A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

The Other Side of Advent with Brian Zahnd

December 17, 2023 Randy Knie & Kyle Whitaker Season 4 Episode 9
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
The Other Side of Advent with Brian Zahnd
Show Notes Transcript

Merry Christmas! Brian Zahnd is back on the show to discuss his Christmas devotional The Anticipated Christ. We talk about why he's "trying to be religious," the difference between Christmas and Advent, the book of Isaiah, the Magnificat, what nonviolence has to do with Advent, the current Israel–Hamas war, and more.

We also spend a few minutes at the end just riffing on music. Why? Because Brian loves music and created an unconventional Advent playlist to go along with the book. And after our conversation, he created another one inspired by this episode! We strongly recommend rocking out to them while cooking Christmas dinner.

Here's a couple more links to things mentioned in the episode:

The beverage we taste in this episode is ... eggnog. With some Eagle Rare, if you're so inclined.

You can find the transcript for this episode here.

Content note: this episode contains some mild profanity.


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NOTE: This transcript was auto-generated by an artificial intelligence and has not been reviewed by a human. Please forgive and disregard any inaccuracies, misattributions, or misspellings.

Randy  00:06

I'm Randy, the pastor half of the podcast, and my friend Kyle is a philosopher. This podcast hosts conversations at the intersection of philosophy, theology, and spirituality.

Kyle  00:15

We also invite experts to join us, making public space that we've often enjoyed off-air around the proverbial table with a good drink in the back corner of a dark pub.

Randy  00:24

Thanks for joining us, and welcome to A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar.

Gentlemen, Merry Christmas.

Kyle  00:38

Merry Christmas to you.

Elliot  00:39

Whoa, whoa,

Randy  00:40

there we go. This is our second annual Christmas episode friends. We started last year with Kelly and Deacon day ha. It was wonderful. She wrote a book about Advents and about the subversive themes of Advent, a friend of the show that we interviewed way long ago, when we first started the podcast. His name was Brian zahnd. He's a pastor in Missouri. And he's a he's a brilliant guy. He's written a bunch of books. He talks about non non violence and the evilness of war and profound ways and some of those books. And he wrote a book called the anticipated Christ, which is a devotional for Advent. And we thought, let's have a second annual Christmas episode. So here we are. We're about to talk to Brian. But we also we're about to taste something that is in the spirit of the season, Kyle tells about it. It's eggnog.

Kyle  01:27

That's really all there is to say about it. I made it this afternoon, and I'm really excited about it. I've never made eggnog before. I've bought it many times. It's actually really easy to make and it's way better. And I have poured some Eagle rare bourbon into mine.

Elliot  01:42

I appreciate you including us in your every afternoon ritual. Yeah, yeah. I heard about four o'clock. It's that time. Yeah,

Randy  01:48

no, I'm drinking just the eggnog sands any booze editions. And it smells incredible. Yeah. Like major cinnamon and nutmeg. Beautiful.

Kyle  01:58

That's what it is.

Elliot  01:59

That's exactly what you have cinnamon topper it.

Kyle  02:01

I do. I think if you if you would like to sprinkle some cinnamon, there it is.

Randy  02:05

That's incredible eggnog, Kyle.

Kyle  02:09

I'm glad you think so what do you do here? It's really simple. It's literally just egg yolks and heavy cream. Little bit of sugar. The key is you gotta whip it the whole time. So you summer that makes it healthy cream and milk and everything together. Yeah, that's what makes it healthy. And you whip the shit out of the egg in the sugar. Now we got to put it we were gonna have to anyway, and then you just kind of slowly combined them in with the whole time. I think kinda like you would for Hollandaise although I've never met Hollandaise never made no my wife is a pro at all that stuff. So it would be silly to stick to eggnog you're good. Yeah. And then you just you know, you season to taste essentially. So

Randy  02:47

it's delicious. It's not overly heavy. Even though when you said eggnog or egg yolks and heavy whipping cream it may be kind of you know, yeah, you'd expect it to be in cholesterol and

Kyle  02:56

really heavy but I think the whipping makes it really light

Randy  02:59

well don't get me wrong I couldn't drink like a pint of this No no no but it's delicious. It's Christmas in a cup.

Kyle  03:07

Oh it is with Eagle rare pretty much anything you want to put bourbon you could use anything

Elliot  03:10

that eagle rare has like I don't know if I'm actually tasting Eagle rare with it. Like the characteristics of the eagle rare. I don't know how much they come through. But ego I know ego rear tastes kind of buttery. And it's just smooth and offensive. Yeah. And that character very much comes

Kyle  03:24

Yeah, compare it without and see if you can tell the difference. I can definitely tell you the mind nonalcoholic

Randy  03:28

want him. I might it's better, isn't it?

Kyle  03:35

Better. I think a light touch with any alcohol you add is important for this. Well,

Randy  03:40

I would say I mean, eggnog is delicious. And then when you put a little poison in it gets less delicious.

Kyle  03:48

Yeah, so cheers. Cheers. Thank

Randy  03:50

you. Thanks. Awesome. And maybe we'll post the recipe in the show notes. What do you think? Let's do it awesome. Brands on thank you so much for joining us again on a pastor and philosopher walk into a bar.

Brian  04:16

Thank you. Good to be with you.

Randy  04:17

We want to talk about your your book on Advent your your new devotional which came out last year is that correct? Yeah. So super fun, really beautiful devotional. And this is our second annual Christmas episode. So thank you for being our Christmas episode, by the way. Sure, you begin your Advent devotional by rejecting the common aphorism that says I'm spiritual but not religious. You begin this whole section saying this is why you're writing this you say that being a religious person in your religious world is one of our last acts of rebellion. Tell us what you mean when you say that you are a religious person.

Brian  04:53

I'm trying to be a religious person. I think all of us in Western culture in late modernity, our default secularists and I'm trying to rebelled against that. I'm trying to be really, you know, I mean, it's easy to say, You're spiritual, I suppose everybody's spiritual to some extent. I mean, I don't think that's sane much. I need a little rigor. I need something that demands something of me. And I do I do think that religion is the last act of rebellion in a libertine age. I mean, how is she gonna rebel? You know, this is one of the hallmarks of modernity is it's arrogant rejection, of all former tradition in, you know, especially perhaps religious authority. The critique that post modernity brings of modernity, I like it is in the sense that post modernity says, Hey, modernity, you're just another tradition. You're a tradition of critiquing all previous traditions. And I would say, as such, it's a rather impoverished tradition. So when religion goes bad, there's nothing worse. It's as Bad Religion is the worst. But that's not. That's not the mean, religion doesn't have to be bad. And so even you know, among Christians, especially maybe in the Protestant world, in the West, have sort of a default attitude of rejecting religion, as if they're emulating Jesus. They're not they're emulating Voltaire and Nietzsche, Jesus was harshly critical of religious hypocrisy, but not a religion as such, he was religious man. I mean, he, he, he had religious practices, he attended synagogue, he observed a religious diet, we go on and on and on. And I recognize for my own spiritual formation, I can't leave that up to just make it up as you go. Or more for spirituality, I need some tradition that's been tested and vetted and passed down, that I conform to, and he all that kind of language flies against the spirit of the age. And that's why I call it rebellion. Can

Kyle  07:19

we camp here for just a second, of course, a new unit questions? What do you think might motivate a person to say I'm spiritual, but not religious? And let's assume that this person is smart.

