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Spiritual Profiling: Samaritans and Sadducees

Tom Hovestol is the author of Spiritual Profiling: How Jesus Interacted with 8 Different Types of People and Why It Matters to You (Moody Publishers). Here Tom talks about two groups--the Samaritans and the Sadducees--that Jesus dealt with. The Samaritans were the outcasts, yet Jesus says more commendable things about them than anyone else. The Sadducees were the power elites and were the toughest for Jesus to reach.

Tom Hovestol is the author of Spiritual Profiling: How Jesus Interacted with 8 Different Types of People and Why It Matters to You (Moody Publishers). Here Tom talks about two groups--the Samaritans and the Sadducees--that Jesus dealt with. The Samaritans were the outcasts, yet Jesus says more commendable things about them than anyone else. The Sadducees were the power elites and were the toughest for Jesus to reach.

Spiritual Profiling Part 2 from ConversantLife on Vimeo.

Advice for Christians, a Challenge for Skeptics

This is the final segment of a four-part conversation with a former Christian, William Lobdell and a former atheist, John Ball. William offers some direct advice for Christians: Get some humility, and don't be afraid to explore different things. And Joan has some words for skeptics: Know the real substance of what you're pushing against, and don't confuse that with what people may say or do.

This is the final segment of a four-part conversation with a former Christian, William Lobdell and a former atheist, John Ball. William offers some direct advice for Christians: Get some humility, and don't be afraid to explore different things. And Joan has some words for skeptics: Know the real substance of what you're pushing against, and don't confuse that with what people may say or do.

Joan Ball and William Lobdell Part 4: For Christians and Skeptics from ConversantLife on Vimeo.

Spiritual Profiling Part 1

These days we talk a lot about "pluralism"--indicating the variety of religious and moral beliefs in our culture--as if that's a new concept. In fact, the world in the first century, when Jesus walked the earth, was far more religiously pluralistic than most of us imagine. He met, ate alongside, and conversed with secular leaders, detached believers, traditional power players, and many others. From every perspective, Jesus' world looked a lot like our world.

In Spiritual Profiling, a fascinating new book by Tom Hovestol, these two worlds come together in a dynamic way. ConversantLife.com is excited to feature Tom and his book, which shows how Jesus would have interacted with people today--both religious and secular. Through extensive research into the practices and mindsets of people living at the time of Jesus, Tom uncovered eight distinct groups and gave each one a "spiritual profile."

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An Uncertain Faith

Joan Ball, author of Flirting With Faith, and William Lobdell, who wrote Losing My Religion, get to the heart of faith in Part 3 of their 4-part conversation. "I embrace a very uncertain faith that many people are trying to make certain," Joan says. "By trying to make our faith certain, one cannot help but box it in and intellectualize it and make it human.

Lack of Courage

Joan Ball, author of Flirting With Faith, and William Lobdell, author of Losing My Religion, continue their conversation about God and faith and Christians. "I don't think there are a lot of Christians out there that deep down truly believe the Gospels," says William. "If they did, they would act quite differently." Furthermore, he believes Christians lack the courage to stand up when they see abuse and scandal in their own faith.

For her part, Joan has had some wonderful experiences with Christians, and some experiences that make her want to shake her head.

Joan Ball and William Lobdell Part 2: Lack of Courage from

Hip Hop Overview

Hip Hop is the soundtrack of forgotten streets that defy our forgetfulness. Its tones are sometimes inspired, sometimes enraged, sometimes despairing, sometimes hopeful.

So begins a fascinating new book by Daniel Hodge, a long-time ConversantLife.com blogger and the author of The Soul of Hip Hop (InterVarsity Press). Bobby Duran, Events Production Manager for Urban Youth Workers Institute, sat down with Daniel for a three-part interview that will inform and inspire you (even if you aren't a Hip Hop fan). In this interview, Daniel gives a birds-eye view of this cultural phenomenon. "Rap is something that's done, but Hip Hop is something that's lived," Daniel says. "People have a story and they want it to be heard. How do we engage that?"

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Conversion and Deconversion

Joan Ball is a former atheist who found faith in the most dramatic way possible. Now, seven years later, she "dances with both faith and doubt." William Lobdell is a former Christian whose crisis of faith compelled him to turn his back on the God he once believed in. Joan's story is told in her new book, Flirting With Faith, while Bill shares his journey in Losing My Religion.

ConversantLife sat down with Joan and Bill for a dialogue about faith and doubt and what it means to honestly confront the most important questions any thoughtful person can ask. Here is Part 1 on a continuing conversation.

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Kristin Ritzau "A Beautiful Mess"

Kristin Ritzau, author of the new book, A Beautiful Mess, sat down with Cissy Brady-Rogers, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, to talk about the important themes and outcomes of her book. A Beaufiful Mess is getting attention from key influencers like Dr. John Trent, who says: "Read this book! It is a life-changing look at the unavoidable forces that create unrealistic expectations and perfectionism, and at an even more powerful path towards freedom and the joy-in-life you've been longing for."

"A Beautiful Mess" by Kristin Ritzau from ConversantLife on

Frank Pastore "Shattered" Livestream

Here is the Livestream interview with Frank Pastore direct from the KKLA studio. Frank is the host of The Frank Pastore Show, the most popular Christian talk show in the country, and the author of Shattered: Struck Down, But Not Destroyed (Tyndale House Publishers).

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Hipster Christianity

We had a great conversation with Brett McCracken, author of the brand new book, Hipster Christianity (Baker Books). Joining Brett were Rebecca Ver-Straten McSparran, Director of the LA Film Studies program, and Laurel Dailey a professional photographer who produced and shot the photos for the book's website, hipsterchristianity.com.

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