Virtue In The Wasteland Podcast



A podcast about religion, culture, and issues that truly matter. Hosted by Dr. Jeff Mallinson and Dr. Dan van Voorhis.


  • Star Wars and Jesus in Orlando

    05/10/2018 Duration: 01h02min

    The #VIWROADTRIP2018 is underway, and this is our first show from the road.  While we are on the trip to visit a few people and places in the south, we started our RV trip in Orlando at the home of one of Jeff's best childhood friends. The beginning of the show is a little different than others, as we did this in the RV while driving- Dan opens the show with a bit of the "thesis" of the show and then the guys go into Star Wars, religion, walking away from what we once loved, devotion despite criticism, and other things that swing in both the direction of Star Wars and the Church.  From Sep 28-Oct 10 the guys will br checking in daily from the road and you can find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

  • The Not-So-Sacred Enneagram?

    27/09/2018 Duration: 01h04min

    Oh, that title almost sounds cynical. You know, like the kind of show that goes “you know that one incredibly popular thing? yeah? We, and God, disapprove”. That’s not our vibe, so, if you’re looking to slam on the Enneagram, that’s not what’s happening. In fact, you might be surprised at what we find as we dig into this popular, kinda-historical, emotional and psychological mapping system. We have some fun, talk about the popularity of these kinds of tests, and give you some info on our upcoming tour through the South.

  • On Superheroes and the Heliand

    21/09/2018 Duration: 01h10min

    On today's show we talk about heroes and superheroes as an entrance into talking about one of the great lost "superhero" stories of all time: the Heliand.  This story, a kind of Beowulf meets King Arthur meets the Gospels, was super important during a few critical times in our history.  The story is good, but it could be dangerous.  Do our heroes fall prey to the dark side of the myth? Tune in and check it out.

  • Ep 303: History, Sex, and Community: Your Phone Calls

    14/09/2018 Duration: 42min

    So, last week we gave you a show that clocked in at over two hours- we always recommend that you break the show up in to bits, and so it might take some time for you to get to this next show. But fear not, this one is a shorter show, comprised of a few questions and calls from listeners. Lest you think that a breezy call in show would allow us to dodge topics and pick easy questions like: best pizza topping? Or Unicorns or Bigfoot? But we want to let the show go where you, the listener, are interested. And this often leads to provocative questions and answers- we aren’t trying to be “edgy” but think through, in a non BS way, how we might want to respond and think.

  • Back to School Special V- Everything Has a Story: Interviews at Tyler Station

    07/09/2018 Duration: 02h21min

    Whoa boy, this is a long one.  But well worth it, and we hope you will agree.  Break it up into a few listens, the show consists of three long form interviews.   A few weeks ago we played the stunningly raw April Kirby discuss her own story of abuse in the church, but we didn't head down to a creative collective outside of Dallas to hear that story (though we are glad we did).  We came down to do some work with our friends that Klembara's and record at their studio- The TX Studio- to record some classes and promotional materials.  While there, we interviewed a number of people we found at the co-op that had really interesting work and work stories.  We thought, what better time than when we are all getting back into the grind to hear some stories of people who got out of the common daily grind to find their calling. This doesn't mean that working a 9-5 is less, but we are seeing that when it comes to jobs, there are more and more than we thought.  But how might we find these jobs that our high school or colle

  • Ep 301 Death, Sex, and McCain

    31/08/2018 Duration: 01h14min

    Ok, so we have these interviews, and we have listener calls, and we wanted to get to all or most of these things this week.  And then things changed, unfortunately.  On this episode we talk about the place of public mourning, we answer your pressing questions on tyrannosaurus procreation, talk about the place and power of forgiveness, and some personal things for public processing (because that seems to be what we do to a fault).

  • How To Listen: Tension, Faith, and Art, An Interview with April Kirby

    23/08/2018 Duration: 01h07min

    So this is show 300. And it's recorded on location in Dallas, TX.  This interview was going to be in a series of interviews on craftsmanship, vocation and creativity.  And trust us, April is one talented woman.  You can check out her stuff on she tells stories, makes videos, and helps to document important life events. But, it's a little different than we thought.  Dan met April and her husband Clint about a year ago here in Dallas and was dranw to their particular journey in the creative world and the church.  So, the interview started by talking about the church, and didn't really leave that topic.  But it wasn't the conversation we were expecting.  It was more timely and important than we could have thought.  A quick note about the subject matter: this isn't a show for kids, and it touches on some issues of sexual abuse in the church.     Ultimately, we want to foster the kind of listening that allows victims of abuse to feel safe, comfortable and worthy of sharing their story.   

  • Spirit (Animal) in the Sky

    17/08/2018 Duration: 01h23min

    Seriously, a show about animals.  Which, of course would be interesting to a large majority of people given the fact we have an entire television networks devoted to animals.  The problem is, neither of these two Drs are a zoologist, and we're pretty sure Dan couldn't tell you the difference between any two closely related animals (try him, ask him the difference between a seagull and a dove).  But this show is not about zoology, but rather the imagery (sometimes from the zoo) that humankind has used to identify and explain itself to others. We have an eye on the history of some of the more rich metaphors we have made as a species, from spirit animals to college mascots.  On today's show the guys discuss everything from mascots, to pets, spirit animals, and images of redemption in the animal kingdom. Enjoy the show.

  • Spoiling Saint Augustine

    09/08/2018 Duration: 01h23min

    Augustine, his importance, the City of God, the Confessions, and what he means for Western Christianity. Also, is there any legitimate criticism or concern about his views on the relations between church and empire? Also, Jeff gives his take on the Beverly Hills Chihuahua franchise.

