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GUIDE: Best Podcasts for Thinking Christians14 min read

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I have subscribed to many podcasts over time, and most of them fail to enlighten significantly.  However, a few have stood the test of time, and I enjoy them regularly. You’ll note that most of them are weekly rather than daily: because less often usually means better content.

Last Updated: 10.25.2023

Updates: Added 1A, Breakpoint, Conservative Review (CR), The Discipleship Podcast for Church LeadersExponentialMatt Walsh, New Churches, Rubin Report, Verdict,

Grab my OPML: For the latest and greatest, some surprises always, download overcast.opml.


1. Sources

2. Apologetics

* = Essential podcasts

  1. Cold Case Christianity (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): one of my top three apologetics podcasts. This one is unique in that it is not just intellectual, but practical. The guy who runs it is a cold case police detective, so very interesting application of evidence and argument.
  2. The Dividing Line (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): the talk show of apologist James White (Alpha and Omega Ministries), I like him because he is on the forefront of public debates with atheists, Mormons, Muslims, and guys like Bart Ehrman (you can see their upcoming debate in 01/09).  If you like to argue over the Greek behind the text, this guy is fun.
  3. Reasonable Faith (Bimonthly, 20 min | RSS):  a conversational program dealing with the most important apologetic questions of our day.  It features William Lane Craig, the foremost Christian Apologist, debater, and philosopher of our time.  Great for keeping up with current trends and arguments in apologetics.
  4. Theoapologetics (Monthly, 60 min | RSS): Explores interesting doctrinal controversies and apologetics.

3. Current Events / News

  1. 1A (Daily, 45 min | RSS): This NPR podcast attempts to be centrist (but is probably not reliably so), but it deep dives into current events. Thoughtful though liberal. Understand the other side’s best arguments!
  2. Albert Mohler: The Briefing (Daily, 15 Min | RSS): Explores current events from a Christian world view. It’s how I start each weekday, along with NPR. The show is not active during the summer months.
  3. * Albert Mohler: Thinking in Public (Monthly, 60 min | RSS): An interview forum for intelligent conversation about frontline theological and cultural issues.
  4. American Conservative University (3x/week, 60 min | RSS): The best of conservative talk radio from the week. Very informative, not ranting.
  5. Breakpoint (Daily, 1 minute | RSS): A short, Christian perspective on culture on a single contemporary topic. Published by the Chuck Colson Center.
  6. * Coffee with Scott Adams (Daily, 40 min | RSS): Adams is an iconoclast , something to love and hate for everyone. Insightful and different, out of the box thinking. Love it.
  7. Council on Foreign Relations | Why It Matters (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): This is one of my new, favorite academic think tank podcasts.  This independent (but somewhat libertarian) think tank produces the highly regarded Foreign Affairs periodical.  Amazing stuff, like the Religion and the Open Society Symposium, with full transcripts!
  8. Conservative Review (CR) (Daily, 50 min | RSS): David Horowitz is a conservative firebrand and activist. This gets you close to the fringe without going too far into conspiracy land. Or does it? Associated with Blaze Media.
  9. * Dinesh D’Sousa | RSS: This is my top daily podcast. Smart political analysis, plus he usually talks through some important historical event or classical literature at the end of each episode, such as Dante’s Inferno.
  10. The Federalist Radio Hour (Daily, 60 min | RSS): One of the few deeply thoughtful and respectful conservative podcasts. Worth it, though a little too much banter.
  11. Matt Walsh (Daily, 1 hour | RSS): A Daily Wire commentator, his somewhat acerbic conservative review of the news is intelligent.
  12. Newt’s World (Weekly, 30 min | RSS): Join professor, historian, futurist and former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich as he shares his lifetime of knowledge and access to the world’s most interesting minds.
  13. NPR: Throughline (Weekly, 40 min | RSS): the historical vectors behind current events.
  14. Rubin Report (Daily, 35 min | RSS): Dave Rubin is an anomaly in conservative radio, since he is openly gay. Not effeminate, nor does he promote gay or trans topics – he’s quite conservative. But he hits the hard topics.
  15. Verdict (Daily, 50 minutes | RSS): Ted Cruz’s commentary on politics. Smart fella.

4. Discipleship

  1. Catalyst (RSS): new, not reviewed yet
  2. The Discipleship Podcast for Church Leaders (Weekly, 20 min): From the Ascending Leader’s Presents group, conversational, helpful, short.
  3. * The Disciple Maker’s Podcast (RSS): From, these guys are the leader in the space.
  4. * Exponential (Biweekly, 1 hour | RSS): From the annual conference, another leader in the space.
  5. More Disciples (RSS): new, not reviewed yet
  6. * New Churches (Bimonthly, 10 min | RSS): Great advice for discipleship, practical and short. Like.

