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604: Faulty Foot Washing & Pagan Christianity with Nijay Gupta

Updated: Mar 29

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The “He Gets Us” campaign ran a Super Bowl ad showing culture war combatants washing each other’s feet. It has conservative Christians upset and non-Christians confused. Phil, Kaitlyn, and Skye react to the ad and unpack the many ways we misunderstand the meaning of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Then, New Testament professor Nijay Gupta is back to discuss his new book “Strange Religion” about what made early Christianity so weird and compelling. He explains what Roman religion looked like before Christianity, and how those pagan values and practices are returning. Plus, Chinese spy pigeons and swearing parrots.

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0:00 - Sponsor - World Relief - Visit to download your family refugee guide and learn more about the Path Community

1:11 - Intro

2:41 - Show Starts

3:29 - Theme Song

3:51 - Sponsor - Hiya Health - Go to to receive 50% off your first order

5:02 - Skye and U2 in Las Vegas

10:27 - Foul-Mouthed Fowls

16:50 - Spies in Disguise as Pigeons

21:40 - Foot-Washing Superbowl Ad

47:08 - Sponsor - Better Help - Get 10% off your first month at

48:09 - Sponsor - Wheaton Graduate School - Learn in a rich, rigorous Christian environment -

49:16 - Interview

51:38 - Strange Religion

1:05:31 - What was Roman religion like?

1:13:40 - Modern Pagan Christianity

1:32:15 - End Credits


Strange Religion: How the First Christians Were Weird, Dangerous, and Compelling:

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I appreciated the footwashing conversation. I was surprised there was less conversation about the implications of who was a Christian and who wasn't a Christian (and with the convolution of serving but also washing away sin that all that implied). See for a discussion of the stark contrast between who washes feet and who has their feet washed.


America today compared to Roman society: Brilliant. Totally true. I would buy that book.

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