Last week, I published an interview with Ben De Bono, co-host of The Sci-Fi Christian Podcast, which is my favorite podcast currently running (and easily in my top 5 of all time). Today we’ll learn more about the history and mission of the podcast from co-host Matt Anderson.
Matt Anderson is really nice guy—–the kind of nice guy whose friends (like, Ben De Bono) tell him he’s too nice. From listening to the show, you can Matt’s the type who uses a heart’s compass in making decisions, who aches to do what he feels to be the right thing. I can attest to this because our personalities are very similar.
We both want to read more books but struggle to do so.
We both tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.
We both like media that is not nearly as good as we remember it being.
And we both get mocked by our friends for it. (Plus, Matt and I share nearly the exact answer to questions 1 & 2 of the interview)
I think the dynamic of Matt and Ben is one of the reasons that I love their show so much. Basically, it runs on the same give-and-take that drove my short-lived show from 2007, The Stunkpod. My co-host, Dean McCarthy, and I had a nearly identical method of discussion as Ben and Matt. Dean would provide a topic of discussion, usually offer some show notes, and I would then react to them. Or I would provide show notes and Dean would pretty much dismiss them and then offer color commentary. Ha! Seriously, it’s an ebb and flow that makes for a good show, and The Sci-Fi Christian has it in spades.
2. Why do you choose that term?
My Christian faith defines me. While I have other interests and passions, being a Christian is the core of everything.
3. In two sentences, tell us about the show, The Sci-Fi Christian—what it is and for whom it’s intended.
The Sci-Fi Christian is a podcast that features discussions on faith, theology, and pop culture. We have listeners that share our faith, and others that disagree with us about a lot of our core beliefs, but the podcast has been the catalyst to generate conversations with different people from different worldviews. We have been podcasting for almost 5 years.
4. What led to the creation of The Sci-Fi Christian? Was it a specific event or was it a more progressive development?
Ben De Bono and I started The Sci-Fi Christian after having a different, short-lived podcast. That podcast was primarily a supplement to our local church’s sermons, and we found that we couldn’t discuss our interests in such things as sci-fi, fantasy, or comic books without feeling like we were talking to the wrong demographic of listeners. For a while we recorded both podcasts every week, but after 4 months of The Sci-Fi Christian, we ended The Life Report.
5. How has your podcasting required you to sacrifice?
The podcast is constantly on my mind, as I’m trying to plan ahead for future episodes or a release schedule for our various episodes. We tend to record two episodes weekly, but sometimes we do more. Editing the podcast also takes up quite a bit of time. Ben takes care of all of the technical stuff in relationship to the website, so thankfully I don’t have to worry about that. I’d definitely say that both time and thought-space are the two biggest sacrifices for me.
6. What is your primary goal when you podcast?
To be honest, the first thing we look at in generating content is whether Ben and I are interested in the topic. I try to do episodes that I would want to listen to myself. For a lot of episodes, we aim to make people think about things in a deeper way, specifically in regards to philosophy and theology.
7. What is your largest hope for your listeners?
My greatest hope for the podcast is that in some way, whatever we happen to be talking about, we are helping people grow in their relationship with God. I love when people think more about their faith and the theology that they believe after listening to our episodes.
8. What are two key ways that your podcasting benefits the online community?
I think that our community has grown to be a place where you don’t have to share the popular opinion. We question whether certain content is actually high quality. For example, while there may be a particular movie that does well in the box office and is well-liked by viewers, we want to examine what themes are being explored in that movie, and how good the actual story is.
I think we have also encouraged people to read books they’ve never read before, and study aspects of Christian theology that they’ve never heard of before. It is very rewarding to get people started down those sorts of paths.
9. How have you seen God’s goodness and faithfulness in your recording work?
I mentioned earlier that some of our listeners aren’t Christians, and I love having the opportunity to share about Jesus in a format that doesn’t turn people away. A non-Christian listener may just want to hear us talk about a particular sci-fi topic, but along the way they get a little taste of theology or the Gospel.
10. How can readers learn more, donate to your work, or get involved?
Our website, www.thescifichristian.com, is the best place to start to get involved. From there you can find links to all of our podcast episodes, as well as our YouTube channel. We are also on Facebook and Twitter, and we love getting email feedback here: [email protected]
And be sure to check out some more of the Sci-Fi Christian’s greatest hits (according to me, anyway).
NOTE: Special Thanks also to Ben De Bono for catching a formatting snafu in my original posting of this interview.