KTF Press
Shake the Dust
Introducing Shake the Dust Season Four: Keeping the Faith during an Election

Introducing Shake the Dust Season Four: Keeping the Faith during an Election

Season four starts next week! Hear Jonathan and Sy talk about:

-            What to expect this year from the show during this election cycle

-            A reintroduction to everything KTF does, and why we do it

-            How we really, genuinely need your support right now, and ways you can help


-        Follow KTF Press on Facebook, Instagram, and Threads. Subscribe to get our newsletter and bonus episodes at KTFPress.com.

-        Follow host Jonathan Walton on Facebook Instagram, and Threads.

-        Follow host Sy Hoekstra on Mastodon.

-        Our theme song is “Citizens” by Jon Guerra – listen to the whole song on Spotify.

-        Our podcast art is by Robyn Burgess – follow her and see her other work on Instagram.

-        Production, editing, and transcript by Sy Hoekstra.


What’s Coming in Season Four

[An acoustic guitar softly plays six notes, the first three ascending and the last three descending — F#, B, F#, E, D#, B — with a keyboard pad playing the note B in the background. Both fade out as Jonathan Walton says “This is a KTF Press podcast.” After a brief pause, the intro piano music from “Citizens” by Jon Guerra plays briefly and then fades out.]

Sy Hoekstra: Welcome to Shake the Dust, seeking Jesus, confronting injustice! I’m Sy Hoekstra

Jonathan Walton: And I’m Jonathan Walton. Welcome to season 4!

Sy Hoekstra: We are so excited to have you here. We’re going to be doing something very special for this season during this presidential election cycle

Jonathan Walton: Yes, we’re going back to our roots. The first thing we did with the company that makes this podcast, KTF Press, was publish an anthology in 2020 called Keeping the Faith. It had 36 authors writing political theology and personal stories to explain their opposition to Christian support for Donald Trump.

Sy Hoekstra: We called it an anthology of dissent, a record of resistance toward the church’s political witness in America. And our guests this season are going to be authors from that book, talking about what they wrote and how they’re thinking about their faith and the political landscape now.

Jonathan Walton: You’ve heard some of the writers from the book on this show before, like Dani Espiritu, Scott Hall, and Wissam Al-Saliby. And we’re excited to bring you Dr. Randy Woodley, Brandi Miller, Mark Scandrette, Rasool Berry, and many more this season. The first episode is dropping this upcoming Friday, May 24, with Dr. Woodley.

Sy Hoekstra: We’ve recorded some of these already, and we’re really excited to get them to you in the coming months.

What We Do at KTF, and Why

Sy Hoekstra: But before we jump into this season, we want to give you all a bit of a refresher on what exactly it is we do at KTF Press and why we do it. And the reason that we want to tell you all that is because we really need your support right now.

Jonathan Walton: That’s right. We do everything that we do to help people seek Jesus, confront injustice, and resist the idols of the American church that got us to the religious and political mess we’re in right now. This show is all about hearing personal stories and informed discussions to help you do just that.

Sy Hoekstra: And our weekly newsletter is where we curate media to help you in your discipleship and learning about politics and policy. You get commentary from us on issues important to our national discourse, and we also give you something each week to help you stay grounded and hopeful. Plus, you get news about what’s going on with us at KTF, previews of this show, and a whole lot more.

Jonathan Walton: We also write articles on similar subjects for our website, we have the anthology, and Tamice Spencer-Helms’ incredible memoir we published last year, Faith Unleavened, about how White Jesus nearly destroyed her faith, and how she left him behind to find her way to liberation and the real Jesus.

Sy Hoekstra: And we do all this with a couple things in mind. First, we always pay the most attention to marginalized voices, the people who our society oppresses and pushes to the side. We had a whole discussion on this in our very first episode, so if you want to learn more, you can always listen to that. But simply put, The opinions of people who a society favors get the most airtime, but people who a society harms and ignores actually have the clearest insight about the character of that society. And so if you want to understand the world around you better, you have to talk to marginalized people. Plus, God’s ministry throughout the Bible is primarily directed toward the poor and oppressed, and his disciples primarily come from them. So you just have to train yourself to learn from people whose perspectives come from that angle on the world if you want to follow Jesus.

Jonathan Walton: Another value of ours is trying to be both kind and humane toward people we disagree with, while remaining uncompromising about our own views. We believe, despite all the evidence on the internet to the contrary, that this is in fact possible [Sy chuckles]. But it requires a lot of intentional growth in the area of emotional health, so we talk a lot about that too.

