Many people seek after the ‘good life,’ the idyllic belief in an existence that is deeply meaningful. In the modern world, it is often hard to find. Trevecca professors Dr. Dean Diehl and Dr. Steve Hoskins are on a mission to help people reach that elusive goal through their podcast, “This is the Good Life.”
Diehl and Hoskins met on The Hill forty years ago, and have remained friends over the years. The podcast is rooted in Diehl’s experiences leaving his corporate job to teach full time.
“I climbed the ladder and looked around at 45 and thought ‘I can’t do this for another 20 years. I need to do something more with my life,’” Diehl said. “So Steve and I started a conversation about meaningful work.”
Diehl began reading books Hoskins recommended from authors and philosophers throughout the ages, who took different angles to explain what a good life truly is.
“The conversation had staying power and when Dean began teaching, the question became, ‘how do we teach this to our students?’ And that is what brought us to the podcast,” Hoskins said.
They hope to make philosophical and theological ideas relatable and easy to digest for their audience, with the acknowledgment that those subjects can be difficult to comprehend due to their layers of complexity and context.
“When you read philosophy, they talk in this language that is intentionally vague and almost requires an initiation to understand,” Diehl said. “The idea of the podcast is to have a conversation that is accessible. We read the philosophy books and then talk about them in ways that people can absorb.”
Hoskins and Diehl believe that the value in learning the ideas of philosophers goes beyond theory and into practice. Their discussions feature key applications for the various facets of their listener’s lives.
“I was taught to take big ideas and talk about them in ways that really matter because that’s what big ideas are for,” Hoskins said. “They help people interpret their everyday lives. How to raise kids, how to choose a good job, how to vote, those are conversations Dean and I have been having as we have moved through adult life.”
The first season has been released and through the course of six episodes, they discuss a range of ideas and perspectives on the ‘good life,’ including happiness, duty and authenticity through the lens of Christianity and application to church life. Their faith factors strongly into their conversation and their optimism for what is possible in a life well-lived. In the final episode of the season, Hoskins expounds on the idea that ultimately a ‘good life’ has a single origin and focus.
“There is a living God who is with us. This God has great hopes for the future where we, along with creation, are renewed in his image day to day and practice by practice,” Hoskins said. “That God is our purpose and that God is our good. No other gods, no other good before or beyond or outside that God.”
Ultimately, the two hope that their listeners will do more than just tune in. They believe the real work comes when people take the ideas from the podcast and begin meaningful conversations in their communities. Diehl and Hoskins ask the question ‘what should be the driving narrative of our existence?’ and invite readers into a world where life does not take place in a vacuum but rather is part of a transcendent narrative that has been weaved together since time began.
“We do not live in a static universe. I am in a story where God has created the universe with a purpose. History and creation are headed somewhere, it is all part of a story,” Diehl said. “My wife and I believe this idea of a story so much that every night we pray ‘God help us tomorrow to remember what story we are in.’”
This podcast can be found wherever you listen to podcasts and at https://www.thisisthegoodlife.online.