Brian  07:28

Well, that they're not just a crass materialist that they they think maybe there is something beyond just material ism, philosophically. And so they want to give a tip of the hat to that. But they religion has fallen out of favor. And it's it's, it's easy to critique it, I get that, I would argue that a lot of my day job is doing that. I mean, I have been a strident critic of much that passes for Christianity in America in the 21st century. So I'm on board with that, but I'm just not. I'm just not willing to dismiss religion, carte blanche and just say, it's all terrible. It's all worthless. Because what the what, what are you going to use to tether yourself to something? You know, valuable, rich, are you just going to just float in the wind? And so I'm trying to tether myself to an ancient religion called Christianity. And to do that I need certain practices and observing Advent would be one of them. We can stay here and move on, or I'll talk about whatever. But I like talking about this stuff one more.

Kyle  08:55

time because I do want to talk about Advent, but we could camp here for a long time. What do you think it means to be religious? So you've mentioned practices several times you've mentioned tethering yourself to a tradition? Seems like there's lots of other ways one might interpret what it means to be religious, some more and some less compatible with what it means to be spiritual.

Brian  09:12

Yeah, I don't know if I'm prepared like to give a this is my definition, whatever really think about that a while. But I'll say this. Also, I'll answer one might not come back around to Christianity is a received religion. We don't get to make it up. We do improvise a little bit we can change we can reform we can alter, but that that happens slowly over time. The the faith itself is something that is passed on. And so I recognize that and I recognize that I am receiving a gift from our forbearers in the faith that goes back 2000 years. And so to be religious, how has to do with not just having a certain mood towards things spiritual, but actually willing to structure in some way, some aspect of your life around this, there's things that you will do or won't do. There's things that you observe or don't observe. Because a religion that is a structure of beliefs and practices that are spiritual in nature constrains you, or impels you to behave in certain ways that that, that may differ from the wider culture. And so that's why I say I'm trying to be religious because it is an act of rebellion. I don't want to just drift with the current culture. And you know, I'm not I'm not one of these, you know, culture warriors that everything's bad. I'm not that guy, you know, but I do need some money. I need the great tradition. I need something that comes from beyond myself beyond my generation. I need something that is ancient, rooted, tested, proven. And so that's So defiantly religious. I actually resonate me I understand that it's countercultural, I get it. Yeah. And it's just, it'd be, it'd be so easy for me, as a pastor of a non denominational church, just to say, I'm not religious, because because I don't people will like that. I'm spiritual, but I'm not religious. No, I'm religious and trying to be rough. I'm not very good at being religious. I would like to be better at it. Just I, you know, at times, I'm too lazy with it. But I aspire to be more religious.

Kyle  11:48

Yeah. I wonder how countercultural that really is. I think there's cultures in which that is very much the norm and valued. But I do resonate a lot with what you're saying, I also just want to make sure we leave space for people for whom any recognized form of religion is unsafe and unhealthy, and for whom being spiritual is still very important and valuable. And those are the people I hear say that and so I just wanted to make sure we left space for that. There's also a YouTube video that everyone should go watch. I cannot remember the channel. But it's about being spiritual, not religious. And it's this. I won't ruin it for you. But at one point, the leader in a congregation says Let's all turn to our Twitter feeds to add Deepak Chopra. silverfit Google,

Randy  12:29

that is great. Yeah. And just in case any listeners aren't familiar with Brian's on and think that Brian is just glibly, you know, dismissing spirituality. Brian went through his own season of faith crisis, and deconstruction and reconstruction while pastoring and leading a church and your faith, Brian reed, I don't want to go too far, much further into this. But your faith is profoundly different than it was when you started pastoring. The church, correct?

Brian  12:52

That's entirely true. Yes. The core isn't. I was captured by a fascination with Jesus Christ. At a young age that has remained true. That's been the constant. But a whole lot. Once you once you begin to expand out from that core. Yeah, a whole lot has changed, in fact, yeah. Our church today is very different than it was 20 years ago. Yeah, I mean, very different.

Randy  13:20

One last question. And we're gonna put this baby to bed and talk about the anticipated Christ. I saw on Twitter is today's some Theo bro tweeting about how if your pastor has changed profoundly who he is or what he believes in, in the last 10 years, or whatever, you shouldn't follow him? He's not a leader. What are your thoughts on that kind of take? Well,

Brian  13:38

I think that's you're not leaving much room for the work of the Holy Spirit. Now, are you? I mean, at what point should we never change? I mean, I guess one once you're a reformed Calvinist, that's you've found it, and you should never move on from that. Yes. And amen. That's I assume that's their assumption. Look, you know, I'm obligated to follow Jesus, and that that very term of follow implies that there's going to be movement. Yes. And, you know, if I could have been, if I could have had perfect theology, and been perfectly formed spiritually. When I started following Jesus at 16, then I guess I wouldn't have to change now. Would I? Yep. But that hasn't been the case. And so, like I said, there is a core, there is a core that has remained unchanged. But I mean, change. That's growth. That's development. That's yeah, I think that's just that's kind of a sloppy statement to say there. As

Randy  14:53

my spiritual director says, All living things crow. That's very simple. So anticipated Christ is the book The Advent devotional and I highly recommend it for anyone who's looking to just enter into the season in a deeper, more rich way. That's about the only way I can put it. Now for me, Brian Christmas has been made into I think for many of us Christmas has been made into a kind of a bright and cheery holiday where everything's beautiful and bright and jolly and fun and there's parties all the things. Right Advents, however, has an altogether different feel from those bright, Jolly cheerful parties. It we just did a reading on hope this last Sunday in our church, a liturgical prayer and reading. And I entered into a kind of a gloomy or darker space when we started reading. And it felt appropriate it felt right. So there's a feeling of darkness and longing and even desperation to me at least. Do you think that's accurate? And How might our experience of Christmas change a bit if we sat in the themes of evidence? Yeah,

