My Podcast Playlist
(Last updated July 22nd, 2023)
I enjoy music, but when I commute and exercise, I prefer listening to podcasts. From news and technology to Christian living and marriage, these shows help keep me informed, encouraged, and growing. I may not have time to listen to every episode*, but I do my best to keep up with most of them.
* “Oh, I have nothing else to do during a pandemic; let me increase the time commitment required from my listeners, and in some cases, drastically!” may be fine if you're the one recording, but your listeners are struggling - or, in some cases, your longer podcast is being bumped to make room for someone else's longer podcast.
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, publishes this Monday through Friday. He calls it “a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian world view.” Episodes typically run about 20 minutes. (He does take off the month of July and most of the month of December.)
Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak (AKA Crackpot and Buzzkill, AKA The Podfather and the Cranky Geek) deconstruct media coverage of current events, looking beyond the words to the concepts being advanced. They also cover stories from a wide range of topics, and as they are funded by their listeners (who are producers), they have no one telling them “don't make this person look bad” or “you can't say that.” Episodes drop Sunday and Thursday and run between 3 to 3½ hours.
Bay Vista Baptist Church
I used to publish this for my church when I lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Now, I can still keep up with Bro. Danny Nance as he continues to faithfully preach the Word. Episodes publish on Monday and usually run between 35 to 50 minutes.
Sarah Isgur and David French look at the intersection of current news, the law, and culture. Both of them have legal training; David served as a military attorney, and Sarah has worked in many different (and interesting) places. Their analysis is spot-on, and their on-air conversations are a blast. Episodes are release on Mondays and Thursdays, and run just over an hour.
The Way I Heard It
Mike Rowe hosts this podcast “for the curious mind with a short attention span.” He researches and presents an unfamiliar story about a familiar person or organization, much in the way Paul Harvey used to do with his The Rest of the Story radio broadcasts. During the pandemic, he expanded his format to include interviews with interesting guests, but you'll need a longer attention span. Episodes publish on Tuesday and run between 1 and 1½ hours.
Ryan and Selena Frederick take a look at a different aspect of marriage each week, exploring the challenges and rewards it brings, all while focused on the power of the gospel in enabling success. While the content they discuss is serious, the presentation feels light and fun. Episodes release on Tuesday and usually run around 30 minutes.
Jonah Goldberg, co-founder of The Dispatch (formerly of National Review) and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, chats with guests from varied backgrounds who seem to have one thing in common: the ability to clearly articulate a conservative position on the topic at hand, in an interesting, engaging, and entertaining manner. Sometimes there's a main topic of discussion, and other times, they tackle a panoply of topics and issues. Episodes are released on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday (the latter usually a “Ruminant” solo venture) and typically run between 1 to 1½ hours.
The King of Stuff
The successor to The Conservatarians, Jon Gabriel (Editor-in-Chief at Ricochet) usually interviews a guest, then comments on the news of the day. He and the guests also share musical selections, usually new but sometimes classics. Episodes generally are released Tuesday-ish and run between 30 minutes and an hour.
Steve Gibson, the man who coined the term “spyware” when he observed the way software was behaving, hosts this show along with Leo Laporte, the man who founded the TWiT (This Week in Tech) podcast network. They run down security news, explaining it in an understandable way, and go in-depth when required. Episodes publish on Wednesday (or late Tuesday night) and run 2 hours.
On Wednesdays, Sarah Isgur and Steve Hayes will usually have an interview with an interesting guest. On Fridays, they are joined by David French and Jonah Goldberg for a walk through the week's news, providing commentary along the way. The interview episodes go between 30 to 45 minutes, and the roundtable episodes run right at an hour.
Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell host this podcast about Microsoft's .NET Framework, Azure, and related technologies, although no technology stack is off-topic. They typically interview someone and dig in deep on a particular topic, and they often record several interviews at conferences, getting way more in-person interviews than they otherwise would have. Episodes publish on Tuesday and run 50-60 minutes.
The Happy Rant
Barnabas Piper, Ted Kluck, and Ronnie Martin “cheerfully - if not sarcastically - rant about all the things that don't matter all that much (and some that do).” It's a mostly not-so-serious take on current events, both within the church and outside it. Episodes publish on Thursday and typically run between 30-45 minutes (though Barnabas and Ted have been known to record a sports-themed episode and release it later in the week as a bonus episode).
Bridget Phetasy hosts this weekly interview show with interesting people, discussing their stories of grit, and how they persevered through difficult circumstances. She also takes the last part of the show to chat with her cousin Maggie (who produces the show) about what is going on in her life. Episodes are usually released on Thursday, and run around an hour and a half.
The Charles C. W. Cooke Podcast
Charles grew up in the UK, but immigrated to the US and now lives in Florida. He is a senior writer at National Review, and combines no-nonsense political analysis, an inquisitive mind, and a newcomer's enthusiasm for American culture into an entertaining 30 to 60 minutes each week. Episodes typically release on Friday.
Ink Stained Wretches
Eliana Johnson and Chris Stirewalt are longtime news people, having worked in a variety of media throughout their careers. Each week, they take a look at examples of media decline; and, while that could turn into gripe session, it is really more of an analysis, with advice on how they could do better. The host interactions are fantastic; if you can listen to an episode and not smile at least once, you're not paying attention. Episodes release on Fridays and run about an hour.
Curtis Chang, along with different guests regularly including David and Nancy French, discusses faith and how it intersects with law, politics, and culture. They usually have one topic on which they dive deeply, and are not afraid to challenge what you thought you knew. Curtis is also one of the founders of “The Afterparty”, which aims to encourage Christians to return to the Bible as their source of strength, rather than investing all their energy in pursuit of political power; the podcast explores this as well. Episodes are released on Saturday and run about an hour.