5. Ideas

  1. Acton Institute (Weekly, 20-90 min | RSS): This Catholic think tank has awesome, intellectual speakers: their tag line is “Integrating Judeo-Christian Truths with Free Market Principles.” Very world-view oriented and scholarly: faith and politics, economics, public morality, education, you name it.
  2. The Commonwealth Club (Biweekly, 60 min | RSS): This NPR show has some of the best public affairs lectures from high profile leaders and authors and other world leaders.
  3. Forward Thinking (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): Technology and trends, near future stuff. Sciencey.
  4. Freakonomics Radio (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): one of the most interesting and intellectually stimulating podcasts around: the counter-intuitive guide to reality.
  5. Hillsdale Dialogues (Weekly, 60 min | RSS) – Great, multi-episode collegiate level dialogue on the great thinkers: Augustine, Dante, Machiavelli, from a Christian and Western Exceptionalism point of view. Wow.
  6. ID the Future (Varies | RSS): The home of the best Intelligent Design info. Skeptics of evolution, this is a must listen.
  7. Intelligence Squared (Weekly, 45 min | RSS): Exploring great ideas and current politics from a European perspective.
  8. Intelligence Squared US Debates (Monthly, 60 min | RSS): The brightest minds from today in Oxford style debates. Great moderator too.
  9. Point of Inquiry (Weekly, 30 min | RSS): Explores pseudoscience, alternative medicine, religion, and secularism.  Interviews various scientists and thinkers. Great thought provoker. Not a Christian podcast.
  10. PRI: To the Best of Our Knowledge – (Weekly, 120 min | RSS): In-depth radio journalism on big ideas and interesting subjects. For the curious and intelligent.
  11. Radiolab (Biweekly, 30 min | RSS) – Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.
  12. NPR: Intelligence Squared (Monthly, 60 min | RSS): Oxford-style debating (lively!) on hot topics in the news by top players. Too short for my liking, but a good start.
  13. NPR: TED Radio Hour (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): Snippets from and interviews with the latest TED speakers. Awesome.
  14. The Thomas Jefferson Hour (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): Clay Jenkinson is a historian, and has for years impersonated, or incarnated, if you will, various historical figures.  Each show, he is interviewed and answers as if he were Thomas Jefferson.  Fantastic thought-provoking and educational stuff, and way more interesting than dead history!  Awesome.
  15. Veritas Forum: Best Of (60 min, varies | RSS)- A University lecture series started at Harvard, now spread nationwide. Their stated goal is to create “university events that engage students and faculty in discussions about life’s hardest questions and the relevance of Jesus Christ to all of life.” Thoughtful, academic, awesome. The full feed of all their talks is below.

6. Productivity

  1. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast (Monthly, 30 min | RSS): Andy Stanley is not only a great preacher (see North Point Ministries podcast below), he is one of the most knowledgeable and biblical man I have ever heard on organizational leadership.  His insights are life changing for leaders.
  2. Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders (RSS): Stanford hosts amazing lectures by productivity thought leaders.
  3. * The Fizzle Show Honest Online Business (RSS): If you are trying to launch your own internet business, this podcast is essential.
  4. Hack the Entrepreneur Habits Mindset Ideas Productivity (RSS): Interviews one entrepreneur at a time, learns one major life hack from them. Nice.
  5. The Productivity Show by Asian Efficiency (RSS): Strange name, great content.
  6. The Portfolio Life (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): If you are a writer or person who wants to maximize your life, please listen to Jeff Goins, he’s smart.
  7. The Smart Passive Income Online Business and Blogging Podcast (RSS): Pat Flynn pretty much started the ethical Business 2.0 phenomenon.
  8. * The Ziglar Show (RSS): Inspiring Your True Performance (RSS): The host is a son of the great Zig Ziglar, and discusses the principles his dad taught. Very accessible, just like Zig.