Brian  15:56

a couple of things. Advent is I think it is. All things liturgical are, are beginning to make a kind of comeback now, because we went to the very bottom of, yep, no religion, there's nowhere else to go. And so people are beginning to discover, you know, Advent lens, things like that the church calendar in general, we're talking about Advent. The idea is that we are waiting in the darkness for a hope that has not yet arrived. In one sense. Advent is a humble, mild reenactment of Israel's long wait for the Promised Messiah, you know, you have these prophecies. And I would say that the Messianic prophecies that Christians interpret as referring to Christ can only be understood in retrospect, you couldn't predict what was going to happen. But in retrospect, you look at him and you can you can kind of see it, but there certainly was a long sustained hope, for Messiah that that Israel pass through for. I mean, I don't know where you want to begin it, either. You could begin with, you know, the exile and 587, you could begin with some of these prophecies that we find in Isaiah, you know, so you're talking five or six, if you just go back just that far, you're talking about five or six centuries of waiting, waiting, waiting. And, you know, we're we're very, we're very impatient people. Maybe that's always been true, but I think I think our I think our technology exasperates the problem of we want everything really instant. I've developed a conviction that I think patience, and wisdom are so closely related, that they're nearly synonymous. I mean, as I look back over my life, and if I wanted to pick out my 10 most foolish moments, I want to get they almost all have to do in some way or another with me being impatient. And in moments when I have acted in wisdom, I would say, you know, what I was really doing there was being patient. So, Advent stress stresses that sort of thing that, that we don't like waiting because it feels like doing nothing. And but that's not true. There's a kind of fortitude that's being developed within us. Yeah. That that we don't have to have everything we hope for right now. Or we just walk away from it all. We're willing to wait. We're willing to sit in the darkness, sit in the silence. Sit with the longing and just wait. Yeah. Perry in the I'm, I don't can't remember if we were recording it. I don't think we were. We just walked our fourth, Camino de Santiago in Spain. And we took a prayer with us that we were using all the time and we've just brought it back and now it will probably be part of my life, or my prayer life for the rest of my life. It's it's a prayer from St. Teresa of Avila. This is one of the 16th century Spanish and mystics. And she said, Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things are passing away. God never changes. Patience, obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone suffices. I think probably the spirit of the age would disagree with almost everything said in that but I but I Leave that and I especially love that line, patience, obtains all things. So add Advent has to do with a kind of reenactment of Israel's Wait, but also a steaming patience and as in fact a great virtue. Remember James says it's in context of trials. Let patience have its perfect work in you that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing very much like what St. Teresa says. Patients obtains all things. I can't remember where we were talking about exactly Advent and but anyway, that's just rambling thoughts on it?

Randy  20:41

Yep. The feelings of Advent versus the feelings of Christmas and the difference? Yeah, no,

Brian  20:45

no, I'm not on it. You'll meet some that come from a maybe a long history of very rigid liturgical Advent observances that get upset, you know, if you say Merry Christmas before, December 25. Or, if you put up the lights, you know, before, I'm not that guy, and I don't want to, I think Christmas or Christmas time, whatever you wanna call it, for all the problems. I mean, you can you can say, okay, it's commercialism. We know this, you know, all that sort of stuff. But still, it is one of the last strongholds that Christian witness has within our culture. And so I lean into it and and admittedly, at Word of Life Church, we are doing a fair amount of conflating Christmas and Advent we, as far as like, how we speak in church, we try to kind of keep them a little bit distinct. But we're, we're putting up the lights, and we're also being festive, too. So we're kind of trying to do both at the same time, without without feeling somehow that's wrong.

Randy  21:51

Yeah. So before Kyle asks about Christmas, and all that, in the book, you say something to this to the effect of, we would all be wise to cultivate waiting in our lives. Yeah. Pastors, and how do I cultivate waiting in my life?

Brian  22:07

I think contemplative prayer is a very countercultural practice. This is I don't have time to teach on and all this but, but this is prayer, without words, without really even expectation of anything happened. And I call it sitting with Jesus, just to sit in silence, acknowledging the presence of the Lord, and sitting for a period of time, in utter silence. I mean, because it feels so much like doing nothing. And yet, if you really are sitting with Jesus, well, then everything's happening. Christ is the wisdom of God, the healing of God, the grace of God, the salvation of God, all of that. And I'm in the presence of that, I don't have to have some sensation of thought, or, or an empirical sensations when I hear see or feel or something like that. I'm, I'm, it's a moment of pure faith. Where I just, I'm content with doing nothing, with with being still and knowing God. And I think it's very hard at first, because we're not used to anything like this. And it's so different from everything we do. I mean, I'm not saying this is some sort of magical trick, and all of a sudden, you'll be, you know, a mystical saint. And never disturbed, but it's a place to begin. Yeah.

Randy  23:54

Yeah, it's, I mean, it's surely a centering practice. I mean, I would say qualifies as 85% of my prayer life these days. And I feel like my prayer life has never been richer. In in I feel like I have less questions when it comes to the, the idea of prayer, because prayer for me is less, you know, Christmas list, in more sitting in the presence of Christ, like you're talking about this nice

Kyle  24:20

connection with the Christmas list. It reminds me that old Pascal quote, something like all of humanity's problems stem from our inability to sit quietly in a room alone. Yeah, maybe had been as a practice that could help us with that. So do you have kids Brian?

Brian  24:35

I have three, three adult grown sons and I have eight grandchildren. Congratulations 13 and 13 to two.

Kyle  24:45

I have two one of them is two and one of them is two months and so I'm just learning so I'm gonna ask you for children that wisdom that grandchildren,

Brian  24:53

I made that change my mind.

Kyle  24:57

So next question is kind of about how to pay aren't in this context that you're teaching us about. So I confess that, like most of my life at this point, frankly, Christmas is mostly secularized for me, right now, part of that is just having children and wanting them to experience the joy of the season. Part of it is the religious forms just don't feel at home right now anymore, maybe we'll eventually hope for that. But it is really much more about being jolly and playful than it is about waiting, or longing and darkness. But when I read a Charlie Brown Christmas to my son, which I did the other day, and you get to the part where Linus tells Charlie Brown, what Christmas is all about, and he quotes Luke to, I choke up, and I can't avoid it. And it's got to be because underneath it all, it's really about hoping for something better than what's here. So any advice on how I can preserve that core for my kids without destroying the joy of

Brian  25:50

it, all I can do is tell you my favorite memory as a child regarding Christmas. And it was a tradition, you know, childhood flies by so quick in reality, but not as not when you're a child. You know, so, you know, let's say, you know, from the ages of two to 12, you know, that's 10 years, but if, but, but feeling it at that time is like 100 years. And one of our traditions, I can see even as a child, I probably love Christmas Eve, more than Christmas Day, I love my child doesn't I like the presence and all that. But I couldn't I wouldn't have all been able to articulate this as a child. But I love that sense of mystery. Wonder, all I wouldn't have used any of those words. But you know, the Christmas tree lights off. And it's very simple. And my dad would read two stories. He would first read the night before Christmas. And then he would read Luke to King James Bible. Because you know, I want those Shepherd sore afraid. So as How am I supposed I got my shepherds I want to sore for Let's go. And you know, someone say well, okay, you know, one is this fable of a Santa Claus and the other you actually hold to with, you know, deep conviction, does that mess up, but it isn't nests of a child. That's a you're giving them a great gift with these two stories. And I think probably all children somehow instinctively know how to fit them in their proper compartments. And and they don't have to explain just just read the two stories, you know, and then have some cookies or some that's what we did. And I think I think bringing, providing children with wonder. That's a that's a good thing to do.

