The Soul of the Nation with Jim Wallis

40 Episodes

By: District Productive

The Jim Wallis Show informs and inspires grass roots, influentials, and political leaders to examine our priorities in meeting the Biblical call for social justice and from that examination take action to promote racial and social justice, life and peace, and environmental stewardship.

Faith for Vaccinations with Dr. Leana Wen
Last Friday at 3:38 PM

Dr. Leana Wen is an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University. Wen speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the current state of the pandemic in the United States and its public health implications. She shares what she is hopeful for and her major concerns with trust and vaccine distribution.

"Building trust is not going to happen over night," Wen says."We also, as the medical community, need to show that we are trustworthy. There are communities that have real historical reasons for distrusting the medical and scientific community."

The Caesar Question

Jim Wallis, in conversation with William Matthews and Allison Trowbridge, explores the themes of Chapter Seven, “The Caesar Question” from his new book Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus.

The Deep Connection of Faith & Science with Dr. Francis Collins

Rev. Jim Wallis and the director of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Francis Collins break down the current state of our country with COVID-19 and how the faith community can help with vaccine distribution and messaging. Dr. Francis Collins shares his journey of religion and science, and how he's found his harmony between the two.

"It's heartbreaking. Most people I don't think associate themselves with those extremes but they haven't necessarily found a lot of opportunities to discover the harmony and one of my small goals here since I began writing about this was to...

The Fear Question

Jim Wallis, in conversation with William Matthews and Allison Trowbridge, explores the themes of Chapter Six, “The Fear Question” from his new book Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus.

The Power Question

Jim Wallis, in conversation with William Matthews and Allison Trowbridge, explores the themes of Chapter Five, “The Power Question” from his new book Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus.

The Truth Question

Jim Wallis, in conversation with William Matthews and Allison Trowbridge, explores the themes of Chapter Four, “The Truth Question” from his new book Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus.

The Image Question

im Wallis, in conversation with William Matthews and Allison Trowbridge, explores the themes of Chapter Three, “The Image Question” from his new book Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus. 

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on the Path to Redemption and Reconciliation

In honor of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Jim Wallis and Most Rev. Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, discuss our current political and moral crisis, whose antecedents are even longer than the very history of our country itself. Wallis and Curry share King's vision of a beloved community and a multi-racial democracy, while charting the path to redemption and reconciliation in the wake of the violent insurrection at the U. S. Capitol.

The Neighbor Question

Jim Wallis, in conversation with William Matthews and Allison Trowbridge, explores the themes of Chapter Two, “The Neighbor Question” from his new book Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus.

What About Jesus?

Jim Wallis, in conversation with William Matthews and Allison Trowbridge, explores the themes of Chapter One, “What About Jesus?” from his new book Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus. 

Sister Helen Prejean on the Christian Imperative to Abolish the Death Penalty

Roman Catholic sister, author, and social justice advocate, Helen Prejean speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the recent and upcoming executions of federal death row inmates by the Trump administration. Sister Prejean shares how she became one of the pioneering leaders in the movement to abolish the death penalty. She tells her 30-year journey and how she keeps faith and hope after witnessing countless death penalty executions.

"The hope is in the people," Sister Prejean says. "I have to say, getting out of that execution chamber that night in the dark I remember thinking very clearly, the...

Reclaiming Jesus Now with Jim Wallis

Reclaiming Jesus Now with Jim Wallis is a ten-episode podcast series on the themes of Jim Wallis’ new book, Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus. Wallis is joined by two voices from a rising generation of activists, William Matthews and Allison Trowbridge, who seek to reconcile their own spiritual journeys with the spiritual and political crises we face today.

Jim Wallis’ new book, and the conversations in this podcast, are organized around eight urgent and provocative questions Jesus Christ asked or provoked while pursuing his call: 


The Inward & Outward Journey of Faith with Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson

Rev. Jim Wallis speaks with Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson about his latest book, Without Oars: Casting Off Into a Life of Pilgrimage. Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson shares ways people of faith can embrace the journey through the unknown and the uncomfortable as a way of life.

"We are so prone to planning and control, to wanting outcomes. But there are times when we have to step out without knowing and having any assurance of what the outcome will be and opening the space where we can ask the questions that we most need to ask. One of the questions...

