The Phileas Club 119 – Special: Life as a Presbyterian Minister


On this episode we talk about:

  • A few minutes about the Yellow Vests in France
  • Shawn tells us about his life as a minister in the Presbyterian Church

Remember you can support the show at

More info on the show:

You can also download the MP3, or subscribe via iTunes or RSS.


  1. Well done to both Shawn and Patrick. I live in the US and have very similar beliefs to Shawn. It was more interesting to me to hear Patrick’s surprise at Shawn’s life and belief due to his familiarity to Catholicism in France.

    The only thing I’d add is that doubt is a very key component of faith. Anyone who lives out their faith and challenges themselves accordingly, will experience seasons of fluctuating doubt. There is a misunderstanding that faith and certainty are synonyms. If absolute certainty was a requirement to follow the tenets and have faith, many of us would not meet that standard.

    I’d have also preferred to hear Shawn’s thoughts on evangelicalism, which has morphed much more into a political movement than a religious one in my opinion.

    • Thanks Jason, it was nice to have this playful back and forth with Shawn on those topics, and the discussion about doubt was enlightening indeed. I thought about discussing more radical currents of thought, but as I said on the show (I think?), the importance of focus in conversations is something I’ve learned over the years. It’s easy to get distracted and start veering off into close, but different topics (and we certainly do sometimes), so it’s important to know which topics would send you into a rabbit hole that would never let you get back to the question you were trying to address (or would just change the tone of the conversation entirely). That being said, I would have loved to hear Shawn’s thoughts as well, even if I think I suspect what they would have been, and it would only have served to reinforce what we already feel… 🙂

  2. Thanks, everyone. This was a great episode. Shawn was so… relateable!

    Too often in the US, discussion of religion focuses on conservative evangelicals. Their viewson just about everything are the opposite of my own. However, I think that with the election of Donald Trump, their influence has peaked Their numbers (especially among younger evangelicals) are have begun to dwindle.

    This morning I heard a story on the news about the evangelical author of a book (about 20 years ago) that opposed not only premarital sex, but also casual (not courtship-oriented) dating. The author now regrets having written the book, and has asked the publisher to refrain from reprinting it.

    Shawn’s good thoughts were not limited to philosophy. He mentioned the book Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore. This book is a favorite of mine, and I recommend it to anyone who’ll listen. It’s very funny, with a unique combination of reverence and irreverence.

    It’s a pity we can’t hear more of Shawn, but I guess those sermons aren’t going to write themselves.

    Thanks again!

    • Thanks Bill. Yeah I think it was important to show another side of faith, even if it wasn’t the primary goal here (the primary goal was just to show how a minister lives). And I’ll try to get Shawn on more if he can, it’s been too long!

  3. I really appreciated Shawn’s answers and this discussion overall.
    Like Patrick, I too wish I could believe in god, or rather in the Bible since I would define myself as a deist. At a hard time in my life I tried quite hard and just couldn’t, but I did reach this community of christians and it helped me. Very nice people driven by good morals, we need more of that in some form or other.

    • I’m glad it spoke to you. And I’m very glad we got to present a side of Christianity that is usually not in the media as well…

Speak Your Mind