7. Stories

  1. snapjudgmentAPM Reports (Varies | RSS): Investigative reports on issues and history. Great story telling.
  2. * The Moth (Weekly, varies | RSS): this podcast has interesting, often funny and (WARNING!) profane or sexual content. However, it is thoughtful: people telling their true stories.
  3. Backstory (RSS): The amazing stories behind the news.
  4. NPR: Fresh Air with Terry Gross (Daily, 60 min | RSS): Terry is one of my all time favorite interviewers.
  5. NRP: Snap Judgement (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): this fascinating show could best be described as an African American “This American Life.” It’s combination of story telling and interesting subjects will make you understand and ponder other people.
  6. NPR: This American Life (Weekly, 60 min | RSS) the most popular podcast in the country (5 million downloads a week!), the stories and insights are just fantastic.
  7. The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor (Daily, 8 min | RSS): The beloved (and now disgraced) Kiellor discusses what happened on this day in history, and reads a poem. True Americana. Ended 2014.

8. Theology & Faith

  1. Alastair’s Adversaria | RSS: Alastair Roberts daily devotional goes deep into theology. Very academic.
  2. Almost Heretical (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): exploration of center/center-left/progressive approaches to theology. Lots to think about here. One of the best.
  3. Ask Pastor John (Daily, 10 min | RSS): Pastor John Piper addresses various Christian concerns. Practical and good.
  4. BBC All Things Considered (Weekly, 30 min | RSS) – Award-winning series exploring religious, spiritual and moral issues. All Things Considered adopts a variety of formats, from documentary to interview and discussion, but is always revealing.
  5. Bored-again Christian (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): Want to hear the latest in underground and cutting edge Christian music?  Try this.
  6. Christ the Center (weekly, 60 min | RSS): the Reformed Forum podcast is a bit academic, and they spend a lot of time reviewing new books.  If that sounds good to you, this is a good podcast.
  7. Cultish (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): Investigating and discussing the damaging fringe of faith. Many “formers” telling their stories.
  8. Defender’s Podcast (Weekly, 50 min | RSS): the Sunday school classes of William Lane Craig, foremost Christian debater, apologist, and philosopher of our age.  If you want to learn about doctrine and apologetics, this podcast is a mind-full.  See his other podcast, Reasonable Faith,  below.
  9. Focus on the Family: (Daily, 30 min | RSS): Come on,  you know you love James Dobson.  Just give in. I actually don’t listen to most of these, but when something interesting comes up, his show can be exceptional.
  10. Issues, Etc. (5 per day / 20 min | RSS): though this podcast is frequent and labeled as ‘Lutheran’, it is really just evangelical, and has really great content.
  11. K-LOVE Podcasts – the great KLOVE broadcast family has a few good podcasts, including the Closer Look podcast (Weekly, 15 min | RSS) and the Pastor’s Roundtable podcasts (Weekly, 5 min | RSS).
  12. Love Worth Finding (Daily, 40 min | RSS): Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) is one of the most passionate and organized preachers I’ve ever heard. Love him.
  13. North Point Ministries: Andy Stanley Podcast (Bimonthly, 40 min | RSS) The best of Andy Stanley’s sermons.  Andy is the son of well-known expository preacher Charles Stanley, and is one of the best preachers from Generation X, or anywhere.
  14. * Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope | RSS: Rick Warren has turned out to be a fantastic and valuable Bible teacher. His book The Purpose Driven Life is the best selling non-fiction book in history for a reason. His podcast is filled with hope and practical instruction.
  15. Relevant Magazine (Weekly, 90 min | RSS): Relevant is one of the premier cutting edge online Christian magazines, and their guest list is impressive. The show is long, and the first half is just the hosts discussing topics. However, you can always skip to about 40 min to hear the interview with their typically interesting guests.
  16. Rethinking Hell (Weekly, 60 min | RSS): This relatively new podcast is dedicated to one of the doctrinal shifts in Evangelicalism that I believe must happen: from the traditional view of hell (eternal torment) to that of Conditionalism (or Annihilationism). Hear noted Evangelical theologians discuss the issue. This could be the Anabaptist movement of our time, correcting a serious doctrinal error in the modern church. You decide. You can read more there, or see my musings on the topic.
  17. * Thru the Bible Radio ( | RSS): J. Vernon McGee (1904-1988) persists as a favorite preacher, even years after his death. Don’t be fooled by his back-country voice, he’s a smart and often funny bible expositor. He teaches through the entire Bible over a period of 5 years, then does it again, over and over. His calming and funny voice are a favorite among truckers and bible students. He also has a great 6-volume commentary (Kindle).
  18. WholeReason (Intermittent, 30 min | RSS): My own humble preaching. Not a show yet, but I’m out there.
  19. Unbelievable (Weekly, 90 min | RSS): This UK podcast has really great discussions with thought leaders, usually having a very civil discussion between a Christian and a non.  Well moderated.


What are your favorites, Christian or non?