Conversation with Jonathan Eig

March 14, 2018

My guest for this week’s podcast is Jonathan Eig. Eig’s book “Ali:A Life” was published last year and is considered the definitive biography of Muhammad Ali. The book won the 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing

Ken Burns calls Jonathan Eig a "master storyteller." Eig is the author of five books, three of them New York Times best sellers. Eig is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, where he remains a contributing writer. Eig has also written for The New York TimesThe New Yorker, The Washington Post, and, among others.

Jonathan now lives in Chicago and we had a chance to sit down and talk about his career as a writer and explore the fascinating life of Muhammad Ali. I hope you enjoy it.


Conversation with Jennifer Knapp

February 28, 2018

My guest for this week’s podcast is Jennifer Knapp.

Jennifer is a singer, author and activist who recently released her latest album Love Comes Back Around, her sixth album in a music career with two distinct sections. After releasing three contemporary Christian albums in the late ’90s and early 2000s, which garnered her two Dove Awards and a Grammy nomination, she took a break from music and moved to Australia before resuming her career in 2009. The following year, she came out as gay and released Letting Go, her first mainstream album. Set Me Free followed in 2014, in conjunction with a memoir, Facing the Music: My Story.

In this episode, we talk about her career in contemporary Christian music, vulnerability, and her own fond relationship with failure.


Conversation with Rev. Lillian Daniel

January 27, 2018

My guest for this week’s podcast is Rev. Lillian Daniel.

Lillian Daniel is a noted preacher, teacher and writer and she jokes on her website that while she has taught preaching at a number of schools, including Chicago Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School, she can’t be held responsible for everyone who falls asleep in church.

Her new book, Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don't Belong To is generating international conversation about the changing religious landscape. ​It continues the theme of her 2013 book When ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Is Not Enough about the growing number of people who claim "none" as their religious preference.

In this episode, we talk about her books, what it means to apologize and confess, and explore the state of the mainline church.

You learn more about her by going to her web site


Conversation with Daffany Clark of “The Fosters”

January 7, 2018

My guest for this week’s podcast is Daffany Clark.

Daffany is a Chicago-area native who now is an actress in Los Angeles. She’s a recurring guest start on the TV show “The Fosters,” in addition to numerous other roles. This spring she is launching a one-woman show called “Pieces” that tells the intricate story of one woman’s past, comprised of family mental illness, abandonment, foster care and deep psychological scars forcing her to overcome her struggles and find her purpose in life.

In this episode, we talk about the challenges of making it as a working actor in Hollywood and being a role model for others. You can learn more about her by going to her website.


Conversation with Fr. James Martin, SJ

December 15, 2017

Father James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, and bestselling author of such books as  Jesus: A Pilgrimage and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. He has appeared on many major radio and television networks, ranging from NPR’s Fresh Air to Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988, Father Martin graduated from the Wharton School of Business and worked for General Electric for six years. In 2017, Pope Francis appointed him to be a Consultor for the Vatican's Secretariat for Communication.

In this episode, we talk about his latest book calling for the Catholic church to be more welcoming of LGBT Catholics, how he responds to those who criticize his writings, and what spiritual practices keep him grounded. I hope you enjoy it.


Conversation with Dr. Eugenia Cheng, author of “How to Bake Pi”

December 3, 2017

My guest for this week’s podcast is Dr. Eugenia Cheng, Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Alongside her research in Category Theory and undergraduate teaching her aim is to rid the world of “math phobia”.  Her first popular math book, How to Bake Pi, was published by Basic Books in 2015 to widespread acclaim acclaim including from the New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American, and she was interviewed around the world including on the BBC, NPR and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Her next popular math book, Beyond Infinity was published in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2017 . Eugenia is also a concert pianist.

You can learn more at her web site,


Conversation with Terri Owens, General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination

November 17, 2017

My guest for this week’s podcast is Rev. Terri Owens General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Rev. Owens was elected last July and is the first woman of color to be the top executive of a mainline denomination. Owens’ resume includes more than 20 years in corporate America leading diverse teams in data management before she entered seminary. Before becoming General Minister, she was the dean of students at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

In this episode, we talk about the impact that small churches can have and the necessity for authenticy and vulnerability in ministry.


Conversation with Bill Leff & Wendy Snyder of WGN Radio

October 20, 2017

My guests for this week’s podcast are Wendy Snyder and Bill Leff of WGN-Radio in Chicago. Bill and Wendy have been radio mainstays in Chicago for several years and are currently on WGN weekdays from 10 am to 1 pm. They’ve also been kind enough to have me on their show every Ash Wednesday to promote our ashes on the street ministry.

Wendy and Bill talk about how they got into radio, how they’ve survived in the competitive field of radio and they never fail to entertain with humor and honesty. This conversation is no different.


Conversation with Matthew Vines

October 6, 2017

My guest for this week’s podcast is Matthew Vines, author of the book, “God and the Gay Christian” and the founder and Executive Director of The Reformation Project.

In 2012, Matthew delivered a speech at a church in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, making the case that Christians should affirm gay Christians and their marriage relationships. His speech went viral, having been seen more than a million times. In 2013, Matthew launched The Reformation Project to equip and empower Christians to advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in their faith communities.

Matthew is passionate about his mission, which I think comes through in this conversation.


Conversation with Bishop Robert Schnase

September 22, 2017

My guest for this week’s podcast is Robert Schnase, Bishop of the Rio Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Bishop Schnase has been a bishop since 2004 and is also author of many popular books in the church world, including Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations and Just Say Yes: Unleashing People for Ministry. I should also add that Bishop Schnase was gracious enough to write the foreword to my own book. In this conversation, he talks about his own beginnings in ministry and how failure has played a role in his vocation and what it means to be a failure-tolerant leader.