is different depending on who you ask. This podcast seems to try to operate somewhere in the middle but it feels like they come down more on the side of not standing up firmly enough, in my opinion.
I’m not wanting them to be a religious podcast. They don’t claim to be and that’s fine, but they openly claim to be Christians yet when they talk about spiritual things they don’t seem as if what they know is so compelling that others must learn about it too. They’re overly casual about it. I get that we shouldn’t be “in your face” and belligerent, but they seem so relaxed about it that if I were an unsaved person, I don’t think I’d find them overly compelling because they don’t seem overly compelled. I don’t know. Perhaps they’re different about it in real life
Without a doubt, as fun and interesting as they are to listen to, their podcast would not be as popular if they were more urgent, more specific, and more dogmatic about what they believe when they do speak of it. They probably know that. But now that they have this large audience, what next? Should a Christian use that as a platform then to reach others for Christ? One of the hosts basically admitted that presenting Bible content online is “internet suicide”. This means that if they ever did use their platform to more directly influence for Christ, they would basically lose the show. So, the question then remains, what is its purpose in the end if it teaches people to be more respectful to each other, but leaves them without Christ? Perhaps I’m just not one of the ones that gets it
There is a delicate balance between not wanting to drive people away with your Christianity, but also realizing that Christianity itself does drive some people away by the very nature of what it is. As polite and indirect as you can be about influencing people for Christ, there will come a point of exclusion when you’ve said too much truth for someone. Then they’re either turned off by it or they repent and believe. The only way to eliminate the point of exclusion is to fundamentally change Christianity itself, and I like the podcast enough that I hope it’s not doing that unwittingly in efforts to not make anyone mad.
Despite these critiques, there is value in it. Really, I could say that about all of these that I’ve recommended.