Infrequent or Irregular
Thinking in Public
Dr. Albert Mohler hosts this discussion of “front-line theological issues, and the people who are shaping them.” Most episodes are an in-depth interview with the author of a book, where they discuss the analysis that author provided, along with some interesting findings that did not make it into the book being discussed. Episodes usually run between 45 to 60 minutes.
Jonathan Stark hosts this podcast as part of his consulting business, helping professionals see the lunacy in billing for projects by the hour, and providing strategies for a better way. Episodes post when he has something to say, and can be anywhere from a 5 minute quick study to a 30 minute interview with other professionals who have also had success pricing their services on the basis of the value their customers receive.
Emeritus (Inactive or Bumped for Time)
These are podcasts that have either stopped producing new episodes, or ones I've had to bump simply because I didn't have time to listen. Consider these the “would if I could” list. Also, in most cases, these descriptions are what they were when they were moved there; this information may be stale.
The Babylon Bee
The authors of the Babylon Bee review the news of the week through their unique lens, then dive in on a particular topic. Sometimes they will have guests, and those guests will also participate during the news segments. Episodes are released on Friday and run between 45 minutes to an hour.
Bible Study with Rick Burgess
Rick Burgess (of Rick and Bubba fame), hosts a weekly men's Bible study that they put out in their show's podcast feed. He studies books – either books of the Bible, or books that describe how to apply the Bible to our life. Episodes publish on Wednesday and run right at an hour.
The Business of Authority
Jonathan Stark and Rochelle Moulton host this weekly look at various aspects of building an authority business. They also interview guests, who share their unique perspectives. Episodes publish on Monday and run between 30 to 50 minutes.
Skip Heitzig does both expository and topical preaching, and this podcast contains his Sunday and Wednesday sermons. He brings the Word in a personable style with a contemporary flair, yet he does not water down the Scripture he teaches. Episodes publish Wednesday and Sunday, and typically run between 45 and 60 minutes.
Delight Your Marriage
Belah Rose, author of the book Delight Your Husband, hosts this podcast to encourage wives in their marriages. While it is generally geared toward wives, husbands can benefit from hearing the thought processes behind she and her guests as they tell their story or work through a topic. Episodes publish on Tuesday and run around 30 minutes, though it's not uncommon to have shorter or longer ones.
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly and John Fuller host this Monday through Friday; the podcast is an ad-enhanced version of their daily radio broadcast. They focus on, well, the family, and all its aspects - from parenting, marriage, adoption, or living for Christ in our world, their guests run the gamut. Episodes are 28 minutes.
Scott Hanselman hosts this show he describes as “Fresh Air for Developers.” He usually talks one-on-one to a person about their passion, whether it is directly or merely tangentially related to technology. He also strives to talk to people who may be underrepresented in the current tech culture; they get exposure, and the listener gets a broadened view. Episodes publish on Thursday and run right at 30 minutes.
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Peter Sagal hosts NPR's lighter take on the week's news, along with scorekeeper and announcer “legendary anchorman” Bill Kurtis. Each show has a panel of three comedians or comedy writers who are “competing” for points; call-in guests play some of the games (where they can win any cast member's voice on their voicemail); and they interview a famous guest, having them play a game totally unrelated to their fame. Episodes publish on Saturday and run 50 minutes.
Todd Friel hosts this radio program Monday through Friday that is also recorded and distributed as a podcast. It used to only be available by subscription, but in October 2017, they opened it up to the world. Todd discusses news items and Christianity in a very straightforward way; sometimes you laugh, and sometimes you say “Ouch!” Episodes run right at 50 minutes.
The Conservatarians (inactive)
Jon Gabriel, Editor-in-Chief at Ricochet, has continued this two-person podcast once Stephen Miller (the former Fox News writer, not the Presidential advisor) went on to his new venture. The podcast typically zeroes in on one to two main stories from the news of the week, discussing them from a conservative-libertarian viewpoint. He also has guests on to discuss their work. He and the guests also share musical selections, usually new but sometimes classics. Episodes generally are released on Friday and run right at an hour.
Futility Closet (inactive)
Greg and Sharon Ross bring us “forgotten stories from the pages of history.” They will typically have one longer story a week, a few shorter ones, discuss listener feedback from previous episodes, and take turns having each other solve a “lateral thinking puzzle,” where they start with a strange-sounding situation, and they have to ask yes-or-no questions to determine what really happened. Episodes publish on Monday and typically run right at 30 minutes.
SBTS Chapel (inactive)
These are chapel messages from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Various speakers encourage students on a variety of topics; it's really difficult to nail down one or two to put in the description here. Episodes publish Tuesday and Thursday when classes are in session and run around 30 minutes.
That Sethany Show (inactive)
Seth and Bethany Mandel sit down each week and discuss politics, culture, and user feedback. They both lean center-right politically; Seth is the executive editor of the Washington Examiner Magazine, and Bethany is a stay-at-home mom who also a senior contributor to The Federalist along with other endeavors. They are also married to one another, and their pitch-perfect dialogue provides an entertaining look at current events. Life has really impacted their publishing schedule, but when they do record an episode, it publishes on Monday and runs 45 to 50 minutes.
This Developer's Life (inactive)
Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery host this homage to NPR's This American Life, focusing on a distinctly human aspect of technology or software development. As both of them have many irons in the fire, this one does not publish very frequently; however, each episode is very well crafted and edited, and will find its way into my “up next” list in short order. Episodes are typically 60 minutes.