About 7 years ago, I began downloading the weekly sermon audio from John Piper, who was then the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota. Each week I'd sync my iPod with my computer and listen to one of the most popular preachers of my generation in order to be built up in my walk with God and to learn what makes a preacher, a preacher.
This sermon audio came from the Desiring God Podcast, and it was the start of a habit I've maintained to this day, namely, listening to podcasts every week. My interests have changed over the past several years, and the podcasts that once demanded my weekly attention are no longer on my subscription list. Instead, I find myself listening to others that I want to share with you.
But first, what is a Podcast?
If you're not familiar with podcasts, perhaps the best way to think of them is as a weekly (or more frequently produced) radio show that is delivered over the Internet. Sometimes podcasts are video-based, but generally, they are audio files hosted by individuals or groups that discuss topics or teach information within a broader category.
Most of the podcasts I listen to are sermons, theological discussions, news commentary, or storytelling. Each week the specific episode will deal with a topic within those broader categories. I don't listen to every episode every week. If something doesn't seem interesting, I delete it. Podcasts were made for man, not man for podcasts.
Subscribing to Podcasts
Perhaps the quickest way to find a podcast to listen to is to open the "Podcasts" app on your iOS device and begin browsing for podcasts that are interesting to you. If you want to get really into it, check out the "Overcast" app, which has become my favorite podcast subscription app, and check out their curated suggestions.
Once you start exploring the podcasts that are out there, you'll be overwhelmed with the options, but these are some of my favorites. The links will take you directly to the podcast feed.
My Favorite Podcasts
- The Briefing — Albert Mohler: A short podcast that I usually listen to while I'm getting dressed each morning. Dr. Mohler takes two or three major news events and analyzes them from a Christian worldview.
- Christ the Center: Doctrine for Life — Reformed Forum: My favorite podcast. Lots of great interviews with some of the best scholars in the Confessional Protestant stream. Love the monthly Vos Group discussion.
- Clifton Baptist Church Sermon Audio — Tom Schreiner: The only sermon podcast I'm listening to these days. Dr. Schreiner is a top notch scholar, but I am always amazed and encouraged by his pastoral application of the texts he exposits.
- Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates: Debates on social, political, and economic issues. I always find myself stretched by thinking through different sides of an issue.
- Leadership Answerman — Hans Finzel: A helpful podcast for leaders from a CEO turned leadership guru.
- Proclaiming Christ — Reformed Forum: Another great podcast from Reformed Forum focusing on preaching. They've been working through Genesis, with a focus on its Christological interpretation, and it's awesome.
- Serial: You know about this one. Currently between seasons.
- TED Radio Hour: A really interesting show based on the popular TED talks. The contributors are always brilliant.
- This American Life: A classic that you've probably heard on NPR. Great storytelling and in-depth reporting on interesting and important cultural topics.
- The White Horse Inn: Interesting discussions around biblical and theological topics from a diverse panel of contributors. I've been listening for 6 or 7 years.
- WSCAL - Office Hours — Scott Clark: A podcast from Westminster Seminary California. Faculty members discuss biblical and theological issues with pastoral wisdom.
I hope you'll check out some of these podcasts, and maybe find some others that are more appropriate for your personal interests. If you find one that you think I'd enjoy, let me know!