Don't Just Comfort, Show Up & Come With Us

Rev. Jim Wallis speaks with Rev. Brenda Salter McNeil about her latest book, Becoming Brave. McNeil shares how to find the courage to pursue racial justice now and her leadership in the church during the Black Lives Matter movement.

"This conversation is not a national conversation we're having, it's a global conversation," McNeil says. "And the whole world is watching and waiting to see if the church is going to come or not. And my prayer is that our answer is going to be a resounding, 'yes we're here. We cannot not come.'"


Rev. Gabriel Salguero on theComplexities of the Latinx Evangelical Vote

Rev. Jim Wallis speaks with president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition and co-lead pastor of The Gathering Place, Rev. Gabriel Salguero about the Latinx vote. Gabriel discusses where the evangelical Hispanic vote is going in this election and the mindset behind the Latino/Latina voter.

"I think that one of the things that I want to underscore is that faith is essential to Hispanic voters. It's not an addendum, it's not a footnote."


A Faustian Bargain and a Corruption of the Soul

Politics in Washington, D.C., is often antithetical to the teachings of Jesus. Rev. Jim Wallis and Rev. Rob Schenk, the president of the Dietrich Bonhoffer Institute, discuss the spiritual cost of placing access to power above the gospel.

Schenk recalled, "I was present sitting at a table when it happened in Cleveland, during the Republican National Convention. I was at the table and a colleague, a very well-known evangelical leader who had run for president himself, turned to me and said, 'Look, we'll plug our noses...

John Carr on the Catholic Vote in the 2020 Election

Rev. Jim Wallis speaks with the founder and director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, John Carr. Rev. Jim Wallis and John Carr discuss human life and dignity, as well as Pope Francis's recent public statement supporting of same-sex civil unions.

"When I was growing up, the test was whether you agreed with the pope, not whether the pope agreed with you," Carr says. "And I think we've got some people in our community who basically are looking for the pope to embrace their ideological agenda or their political preferences...

Rev. Jim Wallis on the Unconventional Threat of Voter Suppression & Intimidation

In this special SOTN episode, Rev. Jim Wallis joins Peter Eisner and Jonathan Winer, hosts of District Productive's Unconventional Threat, to discuss Lawyers and Collars, an initiative that seeks to ensure that everyone--including our most vulnerable citizens--is able to safely and effectively exercise their right to vote.

"Faith leaders have to put their moral authority on the line, and join with those who are willing to stand with them to protect the image of God in all of our citizens."

To hear more episodes from the Unconventional Threat podcast click here: https...

Protecting Our Democracy with Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner

Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-founder of Skinner Leadership Institute and Co-Convener of the National African American Clergy Network discusses with Rev. Jim Wallis ways to get involved and take action politically and spiritually for the upcoming election. Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner shares how to protect your vote and ultimately the image of God.

"The Country is only as strong as it treats the most vulnerable citizens, right now we are a weaker country because we are robbing not just black and brown people but elderly people."

Paul Rieckhoff on the Importance of Sacrifice in Leadership

Paul Rieckhoff, Founder of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the current morale of the Armed Forces and how to support those who have served and those who are currently serving our country through policy advocacy and in our day-to-day interactions.

"I think that especially the younger generation, people think leadership is about having a million followers on Instagram or a corner office or a big paycheck or about power and it's really not. "

Bishop Michael Curry: Love Is the Way

Rev. Jim Wallis speaks with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church about God making a way for healing and love from the painful divisions of the coronavirus and white supremacy in our country.

"We need our leaders to be motivated by an unselfish sacrificial way of love that truly seeks the good and well-being of the American society," Curry says, "but not just the American society, but the global community."

America Is Facing a National Crisis: Racism

In this bonus episode, Rev. Jim Wallis speaks about how racism is the religious issue in this election. Rev. Wallis calls for unity and a need for healing as a nation as we continue to reel from the twin pandemics of the coronavirus and racial injustice. He states that racism must be a deal breaker for white Christians in this election.

Rep. Clyburn Calls for Vigilance to Protect Voting Rights

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about voting rights ahead of one of the most important presidential elections in modern history.

