Chatting with Len Sweet

SemioBytes Episodes 2 and 3


Leonard Sweet is a scholar of USAmerican culture; a semiotician who “sees things the rest of us do not see, and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining;” and a preacher and best-selling author who communicates the gospel with a signature bridging of the worlds of faith, academe, and popular culture. In 2006 and 2007, Len was voted by his peers “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” by ChurchReport Magazine, and in 2010, he was selected by the top non-English Christian website as one of the “Top 10 Influential Christians of 2010.” His popular podcast, “Napkin Scribbles,” is widely quoted, and he wrote for for eight years. 

Yoni and I have a chat with Len about the focus and purpose of our podblog (about 15 minutes).

Yoni and I look back on our interview with Len (about 30 minutes).

Our Doctor of Ministry (DMin) cohort with Len as Lead Mentor held its 3rd and final in-person gathering as group from Monday, May 28 through Friday, June 1, 2018. The group traveled to the Sweets home on Orcas Island, known as the "Emerald Isle" of the San Juan Islands. The Sweet family owns and operates the Salish Seaside Escapes on Orcas, and the cohort members were lavishly hosted throughout the entire week. I'm sure Yoni joins me in encouraging you to put a visit to their secluded coast retreat on your bucket list!  

In Episode 2, Yoni and I were honored to spend 15 minutes or so with Len, talking through a few questions related to the theme and goals of our podblog. We had talked about the questions we'd ask before we met with Len and having studied with him for two years prior to this Orcas Advance, we thought we had a pretty good idea what Len's replies and comments would be. As usual, however, he caught us by surprise -- always one to 'nudge' his proteges along on their faith journeys in unexpected ways! Len is as playful with his semiotics as he is with his pets, which is evident in all his books, podcasts, sermons, speaking events, and other ministry activities. 

In Episode 3, after returning from Orcas to our homes in Portland (Yoni) and central Florida (Terry), we looked back on that interview experience and realized how sharply Len had piqued our interest in gaining a better understanding of what our podblog is about. This is evident from the discussion we have in Episode 3, where we tripled our intended goal of keeping our episodes in the 8-10-minute range. We could have tripled it again, actually, but managed to rein ourselves in, hoping this longer duration will be an exception, and fully expecting this dialogue has surfaced several key themes that will reappear in numerous future episodes.   

So, queue the podcasts, settle in, enjoy our posts and remember -- follow us for updates, and participate by contacting us at SemioBytes anytime! Our podblog is an artifact for our DMin dissertations, but more importantly it's a ministry to Christians and Jews, and to all others who may be interested in how semiotics works in religious contexts.

Thanks for visiting us at SemioBytes!