On July 9, 2008, the God Whisperers took to the airwaves as part of the Pirate Christian Radio network in a groundbreaking new show in religious broadcasting. Based on countless hours of bar conversations between two friends seeking solace and sanity at district pastors’ conferences, the show was conceived with the idea of being fun yet serious, reverent yet irreverent, informative and goofy at the same time. We wanted to call our show God Talk, after the famous Tappet Brothers of Car Talk fame, but the name was already taken, so we settled on The God Whisperers – “god” and “dog” being anagrams.
In our ten years on the air, we’ve covered nearly the entire Book of Concord, the liturgical year, and the state of religion in our time and place. We’ve poked fun at others and at ourselves. We’ve brought you the ethereal sermons of Norman Nagel, the insights of our fellow pastors, theologians, and friends, commentary on Christian thought and culture, and the goofiness of the religious world in general. We introduced the world to the joys of eating bacon in Lent and Bottom Feeder Fridays, as well as Flarp, Tiki culture, weird science, and bacon chocolate bars. We even sponsored a cocktail contest with the famous award-winning Flaming Fundagelical. We have been podcast pioneers in the Lutheran podosphere, which is now ablaze with podcasts and video blogs ranging from the epically amazing to the tragically terrible. We’re glad to have been in on the ground floor.
As with all creative ventures, there comes a time to pull the plug before things get stale. All great shows – Mash, Seinfeld, Boston Legal, Game of Thrones, Big Bang Theory, Prairie Home Companion – come to their appointed end, hopefully before they run out of steam and descend into self-absorbed tedium. Craig’s babylonian captivity at synodical headquarters and our ongoing geographic separation have made it increasingly difficult for us to sustain the casual conversational tone we had at the beginning. To be honest, we have become weary, perhaps because we are older, perhaps because the times they are a’changing. There is an ominous dark cloud of self-seriousness, legalism, and binary thinking that threatens to suck the Gospel life and joy out of nearly everything. The culture wars, worship wars, confessional and missional wars have made religious life about as morose as a 15-stanza hymn sung too slowly. Before we become tedious old guys yelling at people to “get off the lawn,” we think it’s time to move on to other ventures and be content with what we have accomplished as The God Whisperers.
We regret nothing we have said or done on this show – not the epic tech fail of our first KFUO broadcast, our poking fun at the phony charges of “sacerdotalism” or “liberalism,” our episodes on evolution, or our mocking the false pretensions of church institutions and power structures. Religion needs a good, swift kick in the shins, and we were more than happy to deliver it, even if we did occasionally get bruised in the process.
Craig is now residing comfortably in Cleveland, healing from his synodically inflicted wounds, and is busy actually pastoring a congregation when he is not converting his basement into a Tiki lounge or working on his new missional podcast entitled “For You”. Bill continues organic gardening out in California and converting trees to sawdust, chips, and occasional furniture or little art boxes in his workshop, even as he ponders the intricacies of science, faith, Christ, culture, and creativity. You can keep track of his exploits at “Whatsoever Things.”
We are sincerely grateful to all our listeners, especially those who have told us how much the show meant to them. Truly, we had no idea, and these stories are greatly satisfying to hear. Too often in our era of sniping and griping, we lose sight of the positive things that go on without our notice, much less our merit or worthiness. We are also thankful for our critics, detractors, and slanderers, who provided us with an important sounding board and reality check as well as new material for our show.
The archive of this show will remain active as long as we can pay the bills.
Again, thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your generous support of the God Whisperers through thick and thin. And a special shout out to our loyal Canadian brothers, eh? Thanks to our patient wives, Paula and Karen, who put up with our podcast distraction for over a decade, as well as our congregations whom we neglected in the making of this show. We wanted to make you laugh, make you cry, inspire you, make you think, and believe ever more deeply in our Lord Jesus Christ in whom we live.
Think boldly, drink deeply, and trust Christ even more boldly and deeply.
The Manly Doctors of Divinity
William M. Cwirla