Clyburn says, "This is probably the most consequential election for African Americans and for civil rights and civil liberties since maybe the election of 1868. All elections are important, but all of them are not as consequential as others. ... It's often said that Thomas Jefferson wrote that 'The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.' We have to remain vigilant. And I can think of no time in...

Bree Newsome on Ending Entrenched Racism

Activist and civil rights organizer Bree Newsome Bass speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the importance of removing symbols of hate and the need for racial reckoning.

"One of the things that is significant about the pandemic era, it has really shown how interconnected we are. Just the way that the pandemic spreads, the way that the lack of access to PPE in one community causes it to spread to other communities, shows that there really is no such thing as individuality. Past a certain extent, it's an entirely interconnected society. A pandemic has no inherent biases...

Schooling During COVID-19: How to Close Gaps in Education

Dr. Nicole Baker Fulgham, founder and president of the Expectations Project and author of Educating All God's Children, speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about what Christians can do to help improve public schools for kids in crisis, particularly amid COVID-19.  

Baker Fulgham says, "Because the education disparities in our country are hundreds of years in the making and they are systemic, they follow closely along the lines of class and of course, race. There's a role for people of faith to be advocates on this issue. [We] are probably best known for our work...

White Too Long: How Racism Lives in the DNA of White Christianity in America

Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute and the author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about how white American Christianity and white supremacy collaborate throughout our nation's history. 

Jones says, "[Racism is] very, very deep in [white Christian] theology and it's going to take more than a couple of potlucks with the African American church down the street. It's going to take a serious reconsideration of evangelical theology top to bottom. I liken it...

Eddie Glaude on the Third Founding of America

Dr. Eddie Glaude, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of African American Studies at Princeton University and former president of the American Academy of Religion, speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the need for a profound change in America that he calls the "The Third Founding."

Glaude says, "The third founding tries to disrupt this idea [of] who white Americans take themselves to be.

"We have to begin to build a society that will reflect the value of every individual, no matter their color, their zip code, who they love. So it's...

Why Racism Still Makes Sense to White Folks

How did white people justify racism for so long in this country? Heather McGhee, the co-chair of Color of Change, the country’s largest online racial justice organization, talks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the legacy of racism in the United States and the lies that allow America’s original sin to be perpetuated to this day.

“The whitewashing and posthumous glorification of our society's agitators allows for contemporary people to pretend that they back in that time would have had a clear moral stance,” says McGhee. “And that, I think, is a temptation that allow...

The Courage to Listen: Faith Communities' Mission to Protect Black Life and Reduce Harm

Rev. Jeffrey L. Brown serves as associate pastor of the historic Twelfth Baptist church in Boston, one of the oldest African American churches in the nation. Rev Brown is also one of the architects of the Boston Miracle, a proven successful methodology that is being replicated across the country and around the world to reduce gang violence.

Rev. Brown spoke with Rev. Jim Wallis about his work to save young black lives. "If you have people straining to live under the weight of a system that seeks to constantly dehumanize, then it doesn't matter how much training...

God and Neighbor: Ending Racism Through Faith

The Right Reverend Robert Wright, the 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, speaks with Rev. Wallis about the original sin of racism and how we need to find empathy through proximity.

"George Floyd, a man was publicly asphyxiated, violently asphyxiated for the entire world to see, not unlike the public asphyxiation that happened on Calvary. We see this and we've got to speak up. If the Bible says anything, it says that God and neighbor both are irreducible. That God and neighbor [are] synonymous. It's in some ways, not a black thing. And it's certainly...

A History of the American Dreamer

Civil rights advocate Cecilia Muñoz was an eyewitness to history as she helped shape the Obama administration's immigration reform policies, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for the people many now refer to as "Dreamers."

Muñoz tells Rev. Jim Wallis, "We have large numbers, 10 or 11 million undocumented people, [who] Congress has rendered deportable, but we're going to make choices about who we choose to remove. And, DACA recipients are an expression of the folks who should be the lowest priority ... We now know that legions of [Dreamers] are teachers and st...

