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550 Demons, Democrats, & Dominionists, Oh My!


How did American politics go from a disagreement over policies to become a war between the forces of good and evil? Phil takes us on a journey through the fascinating origins of the New Apostolic Reformation movement as he traces a line from a professor at Fuller Seminary in the 1980s to the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Along the way, we learn how the movement popularized the integration of culture, politics, and spiritual warfare, and shaped the imaginations of generations of evangelicals. Plus, the Chinese spy balloon is a Rorschach test in the sky. And creepy things are happening to mice at a children’s hospital in Cincinnati.


Patreon Bonus: Amy Peeler Bonus Interview https://www.patreon.com/posts/78363554/


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0:00 - Intro

2:32 - Chinese balloon

15:18 - Animal News

20:10 - Charismatic history

53:23 - National Prayer Breakfast

59:40 - End Credits


Links mentioned


“Three Chinese Balloons Flew Over US During Trump Presidency” - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-06/us-didn-t-know-about-chinese-balloons-during-trump-until-later


“Scientists Grew Mini Human Guts Inside Mice” - https://www.wired.com/story/scientists-grew-mini-human-guts-inside-mice/#:~:text=In%20search%20of%20a%20better,of%20the%20human%20immune%20system.


Skye’s devotional - www.withgoddaily.com



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16 Comments


Haley Jones
Haley Jones
Feb 10, 2023

I would love to hear an episode about a full breakdown your perspective of Biblical spiritual warfare. I totally agree with a lot of what you’re saying here about the weirdness of some of the popular views of spiritual warfare, and I certainly don’t agree with the view of blaming sin issues on the demon in your neighbor, but I do think there is a case to be made for real spiritual warfare as well. I come from an Asian background and its really common for pastors where I’m from to be called to the house of a new believer to smash their family idols and deal with any demonic influence in that home. I’m not saying that my culture…

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Skye Jethani
Skye Jethani
Feb 13, 2023
Replying to

Hi Haley,


I agree that spiritual warfare is not just a construct developed by Frank Peretti. The Bible DOES speak about spiritual beings. It DOES affirm that some of these beings are servants of God, and others are opposed to him. Demonic exorcisms are frequently reported in the gospels and Acts. I'm not disputing any of that. Here's what I am saying... 1. The way modern US evangelicals imagine spiritual warfare is shaped more by Peretti than Scripture.


The idea of angels and demons fighting each other with swords in an adjacent unseen dimension is not depicted anywhere in the Bible. And seeing the angels v demons as a proxy war for political or cultural conflicts among humans is also a…


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Sarah Lowe
Sarah Lowe
Feb 10, 2023

One thing I really appreciated about this episode was Phil's unapologetic mention of the "Straight White American Jesus" podcast and his open acknowledgment that (a) it's hosted by exvangelicals and (b) it had helpful & true information that helped him frame his understanding of the NAR movement and pentecostalism in general. I deeply value the way that Phil and the other HP hosts model what it means to listen to voices outside of our own limited circles of belief & influence, and to consistently be "curious, not judgmental" (in the words of Ted Lasso). That's something I'd like to do a better job emulating in my own life. Anyway, just wanted to say good on ya--and thanks!

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At what point do these movements become cults? My mom has fallen hook, line, and sinker for all these "prophets," and no amount of incorrect predictions, pivoting, and goalpost moving that these prophets can do is enough to convince her that they are wrong. I feel like I've lost her to a cult. I don't know if we're at Joseph Smith levels yet, but at least in my own life, it feels that way. I've gotten to the point where I've had to flat out tell her to stop sending me things, because I'd rather just live in ignorance as to what new thing she's brainwashed herself with this time. I don't want to say I feel lost in al…

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I've learned to be a little leery of populist History YouTubers/podcasts that claim to draw a direct line between [insert previously little-known villain] and [insert recent tragedy]. There's usually a lot of jumping around from point to point, making emotionally-charged claims, implicating people with little connection, and ignoring all evidence that suggests otherwise. Even the best ones end up sounding like Glenn Beck desperately trying to tie Obama to 30s Germany. Everyone wants to tie their enemies to the latest terrible event.


And I'm saying this as someone who followed the NAR antics for years and remember Wagner going on NPR to claim Japan made love to a Sun Goddess. This nonsense has been happening for years and there's a…


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Mervin Bitikofer
Mervin Bitikofer
Feb 09, 2023

After listening to this, a quote that I think originates from writer Anne Lamott comes to mind - something to this effect: "You know you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same things you do." This quote could be adapted just for this season: You know that someone's god is made up when it hates only the same things their political party hates. Or one could also say: Any god no bigger than a political party is not a god worth worshipping.

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