The Remys are 2 of the coolest people I know (and I haven’t even met them yet). Perhaps that statement is as ironic as the title of their new podcast: “An Athiest’s Prayer.”

For my more conservative readers, please don’t be put off by the title. These is spiritual folk (as they say). Don’t confuse spiritual with religious–not always the same.

Give them a listen, and let us know what you think!!!!! I’ll do so now as well!!!!



  1. John Remy June 23, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    Whoa! I was so not expecting to see this! Thanks!

    The irony is that we’ve spent the last few days listening to your “My Story” podcast and discussing your life (and wishing that our cast was more polished like yours). Whenever I hear stories like yours, I’m always amazed at the similarities (even in little things–I remember Patricia Pinegar’s little white BMW convertible when I was in the MTC).

    I like to think of our capacity to serve and contribute in terms of ministries–a term I borrowed from mainstream Christians. They have ministries that reach out to various types of people in a variety of ways (troubled youth ministry, ecumenical ministries, witnessing in Guatemala minsitries, etc.). When you talked about the two kinds of emails you received, my first thought was, “but John, your ministry is to the people on the fringe who need to know they’re not alone.” The Church ministers well to the bulk of its members; the Mormon Stories and Sunstones of the world are called to reach out to the marginalized.

    I’m working on articulating my own ministry, and you’ve been a great example and source of inspiration. Thank you.

  2. Matt Elggren June 23, 2006 at 1:42 pm

    John Remy,

    I don’t expect you’ll arrive at a more concise definition then the one in your masthead:

    Preaching doubt to believers and spirituality to skeptics.

    Now back to listening to the podcast….

  3. Will June 24, 2006 at 9:36 am

    From my impressions, the difference is that We are spiritual, but They are only religious.

  4. John Dehlin June 24, 2006 at 9:55 am


    That’s a very, very good point. I see what you’re saying, and acknowledge/agree with it.

  5. John Remy June 24, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    I think that Will’s on to something, but I wouldn’t want to end the exploration of these terms with his pithy comment. Based on my own experience of how the words are used, here’s what I’ve come up with:

    religious ~ institution, community, piety.

    spiritual ~ inspiration, compassion, divinity.

    I think that most Mormons would be happy to apply both terms to themselves. Strong secularists might view both as perjoratives (with religious applying to tradional forms of worship, and spiritual perhaps implying more new-agey approaches). It seems to me that people view these as positive or negative based on their attitudes towards the things they describe.

    I hear the term “Religious Right” used all the time in the media. I’m curious–have members of the “Religious Right” adopted the label for themselves, or is it only used by outsiders describing them?

  6. Meditator June 24, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    Hey John Remy,
    that was a great podcast. I am studying about Zen at the moment, so I liked your story about the Zen master very much.

    About religious vs. spiritual:
    Communities often tend to marginalize people who don’t fit into the norm. That was one of the points which made Jesus sick. He hated the Pharisees who marginalized nonpious or outcasts like whores or publicans.
    Nowadays we see this marginalization between different religions (people stressing “noone gets to the father but through me” and forgetting all encompassing statements of Jesus) or towards the nonpious (aka. coffeedrinkers :-) ).
    I wonder why people who claim to be Christians often violate the most fundamental rules of charity…

    By the way, I think that the respective self-labeling of the religious right is
    “Member of the only true living church on the faith of planet earth”.

    Anyway, to both Johns: keep up the good work.
    I am very delighted how you, John D., developed from your first episode in which you seemed quite
    TBM, though a bit disturbed, to a much broader and non-mainstream Mormon.
    The Meditator

  7. Just for Quix June 27, 2006 at 2:00 pm


    I’ve been visiting Mind on Fire for quite a while–even posting a few times. It’s nice to see you taking your perspective–which I find very sympathetic– and putting it out there in the ‘cast world. I’m looking forward to listening.

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