Sy Hoekstra: The good thing is, we’ve been practicing all this for a long time. We have been friends for 18 years now, talking and learning about these subjects together, and having our own sometimes very strong disagreements. We have had to learn how to talk across lines of difference with each other in real time as friends and followers of Jesus. Fortunately, we have been able to do that in communities with friends and mentors who are doing the same thing. On top of that, Jonathan has been doing justice ministry for well over a decade, and my career before this was in law and advocacy, and we want to just share all of this experience with you.

We Need Your Support to Keep KTF Running

Jonathan Walton: So, if all that sounds like something you can get behind, here is our ask of you. We need you to go to KTFPress.com and become a paid subscriber to our Substack. We have to get more subscribers if we’re going to keep this going. So, if you can afford it, please subscribe. If you can’t, just write to us at info@ktfpress.com and we’ll give you a free or discounted subscription, whatever you want, no questions asked. Because we want as many people as possible to have access. But if you can, please go to KTFPress.com and sign up. On top of supporting what we do, you get access to all our many bonus episodes, and coming soon, monthly subscriber chats with me and Sy. Also, if you’re already a paid subscriber, consider upgrading to our founding member tier, which will immediately get you a free book.

Sy Hoekstra: We’ve been doing all this podcasting and writing and book publishing as a side project for a while now, and we have some incredible subscribers supporting what we do. And they are covering the costs of what it takes to produce this show, to keep the websites running, and pay a bunch of our regular business expenses. We actually would not be here without them. But we’ve kept those expenses very low. I don’t know if you know, but we’re not recording this from KTF Press Studios, right next door to NPR. This company is two people with some basic sound equipment that our subscribers paid for, and our laptops. We occasionally get help from other people with laptops. We work in whatever room is available in our homes that are full of other people. At least once, that room was my closet.

Jonathan Walton: [laughs]The point is this might sometimes sound like an established operation, but it’s a little scrappier than you think. And I think you would agree work like this should not be a side project.

Sy Hoekstra: To be fully transparent, I cannot afford to keep doing this as a side project. Jonathan does this work around his full-time job, but if I’m going to keep putting as much time into this as I do, which is a lot, I’m going to have to stop working for free.

Jonathan Walton: So here’s what we’re doing. We’re leveling up our branding and designs. You may have seen that on our website and in our emails. We’ll also be doing some advertising, and of course continuing to put our best work here. But we need you to do your part!

Sy Hoekstra: Jonathan, how many paid subscribers do we have right now?

Jonathan about 120.

Sy Hoekstra: And how many do we want to have by the end of this year?

Jonathan Walton: One thousand! [laughs]

Sy Hoekstra: So we have just a few more to go. Please, please go to KTFPress.com and sign up. Don’t wait.

Jonathan Walton: And there are a few free things you can do apart from subscribing. That newsletter we mentioned is free, so sign up for our free mailing list if you can’t become a paid subscriber, and forward that thing so many times. That’s also at KTFPress.com

Sy Hoekstra: You can also give this show a five-star review on Apple or Spotify, and say something nice about us in a review if you’re on Apple Podcasts. You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram and Threads. But to reiterate, the most important thing we need you to do is go to KTFPress.com and become a paid subscriber. By the way, cool new trick. If you’re listening to this on Spotify, just go back to the bonus episode right before this one in the feed, click the button to unlock that episode, and it will take you right where you need to go to Subscribe.

Outro and Outtake

Jonathan Walton: Alright everyone, thank you so much for listening. Once again, we’re starting season 4 this upcoming Friday, May 24, with Dr. Randy Woodley. We will see you then!

[The song “Citizens” by Jon Guerra fades in. Lyrics: “I need to know there is justice/ That it will roll in abundance/ And that you’re building a city/ Where we arrive as immigrants/ And you call us citizens/ And you welcome us as children home.” The song fades out.]

Sy Hoekstra: Okay, [singing a made-up tune] let me hit the button to stop this recording.

Jonathan Walton: [commanding, in an English accent] Cease recording. Immediately.

Sy Hoekstra: [with fake dramatic anger] Cease it now!

KTF Press
Shake the Dust
Seeking Jesus, confronting injustice–Shake the Dust features candid interviews and informed discussions that guide us as we resist the idols of America.