Randy  28:00

Yes. Yeah. And hopefully learning that ourselves. Yeah, returning

Kyle  28:06

to the book. So the first half or so of the book takes passages from Isaiah and uses those as the inspiration you might expect, I might expect to devotional about Christmas to be primarily from the New Testament, but we didn't actually get to New Testament until about halfway. Well, it's Advent, though. So I'm kinda Yeah. So I want you to explain the emphasis on Isaiah, how you take Isaiah, how you understand Isaiah, just in general. And I was particularly struck by I don't know how I've been a Christian my whole life without knowing this, that Isaiah has the same number of chapters as books in the Bible, and that there's the same division in the middle. Tell us about that, because it blew my mind.

Brian  28:40

You know, I think scholarship is universally agreed that there's at least two authors operating under the name of Isaiah, maybe three, but let's keep it simple and say two. And we have Isaiah of Jerusalem writing before the exile and the destruction of Jerusalem. And then you have Isaiah of the exile. And they're very different. The end, it's the first the first 39 chapters of Isaiah, like the Old Testament, having 39 books, there's a lot of woe unto you. Whoa, there's just a ton of wounds, because there's this called repentance and this warning of judgment, but then, you know, the catastrophe has befallen 587 the destruction of Jerusalem, forced deportation to Babylon, all that and the changes there. Now, there's a gap probably in the actual compiling of these documents, there's a gap of probably like 150 years, but then everything changes. And it's, you know, the very first words of Isaiah 40 This is this is Second Isaiah. Comfort, comfort G my people is and there's the series of songs, that's what they are poetry. that are envisioning a hopeful future. And they're mysterious. One of the more mysterious aspects of these poems, or the series of their we call them the songs of the suffering servant. Because Isaiah imagines Israel as the servant of Yawei. But he often presents it as a single person, probably as a literary technique. But he envisions that this servant of Yawei, is going to bring about some kind of salvation, but only through tremendous suffering. Well, I mean, the and then, you know, when Christians when the first Christians began to read their Bible, and it's what we would call the Old Testament, they just couldn't not see Jesus there. And so, to the extent that I that one of the Church Fathers, it's either Tertullian or Jerome, and I forgotten which one I think, I think, Jerome, but I'm not 100% Sure. He's the one that gave us the term. A lot of people have used it since that Isaiah as the fifth gospel, that gospel themes are so prevalent now, if you want to do you know, if you want to do like some really literary criticism, he was, well, that's because actually, the Gospel writers are working with material from Isaiah and structuring their gospel, right. So be it I'm, so I'm fine with that. But there is this tremendous connection between the canonical gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and this other gospel, that is the book of Isaiah. So yeah, so I spent a lot of time working with what we would call Masonic prophecies.

Randy  31:54

And when you say that Isaiah along with probably the book of Psalms is just filled with themes of waiting of hope, Ill longing,

Brian  32:04

right. Yeah. Right. In

Randy  32:06

you talk about the Magnificat a little bit you talk about Mary song and Mary's experience. And speaking of the magnificant you say that Advent is not just about waiting, but it's about waiting in the right place. Yeah, when you're talking about the Magnificat, can you tell us a little bit about that? Yeah,

Brian  32:26

let me just say, you know, those that don't know the Magnificat is the that's the first word in Latin of the Latin translation of that passage in Luke one, magnify the Lord, you know, so that's where it comes from. It's really in some ways as an adaptation of Hannah's song that you get in First Samuel, one. And then you have Mary's song, as it's often called, is an adaptation of that. I mean, it's a revolutionary kind of song. Yes. And it's a song that says that God is getting ready to act, but that God is going to fill the hungry and send the rich away empty. God is going to fill the hungry, but send the rich away empty courses, we find this and I said, I said, I said, Matthew, it's in Luke's gospel. And then when you get to Luke's version of the Sermon on the Mount, it's a sermon on a plane, and they're similar but different. Matthew has all of the blessings, the Beatitudes, Luke has that and the woes. And let me it'd be easy for me just to read you one. Explain what I mean here. This is Luke six. Then he looked at his disciples and said, Blessed are you who are poor for years of the Kingdom of Heaven Blessed are you hungry now for you be filled. Blessed are you wheat now for you will laugh. But then he goes on and says Woe to you who are rich for you have received your constellation Whoa, do you who are full now for you will be hungry? Whoa, do you who are laughing now for you will mourn and weep. That fits really well with the magnificant. And so it isn't just waiting. It's okay. I need to identify the places in my life where I am weak, where I am destitute, where I'm broken, where I'm hungry, or I'm empty, and wait there. I mean, God doesn't really show up to the places in our life where we're sated and satisfied. And content. It's, it's God comes to the person or to the, or to the places in our own lives where we're broken, empty, poor, destitute, and so it's it's he he lifts. This isn't in the magnificant This isn't panna song, but they're related. It says he lifts the poor out of the ash heap and makes them sit with the princes. So find those areas of your life that are in a sheet where it's burned out and burned up and saw gone wrong, sit there interesting with some sort of, maybe not terribly defined but a vague hope that maybe God could meet me here.

Randy  35:15

We just spoke to Julie James Jennings and one of the things that he said was, how fascinating it is that God was taught by his mother, how to live in the dirt, right how to live in real life, what it means to be human in many ways. As you talk, he reminds me of that thinking, Well, of course, Jesus taught this the Sermon on the Mount, because he was raised by his mother who, saying that, you know, who created this Magnificat who had this theology, in the dirt rooted in the dirt and rooted in the God who sees the lowly and meets them in that place? Amen. Yeah, the humanity of Jesus strikes me so brilliantly in the incarnation and Christmas. So in speaking of the Magnificat of Mary song, it haunts me that a bit that we have a church in America that sings patriotic songs during the summer, right? We've all grown up in them, maybe even you did it in Word of Life before before your construction or reconstruction, I don't know. But I remember singing patriotic songs and Memorial Day and Fourth of July, and those were our favorite Sundays of the year friggin loved them. But then we and we also have churches, hosting political candidates and waving American flags and doing all sorts of things in the Magnificat is relegated to this inspirational immigrant song, even though I love immigrants and love breath of heaven praise the Lord. What would a Christianity that is shaped by the real version of Mary song perhaps look like in America? Yeah,

