Jason Stellman is a Southern California native and transplant to Seattle who wishes he still lived in Europe.
He is a gifted and provocative writer, thinker, and speaker who has grown accustomed to the disruption and fallout that result from questioning established plotlines and challenging inherited paradigms (especially his own).
Jason’s most recent book, Misfit Faith (Convergence/Random House, March 2017), explores spirituality as displayed by those whose lives are a mess, who don’t have their acts together, and who have every reason to quit believing but (for some reason) can’t.
On his popular weekly podcast, Drunk Ex-Pastors, Jason and his agnostic co-host sit down over drinks and discuss everything from religion to art and politics to pop culture, bringing their own unique camaraderie to issues both weighty and shallow.
Jason is a former pastor in Calvary Chapel (1992 – 2000) and the Presbyterian Church in America (2004 – 2012), and a former missionary to Uganda (1991 – 1992) and Hungary (1994 – 2000). He received his Masters of Divinity from Westminster Seminary California in 2004. In 2012, Jason stepped down from the ministry to embark on a career as a writer, speaker, mentor, and really bad Catholic (concerning that last one, he comforts himself by daily remembering Chesterton’s maxim that “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly”).
Jason values things like rising early, eating whole foods, and “loving thy neighbor,” even though he rarely does any of them.
In this episode I continue our series on what the church needs to do in order to be able to speak meaningfully into the lives of people in a post-Christian culture. I address the problem of evil and the oft-cavalier Christian response to it. I chat with fellow ex-pastor Jonathan Hays about his experience navigating this issue, and then answer a caller’s question about why Jesus’ death was considered a sacrifice. The episode ends with the admission that Intelligent Design might be BS after all.
Episode #21 of the Misfit Faith Podcast continues our series on how the church can survive in a post-Christian culture. I address the issue of power, showing how American Christianity is just the latest expression of humanity’s age-old principle of “might makes right.” I suggest a better way forward, and then share a clip from Drunk Ex-Pastors in which Christian and I seek to comfort a caller who is stuck in a cycle of guilt and shame. I end the show with a rant against Family Ties. Yeah, the TV show.
Episode #20 of Misfit Faith begins a new series on how Christianity can survive in our twenty-first century postmodern culture. I address the various ways we might respond to this challenge, and then chat with Seth Taylor about the church’s fear of the body and of the material world. I answer a listener’s questions about priestly celibacy and the threat of hell, and end the episode with some straight-talk about how damn old we all are.
In this episode of Misfit Faith I offer a brief reflection on the degree to which many tend to understand the Christian life according to an “economic model” (which basically means it’s all one big eternal quid pro quo where we scratch God’s back by being good and he scratches ours by admitting us into heaven). I chat with author and historian Diana Butler Bass about her new book, Grateful, after which I get a call from a U2 fan. I end the episode by pointing out how lame kids are these days.
In episode #18 of the Misfit Faith podcast I suggest a couple distinct approaches to the issue of resurrection (one I hope is right and the other I expect probably is). I then speak at length with world renowned Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan about his new book, Resurrecting Easter, discussing whether the western Church’s art depicting Easter morning betrays a subtle but important mistake that the Church in the East avoided. Also, suburban churches suck.