There's a Lot of Bad Ideas in the World. Introducing THE ALTER, a New Live Show
Sacrificing bad beliefs for the sake of transformation.
There’s a lot of bad ideas in the world.
And when I say bad, I do so with trepidation, because who am I, a random dude from southern California, to be any sort of arbiter of which ideas are “good” and which are “bad?”
On one hand, I’m a nobody, and nobody should really pay attention to me or listen to what I have to say. My ideas of what are good/bad are just as good/bad as anyone else’s.
On the other hand, there is a very specific subset of ideas—within the larger world of ideas—that maybe, just maybe, I might have a tad more credibility in.
(Fun Fact: as Enneagram Type 3, I tend to think there are many, many, “subset of ideas” in which my opinion should matter more. We tend to think we know everything about everything. It can be intolerable. Sorry. 😬)
Bad Religious Ideas
I’ve been doing ministry now for 20 years, 17 of those full-time as a pastor.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministry and a partial Master’s in Theology (at which point some of you might think, oh that makes sense 🤪).
Furthermore, my first decade in ministry took place in the conservative world of evangelicalism, while my second decade has taken me in to the much more progressive world of post-evangelicalism.
Why does that matter? Well, because I think I’ve got a pretty decent set of data for comparison sakes as it relates to the arena of religious ideas. I’ve got a decent sense for which beliefs (especially from more conservative Christianity) are simply not that good… even downright harmful, toxic, and needing discarded.
In my opinion, part of what makes life interesting and meaningful is that we can routinely examine that which we believe and, should we discover beliefs that no longer make sense, or no longer have value, or no longer contribute to our well-being, we can change them.
Or, you might say, we can Alter them. 🤯🤯🤯
Perspective Shift: How it All Began
I’ve been writing this newsletter, Perspective Shift, for almost a year now.
Which, before I go on, can I say THANK YOU for reading it!
Thank you for subscribing, and for making me feel like the time and energy I put in to this is worth it. I’m so blessed to know you’re out there, choosing between that delete button in your inbox, or scrolling on by, or even maybe thinking, “is now the time to unsubscribe?”
And yet here you are. So many of you actually reading! Thank you!
(BTW: If you know of others who might enjoy this newsletter, maybe you could send it their way?)
But anyway, I’ve been writing this newsletter for almost a year now, and then starting last fall I thought, why not also start a livestreaming show as a way to share this content via other mediums, and, to more directly connect with other humans?
(Here’s a screenshot of that first episode. Yeesh… we’ve come a ways, people. Also, I know I look stoned, but it was a combination of bad lighting, bad camera settings, and a moisturizer that turns out I’m allergic to.)
Since the whole idea for the show originated as a conduit for this here newsletter, I simply titled the live show “Perspective Shift.” But eventually that got confusing: wait, is Perspective Shift a newsletter, or a live show, or a documentary about Australian artists?!
Therefore, a couple months back I decided it was time to change the name of my live show, as well as innovate and grow what the show is.
Now a Show with Guests
Part of that innovation came in the form of inviting people to join the show as guests.
You may recall that I took the month of May to re-launch my book, The Shift, and subsequently spent four weeks on the live show talking with guests about their shifting faith. Such as the progressive pastor from Nashville, Josh Scott; the TikTok preacher recently featured in RollingStone, Brandan Robertson; the lifestyle blogger, Brit Lively; and then my roundtable discussion with progressive Christians Tommy Allgood, Mira Sawlani-Joyner, and Lauren Moser (shown above).
Then as you know, I spent all June hosting #PRIDEmonth conversations with some of the coolest LGBTQ folk I know, highlighting the many ways that queerness is a gift: here’s my conversation with transgender activist, Ashton Colby; or check out my time spent with Justin Lee, author of TORN; here’s my amazing convo with sexual revolutionist, Coach Yeamah; and then last week I got to meet the author of Outlove, Julie Rodgers, and we talked about the deadly ideas of conversion therapy and anti-gay teaching in the evangelical world.
Speaking of conversion therapy and anti-LGBTQ theology, y’all that’s what I’m talking about when I say that some ideas are really, really bad ideas, and neeeeeeeeed altering.
Which leads us to…
The Alter: A New Live Show
… beginning today, my Wednesday live show is now called, The Alter!
*cue thunderous applause*
When coming up with the new name/brand for the show, I knew I wanted to keep it in the family of “Perspective Shift” and the title of my book, “The Shift.” In other words, I wanted to stick with this concept of highlighting the posture that stays open to change, growth, and transformation.
I reached out to one of my friends, Karyn Gilmore, who’s a whiz with the words, and asked if she’d stick this in the back of her brain in the event any good ideas came to her on what to name my show. To no one’s surprise, she texted me back probably five minutes later with a suggestion: The Alter.
Not only is alter a fabulous synonym for change/shift, but it’s also a homophone for altar, which for the religiously inclined carries a fabulous little play on words. An “altar” is a sacred space in which sacrifices are made in order to appease the angry, distant gods.
While I’m not about that belief any longer—for there is no angry god whom we need to appease with sacrifices—I am definitely all about the holy practice of courageously bringing forth things we think and believe for the purpose of maybe laying them down to rest.
Which is why the tagline for the show (for now… I’m still workshopping this part) is:
The Alter: Sacrificing Bad Beliefs for the Sake of Transformation
And here’s the logo:
The “A,” if you can’t tell, is a compass, a tool used for mathematics, drafting, and navigation. Which helps to communicate the shifting, changing nature of it all.
The show itself will continue to evolve and change (duh, it’s built in to the name!), but for now it’ll include things such as:
Readings from Perspective Shift (I may not read the entire article any longer, but I’ll still highlight the current week’s newsletter)
Special Guests (it’s just too much fun bringing on folks from around the world. Got suggestions on who to invite? Comment below!)
Things I Can’t Stop Thinking About
I Just Learned This
Viewer Sound Off
And, an Alter Call (that’s right, friends, we’re doing an Alter Call! But instead of having you come down the aisle to the front, and accepting Jesus as your savior, you can stay right where you are and I’ll invite all of us to consider something that we might need to change our minds on).
I hope you’ll check out The Alter! If you can join live, that’s the best, but obviously the middle of the afternoon (for folks in the states, that is) isn’t always easy. So you can always watch the episodes after they air, just make sure you subscribe to my channel on YouTube, and/or Like my page on Facebook.
It’s been an awesome experiment/experience so far, and I look forward to more shows together with you!
See you soon.
The Kate & Colby Show Returns!
The podcast-turned-live-show that I co-host with my wife, Kate, returns to the air tonight with special guest, the polygendered preacher drag queen star of TikTok, FLAMY GRANT!
Join us live tonight at 7pm PST!