Beyond the Box

Two guys thinking out loud about life beyond the box of institutional religion

Kicking Control to the Curb

feet-in-chainsWhy is it so common for some to desire to exert control over others? In this conversation, Steve and Ray talk about control and the many manifestations it makes within the context of Christianity and religion. Prompted by a video (visit the website to view) of a church service that has been making the rounds online recently, Steve and Ray talk about how control is sought through titles, ministry positions, education, expectations, and the influence of groupthink.  Join us as we kick control to the curb and seek to build a walk with God and others based solely on love.

 

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Jim Douglass – A Life of Peace and Resistance

jim_douglass_pic-In this episode Ray is joined by Jim Douglass for a riveting recollection of a life lived for peace and justice in the way of Jesus. James W. Douglass is a longtime peace activist, theologian, and writer. He and his wife Shelley are co-founders of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in WA state, and Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker house in Birmingham, AL. In this conversation, Mr. Douglass shares the story of his transformation from an aspiring nuclear physicist to a peace activist, theologian, and nuclear resister. A big “thank you” to Jim Douglass for allowing us to take a peek into his life, and for sharing his insight as a disciple of Jesus.  What a witness, and a life well-lived! Be sure to check out Mr. Douglass’ books for even more challenging and inspirational depth.

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The Unspeakable with James W. Douglass

James DouglassWhat do the assassinations of Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy have to teach us today? Is there a thread that runs through the lives and deaths of these well-known victims of assassination? These are the questions that Jim Douglass has been asking through his eye-opening series of books on “The Unspeakable”. Join Ray as he speaks of “The Unspeakable” with Jim Douglass and find out how Jesus might just be in the middle of it all – standing for truth and love in the midst of the powers that be. Check out the important books JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters and Gandhi and the Unspeakable: His Final Experiment with Truth. Thank you Mr. Douglass for taking the time to share this important conversation with us!

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Beyond the Box 2.0

new-and-improved-2In the (now almost) 6 years of the Beyond the Box Podcast, and in the years of personal conversation between Ray and Steve prior to the launch of BtB, one thing has stayed very consistent: A pursuit of meaningful and healthy expressions of faith in authentic relationships outside the institution or religion. In the evolution from two guys in a restaurant, to a couple of other friends occasionally joining in, to recorded conversations and a website for interaction with others, to a Facebook community with frequent personal interaction, Ray and Steve have tried to continue to explore what community mean, what role it plays in Beyond the Box, and how to guide it in a healthy direction without falling into the hierarchical trappings that seem to have sidetracked the institution.

Sometimes, evolution like that involves exciting growth and positive experiences. And sometimes, it requires stepping back a bit and re-evaluating the success/failure of particular endeavors. So, when recent events in the BtB Facebook community seemed to lead to some serious questions about exactly how that community functions and whether or not it was headed in a healthy direction, it was time for some hard thinking.

While this episode focuses heavily on that particular aspect of the BtB experience, Ray and Steve discuss many factors about community that may be applicable to a wide variety of situations. And within the context of this discussion, they outline some changes in the approach to community that will hopefully allow people to feel more safe, engage in healthier interactions, and live in love and respect for those around them.

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Walking in Unity

UNUnityITY. This seems to be a real buzz word in the Body of Christ, but seldom do we achieve it. What is unity? Does unity mean that we must all agree and affirm the same doctrines? Or, does unity mean that we must all lay aside our distinctive beliefs in an effort to not offend others, thereby having a unity based on just not talking about our differences? It seems like conservatives often choose conformity or uniformity while liberals often just don’t talk about differences. What if there were a third way? What if unity is best experienced when you get to be fully you without me ceasing to be fully me? What if unity means that we get to embrace others without compromising who we are, or forcing others to fit into our mold? Join Steve and Ray as they talk about navigating this “third way” of unity; a unity based neither on conformity nor silence, but on love.

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Notes From (Over) the Edge with Jim Palmer

Jim PalmerIn this episode Ray is joined by Jim Palmer for an exhilarating discussion about spirituality, suffering, and being human. Jim has a knack for making otherwise ethereal, spiritual concepts feel both meaningful and practical. He believes that the spiritual life is something to be embraced by everyone instead of a gift reserved for gurus and experts. Join Ray and Jim for this great discussion about life, spirituality, being human, and much more! Make sure to check out Jim’s newest book Notes From (Over) the Edge: Unmasking the Truth to End Your Suffering, and visit his website http://jimpalmerblog.com/. Thanks for taking the time to share your heart with us, Jim!

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The Chicken Manure Incident with Kevin Miller

Chicken Manure IncidentThe Chicken Manure Incident – It was supposed to be a quick and dirty solution. Early in the morning on June 4, 2013, workers from the City of Abbotsford, BC pulled up to a homeless camp on the side of the road and dumped a truckload of chicken manure on the site. Intended as a quick and dirty way to disperse this “problem population,” little did those who concocted the scheme realize who they were messing with. In this episode Kevin Miller joins Ray to talk about his new documentary film, The Chicken Manure Incident, and the subject of homelessness. Who are the homeless? How can we help them? Why do we see the homeless as “them” anyway? Join us for a discussion about Kevin’s new film, homelessness, and following Jesus with “the least of these”. Thanks Kevin for joining us for this great conversation! Check out The Chicken Manure Incident available on Vimeo On Demand, and “like” the Facebook page for the movie!

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Justice, Francis, and the Cost of Community with Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Cost-of-CommunityIn this episode Ray is joined by author and fellow “Beyond the Boxer”, Jamie Arpin-Ricci, for a discussion about intentional community, issues of justice, Francis of Assisi, and his book The Cost of Community. Join us as we chat about living in community, radical hospitality, co-housing, “shoulds”, and a lot more! Check out Jamie’s book The Cost of Community, and visit his website http://missional.ca/ for some great information about Christ and community. Thanks for taking the time to hang out with us, Jamie!

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Thinking Out Loud About Panentheism

Earch in PalmPrompted by a suggestion from listener Joshua, Steve and Ray fire up a discussion about Panentheism and whether or not it could be a helpful idea in our journey with God. Panentheism is to not to be confused with Pantheism (the belief that creation itself is God), but rather is the idea that the entirety of the universe is a part of God. Rather than the classic view of God’s separateness from creation, Panentheism posits that the creation itself is infused by the Divine, and therefore cannot be separated from God. Join Steve and Ray as they explore this idea, and journey with them down the usual rabbit trails! Have an idea for the podcast that you would like to hear discussed? Let us hear it by submitting it here: http://www.beyondtheboxpodcast.com/idea-submission

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Groupcast – What Is Community?

GroupcastIt’s our first ever Groupcast! Groupcast is a new Beyond the Box feature that’s all about listening to and interacting with you, in order to explore life in Christ within the context of community. Speaking of community, in this first installment of Groupcast, that’s exactly what we talk about. Community – What does it mean? What does it look like? How do we foster it? Join Ray and Beyond the Box community participants Heather Sterling, Jerrine Regan, Ulf Jetter, and Chip Watts as we explore this thing called “community”!

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