If you can get past the poor audio quality and host’s constant “um..” “yeah..” and lack of conversation skills, the topics and guests are spot on. This type of podcast is so relevant and needed for those of us who grew up in the church and feel scarred because of it. Maybe the host should focus on producing the show and find someone with better developed skills to lead the interviews.
I’ve mowed through about 30 episodes of this in a week. I had NO IDEA resources like this existed for those of us sorting through the complexities and psychological trauma as a result of being raised in the toxic, judgmental, homophobic, sexist, shaming “cult”ure that is fundamentalist evangelical Christianity. Thank you for your courage to speak out and for the support as I navigate my beliefs (or lack thereof) and wrestle with where I go from here.
I left the church more than 10 years ago with a heavy heart and have shuffled through the last decade feeling like no one understands my experience in the church and out of it. I was floored by the honesty, intelligence, and grace that this podcast offers and felt seen and understood and no longer so alone. Angry and loving by turns, authentic the whole time.
The variety of guests and stories—all of them connected by a significant influence of evangelicalism—has been so helpful in my own deconstruction. I encourage those who feel set in their faith to listen to gain an understanding of those hurt by fundamentalism and evangelicalism. Having started from the beginning and reached episode 87, I find Chastain a very clumsy conversationalist (a constant stream of “umm,” “yeah.....yeah,” and “definitely”), but that may improve with later episodes (which will lead to a five star rating). I disagree with his decision to publish recordings of distractingly poor audio quality. It’s still very worth subscribing.
I spent so long looking for a community that understands and experienced many of the same things I have, this podcast is very thorough and helpful in exploring a lot of deep subjects which helps me to figure out my own feelings and past experiences.
I usually don’t care for the interview format in podcasts. But I really enjoy this one. The host, Blake Chastain, is good at asking the types of questions that give a full picture of the guests’ story and message, and while he has a personality that comes out in the podcast, he doesn’t “take over” - rather, he lets the episodes be about the guests and their stories. As someone who was deep in evangelicalism before moving away from it in the last few years, I appreciate what Exvangelical brings to the table. The content is wonderful - definitely worth listening to!
As a Christian who's become disgusted with the politicization and actions of the evangelical community, I appreciate this podcast. Immensely. The host, Blake Chastain, doesn't demonize anyone or anything, but approaches every topic from a place of seeking understanding and walking in faith. The focus on humility is much-needed, and gives me hope.
Glad this community of critical thought exists. They are honest, fair, and brave enough to say hard truths mainstream culture and religion want to ignore.
I heard about this podcast from the Parenting Forward podcast (also great). Thoughtful interviews with a wide variety of people coming out of damaging evangelical experiences. Great resource for people exporing the options during and after the devestation of faith deconstruction. I haven't listened to all the episodes yet, but several of the ones I have listened to have significant sound quality issues. Still, I would rather have Blake putting the material out there in the state that it is in rather than not have the podcast at all. Great work!
I had a 12 hour drive ahead of me today and listened to 6 episodes in a row. The time flew. This podcast reminds me I’m not alone in what I’ve experienced within evangelicalism. I keep finding myself saying: “me too.” Thank you for creating this space and for choosing a variety of voices and experiences. The platform this podcast has created is a life-saver.
This podcast has been so important for me and others like me who have come to be dissatisfied with the cheap answers and obsession with power shown by the Christian Right. I have a lot of faith in what Blake is doing, as well as others like him. This podcast itself helps me feel more optimistic with the knowledge that we aren't alone.
I’m an ex-fundamentalist evangelical atheist who doesn’t hate God or Christians. I remain inspired by the teachings and stories of Christ. I’m envious of atheist/agnostic Jews who get to remain a part of their faith community and have often wondered if there was any hope of bridging the gap between my evangelical family and myself. This podcast gives me hope that there may be a place of respect, communication and shared values between Christians and atheists/agnostics.
I’m a recovering fundamentalist. I left fundamentalism at 18 and went through stages of anger, resentment, and forgiveness. I majored in theology for a while in college purely as an act of rebellion as a woman who was raised in a church where that wasn’t allowed. There were long nights of existential crises. There were many tears as I slowly unpacked years of misogyny, racism and homophobia. And so much fear and hatred of our fellow humans, which was never palatable to me. For years I’ve thought that there should be a support group for recovering fundamentalists (of all sorts, not only Christian) because we are raised in captivity and programmed to self destruct in the wild. (I’ve literally heard fundamentalist teachers say that if our faith structure isn’t real we should all kill ourselves). This podcast is like a support group with one person speaking per week. It has opened my eyes to the vast and growing numbers of folks like me, and there is so much healing in that. There is life outside the brutal rigidity of our upbringing. There is hope beyond the anger. There are brave folks who wandered away from the structure into the void and found meaning. Blake, I cannot thank you enough, from the bottom of my heart. Your podcast has brought actual benefits to my life and my ongoing recovery. From one 90s Exvangelical to another, thanks for keeping it real.
When I began deconstructing and examining my evangelical Christian faith over a year ago, somewhere on that journey I stumbled onto the exvangelical movement via twitter. There I found voices of love, kindness, acceptance, and encouragement. I found my church through the internet. Blake’s podcast is so warm and affirming and I have learned so much from his humble and depth filled epidsodes. And he’s part of the development of the #exvangelical hashtag (was that redundant?). Anyway, it’s worth a listen.