  • The Virtue in the Wasteland Hotline (Bling): Your Calls, Our Answers

    02/08/2018 Duration: 01h25min

    "Why don't you guys talk about [fill in the blank] more often?" We've gotten this comment throughout the years, and as a show about everything, it's hard to give all of our topics the appropriate time.  So- we opened the Virtue in the Wasteland Hotline at 1-844-393-0012.  And, as you may have heard before, we dedicate shows to answering whatever burning questions you might have for your two favorite professors. Or us.  Enjoy the show. And call in with your own question (90 second maximum)  

  • Fear, Immigration, and North Dakota with guest Joe Laughon

    27/07/2018 Duration: 56min

    On today's show we have another summertime special on which Dan is furiously overcompensating for Jeff being gone.  And you win! That's right, another guest and two different topics, almost too much show.   In the beginning of the show Dan talks about fear and immigration and then brings on policy analyst Joe Laughon to discuss the facts about what is happening on our border.  And then, there is a summer time treat, a live talk given by Dan a few months ago in North Dakota.  Dan sets it all up on this last of shows without our pal Jeff. Godspeed, good buddy.    

  • Red and Yellow, Black and White, They Are Precious In His Sight? Two Interviews on Race and the Church

    20/07/2018 Duration: 01h40min

    "If the Gospel is For Everyone, Why Is Everyone Around Me So White?" This was a question asked on today's episode by one of our guests, Doug Klembara.  It led to our conversation on the short documentary his wife and friend just made, and leads us into the conversation Dan has with @Lex_Lutheran of Twitter fame, he's a man who digs his church but sees major racial issues to be discussed and combatted.   Sure, when we talk about the college closing everything is "alleged" and these are nothing but initial thoughts on how to think and talk about the issue.  As we always say, if you want to play "gotcha!", you will win.  Help us formulate our thoughts, recommend books, or just listen along with us as we delve into a topic that makes us all a little uncomfortable. We are on the go and in 3 timezones, so mic quality could be better but the quality of conversation makes up for it- we'll be back in our regular studio next week.

  • Summertime Spirituality

    13/07/2018 Duration: 01h05min

    The title makes it sound like this is a serious show. It really isn't. Mostly filled with Dan and Jeff messing around, but that's part of the point. Plus, they do get to a serious bit 3/4 of the way in, about the importance of letting go of the tyranny of leisure... the idea we have to "do" something instead of receiving the gift of existing, releasing our pain and resentment, and setting aside ego and fear. That's where things end up: ten things we refuse to do even though we know it will be good for us.  

  • God, Drugs, and the Brain: Live at Crosswise 2018

    06/07/2018 Duration: 01h02min

    It's another live show! This time with a bunch of high school kids who had spent the week at Concordia University, Irvine for the annual Crosswise Institute.  They heard world class lectures and discussed really difficult and rewarding topics pertaining to the nature of God, the brain, science and drugs.  On the final day of the institute, Jeff and Dan (Jeff is one of many behind the scenes for the institute at CUI), set up for a live show with a guest audience, a musical guest and a game.  It's a summer time special, a live show- enjoy!

  • The Wrath of God, Calvin, Hobbes and More of Your Calls

    29/06/2018 Duration: 01h10min

    On today's show the guys take a little break from their recent shows on history and power (all the moloch business) to answer questions you have and listen to comments you've made on our ViW hotline.  Enjoy the show!

  • Charles in Charge: On Crowns and Crosses

    22/06/2018 Duration: 01h14min

    On today's show we are back discussing old-timey people and old fashioned ideas.  Not because we think making them old makes them good, in fact, some of our characters are downright scoundrels.  But we are looking for ways in which we might engage both the state and religious institutions in creating a compassionate, faithful, and flourishing state.  This is, in part, a reflection of the joint research the guys have undertaken for their first joint publication. Enjoy the Show!

  • Constant(inian) Craving: The Church's Lust for Power

    14/06/2018 Duration: 01h15min

    On today's show the guys get into some of the content of their latest research for the upcoming book.  As the guys are looking for thoughtful ways to address contentious issues they sometimes come across a book that shakes things up a bit.  In this case, it was Peter Leithart's Defending Constantine. Jeff and Dan discuss the book, the emperor and more importantly, what any of it means for us today.

  • Ep. 288 10 Things We've Learned in 5 Years

    08/06/2018 Duration: 01h41min

    Hey, it's our 5 year anniversary show! And rather than simply talk about the show, we decided to do the mother of all "what did we learn" segments.  If you've been traveling with us, you know it has been a wild ride and we have tried to be very open own our discussions with all of you. On this show we discuss the big take aways from over 275 consecutive weeks of broadcasting

  • Power, the Church, and the Way of Jesus: Introducing a ViW Manifesto

    01/06/2018 Duration: 01h10min

    On today's show the guys discuss some big news and talk about the upcoming, very special, 5 year anniversary show.  We talk about Reinhold Niebuhr, Roseanne, and a few other things that will set the course for the rest of this year.  Listen up, and enjoy the show!  note: this show has been edited from its original. If you don't know why, it's not a big deal.  If you do know why... it's not really a big deal either.

  • Sheep Hmong Wolves?

    25/05/2018 Duration: 01h03min

    Yeah, you read that right.  It's not a typo. On today's show we discuss a small asian community that is thousands of years old and has remained hidden from American eyes until recently.  After some of the more shameful events in the later years of the Vietnam War, many Hmong (then in Laos as exiles, and then mercenaries) came to America.  By 1980 the Hmong were allowed to become citizens and have since founded two rather large communities in California and Minnesota.  How do the Hmong deal with the "American" aspects of Christianity and how do they see they're own tribal and sometimes animistic faith in light of being baptized.  To talk through these interesting people, we have another immigrant but from Korea, Prof. Tom Park.  Prof Park is doing his doctoral studies on the faith and culture of these people he has lived amongst and served. Enjoy the show!

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