While serving as Activist in Residence at Susquehanna University, Peterson Toscano co-preached a sermon with chaplain Rev. Scott Kershner, and then recorded their conversation for Bible Bash podcast.
Going back and forth they discuss Matthew chapter 3, the story of John the Baptist in the wilderness. John is an outrageous character in the way he dresses, where chooses to do ministry, and in his bold, direct, and highly critical message to the leaders of his day.
Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (NASB version from Biblegateway.com)
Peterson sees modern connections in John the Baptist with the work that performance artists and climate activists like Greta Thunberg do. Famously the Swedish teen stood up in front of world leaders at the United Nations and railed against them.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!
Scott and Peterson point out WHO the prophets John and Greta speak to–leaders who have power over many people. They are not simply demanding individual repentance from citizens, they preach directly to leaders in order to change the world to go in a new direction.
Liam ends the show with “Another Text” and reads from the introduction of Winona LaDuke’s book, All Our Relations. From winonaladuke.com
Winona LaDuke is one of the world’s most tireless and charismatic leaders on issues related to climate change, Indigenous rights, human rights, green and rural economies, grass-roots organizing, local foods, alternative sources of energy and the priceless value of clean water over a career spanning nearly 40 years of activism.
In each episode of Bible Bash Podcast, Liam, a trans queerish man, and co-host, cis gay Bible scholar, Peterson Toscano, take turns presenting the text. They then discuss. In addition, each episode they present another text, a non-Biblical text of note–religious or secular–that may or may not correspond to the Bible text.
Bible Bash Podcast is a project of Ministries Beyond Welcome.
Our theme song is Playbill by The Jellyrox. It is available on iTunes, Spotify, or through Rock Candy Recordings
To share your questions, comments, requests for passages to be discussed, or suggestions for guests who can talk about texts, email us at email@example.com.
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Check out other Rock Candy podcasts
- Stephen Long’s Sacred Tension
- Peterson Toscano’s Bubble&Squeak
- EleventyLife hosted by Matt Langston of the Band EleventySeven