John Whittington Franklin on Juneteenth and Tulsa

Third generation historian John Whittington Franklin discusses the history of African Americans with Rev. Jim Wallis. They discuss how Black history is integral to a larger American historical narrative. 

Franklin says, "As Americans, we all need to know each other's history, as well as our own. That's the only way we will be complete."

Many Faiths, One Commitment. Radical Love: A Conversation with Valarie Kaur

Sikh American civil rights activist and lawyer Valarie Kaur talks with Rev. Jim Wallis about The Revolutionary Love Project.

Kaur finds examples of revolutionary love across many faith traditions: "When we think about Jesus has called to love our neighbor as ourself; or Abraham's decision to open his tent to all; or Buddha to have compassion for all; or Mohammad's to take in the orphan; or Mirabai in the Hindu tradition to love without limit; when we love without limit, then it is revolutionary... then it becomes a force for interior and political and social and cultural...

Sen. Chris Coons: Our Moment of Crisis Is a Moment for Transformation

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) talks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the potential for a Kairos moment during the unprecedented crisis our nation is facing.

Coons says, "A basic fundamental change can happen because there is the action of God in history, touching hearts, moving people ... When there is sin, when there is brokenness, when there's division, we can't be reconciled to each other until there is a confrontation with our own history, a willingness to be open to challenges or criticism of our own behavior, and our history, and our hearts, and then a willingness to repent."<...

Faith and Freedom During the Pandemic Crisis

How do you balance the sometimes competing demands of religion and democracy? Religious and legal scholar Melissa Rogers talks with Rev. Jim Wallis on about the fine line that is sometimes hard to distinguish when examining our duty to our religion and our government.

Rogers says, "You think about this pandemic and the way that government and all institutions, including religious institutions had to turn on a dime. ...We need to be both able to partner with government for good. And we need to also be prophetic interrogators ofgovernment too... So I think it's that dual role...

Bishop Mariann Budde: Our Attention Should Be on the Murderous Sin of Racism

Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about our need to focus our outrage on the tragic death of George Floyd and the systemic structures that caused it. She warns against being distracted by Donald Trump's brazen attempt to falsely cloak himself with spiritual authority by staging a photo op in front of St. John's, Lafayette Square.

"I have friends and people that you and I both know who are working so hard to keep the protest for justice engaged and focused on the outrage...

One Murder of Many: Subverting White Privilege to Save Black Lives

Whitney Parnell, Founder and CEO of Service Never Sleeps, talks with Rev. Jim Wallis in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd about systemic racism, white privilege, and the hope for our collective future.

Parnell says, "White supremacy is the institutionalization of white dominance and power. And racism is the structural upholding of that[...] Being born as a white person, you are born into that system in a position of privilege."

Parnell continues, "Hope is the belief that we can build a better tomorrow than today. And that just helped bring everything home for...

Lament: A Day to Mourn By Jim Wallis

As we pass the horrifying milestone of 100,000 American deaths to the coronavirus, we’re using the hashtag #Lament100k to urge people to pause — to lament.

Rev. Jim Wallis tells us, "We must stop. We must weep. We must mourn. We must honor. And we must lament."

Is COVID-19 Changing Evangelical Support for Trump?

Robert P. Jones the CEO and Founder of the Public Religion Research Institute ( and a leading scholar and commentator on religion, culture, and politics speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis on the impact and the importance of polling in the Presidential Election season and the impact of COVID-19 on the perceptions of people of faith.

Jones says, "We've been able to see really as the pandemic has progressed and as Trump has shifted his responses is that he reached a peak of support in March. Now for Trump, peak support is...

Did South Korea Get It Right?: Rev. Hana Kim on Keeping Faith During COVID-19

Rev. Jim Wallis talks with Myungsung Church's lead pastor Rev. Hana Kim about South Korea's response to COVID-19 and the moral, ethical, and religious imperative we have to help the most vulnerable as Jesus commands, many of whom are more at-risk during this global crisis.

Kim says, "We have to reclaim Jesus in this crisis. I'm trying to be a true believer and if you're a true believer, you must embrace not only teachings of Jesus Christ, but also the life of Jesus Christ: his character, his disposition, his heart, his love and his willingness to be...