Brian  36:43

man. I don't know where to go with that. There's so many things to say there. Yes, word of life. You know, we've been on this 42 year long journey. And we just have to learn as we went. We sort of just followed the lead of what other churches were doing. And we did all that stuff, all that I would call it, you know, somewhat innocent idolatry, although it's not so much innocent anymore. Yeah, one of the things that helped us get away from that is to be very serious about the church's calendar. And so when people say to me, Ma, it's, it's it's Fourth of July, and you guys didn't say anything? Or it's, you know, we're coming up on Memorial Day, our Veterans Day or one of these days, you know, and you guys don't even acknowledge it at more levels than Yeah, we don't. It's not our calendar. It's not on the church count. We follow the church calendar, not the secular calendar of the United States. I mean, you're asking me a question that I don't know how to I know how to respond to it. I don't know how to respond to it. And under like, 30 minutes, yeah, no, it's that, that, that we have to decide which kingdom we belong to in there is no conflation true with with the kingdom of Christ in the kingdom of Babylon. And I suppose the revelation that caused me the most trouble as a pastor enabled me to lose a whole lot of people was that America is not a kind of biblical Israel, but a kind of biblical Babylon. And I preached that and was quite clear on that. And, you know, we got rid of any flags or any of that business. And that's see America is, America is a behemoth. It's big. It's, it's, it's, it's four things simultaneously. It's a geopolitical state. It's a culture. It's an empire. And it's a religion. Now, when I talk about America, as a nation and a culture, there's much to critique. And I do that but there's much also there's much also that's admirable and worth celebrating. This also is true. When we talk about America as an empire, now it becomes problematic because empires are rich, powerful nations who believe they have a divine right to rule other nations and a manifest destiny does shape history according to their agenda. And they they try to usurp the authority that God has given to His Son, Jesus Christ. And then finally, America is a religion. And I just say that sort of calmly I know that people would freak out and get upset, but I mean, really is deniable. It's it's a religion complete with sacred documents and holy days and sacred ground and liturgical gestures, sacred documents, foundational myths, on and on it goes. The apotheosis of Washington in the rotunda of the Capitol building. That is, that is where George Washington has ascended into the heavens, and is seated in the heavens as a god. I mean, when I call it the apotheosis of all Washington that's not me giving it the name. That's actually the name of it. That's that's what it's called the deification or apotheosis of Washington. So we're getting a little bit away from Advent. But it trusting the church calendar helps you avoid that sort of mess. A little bit. Things like thank me I'm preaching the Magnificat is is good. Anti Imperial theology? Yes, I'm here for it.

Randy  40:31

Ya know, it just struck me reading. You talk about the Magnificat how we have churches who in summertime will sing. Glory, glory, hallelujah, the Battle Hymn of the Republic in America, the beautiful and all the things. And yet, the gospel was born out of a song by a teenage mom bearing Christ who said he has brought down rulers from their thrones, but he's lifted up the humble he has filled the hungry with good things, and set the center rich away empty. Now that is a paradox. Yeah. And those two things don't work together is what I'm trying to get at. Well,

Brian  41:05

my guess would be that this is sort of an educated guess. The churches that are super patriotic and really bring a lot of that into their church and battle him the Republican all that business. I don't think they I think they avoid the men magnificant I don't think it's part of their liturgy and convenience. I just think they just by they, they they don't lean into that aspect of Christmas. Yeah.

Kyle  41:31

So kind of related a little, also a little bit of a gear shift here. If anybody knows Brian's on the board of the things they probably know you for is the sort of stuff you were just riffing on, but also your stance against nationalist violence. And that comes up early in the book. And I want to just read a little passage here if I can. Okay, so you say for the first three centuries, the church viewed the waging of war as incompatible with following Christ, not because they were ethical pacifist, but simply because they belong to the kingdom that shall learn war no more. For the early Christians war belong to the antiquated kingdoms of the world that had not yet submitted to the reign of Christ. War was now in abolished and Antichrist anachronism. Christians, by virtue of their baptism belong to the age to come. So can you just tell us a bit about the connection there to Advent?

Brian  42:21

Well, in one way it's connected is this is from the very famous prophecy in Isaiah two. This is the plows, shares, that Swords to Plowshares and spears to pruning hooks passage that, that something is going to happen with the reign of Messiah that will cause the people of God to be peaceable, and to study war no more as the poem goes. The early Christians I alluded to this earlier, were so obsessed with finding Jesus in their Bibles, which for them was the Old Testament. And they see that in Isaiah two, verse four, they say, well, that's happened, that's not we're no longer waiting for that, that has occurred. And so now the time for us to turn swords Plowshares spears, the pruning hooks, and learn more, no more has arrived. And so where the early church before it got tangled up with Constantine, and the early fourth century, for three centuries, the church simply said, We will not be a part of waging war. And they were not naive idealists that thought they were going to eliminate war from the earth, they just said, that's, that's Babylon. That's the age prior to Christ. That's not us, we belong to something other, we belong to a different kingdom a different age. And so we are not necessarily trying to directly eliminate war, we're simply going to be that part of the world already saved and transformed by Christ, and we're going to live accordingly. And the church did. And it was only when they when the church was offered kind of a seat at the table of imperial power, with the conversion of Constantine. And by the way, I think that it was obviously a mistake, at least from my vantage point for the church to get involved with the Roman Empire and allow itself to be co opted as essentially the state religion. I also think it was an inevitable mistake. I don't know how they avoided making that mistake. I think it would just would have been, it would have just seemed so you know, we have this opportunity to head I mean, I can't imagine someone's saying, I've heard that this new roman emperor is some kind of Christian and Christians somewhere off in Corinth going well, we're not going to put up with that now, are we? I mean, I think they're gonna hear that as good news, especially coming out just on the heels of the Emperor Diocletian and his very Every vigorous, state sponsored persecution of Christians, I think it was inevitable they made that mistake. But on my point is we're 17 centuries into this. And Christendom is a failed experiment. And I think anybody that's serious and paying attention should be aware of that. I mean, where does it ultimately, if you follow that long enough, you will arrive at the two great world wars in Europe, in the 20th century, where in the name of national allegiance you have Christians, killing Christians by the millions. So some, some went wrong there somewhere. And so yeah, I think Advent heralds a time when there will be peace on earth. Christians say, the Prince of Peace has come this this is the this is the sum that's given to us that we call Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Now, the trick, though, that that we've learned since Constantine is, is we say, oh, no, no, Jesus has to come a second time, before we actually begin to live as if his kingdom has been established. This is this kind of hermeneutical trick of kicking the can down the road. And I just say, we have to stop that Christ has come he is Lord and the world will be the world. But the church has to be the church. This is what Stanley Horwath is getting it out, when he says the primary task of the church is to make the world world. But what he means the church is to be something radically other than the world so that you actually have a contrast. So exactly. Okay, this is what the world does. But the church does something different.

