Episode 1: Hello and Quarantine (from COVID-19)


The hosts introduce themselves and talk COVID-19. Come join The Socially Remote!


In the inaugural episode of The Socially Remote, hosts Matt (lawyer), David (pastor), and Steven (generalist) introduce themselves. You learn a bit about their families, careers, likes, and interests. Next they move into describing how each episode of the podcast will be structured (Sneak Peak; For the Counselors; Deep Dive; and Parting Shots). Finally, the guys dive into a mini-episode and cover the first 2 points from the Gospel Coalition’s article “8 Things the Coronavirus Should Teach Us” by Mark Oden. Join us for episode 2, where we cover points 3 through 8 of the article!

The Podcast:


On the inaugural episode of The Socially Remote, the guys introduce themselves. We learn that Matt is just 3 weeks shy of officially being a millennial (he’s the last of the X’ers). He’s a corporate lawyer, has been married for 17 years, has 3 children, and enjoys reading theology (N.T. Wright and Tim Keller for starters) while listening to Hillsong and exercising.

Next we meet David. He’s the pastor of missions, outreach, and young couples at Edwards Road Baptist Church. He and his family served as missionaries overseas in the Czech Republic and Ireland. He’s the baby of the group at not-quite 34 years old. He’s been married for 12 years, has 4 children, and enjoys making music and breeding rabbits (that’s not in the episode – just bonus content for those of you reading this).

Finally we meet Steven. He’s the middle child of the podcast and the generalist. He has worked in children and family services, has a master’s degree in English, and currently works as a product manager for a manufacturer of train parts. He has been married for 13 years, has 2 children, and enjoys writing (you can buy his book, The Relational God, on Amazon).

The guys then briefly discuss how the podcast will be segmented. Matt mentions that each podcast will have 4 “discreet” (nice lawyer word . . . there were a lot of those this time around) segments:

  1. Sneak Peak – a brief look at the upcoming episode;
  2. For the Counselors – how each host feels about the topic;
  3. Deep Dive – a longer look at the topic of the day; and
  4. Parting Shots – a final word from each host about the topic.

At the end of this section, in almost rapid-fire succession, the words “pithy,” “modus operandi,” “jettison,” and “conflate” were all used to describe what was going on (told you there were a lot of lawyer words).

Sneak Peek on COVID-19

We’re going to be using an article from The Gospel Coalition called “8 Things the Coronavirus Should Teach Us” as a springboard for discussing the COVID-19 pandemic. The author, Mark Oden, is a pastor in Naples, Italy. The article was written towards the height of the pandemic in Italy; however, our discussion takes place a few weeks afterwards when the number of deaths in Italy are around 21,000, the number of deaths in the U.S. are around 28,000, and the number of deaths globally are around 135,000. In addition to the sickness and death toll, the virus is also leading to fear and anxiety, a lack of community, and a yet-unknown economic impact.

For the Counselors

David: Don’t lose a lesson. What are the lessons that God wants us to come away with? We need to walk forward in obedience to Him.

Steven: Struggles with the numbers of cases vs. the impact it’s having on the world. His posture has been to take the precautions being asked of him, but he feels that those precautions may be too much given the situation.

Matt: Doesn’t have any feelings . . . he’s a lawyer.

Deep Dive on COVID-19

Our Fragility: This is sobering, because we are all fragile. COVID-19 brings our mortality to the forefront. Our fragility should drive us to humility and a recognition of God’s sovereignty.

Our Equality: The disease is no respecter of persons. It does not matter what race, religion, nationality, or gender you are . . . you are susceptible. Indeed, we’re just now hearing that the Prime Minister of England, Boris Johnson, has COVID-19, so it’s also no respecter of rank. Additionally, there seems to be a feeling that “we’re all in this together,” but eventually that will breakdown. Once folks start getting desperate, that will go out the window. We’re already seeing that with some of the hoarding that is going on. But what a great time for the church to be the church!

Initially the response from western governments seems to reflect a value for human life (since the population has nearly destroyed itself economically in the name of saving a small percentage of particularly vulnerable people), yet it could also a reluctant conformity that is being driven by fear (and now we are starting to fear the economic consequences more than the virus). Discussions are going on about opening back up. Ultimately we can’t know what is motivating our leadership, because only the Lord knows the heart.

Parting Shots on COVID-19

David: We are very fragile and we can’t stop COVID-19. But, ultimately, this is out of our control (and the current situation is a good reminder of Who is and who is not in control).

Matt: Because this virus is no respecter of persons, it is a good reminder that, in the eyes of God, we are all equal as His image bearers.

Steven: COVID-19 sucks, and we’re all tired of being in our houses in lock-down.

Conclusion on COVID-19

Thanks for listening to us talk about ourselves and COVID-19. Like and review the podcast wherever you listen. You can reach out to us at hello@thesociallyremote.com. Join the next episode to hear us discuss the rest of this article.

Links and Stuff

The Podcast

Thanks for reading about this episode, and don’t forget to listen on:

Check out our website, TheSociallyRemote.com, for all the current happenings. And join us on our next episode, where we will talk about points 3 through 8 of this article.

About The Socially Remote

Does it ever seem like the longer you adult, the less social you become? The responsibilities of being a spouse, a parent, and an employee often leave us with little time for meaningful interaction outside our home and office. As a result, many of us aren’t even remotely social. We try to fill the void with outlets like Facebook and Twitter, but we soon discover social media isn’t as social as it sounds. And the effort we put into soliciting likes and comments doesn’t produce stronger relationships with other people like we’d hoped.

This podcast is an attempt by a pastor, a lawyer, and a generalist to combat the growing culture of social isolation by making time for meaningful conversations about life, theology, and the church. We want to create space in our lives to engage in regular discussion and debate with those around us, and we hope this podcast will encourage you to do the same.

So join Matt, David, and Steven as we take a deep dive on the issues that matter to us and try to put real conversation back in its rightful place.

We are The Socially Remote.

Learn More and Reach Out

If you want to know more about the hosts, check out their bios and links to outside work here.

Got a show idea or feedback? Contact us at hello@thesociallyremote.com.

For the Lawyers

Legal Disclaimer: The views expressed on this podcast belong solely to the individuals expressing them and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of their respective employers.

Deep Dive segment introduction from “Dive” by Steven Curtis Chapman on the Speechless album. Used with permission courtesy of the Stable Collective.

About the Author
Steven Halbert is a husband, father, son, and brother. He has held various roles in children and family service organizations and currently works as a product manager for an industrial manufacturer. He enjoys teaching adult Sunday school, which is where the idea for his book - The Relational God - materialized. He has an associate degree in Bible and a master's degree in English; and he blogs about business, relationships, and the church at stevenhalbert.com

4 comments on “Episode 1: Hello and Quarantine (from COVID-19)

  1. Diane Buie says:

    Awesome dialogue! have shared on FB and hope you pick up a few more “loves and likes”. Good luck!

    1. admin says:

      Thanks Diane! We’re so grateful for the encouragement and support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.