A few months ago, one of our most faithful listeners and favorite supporters Tanner Billson asked a question about apologetics and the impassibility of God. It was a difficult dilemma, so Garrick and Timothy headed to the best place in the world to determine how to deal with difficult dilemmas: superhero comics. That’s because, in superhero comics, the world is always about to be destroyed and there’s no hope of saving it–which most people would classify as a rather difficult dilemma, especially for those of us who live on the earth, which happens to be a very high percentage of humanity.
As Garrick and Timothy were reading their favorite superhero comics, looking for the answer, it occurred to them that—whenever a dilemma is particularly difficult—there is one thing that almost always happens.
Lots of explosions.
However, pyrotechnics didn’t seem to be a very good way to answer Tanner’s question.
So, they kept reading.
Right before Garrick reached the end of his attention span, which happens after approximately eight seconds, Garrick and Timothy glimpsed the answer to their dilemma, gleaming gloriously in the darkness just like Bill and Ted’s telephone booth in front of the Circle K.
They needed a team-up.
That’s right: Like the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, like DC and Marvel, like Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but not so much like Batman and Superman since they tried to kill each other right before they teamed up, the dynamic duo decided to find some likeminded compatriots and team up with them for a crossover episode.
And who better to team up with on a superpowered episode than someone who’s already written a book about superheroes?
And that’s why they called Stan Lee.
But, since Stan had already passed away, he was regretfully unable to appear on the podcast.
That’s when Garrick and Timothy did the next best thing: They called Todd Miles, systematic theologian and acclaimed author of Superheroes Can’t Save You: Epic Examples of Historic Heresies. And so, two years after he first appeared on the podcast, Todd is now back and better than ever. This time, Todd teams up with Garrick and Timothy as cohost of the podcast Food Trucks in Babylon. That means he also brings with him another systematic theologian, J. Ryan Lister.
The results are nothing short of breathtaking.
Except for that one moment when Ryan looked wistfully at Todd and pleaded with him, “Oh, Batman, please let me be your Robin,” this crossover episode turned out to be one of the least awkward episodes of Three Chords and the Truth that your intrepid cohosts have ever produced.
Not only did Ryan and Todd answer questions about apologetics and the impassibility of God but they also discussed such pressing questions as how ethics should shape twenty-first century apologetics, what instrument Herman Bavinck would have played if he’d joined his fellow Dutchmen Eddie and Alex Van Halen in a band, and how Pearl Jam can help your prayer life. (Also, “Bavinck” would be the perfect name for a theologically-inclined industrial metal band.)
If you listen all the way to the end, you’ll also hear Todd’s personal reflections on the profound depths of Christian musical artist Michael W. Smith’s spiritual gifts.
As soon as you finish listening to this episode of Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast, head immediately to https://foodtrucksinbabylon.simplecast.com and subscribe to Food Trucks in Babylon. Also, take a look at http://www.westernseminary.edu where Todd “Batman” Miles and J. Ryan “Robin” Lister team up to teach theology.
The new cover art for this season was created by Dani Wallace (daniwallace.myportfolio.com).
This Week’s Guests
Todd Miles is Professor of Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches theology, church history, hermeneutics, and ethics. He is the author of Superheroes Can’t Save You: Epic Examples of Historic Heresies and the upcoming Cannabis and the Christian: What the Bible Says About Marijuana.
Ryan Lister is Professor of Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of The Presence of God: Its Place in the Storyline of Scripture and the Story of our Lives and serves as director of doctrine and discipleship for Humble Beast, where he also helped start the Canvas Conference.
Links to Click
Superheroes Can’t Save You: book by Todd Miles
How to Make Three Chords and the Truth More Amazing than It Already Is
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The Closing Credits
Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast thanks B&H Academic for their sponsorship. Music for the podcast has been licensed through Artlist.io and performed by Trent Thompson. Brief excerpts of music played in each program are included solely for the purposes of comment and critique as allowed under the fair-use provision of U.S. copyright law. “The fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, … scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright” (U.S. Code § 107, Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use). Main image by REVOLT on Unsplash.