Randy  46:49

Yep. So while we're talking about this, in our part of the world, that same time, in what we call, or many people call the Holy Land, it's being torn apart in a war between Israel and Hamas. And you say at one point, I found peace and beauty in Bethlehem, but I've also seen separation walls, rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, their Christ is not just born in the beautiful places of our lives. Jesus was not born into a fairy tale, but into the world as it is. Can you give us some pastoral counsel on what is an appropriate response to the war that's happening in Israel and in Gaza? And how we understand that connection to Advent? Brian? Yeah,

Brian  47:29

yes. And no, yes. And no, I can't, I can't. First of all, let me say just with all seriousness, I probably understand the Israeli Palestinian conflict. I'm probably in though 1/10 of one percentile. I mean, I've spent enough time there. You know, I've visited there over 30 times. I've been in Gaza. Very few Americans that have been in Gaza. I've been to Gaza. I understand the problem. I don't have a solution. If they if they said, Ryan, we're going to put you in charge today. Well, they're not going to they're not going to do that. And whatever I would suggest wouldn't be done anyway. So I'm let's let's let me be a lot more modest now and say, I'm only speak I don't have any advice to give to Palestinians. I don't have advice to give it to Palestinian Christians. And I have many friends. I pray for them by name every day. I'm praying everyday for Sandy and Mona and Jack and, and Moon through and on and on and on. These are dear friends of mine. That are right in the thick of this. I used to have friends in Gaza. I don't have any friends there. Now. They moved out some time ago. I mean, a few years ago, but I've had friends there. I've known people there. So I don't have any advice to give to them. I just don't I pray for them. I don't have I have plenty of Israeli friends. I have a few Israeli Christian friends. I have more Israeli Jewish friends. I mean, when I say friends, my like really dear friends, people I've known 30 years and really love. I don't have advice to give to them. What I do say I would maybe have something to say to Christians living in North America. And I would say beware of being swept up in the hatred. There is a way of framing the story where it's really easy to hate what Israelis hate. It's really easy to frame the story a different way where you can use some of the hatred that's found in the Palestinian people right now. It's it'd be easy to embrace that and feel very righteous. The last thing we need is more hatred. I'm not you say are you just doing this? You know There's both side ism and all it's it's complex. It's not, that's not what I'm trying to do. I mean, I'm trying to be faithful to Christ. But I don't have a simple that, that I can find in the stores, I can find evil. All right, on both sides, I can find that. But that's not where I want to sit. And I understand that, that I could take aside and just be 100% there. And pretty soon I'm going to be hating. And so I just I want to weep with those that weep. I want of course, you mean, I mean, I made a very, I think I've made it with my life, I've made it very clear that waging war is incompatible with following Christ. So, you know, am I for a ceasefire? Of course I am. Do I Do I understand the settlements. And I totally understand that. And that's been I mean, Jimmy Carter was saying this 40 years ago, that these illegal settlements by Israeli settlers and Palestinian Territories is going to make a two state solution almost impossible. It's going to aggravate the problem to the point where you were seeing what we're seeing. I understand all of that. I just don't know. I mean, Netanyahu isn't asking my opinion on this. Certainly Hamas is not asking my opinion on this. And so with Christians, I just say try to find the way of love trying to find the way of peace. Don't feel like you have to have an answer because you don't avoid reducing something that is the most complex problem I know of, in human, you know, political relations in the world today into some sort of simplistic form, where it's just easy for you to look at it through a lens of black and white good guys, bad guys and keep it You've deceived yourself. If you if you do that. And you're you're not going to be part of the solution. You're just going to be bringing more hate to the table. I'm on. Okay, I responded to your question. I'm completely unsatisfied. Yeah, yeah. No, that's I don't know what else to say. Maybe hopefully, you hear that? There's a broken heartedness in my words. And I saw that I said, Do I have something to say yes and no. So I started off a little bit of Yes, but ultimately, no, I don't have anything to say. Yeah. Yeah. But I but I have tears and I can weep, and I can pray for people that I know by name and send them text and are you doing how you doing Gotti? How you doing? Susan? And and I'm just No, I'm praying for you. And I do that? Yep.

Randy  52:53

So Brian, I have I don't know about Kyle. I have one more real question. And then we're gonna have some fun.

Brian  52:59

Yeah, we're gonna have some fun. Yes.

Randy  53:03

Here's the real question, though. Were the thoughts that I'd love to hear your thoughts on. One of the haunting parts of Advent for me is how so many of God's people, centuries, millennia ago, longed for the coming of the Messiah, but also the reality of how few people actually recognize the Messiah. When Jesus arrived, like John's prologue speaks to, I feel like we American Christians might be in a similar dynamic that we long for Jesus, we longed for God to show up, as we talked about in Sunday services last Sunday to run the heavens and come down, right? Like the Psalm was said, but I feel like when God does run the heavens and come down, we American Christians might be pretty similar to first century Palestinian Jewish people in that many of us miss God when God shows up. Would you agree with that? And is that is there something about Advents that can include us in a place where we see and recognize the person of Christ and the movement of God in the presence of God? Maybe when we're looking for but we can't see it right before our face? Yeah, I

Brian  54:06

think so. The idea of longing for Messiah to come and Messiah comes and certain people miss him. That's a tragedy. But it's not an inevitable tragedy. And it's not based on how smart you are or how well you knew the Bible or anything like that. The key is really given to us by Jesus in the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are not necessarily commands to be a certain way, as Jesus just acknowledging these are the people that are most well suited to recognize what I'm announcing is good news. Blessed are the poor, poor in spirit. There's the Kingdom of Heaven bless those who mourn. Warren, they'll be comforted. Blessed are the meek. That's the one Americans believe the least. Blessed are the meek, they'll inherit the earth bless shows a hunger and thirst for justice. There'll be satisfied blessing, the Merciful, receive mercy, pure and hard. They'll see God precede God where others don't bless the peacemakers that will be called the children of God, they're in the family business. And blessed are those who are persecuted for all the right reasons, for there's the kingdom of heaven. So, when Messiah is missed, it's almost always because we are. We imagine ourselves as the first and at the top. And we don't want anything to change. Where we, we we are in some sort of privileged position where the way the world is arranged presently is advantageous for us. And so we're not looking for any change. I mean, when when Christ comes, he does come to change. And so I always think about when Jesus says, many who are first will be last, and those who are last shall be first, you know, the people that are occupying the bottom rungs of society, they're like, yes, Sign me up. And the people, though, that are, you know, when the Roman in his villa, the, you know, the Sanhedrin, living in the upper part of, of Jerusalem, there in those palaces, you know, the Herodians, and all of that. They're like, I got it, I got to tell me more about this great reversal you're speaking of? So that's why I say if we can wait, I mean, you you made it us, you know, someone may not be financially poor. Well, a couple things. I would say, if you don't want to miss the presence of Christ, do a couple of things one give to the poor. But secondly, identify some area of your life that's impoverished. Okay, it's not your money, you got plenty of money. Well, it's something else. What area of your life? Are you impoverished? Where what area of your life? Are you broken? In? What area of your life are you actually destitute? Go there, lean into that. identify with that don't sweep it under the rug and say, I need I need Christ to come to me in this part of my life. I mean, haven't we heard enough testimonies over the years of its when those people found that area of their life and cried out from their, from from the belly of healthy, you know, ball, Jonah's language, that's when God came to them. So I think Advents for doing things like that.