I am not an exvangelical; however, I am the pastor of a mainline denomination and the stories of pain and trauma I hear from those who have left or are trying to leave the evangelical culture remind of the stories I hear from those who have been traumatized in other ways - physically or emotionally. I am grateful to this Podcast for the insight it gives me as I try to be a better minister, to be available to a hurting people in a hurting world.
Whether you're evangelical and wondering what the fuss is about these apostates calling themselves exvangelical, or you're in the middle of deconstructing yourself, or you have no familiarity with the evangelical faith tradition at all and wondering what all the fuss is about people leaving, this very conversational podcast is a must listen.
Exvangelical is an excellent and much needed podcast. It functions to allow voices in an important and growing population to be heard. Blake Chastain accomplishes this by asking pointed questions and allowing his guests to simply talk and share their stories. This podcast should and will be interesting to anyone who experienced evangelicalism from the inside, or seeks to have a more profound understanding of our current political, social, and religious climate.
Fantastic interviews with exvangelicals. The interviewees are all from different evangelical situations currently heading in different directions. You’ll surely hear your own story in their words and find guidance for what’s ahead. You’re not alone!
I’m still in a time of realization that the way the evangelical church has taught me isn’t the only way to believe in God. Listening to others who grew up evangelical and have since distanced themselves has helped me legitimize my doubts about this way of believing. Thank you for creating this Podcast and for having such wonderful speakers.
This. We need more of this. Honest conversation, limited production, and the exploration of the dark side of evangelical culture in America. Guests are allowed to detail their journeys, in all their humanness. It is life-giving to hear and experience. Keep it up, Blake Chastain.
As I started my journey out of legalism, and conservative Christianity, I felt terribly alone. My evangelical circle of family and friends don't understand the changes in me, and this podcast is filled with people like me, doubters asking questions, and it's okay! And the host and interviewees understand the weirdness and quirks of growing up evangelical, and I can listen and say, me too!
This podcast has introduced me to so many powerful voices, I don't know where to begin. As an ex-evangelical myself, I can relate to so many of the stories shared by Blake's guest. Blake also does a really good job of not dominating the conversation and, instead, letting the guests speak. Highly recommend subscribing to this podcast!
This podcast is possibly one of my favorites on the topic of leaving the evangelical subculture. While I’m a fan of almost all the interviews a few that are near and dear to my heart are the interviews with Jamie Lee Finch, Emily Joy & Hannah Paasch, and Samantha Field. These women’s voices are role models for all of us trying to pursue are true selves. What I enjoy most about this podcast, is that it provides for a new space of healing, community, and story telling, for those who are leaving this subculture. Blake Chastain’s heart, humility, and interview style, allows it to seem like you’re sitting in with the interview. It’s very intimate. It asks the question, how do we move forward, and create something good?
Leaving evangelicalism can seem like a solitary journey, but this podcast shows those of us who left that we're not alone and our stories need and deserve to be told. That there is an outlet that tells us exvangelicals that it's ok to leave, it's ok when your beliefs change, it's ok to want to talk about these things, well, it's a gift. So many of us have to keep so much to ourselves in order to keep the peace at home or at work, so it's nice to listen to conversations in which someone who left evangelicalism is asked to tell their story, to say what they think. I recommend this podcast to anyone who has evolved away from evangelicalism, it really doesn't matter what into.
This show speaks to me and my experiences in a way no other podcast does. At first I was a little suspicious about another cisgender hetero male-hosted Christianity podcast, but Blake Chastain's affect and approach perfectly fits the show. I love that he tries to find women, LGBTQ folks, and people of color as guests. I appreciate that he always seems to be speaking from a place of humility and curiosity, whereas so many male Christian podcast hosts try to dominate conversations and charm guests with their insecure humor. Keep up the good work, Blake.
I stumbled across this podcast while looking for resources and support for ex-Evangelicals, and ended up binge-listening to the whole backlog in under two weeks. Each episode features an interview with a former Evangelical. Some of the interviewees have maintained their faith but gone in a different direction (such as the Catholic or Episcopal church), while others have left the world of faith altogether. These stories all share the common thread of growing up to realize much of what we were raised to believe was misguided at best and grossly abusive at worst. In these days, as we're all reeling from the US election and the role white Evangelicals played in it, this podcast has never been more needed. My favorite episode was Episode #6, the interview with Kyle Barton, but all of it is good stuff.
After living for 60 years in the evangelical community and experiencing the world altering dysphoria of the 2016 election, Blake Chastain's interviews are thought provoking guides to alternative world views and fresh ways to look at Christianity. I particularly thought the interview with Peterson Toscano was mind blowing. If the current cognitive dissonance in Christian culture has assaulted your faith, then these interviews may provide a touchstone for a more authentic faith experience or a guide out of the morass of guilt that often plagues the evangelical experience.
Blake's work explores the personal stories of people who have come through the evangelical movement and decided to leave it behind. It's an honest take that puts faces on the stats you read in the paper. The diversity of people and beliefs is a great strength of the show. (Disclosure: I was a guest on an episode of the show)
I've only heard three episodes so far (Science Mike, Samantha Field, and Morgan Guyton), but I have found the conversations very refreshing. Though I haven't considered myself an evangelical for years (now an Episcopalian), I'm still reckoning with the world I grew up in and so much of my family still inhabits. I appreciate finding voices and conversations that reckon with the evangelical subculture as I continue to wrestle with and come to terms with my formative years.