The Holy No

The Distillery Season 2

Adam Hearlson is concerned that the Church’s dominant way of thinking about worship has been too concerned with preserving institutional rituals and practices. In this episode, he posits that subversion has been a central part of Christian worship from the beginning. He highlights ancient and even subversive forms of worship as alternative ways to more fully embody a Christian identity.

The Distillery is a podcast that explores the essential ingredients of book and research projects with experts in their field of study. Learn what motivates their work and why it matters for Christian theology and ministry.

Hearlson Adam


Adam Hearlson is scholar, writer, and minister living in Pennsylvania. Originally from California, Adam received his B.A. from Vanguard University and his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. His current book The Holy No: Worship as a Subversive Act, published by Eerdmans, describes the ways worship has been used within Christian communities as an act of holy subversion. Because of this research, he has become fascinated with non-conformist puritans, slave spirituals, ancient graffiti, and doctrines of inculturation.  Adam is also a contributing editor at The Christian Century and the co-host of Technicolor Jesus, a podcast about movies, preaching, and ministry. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Adam has taught at schools up and down the east coast and is currently working on a book about movies and another about the perils of ambition.

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Pastor of Scottsboro Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Alabama

Micaiah Tanck, Class of 2015

“The friends, colleagues, and professors I’ve met will continue to be resources for me both personally and professionally.”