Randy  57:50

Brilliant. So, Brian, you are a music lover?

Brian  57:55

You don't I am.

Randy  57:56

It's very, very obvious. And you put together an Advent playlists, which I think might, you know, ruffle some feathers with his advent playlists because it's filled with artists like Bob Dylan and the I've been ruffling feathers musically. Yeah, decade. Yeah, good. So it's filled with names like Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire, Jimi Hendrix, and many more. Tell us about your Advent playlist and how we can find it.

Brian  58:21

I'm gonna pull an upload up here.

Randy  58:24

I'm looking at it lists,

Brian  58:25

search and vent, there it is. 296 savers, two hours and three minutes long. I'm not sure how many songs it is. It starts off with comforts you might people, which makes sense, right? This is, you know, Handel's Messiah. But then it goes when you're going to wake up because one of the themes of Advent, especially if you pay attention to the lectionary readings is because it leans also into second advent stuff. And, you know, stay awake, don't go to sleep. Something's about to happen. You don't want to miss it. Don't be like a five release version. So so when you're going to wake up, which is actually just full on Christian song, but Delon, wake up by Arcade Fire, we used to wait because now now we're into the waiting thing. We used to wait so we're not waiting anymore on all along the watchtower, which actually comes right out of Isaiah. Yeah, right. I didn't know that. I

Randy  59:15

needed it. Yeah,

Brian  59:16

yeah, hold on. Let me see if I can find it here. Isaiah, it's it's an Isaiah. I want to say 22.

Randy  59:24

Brian's literally paging through the Bible, right.

Brian  59:31

There's a boy he talks about it. Talks about two riders approaching it as a Turn the watch tower I stand Oh, lord. unibody This is Isaiah 21. When he sees riders Horseman's and bears approaching the Watts man calls out anyway, it's adapted from Isaiah 21 It's a great song. Of course, we all know that. I go through the whole thing, but there's like songs like nightwatchman, the waiting That's Tom Petty waiting is the hardest part. I'm on waiting Green Day I'm waiting for the man Velvet Underground that's people don't know that song but it's cool waiting on the world to change John Mayer a little more pop their seasons waiting on you anybody know future islands

Randy  1:00:14

and I never want to listen to feature islands I want to watch them because the frontman is totally

Brian  1:00:20

that's yes I tip my hat to that that's exactly right that guy with his moves he's got moves Yeah no I say the same thing I really want to listen to him I want to watch him get it waiting in vain Bob Marley redemption song throwing I'm proud of this one the wait the you know the band that W E IG HT pulled into Nazareth feeling the hat about Half Past Dead. All it does have I was talking about how bad bad religion or bad religion is bad unless we're talking about the Los Angeles hardcore punk band. Yes, Bad Religion. And they put out a Christian a Christmas album. Do you know about this? No. You know they're they're a hardcore punk band. See view album and go to View album. It's a bad religion Christmas songs. And it's It's hardcore punk. But they don't change the words. It's it's hard to herald angels sing Oh, Come All Ye Faithful Little Drummer Boy and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

Randy  1:01:23

That's hilarious. Kyle's looking at up right now. So Brian, my wife, my wife thinks that I compare too much I compare artists or I compare, you know, everything. I like it. And I really feel affirmed by you on Twitter, because you compare a lot of artists and you have a lot of polls who's better? So let's do

Brian  1:01:45

a little I love doing that. So I know it just hacks people off.

Randy  1:01:49

Yeah, screw you. So I'm gonna mention a few bands and I want you to tell me write them in order of importance. And brother. Okay, best way like on the fly. I

Brian  1:02:00

gotta do this. Okay, these are similar

Randy  1:02:01

bands. Alright, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones.

Brian  1:02:07

I am of the School of Jack Black. When he said that zap. Okay, all right. greatest rock band in history, not the Beatles, not the stones. Led Zeppelin. Correct. That's the only crap. So So Led Zeppelin to me is in a different category. They are. You know, eating at every position. You know, they're the best. They're the just the nasty

Randy  1:02:37

Black Sabbath.

Brian  1:02:40

They were the group actually, when I was a teenager, they did they they accomplished what they want to do. And that was they scared me. Sounds like a modern man. And I was like, these guys. Yes, scary music. And the stones. The stones or stones are a little different. You know, they're competing with the Beatles. They're, you know, they do the best with the blues. They're a rock and roll band. And that's exactly what Keith Richards will say. He says, In comparing them with Led Zeppelin. He says, you know, there, he says Led Zeppelin's like a marching band. And he said, we're more the role. Like the role nice. Give, give, I mean, I know people have died and they've had to replace, you know, a bass player and all that, but that they've stayed together. It's incredible that Mick and Keith found a way you know, that's, that's, that's an amazing thing. And it's been good for him. And I love the stones. I you know, they came out with a new album. I really liked that sweet sounds of heaven then when they do with Lady Gaga. But I mean, it's, you know, I still want to listen to Exile on Main Street is let it bleed, sticky fingers. That's that's the songs I want to hear.

Randy  1:04:02

Okay, so we have the, you know, late 60s, early 70s era, you can jump in whenever you want. Yeah, let's let's fast forward way forward to some bands that i know you enjoy. But I want to hear you're ordering. Foo Fighters, the black keys, and the Queens of the Stone Age.

Brian  1:04:22

I've seen all and I saw I saw in front row at Starlight for black keys and queens the Stone Age within the last few months for both black keys. I'll talk about them for their little different. They don't quite fit with those two. They're there. They start off as a duo. They're one of the bands that got into from the very beginning, saying Remember, I could see them when they're playing knuckleheads in Kansas City, you know, with 50 people, and I liked them from day one when they were Clearly a duo, like thick freakness and stuff like that. They

Randy  1:05:05

got poppier, for sure.

Brian  1:05:06

Yeah. And but it was good taste, and I like it and but it's simple. It's, you know, they're there. They love the blues, as blues bass rock'n'roll, and they do it as well as anybody, and I just I like it a lot, but I don't find it terribly intriguing. That may sound like I don't really like them at all. I really liked them. Because sometimes it's just what you want not. Okay, now let's talk about the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. They are the light in the dark. They're very similar in some ways. Foo Fighters are the light. And Queens of the Stone Age are the dark queens of stone is my favorite rock band. I mean Zeppelin would be but you know, that's as far as I can ask the rock bands absolutely counts Queens as

Kyle  1:05:53

far as bands that aren't like incarnate angels.

Brian  1:05:57

And you know you can you know, of course they've grown is always appreciative of course, you know, David Grohl played on on on some of the the earlier Queens of the Stone Age Adams played drums and toured with him one time. And we're not that one would that be awesome? See queens of stone? He's with Dave Grohl on drums. He's an but he says you could just just go to YouTube. And you know they're gonna be language because it's Dave Grohl. But they asked him about just just search Dave Grohl when the stone age. And there's a little clip just like under a minute. And he says queens of Stone Age, best rock and roll band boys when they take the stage. They're the best rock man in the world as far as musicianship Yes. And just being badass. And he says, and I think that's true. I love queens, the stone age. And I, I know that like, I'll regularly do like a poll Foo Fighters versus queens of stone as everybody votes for Foo Fighters because they rose adorable. And he liked him. And I do like him more. But queens, the Stone Age occupies a different place. If I find them more intriguing, I find them more interesting. And

Kyle  1:07:11

I add a band to this mix and see if it changes your analysis at all. White Stripes, of course.

Brian  1:07:17

I love the white stripes. But you know if you're talking about with mag, wide, which you are, yes, I mean, we're not you didn't say you didn't say Jack White. You said White Stripes, because there's

Kyle  1:07:30

a little bit of A's because there's too much there's too much.

Brian  1:07:33

There was a little bit of a stick there. There was I mean, they won't admit it, but it kind of was it was kind of like the album elephant. That's a great rock out. But I don't know if you know, I don't know who's really playing drums. Some other stuff. Jack White is way better musician than the guitar player with black keys. Dan, Dan Auerbach. Yeah. Dan Auerbach is bugging me. If I wasn't like on TV

Randy  1:08:12

you said you don't pay attention to Brian. Yeah.

Brian  1:08:16

He's He's a way better guitar. I mean, Jack White's way better musician, but sometimes he could go off and do experimental thing that only care that much for yes. The Black Keys. He can just know who they are. They stay right there in your wheelhouse. They're not getting too experimental with it. I like them both. I didn't. I didn't like it. That Jack White was kind of upset with the black, white striped black keys. Do I get it? But he was saying well, they're ripping me off like Jack. You didn't invent blues bass. I mean, you guys are ripping up terms of people. Exactly. Ripping off Muddy Waters. You're whipping off you know Halon love you're ripping off. Well, whoever throw away rock works. You're always somebody. It's music. Yeah, but I think I think the black keys never had a good as album as the white stripes. Elephant. That's a great album. Let's get involved black math. Because everybody knows Seven Nation Army. Hardest

Randy  1:09:20

button to button. White white blood cells is really good to know the hell yes. I love that. Okay, yeah. So here's my last little you know, maybe Kyle can jump in my last little genre of comparison with this one. Please feel free to submit any grunge or alternative band from the 90s You want my kind of trinity of of grunge or 90s 90s rock bands would be in no particular order. Well, I'll say it in particular there is an order. Pearl Jam. Ellison chains and Nirvana.

Brian  1:09:53

You want me to rank them? Yeah, go ahead. Nirvana. Easy, easy, easy and probably Allison chains and then But what about sound and garden? Yes. Yeah, and now like them all, and that you're how old are you? I'm just gonna

Kyle  1:10:11

Kyle, I'm 36

Brian  1:10:16

So as you got you guys are the right age to the 90s

Kyle  1:10:20

I spent a shit ton of time with Nirvana and quite a bit of time with Pearl Jam.

Brian  1:10:24

I don't think I've ever lived there just isn't that much Nirvana music

Kyle  1:10:27

you know, that's true. You can. It's easy to listen to all of it, though. Numerous times. Yeah,

Randy  1:10:31

yeah. I mean, Nirvana is to like modern rock and roll. To me what the Beatles were to pop in the 60s and 70s. They changed the game. Like there's, there's good music, and then there's influential music. And that's both of them. For me For nirvana. Yeah, I would

Kyle  1:10:47

say I saw I had a student a couple years ago, came into class wearing a Nirvana shirt. And I was like, Have you actually listened to them? Because it's kind of a popular thing to do to wear old band shirts you've never heard but he was actually a fan. And he's like, 19 Yes, this lives on.

Brian  1:11:02

Oh, yeah. He has a great band. Kurt Cobain was one of those, you know, once in a generation talents, just the charisma, all of that. You know, it's interesting that Dave Grohl was writing music, even in the Nirvana period, but he was too intimidated by Kurt Cobain to suggest any songs he was just doing it like secretly. And then after Kurt Cobain's death, just part of his healing process was he made that first Foo Fighters album where it's he literally plays everything.

Randy  1:11:35

And it's Yeah, early Foo Fighters are way better than like Foo Fighters. Although be honest. I will

Brian  1:11:41

everything yeah, they tend to move a little bit more formulaic against okay, we sound like this one. This is what all of our sounds like, what

Kyle  1:11:51

was the album they did? That was like straight driving rock, and it was not that long ago. I really liked it. I don't remember the bad like, monkey. I like it when they're heavy. That's my favorite thing.

Brian  1:12:02

I need to yeah, um, see people think because Dylan is my musical. It sounds. I mean, I like his music. But he's, he's completely a

Randy  1:12:12

different category. Musical Messiah.

Brian  1:12:14

Yeah, and, but it's his I love Dylan. Because of the language. The lyrics is genius. I just love language. And I don't think anybody's done anything better with language in the last 100 years and Bob Dylan. That's why That's why you gave him a Nobel Prize for Literature. Yeah, Leonard Cohen's great, but he didn't have the wild poetry that don't have and I think there's a whole because people associate me with a deep devotion to Bob Dylan and think I'm not folky guy. And then I'm just like, you know, really mostly listening to singer songwriters. That's really not true. I'm listening to Dylan and then heavy stuff. Yep. And I haven't mellowed out. I love the new Metallica album The 72 seasons. I think it's great album.

Randy  1:13:05

And let me throw in one last album, or one last band into the 90s MCS is Rage Against the Machine. Yeah.

Brian  1:13:13

We'll see. And what's his name? Tom Morello Morello pool. There's a guitar player and the sea there's a guitar player. It's not I mean, you he's breaking new ground. Yeah, he doesn't sound like somebody else. He isn't like just you know, Hendrix, Clapton, whatever doing he did something new.

Randy  1:13:33

Well, he's a mix of like a DJ and a lead guitarist. I mean, with the scratching and the incredible things. Yeah, yeah.

Kyle  1:13:39

Should we talk about Radiohead? We should probably call this

Brian  1:13:44

just Radiohead exists anymore.

Kyle  1:13:46

They do, man but we're still making stuff. Work is still doing solo stuff. Yeah, yeah,

Randy  1:13:50

they're, they're friggin brilliant. Yep. Well, Brian's on the book is the anticipated Christ devotional that will guide you through Advent and after Advent. We didn't even talk about the 12 days of Christmas, which I really wanted to. But it leads you into epiphany, which is the whole Christmas season, highly recommended for those who are looking for a companion to dig into the Christmas spirit that at the heart of Advents thanks for joining us, Brian, we had a pleasure. Thank you.

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Kyle  1:14:46

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Randy  1:14:54

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Kyle  1:15:02

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Randy  1:15:09

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Kyle  1:15:10